Friday, October 19, 2012

Kicking Rocksmith Bass - Journey v.2 Starts for Real

I got busy on my restarted bass journey last night. Really busy. I played 3 events and a total of 21 songs, plus 7 technique challenges. Got a lot of catching up to do! Plus, it was going pretty well so it was hard to quit.

Even better: In three events, I got THREE - count 'em, 3 - double encores.

I jumped from Level 2 to Level 6 after playing a total of 4 events. Currently at 4,086,811 RSP. That's just playing songs once each to qualify them and then playing the events. True, I had played all the songs on bass before I had to restart my journey, but it's not like I mastered them all. I'm really thinking bass is just that much easier than guitar. I've qualified every song on my restart on the first play with an accuracy of 90% or better (with one or two exceptions where I got 88-89%).

How Do You Get a Double Encore, Really?

This casts further doubt on the 50/50 aspect of double encores. "They" told us you get a 50/50 chance at a double encore if you get 120% of the minimum event score and meet some vague accuracy limit on the first encore song. I was getting 300%-400% of the minimum event scores last night and I got 3 doubles in three events. Seems like getting really, really good scores increases your odds of getting the second encore significantly. Anybody got any insight on this?  

Unlocking The Star Spangled Banner - Impossible on Bass?

Unfortunately, from what I could see, it looks like I'll have to unlock my last locked song, The Star Spangled Banner, on guitar. On my first double encore I unlocked Boss. But, I didn't get the unlocked song notification for SSB at the end of my second event. I didn't get an unlocked song notification after my third event, either. I got the double encores - just no unlocked song.

The Star Spangled Banner has no bass part so I'm assuming you can't unlock The Star Spangled Banner when playing bass - even if you get a double encore. Even if you get TWO double encores. I predict I will never unlock this song. Oh, well. I've unlocked 5 out of 6 and, as I've said before, I didn't buy RS for these 6 songs and didn't even know they were included when I bought RS. Plus, I've heard that SSB kinda sucks and is a song I'd probably never be able to play anyway. (Sour grapes.)

Somebody did post on the RS Forum that they may have unlocked SSB without getting a notification. They said it just showed up in their song list one day. So, there may be a bug where SSB doesn't generate a "congratulations you unlocked a song" message. I'll check my song list tonight, but I'll be surprised if I find SSB there.

The idea that I may have run out of locked songs reinforces my hope that Rocksmith will insert MORE unlockable content in the future. Once you've unlocked the first 6 SSC songs, there's no reward for getting additional double encores. Even if I did unlock SSB on my second event last night, I got another double encore after that but it wasn't quite as much fun without the unlock reward. The double encore unlocks are already in the game. They should go ahead and expand on that - in spite of all the bitching and moaning the locked songs have evoked.

Unlocking Other Stuff - Techniques and Games 

Guess I never thought about it, but I've suddenly realized that I have no idea how to unlock Technique Challenges and Games. It takes a score of 70k to unlock a tone and an encore during an event to unlock pedals. Just playing an event will get you a guitar. But, when it comes to the Technique Challenges and Games, there doesn't seem to be any specific criteria. In fact, pretty much just clicking on "Bass" when I booted up RS was enough to unlock the Bass Bassics challenge.

I unlocked Shifting and Sustains with a score of just 40,558 on Where is My Mind - the first song I played on my restarted bass journey. That was well above the qualifying score of 4,500. So, maybe qualifying a song unlocks techniques used in that song? I unlocked Syncopation and Bends after qualifying Vasoline. I unlocked Slides during Event 1, I'm guessing because I met the qualifying score for one of my encore songs, either Chimney or Islands, but there's no qualifying score posted for encore songs so who knows what happened there? Playing Space Ostrich in Multiplayer Mode was enough to unlock Palm Mutes. No qualifying there. . .

Ducks and Superducks games unlocked for me after qualifying Where is My Mind and Breed.

I got a 100% accuracy the first time I played Where is My Mind. I don't think 100% accuracy is a criteria for any unlocks but it'd be nice if the RS dev's would throw in some little prizes for that. Just an idea.

Increasing Qualifying Scores and Initial Difficulty Level

My first two songs on the restarted journey had really low qualifying scores. They've gone up since then, but I'm curious how this works. Here's my qualifying scores for the first 4 events:

1- 4,500 and 1,900.
2 - 44,600, 77,600, 62,000, and 17,500
3 - 35,700, 19,200, 72,500, 15,000, and 18,400.
4 - 13,700, 26,300, 21,500, 25,300, 32,000, and 37,800

Generally the MQS's have increased, but they haven't gone up across the board. Event 2 had the highest MQS's and even though I got a double encore on that event my MQS's for Event 3 went down. It seems to depend on the song. The harder the song, the lower the MQS - at least starting out. If that's how it works, then RS would almost have to have means of rating the difficulty of songs built into the software.

I'd also be curious how the MQS relates to song mastery levels. What determines how many notes a player is going to see the first time they play a song? How does this change from when we play our very first song to the day we play the last on-disc song for the very first time?

I'm sure a lot of that is proprietary information - closely guarded by the RS development team. I don't want to know specifically how it works, but I'd love to have general description. Or an admission that this is all totally random - which I doubt is the case.


  1. Did you play the bass version of RS at all before you got a bass? does RS keep a score for you with a bass and with guitar?

    Been thinking about getting a bass, but that seems like it won't happen soon. I think it might be useful from a guitar skill POV to learn those arrangements.


  2. No. I actually found a bass for a good price ($99 for an old used Yamaha - I don't even know the model) a few months before the actual bass expansion release.

    But, to answer what you're really asking, yes - bass mode is like a wholly separate part of the game. When you first start the game, the first thing you'll see (after all the intro screens and Brian playing the RS song) is a screen where you click on either Guitar or Bass. Once you click on Bass, you go to the bass side of RS. Doesn't matter if you play on a real bass or use your guitar as a simulated bass - your score is kept on the bass side (and RS doesn't keep simulated bass scores separate from real bass scores). So, you could try it out using your regular guitar as a "simulated bass," see if you like it (you won't - more in separate post), buy a bass, and just carry on from there.

    I love the bass! Not sure how helpful it has been to my guitar playing but it definitely helps with left-hand finger reach and strength. Musically, I think any instrument you learn to play is helpful to every other instrument you play.