Saturday, July 25, 2015

Venting About Ultimate Angler's RNG

Earlier today, during a six-hour-long HomePass session, I finally found a duplicate of the 6+ Anglers Gauge Boost skill that I got halfway through the game, a few months ago.  I still need one more to get it to level 3.  Whoever designed this game's RNG is sadistic.  I can farm rods like nobody's business with HomePass, but 90% of them don't have a skill, and the ones that do have useless things like Lake/Pond Strike Boost and 2 Anglers Time Boost.

In the meantime:
  • I've caught five UFOs, put them in a Cosmic Tank, and set it as my favorite.
  • I've caught five Bloopers and two Cheep Cheeps for a similarly-themed tank. I still need three more Cheep Cheeps, which will be difficult given that I hardly ever have enough bait for them when I get a sighting.  I usually have two bait, and it takes me three at minimum, if the RNG plays nice.
  • I've caught all but one of the 160 species in the game.  The sole remaining one is a mysterious fish.  It's the rarest one, it seems, and it's on Mysteria Island at Sellbrook River.  Nobody on HomePass seems to have seen it, and the only way to be able to catch it is to StreetPass someone who's seen it (or someone who doesn't have the game, a specific number of times).  Then you have to hope that you have enough of the correct bait(s) to catch it in that single session, or you lose it and have to start over with the next sighting.  If your sighting isn't "I heard a rumor..." or "I caught a...", then its stamina will have already been worn down somewhat by the previous person.
  • I've wasted a lot of money improving my UFO Rod +25 with the level 1 6+ Anglers Gauge Boost skill that I'll eventually upgrade to level 3 and have to re-improve if I don't get the 160th species for the final plaza ticket and give this game the old "12-gauge to the back of the head" mercy kill treatment it deserves.
I've already talked about the difference between tedium and challenge, and at this point in the game, it's nothing but tedium.  You keep farming, and eventually you game the RNG enough that you get what you're looking for, but you don't have fun in the meantime.  I didn't pay for a StreetPass game to get MMO levels of grinding.  StreetPass games are only supposed to be tedious in that they take a lot of StreetPassing to complete.  Everything else about them is supposed to be friendly and accessible.

To draw a comparison, the RNG on weapons from chests in Monster Manor was a lot more player-friendly, and the weapon skills were a lot more common.  You still had to play your cards right, but doing so involved learning the game mechanics.  Getting a good weapon was basically your reward for learning how to make the game spawn gold chests.  In Ultimate Angler, the only mechanic to getting fishing rods is that you have to catch a fish you've already caught before.  There are zero game mechanics you can learn to get fishing rods basically whenever you want, it's entirely down to RNG.  Then, it seems it's an entirely separate RNG (a die roll, for the D&D nerds) for whether or not you get a skill on that rod, and ANOTHER RNG that determines what that skill is.  Everything else in Ultimate Angler is fantastic, but the RNG begs for an update to make it more player-friendly.

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