Thursday, November 8, 2012

Making Your Own Luck

Based on only anecdotal evidence and no basis in fact whatsoever I bring you a tin foil hat edition of creating your own luck in game.

Is it possible to create your own luck in game?

Tin Foil Hat Theory # 1: Name:

Some people believe the name of the character effects their luck directly and I might even be inclined to think they are on to something.  One poster to a topic about me having no luck with the RNG came up with the concept that the name of your character might make a difference in your luck in game.  Could this be true?

They had mentioned that they have a character with the same name on two different servers, and that character is unlucky.  Yet all their other characters seem to at the least be half and half.  Another poster mentioned they experienced the same thing.  Three characters all with the same name on different servers seem to win everything. The loot they need always drops and they always win it, while all their other characters have absolutely no luck in any case.

From my own experience I think they might be right.  My main has a long and storied history of being unlucky.  Not just unlucky winning things but unlucky with drops.  Things he needs will not even drop unless there is someone else in the group that can win it and if they roll need too he will lose it.  For example, the trinket in the jade serpent.  I've run it a fair amount and only seen it drop once.  A monk won it that once.  When I would get into it and I look at who is in the group and see no agility users I am happy thinking if it drops it is mine, it never dropped.  The one and only time I was ever in there with an agility user it drops and they win it.  Blame my characters name.

My shaman however is the exact opposite.  I win everything.  Even if I do not need it I win it.  A lock box drops and everyone hits greed, it is mine.  One of the darkmoon quest items drops I win it.  Orbs, back when they dropped, mine every time.  Anything people hit disenchant on, those materials are mine also.  She wins everything and not only that she has the luck of gear drops as well.  More than any of my other characters, if she needs something, it will usually drop.

Many people have reported similar things where one character just seems to be lucky and others are not, perhaps it is all in the name of the character.  It seems like it might be possible.  So we might need to do some research on what names are lucky and perhaps a name change can help you make your own luck.

Tin Foil Hat Theory #2: Reload UI:

I first heard of this one roughly three years ago reading a blog about making gold.  It suggested that when prospecting, milling, disenchanting, making items that could proc, anything of that sort, that reloading your UI could help your luck with getting procs or more good items from what you are prospecting, milling or disenchanting.

I always chalked this one up to just giving people the "feeling" they are doing better, that is really did not make any difference.  But over the years I have seen many people mentioning it here and there in passing. It wasn't until recently that I started to think seriously that it might really be possible.

I wrote a post a few weeks back out the weird critical strikes people are getting.  Same person, same gear, same shot, one cirts for 60K and the next for 160K.  Why?  Then someone said something in guild that made me think.  You see, they are a hunter as well and while we always do close to the same I was usually a hair above him.  This expansion I am usually below.  We had run some dungeons together, in roughly the same gear and we noticed that on average, his critical strikes were roughly double what mine always were.  We were doing the same rotation in the same gear but when I was doing 60K he was doing 70K.  He didn't suddenly get better, his critical strikes just hit harder than mine do, even in the same or lesser gear.

When he mentioned that he keeps reloading his UI until he gets better luck it made me think.  How exactly do you figure that out?  He loves to rare hunt, he flies around all day long killing rares.  If he kills a rare and does not get the bonus goodies, like bags, from them he reloads his UI.  He said that he has found doing that helps his luck and the 30+ bags he collects per day had me thinking maybe there is something to it, he does seem to get a ton of those bags each day.

So yesterday I decided to see if I could reload my UI to get higher critical strikes, figuring maybe the reason he is getting better crits is because he reloaded into luck with the bags and it carried over.

I picked a dummy, and did a few shots on it, took one skill to focus on as it should be steady, kill command, and after attacking until I had 10 critical strikes and a high critical strike of 68K I reloaded UI and tried it again and again and again until I got what shocked the hell out of me.  I worked the dummy for while, until I had 10 critical strikes, and my high critical strike was 212K and my low was 154K. More than double my high crit originally.  I did not change gear between tries, there has to be some reason why I am critting for more now that is all based on luck as it surely is not a gear or skill issue when I am wearing the same gear and only hitting one skill every few seconds.

Now lets go do some dungeons.  The numbers I was pulling were insane, I was doing near 20K more than I normally do on bosses.  Sure dungeons are not the perfect place to try this, but it seems luck was with me.  Could it be the reload ui trick that did it or was I just on a lucky streak that happens to all of us once in a blue moon and it is just all coincidence.  But that still does not explain why my critical strikes were leaps and bound higher than they normally are. Perhaps there is something to it.

It is not only for hunting rares or creating massive critical.  As I mentioned, many people for a long time use the reload ui method while crafting.  If you have an elixir master and are planning on making a nice stack of 100 flasks, get yourself a good boost of luck first.  Make one at a time, if you do not proc, reload.  Once you come back and proc on the one you make, make the rest and watch your procs go crazy. 

I've tried it, it works.  Or does it?  Maybe it just "feels" like it is working.  Can reloading your UI really help your luck or is it really just dumb luck.  No one knows for sure but from the outside looking in, it might help you in making your own luck to reload your UI once in a while when you are feeling a little unlucky.

Tin Foil Hat Theory # 3: Stacking the Deck:

Have you ever noticed that when doing raids or dungeons that the only thing no one in the group needs will always drop?  That is because the game is designed that way.  RNG my butt, as some people say, the game takes into account the people in the group and the less likely you are to need an item for the group make up the more likely it is to drop.

We have all heard the stories from every raid team on the face of the earth.  Your raid team only has one person the paladin / priest / warlock token, congrats to them and their five piece set after one run because that will be the only token you ever see.  No holy paladins, every single boss will drop a piece of plate with intellect on it, that is for sure.  If your group consists of two druids, a mage, a DK and two rogues, you better hope you can get offset pieces with valor because that tier piece will never drop and on the rare occasion it does there will be 6 people to roll for it.

So many people relay stories exactly like this, so is it possible that there is something to it?  It seems to work the same with BoP patterns in raids.  If a blacksmith BoP pattern drops from the raid and there are no blacksmiths in the raid expect to see a lot of them.  If there are a few, expect to see none.

So why not stack the deck.  Be the one paladin / priest / warlock in the group and not only will you have no one to roll against for tier tokens but the likelihood of your token dropping will go up.  Be the only blacksmith and the patterns are all yours and will be more likely to drop than if there were four in the group.

Like I said, we all have our nightmares about the drops but sometimes you just need to think there has to be something more to it.  Ever have the shield drop every week when the tanks were a druid and a DK but never if there was a paladin and a warrior tanking?  It seems to always happen that way.

So maybe you can make your own luck being the only one in a raid that can use certain things.  Who knows?

Do you think there is any merit to any of this or is it all just wild coincidence?  It could go either way but if you really want to play the chance there might be something to it, change your name to a name you see on the forums that seems to win everything, reload your UI until you are getting higher crits and then make a 25 man raid that only you can win a certain type of gear or pattern in and you are all set for the luckiest game day of your life.

Make your own luck, if you believe any of these, it is possible.


  1. dang, when I catch spelling errors AFTER the posting. Didn't mean to mess up the comments count.

    why you think I am called "roo the hunter" - 3+3+6. Very lucky in Mists.

    As always

    1. Don't worry, I just delete the comments people deleted themselves.

      Perhaps I should try the name roo. Name a character after you.

    2. if you want, go ahead :D 3,6,or 9 letters is extremely lucky. So is 8, hence Chinese Olympics was Aug 8, 2008 at 8:08pm - 8's out the butt! Now, some will say numbers that are even are good and odd numbers are bad, but that doesn't take into account 3 or 9 (and anything RED, like red armor!) . Just don't do "4". Not good, you may want to go put on a tin foil hat- I do sometimes, especialy when I feel like my brain is receiving Spanish TV signals. :(

      A question though - how do you reset your UI? I would like to try it, can't hurt (rub me lucky rabbit's foot)

    3. /reload

      If reloading (or anything else for that matter) actually makes an impact, it's a bug, plain and simple.

      Random Number Generators are technically not random but they are random enough that a human can't tell unless you sample billions of times or something.

      Raid boss loot should be really simple. Two basic options are: randomly select N items out of the X-sized loot table or for each item in the loot table, if a random number is greater than W, drop that item.

      If it's not that simple, then Blizz screwed up.

      There will always be people who seem lucky or unlucky, but most don't have the patience to do things enough to get actual statistics. The lucky or unlucky ones are just louder than the rest.

    4. Yeap, as Jaeger said, just type /reload

      I used to do a lot of coding, do you know how I made random stuff happen? Based on the time it was done, I would retrieve the time and base it off the last three milliseconds.

      It is a well proved fact that it is impossible to code random numbers. It is just not possible. You need to have some sort of frame of reference. So I used something that I felt would not be capable of being manipulated. No one can plan out the millisecond they do something, so for me it felt like I did the best I could to fake random.

      Yes, like I am extremely unlucky, so I say it a lot.

      As for Roo's 3,6,9 and 4 being bad luck, one of my bad luck characters has 4 letters but by best luck character has 8. So I might chalk that one up to more a "feeling" of being lucky or unlucky, just like most of things I mentioned here are.

      As for blizzard screwing up, I would bet money on it. They screwed up a lot of numbers in this expansion. There is no other explanation for how one ability could crit for 60K or 200K with no outside influence. That is just a flat out error in their coding.

      The post I made earlier about the odd numbers had plenty of people saying they have seen the same thing. There is a problem with the critical damage numbers, a huge problem with them. They span a range way to large. So if blizzard could make a mistake like that, let it linger this long, and pretend like all is well in random number land, I would not put it past their bad coding to have made other mistakes such as allowing name and reloading and stacking the deck to work.

    5. Hiya and thanks Jaeger (6 letters, lol). In Chinese tradition, certain numbers are believed by some to be auspicious or inauspicious based on the Chinese word that the number name sounds similar to. The numbers 6, 8, and 9 are believed to have auspicious meanings because their names sound similar to words that have positive meanings (yes! stolen from wikipedia!!) . BUT - I have found that the different dialects of the Chinese language or even other Asian countries have lucky or unlucky numbers. Even the western world has them("7" anyone, no "#13" at a hotel or motel, etc).

      Well, it's 6:30am, time to feed Sweet Bob and Miss Peachy and get on with getting ready for work. Thanks for an interesting dialog.

      To heck with the foot, I got the whole dang rabbit here! LOL

    6. Yes, Crit damage definitely seems like a bug. Someone must have really fat-fingered a weighting factor in the damage calculation or something.

      For item drops and procs and stuff, there are probably exceptions that have bugs but I think most of it is just reporting bias where we hear more about the lucky or unlucky ones. If anything, they might be considered TOO random.

      I've never liked how Blizz does rare spawns though. It has clearly been shown to be linked with Server Restarts and that's just bad design. They don't seem to want to fix it though since it's been that way for years.

    7. @ Jaeger

      The rare spawn / rare item thing is annoying, but you can use it to your advantage. Me and a fellow rare hunter in guild have charted out the spawn times, down to the exact minute for all rares, so we can baggie hunt. We kill ever rare on the server within minutes of them respawning because it is not random at all. They do the 1 hour or 1 and a half hour thing and if you do not pay close attention it might seem random but it is not. I can tell you when a rare will spawn, the exact minute. I am sure others have figured this out as well. They did a piss poor job with simulating random on the spawns. That is for sure.

      I wish they would fix the crit bug and fix it fast. It sucks doing the same 5 minutes on the dummy and getting 62K one run and 89K the next when I fired the exact same amount of shots. That is too wide of a variance just because of crits and it is proof something is wrong.

      I agree with the drop thing. It is all a matter of "feeling" it is against you. Like spirit plate dropping off every boss every week when we do not have a holy paladin in the group. :( For as much as I complain, there is some group that has someone that needs it and it is not dropping it for them. Or it is and they need it.

      I do think that the game should see who is in the group and random drop loot that someone in the group might be able to use. They have smart looting, they should use it.

      @ Roo

      How come they call it a lucky rabbits foot? It surely wasn't lucky for the rabbit if someone killed it to take its foot. lol

    8. Hiya gang,

      You know, I was writing this morning exactly (well, almost exactly) what you two are chatting about - how the game could (and should) be able to figure out what classes are in a group and drop loot just for that group. And if there are say 3 dps, then that would figure into it OR drop loot for each class, but the other classes can't see it. But after 6 paragraphs, I lost my track of mind, starting straying and had to get off.

      Lucky rabbit's foot - LOL, I was waiting for this question... I really was and I have no answer. However Wiki says...
      "In some cultures, the foot of a rabbit is carried as an amulet believed to bring good luck. This belief is held by individuals in a great number of places around the world including Europe, China, Africa, and North and South America. It is likely that this belief has existed in Europe since 600 BC[1] amongst Celtic people. In variations of this superstition, the donor rabbit must possess certain attributes, or have been killed in a particular place, or killed by a particular method, or by a person possessing particular attributes (e.g. by a cross-eyed man)." and " The belief in North American folklore may originate in the system of African-American folk magic known as hoodoo. A number of strictures attached to the charm that are now observed mostly in the breach:
      First, not any foot from a rabbit will do: it is the left hind foot of a rabbit that is useful as a charm.
      Second, not any left hind foot of a rabbit will do; the rabbit must have been shot or otherwise captured in a cemetery.
      Third, at least according to some sources, not any left hind foot of a rabbit shot in a cemetery will do: the phase of the moon is also important. Some authorities say that the rabbit must be taken in the full moon, while others hold instead that the rabbit must be taken in the new moon. Some sources say instead that the rabbit must be taken on a Friday, or a rainy Friday, or Friday the 13th. Some sources say that the rabbit should be shot with a silver bullet, while others say that the foot must be cut off while the rabbit is still alive."

      That's why Roo rubs a whole rabbit on me self! Lots of luck (and a little kinky)!!!

      Remember when I wrote a few stories ago about how I am getting Justice Points with the dang valor stuff? Yup, happen again this morning. And no, I was only doing the cooking shack crap in Valley of Four Winds (bad place). I've told Blizzard about it but the standard answer of "deleting the 3 folders" is all I got back. Their loss.

    9. That is a lot to take in and do all for one lucky rabbits foot. Either way, losing a foot was not lucky for the rabbit. I agree, keep the whole rabbit, let it live, then it is a lucky rabbit and it might share its luck with you. :)

      I noticed I get them in dungeons off bosses, but that is the only time I saw myself getting any. I don't need justice for anything so I do not really pay attention to it but maybe I will take a look before doing dailies.

      I know they recently said that in a future patch if you are capped on valor you will get justice instead from quests, which is good, but then what happens when we are capped on justice with nothing to spend it on? They need to add something we can buy with justice, even if it is only some 450 BoE stuff to help gear up alts, that would be nice.