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Old 06-12-2008, 07:21 PM
Archemedes Archemedes is offline
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Default Randomness

Whatever random number generator is being used here, I don't think it's random. The results for gambling, and for certain other areas of combat are so consistent that, at times, results are entirely predictable.

For example, I find that my first gambling attempt -always- results in a loss. I've tried it upwords of 50 times, and every time I do, I lose right out of the gate. For a 49/51 shot, that shouldn't happen.

To reproduce it, I create a new character (a zealot, usually, as they're easier to handle at low levels), and travel to level 4 or 5 of the first area. I explore there until I have 1500+ gold (I've tried it with around 200 as well), and then return to gamble, betting it all. I always lose. I'm sure it's -possible- to win, but the chances of it are nowhere *near* 49/51. After the first attempt, I seem to win once in a while, but never right out of the gate.

Also, when gambling multiple times in a row, streaks occur that, statistically speaking, really shouldn't be happening as often as they do. With what is essentially a 50/50 chance, wins and losses should most often alternate... but I seem to find more of a pattern when gambling.

If I make around 4-5k gold, and then start gambling at 200, doubling my bet on every loss, and reducing it back to 200 on every win, I almost -never- see a win/loss/win/loss pattern. Instead, a pattern of streaks usually emerges. It seems that the streaks then increase as the gambling continues. It's something like: w/L/L/w/w/w/L/w/L/L/L/w/w/w/L/w/w/L/L/L/L, and so on. It's noticeable that on my first obvious losing streak, I hit 2 in a row, then I hit 3, then 4. Winning streaks seem to continue in the same way, hitting increasing extremes over time, and usually resulting in bankrupcy if the game is played long enough. (Given the nature of the gambling, bankrupcy -should- emerge eventually, but the patterns I've noticed have been seemingly non-random and predictable).

Further, my chances of winning if I bet all the money I own seems to be around 5%, regardless of timing. I've tried it numerous times (25 or so as of yet) and I've only won once.

Some areas of combat seem almost predictable as well... If I "stress" my chances, by going to levels that display a 50/50 shot against my opponent, I see nearly predictable patterns as well. For example, as a low level character in a "high stress" environment, it seems my chances of having a wound inflicted *increase* as my wounds increase. To reproduce, if I have a level 1 or 2 zealot with 0 wounds in a level 4 zone in the first area, he gets hit at least once approximately 30% of the time, and twice around 20%. However, with 4 wounds (of 5 max), it seems the next round of combat almost always results in either a treasure chest or a wound. In my tests, I haven't once won a round of combat with only one wound (even when my chances of being wounded would otherwise be less than 50%). My chances of being hit twice with 2 wounds remaining seem to go up as well. Again, this *only* seems to occur in a "higher stress" environment, such as a level 1 zealot in level 4 of the first area, but at the same point, it shouldn't be happening at all (unless, that is, it is a coded feature).

There are numerous other things that seem to be almost predictable as well, but the ones I've listed above I've tested and can almost unfailingly reproduce...

While it is *possible* that all of my experimentation has been coincidental, it seems --significantly-- more likely that whatever random number generator is being used is either broken, or being fed a non-random seed from the character. (The fact that I seem to lose on my first gambling attempt with any character seems to back up the latter theory.)

Personally, I would suggest running whatever function you're using through a tester to be sure it's truly random. But then... I guess I ~-could be-~ wrong.
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:26 PM
Archemedes Archemedes is offline
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Sorry, I realize now that my message doesn't so much apply to the OP. I posted it here because the last couple of responses talked about the chances of winning at gambling appearing lower than published. I don't think I can split off my own post into a new thread, but if someone else could that would be great.

Thanks.
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:47 PM
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Damana Mathos Damana Mathos is offline
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Moved to a new thread.
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:57 AM
Archemedes Archemedes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damana Mathos View Post
Moved to a new thread.
Thanks! That'll teach me to actually read the OP before I decide on a thread to post in!

Anyway, sorry if the above section sounded more like complaints than anything else... I was mostly just trying to explain what I'd found, and I sort of got caught up in it.

It's a fun game otherwise. Thanks for your work!
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:02 AM
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Damana Mathos Damana Mathos is offline
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Glad you're enjoying it!

I'm pretty sure there's nothing biased about our random generation though -- I think perhaps you've just been a bit unlucky.

I'd also note that streaks do tend to be pretty common in random number sequences -- just need to wander around the roulette tables at a casino to see that.

The strategy of doubling up when you lose also often ends up losing because getting a loss streak over a large number of tries is actually quite high -- there are a few streak probability calculators on the web that can show that. And since those strategies tend to lead you people ending their gambling session when they're out of money, the loss streaks are also the most memorable.
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:57 AM
Archemedes Archemedes is offline
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Thanks for the response. I actually tested it out a bit more in the past few minutes, and I was able to get a win on my first gambling attempt (twice actually, in 6 or so tries). I know it's totally possible I've just been unlucky insofar as risky combat and gambling goes, but I'm still not sure I'm totally convinced.

To be honest, I don't really care about the money, which is why I started gambling it in the first place. (It's more fun to gamble with it than spend it on equipment anyway). I only mention that because I really couldn't care less when I lose, so it's not really a matter of remembering the losses more than the wins. And, actually, it's not even that I've lost more times than I've won, either. My -total- win/loss ratio is probably pretty even.

I never expected to win. Actually, I've always expected to lose... I've just expected to lose more unpredictably.

The problem I'm seeing is that the result of some of my gambling expeditions have seemed predictable and repeatable, based on the timing and the amount. For instance, I've gambled 1000-1900 gold, on my first trip to the casino, more than 56 times, and I've only won twice. (I literally sat here for hours doing it). After that first trip, betting a reasonable amount tends to lead to a fair number of wins... it's just that if the first trip isn't random, then neither are any of the others.

I'm not particularly asking that it be "fixed". It's possible I'm just extraordinarily unlucky and there's no problem. I just figured I'd call it to your attention just in case.

It seems to me a character stat, or another non-random number, is being seeded into the generator. If that were true, it would explain why I'm seeing patterns throughout the game... without forcing me into a mental institution for being delusional.

--------------------

Oh, and on another note, if you play two characters at once when the server is lagging a bit, messages sometimes get swapped between characters. If you hop on two characters (outside of the company network, of course), travel somewhere with both of them, hit "advance into more dangerous territory" with one, then quickly switch to the other and perform an action, **sometimes** the message regarding the level change will be sent to the wrong character. I've had that happen numerous times.

I'm on FF 2, playing the characters in different tabs of the same window, on mac osx (for the record, I'm a linux guy... but alas, it's what is available here )

Anyway, thanks for the input. I won't take up any more of your time. I Promise!
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Old 06-13-2008, 06:53 AM
HotToGo HotToGo is offline
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I have felt the same way for a while now but couldn't really put it into words or I couldn't be bothered. I think the random generater isn't very random.

I could have sworn that you get more unlucky the more money you make gambling, I have twice now made a fortune with hardly to see it all dissapear when the engine thought I had made too much. The last time with 9 losses in a row.. lol

It might all be a coincidence but for now I am thoroughly conviced that there are other factors apart from a clean 49% chance of winning.

(love the game with a passion though, one of the reasons I sit on these forrums waiting for my AP to regenerate)
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