About Genetics

BattleBeast Breedables – About Genetics (updated 07-16-2016)

This is a compilation of several other notecards, in-group chats, Office Hours chats, etc.
We’ll do our best to keep this updated and a great reference for you.

Most important: you have to mate a male dragon and a female dragon, in order to get offspring 😉

The genetics of the baby (offspring) comes from what is in the male and female parents. The genetics of the baby do not “reach back” any number of generations, or pull things from generations ago… they only work with the visible and hidden traits available in the parents (and possible hybrids or mutations… more on those, later)

Many traits exist in each dragon in both Visible and Hidden forms.
For example, a dragon’s Stats will show something like this:
Breed: Pink Fae Dragon
That is the Visible Breed trait. Each dragon also carries a Hidden Breed trait. Hidden traits are never displayed in Stats, or visible to the breeder in any other way.

Genetic dragon traits do not “skip” generations… if it shows up in an egg or baby dragon, it came from one of the parents, with some exceptions (e.g. hybrid traits, which we’ll talk about, below).

I’m going to go through an example of what happens when dragons mate, using the Breed trait as an example.
And most, but not all… traits follow this form.

In order to determine the baby (offspring) Breed, the following Breeds are mixed together: Male Visible, Male Hidden,
Female Visible, and Female Hidden.

From those… two choices are made:
Offspring Visible, and Offspring Hidden

Which Offspring traits are chosen depends on several factors, including:
1) the relative strength of each trait (all 4 of them), in the Male and Female parents
2) the average Battle Levels of the parents

First, let’s look at how it works, without considering Battle Levels.
Each Breed trait (all 4) has a “strength value”. The stronger ones pass to the offspring easier.

Let’s make an example, where we have this
Male – Visible – Green Scaled
Male – Hidden – White Feathered
Female – Visible – Brass Western Scaled
Female – Hidden – Green Patchwork

We have made available a Notecard titled “BBB rank-ordered list of Breeds”. From the list of traits above, and looking at the rank-ordered Notecard, you can see that Scaled dragons have stronger genetics than Feathered dragons, which are stronger than the Patchwork dragon breeds.
So… when you mate these dragons, on average, you will get more Green Scaled than any other breed, because it is the strongest breed.
Next most likely will be White Feathered (#2 strongest), and on down the list. The Green Patchwork will be the least likely to be
in the offspring.

People talk about the genetics being “random”, and there is a “random” element to it… but it’s a carefully designed
system of “weighted averages”… meaning… on average, you’ll get more Green Scaled, etc. Is is possible to get a Green Pathwork
offspring from the very first mating of these dragons? Absolutely! If you keep mating them over and over, you’re most likely to see
that kind of offspring that we’ve predicted based on the combination of some random chance, mixed with weighted averages.

Dragons don’t care what happened “last mating”; each one is a brand new experience for it. So if you got something great last
time, it doesn’t reduce your chances of getting something great this time. The opposite is also true: if you didn’t get something
great last time, the dragon doesn’t remember that… your chances of something great on this next mating don’t go up.

So, now let’s talk about how Battle Levels can affect the breeding.

We use this saying for a reason:
Better Battle Means Better Breeding
Better Breeding Means Better Battle

You can definitely improve your breeding, by battling up your dragons some Levels (Level 5 is a good start :).

Back to the notion of each Breed having a relative strength value. We use the term relative, because we do tell you which is stronger and weaker, overall… that’s in the rank-ordered Notecards, but we don’t tell you absolutely numbers, because those are internal information (and not even the CSR staff have them).

Back to our example… (we’ll make up some relative strength numbers so you can see how it works)

Male – Visible – Green Scaled Strength: 6.0
Male – Hidden – White Feathered 5.0
Female – Visible – Brass Western Scaled 4.0
Female – Hidden – Green Patchwork 1.0

The average strength value is 4.0. Two of them are above the average, one is at the average, and one is below. Be careful… this is the average for this mating. In other matings, with other dragons, the relative numbers might be different.

Battle… gaining XP, to Level up a dragon… will change the effect of the “strength” numbers for all of it’s traits, for every mating from then on, so if you have 2 dragons that have both levelled up some, here’s how it affects the numbers:
1) The stronger numbers (the ones above the average in this mating)
go down in value
2) The weaker numbers (the ones below the average in this mating)
go up in value

If you were to Battle both Male and Female up so that the average Battle Level between then is … about 5, then you’re very likely to see that the Green Patchwork is going to be passed more often than if you haven’t battled them. And likewise, the Green Scaled won’t be passed along as often.

Taken to an extreme… with a LOT of Battle Levels, the very Strongest Breeds (for example) become Very Weak, and the Very Weak (or hardest to get to pass) become Very Strong.

Think carefully about this… as it can be very important, when working to get a particular trait to pass.

Battle Levels matter – they really do 🙂


Q: Ok the thing i got from that is if i start battling a dragon, I will eventually lose everything I have worked for to get him where he is.
A: Battle doesn’t change the traits of the dragon… those traits are already there, and they are not going away.
Battle Levels adjust the relative strength of those traits IN THAT MATING… they are not a permanent change in the dragon.

Q: When I do battle I’m going to bring out a dragon i don’t want I thought the purpose of battling was to make the dragon you have and want to get stronger not weaker.
A: If you already have the traits showing… if that is a strong trait, and easily passed… and you want it to keep passing, then don’t battle it. If it’s a weaker trait that is not easily passed, then battle it to help improve the chances of the trait passing. And think carefully who you’re mating it with. The traits are strength or weakness relative to the others in the mix.  The point to battling is to bring out weaker (and usually more desirable) traits. So if the weaker trait is the trait that is showing and it is not passing then battle the dragon to make it come out. A Normal Tail is Stronger (= more likely to pass) than a Barbed tail. For example I think the weakest tail is the Hybrid Tail… the Triple Ridged Barb so if you want it to pass and it’s generally not passing for you, battle the dragon up a bit to get it to pass.

Q: Why is the most wanted tail trait the weekest?
A: Well, I think it’s because the weakest = less likely to pass… so it’s the most rare 🙂

A related topic: Elemental Dominance

(See the separate notecard/info About Elementals, for a complete description of Elementals)
Every dragon has some level of each Elemental trait: Air, Earth, Water, Fire, Celestial, Void, Lightning.
Elementals do not have Visible and Hidden values; only the values that register above Normal are displayed.
The highest displayed Elemental value is called the Major Elemental. If a dragon’s Major Elemental is Air, for example, we’ll refer to it as “Major:Air” as a form of notation.

Why is this important? Well… it’s about Elemental Dominance. There is a nice graphic image that explains how this
works as a “wheel”:

Here’s a summary of the Elemental dominance: (“DO” – Dominant Over; “SD” – Slightly Dominant Over

Fire is DO: Air SD: Earth
Air is DO: Earth SD: Lightning
Earth is DO: Lightning SD: Water
Lightning is DO: Water SD: Fire
Water is DO: Fire SD: Air
Celestial is DO: everything except for Void (against which it is neutral)
Void is DO: everything except for Celestial (against which it is neutral)

Elemental Dominance means that the traits and all the stats of the dragon are slightly more of an influence in a mating.
Normally, you’d think of the traits coming from the male and female as being of a 50%/50% weight… but if one parent is
Elementally Dominant over the other, then the Dominant parent’s traits and other stats have slightly more influence.
This is separate and in addition to other weightings, such as which trait is stronger.
Consider a mating where the 4 breeds involved: Male Visible, Male Hidden, Female Visible, Female Hidden – all have the same strength.
If there was a breeding without Elemental Dominance, then you can expect that over time, to see about 25% (1 in 4) of the time you’d
get a specific breed to come through as the offspring’s Visible Breed. With Elemental dominance, you’ll see a slightly greater chance of the Visible and Hidden Breeds from the Elementally Dominant parent, coming through. Let’s run through some numbers, as an example:

If the Male was Fire, and the Female was Water, the Female would be the Elementally Dominant parent, in this mating.
So… instead of weighing each Breed value at 25% chance, you’d see something more along the lines of this:
Female Visible:30%
Female Hidden:30%
Male Visible:20%
Male Hidden:20%

There is still a random factor… it’s like throwing dice. It’s possible, but not likely, that you’ll get the same thing come through many times in a row. Over large numbers of matings, you’ll see this sort of percentage distribution show up. In the Lab, we test new dragon matings with 100,000 matings, to check the statistical percentages, and confirm that the numbers are coming through as they are supposed to be.

How does Elemental Dominance affect the Elemental values, themselves, where there is no Hidden/Visible traits?

Well, normally the value of an offspring’s Elemental (e.g. Air) starts off at the average of the parent’s values, and then a range of possible values (from below that, to above that) is chosen… and a random choice is made within that range. So, let’s walk through an example of that

Male Air is 1.3243
Female Air is 1.4235

Normally the offspring’s Air would be in a range from below to above 1.3739 (the average).

But… if the Male’s Major Elemental is Dominant over the Female’s Major Elemental, then the mixing of each of their Elementals will start with a value closer to the Male’s values, instead of the average.

In the numbers above, the center point of the range for the random choice would be BELOW 1.3739, since the Male has more influence. (Please re-read the last few sentences over and over, until it’s clear :).

So… how do you increase your chances to keep improving a specific Elemental? You mate dragons where the dragon with the Elementally Dominating Major value is higher than that of it’s mate. The higher value in the Elementally Dominating dragon will mean that the starting point for the “random range value” is above the average.

A related topic: Hybrids

Where do Hybrids come from? Go back to the four combinations? MV, MH, FV, FH (Male Visible, etc.)
There are some combinations that add another possibility to the mix…if the MV (Male Visible) and the FV (Female Visible) are one of the special “hybrid combinations” then a 5th choice is added into the mix. In those cases, the choices are MV, MH, FV, FH, Hybrid.
A Hybrid trait added into the list of possibles like this are very weak, relative to them being in one of the parents already.
An example of a Hybrid is: Black/Blue Armored Hybrid (it comes from mating a Black Armored with a Blue Armored), and that mating has a chance of producing a Black/Blue Armored Hybrid, in addition to whatever else is being carried (MV, MH, FV, FH).

We use to have a special thing with the Size trait called a Mutation, but it was introduced to help spread out the “new” Size trait some time ago, and so I suppose the Genetics Elves (who really are in control of all of this stuff) decided to have it removed.
(They send me memos, and I do the work. *sigh*)

So it’s not uncommon for someone to mate dragons and get something totally unexpected. The question is “Where did THAT come from?”.
That answer is: one of the parents. Dragons can pass along a Hidden trait to a new generation, who can also pass it along as a hidden trait, etc.  It’s possible (not likely, but possible) for a hidden trait to be passed on many many generations and always remain Hidden, and then pop up as Visible.

So, you might never really know what’s hidden in a dragon. It’s possible to track a dragon’s matings carefully and figure out by process of elimination who is carrying what as hidden traits, but it’s not an easy puzzle, all in all.


More Q&A:

From a recent chat in the group, about breeding…

Question: So, technically, from an O/S perspective…the traits the parents carried are not necessarily those that are hidden in the egg or newborn as it could technically have a FH or MH from say, 6 generations ago. Correct?

Answer: If you ask the question a slightly different way… Do the offspring only carry what is from the immediate parents? Yes, only from their immediate parents.

It’s possible for a trait of any kind to remain visible for many generations… always passing from Male Hidden or Female Hidden, into the Offspring Hidden.

The exception – of course – is a hybrid – where the offspring might be mixing something from the Male Visible & Female Visible, to produce something new. We currently have Hybrids possible in Breeds, Tails, and Breath. Once it shows as Visible, then it may pass in offspring as either Visible or Hidden, like other traits.

Question: Oh interesting. So, is it possible to have say fire breath as both the visible and hidden traits?

Yes – you can have the same trait as Visible and Hidden, in the same dragon. I believe… that people strive for this when working to “purify” a trait by breeding offspring back to it’s parent… to increase the chance that the trait will be both Visible and Hidden in the *next* generation.


And specifically because some people thought our genetics were “random”

There was some mention yesterday in Office Hours that some people are seeing what they think are “random drops”, or – unexpected genetics happening.

So I’ve offered to investigate things, to be sure there is nothing broken, or unexpected. For example, I was able to research one
situation where someone was claiming a line of “pure” 7 gen mated with 12 gen something… but what popped out was actually visible 4 generations back, in the genetics. But because the dragon (or egg) had been purchased from someone else, I don’t think they had the full story.

We are working on the dragon genetics database being available online for you to examine… and I think that will help uncover some of the mystery. It will show the visible traits (not the hidden ones :).

In the mean time, if you have a situation you’d like investigated, please send in a support ticket with the name, location, and UUID of the dragon, and your question, and we’ll be happy to investigate it for you.   (Thank you for reading all the way to the end 🙂

~ BattleBeast Resident and the Team