I went on Reddit looking for a fight and caught a fish who didn’t know any better. So let me summarize the finding in more precise terms. And also some thoughts.
- The new ranking event forces everyone to play the same way, with some options:
- You can pick your Stamina use, 2M, 4M, 6M, MM. (15/20/25/30)
- On the next page you can pick from two songs (one is “recommended” and gives slightly more points, see below), or a job;
- And also, alternatively, the event song. Which uses no Stamina but song tokens and doesn’t count as one of the 5-things.
- You do 5 non-event-song things with Stamina and you get 1 event song token (max 99 stored)
- Each of those things also give some amount of event points.
- The amount of event score those 5 things give you correlates to Stamina used. More Stamina you use, more points you get per type of thing.
- Job gets you about half the points as the recommended song for the same Stamina tier.
- The lower Stamina you spend to get finish those 5 things, the less Stamina per token you can get.
- Since event songs give the most score for the event, it is most efficient to do the lowest Stamina things over doing higher Stamina things, because you end up with more event song tokens with the same Stamina spend.
- But of course, it also means playing for longer to get the same amount of points as someone spending more Stamina.
- People who don’t spend money on stamina or has a cap and need to maximize mileage, should play with minimal Stamina per 5 things.
- Because you get more points overall since playing the event song gives you a lot of points
- People who have unlimited spend or limited time to play that they can’t use up their budget/Stamina store and need to maximize score at all cost, should play with max Stamina per 5-things.
- The event song also rewards players who do the higher stamina 5-things, but not enough to cancel out just grinding with the lowest stamina and then play the event song.
I basically spelled out point #6 on Reddit and one person refuses to get it, because the realization that you get more points with the lowest setting stops them from realizing that this event is about max event score, not max efficiency. In other words, time is a limited resource for everyone, Stamina is not limited in the same way for rankers and whales.
Ultimately a hybrid strategy is ideal for people who want to achieve a high rank in this event; the score scale has changed from a standard “play songs normally, or crunch gems to P2W, whoever does the one or the other thing the most time wins” to “play songs normally…and optionally spend gems to get more points per period of time, and somehow someone wins?” The scaling swings towards people who can play the event song the most number of times, rather than the limits of the event token that you can get. It opens two doors for whales; you can grind 75 stamina or 150 stamina, the latter gives a modest advantage only (maybe 50% more points for 100% stamina), but it closes the door on them in that the overall time it takes is not drastically reduced unlike the jewel crunch method for the other type of ranking event.
There’s a calculus problem hiding in here.
My gut feeling is that much like the pay-to-lose style of grind that characterizes Greemas Million Live battle ranking events, pay-to-win jewel crunch for the typical PST event is too easy. You can grind in a couple hours enough points for the 5000th place tier, and that’s probably impossible for this event given how things are working out 2 days in.
The meta models is pretty easy to understand. Instead of calculating the best efficiency, it’s about predicting player behavior and figuring out how to one-up other players, in a competitive ranking event. So you do still need to understand efficiency, but the psychological barrier preventing people from spending or taking a less efficient route necessary means the group of players who do not have that Greemas 1200th place ranking mentality will have narrow score groupings, because you would do the max efficiency model. People who want to tier 2 will figure things out early and abandon that to go full throttle, or try to see if they can extend that efficiency to higher scoring tiers.
I sort of like this particular change they’ve done to the meta, but at the same time, it’s an outright nerf to P2W so it’s more P2L–in that the trap is both you could be spending your time grinding 2M and getting fewer points than your ranking competition, or you could be blowing cash and achieving fewer points than someone who has more time and is steadfast. Pegging the amount of play you do with the final score by requiring the # of tokens to be fixed and unattached to the ticket system is both good and painful, I guess.
At least, if anything, there are more options to victory in this event, and equally options to screwing yourself over. That is an overall improvement, I guess.