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 Post subject: Enhancing (Vulcanus) Explained
PostPosted: 10/20/09 13:26 
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Location: France
Character: Muwing (1)
Note: this guide was initially written and published by Tygrysek on Atlantica Online Players. Atlas Mana Stone has been introduced after this article was written.

In this guide I will explain, to the best of my knowledge, the process of enhancing items using Vulcanus. Please note that this guide is geared towards all levels of players from newcomers to extreme veterans and thus contains simple definitions as well as some advanced techniques.

Introduction:


Enhancing is the process where you use one item and the appropriate number of enhancing stones to increase its grade, which is designated by a + on the item icon. Any single piece of equipment can have a grade from +0 to a +10. A +0 is the default value and will not be listed on the item icon. Enhancing is not the same as Enchanting, enchanting is where you would use two of the same item to create one item of a higher grade using enchant stones (i.e. combine two +0’s to make a +1). The major difference is that Enchanting has a 100% success rate while enhancing has a 50% success rate.

Before you begin to enhance you must make a choice if you want to use Vulcanos or Oriharukon Enhance Stones? From personal experience Ori stones are evil and should not be used for anything more than making money off of naive players that still think that they have a better chance of success with an Ori stone then with Vulcanus. Seriously though, Ori stones seem to be really messed up at the moment and fail a lot of times so until that gets fixed I don’t recommend using them and therefore I will focus on Vulcanos. Before we go visit Vulcanus we need to do some research so he doesn’t take our life savings and gear.

The Basics:


Items Required: A piece of equipment and appropriate number of enhance stones based on the + you are trying to achieve. (i.e. if you have a +1 item and going for a +2 you need 2 enhance stones). Also the appropriate level of enhance stones i.e. (beg), (int), (adv), or (pre). Please refer to another guide for level restrictions for using each level of stone.

Location: Go to Vulcanus located in the Bazaar in Rome (probably the laggiest area in the game). Clicking on Vulcanus pulls up the enhance window in which you can click the auto button to automatically load the first enhanceable item in your inventory or manually place the desired item in the enhance window. Clicking the enhance button will start the enhancing process which takes approximately 7 seconds. You can cancel the enhancing anytime before the yellow bar reaches the end by closing the enhance window.

Chances: According to the game help menu the chance of success for Vulcanos is 50/50 and although some people might argue with that I believe it is accurate.

Notes: Unlike enchanting, enhancing does not have a chance to skip a level, you can only go up one level per enhance.

Mechanics of Enhancing:


If we stick with the assumption that the enhance chance is 50/50 then it becomes a purely statistical game. Think of it like flipping a coin, there is a 50% chance that it will land on heads and a 50% chance that it will land on tails for EVERY time you flip it. Because of this it is possible to see several fails or successes in a row. I have had as many as 10 successes in a row and had 12 failures. But just because you fail or succeed many times in a row doesn’t mean that it is not a 50/50 chance.

The 50/50 chance is a global value and refers to an infinite number of rolls, meaning that if you were to enhance an infinite number of items you will have the same number of fails and successes. If we take a look at it locally, say 1000 enhances, we will probably see a slight variation of the amounts of fails and successes but they should still be fairly close to 50/50. As we look at smaller sections you might start seeing larger and larger variations of failures and successes.

For example:


You go to Vulcanus, you are all alone, and you enhance 50 items. The results are listed in the table below. I started another row any time there was a switch from a success and a failure or vice versa. (see the spreadsheet below)

Attachment:
File comment: Enhancing Example
Enhancing_Example.xls [18 KiB]
Downloaded 9307 times


From these results you can clearly see that it is not a 50/50 percent chance. But notice that there are a few rows where we have several success and also a few rows with several failures. If we continued this for 1000 enhancing most likely the failure and success totals would be much closer together.

As another example we can look at only the last three rows. We see that it is a ratio of 2 successes to 5 failures. If the last three rows is when you started enhancing you might just get discouraged with Vulcanus by thinking that the you will get more failures then successes! But fear not, you are never enhancing alone.

If you enhance a lot, chances are you have noticed that most of the time you aren’t the only person enhancing. If you keep your “system” chat checked on you can see all the other people miserably failing with their gear. Although you might feel some sympathy for these players you quickly dismiss it knowing that their failures brings you that much closer to your +10 phoenix sword. Well maybe not quite but still they do play a big roll in your chance.

We all use the same Vulcanus and therefore every player’s successes and failures contribute to the overall 50/50 pool. This means that if you see 12 failures in a row by 6 different players then you can sort of assume that there should be some successes coming up. This is of course not guaranteed but using statistics and the 50/50 rate you could draw that conclusion. The other side is also true that if you see a string of successes, you might be tempted to throw in your item thinking “oh everyone is succeeding I guess I will too!” That quickly backfires as you throw your item in and fail. You get pissed, throw in another item and fail again, then another item and another and keep failing. After 6 failures and depleting your items you see other players succeed 5 more times. At this point you throw every curse word you know in every possible language, plus a few made up ones, and vow you will never use Vulcanus again, at least not for the next 15 minutes. Yeah you all know what I am talking about, don’t act like its never happened to you before.

Basically the best way to attempt to increase your chances in succeeding is to wait for a string of failures and then enhance your item. Of course in order to do that you need other players to fail and should always say thank you.
Obviously, the more players enhancing at the time the better, so that you get more choices of when to enhance. Again, please realize that this is not a sure way of getting your success but it does give you a better chance, or at the very least the comfort that you tried your best. Also, remember that it takes around 7 seconds to complete the enhancing process and during that time you may see a string of successes from other players appear at which point it might be wise to cancel your own enhance. This again can be done by closing the enhance window using the “x” in the upper right hand corner.

I would like to make a side note here to mention a technique some people use that I would like to call “spirit sacrifice”. This is where players use spirit gear for sacrifice (fail at enhancing) in order to give them an artificial string of failures to have a better chance of increasing their main item. If we refer to the example above where you are ALONE at Vulcanus this would probably not be a bad idea since YOU are taking ALL of the failures and successes but if there is other players enhancing with you at the time then this is a stupid idea. Think about it, why would you attempt to create an artificial string of failures if there are other players enhancing around you? Their successes and failures would be all mixed in with yours making your attempts futile. On the contrary a lot of times people using “spirit sacrifice” inevitably tend to steal the successes from other players failures to + the spirit gear they are trying to sacrifice. I have seen a player enhance a spirit gear to a +8 before failing and then putting in a divine piece of equipment and blowing that one up too!! Its ridiculous, if your going use the spirit sacrifice use it when no one else is enhancing otherwise just watch the failures and successes of other players. Please remember that we all share the same pool for Vulcanos so in theory you could succeed every single time assuming there are other players failing.

Another more thing worth mentioning is the rumor that failing a +5 gives a higher “failure” then a +1 as well as the rumor that failing divine equipment give a higher “failure” then spirit equipment. Personally I have not seen any difference and I don’t believe there is one. If anyone has proof of these phenomena please let me know otherwise I don’t believe it. (By higher “failure” I mean that it counts for more then one failure, i.e. failure a +5 item would be like 5 failures of a +0 item.)

Conclusion:


Enhancing is probably the main way of upgrading higher level gear without extreme costs aside from crafting and praying for a high plus. Just remember that it is 50/50 chance overall and don’t get discouraged with a string of failures, your time will come (author not responsible if time doesn’t come). If you fail a few times in a row, just walk away, do some quests or FL and come back at a later time. I hope that this guide shed some light on enhancing and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to message me.

Thanks,
Tygrysek (IGN: Gizmo)

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 Post subject: Re: Enhancing (Vulcanus) Explained
PostPosted: 01/19/10 16:34 
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Server: [USA]Mycenae
Character: Snigglepuff (120)
Guild: PsychoBunnies (Divinity)
Two words: Gambler's Fallacy

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/gamblers-fallacy.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler%27s_fallacy

The chance of any enhance succeeding, assuming that 50% success is correct, is 1 out of 2. It doesn't matter what comes before or after.

Gambler's Fallacy tells us that the chances of Vulcanus doing, for example, 5 fails in a row is only 1/32, so when you see 4 fails, you should attempt your enhancement then, because the chance of a failure is only 1/32. This isn't correct (but it is the way our brain is wired to think). While the chance of 5 fails in a row is 1/32, the chance of 4 fails and 1 success in a row is also 1/32. These are the chances for a string of five 50% probability events to happen, because there are 32 equal possibilities (00000, 00001, 00010, 00011, 00100, 00101, 00110, 00111, etc, etc). Once that event has already happened it cannot affect the probability of the next event. The universe, chance, probability or luck does not "owe" a success after a string of failures. But because humans are hardwired to see patterns, even where none exist, we'll continue to believe that it does.


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancing (Vulcanus) Explained
PostPosted: 03/04/10 20:30 
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Server: [USA]Sikyon
Character: Nemes (126)
Guild: LarmesCelestes (Paradise)
Sure,

But they're proba and stats :

proba is 50/50 for each enhance
stats is 50/50 for a large amount

Image
dont know how to explain it in english.... a run is a number of following fail or succes
so after 2 fails or 2 success the proba (by stats) to have the another one is high

ty if another french understand my img and can explain it :D


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancing (Vulcanus) Explained
PostPosted: 03/05/10 18:24 
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Server: [USA]Mycenae (119)
I usually just stand by him for a few minutes, wait for a nice chain of failures and then try it out myself, have found personal success in this 8 / 10 times, and some of my best and current gear has come from this method. I wouldn't suggest this is a good way to do it, but, figured I would share nonetheless - it has no thought behind it, just wait for people to be failing and then come in with a combo breaker.

_________________
Niv lvl 108 Vibrance Leader, active.


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancing (Vulcanus) Explained
PostPosted: 03/06/10 00:24 
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Server: [USA]Thebes
Character: Aeolia (0)
Guild: ShodouKoutei Leader
Sorry to burst your bubble but Gambler's Fallacy has NOTHING to do with Vulcanus.

I am computer engineer and I've studied it in university, so I'll explain with knowledge of facts:

The two examples in the website you provided are a good example, OF GAMBLER'S FALLACY, however, you failed to apply it, since like I previously said, has nothing to do with Vulcanus, mostly because the website also failed to explain it correctly:

Vulcanus has A SET percentage of 50% success, high or low level item. Lottery does NOT, if you're running a normal lottery that 1 billion people are playing, your chances are 1/1.000.000.000 so if you play it for 1 billion days straight (impossible in a human's lifespan since the average lifespan of a human is 29.845 days) assuming you will once, win, has perfect sense, however, it may not happen, you can lose every time. So are the chances in statistics. HOWEVER, you can also win it for 3 days straight, and with that, assuming you will fail in a row in the next 2.999.999.997 days, is a correct assumption. However! Every day you ARE running against 1.000.000.000 people, so your chances are STILL 1/1.000.000.000 not 1/999.999.999 if you failed yesterday, but we're talking about A WHOLE, not a single case, and that's, where the website, failed.

The case of the horse, if he won 4 races yesterday, and lost 5 today, today he is running bad or tired, but assuming the day he wins 1, he will achieve a row of 4, is perfectly viable, assuming after 5 losses that he will win at the 6th attempt, is plain retarded. Myself, would wait for him to achieve a +2 streak, and bet on him then.

Vulcanus is covered by the law of "Mutatis Mutantis", for constants and variables, not Gambler's Fallacy, you can also add the Murphy Law to Vulcanus since everyone that successful enhances a +10 spirit armor only to after ruin a +1 DG armor, says "IT HAD TO HAPPEN TO ME!", well, everything that can happen bad, will happen, and at the worst moment, seems right because you have a much better chance of registering bad events then good events, it is so in your life, if someone gives you 50 bucks, you'll boast about it everyday for 2 days, if someone stole you 50 dollars, you'll comment about it for 2 months straight.

Mutatis Mutantis is perfectly viable here, if there's a 50% chance to enhance correctly, I'd wait for a huge streak of fails and then for the next success after it in the system window, as soon as I saw a "success" popping out, there's where my enhance would be put. With this I can boast, that my success rate in Vulcanus is 87/100. Am I correct to assume the chance on vulcanus rounded up is 90% to success? No, I just play with the statistics better then other people.

On a final note, Gambler's Fallacy, is a science effect to explain how people attribute some things to luck or to random effects that have no power whatsoever to change a thing, most properly, gamblers in casinos.

Hope it helped. If it confused you even more, I'm sorry.

Lastly, I work in a bank, what would be of me if I didn't know "my math"? Uh? :P

Gratz on the guide Muwing, very helpful.

- Aeolia

EDIT: Since I'm not one to boast around without backing it up, here's a spirit armor from +0 to +10, courtesy of Atlantica-DB, using muwing's and mine techniques:

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 Post subject: Re: Enhancing (Vulcanus) Explained
PostPosted: 03/06/10 07:55 
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Location: France
Character: Muwing (1)
Aeolia wrote:
Gratz on the guide Muwing, very helpful.

Note: as stated in the article, I'm not the author of this article ; it was written by Tygrysek. I never studied Vulcanus myself (at least not rigorously).

Regarding the "SET percentage of 50%", GM Thanatos wrote in a ticket (see this post):
Quote:
We have researched the logs to determine if there could be an exploit or bug with the NPC Vulcanus. However, we found that the character 'Mejai' simply had an astonishing amount of luck. These types of incidents are rare as the game code calculates percentages of success and failure based on dozens of criteria

If it's the truth, it's more complicated than a simple random number.


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancing (Vulcanus) Explained
PostPosted: 03/06/10 14:59 
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Server: [USA]Thebes
Character: Aeolia (0)
Guild: ShodouKoutei Leader
What do GM's know...? If it was a developer it would be viable, but trust me, most GM's on most games know SQUAT.


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancing (Vulcanus) Explained
PostPosted: 03/06/10 15:41 
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Server: [USA]Mycenae
Character: Snigglepuff (120)
Guild: PsychoBunnies (Divinity)
I did say "assuming 50% is correct" in my reply. I assumed a simple random number variable, not the dozens of factors that GM Thanatos stated in the ticket. (And I would really love to see the code for that!) In that case, it is not a gambler's fallacy to assume that increasing numbers of failures could increase the chance of success.

That being said, the site I linked to before states, "The Gambler's Fallacy is committed when a person assumes that a departure from what occurs on average or in the long term will be corrected in the short term." Simplistically that's when someone assumes that a win is "owed" in an independent random event because they have lost repeatedly. Tygrysek's guide specifically looks at a short term variation to fix the long range percentages, (and specifically compares it to coin flipping) which is why it's an example of gambler's fallacy.

Quote:
We all use the same Vulcanus and therefore every player’s successes and failures contribute to the overall 50/50 pool. This means that if you see 12 failures in a row by 6 different players then you can sort of assume that there should be some successes coming up. This is of course not guaranteed but using statistics and the 50/50 rate you could draw that conclusion.


To Aeolia, I'm afraid I don't quite understand your arguments. Gambler's fallacy is specifically about independent random events, as in coin flips and die rolls, and if the set 50% rate of a computer generated random number had been correct, it would include Vulcanus. Yes, yes, I know computers can't generate truly random numbers and have to be programmed to the equivalent of it, but it's a really good equivalent. It's at least as random as tossing a stamped coin or a die which could have weight variations. Horse races do not apply, because it is not an independent or random event, therefore having a memory of past events which affect the future events. I could not find a law of "Mutatis Mutantis" when searching for it. It may be an issue of language barrier, in which case I apologize. According to wikipedia, mutatis mutandis is a Latin phrase used primarily in law, economics and philosophy meaning "the necessary changes having been made." And I'm sure we're all really happy to know you went to university and work at a bank (what with the economy and all), but did you really use Muphy's law as a logical argument?

And lastly people, remember that the plural of "anecdote" is not "data." Just because you've had successes with this method doesn't mean you've found Vulcanus's secret formula. As I said before, humans are evolutionarily hardwired to see patterns, even where none exist. Gambler's fallacy is a permutation of the focusing effect, also known as anchoring. (http://www.hss.caltech.edu/~camerer/Ec101/JudgementUncertainty.pdf) We're less likely to find some ultimate trick to succeeding at Vulcanus than we are to deciding you're more likely to get a success with full will, your pants on backwards and holding your breath. (It worked once for me! Really!)


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancing (Vulcanus) Explained
PostPosted: 08/12/10 09:46 
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Server: [USA]Mycenae
Character: LaserArc (118)
Guild: LordsOfNineveh (FataMorgana)
Nemes wrote:
Sure,

But they're proba and stats :

proba is 50/50 for each enhance
stats is 50/50 for a large amount

Image
dont know how to explain it in english.... a run is a number of following fail or succes
so after 2 fails or 2 success the proba (by stats) to have the another one is high

ty if another french understand my img and can explain it :D


So you're saying the longer the trend, the more likely it will persist? That doesn't make any sense!
I mean, what if by freak chance someday Vulcanus achieves a point where he can never fail after a long strong of success? or if he never succeeds because his chances of reversal is diminished by a progressively increased chance of failure that becomes more likely as the streak continues?

Personally, I think this guide should be scrapped, it's misleading. Gambler's fallacy is the only explanation of vulcanus. UNLESS, one of the dozen of criterias mentioned by muwing is indeed has to do with past success and failures and has been confirmed.


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 Post subject: Re: Enhancing (Vulcanus) Explained
PostPosted: 09/07/10 15:07 
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Server: [USA]Sikyon
Character: Alywyn (27)
Guild: Destiny
Muwing's explaination is perfectly sound. I have no idea what Aeolia is on about.
The chance of failing 10 times is 50/50 IF you just failed for the 9th time.


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