Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Lottery

I'm sure many of you have read a classic short story called "The Lottery".

The story revolves around a small American town in which they have an annual town lottery where the head of each family draws lots and then the "winning" family members perform a second draw to determine the lucky "winner".

You know that those quotation marks can't be a good thing.

It seems this lottery has a quirky twist in which instead of receiving a large novelty check from Ed McMahon, the lucky winner gets stoned to death by everyone in the town including their own family.


Can you imagine a group that large organizing a giant lottery designed to select an individual winner only to end up killing that person?

Crazy, huh?

On an unrelated note, the Mog Bonanza numbers are out.

I've discussed the Mog Bonanza before.

I'm not sure what is wrong with people. We come up with a nice, fun event designed to brighten people's spirits and, instead it turns into a huge bitchfest.

I'm actually going to the devs and suggesting we just save time and actually call our next event Bitchfest 2008.

You didn't win. That is entirely the point.

If everyone won, then it wouldn't make much of a lottery, now would it?

This isn't the special olympics. You don't get a ribbon just for participating.

I know, I know. You bought ten marbles (lottery tickets). Then you went and made 15 mules and bought 10 marbles on each of those guys.

After you leveled them up to level 5.

So you spent:

1) $15 extra to actually create those extra 15 mules

2) $15 more to keep those mules active during June

3) possibly $15 more if you forgot to cancel them on June 30th when the winning numbers were announced

4) 160,000 gil buying marbles

5) hours leveling basically useless characters up to level 5

That means you deserve some sort of reward, right?


So very, very wrong.

You chose to do all of that. You chose to make 15 extra characters knowing it would cost you money and time, and you did it to hopefully increase your chances of winning.

That's the same thinking that leads people to spend their rent money on lottery tickets.

Do you know where those people are right now?

Neither do I.

I do know that they're probably not calling the lottery company to complain about their not winning.

That would be stupid.

In order to win the big prize, you had to match all 5 digits of the winning number.

If you are bitching about not winning, then I will assume you're also probably not very good at math, so let me explain odds to you.

The winning number had 5 digits.

Those digits ranged from 0 to 9.

This means that there were 100,000 total possible number combinations from 00000 to 99999.

I know those 16 characters with their 10 marbles seems like a lot. I mean, that's like 160 marbles.

I'm impressed.

Oh... Wait... 160 isn't close to 100,000 at all.

That's right.

I can see how someone would make that mistake.

Even if you went through the trouble of making 15 extra characters and getting the maximum number of marbles on all your characters AND got unique numbers for every marble, you still only had a 0.16 % chance of winning.

That means, again assuming you can't do math very well if you're still complaining, you had a 99.84 % chance of NOT winning.

That's a big number.

Someone with even a rudimentary knowledge of mathematics understand this and realize that it is perfectly logical that they did not win.

And yet, as soon as the winning numbers were announced, the GM Call queue went from this

GM Call Queue: 6 petitions pending across 4 servers.

to this

GM Call Queue: eleventy bajillion petitions pending across 87 servers. Seriously. I think there are people from WoW making GM calls to complain about not winning.

to this

GM Call Queue: just shoot yourself.

I have spent almost every working moment since explaining basic probability to eleventy bajillion people.

Some (read: all) of them may or may not have been fed to a dragon.

But honestly, I was expecting all of that. I was perfectly prepared for the epic bitchfest that would ensue after the winning numbers were announced.

If there's anything that doesn't surprise me, it's the depth of human stupidity.

Then, one last call came in.

I thought I had heard it all. I thought that nothing I could hear that day would catch me off guard.

I was wrong.

[GM]Dave>> Hail, Adventurer.
[GM]Dave>> What seems to be the problem?
Player>> It's about the Mog Bonanza.
[GM]Dave>> Sigh...
[GM]Dave>> How did you people not learn math?
[GM]Dave>> Were you sick that day?
Player>> I don't know what you mean.
[GM]Dave>> Well, you're making a GM call about losing a lottery.
[GM]Dave>> I can only assume this means you're bad at math.
[GM]Dave>> Or are perhaps retarded.
Player>> That's not it.
[GM]Dave>> It could be both.
[GM]Dave>> You could be retarded AND bad at math.
[GM]Dave>> Maybe you're like one of those idiot savants.
[GM]Dave>> Just minus the savant part.
Player>> I'm not complaining about losing.
[GM]Dave>> ... Oh.
[GM]Dave>> ...
[GM]Dave>> I think I might need a minute to process this.
[GM]Dave>> A call about the Mog Bonanza where someone isn't bitching about losing.
[GM]Dave>> I'm very sorry, sir. This doesn't happen.
[GM]Dave>> What can I do for you today?
Player>> I want to file a complaint.
[GM]Dave>> But you...
[GM]Dave>> You just said...
[GM]Dave>> You just said you didn't want to complain.
Player>> I said I don't want to file a complaint about losing.
Player>> I won.
[GM]Dave>> ...
[GM]Dave>> Oh lord.
Player>> I won a rank 1 prize and you guys won't give me my prize.
[GM]Dave>> ...
[GM]Dave>> I think my brain melted.
[GM]Dave>> What do you mean?
Player>> The moogle won't give me my 100,000,000 gil.
[GM]Dave>> Well, we said it would take a few days.
Player>> DAYS?!
Player>> I want my prize now.
Player>> NOW!
[GM]Dave>> Oh, I've got a prize for you.
[GM]Dave>> Have you ever read "The Lottery"?

I'm not sure how many times I fed him to Jormy, but I still don't think it was enough.

I fed his mules to Jormy.

I think I may have fed his sister to Jormy.

Not enough.

I'm right now shopping for airline tickets so I can go to the guy's house and give him his prize in person.

Maybe you guys would know: is a ballpeen hammer against airline regulations?


At 7:53 PM, Blogger Psylex said...

Can you please give up this guy's name to the general public so WE can kick his ass too?

At 7:55 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

I couldn't bring a nail clipper. No way is a hammer getting on.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger Calex said...

Hmmm next time you could recreate the lottery, set him for PvP, and give everyone on the server rocks to throw at him. Most of them would probably do it just out of spite for him winning. :/ A few might be in it to punish the actual stupidity. ^.^; Then again, you don't really need a reason to enjoy a good mauling.

At 8:56 PM, Blogger L.C.W. said...

Ha, dumb people are funny, annoying as all hell, but funny none-the-less. Shame there's not an IQ test required to claim your prize.

At 11:15 PM, Blogger Allison said...

I dunno if you can bring a hammer, but I'm sure you could buy one in his town!

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Bufuman said...

*readies rusty knife*
You've got an appointment with a face or two, my friend!

At 11:58 PM, Blogger Harsisus said...

LOL. What a greedy b*st*rd!

I agree, let's kick his ass... FOR SPARTA!

J/k... Don't mutilate me for that T_T

At 1:21 AM, Blogger Kenny said...

If you want to bring a hammer, you have to check it inside your baggage. I'm afraid you can't bring that along with your carry on.

At 1:45 AM, Blogger Hydro said...

Sounds like you are speaking from the voice of Experience Kenny... LOL!!

At 5:40 AM, Blogger Alshandra said...

actually i studied that story in high school english literature. cute blog post~ i didnt win either but thems the breaks.

At 6:38 AM, Blogger Slappy said...

Should have opened PvP on him and armed everyone with pebbles...

I actually won a rank 4 prize I was shocked, I didn't even expect an XP scroll.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Feauce said...

Gods of all that is righteous and holy, it's amazing how selfish and ignorant people can be. Seriously, they'd waited that long, what's another couple days? They were probably expecting (much like a lottery ticket) some sort of instant payoff and assumed it was a personal insult when they couldn't have gotten their prize money immediately.

Though, then again, maybe their impatience was stemming from the realization of the "1,000,000 gil at a time" rule. In this case, I can somewhat understand not wanting to be staying up all night for three days standing in front of the delivery NPCs.

As for the person themselves... might I suggest a variant on the Death of 1,000 Cuts torture involving the addition of either pepper/onion/citrus juice or salt water.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Redlac said...

Psh, that guy deserved to be fed to Jormy, there's such a thing as a bad winner.

I didn't win anything on Mog Bonanza. But then, I think I'm the only person on FFXI that didn't go and buy any marbles at all. I was busy hitting monsters, you know how it is.

So that'll be one less person moaning about not winning.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Matthew said...

To l.c.w.'s comment, shame's there's not an IQ test required to play most MMOs...

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Ricardo said...

alll i have to say about Mog Bonanza is that people are retarded what the hell is wrong with them be mature people this is lottery guess what 99.9% of the people DON'T WIN!!! HELLO!!! anyways i didn't win anything but i don't complain because i didn't expect to win anything and for that dumbass who won don't give him his price!

At 8:22 PM, Blogger Robert said...

"To l.c.w.'s comment, shame's there's not an IQ test required to play most MMOs..."

You kidding? FFXI's installation and registration process is an IQ test in itself!

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Atomic Skull said...

I already have 4 gardening accounts so it wasn't as though I spent any more money. By numbering all of my marbles sequentially over 64 characters I got 7 behemoth hides.

At 8:44 PM, Blogger Atomic Skull said...

Oh and I also got a rank 3 prize too.

At 8:13 AM, Blogger Hulyen said...

If I use the mog bonanza numbers in powerball or something and I don't win that, then can I complain to SE? XD

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Harpo said...

Yes this was a lottery, but it was also to celebrate the anniversary.
For me, it's the lame prize in "appreciation" of the players spending so much time and money to keep the game afloat. I didn't add mules or go out of my way to win, I didn't expect to win, but I did get the impression of being appreciated by a company I have put money into for several years. Again, my mistake, to expect a company to appreciate someone giving them money is ridiculous.
Companies don't appreciate anything except profit, otherwise they would spend the money to have decent customer service.
I wouldn't go so far as to send a GM call that's just dumb. "Hey moron, can you explain to this moron why he didn't win".
Next time if the event developers have ANY I.Q. points above single digits, they should gear "appreciation events" towards the long time players, CHECK ACCOUNT AGES, then apply the prizes according to the age of the accounts. Considering a player of 4yrs has put over 600 dollars in the game, one decent item that takes normally 17 other ding-dongs to acquire, is not too much to ask.
Giving them something like Ibushi is not appreciation, it is a head-slap. You can take your miratete's memoirs and use it to blow your nose.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger YeahYeahYouWere said...

Kind of funny how this is supposed to be an "appreciation" event for players, but it generated them thousands of dollars (of real money) in account fees for all those mules and all they had to do was offer up some fake money, which costs them nothing. Nothing says we appreciate you like false altruism.

That being said, people are stupid. I didn't buy an marbles (I just re-activated a couple days ago), but, I do know lottery players. I'm not saying I've never bought a lotto ticket, but I am not one of those people who seem to be genuinely disappointed when they don't win.

At 2:23 AM, Blogger Gid said...

Lol @ Harpo - so you're telling me that before the numbers were announced, you weren't dreaming of winning the big prize? Thats all its about, it was a great event that for a while made you think the impossible was possible. It wasn't to get more money, or make you lose gil. It was to give everyone the chance, all be it a small chance (it is a lottery after all) to obtain items and gil that you would have to put years into to earn normally. Personally, I loved the excitement leading up to the numbers being announced, dreaming of what I'd do with the gil if I won, thinking what my plan would be WHEN I got the gil :P great event imo, just enjoy the atmosphere it created guys

At 7:44 AM, Blogger Gid said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Gemmrik said...

i really must say, for a person to be that dim witted, they had to be on some sort of crack that was given to him by a one-armed, blind, dilecsic monkey with a speech impedament and a severc case of sezures. but if i was able to play the lottery and won that much gil, i think i would still be out cuse i fainted.

At 12:17 PM, Blogger J said...

Hey, I found this site while browsing FFXI info. I know this is an old post and you might not even see this cause I really don't know how these lame blog sites work.

But I wanted to ask- are you an actual paid GM for FFXI?
I'm curious because I worked as Senior GM for all of Turbine's games for about two years, and in my time there, a blog like this would have been so unfathomably unacceptable it would have gotten me fired instantly.

Your job is to maintain a group of customers. Complaining about them publicly hurts the company you work for. If that shouldn't get you fired, posting an actual cut/paste convo with a player absolutely should.

Your complaints here make me laugh. Grow a sack. This is how being a GM is in EVERY game. The players bitch. Constantly. About everything. MMO players are mostly in their teens, and they believe their monthly fee entitles them to everything, including the privilege of acting like complete assholes to game staff- in many cases that might even be their favorite thing to do.

Grow a sack or find a job that doesn't suck (like I did). If you'd like to feel better about GMing FFXI, try GMing AC-Darktide for about 30 seconds- this blog, and your head, would explode.

At 8:17 PM, Blogger tali said...


will you delete my post if i tell J he's a dumbass?

i'm not actually telling him that. but, hypothetically, if i were to call him a dumbass, would you delete my post?

just curious. because i wouldn't do that if it'd get deleted.


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