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RNG: Is it Worth it?

RNG: Is it Worth it?

RNG is a well-known term among the gaming community and an infamous one at that. How much does it help a game though? Does it add more exciting moments in a game or is it just luck that could go either way?

What is RNG?

For those of you who don’t know, RNG is an abbreviation for Random Number Generator.

This term comes from computer science, and it essentially means that a random number between 2 given values is chosen. The number is obviously random.

However, in gaming, RNG is used to describe anything that is random or luck related.

Technically, this is still correct, as, for any lucky roll or calculation in any game, a random number is generated.

As we’ll see, there are many forms of RNG in gaming.

Various Forms of RNG

The most classic form of RNG is the dice. Anything that uses a dice roll is practically relying on RNG.

Besides board games, whose main use of dice is moving, there are many RPG games (tabletop or digital) that also use dice rolls for most of its moves.

The most classic example of both is the world-famous Dungeons & Dragons.

Another form of RNG comes in different kinds of RPGs, like MOBAs or MMORPGs, and that is the infamous critical chance.

Critical chance is a percentage that each character in these games have that calculates how many (and which kind) of attacks will critically strike, or in other words, deal increased damage. Yikes!

An equally annoying alternative to that is dodge chance, which works contrariwise; it calculates the chance to dodge an attack.

While the 2 are equally annoying, one is treated differently than the other, more specifically, dodge chance is seen as much worse than critical. More on that later.

Let’s move on to strategy games. Strategy games use RNG in many different aspects. Many strategy games use RNG to calculate battles between armies.

4X games take this a step further and use RNG to determine critical gameplay things like spawn points and stuff like natural resources or disasters.

Dungeon-crawler games are fully reliant on RNG for any generated floors/maps, or items and other miscellaneous things.

Card games, in general, don’t rely on RNG, but just the fact that you draw your cards randomly is considered RNG.

Many games today also use some kind of loot system that is purely RNG and rigged against the players. Fortunately, most of these loot systems don’t affect gameplay, lest the game become pay-to-win.

As you can see, RNG is integrated into every genre, others more so than others. And with different forms and depth.

Does it affect them for good? Should it be removed? Let’s find out.

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The Good and the Bad

RNG is usually described as random. Like most things in the world, RNG has its supporters, as well as its adversaries, both in the player base community and the game developing one.

Its supporters claim that RNG creates exciting moments of gameplay due to its unpredictability. A game without RNG is at risk of becoming dull and/or stale.

Its adversaries insist that RNG is pure luck and should be altogether removed from any given game (that is not inherently RNG like card games).

The truth is in the middle.

Let’s look at each case I mentioned separately.

Firstly, board games. I have to say, that, despite creators doing their best, as long as dice are involved, a board game is going to be mostly RNG.

Sure, an experienced player who knows some advanced tactics may have the upper hand (especially in more advanced games) but you can never beat pure luck.

That’s why board games are mostly a casual way to spend the evening with the family.

Dungeons & Dragons are different though. the game is purely role-playing, so through various scenarios (involving combat and everyday actions like flirting with an NPC or drinking ale), you roll initiatives depending on the stat required.

There are many different dices used as well, besides the regular 6-sided, like 4-sided dices. 4, 6, 8, 12 and 20 are the most common but you can always find more.

Anyway, the game is purely for fun, you can lose, but it’s still about the story. If you have a particularly high stat you can roll for that even in situations where it’s not recommended.

For example, you can try and convince the evil mastermind behind an evil army to give up his ways and become friends with the group, and with a good roll, it works!

Now, critical and dodge. The bane of all MMOs. In these games, it’s really annoying to hope that the opponent doesn’t dodge and/or crit you, and/or you do the same.

Honestly, the games could do without them, but most game developers try to regulate them behind pseudo-randomness, which means no matter the percentages, there is something rigged.

For example, you might have 50% crit chance, but the developer may rig it to have a sure crit after, let’s say 8 attacks without criting, in order to prevent bad streaks.

Better than nothing I guess.

Strategy games are different. While RNG may affect many aspects of gameplay (including the start of the game), it’s all about how you handle any misfortunes or good fortunes that come.

That’s why they’re called strategy. Regardless, most strategy games allow you to regulate it with various settings, but to truly master a strategy game, you must learn how to handle every possible scenario.

Dungeon-crawlers have the fun kind of RNG. Not that it’s fun to be all random, and RNG can really mess you up, but these games take it to the extreme, where one game you are a literal God, destroying everything, and the next you die floor 1.

You know what you get yourself into if you play these games, so no one should complain.

Finally, card games. Frankly, as long as card drops and unlocks are not gated behind RNG (or a paywall), I’m fine with that.

Besides, creating decks that beat bad hands is one thing required to be a master card game player.

Final Conclusion

So what did we learn?

Sometimes RNG decides to be your enemy and leaves you frustrated.

Sometimes it’s good and fun.

Others, it’s just pure luck.

The best thing for RNG is for it to be:

  • a) Regulated, which means that it should be gated to avoid extremes.
  • b) Omnipresent. Every player should have the possibility to abuse RNG fairly.
  • c)Fair. There should be ways to play around it. RNG shouldn’t create feelings of unfairness.

This goes for more competitive games. Some games are created for fun, and RNG really boosts the feeling. RNG creates feelings of epicness. But it certainly shouldn’t be used in competitive games.

In the end, the bad feeling of RNG comes from competitiveness. When you put effort and time on something that is supposed to be serious and not casual, it’s logical to get frustrated when your labor gets taken by mere chance.

What’s your opinion about RNG? Do you like it? Do you think it should be removed? Leave a comment down below.

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