Category Archives: General

What have i been playing for the past week?

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

For the past week, i’ve been playing a little less of Hearthstone. Mostly, i’ve been playing Invisible Inc. The Expert Plus mode was so difficult that i decided that it would be more fun to stop playing that mode. Instead, i went with Endless mode.

Endless mode was so much easier than Expert Plus, that i was playing a little recklessly. But that recklessness was my undoing when i brought it along to missions with security rating 4. I simply forgot that i had to play carefully too when i was playing vanilla Expert mode.

Along with Invisible Inc, i was playing Shadowrun Dragonfall. The first time round, i came to the part where i was attacking the Humanis Policlub. I came to the end part and there sitting in the room, was a matrix terminal. And i hadn’t brought a decker for the mission.

Pissed, i decided to restart the game. This time, my own character was the decker. Which was all fine and dandy until i played a peculiar mission; the spy camera installation mission where i do not get to choose my own team. The mission had no outs except to battle a hoard of Knight Errant enemies. Being a decker, my own firepower was kind of lacking. The mission was impossible to win through violence.

After reading some walkthroughs, it turns out that there was a non-violent way to complete the mission. That was to have picked Security ettiquette in the game. Which was a horrible way to make a game. I’m being penalized for randomly choosing skills in a game that provides no prior information on which is likely to be useful.

Once more, i got myself into a save position where there was no recourse. I’ve spent all my karma and thus couldn’t pick up an ettiquette on the fly.

While i really like the moral dilemmas given by the missions in Shadowrun, this sort of lottery-like skills required in missions is, ultimtely, severly discouraging. I think i’ll give up on Shadowrun.

Geek Generation out.

Hours Played on Steam

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

So i was looking through the list of games on my Steam account. Turns out there are plenty of games i’ve bought but never even downloaded in the first place. Anyway, there’s a stat on the list of games that i did download and play that shows the amount of hours i have spent playing the game.

Tied for 38 hours is Final Fanatasy VIII and Life is Strange. Life is Strange is definitely going to beat Final Fantasy VIII when the last episode gets released in October.

I simply don’t see myself picking Final Fantasy VIII back up to continue from where i left off. There’s something very discouraging about user interfaces that are totally designed for the console with absolutely no effort placed into utilizing the keyboard and mouse for the port. To me, it’s just lazy development, with greed as the prime driver, trying to sell as many copies of the same thing for different platforms with minimal effort put in.

Next up is Guild of Dungeoneering at 47 hours. I’ve just bought the DLC, which probably means more hours going into this game. As indie games go, Guild of Dungeoneering is among those one-of-the-better-ones.

Second place goes to Civilization Beyond Earth at 107 hours. Most played game is XCOM Enemy Unkown (with expansion) at 291 hours! I think only Guild Wars II or Hearthstone can rival that.

Ok, so much for now, Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: How to Win More?

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

Today, i’m going to talk about a strategy that would result in getting more wins than you would get if you did not adopt such a strategy. Do note however that this strategy is about getting more wins per game rather than more wins per minute. It is not fast and definitely not something you’ll want to adopt if your goal is to have as many games as possible in the shortest amount of time.

The strategy is quite simple and summed up in a single word: Tenacity. That is, play out every game to the end, even if you had a bad draw against a good start, even if the board is discouraging, and yes, even when your opponent is bm-ing you.

The idea of being tenacious is not to pray to the Internet gods to bestow the curse of disconnection on your opponent. In Magic the Gathering, we pray to the mana gods, but mana doesn’t seem to act up much in Hearthstone, except when you’re playing ramp Druid, so there’s not much use to pray to the mana gods. But i digressed.

The idea of being tenacious is that, most of us non-pro players usually won’t be able to fully grasp all the possibilities of our own decks. Sometimes, when we play it out, we can be nicely surprised by a turn around that we did not expect. And we won’t be able to see the possible win from the discouraging board until the situation presents itself. Sometimes, not even when the situation presents itself.

From Boombots to Piloted Shredders and the like, this ability of getting a surprise win from being tenacious is further enhanced by the amount of rng cards in the game.

So until next time, don’t concede until you’re sure that you’re obviously going to die the next turn. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but bm only hurts my ego. Geek Generation out.

Aftermath of Reinstalling OS

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I just bought a new graphics card. Installing it wasn’t too much of a hassle. I tried playing Clicker Heroes, and it turns out that game progress was stored on the computer rather than on some server. Which means i lost all progress to Clicker Heroes, which effectively means “don’t play it anymore”.

My gaming is still limited to Mousehunt, Ghost Trappers, Fish Wrangler and Settlers Online. Patching Path of Exile and installing Hearthstone at the moment.

The thing with the new graphics card is that it came with a tiny note that i have earned $100 in-game for Path of Exile and Heroes of Newerth ($50 for each game). Which seems pretty cool. Except that i don’t know if it’s going to be tied to Garena. Which would be bad because my Path of Exile account is not tied to Garena.

Ok, Hearthstone finished installing. Geek Generation out.

Bye bye graphics card

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I think my graphics card just went kaput. It says on the device manager that my graphics card has been disabled by Windows for.. some stuff; Error 43.

So i tried reinstalling Windows, but the problem is the same, so i’m guessing the problem is with the graphics card.

Without a working graphics card, i can’t play most games. With the reinstallation of Windows, i’m kind of distracted with reinstalling all the other stuff.

Hopefully i can get back to gaming in a couple of days.

Geek Generation out.

Rng Primer: Monty Hall Problem

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

This post is the follow up to the posts Rng Primer: Gambler’s Fallacy and Coding Luck into a Game. In my last post, i may have put it a little too strongly by saying that “we don’t understand the math behind”. What i meant to say is that even with knowledge of the math behind, we may still make mistake and apply the math wrongly.

Monty Hall Problem

Imagine you’re in a contest and there are three doors. The prize is behind one of the doors while the other two doors open into an empty room. Let’s say the doors are named A, B and C. Not knowing which door opens to what, you make a choice selecting one of the doors, door A.

But the chosen door is not opened immediately. Instead, the game host opens one of the remaining doors, door B, to show that it is empty. The game host then asks if you would like to change to door C or hold on to door A.

Some might think that the prize has 50% chance of being behind either of the remaining doors and hence it doesn’t matter whether door A or C is chosen. But that is incorrect. At this point, swapping to door C actually gives a better probability of winning.

This is so counter-intuitive that many people couldn’t agree with it. That is until they perform the simulations themselves and found that the probability was indeed higher when the swap was made.

I find that the simplest way to explain the Monty Hall Problem is this; instead of 3 doors, imagine 1,000,000 doors. You pick one door and the game host then opens 999,998 doors. Do you make the swap in this scenario? Of course you would. The door you first chose only had one in a million chance of being correct. But the other door has a probability so much higher than 50%.

The reason why i talk about Monty Hall Problem is to highlight that it is entirely possible that the correct math is counter-intuitive to us. That we might have trouble relating to or even interpreting probabilities. That our perception of likelihood is often fundamentally flawed because of our inability to accurately judge and estimate probabilities.

Confounding this problem of interpreting probabilities is our own personal risk adversity and the expected value of the probability.

How likely to happen is the probability 1/6? The question, as it is, is hard to answer.

If you paid $10 roll a 6 sided die, and would win $11 if you rolled a 6, the answer would be 1/6 is not very likely to happen. If instead, you would win a million dollars, then the answer would be that 1/6 is very likely to happen.

Of course, given such exact values and probability, we could easily calculate expected value. ((1/6) x 11) – 10 or ((1/6) x 1000000) – 10. But the fact was that our perception of likelihood of things happening is changed by factors other than the probability itself, which has remained 1/6 in both scenarios.

In alot of other real world problems, the factors are less tangible and expected value and personal risk adversity usually cannot be tagged by numerical values.

Ok so much for now, Geek Generation out.

Rng Primer: Gambler’s Fallacy

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

In an earlier post, Coding Luck into a Game, i talked about how a programmer might conceivably, inconceivably rather, include luck into the programming code of gacha boxes so that a player who opens gacha boxes when he/she is “lucky” would have a better chance of getting desirable items.

Some of the factors contributing to bad understanding of rng (randomness) could be that we have a poor understanding of the math behind the problem. Even with proper understanding, the math could sometimes be counter-intuitive, leading to poor estimation or poor interpretation.

This post, i’ll talk about Gambler’s Fallacy, which could be the reason for poor understanding of math. Following that, in another post, i’ll talk about the Monty Hall Problem, which highlights the possibility of having poor estimation or poor interpretation because the math is counter-intuitive.

Worry not though, these posts are not going to full of number crunching, if any at all, in them. I’m classifying them as math simply because them seem mathematical to me.

Gambler’s Fallacy

Let’s say we have a fair coin that lands on heads 50% of the time and tails for the other 50% of the time. Then i flipped the coin 10 times, getting heads every time. What’s the probability of getting a tail on the 11th time?

If you answered 50%, you probably know about the Gambler’s Fallacy. However, if you answered, very very likely such that the probability is more than 50%, that would be incorrect. In school we learn that the probability of flipping the coin heads 10 times in a row is calculated by 1/2 x 1/2 x … (10 times). But what does that mean? First thing to note is that we’re multiplying by 1/2 because the probability of each individual flip has exactly 50% chance of landing on heads. Ergo, the last, 11th flip, also has exactly 50% chance of landing on heads.

Why is that so? For the very simple reason that the coin has no memory of its previous flips. The coin, on it’s 11th flip, does not know that it had landed on heads for 10 times previously, hence will not in any way skew the probability toward landing on tails because of it had a history of flipping heads.

The same thing applies to gacha boxes and randomness in games. Opening a streak of bad luck boxes doesn’t improve your chances with the next boxes. Opening a streak of good luck boxes doesn’t deplete your luck. If you believe otherwise, you’d be committing the Gambler’s Fallacy.

The thing is, lots of people do fall for the Gambler’s Fallacy every now and then, including people who know about the Gambler’s Fallacy, myself included. Sometimes, lapses in judgement do occur, especially if you’re the one popping gacha boxes or booster packs.

Until next time, Geek Generation out.

Double Monitors, i’m a Professional Geek Now!

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

On a lark, i took an old monitor that i have out of the storage and decided to plug it into my computer. The current monitor was connected to.. i think it’s called HDMI or something like that. So i connected the old monitor to the vga port, the blue connector, you’ll know what i mean by “blue” connector if you’re looking at these things.

And wala, now i’m a professional geek, lol.

It’s kind of useful for keeping track of games like Mousehunt while i’m playing some full screen game. But sometimes, i get so immersed into the game that i forget to check the other screen. Would probably take some time to get accustomed to using two monitors instead of one.

Anyway, i began playing games in “Windowed” mode, which let me move my mouse from one screen to another screen while i’m playing the game. But if i accidentally click onto the top, the window goes into resize mode and usually means death if i’m playing something like Path of Exile.

Took me awhile to figure out that there’s such a thing as “windowed fullscreen” mode.

Ok so much for now. Geek Generation out.

Coding Luck into a Game

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

In alot of games, there’s usually some randomness, rng component, in it. For some games, rng comes in the form of gacha boxes. Click on the link to the Gashapon wiki to understand what i’m talking about. Basically it’s a box that gives you random loot after opening it. There’s usually some randomness in loot drop when you kill monsters, and we can perceive that as the monster, on death, dropping a gacha loot bag that opens automatically.

Randomness is not limited to opening cash shop (usually) gacha boxes.  In Path of Exile, randomness exists in the use of its currency. When you use an Orb of Alteration on your magic item, the affixes you get are randomly taken from a fixed pool of affixes.

There are usually alot more randomness all over a game. For the purposes of this post, these few mentions should be sufficient to let you know about the existence of randomness in a game and where it can exist. That is, if you don’t already know/understand it.

For alot of players, there seem to be a belief in a property called luck. The belief in luck is not trivial and it resulted in a friend saying to me something like, “I’ll keep this gacha box in the warehouse first and open it when i have good luck.”.

Say if i were a programmer, i could have a line that goes like:

Loot_Index = rand() % 100;

Basically that goes like, give loot index a random number from 0 to 100. So that line of code would probably exist and be compiled into some form of runnable program in either the game client or the game server. If luck is capable of affecting probability, how does it do it? Does luck affect computers?

Say the programmer were extraordinary and is beyond human comprehension and codes luck into the game code, how would it look like then?

Loot_Index = (rand() % 100) * Get_Player_Luck();

Maybe that would work, but it doesn’t. Because what we have is a loot index that lets us point to a location in a loot table. Consider the following loot table.

0 – Garbage
1 – Garbage
2 – Desirable loot
3 – Garbage
4 – Garbage
5 – Garbage
6 – and so on

As you can see, desirable loot could be randomly positioned in a loot table. It should be obvious that the code for producing luck infused loot is alot more than complex that one line of code. It involves knowing which loot in the loot table is desirable to the player, knowing the player’s current luck status (whether good or bad), and then depending on the player’s current luck status, employ a mathematical algorithm to normalize the loot index toward/”away from” the loot table index(es) that has the loot desirable to the player. And that’s not even mentioning how a Get_Player_Luck() can possibly be coded.

Good luck with writing such a code, no pun intended.

I have more to say regarding luck, but this is getting too long, i’ll break it up into more than one post. Geek Generation out.

Becoming a Wage Slave

Hello everybody, G33k Generation here.

Needing to pay bills and stuff, i’ve picked up a job. To borrow a term from Shadowrun, i’m now a wage slave. I do become kind of tired by the time i’m home in the evenings and it’s really hard to concentrate on playing games. Alas, my blog suffers as i cannot test out Hearthstone decklists, play mmorpg, level up arpg characters etc.

English Archeage is releasing soon. But i’m hesitant about playing it because of the unfavorable news regarding labor points, labor potions and archeum. I always believe that games should let us progress as long as we pour in effort via time. But that doesn’t seem to be the case for free to play players in Archeage. To quote someone else, is Archeage a glorified version of Farmville? Is Archeage really just another kind of facebook game for free to play players?

But then coming back to the point about me being a wage slave with little time left for gaming in the weekdays, the issue on labor points seem not to matter for me.

I’ll see how it goes next week. Geek Generation out.