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2701Re: [empire-deluxe] Re: Poor AI and poor computer strength allocation

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  • Matthew Shelton
    Oct 4, 2004
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      There's a phenomenon worth considering, which I'll call the "stacked
      deck" syndrome, that's attributable to EDxE but could be endemic to any
      computer game with a (pseudo)random number generator. It's more
      psychological than technological. If a player has a run of bad luck in a
      game, they may get to thinking that the game is actually stacked against
      them, or that there's a programming bug in the game, in the OS, in the
      hardware, etc., or that there's an "undocumented feature" that allows
      the AI to cheat or have the odds go in its favor from time to time.

      So the player starts looking for the "stacked deck" phenomenon to
      reoccur, and in so doing, they become biased against the system and
      essentially over-exaggerates any situation that goes against them and
      neglects to be truly objective in their judgment. The game may have a
      fair (pseudo)random number generator, but they're looking for the
      negatives to pop up, and when they do pop up, the player's suspicions
      are simply magnified more and more.

      That's not to say that a program or OS or computer system can't have a
      flawed RNG or that some games aren't designed to have a bias, but that
      perceptions can sometimes get skewed if you're not careful.

      The original ED had frequently been accused of "deck stacking" but it
      was eventually proven that the RNG was actually pretty fair even though
      it seemed like the computer had invincible cities and units at times.
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