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What's better: characters making 'bdbdbdbdbdi' noises while talking in text or cosmetics unlocked by challenges?

Vote now as we continue deciding the single best thing in games

Last time, during our special Valentine's Day experiment, you decided that Doomguy's pet rabbit, Daisy is better than health pick-ups looking like cartoon hearts. This one was decided by a Brexit-narrow margin, which shows me two things: 1) every vote counts; 2) love truly grows stronger once someone is gone (RIP Daisy). This week, I need you to decide between cheery chat and couturial challenges. What's better: characters making 'bdbdbdbdbdi' noises while talking in text or cosmetics unlocked by challenges?

Characters making 'bdbdbdbdbdi' noises while talking in text

While some would tell you that we're damaging the fabric of society by switching so heavily to text-based communication we once would have gone to visit or spoken with by phone, missing the richness and connection that comes with voices and faces, honestly the real problem with AOL Instant Messenger and WhatsApp and iMessage and all that is that your words don't appear character-by-character on the other person's screen while the speaker blasts a low-fi bdbdbdbdbdi noise.

The bdbdbdbdbdi is a delight. Ambigious, playful, and surprisingly full of personality with different pitches and modulations and effects. bdbdbdbdbdi, the person says, and I tell them "You are my best friend." bdbdbdbdbdi, the person says, and I respond "How dare you! Prepare to die!" bdbdbdbdbdi, the person says, and I tell them something too sexually obscene to print in these gentle pages.

In some games, I'd prefer the bdbdbdbdbdi to their actual recorded human voices. God, it'll be achingly sad when some game abandons the bdbdbdbdbdi in favour of AI-generated voices. Don't do it, developers. I'm begging you. Or should I say, bdbdbdbdbdi, you know? You know. bdbdbdbdbdi you know. bdbdbdbdbdi you bdbdbdbdbdi. bdbdi bdbdbdbdi bdbdbdi? bdbdi!

Cosmetics unlocked by challenges

I have no interest in chasing achievements but if a cheevo/challenge/feat/whatever offers me a nice little hat as a bonus? I'm in.

I'll not pretend I'm above showing off. In Destiny 2, where the true endgame is fashion, absolutely one of my motivations in chasing challenges like finishing raids in the mega-hard launch day mode or without anyone dying was getting neat-o cosmetics for my player card. They looked cool, and they let other people saw you had accomplished something difficult. Skilled and stylish? I know I make it look easy, but it's hard being this good.

I also like that fashion challenges encourage me to try different things. More recently, I've been playing a heap of Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, which offers a pleasing number of coats and hats and eyepatches and things as rewards for completing particular cheevos. This has led me to pull off trickshots, flashbang distant snipers, use skills and builds I'd never touched before, and generally muck about and experiment. Pushing you to try particularly difficult manoeuvres can teach you how powerful they are, and how achievable they are with a little practice. I've come out of it a better player, with a really cool eyepatch.

A Zealot with great trousers in a Warhammer 40,000: Darktide screenshot.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Fatshark

But which is better?

You've heard about my cool eyepatch, sure, but I didn't even mention I also got swanky trousers. Has to be the cosmetic challenges for me. But what do you think, reader dear?

Pick your winner, vote in the poll below, and make your case in the comments to convince others. We'll reconvene next week to see which thing stands triumphant—and continue the great contest.

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