Tag Archives: Games

Strategy Guide to Winning the 2048 Game

I finally beat the 2048 game!

I had to keep playing last night after I first discovered the game. And when I had also chosen to blog about it, I now had to prove I could reach the 2048 tile.

If you don’t know this browser game, here’s a short intro post I wrote about it, or just go ahead and play 2048 right now!

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After you reach the 2048 tile, the game will allow you to keep playing. Which of course I did! I didn’t make it far enough to get a 4096 tile, but it is possible!

The truth is, even though I felt addicted to the game, it didn’t bore me and I happily continued. When I lost, I didn’t get annoyed at myself or the game. Every time I beat my highscore, I just got even more excited. So all in all, if I had to feel really obsessed about a puzzle game, this was the perfect one.

Now on to the strategy!

I followed a few principles, and they are listed here in order of importance.

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Don’t push the right key (unless it’s your only viable move).

  • 1: Choose to move your blocks in only 3 directions.

I never touched the right key, and thus, my blocks never moved all the way to the right. This keeps the big numbers along the left wall, and you can then merge your blocks moving further backwards to the left.

As you can see, it may not stay perfect. But don’t worry, it almost always sorts itself out.

Do not fall for the temptation to press the fourth key! (Unless you are at the very end and you will win doing it).

You might run into a situation where you have no choice but to press the fourth key (see picture above). But your game is not lost. It might mess it up a little, but keep going according to plan.

  • 2: Prioritize merging left.

Using the left key to merge blocks, is better than up or down (if you choose to not use the right key, as described in step 1).

It keeps the bigger numbers closer to your back wall to the left, and you’ll also avoid too many smaller numbers crowding your right side area.

  • 3: Do not panic if your board starts to fill up.
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It looks crowded, but look, there’s a path!

It will happen, just keep your focus on where there is a merge-path. Start eyeing up the 8’s and aim to merge your 4’s and 2’s into it.

Often you’ll be able to move your blocks along a whole path towards the left – merging bigger and bigger numbers. Once you’ve done that, you’ll find your free space much more open again.

My Highscore: 25.036

Closing notes

This is not a guaranteed way to win, it’s a strategy that will enable you to get big scores and eventually win. The computer will mostly pop 2’s, but it might also pop a 4, and they appear in a random free slot. These two random elements mean that not two games will be the same, yet you will win if you persist!

I was hoping I was the only person having figured out this trick, but no. There is another strategy which is very similar: Yahoo! Finance. The author Peter Spence recommends keeping the biggest number in one corner. As you can see in the first picture, I didn’t do that, I just kept my highest tiles to the left at whatever position. Either will do I’m sure.

Yet again, credit goes to Gabriele Cirulli for creating this game.

Have fun playing!

Fun Browser Game: Can you get the 2048 tile?

Check out this fun, but very addictive, little browser game. If you’re bored of Bubbleshooter, this is your new drug!

2048 game

How to play: Use your arrow keys to move the tiles. When two tiles with the same number touch, they merge into one with double the value.

The goal: Merge the tiles until you get a tile with the value of 2048.

Click this link to play in your browser.

I’ve spent at least a couple of hours playing, and I think I’ve found a guiding principle for how to do it. I just need a little luck and a little more patience. I still haven’t achieved a 1024 tile though.

It’s a perfect format for an app game, but some of the versions I found had ads in them, and I’d rather pay for my games. However, this seems like an alternative: Google play. It’s a webview that loads the locally stored HTML files of the original game, so you can play without internet connection, and there are no ads. I haven’t tried downloading it yet though.

Credit to Gabriele Cirulli for making the 2048 game! http://gabrielecirulli.com/

Are PvP Pet Battles Determined by Skill or Luck?

If you do pet battles, I bet you too grind your teeth when some of your big hits miss – I get nervous every time I do a lift-off or burrow – for an 80% hit chance, those spells sure do raise my tension.

But which is the biggest factor in winning a pet-battle fight? Skill or Luck?

Some games have the skill of the player at the center, say chess. You are not going to win at chess against someone who is a lot more skilled than you. Then we have, say, rock paper scissors. Can you be so skilled at rock paper scissors that you can curb off any opponent?

rock-paper-scissors-625x1424

How to win Rock-paper-scissors every time” by Nathan Yau (creative commons)

Okay, so I guess you can, but you get my point: Skill and luck are two factors influencing the outcome depending on what kind of game you’re playing.

The pet battle forums have a good portion of posts up at the moment about miss chances being too dominant in fights. The point of adding a miss chance is both to allow a variance in “filler” damage abilities (bite/claw/peck etc) so that higher damage is also coupled with higher risk, but also it’s meant to make fights unpredictable to such a degree that no one can calculate the end result.

But the complaint is currently that a hit or miss can determine the entire fight. These are some examples that comes to mind:

  • I have had people flee after about 2-3 rounds if one of their big hits didn’t go through.
  • I’ve also had someone hit every single time, despite effects that increase miss chance were being applied over and over (f.x. blind)
  • I’ve had someone miss against me 3 times in a row while in a sandstorm that they themselves put up (I admit, since it was an Anubisath Idol, I felt like they deserved it).
  • I’ve had someone miss against me 7 times in total during an entire fight. I felt bad for them.
  • I’ve missed on a killing blow so many times, I’ve had someone else miss on a killing blow, then I missed on my killing blow, and then they finally killed me. So close!

Right now I also think miss chances are too volatile. When pets sometimes only survive for 4-5 rounds, sometimes less, a miss can be equal to missing 25% of the damage you deal against another pet. Naturally this doesn’t occur all the time, but the point is, that when it does, it can make or break the game.

You could add that being matched against a team that is strong against you is also being unlucky. (I actually enjoy this factor and fight on even when my odds at winning are unrealistic. I guess I’m trying to be a good sport)

I don’t consider my game design skills to be all that magnificent, but my best suggestion right now is to only change health pools, so that missing a hit is less devastating. The problem would be that it would lengthen the time of the average fight. In the wild it currently takes me 1-2 minutes to kill the team, in PvP perhaps 5-10 minutes depending on how often you meet a Crawdad *grumbles*. It would also have implications for scaling in certain PvE encounters, e.g. Fable Beasts. Since pet battles are meant to be casual (=quick) this might not be a viable idea.

Perhaps the RNG factor is just really bothersome for me: When I win, I can feel really good about it if I really controlled the fight, but I can also feel bad if they missed a lot (see the above examples). Did I win because of skill or luck? When can I really own my victories? – I can’t always tell. Sometimes being lucky robs me of that, and sometimes being unlucky robs me of the feeling that the fight was fair to begin with.

I also think we’re more prone to remember the pivotal fights and thus overestimate how frequently missing really matters. Often I would just have won/lost less convincingly, but that’s it.

As in the rock paper scissors guide above, skill in pet battles is about qualified guesses at the next move of your opponent, and believe me, at least I am getting really good at handling Kun-Lai Runts in the opposing team!

Ps: Blizzard, please I beg you, change the background music that plays when you enter a pet battle to something more calming and pleasant!

Right and Wrong Gamer Girl Edition

I just read the Bossy Pally’s post called “I Had No Idea this Required a License” where she talks about this whole fake gamer (girl) concept that has been a topic of discussion for a months or so. I haven’t seen these discussions around lately myself, but then again, I’ve been M.I.A for a good while, and I’m still slowly creeping my way back in.

Yet, maybe it was no coincidence that this picture was shared on Facebook just a few days ago by one of my acquaintances:

Gamer gurl vs. girl that games

Shared on Facebook. I was so close to writing “lame” in the comment track, but decided to vent my disapproval here instead.

Because we all know that there’s a wrong way to do “it” and there’s a right way to do “it”. In case you are not sure what’s wrong or right, the picture will inform you, and if you are not sure what this “it” is, then I’m not either… because it does seem awfully confusing.

See this one for example:

sims3allthetime

If she’s got a headset on I don’t think she’s playing Sims 3. Headsets are actually one kind of accessory that should earn you just a little gamer cred, but I’m guessing it’s the pout that made this photo such delicious meme material.

I used to play The Sims – all of them – a lot – all the time. I was obsessed with that franchise, I spent several days in a row doing nothing but playing The Sims. I could have told someone (and probably did) “I game all the time”.

BUT WAIT!!! The Sims??? I must have misunderstood! The Sims is not a real game, it’s a simulation management game, similar to so many others, but it doesn’t count!

Playing The Sims just makes you into one of those (per the top illustration) “gamer gurls“. Remember, a “gamer gurl” is always either fat, ugly or slutty!

But there’s also the “girl that plays video games“! She must be doing it the right way, she must have that license Bossy Pally (and I) are wondering about! Here’s a realgirl that plays video games“:

Anger is important in order to carry out an authentic gamer girl performance!

I bet she’s screaming “I NEED A NEW COMPUTER”

What I keep thinking when I look at those two photos, is that the big difference seems to be a matter of performance. And the funny thing is, “the girl that plays video games” also has to perform said position perfectly. Because… you know…. playing games in and of itself doesn’t count, despite the neutral title, it’s actually a matter of subculture! And the fact her title is not even “gamer” or “gamer girl” says a lot. She’s just some girl who happens to play video games.

And you thought belonging to a subculture was all fun and games? It takes extra work to convey your legitimacy if you fall outside the subcultural stereotype!

So what is she doing right, the “girl that plays video games”? We know that playing video games is not enough, so she must be doing something else too. Is it the display of anger, which is seen as a sign of authentic dedication? Is it the trash-talking? Is it her casual clothing?

Is it that she doesn’t flag being female? Because, the femaleness is actually the initial problem, you see, it’s what forces everyone to figure out what kind of (fake) gamer she actually is, because she might just be one of those girlfriend-of-a-gamer types (always a healer)… or a Sims gamer… or Wii gamer. You know, the fake kinds that walk amongst us, who needs to be unveiled, lest they think they can actually claim to be real gamers. Us and them, baby, us and them!

Girl+Gamer.+my+life.+oc_187147_3325857

Do notice the bottom left corner ;)

Okay, okay, I understand that subcultures need to constantly define their boundaries, especially from the mainstream, but the game is totally rigged.

… and old. Yawn.

What it really does is creating a conflict amongst female gamers to scrutinize and judge each other to weed out the fakes, because if we don’t, they bring a bad name to us as a group. Lets not fall for this superficial scam!

And if the gaming police actually does show up, then you pull out the “shut your whore mouth” … well, just maybe without the whole whore part … “Please keep your despotic orifice closed” works too.

“Dailies have destroyded the game.”

So, I hear there’s a lot of dailies?

I’m not yet 90 myself, I’ve been trying to follow this: An Underachiever’s Guide to 90 by Tome of the Ancient, but I keep failing at the one and only step to success:

Yep, that’s it. Stop it, stop it, stop it with the pet battling already. Simple, easy. There’s my guide.

Maybe it also has to do with the fact that I’m having main-character-doubts, I’m like a split personality victim these days – do I want to play the elemental shaman, the shadow priest or the new’ish hunter? So, yeah, I’ve been dabbling around pet battles (okay, more than dabbling, I’ve been ADDICTED), I’ve also been playing my new gnome monk, and I’ve been leveling the shaman and the hunter. I really need to gain some focus!

When you go to see the Master Pet Tamer Zoltan (the smug blood elf in Felwood), don’t look his kneeling cultists straight in the eye – or maybe don’t look at them at all…

Anyways, back to the dailies! – There’s a lot of them! – Some people are unhappy! – So unhappy that a thread has become a hot topic on the forums, of course sporting an overly dramatic, punctuated and misspelled title, as we WoW players do it best!: “Dailies have destroyded the game.” I love it already!

The argumentation goes back and forth, there’s not exactly consensus, although the OP has been rated highly, but I think the discussion raises a few relevant topics.

  • The line between work and play can be very blurry

Old time classic game theorist Roger Caillois included in his definition of play, that it had to be free and nonobligatory. The less we want to do the dailies, the more they feel like work to us, which makes us question why we even bother in the first place. It’s my impression that in the thread, this has been wrapped up as lazy players vs. Protestant work ethic players. I don’t see it as a matter of being lazy or not, but of play gradually feeling and looking like work to a lot of people.

  • Dailies are in a way revealing the fact that the vast majority of activities in MMO’s are repetitious tasks consisting of simple click commands

Kill X mob Y number of times – Kill X mob to collect Y number of BWAINS! – Collect Y number of poops – Join Z instance and continuously press your AoE button. Of course, then, some clever guy realized that instead of coming up with new X, Y, Z’s they could just have us do the SAME stuff every day.

  • Power gamers/achievers and the pressure of optimization

If you care about progression, doing dailies will be even less voluntary, especially if members of your raid team are all grinding away. I’m not an achiever player-type, and even I feel a stint of that pressure. It’s more comfortable, in many ways, to stick to the large bulk of the wave, as it sweeps over the new content. Soon the learning phase is over and knowledge is expected a priori – that’s mostly what has me feeling stressed.

  • Are there ethical responsibilities in relation to designing games?

If we acknowledge that there is a pressure to optimize and touch that first row ceiling, does the designer have a responsibility to not ask too much of the player? Are players able to keep their heads cool under all the peer pressure? Do we trust players to be autonomous enough to manage and prioritize their own play time and activities under all circumstances?

How we lean on these subjects are influenced by what kind of player we are. I’ll usually fall in favour of an upper limit, like there used to be – 25/day, where as now it’s unlimited. But that’s probably also because I’m not very tolerant of long grinds, extremely low drop rates and camping spawns. I’d prefer they had kept the old 25/day limit in, which instead would have forced players to prioritize what factions they wanted exalted with first.

Going Mog-spotting on Emerald Dream-US

Initially I wanted to go to every server we visited with the WoW Factor before hand and sneak around myself, as I did before we went to Arthas-US. It’s always fun to see someone early and find that they actually turn up later at the event also, which actually has happened! Sadly, I’ve not really had the time to do this more often.

Despite the fact I really should be doing other stuff, all I felt like was a bit of relaxing WoW time, so I went and did it again. We’re going to Emerald Dream tonight, sponsored by Dizzywick‘s guild “Violent Apathy”.

Usually when a guild sponsors, they show up strong both in numbers and in outfits, which has caused silly problems in the past with complaints that it was all set up, and that the guild basically won their money back, as if we are supposed to set a ceiling to how much they are allowed to win. We’ve also had guilds turn up strong in numbers and outfits when the gold came from one individual not affiliated, where they also won a lot, then people claim we are biased towards that guild. We can’t win.

It’s strange, people are hugely obsessed with ideas of us being biased. We’re biased towards blood elves, we hate dwarves, we only like female characters, we’ve been “bought” by a certain guild for the sake of fame and the competition is all rigged. The list goes on.

It’s hugely frustrating and I know the criticism will rain down t0night, of course a sponsoring guild is likely to win a lot, they obviously care about transmogrification and there’s going to be a lot of them. Both me and Noelani actually play with guild tags off because we take screenshots, I often play without any names on at all. In the past I didn’t even know people were from the same guild, and I don’t care, a cool outfit is a cool outfit even though the rest of the guild members are wearing cool outfits too. People are individuals.

Now that I’m done complaining, here’s what I found in the streets of Stormwind:

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