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Sorcerers' Homecoming event

Gargon667

Mentor
But that's not what some people seem to be thinking is happening, and wasn't really what I was asking. Some people seem to be arguing not just that there is a not-really-random randomizer, but a randomizer that actually favors and unfavors individual players. On operational scales of not just days or weeks, but long haul over multiple events.

Personally, I don't see why INNO would bother doing anything other than using a built-in RAND() function.
Now I may be completely off here, but I believe 20 years ago that is how the random function in C++ worked, I seem to remember I looked into it then and always thought it quite a neat idea, which is why I always think of this calculations as computer "random". I have no clue how it works nowadays, but I would assume something like that, a rather simple calculation that spits out "random" numbers.

People will never accept random for random and instead find patterns, most of them will find patterns where they come out as losers. It has nothing to do with the "random" not being random, but with psychology. People believing in such patterns don´t make them actually exist.
The nature of random will of course create those negative outliers that are unlucky 117 times in a row, but it will not create significantly more of those than of people lucky 117 times in a row. and it will create far fewer of either of them than people with a more "random" luck :D Anyway probably 50% of people will believe they are the one unlucky 117 times, 25% think they are lucky 117 times and 25% think they have average luck, while in reality 1% is unlucky, 1% is lucky and 98% are neither of the 2.
But since nobody will believe this we constantly get people with the most complicated theories as to why it isn´t actually random :)
 

Laurelin

Conjurer
I'm finding this thread very interesting, so I predict another long essay coming on at a future point (eek!), since I have a fair bit to say on the subject of F2P games and the randomness, or otherwise, of the systems they use (which is strongly related to their unfortunate reliance on inducing players to gamble - or call it what you will - in pursuit of earning revenue). However, there's one point amongst the several interesting comments which I may or may not ramble about (at some future date) which is very much within my own field of education and training as well as personal interest:
People will never accept random for random and instead find patterns, most of them will find patterns where they come out as losers. It has nothing to do with the "random" not being random, but with psychology. People believing in such patterns don´t make them actually exist.
I assume you are referencing a combination of Confirmation bias and the psychological phenomenon of seeing patterns in random data which is known as Apophenia (often confused with a sub-type of itself known as Pareidolia). Both of these, and especially the second, have become common buzzwords in popular discourse over the past couple of decades, but although apophenia is one reason why a person may see a pattern where none exists, it is important to recognise that it is the same (and very important, in survival terms) aspect of our minds which enables us to recognise patterns which do exist - but which tends now to be given as the only possible explanation every time anyone perceives any controversial instance of a pattern existing in any kind of data which should, theoretically, have no pattern (whether it actually does or not) - ever since the phenomenon was popularised, largely thanks to the Internet, by one specific instance where a religious person perceived an image of the face of Christ in a piece of burnt toast (no, really). But just because some patterns are imagined, it does not follow that all perceived patterns are, likewise, imaginary.

The human mind is certainly not as predictable as F2P games (and many psychologists and psychiatrists who should, frankly, know better) would like to believe, and there are many cases where people can easily recognise their own tendency towards confirmation bias and/or apophenia, and can compensate for it if they wish to - which some, of course, do not, preferring to blame a perceived unfairness when they are, as you say, merely unlucky. It is sometimes the case that confirmation bias/apophenia are blamed when patterns are perceived which actually do exist, whether or not in a disguised form - and this happens, more often than not, where someone with something to gain intentionally manipulates another person into blaming their own confirmation bias for recognising - not imagining, and that's the salient point - patterns which really do exist. But more on this when (or if, since I do get in and out of moods for Forum rambling) I get round to a proper reply on this entire (and complex) subject.

Furthermore, if Elvenar were to use not a classical/purely random RNG system, but rather what I tend to call, in video games, a pseudo-random system, i.e. one in which each failed outcome causes the software to increase the odds of a successful outcome for the next random roll, leading eventually to the certainty of success, then I don't think we would see anywhere near as much discrepancy between individual players' Event reward results. I am no mathematician, though, and there are probably other meanings of the same term (pseudo-random) - or perhaps there is another term for what I mean? Any advice very welcome, since correct English usage is a particular love of mine, and I'd hate to be using the wrong term! :D

* * * * * * * *

Also, @Sir Derf in particular, since I'm an absolute maths dunce and would much appreciate your knowledge and expertise here: I am aiming solely for Grand Prizes, and choosing Event Chests based upon their face value alone (i.e. their stated number of Staffs awarded per X amount of Event Currency), not based upon their mathematical/statistical value including the % chances of winning extra Currency from some of the Chests (which I know is the system which the more mathematically adept players, as well as those who have at least some faith in Inno's RNG being equitable [on the individual player level], will probably use). Thus I choose the 18s first, then the 45s, and avoid the 80s and 89s unless there is almost no difference between their face value Staff rewards and the face value of the other, lower-value, Chests - and this has happened only once to date, so it is statistically insignificant, since I've now spent around 80% of my Event Currency on lower-[face]-value Chests. I hope this makes sense? :)

As to why I do this : it is because experience across many Elvenar Events over the past three years or so has taught me not to rely upon the statistically most useful Chest choices which are derived by factoring in the % chance of winning extra Event Currency from relevant Chests. This is not because I mistrust mathematics (far from it), but rather solely because my luck in this game in particular appears to be unusually poor. I would be far more confident of such systems in other games in which - for whatever reason - I do not have such consistently (and, for me, atypically) poor RNG luck - it's the nature of Elvenar's RNG which appears to be a particular problem, whether for some or for all of us - within which I am including, although nobody is likely to complain about it, of course, instances of players having much better luck than average, not only worse.

And @BlueBlou : Good for you! :) I'm also primarily hoping to win enough Set pieces (as I think I will) to be able to produce CCs, so I'm also in the happy band who will be able, at least, to achieve this - although I'd also love to win the Steel-producing building, since it's the rarest T1 Good in my own FS and my own local Map area as well, and it's likely to become only rarer, too, as the Scrolls disaster continues to bite, seeing as Steel is the most common T1 pairing with Scrolls, and abandoned Scrolls Cities will thus lead not only to fewer Scrolls, but also less Steel in circulation.
 

Pauly7

Magus
Furthermore, if Elvenar were to use not a classical/purely random RNG system, but rather what I tend to call, in video games, a pseudo-random system, i.e. one in which each failed outcome causes the software to increase the odds of a successful outcome for the next random roll, leading eventually to the certainty of success, then I don't think we would see anywhere near as much discrepancy between individual players' Event reward results. I am no mathematician, though, and there are probably other meanings of the same term (pseudo-random) - or perhaps there is another term for what I mean?
I'm not a fan of the amount of this game which relies on gambling. I wish they would use this form of 'pseudo-random' which would mean that you would be eventually successful if you've had bad luck for long enough. I am constantly (internally) accusing this game of bias in its RNG. There probably is none because my own dataset is not large enough to prove a theory. For example, I've now had two separate cities that have both failed to win a Magic Workshop in the Spire for over 60 attempts each. Failing 120 times, when I should succeed one in every 20, sets off the conspiracy theory alarm bells in my head. I'm sure there are others who have won 20 MWs in that same time. Those people will just be accepting of their good luck, probably without even identifying they have had good luck.

Also, @Sir Derf in particular, since I'm an absolute maths dunce and would much appreciate your knowledge and expertise here: I am aiming solely for Grand Prizes, and choosing Event Chests based upon their face value alone (i.e. their stated number of Staffs awarded per X amount of Event Currency), not based upon their mathematical/statistical value including the % chances of winning extra Currency from some of the Chests (which I know is the system which the more mathematically adept players, as well as those who have at least some faith in Inno's RNG being equitable [on the individual player level], will probably use). Thus I choose the 18s first, then the 45s, and avoid the 80s and 89s unless there is almost no difference between their face value Staff rewards and the face value of the other, lower-value, Chests - and this has happened only once to date, so it is statistically insignificant, since I've now spent around 80% of my Event Currency on lower-[face]-value Chests. I hope this makes sense? :)
I'm not Sir Derf, but this one is quite easy. The answer is: No, you aren't choosing the beacons that are statistically best. However, there is a certain logic in thinking that you will take away the necessity to rely on luck. For example, I can tell you that the 80 beacon is statistically the 4th best. However, should you miss the chances to win 300 free scrolls at 5% odds then you will lose out by targeting that beacon. See my run of luck with MWs above, which has the same odds - In this case you will have a smaller sample than that, so a lot of people will lose out. That being said, for those wishing to roll the dice and gamble, the best chance you have of finding a way to beat the odds and keep up with the diamond spenders is to always target the 80 beacon where possible. Most likely it will go wrong for you, but this beacon is like buying a lottery ticket.
 

Gargon667

Mentor
I assume you are referencing a combination of Confirmation bias and the psychological phenomenon of seeing patterns in random data which is known as Apophenia (often confused with a sub-type of itself known as Pareidolia). Both of these, and especially the second, have become common buzzwords in popular discourse over the past couple of decades, but although apophenia is one reason why a person may see a pattern where none exists, it is important to recognise that it is the same (and very important, in survival terms) aspect of our minds which enables us to recognise patterns which do exist - but which tends now to be given as the only possible explanation every time anyone perceives any controversial instance of a pattern existing in any kind of data which should, theoretically, have no pattern (whether it actually does or not) - ever since the phenomenon was popularised, largely thanks to the Internet, by one specific instance where a religious person perceived an image of the face of Christ in a piece of burnt toast (no, really). But just because some patterns are imagined, it does not follow that all perceived patterns are, likewise, imaginary.
Guess I messed with the expert there ;) I haven´t even heard the terms, or if I have, I have long forgotten them. My knowledge in psychology is rather unscientific and more in terms of general principles than in depth knowledge, it´s certainly been a bunch of years since I last read a book on the subject.
Anyway I definitely agree with your assessment, not all patterns are imagined, but for me to believe in a pattern I need more than a random person on the internet believing it to exist. If someone can show some stats to give weight to their theory I am much more likely to become interested. I do understand that my way will make me lose out on some patterns that exist, but if the alternative is to see patterns everywhere... I suppose the question is if false-positive or false-negative outcomes are more of an issue? If false-positive means I will be running after every imagined something it would be a huge waste of my time. While a false-negative only means I will miss out on being the cutting edge. Assuming evidence will eventually build up and proof me wrong, all I lose is a bit of time and having to live through a couple "I told you so" :D
I suppose it makes me a conservative. Noooo, not politically speaking ;)


Furthermore, if Elvenar were to use not a classical/purely random RNG system, but rather what I tend to call, in video games, a pseudo-random system, i.e. one in which each failed outcome causes the software to increase the odds of a successful outcome for the next random roll, leading eventually to the certainty of success, then I don't think we would see anywhere near as much discrepancy between individual players' Event reward results. I am no mathematician, though, and there are probably other meanings of the same term (pseudo-random) - or perhaps there is another term for what I mean? Any advice very welcome, since correct English usage is a particular love of mine, and I'd hate to be using the wrong term! :D
That is a very interesting idea! A very good one, too :) A bit tough to program maybe? I can´t say. I can´t compare to other games as I don´t play any other similar games. So I can´t say how much resources Inno pours into the programming part compared to other companies, but to me it always seems like Inno is trying to minimise the programming as much as possible and instead put resources into the graphics.
Anyway I think it would probably make a lot of people happy, depending on what the trade-off is. I doubt they´d simply add a "win-most-desirable-prize-guarantee" without lowering the quality of outcomes in some way, so as to end up with the same total result as before.
I personally don´t mind the total random, sometimes I get lucky, sometimes unlucky. I can live either way :) Maybe because the part of the game I care about most are rather not-random, while the random ones are just a bonus to me. Also I tend to generate rather big numbers, which means the random effect will get closer to average sooner. Which brings me to this part:

As to why I do this : it is because experience across many Elvenar Events over the past three years or so has taught me not to rely upon the statistically most useful Chest choices which are derived by factoring in the % chance of winning extra Event Currency from relevant Chests. This is not because I mistrust mathematics (far from it), but rather solely because my luck in this game in particular appears to be unusually poor. I would be far more confident of such systems in other games in which - for whatever reason - I do not have such consistently (and, for me, atypically) poor RNG luck - it's the nature of Elvenar's RNG which appears to be a particular problem, whether for some or for all of us - within which I am including, although nobody is likely to complain about it, of course, instances of players having much better luck than average, not only worse.
I understand why you do it, but it is still not the best idea ;) It is a little bit (not exactly) like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more you avoid the random, the more likely your result will be less average. So by not choosing the best (including average SK returns) chests, you hurt yourself twice: 1. By ending up with a lower average return and 2. By making your result more likely more extreme (not necessarily extreme bad).
If you however choose the random option as often as possible you have a higher chance (not a guarantee) of getting a rather average result.

As to your personal luck: I think you know it doesn´t actually exist (one of those non-existing patterns). I am rather certain you haven´t pissed off the boss at Inno games enough to make him have a dev include a -50% chance of everything for @Laurelin. Unless something like that happened your luck is just as random as everybody else´s and just because you were unlucky 15 times doesn´t mean you´ll be unlucky next time. You have the same 50% chance to be lucky or unlucky next time. Just the same as the guy who was lucky the last 15 times.
I would say your perception of being unlucky is most likely caused by your behaviour. As I said before your choice to avoid the "random" chests will actively push you to a worse result, because your average price per result is higher than the person choosing the best (but random) choice, So you will most likely end up in the lower than average half of the results (unless everybody has bad luck of course).
The only way to improve is to choose random, which will give you a 50% chance of being in either half (it doesn´t get better than that). And as I said before the more often you choose random the sooner you´ll get the average.
 

Gargon667

Mentor
Most likely it will go wrong for you, but this beacon is like buying a lottery ticket.
Actually most likely you will get the average expected. That is of course taking it multiple times. It has nothing to do with gambling, you are just chosing the best average outcome.
If you only take it once then your chance is written on the box :) Averaged over all people it will still be the average, but individually you have only 2 outcomes: Complete failure or insane luck :)

btw: NEVER choose a random option, if the fixed value one is better ;) That is actual gambling ;) Choosing a random option hoping to win MORE than average will land you in the underperforming half just as likely as avoiding all random boxes.
 

Gargon667

Mentor
I am getting confused. How do you choose random, @Gargon667, do you go eeny meeny miny mo, close your eyes and tap on the map?
No! You chose the box with a random factor (for additional SK), but lowest average price.
 

Gargon667

Mentor
I am getting confused. How do you choose random, @Gargon667, do you go eeny meeny miny mo, close your eyes and tap on the map?
What you describe is choosing "at random" what I say is to "actively chose" the box including a random factor IF (and that is important) it has the lowest average price for the wanted reward when including an average extra SK. Most lists out there include this random average return simply by lowering the up front price of the boxes for their calculation, so we don´t actually have to think about it. Elven gems for example calls it "adjusted price"

Anyway all I am saying is to NOT exclude these boxes because of this random effect completely or as @Laurelin does ignore the fact that they can give SK and instead base the calculation on actual price of the box rather than adjusted prize.
 

BlueBlou

Sorcerer
And @BlueBlou : Good for you! :) I'm also primarily hoping to win enough Set pieces (as I think I will) to be able to produce CCs, so I'm also in the happy band who will be able, at least, to achieve this - although I'd also love to win the Steel-producing building, since it's the rarest T1 Good in my own FS and my own local Map area as well, and it's likely to become only rarer, too, as the Scrolls disaster continues to bite, seeing as Steel is the most common T1 pairing with Scrolls, and abandoned Scrolls Cities will thus lead not only to fewer Scrolls, but also less Steel in circulation.
As you know from when we were still in the same area, I do play some steel cities and I am in fellowships where it feels like many do have steel boosts and my trader rarely asks for steel. Guess likes attract likes and somehow similar boosts end up being together. I think shortage of steel might also be due to the evolving nature of the game. The big steel producers are now in the later chapters where they do not need so much t1 anymore and stores their production manus or sells it, resulting in less steel available for trading. The manus might perhaps come out during FAs, but unlikely to be the case with all steel players.
 

Pauly7

Magus
Actually most likely you will get the average expected.
What I mean is - The average expected is that it's not the best option. So if you take the 80 beacon as your top priority then you will most likely be the worse off for doing it. The lucky few, however, will win the jackpot by using this tactic. Incidentally, I was one of those lucky ones on Beta, managing to hit the 300 bonus scrolls 7 or 8 times. I found my way into the gold league at the end, even though admittedly I did spend about 600 diamonds on the final day because when you get into the last hour you can see exactly what you need to do. (No further updates to the league level requirements in the last hour of the event).

However, I still wouldn't recommend it because most likely you won't be that lucky and if you aren't then you will have done less well than if you had stuck with the 18 and 27 beacons.
 

BlueBlou

Sorcerer
What you describe is choosing "at random" what I say is to "actively chose" the box including a random factor IF (and that is important) it has the lowest average price for the wanted reward when including an average extra SK. Most lists out there include this random average return simply by lowering the up front price of the boxes for their calculation, so we don´t actually have to think about it. Elven gems for example calls it "adjusted price"

Anyway all I am saying is to NOT exclude these boxes because of this random effect completely or as @Laurelin does ignore the fact that they can give SK and instead base the calculation on actual price of the box rather than adjusted prize.
Actual price of box and adjusted price of box is too complicated for me. Guess I don’t follow most of the arguments above. Sorry, guys. I get what I get and that’s it. Not going to break my head on alternative possibilities and statistics and going to be unhappy about what I potentially lost out on. If I must be brutally honest with myself, I am better off wrt tool refills than I was at the start of the event. Funnily enough, they hide behind the 45, which is a good staff choice too. :)
 

Gargon667

Mentor
Actual price of box and adjusted price of box is too complicated for me. Guess I don’t follow most of the arguments above. Sorry, guys. I get what I get and that’s it. Not going to break my head on alternative possibilities and statistics and going to be unhappy about what I potentially lost out on. If I must be brutally honest with myself, I am better off wrt tool refills than I was at the start of the event. Funnily enough, they hide behind the 45, which is a good staff choice too. :)
Nothing to worry about, as I said most lists include this automatically, without even telling you, so you´re fine :)
The only "problem" may be if you´re after different prizes than the standard grand prize or daily prize lists. I sometimes make my own lists for troops or as in your example supply (or coin) instants.
 

BlueBlou

Sorcerer
There's a good 45 and a bad 45.
All in the eye of the beholder. 33% and 25%, I say they are both good. Very seldom that you get them together that you have to choose between the two. On a side note, must say I hate getting kp (from events) with a passion. Guess that will make my preferred choices different to most other people’s.
 

Sir Derf

Summoner
Also, @Sir Derf in particular, since I'm an absolute maths dunce and would much appreciate your knowledge and expertise here: I am aiming solely for Grand Prizes, and choosing Event Chests based upon their face value alone (i.e. their stated number of Staffs awarded per X amount of Event Currency), not based upon their mathematical/statistical value including the % chances of winning extra Currency from some of the Chests (which I know is the system which the more mathematically adept players, as well as those who have at least some faith in Inno's RNG being equitable [on the individual player level], will probably use). Thus I choose the 18s first, then the 45s, and avoid the 80s and 89s unless there is almost no difference between their face value Staff rewards and the face value of the other, lower-value, Chests - and this has happened only once to date, so it is statistically insignificant, since I've now spent around 80% of my Event Currency on lower-[face]-value Chests. I hope this makes sense? :)

As to why I do this : it is because experience across many Elvenar Events over the past three years or so has taught me not to rely upon the statistically most useful Chest choices which are derived by factoring in the % chance of winning extra Event Currency from relevant Chests. This is not because I mistrust mathematics (far from it), but rather solely because my luck in this game in particular appears to be unusually poor. I would be far more confident of such systems in other games in which - for whatever reason - I do not have such consistently (and, for me, atypically) poor RNG luck - it's the nature of Elvenar's RNG which appears to be a particular problem, whether for some or for all of us - within which I am including, although nobody is likely to complain about it, of course, instances of players having much better luck than average, not only worse.

And @BlueBlou : Good for you! :) I'm also primarily hoping to win enough Set pieces (as I think I will) to be able to produce CCs, so I'm also in the happy band who will be able, at least, to achieve this - although I'd also love to win the Steel-producing building, since it's the rarest T1 Good in my own FS and my own local Map area as well, and it's likely to become only rarer, too, as the Scrolls disaster continues to bite, seeing as Steel is the most common T1 pairing with Scrolls, and abandoned Scrolls Cities will thus lead not only to fewer Scrolls, but also less Steel in circulation.
Even if you are a player experiencing 'bad luck', shouldn't you still make every effort to maximize your results? Doesn't it make sense to try to have the best bad-luck experience you can get? Unless you are theorizing that the RNG skews further from random when you try to follow the mathematically best courses.

How different is this strategy? Going by the face return means you are undervaluing chests that might return event currency.

Chest (sk)Expected Return (sk/flag)Face Return (sk/flag)Face difference
18 (1)1818
27 (1)1919
45 (sk) (2)19.7022.50-2.80
80 (3)21.6726.67-5.00
89 (3)21.6729.67-8.00
45 (no sk) (2)22.5022.50
54 (2)22.5027.00-4.50
32 (1)23.6032.00-8.40
30 (1)26.2530.00-3.75

If this event operates like the previous version of this did, then we are not being presented with three random chests out of nine, but rather with 1 of 4 1 SK, 1 of 3 2 SK, and 1 of 2 3 SK chests.

Under expected strategy, you would never pick the last 4 (45 (no SK), 54, 32 and 30), as there would always be a 3 SK chest available that is better. Under Face strategy, you would take 45 (no SK) ahead of either 3 SK, and 54 ahead of 89.

50% (32 or 30 as the 1 SK) * 33% (45 (no SK) as the 2 SK) you would take the less efficient 45 (no SK) over either 3 SK, for a reduction of 0.83 return.
50% (32 or 30 as the 1 SK) * 33% (54 as the 2 SK) * 50% (89 as the 3 SK) you would take the less efficient 54 over the 89, for a reduction of 0.83 return.

That's 16.67% chance reduction by 0.83, and 8.33% chance reduction by 0.83, for an overall reduction in return of about 0.2 SK/Flag. That's a less than 1% inefficiency, so small potatoes.

Huh. Didn't expect it to matter that little.


Comparatively, the underestimation being applied by only looking at Face value, means that if one were to look at the results at the end of the event , they would be left thinking that they came out way ahead of what they thought they would get.
 

Sir Derf

Summoner
Just to point out, that is a result of the fact that were are being given a 1, 2 and 3 SK choice each time (if that is what is still happening, I've caught up to the daily quests, but still haven't played the maps), and not the usual random 3 of 9. Expected vs. Face playing is very different with 3 of 9 choices.
 

Hekata

Shaman
Just to point out, that is a result of the fact that were are being given a 1, 2 and 3 SK choice each time (if that is what is still happening, I've caught up to the daily quests, but still haven't played the maps), and not the usual random 3 of 9. Expected vs. Face playing is very different with 3 of 9 choices.
You're often not given that choice on your last step: if you need just 1 SK to get the next grand prize you'll be give only options with 1 SK, same if it's 2 SKs you won't be given any options with 3 SKs.
 

Pauly7

Magus
Just to point out, that is a result of the fact that were are being given a 1, 2 and 3 SK choice each time
Just to put a very small spanner in your calculations - Once you reach 18/20 you can only get 1 or 2 SK beacons. If you're at 19/20 you will get all three 1 SK beacons.
 

Pauly7

Magus
You're often not given that choice on your last step: if you need just 1 SK to get the next grand prize you'll be give only options with 1 SK, same if it's 2 SKs you won't be given any options with 3 SKs.
Touche. I was distracted for that 12 minute gap before hitting send.