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Re: WordWipe Scoring Post #2 of 2
Bogus Scores: Post # 2 of 2 posts
Note: This is Part 2 of a 2-part post. Part 1 appears below in this thread.
Part 2. Now let’s say that I have a particularly good day. As shown in the next table, my percentage of squares cleared with 3-letter words is 20%, 4-letter words is 30%, 5-letter words is 40%, and 6-letter words is 5%.
% of sq
My total score would range from a low of 24,626 if I cleared 14 lines/rounds with no doubles to a high of 59,806 if everything worked perfectly and I completely cleared 17 lines/rounds, all of which were therefore doubled. These scores are not that different from “My Usual”. So even if you had a very good day, you are not going to be able to score that much higher. The same restraints of luck still pertain as to how many rounds you are able to clear and how many you are able to completely clear and thus double your scores. To score very highly just appears to be very unlikely.
So how can you cheat, cheating being defined as not playing the game the way it was intended to be played? First, you could hack the score reporting system to enable someone to report totally made up scores. To do this however, you need to have the skill to hack the score reporting system in order to allow you to simply report bogus scores without even having to play the game. I believe this is done fairly often, as we saw with the astronomical scores reported on the Washington Post site.
Second, you could find a way to pause the game boards while you find all the good words you can without any time constraints. Unfortunately, whenever you pause the game, a very large patch obscures most of the board. I’ve tried to find a way to do this (strictly for research purposes, of course). I found it very cumbersome. You could conceivably use something like a snipping tool and pause the board until you find a bunch of good words.
A lesser version of that cheat is more readily available, and that is to delay the start of each game, which begins with a patch on the screen that obscures 4 rows and 5 columns every time you start a new round. The “patch” tells you how many lines you need to clear in the upcoming round and gives you the “Begin” button for when you are ready to start that round. It’s like getting a sneak peek at a portion of the board before the timer begins. I use this opportunity to review what I can see of the board and find as many of the longest words that I can before the timer starts. I admit I did improve my score slightly by using this trick, but I still consider it cheating because this is not how the game was intended to be played. In any case, I don’t think anybody can improve their score to the high levels being reported just by using this cheat. However, if people found a way to regularly pause the board while they look for words on the whole board, they might be able to improve their scores substantially.
I could be missing something and most of the scores being reported are really legitimate. It just appears that the odds are very much against it. I would ask high scorers to tell us some of their secrets. How do you do it? Can you prove that your high scores are legit? I am open to the possibility that there really are a few savants out there who can picture a whole board at one time, reset their view after each play, and somehow will the universe to place random letters in places where whole boards can be cleared at least half the time. That’s what I think would be necessary to score as high as the leaderboards report for the small number of the same people day after day.
Regardless of how others might be playing the game, I will continue to play just because I enjoy it and find it challenging. I will, however, stop being in awe of the highest scores I see being reported. I need some convincing. Or a lot more practice.
Re: WordWipe Scoring
I have some ideas about how people might cheat in WordWipe. I am trying to post them in a "Part 2 of 2" post that I have been unable to post so far. I have asked AARP for help with this post so hopefully we'll hear within a day or two how to make that post visible. Thanks for the reply.
Re: WordWipe Scoring
I have always thought there was bogus scoring in Word Wipe. The highest score I got was 37,000 but I lost my wi-fi and it wasn't recorded. The next highest score recorded is 24,000 something. I don't understand any score over 30,000. There has to be some cheating.
Re: WordWipe Scoring
Bogus Scores: Post # 1 of 2 posts
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.
I can’t absolutely prove it. It would be difficult to prove scores either way. If you make those highest scores though, I would be reassured if I could see some proof. Maybe take a screen shot of your score page and post it here?? And give the rest of us some tips!
Scores of 30,000-40,000 seem to represent believable scores for pretty smart people playing the game without cheating. (More on how to cheat later.) If you are just reporting totally fictitious scores, as I believe is happening in some cases, you don’t need either vocabulary skill or luck. The skill you do need is the ability to hack the score reporting system.
I looked at the AARP leader boards for the top 10 players for 10 days including the last week. Out of 10 days, two players were present in all 10 days, one player was in for 9 days, one player was in for 8 days, and four players were in for 6 days. There were another half dozen “frequent flyers” in the group. Given the substantial amount of good luck it takes to score above 50,000, I find it unbelievable that the same few players would have such good luck for so many days. If luck is more or less randomly distributed, more and different players should be expected to be in the top ten.
I also checked the leader boards for the Washington Post for last week and the results were about the same, that is, mostly the same names appeared day after day. And to illustrate that it is definitely possible to report impossible scores, the Washington Post reported all-time high scores of :
There must be very smart people in DC.
In an earlier post, I said I believed that scoring high in WordWipe is a combination of about half smarts and half luck. Even highly skilled players need considerable luck in order to have letters positioned correctly in order to form lots of words and clear lots of squares. Luck is also needed to have a sufficient number of the right vowels and consonants to complete words. And luck is also needed toward the end of each round to have the correct letters in the proper locations so as to be able to completely clear all the lines in a round and thereby get your score doubled for that round. Doubling scores is critical to achieving high scores.
The tables below show two examples of how scores can be achieved. In the first example, “My Usual” is approximately what happens with me. As you can see in the table, about 40% of my 100 squares each round are cleared by forming 3-letter words, about 50% are cleared with 4-letter words, about 5% are cleared with 5-letter words, and 5% are cleared by forming 6-letter words.
% of sq
The full table is explained in more detail as follows. Sorry for the complexity.
To get the approximate average point value for each category of word, I checked a sample of 10 words from each category. I “froze” each board I reviewed in the “full open” position, that is, with all 100 squares showing while I looked for words. I therefore had virtually unlimited time to find these words. I found that the average 3-letter word was worth about 40.2 points, the average 4-letter word was worth about 71.2 points, the average 5-letter word was worth about 106 points, and the average 6-letter word was worth about 130.8 points, as reflected in the “Avg” line in the table. Six-letter words are not easy to find. I had to look through about three full boards before I was able to find 10 6-letter words. (They are extra hard to find when you have to work quickly under a time constraint.)
I also looked for 7-letter words, but was only able to find two in five or six boards (again with unlimited time). Those two words had an average worth of 203 points but 7-letter words are sufficiently rare as to not make a large impact on scoring, so I have omitted them from this analysis. Their rarity tells us that making extra-long words is probably not the key to scoring high. Doubling is much more important.
The “Plays” represents the number of words of each length that would need to be formed to clear that percentage of, say, 3-letter words (i.e., 13 plays). The number of plays times the average score (Avg) for that length of word gives you the Points for that category of words. So you could expect to get 536 points for 13 3-letter words, 890 points for 13 4-letter words, etc..
Totaling up the point value of each category of word gives me a total raw score of about 1,641 points per round. If I completely clear the board in about one third of my rounds (“one third dbld” in the table), resulting in doubled scores, my total average score per round would be 2,133. And if I clear 14 rounds, my score for that game would be 2,133 times 14, or 22,974. If I clear 15 rounds, my score for that game would be 32,000. Etc..
So that’s about my usual game. I usually score somewhere between about 20,000 and 30,000. If I was REALLY lucky, and cleared 17 lines/rounds and doubled my score on EVERY round, I could achieve a score of 55,794. That’s in the neighborhood of what the top scorers report scoring every day. But how realistic is it to double your score in every round?
I say, not very. I believe there is too much luck involved in completely clearing every board so as to score that high, especially to do it every day. My experience is that clearing 16 rounds occurs fairly rarely, and completely clearing as many as 17 rounds is extremely difficult, given the reduced amounts of time available and the luck required to have properly positioned letters that can form words.
(Please see Post #2 of 2 of this post.)
Re: WordWipe Scoring
What does it take to score high in WordWipe? In my estimation, it’s about half smarts and half luck. Smarts because it requires a good vocabulary and luck because there are certain mostly random variables that restrict what you can do.
The table below tells you approximately what score you have to average per round in order to get a certain score. For example, if you aspire to get a score of 20,000, you would need to get an average score of about 1,400 per round (including any doubles) and clear 14 lines per round. You would have 80 seconds to do the 14th round.
I consider myself a low to middling level of player. I usually score an average of about 1,400 points per round (counting any doubles) and I usually clear about 14 lines per round. I usually clear all the lines in a round about one third of the time, doubling my score for those rounds. So my usual score is around 20,000-25,000, 30,000 on a very good day. I have never been able to go beyond 16 rounds.
If you aspire to score 50,000, you would need to have an average score per round of about 3,600 if you clear 14 lines, or about 2,800 if you are able to clear 18 lines. Is this easy to do? No. We have all probably seen boards that are impossible to completely clear because (1) we run out of vowels or consonants; or (2) the remaining board is clogged with consonants or vowels in such a configuration as to prohibit you from being able to clear the board. This is one major place where luck becomes a huge factor. The right combinations of letters need to be in the right places so as to allow you to make words to clear the lines. Plus, the time available is reduced 10 seconds each round after the 10th. As I said, I have never been able to go beyond 16 rounds before the clock runs out.
So hats off to those who score 40,000 or 50,000 every day. And to the person who scored over 70,000 the other day, the first time I have seen a score so high, wow. I hope you also bought a lottery ticket that day.
Ever wonder if each WordWipe board has random letters on it? If so, each board would contain 19% vowels (vowels comprising 5 of the 26 letters of the alphabet) and 81% (21/26) consonants. So, if generated randomly, there would be about 19 vowels and 81 consonants on each 100-letter board. I checked 6 boards. Their percentage mix of vowels/consonants was: 35/65, 34/66, 41/59, 34/66, 35/65, and 38/62. So it looks like somebody decided that the proper mix of vowels/consonants for WordWipe is about 35/65. In other words, probably not random as to the mix, but may be random within each category.
Finally, I’ve also wondered if WordWipe gives you a set of random letters on each board each time a new board comes up. Or is there a set of boards with fixed letters that comes up at various/random times? I’ve wondered because I’ve played enough times to think that I have seen a particular board before because of a feeling that I have seen a particular word in a familiar spot on the board. Probably my imagination.
I need something else to obsess over. The things we do for entertainment...
Re: WordWipe Scoring
Glad you found it useful. I had also thought that letter values might correspond with Scrabble, but clearly not. What values they did assign seem sort of random. It's hard to get rid of letters like Q, X, and Z and we should be rewarded for it!
Regarding undoing a word entry, I don't know a way to do this. I use a mouse and all I know is that as soon as the mouse button is released, your word is in for good.
Re: WordWipe Scoring
Awesome info! I was hoping X's, Y's & Z's were more value like in scrabble.
Sometimes I wish there were a way to redo a word to get a higher score. Is there a way to undo an entered word?
Congratulations on increasing your score. I too am in awe of high scores.
I have been unable to find any information as to how WordWipe is scored, so I set out to figure it out for myself. This is what I know so far.
Each letter has a value: A=2, B14, C8, D4, E2, F2, G10, H4, I2, J2, K2, L4, M8, N2, O2, P8, Q2, R4, S4, T8, U8, V2, W2, X2, Y2, and Z2. I don’t know how those values were assigned.
The first 2 letters in a word earn: (the value of the first letter plus the second’s) times 2. Adding the third letter earns the sum of the values for the first three letters times 3. The fourth letter earns the sum of the four letters times 4. Etc. Your score thus is maximized if you make longer words. An exception to this formula is when a sequence of any length of the same letter is cleared, it is scored as each letter being worth only 2 points.
There are 10 horizontal lines and 10 vertical lines, or 20 in total. Therefore, there are 100 letters on the board. If you clear all 100 letters (all 20 lines) on the board, your score for that whole board is doubled. There is a potential for up to 20 rounds (levels) in a game. A raw score for each round that ranges between 1,000 and 2,000, when doubled, yields a score of 2,000 to 4,000 for each round. For reference, if your average score is 1,500 per round (including any doubled rounds) and you clear 15 lines (rounds) in the game, your final score will be in the neighborhood of 22,500.
Timing: The first 10 rounds give you 120 seconds (2 minutes) each round to complete your game. For the 11th round, the time is reduced 10 seconds to 110 seconds. For the 12th round, the time is again reduced by 10 seconds, giving you 100 seconds to finish your game. Ten seconds are reduced for each successive round.
Bombs: I have not yet figured out exactly how “bombs” are earned, but it seems to be a matter of clearing a certain number of lines or squares in a certain period of time. Clearing squares later in a round does not seem to earn as many, if any, bombs. It is easier to earn bombs in early rounds, and apparently impossible after Round 10. Bombs can be used to clear multiple spaces at a time, with the maximum being a 3x3 square. For reference, it looks like if you clear at least 2 lines within the first minute, you earn one bomb. If you clear at least 2 more lines within the first minute of the second round, you earn a second bomb. You also can earn 2 bombs per round in the first round and perhaps in later rounds, but I’m not sure what the rule is. More research is needed.
I am in awe of the people who are earning scores of 30,000, 40,000, 50,000, or even 60,000. I don’t know how they do it. I do know that I have increased my scores from around 15,000 up to 20,000-30,000 mainly by knowing more about the scoring system. I hope this helps you, too. (And yes, I know, I have too much time on my hands. Isn't retirement great!?)