How DID Platinum Stars end up being so grindy anyway? Why do so many people call it Platinum Grind? The odds can't seem THAT bad, can they? Why does everyone hate the DL lives so much? They're supposed to be free content!
We'll cover the questions here, as this requires you to understand the drop system.
The drop system - or what happens when you forget to put in a drop floor, and otherwise make several hundred bad assumptions
First things first - let's discuss game design.
When you're making a game a (good) game designer will have at least some sort of idea what the player experience should be like.
Namely, what they'll be doing, how they'll be doing it, and how long they'll do it for.
For Platinum Stars you're playing the rhythm game for say a couple hour at a stretch, mostly doing lives, which is the game proper, with a bit of watching storyline and the rest of it.
It's fairly unlikely you'll do so for much longer without taking at least a small break, because the game type requires actual concentration unless the game itself is actually too boring. You'll end up suffering fatigue, which will start to affect your scoring in Diva, as an example.
You could do multiple sessions (Say 10-12 hours of play in a 12) but then you'll have other things contesting, like sleep, work, or other things.
So what does this matter?
Pretty simple - you can figure out if the design was any good by using the known drop rates to calculate just how long they expected the player to actually play the game.
So how can we calculate this?
We can calculate the odds of NOT hitting once, until the number of times brings our total percentage to MISS below a certain number. (Basically, we're calculating how hard it is for us to fail not getting an item in a row for n attempts, until our statistical number gets low enough we 'hit once' namely, get the item and fail at missing in a row.)
So let's start with a simple one - We're expected to be perfectly average, so we believe that we'd hit all the necessary drops on the S rank regular items (We're not considering DL lives) by the end of the game. Note, you can get doubles, and getting doubles for the purposes of item completing (achievement/S4U) doesn't help us.
Now for reference, there's 1 F rank costume, and 1 S rank of each type (4) + 1 extra for cool, because for whatever reason there's 2 S rank cool costumes. In the 'Stuff we don't want catergory' there's 4 other items (S rank accessories) because we don't want them as they are grabbable once you hit S rank at a 100% rate.
So our chain becomes 6/10(0.01) + 5/10(0.01) + ... 1/10(0.01) (Assuming a 1/100 drop rate for a gold present)
As you can guess, that becomes 0.006, 0.005 and so on to 0.001
So our chance of failure (Namely we don't hit any of the combinations) is simple - you dock the resulting number from 1. In this case we have 0.994 (or 99.4%) chance of not getting anything.
Now to chain losses, we have to hit that 99.4% in a row twice. Namely, roll 99.4% or less two times in a row.
Which means the chances are 0.994 * 0.994 or 0.994 ^2 (Which is about 98.8% of the time)
So to calculate a 50% chance of us actually failing our 99.4% chance the math goes like this:
Solve: 0.994 ^ a < 0.50 with a being a whole number (as we can't have a fraction of an attempt, as that makes absolutely no sense)
I'm going to save you some trouble and tell you the answer - it's 116 attempts for a 50/50 chance to actually turn up the item.
Now, assuming attempt 116 gets us there... We still have 5 more items to grab. Which item we grabbed doesn't matter - we just grabbed one, and we don't want another copy (As that doesn't actually help us)
Summary? You'll do the other FIVE attempts. (Which will result in a (At 116), b, c, d, e and f)
which will result in b (0.995) = 139, c (0.996) = 173, d (0.997) = 232, e (0.998) = 347 and f (0.999) = 693 Assuming you want a 50% chance to turn it up every time (a coin toss)
So how many lives you need to do if you think you're dead average in your luck?
Now, let's assume that you can complete 12 lives per hour (Basically one season end to end).
So to complete those 1584 lives, you'll need 132 hours.
And that's assuming you're average luck, and you hit the 50/50. Oh, and that the present drop rate is 1% (or 1 for every 100 lives).
Now what happens if I'm not that lucky (I'm a standard deviation out cause someone has to be, and require averages of 60% to hit, and the drop rate is in fact 0.7%? (We don't know what the true percentage is, but we can make a calculated guess somewhere along the line from someone.)
What's my forecast if I want to platinum or get access to all the S rank costumes?
I won't do all the math for you, I'll give you a starting point, and it'll demonstrate the point nicely:
For the FIRST hit (namely we need any of the 6 items out of 10) we have a 0.007 (as opposed to 1% or 0.01) chance of triggering a live that'll cough up the gold present.
Or more accurately 0.6*0.007 or 0.0042. Our second is 0.5 * 0.007 or 0.0035
Our first 'to miss' is now at 99.58% (0.9958), and our second is now 99.65% (0.9965)
Look at the 'to miss numbers, and try to match the first number closest to the miss percentage.
Then you realize that you're adding much larger numbers once you 'collect' the first.
In short? If you're remotely unlucky and/or the drop numbers we're assuming aren't the optimistic ones, you could be here for several THOUSANDS of plays easily. You better hope you're not unlucky, because you could be here for several HUNDRED thousand plays.
Just to platinum the game.
In short, the game design of 'a few hours a day' and the assumption just to 'be done' with it, the forecast is you're expected to put at least 132 hours in it. Assuming you're average with a perfect 50% rate and a 1% gold present drop rate.
And the first thing you learn is the thing about averages is that averages suggest that there's 50% of people out there who are simply not that lucky, and every percent massively curves the game length.
In short? If you're defending the current status quo, you are LITERALLY saying to 50% of the platinum stars playerbase that they deserve a much grindier experience than 132 hours, and that's just to be done with it.
It's going to be much more, mostly because most im@s games don't generally GET 100+ hours. Not even OFA did. You'll have a massive number of people who think they'll be able to be done and dusted in 50-70 hours, literally asking themselves 'How come I'm nowhere near DONE YET?'