Interesting CS Response on Shuttle Probabilities

edited March 13 in The Bridge
I've been running Federation missions lately, and since there are two Fed missions that just require a single diplomacy-skilled crew, I noticed something odd. I sorted my crew by diplomacy and assigned my highest crew, an immortalized Bashir Julian Bashir to the first mission. Then I did it again with my new highest diplomacy crew for the second mission. The numbers on these crew:

Bashir Julian Bashir, with boosts, has 1120 base DIP with +101-209 proficiency
Ambassador Shras, wish boosts, has 1031 base DIP with +58-118 proficiency

I assigned no shuttle boosts to either. It should have been a controlled experiment, everything equal except the crew. But the first shuttle gave me a probable success rate of 67%, and the second gave me a probable success rate of 68%!

So I politely asked customer service if that was right, and they said yes (and for what it's worth they got back to me within 24 hours AND apologized for the delay). Maybe y'all know this already, but apparently the shuttle missions don't just rely on the highest crew numbers, and apparently sorting your crew by the requested skill doesn't actually sort it by the best crew for that mission! I had no clue. It's in keeping with the parts of this game I dislike (bizarre secrecy, a sorting interface that pretends to help but doesn't, an overwhelming reliance on RNG or in this case a similar sense that even here you can't win by getting higher numbers), but it's just a single percentage point. Ridiculous, but that's DB.

Anyway, here's the full response from customer service if anyone's interested:

Do not copy/paste private exchanges between you and PS, as per our Community Guidelines. Thank you. ˜Shan

Comments

  • VeleiaVeleia ✭✭
    Yet one more source of the frustration that is systematically driving players away. :(
    "There are two types of beings in the universe - those who dance, and those who do not."
  • That has been the official answer as far as shuttle missions are concerned since forever. I have simply accepted it and decided to roll with it. Besides, if your shuttle percentages are consistent, and you play consistently, you will also get into the top 1000 on a regular basis. My personal expectations are to win 2.6 to 2.8 out of each 4 missions on the average. That guarantees you a top 1000 for sure.
  • IronagedaveIronagedave ✭✭✭
    edited March 13
    Personally I think, and ok people may shoot me here, but I prefer it this way, I don't think it should be purely a hits the right stat. It has to be about selecting the right crew... what's that a Cardassian successfully completed escorting a Maquis VIP...... NVM
  • DB's percentages mean nothing because they are still based on random chance. So why bother giving us a percentage at all...
    239 Immortalized
    Gametag: ECH
  • edited March 13
    Last shuttle event: 7 shuttle missions in row, all with 3 seats all came up at 95%, all seven with three bonus event crew each ......7 failures in a row. Ticket submitted. PARAPHRASED answer was the "odds" (read percentage) are based on a system wide approach to success and failure and are not account based. Huh? :neutral: So I guess you can throw away your formulas, they mean nothing.
    Dear DB: Non sequitur. Your facts are uncoordinated.
  • DralixDralix ✭✭✭✭✭
    DB's percentages mean nothing because they are still based on random chance. So why bother giving us a percentage at all...

    There may well be issues with the shuttle success rates, but this comment makes no sense.

    Suppose you roll a single six sided die, and every time it comes up 1, 2, or 3 I give you a dollar. That's based on random chance, but you still have a 50% chance of winning every roll.
  • Dralix wrote: »
    DB's percentages mean nothing because they are still based on random chance. So why bother giving us a percentage at all...

    There may well be issues with the shuttle success rates, but this comment makes no sense.

    Suppose you roll a single six sided die, and every time it comes up 1, 2, or 3 I give you a dollar. That's based on random chance, but you still have a 50% chance of winning every roll.

    Yes, but what's the point in providing us a % chance of winning if there is only two sides of the coin? You either win or lose. The crew you put on the shuttle doesn't change anything since your chance of winning is still left to random. DB's own staff have told me the percentages do not matter.
    239 Immortalized
    Gametag: ECH
  • Althea BiermontAlthea Biermont ✭✭✭✭✭
    Maybe paraphrase the comment you received so it meets the guidelines.
  • DralixDralix ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, but what's the point in providing us a % chance of winning if there is only two sides of the coin? You either win or lose. The crew you put on the shuttle doesn't change anything since your chance of winning is still left to random.

    Suppose we change my game so I only give you a dollar if it comes up 1. You still either win or lose. But the first game is better for you.

    DB's own staff have told me the percentages do not matter.

    I'm sure there was a misunderstanding somewhere in your exchange, and no one meant to say that regardless of the crew on shuttles or displayed success, they all have the same chance of succeeding.
  • PallidynePallidyne ✭✭✭✭✭
    Dralix wrote: »
    Yes, but what's the point in providing us a % chance of winning if there is only two sides of the coin? You either win or lose. The crew you put on the shuttle doesn't change anything since your chance of winning is still left to random.

    Suppose we change my game so I only give you a dollar if it comes up 1. You still either win or lose. But the first game is better for you.

    DB's own staff have told me the percentages do not matter.

    I'm sure there was a misunderstanding somewhere in your exchange, and no one meant to say that regardless of the crew on shuttles or displayed success, they all have the same chance of succeeding.

    Or the CS agent screwed up. You've got two humans so two points of potential failure to communicate.
  • There are some of us trying to log our shuttle display vs. actual success rate. More data is always welcome.

    https://goo.gl/forms/POtXyD6EJhc7yxmy1

    PM me if you have a large amount of data to contribute.
  • DralixDralix ✭✭✭✭✭
    Pallidyne wrote: »
    Or the CS agent screwed up. You've got two humans so two points of potential failure to communicate.

    I didn't mean to put it all on the player.
  • I'd pull up a picture but I'm not allowed. That and I doubt I still have it. It was from 2016. :)
    239 Immortalized
    Gametag: ECH
  • guest_7456guest_7456 ✭✭
    edited March 13
    So, having read the pre-snipped comment, I believe the CS rep was actually describing the actually success formula. Adding crew in different orders may make it look like you are getting "less" out of them if you add them later. I.E., using my current crew adding Princess Jadzia to a SCI slot yields 26% success and adding Pel to a second slot raises it to 45% (a 19% marginal increase for Pel). If I add them to the same slots, in the opposite order, Pel alone has a 28% success and together they, again, have 45% (17% marginal gain by Jadzia).

    I think this is a case of a CS rep mistaking (or obfuscating if you're in 'DB is being intentionally misleading' camp) two similar concepts.

    FWIW, the formula for shuttle success HAS been reverse-engineered:
    https://stt.wiki/wiki/Faction_Missions
    Success = 1/(1+e^(3.5(0.5-AvgSkill/Difficulty)))
    
    AvgSkill = average skill of characters across all slots
    Difficulty = a constant based on the current difficulty level of the mission
    

    Not that it's what you asked, but this formula ALSO provides the reason why you still see shuttle success even with "trivial" amounts of skill. If you substitute in "0" for AvgSkill (which negates any non-zero value of 'Difficulty') you arrive at ~14% success, even with no one on it.

    I missed the CS exchange, but if it's as you describe they must have missed the point that it was a comparison of single slot missions.

    At any rate, OP's info suggests that the difficulty value is not fixed based on your success/fail record and either varies based on the specific mission or is randomly generated within a range.

    Based on the formula, the first mission had a difficulty of 1595 and the second was 1441 (or there about depending on rounding error.) I imagine the OP was trying to figure out the reason for this difference.

    Also, can someone double check my math?
    Difficulty=AvgSkill/(0.5-(ln(1/Success-1)/3.5))
    
  • Peachtree RexPeachtree Rex ✭✭✭✭✭
    guest_7456 wrote: »
    Also, can someone double check my math?
    Difficulty=AvgSkill/(0.5-(ln(1/Success-1)/3.5))
    

    Looks right to me.
  • Travis S McClainTravis S McClain ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's late and I'm groggy, so lemme be sure I get it.

    You sent Shuttle #1 with Bashir, Julian Bashir at a 67% success rate.
    You then sent Shuttle #2 with Ambassador Shras at a 68% success rate.
    Bashir's base DIP > Shras's base DIP

    I feel compelled to ask if Shuttle #1 succeeded or failed. It's long been speculated that the game determines whether a shuttle will succeed or fail when it's sent, not when it returns, and this can affect the set difficulty of the next shuttle. Did Shuttle #1 fail? If so, it seems possible that Shras benefited from Bashir's failure by getting a slightly less difficult mission.
  • Like I said, I've been running Federation missions non-stop lately, so I've had the same scenario a few times, and if I'm not mistaken I've had both fail, both pass, and only one pass, though I'm not positive. I'll keep an eye out in the future, because I'm still running em.

    Re: original post, I think I paraphrased it well enough before the snippage (Sorry, didn't realize that wasn't allowed btw). And re-reading my correspondence, I don't see any miscommunication. One thing the customer service rep specified is that even if the missions *appear* to be equal in all respects except the crew selection, they're not. Or as other posters have pointed out, there are different difficulties involved. What I really should have done (and will do when the situation arises again) is check both crew on the exact same mission instead of one that just looks like it should be the same because it has the same crew requirements.

    Thanks for the info y'all.
  • Peachtree RexPeachtree Rex ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's late and I'm groggy, so lemme be sure I get it.

    You sent Shuttle #1 with Bashir, Julian Bashir at a 67% success rate.
    You then sent Shuttle #2 with Ambassador Shras at a 68% success rate.
    Bashir's base DIP > Shras's base DIP

    I feel compelled to ask if Shuttle #1 succeeded or failed. It's long been speculated that the game determines whether a shuttle will succeed or fail when it's sent, not when it returns, and this can affect the set difficulty of the next shuttle. Did Shuttle #1 fail? If so, it seems possible that Shras benefited from Bashir's failure by getting a slightly less difficult mission.

    If difficulty was adjusting as shuttles were sent (not opened) it would be very easy to observe during an event. In that situation, you would (sometimes) see batches of 4 shuttles sent out that came back with different values (so long as you were opening/sending one at a time).

    While you wouldn't expect it to happen all the time, it would happen often enough and would be very easy to spot (shuttles coming back with varying point values). I have never seen this happen except for situations where I would expect different point values (missions were opened at different times).
  • DB's percentages mean nothing because they are still based on random chance. So why bother giving us a percentage at all...

    This is quite true! I and many others have had several times, shuttles with more than 95% of success rate and still fail the mission! >:) :s :'(
  • Travis S McClainTravis S McClain ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's late and I'm groggy, so lemme be sure I get it.

    You sent Shuttle #1 with Bashir, Julian Bashir at a 67% success rate.
    You then sent Shuttle #2 with Ambassador Shras at a 68% success rate.
    Bashir's base DIP > Shras's base DIP

    I feel compelled to ask if Shuttle #1 succeeded or failed. It's long been speculated that the game determines whether a shuttle will succeed or fail when it's sent, not when it returns, and this can affect the set difficulty of the next shuttle. Did Shuttle #1 fail? If so, it seems possible that Shras benefited from Bashir's failure by getting a slightly less difficult mission.

    If difficulty was adjusting as shuttles were sent (not opened) it would be very easy to observe during an event. In that situation, you would (sometimes) see batches of 4 shuttles sent out that came back with different values (so long as you were opening/sending one at a time).

    While you wouldn't expect it to happen all the time, it would happen often enough and would be very easy to spot (shuttles coming back with varying point values). I have never seen this happen except for situations where I would expect different point values (missions were opened at different times).

    Just something that occurred to me to float. I don't pay enough attention to my shuttles in events to notice any trends whatsoever. I'm content to chalk up all the percentages and whether things succeed or fail to wizardry, and send out some more shuttles when the last ones return.
  • ~peregrine~~peregrine~ ✭✭✭
    It's late and I'm groggy, so lemme be sure I get it.

    You sent Shuttle #1 with Bashir, Julian Bashir at a 67% success rate.
    You then sent Shuttle #2 with Ambassador Shras at a 68% success rate.
    Bashir's base DIP > Shras's base DIP

    I feel compelled to ask if Shuttle #1 succeeded or failed. It's long been speculated that the game determines whether a shuttle will succeed or fail when it's sent, not when it returns, and this can affect the set difficulty of the next shuttle. Did Shuttle #1 fail? If so, it seems possible that Shras benefited from Bashir's failure by getting a slightly less difficult mission.

    If difficulty was adjusting as shuttles were sent (not opened) it would be very easy to observe during an event. In that situation, you would (sometimes) see batches of 4 shuttles sent out that came back with different values (so long as you were opening/sending one at a time).

    While you wouldn't expect it to happen all the time, it would happen often enough and would be very easy to spot (shuttles coming back with varying point values). I have never seen this happen except for situations where I would expect different point values (missions were opened at different times).

    Just something that occurred to me to float. I don't pay enough attention to my shuttles in events to notice any trends whatsoever. I'm content to chalk up all the percentages and whether things succeed or fail to wizardry, and send out some more shuttles when the last ones return.

    Somewhere, Sir Arthur C. Clarke is smiling. 🖖🏻
    "In the short run, the game defines the players. But in the long run, it's us players who define the game." -- Nicky Case, The Evolution of Trust
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