Riot Games’ newest addition to the League of Legends client, Teamfight Tactics, came out today in PBE and it’s riddled with RNG.
Most of the RNG seen in Teamfight Tactics is reasonable and allows for a balance between strategy and luck. One RNG aspect is almost too unfair, however, and that’s the items.
Upon entering a game, players are met with the first of many draft phases where a random set of champions spawn in the center of the map. Players then rush to grab their starting champion hoping another player won’t take their first choice.
Then, during each turn phase, players are given a random set of champions they can buy and add to their arsenal. Which champions appear is complete luck. It’s up to the player to strategize and optimize their board with what they’ve been given.
This is where the reasonable RNG ends. The strategy aspect of the game is compromised by how items are distributed throughout a game. Items are gained through one of two ways. First, they come attached to champions during the draft phases. Second, items are earned by defeating NPC camps in-between player rounds.
Issues primarily arise in the second scenario. This is because clearing NPC camps do not guarantee an item drop from a defeated enemy.
For example, when players reach the second camp, they are met with three Krugs. Each individual Krug has a chance to drop an item, so a player could defeat three Krugs and end up with zero items. On the other hand, a player in the same game could clear two Krugs and end up with two items.
This wouldn’t be as awful if items weren’t a crucial part of the game, but they are. Equipping and combining items add bonuses like banishing an enemy for five seconds or dodging all critical strikes. This makes going up against players who’ve had luckier item drops feel one-sided.
RNG oftentimes makes a game less competitive and more unfair. Right now, Teamfight Tactics is too deep into the randomizer realm to make it a “tactics” based game.