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Author Topic: 300 hours in overview - with drop systems, percentages, P-drops and DL lives  (Read 1912 times)

Setsuna

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You might have heard what I had to say about Platinum Stars, and depending what you are in it for, what you've heard will have varied, as well as the efforts a few of us have made to address the game. If you've heard what I had to say on the project-iM@s discord, most of this won't be new to you.


I'll start with the executive summaries - pick a category that describes the main reasons you'd want to play Platinum Stars.

I like rhythm games and im@s sounds like fun.

Platinum Stars is surprisingly easy, and can be considered an entry level rhythm game. The design of the game encourages the long haul, but you're far more likely to master the game's rhythm beat maps far sooner than the game intended to drop consumable content like unlocked songs, unlocked coordinates, and even unlocked difficulty. This isn't project Diva with the curveballs and the expected hundreds of practices to master, at least according to people I know who Osu/PD regularly, and unfortunately, the curves projected mean you're likely to master songs long before you reach S rank on anyone.


I like S4U and performances, or I want to make mashups/setups for other content

I've got some disappointing news for you - With a reasonable margin of error, we've calculated the rough drop rates of a gold present to be between 1% (one in a hundred) to 0.1% (one in a thousand).

S rank costumes from the game proper (Accessories have lives which have each individual S rank accessory lives that forcibly give you each of the S Accessories, and all the A rank and below items barring a F ranked costume will have lives that can unlock which give that specific item on completion) as well as a F costume (the trackwear) and DL Live accessories (Costumes can be forcibly dropped by completing the 4 DL lives in sequence.) can only be gotten by a gold present.

DL live accessories can ALSO be gotten from silver presents, but only if the silver present in question was generated by expending P-drops, and you still have to contend with the entire silver present drop list in the process.

Oh, and before I leave you thinking the odds stated above (1-0.1%) were the FINAL percentages, there's another thing coming - that is the fact that you have a 1/10 chance of getting the one costume you need (as opposed to a copy) for base game S rank (so it drops to 0.1% to 0.01%).

If you're curious if you're gunning for a DL live item, the odds stated are the same, except that upon getting a gold present, your odds are at 1/6 (As you can get the C costume in a gold present) assuming your game doesn't bug out and assume that gold present was in fact a normal one.  Your odds will drop to about 0.2% to 0.02%)

In short? Good luck. You're going to be here for a few hundred hours if you have your heart (or your creative) set on a particular item and you can't get it to forcibly drop. Surprisingly, buying P-drops to hurry this process up only improves the odds to 10% for S rank regular, and about 16.6% assuming you spend 5000 yen to use at least 60 drops to get better than even odds of a forced gold present. Be warned that if you throw the game's maximum (of 200) at a single live you still have a chance a gold present won't drop and end up with 200 silver or worse presents.

On the bright side, if that happens and you were taking a shot at the DL live, you have roughly 1/50 per present chance to get an accessory. This is purely estimated, because we actually don't know how many items are in the silver present pool competing with the DL live accessories.

Compared to other im@s games (50-80 hours to complete and unlock + DLC costs) PS may NOT be worth the trouble of migrating to.


How hard could it possibly be to platinum Platinum Stars anyway? (Achievement etc)

If you're thinking that because the game is easy, that the game would be easy to platinum, well...

You've got a little nasty surprise coming. To platinum the game, you have to complete all the base game content (DLC and DL live content is not included)

This means... doing each song until it reaches legend (Which I understand is a few hundred times for all, what 20 songs?), completing the in game costume catalog with one copy of every item, getting all 13 idols to S rank and a few other odds and ends.

Guess which one will take you the longest?

Surprisingly, it's not the play each song to legend, considering that at least doesn't have huge variances. Depending on drops, you can also get magazines that can hurry up a song's progress to Legend, and you may see a LOT of them.

Summary - don't. 300 hours in, and I haven't platinum-ed the game yet. There's some that's done it on roughly 200 hours, though, so it depends. Still, you'd be better served by another game.


I want to see more of 765!

Sadly, there just isn't enough content to justify it - there's a few beginning of day/end of day skits, and one event per rank up.

That doesn't sound so bad until you consider that on your climb from A rank to S rank, an idol needs 10 million fans. The fastest you can gain fans is through a level 3 fan job on a perfect gives you 100k + fan gain bonuses. Sounds great, until you realize that the score required for a perfect is 30, and you also need to cough up 45k per attempt.

The whole thing will still take a few minutes either way so don't think it's THAT fast. Expect to be pulling a lot of hours. 50+ is not unheard of.

Given that, trying see just one event might not be worth it, considering by now you could drift off to youtube or NND and see the events in question without having to expend that much time.


------

There's the executive summaries. In later posts I'll discuss the various aspects, as per the title, so you can see how I drew those conclusions.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 11:37:51 AM by Setsuna »
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Setsuna

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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?

1584

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?'
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Setsuna

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P-drops - The microtransaction that couldn't

Now we cover P-drops, Namco Bandai's way of trying to compensate for the fact it's 132 hours to finish the game on a 50% odds rate and about 68 hours to get all the items out of a DL live (Based on the last time I ran the math anyway) - and as I covered above, if you're not average luck or better, be prepared to be playing the game much longer.

Those who defend the current status quo will point out that the P-drops system is there for people  who are too impatient or don't have the time or have more money than brains.

At first glance it's true. This is how P-drops work:

- P-drops are consumables. You use them at the beginning of a live, where they get consumed.
- Each P-drop you use grants you +1 present to the live on completion of said live.
- Each P-drop adds a % to the probability that at the end of a live that a gold present will show.

Of course, now there's a few catches:

- Even though at max rank (Producer level 20) you can use 200 of them at once (Which is roughly 17k yen) this number is capped at some number not 100%. It is entirely possible that you do not get a gold present.
- You can only get ONE gold present per live. Any additional gold present that would be given to you will convert to silver presents instead.
- The gold present generated abides by the rules otherwise (it'll roll from the gold present drop list as per normal.)

What does this mean in reality?

The best time to use a set of P-drops is when you want to bypass the gold present drop rate of 1-0.1%

This sounds really useful until you realise you still only have a 1/10 chance  (For base game) or 1/6 (for DL live) to get a single item. You can't avoid this, because if you have your heart set on a item in the list, well...

This  in turn means that the best time to use the drops is at the BEGINNING of the drop cycle - namely before you get your first costume (Where the odds go up to 60%) or after you secure the costume but no accessories (Where the drop rate is 66% for any one item)

P-drops also have an additional chance to drop the accessories on silver presents IF the silver present was created with a P-drop - it'll contest all the other items in the regular silver list (so about 1/50) but it's per silver present, so it's 2% to turn up any of the accessories, and consequently 0.5% to turn up a specific one (4 accessories per DL live)

Regardless, the problem with the P-drops isn't the fact they don't work - it's the fact they're poor value for what you spend on them.

To get decent odds on a gold present you'd ideally want to spend 60 pdrops at a time. That's 5000 yen per live.

Sounds okay, until you consider that to buy out the entirety of catalog 2, WITH the DLC money, it'll set you back roughly 8000 yen, in a bundle.

Needless to say, the relative value is insanely low, for what you're spending.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 07:54:28 AM by Setsuna »
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Hime Idol

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I'm only over 100 hours in, didn't have as much time to play as I would have liked so far. I had more time to play OFA when I first got that one. (Ended up playing 500+ hours on OFA.)

But anyways, PS has not held my interest like OFA did. The story behind OFA was a bit more in depth than PS, especially with the EX Episodes. I can say that PS has beautiful graphics (PS4 duh) and that the Stage4U! is amazing. Just would like a few more stages added and more interesting outfits as well, not just those god-awful recolors.

The real killer for me has been this drop system. I have finally naturally dropped one gold present from the DL Lives without the assist of p-drops. Since then nothing, Scamco really added these just for the money. I also believe that is a reason why the DLC catalogs have been so light so far. Namco probably thinks: "Yeah they have 2-3 DL Lives a month. That's good enough. We'll give them three songs, an outfit, and four accessories in the DLC."
I honestly believe that without the DL Lives we could of had more DLC content so far. I'm hoping that Namco sends out an update patch to increase the drop rates. Though this probably will not happen as less people with then buy p-drops and thus Scamco gets less money from us.

Quote
This in turn means that the best time to use the drops is at the BEGINNING of the drop cycle - namely before you get your first costume (Where the odds go up to 60%) or after you secure the costume but no accessories (Where the drop rate is 66% for any one item)

Does that mean the first outfit you get before the 'special' DL outfit you receive for EX Clearing the final live in the DL Live series? I'm going to try that method with the fourth DL Live to see if it increases my luck by any (probably won't).

I will say I am almost ready to get Hibiki to S-rank. Only 3 million more fans to go, not that much compared to the starting 10 million. If I play for at least 4 hours straight I can normally hit around 600,000 fans per idol. Though normally with work that makes it nearly impossible to get that amount of gameplay in. I normally average 2 - 2 1/2 hours a day. I work nights so I get home around 10 p.m and start livestreaming between 10:30 - 11 pm and try to stay awake long enough to play until 1 - 1:30 am. Though after playing the same song over and over I tend to get sloppy with the gameplay, mostly because my thumb goes numb, or because I'm getting bored and losing interest in the actual gameplay itself.
I'd appreciate any help anyone has to offer. The games and DLCs are very expensive and I'd really appreciate whatever you guys can send. My PayPal.Me link: paypal.me/HimeIdol

Setsuna

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I'm only over 100 hours in, didn't have as much time to play as I would have liked so far. I had more time to play OFA when I first got that one. (Ended up playing 500+ hours on OFA.)

But anyways, PS has not held my interest like OFA did. The story behind OFA was a bit more in depth than PS, especially with the EX Episodes. I can say that PS has beautiful graphics (PS4 duh) and that the Stage4U! is amazing. Just would like a few more stages added and more interesting outfits as well, not just those god-awful recolors.

The real killer for me has been this drop system. I have finally naturally dropped one gold present from the DL Lives without the assist of p-drops. Since then nothing, Scamco really added these just for the money. I also believe that is a reason why the DLC catalogs have been so light so far. Namco probably thinks: "Yeah they have 2-3 DL Lives a month. That's good enough. We'll give them three songs, an outfit, and four accessories in the DLC."
I honestly believe that without the DL Lives we could of had more DLC content so far. I'm hoping that Namco sends out an update patch to increase the drop rates. Though this probably will not happen as less people with then buy p-drops and thus Scamco gets less money from us.

Does that mean the first outfit you get before the 'special' DL outfit you receive for EX Clearing the final live in the DL Live series? I'm going to try that method with the fourth DL Live to see if it increases my luck by any (probably won't).

I will say I am almost ready to get Hibiki to S-rank. Only 3 million more fans to go, not that much compared to the starting 10 million. If I play for at least 4 hours straight I can normally hit around 600,000 fans per idol. Though normally with work that makes it nearly impossible to get that amount of gameplay in. I normally average 2 - 2 1/2 hours a day. I work nights so I get home around 10 p.m and start livestreaming between 10:30 - 11 pm and try to stay awake long enough to play until 1 - 1:30 am. Though after playing the same song over and over I tend to get sloppy with the gameplay, mostly because my thumb goes numb, or because I'm getting bored and losing interest in the actual gameplay itself.

Actually as far as I can tell, OFA has something that Platinum Stars doesn't - you can only set costumes per team, not per idol. If you CAN set it per idol, I've not discovered yet how to do it, and my file is really close to maxing out.

If they skipped this particular feature, it would be a surprising step backward.

When it comes to statistical odds re: DL lives - it doesn't really matter if you do it at DL live step 1 or step 4. - Yes, you can argue that if you got the costume, your drops were wasted, but as there's no way to detect that BEFORE you commit to the drop usage, it's a case of 'now's a good a time as any' as a S ranked costume acquisition would basically mean you'd ace the DL live off the bat, and you're always in the running for the Silver present DL live p-drops if you do that live.

The absolutely fastest way to get idols is to do the level 3 fan gathering job (At 45k per time) to get 100k fans. You need 30 on the dice roll, so you'd want the DL Live 1 S ranked costume, and your best fan up accessory. This should accelerate your fan gain for one idol quickly, but at 45k per, it's also a lot of in game currency. It almost makes the DLC money actually worth something.
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Hime Idol

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Actually as far as I can tell, OFA has something that Platinum Stars doesn't - you can only set costumes per team, not per idol. If you CAN set it per idol, I've not discovered yet how to do it, and my file is really close to maxing out.

If they skipped this particular feature, it would be a surprising step backward.

I believe this feature was taken out. I haven't found a way around it yet. A shame really, there are a number of outfits I would of liked to combine together. Maybe if you Platinum the game it'll unlock that feature?
I'd appreciate any help anyone has to offer. The games and DLCs are very expensive and I'd really appreciate whatever you guys can send. My PayPal.Me link: paypal.me/HimeIdol

Setsuna

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I believe this feature was taken out. I haven't found a way around it yet. A shame really, there are a number of outfits I would of liked to combine together. Maybe if you Platinum the game it'll unlock that feature?

Nope, it's not there at all. I just finally platinum the game, and there's no ability to turn it on.

Incidentally, an update.

504 hours
4012 lives.

Base game + DL live 1, 2, 3 all accessories complete + DL live costume 4 costume complete.

The fun part?

I'm AHEAD of the averages, not behind.

Mull that one over for a bit.
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Nakiame

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Platinumed it too at last.
531 hours (time doesn't matter though).
~5200 lives total (allstars included).
No p-drops used (cause european account).

I still lack one accessory from the 4th DL-Live...

Naryoril

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Platinumed it too at last.

Do you have the 2 medleys on legend too, or rather, do you know if they are necessary?

Nakiame

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Do you have the 2 medleys on legend too, or rather, do you know if they are necessary?
They are necessary, yes.
All non-dlc songs should be leveled up to legend to get the trophy.