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Posts with tag rolls

Math problem: Average winning roll

Here's a question that occurred to me while I was walking home from the subway recently: What's the average winning roll in a five-man group, assuming everyone rolls? That is, if you randomly chose five numbers between one and 100, what is the expected value of the highest one?

I know a bit of statistics, but I really don't know how to begin getting at that one. However, I do know how to write a script that will calculate the answer. (Yes, these numbers are only pseudorandom, but I did some limited testing with real random numbers (from random.org) and the results were the same. Besides, I'm pretty sure Ruby's Mersenne twister pseudorandom generator is good enough for testing distributions like this.) The average winning roll out of a group of five people is 82.8 83.8 83.3 (tested over many, many repetitions). Now can any mathemagicians tell me why?

The graph above, in case it isn't clear, is average winning roll on the y-axis vs number of people rolling on the x-axis, tested over 100,000 trials for each group (the relatively small sample size is why the first point is not right at 50, and probably why the curve is a little wobbly).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances

The math behind random drops and rolls

Reader Sekhar P. sent us an interesting story of a strange roll seen in Naxx recently: Haunting Call dropped, and four people needed. The rolls came up, in order: 1, 2, 3, 4. The raid boggled at how unlikely that must be. Sekhar's tip set off a round of discussion among our WoW Insider staff: while it seems unlikely that four numbers would come up in sequence, the math on it isn't any more likely than any other four numbers (3, 69, 82, and 95, for example, or even 4, 8, 15, and 16). The odds come out to 24/100^4, about 0.00000024%, or about two chances out of 10 million. Of course, probability is tricky, so the chances that any one of those rolls would come up is still one out of 100 -- just like coin flips, previous die rolls won't affect the current die rolls (mistaking that is often called the gambler's fallacy) But the chances that any specific four numbers would come up are the astronomical chances above.

Of course, math aside, that still doesn't keep us from trying to predict how random rolls might work. We also recieved word from reader Emily about a site she and some friends are working on that is trying to predict just how much you'll have to run a certain instance to pick up some of the rarest items in the game, like Baron Rivendare's mount. Unfortunately, it's not a relevant indicator -- it looks like all they're doing is "simulating" runs on the item, and then tracking when it drops in their simulator. They're putting the math behind the chance into practical numbers.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Raiding, NPCs

Ask WoW Insider: Loot rolls and seasonal boss summons

Time once again to put a question to you, dear readers, and see what you have to say about a current issue in the World of Warcraft. This time around, Rylia has a question about loot ethics with seasonal bosses -- everyone and their guildie is taking down the Headless Horseman (making the Scarlet Graveyard an actual destination, strangely), and Rylia wants to know what the policy is when an item drops:

What's your group loot policy for seasonal bosses? (a) Use the usual in-game loot roller; everyone roll Need on the rare items (mounts, small pets, etc.) (b) Whoever summons the boss for that particular attempt gets the rare item drop from that attempt. The logic behind (b) is that it prevents people who've used up their daily summons from getting more than one chance per day (and thus making their groupmates get less than one chance per day). If someone who didn't have a summon in your seasonal group wins a rare roll, do you think that's a ninja?

Rylia


Personally, I think all the summons should get settled before you enter the instance -- if you invite someone in without a summon (for example, because they're a tank, and you just need them rather than waiting for a tank with a summon), they're a part of the group after that and have as much chance as anyone else to win a roll. And yes, if an item drops that someone can use, it should be a Need roll. So if that mount drops, everyone's got a chance to win it. That's just me, though -- I can see the point about someone without a summon taking loot from people who entered with a summon.

Though I have no idea what to do if a mount and pet drops on the same run -- would the person who won one not get a chance on the second? What think you, readers, both of general loot rules on season bosses and of Rylia's summon policy?

Previously on Ask WoW Insider...

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Ask WoW Insider, Bosses, NPCs

Ask WoW Insider: /roll abuse?


Welcome to today's edition of Ask WoW Insider, in which we publish your questions for dissection by the peanut gallery -- now with extra snark and commentary by one of our writers. This week Urdunai writes in:

Hey WoW Insider,

This week I have a question about rolling, as in /roll, and the proper use of it. I was recently on a run of Zul'Farrak with my Shaman, a guildmate Fury Warrior, a Healadin, and a Tankadin. The 2 *adins were dating or some such, I'm not sure but it's important to the story. The run had been going really well, and everyone was being very polite on loot drops. Whenever a Blue item would drop everyone would pass and we would discuss it. This is generally not a practice I approve of (The Need and Greed buttons are there for a reason, blizzard was nice enough to provide them) but that was the group's consensus so I kept my mouth shut and did it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ask WoW Insider

...and Mages and Warlocks too!

[Mages cannot summon either cats or cakes. It would be cool if we could, though.]Recently, I wrote a post on Rogues having trade windows opened up on them without so much as a word. As I suspected, many other Rogues out there indeed have the same problem. Of course, many had their own ways of dealing with it like picking the box, but not hitting trade until there was a tip in the window. Another idea was just keeping all trades off in their options so that people couldn't open up trades with them in the first place. All of these are things that I've tried from time to time with varying levels of success.

What I didn't expect, however, was the sheer amount of people who jumped in and brought up the similar plights that Mages and Warlocks face on a daily basis. As I've got a L59 Warlock and a L61 Mage, trust me when I say that I completetly understand and appreciate what you all go through with the requests you get. I'm not even able to portal others to Shattrath yet on my Mage, but anytime I'm playing her, I almost immediately get asked to open a portal there for someone anyway. Now, nobody has opened a trade window on me without asking and grunted out "food/water" as yet, but I've definitely gotten the tells demanding that I make food or water for them, as opposed to asking nicely.

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Filed under: Mage, Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

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