Crystal Outcomes Aren't Random - Here's Why

24

Comments

  • CrusherOfDreamsCrusherOfDreams Posts: 1,370 ★★★
    Stefff wrote: »
    Stefff wrote: »
    Stefff wrote: »
    Noobeeus wrote: »
    I know of people who have taken their devices to a friends house who seemed to be 'overly lucky' with his crystal pulls and what do you know? Whilst they were there they got lucky also....

    I feel like there is a hidden luck factor that each account has which means that some people are far luckier than others.

    Take Seatin for example and any of the other people who are 0 from many featured 5* crystals. Of which I am one.

    The odds of getting as many as he has are in the millions to one. You'd have a better chance of winning the lottery...

    Ehhh,
    I disagree. IMO Crystal outcomes use some kind of environment-based algorithm, but Kabam cannot manipulate odds for individual accounts. The coding involved would be too complicated.

    Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah. Did you, the person who alleged that Kabam links it's crystal odds to the atmospheric pressure and noise, say that any coding is too complicated. Wow.

    *sigh* The algorithm that uses electromagnetic background noise is a well known, oft-copied piece of code. The reason that linking odds to the accounts is very difficult has to do with variables and regulations in code, which are pretty complicated and DNA3000 would be better at explaining then me.

    But the idea that it's even being used is complete bullcrap. You really think it would be simpler to go through the code and edit it every time a new crystal or character is released? I'm finding it hard to even argue at this point. If it's not obvious that you're wrong by now, I don't even know if it's possible to prove anything else to you.

    I have provided evidence, and explained many of the reasons why such a system is possible or even probable. Your continual criticism of me, based on a viewpoint that is entirely possible from a programming perspective, is confusing. I'm not going to engage with you further, as you have provided no evidence for your viewpoint and yet continue to criticize mine.

    It's also possible that the opposite of your statement is true, but whatever, you can say I'm wrong. I don't care anymore. There's no convincing anyone who believes something like this that it isn't true. If your mind even came up with this in the first place, there's no way that I can get it out. Thanks for the infinite amount of "LOL"s that you just gave to me and others involved in this conversation.
  • PharaohPharaoh Posts: 13
    I'm finding this discussion between you three rather interesting. :)
  • CrusherOfDreamsCrusherOfDreams Posts: 1,370 ★★★
    Stefff wrote: »
    Stefff wrote: »
    Stefff wrote: »
    Noobeeus wrote: »
    I know of people who have taken their devices to a friends house who seemed to be 'overly lucky' with his crystal pulls and what do you know? Whilst they were there they got lucky also....

    I feel like there is a hidden luck factor that each account has which means that some people are far luckier than others.

    Take Seatin for example and any of the other people who are 0 from many featured 5* crystals. Of which I am one.

    The odds of getting as many as he has are in the millions to one. You'd have a better chance of winning the lottery...

    Ehhh,
    I disagree. IMO Crystal outcomes use some kind of environment-based algorithm, but Kabam cannot manipulate odds for individual accounts. The coding involved would be too complicated.

    Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah. Did you, the person who alleged that Kabam links it's crystal odds to the atmospheric pressure and noise, say that any coding is too complicated. Wow.

    *sigh* The algorithm that uses electromagnetic background noise is a well known, oft-copied piece of code. The reason that linking odds to the accounts is very difficult has to do with variables and regulations in code, which are pretty complicated and DNA3000 would be better at explaining then me.

    But the idea that it's even being used is complete bullcrap. You really think it would be simpler to go through the code and edit it every time a new crystal or character is released? I'm finding it hard to even argue at this point. If it's not obvious that you're wrong by now, I don't even know if it's possible to prove anything else to you.

    I have provided evidence, and explained many of the reasons why such a system is possible or even probable. Your continual criticism of me, based on a viewpoint that is entirely possible from a programming perspective, is confusing. I'm not going to engage with you further, as you have provided no evidence for your viewpoint and yet continue to criticize mine.

    Btw, I did provide evidence. Let's take a look:
    "Randomness is possible. It's called percentages. List a bunch of ****, then have the computer scroll around until you say stop, then it picks whatever is there. There's an equal chance for everything in most crystals. Some have a bias, which is why certain characters recur more than others."
    There you go.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 26,291 ★★★★★
    My name is GroundedWisdom. Is it possible to conduct a debate without bringing other people into it in an insulting way?
  • Sith_LordSith_Lord Posts: 224 ★★
    edited May 2017
    On another note, & on topic, the crystal pulls are definitely totally random. I've spent big on my time playing this game, so I will throw this out there....


    I think it has to do with certain times within the server, & of course, luck. When Civil Warrior was first introduced, I opened up 30k worth of units for his featured crystals, & didn't get a singe 4*. Seriously! Then, 1 hour 15 mins later, I opened up 2 Odin Vault's worth, & got him 3 times. So, it's not about how much or little you spend, or about atmospheric pressure (LOL). If that was the case, I would be able to use my Sith mind tricks, & get every champ. But... I do feel as if it has to do partially with different server times, if that makes any kind of sense? They're constantly resetting themselves. Just have to open at the right time, which no one actually knows what the right time is. Some swear it to be this time, others that time. It's all luck, really.
  • Ok guys I'm going to help settle this. I'm going through probability and statistics right now in math and everything is based on percentages and to help prove it you use bell curves. So you take the PHC crystals per say and you look at getting a two star rather than a four star. The two stars are going to be in the middle of the curve because there is a higher chance of getting one. Now I will use Stefff since Howard is newer to the crystals he probably has a higher probability to drop than say Magik cause she is older to the contest. Do you see what I'm saying?
  • CrusherOfDreamsCrusherOfDreams Posts: 1,370 ★★★
    Stefff wrote: »
    Stefff wrote: »
    My name is GroundedWisdom. Is it possible to conduct a debate without bringing other people into it in an insulting way?

    No one insulted either you or Websnatcher. But I'd like to go on record as saying that while he (and, it appears, you) are often right IMO, you both (so far, in your case) can often tend to post in ways that are rude and insulting to others and seriously undermine the perceived validity of your arguments.

    It's not rude. What you are saying is presumptive conjecture. You say that because a random system depends on atmospheric pressure, it stands to reason that it is influenced by outside factors. What you're not acknowledging is a random system withing its own parameters, (X amount of Y outcome within Z amount of Crystals), is the atmosphere. It is not affected by any factor outside of itself. I was not insulting you. I said the idea you proposed was illogical.

    Not arguing here, but as someone with a couple of years of programming experience, who understands the systems involved, your calling my theory "illogical" when you (I assume) don't have the same level of experience, while not intended as rude, per se, does come off as insulting. And my post is not the only instance. Maybe you don't mean to offend, but that is how you comes across in many instances.

    Exactly. Even if it's not intended, things come off as rude. What GroundedWisdom/Websnatcher/maybe the same person have in common is that they say (maybe) unintentionally insulting things, then demonize those who say unintentionally insult them. There's a certain hypocrisy and irony to this whole concept. I really hope that you can step back and realize this, GroundedWisdom.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 26,291 ★★★★★
    Stefff wrote: »
    Stefff wrote: »
    My name is GroundedWisdom. Is it possible to conduct a debate without bringing other people into it in an insulting way?

    No one insulted either you or Websnatcher. But I'd like to go on record as saying that while he (and, it appears, you) are often right IMO, you both (so far, in your case) can often tend to post in ways that are rude and insulting to others and seriously undermine the perceived validity of your arguments.

    It's not rude. What you are saying is presumptive conjecture. You say that because a random system depends on atmospheric pressure, it stands to reason that it is influenced by outside factors. What you're not acknowledging is a random system withing its own parameters, (X amount of Y outcome within Z amount of Crystals), is the atmosphere. It is not affected by any factor outside of itself. I was not insulting you. I said the idea you proposed was illogical.

    Not arguing here, but as someone with a couple of years of programming experience, who understands the systems involved, your calling my theory "illogical" when you (I assume) don't have the same level of experience, while not intended as rude, per se, does come off as insulting. And my post is not the only instance. Maybe you don't mean to offend, but that is how you comes across in many instances.

    I don't debate experience or anything personal. Sorry if it came off as abrasive. I debate ideas. I do tend to sound passionate. It's not directed at the person. Just the idea.
  • StefffStefff Posts: 121
    Ok guys I'm going to help settle this. I'm going through probability and statistics right now in math and everything is based on percentages and to help prove it you use bell curves. So you take the PHC crystals per say and you look at getting a two star rather than a four star. The two stars are going to be in the middle of the curve because there is a higher chance of getting one. Now I will use Stefff since Howard is newer to the crystals he probably has a higher probability to drop than say Magik cause she is older to the contest. Do you see what I'm saying?

    It's possible that the system has a statistical bias toward newer champions... But if so, you'd think someone else would've noticed by now...
  • CrusherOfDreamsCrusherOfDreams Posts: 1,370 ★★★
    Stefff wrote: »
    Ok guys I'm going to help settle this. I'm going through probability and statistics right now in math and everything is based on percentages and to help prove it you use bell curves. So you take the PHC crystals per say and you look at getting a two star rather than a four star. The two stars are going to be in the middle of the curve because there is a higher chance of getting one. Now I will use Stefff since Howard is newer to the crystals he probably has a higher probability to drop than say Magik cause she is older to the contest. Do you see what I'm saying?

    It's possible that the system has a statistical bias toward newer champions... But if so, you'd think someone else would've noticed by now...

    People have noticed this. It's that people just don't come onto the forums to say "Hey guys, look! Kabam isn't lying to us!" for no reason unless they're trying to be sarcastic and funny.
  • PharaohPharaoh Posts: 13
    Many players have been pulling the newer champs over the past 6 months from my experiences.
  • StefffStefff Posts: 121
    Stefff wrote: »
    Ok guys I'm going to help settle this. I'm going through probability and statistics right now in math and everything is based on percentages and to help prove it you use bell curves. So you take the PHC crystals per say and you look at getting a two star rather than a four star. The two stars are going to be in the middle of the curve because there is a higher chance of getting one. Now I will use Stefff since Howard is newer to the crystals he probably has a higher probability to drop than say Magik cause she is older to the contest. Do you see what I'm saying?

    It's possible that the system has a statistical bias toward newer champions... But if so, you'd think someone else would've noticed by now...

    People have noticed this. It's that people just don't come onto the forums to say "Hey guys, look! Kabam isn't lying to us!" for no reason unless they're trying to be sarcastic and funny.

    Well, people like Websnatcher (god rest his soul) and DNA at least seem to try to clear up confusion and be unbiased.


  • It's possible that the system has a statistical bias toward newer champions... But if so, you'd think someone else would've noticed by now...[/quote]

    well the same thing happened to me when captain America civil war event was going on I got 2 4* captain americas
  • I think we should all accept each others ideas cause we cant tell if they are right unless we are told by Kabam.
  • LocoMotivesLocoMotives Posts: 1,200 ★★★
    Nobody has commented about opening multiple crystals at once. If it were truly based on some external factor, each Crystal "mass opened" would be the same champ. At the very most, an external factor could increase a probability of a certain champ. But in my opinion, it definitely does not solely make the determination.
  • StefffStefff Posts: 121
    I think we should all accept each others ideas cause we cant tell if they are right unless we are told by Kabam.

    You're right, but in the absence of absolute truth it is human inclination to propose theories to account for what we see. That's why science exists.
  • CrusherOfDreamsCrusherOfDreams Posts: 1,370 ★★★
    I think we should all accept each others ideas cause we cant tell if they are right unless we are told by Kabam.

    Kabam has said that the drops are random. By your standards, this discussion should be over.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 11,429 Guardian
    Stefff wrote: »
    So what do you think: Was I spot on? Am I missing something? Am I a complete idiot who knows nothing about computers or statistics? Did anyone even read this super long post?
    I wouldn't say you're a complete idiot, but I would say your knowledge of how this works is severely limited.

    There are two kinds of random number generators. One kind are physical entropy measurement generators. They try to find a source of randomness and sample it to generate random numbers. Atmospheric pressure is one kind of measurement that works, but there are others (random radio static, cosmic rays, radioactive decay are others). The important thing to note is that these sampling systems specifically sample the high entropy areas of the measurement. I'm not sure I can explain that briefly. But consider this: suppose I decide to generate random numbers by measuring the height of people. That sounds horrible: heights aren't random: a lot of people have similar heights. But what if I measured everyone's height accurate to a thousandth of a millimeter, and threw away all the digits except the last one? So this guy's height might be 1.758446 meters, and I throw away everything but the last "6." That's bound to be highly random: even two guys with basically the same height are likely to have a random difference in the last digit of their height measured that precisely. That's how these measuring systems work: they take measurements, but they sample them in such a way that even two seemingly identical measurements won't be identical in the way they look at them. The temperature and atmospheric pressure in your room is likely to be almost identical one minute apart, but not when measured that precisely.

    Even better: most measuring devices have only limited accuracy: they literally cannot measure with that many digits of precision accurately. Because of that, squeezing them for measurements like that is even more random: even when measuring *literally* two identical things, the measurements won't be the same because the device will randomly report slightly different results.

    All of this is by way of saying that in general, none of this matters to games. Video games use something called a pseudo-random number generator, or PRNG. These are mathematical functions that don't generate literally random numbers, but they generate something that is close enough. Games don't need literal randomness, they just need a generator that obeys certain principles. For example, they want the sequence generated to be unpredictable for short runs of numbers. Seeing five, fifty, or five thousand numbers in a row generated gives you no clue as to what the next number will likely be. You want the generator, on long enough average scales, to generate every possible sequence of numbers equally often. So the number 5 shouldn't come up ten times more often as the number 3. PRNGs exist that obey these tests. I've personally tested PRNGs in video games in the past: I've usually used some subset of the Diehard tests: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diehard_tests.

    Now, do the PRNGs that Kabam uses pass these tests? I don't know. It is too difficult to test MCOC given normal gameplay. All I know is, if the crystal PRNG doesn't pass, its basically a bug. Any reasonable implementation is capable of passing most or all of those kinds of tests.

    What's the most common way to mess up a PRNG in a video game? In my experience, two different errors account for 99% of all the PRNG bugs out there. One: trying to write your own. Game programmers love to do this. Inevitably, they screw it up. Two: improper seeding. This one connects the two kinds of random generators above.

    If there's a function that generates a pseudo-random string of numbers, one problem with that is that because it is just a mathematical function, and the math function generates the same results when run twice (because math is predictable) then you could theoretically know what the PRNG will generate starting from scratch if you've seen it once. To avoid this repeatability problem, PRNGs are initialized with what is called a "seed." Think of a seed as a starting point for the function that can be made different every time it is run. So the numbers generated are different every time it is run. But how do you pick a seed such that the seed will be randomly different every time the function is run? You use an entropy generator to generate the seed, then pump the seed into the PRNG. Periodically, you generate a new seed and reinitialize the PRNG, so its behavior changes unpredictably.

    Why not just use the entropy generator all the time? Comes down to efficiency and limits. Entropy generators are way slower than PRNGs, and they rely on extracting entropy from a measured environment. It is actually possible to "run out" of entropy if you need too much random numbers too quickly, because the system can only measure so fast.

    So: most computer software that needs random numbers, from games to crypto security software to astronomy simulations, use an entropy generator to generate a small amount of environmentally random numbers. They use those to seed PRNGs which generate huge amounts of pseudo-random unpredictable sequences of numbers that can be used as if they are random, because no one can tell they aren't random by testing them. And that's how that works.

    PS: what's the most common basis for the seed for PRNGs for games? In my experience, the time. The moment you open your crystal is somewhat random, if we ignore everything about the time except for the exact millisecond you attempted to open it. Its the "last digit" idea I mentioned above, but measuring the current time instead of the heights of people. We can also hash the time (take the time and push it through another function that scrambles the value), and that's effectively a random enough seed as well.
  • Yes but Kabam made these forums for this type of conversation.
  • CrusherOfDreamsCrusherOfDreams Posts: 1,370 ★★★
    Mikeself9 wrote: »
    Nobody has commented about opening multiple crystals at once. If it were truly based on some external factor, each Crystal "mass opened" would be the same champ. At the very most, an external factor could increase a probability of a certain champ. But in my opinion, it definitely does not solely make the determination.

    Completely true! There is no way that external factors can completely determine the odds of a crystal, or all multiple crystal openings would be the same. I hadn't though of that, and applaud you for realizing this. I find it unlikely that it affects probability at all, but it's impossible that it is the sole factor.
  • winterthurwinterthur Posts: 4,563 ★★★★
    I used a generic gem on a 4☆ and shortly I opened the same 4☆ champ.

    The randomness seems to me like a fruit machine type programming. After a while, the jackpot will be touched. I hear of 'expert' fruit machines player who observes each machine and how they 'think' the cashout is coming out. There were quite accurate, surprisingly.

    Anyway, there was a youtube video which demonstrated after a certain sequence, getting a 4☆ from PHC. Game developer saw it and quickly fixed the "problem". So much about randomness.

    The sentence and construction in one of the forum members in this thread is very alike to another in the closed forum. That other forum member has appeared in this forum yet?
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 26,291 ★★★★★
    I think we should all accept each others ideas cause we cant tell if they are right unless we are told by Kabam.

    Kabam has said that the drops are random. By your standards, this discussion should be over.
    Mikeself9 wrote: »
    Nobody has commented about opening multiple crystals at once. If it were truly based on some external factor, each Crystal "mass opened" would be the same champ. At the very most, an external factor could increase a probability of a certain champ. But in my opinion, it definitely does not solely make the determination.

    That's exactly why I've mentioned that each individual outcome is randomly generated within the set parameters. We see people open mass amounts of Crystals and come up short. Then we see another person who opens one or two and we say it's biased. It's subjective. The system doesn't create a bias based on the person's Account. Each is a random generation based on the system's limits. (Drop Rates). If the Drop Rate is 1/100 for example, having 100 Crystals does not guarantee a drop. It means you have 100 chances at 1/100.
  • StefffStefff Posts: 121
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    Stefff wrote: »
    So what do you think: Was I spot on? Am I missing something? Am I a complete idiot who knows nothing about computers or statistics? Did anyone even read this super long post?
    I wouldn't say you're a complete idiot, but I would say your knowledge of how this works is severely limited.

    There are two kinds of random number generators. One kind are physical entropy measurement generators. They try to find a source of randomness and sample it to generate random numbers. Atmospheric pressure is one kind of measurement that works, but there are others (random radio static, cosmic rays, radioactive decay are others). The important thing to note is that these sampling systems specifically sample the high entropy areas of the measurement. I'm not sure I can explain that briefly. But consider this: suppose I decide to generate random numbers by measuring the height of people. That sounds horrible: heights aren't random: a lot of people have similar heights. But what if I measured everyone's height accurate to a thousandth of a millimeter, and threw away all the digits except the last one? So this guy's height might be 1.758446 meters, and I throw away everything but the last "6." That's bound to be highly random: even two guys with basically the same height are likely to have a random difference in the last digit of their height measured that precisely. That's how these measuring systems work: they take measurements, but they sample them in such a way that even two seemingly identical measurements won't be identical in the way they look at them. The temperature and atmospheric pressure in your room is likely to be almost identical one minute apart, but not when measured that precisely.

    Even better: most measuring devices have only limited accuracy: they literally cannot measure with that many digits of precision accurately. Because of that, squeezing them for measurements like that is even more random: even when measuring *literally* two identical things, the measurements won't be the same because the device will randomly report slightly different results.

    All of this is by way of saying that in general, none of this matters to games. Video games use something called a pseudo-random number generator, or PRNG. These are mathematical functions that don't generate literally random numbers, but they generate something that is close enough. Games don't need literal randomness, they just need a generator that obeys certain principles. For example, they want the sequence generated to be unpredictable for short runs of numbers. Seeing five, fifty, or five thousand numbers in a row generated gives you no clue as to what the next number will likely be. You want the generator, on long enough average scales, to generate every possible sequence of numbers equally often. So the number 5 shouldn't come up ten times more often as the number 3. PRNGs exist that obey these tests. I've personally tested PRNGs in video games in the past: I've usually used some subset of the Diehard tests: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diehard_tests.

    Now, do the PRNGs that Kabam uses pass these tests? I don't know. It is too difficult to test MCOC given normal gameplay. All I know is, if the crystal PRNG doesn't pass, its basically a bug. Any reasonable implementation is capable of passing most or all of those kinds of tests.

    What's the most common way to mess up a PRNG in a video game? In my experience, two different errors account for 99% of all the PRNG bugs out there. One: trying to write your own. Game programmers love to do this. Inevitably, they screw it up. Two: improper seeding. This one connects the two kinds of random generators above.

    If there's a function that generates a pseudo-random string of numbers, one problem with that is that because it is just a mathematical function, and the math function generates the same results when run twice (because math is predictable) then you could theoretically know what the PRNG will generate starting from scratch if you've seen it once. To avoid this repeatability problem, PRNGs are initialized with what is called a "seed." Think of a seed as a starting point for the function that can be made different every time it is run. So the numbers generated are different every time it is run. But how do you pick a seed such that the seed will be randomly different every time the function is run? You use an entropy generator to generate the seed, then pump the seed into the PRNG. Periodically, you generate a new seed and reinitialize the PRNG, so its behavior changes unpredictably.

    Why not just use the entropy generator all the time? Comes down to efficiency and limits. Entropy generators are way slower than PRNGs, and they rely on extracting entropy from a measured environment. It is actually possible to "run out" of entropy if you need too much random numbers too quickly, because the system can only measure so fast.

    So: most computer software that needs random numbers, from games to crypto security software to astronomy simulations, use an entropy generator to generate a small amount of environmentally random numbers. They use those to seed PRNGs which generate huge amounts of pseudo-random unpredictable sequences of numbers that can be used as if they are random, because no one can tell they aren't random by testing them. And that's how that works.

    PS: what's the most common basis for the seed for PRNGs for games? In my experience, the time. The moment you open your crystal is somewhat random, if we ignore everything about the time except for the exact millisecond you attempted to open it. Its the "last digit" idea I mentioned above, but measuring the current time instead of the heights of people. We can also hash the time (take the time and push it through another function that scrambles the value), and that's effectively a random enough seed as well.

    Welp learn something new every day. I definitely do not have your understanding of this. Thanks for the insight.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 11,429 Guardian
    A short postscript: what do I mean by "random enough?" Sounds subjective. Well, take the hash of the time idea. This is what the SHA256 hash is for the string "2017-05-18 15:05:00"

    b7c05f3d6b6f218b53522699b72b2d9ea2094c99d283d0ab6dbd40d4ad8a5c7f

    And if I hash the time one second later represented as "2017-05-18 15:05:01" what does that one tiny difference do to the hash?

    1ced023a0c65ebed6e76fcd581edd37012db3ba7a7a16f7d17cc3ece116c04b7

    Its completely different, and essentially impossible to predict just by looking at the sequence alone. When someone says computers can't "really" generate true random numbers, that's true, but also irrelevant. They can generate numbers indistinguishable from random numbers by human beings, and that's all that matters.

    For those that want to know how PRNGs work, the most common one in use by most operating systems and thus most games implemented on those operatings systems is something called the Mersenne Twister: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mersenne_Twister. It is not considered cryptographically secure without modification, but generally good enough for most randomness requirements. It will pass almost any test that human eyeballs are capable of reproducing.


  • Can any one tell me who websnatcher is?
  • MayhemEffectMayhemEffect Posts: 112
    Can any one tell me who websnatcher is?

    I can tell you that is off topic.
  • StefffStefff Posts: 121
    I think there's nothing more to say on this thread, thanks to the brilliant DNA3000.
  • Ok but shouldn't we respect Kabam any way.
  • CrusherOfDreamsCrusherOfDreams Posts: 1,370 ★★★
    edited May 2017
    Ok but shouldn't we respect Kabam any way.

    We should respect them, but we shouldn't kiss their butts. I respect the President of the United States, but that doesn't mean I agree with him on everything. I respect Websnatcher as a person, but that doesn't mean I agree with him on everything. There's a fine line between respecting a company and agreeing with nearly everything that the company says, which is what Websnatcher seemed to do quite often. Not a shot at him at all, but many thought that he was a Kabam-loving-hypocrite.
  • PharaohPharaoh Posts: 13
    I believe this thread has reached the end of the line. Starting to get personal and off topic.
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