Cheating, terrible AI

I’m also level 80 (i read somewhere people like it when they can relate) and I think it’s not that weird for the AI to have some advantage cause you’re playing vs an AI…

He/She/It doesn’t really have a brain like you do. Even with a few matches in his/her/it’s favor you should still be able to win 80-90% of your battles easily.

Wouldn’t be fun if they didn’t put up a good fight.

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The biggest problem with the AI and RNG is streakiness, in my opinion. If you are looking only at raw percentages over time, it looks like the AI is “balanced” properly. For example, maybe you ran 50,000 trials and got 25,000 successes with gobchompers. That looks balanced on the surface.

But then, if during those 50,000 trials, you have 3,000+ instances of a fail-streak of 5+ occurring, then something is extremely wrong. Because there should only be a 3% chance of getting the same 50/50 result 5 times in a row.

And that’s usually what, in my opinion, usually causes players to perceive the AI as cheating. Or at least is a major contributor to it. It’s not just that the player is sensitive to a bad luck result occurring; but that WHEN bad luck does occur, it comes in clusters most of the time.

You don’t lose a match because the AI got a statistically average cascade 2 times during a match. You lose a match because the AI got 4 consecutive sets of 3 skulls falling into the same spot on the board and instantly matching to each other for 4 separate free attacks. (12 1/6 chance events occurring consecutively should have astronomically low odds. So low that I should never have seen this happen more than once in a month, but it usually happens weekly at least.) Or because you failed with your gobcompers 5 times in a row, even though while there is only a 3% chance of that happening, statistically, it reliably happens around 10% of the time.

It really doesn’t matter if the numbers “balance out” in the long run when streaks occur so far outside of the normal realm of probability that events with extraordinarily low odds of happening are downright common due to the RNG’s habit of picking the same result several times in a row.


This thread is edging dangerously close to Terry Pratchett “one in a million shots succeed 90% of the time” territory.


Yes. It does. RNG balancing over the long term is what statistics is all about. You want structured randomness where 50% happens 50 in 100 times. That’s just not how the game works. The game has actual randomness, which has to be observed on the long term.

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If I made a coin flip program and it consistently delivered results of 50 heads in a row, then 50 tails in a row, then it is fundamentally broken. an RNG that does not follow statistical probability for streaks as well as singular events is a bad RNG.


It has been proven by a resident stats poster that the RNG has a tendency towards the streakiness you are describing. But I’d save my breath. The bulk of the forums has decided that so long as “in more games than I will ever play” it balances, everything is perfect, because numbers and facts are scary. You’ll have better luck convincing people universal healthcare is a good idea.

I really enjoyed that person’s stats posts and they stopped shortly after:

  • People complained TDS seemed streaky.
  • He proved TDS was indeed streaky.
  • People argued loudly he was dumb and his sample set was too low.
  • The devs nerfed TDS, citing “it’s too streaky” while also denying the statistical analysis.
  • Everyone continued insisting “it’s not streaky at all, if the devs agreed they’d do something about it”.
  • If you point out they did do something, that’s fake news from the Deep State and you’re an idiot.

There are certain industry standards and established methods to evaluate general quality of pRNG engines. One example is a quite popular set of Diehard tests and there are a few other established by the regulators of gambling industry. Altering the random selection process of the gambling game might be perceived as at least borderline grey zone. Thus, in general, anything that is claimed to be random should indeed be random or as close to random as reasonably possible without inflating the costs.

I can elaborate a bit on the subject. For example, to get a license to operate a gaming site, RNG has been certified by an independent third-party. The third-party testers will analzse the source code and run tests (usually some Diehard variation) to ensure that generator is random. Some poker sites may have details of the certification of their RNG :

In Nevada, there is a specific law that regulates quality of RNG:

There is a lot of info out there on the subject, it is very explored area with lots of statistical science on the subject.

In general, GoW client uses Mersenne-Twister pRNG. It is the same pRNG as used in most recent versions of MS-Excel starting from 2010.

It is kind of OK-ish with some external support, which is mandatory, not too good and not too bad, kind of passes most of the tests and fails in some of them but is generally considered as acceptable. IDK what the server uses for its pRNG. When I did some testing, I used the most simple Runs test (–Wolfowitz_runs_test ) which is a very basic standard test that does not require primary output of the generator. It is a very powerful test, so, if something is not random according to it, it is most certainly not random according to other more complex tests.

It should be noted that GoW generally “masks” its random in many cases due to additional perturbations in the output numbers which sometimes makes it hard to actually test randomness. So, the only reliable way to it seems to create a simulation and then compare simulated numbers with actual numbers. Sometimes, some types of transformations are so complex that even if the primary output is random, final results of the transformation might appear as non-random due to multiple interference from multiple sources. Since even if one source of interference is non-random, that may create some non-random events that won’t pass the test even though the majority of the input is random.

There are also methods to evaluate streakiness. Excessive streakiness will make pRNG fail the randomness tests. So, some streakiness is expected and acceptable.

Sorry, it is a bit too general and too long, well, or maybe too short. :slight_smile:


It does not make me feel more confident in the game’s RNG to know that it uses a pre-built RNG as a base which is “kind of okayish” in testing, then further modifies it to be even less random…

Just so you are aware, Mersenne Twister (or a variation thereof) is used in almost every game that has random numbers in it, as the built-in RNG for most frameworks uses Mersenne under the hood and it’s not considered worth the effort and cost to get a “more random” algorithm. Truer RNGs tend to rely on things like hardware entropy and are almost always orders of magnitude less efficient. (Mersenne is essentially just “complicated math,” which computers are good at.)


The difference between real life and computer “randomness”, is that it’s much harder to program true randomness and odds into a computer. It’s a machine that operates on code, numbers, and math. It WANTS to make a 50/50 chance of 100 coin toss result in 50/50 heads and tails. That’s math, that’s how a computer thinks.

But, true odds are exactly that. My years of playing Fire Emblem have tempered me into not over estimating odds in my favor, and not under estimating odds against me. Though this is also a computer programmed odds scenario, my point is that missing five 80% to land a hit attacks in a row makes the 5% too land a hit all the more shocking and worth while.

Odds are just that. They’re odds. They’re chances, they’re not cold, hard, set in stone sequences. An 80% chance can fail, so how was it an 80% chance to begin with? Likewise with a 5% success, how on Earth did it go in my favor. That’s why gambling addictions happen, and why I love Texas Hold 'Em. It’s the thrill of the odds.

It’s also why I actually ENJOY using exploders and random color creators, because I am addicted to the thrills of chance. The problem with Gems of War odds, and basically any odds outside of real life is that you’re still having to PROGRAM the faults into the system. There was an interview with one of the Lead Designers of Gears of War (not Gems of War), and he was basically going into detail that it’s actually harder to program DUMBER AI than it is to produce smarter ones. I can’t remember the interview source or the individual as it was a long time ago, but it makes sense if you think about it.

The developer inputs codes similar to “search area, find target, shoot and kill.” The AI will do this with no faults, naturally, so long as there are no initial issues in the code itself, because it is a computer. You had to actually sit down and go out of your way to add the chance of AI NOT being pin-point accurate, or rolling the wrong way into fire, or missing a melee swing.

It’s the same with Gems of War, I would assume. You have to use code to basically tell the computer not to listen to the code exactly.

But, while I may also see some countless Cascades, and some things here and there like “convenient” skull matches falling one after the next, I’m appreciative of all of these things. It just makes the odds that DO go in my favor that much more awesome feeling.

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I just wanna say i miss playing fire emblem

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Well, in most games, random chance doesn’t need to be super random. Like, nobody is going to care if in Mario Maker, an enemy that starts off moving left or right randomly might lean towards one direction more often than the other.

This game, however, is designed such that luck can act like a straight up win button. You can have superior stats, a more cohesive team structure, and make the best possible moves available to you, then lose because the AI gets a sky drop cascade every single turn.

Either the RNG needs to be modified to be closer to true randomness, or the design of the game needs to be balanced to prevent good or bad luck from having a greater impact on the outcome of a match than team composition and effective play. Having gameplay rely heavily on luck, then having a poor system for managing random outcomes is not good design.


I always like your posts because you actually know what you’re talking about and also post the methodology you use.

I feel like you’re mostly saying something like:

“It’s hard to tell if the RNG is unfair in GoW because our output is a function of the RNG and some other things, and if those other things are not sufficiently randomized they taint the RNG output.”

I feel like that’s still, more or less, saying “the RNG is broken” because in a player’s eyes, I don’t care about how my dice are rolled but the numbers they produce. If “something” makes the dice favor numbers in a biased way, I want “something” to hit the rooky road. Unless by “biased” you mean “I get a significant % more orbs of ascension than statistics indicate I should”. Then I want “something” to tell me its favorite beer.


Also wait… how did a 3-month old thread end up on the front page and me reply to it? Did someone else do the thread necromancy and delete their response after realizing the error?

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Someone edited one of their comments most likely.

Can confirm.

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It might not be as simple as it seems from statistical point of view. GoW is standing out among other games in how it deals with rare events by design. Moreover, there are considerable number of multiple modifiers to the random output.

However, IMHO, the main gripe of those who are generally unhappy with some of the results can be largely summed up as accusations towards the developers that pRNG is messed up with and manipulated. So far, I have not seen any basis of these accusation nor any proof has been produced as a result of any correctly performed tests either by the developers themselves or by the community. Developers might be incompletely transparent or might not dig it down to the base of the things that are happening. However, there is not a single evidence that random is manipulated or there is some secret conspiracy to rob the players of their victories, rewards, or real money. IMHO this is as good as it might get. After all, it is not a casino, strictly speaking, and it is free to play without any major pay to win bs you get in some similar games.

However, this does not mean that we don’t need to test things. The game is evolving and there is no guarantee of anything. As for me, I’m always open for suggestions and if anybody would like to check anything to see whether it is random or non-random, please let me know. Some tests might require extensive collection of the data in a suitable format. So, if you plan on checking something, please, ask or pm me and we can plan the most accurate way to collect the data. :slight_smile:

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Oh so there is definitely a conspiracy when it comes to the computer cheating in this game. But then again I’m one of the biggest sore losers you would ever meet.

But it’s not just Gems of War. It’s pretty much all video games. Whenever I lose it’s never my fault and I would go as far as to blame the higher powers for my loss. Yes, it’s pretty much everybody else’s fault but my own and on my best days I would throw a tantrum, start screaming and rolling around on the floor cursing the gods… all in the comfort of my own home.

My own wife (god bless her kind and tolerant heart), to her credit thinks it’s hilarious and she actually gets a kick out of it. She told me one time she was upstairs when it happened and she thought it sounded like a bunch of farm animals were fighting in the living room.

Yes I’m a grown man and I really need to install a 24 hour camera in the living room because I know if I can catch myself on video flipping out over a video game of all things I will probably make millions on the facetube.


The ai doesn’t cheat just sometimes ppl get unlucky. It’s all rgn based so if you win you got lucky if something crazy happens then you got unlucky also there is these pesty things called bugs. :slight_smile:

I can reliably say the ai doesn’t cheat. Most of the times, it favors the player.
However there are circumstances when you lose 1 or two troops, the ai just wants to finish you off quickly.
Worst is the suggestion hint that favors the ai and puts you into a trap. I’ve been had too many times to just follow those hints anymore.
But in all, I don’t mind, as you win some, and lose some too.
For the original poster, I suspect he didn’t grasp the intricacies and tactics of gem matching.

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Arrived here after a seriously disappointing experience vs doom towers this morning. Am currently nearly level 300, but have decided to take a break from the game.

I know about probability, I am a Scientist. I know about small sample sizes etc., but when a doom tower with a 2% chance to inflict death mark does so 4 times in two games (of which 2 subsequently died on a more believable 10% probability) you start to think that the RNG is so stacked up against you, it is a waste of time.

I’ve been really enjoying this game really (although If I had another question, it would be related to the difficulty of obtaining the right traitstones despite looking in all the right places), but I have had a suspicion for a while now that, instead of fighting an opponent, you are fighting an opponent, plus the AI (fair enough) and the RNG, which is doing its damndest to stop you progressing too rapidly.

This should not be a surprise to me, as ultimately the game wants to part with actual cash to achieve those upgrades that you’re so desperate for and will thus make it deliberately nigh impossible for you to do so without paying them. But ultimately, it destroys the gameplay experience and just pisses you off sufficiently for you to want to give up and go play something else - which I have just decided to do.

Still, I enjoyed the game for a good while, so compliments to the developers for that at least!