TL;DR – I geared up Savage to 7540 power and GW difficulty increased. Coincidence? Probably.
There is a lot of data below. I'll hide it in spoiler blocks for the disinterested (at least, I think I will).TLDR – Problem: GW is hard. What determines difficulty?
There was a lot of whale noise about GW difficulty in May. Hearing all the talk, and beginning to experience some of the problems myself at 35k power, I decided to start tracking the power levels of GW opponents by node.
TLDR – I recorded 23 GW runs since beginning of June. I upgraded Savage to 7540 yesterday (sorry).
Devs have said that GW opponent power is dictated by your highest Arena power victory. Some have speculated that the combined might of your 5 most powerful heroes seemed to be the yardstick. I set out to find out which was true.
Pre-06/15, the power curve was linear from 60-95% on 1-8, then steadily harder on 9-12 up to 100% Arena power.
Getting a reliable data set means taking a lot of measurements. To get an idea of daily variation due to RNG, this meant holding Arena power constant and avoiding leveling my highest power heroes. So I made the valiant sacrifice for all of us by doing just that.
My Arena power was 34,883: Ackbar, Luke, Biggs, St Han, HR Scout.
My top5 power was 35,407: Ackbar, Luke, Biggs, Savage, Phasma
Luke was maxed, but the rest were all gear IX, and only Savage and Ackbar were not L80. The plan was to avoid improving any of them or any other hero near the top5 to avoid ruining the experiment, and record GW opponent power for a month.The total power level for the opposing team at each node was summed by hero and recorded. This was converted into a percentage of Arena Power and Top5 Power.
Unfortunately, since my Arena and Top5 were so close to each other, there would be little distinction in the numbers until later in the experiment.
The data is spotty in some places, but I made every reasonable effort to get the numbers right.
- Between 06/08 and 06/15, I recorded 8 GW runs. Then of course, the update of 06/15 threw a monkey wrench into my plans so I had to start over.
- Between 06/16 and 06/29, I recorded 14 GW runs that were all very similar. Fourteen data points per node is not that great, but I just couldn't take anymore and it was time to change the experiment parameters. So on 06/29 after finishing GW, I upgraded Savage from L77-IX to L80-X, increasing his power from 6779 to 7540, a significant bump of 761. If there was no discernible change to GW, then I would try bumping other heroes into the top5 (like FOTP, Kylo, Lumi, etc.).
Imagine my surprise when I took my GW run on 06/30. Alarmingly, it looked like GW difficulty was heavily dependent on Savage's power level.
Post 06/15, the GW power levels generally eased off a lot but had local peaks on nodes 3, 6, 9. Nodes 11 and 12 were 99% and 100%.
Prior to the 06/15 game update, the GW power curve looked like this, based on 8 runs (related to Arena power):
- Node 1-8: 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%
- Node 9-12: 96%, 97%, 98%, 100%
Max standard deviation was 1.9% on Node 4, stdev on the rest was 0.4% or less.
Today, GW hit me with 4 nodes at or over 100%. Node 12 was almost 6k more powerful at 115% of my Arena level.
After the 06/15 game update, the GW power curve looked like this, based on 14 runs (related to Arena power):
- Node 1-3: 60.8%, 62.7%, 70.4% stdev<=1.3%
- Node 4-6: 61.7%, 62.2%, 80.1% stdev<=1.1%
- Node 7-9: 71.7%, 72.3%, 84.1% stdev<=3.9%
- Node 10-12: 81.4%, 99.3%, 100.3% stdev<=0.9%
Max standard deviation was 3.9% on Node 9 due to anomalous 70.6% squad on an otherwise 85% node. User error? Maybe. Could have been beer night. Could have been Gremlins in the server.
I didn't finish.
Obvious conclusion: By upgrading my Savage to gear X, I affected everybody's GW run. Sorry folks, I won't do it again.
Last night I decided it was time to ramp up the Top5 power and upgraded Savage. This morning I saw the uproar in the forum about unannounced GW changes. Curious to see how I could have affected everyone's GW by upgrading Savage, I took another run. Here's what I got related to Arena power:
Orange text is 5% increase. Red text is 15% increase.
Final node was against a 40,241 power opponent. My best Arena squad is 34,883. My Top5 is now 35,808 thanks to Savage. This squad crushed my whole roster, except for the squad I lost on Node 6. 16 7* and a host of cannon fodder, I eventually took down Anakin. Oh, and I hate Sun Fac.
Not really. But there was clearly a change stealth pushed by the devs. There is no way to reconcile my power levels with these changes. Unless maybe it has something to do with unlocking Dengar and Leia on the same day ...
Edit - added some spaces for readability.