Holy Avenger (+8) not Vorpaling at 20%


@Saltypatra I don’t believe this thread was about any perceived changes to the weapon and its upgrade(s) since the update, but rather its behaviour on release - and so I think Bug Reports is still the correct place. Venar’s comment

was an off-hand remark, I think, and doesn’t really cover/represent the entirety of his post. Potential confirmation bias, etc. was acknowledged and addressed,

and I think he’s looking for some further investigation, without having to do it all by himself. If we can provide a larger sample size, would that give cause for investigation from Support?


Yeah what we’re asking for, @Saltypatra, is for someone to verify if it was erroneously set to 7% instead of 20%. 2 players have played about 300 matches each, and each player has seen a range hovering between 7% and 12%. It seems like over 600 matches we should be seeing a rate more like 18%-22%

To be clear: we don’t think it changed. We think it might have mixed up its implementation to choose 7% instead of 20% and we didn’t notice until someone decided to use it extensively. (It’s not exactly a meta-threatening weapon!)

People are collecting further data, but that’ll take a lot more time than it might take a dev to peek at the code. That kind of dev peek would confirm “several people are having weirdo luck and the stars aligned that they’re exactly the people trying to prove if this percentage is correct”.

I’ve seen stranger things, but it’s still sensible to pursue anomalies.


Good show :fist:.


I actually signed up just to respond to this thread. Been playing GOW for about a year but only tried using my 8+ Holy Avenger a few times, since every time I try using it, it never Vorpals. I would use it 100 times and never have it kill anything. Recently, I tried re-using the weapon to see if it would kill and nothing. If it is working, it is more like 1% than 20%. Oh. And as far as 300 (Or even 1000) uses producing a test for 20% or even 7% chance rates, remember that each new use only has 20% chance not that 1 in every 5 will hit. There is a difference. 20% chance of hitting means you could swing and miss 10 out of 10 times, but with each new swing, you have a 20% chance to hit.

I just came on here to say that I have yet to see this weapon “Vorpal” in any and all uses of the weapon of which I have dedicated hours playing it… odd.


Juste an update:
Weapon in-game tool-tip for Vorpal still says 20% instead of 7% (it’s actual value)

Text should not be too hard to fix.



So, what is wrong? The text or the percentage on this weapon?


Well, we hoped it was 20%, but since we were told « everything works fine », i guess it means the value is 7% ans thus the text is misleading.


“Everything is working fine” is GoW speak for “I’m not familiar enough with the game and can’t be bothered to do proper research”. My advice would be to open another bug report, none of the powers able to change anything is reading the feature requests. Hopefully the next time it will be treated seriously, like any bug as readily apparent as this one should be.


You can’t base any conclusion either way off a 10 second (to type) flip comment made by salty.


Technically the status of this is complicated.

We have some small data sets that strongly suggest 7%. We can divide the arguments into:

  • Strong for a problem: it’s odd that multiple people saw such strong evidence of 7% even in small data sets.
  • Strong against a problem: Not enough people are seeing it to suggest a very strong pattern.

So both sides have a strong argument, but the “not a problem” side has the strongest one.

The only way to make a strong argument it is 7% instead of 20 is for multiple people to play hundreds to thousands of rounds with Holy Avenger focused solely on triggering the instakill. That’s really boring, and it’s not even a very meta-relevant weapon, so unless someone’s in the middle of that and has been quiet, it’s likely nobody’s doing that.

So the case rests at, “It should be 20%, prove it’s behaving otherwise.” The current body of proof is not strong enough.


We have enough of a dataset to merit a dev checking the number. It took me 60-something tries before my first success. That is vanishingly unlikely if the odds are actually 20% as claimed. It is also extremely unlikely that 300 attempts will show a 7% chance rather than the 20% chance. Put together, the evidence is very strong that the chance is less than 20%.


I think a good first step would be to ask for a definition of Vorpal.
The actual game info is:
20% chance of Lethal to the first enemy.

Technically that is not even a real sentence.

So, when does it apply? To whom? Is there some immunities? Can it fail even when it trigggers?

Players are familiar with % values, from Devour chances to armor piercing, to skull evasion, to reinforcements.
So 20% extra kill on a weapon is very attractive.

Black Manacle is 20%. The Holy Avanger is not even close to that trigger level.


A sample size of 300 is very much more than enough when testing for 7% or 20%. It’s not just a strong argument, the margin of error is so infinitely small anybody familiar with the math involved will deem this proved beyond any doubt.


I will defer to someone who can explain, with math, why 300 is sufficient, but I find on the GoW forums people don’t tend to respond well to datasets that are in the low hundreds.

For my purposes, seeing 5-10 people make 50 trials would probably be enough. If 10 people see 7% that’s really suspicious. If 9 people see 7% and 1 person sees 20% that’s, “Whoa, really? More data.”

I’m going by feel, I don’t really know the math behind what makes a sample size strong.


There isn’t any difference here between 6 persons making 50 trials and 1 person making 300 trials, provided all trials were subject to the same conditions. The overall outcome was 24 hits out of 300 attempts.

The question here is “Assuming the lethal rate is 20%, how likely is it to only get up to 8% out of 300 attempts?”. It’s really next to impossible, not just unlucky. The sample size is 60 times the hit chance, so deviation from the mean value will fall off fast. To give a (somewhat unrelated) comparison, this is like testing mythic drop rates with 60000 gem keys.

Edit: For a bit more math, this is like entering “output [count 1 in 300d5]” into https://anydice.com, setting data to “At Most” and checking the percentage number for the #24 row. Unfortunately it times out, I believe the output would be 0.00%.


I’ll say this for maths.
I know that sometimes, there is bias, and intuition doesn’t mean anything. I’m a science kinda guy.

But I also feel like player « experience » is too quickly brushed off.

We play this game. Many of us for a looong time. Our perception must count for something.

For exemple, play 2 dozen games with an Assassin using the last tree bonus.
That’s 10% kill on skulls, and 7% kill on kills.

You’ll see some deaths. Sometimes. In fact, 10% and 7%.

Then play a while with the Holy Avenger. You should « feel » way more kills, since it’s 20%.

But not so.
It’s not science. At all. But when 100% of players using the weapon « feel » it’s not working right, and not a single player experience otherwise, it should be looked into.

Sadly, it’s a purple Ingot investment, and a not so good weapon, so very few players can try it.
If the Vorpal was on Dragon Eye, this forum would be full of crying :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: also, I know fixing this sword is low priority, and I agree with that. That is why I suggested to fix the tooltip to 7%, which should take 5 seconds, and will stop leading players astray.


My argument is if the RNG that determines this is client-side (and I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be), then the “same conditions” requirement is invalidated. I’m not sure what kind of entropy sources the GoW RNG uses, but it’s logical different devices, different matches, different moves, etc. don’t count as “the same conditions” when dealing with a PRNG. One forum member (I think it’s akots? I can never remember how to spell it.) has suggested the game doesn’t directly use its RNG output.

So I feel like if multiple people gather the data, we have to consider 3 possible outcomes:

  • The probability is strongly indicated to be 7%.
  • Some conditions lead to 7%, but some conditions lead to 20%.
  • The probability is strongly indicated to be 20%.

I think we’ve only definitively ruled out one of those cases. The middle case is the hardest, because it means it’s possible a dev tested a few hundred matches, saw 20%, and called player bullshit.


It doesn’t matter in this case, the tests prove that there is at least one Holy Avenger that is not vorpaling correctly. There could be any reason, something as complicated as an alternate reality pocket or something as simple as an incorrect text description. It’s up to the devs whever they want to call Ghostbusters or invoke Occam’s Razor and go for the most likely cause.

A very meticulously researched bug report has been filed, going “duh, me no get it, moving this to Feature Requests so it doesn’t cause any work” feels quite insulting.

@Kafka @Cyrup Could you please finally move this back to Bug Reports where it belongs? This kind of community treatment is making the game look exceptionally bad, if you don’t want to handle bug reports, just shut down the whole category.


Hey, I just asked the team about this again, and again it’s still set to 20% and it’s still working correctly.

We’ve done a lot of testing and made a lot of notes about our RNG and statistics around the forum in the past, I’ll link you to a couple of those resources now, some of them may feel irrelevant because they use different game features as context but it all applies the same way to Vorpal:

This fantastic post by Gold Phoenix which explains just SOME of the testing on our RNG that we’ve done:

Basically we’ve tested all sorts of probability based things in the game tens of thousands of times and we haven’t found an issue with our probability based features EXCEPT in any circumstance where the probability was not set correctly in the settings - I’ve repeatedly asked different team members to check the probability set for Vorpal and every time the answer has come back to 20% is set AND is working as intended.


Thanks for the response. I guess we need a more detailed explanation of how Vorpal is intended to work. Because it is (was?) not a straightforward “20% chance for lethal damage any time the spell is cast”. Or we players who tested it need to look into buying lotto tickets.