Teamfight Tactics developer Riot Games admitted item RNG is in a bad place right now but promises to make some much-needed improvements.
Having launched a week ago, Teamfight Tactics has impressed the League of Legends community. But there’s still room for improvement and one of the main areas of concern revolves around the game mode’s item RNG.
Whether you love or hate the concept of item randomness in the mode doesn’t matter; it doesn’t sound like it’s going away anytime soon. Riot defended the mechanic in a recent developer post concerning the future of Teamfight Tactics.
"To be up front about this, we think RNG is good for Teamfight Tactics in the long term. It prevents every game from feeling the same, and makes high moments and stories when you happen to get everything you want. We’ve already seen player stories of that one game where they managed to get 3 Force of Natures! This is a good thing."
Riot technically isn’t wrong. Item RNG isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the mode as the randomness of drops makes each match unique. By having items drop randomly and not allowing you to straight-out purchase the pieces you need, you’re forced to adapt. It keeps you on your toes and prevents the game from becoming stale. How boring would it be if you could just create the same team comp and buy the exact same items that you need each match?
RNG is good. Item variance is good. The problem right now in Teamfight Tactics is it’s not properly balanced or fair. The item RNG in TFT is creating unfair mismatches. The good thing is that Riot has admitted this is a problem. And it sounds like they are willing to make some changes.
"That being said, we agree that the range of variance right now is a touch too severe. Getting absolutely nothing goes against the spirit of the game, especially when the item system is really fun to interact with. Getting nothing robs you of the ability to engage with a really fun system and make cool strategic choices (and finding some nutty broken combos)."
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The problem right now is that you can go through the early minion rounds of the mode and not get any drops while an opponent might have the best luck in the world and come out of it with three items. Already you’re at a disadvantage, especially if they are also able to upgrade their champions to silver early on.
The easiest fix would be to simply guarantee at least some sort of drops. The drops can still be randomized, but at least you’re not leaving those early rounds with no items. By getting something, you can at least adapt your team comp and overall build strategy.
Riot confirmed they are making changes to item drops in Teamfight Tactics and while they are still working out the details, they did promise “more guaranteed drops.” They are also exploring other drops, such as additional gold, experience, or even champions.
Honestly, I would be okay with all of this. Right now, between the champion, carousel and item RNG, you can get a really bad snowball effect in TFT. It creates a really sour experience. Guaranteeing some sort of drop wouldn’t eliminate the RNG completely, but would at least even things up a bit.
Players can expect changes regarding randomness with League of Legends patch 9.14.