[MUD-Dev] [DGN] Subjective randomness (was: The psychology of random numbers)

Sean Kelly sean at ffwd.cx
Fri Jan 30 12:02:07 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004


On Thu, 29 Jan 2004, Felix A. Croes wrote:

> Subjective randomness aside, is it really so strange that people
> don't expect 6 consequtive failures in a row?

> If I'm fighting an orc and miss it 3 times in a row, I am going to
> make very sure that I hit it the next time, by making my hitting
> strategy more conservative.  It is perfectly reasonable not to
> expect a random sequence of hits if you're doing the hitting.

This really comes down to game rules.  D&D, for example, defines a
"hit" as a "hit that does damage."  It assumes that a lot of
parrying and feinting goes on and that occasionally an opening will
be seen.  This is why the number of attacks increases with
skill--the character becomes more skilled at finding and exploiting
weaknesses, thus it already assumes that the character is adjusting
his strategy as well as he is able.  Given such a system, I think
it's entirely believable that "hit" success be random.  But consider
a game where spaceships fight using lasers.  Aside from positioning,
there's very little feinting that can occur.  In such a game,
randomly determining hits might just not make sense.

Sean
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