World of Warcraft (WoW)

My guild is very superstitious about loot, so I conducted a scientific study

Content of the article: "My guild is very superstitious about loot, so I conducted a scientific study"

My guild has been raiding together for a few years now, starting on private servers and then making the transition to WoW Classic. Along the way, discussions about loot and the possible factors influencing it have come up repeatedly, and a number of 'theories' have been suggested by the more superstitious members. One such 'theory' relates to precisely *who* the first person zoning into a raid instance is. The idea is that the first person to zone into the instance determines the Raid ID number, and that this number is specifically tied to loot quality outcomes. In other words, this theory puts forth the idea that loot outcomes are not randomly determined, but that certain people have better loot outcomes than others, because they get the 'good' Raid I. I should stress that these discussions have always been light hearted and fun, but there have been instances in the distant past where our former raid leader chewed someone out because person X obtained the Raid ID instead of person Y.

Eventually these discussions came to a head, and we decided to formally test the idea. To do this, I designed an experiment to compare loot between a 'lucky' Raid ID (in our case, a player named Jrueg who happened to have exceptional loot outcomes from his Raid ID several weeks in a row) and a randomly determined Raid ID (anybody but Jrueg), to see if the loot outcomes varied. We measured loot outcomes over the course of 40 weeks in Molten Core and classified each potential piece of loot as 'good' or 'bad' for comparison. I initially joked that I would write up the results like a formal scientific paper, and decided to follow through with it after hearing more and more superstitious nonsense about loot.

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So here it is. The paper, our data, and the R script I used to run the simple analysis.



R Script

– Shoutout to ClassicRogueVII who provided some of the data from his MC runs for the comparison group and everyone in Entropy who helped with the study.

TL;DR – My guild is very superstitious about loot, so we decided to formally test the idea that the person obtaining the Raid ID determines loot quality outcomes. It does not.


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