League of Legends Designer Offers In-Depth Look at RNG Elements

Randomness and RNG have been a point of discussion in League of Legends recently, a topic within the community that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Riot Games.

From Kleptomancy to critical strikes, RNG and other random elements are used sparingly in League, but newer elements like the new runes and Zoe have reignited the discussions. The plants that grow within the jungle are one example of a feature where RNG talk peaked last, and now that it’s back again, Riot Meddler addressed the game’s RNG elements in a big way.

Meddler began by saying that RNG has its place in competitive games and can be divided into two main versions: Input and output randomness. Explaining the difference between the two, Meddler equated input RNG to things players can make decisions around while output is more characterized by RNG itself and luck.

“Elemental Dragons are an example of that, where the type of dragon is randomly determined but it's then up to each team how they want to respond to it,” Meddler said on input RNG.

“With output randomness by contrast it's RNG itself, rather than decisions made after it, that often decide a situation's outcome,” he said in comparison. “E.g. a 50/50 chance to destroy a target or take significant damage yourself.”

With the basics established, Meddler brought up specific examples ranging from Elemental Dragons to Bard’s chimes. Speaking on the newest instance of RNG specifically, Zoe, Meddler spoke about her telegraphed randomness and some internal debates that are going on concerning the champion.

“Occurrences of randomness are clearly telegraphed, with minions are marked and the abilities they drops guaranteed to spawn away from Zoe, ensuring it takes a bit more time for her to pick them up. Their impact is based off how Zoe uses whatever she picks up, not the moment something drops (exception: if Zoe instantly picks up and uses something with immediate combat impact). Yet to be seen whether we've got the appropriate items, drop rates, drop positions etc right though. That's a subject of some debate internally, especially around Gunblade and TP. Certainly creates some really interesting and creative moments, impact can sometimes feel heavily influenced by what just dropped in early laning and just before roaming.”

You can check out the full thoughts on various forms of RNG in League through Meddler’s post, and the designer also recommends watching the video above from last year that covers the topic.