Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Burning the Backlog... again.

A backlog, in regards to the gamer, is a collection of unplayed games. When a gamer gets to a certain lifestyle of game play, backlogs are a natural occurrence that stems from a gamers' attempt to save money by purchasing games on sale that they will play in the future. It's so common an occurrence that there is a site online that helps document your progress on your progress on burning the backlog. However, some cases of backloggery are more extreme than others.

In the month of June, 2010 I accepted a verbal challenge with Botafogo "The Enabler" 007 that I w/couldn’t drop my completion percentage from 75% to 50% and build it back to 75%. In actuality, my percentage was higher than 75% and I was around 115,000 at the time. It took around 117 games, according to True Achivements to achieve 49.9%. My percentage and many people’s feeds were properly raped that month; and it was all done at a time before the terms “Bean Dive” and “Feed Rape” actually HAD names. Today, I have hit 60% and I’m looking at an all too familiar backlog that found its way back on to my shelves and into my hard drive.

Backlog? Again? That’s totally unacceptable. 

I remember when I first heard that what I had done had become a community event. At first I was slightly annoyed that what I had originally done to separate myself from the norm became a mainstream event. Then it was funny to compare their efforts to crush their card compared to my own. I figured that a genuine percentage dump wouldn’t be able to be recovered from the same year; but I have to remind myself that their reason for having a backlog is totally different from my own. Most gamers are not exactly Gamer Scoring League participants, or into Competitive Gamerscoring.  However it did serve its greater purpose of freeing gamers from the personal restrictions that they bind themselves to

From a mathematical standpoint, it takes a much greater effort for me to gain and drop percentage than most people. It would take me 185 individual achievements to gain 1%. In comparison to other extreme cases, StophJ requires 275 to achieve the same results. Vandetta x360a, who has a 40k Gamerscore, only requires 39 unlocked achievements for a full percentage gain.  Interestingly enough, both Stallion and Smrnov need 295 achievements to acquire a gain of one percentage point. This is on top of the fact that these numbers only remain true if these gamers do not add any more games to their tag, which is an impossibility considering their playstyle. This is probably why completion percentage races are generally unpopular for higher tiered GS tags; it is the equivalent of running uphill wearing a parachute when playing against those with significantly lower gamerscores.

Believe it or not, it gets HARDER to drop in percentage the higher you get. In fact, it is now a mathematical impossibility for the top scoring gamertags to make any truly significant percentage changes because of the sheer mass of achievements they have already accumulated. There are not enough games available for the top 10 to drop 25%. So the lesson learned is that as a gamer adds more games to their history, completion percentage gets harder to manipulate. Eventually, there is that theoretical threshold where gamers' will find that it is harder to drop their completion percentage, as opposed to raising it. Unless you’re already there, like everyone’s favorite personal stalker Jason3535 or Omfamna, who seems to have played everything that Xbox has to offer. (Information is accurate as of August 29, 2011.)

From 60 to 75%, it would have taken me 2766 total achievements. That would have been cake. However I have decided to play what I have on hand. But why am I dumping at 60%? Why aren't I waiting until I reach my personal goal of 75%, when I made that personal challenge?  Let’s just say I have my reasons.


  1. It's interesting it only (use of the word only is intentional to denote awesomeness) took you 117 games to drop from 78% or whatever it was to 50%. At the time my gamerscore was only about 5% higher than yours, my completion % was almost identical, but since I had so many friggin' arcade games it took me almost 150. Now that YOU have started buying more XBLA stuff...look out. Mwahahahaha.

    I'm kinda in a spot now though, because in my mind our epic race back to 75% would go, well, to 75%. Also I have no desire right now to try to burn my backlog again. I drop way more new stuff on my card than I should, I know, but our dive was actual work. And cleaning all those game cases up was teh suck.

    I guess I'll watch you drop back down and hope with the added handicap you're placing on yourself I can actually beat you to 75%, which I know will only happen if you don't really try.

    Also, I'll help you get a cheese mint in JP Culdcept if you'll send me my copy ;).

  2. SHIIIIIIT. I'll send it today. Let's find two more to get that 4 player achievement.

  3. I guess I could pay you for it too...lol