Bad luck? Read this

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Yogibear
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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by Yogibear »

Don't worry, i get your idea. If you check my posts on this topic you will find that to a certain extend i share your opinion.

What i wanted to point out was just that realism is commonly used as a bonus but not as a central point of argument.
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Dave
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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by Dave »

Ysegrim wrote:no leader would send such a important unit into war if it isn´t sure of at least a predictable outcome.
The Battle of Marathon turned out very unpredictable for the Persians.

The Battle of Salamis likewise.

The Battle of Cannae turned out very unpredictable for the Romans.

The Battle of Carrhae likewise.

...and the list goes on. War is by its nature unpredictable.

David
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Dunno
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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by Dunno »

Dave made a very good point. Think about it this way: you are a leader who only tells his soldiers where to go. You can't tell them how to fight. So you can make a perfect strategy, you can predict what your opponent will to, you can choose the best place for battle, but you can't predict how your soldiers will fight (and how well the enemy will defend itself).

finally, I've started a 5 pages (and counting!) long thread! It's a dream coming true :geek:
Oh, I'm sorry, did I break your concentration?

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artisticdude
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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by artisticdude »

And this thread started so innocently, too... :P

There was actually a battle in the crusades between the Crusaders and Turks, where the Turkish army outnumber the Crusaders' something like 10 to 1, and yet the Crusaders still won. This, of course, is only one example of many throughout history of how a larger force can be overcome by a smaller one. Quantity plays a role in warfare, certainly, but the quality of the soldiers' training and equipment, the place they fight, their morale, their leadership, their unity... these and other factors all play a role in determining who is to lose and who is to win the battle. And, while computer games can never have all these factors, I think BfW comes closest of all the strategy games I've played, even the commercial ones.

No one can predict what will happen. For everything that happens, even if there's a million-to-one chance it will happen the way someone thinks it will, there is still always a chance that it will happen another way, or not happen at all. That's what makes life interesting... you never know what's up ahead, not even in the next seconds. :)
"I'm never wrong. One time I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken."

TheHouseJackBuilt
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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by TheHouseJackBuilt »

Ysegrim wrote:in rl war if you plan an attack and your terrain protects you better you smash your enemy there is no luck factor that prevents it if everything is visible to you as the attacker... else you would not attack. in wesnoth on the other hand it can happen that the attacker doesn´t even hit once.
A superior force can still lose a battle even if they got terrain advantage in RL too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogendra_Singh_Yadav
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_C._York
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audie_Murphy

And these are extreme examples that are kinda famous (if u like looking for these kind of stuff anyway). So extreme that i doubt that something similar can happen in wesnoth. There are probably way more frequent (less extreme and much less well known) examples of luck in war history.

its a fun game but it could be really better. luck should definately stay in wesnoth so not everything is 100% predictable but in wesnoth its too much luck involved.
If u want less luck in wesnoth thats one thing. Everyone has their opinion of what the "right" level of luck involvment should be. Some people want much less luck some people want a bit less luck some people like it as it is and maybe some people want even more luck. There's a locked sticky topic about that.

But claiming that wesnoth should have less luck because of realism (which is by itself not a very good argument since gameplay comes first) is wrong because in real life there are many examples of battles that turned not only because of skills strategies and firepower but because of luck too. In some cases luck was much more involved than it is in wesnoth.

Dan-the-Terrible
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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by Dan-the-Terrible »

I suspect some of the people complaining about RNG fairness have a bias that comes from playing face to face games with random outcomes determined by die rolling. These people develop a belief that rolling dice gives better random distributions than computer random number generators. That belief is nonsense.

I have played a lot of face to face games, and I find that a significant number (by no means all) of people who play these games are skilled dice mechanics. Time and again, I have watched people who need a "lucky six" roll their six sided die and come up with that six more than half the time. In most sizable gaming groups there seem to be at least one or two of these people

Have you ever played craps at a real casino? They actually have fairly restrictive rules about how the dice are rolled. You have to throw the dice so they bounce off the far end of the table. The dice are transparent, not because that makes them look cool, but because it makes tampering with the interior of the dice much easier to spot. If there is even the vaguest suspician the dice are not honest, they are replaced. All of these measures are in place to keep the customers from cheating. Any sensible casino is satisfied with the house percentage generated by truly random rolling, but they do go to considerable trouble to try to keep those results truly random.

In casual face to face gaming, nothing like casino crap rules are enforced. The dice are typically dropped onto the table from a height of a few inches, not bounced off a barrier several feet away. Some players will insist on using their own "lucky dice". These people are often indulged on the theory their belief is mere superstition. Sometimes it is, but often these "lucky dice" really are lucky, they have some defect that causes them to roll cerrtain results preferentially. Dice included with board games are usually very cheap; they are not made to anything like Vegas standards, and often do have such defects.

Having played games with quite a few of these people, and spoken frankly with some about the non-randomness of dice rolling, the impression I get is that none of them consciously believe thay are cheating. Oddly enough, most of them seem genuinely unaware that they are manipulating the dice odds. I have found a few who will privately acknowledge that they do manipulate the odds, at least when they "really need it." But even these will insist they aren't cheating, that such manipulation is part of the game, and everyone does it.

I think some of these people come to computer gaming, and find they cannot crank out that "lucky six" or the equivalent, when they really need it. They do not think of themselves as dice mechanics, but they do notice they do not experience the level of luck they are accustomed to when playing face to face games. Their natural reaction is that the computer must be cheating them somehow.

Noy
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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by Noy »

TheHouseJackBuilt wrote:
Ysegrim wrote:in rl war if you plan an attack and your terrain protects you better you smash your enemy there is no luck factor that prevents it if everything is visible to you as the attacker... else you would not attack. in wesnoth on the other hand it can happen that the attacker doesn´t even hit once.
A superior force can still lose a battle even if they got terrain advantage in RL too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogendra_Singh_Yadav
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_C._York
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audie_Murphy

And these are extreme examples that are kinda famous (if u like looking for these kind of stuff anyway). So extreme that i doubt that something similar can happen in wesnoth. There are probably way more frequent (less extreme and much less well known) examples of luck in war history.
Not to belabour this point but I did have an extended post on the relationship between RNG and realism in the stickied luck thread.
I suspect having one foot in the past is the best way to understand the present.

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Papy
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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by Papy »

A bit of context before... I just tried Wesnoth. I'm normally more into heavy games, but I don't mind playing lighter games like Civilization or other derivative of Empire from time to time. Problem is : I found luck in Wesnoth to be a bit too much an annoyance. My first thought was to see if someone made an extension of a mod to lessen the luck factor, but the only thing I found was the stickied (and closed) thread "Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale".
We, people, have a very good memory for bad things that happened to us.
This is true, but that's not the only thing which change our point of view on luck. Personally, I feel kind of frustrated when I lose a level 3 mage because of very bad luck. I guess this is more or less true for everyone. Does the bad luck really affect the outcome of the game overall? Not too much, but the psychological effect is still there. The problem for me is, as I am not a gambler, I don't find winning a battle because of good luck rewarding at all. It just feels to me as a cheap win. So the game doesn't offer a way to balance out the frustration of losing an important piece because of bad luck.
everyone is naturally going to assume they're right and they rest of the world is wrong, and no amount of stickied threads is going to convince them otherwise (unfortunately)
That also is true. And this is true for everybody. The rationale in the stickied thread is not a "rationale" at all. It is just an attempt to present what is just a personal taste as a superior quality. I understand the taste even if it's not mine, I could even understand the desire to not put an option to make luck less prevalent for the people who prefer less gambling, but the condescending and self-indulgent feel of that rationale is more like putting oil on fire rather trying to explain things. Sometimes, trying too hard to justify oneself is the best way to convince others that you're "wrong".

Solon64
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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by Solon64 »

war is all about terrain and how to use your troops in wesnoth it just gives a little bonus to defense that can be too easily overcome with just luck.
Wesnoth isn't about winning battles solely through luck. Your job in Wesnoth is to minmize the effects of bad luck and promote the effects of good luck so as to give yourself an advantage. Terrain is a huge part of minimizing bad luck (for example, don't put a mage on grass unless he's completely covered by allied units or you expect to lose him. Relying on luck for that mage to survive is a negative expected value and, in the long run, will lose you more mages).

You'll become a better player when you realize that 50% defense terrain may sound iffy but is 0 expected value, anything above that is a bonus, anything less than that a bad plan (but perhaps tactically a good choice in favor of an overall strategy), and just roll with the punches when you get a streak of "bad luck."

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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by Captain_Wrathbow »

Papy wrote:My first thought was to see if someone made an extension of a mod to lessen the luck factor, but the only thing I found was the stickied (and closed) thread "Luck in Wesnoth: Rationale".
There are a couple mods that remove or lessen the luck factor. Try Sauron's mod or the Lessluck Era by Zookeeper. :wink:

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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by Sauron »

Well, I must admit I did not bother to read the whole thread. I have no idea what stopped me after reading just a few first posts ...
So in case you do not enjoy the battle mechanics the game offers:
Dave wrote:I think that the Dunning-Kruger effect is likely hugely relevant when it comes to recognizing random number patterns. The worse someone is at it, it's likely the better they think they are. Since they already suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect when it comes to luck, they probably also suffer from it when it comes to Wesnoth playing ability. So we have someone who thinks they have a perfect understanding of luck and chance, and they also think they are a grandmaster-level Wesnoth player, and yet they continually lose to games.
you obviously suffer badly from Dunning-Kruger effect and should see some psychiatrist to prescribe you some Prozac. In addition to that you may not claim you know how to play Wesnoth, because if you do not like battle mechanics it offers- you apparently are just frustrated by continuous losing, you dumb*ss. But wait - if you are irritated by our argumentation based on Dunning-Kruger effect, it definitely proves that you're suffering from that, otherwise you would not get irritated, would you?
Sangel wrote:I agree that the Dunning-Kruger effect is particularly obvious in many complaints about luck in Wesnoth. While I'm not aware of any peer-reviewed research to this effect, I believe that there is a link between the Dunning-Kruger effect and conspiracy theory. If you have cognitive biases that make you believe that you are better at tasks than you actually are - particularly if those biases are pervasive and encompass quite complex tasks and goals - then there's a necessity to account for the gap between your self-perceived competence and your inability to reach goals. Conspiracy theory is an ego-affirming way to explain that disparity.
Oh, now I understand how complaints about game mechanics are connected with disbelief in 'single shooter theory' regarding Kennedy's assassination or unexplained phenomena on 9/11 and how the Iraq got invaded and other massive paranoias .... THANK YOU SANGEL, you enlightened me!
Dave wrote:Wesnoth is a game designed by its designers as a game we would enjoy playing. Some people will like it, some won't. There are plenty of other fun games for those who don't like it to play.
Definitely. Real life is funniest of them - and more rewarding regarding satisfaction from contacts.
Sauron
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GET my mod [available as C++ sourcecode and compiled Windows executable] for wesnoth 1.6.4
at http://saurons-mod.zor.org/
Mod thread
http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26803

Sangel
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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by Sangel »

Sauron wrote:
Sangel wrote:I agree that the Dunning-Kruger effect is particularly obvious in many complaints about luck in Wesnoth. While I'm not aware of any peer-reviewed research to this effect, I believe that there is a link between the Dunning-Kruger effect and conspiracy theory. If you have cognitive biases that make you believe that you are better at tasks than you actually are - particularly if those biases are pervasive and encompass quite complex tasks and goals - then there's a necessity to account for the gap between your self-perceived competence and your inability to reach goals. Conspiracy theory is an ego-affirming way to explain that disparity.
Oh, now I understand how complaints about game mechanics are connected with disbelief in 'single shooter theory' regarding Kennedy's assassination or unexplained phenomena on 9/11 and how the Iraq got invaded and other massive paranoias .... THANK YOU SANGEL, you enlightened me!
There's no need to be like that. There are plenty of players who believe that the element of luck is too great in Wesnoth without succumbing to conspiracy theory and other nonsense.

However, there are people who insist that the game is somehow rigged against them, despite the fact that the source code is open, so there's no way to hide such rigging, and the fact that any form of statistical analysis of replays shows pretty clearly that the RNG is unbiased. For those people, the Dunning-Kruger effect and conspiracy theory provide a pretty good explanation of why formed, and maintain, such beliefs.

Having written a patch to change the way in which luck is handled in Wesnoth, I'm sure that you're well aware that the "problem" isn't some kind of rigging of the RNG. Thus, you are not the type of person David is discussing in this thread.
"Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit." - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

hiro hito
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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by hiro hito »

So sad that the thread is going bad.....

Better talk about the game itself than players that nobody know.

For my part I think that RNG or psychologic's player are not the problem.

The problem is really concrete:

with 20% < EV statistics during 2 turns, the game is almost over.
with 20% < EV statistics during more than 2 turns the game is completly over.

Nothing in the game can surpass this kind of thing, even the best strategy!
It's regrettable that for a game design around strategy/map balancing/unit balancing, it's a non-human factor that can deal the match outcome....
Take in consideration luck or bad luck is pointless because in the case of Wesnoth you never know how long it will last...
You can manage luck for one or few attack but not for an entire game.... In fact, with players "with same level","same moods(no errors from them)", luck will decide the outcome! Strategy is just... nothing.

I think that when a big EV difference happens, it should be counter by something like :
* a fog of war a little bit more significant, that can be use for a better retreat or counter attack.
* a system that can revert EV difference....
"Of course His Majesty is a pacifist. When I told him that to initiate war was a mistake, he agreed.Thus, gradually, he began to lead toward war."-Emperor Shòwa (Enlightened Peace)'s chief cabinet secretary

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Gambit
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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by Gambit »

hiro hito wrote:In fact, with players "with same level","same moods(no errors from them)", luck will decide the outcome!
Ummm. Duh?
If their strategies are both flawless and equal in intelligence then of course it's going to be a coin toss. If there weren't luck to decide; situations like what you describe would always be stalemate. Of course I doubt there are ever games with two perfectly equal opponents making absolutely no errors...

hiro hito
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Re: Bad luck? Read this

Post by hiro hito »

What do you think when 2 top players are playing?
"Of course His Majesty is a pacifist. When I told him that to initiate war was a mistake, he agreed.Thus, gradually, he began to lead toward war."-Emperor Shòwa (Enlightened Peace)'s chief cabinet secretary

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