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Arena Math and You: Statistics!

The Hearthstone forums is a treasure trove of arguments and interesting discussions. They aren’t always productive or poignant but the forums can be a good way to see other minds at work and breaking down bits of the game. A diligent Hearthstone player, Values, has broken down how Arena wins and losses work, where wins come from, where losses go, and a simple (and possibly accidental) introduction to economics.

Values describes how only a small number of players will ever break even in the Arena (that is, recoup their entry fee). According to most, it takes approximately 7 wins to earn enough gold to reenter the Arena. 6 or fewer wins means that you’ll have to earn gold from quests, wins, or buy into the Arena with real money. Values continues and states that because Hearthstone wins and losses in the Arena come against players, someone is always winning a game and someone is always losing. There are a finite number of players in Hearthstone, even if that size is growing, and every win a player earns comes at the expense of another player.

Let that sink in. It’s an obvious statement but the implications are immense. It’s explained eloquently here, by another player by the name of Kithros.

What does this all mean? Don’t be too hard on yourself if you go 0-3, 1-3, or any unsuccessful run of games. It’s very difficult to get to 9-X, the odds aren’t in your favor on a level field and the draft hardly makes the field level. Enjoy the Arena for what it is – a random draft for fun and prizes.

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Travis Morrow is a writer, game designer, and world builder who spends his free time playing with dice, reading screenplays, and arguing with his cats. His personal blog and website is www.travisem.com. He’s currently working out of Orange County, CA.

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