Hearthstone is infuriating; everyone knows this. People will excuse it by saying that luck is merely an element and it requires skill to master. I agree with that statement, but it ignores the fact that the luck in the game is the element that dominates player emotions. After my hero’s face explodes and he/she screams in agony, I respond usually by saying ‘It had to be (X)! (X) had to roll (Y)! It had to roll (Y) that many times on those specific targets!’
This has led me to consider whether or not Blizzard is justified in creating the types of RNG cards that they do. It’s a card game, so it will always have the luck of the draw… but that doesn’t mean you should embrace every aspect of it. I actually think it’s pretty easy to break the cards in Hearthstone down into positive random effects that improve the game by diversifying the average match and negative random effects that cause frustration.
The negative random effects almost always have to deal with random damage. When my powerful creature dies because a tiny firework from a goblin blastmage kills it instead of my three other targets I feel like the game has decided the outcome for me without letting me have an interesting show in the place of a victory. When a lightning storm hits three creatures with three health for three damage, I start to wonder if my cards should include some kind of ‘insurance’ mechanic to cover the damage of what are clearly acts of god. I think cards like avenging wrath are an exception because they’re such a large investment and don’t have minion summoning attached to them. Random damage feels bad because your enemy refusing to aim can be the thing that dooms you. On the other hand, random buffs feel fine because something good happened even if it wasn’t in the configuration you’d hoped for.
I’ll also add that Sylvanas is garbage simply because all other mind control cards are garbage.
For me the best examples of RNG in the game are the cards that generate random minions and cards. Blizzard has partially realized that it’s a good way to help even their terrible cards see play. Shredders change the battlefield. Recombobulators rejuvenate cards that you use too frequently. Neptulon makes a batch of babbling fish-babies. Blingtron gives everybody shiny new toys. That’s how RNG can improve the Hearthstone experience. All they need to do is let me transform my deck into a different deck by the end of the game.
So what do you prefer? Boombots that blow you up a little or annihilate you? Or a hand full of random colorful cards whose effects are so varied that you don’t even remember them all?