There is absolutely algorithms built and designed with the intent to keep you coming back for more. How they achieve that can be done a number of different ways.
I have nearly 10,000 total wins and have been playing since beta and I have found some interesting consistencies over that period of time that happen again and again and again.
One of the biggest observations that I have noticed is that when I sit down to play my first hearthstone game for the day I take one to two or maybe three losses in a row and then I begin to start seeing wins and only after I have played 10 to 15 games at one sitting will I start to see a normalized pattern of 60%+ win rates, but the first two or three games are almost always guaranteed losses. I'm convinced that's some kind of an algorithm.
Another thing I've noticed is that I always have higher win rates between 2 and 8 p.m. Whether that's an algorithm or just a bunch of noobs flooding the ranked competition... I'm not sure.
Another big observation that I have made is that I almost always lose after I hit the concede button. This probably occurs 80 to 90% of the time. I don't think that's anything other than an algorithm pitting me against the hardest matchup intentionally or putting very bad cards in my hand on the following game after I have conceded giving me very bad odds of winning.
Anyone who uses a deck tracker can also see a pattern began to emerge. Win rates of a particular deck Spike on one day and plummet the next and then spike again and then plummet again. This is done because Blizzard can build an algorithm that pits a mismatch of a deck that is likely to lose against another deck. Some nights I will see one third of my games will be mage, 16% will be warlock, and 16% will be priest. On other nights I will see completely different match-ups with different hero types that don't resemble that pattern at all. Is it random? ...not likely. Blizzard is doing their best to keep any one player from having a runaway win streak. The highest win streak ever recorded I believe was 75 wins in a row. Blizzard doesn't want that to ever happen again.
Again I don't have proof of Blizzard purposefully doing these things but it is something that is very consistent and it's something that I observed for over 7 years.
I'm convinced that algorithms are a very important part of the game design to keep you coming back again and again to get those wins... which Blizzard needs to keep the game full and profitable.
It's always about the bottom line or the company ceases to exist.
Well said - this is exactly my point but the “it’s all random” supporters seem to not notice it... For them there is no pattern, no different matchups depending on what type of deck you play... nothing, all random.
to those naive souls who believe it’s random - you know there is extensive research out there from top universities that describes how matchmaking in online games works, how players behaviours are captured and analysed, that there are patents that prevent competitors from using the same matchmaking techniques right??
Oh I know what you will say “ I’m an evil soul, it’s all random” lol
The problem is that you can very much see patterns that reflect *you* and your play patterns rather than some algorithm Blizzard is using.
Bushmaster22 describes a pattern that doesn't fit at all with my player experience. I usually win the first three to four games I'm playing before starting to lose more games, and I usually stop playing after losing a couple of games in a row. Why does that pattern occur? Well, after the first couple of games, I usually get a little bored and start watching YouTube in the background or some other thing - hence I make more mistakes and lose more games, which makes me realise that I'm bored and I stop playing.
Perhaps Bushmaster22 takes a couple of games to get in the zone and start winning, and perhaps they lose after conceding because they're tilted. My point is clear, I hope: these individual patterns are reflecting *us*, not Blizzard's secret algorithm. In order to prove such an algorithm, there must be a *collective* pattern, which means that thousands of players must experience the exact same pattern. That's how the pity timer was revealed, remember? The fact is that massive amounts of data are collected every day through deck trackers, and yet nothing has emerged that support the RNG manipulation and matchfixing described in this thread.
Yes, there is absolutely done a lot of research in how to keep player engagement going and there is no doubt in my mind that daily quests, the ranked overhaul etc. have been designed to maximize player engagement and keep people playing, but I simply do not believe that Blizzard is fixing games by rigging matchmaking, draw, discover options and so forth.