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On my Monk, I'm trying to figure out if I would rather do a Dodge build with Dodge-centered Passives and Mantras, or if I should go for more armor and healing. In my mind, it comes down to just how random Dodge is.

If I have a 50% dodge rate, which of these is true?

  1. Every time I am attacked, I have a 50% chance to Dodge the attack.
  2. Incoming attacks will be Dodged at a consistently 50% rate. Past results affect future results - eg, I have not Dodged in a while, I will be more likely to Dodge.

Essentially I am asking if the Gambler's Fallacy is true for Dodge chance.

Both case #1 and case #2 would average out to the same thing in a long fight, but in a short burst case #2 is preferable.

In case #1, a string of bad randomness will mean I could take several hits in a row without Dodging any of them (Dodge, Dodge, Dodge, Hit, Hit, Hit, Hit, Hit, Hit owww my spleen). If that happens, my Dodge wasn't really much use to me, as a bunch of unfortunate die rolling got me killed.

In case #2, having 50% Dodge chance is nearly equivalent to 50% damage mitigation, as attacks would essentially alternate (Dodge, Hit, Dodge, Hit, Dodge, Hit, Dodge, Hit). I can expect that I will consistently avoid incoming attacks, and don't have to curse Math.Rand() for getting me killed.

So, which is it? Can I expect consistent results from my Dodging, or is it all chance?

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I know case 2 was used in Warcraft 3, another Blizzard game, for figuring out certain proc effects. It wouldn't surprise me if it was used again, but I can't say for sure. – StrixVaria May 23 '12 at 14:13
@StrixVaria in WoW case 1 is used. – Blem May 23 '12 at 14:20
@Blem since you mention WoW, I'll mention that at some patch case 2 was implemented for several aspects of the game (most prominently quest item drops)... just some trivia. Mag Roader: This is Diablo, so it's all about random. – herenvardo May 23 '12 at 14:23
Case 2 is known as "pseudo-random". "The generation of random numbers is too important to leave to chance." – Raven Dreamer May 23 '12 at 14:25
@Raven: All randomness in a computer is technically pseudorandom, so the answer to the new question is necessarily "it's pseudorandom." This is not what OP was asking, though, so the original term "consistent" was a much better choice. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft May 23 '12 at 17:45
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Since one of the Monk's achievements (Like Water) is to dodge 15 attacks in a row, I would say #1 is accurate: each time you are attacked you have a 50% change to dodge

This can further be backed up by many dodge-specced monks who can testify to dying many times due to a string of bad luck :)

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+1 for mentioning the achievement – Blem May 23 '12 at 14:19
I had this feeling yesterday fighting Belial as Monk. I died once after a really unlucky streak of dodge not proccing. – Drake May 23 '12 at 14:23
Other reasons to guess that case #1 is true is that from a programmer's perspective, case #1 is far easier to implement, and is far less likely to have math bugs that accidentally make players nigh-invulnerable, or walking pincushions! – Steven May 23 '12 at 14:38
@Wikwocket, I doubt implementing either method would cause a first year college student any problems. – oscode May 23 '12 at 14:47
@oscode Have you met many first year college students? Besides, after seeing WoW Rogues achieve 100% dodge through creative use of game mechanics, I can imaging Blizzard being conservative here. :) – Steven May 23 '12 at 15:29

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