GTASC - Period 5: Callout Shelter
Welcome back for another rousing recap of the craziness that is GTASC 2017. There's a lot to cover this week, so I'm going to jump right in with the new hotness. This week saw the release of two new "free" games, Fallout Shelter
and Adventure Pop Achievements
. Both made an immediate impact on the environment. But they follow more typical "free to play" mechanics than some of the other free games we've seen, like Ben-Hur Achievements
where the game itself is just an advertisement with 1000 GS attached. So we're likely going to see both of these, particularly Fallout Shelter as the more popular of the two, lingering in our scoring data for a while. While it seems both are lengthy grinds, both have already been completed by a handful of hearty souls. They're claiming to have done it for free too. So it seems they aren't quite as rough as some of these free to play games have been in the past.
Another oddball game that jumped up the scoring this week was Among the Sleep Achievements
which placed 9th in team and 8th in individual. For a game released in last June that's quite a surge. The explanation is fairly simple, the game was part of the weekly sales last week for 50% off. That brought the price down to $7.50 (or the rough equivalent) and that was apparently enough to get a bunch of score hungry gamers to jump on the 1-3 hour completion.
It's impossible to really discuss what happened on the team side this week without looking at the drama in the forums that occurred over the last two days of the period. It's been a largely quiet GTASC with the most drama coming from privacy settings debates, constant repeated questioning about bonuses and badges and how they get applied, and of course the occasional flare up of something relatively minor. This week we had our first real foray into the madness.
I'm not naming names or anything like that. It's no more permissible to call someone out for callouts than it was to make the initial callout. But I will talk about the situation.
It's worth noting that this is basically the result of putting several hundred highly competitive and largely skilled individuals into a contest. Every contest we see the same results, whether it's UHH, LeapFrog, GTASC, or even some of the older TA contests, like the Olympics. People do crazy things when presented with an opportunity for fame, even on a very limited scale, or personal achievement, even if no one else will ever know or care. And when someone goes above and beyond what seems "reasonable" there are criticisms. And then there follow the criticisms of the criticism. And most of the time it just falls into factions of school-yard taunting. I get the feeling that the moderator team must spend their downtime reading Lord of the Flies
So, the drama flare ups seem unavoidable. As long as there are highly competitive people in the contests, you're going to get the result of highly competitive people slamming up against each other to be the best. That means the best at the competition, not the best human being. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. We've seen terrific performances from RedmptionDenied
who always at least kept the appearance of civility--and really, the public face is all that matters. If he ranted and seethed to his closest (which as far as I know he didn't) then he's still executed everything with more grace than most of the posters.
But we also feed off the drama. The majority of us feel compelled to read and drink up the salt. It's like a car wreck on the highway. We know that rubber-necking is pointless and just holds up traffic, but when our turn comes, our necks are on a swivel. We enjoy the misery of others. The schadenfreude is nourishment.
And without a bonus for the week, and with it still being fairly early, the contest doesn't have much else to talk about anyway.
Meanwhile, over in the individual contest we had a real battle going on. A bonus helped ignite it, I think, but ultimately it became about more than just a bonus. The bonus was available to 100 individuals. This is a new type of bonus. Before most bonuses were always available to anyone, as long as you survived and met the criteria, you could get the bonus by completing the requirement. But this time the requirement was to do more than just survive. You had to thrive. And so there was a push to be in the top-100 for the period. But maybe not much of one, because as I'll discuss shortly, the overall scoring was down for the week, and that was true at the top-100 breakpoint too.
One of my teammates, epic fail 1710
, made a determination to go for #1 overall for the week. If you're going for top-100, why stop there? In any other week he'd have made it easily. He scored over 40,000 TA on the week! That's more than the top scorer has scored in any previous week for the individual side, by about 33%. But not this week. Epic was pressured by T1TANMONKEY
and the two of them fought back and forth throughout the week and into the wee hours of the final day to see who would come out on top. Ultimately, it was T1TAN's to lose as he had the edge and was able to fend off epic.
But that was an epic fight, fairly reminiscent of the finals battle last year when Red was behind nutty, but did manage to pull it off with a dedicated all-nighter. As a reminder, he finished with just under 140,000 TA to nutty's ~130,000 TA. That helps to put this ~40K TA performance from each epic and T1TAN into perspective. Sure there was a lot of Minecraft this week, but there was a ton of preload for both Red and nutty. All of these are insane weekly performances.
Congratulations to both epic and T1TAN for their strong performances. Time to head back to your corners and reload for the next round.
I even called this decline, which occurred in both the team and individual contests, last blog. It held up on the individual side in spite of a bonus which likely did increase scoring some, but mostly at the top end, not at the margin where the cutoff happens. The Minecraft decay played a very small role. The bigger reason was the relative lack of new Mincecraft points, despite the fact that Minecraft was once again the top scorer. Last week (Period 4), Minecraft was worth 335,528 TA for the team side, and that's just for one version! This week (Period 5) it earned "only" 286,780 TA (-15.5%) for that same version. The overall scoring also decreased by a similar amount between the periods.
The new hot games are the drivers of the contest.
Initially, I thought with epic's performance we might shoot for a team-first position as well, but quickly it became clear that we weren't going to do that without a whole lot more than I was ready to commit to, and it seemed the team felt the same way, so it quieted down quickly. Epic carried us into third on his own. Meanwhile, I just sat and made progress towards my own goals, if not quite as quickly as I'd have liked.
I did end up starting two games (see below) but even then it feels like it's not enough. I keep looking at my collection of games and so many of them are unstarted! I'm trying to pace my starts a bit so I can keep working on cleaning up my bean dive, but ultimately my answer has to be just scoring more.
I was happy to pitch in a little with epic's climb, though ultimately not enough. The best part about gaming with your team is spending time with friends, new and old, playing games together. I'm very much a single-player gamer, but it's always very nice to take a few hours and play with friends and acquaintances.
Easy enough to do with a solver, but that ain't how I roll. So a genuine achievement, if still not particularly hard. This screenshot wasn't the achievement, but it's my best to-date and I felt pretty good about it.
"Hoody" isn't a great word, but it's all about the monster's damage multipliers. Real best word: Pugilistic.
How can a 10+ ratio achievement be the lowlight?!Lies of Astaroth Reviews
An impulse purchase of a cheap game that looked like a pretty solid platformer-trainer to play with my kids. So I started it with my kids. Has some nice features, like being able to "drag" a player with you so I don't have to constantly switch controllers and do all of the jumps twice, which is sometimes impossible. But after playing lots of Rayman Legends
it feels really slow, at least to start. Cute and fun so far, but probably not going to get an amazing rating. Definitely good to have to play with the girls, though.HAWKEN
Doing my part to help epic fail 1710
on his quest. HAWKEN caught my attention after I noticed Eurydace
burn through it quickly early on in the contest. I think most people who follow the blog know by this point that I really don't do shooters This is my 4th "shooter" start per TA's current genre scoring The other three are Gears of War (1+2) and Halo 3. As a result of my preferences, I'd scanned right past this F2P title without ever even looking twice. But a fast completion with a high ratio? That's worth a second look. I didn't get the completion because I was looking to help epic more than get anything for myself, but I'll have it done shortly. There it is folks, what is bound to be my first "shooter" completion. But that's for later. First I had to start it.
None. I made progress in several games and am pretty close to knocking out at least three: Hawken, as noted just above, Letter Quest: Grimm's Journey Remastered
which earned my "highlight," but is still a few hours away from final completion and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition
. I could knock out all three next week. Or maybe the whim will hit me and I'll be playing completely different games suddenly. Who knows?
Posted by Xpovos
on 13 February 17 at 19:36
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