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Make card droprates more consistent

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by ahotbanana, Aug 22, 2021.

  1. -ovv
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    -ovv Horntail

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    upload_2021-8-23_12-9-16.png

    upload_2021-8-23_12-10-1.png
    Here's my most recent card hunting venture. Tier 2 - Tier 6 took me approximately 12 days. (Edit: Actually I think it took fewer than 12 days to get tier 6, I just delayed turning in the quest by a day or two b/c I didn't want to travel back to Vic Island). Mostly casual hunting an hour or two each day after Horntail, some days a bit more grindy depending on my schedule.

    The only 'strategies' I employ is to change channels if I don't find a monster card in the first 5 minutes, but that's just my own superstitious ritual. 30 minutes per each set is an average over many sets. Some take closer to an hour, some I can finish in under 10 minutes (most of ludi tower). Even wild kargo, which was notorious for being a pain in the ass, has seemingly averaged out to about 30 minutes for me in the last 4 hunts. Hybrid maps are even better since you can bang out 2 cards and any extra cards go onto the next mule that needs to loot so you're minimizing time wasted.

    I think the anecdotes of people complaining about certain cards taking hours and hours are mostly exaggerated or do not paint the full picture. Sure, you can say you've been stuck on a card for 5 hours, but how much of that time is actually being spent killing optimally? I'm not saying your experience at officer skeleton is due to laziness - it's completely within the realm of possibility that you just had really bad luck. However, to balance that out, you probably had really good luck on other mobs that should have taken longer. People just remember the bad experiences more and are grieved by them so much more that they're led to share about their grievances more often.
     
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  2. OP
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    ahotbanana
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    ahotbanana Capt. Latanica Retired Staff

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    Again, the average time isn't what I'm talking about. Stop bringing it up.

    I'm talking about the variance. In your previous post you said "all cards are obtainable in 15-30 minutes" which I assumed was related to variance, since that's all I'm talking about. Therefore, what I wrote was in response to your statement under the assumption you weren't strawmanning me. Of course now, you acknowledge the variance. 10 mins to 1 hour is a huge gap between extremes in the data, which means the data probably has high variance.

    At this point, I'm genuinely unsure if you actually have no idea what variance means/represents or are just trolling me. I kind of hope it's the latter.

    I'm also not asking for strategies to improve my play. I'm asking for the balance team to look at and think about the numbers.
     
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  3. SwordnBoard
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    SwordnBoard Selkie Jr.

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    Currenttly working on my second T10 ring on my shadower, i think the rates are fine as they are.
    If you got troubles with certain mobs just put on some shitty youtube and turn your brain off, always works for me.

    moretea.png
     
  4. -ovv
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    -ovv Horntail

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    How exactly are you going to 'normalize' variance without increasing drop rate, thereby making card hunting easier? Can you statistically remove bad luck? For anything with a low enough probability/drop rate, you will have a growing variance. Variance doesn't matter all that much when it comes to balance, but the overall average does.

    If the goal was to homogenize the card hunting experience for every mob, which I completely disagree with, then you'd also have to take into account the various maps that just might be inefficient for clearing (Wild Kargos, Pepe, Red Drakes). However, I think this variance of experience adds a bit of savvy to the whole card hunting experience. If you average out your experience over time, you should be able to paint a very clear picture of what mobs to attempt and which ones to skip.

    For example, if Gatekeepers and Thanatos were kept at the same drop rate of other mobs like Officer Skeletons, they'd be autoskipped by default because they're in a shitty situation of spawn rate and count. On the flipside, if Officer Skeletons were given same drop rate as Gatekeepers, they'd become far too easy. What exactly is your solution to normalizing variance?

    Even in your main example, you say that Officer Skeleton's drop rates are super low. In my experience, their drop rate is pretty average to any other mob. The map is just more annoying to clear. For us to have two differing conclusions means that yes, there is variance to card hunt experience as intended. However, my experience has been assessed over 5 different attempts to clear, so my understanding of their viability is that they're not that bad in the larger picture that I need to clear 300 sets, not just one, and they fit within the category of the top 300 most efficient card sets.

    Maybe you're just a really good player that has bad luck, as intended.

    Edit:
    Going back to Officer Skeleton situation - if Officer Skeleton and Skeleton Soldiers had a noticeably different drop rate, it'd be common knowledge to skip Skeleton Soldier completely (Camp 1). In my experience, Skeleton Soldier and Officer Skeleton have similar drop rates so I don't skip Camp 1 before moving onto Camp 3. I generally move on from Camp 1 before completing the full set, though.
     
  5. Jaewonnie
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    Jaewonnie Capt. Latanica

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    Nerf RNG
     
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  6. OP
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    ahotbanana
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    ahotbanana Capt. Latanica Retired Staff

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    My suggestion is to reduce the drop rate where it's very high and increase it where it's very low. That's what normalising is... at least kind of. At no point did I claim you wouldn't raise any drop rates, just that you wouldn't need to raise the average. No you can't statistically remove bad luck. That's the variance arising from RNG, which is unavoidable. I am asking for the variance in the underlying probabilities to be looked at. These aren't the same thing.

    I don't disagree. There should be some variance. Just not as much as I, and many other players have experienced. The question lies in whether that is truly a reflection of the average player, which neither you nor I can answer.

    The thing is, without actual drop rate numbers, we can't say what to expect for the average player. All we have to go on are our own experiences. We therefore can't come to a conclusion on whether the drop rates are too varied, varied the correct amount, or varied too little. This is why I'm suggesting that the balance team look at the numbers and make a decision. I'm not asking them to blindly follow my experience as gospel. If they are happy with the level of variance as it is, then they don't need to make a change.

    Obviously any changes made would need to be made in context with the mob in question. Obviously thanatos and gatekeeper should have higher droprates than the majority of mobs. There will be edge cases where it makes sense for card drop rates to be outliers. What I'm asking for is that any major outliers be looked at and thought about. If they make sense, obviously you keep them. If they don't, change the drop rate. I don't know why you'd think it would need to be all or nothing.

    I think you're getting bogged down in a lot of things that aren't really relevant here. The most concise summary of my views are this:
    "If the difference in time between the fastest and slowest cards I have farmed is expected of the average player farming cards, then I believe it to be too much of a gap. In case my experience has been a true reflection of reality, I suggest that the balance team review the drop rates and make any adjustments they deem necessary."

    Is there any part of those two sentences that you disagree with?
     
  7. OP
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    ahotbanana Capt. Latanica Retired Staff

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    One other thing, normalisation is a standard statistical process. You can read about it here if you want to know specifically what would be done, having removed values that are obviously intended to be outliers (eg. bosses, thanatos, gatekeep etc): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normalization_(statistics)

    The specific methods would vary depending on exactly how the range of drop rates are distributed.
     
  8. xiaoyaoz
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    xiaoyaoz Balance Team Staff Member Balance Team

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    I guess for a binomial trial, you can't really adjust the variance without affecting the average as well since mean = np, variance = npq.
    However, there's pseudo-random distribution where it is used to have more consistent result and thus reduces the variance while keeping the average the same. This is done by lowering the initial probability and increases the probability after every try until success and then resets. Something what some dummy scrollers think how the rng works, which is probably not the case with Maple (if it is so, you would hardly see multiple cards on the floor at the same time)
    To implement such system to make a more consistent drop rate would be nice but it is probably not easy to put it into the code. :geek:
     
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  9. Floris
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    Floris Capt. Latanica

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    Or someone with experience could put in the work to make a list of the best 300 card sets to get. Obviously one person’s experience won’t be enough but together we can figure it out.

    I for one like that the cards are a grind. Mind you, I’ve never gotten a tier 10 ring so far, but some parts of this game are allowed to be harder / more time consuming imo.
     
  10. -ovv
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    -ovv Horntail

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    I have zero complaints about variance between card set clears because as Jaewonnie pointed out, that would be more a complaint about RNG as a whole. From my experience, I believe card drop rates are mostly the same outside of the obvious outliers (Pinboom, red cards). The variance comes from good luck and bad luck, not from differing drop rates. Making the freebies harder takes away from the savvy in niche situations - like when you have 28/30 cards and want to get to the next tier, you'd know to go to Trixters for an instant 2x sets in under 5 minutes.

    Card hunting is a game in itself, and strategies have developed to optimize your path. Variance is a core aspect of this game that makes it fun and not a given.
    Think about variance in another aspect - people complaining that their ws10s don't always give them 1 pass in every 10 attempts. If it was so cut and dry with no variance, this game would be boring af. Likewise, people complaining that their card set clears take over 30 minutes. If every card set magically cleared in 30 minutes, this game would be boring af and there would be nothing left to be desired.

    Skip Deep Buffoons completely as there's no reason to even hunt regular Buffoons at that map. You get Buffoon cards for free at Ghost Pirate map.
     
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  11. iPippy
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    iPippy Nightshadow

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    If the goal is to normalize outcomes to more likely ensure noticeable progress, there are significantly more impactful areas than cards that should also be looked at. End game gear progression is gated behind 10% rolls, with 0 progress between successes. The variance on finding rare scrolls/books from bosses/mobs feels just as high (in my biased viewpoint, but that seems to carry some weight today).

    At least in defense of cards, theres a little known trick to reduce variance in card hunting; hunting with a friend or two. Everyone seems in (relative) agreement that the overall experience is fine as is on a scale of the full 300 sets, but complains about getting "unlucky" on a handful of card sets. Obviously the small sample size is more prone to wild fluctuations that will smooth themselves out over the full experience. If you partner up in card hunting it serves to even out that luck or unluck much quicker due to the higher number of kills/cards needed. Of course, some mobs arent in plentiful enough supply for 2+ people across the channels, but those are exceptions.

    Tl;dr We seem to agree that the overall experience is satisfactory (law of large numbers), but are complaining about the experience of individual sets. Reduce variance by hunting with others before asking balance team to solve randomness.

    Source: Self proclaimed 2-time T10 world champion
     
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  12. OP
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    ahotbanana
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    ahotbanana Capt. Latanica Retired Staff

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    You're conflating variance arising from RNG and variance in the underlying probabilities again. These are not the same things. What these two quotes are talking about is RNG. What I am trying to talk about is the variance in the probabilities.
    Variance in RNG = how lucky an individual person is
    Variance in probabilities = how lucky the average person is
    If you still don't understand the difference, I can try to explain it to you.

    Let me try and break down those two sentences a little since I get the feeling you're still not understanding what I'm saying.

    If the difference in time between the fastest and slowest cards I have farmed is expected of the average player farming cards, then I believe it to be too much of a gap. In case my experience has been a true reflection of reality, I suggest that the balance team review the drop rates and make any adjustments they deem necessary.

    This is either true or false. If it is false, and my individual variance is not a reflection of the average variance, then my conclusions are false, because they are based on a false premise.

    So far, what you've mainly been saying to me is that this statement is false. For example:
    That's fair if you do dispute it, but your own experience isn't a reliable source for that. The numbers that staff have available to them are.

    If it is true, we move onto my conlusion based on that being true:
    You may disagree with this conclusion, and you seem to
    for example:
    but at that point it's just a difference of opinion. We'll never see eye to eye and there's no point continuing to argue if this is the point that we disagree on. It's then on the staff to decide who they agree with.


    Given that I, as a player, do not have access to data that can actually be used to argue one way or another on this decision, but I do have anecdotal experience indicating there may be a problem:

    I am requesting that the balance team review the numbers to see if the conditional I proposed in the first quote is actually true or false and take action if they agree that it is too big of a gap.

    You could dispute this by saying that the balance team doesn't have time for this/should prioritise other things. I wouldn't necessarily disagree, but I kind of see that as their decision, not ours. I'm presenting them with something and they can decide if it's worth their time or not.

    The goal is to normalise average outcomes to shift the variability more onto things that players can actively observe and make concrete decisions upon (eg. map layout, number of mobs, other mobs in the map, level of mobs, etc). I maintain that it's essentially impossible for a single player to have a reliable understanding of which cards have high and low drop rates. Even with the slight difference in the goals, though, I would agree that this is a valid criticism. Then again, you could just... make suggestion threads for those, yourself (assuming you agree with the goal, of course).

    To be completely honest, I don't actually care all that much about this. The variance is definitely something I can live with, but I find it frustrating so suggested it be toned down. I didn't really expect people to enjoy it, but if they do, they do. I first posted this when I was frustrated at spending 1 hour and 45 minutes hunting a single card. The main reason I've argued so viciously and basically spent all evening on this is that it winds me up beyond belief when people argue with things I didn't actually say.

    I don't think I'll reply after this. Heading to bed now
     
  13. -ovv
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    -ovv Horntail

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    I've completed most of the same card sets 5 times now. I'm assuming that not many more players can speak on behalf of the variance in probabilities more than I can, unless someone has hunted more card sets (I know AnnolisAnnolis has done a ton of repeat card hunting too). This entire thread is based on the assumption that there is some collective/shared experience of bad luck with card hunting that needs to be changed, but reading through the comments, most people seem to agree that there isn't much of a problem. I've provided reasonings as to why these experiences seem to be more prevalent (bias in reporting/searching for shared negative experiences) and shouldn't be taken into consideration as the only valid data. We don't know how in/efficient people are at hunting, and the only metric you have for 'bad luck' is time spent hunting, which opens up variance in outcome by adding a lot more variables besides the established drop rate.

    Bad luck seems inexplicable when it happens to you, and it's easy to call foul play. However, I find it ironic that you're putting so much weight into your anecdotal experience without regards to others'. I've mentioned it here that I believe Officer Skeleton and Skeleton Soldier card drop rates are evenly matched, otherwise I would have marked on my personal guide to skip Camp 1 entirely. Yet it still remains on my list in the order - Camp 1, Camp 3. Would you say your individual experience (or 3x for each of your characters) outweighs my experience (5x characters) with Officer Skeletons?

    If you read anything from my post, please answer this:
    What is your proposed solution to player-by-player variance?
    Assuming the only control staff would really have is to tweak drop chance, what exactly could they do to help with bad luck outliers?

    You make the assumption that staff has all the information on hand and also has a perfect understanding in its implementation in coding. As a retired staff, did you have this information readily available while on staff? And beyond that, did you have a hand in its implementation? And beyond that, did you playtest it enough to confirm its implementations were sound?

    Why is that? If an individual completes the same card set 50 times, would they not have a better grasp at drop rates than someone going at it for the first time? We didn't know anything about the CWKPQ drop rates at first, but by collecting data over time, we were able to paint a general picture and can make educated guesses. The same applies to card hunting. You seem to be painting a 'woe is me' scenario for your one outlier experience, but if you agree that it is most likely an outlier, what is actually being requested for change?

    Edit:
    I checked my log. The order you should be clearing Officer Skeleton is this: Remains <Cliff>, Camp 1, Camp 3. You have 2 instances where you have a chance at finding freebie Officer Skeleton cards before you even get to Camp 3.
     
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  14. OP
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    ahotbanana
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    ahotbanana Capt. Latanica Retired Staff

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    I said I wouldn't reply again and yet here I am. Guess I have no self control...

    Decided to move this to the top because it's the main thing I'd like a response to, really:
    It's really just that I feel that my anecdotal experience, given it's shared by at least a few other people in this thread and a few people I've spoken to outside of this thread, is enough to warrant checking for a problem. I don't know why you're so confident in your own experience that you're opposed to them even looking at the numbers.

    Player-by-player variance is expected and fine. At no point have I said that this is something I'd like addressed. All I've ever been talking about is the variance of the drop rates themselves if you were to represent those as data points in a probability distribution. When I put it like this, I can see why this would be confusing, since whether or not a card actually drops (ie. individual luck) is the more obvious probability distribution to apply this to. Sorry if that was confusing.
    It is true that in reducing the expected variance like this, you would expect individual variance to go down, which might also be what's confusing you.

    To clarify my position once again: I'm asking that they look at the drop rate numbers to see if there actually is a problem or not. I'm not saying they definitely need to make a change, just asking they check how many extreme outliers do exist without having good reason to exist. This would take about 10 minutes if the numbers are readily available, which they are (I can't go into too much detail due to confidentiality), and they have a high-school understanding of statistics and how to use excel, which I would expect of the balance team.

    I wasn't staff when the monster book was implemented, so no, I didn't personally test that the drop rates were working as intended. It would have been tested before release, though, yes. Exactly what these tests would have involved, I can't say.

    Ok, I will rephrase. It is highly unlikely for any individual player, without specifically attempting to collect data and analyse the drop rates, to have a reliable understanding of what cards are good and bad to farm. Even if someone got the ring for all 4th job classes in the game, that's only 12 rings, or 60 cards of each set. That's... pretty much around the minimum that I would consider to be significant enough. Maybe professional statisticians would disagree, though. I haven't actually had to touch statistics like this in about 10 years and can't remember exactly what metrics are used as standard for this. Either way, though, unless you've actually been recording times for your data set, the data you have is unreliable because it relies on your memory, or your subjective decision at the time as to whether that was "too slow" or not. Unless you're superhuman, you're not going to accurately remember how long 300 different things took you to do. If you have been recording times, I'm surprised you haven't posted these as harder, more specific evidence than merely stating what you've observed.

    Once again, I am asking for it to be checked whether or not this kind of experience is actually unlikely or not. If it is unlikely and I was unlucky then I am not requesting any change be made.

    Let's take a look at what I actually said, rather than what you've decided to argue against:
    I am acknowledging that this may be bad luck. If that is the case, then obviously staff don't need to do anything. However, the luck was so bad (taking 4.6 times a hypothetical "expected time") that it makes sense to check the real values for the drop rates.

    I wanted to do some more math to show just how unlucky this would make me (given a few assumptions), because I think you maybe don't grasp just how unlikely it would be for an even drop rate to give 10 cards from a monster with 6 spawns but only 5 cards of a monster with 14 spawns. Unfortuantely the binomial calculator I was using yesterday won't load for me and the rest I can find end up breaking because the probability is so low they either round to 0 or output NaN (not a number). Maybe that, in and of itself, will be enough to convince you that a problem should at least be checked for...
     
  15. Myungsoo
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    Myungsoo Selkie Jr.

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    You're right, I take back what I said. I thought long and hard about the idea ''but wouldn't it be better if things were more consistent'' but that would make it too mathematical / calculated which MapleLegends is already so much of. I do however want to say that I am equally happy with either scenario.
     
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  16. -ovv
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    -ovv Horntail

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    Do you not see the contradiction in relying on the memory of "a few people I've spoken to outside of this thread" whilst disregarding my memory of time spent on cards?

    I'm still confused as to what shocking revelation of yours is that compelled you to write up this post.
    We already know that drop rates vary from mob to mob. Whether certain mobs drop at a lower rate than others, most of that has been mapped out by the community as skips, even though you claim it'd be impossible for an individual to figure out. Deep Buffoon, as already mentioned in this thread, was a well known skip. So are Nest Golems. So are Dark Yeti and Pepe, but that has changed since the recent map changes. Officer Skeleton isn't a skip card - and I say this because outside of this thread, this is the first time I've ever heard of anybody complaining about Officer Skeleton cards. You're weighing heavily on your personal experience but why does your anecdotal evidence get weight while mine gets dismissed as possibly inaccurate? You're carrying the burden of proof, and the evidence you brought up in this thread holds the same weight as mine. However, I'd like to point out that I'm more inclined to believing in the memory of someone who has spent the time to develop an optimized card hunting guide more than the words of random, disgruntled players.

    I also shared with you a reason WHY Officer Skeleton might be better off with having a lower drop rate than Skeleton Soldier. They exist in multiple hybrid maps as freebie cards before you even get to hunting them. This is for the savvy players to know and for the unwitting to find out. If you are a newcomer and spent 30 minutes hunting Skeleton Soldiers at Camp 1, then another 2 hours finishing Officer Skeletons at Camp 3, you'd be pretty disgruntled when you find out that Officer Skeleton cards drop at a Remains <Cliff> while you hunt for Commander Skeleton cards, and every excess card that drops at Remains <Cliff> will make your elongated efforts at Camp 3 seem like a waste of time. This is inefficient, but it serves a purpose to distinguish between players with and without this experience.

    Now I've been wrapping my head around what possible system we could implement in order to eliminate variance, and I think I've found one (though I do not advocate for it). Monsterbook quest is not based on drop rate of cards but is now a kill count quest. Each 'cardset' requires you to kill x amount of mobs to complete the set. This system would allow the least amount of variance between players (outside of mages having a huge advantage). The caveat, balance team would calculate the amount of time each mob would take at their optimal maps and normalize the kill count to about 30 minutes. I feel like this system would play closely to whatever normalization of variance you're proposing.

    I'm not sure how the community would respond, but I would absolutely hate that format because it would seem tedious chore with nothing left to be desired (having good luck on certain mobs).

    I did some card hunting last night and actually timed my card sets. I finished Barnard Gray in about 6 minutes (3x shadow stars buffs). Ultra Gray in about 10, and Zeta Gray in about 35. Unless everyone has similar experiences in time differentials between the three mobs, it's safe to assume that the variance stems from good and bad luck. And even IF the Zeta Gray mob was manually given a lower drop rate, I wouldn't mind because that's what makes this game exciting.
     
  17. OP
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    ahotbanana Capt. Latanica Retired Staff

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    I'm not even going to reply, you're still ignoring what I've actually written and making up what I've said. It's getting very tiring correcting every single one of your posts just for you to re-claim that I'm stating something I explicitly said I wasn't advocating for.

    If you're trolling, honestly, great job
     
  18. Porkupine
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    It would be nice if the drop rates of some of these mobs were looked at and potentially improved. While it's true that some existing monster book guides already recommend skipping these, not every player farming cards is going to be referencing these guides, so you can't use "but it's in guides" as an argument supporting these poor drop rates. In similar spirit, the fact that mages can go LUKless is widely known and in almost every ML guide, and yet we still see new players fall into this trap all the time. Just because it's reported in guides, doesn't mean the game can't improve in how it's experienced, and it certainly shouldn't justify poor design (Elemental Wands were a mistake imo).

    To be honest this all sounds like
    A: I had a bad experience, some other people shared similar experiences, maybe I got extremely unlucky but also maybe this is a problem?
    B: No, look how normal/easy I have it, you're not doing it right, not a problem at all.

    You aren't really listening to what ahotbanana shared. He's trying to show that what happened in Camp 3 was VERY improbable and could be happening to other people in other maps/mobs, so he's suggesting to Staff a review in card drop rates. No one but Staff can really properly answer his concerns. Your anecdotes are not what he's asking for.
     
  19. -ovv
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    One might see it as poor design. Another might see it as a unique trait in this game that challenges players to learn and improve upon. If overnight they made Deep Buffoons drop cards at a much higher rate, the gap between knowledgeable players and unknowledgeable players would grow more shallow. If you see this as a good thing, that's ultimately where our opinions might differ. Personally, I find normalizing everything to be quite boring.

    Except in this case, there are three posters who remember no real difference in drop rates for Officer Skeletons and Skeleton Soldiers.

    The probability of scrolling a 20 atk+ cape is VERY improbable, but yet people know about that cape because of its improbability. I've explained many times that there tends to be a bias in reporting negative experiences. Just because OP encountered an improbable experience doesn't make his experience 'more valid' than others as long as it is within a realm of possibility. Why would this one-off experience warrant an investigation? Honestly, it sounds like someone is just salty because they had bad luck and they're asking for a manager to make sense of RNG. <Sir, this is a Wendy's>.

    What would staff looking into drop rates do? Let's say Staff gives in and says "yep, they're different" - what exactly would that accomplish? The problem at hand is that OP seems to be complaining about variance between mobs and is asking to eliminate extreme outliers. Except in this case, his reasoning is stemmed on an experience that isn't shared commonly by others. Do you not see how weak that argument is?
     
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    ahotbanana
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    ahotbanana Capt. Latanica Retired Staff

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    12:13 PM
    This is true, but that doesn't mean that negative reports should be ignored, which is what you seem to be suggesting.

    It's not a one off experience. Lots of players have experienced variability in how long different cards take. Maybe not with this specific card, but it was intended as an example, not an exhaustive study. Strawman.

    Irrelevant. It's a question of how different they are and whether the initial drop rates are a victim of the fact that probability is inherently unintuitive. Strawman once again.

    It's weak because it's a strawman. Please just stop.
     

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