Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

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Jetrel
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Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by Jetrel »

Something recently occurred to me. We've always thought Murphy's Law was a statement of pessimism: "Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong." Just a statement that life sucks like that, and god is out to spite us. Making dropped toast land on the butter side, etc.

Actually, I believe it's more of a statement of engineering philosophy: namely, that if you know there's a small chance some part will eventually break (or just generally, some "thing" go wrong), when you make something, that it's not something you should "sweep under the rug" and ignore. Which, when you're just making something for yourself, is absolutely the normal thing to do. That instead, you should treat it as an ABSOLUTE GUARANTEE that it will fail, and design fallbacks. Even if it's an incredibly tiny chance, when something is mass-produced and being used over many years, it's enough to guarantee that someone will have the [censored] hit their fan.

For example, this is why cars ship with spare tires - which are something most people never use in the lifetime of their car (at least these days, with modern tires), but boy if they do end up needing it, it's a lifesaver.
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Re: Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by Velensk »

I've actually always thought of it as a law of probability. As long as there is a minute chance of something happening and the universe keeps getting into situations where this thing could possibly happen eventually it will happen. I suppose that applying that to engineering and fail/safe procedures is a more practical way of looking at it.
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Re: Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by Hulavuta »

Applies to Wesnoth: "All attacks that can miss, will miss."
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Re: Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by Captain_Wrathbow »

Hulavuta wrote:Applies to Wesnoth: "All attacks that can miss, will miss."
:lol2: Lol, thinking about making that quote in my signature... :hmm:
EDIT: Yeah, I did. :mrgreen:
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Re: Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by sur.nhm »

Hulavuta wrote:Applies to Wesnoth: "All attacks that can miss, will miss."
Even if they have Magical or Precision (an EoMa weapon special which is like Magical but 80%).
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Re: Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by pauxlo »

Dependent on the point of view, it can also mean "All attacks that can hit, will hit".
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Re: Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by Pentarctagon »

Hulavuta wrote:Applies to Wesnoth: "All attacks that can miss, will miss."
reminded me of an SX match a while ago. my brother attacked a unit with his berserker and had a 99.6% chance of killing it, but it survived which then resulted in his death next turn :lol2:
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Re: Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by Araja »

Or the time my SX sylph had a 98.5% chance of obliterating a ghoul.
Yes, I was poisoned the next round.

RPG advice: Always plan for Murphy's Law. If you don't have a plan for missing all your attacks and/or being hit by every enemy within reach, you're probably dead meat when it eventually happens.
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Re: Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by styles1005 »

Yes, a good general rule for when to make a risky move that could result in the failure of your plan is: don't. If a move that could result in failure is not 100% guaranteed to work, it's a bad idea.

Seriously, though, I find that bad luck is like Drakes: it/they always manage(s) to get you at the worst moment. You can go 100 times with your full-health Elvish Fighter attacking a badly damaged Ulf from forest and win every time, but when that full-health Fighter is your leader? That will be the one time you'll fail, guaranteed.
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Re: Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by Mountain_King »

and don't forget Parkinson's law while we're at it. (Murphy's cousin) "Any job will inevitably expand to fill the length of time available for its completion".
So that's why I don't get any early finish bonuses... :lol2:
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Re: Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by johndh »

If something has a one-in-a-million chance of going wrong and everyone on Earth tries it once, it's going to happen about seven thousand times.
It's spelled "definitely", not "definately". "Defiantly" is a different word entirely.
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Re: Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by Gambit »

Another way of putting it; Any thread that can be warped into a list of RNG complaints will be warped into a list of RNG complaints. :augh:
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Re: Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by Araja »

By list of RNG complaints you mean 3 people using examples to demonstrate their point of view? :P
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Re: Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by Joram »

Araja wrote:By list of RNG complaints you mean 3 people using examples to demonstrate their point of view? :P
Doesn't the RNG determine everything that happens in life? In which case every example used so far is about the RNG.
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Re: Murphy's Law - A Notable Observation

Post by MCP »

Pentarctagon wrote:
Hulavuta wrote:Applies to Wesnoth: "All attacks that can miss, will miss."
reminded me of an SX match a while ago. my brother attacked a unit with his berserker and had a 99.6% chance of killing it, but it survived which then resulted in his death next turn :lol2:
If it's not at least 99.9% then it's more likely to survive than you would expect. It probably means after 29 rounds of average damage, the enemy should still be alive. The last round is the one that determined the odds. I always do a quick calculation for bosses, mostly because of the length of time it takes to calculate in wesnoth...

BUT EVEN THEN, the dark adept COULD theoretically survive a berserk attempt, and then kill it the next round :).


Hmm, a crazy idea for an SX side boss:
The Luck Manipulator or perhaps aka "Murphy, L.". You do all the calculations, but then before the battle starts, an RNG replaces its resistances, damages, strikes, and defense %. It could even get so lucky as to get 100% dodge :p.
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