RNG Discussion Thread

    • Biz wrote:

      Neverness wrote:

      And because of this high variance, it will not be in any competitive decks, and hence not in any tournaments that may be shown as part of an e-sport event. Saying randomness is anti-esport is a strawman argument, because pro gamers want to reduce variance in their decks and wont be playing random effect cards.
      most of the rng is ruining limited, not constructed
      I agree that RNG affects limited more than constructed.

      I'm responding to Vroengard's FUD assertion that "Random effects like Jubilant Destiny are unacceptable in a game that once aspired to be an e-sport."

      The assertion being that having random effect cards in a game and being an e-sport cant both co-exists, they are the antithesis of each other. What makes a good e-sport isn't not having random affect cards, it's having good cards that don't have random effects also being available; since these cards are what we consider 'constructed worthy' and most likely to be played in an e-sport setting.
    • nqumyf wrote:

      Its not about Jubilant Destiny itself, its about that kind of random effect, because if those kinds of effects got pushed more they will eventually get into high level play. Now that I think about it: Psychic Ascension.

      In my opinion Psychic Ascension is too random, with sometimes getting you a card that wins you the game from basicly having lost.
      I also think conscript was a bit much for limited, but I like the direction Hex is taking. Verdict is a very low RNG mechanic and Portal took the Feedback from the players for Conscript and tries to make a good RNG feeling. I think it might still be a bit much, but well have to see it in action for that.
      I'm not a big PA fan but at least that's a card that you have to work for to get it into play. It's an oddity within the RNG range imo.

      Verdict seems fine to me. That is RNG but not too much RNG. Portal, I'll have to see.
      "Ignorant beliefs are stains upon the mind."
    • Neverness wrote:

      I agree that RNG affects limited more than constructed.
      I'm responding to Vroengard's FUD assertion that "Random effects like Jubilant Destiny are unacceptable in a game that once aspired to be an e-sport."

      The assertion being that having random effect cards in a game and being an e-sport cant both co-exists, they are the antithesis of each other. What makes a good e-sport isn't not having random affect cards, it's having good cards that don't have random effects also being available; since these cards are what we consider 'constructed worthy' and most likely to be played in an e-sport setting.
      limited is e-sports
    • Biz wrote:

      Neverness wrote:

      I agree that RNG affects limited more than constructed.
      I'm responding to Vroengard's FUD assertion that "Random effects like Jubilant Destiny are unacceptable in a game that once aspired to be an e-sport."

      The assertion being that having random effect cards in a game and being an e-sport cant both co-exists, they are the antithesis of each other. What makes a good e-sport isn't not having random affect cards, it's having good cards that don't have random effects also being available; since these cards are what we consider 'constructed worthy' and most likely to be played in an e-sport setting.
      limited is e-sports

      Then I think Jubilent Destiny is an acceptable limited bomb. Random affect cards have always been available in limited, but people prefer to play non-random cards in limited if possible because consistency is important. Did anyone play Minotaur Mercenary in their limited deck? No because the worse case for minotaur is really bad. The worst case for destiny is giving you 10 resources worth of draft chaff, which is acceptable in limited where the power level of cards is lower than constructed.

      If your stating that e-sports covers both limited and constructed, then I assert that:
      Jubilent Destiny is acceptable in a limited format setting as a top-end limited bomb.
      It's also acceptable in a constructed format setting, because constructed isn't dominated by random effect cards.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Neverness ().

    • I like this issue, so my post might be a little long. Sorry in advance.

      Let's start with this: This kind of game has variance in it's core design: you're drawing random cards from your deck all the time and you're playing in the dark because you don't know the opps cards until he plays them. If we assume 2 decks with 0 rng cards in it, there're still games that the best player (if there's a way to measure it) won't win. I'm perfectly ok with this. I like games where the outcome is not only influenced by skill. As such, RNG has a place in this game, and I think that overall is well used.

      Now, let me justify the last sentence:

      Yes, Conscript might be too much. Especially in limited. I lost and won only because of conscripted bombs. In terms of fun, it is not fun to conscript a bomb (it might be enjoyable if you win because of that, but that's another issue). Let's take Conscript out of the discussion for now, as it's a specific mechanic and I feel that Hex gave it's verdict on it with Portal. It was an attempt, lesson learned. Let's move on.

      There is an "axiom" that presupposes that skill and randomness are separated. And with less variance, the skill of a player will matter most. I want to say that I don't agree with this:

      i) In constructed, there are decks that have almost zero variance (in terms of RNG cards), and are linear and consistent as hell. Some of these decks won't require an enormous amount of "skills" and almost any player with some basic knowledge of the game will achieve good results. Did Lazgar's decks required an enormous amount of skills to be played well? Were Angus or Mono Wild difficult decks to pilot? Of course, a better player will have better results, but that happens in almost every game, even those with much more variance than Hex.

      ii) I feel that the amount of RNG that Hex uses (again, without taking Conscript into the equation) is reasonable and, in general, benefits the most skilled players in the long run. Yes, you can hit a worst card (for you) with a transmog. The amount of times that it happens are way lower for better players that knows which cards should be transmogged. In a competitive environment, most of the pure randomness card are never going to be used. Or, for example, be used as a non-rng technique, such as using Brosi Buk against a control deck.

      Another point to discuss: RNG forces the players to adapt to new environments that escapes the usual cards. The player who better understand this, is going to be favoured in the long run. Measuring your answers to the expected cards of a deck is easier than doing the same taking in account that the opp have a random portal in its hand.

      You could argue that sometimes you won't have the answers on your hand, but that could also happen without RNG (because, again, it's a TCG, you're drawing random cards from your deck). And, in the end, the amount of times that a game in constructed is decided by pure rng are way lower than what most of the people thinks. And I'm ok with that. But I know it's a point of discussion.

      iii) I prefer the RNG cards that are in some way handcuffed from the beginning. When variance is limited by other factors (rarity, end of turn, cost, etc), I feel it creates a better playing experience for everyone. Also, over the course of it's history, Hex tried to reduce variance to encourage better playing patterns. Fateweave is the best example of this.

      I'm not worried about the random cards from set 8. I didn't see nothing that worries me from a constructed point of view.

      iv) Finally, lest we forget the casual point of view. Having "fun" cards is necessary. PvE sometimes gets wonky and fun with cards that creates cards. I imagine that when casual pvp became more a regular thing, it will be the same in edh, or whatever format we create.

      So, yes, when I see "random" on a card I don't panic nor hate it. Random needs context, and I think that Hex provides a good context for random cards to not be that much of a problem.
      Twitter: @Plotynus
    • Neverness wrote:

      And because of this high variance, it will not be in any competitive decks, and hence not in any tournaments that may be shown as part of an e-sport event.
      The only tournament which Hex has ever had which comes anywhere close to an e-sport event had a Limited phase (and this is very, very common in Magic as well), so no, in fact, you are quite incorrect.
    • Dinotropia wrote:

      There are important design reasons why randomness is valuable. Perhaps a conversation about what kinds of randomness you like vs what kind you don't like could get more legs.
      Sure, I'll bite:

      First of all, when I complain about RNG, I'm not complaining about what I call "baseline randomness" that comes with the medium, namely turn order and deck order. While some games work around the former in some way (Plants Vs. Zombies: Heroes had a novel asymmetrical turn structure, for example), randomized card order is basically the reason why cards are used to play games in the first place.

      Secondly, my primary issue with RNG card effects comes from the fact that, mathematically speaking, forms of randomness beyond baseline stack multiplicatively. That means that randomness is fairly harmless in moderation, but making entire archetypes that revolve around randomness, such as Verdict, Conscript, and Portal, rubs me the wrong way. What's more, the RNG in Verdict, in particular, feels tacked-on. It's almost like the dev team had so many potential things they wanted the mechanic to do that they got greedy and threw everything in together.

      Finally, there are RNG mechanics that I actually like, at least from a design standpoint. My attitude towards these kinds of effects revolves around a sense of control, so I, like many others, gravitate towards decks and strategies that do what they do consistently. On that note, I really like Prophecy and Spiderlings, to the extent that those mechanics contributed significantly to my interest in the game. What sets these mechanics apart from the ones I dislike is, as I stated, control. The odds for Prophecy can be altered by topdeck manipulation, card draw/filtering, and smart deck construction, and mill works in a likewise manner for spiderlings. Plus, both mechanics can be interacted with by opponents (Prophecy more so than spiders, but Purify exists for both) as well, making for more interesting gameplay. In contrast, I find talk about Conscript and its ilk promoting adaptive gameplay to be silly because there's no preparation or pre-empting involved. You don't sideboard against a random number generator; you just pray you're able to deal with whatever comes out.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by BlazingRagnarok ().

    • Sooooo. A lot of what hex is using as randomness is also a balancing factor. If you took the conscript mechanic and instead had it read 'Play a X cost trop from your deck" instead of the random generation it would have been Very very easy to break. Portal is similar in that if these cards drew a card from your deck every turn even if it was rarity capped those cards would be better then the randoms they usually make. Basically they're worth less then a 'whole card' from a design point of view.
      Most of the time cards are designed, like it or not, with constructed viability more in the forefront because TCGs gonna TCG.
      Now admittedly limited sort of takes a hit on some of these things, but thats okay because in my opinion limited is a garbage holdover format that really only exists to justify the existence of bad cards in a booster pack. :p Sorry.. Now that thats out of my system... Any repeatable ability especially if it generates card advantage or board presence is going to be stronger in limited due to the as implied on the tin format limits. When your deck has a few trash commons to fill your curve a card that makes a better trash common or a flood of trash commons seems powerful, When that same card generates an actually decent card it hits the format in its weak spots and cracks it open. Sadly cards that make constructed interesting often break limited and cards that make limited interesting or hell to play often aren't good enough for standard.
    • So I think having RNG in the game as a part of mechanics is totally fine, this is already a card game, we're already top decking and this isn't chess or checkers. You can definitely have RNG and Skill in a game and they don't necessarily come at the cost of one another. RNG in the game is / can be healthy.

      That's my stance in general. However, there absolutely can be such a thing as "good rng" and "bad rng". I think that line largely comes down to these points:
      -The wider the range of variance / power the worse the RNG is.
      -The less weighted towards the center the worse the RNG is.
      -The swingier the outliers are the worse the RNG is.
      -When the RNG is the only focus of an effect the worse it is ("summon a random troop" is worse than "summon a random troop, give it +1 / +1"). Bundling the random effect with any other effect means that you can more appropriately budget for the card's cost since the RNG is not the only factor in the result.
      -When the range of effects includes things that should not be reasonably expected by either player that is bad.
      -The greater the possibility that RNG results in an EXTREMELY bad ("lose the game" or close to it) result for the player wielding the effect the worse it is.
      -When there are high odds of the result being a coin flip win for either player in a position where neither player has an obvious advantage prior to the result that is bad. Not sure how better word this one, but don't let games just be a coin flip.

      Those are the bulk of what I can think of makes up bad RNG. Some other notes:
      -There should be adequate hate options for when your opponent has incredibly good RNG. (Some way to still come back against a spider egg on the top when only one spider egg is made)
      -Formats should allow for the "best" rng to actually not be in the lucky players favor. (If there is a mechanic where it is helpful that your spider egg was on top but the payoff could have been greater further down the line)
      -RNG that offers choices (verdict / dreamcall) is favorable over that which does not.
      -RNG that has clearly limited and easy to comprehend ranges is favorable over that which does not.
      -RNG that encourages deckbuilding around it for maximum results is much more favorable. (Titania's majesty encouraging you to include more dudes in your deck at the cost of having more actions etc)

      I've really enjoyed playing with conscript & spider eggs both. I think they are perfectly fine. In that case of conscript I think it is actually deceivingly well put together that it almost always comes at a cost (particularly in the case of mooncall ceremony & battle prep) you are getting a troop that is usually better than a 1 cost action, but you need to pay that additional resource of the action to get the troop. I do think the "cost" of conscript is often overlooked by players that are salty about it but I do understand that the variance range on conscript definitely has outliers that can be very frustrating. Ultimately, the problem I do have with conscript is that it does allow for a player to have access to more rares and legendaries than they otherwise should in a limited card pool. This is where I believe the saltiness comes from.

      In cases where effects like conscript have "jackpots" there should be more hate that aggressively targets those jackpots. Effects like Vanquish (despite it being low tier removal) and Pride's Fall being more readily available against the Infinitrix dream should be a concern.

      I REALLY like that the RNG of portal cards favors the player wielding it... eventually. You can continue holding on to the portal in hopes that next turn's is better if you don't like what you received. Patience is rewarded. I like that it skews towards same rarity of its creator (from what we've seen so far). I hope that we do not see any commons or uncommons that create rares, but I think it would be totally fine for a common to create an uncommon (slightly depending on what the rest of the card / effect looked like).

      I'll end with a few examples of what I think are good/bad RNG in Hex.

      Bad (many of the less interesting one were tacked onto cards that were never really intended to see competitive play (zakiir's frenzy /
      -Angel of Dawn (This is the closest we've seen to a flat out coin flip in the game; the active player gets a couple chances early in the game to just coin flip into a win. The downside of coin flipping to enable a Crocosaur or Extinction later in the game was much less of a drawback.)
      -Minotaur Mercenary (Maybe this falls into the category of print bad cards to use them as lessons but there was no part of this card felt good)
      -Exalted Magus being able to hit "socketed powers of this" or anything being able to hit Tower Hulk. It was just straight feel bad to have an option that was so irrelevant.


      Good
      -Ancestor's Chosen (unlikely to pay off early, and when it does is not gamebreaking)

      -Daybreak Diviner (It being an on-curve troop that can trigger synergy is what it has going for it, the range of impact of the constant it creates is much less swingy)

      -Zygmunt's Game (Hitting your own troop was in many cases exactly what you wanted to happen)

      -Darkspire everything

      -Storm Cloud / Cheesesmythe (trigger it often enough that even the effects that were slightly worse were still fine given the abundance of triggers)


    • I like randomness. I suffer to it more then I benefit from it. Them's the breaks.

      I suppose the question becomes (regardless of whether you like the randomness or not): How do we balance this? Counter play seems the best response. To be fair there are a number of counters in HEX to deal with randomness.

      Conscript has gotten a lot of attention on here. Yes, it is harder to deal with certain troops when they get modifiers (Speed, Flight, +2/+2, etc) when conscripted. But those troops were already in the game to begin with. If your opponent had dropped them into your game without conscripting them would you have been able to deal with them then? I've had the "fun" of facing a Hero of Legend on 3rd turn. Not conscripted. Didn't matter, I couldn't draw any of the cards I could have countered with from my deck. So Mooncalled or not I was sunk. Conscript, for the most part can be really silly. People tend to focus on the negative when facing it and the positive while using it. For me, conscript has been a lot of meh, with some YAYS! and UGHS! (Who doesn't like conscripting a 3 cost 0/6 troop who summons a dreadling for each atk it has! >.> To be clear I mostly get 1s or 2s on the attack stat.)

      Other cards that create cards for you to use have been a fun mixed bag for me as well. Take the curious case of the Dream Skarn. There I was, playing through the Tranquil Dream dungeon, a not too difficult thing for me these days. I was trying out my Gordon Boomcussion deck (for fun and fine tuning) and wasn't doing all that great, I had not pulled any resources form my deck and had been sitting on 3 for a while. I was of course holding my own with the actions I had drawn to keep the board fairly clear. I ran out of actions though. Luckily, I had a Dream Skarn in my hand and it had the equipment I needed to make use of it! I casually tossed the little slitherer into the discard and quickly checked to see if I had gotten something I could use to give me more time... Cartomancy... Yup, that's right I had created a 1 cost Ruby actio.. no, it was a Ruby, Blood, Sapphire, Diamond and Wild action. Of the 21 different cards I could have gotten, 13 were exceedingly useful to my situation, 3 were completely unplayable, the rest ranged from useless to situational. I got one of the three completely unplayable cards. It happens.

      The transform mechanic has been the most annoying one to me. I have had perfectly nice hands turned into utter trash by one card. Stupid Brosi. Not to say I haven't enjoyed Merry Butterflies and Squirrels rampaging all over the place. Or "enjoyed" having my cards Transmogrifade-d. :P

      Dealing with all this randomness seem to be an issue for a number of people. I suppose that's fair. Not every threshold has the best response to certain random things. So while I have no issue with the randomness, it would be nice to see more options for dealing with such things for every threshold. And not just the random things. Randomness is good in the game as far as I'm concerned. Not just in what we draw (Or our opponents draw) but in the things we play. As long as there are cards out there to answer this silliness, and make no mistake randomness is silly, (whether we draw it or not being a whole other issue) the game will be fine.



      TL;DR I like the random. Don't go overboard with it. Make sure we have some sort of counter to it.
    • I'd like an admission that conscript isn't actually random, but is either bugged or weighted in some way. Conscript is my least favorite mechanic from Hex, followed closely by spiders. Feeling like my ability to win is lessened due to RNG from an opponent is not fun for me. After seeing the "rng" of conscript, I am really not interested in the new portal keyword.

      People can claim anecdotal all they want, but I've seen Underworld Crusader from Windbourne Ascension 3 times in a row, which if my math is right is like a 1 and 50k+ chance. Looking at the list of cards that can be made from Ascension, there are some that I have never seen created, but seen doubles back to back of Matriarch/Zakkaz/Yancy/Phenteo dozens of times.

      With the majority of the new keywords involving more RNG, this will be the set I budget for the least by a large margin. By that I mean, I usually budget to be able to play 50 drafts. I'm only planning on budgeting for 10 drafts with set 8. I usually just don't play much during these sets, because I personally don't find RNG mechanics fun or interesting.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Katkilla ().

    • Katkilla wrote:

      I'd like an admission that conscript isn't actually random, but is either bugged or weighted in some way. Conscript is my least favorite mechanic from Hex, followed closely by spiders. Feeling like my ability to win is lessened due to RNG from an opponent is not fun for me. After seeing the "rng" of conscript, I am really not interested in the new portal keyword.

      People can claim anecdotal all they want, but I've seen Underworld Crusader from Windbourne Ascension 3 times in a row, which if my math is right is like a 1 and 50k+ chance. Looking at the list of cards that can be made from Ascension, there are some that I have never seen created, but seen doubles back to back of Matriarch/Zakkaz/Yancy/Phenteo dozens of times.
      i don't think it works correctly for best-of-3 games
    • VErdict is essentially not RNG at all. Anyone who considers it RNG is just so anti-RNG that it is clouding their vision.

      If that's the level of RNG you're comfortable with, then you might want to consider a different genre. Because Verdict is ACTUALLY less random than 'draw a card' - even in a constructed deck. Do the math, if you'd like. I'll wait.

      I, personally, love what Hex is doing with random mechanics. It spices games up, and - so far - has not impacted the constructed scene in any significant way. Thus, success.

      I also think it is absolutely and utterly ridiculous(and insulting to everyone - including yourself) to pull out the 'casuals love it' argument... because nothing is ever that simple. If I someday ended up winning the CCS(which would, admittedly, take a lot of practice, but could happen if I put the work in), do you think that would suddenly make me hate RNG? If I decided to build a constructed deck and play the game 6 hours a night to try to hit the top of the constructed scene... do you think that suddenly I would hate RNG just 'cause I'm not casual? No.

      It's not a difference between 'casual and core' it's a difference between the types of things people find fun. And that is not AT ALL tied to how much someone plays the game. I promise.
      Gamer. Streamer. Photographer. Writer. Anime Lover. Possessor of Stuffed Animals.

      Also... I'm terrible at this game.
    • I was highly inactive during the entire conscript saga, and reading this thread I feel glad that I was. I think Vroengard hit on a good thing re: players getting high infinitrix. Coming back after beta to when shattered destiny came out, I was inspired into spending cash for cards because ingenuity engine spit out things I had never seen before. I have a friend that in Magic, WoWTCG, and everything else, makes one deck and only one deck. This deck has only one rule.

      "Every game should be a coin flip."

      Things like minotaur mercenary and zygmunt's game are great. I like RNG based cards. I like RNG based mechanics a little less. I love spiderlings to death, but I feel crappy everytime I have a game with 40 T eggs in a deck and none pop the same way I feel crappy when I have 6 T eggs in a deck and they are 6 out of the next 7 cards.

      I guess that my takeaway is I have no strong opinion on conscript/portal/merry caravan. I WOULD like to see more "coin flip" style cards. If we could get one that has an insane amount of requirements, like 10 cost double all shard threshold or must control something yadda yadda, flip a coin and you win if you win and you lose if you lose. Goblin nuke. Make it PvE for sure, but something like that makes me smile.
    • Monthieu wrote:

      I was highly inactive during the entire conscript saga, and reading this thread I feel glad that I was. I think Vroengard hit on a good thing re: players getting high infinitrix. Coming back after beta to when shattered destiny came out, I was inspired into spending cash for cards because ingenuity engine spit out things I had never seen before. I have a friend that in Magic, WoWTCG, and everything else, makes one deck and only one deck. This deck has only one rule.

      "Every game should be a coin flip."

      Things like minotaur mercenary and zygmunt's game are great. I like RNG based cards. I like RNG based mechanics a little less. I love spiderlings to death, but I feel crappy everytime I have a game with 40 T eggs in a deck and none pop the same way I feel crappy when I have 6 T eggs in a deck and they are 6 out of the next 7 cards.

      I guess that my takeaway is I have no strong opinion on conscript/portal/merry caravan. I WOULD like to see more "coin flip" style cards. If we could get one that has an insane amount of requirements, like 10 cost double all shard threshold or must control something yadda yadda, flip a coin and you win if you win and you lose if you lose. Goblin nuke. Make it PvE for sure, but something like that makes me smile.
      rng is great when u want to play wacky things or try fun stuff, play vs friends and for casual matches, but since u can win 1000$ each week, it should not decide the outcome of such events or maybe future major tournaments, there is enough rng already (draws etc) no need to make it pure luck.
      Austrian Kickstarter & Slacker Backer
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    • I agree, which is why when I'm climbing the ladder I don't include cards that include coin flips. I would feel horribly disappointed if the final of the next invitational would be decided by something like conscripting a random bomb. But RNG cards leave room for those ridiculous group game decks while constructed players don't care. RNG mechanics...I don't know. Thinking more, I think maybe they're just waving their dinglers about on the, "Oooooooooh we're a DIGIMAL Tee-See-Gee, lookie see what we do that Magic can't!" I love that to a large degree. But maybe portals and conscripts aren't what's needed for health of the game? I guess maybe can doesn't mean should.
    • rng is cool and fun in limited with exception on conscript, many times it spawned too strong troop that changed completly game, portals looks like better version of conscript, becouse it spawn same rarity cards and it transform many times

      rng in constructed is ok becouse most of decks is trying to avoid it

      rng in pve is ok/fun