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Re: WordWipe Scoring

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Message 1 of 17

Since you brought it up, and since I am stuck on Scramble Words this week, I was wondering how scramble words scores.  On the third round (that I never pass), I got 8 out of nine words before the time ran out.  But I still scored zero for that round.  I wondered but was not motivated as much as you to try to figure it out!

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Message 2 of 17

Thanks.  I started about a month ago and my curiosity got the better of me.  A journey from innocence to cynicism.

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Message 3 of 17

This is utterly amazing!  How long did it take you to figure all that out?

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Message 4 of 17
I do not know this game!
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Message 5 of 17
  1.  ACCF53EB4-FD2A-4613-A118-FDA893883F97.jpegHi I am Lou

     

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Message 6 of 17

I would tend to agree with you about the very high scores being unlikely. I try to compete against my own best score and get satisfaction in bettering it.  I figure that the cheaters can try and outcheat each other. My best score is 38,933 and I was lucky in clearing the board several times without using my "letter bombs." All in all, it's just a game and not worth the worry.

 

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Message 7 of 17

Bogus Scores: Post # 1 of 2 posts.

 

Reposted to place posts in proper order.

 

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 :

1,555,744

1,279,122

607,991

527,096, and

428,202. 

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.

 

 

3 ltr

4 ltr

5 ltr

6 ltr

 

 

 

 

 

% of sq

40

50

5

5

 

 

one

one

 

Plays

13

13

1

1

 

Raw

third

half

All

Avg

40.2

71.2

106

130.8

 

Total

dbld

dbld

dbld

Points

536

890

106

109

Sum =

1,641

2,133

2,462

3,282

 

 

 

 

Rounds

14

22,974

29,866

34,461

45,948

My

 

 

 

cleared

15

24,615

32,000

36,923

49,230

Usual

 

 

 

 

16

26,256

34,133

39,384

52,512

 

 

 

 

 

17

27,897

36,266

41,846

55,794

 

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 Part #2 of 2 of this post.)

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Re: WordWipe Scoring Post #2 of 2

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Message 8 of 17

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%.

 

 

3 ltr

4 ltr

5 ltr

6 ltr

 

 

 

 

 

% of sq

20

30

40

5

 

 

one

one

 

Plays

7

8

8

1

 

Raw

third

half

All

Avg

40.2

71.2

106

130.8

 

Total

dbld

dbld

dbld

Points

268

534

848

109

Sum =

1,759

2,287

2,639

3,518

 

 

 

 

Rounds

14

24,626

32,014

36,939

49,252

A

 

 

 

cleared

15

26,385

34,301

36,923

52,770

Good

 

 

 

 

16

28,144

36,587

42,216

56,288

Day

 

 

 

 

17

29,903

38,874

44,855

59,806

 

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.

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Re: WordWipe Scoring

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Message 9 of 17

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.

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Message 10 of 17

Supposeldy, people can cheat and that gets a higher score....not sure how one cheats!!?

Agree about retirement, haha!

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