Tuesday, October 29, 2013

RTMT: Never tell me the odds, kid.

Things could be worse. Could be this squirrel.

Today's Random Tuesday Morning Thought is sponsored by Random Number Generator: "when you absolutely, positively have to have it: we won't let you. ™" 

Driving young cub to school yesterday morning, he bravely, but resoundingly, told me my chances of getting the Horseman's mount were slim to none. It involves real math. This conversation inspired him to consider taking Statistics, which I strongly encouraged because who knows what I might have become if a young Matty had taken stats and physics instead of art and, well, art? I could have been somebody: I could have been a contender. Or at least earned a comparable salary to my years of degrees. ANYWAY.


Okay. Back to math. (And why does British English call it 'maths?') Turns out, there is a big difference between decimals and percentages. Consider the only source of drop-rates I could find was from 2008, which provides a .5%. Now, if it were simply .5, that would be pretty damn good, because it would be 50%.  But it doesn't say that, it says this:

I do not feel confident this early to share my math noob-ness. I used to be pretty damn good at it, until I got a gin-drinking Algebra teacher in 7th grade who reflected upon his life behind a newspaper while I sat bewildered. Hope he got it all worked out. But I can't blame him - but I can blame the RNGs. For "fun," (I really need to work on my definition of "fun") I have been keeping this chart of my horseman runs:

So far I've gotten 3,456 candies, three troll masks, one Horseman helm (on my druid, ROCK ON MOMO!), a few sinister swords, and a few razor blades in the apples. To date, this is 77 times. By calculations, I should have gotten the horse 38.5 times. But alas, no: 3.85 times. But where is my pony? No where. Ponies don't do math. Nothing to lose a head over, I suppose. Godmother has done a lovely job discussing rewards, and has thoroughly analyzed everything Azeroth. I can't even get my calculator to work right or remember third grade math.
Here: let's look at some pretty Draenei:

It's okay, chicas. I won't give up on you. You'll get your pony.


  1. I am SO sorry, I left a while ago to look up incalescence and came back and found this and for whatever reason I can't stop laughing. Maybe it's because you've captured my feelings of hopelessness in ever obtaining THAT STUPID GULP FROG.

    I especially like the first few days very neat check marks growing progressively larger and angrier. OMG! RNG how we hate you! Give Matty the damn pony already you sadistic bastard RNG! Look at those lovely pictures she showed you! GIVE IT UP!

    1. Oh my gosh I didn't even notice that! That is hilarious! I just know stats are lies...ever hopeful!

  2. /hugs. I'll slaughter some Goblins to the fickle Gods of RNG for you.

    1. Thank you Erinys; let's hope no goblins get hurt in the making of this RNG drop...well....

  3. Dahakha29.10.13

    Sorry that RNG is laughing at you...he is a real dick sometimes. Hmm, I wonder how you would make an RNG costume for halloween?

    We call it maths because it is a contraction of mathematics, and going from plural -> singular makes us grind our teeth. :P
    Also, unfortunately, 0.5% is actually a 1/200 chance, so....keep trucking! (The number in the wowhead screenie has % in the column header which is how we know it is 0.5%)

    To work out the chance of your next horseman kill being THE ONE, simply multiply 0.995 (or 99.5%) by 0.995 (2nd attempt) then that by 0.995 (3rd attempt) then that by 0.995 (4th attempt), etc. That number is the chance you will NOT get the drop. So your 78th attempt will (if I did my calculations right) have a 0.6764 (67.64%) chance of not dropping the mount, which means a 33%-ish chance that it will drop.

    Now that I've completely demoralised you, I'll take my leave. >.> Forgive me?

  4. As much as I tried to research and get my math facts straight, I knew once I hit the publish button I would be wrong, wrong, wong. I saw the % in the header, and under that .5, but but but….just couldn't believe they'd be that cruel. Well, hey, I'll look at it this way: the Horseman wants me back, just like that ass Jeremy Feasel. I shall remain hopeful. All is forgiven.

    1. Dahakha29.10.13

      I never looked at it that way before...you must be pretty special to him if he wants you around so much!

      I agree, 0.5% chance sounds too cruel to be true. Maybe it was once, but surely it has gone up by now.....surely.

      And that squirrel photo is the best thing I have seen all day!

  5. not to make you feel bad, but I got it exactly 8 times the first, second and third year of it. If I could wrap one up for you and send it, I would.

    But don't listen to them English - they put extra "u"'s where they shouldn't and invented the Whitworth screw thread standards system. Gwad, I still have a tool box full of them WW spanners that are not good for anything anymore. :(

    But they do have lovely fish & chips (it's the fish and oil and potatoes, I tells ya, we just don't get the same here) and I would give my left legs away for some Woodpecker Cider with Broasted Chicken Crisps. I promise to leave this one, but you should reply back :Þ



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