Sail scoring

From YPPedia
Opinion.gif The values used in this article are for the purposes of demonstrating relative values only.
The actual mechanical values behind the puzzle are undisclosed.

Basic points

Points in sailing are based on balls cleared. Clearing one ball is worth one point. Solid blocks are worth two points. Balls in a target (also called platform) are worth two points.

Consistently clearing 4's without any bonuses removes balls as fast as they come in, however does NOT give acceptable performance. Basic efficiency is based on each ball having a cost of 2 (each drop having a cost of 4), giving plain 4's an efficiency of 50%, while giving single target clears, without any bonus, a 100% efficiency.

[Wyriel] Cost is a confusing term -- one subtracts costs from points/rewards/currency. What is being done here is division, not subtraction. The point is to rescale points per ball so that a score like '1' means 'the same thing' in each puzzle. (1 == 100%). One might be able to rescale points so that 1 == Good on all puzzles, but it is easily the case that on such a scale an excellent in carpentry is 2 and an incredible is 2.5, whereas an excellent in sails might be 3 and an incredible might be 10.

Puzzling performance is based on percentiles, which is a nonlinear scale (division is a linear transformation) -- in particular, 1% == ultimate == incredible [lizthegrey confirms in forum threads on b-navving]. The incredible mark is, thus, the average performance of the bottommost ult -- if there are 1000 sailors, than the 10th best sailor determines exactly how many pts per ball one needs on average to get incredible. Similar calculations determine where the excellent, good, etc., cutoffs are. So what one really wants information about is what kinds of combos are presently needed on a given ocean to hit excellent/incredible/'inconceivable' [presumably no one reading this page is aiming for good or lower], where 'inconceivable' is the average performance of the very best sailors, i.e., the 99.9th percentile instead of the 99th percentile. Also referred to as 'high incredible'.

Combo factor

In sails, clearing a combo (2 sets -- two rows, or a row and a column at the same time) is believed to not give any bonus. Sails is strictly about the cascades.

[Wyriel] It is also believed to give a bonus, by me. A small, and thus difficult to notice, bonus. Try comparing the size of text on, say, a bingo + 2 extra simultaneous bingo clears to the size of text on a vanilla vegas.

Cascade factor

Cascades in sails are believed to be straight increasing multipliers. The third step in a cascade (triple) is worth 3 times the normal value.

While successive vegases display only "Vegas" it is believed, by those who regularly build them, that the multiplier is not capped at x6, even though the description is.

The main evidence for this is that the "vegas-ults" are normally top of the DR, but not top of the ultimate list -- early grapples and booches are devastating to a full screen multi-vegas, but not to platform heavy triples.

"Platform Bonus"

Clearing a platform as the first step in a cascade gives a small bonus. The exact amount of this is not known.

[Wyriel] It is unlikely that there is such a bonus, as the in-game hints strongly suggest that placing a normal clear in front of a platform is A Good Idea. I think the text that displays -- 'Target Bonus' -- just means that one did something significant, as opposed to a boring normal clear. Other significant single clears also generate text -- 5,6,7,8 in a row, for example. Simultaneous long single clears actually generate 2 messages, interestingly enough (clearing a 5 and a 6 simultaneously shows 'Great' and 'Excellent'). Anyways, even if there is such a bonus, it is small enough that it is, in fact, a Good Idea to start one's combos with a normal clear. That is, if one has to choose between a k-step combo on platforms only and a k+1-step combo on k platforms and 1 normal clear at the beginning, do the latter.

Sample effective scores

A pair of fixed spots used with the first piece to create a 4 in a row is worth 2 points for the piece played, and 4 points for the two fixed pieces, giving 6 points for a cost of 4. This is 150% efficiency, and sparkly. It goes without saying that this is not maintainable, but is more of an initial luck factor. Moreover one loses the sparkly very fast, as it is only 6 points -- the very next move reduces the efficiency to below 100%. A different/better use for these is to setup a cheaper trigger for a cascade; perhaps pulling of a triple using 5 drops instead of 6, for example.

Scoring a simple double into a platform will score 4 for the single, and 8*2 for 4 pieces in a platform, for 20 points earned, and a cost (assuming no waste) of 16 points (8 balls). This is 125% efficiency, but will be hard to maintain.

If only half of the balls that land can be used in a platform, then even with a double, each ball will score 4 (2 for being in a platform, 2 for being doubled), with a cost of 4. This looks like 100% efficiency, but the trigger for the double will NOT score that much. A typical set up will be 2 pairs, with one waste, to set up the platform, and four more pairs to set up the trigger and double. This is 6 drops (12 balls, 24 total cost), scoring 20 points. While this gives an efficiency of less than 100%, this is usually enough for yellow sails (note that this will vary from ocean to ocean). It can be done in 4 drops, but one has to get just the right drops. On the other hand, one can setup two of these at once using 4 drops each, and the final efficiency will be the same. Using 4 drops would get 125% efficiency.

Cascading a platform to a platform for a double, with the same setup (2 pairs plus one waste per platform, a 5th pair to trigger) will score 8 plus 16 = 24 points, plus a small platform bonus for the first platform (probably 4 points), or 28 points for a cost of 5 drops (20 points), or 140%. Or 120% if there is no platform bonus. It can be done in 4 drops if one is lucky or builds multiple combos at once. With no platform bonus that has an efficiency of 150%. One can also reuse the 'waste' pieces from prior combos as free moves in order to eventually end up with a series of, effectively, perfect double platform combos.

A plain triple onto a platform, with no platform cascades, will generate 4 + 8 + 24, at a cost of 2 drops to set up the platform, and 6 drops to set up the single and double trigger. This is 8 drops, or a cost of 32, and a score of 36, for an efficiency of 112.5%. Note that this is not as good as the two platform double. Again, it can be done in 6 drops through luck or planning, especially in the long-term. Done this way one gets 36/24 or 150% efficiency, and is as good as the perfect platform double.

The "ultimate triple" is a plain single onto a platform followed by a platform. This is 4 + 16 + 24 = 44 points. If one can do this in the absolute minimum drops, in the long-term, then that is 6 drops or a cost of 24, which works out to about 188% efficiency.

Finally, a V^4, or a quad-vegas, should be worth 4 + 8 + 16 + ... + 36 = 180 pts. If done perfectly, which is unlikely, that is 18 drops or a cost of 72. If one were to do 22 drops instead, at a cost of 88, the efficiency works out to just over 200%. Throwing a platform into the combo anywhere boosts efficiency nicely, especially ending on one. If one does not play super fast, this is a sufficient number of points to be sparkly all by itself (even against 30 drops it has an efficiency of 150%), meaning that one would have a full 3 minutes of sparkly sails before it would be necessary to break another combo.

Notice that it is very important to make scores by cascading from platform to platform, reducing waste (luck or multiple combo builds), and recycling waste. Or build insanely large without booching or getting interrupted.

Long-term scoring

Sailing does not generate a score on most moves. High end sailors will generate a large scoring move occasionally, with lots of zero scores inbetween. As long as the total of the scores in the scoring frame (the last three minutes) is sufficient, the indicator will stay sparkly.

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Important disclaimer: All point values used within these pages reflect relative values and weights as determined by players. No developer has commented on the current accuracy of any of these. Any forum post from developers that gave point scoring information is from pre-release days (pre-Midnight), and potentially has been changed. In particular, sailing (at least) has been known to have had major changes to scoring at least once. Use at your own risk. Past performance is no guarantee of future potential. Scoring may be changed in any update. Star levels do change the challenges that you face, and may change the scoring; the same play at different star levels may score differently. While this is known to be true in bilge, it potentially may be true in any puzzle.