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Thread: The die roll imbalance.

  1. #1

    The die roll imbalance.

    One of the most imbalanced things in Magic is deciding who gets to start by the hand of a die roll. 99% of the people who win the die roll decide to play first, and see their chances of winning increased by a pretty large percentage because of it. The fact that the player who is on the play gets to draw a card is simply not enough for people to even consider not starting first.
    I personally can't win a die roll if my life denpended on it, and knowing that you have less chance of winning simply because you rarely win die rolls is frustrating. You can tweak or change your deck, but rolling a die is just a random act that rewards people simply because they get lucky... .
    What can be done to make this imbalance a little more balanced?
    A 'free' mulligan?
    A scry?
    Drawing an extra card?
    Playing two lands on turn 1?

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2

    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by mulder View Post
    I personally can't win a die roll if my life denpended on it, and knowing that you have less chance of winning simply because you rarely win die rolls is frustrating.
    What can be done to make this imbalance a little more balanced?
    Buy better dice. Your odds are 50/50.

    People often underestimate their good luck and overestimate their bad luck. Look at all the complainers on MTGO. "The shuffler screwed me." "I draw better in paper, it's the shuffler's fault." "I get mana flooded EVERY TIME." No, there's nothing wrong with the odds. They just fixate on all the times luck worked against them and forget the other games it worked well.

  3. #3

    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by mulder View Post
    One of the most imbalanced things in Magic is deciding who gets to start by the hand of a die roll. 99% of the people who win the die roll decide to play first, and see their chances of winning increased by a pretty large percentage because of it. The fact that the player who is on the play gets to draw a card is simply not enough for people to even consider not starting first.
    I personally can't win a die roll if my life denpended on it, and knowing that you have less chance of winning simply because you rarely win die rolls is frustrating. You can tweak or change your deck, but rolling a die is just a random act that rewards people simply because they get lucky... .
    What can be done to make this imbalance a little more balanced?
    A 'free' mulligan?
    A scry?
    Drawing an extra card?
    Playing two lands on turn 1?

    Any suggestions?
    balance the cards that T1 doesnt matter that much (no more T1 high impact cards), or play best of 5 if suitable, atm I think it's quite ok, the +1 card is big in a lot of MUs adn the T1 deck not getting the T1 with their general inconsistency (which should not be improved) as well unfortunately the new mull goes exactly against that adn I think the general rule change should be a matter of last resort so I guess just the 1st and ban the most extreme /unban a counterweight
    Quote Originally Posted by Dissection View Post
    .

  4. #4

    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Buy better dice. Your odds are 50/50.

    People often underestimate their good luck and overestimate their bad luck. Look at all the complainers on MTGO. "The shuffler screwed me." "I draw better in paper, it's the shuffler's fault." "I get mana flooded EVERY TIME." No, there's nothing wrong with the odds. They just fixate on all the times luck worked against them and forget the other games it worked well.
    I knew this comment was coming. No matter how you turn it, there will always be people who lose more die rolls than they win. Fun fact: I actually keeps stat of this for fun, and the last 5 years I've lost about 80% of all my die rolls. In theory sure, you have 50% chance but in reality there will always be people who win more and lose more. And winning or losing a die roll shouldn't have an influence on your chances of winning.
    Besides, this is not about me whining about the fact that I can't win die rolls. It is about the fact that it is not correct that people have to start with and unfair disadvantage because of losing a die roll, or/and how to possibly compensate for that.

  5. #5

    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sloshthedark View Post
    balance the cards that T1 doesnt matter that much (no more T1 high impact cards), or play best of 5 if suitable, atm I think it's quite ok, the +1 card is big in a lot of MUs adn the T1 deck not getting the T1 with their general inconsistency (which should not be improved) as well unfortunately the new mull goes exactly against that adn I think the general rule change should be a matter of last resort so I guess just the 1st and ban the most extreme /unban a counterweight
    It is not ok when 99% of the people elect to begin when they win the roll. There are like tow fringe decks that elect to draw first, EVERY other deck/player prefers to draw first. That actually means that there is a pretty huge preference / advantage in playing first.

  6. #6
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    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by mulder View Post
    It is not ok


    This is a value judgement and has no place in any discussion. Those discussions that are beholden value judgements cannot be resolved and thus are pointless. Take this to heart and apply this to every discussion you ever have and you'll live a better life.

    Quote Originally Posted by mulder View Post
    when 99% of the people elect to begin when they win the roll. [...] That actually means that there is a pretty huge preference / advantage in playing first.
    This is simply true of turn-based games. If you don't like that turn based games have this 'feature' there is nothing to be helped. The issue occurs (notably) in Chess, in Total War (the human going first is a large advantage), in 40k/AoS, Checkers, Battleship, etc.

    Aside from the fact that in some of these games the rules to help mitigate that advantage sometimes flips the script; the fact is it literally *can't* be perfectly balanced. Even if you offer additional advantages to going second you will still have an ideal strategy. Currently that strategy is the same for every deck which is what bothers you; but even if we implement the desired additional change (which adds another mild rule to the game that happens precisely once each game, complicating it somewhat) you'll still eventually have a strategy for every deck that weighs going first and second; which will be proven out by the data of wins/losses and there will be an accepted "correct" thing to do. The only difference will be people who wantonly disagree with that data and play different in spite of it.

    What this means is we will still live in the same dichotomous world where people who get what they want and people who don't get what they want (based on those data driven advantages) are in the same position: "The die roll didn't go my way and I lost. The game is broken."

    Which means that any mitigation strategy will ultimately fail. Q.E.D.
    *with a tiny tiny note that if you instead had "best of x" where until you lose twice in a row the round continues; which has a different set of problems, that may be an appropriate strategy

    ____________

    A side note is that good decks still win when they go second and good players mitigate those things. The RNG in magic (such as the way lands work) has been specifically pointed out as a means to allow worse players/decks to always have a chance at winning. RNG can be mitigated by skill, but not deterministically cancelled. This is what helps make games with RNG more addictive than those that are deterministic; because it gives your ego/brain an out. This has been pointed out by people like Mark Rosewater, love or hate him, as a fundamentally good choice for games to have.

    When you get to blame your loss on RNG (true or not) the fact is that the variance is built into the game to make what caused your loss more obscured. The difference is when you collect data you will start to find out whether it is you or the game. If you say "I lost that one game to RNG but I've blown away these other 25 matches in a row"; it probably actually was the variance just nipping you.

    What you should look at if you are consistently losing (and blaming the dice roll) is a mix of your deck and your skill/abilities. I realize this comes off as Ad Hominim; but I'm telling you that on top of the previous premise (that you literally can never fix this in a turn-based game) this 'flaw' is purposely built into the game.

    ____
    Finally, there's already a mitigation strategy in place (your opponent is down a card) and people already make plenty of interesting decisions regarding who is going first, for some decks anyway. Daze is often trimmed more on the Draw, Force is often trimmed more on the play; cards that lock your opponent out are better on the play than on the draw, etc. Higher cost cards are slightly better on the draw.

    One can thusly view it as an opportunity for skill to shine through more so then. If you build your deck understanding how the nuance of the game (and that matchup) change depending on whether you go first or not, you can show mastery and further differentiate yourself from the other player.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nestalim View Post
    Wrong. Gideon Emblem protect you from losing and you can even open your binder and slam some cards on the board, not even the HJ can DQ you now.

  7. #7

    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    A quick Google shows in chess white wins ~55% of the time. This is mitigated by players alternating between black and white throughout the tournament. No die rolling. Maybe try chess?
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  8. #8

    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by mulder View Post
    I knew this comment was coming. No matter how you turn it, there will always be people who lose more die rolls than they win. Fun fact: I actually keeps stat of this for fun, and the last 5 years I've lost about 80% of all my die rolls. In theory sure, you have 50% chance but in reality there will always be people who win more and lose more. And winning or losing a die roll shouldn't have an influence on your chances of winning.
    Besides, this is not about me whining about the fact that I can't win die rolls. It is about the fact that it is not correct that people have to start with and unfair disadvantage because of losing a die roll, or/and how to possibly compensate for that.
    80% over 5 years?

    Did someone give you loaded dice?

  9. #9

    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by mulder View Post
    I knew this comment was coming. No matter how you turn it, there will always be people who lose more die rolls than they win.
    Every individual's rate varies, some will win more than others, but over the long run the more games you play it should converge toward 50%.

    If it's not, like I said you should think about how you're rolling dice because there could be some mechnical anomaly behind it:
    - don't use roll-down D20s. stick to normal 6-sided dice.
    - roll 2 or more dice together and use the sum. using more dice reduces variance
    - make sure both players are actually rolling the dice, not just plopping it out on one side

    If that still doesn't work for you, then download a digitial random number generator on your phone and suggest to use that instead of dice.

    And winning or losing a die roll shouldn't have an influence on your chances of winning.
    Why not? Winning the die roll (a random event) influences your chance of winning, but so does how many lands you draw in your opening hand, how often you get mana flooded, how often you draw your combo piece, how often you topdeck well, and who you randomly get paired against in an event. Is it any more fair for someone to start with an unfair disadvantage if they draw worse hands or get paired against bad matchups? All of these things are pure chance, not skill. Magic is inherently a mix of skill and luck. Randomness is built into the game. Players mitigate that by designing decks that reduce variance and adapting their lines of play to what luck brings. Still, the game is intentionally designed so that sometimes you lose (or win) to randomness.

    Going first has a huge impact in games like chess, and chess is a completely deterministic game otherwise (unlike Magic). Playing a best-of 3 instead of single elimination mitigates that somewhat. In pro sports (e.g. football), winning coin flips matters too.

  10. #10

    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by mulder View Post
    I knew this comment was coming. No matter how you turn it, there will always be people who lose more die rolls than they win. Fun fact: I actually keeps stat of this for fun, and the last 5 years I've lost about 80% of all my die rolls. In theory sure, you have 50% chance but in reality there will always be people who win more and lose more. And winning or losing a die roll shouldn't have an influence on your chances of winning.
    Besides, this is not about me whining about the fact that I can't win die rolls. It is about the fact that it is not correct that people have to start with and unfair disadvantage because of losing a die roll, or/and how to possibly compensate for that.
    If you're losing 80% of for die rolls, play decks that need to be on the play.

  11. #11

    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by tescrin View Post


    This is a value judgement and has no place in any discussion. Those discussions that are beholden value judgements cannot be resolved and thus are pointless. Take this to heart and apply this to every discussion you ever have and you'll live a better life.
    Nuclear take detected.

  12. #12
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    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by mulder View Post
    I knew this comment was coming. No matter how you turn it, there will always be people who lose more die rolls than they win. Fun fact: I actually keeps stat of this for fun, and the last 5 years I've lost about 80% of all my die rolls. In theory sure, you have 50% chance but in reality there will always be people who win more and lose more. And winning or losing a die roll shouldn't have an influence on your chances of winning.
    Besides, this is not about me whining about the fact that I can't win die rolls. It is about the fact that it is not correct that people have to start with and unfair disadvantage because of losing a die roll, or/and how to possibly compensate for that.
    You must not be playing that many games, like 50 games over 5 years doesn’t count bro. If you are playing hundreds of games and your 80% is reasonably accurate, and you havent switched to a deck that benefits from on the draw, then this is natural selection at its finest.
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    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by FourDogsinaHorseSuit View Post
    Nuclear take detected.
    (couldn't find an RA2 gif, so this will have to do)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyafFTPs85M
    Quote Originally Posted by Nestalim View Post
    Wrong. Gideon Emblem protect you from losing and you can even open your binder and slam some cards on the board, not even the HJ can DQ you now.

  14. #14

    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by tescrin View Post
    (couldn't find an RA2 gif, so this will have to do)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyafFTPs85M
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTlYyxvwOJE

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    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Who the hell rolls a die, you all know these exist yea?

    It is better to ask and look stupid then keep your mouth shut and remain so.
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  16. #16

    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dice_Box View Post
    Who the hell rolls a die, you all know these exist yea?

    I knew a guy who used these. He had to stop because explaining the Monty Hall problem to teens is incredibly cumbersome.

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    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by FourDogsinaHorseSuit View Post
    I knew a guy who used these. He had to stop because explaining the Monty Hall problem to teens is incredibly cumbersome.
    I have two sets, I hand one to them and use one myself.
    It is better to ask and look stupid then keep your mouth shut and remain so.
    Quote Originally Posted by Spam View Post
    Do not make fun of lands masters, they've spent many years mastering the punishing fire technique in the secret loam monastery. Do not mistake them with the miracles masters, eternal rivals, they won't like it.
    Quote Originally Posted by DarthVicious View Post
    I hope your afterlife is filled with eternal torment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dice_Box View Post
    Fuck. Which one of my quotes do I drop for this?
    Quote Originally Posted by DarthVicious View Post
    Something about how fun it is pulling the wings off flies and microwaving the neighbors cat?

  18. #18
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    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    The answer to the "problem of dice" or whatever, is to do (as I think there are other card games that do) and simply have the pairing software put on the match slip who gets the choice. This way, as long as the algorithm is reasonably robust, it should adhere to 50/50 in the long run.

    Now, as for the game play mechanic of the Play being that much better than the Draw, that is a "problem" of cards that have disproportional effect on the game being castable via "fast mana." This isn't a thing that can be solves except with the widest of ban hammers. Although we are going to see it given a stress test when the London mulligan comes to fruition.
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    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    Quote Originally Posted by FourDogsinaHorseSuit View Post
    I knew a guy who used these. He had to stop because explaining the Monty Hall problem to teens is incredibly cumbersome.
    You know, I was thinking that the last time someone handed me it: "Didn't I learn in college that he has a 50% chance of winning while I have a 33%?" but I didn't pipe up. I'm not 100% monty hall applies here; but that's just because it's such a mind twist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nestalim View Post
    Wrong. Gideon Emblem protect you from losing and you can even open your binder and slam some cards on the board, not even the HJ can DQ you now.

  20. #20

    Re: The die roll imbalance.

    I tend to lose die rolls as well. I highly doubt it's 80% though. My guess would be somewhere between 60-70, which really is 1-3 in a 4 round event more times than 2-2 average. Not that bad IMO.

    I'm very used to playing on the draw and don't really mind it. Even when chalice/thoughtseize are the majority of turn 1s.

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