Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by Dave » October 9th, 2008, 3:20 am

tigregf wrote:First let me ask you a question: what is randomness? I don't think anyone can really answer that question
Of course we can. It has a very specific definition in statistics: a process of selection in which each item of a set has an equal probability of being chosen.

tigregf wrote: and I don't think it can be scientifically proven that a number is random (or not).
A single number? No. But a sequence of numbers, yes.
tigregf wrote: Secondly there is no such thing as a pseudo random number generator.
There is. It is a well established concept in computer science. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudo_random
tigregf wrote: Either the numbers provided are random or they are not. They can't be pseudo random!
This is a false dichotomy.

Honestly though, I'm not sure why I bothered to write this response or am still participating in this thread. Do not expect further responses from me.

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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by Wintermute » October 9th, 2008, 3:23 am

tigregf wrote:First let me ask you a question: what is randomness? I don't think anyone can really answer that question and I don't think it can be scientifically proven that a number is random (or not).
Secondly there is no such thing as a pseudo random number generator. Either the numbers provided are random or they are not. They can't be pseudo random!
Thirdly a computer is quite unable to create random numbers, as all the results of his calculations are always completely predictable.
Ok, I'm glad that is out of the way. :wink:
tigregf wrote:I personally think it is much too high: of course I guess the developers of the game wanted it to be so because they wanted to make the game more challenging. But one thing they didn't realize is that the attractiveness of the game does not rely on uncertainty: it relies on the story lines of the campaigns, on building up and advancing the characters and also on their skillful deployment and the strategy used for each scenario.

To conclude, I'd say that I agree with using a certain degree of uncertainty in the result of the battles, but it should be limited and much less important than it is now, because such as it is actually it only urges the player to save his games and replay the same combination again and again until he gets a satisfying result; a practise which completely ruins the game!
Have you read the start of this thread? I think you are not understanding how the developers feel about the role of randomness in wesnoth. From Dave's first post:
Dave wrote:Wesnoth's approach also requires a substantial amount of analytical ability from the player. In chess, and in Fire Emblem, one knows that if they lost, they made a mistake. In Wesnoth, one can occasionally play better, and still lose. Bad in many ways perhaps, but still it adds an interesting facet: it requires more analysis as a player. You have to be able to distinguish from situations where you played a good strategy but still lost, and situations where you lost because of your poor strategy. Certainly, in real games, a losing player will almost certainly have made mistakes, but working out what those mistakes were becomes difficult, and requires great analysis.

In my opinion, many people who struggle to improve at Wesnoth do so for this very reason. They fail to see strategic mistakes they make, resulting in them losing, as such, instead believing their loss was a result of luck. Other times they may blame the wrong things for their loss, and correct the wrong things. This analytical ability is a crucial skill required for Wesnoth play, and simply wouldn't be needed if luck wasn't such a big factor.
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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by Fosprey » October 9th, 2008, 9:10 pm

Thirdly a computer is quite unable to create random numbers, as all the results of his calculations are always completely predictable.
For some reason dave avoided this one and i think is preety important.
Of course the result of a computer calculation is COMPLETLY predictable if you KNOW all the relevant factors. The point is that you don't.

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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by Jozrael » October 10th, 2008, 12:32 am

For example, an example of a true random number generator (random.org) uses atmospheric noise to generate its numbers. Now, given the exact same input over a range, the computer will give the exact same sequence of numbers.

The point is that it's impossible to predict atmospheric noise (and I'm not talking about a car horn will be a 3, and a jet engine will be a 2, I'm talking minor differences at microscopic levels (if that makes sense for sound).

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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by Fosprey » October 10th, 2008, 6:24 am

well , in theory it's not impossible to predict atmoshperic noise, this may be obvius to most people, but i'm sure some think it's not obvius, and that in fact is impossible even in theory. And then we could fall in a determinism vs non-determinism discussion..... then we start talking about quantum physics, and then get boring and wishing never raised the issue.

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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by Jozrael » October 10th, 2008, 2:25 pm

I'm aware that you could theoretically be omniscient. Get back to me when that's relevant to a mortal discussion :P xD.

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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by tigregf » October 16th, 2008, 4:29 am

Dave gave a good definition of randomness. Any dictionnary would have done as well. But my point is there is no scientific definition of the concept. Science is the opposite of randomness: I challenge Dave and any others to give me a scientific formula which would guarantee the production of random numbers. That's impossible.

Dave says one number cannot be proven to be random but a sequence of numbers can. How can that be? I don't agree.

He forgets that statistics are not an exact science. How many polls based on statistics have been proven wrong? Statistics just can't be allways right, but why? Because of randomness, of course! So, don't tell me that statistics prove the randomness of anything, because it's the opposite: randomness very often proves that statistics are wrong!!!!So, I insist on what I said previously, there is no randomness in a computer. Of course like somebody said if you don't know the relevant factors, then it looks random. But no one can guarantee that it really is.

And I also insist on the fact that the so-called pseudo randomness used in the game is too high and ruins the game.

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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by Soliton » October 16th, 2008, 7:27 am

tigregf wrote:Science is the opposite of randomness:
The scientific theory that currently most accurately describes the universe we live in, quantum theory, gives us only probabilities of what will happen. It tells us that a fundamental character of natur is randomness. You're free to disagree of course but you may have to realise that you're in a minority with that opinion.
tigregf wrote:He forgets that statistics are not an exact science. How many polls based on statistics have been proven wrong?
75.3% of statistics are made up on the spot. Are you saying those are not scientific!? :shock:
tigregf wrote:Statistics just can't be allways right, but why?
Are you saying that if statistics give us a probability of 70% of an outcome and the outcome occurs the statistic was right? And if it doesn't occur the statistic was wrong? Are you sure you know how statistics work?
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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by hiro hito » October 16th, 2008, 7:33 am

Ok, now we all know that Wesnoth is based on luck and how to managed it:
Dave wrote:This is one of the key gameplay facets of Wesnoth: managing luck. There are many opportunities to manage how much risk one exposes oneself to, and make backup plans if things go wrong.
I am agree that there are many opportunitis to manage luck, IF this luck is not huge. I never see a match between 2 players with same skill where the "unlucker" has less than 20% at his EV and win the game.... Except if his opponent makes big mistake, which it happens less often than bad luck (i consider bad luck from -20% EV and during more than 2 turns).

I've been playing Wesnoth since almost 3 years and my best position on ladder was 4th... I dont consider me as a top player but i am not a newby :wink: .
Dave wrote:In Wesnoth, there is a substantial, but not huge amount of luck.
From my poor experience in the game, i can't be agree with that. I can't post all the games i did since 0.9.1 released but i can say that MAJORITY of my games have huge amount of luck especially at the beginning of a match.... I considere ( i am repeating myself) have +/-20% EV for more than 2 turns is good/bad luck...

So we can managed this unluck when it happens if the opponent is really "inferior" or if he does big mistakes... But if 2 players play with same skill and "apparently" there is no mistake so only luck is deterministic.

So the first point is: if you play a match against a player you know (to be as good as you) how to manage luck except wait and hope for luck?

the second point is when a huge amount of luck happens how to manage it when even best players lose by it....?


To sum up: the game is based on luck management and huge amount happens frequently, then it should be possible for an "unlucker" to win by another system... Is there a way? I dont know it....

A rarely see a top player wins when his badluck is so bad.... he can keep playing but it just make the game longer but the result is the same.... I can not see how manage luck when you can lose all your unit in a row... Do you often see top players matches? I think if i were 2nd on the ladder i would proove to the 1st that iam better then him by playing himself ... but top players fight "inferior" players to win points... Why they dont fight each other 1st vs 2nd more often???? Maybe because this kind match is only based on luck and there is no way to manage it between 2 skill players!.
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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by bert1 » October 16th, 2008, 10:00 am

hiro hito: If you're right that the influence of luck is so great, it should be easy to show using evidence. But there is no objective evidence in your post.

A suggestion:

Save the next ten games you play. Post them all up, or at least the ones in which you think that luck made the game significantly unfair. Say exactly when, in each game, you think luck made a big game-swinging difference.

This won't necessarily settle the issue, as two people can look at the same game and come to different conclusions, but it's better than discussing without any evidence at all. You specifically ask for strategies which can cope with bad luck. If there are replays to discuss, a good player might be able to give some advice about that.
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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by Doc Paterson » October 16th, 2008, 11:56 am

hiro hito wrote:Ok, now we all know that Wesnoth is based on luck and how to managed it:

But if 2 players play with same skill and "apparently" there is no mistake so only luck is deterministic.

So the first point is: if you play a match against a player you know (to be as good as you) how to manage luck except wait and hope for luck?

the second point is when a huge amount of luck happens how to manage it when even best players lose by it....?


To sum up: the game is based on luck management and huge amount happens frequently, then it should be possible for an "unlucker" to win by another system... Is there a way? I dont know it....

A rarely see a top player wins when his badluck is so bad.... he can keep playing but it just make the game longer but the result is the same.... I can not see how manage luck when you can lose all your unit in a row... Do you often see top players matches? I think if i were 2nd on the ladder i would proove to the 1st that iam better then him by playing himself ... but top players fight "inferior" players to win points... Why they dont fight each other 1st vs 2nd more often???? Maybe because this kind match is only based on luck and there is no way to manage it between 2 skill players!.
What a joke. Nice to see someone rehashing the old "two players of the same skill" argument.
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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by JW » October 16th, 2008, 12:09 pm

Doc Paterson wrote:
hiro hito wrote:Ok, now we all know that Wesnoth is based on luck and how to managed it:
What a joke. Nice to see someone rehashing the old "two players of the same skill" argument.
If it was a joke how come you didn't laugh? Also, I didn't realize Dave said those things about luck! :shock: Please be more carful with your quotes because attributing different people to different quotes can become significant in discussions like this.

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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by Doc Paterson » October 16th, 2008, 12:42 pm

JW wrote: If it was a joke how come you didn't laugh?
My bad. :lol2:
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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by hiro hito » October 16th, 2008, 5:35 pm

What a joke. Nice to see someone rehashing the old "two players of the same skill" argument.
Can you be more explicit?
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Re: Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale

Post by MDG » October 16th, 2008, 6:25 pm

hiro hito wrote:
What a joke. Nice to see someone rehashing the old "two players of the same skill" argument.
Can you be more explicit?
You don't get two players of the same skill, the same as no two human beings are identical in all ways (a flawed analogy but, sufficient for the purpose). Each player 'plays' at least slightly differently in terms of strategic/tactical approach and mindset.

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