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Do high scores matter? Behind the Leaderboard™ Discussion 2

Over the past several weeks, you've met a few of your fellow gamers through our articles and forum discussions. In our Behind the Leaderboard™ series, Bob J. (@BobJ685852), Delphine R. (@Delreed351), and Barbara M. (@bem1211)  say they play games to challenge themselves, while retiree Mary Louise H. (@mlou58)  just plays for fun.

 

Are you a casual gamer or a fierce competitor? Do high scores even matter?

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Conversationalist

 

Well yeah, they do. I've had several high scores lately, on several games - and I never appear on the leaderboard - ever.  It's all messed up.

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Periodic Contributor

I play to improve my own score, since there are limits to my memory and strategy, compared to others.  I limit myself to so many games at a time, say 10 - 20 on those days that I do play.  Beyond that, I would be taking too much time away from my other activities. 

 

It's coming up on one year that I've been playing.  I was shocked that early on, within the first two or three months, I achieved my all-time highest score of 3182.  I think that was largely a function of a good hand.  I've achieved a few more high scores between 2800 and 3182.  I don't know this for a fact, but I think it's easier to get a high score when many others are playing, rather than few, because  there is more game turnover.  Or maybe it's good luck with hands and a modicum of skill.  Who knows?  In any case, it's a good brain workout for a retiree like me.      

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Contributor

I play the new version of Mahjongg Dimensions, and get scores between 25,000 and 45,000.  Someone got over 600,000 the other day.  How is that even possible?

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Regular Contributor

As far as I can tell, they don't. All of the games are rigged to be "fair". In other words the people who aren't proficient at the game, they get to get a "bye" so their loses aren't as bad as they would be if they actually KNEW how to play. That' what I was told when I questioned the great & powerful magi's of this place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Well this morning when I went to play Bubble Dragons, I now have a high score posted of 381,031, which I have never come close to scoring.  I don't think I have even gone over 100,000, so someone has messed with it.  Wonder how many of these scores are this type of problem.  Anyone know of a way to reset this??

Trusted Contributor

Hi Gamers! 

 

Thanks to everyone for chiming in about your gaming style and high scores. Please come join us in our most recent Behind the Leaderboard forum thread where we're sharing more about what gaming means to us personally. What's your story?

 

Here's the link: 

https://community.aarp.org/t5/Games/What-s-your-personal-story-Behind-the-Leaderboard-Discussion-7/m...

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Hello. If you are indeed one of the AARP "Game Officials" you and others have obviously seen the many complaints from members about the proliferation of ridiculously (and seemingly unattainable) high scores. It's so obvious to many of us that something's rotten in the state of Denmark yet our concerns are continually ignored by the powers that be. Instead we get a blithe, airy letter thanking us for our comments and inviting us to start a second thread. Why is that?

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Super Contributor

Good question.  I have often wondered why AARP has not addressed this.  Maybe they think those scores are obtainable. Maybe they have no way of controlling it. I would like to know how they do it.

Regular Contributor

I mostly play Mahjong Solitare and have noticed a glitch (on purpose?) with the scoring.  At least once or twice during the game when I match tiles and wipe them off the board I do not accumulate points and my score does not increase.  This happens even when I have built up to Chain #3 or #4 or higher which I'm assuming should give me even more points for the match.  (But I have no way of knowing what the Chains do since there are no instructions for the finer strategy of the game.  So I am left with trying to figure the finer points on my own.)  Extremely frustrating!!

 

Whomever is monitoring these games will you please look into this!?

Super Contributor

I get the same frustration with Word Wipe and Scramble Words.  I put in a well-known, common word and it gets rejected.  Now, that is frustrating!

Regular Contributor

I play Scramble Words, primarily, to improve my score.  but I get really frustrated when I see 99% of the leaderboard in the 52000-64000 range (my highest score is 51,950, so it keeps me at least trying), and then one or two people, who it appears have created some kind of an algorithm to play for them, with scores well into the 80,000-100,000 range.  It's not fun, it's discouraging, and if they really do have something that plays for them to get those scores, it's cheating and they should be gone.  

 

Contributor

I find the extremely high scores frustrating as I can't imagine ever being able to achieve.  It is a little rewarding to see my name there briefly at the bottom of the top 10.   I would love to see videos of how these high scores are being achieved without help from a computer program.

Super Contributor

So, how do you even get to the bottom of the top ten?  What is your strategy?  How have you discovered how to make such high scores? How do you even move your fingers so fast?

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Only been on the leaderboard (low end) twice in all the years I've played.  That was maybe 1 a.m. before the usual suspects had a chance to push me off.

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Regular Contributor

My theory is that these scores cannot be achieved without the help of some sort of computer program/cheating.  If this speculation is incorrect, I implore some of the high scorers who are always on the leaderboard and DO NOT have the help of technical aids to please chime in on this conversation and prove me wrong.  So far we haven't heard from anyone defending their legitimate playing techniques and to me that speaks volumes.

Regular Contributor

I completely agree with you truthseeker66.  I'm not sure which game you are referring to but I think your analysis probably applies to all the AARP games.  It certainly applies to the game I play most, WordWipe.

 

Following is an excerpt from one of a couple of long posts I made regarding how WordWipe is scored and the unbelievable scores we have seen.  If you are interested, you can read my longer posts that lay out how I arrived at the conclusions below.  They are posted under the title "WordWipe Scoring".  I have suggested one way those who are reporting the highest scores day-after-day might prove their validity by posting a screenshot of their score page.  No one has yet taken me up on that.  I have also commented on how it's the same "people" (bots?) every single day.

 

"I’ve come to the conclusion that it is highly likely that there are some bogus scores being reported for Word Wipe.

Scores above 60,000: Most likely bogus
50,000 to 60,000: Very hard to believe
40,000 to 50,000: 40,000ish, maybe; 50,000ish, probably not legit
30,000 to 40,000: 30,000ish - Believable; 40,000ish - Very difficult but not impossible
20,000 to 30,000: Humanly possible
10,000 to 20,000: Very possible

In the past week, the AARP leaderboard has contained scores of over 70,000 and over 90,000 twice – by the same person. I’m not buying those at all."

Regular Contributor

Exactly! Also, the AARP regulators set the plays, points, etc to help the high scorers!

 

Trusted Contributor


@truthseeker66 wrote:

I mostly play Mahjong Solitare and have noticed a glitch (on purpose?) with the scoring.  At least once or twice during the game when I match tiles and wipe them off the board I do not accumulate points and my score does not increase.  This happens even when I have built up to Chain #3 or #4 or higher which I'm assuming should give me even more points for the match.  (But I have no way of knowing what the Chains do since there are no instructions for the finer strategy of the game.  So I am left with trying to figure the finer points on my own.)  Extremely frustrating!!

 

Whomever is monitoring these games will you please look into this!?


Hi @truthseeker66 We will look into this for you. Thanks for sharing this with us. 

 

How long have you been playing Mahjong Solitare?

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Regular Contributor

Probably have been playing for a year or two.  One loses track of time......thanks. 

Contributor

I play for the fun of it, not the score.
Contributor

i LIKE TO BE MOE COMPETITIVE BUT SOMETIMES I PLAY SO FAST I MISS PLAYS AND WONDER IF THAT AFFECTS MY SCORE FURTHER IN THE GAME. i'M NOT SURE I CAN CORRECT A PLAY IF I NOTICE IT SO I JUST FINISH THE GAME. A COUPLE TIMES I HAD THE TOP DAILY SCORE BUT IT ONLY LASTED FOR ONE DAY. THAT SEEMS TO BE QUITE NATURAL. I JUST KNOW ITS FUN FOR MY NEARLY 88 YR OLD BRAIN.

Contributor

There is too much discrepancy between browsers, router speed, mouse speeds, CPU capacity to make leaderboards anything but hype.

Super Contributor

I have stopped looking at them altogether.

Periodic Contributor

I play only against  my self.  Find the high scores mjnd blowing amd sometimes wonnder wh y I cant do better,  but dont th ink they matter.  games are supposed to be fun.

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I totally agree. I like to see my scores get better and better. But when you see the average high scores and then there's one that's double the amount you know that person knows a secret about the scoring that we don't and their score becomes irrelevant to me. It's all about personal challenge and satisfaction.

Super Contributor

It would be nice if the high scorers gave us some tips though

Trusted Contributor

Finally made the leader board for Tap Zap Boom again! This is the only game I seem to be able to be half **bleep** competetive in! Give it a try. No time limits. There is a timer, but you're not racing a counting-down clock. Rather, the clock is counting up, and the faster you complete the 12 levels, the higher your score.TapZapBoomHighScore.png

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@BobJ685852 wrote:

Finally made the leader board for Tap Zap Boom again! This is the only game I seem to be able to be half **bleep** competetive in! Give it a try. No time limits. There is a timer, but you're not racing a counting-down clock. Rather, the clock is counting up, and the faster you complete the 12 levels, the higher your score.TapZapBoomHighScore.png


High-five @BobJ685852! I like the counting up timer, too. 

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Thanks Concierge!