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Monday, April 17, 2023

Thoughts on Eggstra Work, From a Gold Medalist

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's the opposite of Big Run.

From April 14, 2023 to April 16, 2023, Grizzco Industries held a... teambuilding activity on Sockeye Station. You and up to three friends could have flew to Sockeye Station to go through up to FIVE waves of Salmonids appearing, which is up from three waves normally. (Low tide, a Griller wave, a high tide, a Goldie Seeking wave, and then a normal tide.) Your score is calculated by the number of Gold Eggs you collect, which are obtained by defeating bosses, as normal. This time, you use the same weapon on all five waves, as opposed to switching, and you got to choose your weapon. There's the Splattershot with the Booyah Bomb, the Splat Charger with the Killer Wail 5.1, the Blaster with the Crab Tank, and the Splat Roller with the Inkjet. Very basic weapons.

Here is the neat part: It's the same run every time. The tides are the same, the special events were the same, every spawn point of the enemies was in the same place at the same time and the same enemies. It's all predetermined, and the objective is for you and your team to optimise performance. Speaking of the team, you could only play with people on your friends list and/or in the same Pool, introduced in version 3. That means it's pretty likely you'll keep playing with the same people until someone gets tired.

Splatoon 3 Anarchy Splatcast Eggstra Work Available Now Shiver Frye call up friends Grizzco Eggstra Work dominate team
Shiver and Frye mention friends and a team because Eggstra Work wasn't open to playing with random people.
And... playing with random, uncoordinated people would be conducive to performing poorly in this.

Everything I just mentioned about Eggstra Work makes it the exact opposite of the luck-based Big Run, which is the OTHER special Salmon Run mode brought to you by Grizzco Industries. Even the circumstances are different. While Big Run is a large-scale invasion that the Anarchy Splatcast will interrupt its programming to tell you about because an area you'd normally battle on is being overrun, Eggstra Work is a low-stakes affair that Grizzco Industries needs to buy time on-air to get you to know about. As for the results afterward, Anarchy Splatcast will air them as a news story, while the results of Eggstra Work aren't on Anarchy Splatcast at all (since why would Mr. Grizz pay for that?). You'll need to go to Grizzco Industries to a bouncing bulletin board to check then out. Or see this screenshot:

Splatoon 3 Eggstra Work April 2023 Sockeye Station salmonfaqs results gold trophy score eggs
Ah! I did it! I cleared the top 5% threshold by one egg!
(Of course, I didn't know that'd be the threshold at the time. I thought it'd be higher.)
My reward were three Splashtag badges (for being in the top 50%, 20%, and 5%) and a Gold Chum Sticker for my locker.

While Big Run is hoping for good random number seeds and then adapting to the unforeseen circumstances that you actually are provided, Eggstra Work is all about planning, memorisation, and execution. Doing well in a wave (1.5x or 2x of the assigned quota) will increase the hazard level of the future wave by a certain amount. That increases the difficulty, but it also important for having enough bosses dropping golden eggs actually spawn, since more bosses mean more eggs.

If you know where everything is every time, that means you know which specific geyser the Goldie will pop out of, and the Goldie after that, and after him. You'll know that in Wave 5, the easy way to deal with the first two bosses is for your entire team to stay back behind the basket to lure the Drizzler to your area (where you can slay it as it descends right next to your basket) and then for the Maws to come right to the basket as well, for an easy six eggs without having to go far. Maybe most importantly, you'd know about the directions that the Snatchers will fly in, and if they are going to fly back to the basket area after snatching eggs on the other side of the map, that it is best to not shoot them on their journey as they helpfully bring you far-off eggs for your easy collection. (Shoot them at the end.)

...Or, you would know that if you were being observant and part of a Splatoon community discussing strategies, like I was with salmonfaqs, the pool for the Splatoon 3 Salmon Run community. Without being in that pool, I wouldn't be able to have gotten the 204 eggs, because look at the egg distribution:

Splatoon 3 Eggstra Work Salmon Run April results 204 eggs salmonfaqs KoopaTV Fatalis Fluriby Hyperdon
This was my final result, but the other players went on to get higher scores without me.
In Salmon Run, I'm the type of player that likes to eliminate lesser Salmonid (non-bosses), KO things, and revive my teammates while surviving.
Basically, everything besides being focused on collecting eggs and bringing them to the basket.
And it shows, with Fatalis's amazing 80-egg count compared to my paltry 38 count.

Big Run and Eggstra Work are both civilisation-wide competitions, but Eggstra Work is actually competitive while Big Run is not. It's like the difference between when Nintendo of America was doing the NintendoVS Online Opens (a serious competition with competitive rules designed for the best players to win) alongside the NintendoVS Challenge Cups (an RNG-based affair filled with items and Final Smashes) in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Both were competitions with (real-life) prizes, but it's pretty clear which one was intended to be skill-based. Same thing here.

So I do like Eggstra Work more, but I think I'd also really like Big Run if I played with friends or skilled people more than total random folks. I mean, I do like random-based elements in my games too. It's a different skill set of being able to adapt versus being able to plan ahead. I'm happy that Splatoon 3 offers both of these unique events for Salmon Run—neither of which were ever in Splatoon 2.

Did you play Eggstra Work? Did you please Mr. Grizz? Or, more importantly, did you please yourself and your own expectations?

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