Guardian of Middle-earth (#159)

Well, I finally finished the move and caught up on sleep, and I’m now
back and ready to start quizzing again. Keep in mind that the last
quiz presented (i.e. Food Database) was removed for a rethink, so this
week is again quiz #159.

The three rules of Ruby Q. 2:

  1. Please do not post any solutions or spoiler discussion for this
    quiz until 48 hours have passed from the time on this message.

  2. Support Ruby Q. 2 by submitting ideas as often as you can! (A
    permanent, new website is in the works for Ruby Q. 2. Until then,
    please visit the temporary website at

    http://matthew.moss.googlepages.com/home.

  3. Enjoy!

Suggestion: A [QUIZ] in the subject of emails about the problem
helps everyone on Ruby T. follow the discussion. Please reply to
the original quiz message, if you can.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Quiz #159
Guardian of Middle-earth

I’m a Tolkien fan, and I like computer games. So when the Lord of the
Rings MMORPG showed up, I eagerly jumped into a virtual Middle-earth.
My name is Gwalorin, I’m a Dwarf, a Guardian of the weak, and a
drinker of many fine ales.

In an effort to be more effective in combat, I’d like to study my past
combats and learn what I can from them. Perhaps there is something in
the combat log that can show me how to be a more effective Guardian.

*** Your task this week will be to analyze the combat log and provide
some statistics on attack types and creatures fought. ***

What kind of statistics? At the least, you should include average
damage inflicted per creature, and also average damage per attack
type. As an example, your report might look like this:

Creature Name           Average
-------------           -------
Brush Hunter               52
Brush Prowler              43
Vile Moor-web              44

Attack Name             Average
-----------             -------
Bash                       84
Shield-blow                58
Sting                      40

I’m making two combat logs available (compressed in zip format):
Guardian[1] and Hunter[2]. Unzip these to get the combat logs as text
files.

To give you an idea of the information available, let’s take a brief
look at some parts of the combat log.

The Brush Hunter wounds you with Melee Common Med for
25 points of Common.

We’re interested in my effectiveness, not that of the creatures
fought. You may ignore all lines that show a creature hitting me.

You wound the Brush Hunter for 30 points of Common damage.
You wound the Brush Hunter with Bash for 104 points of Common

damage.

Note that there are a couple, similar forms for reporting damage that
I’ve inflicted. The first form is a simple, non-named attack; the
second form is a special, named attack (in this case, called “Bash”).

From both of these forms, four pieces of information can be extracted:

  1. The creature hit (e.g. “Brush Hunter”)
  2. The attack type (e.g. “Bash”, or “Basic” for non-named)
  3. The amount of damage inflicted
  4. The type of damage inflicted (e.g. “Common”)

It is from this information that you should generate your report.

If you want to go beyond basic averages, a few other suggestions
include:

* Minimums, maximums and frequency of use
* Counts of creatures killed (based on lines such as "Your mighty

blow defeated the Brush Hunter.")
* Variation based on damage type (while my Guardian’s combat log
shows only Common damage, my Hunter’s log has more variety).

Finally, if you really want some extra credit, incorporate the
following information about some of the skills. A fully-featured stats
analyzer would take these into account.

Guardian Skills:

* Retaliation: Only available after a parry, each use of this

skill may be followed by one of Overwhelm, Whirling Retaliation or
Thrust.
* Shield-swipe: Only available after a block, each use of this
skill may be followed by Bash. Additionally, each use of Shield-swipe
is potentially reported twice (i.e. swipe left followed by swipe
right). Both swipes are part of a single attack. How do you determine
whether two Shield-swipes count as one attack with two hits, or two
separate attacks (the first with one hit and one miss)? If I inflict
no other damage from other attack types between two Shield-swipes,
then the two count as a single attack.
* Sweeping Cut: Like Shield-swipe, this is actually two attacks in
one; use the same guidelines as Shield-swipe for determining whether
two cuts are part of the same attack or separate attacks. In
additionally, Sweeping Cut may hit multiple foes – any that are in
range and in front of the Guardian.

Hunter Skills:

* Agile Rejoinder: Only available after a parry.
* Blindside and Swift Bow: Both skills are like Shield-swipe

above, allowing for two hits in one attack against one opponent.
* Rain of Arrows: Hits multiple targets in close proximity.
* Swift Bow: Another two attacks in one, against one opponent.
* Quick Shot vs. Quick Shot: Elvish Arrow (and similar): These are
both the same skill, the latter with Light Oil applied to the arrows
(inflicts Light damage). A comparison of the same skill with and
without using Light Oil would be interesting.

[1] Guardian’s combat log: http://www.splatbang.com/files/guardian.zip
[2] Hunter’s combat log: http://www.splatbang.com/files/hunter.zip

On Apr 4, 6:47 pm, Matthew M. [email protected] wrote:

Quiz #159
Guardian of Middle-earth

[snip]

*** Your task this week will be to analyze the combat log and provide
some statistics on attack types and creatures fought. ***

What kind of statistics? At the least, you should include average
damage inflicted per creature, and also average damage per attack
type. As an example, your report might look like this:

Pardon me if I appear to be speaking for the others, but to me this is
one of the distracting `features’ of the quiz lately–vague problem
formulation. Personally, I have just too much of this stuff at
work. :slight_smile:

To me, the appeal of the quiz is that problems are clearly formulated
and can be solved in reasonable time. Also, put it one way or the
other–the quiz is like a challenge, and it’s always interesting to
see how your solution compares to what others have come up with. When
the problem statement is that vague, it’s not very likely that anyone
can reasonably compare his solution with any other one…

Please come back to short, clearly stated quizzies, and I believe most
of us will participate with great enthusiasm! :slight_smile:

What kind of statistics? At the least, you should include average
damage inflicted per creature, and also average damage per attack
type. As an example, your report might look like this:

Pardon me if I appear to be speaking for the others, but to me this is
one of the distracting `features’ of the quiz lately–vague problem
formulation. Personally, I have just too much of this stuff at
work. :slight_smile:

“Average damage per attack type” and “average damage inflicted per
creature” is vague?

On Thu, 10 Apr 2008 04:25:11 +0900, Alex S.
[email protected]
wrote:

What kind of statistics? At the least, you should include average
other–the quiz is like a challenge, and it’s always interesting to
see how your solution compares to what others have come up with. When
the problem statement is that vague, it’s not very likely that anyone
can reasonably compare his solution with any other one…

Please come back to short, clearly stated quizzies, and I believe most
of us will participate with great enthusiasm! :slight_smile:

I fully agree with what Alex wrote.

On top of that I would like to add that it is crucial for my
participation
that I can create a working solution within a couple of hours of
starting
to read the challenge.

Any time requirement above two hours greatly diminishes the chance that
I
will find the time to finish a solution within the 48 hour timelimit.
Weekends are family time, and time for participating in full day
activities, so ruby quizzes are solved in the late evenings or early
mornings.

The earlier quizzes were attractive because the challenges was so unlike
what I do at work. Parsing simple file formats, doing basic statistics
on
their content and trying to figure out “what the customer wants” from
reading vague jargon filled texts is something people pay me to do at
work.

Please get the quiz back to the purely artifical simplistic world of CS
:wink:

Kristian

On Apr 10, 1:14 am, Matthew M. [email protected] wrote:

creature" is vague?
Well, not really. :slight_smile:

But there’s also “at the least” and “your report might look like
this” and then you go into great detail no one would really get if
he’s not a Lord of the Rings MMORPG fan too, IMHO.

As a quiz solver, it’s much more rewarding being creative in actually
solving the quiz rather than detailing/improving the quiz problem
statement, I believe.

“Average damage per attack type” and “average damage inflicted per
creature” is vague?

It’s probably more difficult than it looks like at first sight to find
the right balance between being too vague and telling to much. In this
quiz, “average damage” was a little bit of a downer for me since it
clearly stated what has to be done – and which IMHO didn’t sound like
too much fun but rather like something I have done quite a few times
before.

I also think it would be better to avoid any statements about extra
credits (unless you ask for a demonstration of very advanced
wizardry).

I liked the LOTR setting though. I think it’s a good idea to wrap up
CS problems so that they sound like fun. Nevertheless, there still has
to be a problem that’s intriguing enough to make people want to solve
it. As the weather is getting warmer on the Northern hemisphere …
okay, this means it’s getting colder on the Southern one. Well, time
is precious.

I was rather surprised to see the number 159 again. IMHO Erik V’s
solution for the original #159 quiz would have well been worth a short
review/mention.

I look forward to reading about the next quiz.

On top of that I would like to add that it is crucial for my participation
that I can create a working solution within a couple of hours of starting
to read the challenge.

I had a basic solution working in 10 minutes.

I suppose that a lot of the extra wording of the quiz was my attempt
to head off questions. Instead of keeping the quiz description short
and allowing discussion, I’ve attempted to try and answer everything
about the quiz in the initial description, which makes it look much
more involved than it needs to be. And really, I shouldn’t be
attempting to head off questions… half the fun is the discussion
that follows.

Okay, I think what I’ll do is take this same quiz and rewrite it for
tomorrow, and we’ll try it again. (This will be easier to rewrite than
the Food Database quiz, which I’m still considering how to break
down.)

The paragraph that threw me off a little was:

“We’re interested in my effectiveness, not that of the creatures
fought. You may ignore all lines that show a creature hitting me.”

I was, at first, thinking effectiveness would take into account
defense as well as offense.

Initially, my thought was that there wasn’t really any good
information there, but I think I agree with you… no reason that
information couldn’t be collected as well.

On Thu, Apr 10, 2008 at 5:32 AM, Kristian Elof Sørensen [email protected]
wrote:

I fully agree with what Alex wrote.

I’m not so sure. I think maybe just the way it was worded turned me
off, but I wouldn’t call it overly “vague”. I think it’s a perfectly
fine quiz.

The paragraph that threw me off a little was:

“We’re interested in my effectiveness, not that of the creatures
fought. You may ignore all lines that show a creature hitting me.”

I was, at first, thinking effectiveness would take into account
defense as well as offense.

Todd

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