You have to be a real sick person to desire Wordle superiority. This is a browser game that arrived under cover of darkness, loaded by no prestige league or microtransaction-laden progression system, totally immune to all the necrotic inclinations of the mobile game that has gone. taken hold of the industry since the invention of the iPhone.
In fact, you might read Wordle as an excuse for the disturbing direction that video games, as a whole, have evolved over the past decade. But sadly, you and I are just mere mortals, and when this alluring six-level grid appears on your screen every morning, we can’t help but indulge our cowardly baron instincts. “Dude, what if I was the best at Wordle? “
I won’t spend much time explaining what Wordle is, because at this point I feel like this ground has been well covered by all media entities on the internet (including PC Gamer.) But here, the basics. You have six guesses to identify a five letter word. With each guess, you will be notified if the included letters appear in the word (where they will turn yellow) appear in the word and are locked in the right place (where they will turn green) or don’t appear at all (where they will turn gray). It sounds simple, and it is. As writer Jeremy Gordon noted, part of the appeal is that no one needs to struggle with the grueling English degree bullshit of perverts designing crossword puzzles. Spend 15 minutes, try to determine if it’s DRIVING or DRINKING, and spend the rest of the day.
Of course, the relative simplicity of Wordle’s design makes anyone with the esports gene wonder if it could be fundamentally solved using the almighty power of the algorithm. I was curious about what it would take to optimize my game, and if I could glean any advice from The Machines, so I reached out to Matt “noblord” Koutsousis, a part-time Hearthstone pro and scientist. full-time madman, who broke Wordle’s Tao on a molecular level. (Seriously, just watch to some of these tweets. The man is outside the Matrix.)
He tells me that the ideal and mathematically valid method of maximizing your chances of getting a correct solution is to create an environment where there is an even distribution of the combinations of potential solutions. So, for example, when you start by guessing TRACE – which Koutsousis says is one of the best opening games for any aspiring Wordle – there will be a relatively even chance that the player ends up with four letters in the right place. , or no letter matches anything. It’s like counting cards in a casino; throw a net wide enough to level the playing field as much as possible.
“When you think about the remaining letters, try to guess the consequences of finding the letters with your guess,” Koutsousis explains. “In the TRACE example, if the sequence was gray, yellow, gray, gray, yellow, so that the” R “and” E “are yellow, I would probably choose a word like LEMUR because the final position of the” R “is fairly common, and learning that the word ends with” ER “is not much different from learning that it ends with” R “.
One of the most mind-boggling theories Koutsousis comes up with is the idea that sometimes he thinks it’s better to wipe out letters altogether rather than lock them in with green. “A good example of this is words that end with ‘_ATCH’ – ‘BATCH,’ ‘CATCH’, ‘HATCH’, and so on,” he explains. “Even if you know it ends with” _ATCH “, you still need to determine if it starts with” B “,” C “,” H “,” L “,” M “,” P “or” W ” “It can take three guesses in the worst case.”
The idea of responding specifically to Wordle to eliminate high-frequency letters rather than inferring the solution is reminiscent of the wild strategies endorsed by most deranged autochess freaks, especially when they start talking about “loss streaks.” “. But Koutsousis’ logic is sound. Throwing an “S” and a “T” is probably a higher value than patching a “V”.
Of course, the pros at Hearthstone aren’t the only ones putting Wordle under the microscope. Matt Rickard, a former Google engineer, posted his own blog post on the nuances of our ubiquitous pun. (His conclusion? The best possible opening guess is “SOARE,” a word I’ve never heard of in my life.) Answers were eliminated per entry on average. You can count Rickard among those who believe that Wordle can be solved as a science rather than an art.
“Using the greedy algorithm – the word that eliminates the most solutions – can still solve the game in easy mode in under 6 turns,” he says. “The same strategy wins most games but has to solve a few extreme cases so you don’t get stuck on a few words. Getting 4/5 letters correctly in ‘S_ORE’ requires five more guesses in the worst case, as you will have to guess’ STORE ‘,’ SPORE ‘,’ SNORE ‘,’ SCORE ‘and’ SHORE ‘one by one. ” So more or less the same strategy that Koutsousis puts on the table. The two will be escorted by Wordle’s well managers shortly.
But honestly, I think the magic of Wordle is its ability to be twisted like a game of chess. Word games are popularized frequently by the most annoying people on the planet; I literally wanted to throw my computer out the window when the New York Times serves me an overworked clever porn gag in the Sunday crossword. So I think Wordle represents a chance for left-brained Arbiters Of Logic to thrive in the leafy, nymphic liberal arts sector. A foray, in a way. “I’m generally bad at puns, but this one felt more like a programming puzzle,” Rickard says. Personally, I welcome the overlords of the engineering department to this morpheme test. Finally, a clash of the titans.