Hello ladies and gents! As 16% of 2017 has already slipped by, I figured it was time for a bit of an update. As far as my gaming is concerned, this year is already heads and shoulders above last year and there is only one reason why: GTASC.
GTASC started off with a hell of a bang. There are people every year who seem to blow their loads in the first few weeks and that sends scores up for a bit before they normalize, but this year was different. Even taking into consideration the fact that the overall team scores should be higher than last year because there's an additional teammate, the weekly average score needed per team member was higher. Let's compare the score of the lowest surviving team each period from last year to this year (score needed per team member [score/number of team members] is in parentheses):
2016: 4,530 (1,132.5)
2017: 5,809 (1,161.8)
2016: 4,380 (1,095)
2017: 7,111 (1,422.2)
2016: 5,570 (1,392.5)
2017: 7,978 (1,595.6)
2016: 6,301 (1,575.25)
2017: 8,966 (1,793.2)
2016: 6,193 (1,548.25)
2017: 8,930 (1,786)
2016: 7,157 (1,789.25)
2017: 9,178 (1,835.6)
2016: 7,127 (1781.75)
2017: 9,604 (1,920.8)
There were some pretty big jumps on the team side from week to week early on this year, but things seemed to have slowed down and are increasing at a more steady pace. I'm actually rather pleased that things have started cruising along now, so there's a much clearer target for the week without having to worry too much about underestimating it. Overall, this year has seemed to test of mettle of teams more than last year and some of the newer teams found out rather quickly that the big boys came to play this year. My team probably won't make it past June, but I'll definitely be keeping an eye on the leaderboards until the end because this should be a good one.
On the individual side, the scoring is higher, as well. Most would have assumed that would be the case since one of the rules changed this year. In previous years, signing up for the team competition automatically entered you in the individual competition, whether you wanted to be in it or not. That lead to the contest dragging on until all the non-competitive people were eliminated. This year, you had to actually sign up for the individual side if you wanted to compete. This definitely ramped up the pace of the competition significantly. To put it in perspective, the lowest scoring person who survived last period scored 1,290 points and survived by literally fractions of a TA point. Last year in the same period, the lowest scoring survivor had 334 points. That's right folks, you're going to need your big boy (or girl) britches to make it far on the individual side this year. I think that change to require manual registration was an excellent decision.
Because of all the crazy scores, I've been putting up about 2000 TA per week. Without GTASC, I don't think that I would have jumped back into scoring so quickly. I'm glad that I'm in this thing. In two months, I've already surpassed my gamerscore, TA score, achievements earned, and completed games for the entire year of 2016. (When I take a year off of gaming, I REALLY take a year off of gaming.) Thanks to the generosity of a secret Santa, I got a TA Pro subscription in December and I've been able to set up numerous goals to achieve this year and track their progress. I've also been able to create some new goals on the fly. For example, I recently hit a milestone of 11,000 achievements won and immediately made a goal to have 11,500 achievements won by June. Despite my saltiness for the price change fiasco, I will never downplay or dismiss the usefulness of TA Pro for pushing yourself to gaming greatness when you have a lot of goals to accomplish or leaderboards to be tracked on.
Speaking of leaderboards, many of my goals are tied to moving up various point and click leaderboards. "Why," you might ask? "I have no clue," I might reply. I like point and clicks, especially Telltale ones, because it's like reading an interactive book. I guess that's just my inner nerd. There isn't really much of a challenge to this goal, as it doesn't really require any skill to point and click your way to a completion, but it's pretty relaxing. So I've been leisurely working my way through games here and there when I'm not succumbing to my latest addiction: Fallout.
I have never really played a Fallout game before this year. I think I may have toyed around in New Vegas for a brief while and I popped one achievement in Fallout 3 for a Bean Dive and never played again. I bought Fallout 4 when it came out because it had a lovely collectors edition with the Pip-Boy, but I never played it until this year. Holy cow, why didn't you people tell me what I've been missing?!?!?! I am absolutely in love with the game. I am 200+ hours into the game and I haven't even done the 4th story mission yet. I love doing side quests and exploring to get materials so that I can do some crafting and build up my settlements. There is so much to do, the game is beautifully made, the mechanics and leveling systems are well thought out...Fallout 4 is my game of 2017. (Yeah, I'm late on this one. So what if it was everyone else's game of 2015? Sue me.) If that wasn't magical enough, Fallout Shelter recently came to Xbox, so I've been playing that too. I may be partial, since I love resource management games, but it's a fun game and doesn't try to use the enraging mechanics that other free-to-play games use to annoy you into spending real money. As far as I'm concerned, Bethesda is my favorite and we're totally going to be BFFs forever.
Well, I think that's about all I have for now. You can check out my TA page to see my latest gaming goals and progress. Also feel free to check out my game collection and give me a shout if there's anything that I can help you out with.
Much appreciation to all who have taken the time to read my blog. Until next time, stay frosty and game on!
Reflections on 2016 and Goals for 2017
What's up party people? It's been a long time since I've written a blog. Heck, it's been a long time since I've done too much of anything gaming related. It's been a crazy year!
I am coming off one of the worst years I've had for gaming since I started achievement hunting. I only put up about 10,000 gamerscore this year. To be fair, 2016 was the year of real life achievements for me. I finished up my BS in Business Administration and I got married, which was the highlight of my year. I also had some random health issues and unexpected surgery, which interfered with a great job opportunity, so life was kind of up and down. I launched my podcast and started moving in the direction of getting my site where I want it to be and start streaming on Twitch consistently, but all that came to a grinding halt when real life started to rear its ugly head. At this point, I'm still trying to get health issues sorted out so I can reliably work, but I don't have insurance because I don't have a job, so it's a comically circular set of circumstances. I've had a few interviews that seemed promising, so hopefully I'll hear something about moving forward in the interview process next year. As far as next year is concerned, I want to find that zen balance between real life and gaming.
For my real life goals, I want to find a career that I actually enjoy and not just another job that leads down the road to nowhere. I want to start studying for the GMAT so that I can do reasonably well on it and perhaps land some scholarships for graduate school. I also want to start purging stuff that I've been hanging on to for a while that I just don't really use anymore or things that I once collected, but just don't care about anymore. Sorry Funko Pops, but you've got to go.
For my gaming goals, I have quite a few more things that I want to do. I want to hit 300k Gamerscore this year, move up on a few Point and Click leaderboards, and move up on the overall TrueAchievement leaderboards for overall, USA, and North Carolina. I also want to strategically and methodically start working through my backlog. I have recently realized how much of a royal pain in the rear it's going to be to keep track of this stuff since I don't have TA Pro. Yes, I'm still salty about how all that pricing stuff I wrote about in my last blog went down. (I know, a female holding a grudge is incredibly shocking news.) So my money is going to Gamertag Nation these days. If you haven't checked it out, it's a pretty cool place. It's a relatively small community and there aren't many solutions or walkthroughs, but everyone there is super nice and they have achievement tracking, as well as user created game collections. *shrugs* I said I would wait for at least a year after the change here to consider going Pro again and I'm pretty bloody stubborn, so I'll figure out a way to make it work.
For my real life/gaming hybrid goals, I want to get my podcast up and running again and start streaming so that I can meet some new people. On the podcast side, I'm looking for some people who would be interested in doing a weekly podcast about gaming. I'm guessing I'll need about 4 other people, so if you or anyone you know would be interested, just shoot me a message! On the streaming side, I don't know too much about it (aside from the very basics), so if you can give me some tips or guidance I am willing to listen.
It may sound crazy, but I feel like a chunk of my life was missing during 2016 since I wasn't really gaming. I don't know why, but gaming is a hobby that has really resonated with me in so many ways. From playing games, to collecting them, to reading about them – I thoroughly enjoy every aspect of gaming. I'm taking it easy for the last few days of the year and then it's time to get moving on January 1st, 2017! What are your goals for 2017, both gaming and real life? Let me know in the comments below.
As always, I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. I hope each and every one of you has a fantastic new year! Until next time, stay frosty and game on!
As you may have heard, TrueAchievements has recently raised the price of a TA Pro subscription. For those unfamiliar with TA Pro, it provides a host of benefits. The most useful benefit is the ability to force unlimited scans of your profile so that achievements are added quickly. You can check the full list of benefits here: TrueAchievements Pro Account. While it's not unreasonable for a company to increase the price of a service, the way that this change went about doesn't sit well with me. Let me tell you a few reasons why.
My first beef is with the amount of the increase. In the US, the price went from $15 per year to $25 per year, or a 67% increase. Personally, I bought TA Pro for myself and a friend each year. With the new price increase, I can get a single subscription for slightly less than I paid for two. That's a pretty steep hike. You can now get 2 years for $45, but that's the same price of 4 years with the buy three, get one free promotion. While I understand that costs increase with inflation, the cost of the subscription should gradually rise over time and not nearly double all at once. Granted, $25 is a negligible amount of money, but it's the principle of the matter.
My second beef is with how this change went down. Instead of being forthright with TA members and giving them a heads up, TA quietly changed the prices. About a week after the fact, there was a message sent out with an explanation and a one time use coupon (that was expired in a week) that allowed current Pro subscribers to get one more year at the $15 price. That didn't have to be done and was a kind, if feeble, gesture. Personally, I don't know if I'm going to take advantage of that offer. I still have a few days to decide, but the way this all went down doesn't sit well with me. That actually brings me to my next and biggest beef.
The biggest beef of all for me is fact that the burden of carrying the site is placed squarely on the shoulders of those who are already supporting it. One of the reasons cited for the price hike was the fact that 33% of the people browsing the site use AdBlock, which cuts into revenue. That makes total sense. What doesn't make sense to me is why the first solution to that problem is to bleed more money from people who are already paying. The TA community is a very reasonable and involved community, for the most part. Why not reach out to those who are causing the issue to try to resolve it? Some people using AdBlock may not know that you can set exceptions for certain sites. Why wasn't there a step taken to write a site news article explaining how using AdBlock was directly impacting the site and providing directions to make TA an exception? Why isn't there a donate button on the front page so that people who don't want to pony up for a subscription still have a way to contribute to the site? Furthermore, why isn't the TA Pro subscription not prominently featured on the front page? You can't say that revenue is an issue and not take steps to proudly display the ways people can support the site on the front page. Instead, the choice was made to basically penalize those who are already supporting the site.
While some people are avid supporters of this site and would probably pay almost any amount to be able to scan to their heart's content, I think there are a large number of people who aren't too keen about this new pricing and the way it was brought about. I know that for me, TA has probably gone from me buying 2 subscriptions per year to me buying zero. How many others out there feel the same way? As I said before $25 isn't much money. I could easily drop $50 on the two subscriptions and go along my merry way. For me, it's the principle of the matter. I don't like the fact that this price hike was just ushered in with no warning and was most likely addressed after the fact so that people couldn't load up on subscription time before the price changed. Realistically, that may have been a better financial move, as there would have been a huge influx of money from people buying multiple years in order to beat the price hike. Then that capital could have been invested into something to turn a profit, be it a new feature for TA or a new business venture in general.
All in all, this whole thing doesn't sit well with me. Had this been handled differently, I would continue to support the site. I can't say for sure that I will never have pro again or that I won't at least take one more year at $15, but I definitely can't say with any certainty that I'll do either. What do you think about the price increase? What course of action are you going to take as a result? I'd love to know, so please drop a comment and let me know how you feel.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. Until next time, stay frosty and game on!
12 Months of XBL Gold $39.99
12 month Xbox Live Gold subscription $39.99. http://amzn.to/1RPR0Vh
Gunscape Giveaway Live
Gunscape giveaway is up and running. Good luck!
Gunscape Code Giveaway
I've got a shiny new code for Gunscape that I'll be giving away! Want in? Check out the Done! Unlocking... podcast that will be published over the weekend. I'll tell you on our second episode how you can be entered for a chance to win. You can follow us on Twitter to know as soon as the episode has been released. You can also check the podcast tab above to download or listen to our other episodes while you're waiting for the new one.