Dice Algorithm Sucks

  • I acknowledged more options will stress the matchmaking system but there are 2 benefits from better stack option(s) that actually helps that:

    1. the best way to improve matchmaking in any game is to simply attract more players. Based on MANY comments in App Store reviews, dice/stack threads here & my personal experience RNG dice-only automatch's is driving many potential players away
    2. based on my experience playing my preferred "Stack-5" base Catan & "Full Stack" C&K games on the Catan Classic app the "Friendly Robber' & "Resource Bonus" options become fairly unnecessary w/ a good stack algorithm. If you consider getting rid of 1 or both of those & bringing anyone using the existing Catan Universe stack option into the Automatch queue should allow 1 or 2 stack options to be available without lengthening queue times IMO but I also have no problem w/ just using a lobby system given people's preferences for different Catan scenarios

    FWIW I'm not so sure that chess matches between players w/ any experience would go faster than Catan games using similar turn timers but regardless I definitely agree ELO is much less applicable to multiplayer RNG-dice based Catan games than it is to the head-to-head chess matches it was developed from since those are 100% skill-based besides a coin flip for 1st player. That said I understand why they have ELO as it’s become a standard approach to quantifying skill for matchmaking w/ the side benefits of serving as a player progression metric & gamification approach to motivating players to grind up leaderboards. I have no doubt some players abuse it which only drives away more players (& which is why well designed games don’t show it to other players beyond maybe a more general "rank level.")

    Net net IMO having 1-2 stack options would attract more players to Catan Universe, keep existing players who prefer it happier & help ELO become more meaningful which enables better matchmaking & encourages highly active players to grind. That seems well worth splitting the Automatch queue into a few more lobbies IMO but it does limit how many other options you can offer as those lobby splits grow exponential w/ every additional option/scenario. In any case I'll be sticking w/ Catan Classic until Catan Universe can match its Stack option, hopefully they’ll have sorted out most of its other bugs by then as well as I’d love to join an active guild & recruit gaming friends to join the community here but I have no interest in doing so as long I know RNG dice rolls make a significant # of the games I play unwinnable :-/

  • @Stroom @acallan18 I really play a lot of Catan, especially C&K&Seafarers combined. And I often suffer from the ridiculous dice :game_die: roles. Either I have incredible good luck or infamously bad luck.
    I played a few years on Playcatan, and it was nothing like this. Playing stack was unnecessary to get a a reasonable statistic probability. You won some, you lost some, but it remained a strategy game.
    But since the recent updates of Catan :sunrise: Universe, the dice went bonkers. So many games with a string of very unprobable rolls.:game_die: e.g. 2 rolls all the time, 8 only twice during a game. (FYI, I had build on 2, my opponents on 8, and I won)
    One game like that would be :laughing: hilarious, but all the time? Not so funny. :unamused: I wanna play Catan, not Roulette. :dizzy:
    I still rembemer I had 3 or 4 games on PlayCatan that had bizarre statistics. And that´s ok for me. But recently, the statistics :bar_chart: here would make Gauß :dizzy_face: turn in his grave. Bizarre is the new normal.
    So I would love to have a stack option in Automatch now.

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  • If anyone is curious, I plotted a number Monte Carlo simulations for both random number generation vs dice mode: card stack.


    Both dice rolling algos seem to be adequate. I think it is natural to blame the digital dice when luck doesn't go our way.

  • administrators

    @yourmotheryourmother thank you for your effort! Unfortunately, dice conspiracy theories are strong :D Maybe too strong for reasoning with facts

  • @Rumpelstilzchen Jup exactly what I also experience. It is not that on average over all games the numbers might be truly random - the “preferred” numbers per game vary, yes. And there are games where 6 and 8 outnumber all others. But still, in a game, there are those magically preferred ones which sometimes are rather 3s or 9s than anything else. ... that is unfortunately really annoying.

  • @Administrator short addition:
    It’s not about “conspiracy”. I wouldn’t see a point in manipulating the dice role to be biased in any way. It’s just an observation - that many players share - that you can “get a feeling for what numbers will be more likely in this game”. And that is what triggers me.

    I am aware that it is absolutely possible that each single observation is explainable by true randomness as I will not be able to play like 10^10 games. But it is incredible to me that I can repeatedly adjust my strategy to the foreseen “more frequent” numbers in a game. To be clear, those numbers do change from game to game and the preferred ones can be anything.

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