Why Players think the AI cheats


Anyone remember the old TDS revival trait? 25% chance to resurrect after death. The AI won a 1 in 4 coin flip to an excessively high degree, repeatedly at a consistent rate.

While I don’t believe in “luck factor” directly, I do know that I’ve played this game long enough to know that there is consistently enough error in coding in Gems of War that I’d be in favor of reviewing any coding for anything that looks like it could be remotely incorrect.

Here’s a tidbit of my gaming experience on Gems of War:

The first thing I can recall about my old days of playing Gems of War on Xbox One is that on release, Barbearius froze the game on cast with the only way to continue playing was to reboot the game.

At one point before traits were added into the game, gold keys in the tasks systems were paying out magic keys instead for a few days. The other thing that made that even more interesting was that there was a higher distribution of Broken Spire troops (which might have been coding leaked into the game by accident while creating event chests) in which my Ogre and Rhynax count far exceeded anything else by a good margin. (It was the time I got my first Sheggra, woo).

So no, I don’t trust the coding, even if I want to believe the nice people behind Gems of War.

Where does that lead?

If you’ve played this game long enough, you’ll notice some games where the AI is completely boneheaded, ignores obvious 4/5 matches or skull matches to take a color match it doesn’t have, or hold onto a troop that’s ready to cast a few extra turns to long to the point it loses. If you don’t see this, just go test your PvP defense, it’s pretty much the default setting.

Other games, it’ll grab a random 3 match that’ll set you up a 4/5 match only its not your turn because 5 skulls will drop to give the AI an extra turn which then trickle cascades matches until everything on their side is full. If you’re facing something like Yao Guai - Tai Pan, the board is stuck in a way that you’re getting blown up.

Other times it’ll grab said irrelevant 3 match, but it’ll cascade in a way to give it the maximum amount of cascades to fill mana, often times getting a 4/5 match by the end anyways.

There’s no consistency as to which AI director will show up and that’s when this game becomes bullshit. “luck factor”

I’ve had more more experiences than I care for in which I’m 100% certain the AI can read a few lines above what’s displayed on screen for the player which is absurd when the AI plays 100% accurate/makes smart decisions.


Bah gawd, that’s Sirrian’s avatar in the “replying” box! You’re all in trouble now!

Edit: this post is going to look very silly if he winds up not replying.


Trust me ive had my arse handed to me a few times in tower this week as well. I believe we are playing a pretty similar game, also all my valravens have charged and flew within a few turns today and yesterday. Frustrating… yes but life moves on. Then i snagged a vault key to brighten my day…
crap vault of course. Tis a game of ups and downs thankfully its more ups than downs.


Hey guys,

Good discussion! Thanks for keeping it civil, and thanks for moderating so well, @Lyya !

I was just reading, and wanted to add a few things:

  1. There is categorically no “FU Mode” which turns on at any stage in the game to make it harder. RNG simply does that all by itself.

  2. It’s been stated above correctly by some folks - but just to clarify from the horse’s mouth - there is a luck factor in the game. It’s there to make sure the AI never gets luckier than you in certain situations. Does it affect your luck? Never. Does it affect the AI’s luck? Yes, it can… it can stop certain skydrops making the AI feel luckier than it should. It’s purpose is solely to stop the AI getting overly lucky for newer players.

  3. It is certainly possible that any piece of code might behave incorrectly. Gems of War is a very large system with a lot of very complex interactions. There will be bugs in there for certain. We generally fix them as we find them, where possible.

  4. Having said that, we’ve devoted many hours (probably over 100 hours) to hunting through the code, looking for errors in this “Luck” calculations. We’ve runs 1000’s of games as tests & logged results. We’ve found nothing wrong there, so I’m inclined to believe there are no bugs.

  5. Why have we spent so much time? Because sometimes the devs (mainly me!) have those games where it just feels like rubbish, and I’m certain the system is broken! It’s not though. It’s usually a subtle combination of non-skydrops that are putting the AI in a good position, followed by a couple of good pieces of RNG on spells, and THEN a skydrop or two that aren’t unusually lucky.

  6. Might we all be lying? Absolutely. We’re not though… but I’ll leave that up to you folks. I would encourage anyone so inclined (and I understand it’s a mammoth task) to check out Galactrix or PQ2… our earlier titles… the code there is all available in Lua Files shipped with the game. You can SEE they don’t cheat in the code, but I can testify they FEEL like they do too.

What in the the crap?

Thank you for clearing it up!
Which think about it if it was always as lucky as us and we are winning at rates of 20-1 or better those numbers could easily flip and the game would be intolerable for 50% or better of the players.


We as gamers love your game and end up playing 1000s of hours and 10000s of games. There’s always a chance that the dev side works properly while something goes wrong when it goes live. When in doubt, it would be nice to have tests using player side non-dev accounts that can’t just be given resources. Under pressure situations like Guild Wars, these issues tend to start popping up like those errors that gave players losses even when they won.

Did you know that you lose points when an enemy hits your barriers in Guild Wars even though your troops took no damage?

Kafka didn’t know when asked a few months ago.

There’s so many unusual things that occur in Gems of War, and I don’t bat an eye when faulty things occur.


That’s a really nice explanation on the matter. While I myself have had luck both well in my favor and not, I think most issues as of late are with some more recent changes in terms of balance.

empowered troops for converting gems and even exploding have been popping up, more random traits not only in the triggering of a trait but also the effect (i.e. The possessed king exploding 2 gems on 4 or 5+ matches).

Other unforeseen issues like webspinners unfortunate trait resolution chain, or dragon’s eye transforming shenanigans, seem to have a greater negative impact as an extremely strong shift in a game is literally a match or skydrop away.

I feel after the days of yonder when us console players were considered conspiracy theorists over the (in)justice league, and once the pc crowd saw the same thing, it was finally rectified, mostly.

I am not against random effects, but I do feel that any board modifications have a disproportionate valuation to players as they either make the swings on offense in our favor, or against our opponents on defense. Infernus is arguably one of, if not, the best mythic, even after 5 separate nerfs all at once.

I’d rather have more troops like this mythic coming out. Strong, but not too broken. A strategic troop, but not too niche. No board craziness, but no potential game ending dice rolls like with megavore.


I’m kinda sad that @Mithran didn’t decide to post his thoughts. I’m guessing Sirrian chimed in just as Mithran was about to finish his explanation and he no longer thought his thoughts were relevant. :pensive:
Personally, I would still like to hear them.


I appreciate the response and for the most part am satisfied in the explanation.
The newer player part sticks out to me though.
Is it safe to assume that a level 1400 player isn’t effected by the luck factor at all then?
So any surge in luck for the AI against end gamers isn’t capped at all?
If yes…I have officially gone from wanting luck factor removed, to instead wanting more of it.
But only in Raids, Delves and Tower of Doom.
I imagine the luck factor was considered before level 30-500 troops existed.
Perhaps it’s time to review it again.
For the most part I love GoW, but I hate having a guild member quit the game on a weekly basis. (Not exaggerated considering the 150 members that I have).
I don’t know what the ultimate solution is to help with retention. But…

If you the creator of the game thinks it can be ridiculously unfair. What hope do us normal players have? (Rhetorical question. I’ve taken enough of your time.:grinning:)


Yeah I remember doing the Daily Tasks there. EXACTLY the same EVERY battle.


:face_with_raised_eyebrow:This means the AI can get overly lucky for players with higher levels, doesn’t it?


I slightly misspoke before when I said “It’s purpose is solely to stop the AI getting overly lucky for newer players.”
That was slightly misleading, sorry.

I’ll explain a bit further and clear things up.
It WAS IMPLEMENTED solely to stop the AI getting overly lucky for newer players.
And we do gradually turn it down, BUT we found it was kinda nice if we never quite turned it off.

So I think we allow the AI to get 3x or 4x more lucky (once you’re high level). That seldom ever happens, and if it DOES happen it tends to happen quite early in the game - first few turns.

So, imagine a situation where I make a 3-match on turn 1, and the AI has 2 lots of 3xSkulls fall in straight away! Okay that’s like 1 in 100,000 chance to happen… BUT suppose we have a couple million games per day being played… 20 players have a horrendous first turn. Maybe another 100 have that happen in the first 5 turns… SO we leave it turned on just a little to stop the very worst things happening early in the game.


I guess it doesn’t work anyways.


Either this is confirmation bias out the wazoo, or the “luck factor” Sirrian was talking about carries over between battles and isn’t reset each time a battle begins. I hope it is the former.


My theory is the crazy ai luck is a bug in his combo breaker, losing a 3t battle just prevents that.





This thread would be way more successful as a more generalized, “Post your baddest beats.” shared misery experience.

Part of what leads to feelings of conspiracy is the idea that this only happens to one person, or that it happens more frequently to them than others. This is exacerbated by the really weird egos that GoW attracts on both sides. I mean, this is more or less the conversation in a lot of threads:

OP: “This really improbable thing happened to me 4 times this week. I really don’t like when it happens and maybe some tweaks to make it less likely would be nice. Also it’s probably just me, the game hates me and is coded to do so.”

  1. “Haha look at the n00b winning only 400/hour, if you had a real PvP team you’d be going 1200-0 every week like me.”
  1. “Bad player alert hahaha, blaming his luck on his poor life choices”

I think it’d be more productive if we could control the part of the thread where we beat on AWR because he makes funny noises when you do it. It’d be nice if just once a thread emerged that confirmed all players feel some form of this and no players are happy when it happens. Thanks to the diversity of human emotional ranges, some people shrug it off really well. But I bet at least 5 of the people yukking it up in the thread have had a day where they quit playing because of exactly this.

If you say you haven’t, you’re either exceptionally lucky or a liar and I don’t like either. But it’s customary, in GoW, to pretend you haven’t. Break that habit. Let your hatred flow.


Crazy theory or bias the point is: There is no downside on doing it, in any case if it works that’s great. If it doesn’t works whatever, but still it didn’t costs you nothing to use some “mumbo jumbo” or lucky charms sometimes.


That reminds me of when I used to play Pokèmon all the time. Always held down :arrow_left: and :a: when I threw pokèballs. ALWAYS.


Hate to go against you, but I really don’t think losing before each battle does a thing. Been testing it for the sake of being thorough and found the AI will be unreasonable when it wants to be, regardless.