RNG as a Reward Mechanism

It’s been a long time since I’ve played a game with this much of an RNG factor to it when it comes to rewards… Longer still since I’ve played one where the RNG is so dramatically tilted against us. I think this is actually the most punishing RNG system I’ve ever experienced, and that includes a gaming career that’s spanned well over 10k hours in MMOs back when they weren’t just lowest common denominator skinner boxes. It has me thinking about the ongoing debate as to the legality/morality of loot boxes in general and I’m ultimately shocked to see V2’s loot system existing in the same era where people are realizing that paid lootboxes are basically just gambling.

I don’t go to casinos or buy lottery tickets and the few times I have gambled in my life, I hated the way it made me feel. Grinding out loot in V2 makes me feel exactly the same way, except instead of spending money I spend my time, which is far more valuable. Every run is a scratch ticket and another disappointment. I have no control over the outcome other than to increase the quantity/frequency of attempts, resulting in a constant, uncomfortable compulsion loop that’s totally separate from any enjoyment I derive from actually playing the game. The more I look at other people I play with, the more I see the same “maybe this time will be different” sentiment with all of us slamming our heads against the wall over and over again, gambling with our time that someday we might get the red/cosmetic we’re after, some saddened to open their 5th red charm/trinket, others still without a single red/cosmetic after hundreds of hours and hundreds of full book legend clears. The sad part is, I’d enjoy the game more if I could just play for fun without having to stress about the fact that I’m mostly just hoping for a different gambling outcome right now.

I honestly don’t see the current loot system in V2 as being much different from the paid loot boxes other developers sometimes use. If anything, I actually find it more reprehensible because it masquerades as being acceptable while guaranteeing that countless man hours are flushed down the drain by people who only want to min:max their equipment or even just get a dumb aesthetic they like.

If the crafting system was like V1’s, where we had real control over our equipment and could craft near-perfect gear at will, the RNG wouldn’t be so bad. If it -augmented- a better system, instead of being -the- system, there’d be nothing wrong with it at all. We’d have control and the RNG would just be a friendly bonus. Since we have no control whatsoever right now, the RNG is nothing but a leash that tugs at our compulsions.

Just like with a casino, or lottery tickets, Fatshark has created a “reward” system where you come out on top once you just stop altogether. Our time has value.

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If you play the game for the rewards this is the right conclusion.

I think the comparison to real world gambling is a bit absurd, however. For one reason that you cannot blow away 20 years of work in one night of VT2, whereas with real gambling that is a reality.

Depends on the scope of gambling and how much one values their time. To even the most impoverished, the value of one’s time lends a loot box a bare minimum value in excess of that which one might spend on either a lottery ticket or scratch ticket, provided they win, which is also affected by RNG right now. Ultimately, the issue is that we don’t actually earn a single thing and all rewards are a direct result of a lottery system, so it very much parallels gambling systems.

You don’t have to ruin your life in one sitting to be a gambling addict and just because the prize in V2 is of a digital nature with no transferable real world value doesn’t mean it didn’t cost something to acquire. In most games, the RNG is tuned well enough that the time investment isn’t extraneous or unfun. In V2, getting the red you want or -any- cosmetic is like winning a medium lottery or mid-prize on a scratch ticket.

I think his point is more, you can’t lose your life savings and home in a night of poor decision making playing V2, which is very true. You can throw away endless hours into the abyss that is veteran/cosmetic grinding though.

LOL. Actually gambling activates reward receptors in the brain much like drugs do. That is why there are addictions to gambling. People who play video games for their loot fix are like druggies seeking their drug fix.

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Man I did some work in a Casino and it was the saddest thing to walk in at 7AM and see the slot machines filled with senior citizens plugged in with their little lanyard money cards. It was like looking at a person farm, and those same people would be there when I left at 5PM still plugged into their slots.

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Pretty much agree with all you said.

Mere RNG reward system does not cater to all player types, we need some player-controlled loot progression as well. Let’s hope they’ll address this accordingly in their upcoming loot patch (as they have implied).

In any case RNG based rewards should never be as prevalent as it is now; no matter the game. There needs to be a more concrete connection between players’ efforts and obtained loot.

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Looking at the mock up of the quests / bounty board system it doesn’t look as if it will solve anything on the layers of RNG since the rewards shown are just more chests that could contain anything and not specific items.

RNG on whether you get dice or a loot rat, RNG on ranald deciding what level chest you get, then RNG on what is inside when you open it. Then RNG that allows you to roll the exact same trait 5 times in a row. It’s just far too much and a grind I’m not willing to take any more part in.

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