Sunday, October 5, 2014

October 2014: Randomness

This month's topic, Randomness was suggested by game designer Micheal "VektorWithAK" Brown.

He writes:
One of my favorite topics regarding game design which has also sparked up some conversation in my Bachelor course is RNG (mostly critical strikes) in PVP games combat systems and how (IMO) unhealthy it is as both a concept and in balance.

Some issues:
  • competitive environments in games that can be swayed to either end of a broad spectrum of results based solely on one or multiple favorable or unfavorable internal rolls. 
  • massive lows that can come from not just the player on the receiving end but the critical striker who gets unlucky streaks. 
  • Is the overall player satisfaction/high enough to justify RNG being applied to PVP combat systems?
Additionally the highs and lows players experience on either side of the crit RNG from the following:
  • performing the critical strike 
  • receiving a critical strike 
  • getting unlucky and getting chains of non-crit strikes. 
Higher crit rates generally are countered with lower base values of damage so an unlucky chain of RNG rolls could leave a lower damage player losing multiple fights they could have won had they simply had a weapon balanced around flat damage and non-RNG reliance.

Even looking at recent games, Destiny players have been up in arms about the RNG of the loot system and Engram rewards though I think true RNG loot/rewards vs pseudo RNG loot/rewards is a completely different topic and deserves addressing on its own.

As always, submission guidelines along with submission procedure can be found on the right hand side of the blog.  Topic suggestions and articles are welcome!

Micheal"VektorWithAK" Brown is long time gaming enthusiast turned Games Designer. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia he is better known among fellow gamers for his strong opinions on game design, approaches to balance as well as being unabashedly vocal about his thoughts on crowd-funding/free-to-play being the future of the industry.


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