Star Trek Online When is the contents of a lockbox determined ?
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Ensign
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 5
(Updated: Opening chances for possibility 1 corrected, see *)

Hello,

My question is basically:

When is the contents of a lockbox determined ?

Some possibilities:

1. The contents of the lockbox is determined when it drops.

2. The contents of the lockbox is determined when it is opened by a key.

Example for possibility 1:

200 boxes drop, 1 box contains the valuable ship.

User A opens 195 boxes and finds nothing, remaining 5 boxes are posted on the exchange.

User B buys the 5 boxes opens them and finds the valuable ship.

Example for possibility 2:

User A opens 195 boxes and finds nothing.

User B opens 5 boxes and finds nothing.

I think statistically there is a difference between possibility 1 and possibility 2.

The opening of the boxes in possibility 1 influences what could be in the remaining boxes. There is a dependence.

While possibility 2 is less dependent and the dependency is based on something else, for example the state of the current random number generator.

So possibility 1 is based on a historical generation of chances.

So possibility 2 is based on current/dynamic generation of chances.

For the player possibility 2 would be worse.

It's a bit like rolling dice.

If the dice was rolled 6 times, the user has 1/6 chance. (6 boxes, each box contains on average one number of the dice).

However if the dice is re-rolled every time the user opens the box the chance changes.

*
incorrect: The user has 1/6 chance each time instead of: 1/6, 2/6, 3/6, 4/6, 5/6, 6/6.
correct: The user has 1/6 chance each time (for possibility 2) instead of (possibility 1): 1/6, 1/5, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 1/1.

Therefore my question is very important to understand what the winning chances are for picking boxes from the exchange.

There is a player who picks the boxes from the exchange and is making a profit so it seems.

I want to know if it's true or false.

To know if it is true or false it requires me to know the answer to my question.

I hope that some developer can confirm if it's possibility 1 (which would cost some harddisk space to store all generated contents) or if it's possibility 2 (which would be space efficient but a bit more lame ?).

So far startrek online seems to have huge ammounts of storage space, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's actually possibility 1 ?

(In short it probably has to do with statistical distributions ? is it possible for a postman to pick the right postings ? the postman thinks so game theory also confirms the postman, game master has 3 doors, pick a door, game master opens a door, game theory says: switch doors.)

Last edited by twikitwiki; 03-07-2013 at 10:38 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4,232
# 2
03-06-2013, 03:19 PM
I'd guess at time its opened else each box would have to be serialized, and it's award data stored in a table until it's opened because it's gotta follow the box to anyone that may open it.
KBF Lord MalaK

Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,011
# 3
03-06-2013, 03:19 PM
when u open the box it randomly generates a reward. with some having alot % chance to drop.

the contents are not stored in a lucky box. its just a random gen on open
Career Officer
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 145
# 4
03-06-2013, 03:21 PM
Its RNG at the time of opening

just like when you kill an NPC/finish a STF and get a loot bag
Captain
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,223
# 5
03-06-2013, 04:09 PM
Agreed with the time of opening. When you open the box, likely it generates the content instantly. That would generally be how programming mechanics works in these cases.
--------------------------------------

"We are smart." - Grebnedlog

Member of Alliance Central Command/boq botlhra'ghom
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,238
# 6
03-06-2013, 04:14 PM
The contents would have to be generated at the time the box is opened -- otherwise they would not be stackable if their properties (even hidden attributes) were not absolutely identical.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 110
# 7
03-06-2013, 05:12 PM
You are all wrong.

The lock boxes are directly linked to a counter that tells Perfect World how many keys have been purchased. It has a set number, every 10,000 dollars spent on keys, the next open box is a ship. That way they make sure they are always making crazy amounts of money and never have to worry about the market being flooded!

Eisaak
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 599
# 8
03-06-2013, 07:03 PM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by eisaakaz You are all wrong. The lock boxes are directly linked to a counter that tells Perfect World how many keys have been purchased. It has a set number, every 10,000 dollars spent on keys, the next open box is a ship. That way they make sure they are always making crazy amounts of money and never have to worry about the market being flooded! Eisaak
If that's true then I wouldn't have been able to get three advanced escorts in a row. Unless \$10k was spent during the few seconds it took me to open the next lockbox.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 110
# 9
03-06-2013, 07:28 PM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by shar487a The contents would have to be generated at the time the box is opened -- otherwise they would not be stackable if their properties (even hidden attributes) were not absolutely identical.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by lonnehart If that's true then I wouldn't have been able to get three advanced escorts in a row. Unless \$10k was spent during the few seconds it took me to open the next lockbox.

No I am talking about the .4% ships, not the mirror/advanced ships.
Also the 10,000 is a made up example. But you are fooling yourself if you don't think there is a value attached to supply. If you made a game and were not subject to gambling laws, wouldn't you make sure that you made x amount of dollars per "win"? The lock boxes are just digital slot machines, without the payouts clearly written on the cover. And since there is no law or legislation against this practice, it is human nature to be greedy and abuse this format. Throw on top of that, a world wide base of younger gamers who aren't educated enough to see it for what it is. Add a parent base who don't care enough about games to look any deeper than their kid saying "for my allowance can you just buy me this ship, or give me a game card for my birthday."

(this is not a complaint) Perfect World has created, as so many other games these days an environment of gambling, that using gambling psychology and tricks to keep a percentage of players coming back for more. Look up all the rules that Casinos are controlled by and you will see all the things that they can't do being wrapped up here in Perfect Worlds business model. You get pop up across the screen of other winners that make you feel like you are missing out, on a slow day they can create bot winners to keep the idea of reward fresh in the minds of players. When lockbox events are coming to an end you get daily updates to make you feel as though you are missing out. When the next lockbox event is coming they create hype, like a big banner that says "14 more days" to get the player base itchy for it. Perfect World can monitor spending habits and adjust quantity of box, quantity of win, quantity of item, or anything else they want to monitor to hit a corporate price point that each of their games needs to meet. Just like there was a 15% off week after the new Andorian Escort release because not enough people raced out and bought them. So they put up a sale to get people to spend money that way to hit their price point.

I am willing to bet that they adjust the winning payouts based on sales. Like when the keys are 15% off, I bet the winning percentage on a limited ship is moved to keep the same value. Every time there is a new ship added to the roster there is a new one sitting outside Earth Space doc and DS9 to make players jealous that hey don't own one yet. It is gambling psychology at work to get you to break down and spend money. To feel left out, to create need.

There is nothing wrong with this tactic but you are only kidding yourself it you don't think it is employed against you in 100 different ways in this game.

Eisaak

Last edited by eisaakaz; 03-06-2013 at 08:52 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,310
# 10
03-06-2013, 10:39 PM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by lordmalak1 I'd guess at time its opened else each box would have to be serialized, and it's award data stored in a table until it's opened because it's gotta follow the box to anyone that may open it.
I would hope its when the box is open, because as you point out the data would need to be stored, and that just opens up the possibility for someone to find a creative method for accessing that data, thereby gaining the ability to at least estimate which boxes have ships (if not outright specify the exact contents).

I saw this in D3, where players were able to judge the number of properties on an unidentified item. Since the value of an item generally grew exponentially in relation to the number of properties, this gave them a tremendous advantage. Worse, buying and selling unIDs on the auction hall was a common practice (much in the same way lock boxes are bought and sold), and with the presence of the real money auction hall, being able to access that data could lead to actual real world profit.

Thankfully, I would imagine lock box contents are determined when opened, because Cryptic has a very real financial interest in keeping it such.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by eisaakaz And since there is no law or legislation against this practice, it is human nature to be greedy and abuse this format.
There's no law against it, yet.

Just wait for e-scatch offs and there will be one, presumably sufficient to cover even things like lock boxes, because you know the government will want its share.

Last edited by millimidget; 03-06-2013 at 10:46 PM.

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