Gaming The "RNG"

Dana may or may not have the process correct, but it’s hard to argue with the results. I may give this a whirl and see what results I get because I’m interested in knowing if this was an anomaly or if it can be reproduced. The later will show that this has some merit if other people can reproduce it on their machines, especially if they’re using a console and not a PC.

I don’t think anyone is immediately discounting this, or saying that the regulars around here are inherently more reliable than people that are posting here for the first time. I’d apreciate if you didn’t twist my words to say something I did not.

What I’m saying is that if someone who has a record of doing good work posts something that makes major changes to the way we thought part of the game works, I, and others, will accept it more readily than if someone who has never posted here at all had posted it. Why? Because I know that person has a good understanding of the way the game works, they have done good work in the past (which is at least a decent predictor for future work), and for many of them, I have discussed whatever it was they’ve done in the past with them and developed trust for them.

In summary: most poeple are more likey to trust strange results from people they trust rather than people they don’t know. however, there would be scepticism either way.

I’ll admit that some people might have been a bit harsh, this may be a closely moderated forum but it is still the internet, sometimes people are just rude, and sometimes stuff just doesn’t come out quite right.

@Gulfwulf, Agreed, I’ll probably be giving this a shot. It this works it could be really useful, if a bit cheaty :S

Ah, no, it’s the onus of the claimant of out of the ordinary to provide sufficient evidence, not for others to provide contrary.

There were countless “voodoo” theories the first couple of years of the game (online vs offline, time of day, timing of actions, etc.), to the point where a very detailed (and properly done) series of tests were done collectively by a significant group of players. Every single one of the theories, several with rabid adherents, were shot down.

A few screenshots of a ritual likely to provide nothing more than proof of confirmation bias does not cut it.

If a group of vetted players want to gather proper data, I’d gladly analyze it and post results.

Just repeating some ritual without bothering to test alternatives against it with a proper size sample of results is simply a fool’s errand.


He did provide evidence, he also provided methodology, and he didn’t say it was fact, he said this was what he discovered, he opened himself up to be disproved

Now with the method and reasoning, other people can try and replicate or disprove his theory

The problem at this stage, is while he could provide more evidence, if you do not believe or trust the source to start with, more evidence from the same person will not dissuade you.

So yes, now he has done the initial testing, it is on others to prove or disprove the theory, I am sure @Dana_H won’t mind one way or the other, as it seems to work for him on his machine, but he has given the community his test results to go forward with.

And just because something hasn’t been done already, and the game is X years old, doesn’t mean there are not new things to find.

There is also the fact that with patches and hot fixes, other glitches come into play, and glitches are only noticed when they appear, how do we not know that before the October Patch, the RNG on slot machines did not behave this way, but now they do? Who tested it extensively before and after patch?

Scientific progress would indeed really be stymied if we took the attitude of “Well it’s never been done before, so it probably cannot be done”

Test it or don’t test it, be sceptical, or be a believer, but at least let’s get some people on different platforms testing this before it’s dismissed out of hand. And right now, it would be pointless for Dana to do further proof without others also testing, as he has already entered the mind of some of those as “Unknown Source - Apply Scepticism, dismiss out of hand”

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I shall be a test monkey and try this on PS3 this morning. It wont hurt to screw around a little, and if it seems to work so be it! If not, I will have lost nothing in the process!

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I’d be very grateful if we can keep this topic from becoming a Willy-waving battle. Everyone: avoid personal comments, or expect…consequences.

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We try to hold to slightly different standards here compared with this internet thing you’re talking about, regardless of post count or history. I’ll be keeping a close, monocled, eye on this thread. If anyone has any concerns, hit the flag or pm me or another mod rather than raise them in this thread. Okay? Everyone cool?

…then on with the science. Or not. If you don’t feel you can contribute positively to this thread, leave it alone.



That’s kind of the idea I was trying to get across, I edited my post, hopefully it is a bit better now, like it says (now) sometimes stuff just dosen’t come out quite right


I don’t see anything wrong with what the OP is describing, surely, people should jump at the chance to try out more ways of getting predictable loot.

Even if it’s a one-off, or they’re wrong in some fashion . . . nobody’s going to lose a huge amount of their time just trying this out themselves. Without a hard description of the PRNG strategies Gearbox used on TPS (or even BL2) it’s impossible to tell for sure anyhow.

Different locations might use a different, but unique, base seed. That would explain different results for Sanctuary vs. TTAoDK, etc. The time value is often a component used but the resulting permutation could end up being similar depending on how its processed.

That’s partially why PRNG is so much fun to discuss, nevermind implement. Been having some fun with it myself in personal projects, but trying to avoid the hard maths side of it and just focus on implementation.

At the very least, the OP has put in more effort into making this thread than it’ll take any of us to test it, so I’m here to congratulate them.

(I’m also a sucker for well-formatted posts with decent image supplements)

Ah, as I’ve seen a lot of Dana_H’s posts in the Item find of the Day thread, I’m pretty sure she describes herself as a female, so it might be hard for her to engage in any Willie wrangling, as was said. Also, in the one and only time I’ve tried this so far- on the machines in Moxxie’s bar the left one hit three single eridium bars while the one next to it hit a vault symbol, vault symbol- and a bell. Close, so close…

I don’t think Dana was doing that, much. Carry on.

OK, so I spent some time trying this in Sanctuary tonight (360), and was unable to replicate.

A few things came to mind while trying this:

  1. If it is timing based, then it ought to require much tighter timing than “! money shot, 2 money shot…” It would most likely be tied to frame-rate…
  2. Even that breaks down if you’re actually successful in getting triples on both machines, since the first one will start resetting while you’re grabbing the loot from the second; there’s no way to keep exact timing between the two when that happens
  3. Getting triple sevens or cherries on the Sanctuary bar machines isn’t that uncommon; what’s really uncommon is getting the Jackpot - and I got one tonight! Woohoo! :tada: :confetti_ball:
  4. Does anyone know (as in, has rigorously tested this) whether the rates for three-of-a-kind were affected by the world increase in drop-rates implemented earlier this year?

Finally, all I can say to the OP is that you are one lucky son of a vault hunter and, if you didn’t buy a lottery ticket after all that, you’re wasting your talent!


Good work (no surprise here on results).

(4) is a good question, I wonder that myself, but have neither the time nor motivation to check (either via grabbing enough samples or poking code), perhaps some players might record enough results to check against the details done over the first couple of game years that are well established.

Using the known results, there’s ~10% probability of duplicate pairs of triples in these scenarios, and ~35% probability of a pair of triples - in other words, these things are not rare/unusual at all. If (4) turns out to be affirmative, those probabilities only go up.

Sooner or later, someone will take the time to extend a test like yours, and get enough samples using voodoo and not, and a simple statistical test can show if there’s any difference. The smart money will be on none…

I can tell you with reasonable confidence that it didn’t affect the odds of getting improved rarity in the Grinder in TPS. It does seem a little unlikely that it would affect slots, since those would have their own set of tables. Then again, there are so many dependencies in this game that there could easily be an unintentional one!

I might try some of this. I’ve had interesting luck with the borderlands slots on occasion.

Another area to try it: the dragon raid loot room from the tiny tina DLC. It’s possibly handled a similar way RNG wise.