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Gamerscore Hacking and Its Underground Economy

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the achievement-unlocked-account-locked dept.

XBox (Games) 85

An anonymous reader writes "There's a writeup on SpywareGuide that explores the world of Xbox Gamerscore hacking, and how high Gamerscores are proving to be a big target for hackers and phishers. It also talks about how a recent release of a Gamerscore-altering program onto forums for hacking & cheating is proving to be lucrative business for both eBay sellers and those who want to artificially inflate a Gamerscore before selling that account, or trading it for credit card details."

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*Sigh* (2, Funny)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | about 5 years ago | (#28848717)

Yet another reason that I cannot take console gaming community seriously.

Re:*Sigh* (2, Funny)

noundi (1044080) | about 5 years ago | (#28848745)

Yet another reason that I cannot take the entertainment industry seriously.

Fixed it sir.

Re:*Sigh* (3, Informative)

John Betonschaar (178617) | about 5 years ago | (#28849137)

Yet another reason I cannot take people in general seriously

Re:*Sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28850053)

Yet another reason I cannot take carbon-based life seriously

Re:*Sigh* (0)

mcfatboy93 (1363705) | about 5 years ago | (#28850543)

your not serious? Are you, i cant tell.

Re:*Sigh* (4, Insightful)

Haeleth (414428) | about 5 years ago | (#28848767)

You're not supposed to take anything to do with "gaming" seriously. There's kind of a hint in the name.

Re:*Sigh* (2, Insightful)

Norsefire (1494323) | about 5 years ago | (#28848913)

Sport is a game. People take sport seriously.

Re:*Sigh* (3, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about 5 years ago | (#28849067)

If you take sport seriously, can you still call it a game?

Re:*Sigh* (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849721)

If you take sport seriously, can you still call it a game?

you cant, but you can gladly call yourself a moron.

Re:*Sigh* (1)

SCPRedMage (838040) | about 5 years ago | (#28852731)

I can't be the only one who read that as "mormon" on the first pass...

Re:*Sigh* (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#28850049)

If someone takes sports serious, can you still call them people?

Seriously, I can see someone trying to achive something like lifting more weight, running faster or jumping higher. But taking it serious when someone else lifts more, runs faster or jumps higher? Get a life.

Re:*Sigh* (1)

tonycheese (921278) | about 5 years ago | (#28851083)

This statement is unfair. Having an athlete run faster or train harder to push past what other humans have accomplished in their life is not a bad thing.
Sure, if you play in your backyard, it's just for fun and you shouldn't take it too seriously. But telling someone like Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps to stop taking things so seriously and "get a life" doesn't really seem to make sense.

Re:*Sigh* (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#28851201)

I can see someone trying to achive it for himself and finding accomplishment in being able to run faster, jump higher or lift more (read it up, that's what I wrote). I can not see how someone considers it an achivement if "his" team wins. It's not like he contributed anything (besides maybe buying a ticket to a game or buying some merchandize).

Re:*Sigh* (1)

tonycheese (921278) | about 5 years ago | (#28852477)

Ah, then we are in agreement. I misunderstood your original statement as talking about competitors rather than with fans.

Re:*Sigh* (2, Insightful)

Greg_D (138979) | about 5 years ago | (#28853057)

Those who can't, watch.

And without fan support, there IS no game... certainly not one that brings together world class athletes on a weekly or daily basis. Hence, fans feel they are entitled.

Re:*Sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28853825)

I can see someone trying to achive it for himself and finding accomplishment in being able to run faster, jump higher or lift more (read it up, that's what I wrote). I can not see how someone considers it an achivement if "his" team wins. It's not like he contributed anything (besides maybe buying a ticket to a game or buying some merchandize).

The phrase you are looking for is "Living vicariously through the actions of others".

Re:*Sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28855753)

I LIKE TURTLES

Re:*Sigh* (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 5 years ago | (#28861989)

If someone takes sports serious, can you still call them people?

Seriously, I can see someone trying to achive something like lifting more weight, running faster or jumping higher. But taking it serious when someone else lifts more, runs faster or jumps higher? Get a life.

In my books, someone who takes it seriously when they lose, learns from their mistakes, strives harder and goes on to win - is AWESOME. On the other hand, someone who takes sport seriously, gets beaten and then becomes a sore loser, whining and whinging, they deserve to lose - and also need to have a good look at their life.

You're missing the point (2, Insightful)

Alarindris (1253418) | about 5 years ago | (#28850661)

If you take sport seriously, can you still call it a game?

I hate it when people say this, I hear it all the time (along the lines of "it's just a game").
Ever play poker for 'fun'? As in m&m's or peanuts instead of money?
It doesn't work. It's not fun because there is no risk, no 'seriousness'.
Games are meant to be taken 'seriously'. Competition is what makes them fun.

I think I understand what you're saying, but that statement is just way too broad.

Re:You're missing the point (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28852725)

I once played poker with the Cookie Monster using (gluten-free) cookies instead of money, and let me tell you, it was dead fucking serious. My very life was at risk that night.

Re:*Sigh* (1)

donaldm (919619) | about 5 years ago | (#28863601)

If you take sport seriously, can you still call it a game?

Err no, but I would not say that to a fanatic. If you do I hope you have good hospital cover :)

Re:*Sigh* (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 5 years ago | (#28852267)

They do, but they shouldn't. It's still just a game.

Re:*Sigh* (3, Insightful)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | about 5 years ago | (#28849039)

What difference does you taking them seriously make? The fact is most console gamers are sensible individuals who like to put a disk in, sit down and play on their big screen TV. No mucking about with drivers, downloading patches etc... Just gaming with ease.

I have an Xbox 360 myself, and don't understand why people get so hyper about their gamer score. It's basically a number that the higher it is, it says "I have less of a life than you do, and can afford more games than you".

Didn't even know there was a way you could hack it. I'll get right on that and hack mine (right after I've cured world hunger and ended war.)

Re:*Sigh* (3, Informative)

iainl (136759) | about 5 years ago | (#28849201)

The raw achievements number is indeed just a mark of how much time you've spent playing games. What I do look at, however, is the list of individual achievements on a game my friends have in comparison to me - being able to get some difficult achievement is a handy high-score proxy.

Which is one reason why gamerscore hacking is so utterly pointless - the idiots that do this just grant themselves 100% on the games, so it's pretty obvious what's up.

Sadly, that's not true any more (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | about 5 years ago | (#28849285)

I used to make the same argument, but it seems to me like that isn't true any more.

Ever since they got hard drives, console games routinely get installed to hard drive first. I.e., there goes that "just want to put the disk in and play." It's only true in the same way as for a PC game.

Second, console games routinely get patches too nowadays.

Third, since a heck of a lot of games are launched for both PC and consoles nowadays... if you think your XBox copy of Fallout 3 is somehow magically better quality than the PC version, no offense, but then I have some logging rights in Sahara to sell. They're the same codebase, with the same bugs, and if you're lucky they'll get the same patches.

Fourth, you may not have heard about it, but PC drivers have gotten a lot more stable in the meantime. The days when you had to muck with different driver versions for different games are over, and have been over for some years now. E.g., I don't think I actually installed any new drivers on my gaming rig since I put the GTX 290 graphics card in it. (And I'm not saying that in the sense that I had to do it with the old ATI card either, but merely that that change was a point where I had to install a new driver.) I've yet to see any game which shits itself because I don't have the latest beta +0.0.0.1 driver release.

Fifth, you can hook a PC to a big screen TV or beamer too, if that's what floats your boat. TV out connectors have been pretty much standard for some years.

Sixth, it's not the size that matters, it's how you use it. At least that's what my SO keeps telling me;) Ok, joke aside, what matters isn't how big your screen is (except maybe for willy-waving rights), but how much of your FOV it feels. A 20" TFT screen at 3 ft distance fills just as much of your FOV as a 60" screen at 9 ft distance. Things look exactly as big. It's elementary geometry, see?

Re:Sadly, that's not true any more (3, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | about 5 years ago | (#28849461)

1. No they don't, only a small minority of games do that. Even so it doesn't negate the original point, that it's not "does it work with my hardware", "have I got a good enough gfx card", it just works and is a damn sight cheaper than a PC.

2. So what?

3. It only has one set of hardware to target. It'll be much more stable and much better tested on my hardware than yours.

4. Good, glad for you.

5. Call me when PC games routinely have multi-player through a single machine.

6. Sure, whatever.

I'm not trying to say that PC gaming is "inferior" in any way, it's just not the same. There's no technical reason why the cool console stuff with multiplayer local co-op etc couldn't run on my PC either. But it doesn't and there is a huge appeal to having a machine that is dedicated to gaming, comes on in seconds and is (mostly) guaranteed not to choke on the games you feed it.

Re:Sadly, that's not true any more (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28850441)



2. So what?
4. Good, glad for you.
6. Sure, whatever.


Were you the captain of your debate team?

Re:Sadly, that's not true any more (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 5 years ago | (#28850577)

Shall I rephrase that for those that prefer long form?

2. What bearing does that have on the argument at hand? I contend that this point is of minimal relevance.

4. I accept wholeheartedly that graphics card drivers on the PC platform have become more stable in recent years. This point is conceded but it does not comprise the entire argument. I am ebullient, for your sake, that this impasse is cleared. Conversely however, this does not mean the original expostulation is invalid.

6. Not only do I find point six banal, but I also dispute its relevance.

Better?

Re:Sadly, that's not true any more (1)

MogNuts (97512) | about 5 years ago | (#28850517)

1) But there is the *option*. And you would be silly not to--it makes the 360 much quieter and in some games, gives better load times. And you're forgetting all the downloadable games from PSN/Live that--oh, wait for it--are saved to the *hard drive.*

2) Well it's true, that's what. Gone are the days of not having game-stopping bugs on consoles. GTA IV anyone?

3) Bugs are still ironed out with patches on the PC. They *both* become stable.

4) Yes, it is true, and just because you choose to ignore it doesn't mean it's not important. I don't think I've ever had an issue in PC Gaming since maybe Diablo 2, released in 2000.

5) What does that have to do with his point, that you can play on your comfy couch in the living room with a PC, for a while now?
Uh, again ignoring it because you can't argue with it. And again, it's true. Just bought a 22", before using my 40" LCD TV as my main display. Feels even bigger, I was surprised.

Yes you are saying it's inferior, and in reponse to your last 3 points in your conclusion:

1) What does "dedicated to gaming mean?" A machine either plays games or not, and PC's do.

2) My games on the PC come on in seconds when I click the icon--hello? And if anything, PC games have significantly faster load-times during the course of gameplay.

3) You're just wrong. I haven't had a game choke on me in almost a decade. I think you may not be the sharpest tool in the shed if you have all these "problems."

Re:Sadly, that's not true any more (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 5 years ago | (#28852629)

1) There is an option on *some* games for PS3, and no games for the Wii. Downloadable is all stored on built in memory. Please explain how this affects the issue that all PC games need to be installed and many come with crippling DRM, as compared to "put in and play".

3) The PC will become stable slower if at all. It remains that a single set of target hardware and OS/firmware is a lot easier to test.

4) You clearly never played Spore.

5) and 6) What am I ignoring? That he can use a big screen? I know that.

It doesn't change that the console has many better options for casual, relaxed gaming. The input methods pretty mush ensure it, along with local multiplayer.

And the further points:

1) Dedicated to gaming means dedicated to gaming. My laptop is not dedicated to gaming, it does not live by the tv and wait to be used as a console, it is not wired in to the tv. I would have to make an effort to do so and getting something simple like a dock for it would cost as much as an xbox or wii.

2) Your PC doesn't boot in the time it takes a console to get into the game, and it costs 4-10x as much.

3) Again, you clearly never played Spore.

Re:Sadly, that's not true any more (1)

MogNuts (97512) | about 5 years ago | (#28857137)

1) Yes, all PC games have to be installed. I was just pointing out that many games now install to a HD. Whether you copy it for better load times or play downloadable games, where do you think they go? Is it some crazy kind of magic? And please don't even drag a *new* argument into it, like DRM, to make it sound like you are right--it doesn't work. By the way, for every *one* game with a 5-limit SecureROM install, there are hundreds of games that DON'T have it.

3) Yes, somewhat slower, but NOT if at all. Wrong. But remind me about the bugs for the 360 versions of GTA IV and Bioshock when they first were released?

4) No, I haven't. But yes, let's lump ALL games into that category because of 1 game, or even 1% of the games, that months later are still buggy!

5/6) Did you even read your reply? Your OP said just said that consoles can be hooked up to a TV for a nice living room experience. You said call me when you get local multiplayer. What did your reply have to do with it? That's right, it didn't, hence my reply. And better options? I guess that the XBOX controller, racing wheel, wireless controller, and dancepad that hook up to the PC--well they just don't exist, right? And the PC has an extra feather in it's cap--mouse and keyboard, if you want that option.

1) Just because you made a choice to purchase a laptop incapable of playing games, doesn't mean that I can't decide to hook up my PC to a TV to play games. By your logic, people shouldn't have jobs because food and shelter is available in the woods.

2) My computer is usually always on, so your argument is wrong. Even if it's off, it's in suspend mode--power on is immediate. So AGAIN, you're wrong.

3) FAIL. Again, choosing 1 game to represent thousands of games does not work. Let me guess, you're the person uses the "LALALA--I can't hear you!" argument alot.

Re:Sadly, that's not true any more (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | about 5 years ago | (#28859345)

1) CD/DVD/BD read speeds have a low maximum speed they can cap at, and the latencies have a high minimum they could reach. I suspect we'll be seeing more HDD based games in the future. For the next generation consoles, it'll be necessary just because they can't stream textures fast enough off a DVD.

2) In my experience, PC games get patched quicker and have less bugs.

3) In theory, but in practice PC games are often more stable. This is partly due to the XBox360 hardware not being all that stable in the first place, compared to a well built PC. If you were to ask me the number of times a game locked up on me in the past year, my answer would be zero, because my PC doesn't blow. I play about three-four hours of games per day, so quite frankly I'm surprised I haven't hit any issues.

Consoles though - man, look at how often they lock up or fail!

4) My experience here has been mixed. Older games (pre-2004) don't like newer drivers - but aside from that, most relatively new games work fine with relatively new drivers. I think I'm using WHQL 185.85's right now.

5) Huh? You mean hotseat? Actually, many PC games do - but you need to buy the controllers, and some games don't support it.

6) Makes perfect sense to me. I couldn't afford a new TV, so I moved my couch infront of my old 1440x900 monitor. Looks absolutely stunning, and it's comfortable! ;)

I'm not trying to say that console gaming is inferior - just that the XBox360 is. (hardware wise) Anyone that loves their PC and games will have their home set up in a way that's comfortable when gaming, and now that many games are PC-XBox360 releases, they sport the same features on both platforms. (PC game, XBox controllers, hotseat!)

I fully agree that having an instant-on game "console" is nice, which is why I have a computer that cold boots in 25 seconds flat. I'd lose at least that much time if I had to hunt for a DVD. ;)

Re:Sadly, that's not true any more (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | about 5 years ago | (#28872247)

there is a huge appeal to having a machine that is dedicated to gaming, comes on in seconds and is (mostly) guaranteed not to choke on the games you feed it.

Riiiiight...

In Zelda: Twilight Princess, once you cross a bridge that then becomes uncrossable, be sure not to save! Otherwise, when you load, you'd start on the wrong side of the bridge with no way to cross it, meaning no way to progress further in the game.

There's a similar game-state deadlock in the room with the big contraption; if you save, the archaeology dude starts in the room, and you can't do the thing to the contraption that you need to do to progress.

In Guitar Hero 3 (for Wii), there's a unidimensional lag calibration, which doesn't match the reality of "lag between button-press and audio output" and also "lag between button-press and video output". In Through the Fire and Flames on Medium, in the section "Grinding Scales 2", the notes are wrong. The UI and menu structure is confusing (words have more than one meaning; meanings have more than one word) and unsuited for certain tasks; say you want to n-star all songs (for n in {3,4,5,gold}), then navigating from the "medium setlist" (sub)menu to the "hard setlist" (sub)menu takes waaaay too many clicks. It's completely boneheaded that at the screen where you see your character standing (and have a menu item named "change character"), when you press "back" (which presumably would take you to the band menu), you instead get taken to the "change character" menu. Why, if I wanted that, I'd have chosen that menu item!

I've noticed that Nintendo has made some IOS updates which "fix" the twilight hack (quotes both in the sense of "not really" and of "you can't fix a feature"). Do they perhaps fix the deadlocked z:tp saved games too?

Games really do need patching. Like all software, it's imperfect on day 0 (probably for most values of 0, actually). If you just shove a disc in, you might be unpleasantly surprised.

Re:Sadly, that's not true any more (4, Informative)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 5 years ago | (#28850491)

I used to make the same argument, but it seems to me like that isn't true any more.

Ever since they got hard drives, console games routinely get installed to hard drive first. I.e., there goes that "just want to put the disk in and play." It's only true in the same way as for a PC game.

The biggest advantage for a console is you at least know games designed for the console will run fast as long as you own it. PC games tend to leave your rig in the dust sooner. But consoles are getting damned expensive these days.

The biggest advantage of the PC is that you can run a more bleeding edge than the console so long as you're willing to pay for it. PC games also have a bigger modding scene. Oblivion, for example, is seen as almost unplayable in the vanilla version and many fans consider the tweaked version to be sublime. And the PC gamer can run it at a higher resolution with more doodads enabled.

Re:Sadly, that's not true any more (1)

MogNuts (97512) | about 5 years ago | (#28850787)

Yea, I almost forgot about making that point--Mods. I recently got into Oblivion and back into the mod scene, something I haven't done since mods for Doom 1/2. It was amazing. I miss that feature a lot. In Doom, you could basically get all new games, missions, etc. Pretty interesting ones that developers would never think of. In Oblivion, you have the same thing. You can practically make it a new game.

To any gamer, pop in any game with a heavy mod scene, and just explore what is out there for it. I forgot just how good a feature that was, you may never leave PC gaming ever again.

Re:Sadly, that's not true any more (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | about 5 years ago | (#28859383)

The biggest advantage for a console is you at least know games designed for the console will run fast as long as you own it.

Some console games drop as low as 30fps. On PC, I can lower detail levels to acquire a higher framerate.

Any game I buy for PC today will run at roughly the same speed as long as I own it. I consider being able to buy the newest games(without an upgrade) a perk, rather than a negative, even if I have to set the detail levels to *gasp* high or medium.

Re:*Sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849287)

The fact is most console gamers are sensible individuals who like to put a disk in, sit down and play on their big screen TV. No mucking about with drivers, downloading patches etc... Just gaming with ease.

Unfortunately this ease attracts those - what's the politically correct term ... mentally challenged? - people that make your eyes and ears bleed as soon as they start typing or talking. If there was a minimum level of intelligence, there wouldn't be a market for highscores.

Re:*Sigh* (1)

physburn (1095481) | about 5 years ago | (#28850283)

It teenagers wanting to look more cool than there friends. Hack the gamescore, they can look like there brilliant games, without bothering to play. Of course once there challenged to a game, and have there arse whipped, they'll look even less cool.

---

X-Box Games [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:*Sigh* (1)

Inda (580031) | about 5 years ago | (#28851029)

Without wanting to give my gamertag away, I am current 28th in the world on one game that's been out for a month. I have a head start on nearly everyone else because I played almost the same game on the PC 10 years ago.

I have about 30,000 points. The guy in 2nd place, who plays a real good game, has about 60,000 points.

The leader in 1st place has, if I counted the digits correctly, 11 billion points. What a twat! What is the point? Everyone looks at his name and thinks "Fucking Cheat!"

I can't stand cheats. Or people calling me lucky. Or people calling me fag and homo when I beat them fairly and squarely (why is it always Yanks who do this?)

Come to think of it, why do a I bother?

Re:*Sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28859419)

I doubt Brits would call you a cigarette as an insult. Homophobia is stronger in American youth, who seem to think anything gay-related is about the worst insult there is.

The buyers... (5, Insightful)

nagnamer (1046654) | about 5 years ago | (#28848749)

...are taking this thing seriously, too. I can't imagine why anyone would steal accounts if people wouldn't buy them. But I still can't imagine why people would buy them either.

I used to play games to have fun, and achievement was part of the fun. If I just stole other people's achievements, that wouldn't be fun. Or maybe it's all just about the brag factor?

Re:The buyers... (2, Funny)

think_nix (1467471) | about 5 years ago | (#28848795)

damn where are my mod points....

Re:The buyers... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28848809)

They were stolen and sold on eBay

Re:The buyers... (1)

think_nix (1467471) | about 5 years ago | (#28848893)

lol ;) actually that was meant for modding the parent up to my original reply

Re:The buyers... (2, Informative)

maudface (1313935) | about 5 years ago | (#28848911)

Clearly you have never played on xbox live, 10 minutes of a moronic 8 year out shouting "NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER" only ever interrupted by a cry demanding milk/cookies from their mother every now and then.

The majority of xbox live players are morons that only care about one upping their friends so they look cool, they just fail to realise that their actions merely have the complete opposite effect.

Re:The buyers... (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | about 5 years ago | (#28848917)

Same reason people buy high-level MMO accounts - so they can skip all that tedious playing and get on with the all-important posturing.

Re:The buyers... (1)

nagnamer (1046654) | about 5 years ago | (#28849219)

Yeah, I kinda knew that... I guess that's why I don't own an xbox.

Re:The buyers... (3, Insightful)

Gravedigger3 (888675) | about 5 years ago | (#28849229)

No this is stupider than buying MMO accounts. That, although also stupid, I can at least understand. Some people (with more money than time) want to jump into an MMO without all the tedious grinding and have a hi-level avatar that can whoop some ass.

An XboxLive Gamerscore serves no purpose that I am aware of except to quantify all your wasted time into points that you can use to prove yourself "superior" to other gamers.

I mean if a high gamerscore gave me extra health in Halo 3 or even special items for offline games I could MAYBE understand. But this is just plain retarded.

Re:The buyers... (2, Interesting)

chadplusplus (1432889) | about 5 years ago | (#28850537)

FYI, in Halo 3, completing certain achievements unlocks new armor which can be used in multiplayer. While the different armor pieces have no practical effect, some certainly look cooler than the standards.

Someone below me also said that achievements are a way of adding content without really adding content, or saying it a different way, they add replay value. This is very true, at least for me, but I suspect for many others. Even after I complete the standard storyline of the game, I'll go back through and pick up as many of the achievements as my schedule and spouse reasonably permit me to. Why? I don't know. I guess its just another challenge.

Re:The buyers... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 5 years ago | (#28853635)

FYI, in Halo 3, completing certain achievements unlocks new armor which can be used in multiplayer. While the different armor pieces have no practical effect, some certainly look cooler than the standards.

Someone below me also said that achievements are a way of adding content without really adding content, or saying it a different way, they add replay value. This is very true, at least for me, but I suspect for many others. Even after I complete the standard storyline of the game, I'll go back through and pick up as many of the achievements as my schedule and spouse reasonably permit me to. Why? I don't know. I guess its just another challenge.

But, achievements != gamer score. In Halo 3, there are several "0" score achievements (vidmaster ones, I think) - you still have to do them to unlock content, but they add 0 points to your gamer score. And there are legitimate ways to increase your gamerscore (play the game), as well as some quasi-legit ways of doing it (getting together with a bunch of people to get the multiplayer achievements). Quasi only because they're not really in the spirit of the whole thing, but for those of us who suck, it's the only way. (Basically, if it's something like "kill 5 players in 4 seconds", you'll have 5 people line up, and you pick them off one by one, then you line up, get killed by the rest so they get the achievement too).

Still, that's nothing for the gamer score - Microsoft doles out 1000 points per pressed DVD game, and 250 points per Live Arcade game (how the developer divvies them up is up to the developer, and you can issue 0 point achievements), plus 250 extra points per DLC.

Achievements are great - I've replayed Halo 3 a couple of times to get the campaign ones (and the gamerscore boost has moved me from the bottom amongst my personal friends, to the middle). But this article is about gamer score, that little number beside your name that doesn't do anything at all. At least achievements can unlock stuff. Gamer score, you can't do anything with other than brag.

Re:The buyers... (2, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 5 years ago | (#28850439)

Same reason people buy high-level MMO accounts - so they can skip all that tedious playing and get on with the all-important posturing.

But at least in an MMO the higher accounts can do more. As I understand it, the only possible thing you get from a high gamescore is a bigger e-peen. I suppose there might be some marginal value with having all parts of a game unlocked the moment you plug it in but shit, aren't there already cheat codes for that? The day after GTAIV shipped people were already running around every island. Some of the multiplayer stuff requires a higher score for matchmaking I think but if you aren't good enough to be there in the first place, you're just going to get creamed.

Re:The buyers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849089)

I haven't been a console gamer since the 16-bit era. Nevertheless, if I'm not mistaken, achievements unlock extra content and hence, they are desirable. Now, achievements are surely difficult to complete, else they wouldn't be achievements. So, as with other desirable things that are a pain in the butt to acquire, people with money will pay to have those things delivered or crafted by other people. And, as with other things that get delivered and crafted, the deliverers and crafters will look for the easiest way to deliver or craft those desired things. In any given group of craftsfolk, some will be willing to stoop lower than others to increase their profit margins. In this case, the product can be hacked into existence quickly, and the hacked product is either identical to the real thing or good enough to fool the buyer. Thus, the Achievements system is apparently a slightly lucrative and probably low-risk target for hackers/scammers.

In short, if I was willing to spend at most a few hours a week playing, and I had money to spare, I might be marginally tempted to have someone "unlock" bonus content on my behalf, simply because I knew I'd never see the stuff on my own.

Re:The buyers... (2, Interesting)

John Betonschaar (178617) | about 5 years ago | (#28849159)

Achievements don't unlock extra content. You unlock extra achievements using extra content. As desirability goes, achievements have no other purpose than to show how good you are at a particular game, how long you've been playing it, and how much effort you've been willing to put in to perform all the crazy acts the developers came up with that have nothing to do with the original goal of the game.

Re:The buyers... (1)

Necroloth (1512791) | about 5 years ago | (#28849667)

For a second when I saw this article I thought that I was wrong and that there was a use for Achievments as why else would someone pay for a non-useful item!

I always assumed Achievements were for people in friendly competition with their friends who also have the game and something to brag about... but this is not something any sane person would pay for as it is

a) not a reflection of your abilities and hence possibly unrepeatable by you

b)if any of your mates found out, you'll just be ridiculed

Re:The buyers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28851289)

In several games, getting an achievement unlocks new content. In Mass Effect, getting certain achievements grants bonuses to your characters and for multiple playthroughs. In The Maw, getting achievements unlocks gamer pictures and themes. In Halo 3, getting achievements unlocks armor pieces for use in mulitplayer. In Gears of War 2, unlocking achievments unlocks new character models in mutliplayer.

And so on.

Re:The buyers... (1)

John Betonschaar (178617) | about 5 years ago | (#28852077)

I think you're turning things upside-down, in these games unlocking the extra content is coupled to certain achievements, not the other way around. It's not like the content is tied to the achievements: if you transfer your GamerTag to another console for example, your achievements will be lost but you will still have the unlocked content. In most games, achievements aren't tied to extra content at all.

So in general: achievements are not for unlocking extra content, but some games do tie the two together.

 

Re:The buyers... (1)

Turken (139591) | about 5 years ago | (#28852131)

Actually, from the Developer's perspective, there is one other reason for achievements -- to entice people paying more money for additional download content. One of the reasons gaming can be so addictive is due to the collecting aspect. It's not just to have a score to brag about, but to have some measuring stick to say that you've truly "beaten" a game. But with DLC that includes additional achievements, suddenly that game that you "beat" last week is now only 80% finished, and if you want to actually beat it then you'll have to go spend more money on the extra content first.

Re:The buyers... (3, Informative)

iainl (136759) | about 5 years ago | (#28849175)

You are mistaken. The achievements don't unlock anything except a big number beside your gamercard and a list of difficult things you've supposedly managed to do in various games. Unlocked bits of games that you're missing out on are stored in the save files instead.

Re:The buyers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28858033)

Tell that to my rusted protodrake [wowhead.com] .

Re:The buyers... (1)

donaldm (919619) | about 5 years ago | (#28863697)

I do agree with you but there are people who would be quite happy to cheat so they could brag that they actually completed something without cheating.

I was once showing a friend of my son a game that was challenging and great fun to play but it did take some time to complete. This person asked for a cheat so he could have all the stats and weapons without going to the trouble of getting them for himself. He even explained to me that when he played PC games he always made himself invincible and had the highest stats. I did ask what was the point of that since that is just cheating and the only person you really are cheating was yourself. Surprisingly he could not understand what I said and went on to say that it impressed all his friends. Weird I know but the world has some strange people.

Hard to get upset (1, Troll)

Toonol (1057698) | about 5 years ago | (#28848765)

It doesn't target anybody I could ever imagine caring a whit about. Still wrong, I suppose, but hard to get worked up about it.

Re:Hard to get upset (3, Insightful)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 5 years ago | (#28848869)

It's still cheating though, and the people that hack and sell these online profiles are likely to also attempt to phish account and credit card details at some time. Play any games with hackable accounts that are worth something? Then you may end up being a target for these idiots.

Re:Hard to get upset (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#28849993)

It upsets those that used the achivements as some sort of bragging tool. While it's not my cuppa tea, I can understand that they're upset.

Take military medals, they're a perfect parallel. You usually get achivements in games, just like medals in war, for doing something that isn't really in the interest of your primary goal, often diametrally against it. In war, your goal is to survive. In a game, your goal is to make it to the end. In war, you get brass on your breast for acts like jumping on a live grenade or holding a position while everyone else is running. In games, you get achivements for using only pistols to beat a level when there's rocket launchers available or when you deliberately refuse to turn on your flashlight even though it's pitch dark.

Now imagine it's war and they hand out that shiny metal chest bling to anyone. Wouldn't you feel a bit pissed as well when you risked your sweet rear for yours while the rest of your troop can buy theirs at the PX?

Re:Hard to get upset (1)

internettoughguy (1478741) | about 5 years ago | (#28850609)

yea except military medals are given for acts of heroic bravery or bloodthirstiness or whatever, points are given to you for being a fat-ass who plays xbox all day. guess which one gets you laid, gets you a job, or gets you any kind of real world respect? point is, having an xbox Ego currently is worth much to your real-life one.

Re:Hard to get upset (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#28850771)

In the end, it's a tool for bragging to peers who consider the award something important. Nothing more, nothing less. The peer group that considers medals something praiseworthy may be larger, but so are the hardships to get them.

Personally, I think both is dwarved by cold, hard cash. But hey, that's the materialist in me.

As far as I'm concerned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849105)

If I see someone with a ridiculously high gamerscore, then I can assume that they've used this hack. I'm only about 3500, and between me and my close friends it's not a matter of who has the most, but it's really useful to see who's been playing what and when. If you notice their gamerscore hasn't changed, then either they're stuck, cbf, or haven't played a game in a while.

The Internet, it's serious business.

If you're worried about gamescore you have... (1)

TheRealRainFall (1464687) | about 5 years ago | (#28849755)

bigger problems in life than getting caught or what people think of you. First of all gamerscore is just a con job by the video game companies to give the illusion of more content without creating content. I mean if you are really worried about your gamescore i'm sure you could use a bit of sun, and maybe a few more friends. It's an imaginary score that has absolutely no meaning!

Enlarge your e-penis! (2, Funny)

loufoque (1400831) | about 5 years ago | (#28849827)

Results guaranteed!

Re:Enlarge your e-penis! (1)

Mishotaki (957104) | about 5 years ago | (#28851737)

My e-penis might be small, but at least i'm not an idiot trying to buy an xbox account because of it's gamerscore!

The real point of Gamerscore (5, Insightful)

lyinhart (1352173) | about 5 years ago | (#28849939)

I think a lot of people are missing the real point of Gamerscore - to keep gamers playing a game. It's a surprisingly effective way of adding replay value to a game without actually adding extra content - earning achievements is akin to collecting baseball cards or Pokemon. Developers can also use multiplayer achievements that take time to unlock so that there's more people playing online. That having been said, the word "achievements" for these things is rather inappropriate, since most of these goals don't require any skill whatsoever. There's no skill involved in running around and collecting things in a 3D world like some of these goals entail. And of course, you can't translate gamerscore into any tangible, real world achievements.

Re:The real point of Gamerscore (0, Troll)

Gigiya (1022729) | about 5 years ago | (#28850555)

... you can't translate gamerscore into any tangible, real world achievements.

Record time since last outside; weight gain.

Re:The real point of Gamerscore (3, Informative)

TuaAmin13 (1359435) | about 5 years ago | (#28851117)

Agreed. I'm posting just a few achievements/trophies from Dead Space, which I recently played:
  • Complete Chapter 1 on any Difficulty
  • Complete Chapter 2 on any Difficulty
  • ...

  • Complete Chapter 12 on any Difficulty
  • Get 30 kills with Plasma Cutter
  • Get 30 kills with Ripper
  • Get 30 kills with Melee

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the otaku level achievements, such as Cross Edge's "The Hikikomori: Spend far too much time unlocking dozens of titles." Just to let you know, there's at least 140 titles available, each title has requirements such like obtaining items X, Y, and Z, holding some quantity of item X in your inventory, doing over 10,000 damage, or having a combo over 400. Basically you have to 100% a RPG and then some in order to get this trophy.

Re:The real point of Gamerscore (1)

The Moof (859402) | about 5 years ago | (#28852025)

[...] you can't translate gamerscore into any tangible, real world achievements.

For a while, MS was toying around with the idea if rewarding you for increasing your gamerscore.

http://xbox.about.com/b/2007/02/07/microsoft-announces-gamerscore-rewards.htm [about.com]

I always thought it would be a good idea to pony up something for the gamerscore (even if it was just MS points, like 100 points for every 1000 or something).

Pointless (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | about 5 years ago | (#28850197)

Isnâ(TM)t the whole point of owning games and having fun is actually playing it rather cheats your way through the games. I could never understand how someone could find enjoyment out of cheating their way through an online match.

Gamerscore == Vagina Repellent (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28850593)

It's not like the gamescore gets you anything. You can't spend the gamerscore points on game add-ons or premium content.

All a high gamerscore does is inform all other xbox players that you are spending way too much time playing xbox and the last time you saw a vagina is the day you were born.

Achievement Unlocked (3, Funny)

iVasto (829426) | about 5 years ago | (#28850675)

Failing at having fun. 50G

Oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28851203)

I've been wondering what that number was.

This must work for WoW too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28851789)

http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-achievements.xml?r=Aegwynn&cn=Zoltan&gn=Refuge

Hacks.

Re:This must work for WoW too... (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | about 5 years ago | (#28854757)

Nah, the explanation for that is having absolutely no life to speak of.

I think VGCats summed Gamerscore up best (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 5 years ago | (#28852235)

1: MY XBOX HAS 10000 POINTS

2: YA WELL MY XBOX HAS 20000 POINTS!

3: Umm. Hey guys, can you like... DO anything with those points?

1 & 2: ???

why would you EVER purchase an account for its gamerscore....

Re:I think VGCats summed Gamerscore up best (1)

ivan256 (17499) | about 5 years ago | (#28855473)

This one seems as good to respond to as the 100 others asking the same question.

The accounts with a high gamer score sell well because they typically have a credit card or lots of downloadable content associated with them.

In other words, you're not buying the account for the score. You're buying it for the stolen (content|credit card number).

Just have more JRPGs (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 5 years ago | (#28852445)

In those things you can finish every sidequest, beat every optional boss, find every item and anything else you can think of gameplay-wise, and still only have 150/1000 points. I remember Blue Dragon had achievements for getting each character to level 99, something I think I'd still be doing 18 months later if I attempted it.

XBOX is great, M$ sucks?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28852699)

I am amazed at the amount of vitriol directed at Microsoft from some slashdot readers as opposed to the amount of admiration for the XBOX.

(Gamerscore) = (Getting Laid) ^ (-1) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28853481)

math is fun.

A healthy dose of schadenfreude... (2, Funny)

argent (18001) | about 5 years ago | (#28854313)

I must admit to a healthy dose of schadenfreude when I read about a cheat program getting cracked. :)

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