RNG vs Exotic Quests

Published on: Oct 25, 2015 @ 10:14

Welcome to the weekly podcast discussion! Each week, we’ll focus in on a topic that was brought up in the podcast, and open it up for the community so you can share your thoughts.

RNG – random number generator – or the system Bungie uses to determine Legendary, Exotic, and just about every drop in Destiny, is hated across the globe.

There are many ways in Destiny to gear up, but the methods are up for debate. Do you like the random nature of it, or do you prefer distinct paths for acquiring that new Exotic – even if that means waiting periods?


“I Earned That”

With Armsday and the new Exotic quests, we now have specific ways to earn our Exotics. The elaborate Exotic Quests aren’t new with Destiny, but they’ve been overhauled with TTK and some of the best weapons can only be acquired after finishing each step. You may also have to wait a week, or two.

Luke Smith wanted to give people reliable ways to add to their arsenal, but he and his team also wanted to give people a story to tell when someone says “Where’d you get that?”

Having to rely so heavily on RNG (drop rate and decryption) in Year 1 wasn’t very fun… or was it?

taken king time-gated exotics

Attaining gear through RNG can make it incredibly difficult for people to get cool stuff. If you don’t get lucky with your drops, you might be chasing that weapon for months. So, are time-gated Exotic Quests and activities better than RNG?

In the Taken King, many quests include a step that involves waiting until the weekly reset (Tuesday at 2 AM Pacific) or Armsday (Wednesday at 2 AM Pacific). Players are getting frustrated when the only thing standing between them and a shiny new yellow weapon is an arbitrary waiting period.

But let’s weigh the differences. With Y1 RNG, the process and experience of acquiring an Exotic weapon involved a few things:

  • Random – but more exciting?
  • Potentially never receive the Exotic
  • (Usually) more grinding

With the Y2 Quests, we have:

  • Instructions for acquiring a weapon
  • Specific story, often incorporating lore
  • Adds waiting periods, sometimes up to a week

It really feels like a waiting period might be worth it since we won’t need to pray for drops. What Year 1 lacked was a connection between the mythical weapons and the buried story. Can these Exotic missions be improved? Definitely. 

One side of the time-gated activities that can be frustrating is when a waiting period arrives after hard work has been accomplished to complete other steps. For example, when the Sleeper Simulant quest began, many Guardians raced off to solve puzzles and battle through story missions as fast and efficiently as possible, only to realize that when they finally returned to Banshee, he had nothing to give them. The initial wait for the quest to activate was relatively painless, because it was still shrouded in mystery, but stalling progression of the quest was a buzz-kill and stalled the momentum. 


RNG Excitement

Randomness adds an element of surprise, and everyone loves a surprise. I’ll never forget the moment I got Gjallarhorn. There were no expectations, no understanding of the possibilities. I opened a chest, saw some Shards, and said, “Of course – so it is and so it must always be.”

But then the gold. Oh that glorious gold. And the G-J-A-L-L…

destiny loot rng

Earning that rocket launcher through an Exotic bounty wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable. Which comes full circle to RNG as a bonus system. When you work at a company you love, bonuses are just that – icing on the cake. But when your job becomes the means to an end, namely earning that bonus, it’s even more crushing when your Christmas bonus is a gift basket of nuts and cheeses.

Has the bonus changed? Not necessarily. But the expectations certainly have, which means we also must look at our own personal nature.


What About You?

What do you think? Has The Taken King improved the process of acquiring Exotics, or would you rather get them through random drops? Or… do you like a bit of both, and just want to see the Quests improved?