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Monday, December 12, 2022

I Was In Top 5% of Big Runners—It's Heavily Reliant on Luck

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - You can overcome the RNG with time... if you have that.

Last weekend was Big Run—the much-hyped Salmonid takeover of the Splatlands. Much like how Splatfests result in Splatsville being aesthetically redesigned and the Lobby only allowing Splatfest matches, Big Run also results in Splatsville having new aesthetics and Salmon Run activity also is all Big Run (and with new music). The Wahoo World, normally an amusement area where Inklings go to play (or participate in matches), has been taken over by Salmonid invaders, seeking to take over everything else. Grizzco Industries was hiring anyone who could hold a weapon and throw eggs to defend Splatsville. Most notably, they offered prizes to everyone, but the best prizes were reserved for the best performers.

Splatoon 3 Big Run Results December 2022 Top 5% 137 and up golden eggs gold
These were the results.
...However, no one knew while the Big Run was happening where the top 5%, 20%, and 50% cut-offs would be.

You might've noticed the number at the top right corner: 147. That was my score...after many hours of working the Big Run. Part of it was hard work. A great deal was...luck.

Splatoon 3 Big Run Salmon King Cohozuna clear 147 golden eggs
If you're wondering, this bumped me up to Eggsecutive VP 305. This was at Hazard Level 215%.
For context, that's really, really high up on the corporate ladder.
By the way, Big Run did NOT make King Salmonids more likely to appear or more likely to drop valuable scales.

I should know after a lot of Big Run experience. So what was based on luck?
  • The weapons loaned were random each time. Some weapons are not conducive to high scores, such as the Inkbrush or REEF-LUX 450.
  • The competence of the people you get matched with.
  • The tide level and any special events that occur (these can increase or decrease the amount of easily basket-able eggs) for all three waves. For example, Salman Rushdie appearing at any point in time would probably be a very bad thing for your shift
  • What boss Salmonids decide to spawn
The chances of everything working out and then executing at that moment are equivalent to grinding for a very low % chance in, say, a JRPG. Like shiny-hunting in Pokémon or a rare item drop. But since Splatoon 3 is an action game, it can also be pretty taxing and perhaps tilting to play for a long time and continue to be at a peak enough performance for the duration you'll probably need to get your Eggsecutive Vice President rank high enough to be afforded the low percent opportunity to have gotten to 137+ golden eggs in one shift. And since you don't know what the cut-off was going to be, you might have gotten to 130 and decided that's more than safe enough to stop at. Perhaps you have other things you need to do. You might figure that most Big Runners are going to be casual kids anyway at the lowest ranks and skill levels, so with all of them involved, how hard could being in the top 5% of players really be? ...Quite hard. I bet for the next Big Run, it'll be even tougher, since now people trying to go for gold won't stop below 137.

Mr. Grizz is... the boss (he really wanted you to know that during Big Run), so the prize was a big King Cohozuna trophy for your locker, as well as badge(s) for your Splashtag. How has my locker and Splashtag evolved since you last saw it? Let's look:

Splatoon 3 locker Golden Cohozuna trophy ladder The Thinker shovel Ace Attorney reference
The gold trophy is certainly...striking. And also huge. I had to redesign my locker contents to accommodate Cohozuna.
The Thinker, the stepladder, and the shovel are all Ace Attorney references. (That's a question in KoopaTV Quiz Part XXXIX.)

Big Run was big fun, and I admit that I wouldn't have played as much as I did if I didn't feel safe in getting a high score. My previous high before 137 was actually 136, and it's a very good thing that I didn't stop there and I played for more than a couple hours afterward. Imagine if I only got 136 and the top 5% cut-off was 137. (Unless I was the person that got the cut-off to 137 and it'd average out to 136 without me.) This would be a much angrier article. That 136 was thanks to a 71-egg Mothership wave. Very, very lucky. But I also lost the wave 3 outright to what I'd attribute to incompetent teammates. That's obviously not an optimal way to get a high egg count, so I wanted to keep trying until I got the right lucky conditions to get a new high score. Good thing I did. But again, it took hours, even despite an even higher rank. Luck played a big role in that. While it's true that good players will get good results, it's far from a guarantee that good players will get good enough results. Luck is the differentiating factor, and failing that, enough persistence (and free time) to eventually get a good result.

How was your Big Run performance? Did you get in the Top 5%? Do you attribute that to skill, or to luck? Of course, it's a mix of both, but how much of a role does luck play into that? Let KoopaTV know in the comments section! You can also let Ludwig know what you think of his locker. It's not the ideal placement of things, and that's because of the gold Cohozuna trophy taking up that much space and its sheer size severely limiting how much rotating and revolving you can do. Ludwig mostly plays Salmon Run in Splatoon 3 and isn't that good at actual player versus player combat, but that also means he feels he has some authoritative competence when speaking about Salmon Run. Some of his teammates were even more competent than he was in that 147 score, which was lucky to get.

Unlike Big Run and Salmon Run, Splatoon 3's main player versus player modes are heavily reliant on SKILL.
There was a Salmon Run event that was based on skill—Eggstra Work. It's the opposite of Big Run.

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