I am not a very good player.
Most ranking dungeons, I’m only skilled enough to get to the top 20%, usually with a fair amount of effort. Being NIAP, I’m also usually making do with a couple of suboptimal pieces. So, ranking dungeons where I might be able to crown are pretty rare — they need to be relatively low-skill and line up with my box. Vampire Tournament looked like it might be one of these.
Or so I thought. Even my best runs were consistently 10s behind reference runs. Which got me thinking: how could I be so far off in a dungeon that required so little comboing?
I recorded a decent run (apologies for the hobo setup; I don’t have a rooted phone so had to use a second device to record). Then I went through frame by frame and compared my run to a reference run. I noted every place where I took more time, whether it was because of skyfall, slow comboing, bad decision-making, or skill use.
I then separated improvements into “skill- or box-based”, or controllable by the player, and “no-skyfall”, meaning if I had had the no-skyfall badge, and compared how my score would have improved under each.
Here are the results.
In this build, 7 of the floors are 1c or swipe. Only 3 floors — Carat, Haku, Vampire — require any kind of comboing. On this run, I took 4.55, 3.7, and 1.63 seconds on those floors (I told you I wasn’t very good).
As you can see from the comparison at the bottom, having no-skyfall would be the equivalent, points-wise, of clearing those floors in 1.6 seconds each.
Put another way, no-skyfall would have been worth 9,923 points. If I had done those three floors in 0.5 seconds each, that’d be worth 12,182 points. That is, no-skyfall badge on this tournament is worth more than 80% of the difference between a top 20% player and the greatest player in the world (someone who combos as fast as most people swipe).
Another thing I discovered that I did not see in the excellent Ranking Strategy guide: if you make exactly 1 combo, the attack numbers on your character portraits bounce once. If you make more than 1 combo, the numbers bounce twice, which costs 0.6s. This is why skyfall hurts a 1c strat so much: your first skyfall combo hurts you both with the extra combo resolve time and the extra bounce time.
u/fether for writing and maintaining the general strategy guide, from which I pulled most of the numbers that made this analysis possible
D Pandas for posting your run and sharing your build.
fluff#2368 for the tournament strategy guide
Hope this helps someone and good luck to those trying to crown!