# RNG pain in Polythreme

This post exists only as an expression of my frustration. I have been unluckier in Polythreme than I think I have been anywhere else in the Neath.

I sympathize. Over the weekend, on two separate occasions, I failed 10+ times in a row on a 50/50 chance. The RNG is a malevolent god.

I’ve come to terms with the RNG on Polythreme. I expect the worst, so for the most part I can enjoy the atmosphere without getting frustrated. When I first went there, however? It was the first time in my Fallen London experiences that I had ever been so irritated, and I honestly can’t remember getting as upset with any future events.

At least you get SOMETHING one failure?

Also on the topic of RNG pain, i recently acquired five lenses of black glass and failed on all of them >.<

[quote=WormApotheote]

Also on the topic of RNG pain, i recently acquired five lenses of black glass and failed on all of them >.<[/quote]

Dear God you poor thing, I completely and utterly sympathize.
edited by Blaine Davidson on 4/15/2015

[quote=WormApotheote]Also on the topic of RNG pain, i recently acquired five lenses of black glass and failed on all of them >.<[/quote]I’ve begun to wonder if that last step in the Fidgeting Writer is worth it.

Looking through the lens means spending a Mourning Candle (2.5 echoes) for a 50% chance of earning a 312 echoes item.
So the expected return of this step is: (-2.5 * 0.5) + (309.5 * 0.5) = 153.5 echoes.

But smashing the lens means a guaranteed return of 150 echoes worth of items (which can also be useful for other things)

If you have 1000 black glass lenses, then, sure, the math says it’s better to take the extra step because you can expect on average that each such conversion will net you 3.5 echoes more. But usually, after using up a massive amount of items and actions you’ll probably have only a handful of lenses.

Unless you specifically love risks and gambles, the advantage of continuing is questionable. (e.g., if you convert 100 lenses, it’s enough for the failure rate to be just 51% to erode that 3.5 echoes advantage)

[quote=dov][quote=WormApotheote]Also on the topic of RNG pain, i recently acquired five lenses of black glass and failed on all of them >.<[/quote]I’ve begun to wonder if that last step in the Fidgeting Writer is worth it.

Looking through the lens means spending a Mourning Candle (2.5 echoes) for a 50% chance of earning a 312 echoes item.
So the expected return of this step is: (-2.5 * 0.5) + (309.5 * 0.5) = 153.5 echoes.

But smashing the lens means a guaranteed return of 150 echoes worth of items (which can also be useful for other things)

If you have 1000 black glass lenses, then, sure, the math says it’s better to take the extra step because you can expect on average that each such conversion will net you 3.5 echoes more. But usually, after using up a massive amount of items and actions you’ll probably have only a handful of lenses.

Unless you specifically love risks and gambles, the advantage of continuing is questionable. (e.g., if you convert 100 lenses, it’s enough for the failure rate to be just 51% to erode that 3.5 echoes advantage)[/quote]
well, yeah, but it could go the other way, too- for the failure rate to be 49% for higher profit- and each outcome is as likely as the other. which is why averages exist.

nevertheless, if you don’t like taking the gamble, don’t. also, if you have a use for any of the items that makes you value them above sell price, don’t.

[quote=dov]Looking through the lens means spending a Mourning Candle (2.5 echoes) for a 50% chance of earning a 312 echoes item.
So the expected return of this step is: (-2.5 * 0.5) + (309.5 * 0.5) = 153.5 echoes.[/quote]

312.5. Not 309.5. Meaning 155 Echoes.

At 50%, 1,000 Black Lenses and 100 Mourning Candles will get you either 500 Corruscating Souls worth 156,250 Echoes.
At 49%, it’s 153,125.

The 1,000 Searing Enigmas(62.5,) 1,000 Primeval Hints(62.5,) 1,000 Bazaar Permits(12.5,) 1,000 comprehensive Bribes(12.5) and 1,000 Mourning Candles(2.5) are worth 152,500.
Even at 49%, you’re better off looking through the lenses.

Over large numbers, conversion is definitely worth it. Over small numbers, it’s a gamble.
I don’t recommend The Fidgeting Writer in small doses.

It’s actually 310 (312.5 for the Coruscating Soul, minus the 2.5 cost of the Mourning Candle). I wrote 309.5 because I thought incorrectly that the Soul is worth 312 (and not 312.5).

So: (-2.5 * 0.5) + (310 * 0.5) = 153.75 echoes

And I agree that it’s worth it in really large numbers.
But even starting with 1000 Tales of Terror, you’re only expected to have about 103 Lenses.
My point was that the last step (in reasonable quantities) is much more of a gamble then the rest of the steps (where the expected return is much higher than the reward for cashing in).

I wouldn’t recommend doing The Fidgeting Writer with only 1,000 Tales of Terror. You’re more likely to end up with only 52 Lenses and 25 souls if all things are equal. With numbers that low, they usually aren’t.
That few chances is going to provide more variance than most people are comfortable with. Me included.