Certifiable scraps and matters of dubious chance

The Rectifying Certifiable Scraps action is utter nonsense. Honestly, I don’t understand it. I really don’t. It could go either way, it says. Yet the past 6 times the cards showed up, every single time, I got the unlucky result. It’s not as if these cards pop up right and left, either, you have to wait them out and toss out the dross, which is plentiful and consistent. I also realize it’s a bet and it says so right on the action.

But every single time? For the past six times? With different Relickers? Over a week and a half of playing?

I’m just completely and utterly disgusted here. More than anything else it just makes me want to quit the game. Something about these odds is just totally off.
edited by IHNIWTR on 2/9/2013
edited by IHNIWTR on 2/9/2013
edited by IHNIWTR on 2/9/2013

do you know how probability works
losing scraps six times is not a bug in the system, it’s just a streak of bad luck
It’s unlikely- about .02% if i can remember how to use numbers properly (Assuming it’s a 50-50 chance)- but it’s not impossible
edited by Spacemarine9 on 2/9/2013

It’s not just that though. I came back to the game after a considerable break about a month and a half ago. Most of that time was spent doing fresh content, but inbetween I’ve been doing nothing but loiter in the Carnival area, trying to get madam Shoshana’s horoscope card to show up. In all this time, it has only shown up twice. And both times, when I picked the action I wanted, the “unlucky” result came up.

I realize that the game is built in order to keep you playing, that if you just won every action there won’t be much incentive to grind or pursue certain avenues of story content. But there comes a point where that system turns against a game, and these systems turn from an obstacle to be overcome with repartition to a completely unsatisfying, almost punishing ordeal.

I do like this game a whole lot. God knows I’ve spent a considerable amount of money buying fate to unlock storylettes and special actions, and I don’t regret these in the least. I am saying that stuff like the seemingly impossible scrap betting, as well as the super rare, luck of the draw card that forcibly grounds you in a location, is souring an otherwise amazing experience.
edited by IHNIWTR on 2/9/2013

The Horoscope thing is certainly rare and difficult to do, but, at the same time, it’s completely optional and offers no practical benefit - it’s only you who decided “yes, that is what I must do next.” As for the Relickers, well, as you say, you know that option was a gamble. It’s not the only way to get Scraps. It’s not even the best way - not even close. It’s just an option if you’re feeling lucky. And, well, six failures in a row is bad luck, sure, but it’s no more or less probable than any other combination of successes and failures.

In fact, for that matter, the Relickers are completely optional too. I’m sure someone’s done the numbers as to whether they’re better or worse value than earning the items they give through item conversions, but the handful of items only available through them or through other luck-based storylines don’t have any use except as trophies. I don’t think anyone ever needs to deal with a Relicker in order to progress in any other part of the game.

To me, the whole point of Echo Bazaar isn’t just progress through bonuses to the stats. It’s a game where the greatest incentive is story and character advancement. Not just a recursive loop of drops or level-ups, but a slow, methodical process towards creating the character you want. In such a model “trophy” items or indications of your character (such as the horoscope) as very important. The fact that the game’s systems prevent you from having any sort of reliable access to them, and perhaps even setting you back without you failing a stat test that can be improved over time, is extremely disheartening.

I don’t want to be rude, but you know that Certifiable Scraps can be ground, right? Even if you don’t want to grind them directly, the Lodgings cards are a reliable and predictable way to earn them.

It could go either way means exactly that - it could go either way. So to your bad luck, it’s gone the wrong way when you’ve played it. Sure, it is bad luck, and annoying, but I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. It’s disgusting that a game of chance obeys the laws of mathematics? So you’re going to rage-quit?

Take a deep breath and try another part of the game for a while. There’s plenty to do that has nothing with a chance element - I steer clear of a lot of the chance-based stuff myself because I find it irritating. Others enjoy the rush that gambling brings. It’s your choice! :)

[quote=Spacemarine9]do you know how probability works
losing scraps six times is not a bug in the system, it’s just a streak of bad luck
It’s unlikely- about .02% if i can remember how to use numbers properly (Assuming it’s a 50-50 chance)- but it’s not impossible
edited by Spacemarine9 on 2/9/2013[/quote]
Last I checked, (1/2)^6 == 1/64, or ~1.6%. (assuming fortunate and unfortunate luck are both P=0.5) How were you coming up with .02%?

i don’t even remember i’m bloody awful at probability
i think i might just have multiplied by seven by mistake or something w e l p
edited by Spacemarine9 on 2/9/2013

[quote=Spacemarine9]i don’t even remember i’m bloody awful at probability
i think i might just have multiplied by seven by mistake or something w e l p
edited by Spacemarine9 on 2/9/2013[/quote]
You can round off so it becomes ~2% chance, you probably just added two extra zeroes in front.

A piece of advice to the OP: if you do not understand probabilities, don’t gamlbe. Ever. Just don’t. There is very rarely a good reason to do so in this game (and even less reason to do so in real life btw). 99% of the items (scraps included) can be gotten through reliable actions, that do not depend on chance. Moreover, the developers know probabilities, there are very few instances, where you can get more through chancy actions, than through normal ones. In fact, the fidgeting writer is the only such instance, that comes to mind, and the preparation phase for it takes so much time, almost nobody bothers to do it. Which I suspect, is the point.
So, if you see an action, that does not depend on your stats and is pure luck, don’t take. Unless you are curious and want to see the result, then go ahead, just don’t complain about the result. But don’t try to get rich through chance, that never ends well.

And yes, I agree, cards, that rely on a certain location WITHIN London, are not fun. They don’t make sense mechanically, since moving between location costs you zero actions, so going to a certain place to draw cards is just a nuisance, not a real obstacle. And they don’t make sense in general, since even if you stay for a week of real time in the Spite, that probably does not mean your character hasn’t visited his lodgings for a week or more, or that he could not have a walk through Docks. So yes, IMHO the game would be more fun without these cards.
But they are extremely optional. And this is a game, you play it for fun. If something is not fun, don’t do it, don’t treat it like an obligation, don’t force yourself to stay and draw more cards. This is much more productive then complaining on the forums. Not that some complaining is wrong once in a while.

I just never gamble with the relickers, I get bad luck with them vastly vastly more often than good as well. I understand how probability works, but I do think the odds are somewhat less than the seemingly advertised 50/50 there.

Well, it is possible since a range of probabilities will map to each of the ‘A matter of luck’ messages . That being said, the chances of a lucky result can’t be TOO much lower than 50% or else the system would start showing one of the other messages, e.g. “A matter of luck: the odds are against you here.”

If you guys really want to get the odds, then start recording your wins and losses on those cards. We’ve got incredibly precise odds on the Fidgeting Writer story, by averaging out all our successes and losses.

For Scraps, I recommend investing in a nice bat. Admittedly, this is also a luck challenge, but if you fail, you get Connected: Great Game which is one of the harder connections to grind, so you still feel that you’re making progress and haven’t just wasted an action. Between the bat and the lodgings cards you can build up a collection of scraps while doing other things.

Otherwise, I tend to avoid the luck challenges whenever I can, because I find them frustrating. But that’s more me, and not the game mechanics – other people seem to love the luck challenges and even thought the Fidgeting Writer was fun, proof in my opinion that the Bazaar really does twist the minds of players :)

With luck challenges, it’s not so much that I consider them fun, so much as I put up with them for the rewards given. Luck-challenges are meant to be frustrating, in that you can never improve your chances at them. However, the payoff is usually rather good (Folks have gotten close to 300 pence per action with fidgeting writer). I generally just calculate my odds as near as I can, and use that to take a guess as to my gains versus losses when I’m grinding.

Exception is when I’m doing new content to see the content. Then I kinda like luck challenges because I kinda want to see the failure message too.

If you don’t like clicking the button, don’t click the button!
There are a few cards and an action on Mutton Island that do nothing but give you Nightmares. There are some storylets still available which only give you a couple of pence an action. There are others opportunities which give you absolutely nothing but text. A bit of advice: DON’T CLICK IT!
Not every action in this game is a winner. Click the one’s you like and ignore the ones you don’t.

[quote=Nigel Overstreet]If you don’t like clicking the button, don’t click the button!
There are a few cards and an action on Mutton Island that do nothing but give you Nightmares. There are some storylets still available which only give you a couple of pence an action. There are others opportunities which give you absolutely nothing but text. A bit of advice: DON’T CLICK IT!
Not every action in this game is a winner. Click the one’s you like and ignore the ones you don’t.[/quote]

Pretty much my thoughts exactly. At first I saw the re-certify options and thought “oh, on average that should give you a slight increase, awesome”. Then after a good half dozen failures in a row, I decided it just wasn’t my thing, heh. So now I just ignore those options.