Escape from Tarkov

Posts not including server, day of the week and time of day | Part deuce

I made a post yesterday about how your server, what day you're playing and time you're playing (in-game and IRL) play crucial roles regarding in-game experience yet, IMO, are hardly ever mentioned in posts complaining about things like lack of PMCs, too many Chads, etc.

It got a bit spicy but this may get a bit spicier…

Fellow Redditors doing gods work by performing "in-game experiments" for things like Exfil camping statistics may be extremely misleading for the same reason above. Noted at the end of the post:

It was an exhausting 150 runs, which doesn't even account for the ones in which we died before hand. All of these data points were taken from August 26th-October 4th. These were all on US servers on daytime duo raids. Use this information how you will.

From a Professional Statistician (Tarkov scrub is just a side gig) whose job is sampling in order to estimate and predict things of this nature, I want to point out a few things:

  • As u/campenis says, this work is exhausting. Straight up. Now, it would be ideal if the amount of work was proportional to the amount of validity but unfortunately, that isn't necessarily true and it's entirely possible to spin your wheels in the mud without going anywhere while making a mess in the process (doing actual harm, rather than good). Regardless, I want to shout of to players like u/campenis who are willing to use their own time for our benefit. I appreciate you.
  • If you want to generalize a finding like the one above, you have to ask yourself "if this is a sample of gameplay, what big-picture is this representative of?"
    • The sample of raids was in US servers. That is, at best, this should not be generalized to any other servers outside of the US.
      • At best, the representative population from which this sample was drawn is the US. Not EU, Asia, AU or others.
    • The raids were taken from August-26th-October 4th. Although it's absolutely true that we could copy-pasta the same logic above and say "We shouldn't generalize this outside of the time window of August 26th-October 4th", that's not useful. Unfortunately, I think we can all agree that gamplay changes drastically as the wipe cycle progresses. IMO, that's the end of the road for this one.
      • Gameplay experience seems to be highly dependent on time (like a time series analysis). There are ways to estimate effects and predict behavior like this, but it would require more extensive data (say, exfil camping data in a previous wipe, roughly equal length into the wipe). If previous timepoints predict future behavior, you need prior data to help generalize the dependency of previous time points.
      • Think of like holiday shopping patterns. If you owned a store and wanted to predict shopping patterns in December, it's logical to think things will ramp up in November. But to nail down when exactly, knowing when things ramped up in previous years is crucial.
    • Finally, the raids were ran as duos. Now I have no proof, nor have I seen significant proof, of the exact relationship between squad size and other players, outside of factory (where the player limit is very low). Other maps tested (Reserve, Shoreline and Interchange) have large enough player counts that, IMO, running a duo wouldn't impact the other player count or type significantly.
      • The event of running a duo in the named maps appears to be independent of other players behaviors.
    • Daytime raids. Not necessarily generalizable to night raids (if we agree that day/night raids vary in player experience).
    • Day of the week / time IRL. I didn't see any mention of what days they play. IMO, weekday raids vs weekend raids are vastly different. Also, time IRL makes a huge difference. I'd recommend one of the two for you out there:
      • Either the raids were a "random" mix of IRL times and IRL days, in which case, this is generalizable.
      • They played certain times and certain days, that we don't know, and the findings should only be generalized to those times and days (e.g. Saturday mornings, Tuesday afternoons, etc)

All in all, the work players like u/campenis go out of their way to do are blessings for the larger player base. With that said, it's extremely important for everyones mental states to treat the findings appropriately. Before you get all worked up and word-vomit all over this post with your own personal experiences or findings, consider the extremely restricted nature of this and other findings.

  • If you're not playing US servers, then this may not fit your experience.
  • If you're playing night time raids, then this may not fit your experience.
  • If you don't have a time machine, your mileage may vary, EVEN IF YOU PLAY DAYTIME RAIDS IN THE US.
  • Since we don't know IRL days or IRL time this came from, you could potentially skew your experience by not replicating theirs.
    • That is, if you play 10 raids on a Saturday Morning in the US and rage quit because your rate of exfil campers was drastically higher than theirs, you both could be right.
    • NEW: Raids were played from 6pm-2am CST. If you think time plays a significant role in gameplay, only generalize to to this time window.

TLDR: Statistical experiments are great but the one interpreting the results, intentionally or unintentionally, has the power to really fuck things up.

If you want to talk about how to correctly and responsibly interpret sampling findings, leave a comment.

Edit: Read through some comments within u/campenis post and saw that " We played on all US servers and played around the times of 6pm-2am CST". Great to know!

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