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TOPIC: Question about Golden Ticket distribution

Question about Golden Ticket distribution 5 years 1 month ago #1

OK, I'm guessing Jeff keeps this fairly close to his chest but I figured I would ask. I am considering pre-ordering some condensed packs in 2015 and that will be my first time doing so. Specifically I'm thinking about pre-ordering all of my tokens and then not ordering any others later. My question is: am I hurting myself in terms of finding a Golden Ticket by doing this?

In other words, say I spend $1k on pre-orders and then $1k in June am I more or less likely to find a GT than spending $2k during the pre-order time? I suspect the official answer is "yes" but in practice it is probably trickier than that.

The reason I ask is that my guess is that Golden Tickets are only pseudo-randomly distributed. Specifically, Jeff must have to make a decision at some point on how many go into the condensed packs and how many are left in sealed 10-packs. I suspect that he does his best to spread them out throughout the ordering period.
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Re: Question about Golden Ticket distribution 5 years 1 month ago #2

It has previously been stated that golden tickets in condensed packs have the same distribution ratio as those in standard packs.

Given that I haven't seen an actual condensed pack I can't comment on how said GT would get into the pack nor how the single 10 token packs are sealed but I would assume the GT are distributed through token packs in a fairly consistent manner to give you the same chance either way.

Statistics would actually show you having a better chance buying pre-order condensed packs over ordering later simply due to the quantity of claimed GT *0/40* before and after pre-order shipping

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Re: Question about Golden Ticket distribution 5 years 1 month ago #3

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I pulled a GT in 2012 from a consolidated pack. Based on some of the things I read, I think I should have had one last year but got an extra RoSP6 instead.
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Re: Question about Golden Ticket distribution 5 years 1 month ago #4

Perhaps some of the larger token orderers can comment on this?

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Re: Question about Golden Ticket distribution 5 years 1 month ago #5

Arcanist Kolixela wrote: Statistics would actually show you having a better chance buying pre-order condensed packs over ordering later simply due to the quantity of claimed GT *0/40* before and after pre-order shipping


My guess is that Jeff, out of necessity, has to manipulate the statistics a bit. I don't think he wants Golden Tickets all gone too early, nor does he want Golden Ticket runs to be empty. My guess is that he tries to spread them out over time which means he probably has at least somewhat of an idea where the golden tickets are. My guess is he has a special box of packs with GTs that he randomly distributes through his other inventory as it is sold.

The reason I think that is: I don't think we have had a GT run that isn't at least mostly full, yet usually not all tokens are sold before GenCon. In 2014 we found all 40 GTs but people (including me) purchased enough packs during and after GenCon to eventually sell them out. What are the chances that none of those had a GT in them if it was truly randomly distributed?

Has anybody found a GT in a pack purchased at GenCon or in the freebie pack before a run? If not then how did they guarantee that all (or at least most) Golden Tickets were gone before GenCon?
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Last edit: by Kirk Bauer.

Re: Question about Golden Ticket distribution 5 years 1 month ago #6

Well recently he has had to reorder tokens so I assume the GT were gone in the initial run.

Previously there were only 20 GT where as now there are 40 (4 dungeon runs vs 2) and there was some talk of GT runs not being full previously.

But I agree, I would expect 1/2 - 2/3 of the GT are distributed in the condensed/pre-order packs and the rest are inserted at random after that. *This is just based on info previously given about pack purchases from previous years and GT pulls*

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Re: Question about Golden Ticket distribution 5 years 1 month ago #7

I don't think it matters when you order, unless you wait too late.

A condensed pack is the equivalent of 120 packs. Pretend Jeff decides to make up 1000 condensed packs and 120,000 10-token packs. (These numbers are totally made up.) That's a 50-50 mix, so 20 of the condensed packs will get a GT. Since the odds of a UR are 1-in-100, each of the condensed packs gets at least one random UR. 200 of them get a second UR. 20 have a GT. These are mixed in with the 120 rares.

In the packs, same sort of thing. In this example, 1200 of them lose a common and get a UR. 20 get a GT.

EDIT - I can't swear this is how it's actually done. It's how I assume it's done based on what I've seen and read.


Now, in this scenario, if you had perfect information (how many of each were sold, how many GT found and from where) you could calculate which option gives you the best chance of a GT. If all 20 condensed GTs are accounted for, order packs instead. If half the tokens are sold and no GTs found, it's time to buy. If half are sold and more than half found, you hurt yourself by waiting. Better luck next year.

But we don't know any of that. With zero status information along the way, statistically you're taking a random sample from a random collection of random packs and you have no idea whether you're making a "good" choice by buying early or late. Yes you know what percentage were claimed so far, but you don't know from where, or what percentage were sold, or what was the mix between pack types, so that isolated data point is meaningless without context.

So, bottom line... just do what you want.

I'm not so sure the statistics get manipulated that much. I've heard there are two sets of tokens packs for sale. One has no GTs and is set aside for the coach rooms and on-site sales. (Hence, don't wait too late.) If the early, GT-ful tokens are all sold they dip into the second set, and they may order a second print run, and/or taking old tokens turned in for transmutes. If not, the remaining GT packs get mixed in to be found onsite. But I don't see that as manipulation so much as trying to make the best choice you can in an uncertain situation.
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Last edit: by Brad Mortensen.

Re: Question about Golden Ticket distribution 5 years 1 month ago #8

Brad Mortensen wrote: Pretend Jeff decides to make up 1000 condensed packs and 120,000 10-token packs. (These numbers are totally made up.) That's a 50-50 mix, so 20 of the condensed packs will get a GT. Since the odds of a UR are 1-in-100, each of the condensed packs gets at least one random UR. 200 of them get a second UR. 20 have a GT. These are mixed in with the 120 rares.


Does Jeff choose a number of condensed packs and when they sell out they are gone, or does he open the up to pre-ordering and creates as many as he sold?

But I don't see that as manipulation so much as trying to make the best choice you can in an uncertain situation.


I think your explanation makes a lot of sense. For the record I didn't mean to imply that anything shady was going on, only that out of necessity he had to control things a bit (like the second batch of tokens that has no GTs in it).
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Re: Question about Golden Ticket distribution 5 years 1 month ago #9

Condensed packs have a static quantity

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Re: Question about Golden Ticket distribution 5 years 1 month ago #10

Kirk Bauer wrote: My question is: am I hurting myself in terms of finding a Golden Ticket by doing this?


No, you aren't.

In other words, say I spend $1k on pre-orders and then $1k in June am I more or less likely to find a GT than spending $2k during the pre-order time? I suspect the official answer is "yes" but in practice it is probably trickier than that.


In theory, your odds are exactly the same.

The reason I ask is that my guess is that Golden Tickets are only pseudo-randomly distributed. Specifically, Jeff must have to make a decision at some point on how many go into the condensed packs and how many are left in sealed 10-packs. I suspect that he does his best to spread them out throughout the ordering period.


Jeff has never revealed publicly revealed the exact way it works, so what I am about to say is conjecture based on the experiences* and theories put forward by token buyers over the years. These theories are consistent with our findings, but should not be taken as fact. Here goes:

1) Jeff knows exactly how many tokens he buys every year (let's say for 2014 it was 50,000 packs.)

2) Jeff knows how many packs of tokens he needs to give everyone a free pack with their ticket (8000) and decided how many (if any) he wants to reserve for on-site sales (let's say 2000, which is probably low, but works for my example.) With those numbers, he can figure on how many tokens packs are available for pre-sale (in our example, that's 40,000)

3) Jeff knows how many Golden Tickets he has (40, or 4 runs x 10 tix).

4) He does the math, and knows there will be 1 GT for every 1,000 packs of tokens sold.

5) He makes a decision (based on last year's numbers, and forum interest) how many of those packs will be sold as "Condensed" orders. Let's pretend that is 20%. So, he puts aside 20% of the GTs (8) to go into Condensed orders.

6) He assembles the Condensed packs, putting GTs into exactly 8 of the red Pouches, mixing them in with the Rares. He also adds the random URs to the correct percentage of condensed packs. Then he puts them aside (my bet is in a big box of bright red bags, next to a big box of black bags full of UCs, and a box of tan bags full of trade items, which he later uses to assemble everyone's Condensed orders.)

7) He then distributes the remaining 32 GTs among the 32,000 remaining sealed packs. This is not entirely random, because we don't get the standard distribution which might put 3 GTs into 1000 packs, and 0 in the next 2000 packs... instead it's 1 GT per 1000 packs. They get stored in 1000 pack blocks... so Jeff might not know which exact order has a GT in it, but he knows that for every block of 1,000 packs sold, a GT has left his warehouse. (That's how he can send out newsletters confidently stating "3 GTs left to be found" if/when he has 3,000 packs remaining in his warehouse.) It also means that it's possible to get 0 GTs or 2 GTs in a 1,000-pack order, depending on whether the tokens used to fill that order straddled 2 different 1000-pack blocks.

*The numbers used above are just guesses... but based on informal polls, it seems like the odds of pulling a GT have been (very roughly) 1 in $10,000 - $12,000.
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Re: Question about Golden Ticket distribution 5 years 1 month ago #11

Dunno. But in the past, the condensed packs have sold out before the others and he didn't make more. Maybe things have changed, because he still had some here at the end. Or maybe he just kept making them while there were PYPs left over.

I think he probably makes an assumption - "we'll sell X condensed and Y not" and distributes GTs accordingly. If he makes half now and half later, he probably puts in half the GTs each time. His goal seems to be to get them all found before GenCon, but it doesn't always happen.
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Re: Question about Golden Ticket distribution 5 years 1 month ago #12

Arcanist Kolixela wrote: Given that I haven't seen an actual condensed pack I can't comment on how said GT would get into the pack nor how the single 10 token packs are sealed but I would assume the GT are distributed through token packs in a fairly consistent manner to give you the same chance either way.


Want an interesting bit of trivia?

The process for inserting GTs or URs into sealed packs has changed over the years. Many years ago, the fine folks at TD would cut open a (presumably) factory-sealed set of tokens, swap out a Common for an UR, and re-seal the pack using their own heat-wrap. This wrap was different from the factory wrap, and it was possible for an observant buyer to spot a pack containing a UR, just based on the wrapping. Occasionally this would disrupt the pattern of plats, too.
Once someone even spotted an UR pack in a picture posted to the forums, where someone took a shot of all their sealed packs sitting on a table, waiting to be opened.

TD has since changed their system, because now the "special" packs are wrapped exactly like the regular packs. Same cellophane, same level of heat, same little "True Dungeon" logo'd sticker on the sides. (If anyone has found a way to tell them apart, they haven't come forward with it!)
"THERE WILL NEVER BE A TOKEN EQUAL TO A GOOD BRAIN!"- Smakdown

Check out these awesome resources:
Cranston's Character Generator for iDevices or Android
Amorgen's Excel Character Generator
And the ever-useful Token DataBase , expertly maintained by Druegar.

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