I have a post rattling around in my head about achievements, why they work for me in some games and not in other, who I think does them well and who does them poorly.
But for the moment I will say that I mostly like Steam Achievements. I don’t chase them as much as I do in games like WoW, but I keep an eye on them and have unlocked a good number in games that I have played a lot and which actually have Steam Achievements.
And two of my top five most played games on Steam, Valheim and RimWorld, lack them. Think of how many more achievements I might have gained with all the hours I put in there.
But my favorite aspect of Steam Achievements is when you mouse over them and it tells you what percentage of players of a given title have earned that particular achievement.
While I don’t chase achievements too hard, it is always interesting to see how popular an achievement is. That Lost Ark achievement, for example, represents how many people have played so many hours down the main story line. It is kind of a gimme for the mildly persistent.
On my profile I display my rarest achievements, which are all 1% or 2% of the player base (for Civilization V, Defense Grid, Age of Empires II, and Stellaris respectively).
What I find irksome about that however is Steam’s seeming reluctance to share that bit of information with you. If, for example, I go to my full list of achievements for Civilization V, I can mouse over them until my hand gets numb, but not one of the achievements on the list will give me any further stats.
Why won’t Steam show me that percentage number anywhere save for a few very specific locations in their client? They clearly have that information stored.
Also, as an add-on gripe, when I look at my achievements listed out, it would be really nice if I could sort them by date maybe. That list of achievements, if you can read it, has dates from 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2018 all mixed in a jumble.
If you’re going to have achievements, make the most of them, share all the data, and make them sort… or, crazy talk here, searchable.
Everwake in the comments alerted me to a link I missed on my achievements page that will take me to the global achievement stats, which shows me data for all my achievements, so that gripe has been dismissed.
However, that brings up a whole different issue, which Bhagpuss pointed out in the comments.
The achievement I displayed above, “Successor of Fate” currently shows 29.7% of players have gained that achievement, which is a change, so it clearly gets updated as time passes.
But on the global achievements page, it says that 25.7% of players have this achievement.
And the same goes for any of the other achievements I can mouse over.
That is close to the other count, but off by far enough that I have a new gripe about the numbers not lining up. It points to the idea that the two numbers are being calculated via different data.
Meanwhile, Connor of MMO Fallout says that achievements are questionable now anyway as you can make them come and go with Steam Achievement Manager. I haven’t even looked into that.