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Closing the RNG Rift

By on May 13, 2013 at 10:15 am, in Article, Editorial, RIFT  |  Comments: 8 comments

hellbugs rng title

RIFT’s Hellbugs– they come in pretty colors, look awesome when they jump, and are currently helping fire rifts see a lot of action. One problem, however. The drop rates on these little and not-so-little guys are very random and a little low for many players’ tastes. The combination of the two makes completing a Hellbug mount/pet collection fairly time consuming. Unless, of course, the RNG gods are on your side so to speak.

RNG, which stands for ‘random number generation’, is the acronym us gamers like to use when our odds of obtaining goodies are purely left to the virtual dice. By now, most of us are familiar with the concept of RNG mount drops in RIFT and remember it from past world events where players were either lucky or, well, weren’t. Trion took a hint from players after Waves of Madness and promptly started offering mount rewards during world events that didn’t require a whole lot of luck. The past few world events mounts have been really easy to nab, in fact.

This is probably why many players were a bit surprised by the pure luck/RNG factor that comes into play when searching for rainbow-colored Hellbugs. Some players, of course, have gone all-out when it comes to closing fire rifts in hopes of collecting all the Hellbugs before their friends can. Sometimes that plan works out, and sometimes it doesn’t. Such is the nature of the RNG beast.

Around the RIFT community, we’re seeing a fraction of players comparing the Hellbug RNG experience directly to past experiences during Waves of Madness and other world events that contained a high amount of RNG for mount drops and other rare drops. The likeliness is there, sure, but folks are forgetting one important fact– these Hellbug rifts will be sticking around for an indefinite amount of time. This means that we have plenty of time to extend our search efforts. We can also enlist leveling alts since the Hellbugs are Bind on Account.

Even with an indefinite time to search for these guys, the random nature of relying on luck alone does beg the question about whether or not it was a wise decision for Trion to go this route to begin with. Storm Legion‘s quite currency heavy as it is, so it would almost seem like a mount “hatching” system like the one we saw to obtain the Ash Strider mount would almost work, but again– without that strict time limit of a world event, a system like that isn’t 100% necessary. Or is it? Frustration alone could be one reason for a more guaranteed system, I suppose.

Personally, I’m pretty content with the system as it stands. I like having the rare chance to obtain something extra special when closing a random rift I come across. Not everything needs to be tied to a currency or a guarantee, although I can definitely understand the frustration of not getting that extra special something when you really have your eyes set on it. What’s your take on the Hellbug luck factor?

Laura Hardgrave

Laura Hardgrave

Laura is the Editor-in-Chief for Junkies Nation. When she's not writing long editorials or fighting apostrophe errors, she enjoys exploring multiple MMORPGs, getting inspiration for more long editorials, distracting big snarly things for her friends, and writing LGBT science fiction/fantasy.
  • Tony

    I have mixed feelings on it. As a player, I’m not a fan of RNG either. But MMO developers AND PLAYERS have helped enable this response to new content because, taken as a whole, the player base is essentially bipolar. When I say “we” below, I am really only referring to how MMO players seem to come off to people outside of things — and I’d argue in that light some of this almost comes off as bad as the console wars or Macs vs PC crap you see elsewhere.

    Many MMO players (or at least the most vocal) are content locusts. These rifts have been around for what, a week? And look at the reactions to it, some of which even pre-dated the event starting. We don’t want the familiar, but we don’t want it to be different. I want more content, but I don’t want this type of content. I want more unique items that not everyone has, but I don’t want to invest time in it at all.

    People are mad if they have to grind. Automatically this means there’s a problem with RNG, but it also means there’s a problem with gathering currencies.

    They’re mad if they don’t get something right away. I’ve come across a few people who didn’t get something in two rifts for this event and were done. Two! They don’t want to close rifts in a game called Rift – and yet on the flipside, a common complaint I read is that rifts themselves aren’t important anymore.

    For some this little rift event is a waste of time just because it’s not major new content — but even with the Dendrome coming out, you have people complaining that it was part of Storm Legion and has just been closed this whole time (never mind that obviously more work has gone into it since that point — it’s not been sitting untouched).

    How do you deal with that as a developer? It’s nothing but contradictions. You can’t please everyone all of the time, yet you seemingly can’t even please two out of the 10 types of players in a MMO at once either.

    The only way to compromise on this that I could think of, personally, involves currencies – which is already a problem to people. Perhaps closing a hellbug rift can still randomly win you a pet/mount, but each one also gives you a token. So many of those could be traded in for the non-rare hellbug items. That way you at least feel like you’re making some progress regardless and the rarest mount is still totally random. But I know others will have a problem with that too.

    But for all of the reasons above, someone isn’t going to be happy and they’re going to be loud about it. This sort of “nice” thing was done in LOTRO many times – and guess what, the people who had to deal with
    the RNG were mad that they didn’t have it so easy when they got theirs and were also made that their “investment” was now less meaningful because the item wasn’t as rare anymore.

    I’m not saying I’m separated from this either. I contribute to some of that same crap — I have ways I think it all should work. I just wonder what it is any developer can do with these situations sometimes if I sit back and think about it.

    I think my job is stressful and then I realize that I could be making a MMO. No way lol.

    • Laura Hardgrave

      Haha, very true. We all have different limits when it comes to playtime investments, and also different definitions of buzz words like “grind” which make these types of discussions complicated (but interesting!).

    • Darek Khort

      Pretty much^.

      It’s an MMO that brings in a whole variety of players. As such, you can’t please anyone.

      Those who can play 12hrs a day, every day will probably finish all non-raid-level content when 2.3 comes out in the first day or two. Then they’ll complain about how they’ll have to wait another few months for new content.

      It’s an interesting mindset. You see it often with people who grind their way to max level using the shortest route (in some MMOs, often via an xp exploit ala Neverwinter Foundry quests and GW2’s repeatable dynamic events) and skip 95% of content (including refusing to read quest text) and then complaining that there is nothing left to do in the game.

    • SuckADickJr

      Your mom is bipolar.

  • Thor131

    Well I believe they really need to fix the RNG. Im up to 87 mounts and 62 pets from farming those rifts with no sight of the Toxic Mount and only found one golunite mount, the rest are those bloody red ones.