Thursday, April 12, 2012

800,000 Invites but the Elf Ain't One

Personally I do not mind that I still do not have a beta invite because the longer it takes the more that will be available when I do get in.  It would be nicer than having to slowly do a little at a time until they release more.  When my time comes I can just go in and play all of it instead of piecemealing it.

My question for blizzard would not be "How come I signed up for the annual pass and still do not have an invite?". My question would be, "How come you say that 1M signed up for the annual pass and so far 80% of the invites have gone out but out of the 14 people in my guild that got the annual pass none have gotten an invite yet?"

I am sure the theory crafters could have a fun with that question.  What are the mathematical odds that 80% of the invites have gone out and no one in my guild has received theirs yet?

Of the people I know that signed up for the annual pass in my guild there is a wide selection of players from all over the united states and canada of various types of computer systems and ranging from long time players to new players.  One of the people has even been in every beta ever, even the original one.  A couple have been playing since day one.  We have people that joined in BC, wrath and even cata.

If they are looking for time played or system played on, we cover it all, so there is no single thing that would excuse us, as if you where to say they are inviting the older players first.  We got them.  Or if you would say they are inviting people with the best systems first.  We got them.  We are a wide array of people so there is no one thing that could excuse such a chunk of people like that.

I am really questioning the 800K number that blizzard is putting up saying that is how many invites have gone out.  I think the number is make believe.  A number they just throw out there trying to make people feel better.

Because of the mathematical odds of 80% of the invites going out and none of them being anyone from my guild are beyond insane it would leave me to believe that the 80% number is most likely an outright lie.

Either it is a lie, or there is something else involved.

Which would be more likely?

1) The 800,000 number is a lie.
2) They are excluding people from my guild for some reason.
3) The math gods just wtfpwned us.

I say all three are possible.

People complained a lot about not getting instant access, so they needed to do something to try and make people happy.  Saying they are sending invites, even if they are not, has seemed to really appease the player base from what I read on the forums.  Sure, there are still many complaining but it is nothing like it was that first week.  Even if it is an outright lie, it has done what it was intended to do, it has appeased some of the masses.

They could also be excluding my guild for some reason even if I have no clue what it would be.  I could see them pushing me to the back because I have a history of putting in tickets whenever I have a problem even if it is a small one.  Quest problems, roll problems, gear problems, anytime anything goes wrong I put in a ticket for it.  I can see them labeling me a problem player but I can't see how that would mean no one from my guild gets an invite even if I can see how it would put me to the back of the list personally.

As far as the math gods go, I've had my bad luck with them over the years.  I can easily see that even against the odds completely that no one from my guild has received an invite is actually an honest act of the random number gods.  The gods are fickle, they can love you or hate you.  Sure, the math is amazingly against that happening, but it could happen.

In the end if I had to choose I would think that the 800K number is a lie because like I said, even if they tagged me as a problem player that puts in tickets over anything he finds wrong they would not penalize the entire guild because they find the grumpy elf to be an annoying elf and as a firm believer of mathematics I can not accept the long odds that no one in my guild has received an invite yet even if I do believe it is possible.

In the end it comes down to one question, do you believe that blizzard is lying about the number of invites that are going out?

I do.


So far three collections of data have been posted from posters small circle of people.

2 - 0% invited.
1 - 66% invited.

More feedback can only help bolster that the 80% number is a lie.


  1. Personally I believe it, In fact I'm pretty sure every single person I know who APed is in and actually got in on the last 250k wave putting it arround 550k total. (no one got in before that though)

    I mean both are very anecdotal but I see no reason to disbelieve. Also has every one of your guild members checked their BNet? I got into beta access 5 days or so before getting an email.

    I had two friends complaining they didn't have access after the 550k wave, I told them to check their account (how they didn't know this already I don't know) and they already had access.

    1. I can not vouch for anyone else but I know I checked my battlenet.

      As you said, it is anecdotal evidence at best, but it is still valid even if only a small sampling.

      The odds are highly unlikely that if you picked 15 random people that signed up for the AP that none of them would have gotten an invite being 80% are said to have be sent out.

      That math gives such anecdotal evidence some weight. Like it or not.

  2. Oh one other thing every person I know also logged into beta for about 5 mins then quit, Blizzard "Conveniently" broke all collection quests and portals and basically the entire game after the 550k wave as well which caused everyone to be happy they got in log in and immediately go, oh it's all broken and quit. Now I think that might be very purposeful on Blizzards part.

    1. It would not surprise me if it broke, unintended, due to the massive amount of people looking to log on.

      But as you said, it would also not surprise me if it was purposefully done by blizzard either.

      I'll go with the it broke however as my guess. With as many people as they are inviting, if they are indeed inviting them, the servers should be in a constant state of crashing.

    2. Servers definitely seemed stable from my limited time. However there were so many panda's in the starting area that it was hard to compete for objectives then they put a patch that actually broke quests from working. (and made the sky pink if you had far draw distance and other broken things) Shocking broken things in a beta.

      Anyway I'm with your GL I wasn't really interested in the beta much. Got caught up in the excitement for a second, but am content waiting till launch for my panda goodness now.

  3. Anon, Grumpy's GL

    I am one of the folks who will get a beta invite. When I finally get it, you know what I intend to do with it? Nothing, not one single thing, nada, and all the other words indicating that I won't participate in the beta.

    Why should I? Game play is by definition broken and they want the beta players to point the way to which parts are broken most (as well as least). Not my job, seeing as how I get no pay for doing testing work.

    Also why should I want to devour content now, when I have 8 current 85s and more that will be there before MoP goes live. The content will get old soon enough, why rush it.

    And Grumpy, you might want to consider that before you go jumping into the beta when your turn comes up... I know you are always super prepared, but consuming the content before it goes live is likelier to make you an even grumpier elf down the road.

    1. I know exactly what you mean, that is why I no longer do anything on the PTR. It always seems to take something away from the game.

      I probably would jump on to check out the monk class and possibly make a premade hunter to do some end game stuff.

      I would not want to ruin my experience for later but I would be glad to have a chance to give input on errors and such because if the past proves anything it is that the game will get released with many errors that could have been easily fixed if someone actually tested it beforehand.

    2. You will be able to transfer your existing hunters which is a bit better than the premade 85s for any testing. Just FYI

  4. There is definitely something fishy going on. When two people who subbed on the same day and bought Annual Pass at the same time can end up with one in beta and the other is not, there's something dubious going on. And that was three weeks ago.

    Make no mistake, Blizzard will never be able to pull this stunt again. And I'm going to lay odds that as soon as October comes round, there's going to be large-scale unsubscriptions.

    1. Maybe they just choose the people randomly? That would explain the dubious stuff you mention.

      As for Grumpy's problem, I believe it is not as improbable as it seems to be because instead of "what is the chance nobody from my guild got in yet" it is more like "what is the chance there is a guild where nobody got invited". It seems similar to birthday paradox that the probability is higher than common sense suggests.

      However, I don't really have a counter-argument to saying absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    2. If you look at it at a "what are the odds that no people in any one guild out of over 100K guilds got an invite" that seems much more probable.

  5. Out of my limited social circle of four people, who signed up for the annual pass right off , none have beta invites, for MoP at least, two who specifically opted out of Diabo betas got DiabloII invites. Something feels a bit off.
    *dons tinfoil hat*
    I'm not a big fan of betas, but I do enjoy falling through the world and getting stuck in weird places so I can report it, or maybe I'm just really clumsy in game.

    1. I got the diablo 3 beta invite as well and I am not signed up for it. Never signed up for it. Never even accidentally clicked to sign up and then took it off.

      I think the tin foil cap part here is that they are giving MoP beta people diablo 3 in an effort to try and appease them.

      Did not work for me. I tried diablo 3 and quit it faster then it took to download it. Not my style of game. Thanks but no thanks.

  6. The very first day 1 one wave, The one most people don't count towards the 800k, I and one other of my 10 man raid where invited(Note I have never got invite since the stress test in 1.0) 4 of my rated BG team including myself got invites.

    Last weekend(550k) 4 out of the 6 people in my 10 man raid team that had the annual pass had already been invited. I don't know about the rated team because hardly anyone logged in..

    I leveled my panda from 36-42 while the servers where "broke" meh.

    Sorry my anecdotal evidence has no relation to yours

    1. If anything, your evidence further backs up mine. While also in small numbers it shows from your small selection that less than 80% of them have received invites.

      You are now the third person that posted here that has said less than 80% of the small personal circle has not been invited.

      If more post, we will have more data, and you will continue to see less than 80% of the people have received invites making the anecdotal evidence more believable.

  7. Assuming only a 20% chance of not getting an invite, the odds of 0 of 14 not getting invites is very close to 0.2^14 or (if my eyes are counting zeroes properly) about 1 in a billion.

    So yeah, if the facts are as outlined, they're lying.

    Caveats: a) there is more to the story, or b) I've messed up on the math. I'm not a statistician, I just pretend to be one when responding to blog posts.

    1. Make that "odds of 0 of 14 getting invites"

    2. In reviewing responses to your post, I'd guess the better explanation is that invites aren't random.

    3. It actually feels the math is not right and I mean the math rather than the result. I believe that the equation should consider the guild choice as irrelevant, i. e. it should compute the probability of the event happening to any guild rather than Grumpy's guild in particular as you did. With all respects to Grumpy, whether Blizzard lies or not, I believe the fact it's his guild rather than just any old guild somewhere does not enter the equation.

      I don't know how but I think the correct method would be to compute odds of "14 people out of 200k being in the same guild".

    4. Imakulata - I didn't factor the guild in my calculation. I just assumed invites were random.

    5. That would be the appropriate way to do it.

      As if the question were...

      What are the odds of 80% of the invites going out and choosing 14 random people and none of them had received one?

      The fact we are in the same guild means nothing really for this equation. It only matters because those are the people I know and based the number of 14 people on.

    6. The problem with that approach is that with a million players, there is up to million groups of N random people who are friends of the particular player.

      With 200k players with no invitations and assuming each of them has 14 friends, I would say WoWMidas's equation computes probability for player X - but there are 199999 other players. So the equation would look more like
      1 - (1 - 0.2 ^ 14) ^ 200000

      Still low, I guess. Either you're right or I made a mistake too.

    7. I don't quite follow your math and think you may be making the problem more complicated than it is. The only thing we care about is figuring out the odds of one specific set of 14 people not getting a random invite whose odds are 80%.

      Assuming the odds of not getting a random invite are 20% - which is 0.2...then the odds of two people not getting an invite are (given the large numbers involved), 0.2^2 or 0.04. The odds of 14 people (OP's posse) ALL not getting invites is 0.2^14.

      [In reality, the equation would be 0.2 x 0.199999 x 0.199998 etc because you're removing one player in a million with each individual outcome, but it is simpler just to round because all we want is a ballpark number anyway.]

    8. I am sorry if this post is going to be considered irrelevant because even my maths showed the chance to be less than 10^-4...

      Anyway, my point is, I believe you care about a wrong thing. I consider it like e. g. asking someone to say a random number from 1 to 1000, then being surprised because the answer they gave you has no more than 0.1% probability and attaching special significance to the fact. I believe the odds of one specific set of 14 people not getting a random invite is not relevant because there is a large set of 14-people groups which means the chance of one of them not getting invites is much higher.

      As I said before, it still seems quite low though.

      I hope I managed to explain this clearly and apologize if I failed.

    9. No, you're clear. The thing is, though, the question isn't really "what is the odd that a set of 14 people will go without an invite."

      What we want to know is what is the odd that THAT set of 14 people will go without an invite. That is the relevant question here.

      See the difference? We don't care about all the other sets of 14 people. They are irrelevant to the case in point.

  8. When did the guys in your guild activate their Annual Pass? As far as I know Blizzard said the invites will be sent depending on when you signed-up, with those that signed up first being at the top of the beta list.

    As a reference, I activated my Annual Pass offer at the start of December and I got my invite yesterday.

    Being part of a guild, maybe you all activated the offer at the same time, which would explain why none of you got an invite yet and suggests that you'll probably all get it at the same time.

    1. Can't speak for the others, but I signed up for mine the second it was announced and still do not have it.

      Without a doubt, it is not based on the time people signed up for it.

  9. As someone who is a long term player (started about 6 months before BC launched and haven't unsubbed during that time) and a Annual Pass purchaser I can say that I'm a bit miffed to STILL be waiting for my Beta invite.

    I didn't even really want it when I bought the Annual Pass but now that it's being withheld from me I want it just... well... BECAUSE.

    I think the maths odds of nobody in your guild getting it is crazy unlikely. I tend to believe that Blizzard have released 800k but are letting the messages sit in a 1 month email queue or some dodgy loophole.

  10. I know several people who have received Diablo 3 beta invitations in lieu of Mists of Pandaria invitations; despite registering for the latter and NEVER the former.

    That's why 800,000 invitations don't count up to 800,000 - they're not all for World of Warcraft.

    1. I guess it is entirely possible that they are counting diablo beta invites as beta invites. I have received a diablo invite. In fact a fair deal of my guild members have received a diablo invite and to my knowledge only one of them had ever even signed up for it.

      Could it be possible that they are counting diablo beta invites as beta invites over all?

  11. I'm a day late reading this post, but from what I have seen, with almost every 'wave' one or another of my friends has gotten their invite. My girlfriend complained every time she didn't get hers, but finally got in with the wave that came through a week ago (last Friday). I kept telling her not to worry - she was promised one, and eventually got it.

    Where I would be upset is if the waves, which 'seem' to be getting larger (up to 250k now), stopped before all people got their invites. Right now, they aren't done. They announced 1.2 million annual pass subscribers a couple months ago, so 800k is 67% of that, and the annual pass opt-in is still active iirc, so there may be a few hundred thousand more of those as well.

    Here's hoping that the next wave is a winner for you and your mates. Have a great weekend!

    1. I am in no rush to get into it and from the feeling I get from others in the guild are that they are in no rush to get in either.

      It is not about being upset because we did not get in yet because we are not upset. It is about the fact that they are releasing what seems to be false information.

      If I got in during the first run or get in on the last it will make no difference to me. All I ask is truth in advertising. Do not say that 800K invites where sent out when 800K invites where not.

    2. I understood you. :)

      The problem is, there is absolutely no accountability on things like this, and never has been. Blizzard is our only source of information, as it is with subscriber numbers, mount/pet sales at the online store, etc. There's no way for us to actually quantify the truth in this case. But I understand your point.

      I don't know... perhaps I just don't care enough. I accept that Blizzard are the rulers of their empire when in these cases - there's nothing we can do about it, so I don't really worry about things like this.

    3. That is why I did not get upset when they did not let everyone in when the beta came out like everyone else seems to have been upset about.

      It is their world, we are just playing in it. They can do what they want and tell us what they want. There is nothing we can do about it.

      Except complain places like here. :)

  12. I myself have an account dated 2006 and an AP dated October 28th 2011. I just got my invite last night on the tail end of the last wave, I literally didn't have it at 8 pm and just got it around midnight. I would say that half to 2/3 of my guild is in, and we are almost all very early vanilla-era subscribers with AP's signed up in October of last year. Literally within days of the announcement. That's one of the major things that affects when you get in-- when you signed up for AP.

    It's certainly not lies. Blizz isn't targetting people with disinformation just to be gleefully evil.

    What do they gain from releasing wrong numbers? Nothing. They've been purposefully vague about the beta invites; they could have just said "another wave." Instead they quoted a number, and it's actually kind of amusing that people are so irked about not being in beta that they're even picking at the number. I have blue sources that I believe, although you can feel free not to believe them. There is no marketing gimmick with the number. They release X invites. They tell us, "we released X invites!" And that's how many invites went out.

    But I know you don't believe them because your guild isn't in yet. Well... I'm sorry, but you haven't been lied to. You've just been unlucky. It's easier to blame than to be patient, but that's just how it is. Wait and RNG will favor you at some point!

    1. I really wish people would stop saying it has to do with the time you signed up for the AP. I signed up less then 1 hour after it became available and still do not have a beta invite yet.

      Not sure who started that rumor, but it is 100% false. They are not inviting based on the time you signed up or I would have been invited in the first wave or at the very least, before you got yours, because as you said you signed up within days, meaning, after me.

      But that is not what this post is about. It is about my believe that the 800K number is misleading.

      We can debate the 800K number on our own beliefs, because that is all we can do. Neither of us can present any facts that can back of either side.

      Maybe it comes down to if you trust blizzard or not. I don't, I know better.

  13. Did these invite waves state beta invites from the pool of annual pass holders or beta invites from the pool of all the people they may want to invite? I just assumed that the invites included other pools besides for the one annual passholders are in.

    1. The first small bit where people they wanted to invite. Each other one has said it was from AP holders.