On RNG or Why Can’t I Pull A Good Hand

So stretching a bit for a topic here, but I’m trying to post more again.

This weekend, like the last few before it, were mostly spent playing Hearthstone and World of Warcraft. Most of Saturday I ended up working, but either way my gaming would have been the same. The majority of the latter half of Saturday night was spent on Hearthstone building and researching decks and trying them out. The one thing that always seemed to happen is that I’d lose a match because I couldn’t pull that one combination of cards that I needed, or in a couple cases top decked just the right card to pull off a very, very narrow victory.

That happening just reminds me of how much I loath RNG in games. Granted I see the point of it, especially in a card game, but that doesn’t mean I can’t loathe it. Especially when you start the night at rank 18 and end at rank 20 (though as of last night I’m up to rank 17). So I guess it is more of a love/hate relationship. I think there’s a saying for this, “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword”, something like that.

I do have some screenshots I’ve been meaning to post over on anook, so keep an out out there for them. I like taking screenshots of legendary / rares I get out of packs or really close matches.

I feel like I had more to discuss here, namely some memorable RNG in WoW but I got interrupted at work when I was typing this up (on lunch, not while supposed to be working) and lost my train of thought.

I’ve seriously considered streaming some Hearthstone, but I am not sure anyone would want to watch someone who loses most of their matches.

On 10 years 10 Questions

I’ve seen a few people mentioning this on twitter so I thought I’d give this a shot.

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?

I started playing mainly because all of my college friends were playing. When WoW first came out I was a full time college student, and I didn’t have a very well paying job so I was using the household PC. I didn’t jump on WoW right away either, because at the time I didn’t like the graphical style, so I was playing Everquest 2. Eventually I did pick it up, but had a ton of issues with my computer. Namely that while playing WoW my computer would reboot every 30 minutes. I’m pretty sure I leveled to 50 this way. But short answer, I started playing because I wanted to do stuff with my friends.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?

I think that the first character I ever rolled was a hunter, but I don’t think he lasted very long. My second character was a mage and I still play him to this day. He’s always been, and always will be my main character and I use that name in every game I play.

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

My friends were all rolling alliance, so I rolled alliance.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

I mentioned this in a post the other day, but one of my earliest raiding experiences is probably one of my most memorable times in the game. Another top memory is the night that Burning Crusade launched. I had pre-ordered the collectors edition and everything was patched up and ready to go. Everyone on the server was standing out by the portal waiting for it to open up so we could go in to the new area. I staid up way to late that night, but that remains my favorite WoW expansion launch still.

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

Exploration and achievements have always been why I keep coming back to the game. There are always things to do in the game. A lot of other MMO’s I’ve tried over the years just fall apart after you reach the max level.

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

I can’t really say that I have a favorite area in the game. I tend to find myself sticking to whatever area is the current one for content.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

I honestly don’t know this right now, so I’ll have to update this later. I can say thought that it has not been continuous. Over the span of 10 years I’ve taken several breaks. Some for just a few months and at most a year. I always seem to come back though.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

I try to, but more often than not I just glance at it. That has, on occasion, come back to bite me in the rear.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

Not starting the game earlier would probably be my biggest regret. By the time I started playing all of my friends had moved on to the end game content so I wound up doing all the levels available by myself. I never got to do the starter dungeons at level for various reasons because of this. At the time there was no group finder, and I was much shyer than I am today. The only time I ever ran with a pug group was if one of my friends was there and they got me in.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?

I’m having a hard time thinking of any effects that I could solely relate to playing Warcraft. I know for sure I spent more time playing than studying, which is one factor in why it took me longer to graduate than it should have. But I have also met some really good friends on there that I still play with and talk to out of game.

oh and here’s the source

On Warlords

So here’s the thing, I pre-ordered the Warlords of Draenor expansion yesterday. I know, I’m weak. I have no willpower. Hal Jordan I am not. There has been some discussion related to what people call an “item squish” that is going to reduce stats to be more reasonable (no more 1 million hit points you silly tanks you). But that discussion is for another day. Mainly one where I have time to fully research it and talk knowledgeably about it. This was more just me making a confession.

So yesterday my buddy Kodra (from the Aggrochat podcast) posted what he considered a significant grouping experience, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I’ve told this story to people on voice chat a few times, and it always gets a good chuckle. So I figure I can share it here as it’s a short story, and I need something to talk about.

Keep in mind, at the time World of Warcraft had only been out for maybe a couple years and at this point I had no raiding experience what-so-ever. Most of my grouping experience came from doing the end game content. Which at the time was Scholomance. I knew my role, go pew-pew and tank the floor. I was good at it. Especially tanking the floor. But I also had some skill in crowd control, which sadly has become less useful as the game has progressed.

At the time my college friends and I were in our own little guild, not part of the larger guild that most of us ended up in. They were part of a raiding group consisting of older people who generally only could play in the evenings. You know, adults with real jobs. They had formed a group of people that did the raiding content, and did it well. I heard my friends talking about it at school and eventually I started doing some group content with a few of those people. One of which turned out to be my future buddy Belghast (he wasn’t playing as Belghast back then so I didn’t know).

At some point or another they needed an extra dps to fill in for a night when they were running Zul’Gurub and they asked me to come along. This was back in the day when that was still a 40 man raid, not an entirely soloable 5 man dungeon. I don’t remember the entire run, other than things were going pretty smoothly up until the point I almost wiped the raid. We were in the middle of some trash pull and I was clicking buttons as I do when I accidentally cast a portal to Stormwind. Some people, not paying attention clicked on said portal and were whisked away right out of the fight. Back then all the portal spells were separate in the spell book, and I had them on my hotbar so I could get around without having to look them up.

So I learned a very valuable lesson that day. Don’t have portal or teleport on your hotbar. EVER.

I also didn’t get to raid for awhile. But they eventually let me come back. A while later Bel bribed me in to joining his guild which had a lot of those people and I started doing raid content with them. I don’t raid much anymore, but that one experience is up there in my all time favorites, even if all the details on it aren’t clear. Namely, I’m only fairly sure we were in combat when that happened, it might have just been a funny accident outside of combat.

On Hex vs Magic The Gathering

So this morning I’m typing up a post relatively early, for me anyways. I normally don’t start a day with a topic in mind and usually comes from something I’ve read online and has gotten me thinking. Today when I woke up I saw a twitter post from Joe Vargas (Angry Joe / Angry Joe Show) that linked to a lawsuit filed against Cryptozoic by Wizards of the Coast claiming copyright infringement based on the similarities between Cryptozoic’s game Hex: Shards Of Fate and Wizards of the Coast’s Magic the Gathering.

So here’s the thing, yes the two games are similar. They’re both card based games that involve you spending money to get better cards in order to play other people. In Magic you draw “Land” cards which you use to play your creatures cards, instant cast card, etc.. where in Hex you use “Shards” for the same purpose. I’ll grant that there are a lot more similarities between the two games, enough so that I think this could have a negative impact on Hex.

That being said, I think there are also plenty of differences between the two. Namely the fact that there is a PVE aspect to Hex which has not been released to Beta yet. This aspect allows you to group up with your friends and play through dungeons to gain new cards and equipment for your decks selected champion. I know there is a style of game for Magic that allows more than one player to battle some form of boss deck, recently seen with the Theros deck release on Magic which the players could face the Hydra at retail events. I don’t think these are the same thing though, because it is not limited to one fight.

Another difference is that your decks champion can be equipped with stat gear that allows for bonuses that apply to your current deck. I don’t believe that this has been released yet, so I am not familiar with how it works. But as far as I know there is nothing similar to this in Magic the Gathering. Up until recently I’m not sure Magic even had “Champion” cards. The first cards similar to this that I’m aware of are Planeswalker cards, though I don’t know when those were first introduced. I don’t remember them being in the original deck, but I believe they came out some time prior to the release of the Theros expansion.

The last difference that I can think of is the fact that individual cards have the ability to level up in Hex. From what I understand cards will eventually be able to essentially level up and become more powerful versions of themselves allowing for more value to cards that you purchase.

Typing this up I thought of one important fact. Hex is still in closed Beta testing, and that only opened up recently. The amount of time that it took for a lawyer (or group of them) to research and develop the crafted lawsuit would have had them doing so while the game was still in closed Alpha testing. All of their information seems to have been gathered via player livestreams or from the kickstarter campaign that Cryptozoic launched in order to fund the game. So essentially they have filed a suit on a game that is not even available to the public yet.

Now there is also the possibility that this is not real news, and this could all be wasted time. I don’t know if the original source was verified. I’m posting this more as a response to the article that I read.

I will say this however. If this is indeed true and Wizards Of the Coast is going after Cryptozoic for this game then I’m going to lose pretty much all respect for them. I don’t believe that they would make them shut the game down, but asking them to redesign their entire product is essentially saying the same thing.

Oh and I probably shouldn’t fail to mention Blizzards Hearthstone here. Where’s the lawsuit against blizzard? If they’re going to attack Cryptozoic for having a similar game then they should go after Blizzard too since Hearthstone is “similar” enough. I think that Wizards of the Coast should just drop the lawsuit and welcome some competition. I’m pretty sure Hasbro has the copyright on Monopoly anyways.

Maybe Hoyle should sue Wizards of the Coast for having cards with pictures on them, since I’m sure playing cards have been around a lot longer than 1993.

All that said, this has not actually gone to trial. As far as I’m aware the papers have been filed but that is as far as it has gone. This might never go anywhere, but I’m simply annoyed by the fact that it is even happening. I don’t feel like Hex is a blatant rip off, and they are not trying to steal away the Magic fan base. I don’t think that is even possible. Magic has been around since I was 11 years old and is not going anywhere anytime soon.