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Poyang



Joined: Jan 1, 2014
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Alchemistry Questions Reply to this Post
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Hello, I have a few questions about the Alchemistry puzzle. Currently I am Grand-Master oceanwide in ranking, hoping for Ultimate. I use the quicksilver method of filling all the bottles in a combo at the end.

1) Are bigger bottles worth more? Sometimes I get a board with a high number of big bottles (around 4-5), this then ends up scoring an Incredible with 3 stars on every bottle.

2) How many Incredibles does it take to get Ultimate? And does it matter how high the incredibles are? Currently I get a mix of low incredibles and high incredibles. Is this good enough, or do I need to get consistent high incredibles?

3) I still don't understand the scoring. Can someone explain it to me? Currently I'm doing lots of "Fire Burns" and "Toil & Trouble" combo's, and then filling all the bottles at the end with quicksilver. This almost always gets Incredible for me. Is this the way to go?

Thank you all.
[Jan 25, 2014 6:18:56 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
DementedDuck

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Joined: Mar 31, 2006
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Re: Alchemistry Questions Reply to this Post
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Question 1:
Straight from the yppedia section on scoring:
 
You are scored on the value of the bottles you completely fill.
Time spent on the puzzle does not affect the score.
Secondary colors are more valuable than primaries. The secondary formed from the two outer colors is somewhat more valuable than the others.
Filling more than one bottle of the same color at a time grants an increasing bonus.
Filling more than one bottle of different colors grants an increasing multiplier.
All bonuses are applied to all bottles affected.
Bottles with multiple colors required are scored by the average of each, with a slight bonus for each. (An example with completely made-up numbers: a red, red, green bottle on which you got 6, 8, 14, your score would be the average of 6, 8+1 and 14+1, or 10)
High-scoring on the last bottles is not at all wasted.
Making a fill that doesn't clear bottles will not hurt your score.
There is a small score penalty for breaking bottles.

I quoted the whole thing in case there's anything in there you didn't already know. Yes, larger bottles score slightly higher. It's not worth using less colours to fill a larger bottle, though.
Question 2:
  • There's no set number of incredibles necessary to get to ultimate, in any puzzle. Stats are calculated based on your moving average score relative to the rest of the ocean. The threshold for ultimate, therefore, changes all the time (it doesn't change much, but it changes).
  • Yes, it matters how high your increds are. Duty reports give us a fair idea of how well we've scored, but behind every DR there is a raw number score. The average of your scores over the last x games (OOO won't tell us what x is) decides your current rank. The top 1% of scores are ultimate, the next 4.5% are legendary, etc (I don't actually know if that's the correct percentage, but you get the point). It's also widely believed your more recent sessions are weighted more heavily than the older ones.
  • It's been a long time since I've puzzled regularly, so take this with a pinch of salt: you probably need near-consistent high increds to reach ultimate in Alchemistry. This goes for most, if not all labour puzzles, because there are less people doing the puzzles, and the curve is much higher, meaning the thresholds for each rank are higher.
    Question 3:
    I quoted the YPPedia above, but I'll add a few things:
  • The more colours you use in each fill, the higher you score. You obviously already know that. When I hit ultimate, I got at least a Fire Burn on every combo - I made sure of it. If it seems to be impossible to do that, or doing so will leave you in an unfavourable position next round, you can do what's called a waste fill. Pick a bottle you're unlikely to fill entirely, and just route a colour into that. And make sure you use up as many as the less useful pieces as possible, so you'll spawn in new, more useful pieces for next round. Unfilled bottles don't contribute to your score at all (and it's perfectly okay to use that bottle in later fills as long as you never complete it) so there's no harm in this tactic and much to be gained.
  • If you have a red tap on the left and you fill a red bottle on the far right, you'll score slightly higher than if you filled a red bottle on the left. Similarly, if you mix the two colours on the left and right, you'll score higher than if you had mixed the middle colour with one of the others. These bonuses are small and it is never worth sacrificing a higher colour combo for. It's just something to bear in mind, if you ever have to choose between two fills.
  • Is quicksilver the way to go? No. It's not. It's better for puzzle competitions, because if you do, say, five sessions during a comp, your highest quicksilver game is likely to score higher than your highest non-quicksilver game. But filling bottles whenever it suits your board is far more consistent, and much more likely to see you rank up and keep your rank high.
    ----------------------------------------
    Evilduck/Superduck.
    Emerald, Cerulean, and that other one.
    Now in Obsidian flavour.

    I record puzzles.
  • [Jan 25, 2014 10:14:25 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    Poyang



    Joined: Jan 1, 2014
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    Re: Alchemistry Questions Reply to this Post
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    Thanks for taking the time to write all that, which pretty much answers everything.

    Just a follow-up question - how do I know if my Incredible is "high" in Alchemistry? I just need something to assess my performance with. I believed it to be the amount of stars on the bottles - e.g. 3 stars on every bottle was a top incred, am I correct in thinking this?

    I sometimes even get an Incredible with only 1 or 2 3-star bottles and some 2-stars. That's what I consider a low incredible. Is my judgement here fair?

    Also I took the time to watch your Alchemistry videos. Very impressed and I hope to reach that level someday.
    ----------------------------------------
    [Edit 1 times, last edit by Poyang at Jan 25, 2014 12:38:00 PM]
    [Jan 25, 2014 12:36:28 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    DementedDuck

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    Re: Alchemistry Questions Reply to this Post
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    You're right, three stars is the most you can get on each bottle. Your final score will be the total of each completed bottle's points, and the stars are an indication of how many points those bottles have. So more stars = higher score. Once you progress to the point of always having three stars in every bottle, you'll have to use your own judgement to know which increds are better than others.

    And thank you :) good luck reaching ultimate.
    ----------------------------------------
    Evilduck/Superduck.
    Emerald, Cerulean, and that other one.
    Now in Obsidian flavour.

    I record puzzles.
    [Jan 27, 2014 5:45:54 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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