Not many people have earned all the achievements possible from Halo 3, Halo Wars and Halo 3: ODST, as evidenced by the statistics Microsoft dug up while developing Halo Waypoint. "Significantly less" than 1% of players have unlocked all the achievements. Based on readers comments and e-mails I received, the biggest stumbling block for Halo fans is a top-tier achievement tucked away in Halo Wars, the non-Bungie developed real-time-strategy take on the Halo universe.
Specifically, several readers cited the "General" achievement as the most difficult to obtain. The "General" achievement is obtained by acquiring 2,400,000 experience points across multiplayer sessions. According to players, garnering that many points takes a long, long time.
"I am missing one single achievement in Halo Wars...the achievement for obtaining a General Rank over XBL," one reader wrote me over e-mail, echoing the feelings of several others I heard from. "So of all three games I have all but one single achievement. This won't put me into that 1%, but I should come darn close. Honestly I would have this achievement as well if the population for Halo Wars was not so small and the amount of XP needed to gain that rank so high. I am simply not a huge RTS fan, and while I enjoy Halo Wars I am a fangirl because of the FPS parts of the Halo universe. At the moment games of Halo Wars feel more like grinding than fun."
After my story was published, community manager Duncan “Aloysius” Stanley at Robot Entertainment, the studio that spun-off from the now-closed Halo Wars developer Ensemble Studios that assumed post-release Halo Ward duties, released some additional statistics to fans on the Halo Wars message boards. Not surprising, the "General" rank was listed.
"Less than half a of percent of players have the General rank on Xbox Live," said Stanley.
"So little [users] with General, yet so many threads about them...," remarked one user in response.
Some users estimated it could take hundreds of hours to unlock the "General" achievement. At that point, is such an achievement just for the hardcore or simply poorly designed?