Dr. Elie Bursztein is a computer security expert employed at Google who, for the past few months of his free time, has been focused on Blizzard’s card game Hearthstone. He and his wife Celine used math and machine learning to understand more about the game, detailing their results in blog posts. They started out wanting to identify cards that were “undervalued”–where you got the most power for your mana–using an algorithm. Separately, they began analysing games and decklists to build a model to predict what cards would be played by opponents based on what had already happened. It ended up pretty dang accurate all right.
He gave a talk about all this at the DEF CON 22 hacking conference last month, and now it’s online for us to watch.