Failure Achievements

Well, I generally take the view that achievements for anything are fine, but that’s because I generally don’t bother hunting for achievements if I don’t think they look interesting to try for so I don’t usually expect to get even 30% completion.

The failure achievements I’d actually go looking for are ones where you fail spectacularly. If you turn down the wrong street and die that’s dull. If you decide the best plan to defeat an enemy fleet is to throw a thing you don’t understand but can destroy the universe into another thing you don’t understand but can destroy the universe, then if this ends badly I want the achievement “Bigger Bang: In hindsight, you should not have done that.” to pop up right as I read the narration about how I just destroyed the universe.

Generally I want achievements to be because I decided to do a thing; if I get a failure achievement I want it to be because I did something dumb, not because I missed a stat check.


Doing something dumb is what leads to failing stat checks. At least, in a well-designed game.

That very much depends on whether I actually know the precise stat threshold I will need to hit to take every action I would consider optimal in every situation when I make my first choice that alters a stat.

Usually when I get frustrated it’s because I’m trying to get a mix of stats so I don’t just have to blindly hammer the choice that I think exploits my 80% stat, and then none of my stats are good enough for important choices in the late game.

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That’s a design issue, I think. Game narration really needs to lay out for the player whether their skill profile is meant to be highly specialized, or well-rounded. I lean more towards well-rounded myself, so I sympathize with your frustration.

Well, it’s also that difficulties are usually all hidden, so if I’m well-rounded and I have 64% in two stats and I hit a choice where all the options require 65%, this ends poorly and I don’t know how much I’ll need to upgrade.

Hence usually I peg a stat at 80% and then try to upgrade others.