The Daily Grind: What’s the most irritating bit of MMO randomness you’ve dealt with?

    
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And then it explodes.

I’ve frequently said that Final Fantasy XI influenced a lot of my later feelings on MMOs, and this is also true of the crafting. For those unfamiliar with the game’s crafting, it worked like this: First, you looked up a recipe elsewhere. Then, you got the right kind of crystal, the materials, made sure to face in the right direction, waited until the right day of the in-game week, and did everything else that you were told increased your chances of a successful craft. Then you clicked a button, and you watched as the crystal exploded and you didn’t even get a skill-up, much less a crafted item.

This all was made even more ridiculous when it was revealed that it really was just a random roll and stuff like day of the week didn’t matter.

Of course, there are lots of moments of random chance in MMOs. Some of it is just part of the experience; you don’t get cranky about the fact that your 25% chance to critically hit in Star Wars: The Old Republic leaves you without a critical hit for 12 attacks. But sometimes you’ve also got random systems like World of Warcraft’s Titanforging that makes every drop a moment not of “yay, upgrade” so much as “oh, gosh, I hope this one rolls the secondary stats I need so it’s not garbage.” So what’s the most irritating bit of MMO randomness you’ve dealt with?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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kjempff
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kjempff

Generally RNGesus is here to save us from blandness and joyless gaming.
RNG doesn’t annoy me, it makes me want to do “it” again.

However, Path of Exile rng annoy me by now, because there are so vast possibilities in combinations that it has become too demanding to weigh one thing vs another and sometimes even recognizing something good.

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EmberStar

For me, random for the sake of randomness *defines* bland and joyless gameplay. If I have the supplies to tame an ankylosaur in Ark, then I should be able to tame it as long as it doesn’t drown or get eaten when it tries to run away while I’m trying to knock it out. In most MMOs, I’d have to hope that the taming randomly succeeds, then hope that it randomly rolls to have it’s innate special ability of “smash rocks with its tail to harvest metal real good.” And then I’d have to hope that I don’t lose all that metal on random crafting rolls, or that it randomly breaks as I use it.

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Castagere Shaikura

Crafting in every MMO except EQ2. I swear I just don’t get why they have to make it so annoying and complicated. EQ2’s crafting is just so fun. I made all the furniture for my houses and had fun doing it.

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Anstalt

Gearing in vanilla Warhammer: AoR.

In PvP, the only way to gear up (mid-tier onwards) was to capture keeps. So, you had to be on the winning team (in my control), then get lucky and win the top loot bag over everyone else who participated in the fight (random), then get lucky and hope the loot bag contains what you want.

In PvE, all the dungeons just dropped random class loot. Sure, a boss would always drop boots, or shoulders, but they’d be for a random class. With 12 classes (iirc) and only 6 people in the group, chances were low that you’d get anything worthwhile. We had many occasions where we’d spent a couple of hours clearing and endgame dungeon, only to come out of it with nothing at all.

Given how absurd the vertical progression was in WAR, it made the difficulties with gearing up even more frustrating.

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Schmidt.Capela

Any and every instance of RNG in rewards (such as loot drops) unless there is strong anti-bad-luck protection. This gets to the point where if I need an item to progress (or otherwise truly desire that item) and it’s only obtainable through RNG, without some kind of anti-bad-luck system to guarantee I will absolutely, 100% get that item within a reasonable and feasible number of tries, I will immediately leave the game before even attempting to get the item once.

(Caveat: I do engage in content with random rewards as long as the content in itself is fun and engaging enough. And if whatever I need or want drops before I get tired of the content it allows me to ignore that brain-dead design and keep playing, until I get to the next RNG check-point at least.)

You want me to keep playing (and spending money on) your game, you better make damn sure I will never be subject to loot-related bad luck.

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Sleepy

Some of the final bosses in DDO dungeons being massively difficult compared to the rest of the dungeon. For those not familiar, you only get experience in DDO for actually completing the dungeon. It’s entirely possible to spend half an hour working through a dungeon, get smacked down by the final boss, and have nothing to show for your efforts.

Happened to me recently in the mega-long Temple of Elemental Evil adventure. I wanted to cry at the end of it.

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Bruno Brito

Right now, using upgrade items for a 50% chance of critical success on LOTRO, yet i keep getting normal successes -_-

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Minimalistway

Any double RNG, random chance from random boss, random item from random chest, but this is less irritating than low-drop rate in many WoW quests, how hard can it be to get 1 bone from one animal? people say “well you hit them so hard there is no good bones in them” which is ridiculous! i’m level 7, i don’t have such power.

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styopa

Black Desert’s entire gear upgrade mechanism.
That alone is enough to keep me out of the game.

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Pandalulz

Normally, with most RNG stuff in MMOs, I can just walk away and say, screw it, don’t care. But I remember this one time I rolled a Dranei alt during TBC and got to the quest to kill bears for their teeth. You couldn’t skip it, you had to complete it to continue the chain. For some reason RNGesus was against me that day, so it took like four hours to complete a level seven quest in the noob zone. I don’t think I ever rolled a Dranei again.

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Sevenwinds

Four hours!? You got more patience than I do.

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Pandalulz

I did, that one time, back in the day when I had all the time in the world. It was sunk cost by the time I finally completed it. Today, not so much.

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Schmidt.Capela

Today you wouldn’t have gone through that; Blizzard recognized that bad luck in quest items was universally hated by the player base, and one of the causes of players ragequitting, and implemented strong anti-bad-luck protection. Nowadays every time your quest item doesn’t drop increases the chance of it dropping the next time up to the point it’s a guaranteed drop.

Unfortunately this only applies to quest items. RNG in drops from bosses is one of the reasons I’m not exactly keen on returning to WoW (and, incidentally, a very large contributor to myself vowing to never again play any raid).

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Pandalulz

I knew they changed it eventually, I played through Cataclysm. It’s just one of those funny stories of, “so the old version was better, huh?”

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Robert Andle

That’s probably the only thing that’s improved over the years.

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Axetwin .

The funny thing is, I’ve seen people defending it saying Blizz should go back to that.