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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Statistical analyses of Descent dice mechanics rss

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Ingólfur Valsson
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Did I make the title dry enough to scare away everyone.

So I was looking into some of the mechanics and decided to make a few graphs.

Skills Edit: Here I mean attributes
First of is the skill mechanics. They are somewhat strange and one would expect a linear curve in a game where something gives you a +1 for example.

While bell curves are popular in RPG's they make sense there because it's harder to become better when you are already at the top of the game. Same here in Descent while the curve isn't really bell shaped.


This is the skill curve Edit: Here I mean attributes

This means a +1 to skill is much better when you 2 in a skill then when you have for example 5.


The chances of getting score or lower. Notice the huge jump from 2 to 3.

Defense

While very different from skills (Edit: once again, attributes) because there probably won't be a case of +1 die here and there so easily. I've only seen the extra brown die for
Defense training but it's fun to see how it compares to others.



You can see that 2 brown dices are noticeably worse then a black one and somewhat similar to the gray one ( but has a chance of scoring 4 which the grey doesn't). Gray + Brown is also similar to the black one with a higher chance of getting 1 shield, less chance of getting 2 and very close at 3 and 4. It however can get 5 shields (1/36 chance).

Any other statistics you have or wan't to see someone compile?
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Can you have a statistical 100%?

Interesting info. I'd like to see the statistics for getting surges (i.e. 1 Blue, 1 Blue + 1 Yellow, etc)

-shnar
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Tobias
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What do you mean by skill curve? Do you mean succeeding an attribute roll with a given level in an attribute?

The second curve seems to display that. But what does the first represent?
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Mark Kirkwood
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Graphs are fun!
Although I would imagine that anyone who knows this about the skills will just spend the entire time trying to get ALL of their skills to level 3, rather than boosting just one ?
 
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Jan Kříž
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Is there a game mechanic which enables you to upgrade your skills? (are we talking about those numbers in left corner on the hero sheet?)

 
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Tobias
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I think we are.

But Might, Awareness, Knowledge and Willpower are called attributes.

Skills are cards like Oath of Honor and Shield Slam
 
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Ingólfur Valsson
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Celtic Joker wrote:
What do you mean by skill curve? Do you mean succeeding an attribute roll with a given level in an attribute?

The second curve seems to display that. But what does the first represent?


First is just the chance of on getting a specific number. Under a normal distributed data that curve would be bell shaped. Sum of the multiples of the same dice have a bell curve. 3d6 are a good example, with 10 and 11 being the top. This provides the mechanics in Catan with the 2d6 system where 6 and 8 (near the top) are the most common resource while 2 and 12 (at each bottom of the bell curve) rarely come up.

Celtic Joker wrote:
I think we are.

But Might, Awareness, Knowledge and Willpower are called attributes.

Skills are cards like Oath of Honor and Shield Slam


I do not know where I got skills from, I was sure I read it regarding these things but I guess I read test ( to test an attribute ). Sorry for the misunderstanding.
 
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Chris J Davis
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Dr_Z wrote:
Graphs are fun!
Although I would imagine that anyone who knows this about the skills will just spend the entire time trying to get ALL of their skills to level 3, rather than boosting just one ?


Which is why I'm going to just use a standard D6 for attribute tests, rather than the wonky black + grey dice.
 
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Ken Marley
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jafix wrote:
Is there a game mechanic which enables you to upgrade your skills? (are we talking about those numbers in left corner on the hero sheet?)



We know that there are skills that improve Health. It is possible that there are skills that improve the attributes. We don't know yet, but I would guess that this is likely.
 
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Ken Marley
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Average shields for 1 brown = 0.67
Average shields for 1 Grey = 1.17 (actually 1.33)
Average shields for 1 black = 2.17

Note the base shield give 1 shield which is better than the brown die on average. Also grey + shield averages to a black die.
 
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Ken Marley
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Average hearts Blue + Yellow = 2.3
Average hearts Blue + Red = 3.13

Average Surges Blue + Yellow = 0.75
Average Surges blue + Red = 0.47

Note: You must remember that 5/6 of all yellow and red dice are wasted due to the Blue X being rolled.

Interesting that bLue + yellow versus grey is about 1 damage on average and blue+ red is about two damage. Surges change all of this of course.
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Ingólfur Valsson
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I think the interesting things about the dices is the combinations you are able to get instead of each part separably. For example, with a blue and a yellow dice you could get max 4 hearts or max 8 range but never both.

With 8 range you are getting 2 hearts and 1 surge and happens 1/36.

One thing that seems a little strange is that the blue die seems to supply most of the range so for basic ranged attacks blue die is enough. You might even rather wan't a red extra one. But I guess the extra surges on the yellow often add range.

How much range do you guess you might need on average, will there ever be a case of getting ranges in the 6+ area ?
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Charles Burke
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There are skills/events that change the attributes of a hero. For instance the OL card Wicked Laughter in the link below decrease the attribute of the hero by one for a specific test.
http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/descent-second...

Also, to each his own, but rolling a D6 instead of the two defense dice for the skill tests can change the balance of the game. Based on what we've seen so far, there are going to be quite a few attribute tests.

Though assuming is not always a good idea, I have to assume that the designers knew how they would would determine the success of an attribute test before they set the attribute stats for each hero. Thus, the setting of the attributes could have been done as a part of balancing the game. If you opt to use a D6 you are giving more of an advantage to the heroes than the designers had originally built into the game.

Here is the comparison of odds if you use a D6 vs what they built.

Attribute D6 Defense Dice Difference
0 0% 2.78% -2.78%
1 16.66% 11.11% 5.55%
2 33.33% 22.22% 11.11%
3 50.00% 52.78% -2.78%
4 66.67% 72.22% -5.55%
5 83.33% 91.67% -8.34%
6 100.00% 97.22% -2.78%
7 100.00% 100.00% 0.00%

Using the D6 you are penalizing attribute costs of 0, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in favor of attribute costs 1 and 2.

Checking the sum of the % difference between D6 and the Defense Dice, that makes:
Jain better by 13.89%
Tomble better by 5.54%
Syndrael better by 13.89%
Leoric of the Book better by 5.54%
Okaluk and Rakash better by 2.77%
Lord Hawthorne better by 13.89%
Laurel of Bloodwood better by 13.89%
Mad Carthos better by 5.56%
Landrec better by 5.54%

As you can see, this improves each hero overall, however it doesn't benefit each hero the same. It helps some subtantially more (those who have multiple 2's as attributes) than others.

Again to each his own, but thought I'd through out some additional information that everybody may not have thought of.
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Chris J Davis
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I pretty much just laugh at anyone who says that Descent is such a finely tuned game that a +/-10% change in the values of a couple of attributes will cause anything significantly bad to happen. Seriously.
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Charles Burke
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Not saying that it will at all, just looking at the percentages and how that modifies what was originally built by the designers. Again, to each his own.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Wasn't there a bunch of talk about 2nd Ed removing the "mathing out" of attacks/abilities?

-shnar
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Chris J Davis
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Apologies if I came across a bit harsh, but I'm just continually astonished by the number of people (not saying you're one of them) who believe that the people at FFG sit around cogitating over calculations to achieve perfect balance in their games as if they were each a clone of Dr Reiner Knizia.

They don't. They basically just throw a bunch of cool stuff together, tinker with it a bit until it roughly works, then release it. It's not rocket science - it's Ameritrash.

Of course using a D6 will change the balance of the game to some degree (that's the point of the change, after all), but to say that it will upset the balance of the game (again, I know that's not what you said - I'm just addressing this at the variant-phobes) is nonsense because the balance of the game is already rickety enough to begin with!

Apologies for the rant; as a long-time house-ruler it's something I just need to get out of my system every once in a while.
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Scott Lewis
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shnar wrote:
Wasn't there a bunch of talk about 2nd Ed removing the "mathing out" of attacks/abilities?

-shnar

I think the emphasis was on "attacks", and I don't know if they said "removing" as much as "reducing".

It is humorous to see people pinpointing that as a topic of constant criticism about every change, though.
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Scott Lewis
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Apologies for the rant; as a long-time house-ruler it's something I just need to get out of my system every once in a while.

And as a pretty avid anti-houserule guy, I do admit part of the reason I scratch my head is that changes like this just seem like change for the sole purpose of being a change - it doesn't "fix" anything, it's just being contrary.

(I'm not saying that using house rules will destroy the universe, but I just don't see the point in the vast majority of house rules that I see proposed).
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Chris J Davis
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sigmazero13 wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
Apologies for the rant; as a long-time house-ruler it's something I just need to get out of my system every once in a while.

And as a pretty avid anti-houserule guy, I do admit part of the reason I scratch my head is that changes like this just seem like change for the sole purpose of being a change - it doesn't "fix" anything, it's just being contrary.

(I'm not saying that using house rules will destroy the universe, but I just don't see the point in the vast majority of house rules that I see proposed).


Call it "fine-tuning".
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Scott Lewis
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bleached_lizard wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
Apologies for the rant; as a long-time house-ruler it's something I just need to get out of my system every once in a while.

And as a pretty avid anti-houserule guy, I do admit part of the reason I scratch my head is that changes like this just seem like change for the sole purpose of being a change - it doesn't "fix" anything, it's just being contrary.

(I'm not saying that using house rules will destroy the universe, but I just don't see the point in the vast majority of house rules that I see proposed).


Call it "fine-tuning".

But if the balance as is rickety as you claim, fine tuning on trivial matters isn't going to make any difference.

IE, while people are welcome to their house rules, I don't think this one will make the game any better than the RAW - just "different". That's the way most house rules end up going - change for the sake of change. (It's why I probably won't be playing TI3 with the group I used to play with much, because they've "fine tuned" it to the point where it's not even the same game anymore).
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Chris J Davis
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sigmazero13 wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
Apologies for the rant; as a long-time house-ruler it's something I just need to get out of my system every once in a while.

And as a pretty avid anti-houserule guy, I do admit part of the reason I scratch my head is that changes like this just seem like change for the sole purpose of being a change - it doesn't "fix" anything, it's just being contrary.

(I'm not saying that using house rules will destroy the universe, but I just don't see the point in the vast majority of house rules that I see proposed).


Call it "fine-tuning".

But if the balance as is rickety as you claim, fine tuning on trivial matters isn't going to make any difference.


It makes a difference to my sanity.
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Ed Rozmiarek
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I'll worry about these kind of things after (if at all) I play the game and find out if the new edition is fun.
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Anders Gabrielsson
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shnar wrote:
Can you have a statistical 100%?

Well, technically these aren't statistical analyses but probability calculations.

Anyway, I find them interesting as they can reveal holes or mistakes in the design, or emphasize features. Like that jump from 2 to 3 above - flaw or feature?
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Chris J Davis
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AndersGabrielsson wrote:
shnar wrote:
Can you have a statistical 100%?

Well, technically these aren't statistical analyses but probability calculations.

Anyway, I find them interesting as they can reveal holes or mistakes in the design, or emphasize features. Like that jump from 2 to 3 above - flaw or feature?


Flaw.
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