How Your Mind Screws with You in Diablo 3

Kadala IRL.

Kadala IRL.

Useful and educational article on The Escapist that documents a dozen of the various human psychological pattern-seeking tendencies that get activated by RNG-based games like Diablo 3.

We mention this sort of thing all the time when some new trick or technique pops up in the news, and everyone’s Confirmation Bias or Gambler’s Fallacy activates in predictable fashion. So it’s nice to see a dozen+ of these habits documented in one place. A quote about How Your Mind Screws with You in Diablo 3:

9. The Hot Hand Fallacy

The belief that you’re on a “winning streak.”

In Diablo history, we saw this in the form of the “loot server” myth. As per this theory, some servers (or game instances) allegedly have higher-than-average odds at dropping loot – and you can even tell which servers will be “loot servers” based on IP addresses.

What started this myth? When people who would get a few loot drops in a row and believe they were on a hot streak. They would feel that this server must be “lucky” and would seek to stay in it as long as possible to take advantage of the apparent increased drop rates.

The reason these hot streaks exist is due to…

10. The Clustering Illusion

This is our tendency to overestimate the importance of small streaks in large samples of random data. The human mind loves to look for patterns in chaos. Given a large sample of random data, it’s natural for some of that data to randomly arrange itself into something that may look like a pattern, especially if you only look at a portion of the data set. But when you look at the entire data set as a whole, you realize that there is no pattern there.

Thanks to Greg for the news tip.

Tagged As: | Categories: Legendary Items, Loot 2.0


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  1. love practical psychology in game design

  2. Hilarious considering last nights South Park episode.

  3. Patterns in chaos, just like people who think they are finding ghosts.

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