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It begins again: p = 0.047 and dropping....

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Crew Skills
It begins again: p = 0.047 and dropping....

finelinebob's Avatar


finelinebob
12.06.2012 , 04:55 PM | #11
Quote: Originally Posted by SteveGarbage View Post
...The truth is there IS a lot of luck involved, because it's a RNG system, that, yes, has been talked about to death but still not changed.
Luck is an epiphenomenon. It doesn't cause things to happen; it's something we see after the fact and only exists in our heads. It's not part of the game.

Quote: Originally Posted by SteveGarbage View Post
I don't have the game in front of my right now, but if I'm not mistaken, the chance to RE a schematic off a blue-grade item is 10 percent? Or is it only 5 percent when you get to those higher levels? ...

That means on top of a 1 in 10 chance or 1 in 20 chance to not RE anything, you're adding another 1 in 5 chance to get the one you want. As far as I'm aware, just because you already RE'd one of those last five schematics doesn't take it out of the pool. It's not like, "Oh you already have Expert, here's Vehemence instead!" It's more like, "You got Expert! Oh you already have Expert? OK then you get nothing."
On prefixed items, blues are 20% up to around level 23 combat rating, 10% from 24 on up. It may be level 32, can't recall right now. And if selection of what schematic you get occurs "without replacement" as you suggest -- with the game always using all 4 or 5 Tier 2 schematics possible and not removing the ones you already have from the mix -- then the odds of researching a new schematic would drop every time you learn one. For example, when REing a higher level item already with a Critical prefix, you initially have a 10% chance of learning a new schematic. Once you learn one of the five available on a Critical item, if things worked out the way you suggest your odds at learning one of the remaining four would be (Chance for successful RE) x (Chance for getting something other than what you know). If you know one Tier 2 schematic, your chance to learn the second would be (0.1)x(0.8) or 0.08 ... a 2% drop from the stated 10% chance. Similarly, knowing two Tier 2's would drop your chance to learn to 6%, knowing three drops your chance to 4% and finally knowing four Tier 2's would drop your chance of ever learning the final schematic to 2%. That's not what the tooltip says -- it stays at 10% no matter how many you know until you know them all, then it says No Research Available.

You're right that in independent trials, the odds of getting a specific Tier 2 schematic from a Tier 1 with a 10% chance of success -- granted that you do not know any of the Tier 2 schematics for that particular Tier 1 item -- is the product of the probability of succeeding and the probability of being assigned a particular schematic. Initially, that number is 0.1 x 0.2 or 0.02: a 2% chance of any single, independent Tier 1 RE giving you exactly what you want (if you don't already know anything). The assumption that what Tier 2 schematic you are assigned each time you succeed being independent of past success for a given Tier 1 schematic is a fallacy, tho, as I just mentioned above.

Quote: Originally Posted by SteveGarbage View Post
Again, those tries are all independent of one another. You don't gain anything by rolling multiple times. You odds will be 1 in 100 on try No. 1 and they will be the same on try No. 100. Your percentage chance to win isn't increasing with each try. You're not "due" to win eventually. That's the gambler's fallacy. So while the chance of failing 30 times in a row is whatever small percentage, the chance of you failing on each try is 99 percent, period.
I'm well aware of the Gambler's Fallacy and I'm not advocating that it is true here. I am, however, pointing out the difference between independent trials and dependent trials. As I have discussed elsewhere, a series of dependent trials relies on binomial probability, not simple probability. A core aspect of understanding large numbers of dependent trials is the Central Limit Theorem. In a way, we're kinda talking about the "quantum mechanics" of Crew Skills. Just like electron spin has a 50% chance of being up or down, once you actually measure it that spin will be up or it will be down: probability in this case talks about possible future outcomes. If you start measuring things, that act of measurement creates a dependency. Calculating a binomial probability of your series of measurements is not a calculation of how probable your particular out was but a comparison of your outcome against all possible outcomes given the same initial conditions.

This is exactly where the crafting system breaks down ... and it's not broken mechanics -- it works as designed. It is the design itself that is "broken". Consider combat for a second. Your chance to hit your opponent is also based on RNG. Would you put up with a failure rate for your attacks that was as bad as what you get for crafting? Of course you wouldn't, and you don't have to because of the design of the combat system. Every class starts off with an extremely high chance to succeed, relative to your chance to succeed at crafting. As you level up, your "skill", your accuracy, improves. Furthermore, you can choose skills in your skill tree that provide additional mitigation against your own chance to fail to hit, or mitigation that lowers an opponent's chance to hit you. You can even get gear that will improve your accuracy to the point that, expressed as a probability, your chance to hit is greater than 1.0. As a simple probability, that makes no sense. But it's there all the same, to give you a chance to out-mitigate your opponent.

What mitigation of chance is there for crafting? Very little. A few companions start with an increased chance to crit on a craft or mission. Increasing your affection also increases crafting mitigation by a small amount. At best, you have something like a 17% chance to get an augment slot on the hardest items you can craft with the right companion and the right affection level. Reverse-engineering, however, is sadistically free of any chance to mitigate your chance to fail. Companion affection does not alter it. Companion specials do not alter it. Even your SKILL level does not alter it. A level 49 Premium item, with a difficulty rating of 108, has precisely the same chance of researching a new schematic as a level 9 Premium item with a difficulty rating of 28. Does that make any sense? Does it make sense that an item with a rating of 28, something you can craft at skill level 1, has precisely the same RE failure rate when your skill level is 400? What does that extra 399 points of "skill" count for?

Because there is no way to mitigate your chance to fail at REing, the distribution of player failure rates will remain pretty much fixed in a normal distribution, as the Central Limit Theorem points out for a significantly large number of measurements. That means that almost HALF of the players in the game who have tried to RE Premium items currently have a failure rate GREATER THAN what the tooltip says it should be. Equally, almost half of the crafters out there have a failure rate LESS THAN what the tooltip says. What makes this broken by design is that the tooltip says for Premium items you have an 80% chance to fail. For combat, we start off with somewhere around a 20% chance to fail to hit your target and by the time you hit level 50, your chance to fail to hit has become negligible. For reverse-engineering, the number of crafters out there who have a history of failure that is negligible is, well, probably non-existent. Given the distribution in a normal curve, by far the majority of the "lucky" people out there who fall on the high side of the curve for RE success still do not reach that 20% chance to fail that combat level 1's have, let alone a 50% failure rate.

Quoting the simple probability of your chance to fail on your very next attempt to RE a particular item is a simple thing: look at the tooltip. Considering your HISTORY of failures in REing, on the other hand is not quite so clear. We see the tooltip and think it should be the same, but the Law of Large Numbers says "talk to me after an infinite amount of trials; maybe I'll give you an estimate after a few thousand." And what are we hoping for? A failure rate of either 80% or, for the more important gear, a failure rate of 90%. That's something to hope for? That's what our skill buys us?

If people cared as much about crafting success as they do about combat success, there would be no way we would be saddled with the failure of a system we currently have. Yes, it is working exactly as designed given the latitude RNG requires. That is exactly the problem.
Jedi Guardian JonBonJovi'wan
"Wanted: Dead or Alive"
Defenders of Monkeys - Prophecy of the Five
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Heezdedjim's Avatar


Heezdedjim
12.06.2012 , 05:02 PM | #12
Quote: Originally Posted by asbalana View Post
As far as changing the system is concerned, my theoroy is that the different dev teams are having a contest to see which one can cause the most subs to quit. At this point there is probably a tie between the one working on ability delay and system response, the one working on endgame content, and the crafting team. I do not think that the crafting people will want to forfiet the race just to improve the crafting system and make a few random players happy.
This is the most probably true post I have read on these forums in a month.

finelinebob's Avatar


finelinebob
12.06.2012 , 05:17 PM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by Zem_ View Post
I don't think there's anything broken with the current implementation. It's just the occasionally unforgiving nature of independent random trials. But here's an alternate idea, anyway:

Instead of independent trials with probability 10% and 20%, keep track of two counters attached invisibly to every character. Initialize the 20% counter with a random number from 1 to 9 inclusive. Initialize the 10% counter with a random number from 1 to 19 inclusive. Now every time you RE a 20% item, you decrease the counter by 1. When it hits zero, you are granted a schematic and the number is re-rolled again from 1 to 9. Similar thing for the 10% counter and its 1-19 value.

Now you're guaranteed a blue schematic with no greater than 9 attempts. On average, you will get one every 5 attempts. One every 10 attempts on average for the purple. Same as it works now, but with far less possible variance.

Anyone see a problem with this? Note that it would not flood the market with items because the average production rate of new schematics would be the same as before. It would just not allow the extreme long bad luck streaks.

Also keep in mind that if you're still going for a specific prefix when there are five available, your worst case for getting that purple schematic could still be 95 total trials. But that is, at least, guaranteed to be the absolute worst case and by then you'd also be guaranteed to have all five of those purple schematics (besides which, the odds against actually having this happen would be about 2.5 million to 1... why did I just hear that in C3PO's voice? )

Thoughts?
A number of people (including me) have proposed something similar -- a kind of "failure counter." What you are suggesting is a linear increase in your chance to succeed. That's one possibility. It would be simple to put a curve on that chance as well in case someone "upstairs" demands that there cannot be a 100% chance for success -- our combat stats have diminishing returns curves put on them of various degrees, so the devs already know the math to do this.

And I agree that there would not be any flooding of the market. Quite frankly, item modifications sell better than fixed-stat gear, even though (1) fixed stat gear is superior in terms of how high you can get the secondary stats as well as the number of substantial secondary stats they can have at high levels, and (2) given market prices, going with item mods instead of fixed-stat items can be considerably more expensive, whether you buy your gear or craft it yourself. I can sell a single mod or armoring or enhancement on the GTN for as much or more than an equivalent level fixed-stat item. Considering that you have two pieces of gear that take 4 item mods (mainhand, offhand), five pieces of gear that take 3 item mods (head, chest, hands, legs, feet) and two that take 2 item mods (wrists, waist), that's a total of 27 item mods for 9 pieces of gear. Not counting augments, to make it simpler. To make matters crazier, item mods (crystals, hilts, barrels, mods, armoring, enhancements) all follow a Linear RE path: at all levels, you have a 20% chance of success to get a Prototype from a Premium, and a 20% chance to get an Artifact from a Prototype ... and there is only one Prototype and one Artifact per Premium schematic, not the three Prototypes and fourteen Artifacts you get from a Prefix Premium schematic. Given people's general preference for custom gear and all the item mods they entail, add to that the ease of learning the better schematics for those item mods, wouldn't you expect the market to be flooded with at least Prototype mods if not Artifact mods? Wouldn't you expect the undercutters to have hit this part of the market pretty hard by now? It's just not happening. The easiest things to RE to maximum bang are still making the maximum buck.
Jedi Guardian JonBonJovi'wan
"Wanted: Dead or Alive"
Defenders of Monkeys - Prophecy of the Five
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finelinebob's Avatar


finelinebob
12.06.2012 , 05:35 PM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by psandak View Post
@Finelinebob, I'm sorry but there is no word of any radical changes to the crafting system an I do not foresee any in the future. You said that the only choice one has is to not craft. I disagree. An additional alternative is to modify your mindset. You can accept the system as it is and do the best with what you have.
Or, you can try pointing out how bad the system is in a polite and courteous manner. Been there, done that.

Or, you can try your best to shame the developers into seeing how awful their system is and provide statistics and logic to back up the shaming ... which is what I try these days. Maybe if more people told BW how pathetically their system WORKS, rather than wrongfully cry that it is broken, maybe they'll listen.

But as you said, there has never been any hint at a true improvement to the crafting system. The best they've been able to manage is the Legacy of Crafting Character Perk which, for the price of 350k credits per character or (guessing here) 300 Cartel Coins, you can increase your companion's chances of getting an augment slot on a piece of crafted gear by 3%. That means that, at best, you can increase your chance on a Premium item from a least-dismal 30% to a slightly less dismal chance of 33% (given the item is rated relatively low to your skill level, that you use a companion with a +5% crafting crit, and that your affection with that companion is 10k). Maybe you'll remember what else they launched at the exact same time: augmentation kits. In other words, a 100% chance to get an augmentation slot.

I think anyone who got suckered into buying the Legacy of Crafting should get a refund.

Really, BioWare, is that the best you can do?

I don't do all this screaming because I like to hear/read myself screaming or because I hate SWTOR/BW/EA, I do it because I love this game and I have loved crafting in other games (SWG, EVE, Vanguard, Tabula Rasa to name a few) and I would like to have my cake and eat it too, since supposedly I am paying for it. Or, maybe the crafting developer team got fired ... in which case, yes, I do hate EA.
Jedi Guardian JonBonJovi'wan
"Wanted: Dead or Alive"
Defenders of Monkeys - Prophecy of the Five
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slapcin's Avatar


slapcin
12.06.2012 , 06:06 PM | #15
I have no problems with the system. It can be done It has been done. You realy want it easy to have the best epic recp in game whats the point then if every one can do it...

-IceHawk-'s Avatar


-IceHawk-
12.06.2012 , 06:18 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by slapcin View Post
I have no problems with the system. It can be done It has been done. You realy want it easy to have the best epic recp in game whats the point then if every one can do it...
Amazing thread.

Unfortunate that the OP has to deal with individuals such as this that apparently do not understand the math, as quantitatively that is not what the OP described at any point.

Nice to see an intellectual engagement with the deficiencies of this game.

The problem is when the individuals playing have greater expertise on the subject matter than the developers.

slapcin's Avatar


slapcin
12.06.2012 , 06:25 PM | #17
As some one with 50+mil from crafting I think I get it. O and yes that's from Recp lvl 33 and lower.

MorgonKara's Avatar


MorgonKara
12.06.2012 , 06:41 PM | #18
The funny part is once you get to lvl 50 none of that really matters because all the BIS gear comes from loot drops or vendors.

Also, these days you would be better off getting a custom, modifiable offhand and putting modifications in it to suit your build. Cybertech, Artifice and Armstech baby! So much easier to make purple item modifications.
Armormech-Armstech-Chemist-Mor-gon-M'orgon-Maxxi
Armormech-Armstech-Biochem-Artifice-Synthweaving-Cybertech
The Craft Legacy ~The Ebon Hawk

Lustephelon's Avatar


Lustephelon
12.06.2012 , 06:47 PM | #19
I'm not sure where I saw it, but i seem to remember a BW reply to one of the crafting complaints saying that the system isn't based at all on an individuals change but it randoms based on the entire population RE ing at the time you do the work.

Which means your 20% isn't really a 20% each time.. because its modified somehow by how many other people are doing RE s

finelinebob's Avatar


finelinebob
12.06.2012 , 06:54 PM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by slapcin View Post
I have no problems with the system. It can be done It has been done. You realy want it easy to have the best epic recp in game whats the point then if every one can do it...
You are confusing two things: frequency and difficulty.

Making crafting a purely RNG exercise and setting the probability of success exceedingly low makes things improbable, not challenging. In fact, it makes things improbable for you, not for the community. The brute-force statistics of probability spread across hundreds of thousands of accounts with multiple characters per account times the number of crew missions or crafts they do per day means that NOTHING is rare within the community.

I've said this before; apparently, I still need to say it. There is nothing HARD about probability. There is also nothing EASY about probability. In a system based on randomization, there is simply the frequent and infrequent, the more likely or less likely. Making "success" something that is improbable for an individual does very little to make it rare for the community, and has absolutely no bearing on whether that success was easy or difficult to achieve.

I would more than welcome a system with schematics that were hard to get. That would mean I would have to display some level of skill and that if I was more skillful than others, my skills would be in greater demand. It would mean that people who had no idea what they were doing would not be able to get the same schematics that I have and it would stop them from undercutting my prices because they have no sense of the value of something. When RNG rules a system, "value" is meaningless.

The only crafted items that require any type of skill are the end-game item mods you get from high-end operations. What type of skill does it take to get these? Combat skill. If you have a group of people who can beat the bosses and get the drops on a regular basis, again it's a matter of brute-force probability. Do it often enough, and it won't be rare. Or have you not noticed the spamming on fleet saying, essentially, "I'll craft you an end-game mod for free as long as you give me your mats." I don't even see people asking for tips half the time.

In other words, the crafted items of greatest value have a profit margin of 0. People now expect to get them "at cost". Don't try to suggest that "supply and demand" works in virtual economies like that in SWTOR when compared to real-world economies. I will believe that the day you can walk into Tiffany's with some gold ore and some lumps of coal and say, "Make me one of those rings, please, and I don't expect to have to pay you anything because I'm providing the raw materials." It wouldn't even happen if you had 24 carat gold and the Hope diamond for a jewel.

Now, are the people crafting these rarely-acquired items doing so because they are more skillful crafters, or because they have a set of friends that are more skilled in combat? Yes, not everyone can "do it", but there are still enough crafters with no sense of the value of what they can craft -- because it took no measure of crafting skill to achieve it -- that the results are essentially the same ... it doesn't take "everybody" having the schematic to make it worthless, it only takes "enough". Your argument has zero validity.

Calling the system we have Crew "Skills" is a convenient fiction for BW/EA. There is no skill to it at all.
Jedi Guardian JonBonJovi'wan
"Wanted: Dead or Alive"
Defenders of Monkeys - Prophecy of the Five
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