It is Leap Frog
time again. Every time the contest gets run, the rules get zanier in an effort to try to actually find a winner. For those unfamiliar with the history, the first version was just a run of achievements. 1 achievement on Day 1, 10 achievements on Day 10, etc. I projected that the contest would go an insane 74 days, with the winning contestant having earned a ridiculous 2775 (minimum) achievements over the contest period of about two and a half months. In fact, the contest ran even longer and the top two battled out to 100 days which required IrishWarrior022
to earn a minimum of 5050 achievements in a shade over three months. Let that sink in for a moment. For reference, Irish would go on to score roughly that number again in the entirety of 2016. So in three months of fevered achievement-hunting, he matched his next year, by that measure.
The good folks running the competition had not expected it to last that long, nor to be as draining a resource on the folks actually competing. Both Irish and his runner up, Emerald Axer
admitted to being pushed to a kind of breaking point. The competitions here are intense, but they are supposed to be fun. We have some very competitive people, though, so it was clear that a better answer was necessary. One that was tougher, to end it faster--before it became a drain on people's health and well-being.
So Leap Frog 2 changed the goal to ratios. Since ratios are not a real indication of difficulty, this would let people play to very high points without necessarily spending 20 hours of the day grinding achievements. Instead, sometimes they just spent 20 hours of the day grinding a single achievement. And in fact the proposed solution worked even less well in terms of ending the contest faster, as new content keeps being released and new content is always at a stupidly high ratio point for the first day or two--people could stay in as long as they kept getting the newest content. Eventually, a gentleman's agreement came about and this contest fizzled out after something in the 115-120 day range, depending on how you figure the agreement played out. Either way, for all the efforts to make the contest harder and end sooner, the contest actually ran 15% longer!
This brings us to Leap Frog 3, and what is sure to be a longer contest result than any of us expects. In incorporates elements of both previous elimination schemes to make it seemingly impossible to achieve after a certain point. But I have long since learned to never doubt the dedication of the truly intense members of this community. Using some of the same mathematical approaches to the length of this contest, I came up with an answer of 32 days. I suspect we will actually run longer than that. The reason lies in my title. Right now my only way to predict the future eliminations is based on current eliminations. After one day, that's hardly going to produce accurate results.
1758 individuals registered for Leap Frog 3. First, I'll note that is a significant decrease from Leap Frog 1's 2000+ or even Leap Frog 2's 1800+. Second, just as in the previous years, there are a significant number of people who didn't earn even a single achievement. That is all that has been required each time through. 1 achievement for Day 1. 1 achievement at 1.0 ratio for Day one. It doesn't get any lower a bar. Apparently, the only lower bar than finishing Day 1 is registering for the contest.
I am being a little unfair. Of the 373 who entered and then sat down to watch other people play, there are some with valid reasons. Even, "I joined to increase my site participating badge" may be a reason for some of them. For others, the start was far enough removed from the registration that they forgot they needed an achievement "today". Still more had something come up in their real life. Maybe they'd have gotten to Day 3 or 4 otherwise, but stuff happens.
These people being eliminated now have nothing in common with the ultra-fit achievement competitors who will emerge and be in the running to take the final prize. But they are still the ones who I have data on to do the math and make any kind of prediction as to how far we will go.
If my first prediction is right at 32 days, the winner will need 5 different achievements each at 7.2 or higher to win. Yeah... that seems pretty hard. But I think we'll see at least 3 or 4 still at that point. As long as games like Rare Replay
exist--with plenty of pretty easy high ratio achievements--or even worse games like Killer Instinct
, and SMITE
, which continue to drop new and readily obtainable for deep content players high ratio achievements, this contest has the potential to run long. It seems impossible to go 100 days yet again (Day 100 requirements: 15 achievements at 20.8 ratio each) and I am not going to predict a contest that long (I think 40-60 days is the actual end point, on a gut level) but I have never been disappointed by counting on some intense competitive streaks to push these contests beyond all reasonable limits.