The Hulk Event - An FAQ

NemekNemek Posts: 1,511
3/6/2014 update: The below was written for the first two iterations of the Hulk Event, so it doesn't 100% apply to events run afterwards. However, the main difference is the old Hulk events rubberbanded against the Main Bracket, while the new Hulk event rubberbands against the Sub-Event. Most of the below still applies, except now you actually need to participate in all of the Sub-Events in order to stay with the pack, and you won't see tons of people have crazy amounts of points in the Sub-Events. Plenty of it still applies, though.

It physically pains me to see all of the same questions over and over and over again and people not bother to look for the answer themselves, so I'm compiling a list of frequently asked questions that should hopefully reduce some of that (and I guess...help people or something.)

To note, I'm not 100% absolutely sure that everything in here will be correct - it's mainly just based on my own and other forum members' experiences and a few assumptions are made. I feel pretty confident about everything, though.

Todo: Strategy Section

Index
  • [goto=HulkEvent]What is The Hulk Event[/goto]?
  • [goto=Structure]How is the event structured[/goto]?
  • [goto=Brackets]How is the event bracketed[/goto]?
  • [goto=Points]How are points accumulated[/goto]?
  • [goto=Stacks]Why do mission points go down after I complete them[/goto]?
  • [goto=Recharge]Do the points on a mission eventually come back[/goto]?
  • [goto=RB]I blame everything bad about this game on Rubberbanding but I dont know what Rubberbanding is can you explain[/goto]?
  • [goto=Fraud]I just completed all of the missions in my Sub-Event to zero points but I m nowhere near first place This game is so stupid and I want a refund for fraud What gives[/goto]?
  • [goto=Penalized]**** So if I get more points by being behind why would I be penalized for playing more[/goto]?
  • [goto=Progression]I was 50 points away from the last progression reward, why are the devs big meanies and how do I get that dollar I gave to them back[/goto]?

[anchor=HulkEvent]What is The Hulk Event?[/anchor]
The Hulk Event is Episode 2.5 for MPQ. It is one of the handful of PvE events that we've had so far.

[anchor=Structure]How is the event structured?[/anchor]
The event is 8.5 days long and uses the Main Event/Sub-Event structure first introduced in The Hunt event a few weeks ago.

Once missions in the Main Event are completed, a Sub-Event is spawned from it. For instance, as I'm currently writing this, there are two missions in the Main Event called Hulk Sighting: West Sahara and Hulk Sightning: Sudan. After completing those missions, Sub-Events Hulk Sighting: West Sahara and Hulk Sightning: Sudan are unlocked on the Events tab of the main MPQ screen.

Each Sub-Event has it's own global length of time - usually 24 hours (though there are some exceptions.) There are usually 5 repeatable missions in each Sub-Event.

[anchor=Brackets]How is the event bracketed?[/anchor]
The Main Event has a global bracket, while each of the Sub-Events have individual 2000 member brackets.

[anchor=Points]How are points accumulated?[/anchor]
There are two sets of points that can be gained in this event: Main Event points and Sub-Event points.

Completing missions in a Sub-Event will accumulate points towards that particular Sub-Event and the Main Event. However, points accumulated in a Sub-Event will not add to the point total of other Sub-Events.

So, if you have Sub-Event A and Sub-Event B. Completing a mission in Sub-Event A will add to your point total for Sub-Event A and the Main Event. Sub-Event B would be unaffected.

[anchor=Stacks]Why do mission points go down after I complete them?[/anchor]
Starting a few PvE events ago, mission 'stacks' became widely used. Each mission in a Sub-Event can be completed for points a certain number of times, for a steadily decreasing number of points. After a set number of completions, the amount of points earned from completing the mission goes to zero. For these Sub-Events, the number of stacks is 5.

So, let's take a fictional mission...

First time you beat it: 100 points
Second: 60
Third: 40
Fourth: 20
Fifth: 10
Sixth: 0

[anchor=Recharge]Do the points on a mission eventually come back?[/anchor]
Yes! After around 8 hours from the time you completed the stack, that missions will start regaining their stacks and points to full. So, if you time yourself correctly, you can complete the same mission 15 times for points during a single Sub-Event.

One thing I'm not too sure about, is how the recharge happens.When stacks recharge, do they recharge from the bottom of the stack up? Or do they recharge completely independently?

[anchor=RB]I blame everything bad about this game on "Rubberbanding", but I don't know what Rubberbanding is, can you explain?[/anchor]

Rubberbanding was introduced in the second PvE event (Heroic Juggs, I think?), with a fair amount of controversy - somewhat due to complicating things and somewhat due to a couple poor implementations (Heroic Venom...).

The concept is as the name implies, the further back you are in points, the farther forward you'll be able to propel yourself. It works by calculating a multiplier every time you complete a mission, and then applies that multiplier to the mission point total.

So, if you complete a mission that is normally worth 10 points and a rubberbanding multiplier of 5x is calculated, then you will receive 50 points for that mission.

For this Event, that multiplier will range in value between 1 and 10 (kind of guessing about 10, but I think it's correct.) The multiplier is determined by the difference in points/rank from the person in first place in the Main Event. Nobody but the devs know what that formula is, exactly (and nobody on the forum has taken the time to try to figure it out themselves...especially since the devs tweak it with every event.)

I'm also guessing about it being based on the person in first place. It could very well be based off the person in 10th place, or the average of the first 10 places. It really doesn't matter THAT much, though - you just need to know that it very highly correlates with the person in first place.

So, let's say you just started the event today, and you are 'infinitely' behind the pack leader...you'll have a rubberbanding multiplier of 10x.

Taking the mission values I made up from a couple questions ago, these missions are now worth:
1st: 1000
2nd: 600
3rd: 400
4th: 200
5th: 100

Players closer to the main event leaderboard will have smaller multipliers. So somebody who is rank 1000 in the overall bracket, might have a multiplier of 5x, so their missions are:

1st: 500
2nd: 300
3rd: 200
4th: 100
5th: 50

However, after they do the mission for 500 points, they are actually now rank 600. So, the value for the second completion will actually be much smaller than 300.

So, you can see that the closer you are to being on top of the main bracket, the fewer points you get.

[anchor=Fraud]I just completed all of the missions in my Sub-Event to zero points, but I'm nowhere near first place. This game is so stupid and I want a refund for fraud. What gives?[/anchor]
There are a couple of reasons this would be true, given all of the above information.
One possible reason is that the person in first place has already done their missions twice, with a recharge in between.
The other reason (which makes up probably 99% of cases), is that they just rubberbanded harder than you had. So let's say that both you and first place dude (or dudette) joined the Sub-Event at the same time, but you were rank 100 in the Main Event and he was rank 10,000 in the Main Event. Since his point total is so much further away from the Main Event first place player, his rubberbanding multiplier is really high. Thus, he gets more points for each of the missions that he would complete as compared to you.

[anchor=Penalized]****! So if I get more points by being behind, why would I be penalized for playing more?[/anchor]
This is the question I hate more than any other on this board.

The short answer is that you're not. Not really, at least. Rubberbanding is designed so that the person who plays the most (with some small caveats expanded on later) will win out in the end for the Main Event.

In the previous scenario, even though the second player is crushing his Sub-Event, they are likely STILL behind you in the Main Event, assuming you've completed the exact same number of missions as they had in that particular Sub-Event. Rubberbanding is (in theory) designed so that everybody keeps their same place in the Main Event bracket, for the same amount of work. What rubberbanding achieves is that the number of points between those two players will become smaller and smaller.

[anchor=Progression]I was 50 points away from the last progression reward, why are the devs big meanies, and how do I get that dollar I gave to them back?[/anchor]

One thing that rubberbanding introduced was an added concept of the player base helping each other out to get the progression rewards. Since the rubberbanding multiplier is based heavily on the point total for the player in first place, the progression rewards achieved by each player is very largely dependent on what the people at the top do. Since the players in the top 10 are not affected by a rubberbanding multiplier, every point gained by the person in 1st place is essentially a point towards everybody getting to the higher progression rewards.

So, if you find yourself falling short of a certain progression reward at the end of the event, the appropriate split of blame follows as such:
90% - The overall playerbase (particularly those at the top)
9.99% - You
0.01% - The developers.

Does Facebook have more privacy than MySpace?
Sure, Tom Brady has had a great season with the team he has had, but Peyton Manning has had one of the greatest seasons ever. Definitely deserves the MVP.

More to come...
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Comments

  • NemekNemek Posts: 1,511
    edited December 2013
    So what everybody really wants to know is how to do well in this event.

    It's an inexact science, so this will be even more guessing than the previous section and there will be a lot more room for disagreement. But here you go...

    A lot of your strategy event is really based on what your goals are. Do you want to get top 300 in the main event? Do you want to be 4/4 on all of the mission rewards? Do you want to be top 10 in a sub-event? Do you want to spend as little time as possible?

    The Main Event

    Here we'll talk about how to place as high as possible in the Main Event and a lot of the theory that goes along with it. To recap a little bit, you'll have to remember that there are a certain number of Sub-Events where you'll get your points. Particularly, there are 16 individual events, that mainly come in 24 hour pairs, except for one set that comes in a 4-pack (when we recruit Hulk). In total, there are 7 total segments of time throughout the entire event to be aware of (when the set of sub-event end.)

    The end of each segment is what is important to understand, because it is a direct indication of where you stand in the overall event. Often, players reach up into the top 300 during the middle of a segment/Sub-Event, and start to believe that they are a top 300 player and expect to finish around there. This is a lie. The only rank that matters is the one at the end of the sub-event, everything in between is just for bragging rights.

    Another thing to understand is how to maximize the number of points you get from playing a segment. The most points achievable follows this method:
    • Play as soon as the segment starts. Do all of the missions for all of their points as soon as possible.
    • 8-10 hours later, do all of the missions for all of the points.
    • 1.5-2 hours before the end of the segment (or however long it takes you to do all of the points), do all of the missions again. It's important that you do this as close as possible to the end of the segment.

    So, that's what I consider playing optimally.

    Obviously, playing optimally for all of the sub-events is a lesson in depression. I don't have 4 hours a day to grind missions...I'd go crazy. Some of the missions are hard, too!

    So how do I rack up the points if I don't want to play optimally? Well, you need to think about the end of the event and then work backwards.

    We discussed earlier that rubberbanding doesn't actually make people who were behind somehow jump to the front, it just reduces the amount of points between them (given the same effort). If you are ahead in the bracket (indicated by being so at the end of a segment), then you will be able to win out against everybody behind you in the bracket, given you put in the same amount of grinding as they do.

    So, let's say that you are #500 in the second-to-last segment and want to be #200 in the last segment (the final one). Since rubberbanding doesn't really jump you spots, even if you played optimally for the last segment, you would need to rely on 300 players playing worse than you in that particular segment. In the last segment, that's unlikely, because people are likely to try hard to keep their spots.

    Ok...then I guess you really want to be top #300 at the end of the second-to-last segment. But, you can apply that logic all the way to the beginning of the event. In order to guarantee you #300 at the end of the overall event, you need to be top 300 at the end of the second-to-last segment...and then you need to be top #300 at the third-to-last segment, and so on. On top of that, to guarantee that you play as well or better than everybody behind you, you'll want to play fairly optimally, too.

    You can start to see that if everybody always played optimally, then the people who were top 300 in the first segment, will win the entire event at the end, since they could never lose their spots. Obviously, this isn't likely to happen - I'd personally be shocked if anybody played optimally for the whole event.

    Ok then, how do I get top 300 at the end without playing optimally the entire event?

    It obviously depends on how much everybody else plays, but the thing you need to note is that you want to place as high as possible at the end of each segment (which basically requires that you play during that last hour or two). And, if you don't play much of a particular segment, and you finish 10000+ at the end of that segment, you lost much of your work from the previous segments. You'd now need to hope that 9700 players play 'worse' than you the rest of the event. (Which...isn't that hard to believe, 99.9% of people who play this event are not looking to maximize points, anyway.)

    Getting a Top Finish in a Sub-Event
    I personally think it's kind of pointless, so I'm actually not going to write anything about it, the reward difference between 5th and 600th are pretty minimal in my eyes. You just need to understand that people who have skipped a sub-event or two are most likely to win these since rubberbanding will give them a ton of points for that particular sub-event.
  • ROFLSTOMP. Funniest. FAQ. Ever.
  • well put thanks for putting all this info into one play Namek icon_e_smile.gif
  • Well done, Nemek. Well done.
  • Very nice work, Nemek, thanks for putting it all together and writing it up!
  • Nemek isn't a braggart, and forgot to mention that he placed in the Top 10 in the 1st round. I ended up in 10th, and can confirm the strategy he outlined above is what got me there.

    I also have to own up to some up of my complaining at the end of The Hunt. I now realize that my not maximizing the second to last sub (I was out with friends) is what pushed me out of Punisher range. I greatly regret my squawking after that event ended. TL;DR - Nemek is wise and generous. Listen, learn, grow strong, and prosper.
  • I bet people will read this, do the missions right away ala optimal strategy, then forget or become lazy to do the repeats on time.
  • I think the changes in overall placement occurs once you get into those 3Xlevel 240+ guys, because they offer far more points than the rest of the missions, so not doing those missions the maximum number of times will allow someone behind you to easily pass you up. Of course, beating those missions around 20 times in a span of 24 hours can be quite challenging in itself.

    Based on last event I'm guessing you need at least 49600 points before the last sub-bracket ends (12h before the event finishes) to get the 50K punisher cover. It might even be more than that (would need someone who finished 50K to make sure). Looking at the point totals available to my missions, I think you can hit 49.6K if you grinded out everything in the last 2 sub brackets, but that includes the multiple level 240+ guys fights.

    To play optimally for the overall bracket, all you have to do is just play immediately after you see the overall score leader jump up by a considerable margin. This is because rubberband only depends on the top guy, so if that guy just finished playing, you might as well play too (unless your missions won't refresh again but his will, then you got to wait).

    For the sub-brackets, do every mission once the first time they become available, and then check your position and your bracket's leader. If you're top 100 or better you can try to push for the HP tiers. Otherwise you should try to keep your rating around 600 or 800th place (depending on if you want heroic or powered up tokens), and if you're way below (like 1000+) after doing everything once, you might have to cut your losses, especially if it's an 'easy' bracket, because you can't count on being able to grind really hard missions to pull you up.
  • Good information about the event. During the first event, I didn't play every mission, and ended up with around 46,000 at the end (just a little shy of the 50K punisher).

    Was thinking about this time, doing every mission as I have a Punisher now and am higher level, but don't know if playing every mission will eliminate rubberbanding and then might end up getting less than what I got the first time....ehhh, just don't know.
  • For a point of reference, the last event it was around the #70 guy who had exactly 50K points. While the Punisher cover is not a relative reward, it gives you an idea of what kind of effort is needed. That said, you don't need to seriously grind until the last few days.
  • Phantron wrote:
    For a point of reference, the last event it was around the #70 guy who had exactly 50K points. While the Punisher cover is not a relative reward, it gives you an idea of what kind of effort is needed. That said, you don't need to seriously grind until the last few days.

    Ok, was thinking about that. Don't want to grind now to get 2 extra points LoL Personally, my punisher is at 3/3/3, so I'm in desperate need to get only 1 extra cover.
  • Thanks for FAQ!

    I'm just gonna focus on staying in the top 1000 on the main board. Doesn't seem too hard at this point. I basically do each of the missions 2-3 times per 12 cycle and I stay top 200 in sub-events and top 1000 in main event so far. Having a hard time staying in top 200 due to incredibly low point values available to me on day 2. I guess I've been punished for placing top 200 in the first 2 sub-events?
  • Hoodoo wrote:
    Thanks for FAQ!

    I'm just gonna focus on staying in the top 1000 on the main board. Doesn't seem too hard at this point. I basically do each of the missions 2-3 times per 12 cycle and I stay top 200 in sub-events and top 1000 in main event so far. Having a hard time staying in top 200 due to incredibly low point values available to me on day 2. I guess I've been punished for placing top 200 in the first 2 sub-events?

    No, it's hard to stay at the overall top because there are plenty of guys grinding just as hard as you. You're competing against guys who are grinding the mission down to 0 on every refresh.

    For the sub-brackets, part of it is luck. If your sub-bracket have a lot of people who are way behind, there's no possible chance for you to catch up to them if you're not equally behind. For what it's worth, I finished top 4 and top 100 on the first 2 sub brackets. My next 2 sub-brackets are top 800, and right now it looks like I"ll get 2X top 800 again (one of my bracket I'm sitting at 300th place but I think I'll just let my rank slide). There's no way around the fact that each good placement is offset by at least by one (and usually more than one) bad finishes after. Note that finshing between 101 to 599 is pretty much the worst placement in the sub-bracket. You're not high enough to get the HP award, and you could've gotten the token at 600th place (or even 800th place if you just want a heroic, and right now I'd prefer a generic heroic anyway). Of course, you can't get your placement that exact, but you should be aiming to place as close to 600/800th place as possible when it is clear you've no shot at making top 100.
  • Mad props for the effort put into this.

    I really like our community.
  • Maybe it was just the holidays, but I played far from optimally and still got top 300 finish, around 150 I think. Some sub events I only farmed once, none more than twice - I read 12 hrs early on and never tried to do 3 times for any sub-bracket. I was only 85 points short of the Punisher cover progress reward.

    I'm not even trying this second time around. I've remembered that I like playing other games besides just Puzzle Quest.
  • Good information about the event. During the first event, I didn't play every mission, and ended up with around 46,000 at the end (just a little shy of the 50K punisher).\

    That's not "a little shy". I was 31 points off. HulkSmash was 5 points off. That's a little shy. Nearly 10% off is not a "little shy" -- considering that 4k is more than I earned between both final sub events.

    Unless the leader gets massively higher points this time, don't expect rubber banding to get you a red Punisher. I did a lot of grinding the first time and didn't make it.
  • Phantron wrote:
    Hoodoo wrote:
    Thanks for FAQ!

    I'm just gonna focus on staying in the top 1000 on the main board. Doesn't seem too hard at this point. I basically do each of the missions 2-3 times per 12 cycle and I stay top 200 in sub-events and top 1000 in main event so far. Having a hard time staying in top 200 due to incredibly low point values available to me on day 2. I guess I've been punished for placing top 200 in the first 2 sub-events?

    No, it's hard to stay at the overall top because there are plenty of guys grinding just as hard as you. You're competing against guys who are grinding the mission down to 0 on every refresh.

    For the sub-brackets, part of it is luck. If your sub-bracket have a lot of people who are way behind, there's no possible chance for you to catch up to them if you're not equally behind. For what it's worth, I finished top 4 and top 100 on the first 2 sub brackets. My next 2 sub-brackets are top 800, and right now it looks like I"ll get 2X top 800 again (one of my bracket I'm sitting at 300th place but I think I'll just let my rank slide). There's no way around the fact that each good placement is offset by at least by one (and usually more than one) bad finishes after. Note that finshing between 101 to 599 is pretty much the worst placement in the sub-bracket. You're not high enough to get the HP award, and you could've gotten the token at 600th place (or even 800th place if you just want a heroic, and right now I'd prefer a generic heroic anyway). Of course, you can't get your placement that exact, but you should be aiming to place as close to 600/800th place as possible when it is clear you've no shot at making top 100.

    I'm not grinding hard at all, this time I'm not even taking them down to 0 points.

    Why is getting 600-800 in each event better? Does this boost the points in the main event and subsequent side events and make me have to grind less?
  • NemekNemek Posts: 1,511
    Hoodoo wrote:
    Phantron wrote:
    Hoodoo wrote:
    Thanks for FAQ!

    I'm just gonna focus on staying in the top 1000 on the main board. Doesn't seem too hard at this point. I basically do each of the missions 2-3 times per 12 cycle and I stay top 200 in sub-events and top 1000 in main event so far. Having a hard time staying in top 200 due to incredibly low point values available to me on day 2. I guess I've been punished for placing top 200 in the first 2 sub-events?

    No, it's hard to stay at the overall top because there are plenty of guys grinding just as hard as you. You're competing against guys who are grinding the mission down to 0 on every refresh.

    For the sub-brackets, part of it is luck. If your sub-bracket have a lot of people who are way behind, there's no possible chance for you to catch up to them if you're not equally behind. For what it's worth, I finished top 4 and top 100 on the first 2 sub brackets. My next 2 sub-brackets are top 800, and right now it looks like I"ll get 2X top 800 again (one of my bracket I'm sitting at 300th place but I think I'll just let my rank slide). There's no way around the fact that each good placement is offset by at least by one (and usually more than one) bad finishes after. Note that finshing between 101 to 599 is pretty much the worst placement in the sub-bracket. You're not high enough to get the HP award, and you could've gotten the token at 600th place (or even 800th place if you just want a heroic, and right now I'd prefer a generic heroic anyway). Of course, you can't get your placement that exact, but you should be aiming to place as close to 600/800th place as possible when it is clear you've no shot at making top 100.

    I'm not grinding hard at all, this time I'm not even taking them down to 0 points.

    Why is getting 600-800 in each event better? Does this boost the points in the main event and subsequent side events and make me have to grind less?

    I suspect so it's easier to get 600/800 in the next sub-event.
  • Nemek wrote:

    I suspect so it's easier to get 600/800 in the next sub-event.

    That's not actually challenging regardless of how well you did in previous ones though.. as far as I can tell : icon_lol.gif
  • If your total points are high enough, sometimes it becomes downright impossible to place even top 800 in a sub-bracket due to rubberbanding, and presumably you want to at least walk away with a heroic token out of every sub-bracket unless you've some very different criteria on what's valuable. For a point of reference, I placed top 4, top 100, top 800, top 800, and likely top 800 X 2 and my overall placement is 131st right now. As you can see, it's taking quite a few top 800 placements to undo the first top 4, and my overall placement is certanly quite high. I estimated I was doing about 1.5 out of the 3 full cycles of available missions (1 cycle defined as grinding everything to 0 whenever possible), so it's not exactly trivial work to even finish top 800. So if instead of getting top 800 I got say top 200 in one of the bracket, that means I'd have to grind that much harder in another bracket to even finish top 800.

    Mind you, you shouldn't tank to the point where you'd miss the red Punisher cover (50K) or top 1500 overall ranking, but as my numbers show, I'm trying to tank and still within top 300 easily, so there's no reason to work extra hard because that only means I've to work even harder later on another sub-bracket. At some point you'll have to grind to make a push for the 50K for the red Punisher cover, but certainly not at where the total point is still less than 2K for the overall leader.
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