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Absolute worst (and I guess best) Kongregate badges

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Hi everyone! I’m speaking at GDC this year about designing achievements.

I want to hear from you guys what the worst badges on Kongregate are. The most frustrating, least fun, and in general just the ones that made you lower your opinion of a game the most. Tell me the badges that just shouldn’t have been added to the site at all.

And I guess your favorite ones too, but that’s less interesting.

 
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all mmos ever are the worst

But it might be a bit tricky to differ badges from games.

 
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All the impossibles.

Dolphin Olympics impossible I guess.

 
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Toss the Turtle badges

Poor turtles :(

 
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I want to say that the worst ones are the ones you can’t achieve anymore because it’s a completely dead multiplayer game. Although, when you give a game achievements, how are you supposed to know when a game isn’t going to succeed, right?

My vote for the best badges will always go to those on games with a bunch of upgrades.
I’d rather die 20 times but have a bunch of gold/cash/rocks to buy upgrades with than to not have gained anything at all from it. That’s just me though, I love upgrades.


My least favorite badges would probably be for Vorp right now. The game seems pretty dead, and it was impossible for me to even get a kill because of the lag. I know it’s my computer, and I know a bunch of games that are like that prevent us from getting those badges.

Edit: Oh and yes.
I’m honestly quite sure that a large amount of us are tired of the badges on the “Papa’s <thing>eria” badges.

Every game that fits that label seems to get badges, and I automatically know to avoid it. (Honestly they don’t really appeal to me, but not all badges will of course)
But see:
Papa’s Hot Doggeria
Papa’s Wingeria
Papa’s Pancackeria
Papa’s Freezeria
Papa’s Taco Mia
Papa’s Burgeria

And of course the game it started with: (which was fine)
Papa’s Pizzeria

 
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Originally posted by greg:

Hi everyone! I’m speaking at GDC this year about designing achievements.

I want to hear from you guys what the worst badges on Kongregate are. The most frustrating, least fun, and in general just the ones that made you lower your opinion of a game the most. Tell me the badges that just shouldn’t have been added to the site at all.

And I guess your favorite ones too, but that’s less interesting.

Kongregate on the same level as blizzard..
I call that mission accomplished

 
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Originally posted by Dutany:

Toss the Turtle badges

Poor turtles :(

I liked the TtT hard badge, it was tricky enough to be a good challenge, but seemed very doable.

That being said I am always a fan of the get x score or survive x seconds type of badges more so then the beat the game badges, because I can see myself getting closer and closer to the goal through practice.

 
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Nice question.

The worst badges for me:

  • MMOs definetely.
  • Most of impossibles.
  • Badges that require too much luck (like Hard badges which could take either 5 minutes or 5 hours to earn)

As for the best badges V wrote it pretty nice:

My vote for the best badges will always go to those on games with a bunch of upgrades.
I’d rather die 20 times but have a bunch of gold/cash/rocks to buy upgrades with than to not have gained anything at all from it. That’s just me though, I love upgrades.

Badge should give you chance to be earned even if you suck at game, but spent some time on it.

 
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Originally posted by bjjdude:
Originally posted by greg:

Hi everyone! I’m speaking at GDC this year about designing achievements.

I want to hear from you guys what the worst badges on Kongregate are. The most frustrating, least fun, and in general just the ones that made you lower your opinion of a game the most. Tell me the badges that just shouldn’t have been added to the site at all.

And I guess your favorite ones too, but that’s less interesting.

Kongregate on the same level as blizzard..
I call that mission accomplished

It’s pretty amazing. :’)

 
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Well, Bubble Sky was a pretty poor choice, but that’s not necessarily because of the difficulty, but because the game is buggy.

I don’t think I can pick a best badge. I love so many of them.

The worst badge? Probably that insanely long Papa’s Pizzeria badge. And all of the sequels getting badges. I don’t dislike the Papa’s games, but almost everyone I know does. Having to do the same thing over and over and over does get boring fast.

Originally posted by Moonfrost:

  • Most of impossibles.
  • They’re not called impossible because they’re easy to achieve. :|

     
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    Anyone up for Tarnation hard and impossible?

     
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    The worst badges?

    Two types:

    Type A: Badges that show you haven’t properly tested the game.
    Example: Bubble Sky. The game is full of bugs, glitches and lag. There are clones on Kongregate that are way better.
    Another example: King’s Bounty. The medium badge for winning 3 PVPs shows that you didn’t recognize how unbalanced the PVP matching in that game is. You continuously run into higher lvl players or top gear players, not only losing your fight, but also your action points for having to recover your whole army.

    Type B: Badges that show that a game only got the badges because the developing company paid for it, or ‘cause Kong wants the game to generate them more income from ingame sales.
    Example: Dawn of the Dragons. What other reason would you have to badge certain MMO’s again, a year after they got their first badges, other than $$$? I don’t mind badges on MMO’s if it’s a decent game, but badging them simply cause the dev made a deal with Kong is no fun at all.

    Good badges?

    There are plenty of well-designed badges on Kongregate. The ones I like best are usually those that drive my attention to a small, unique game that I would have missed otherwise. I prefer badges on a as wide range of games as possible. Badge a Tower Defense game here, a shooter there, then an MMO, then some cute indy game etc.


    And on a sidenote greg, it’s sad to see that your first post on the forums since December is because you want something from the community and not because you activly contribute to threads like the New badge discusion thread, making a casual dialog between players and badgemakers possible there.

     
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    I’ll stick to the more recent badges (from Jan 1st, 2012, through now), since you’ve changed how you add badges from the earlier history of the site.

    Bubble Sky. Maybe this is just rubbing it in, since the game is at a 2.7 rating, but still, it bears repeating.

    King’s Bounty Legions. The medium badge. The PvP is horribly balanced and weighs so massively in favor of most low level people losing most of their matches unless they spam the free runes you’re given when you reach level 8. If you run out of those then trying to win in PvP becomes and arduous task.

    Dawn of the Dragons. The hard badge was added 9 months after the easy and the medium badges were added. With MMO/PBBG games, all the badges that are ever going to be added should be added at once, because a lot of people earning the badges view the badge as the end goal of the game. That means since they don’t intend on playing the game after earning the badge they use up all of their consumables or game currency to get to that one point faster. Then if another badge is added later on, they’re suddenly at a disadvantage because of their previous actions.

    Clash of the Dragons. The exact same thing happened here that happened on Dawn of the Dragons.

    Card Monsters. This is the perfect example of how NOT to do a CCG/PBBG badge, the amount of time between actions was abysmally far and served no other purpose than to force you to play the game for 5 minutes every 2 hours.

    Paladog. I consider the 2nd hard badge the single worst badge on the site. There was absolutely no strategy involved in this game whatsoever. Literally, up until the final few levels, you could spam archers the entire level and just win eventually. And even on the final few levels all you needed to do was to have a tank in front of your archers to soak up damage.

    In general, I don’t think that MMO/PBBG games should get hard badges. Those games are always open ended so you’ll never be able to beat them and so to me that means any badge on the game shouldn’t take you further into the game than you need to to know whether or not you want to keep playing it. If that point is where a hard badge needs to earned (which is generally a week real time), then the game takes too long to introduce you to all of the major aspects of the game.

    Also, I’d like to take a moment on badges that were poorly designed but correctly quickly.

    Shadow Snake 3. The medium badge started out way too difficult and frustrating, but it was scaled back the same day and became a much more reasonable medium badge. (Personally I didn’t like the game very much as it was, it was poorly designed for what it was trying to be, but it was highly rated so I have no problem with it being badged on that principle.)

    Wartune. This medium is the perfect example of what a MMO/PBBG badge should look like. It’s able to be done in one night, it shows you most aspects of the game, and it gives the player a perfect set of parameters for determining whether or not it’s a game they’d like to keep playing after they earn the badge.

     
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    I don’t have much to complain about other than what has been said already about Clash/Dawn. I haven’t even touched King’s Bounty Yet and Bubble sky I never experienced much problems and beat it quickly and left it alone, but going back to it I can see it is poorly executed.

    Achievement Unlocked 3 had a memory leak and it was still badged before it was fixed, and I don’t know if it was fixed yet.

    I completely agree with Frick about the Wartune badge, it was perfect, obtainable in a few hours, and I somewhat enjoyed it. I even enjoyed it so much that I almost wouldn’t mind a second badge on it. Managed to work my way up to being one of the top Guild Masters on the Server, which I sadly had to pass on my leadership and leave the game due to workload and not being able to log on much.

     
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    A few different types.

    Bad types of badges

    Type A: Where the game isn’t properly tested, and extremely glitchy. Examples include Bubble Sky.

    Type B: Where the badges in question can’t be achieved, whether it be from the game being taken down (Caesary) or the community being dead (Dino Wars)

    Type C: Where one needs to go through excessive grinding in order to accomplish the badge (Most MMOs), and it gets even worse if PvP is in the game, and PvP will slow the player down even more if they lose. I don’t consider games like Anti-Idle to be this type.

    Type D: Games that rely upon fake difficulty (Shadow Snake 3 has your snake’s tail grow every temple, and upgrades don’t carry over making it even worse) while the badges seem to ignore the fake difficulty (Again, Shadow Snake 3)

    Type E: Badges that don’t award at all. I got the requirements for the hard badge in BYM, but it didn’t award. I then get only the bronze compensation package. Cue RAGEMODE.

    Type F: These are what I consider rehashes of other badges. Most badges from the Papa’s Shopperia series (although I do enjoy the series) fall into this category.

    Type G: Overestimating how difficult a game is also leads to bad badges. Sure, you could get an impossible badge by beating the game (which is ordinarily overly difficult), but getting an impossible badge by going the uber-easy game difficulty that lets you beat the entire game even when you’re trying to lose means there’s a problem.

    Good types of badges

    Type A: These badges act as encouragement to get the more difficult badges or play through more of the game. They should have a rating equal to that of the game’s usual difficulty flow.

    Type B: Badges for games that make you want to continue playing them (With the exception of lengthy MMOs).

     
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    I find badges that are tedious to be the worst kind, along with glitchy ones such as Vertigo freaking Llama.

     
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    Clash of the Dragons.

    That’s actually pretty decent. However, Dawn of the Dragons is a total fluke and should have never been badged

     
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    It’s hard to rate the badges without rating the games themselves. I’m mostly thinking about the hardest badges here. Easy and medium badges are not going to draw complaints or praise, just because they will be earned quickly and forgotten. They are fine, but not very interesting.

    Here’s my take:

    The worst badges: Ones that force you to play a game way past the point when it stopped being fun. You keep playing and no new concepts are introduced; instead you’re repeating the same things over and over. For example, the already mentioned Papa’s Pizzeria – but I will say that the only real mistake was giving it two hard badges (unlock papa + gold star all), when just the first one (unlock) would have been fine. I will also go against the grain and say that there was nothing wrong with the badges for all subsequent Papa’s games. People may be tired of sequels, but the newer badge requirements were fine. Also: Dream World (ugh), Balloon Invasion, Gemcraft, Decision 2.

    The best badges: Ones that challenge you to take your gameplay to a higher skill level. This means an objective where you can improve substantially through practice, developing a better strategy, etc. This sounds like I’m talking about speedruns, but I simply mean badging any game that has a good difficulty curve. Instead of “complete all 60 levels” in a game where the levels never get harder (many casual games fall here), I’d much prefer “complete level 25” where 25 is known to be a very tough level. Dolphin Olympics 2 is a good impossible badge for this reason (even though I can’t earn it, I can respect those who do). Others: Rogue Soul, Gravity Llama, DJManiax, Zunderfury.

    Caveat: The best badges should give some leeway. They should be hard enough that achieving it is a major feat, but not require perfection. Leave something to the imagination! Examples to avoid: Frantic AND Frantic 3 (seriously?). I’m not a fan.

    Weird category: Tarnation hard/imp, Sacred Seasons 2 hard. These are some of the badges I personally hated the most, but not for the reasons I described above. I think it’s because they seem achievable, but difficulty is much harder than expected due to bad game design. For Tarnation it’s because a tiny 0.5s mistake in timing can make the difference between perfect or half that score. For SS2, it’s the fact that you need to play without interruption (and without disconnecting/dying once) for 2.5 hours straight. Also see: games with game-breaking bugs, like Typing Ninja Hunter.

     
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    I will never understand why people seem to think VGL is spewed with glitches. Considering I played the game for hours on end to get that imp, I didn’t run into any of the glitches people seemed to have with it.

    Anyways, the only reason I respond to that is because the best badges are the ones that are the most fun to do and then feel the best after you earn them, and VGL was my example for that.

    Anyways, worst badges are the ones that rely too much on luck. For example, even though it’s still fairly easy, the Pandemic 2 impossible badge is not a good badge design, because depending on how lucky you get, you can get it on your first try or your 400th try. And let’s not forgot the ever so amazing Ultimate Assassin 3 imp, of course.

     
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    Bubble Sky

    This is weird to me, because I had personally had no problems with Bubble Sky. I actually played this game in my 15 minutes of free-time before heading off to work one morning and got the badge in that one sitting. I don’t doubt people have found bugs, but a badge that only takes 15 minutes isn’t the end of the world (it’s level 3, come on).

    Originally posted by Moonfrost:

    Badge should give you chance to be earned even if you suck at game, but spent some time on it.

    On Easy and Mediums maybe. Definitely not for Hard and Impossible.

    Originally posted by dogsandcats:

    I find badges that are tedious to be the worst kind, along with glitchy ones such as Vertigo freaking Llama.

    What was glitchy about Vertigo: Gravity Llama?

     
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    The worst badges:

    All MMO badges where you grind until you kill x enemies or deal x damage.
    Luck based badges
    All of the “impossible” badges that arent even hard but take a long time

    The best badges:

    None of the badges are good because they dont HAVE CROWS :’<<<<<<<

     
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    I don’t particularly care for giving a game a badge just because it corresponds to a current holiday.

    Any badge on a MMO that requires interaction with other players is not a good thing as the vast majority of the MMOs die out in popularity is a bad badge.

    Another type of bad badge is one that someone can earn much easier if they buy premium content. Paying should not decrease the difficulty level of the badge unless it also decreases the points the badge gives.

    As mentioned above, the luck based badges SUCK.

    I don’t mind endurance badges, as long as there is at least some progression in the game. By progression I mean things like new areas, maps, enemies, something to keep going. I don’t really care for endurance badges like the Papa’s pizzeria where you just have to concentrate on a couple of customers to a certain point then switch to other customers doing pretty much the exact same thing over and over and over until you get all the customers to the same point. ( I like the Papa’s games by the way.)

    Another problem with endurance badges is the inconsistency of what qualifies as endurance. The Monsters Den impossible badge takes way less time than the Gemcraft: Labyrinth hard badge for beating the whole maze. (For the Gemcraft badge see above about buying premium content as it takes way less time if you unlock all giants and the other level selections.)

    You should have an endurance badge badge level that gives 45 points.

    Overall, the badge concept is a good one. No one is going to like all the badges even if they try to get them.

     
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    usually anything multiplayer related frustrates me also anything with Java/Unity, i hate using Java or Unity just to try for a badge!

     
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    Another vote for King’s Bounty as one of the worst medium badges on the site here. The fact that you have to spend energy (which is REALLY limited) to recover your army after a battle was the worst part of it, since even if you win, you have to use up your energy bringing back units.

    Also, although it wasn’t a badge as such, the Chronicles of Blood challenge was pretty awful, because the game was terrible.

    In general I don’t like badges that are reliant on some game mechanic outside of my control, like energy systems, recharges, whatever.

     
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    Endurance badges (e.g. Balloon Invasion Imp, Papa’s Pizzeria second hard) and luck badges (e.g. Zilch hard and Ultimate Assassin 3 imp) suck, but the worst? Badges on games with energy systems. Dawn of the Dragons, Tyrant, and Dream World, among others. As for best badges, I loved the Death vs. Monstars 2 impossible and MoneySeize impossible, and the second Z-Rox hard was good too. What I like in achievements: Challenge. Achievements should be measures of skill, not how long you play a game or how lucky you are.

    EDIT: I forgot PvP badges. Those are terrible.