Fidgeting writer: advice?

Okay, so it would seem I have abnormally bad luck with the Fidgeting Writer whenever I try to do it. I’ve been ehough 100 Tales of Terror (probably not a lot I admit) and have not got to the end once. I’d like your advice on the matter, and where you think the best place to stop is if you want a good reward and don’t want to risk going further.

I did a quick google search on the matter and I read that the most profitable course of action (on average, which means you might need more than 100 tales of terror) was to go to the end.
Someone made an excel table that compiled the real probabilities based on a high number of data. I don’t have it here, but like I said, I only needed to do a quick google search, so you might want to do that.

tl;dr go to the end.

My personal experience with the Fidgeting Writer rewards me about 4 Echos an action IF I go all the way to the end. I’ve had success with getting to the end with as little as 20 Tales of Terror but I would not recommend doing it with any less than 50 in one go.

Here is the table if you don’t quite feel like googling :)

You can calculate lower payouts (and therefore safer and more reliable payouts) with the table as well, assuming you don’t have 1000 tales of terror to spare.

I ran through it a few times and never made it very far at all - but just recently after ignoring it for several months I made it all the way through (six successes in a row helped a TON).
I’ve thought about running it again “for fun and profit”, but knowing how I am with gambling normally, I’ve decided to sit on my laurels and enjoy the Coruscating Soul I currently have without trying for another so soon.

Also, try this link: http://guyscrum.github.io/fidgeting-writer-stats/

Edit: Though I think the later percentages are 50% rather than 55%, so adjust accordingly to whatever’s most accurate.
Also, that link doesn’t take into consideration the equivalent costs for acquiring the Tale(s) of Terror initially. So it’s quite useful, but not perfect.
edited by Kittenpox on 7/26/2015

[quote=Kittenpox]Also, try this link: http://guyscrum.github.io/fidgeting-writer-stats/

Edit: Though I think the later percentages are 50% rather than 55%, so adjust accordingly to whatever’s most accurate.
Also, that link doesn’t take into consideration the equivalent costs for acquiring the Tale(s) of Terror initially. So it’s quite useful, but not perfect.
[/quote]

Thanks for digging that up! It actually does take into account the echo cost of the supplies (Tales of Terror, Visions of the Surface, etc.), which is why in the last plot you’ll sometimes end up with a negative profit. What it doesn’t do is take into account the action cost of the supplies, which might be a better metric.

Changing the numbers to 0.5 for the last three conversions and running a big batch of simulations, you can see that you’ll get nothing out of it about 7% of the time. So it’s unlucky, but far from unheard of.

judging from the statistics posted, you should have at least 2% chance of making it all the way to the end. so i guess the RNG hates you? it is rather low odds if you always try to get the final reward.

Although probability suggests you’ll get a Coruscating Soul for 39 Tales of Teror, on average, the feeling of being lucky or unlucky is an experience with a lot of psychology in it as well. If you know that you can get one Coruscating Soul eventually, the good luck of getting one after every ~39 times doesn’t feel as positive as the bad luck of looking through a few lenses and getting nothing for them.

To manage this aggravation, I approach Fidgeting Writer by grinding it one step at a time. If you want the feeling of better odds, you just grind more – and I’ve found I get a little less of the “argh!” feeling of gambling if I start a whole lot of (200+) Tales of Terror, and produce a whole bunch of Sense of Deja Vu until I have around 70 of those, then 50 Glimpse of Something Larger, 30 Deal with a Devil, 18 Room Number at the Royal Beth, 9 Last Hope of a Fidgeting Writer, 4 Lens of Black Glass. If I run out of any of those items, I step back up to where I have a surplus of the earlier items until I can reach the next goal – and at the end, you’ve got a 93.75% chance of getting at least one Coruscating Soul, and a 50% chance of getting two of them. It basically converts the playing-feel of doing an increasingly difficult push-your-luck challenge 100+ times, and failing on 98 of them, into an assembly line with some “breakage” along the way. Depends on which feel like you better, but it’s adjustable!

Of course you still have a chance of getting nothing at the end. But if you want to reduce that change, you just grind double or triple the numbers above – if you aim for 10 Lens of Black Glass, you have a 99.9% chance of getting a Coruscating Soul! But it’ll take thousands of Tales of Terror up at the top of that funnel.

[quote=Guy Scrum]Thanks for digging that up! It actually does take into account the echo cost of the supplies (Tales of Terror, Visions of the Surface, etc.), which is why in the last plot you’ll sometimes end up with a negative profit. What it doesn’t do is take into account the action cost of the supplies, which might be a better metric.

Changing the numbers to 0.5 for the last three conversions and running a big batch of simulations, you can see that you’ll get nothing out of it about 7% of the time. So it’s unlucky, but far from unheard of.[/quote]
No problem at all. Seems I mis-read the thing, but I’m glad to hear it’s more useful than I expected it would be.
One of the things I like most about that page is that you can edit the probablilties - so if it turns out the community is getting say a 45% chance on a specific thing you can modify what’s shown on the page to get a more accurate reading of the expected profit margin from this. ^_^

[quote=metasynthie]To manage this aggravation, I approach Fidgeting Writer by grinding it one step at a time. If you want the feeling of better odds, you just grind more – and I’ve found I get a little less of the &quotargh!&quot feeling of gambling if I start a whole lot of (200+) Tales of Terror, and produce a whole bunch of Sense of Deja Vu until I have around 70 of those, then 50 Glimpse of Something Larger, 30 Deal with a Devil, 18 Room Number at the Royal Beth, 9 Last Hope of a Fidgeting Writer, 4 Lens of Black Glass. If I run out of any of those items, I step back up to where I have a surplus of the earlier items until I can reach the next goal – and at the end, you’ve got a 93.75% chance of getting at least one Coruscating Soul, and a 50% chance of getting two of them. It basically converts the playing-feel of doing an increasingly difficult push-your-luck challenge 100+ times, and failing on 98 of them, into an assembly line with some &quotbreakage&quot along the way. Depends on which feel like you better, but it’s adjustable!

Of course you still have a chance of getting nothing at the end. But if you want to reduce that change, you just grind double or triple the numbers above – if you aim for 10 Lens of Black Glass, you have a 99.9% chance of getting a Coruscating Soul! But it’ll take thousands of Tales of Terror up at the top of that funnel.[/quote]
That’s actually kinda cool! I think should I someday try the path of gambling for profit, I may yet give that method a shot. :-)

FYI, I’ve recently completed a Fidgeting Writer run of 1000 Tales of Terror and here are my results:

  • 1000 x Tale of Terror!! -> 711 x Sense of Déjà Vu (0.711)[/li][li]711 x Sense of Déjà Vu -> 508 x Glimpse of Something Larger (0.715)[/li][li]508 x Glimpse of Something Larger -> 353 x Deal with a Devil (0.694)[/li][li]353 x Deal with a Devil -> 208 x A Room Number at the Royal Beth (0.589)[/li][li]208 x A Room Number at the Royal Beth -> 103 x The Last Hope of a Fidgeting Writer (0.495)[/li][li]103 x The Last Hope of a Fidgeting Writer -> 60 x A Lens of Black Glass (0.582)

Very close to the expected results of 0.7/0.7/0.7/0.6/0.5/0.5/0.5, except that I was extra lucky in that last conversion.

Now, at that point, I’ve decided to cash in the Black Lenses rather than continue to the end. The reason is that although the expected value is slightly higher to continue to the end, it wasn’t enough to be worth the risk for me, with such a low number of Lenses (60) - one failure more than the expected 50% would put me at a loss. If I had 1000 Black Lenses, then I would have trusted the math more (law of big numbers, etc.) and converted them all. (also, cashing in the Black Lenses gives more useful items)

As it was, I calculate the EPA of my overall run as:

  • 2.21 EPA, assuming I already had all needed materials[/li][li]1.8 EPA, assuming I had to acquire all needed materials

Since I happened to have almost all materials on hand before starting the run, my EPA was probably roughly around 2.1 (though admittedly this doesn’t take into account the 60 points of Nightmare and of Wounds that I had to deal with in that last conversion).

As someone who started with 19,000 Tales of Terror, I can assure you the percentages are

Tale of Terror = 70%
Sense of Déjà Vu = 70%
Glimpse of Something Larger = 70%
Deal with a Devil = 60%
A Room Number at the Royal Beth = 50%
The Last Hope of a Fidgeting Writer = 50%
A Lens of Black Glass = 50%

The EPA depends largely upon how you obtain the materials.
The best advice for garnering Corruscating Souls is to start with a large number of Tales of Terror. Eventually, the numbers will even out.

So I was impressed by statistics and went and spent 340 AP + 292 echoes on the Writer.

The payout was 612 echoes, so my total EPA ended at 0,94.

This took me several days of non-stop farming and I’ve already had all the materials. It isn’t horrible, especially if you’re more lucky, but I don’t think I’ll be playing it anymore. Seven ‘unlucky’ on an important roll in a row can be pretty stressful.

I’d recommend it only if you are very late game with nothing else to do and have a solid peace of mind, but not as a steady cash income.