Friday, January 2, 2009

ThrawnOmega Preys on Points

The title of today's post is a rather lame pun, I'll admit, but it amuses me (read on and you'll get it). This post comes in two parts, with achievement progress coming first, then a research update.


Over the last few days, I've been working my way through Marvel Ultimate Alliance again. I beat the game and traded it in before I became a true achievement junkie, and recently lamented the 650/1250 I had in the game. Therefore I repurchased it for $9.99, and downloaded the DLC, both for the points and so that the new characters would make my 2nd playthrough (I'll need a 3rd to get everything...) feel more fresh. I think I'm up about 100 points on that game now from where I was.

I've also gained the Ground Cover achievement and several of the versus mode achievements in L4D. I love the versus mode in that game, but it seems nobody (outside my circle of friends) has any clue how to play versus... With various groups of friends, I've won the last 4 matches I played by AT LEAST 2,000 points, including a 4000 point mega-blowout, where we killed all 4 survivors in The Hospital chapter of No Mercy before they could reach the top of the first freaking staircase! They got 4 points for level completion!!! I simply can't wrap my head around how poor the competition is, because I seriously don't think we're experts, but they make use look superhuman...

With a New Year's challenge running on 360voice, it's been time to get really cranking on the points, which brings me to my first success story of Operation Jedi.

Operation Jedi Success Story #1: Prey
I originally borrowed the game from my brother for a while, and picked up 55 points in it. However, I had a lot of my own games I was busy with, and never got too into the game. They my bro traded his copy, I became an achievement whore, and those 55 points have been an eyesore on my gamercard ever since. When I got Prey with Superman Returns for a total of $7.50 from Blockbuster, I knew this game had to be finished. Yesterday, I spent my time plowing through the campaign, finishing it on Normal, and in the evening boosted all the online points with OldWIKI TIK. The online achievements are probably the most easily boostable points out there, or close to it. Having more bodies would have made the kill achievements go faster, but we managed to get all of them done in 3-4 hours, and it was a much smoother experience than I would have thought.

I'm now blazing through my 2nd play, to get the hardest difficulty achievement. Since I just beat the game, and know how to do everything, I've been treating this play as a speed run, and have already made my way to chapter 17 of 22 in just 4.5-5 hours. If you haven't yet, I highly recommend playing Prey. The achievements are easy, the campaign is a lot of fun, and the game is really cheap now. Once this baby is finished, that'll be 945 points on the board toward the fabled 75% completion. =)

Operation Jedi stats: Completion percentage is now 58.4%, and I'm now 19,652 points shy of my goal. Progress is being made! My only complaint is that the point total needed to get the 1% badge on 360v seems to be growing at the same rate I'm scoring points... I don't think I'm getting any closer yet to that coveted badge...


I'm also been spending a good amount of time on my grant research. I've now found 13 of the 20 or so blogs I need to have for my study. It's been a real roll of the dice finding these. Sometimes I'll find 3 in 10 minutes, then go for hours without finding one that qualifies. I've found there are several types of MMO blogs:

1. Role-playing: Bloggers write from the POV of their character. Since this is really fiction, and not a player narrative, I can't use these.
2. Informational: Most posts are about how to play the game better, or discussion of various aspects of the game. These too are not player narratives, so I can't use them.
3. Informational/Narrative: Half information, half discussion of their own play experiences. I can use these if the blogs have been running long enough to have a good body of data of player experiences in-game.
4. Narrative: The best kind for my uses. Discussion is almost exclusively about what a person did in-game.

Type #4 there isn't quite as common as I thought it would be, or I'm just having trouble finding good ones. I've noticed a good number of blogs that could have worked, but they died out rapidly, or they post far too infrequently (ideally I like blogs with at least 2 posts per week).

I have to keep trucking on this, as by the end of the month, I need to have found all my sources, copied all of them to Word, and done a decent amount of reading through them and developing codes to analyze what they mean. I really want to get to the reading... this finding and copying is the reaaaaally boring part of the job.

That covers me for today. Happy achievement hunting everyone.
(Images again from

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