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Print at May 31, 2020 10:53:44 AM

Posted by wrs1864b at May 11, 2009 8:06:36 AM
Re: Conference of the Monarch (Thoughts)
Statistics are fun, but it is always important when looking at an answer to try to remember what the question was, and the purpose of the question.

OOO has collected data from everyone who has puzzled in the last 10 days, and divided that up into the standings we all see from Able to Ultimate. This is a useful statistic for the purposes it is being used for.

People who have played in the last 10 days will be a different population with a different scoring curve than people who are online right now (or typically online at any given time.) Personally, I can't think of what the value of this statistic would be, unless you like to go up to random pirates and compare stats.

A captain of a ship may well be quite interested in "what will the average jobber who applies look like?" That will likely be different than both the online-population and the 10-day-puzzled statistics. This information can't easily be collected in an accurate way. If labor-alting wasn't such a huge problem, shopkeepers would be interested in similar information about who might take jobs.

Another question is "what is the average score from doing a puzzle?" This is what you will see on duty reports, tournament results, crafting puzzles, etc. Again, this information is very hard to collect but is quite likely to be different than any of the other statistics mentioned above.

Pizzahutpete is right that there are even three common definitions of average. For the purposes of how OOO defines the standings, they are:
Mode: The most common value. This almost has to be Able, by definition.
Median: The point where half the population is higher and the other half is lower. This has to be the Able/Distinguished line, by definition.
Mean: There are actually three common ways of defining the Mean, but the most common is the Arithmetic Mean. That is the sum of all scores, divided by the number of scores. Depending on how the the underlying score curve looks, this can indeed be different than the other two definitions of average, but for most real-world cases, it rarely is that far away. (See the central limit theorem for more details.)

Personally, I strongly suspect that all these statistics mentioned above, from the 10-day-puzzled, to the duty reports, are much more similar than many people seem to think. Yes, it is possible that 99% of the players log on for 5 minutes to puzzle once to get a Booched, and the only people who play constantly are the Ults, thus making the average duty report an Incredible, but I see no evidence of that. And, no, handwaving assertions do not count as evidence.

Now, the data I collected shows that the average pirate on a ship has a low-Distiguished/high-Able standing in the primary ship-board puzzles (bilge, carp, and sails). This is probably very closely related to what a captain/XO will see when hiring jobbers, the duty reports you will see on the ships, and the standings of people who regularly do those puzzles. No, it won't be an exact match, but again, I suspect it is much much closer than what many people who read the forums seem to expect.

Now, the data I collected has three primary sources of bias that I can think of, all of which skew the average up above Able.

First, I'm picking only those pirates that actually made it onto a ship, and we all know that many bnavvers/XOs filter out jobbers. I suspect it doesn't skew it a huge amount since these jobbers will likely get jobs on ships that are less restrictive, but it almost certainly skews the average up some.

Second, I can not get information about pirates on navy ships and training missions. This is where players typically go to learn a puzzle and get their stats up so they can get hired. I suspect that this doesn't skew the average up that much since you find a fair number of leg/utls on navy ships just puzzling to improve their scores/techniques/etc.

Third, between the time I do a /who to get a list of ships on the ocean and when I do a /vwho to get a list of pirates on the ships, some ships will have finished their pillages. This can happen quite quickly, the last time I did a survey, the very first ship I queried had already ported, but in general, the ones toward the end will be ships that stay out longer and those will likely be higher-end pillages.

So, argue how you want, but until I see some data that shows that the average pirate is higher than a low-Distinguished, I doubt that you will change my mind.
Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.

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