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 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.

On Road Trips

If you listened to the last AggroChat podcast you’ll have heard this bit already. I’m going on vacation tomorrow driving up to visit my friends Belghast and Rae. It’s not a very long drive, but I don’t get to take these kinds of trips often. I’ll have my phone hooked up to my aux jack in my car listening to “Death Masks” by Jim Butcher as read by James Marsters. This series of books has quickly become one of my favorites, and nothing beats having Spike read to you. If you’ve never read the Dresden Files of books I would highly recommend it, and if you have that much more disposable income I’d get the audio book.

While I won’t get in to the details of where I’m going, or where I’m driving from I’ll say that I’m very much looking forward to this trip. Partially because I’ve been really busy at work and really need some time off, and also because I’m getting to meet some good friends for the first time.

As a bit of background I started playing World Of Warcraft around the time it was launched, back in what veteran players call “Vanilla”. Some time after the launch of the first expansion several of my friends were raiding with a group that called themselves the “Late Night Raiders”. Belghast was part of this group, at the time a hunter. On occasion when they were desperate enough I would get invited along to raid. This was way back before I was serious about raiding, and I’ll admit I wasn’t very good at it. I was commonly referred to as the floor tank because I was dead more often than I was alive. So that is to say I’ve been playing with Bel for a long time, longer than I actually realized since at the time his character name was not the one I came to know.

Eventually I was talked in to joining the guild that Bel had started up and proceeded to get more in to doing current content, whether that was dungeons or raids. I was never the “best” mage in the raid but I did my best. Eventually I hit a bit of a burnout phase and left the game for awhile. The thing about our Bel, is that he is a lot like me. We both try out a lot of MMO’s when they come out though he tends to stick around longer than I do in most cases. This applies to a lot of folks in our guild though, so whenever a new MMO pops up there are usually at least enough of us to have a regular group to play with.

This is how I met Rae. I’m sure that we played together in WoW at some point, but I think the first time we started actually having conversations was when we were playing Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn together. Rae, like Bel, myself and a vast number of our guild mates are all software people with similar interests which is why I like hanging out in voice chat with them. If not for them I probably would have given up on MMO’s a long time ago and not met many interesting people from all over the world.

So considering I’ve known Bel for the better half of my 20’s and now in to my 30’s we’ve never actually met in person. I finally have gotten to a place where I am mostly financially comfortable to take a weekend trip, so I’ll be driving over to hang out. There probably won’t be any video games played unless I get bored in my hotel room at night, in which case I’ll probably mess around in Hex or Hearthstone. However, Friday night we’ll be breaking out some board games and pizza and having a, hopefully, good time. I might fail to post for a couple days, or if I do it will either be very early in the day or very late.