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Distinctness of Options guides strategy formation, exhaustion

Started by droqen, January 01, 2023, 11:39:52 AM

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1. I want to accomplish X

2. {All options for accomplishing X have been attempted}*, in order to assess their cost/value

3. The cost of all options is higher than the value of accomplishing X

4. Pursuing X is not worth the cost

*People will naturally lump options together according to perceived similarities, although the degree to which a person lumps options together differs from individual to individual. This individual variance cannot be solved; however, many factors are not individual. See these three options for how the design of the game determines lumpability:

(a) I see 10 identical chests. I open one, and it's a mimic that hurts me. I may assume all 9 remaining identical chests also contain mimics.
(b) I see 10 NPCs who have unique sprites. I talk to one, and they're a secret assassin that hurts me. The remaining NPCs are all people, but not the same person, and I may assume that they are also secret assassins, or I may not.
(c) I see 10 distinct activities -- an NPC, a chest, a fishing hole, a door, etc. I interact with the door, and it's a trapped door that hurts me. I may assume all the other activities will all hurt me, but it seems significantly more unreasonable to do so after just one interaction in this case.

Also see sample size:

(a) I see 3 identical chests
(b) I see 10 identical chests
(c) I see 30 identical chests

In each instance, how many mimic chests would I open and what is the conclusion I draw when I finally give up on opening the rest? Hmm.