- 59 Achievements / Trophies (Plus a platinum)
- 55 Bronze, 5 Silver, 1 Gold, 1 Platinum (Playstation)
- 0 0–10g, 57 11–25g, 2 26–50g, 0 51–100g, for a total of 1000 gamerscore (Xbox)
- 0 Secret/Hidden
One of the main goals of a good trophy list is to point the player to interesting in-game content and encourage/reward exploring the game’s fundamental systems. In single-player games, this ends up being a straightforward process, often resulting in a handful of trophies for things like cooking 50 meals or getting 75 kills with the rocket launcher. They’re not the most exciting trophies, but they make players practice important or underutilized mechanics, so they get the job done. However, I would venture a guess that most trophy hunters end up farming these either by reloading checkpoints, or, particularly for the latter example, running through large chunks of the game, firing rockets at everything in sight, consequences be damned. And, honestly, that explosive tear through what was supposed to be a stealth mission can be a lot of fun. But, that “consequences be damned” approach breaks down fast in a multiplayer game. A lobby full of friends working toward a “Get 100 kills with grenades” trophy can be a lot of goofy fun. A single trophy hunter wildly lobbing explosives when her team just needs a healer is not. The trophies in a multiplayer game should reward and teach strong play, and avoid encouraging people to play in a way that maximizes trophy progress while hurting their teams chances at winning. That emphasis is one of the areas where I think the Overwatch list really shines, and makes it a standout pick for our first foray into multiplayer trophies.
As a general rule, I don’t include DLC trophies for these writeups, and that’s still the case here. However, it’s worth mentioning that all of the DLC for Overwatch has been free (as of the time of this writing), and is automatically downloaded as content updates, trophies included. This makes it feel different from pack-based DLC, which requires the player to actively seek out the content, even if it’s free. As a result, the effective lists for both versions of the game might feel very different from what I’m discussing, depending on how far out you’re reading this from it’s initial writing.
Overwatch MISC Trophies
The Friend Zone is a bit of an oddball compared to the rest of the list, so let’s address it first. I have mixed feelings about trophies that require you to play with people on your friends list. If you already play the game with friends, then the trophy isn’t accomplishing anything. Same thing if you just don’t end up getting the trophy at all. The trophy seems to be targeted at players who wouldn’t usually play with friends, but want the trophy enough to find a partner and give it a shot. This begs the questions:
- Is playing with friends so much better than playing alone that it’s worth going out of your way to make it happen?
- Is playing a single game with someone you met on a trophy forum going to be enough to showcase that?
Whatever the answer may be to the first question, I would argue that the answer to the second will almost always be “no.” The scenario where the person on your friends list is effectively a random player, by definition, fails to showcase why the game is better played with friends. I have to assume that this is one of the more common scenarios among people who get the trophy and don’t generally play with a usual group of friends.
Overwatch is great when played with friends, so I’m glad that there’s a trophy that encourages people to play together. However, I can’t say that I expect it to be at all successful.
Overwatch Natural Progression Trophies
They’re not the sexiest trophies, but they are some of the most important. All of these trophies can be obtained by just about anyone who’s willing to throw time at the game. They don’t require any special skill, they’ll just come naturally over the reasonable course of playing.
I like these trophies for the same reason I like any progression trophies: they keep you motivated and moving. They aren’t always the most exciting trophies to get, but you always know how to work toward them. No matter how much trouble I’m having hunting down Symmetra’s teleporters, for example, I know that every game I play at least puts me that many experience points closer to hitting level 50. I always feel like I achieved something, even when I lose.
One of the really nice things about Overwatch’s natural progression trophies is that they end relatively early. I can imagine the temptation to include a trophy for hitting level 100, but I’m glad there isn’t one. Progression trophies are at their best when they feel achievable. When they fall too far out, it’s easy to end up focusing more on how far you still have to go than how far you’ve come.
At the same time, there are enough of these trophies that they still effectively introduce people to Overwatch. By the time you’re through them, I’d imagine you’re either interested enough in the game or list that you’re motivated to keep playing, or you know that it isn’t for you.
The list also benefits from the inclusion of progression trophies like Decorated and Blackjack. Both of these will come to a player, given enough time, but linking them to medals and cards helps them feel like they’re rewarding good play, even though I’d expect most people to be able to get them without going out of their way.
Overwatch Generic Skill Trophies
There are a handful of generic skill trophies which I’d call strong, but boring. With trophies like Undying and Shutout, I would say this is the most uninspired chunk of the list. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with these kinds of trophies, they reward good play and add some extra excitement when you win big, they’re just not all that interesting.
I would have preferred to see a few more trophies like Survival Expert, which encourages you to explore some of Overwatch’s specific features. I found myself largely ignoring health packs when I first started, generally preferring to rely on the team’s healers. It wasn’t until I started trying to get the trophy that I started keeping track of where the health packs were on a level, which led to a clear improvement in my play.
The Path is Closed presents a conundrum. On one hand, it’s good encouragement to learn how to counter Symmetra, and can help teach players about strong teleporter/turret locations. On the other, it’s one of only a few of trophies (with Mine Sweeper and arguably Huge Rez, both of which are more flexible) that requires players on the opposing team to be playing in a specific way. This makes it much more of a trophy about taking advantage of an opportunity than aiming to consistently improve one’s own skills. At the end of the day, I think the drawbacks outweigh the positives, but trophies that teach you to examine and counter the other team’s tactics are an interesting idea that warrant some more experimentation down the road.
Overwatch Character Trophies
At 42 trophies, character specific trophies make up the vast majority of the overall list (a percentage that looks likely to increase as new characters get added). Luckily, it’s also the place where I think the list gets the most interesting, for better and for worse.
I really like almost all of these trophies. On the whole, they do a good job of both encouraging you to use each character’s abilities, and teaching you some generally strong ways to do so. For example, Hog Wild draws attention to a potential use for Road Hog’s ultimate that some players might not have considered, and teaches the player that some super moves are better saved until the opportune moment comes around.
Additionally, playing in a way that maximizes your trophy progress very often translates directly into playing the character well. Blocking lots of damage with Reinhardt’s shield for I Am your Shield, for example, means learning how to stay alive while absorbing large amounts of damage for your team.
One thing that I especially like about the general philosophy on display here is that, while the trophies encourage you to get good with each character’s skills, none of them simply require you to use that skill some number of times. That means you’re not encouraged to spam abilities or ultimates at inopportune times just to get your count up. Instead, you’re encouraged to use them at times when they can be the most effective, like when enemies are grouped together, or when an ice wall can block the most damage. I can imagine situations where someone trying to get 4 kills with an ultimate passes on an opportunity to get 2 more meaningful kills in exchange for a chance to maybe get 4 later, but I’d still say that, overall, the experience in using abilities efficiently is worth more than learning how to spam them.
My few complaints with this section of the list tend to fall on specific trophies. While I’m on board with some trophies being harder than others, I’m actually very much for it, my confusion comes mainly from trophies like Rapid Discord and The Floor is Lava, which seem not just harder than the other trophies, but frustratingly so.
The Floor is Lava is one of the few character skill trophies that isn’t tied to generically strong play. Wall running as Lucio is useful, but three kills in one life while doing so seems extremely specific at best, and actively counter productive at worst. The most common strategies I’ve seen for this involve bouncing opponents off the stage (good) and then jumping against a wall as they fall to their death (less good). Most of Overwatch’s trophies do a really good job of guiding you toward the core of a character. This isn’t one of them.
On the other hand, Rapid Discord does reward strong play, but largely on the part of the rest of your team. 4 kills in 6 seconds, plus time to re-apply discord, seems like a lot to ask from a single player. You’re either going to need allies putting out very targeted damage, or a particularly squishy set of opponents. None of which has much to do with your ability to play Zenyatta.
While I’m not against some trophies being more or less difficult than others, I’m always turned off when one or two trophies on a list are wildly harder than the others. As with any game, a smooth difficulty curve helps players build up to challenges they didn’t think they would be able to tackle. Jagged difficulty spikes, on the other hand, are more likely to drive people away. If every character-specific trophy was really difficult, I wouldn’t have a problem with either The Floor is Lava or Rapid Discord. Unfortunately, as it is, both end up feeling out of place.
Individual gripes aside, I really like that there’s a good-feeling curve that moves you away from the Natural Progression trophies and into this group. The gaps between progression trophies start to feel long roughly between levels 25 and 50, which was almost exactly the same time that my thoughts started to shift from “how do I play Overwatch more effectively?” to “How do I get better with Genji?” This, plus the handful of trophies I already had under my belt from the characters I’d started gravitating toward, made me feel much more confident and excited about branching off into new territory.
Overall, I really like this list. It does a good job of introducing new players to the game, and curves nicely with the transition from learning general heuristics into more specific strategies, even with a couple of uncharacteristically difficult trophies toward the end. I’m not sure every experiment pays off, particularly encouraging players to play with friends, but that’s largely made up for by a strong set of character-specific trophies that do an excellent job of spotlighting the strengths of each member of the game’s roster.
All trophy images pulled from psnprofiles.com