As you probably know, one of the top reasons we’re making Cosmic Brawl is to give you a card game that’s more about skill and less about RNG.
This leads to an obvious question:
Shouldn’t we eliminate all RNG? Then the game can be entirely about skill and not luck?
The short answer is “No!” 🙂 Read on for the long answer…
What We Said
Over the past few months, here are some things we’ve said about RNG (paraphrased).
What We Didn’t Say
We’ve never said the following (correct me if I’m wrong, by providing a link):
- We want to make a game that has “No RNG”.
- We want to “eliminate all RNG”.
However a handful of players in our community – based on their comments to our gameplay video – thought we had said the above.
Even though we never said these, there’s some level of confusion – and we take 100% responsibility for not being more clear.
So I’m writing this blog post to address this.
What We Mean by “Out of Control” RNG
First things first. We need to define what we mean by “Out of Control” RNG.
Top CCGs in the market today (I’m not naming the games, because making negative comments about specific games is NOT my goal here) have cards that effectively do the following:
- Cast 10 random spells (random cost) on random targets.
- Summon a random unit (random cost) from your deck. Repeat every turn.
- Summon a unit that has Attack/Health stats between 3/5 and 12/12 (randomly chosen).
This is what we refer to as “out of control” RNG. The results of these RNG events are wildly disproportionate to the cost. And a skilled player is unable to control the adverse impact of these RNG events.
Two Kinds of RNG in CCGs: Draw & Card
In most CCGs, there are two main sources of RNG.
Cosmic Brawl has a lot less Draw RNG – because of the following:
- 5 cards in your starting hand.
- Cards you mark for redraw are guaranteed NOT to be drawn into your starting hand.
- Innovative resource mechanic.
Wouldn’t it be great if we removed ALL Card RNG on top of this?
Nope, it would make for a boring game. Most players won’t play it after the first few weeks.
Benefits of Card RNG
Let’s consider a simplified scenario. You and I play 5 matches in Cosmic Brawl, using the same deck every match.
If there’s no Card RNG – combined with the fact that Cosmic Brawl has a lot less Draw RNG – here’s what will happen:
- Most matches will play out in a similar way, turn for turn!
What’s the word for this?! … Wait I got it, BORING 🙂
In other words, Card RNG creates variety.
Just like you’ll get sick of pepperoni pizza if you had to eat it every day for every meal – you’ll get sick of Cosmic Brawl if every match played out in a similar way.
Card RNG also leads to more fun. How?
A big part of fun is surprise.
If there’s no Card RNG – there’s a lot less surprise (and anticipation, and elation, and frustration) lurking behind every action.
Lot less surprise, lot less fun.
3) Higher Skill Ceiling
Believe it or not, Card RNG (in controlled amounts) can lead to a more skill-based game with a higher skill ceiling.
Take the “Space Balls” card in our gameplay video. Knowing it has Card RNG forces you to manipulate the board state before playing it, to minimize the adverse impact of randomness.
This leads to a higher skill ceiling, even though such cards don’t always work in favor of the more skilled player.
Why “Controlled” RNG?
So if Card RNG has so many benefits, why not just add a ton of it?
Reason is quite simple:
Then the game becomes a slot machine, not a skill game.
If there’s incredible amounts of Card RNG (like the examples I mentioned above) – a skilled player loses his ability to react intelligently to minimize the adverse impact of these RNG events.
So even though the game will have variety and fun – it will lose the third benefit listed above, i.e. higher skill ceiling.
As our goal is to build a game that emphasizes skill more – we’ll use “Controlled RNG” in card effects.
- Even the high roll is NOT wildly disproportionate to the cost.
- It’s possible for a skilled player to react and minimize the adverse impact of RNG.
1) Many cards have the word “random” in them. Doesn’t that make Cosmic Brawl about luck and not about skill?
When analyzing any reasonably complex topic, simple “word association” is not the smartest approach. Please read my post above, and post any Qs/comments so we can have an in-depth discussion.
2) You said “high roll” in your video. Doesn’t that make Cosmic Brawl about luck and not about skill?
Please see my answer to question #1 above! 🙂
Alright, I want to know what you think about my case against “no RNG”! Post a comment, it’s easy (no registration)…