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Friday, June 19, 2020

Chp 821. Game Achievements

As I mentioned in my blog update yesterday, I've finally set up my computer here at home, six months after packing it up in Pune. I even forgot my login password, and thanks to Sanga and Hiren BootCD, we managed to solve that problem [read my previous post on how to reset Windows 10 password].

And so, for the past three weeks, I've been doing almost nothing but play games the whole day. With over 1000+ games in my Steam library collection, there were soooo many games I haven't played even once, and so, this lockdown was the perfect time to catch up on those games.

I installed a lot of games since then, like Borderlands 2 and Borderlands Pre-Sequel, Epistory, Gaucameleel, Mass Effect, Terraria, L4D, Metal Slug, Human: Fall Flat, OneShot, etc., along with "small games" like minimalistic puzzle games and brain teasers (my favourite casual gaming time-pass).

It was only around four days ago that I happened to look at my Steam profile and saw that my Average Game Completion Rate had drastically fallen to 48%!!!

Oh nooooss!

I mean there is no written rule or law that says one must maintain a certain % completion rate, nor does it affect one's profile physically in any way, but I've always maintained a completion rate of above 50% because that is a nice number, and it also shows other gamers that you're serious about the games you play.

Of course it's not possible to know how much a player has actually progressed in each game because most games do not have a linear progression or even a definitive ending. It's not like the good old days of Super Mario Bros where you move from world 1-1 to 1-2 to 1-3 and so on until you reach the last stage, world 8-4, and defeat Bowser, only for the ungrateful princess to send you on the same linear quest all over again, albeit a bit more difficult.

No, games have evolved so much since then. There are many games with countless different endings and multiple outcomes, games with NO endings, sandbox games that don't even have beginnings, arena battle games that may be short but replayed infinite number of times, and even games that have missions which can be played only at a specific date & time of a year! Hence it is impossible to know what % of a game a player has actually completed.

To counter that, Valve Corporation, the company that owns Steam, had decided to use the in-game achievements of different games as a metric to measure game completion rate. It's definitely not perfect, but it is the closest method of measuring one's progress as most games have achievement unlock criteria based on different milestones within the game.

Here's a comprehensive thread on how Achievement Rate is calculated by Valve.

To put it plainly, suppose Game 1 has 500 achievements and Game 2 has only 5 achievements, and you have played for many hours and managed to unlock 300 of the 500 achievements in Game 1, while you got 4 of the 5 achievements in Game 2. Then your completion rate in Game 1 (300/500) is 60%, whereas in Game 2, your completion rate (4/5) is 80%.

You actually get a higher percentage from Game 2 even though the number of achievements unlocked from Game 1 is more. This is quite fair because, like I said before, not all games are the same or follow a linear progression, so they definitely cannot have the same uniform number of achievements. (This also discourages developers from spamming a game with multiple useless achievements).

And the Average Completion Rate of the two games above, that is, 60% and 80%, is (60+80)/2 which is 70%.

Thadaaa, 70%, this is your current Average Game Completion Rate. This amount is re-calculated every time you play a new game and unlock the first achievement of that game. In a way, having a high rate kinda fills you with a small sense of accomplishment and pride :)

So how did my completion rate reduce so much? It was because, like I mentioned above, I started playing a lot of new games recently, which increased the denominator value in the above equation. Hence, 48%.

Now let's be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong in having a low completion rate, this is just how I personally feel about gaming. It's like... how women always say they are dressing up for a party not because they want to make their man feel good but rather because they want to make themselves feel good. Well, this is my ladies make-up moment. I want to have at least a 50% Average Game Completion Rate because it makes me feel good. :)

How do I bring this value up again? Simple mathematics. I must stop playing new games so that the denominator does not increase further, and keep playing a lot of my old games that I have already played before and try to get 100% achievement in those games (also known as "Perfect Games") so as to increase the numerator value.

And that's what I've been doing for the past four days now :D. Those of you who are my "friends" on Steam will notice your daily activity feed like this...

Lolz, yeah, sorry for spamming you all, but my aim is to bring my completion rate to 50% before the Steam Summer Sale starts, which is this coming June 25th, so I'm just playing all my previously installed games until I 100% them, or at least come as close as possible to 100 percenting them.

So until then, cheers everyone, and happy gaming to you all.

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