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Leagues

Laurelin

Conjurer
[...] Your tactics of face value have worked in the past, due to a bigger margin on gaining the full grand prize. [...] From now on choosing face value will be a guarantee to NOT complete the grand prize, while choosing the best average will give you a chance of completing the grand prize. Nothing (but spending money) will give you a guarantee to finish the grand prize. [...] This will probably be the most money generating event in Inno´s history! And that means it is highly unlikely they will give us more event currency next time. They are most likely still looking for that sweet spot where the event is bad enough to make people spend money to make it better, but it can´t be too bad so people completely ignore the whole thing. [...]
You're wholly right, and if it were not for how huge my Forum spiels already are, I'd have pre-addressed the points you've made, as well as any others which could readily be predicted as a consequence to my initial points (as I usually try to do, when presenting any argument in full - an old habit from my days of writing philosophy essays and engaging in academic debating contests) - but even I have some compassion for the few remaining members of the EN Forum and their (no doubt increasing) desire not to be faced with my vast walls-o-text in amongst every post they read!

Quick(-ish?) response, though, to a point which, to me, is important to clarify:
[...] And this is exactly the reason why this is happening. this event would have made even you spend money on it! [...]
... Yes, it's true! (Aaargh...!) But to give full disclosure on this particular point, since there are actually two [legitimately distinguishable] points here (i.e. explaining my own personal rationale to spend vs a much broader argument regarding other rationales than my own motivation alone):

1. I paid InnoGames, once ever, £20 in real money, once I'd waited for the inevitable +100% extra Diamonds offer which many players know that most F2P games will cough up in the end; if I'd waited longer, and/or left the game for a while, I'd have seen the near-mythical +200% extra Diamonds bonus which those who do so are offered (again, quite a common tactic)... but at the time, I needed something to divert my mind, so +100% was good enough for me. It also represents what I personally consider the game to be worth, in its entirety (not least because even the greatest of City building games, like Sim City of old or Cities: Skylines, since EA greedily murdered Sim City, cost less than that to actually OWN, outright).

2. Although we can now see, with hindsight across the actual results of almost the entire Event, that refraining from gambling on the larger-value Chests would have resulted in a (near?) guaranteed loss of the final Grand Prize building, or perhaps even more than that, due to the precisely calculated [nobody should ever understimate the abilities of Inno's statisticians!] nerf to the amount of Event Currency between Beta and Live release, I personally am not mathematically capable enough to have been sure of this, and while some players who are more maths-minded than me were warning from the outset that the nerf would probably force most players into spending [to complete the Set], none was actually certain - despite their well-justified suspicions - whether it were still possible, with a determinedly Grand-Prize-only focused strategy, to scrape through without gambling.

3. While I realise that unwilling spending still = spending from Inno's perspective, just as they will also be taking the (historically well-founded) view that game-sourced Diamonds spent = more chance for real money to be spent, sooner or later, in order to replace those 'free' Diamonds (NB: the quotation marks are there because player time spent acquiring 'free' Diamonds is actually not without value), you will be unsurprised to learn that any Diamonds I would have needed to spend would have come from a stored amount which I have acquired from in-game sources.

4. The particular Grand Prize on offer answers a pressing and specific need (yes, artificially created by InnoGames) which I now have, thanks to the latest Tournament change and which, if not answered somehow (and there seems no other option), will soon force me into the kind of (in my view) overly taxing, too-many-online hours-per-week style of gaming which I don't intend to adopt. If any similar game changes are forthcoming, that's my cue to retire into far more casual activity as far as Elvenar is concerned and devote more time instead to other pastimes. Time will tell, on this point.

And as for the rationale of others than myself to spend where they have never spent before (or to spend more, or more willingly, etc.):
When it comes to the psychological pressure to spend money on theoretically 'optional' in-game choices in F2P games (which in the case of many gaming companies runs [in fact, positively sprints] over the line into psychological manipulation), it works on me as well as it does upon the next person with a psychological make-up which falls within normal parameters, and it is a long-known fact that simply knowing that one is being mentally/emotionally pressured/manipulated typically does very little, or even nothing, to mitigate the effects of said pressure, whether or not other effects also ensue - e.g. resentment of being manipulated (NB: some few people may welcome it instead, but I don't consider that 'normal'!).

One useful analogy goes like this: "I know how I broke my leg. However, my leg is still broken, and it still causes me pain. Further, my leg will heal no better, nor hurt less, because I know how it broke. Still further, if the same known cause occurs again in future, my leg will once again break, and hurt, in exactly the same way". Cause and effect are a reality whether or not the cause of any given effect is recognised, or even known to exist at all - thus primitive Gravity-driven machinery worked just as efficiently, in past times of no understanding of the Force of Gravity, as it would nowadays, and this same reality of cause/effect applies to psychology [in the normally functioning mind] as it does anywhere else in the Universe. How else do card sharks - not to mention F2P games - still make a living, after all, and often a very good one, in both cases...? ;)

And this is something which F2P gaming companies [or the psychologists who advise them, and who, as I've said elsewhere, should know better] know only too well, hence their quite obvious lack of concern when many players - while still responding as intended to the pressure under which they are placed [which response is all that interests the company] - express resentment, sorrow, or even rage about the situation... and yet continue to play the game(s) concerned, and even to pay to do so, and often for a surprisingly long time, what with human determination and the nature of Hope*, in particular, being what they are. And when players leave, finally? Oh well, never mind... there are more where they came from, now that most gamers have been induced, largely, to expect any given F2P game to reach the point where it will either introduce an impassable paywall, or,at least start bringing on increasing pressure for players either to spend... or to become, by the game's definition, second-class citizens.

* In the classic allegorical tale of Pandora's Box, the fact that Hope remained was often argued to be a curse placed upon Humanity, not a blessing.

(And as an aside on this point: isn't it interesting that on all the Forums, and despite the realisation by almost all players that the Leagues system is an evident pay-to-win affair, the talk is still almost entirely revolving around Inno's chosen definition and separating-out of 'the Top 1% / 5% of Players' as if nobody else even matters - and with that category being defined solely as those who spend (or chance) - rather than achieve by merit - their way into the two higher Leagues, and with far less (overt) contemplation of the fact that there are many other, and in my view far better, ways to define who may be considered the 'Top x% of Players' besides their spending and/or luck - if such divisive tactics must feature at all?)

Example/analogy: although historical data is scarce, it is generally accepted that the Buddha (Gautama/Siddartha/variants) was originally a very wealthy young man; a high aristocrat and possibly even royalty. In that sense, he was born into what Elvenar is, with its Leagues system, now trying to promote as 'the Top 1-5%' of his society. In later life, he renounced his wealth and lived in poverty, as is well known - and thus became what I personally would define as a member of a far more important 'Top 1%' of his society - i.e. those with the greatest wisdom, compassion, integrity, and dedication to learning. No doubt you see where I'm going... and anyway, this was meant to be a quick reply, so enough, already!

HOWEVER... now that I have an excuse (I've resisted until now...!), my full argument may well be forthcoming on why 'free' to play gaming, by its inherent nature, was always destined (actually: designed) to end up in the sorry state [player's perspective] into which it has matured, ever since it first reared its head (in the West) in the late 1990s or thereabouts (I'll check the date, although I recall in detail the ensuing controversy).

... if I can steel myself to actually put it into words, and many of them... even by my own standards, which is probably legitimately terrifying! :D
:) <-- This is only here to force the formatting into working correctly... it went mad otherwise! ^^
 

Gargon667

Mentor
Do I understand you right if I sum it up as follows:
You do NOT think it is more likely to have success (that is to gain extra SK) continuously on 75 times taking the 80 beacon than it is from 222 times taking the 27 beacon? The numbers don´t matter, I am just going for saying to stay on the perfect run with 0 failures spending the same amount of currency. Maybe I can simplify the problem even more by saying: 3 times in a row SK from the 27 is as likely as 1 time SK from the 89(+2)? (I have to raise the price of the 89 by 2 to make it the same cost, so in effect I would make the 89 even worse than it is, but nevermind that now)

Instead you say the probability is the same, but since the payout is better on the 27, it will come out ahead no matter what? is that me understanding it right?

Because in any of those examples I never care about the average result. I never care if he dies with money in his pocket or not. The only result of interest is death or not death

Scenario 1. You throw 6 11's, a 10 and three 8's. All near-average individual rolls, totaling 100 and averaging to exactly the middle 10.0.
Scenario 2. You throw 4 20's, 2 6s and 4 2s's. Now, you threw multiple heroic values, but those were subsequently canceled by other low values, totaling 100 and despite the heroic initial rolls, ending with the same average 10.0.

Scenario 1. None of the throws give a bonus. Internal average 10.0, No Bonus.
Scenario 2. The first four beacons give bonuses, you're up 320 SK, average bonus 80 per becaon with 100% success rate from a 10% likely beacon. The other 6 beacons give no bonus, and you're at the same internal average of 10.0 as Scenario 1. However, you're still up 320 SK, average bonus 32 SK per beacon with a success rate of 40% from a 10% likely beacon.
See all of these above scenarios have exactly the same outcome: death, I have not the least interest which one of them is "better" than the other. Since our wiz cannot be a little less dead.
Yes we are forced and we are certainly desperate! That is the absolute only reason why we would even consider using such a stupid idea, we are fully aware the idea is bad in every way possible. Except for that tiny idea of course that we might just get lucky with one single shot. Oh shot: how about we get to live if we shoot the ball in the basket from across the whole field once or from across half the field twice? which one should we pick given we can throw really hard (at least long enough to cover the whole field), but have no aim whatsoever? But I assume it doesn´t work like that in elvenar... i digreess...

As I see it you have this inside view into the beacons as your base of thought, and I have a bit of trouble getting into that, I believe I can follow more or less what you are trying to say there, but I may miss the point.
Anyway would I be wrong to simplify the whole beacon thing into a system where I only look at the outcome: Failure and Success? The only difference to a coin toss would be that the probability for one side is higher than the other, something like a loaded coin? And I have two differently loaded coins (with specs according to our beacons: same price,chance and payout).
 

CrazyWizard

Shaman
My four bulleted descriptions of games goals were for the dice game, because the answer will be different depending on what the goals are in the dice game.


As I keep explaining to you, it doesn't matter what your goals were in the the Elvenar beacon game. The answer is always the same.
  • If you want the best chance to get 200 staffs, 27 beats 89.
  • If you want the best chance to get 400 staffs, 27 beats 89.
  • If you want the best chance to get 2,000,000 staffs, 27 beats 89.
  • If you want the best chance to get in the top 10%, 27 beats 89.
  • If you want the best chance to get in the top 1%, 27 beats 89.
  • If you want the best chance to get in the top 0.001%, 27 beats 89.
  • If you want the best chance to beat a player who spent $10 on extra SK, 27 beats 89.
  • If you want the best chance to beat a player who spent $1000 on extra SK, 27 beat 89.
  • If you want the best chance to beat a player who spent $1,000,000 on extra SK, 27 beats 89.
  • If you want the best chance to get the highest score, 27 beats 89.
What I'm trying to say is, 27 beat 89 every time, all the time, for equal input and equal luck.

The odds of you achieving any of the above goals will vary. It will be easy to get 200 staffs, very difficult to get 400 staffs, and camel-through-the-eye-of-a-needle difficult to get 2,000,000 staffs (It probably involves an industrial-strength blender, a very thins straw and a heavy-duty suction pump), hut in all of those cases, the 27 will have a better chance of accomplishing it than the 89. That's what the math appears to say.
You are so wrong about this one, again RNG works best with as little attempts as possible.
The more attempts you make, the more you get towards average, and average is never the 1%.

Its why casino's work in the first place with for example roulette, it's the law of big numbers.
When you look at 1 evening the gains or losses of the casino might be huge, but at the end of the year the house always wins x% of the amount of money spend on the roulette table. because with enough attempts the odds become mood, the odds become average and thats why the house always wins. there is no longer any difference between any of the numbers each number falls the same time.

with 27 you roll 3x as much dice or more, this means your odds of getting extreme results are diminishing rapidly.
For the 1% you need crazy results, the 1% is not for a reason 1% and you might even say it's the 0.1% as that 1% pool is diluted by spenders in game.
The best way to get an extreme result is by using as little dice as possible and hope for the best possible luck. this has the higest probability to get you a non average result, either positive or negative.

As a lottery example (which is a worse case scenario as each ticket has the same payout):
If I buy a $1 ticket into a lottery with a 60% payout rate. the chances for me to het the crazy main prize of 1.000.000 and make a 999.999 profit is very slim. I got some decent chance to get a 60% payout and a good chance of gettig absolutely nothing.

But when I buy 1000 tickets. the chance for me to get an extreme payout
but If I buy 1000 tickets the chances for me to get near that 60% payout mark are increasing by a lot. the chance that I earn 0 is pretty much non existend and in some cases straight out impossible depending on the lottery. and the chances to get below a 999.999 profit increases as it's more likely that even if I win the 1.000.000 main prize I get 60% back on the rest = 1.000.000-1000+600=999.600.

So even in the case of a lottery, the chances that I get the main prize by buying a 1000 tickets increase a 1000 fold, the chance to make a 999.999 dollar profit or better decreases a lot.
As the law of big numbers dictate that the result gets closer to average with each attempt.
 

Laurelin

Conjurer
Just for fun (no offence to casino managers and/or bookmakers out there!), and since casinos and gambling are much under discussion... a friend of mine, who very much knew what he was talking about, once advised me that if you ever want to win big in any casino (in particular), you should:

1. Bet large enough and freely enough to appear only somewhat - and (important!) newly - wealthy (£10-20,000 or so, but not more; that's suspicious);
2. Bet wildly and poorly enough to appear to be somewhat (not entirely; that's also suspicious) inexperienced;
3. Accept all the perks showered upon you as you win larger and larger (attractive opposite-sex companions, free food and drinks...) with wide-eyed joy;
4. Take your winnings home (and they will be large enough to tempt you to try again!)... and never, ever go there again.

Oh, and...

5. Remember that casinos have always reported this kind of thing to each other for the sake of mutually not being conned... and CCTV is now a thing!

:D
 

Gargon667

Mentor
... Yes, it's true! (Aaargh...!) But to give full disclosure on this particular point, since there are actually two [legitimately distinguishable] points here (i.e. explaining my own personal rationale to spend vs a much broader argument regarding other rationales than my own motivation alone):

1. I paid InnoGames, once ever, £20 in real money, once I'd waited for the inevitable +100% extra Diamonds offer which many players know that most F2P games will cough up in the end; if I'd waited longer, and/or left the game for a while, I'd have seen the near-mythical +200% extra Diamonds bonus which those who do so are offered (again, quite a common tactic)... but at the time, I needed something to divert my mind, so +100% was good enough for me. It also represents what I personally consider the game to be worth, in its entirety (not least because even the greatest of City building games, like Sim City of old or Cities: Skylines, since EA greedily murdered Sim City, cost less than that to actually OWN, outright).

2. Although we can now see, with hindsight across the actual results of almost the entire Event, that refraining from gambling on the larger-value Chests would have resulted in a (near?) guaranteed loss of the final Grand Prize building, or perhaps even more than that, due to the precisely calculated [nobody should ever understimate the abilities of Inno's statisticians!] nerf to the amount of Event Currency between Beta and Live release, I personally am not mathematically capable enough to have been sure of this, and while some players who are more maths-minded than me were warning from the outset that the nerf would probably force most players into spending [to complete the Set], none was actually certain - despite their well-justified suspicions - whether it were still possible, with a determinedly Grand-Prize-only focused strategy, to scrape through without gambling.

3. While I realise that unwilling spending still = spending from Inno's perspective, just as they will also be taking the (historically well-founded) view that game-sourced Diamonds spent = more chance for real money to be spent, sooner or later, in order to replace those 'free' Diamonds (NB: the quotation marks are there because player time spent acquiring 'free' Diamonds is actually not without value), you will be unsurprised to learn that any Diamonds I would have needed to spend would have come from a stored amount which I have acquired from in-game sources.

4. The particular Grand Prize on offer answers a pressing and specific need (yes, artificially created by InnoGames) which I now have, thanks to the latest Tournament change and which, if not answered somehow (and there seems no other option), will soon force me into the kind of (in my view) overly taxing, too-many-online hours-per-week style of gaming which I don't intend to adopt. If any similar game changes are forthcoming, that's my cue to retire into far more casual activity as far as Elvenar is concerned and devote more time instead to other pastimes. Time will tell, on this point.
I actually only singled you out as an example, because I figured all of those above from what you said earlier, and not actually having spent money made you a good scapegoat (errr example), because you didn´t actually lose anything, so it´s a harmless example ;)
All I wanted to say that this situation you found yourself in is most likely very common. And it being common means it will produce the best financial result Inno has ever had from an event (well to be honest it is probably more complicated than just that, it may just be the best financial result for an event in this particular niche, my guess is christmas events may have a special niche for example etc). Which then will lead to more of the same in the future, by implementing the successful elements (like league system, shortage of currency, desirable buildings, maybe even the creation of a need that can then be fixed by a new desirable building etc) into future events of all kinds.

As always I enjoy reading the more in depth ramblings as well :)

Just to put my personal solution to dealing with the problems you mentioned, especially the need/want part being forced on players out there:
I developed a rather minimalist style. AS far as I can tell I only NEED 4 buildings to play this game. MA, Merc Camp, Firebird, Brown Bear(s). None of them are likely to get taken away from me in the future. I guess the most likely thing to affect me would be if Inno for game balancing reasons took away multiple grand prizes and therefore I lost my extra brown bear, but I wouldn´t even mind that much as long as I can keep the one I have. A serious nerf to any of these buildings would probably cause something of a rebellion and I don´t think it is likely to be of financial benefit for Inno to take such a step, so I am pretty much safe.
There are of course other buildings that help me with what I do (mainly AWS and Spire Library), but if I absolutely had to I could make it without them. Everything else I have is not essential.
Not needing much also means, resources keep piling up without even trying, which then leads to even fewer needs in the future.
Long stroy short: If you don´t need anything, you have an easy time ignoring sales offers :)
As an addon: I did try for the complete grand prize (and got it) for the sake of the experiment, but I haven´t even placed it (yet?) :)

Also funny is that I am thinking about spending in-game just like you do, happy to donate about the amount of what other board or computer games would cost me, something like 25 or 30 € so far maybe :) I see it as a donation rather than a purchase as I said don´t NEED anything I don´t already have.
 

Sir Derf

Summoner
Folks, let's try this once again, you are wrong. You continue to make your statements ignoring the math. Elvenar beacons don't emphasize heroics over good-enough. Evenar beacons don't penalize abject failure versus almost-but-not-quite. There is no benefit to going with the the more costly option because you will pick less of them. You keep saying it, you keep wishing it, but it just isn't so. It works for the lottery. It works for aggregate dice rolls. It does not work with Elvenar beacons. It doesn't.

Elvenar beacons giving SK simply don't regress to the SK reward of the long term average.

Let me try explaining your "all that matters is death or not death" scenario, but back to front, and see if you get it.

The Gangsters want 13,399 SK or they'll kill a live lobster (I wanted to give @CrazyWizard's blood pressure a chance to go down). Mmmmm, lobster..... *shakes head* Oh, poor lobster... I must save it. 13,399 SK? What an unusual number? Why would the Gangsters pick that number? Whatever. Well, if we get the heroic 89 beacon outcome of 67 straight bonuses that gives 67*200 = 13,400 SK, which is just enough SK to save the lobster (and leave you with 1 SK in your pocket for your troubles.) Any other outcome is certain (yummy) death for the lobster; miss even one of the 67 bonus chances and you only get 13,200 SK, and those Gangsters are not going to haggle with the life of that lobster (He once held up his middle clawpiece at the Don and that insult can not be left unpunished). So your only chance of success with the 89 beacon, since "all that matters is death or not death", is to hope for the heroic 89 sweep, which has a probability of (0.1)^67 = 2.02*10^-62.

But what if we used the 27 beacon? The heroic result of 222 straight bonuses gives you 222*80 = 17,760 SK, which is more than enough SK to save the lobster (and give you 4,360 SK in your pocket, but that's not important, "all that matters is death or not death"). "Don't celebrate yet," you say, "what were the odds?" Good question. The heroic sweep 29 has a probability of (0.12)^222 = 3.78*10^-205. "Case closed" you say, "Heroic 89 is more likely than heroic 27 to save the lobster, and all that matters is death or not death.", to which I respond "Now it's your turn to not celebrate yet. We know that anything less than completely heroic effort from the 89 chest and the lobster's goose is cooked (wait, there's goose in this story, too?), but what about slightly less heroic 27 chest outcomes? The phrase is "all that matters is death and not death" so are there other ways to get not-death?"

What happens if you miss one bonus with the 27 chest? Well, getting only 221 bonus means you get only 221*80 = 17,680 SK, and that also saves the lobster's bacon (This story is really starting to make me hungry.) And getting only 220 bonus means you get only 220*80 = 17,600 SK, and that also saves the lobster. In fact, you can miss 54 times and still get 168 bonuses for 168*80 = 13,440 SK, saving that poor little innocent lobster. So if "all that matters is death or not death", then I don't need to try for the sweep 29 and only the sweep 29, I'm successful getting at least 168 bonuses out of 222. And that, a I computed earlier has a total combined chance of happening of 7.45*10^-43.

In summation, if our goal is to save Louie the lobster (Oh, look, now I've named him. I really, really, really have to do my best to save him.) and my only two options are to pick from 89 chests or 29 chests using my initial 6000 SK stake, take the 27 chest. The only way to save Louie with the 89 chest is the singular heroic outcome of sweep 89 at 2.02*10^62 odds, but when you combine all the possible ways you can save Louie with the 27 chests you have 7.45*10-43 odds, 19 orders of magnitude better. "All that matters is death or not death."

And it doesn't matter if you choose any other target SK. Whether the goal is 1 SK or 1,000,000 SK, when you combine all the successes with 89 and 27 chests and compare their odds, the 27 chest will have the better odds. Every time.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I left some butter melting in the microwave...
 
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Gargon667

Mentor
In summation, if our goal is to save Louie the lobster (Oh, look, now I've named him. I really, really, really have to do my best to save him.) and my only two options are to pick from 89 chests or 29 chests using my initial 6000 SK stake, take the 27 chest. The only way to save Louie with the 89 chest is the singular heroic outcome of sweep 89 at 2.02*10^62 odds, but when you combine all the possible ways you can save Louie with the 27 chests you have 7.45*10-43 odds, 19 orders of magnitude better. "All that matters is death or not death."
Sorry if you had already done this before, this is what I was looking for, I must have missed it in all those pages and pages of intertwining storyline :/ But heck the story alone was worth it :)

Hmm not sure how to continue the story now. I wonder if we maybe just weren´t heroic enough? but I guess this result already suggests it´s not depending on level of heroicism...
Also I wonder if elvenar rigged it (accidentally or intentionally) against heroism? Is the 27 just too good to be beaten by the big ones?

What do you think, could we invent beacons where the smaller (better average) choice is going to heroically loose against the bigger (lower average) because of the more extreme values on fewer tries, or is it by general principle that the higher average beats the more extreme chance option every time?

I also am unhappy with the outcome, because I was going to heroically save the wizards life, but instead now we cook Louie :( I guess the sparrow in the hand is: I don´t have to come up with a dinner plan myself.
 

Sir Derf

Summoner
Or, let me put it another way.

Yes, it is less likely to get 222 out of 222 bonuses with the 27 chest than it is to get 67 out of 67 bonuses with the 87 chest. BUT THAT IS NOT THE GOAL! You are moving the goalposts, claiming success based on comparing the odds of a different outcome.

As the bard might have said...

Death, or not death, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with 89 chests,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles with 27 chests
And by opposing end them.

The goal is not "All that matters is sweep or not sweep". We are not basing success on whether you get the one perfect roll or not.
The goal is "All that matters is death or not death." We are basing success on whether you meet or exceed a given threshold.

Sweep (67/67) 89 gives 13,400 SK. Crazy results.
Sweep (222/222) 27 gives 17,760 SK. That's Stupid Crazy results.
For Crazy results, you only need (168/22) 27 or better, giving 13,440 SK or better.

89 Crazy is more likely than 27 Super Crazy.

But 27 Crazy is more likely than 89 Crazy. And that's the game we're playing.

Elvenar beacons are not like aggregate dice.
Elvenar beacons are not like the lottery.
Elvenar beacons are not like any other game in a casino.
 

Sir Derf

Summoner
Here's why trying to evaluate Elvenar beacons like a casino game doesn't work.

With casino games, success is defined as increasing your stock of currency. With each play of the game, maybe you lose, maybe you win; maybe you go up, maybe you go down. If you start with $6000, success is ending with some value more than $6000. Maybe your goal is to stop with anything over $6,000. Maybe your goal is to stop with $6,100 so you can get a lobster dinner. Maybe your goal is to stop with $1,006,000 so you can buy Louie's freedom. Maybe you just play for an hour and see where you end up. But you are playing against the house. You enter the casino with $6000 of your money in your pocket, and that money has real meaning. If you go up, the casino pays you and goes down; if you go down, the casino takes your money and goes up.

With an Elvenar event success is not defined by increasing your stock of currency. 6000 SK is worthless as it is. Success is defined in terms of staffs. You want those staffs. You need those staffs. You'll do anything for those staffs. And the best part is, with every play of the game, you go up. Spend some SK, maybe you get a staff (or 2 or 3) and no SK, maybe you get a staff (or 2 or 3) and some bonus SK; maybe you go up directly, maybe you go up directly and indirectly. However the overall game happens, you end with some amount of those sweet, sweet staffs. If Elvenar events were implemented in a casino, the house would never win. When you enter the casino, you have no money in your pocket, and the casino hands you &6000, where & is CasinoCash, a currency that has no value in the outside world. You walk in and play a round. Spend &27 or &89 or whatever, and maybe the casino gives you $1 (or $2 or $3) and no CasinoCash, maybe the casino gives you $1 (or $2 or $3) and some bonus SK; whatever happens, you get more real money in your pocket. However the overall game happens, you end with dolla' bills, 'yo.

And INNO doesn't run Elvenar events as a casino game. Because in the online game, you're not dealing with CasinoCash and Dollars, you're dealing with CasinoCash and LottoLucre and PrizePuffs. INNO loses nothing giving you 6000 SK over the course of the event. It costs INNO nothing giving you staffs as you play the game. Rare buildings, AWKP, broken shards; all of it is created from nothing by INNO. But INNO let's you spend real money to buy imaginary CasinoCash, so you can collect imaginary LottoLucre and accumulate multiple PrizePuffs.

But this got away from me...

INNO doesn't have to operate an Elvenar event like a casino game, and they don't. The nature of the game is different. The goals of the player are different in casino games vs. Elvenar. The concept of the house, and the need for casino games to favor the house, just doesn't apply to INNO with the Elvenar game. Motivations and strategies and rules of thumb of all the familiar casino games of chance don't have to be baked into the Elvenar game. And they aren't.

To quote that sage of a bygone age, Teen Talk Barbie, "Math class is tough."