"Factor of four" in 1.0.4 Blog Post

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People seem to think that the "increase by a factor of four" phrase from the 1.0.4 Design Preview means "four times as many magical items will drop". This may be correct, but there is reason to question that interpretation.

1.0.4 Design Preview:
"increasing the likelihood they drop magic or rare items by a factor of four"

1.0.3 Design Preview:
"We’re currently evaluating repair costs between 4x and 6x their current values."

Usually, when Blizzard means that something will increase to four times its current level, they write it as "4x", as they did in the repair section of the 1.0.3 blog. In the 1.0.4 blog, they did not write, "magical items will drop from trash at 4x their normal rate", which is what persons take them to be saying. Instead, they employed the language of increasing by factors. In the same sense, in the 1.0.3 blog they did not write, "repairs will increase by a factor of four or a factor of six."

This is a source of consternation for me. Companies usually strive to maintain the same terminology in order to avoid confusion.

The question is whether "4x" and "increase by a factor of four" mean the same thing.

If they do, then that's fine.

However, given the difference in terminology, we can't simply assume that the two different phrases mean the same thing. The 1.0.3 blog post uses "4x". The 1.0.4 blog post uses "increase by a factor of four".

So, is it the case that "4x" and "increase by a factor of four" mean the same thing, in the 1.0.4 developer blog post?
"Increased by a factor of 4" can, and probably does, mean multiplied by 4. It can also, but probably doesn't, mean increased by 1, 2, or 4 (The prime factors of 4) - or - any other non prime factor of 4.
Well it could mean it is going from 4x the old value to 3x the old value. Regardless of what it means the costs aren't all that bad now and reducing them even a little bit will put them about where it feels logical. You want death to stink but you don't want death to completely negate all progress unless you are playing in an area that is way over your head.
Just to be clear: I am not arguing that "increased by a factor of four" does not mean "4x as many magic items."

My point is that the terminology is inconsistent with past blog posts, and so ambiguous.

I'd like a clarification, is all. What does "increased by a factor of four" actually mean, in terms of the practical in-game change that players will see for trash drops.
Well i doubt they'd go back over several blog posts just to use the same terms. They may just have used different words because people just do.
It was DOUBLED x2
Or knowing how they love their RNG. Is maybe randomly from 1x to 4x while you are in the game.
08/10/2012 02:20 PMPosted by Kaz
Well i doubt they'd go back over several blog posts just to use the same terms. They may just have used different words because people just do.


Usually, a company has a designated terminology for articulating particular ideas. It's not that they would have to look over past blog posts to discern how they communicated the idea. Instead, they would have rules in place for how to articulate particular notions.

If X is 4 in patch-A, and 8 in patch-B, one can say:

X shall be doubled.
X shall be increased by a factor of 2.
X shall be multiplied by 2.
X shall be 2x higher.

Usually, a company maintains a standard terminology. In this case, the terminology changed.

So, I'm asking if this was just a different way of saying the same thing, or if "factor of 4" means something different than "4x".
factor of four = multiply by four
The other thing to keep in mind is the leak from a few days ago about the "Levels of Excellence" MF system.

It could be that "factor of 4" is a technical term related to the new MF system.

Which, again, is why I'm asking for some clarification on the terminology.
They didn't want to double it because people would make too many "then they doublet it" jokes. So they doubled it and then they doubled it again. Now we can make double double jokes.
08/10/2012 02:39 PMPosted by Ginkitsune
They didn't want to double it because people would make too many "then they doublet it" jokes. So they doubled it and then they doubled it again. Now we can make double double jokes.


And "quadruple" is just a silly word.
08/10/2012 02:08 PMPosted by ImpKing
so what does factor of 4 mean here?


Means "We doubled it, then we doubled it again!" lol
Well, considering the factors of a number are the numbers multiplied together to get a number... they said this crap to make people think "OOOOOOOH FOUR TIMES THE DROPS," and it's probably a cleverly disguised marketing ploy to bring people back in.

The whole numbers available in this process are 1, 2, and 4. So, it's staying the same hahahaha, "we doubled it," or they quadrupled it. However, I doubt either of those is correct. They probably increased it by 1.25 or something (which when multiplied by 3.2 equals 4) and just made it a creative way to put it so the whiners could have an answer.


I'm not at the point of assuming a disguised marketing ploy.

I'm concerned with the ambiguity, and so would like some clarification on what "increased by a factor of four" means, in terms of the item drop rates.
"So, in 1.0.4 we’re increasing the health of normal monsters by approximately 5%-10% in Inferno, but also increasing the likelihood they drop magic or rare items by a factor of four."

Whatever CHANCE the NORMAL monsters had of dropping magic items... will be increased by a factor of 4... multiplied by 4.

They had a pretty low chance to begin with... but lets say .5% chance.

4 x .5 equals 2% chance.

WHat you can take away form that is... we will reward you a little more for killing all white mobs.

WIlls still be the same sucky rolling stats... GG


That is definately a possible meaning, yes. However, it's still an odd phrase to use given the language employed in past blogs.

Moreover, right before the offending phrase the guy writes "5%-10%". So, if the "increased by a factor of four" is easily translated to a percent, why wouldn't he post the percent, as he did in the clause right before it?

In previous posts they use "4x".
Right before it, in this post, they use "5% - 10%".

The "factor of four" phrase just doesn't cohere with any other Blizzard terminology or rhetorical style, that i can find, from any other posts.

Does anyone know of another blue post or blog post in which they utilized the terminology of "increased by a factor of X"?

This seems to be an anomaly.

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