[MUD-Dev] DGN: Absolutes, percentages and ranges

Paolo Piselli ppiselli at yahoo.com
Wed May 18 02:09:48 New Zealand Standard Time 2005


--- cruise <cruise at casual-tempest.net> wrote:

> In the original Rock/Paper/Scissors, win or loss is an
> absolute. Rock /always/ beats scissors, and /always/ loses to
> paper.

> What happens if instead, there is a percentage chance of
> winning/losing, instead of the absolute?

I think the direct impact of probabalistic outcomes on the expected
utility of an action is well understood from a design point of view
- is your question more about how a user percieves probabalistic
procedures, and how well they are able to guess the expected
utility?  This is a question that is of concern to economists:

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_economics
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler%27s_fallacy

Or perhaps your question is about how much more enjoyable an event
is if the outcome is not deterministic?  Well, an extreme example of
this is gambling: You could could bet $1 on red in roulette, or you
could just give the casino $0.06.  Somehow people find the
uncertainty of the outcome is much more exciting than just admitting
the expected outcome up front!  But perhaps this is a bad example,
because the player is motivated by a monetary reward instead of
being entertained in general.

-Paolo

Paolo Piselli
ppiselli at yahoo.com
www.piselli.com
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