Playstation's Trophy System

On the surface, the trophy system sounded like a good alternative to the Achievement System the Xbox 360 has from launch. I kinda figured it would work a lot like Steam achievements.

With Steam, every achievement is valued the same. For each game you have a percentage complete and that's how you compare achievements with your pals. There is a lack of quality though, as this is really only a comparison of how much you've played the game versus your friends.

With Xbox Live Achievements, every single achievement has a specific value. Even though Microsoft regulates that each game cannot exceed 1000 points (except through DLC), it's up to the developer to distribute those points in the game. They can choose how many achievements and the value of each one. Percentage Complete does not matter.

In a way, that's kinda neat. For example: Of the 1000 points, you could have 2 really difficult achievements worth 300 each, and 5 dirt-ass easy achievements for 80 each. One gamer could've gotten the 2 tough achievements for a gamer score of 600, while another gamer could've gotten those easy ones for a total of 400. In this case, you can clearly tell who the "better" gamer is because of the score. The Percentage complete wouldn't reflect this at all..

Though, the "better" gamer could easily scoop up those other 5 achievements, the criteria for those achievements could be something unrealistic for the "better" gamer to achieve. Like "Complete the game on Easy" or whatever.. The "better" gamer probably has better thing to do with their time.. Especially when playing another game gets just as many points as this one.

Xbox focuses on the quality of achievements you receive rather than quantity, but, in many ways, quantity is its own form of quality as playing many many many games will get you a rather high gamer score.

The Playstation's Trophy System takes an alternative route to both implemenations, but still borrows ideas from each.. In game, you have 3 different weighted trophies to obtain: Gold, Silver and Bronze. Silver carries more weight than Bronze, and so forth.. There's also a Platinum trophy for each game which is awarded when you complete 100% of the achievements in a game.

Each game has a specific amount of trophies they can distribute, but they didn't really say how they are distributed.. Does that mean each game has 6 gold, 6 silver, and 6 bronze? or does it work like the Xbox and you can have any amount of trophies you want as long as they add up to a specified amount? :shrugs:... Either way, all these trophies do add up. Each one gives you a little bit of "experience" which will gain you "Gamer Levels", which is the global way of comparing yourself to others.

This whole system seems like a refinement of the achievement system that pulls together both quantity and quality. I'm a big fan of those Platinum Trophies because the system actually rewards you for playing through the entire game and doing everything. Although, there are games on Steam and Xbox that give you rewards in game for 100% completion, neither service does on a global level.

The big problem I see with the Playstation Trophies is support. At launch of the 2.40 firmware update, only 9 games will support Trophies, all of which are first party. The free game that came with the Metal Gear Solid 4 Playstation 3 Bundle is on that list (PAIN), but there's no announcement of Metal Gear Solid 4 Trophies, which is what I want. Also no Trophies for Flow, Echochrome, or Everyday Shooter :/ Trophy Support can be patched into any game, though.. so hopefully these developers will work on that.

Anywho, this information comes from the Playstation blog where Eric Lempel gives a video demostration of the In-Game XMB and the Trophy System.




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