I hate timers

I like the Zelda games but I never really got into Majora’s Mask… I mean, I guess I should like it – after all, it’s literally a darker version of Ocarina of Time and it has some great elements to it both presentation-wise and gameplay-wise.

But I guess the main reason for why I didn’t like Majora’s Mask was the fact that it had this giant creepy moon – and also a mega doom timer that was ticking down, constantly pressuring you. I didn’t like the concept back then and a lot later I noticed that you can actually reset the timer with a certain song but I still never got back into it and uh…. that brings us to today’s post:

Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

I hate timers.

Timers stress me out. They put me under pressure, just like the clock ticking down on me during an exam. In video games, there are timers that are actually well-made, like in Risk of Rain, for instance.

In Risk of Rain, the game gets harder the longer you play/the longer it takes you to finish the game.

Hence, you’ve got challenges associated with the timer and it’s also not a timer ticking down. Instead, you’ve got a game that rewards you with increasingly intense combat and tougher enemies so that it doesn’t get boring for you. To beat the game, you need skill (and the items) but also need to survive. You’ll lose if you die. Not if the timer reaches “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA” difficulty. The timer doesn’t lose you the game. You do. The game is fair and I like that.

A timer indicating how much time you have left to clear a game is bad game design, in my opinion. It puts people under pressure which is usually bad when you try to relax. And sure, people play games for different reasons but I doubt that a lot of players enjoy the “ticking time bomb” character that some decks, characters or games have. When you play League of Legends and you’re playing against a Veigar, you eventually will have to face off against the Veigar with 2000 to 4000 AP who can one-shot towers with one normal attack and who one-shots your whole team with one W or a Q. Deleted with a button press.

Same goes naturally for the Bomb Warrior in Hearthstone or the Teemo Decks in Legends of Runeterra where you face off against someone who just holds out and stalls the game for forty minutes straight while you draw one bomb after another, reducing your life by drawing cards… yup. Very nice game design.

I don’t like that. If you have a section where you need to defeat enemies in a certain time-frame to get a reward, that’s a bit better, I guess… but having the “You’re fucked when this timer reaches 0”-character as a game mechanic for the whole game is just major bullshit – Pardon my English.

Either way, I hope that you don’t have the doom clock ticking over your head and that you instead have a pleasant day.

Cheers!

The Stray Sheep #33 – Legends of Runeterra!

The Witcher has Gwent, World of Warcraft has Hearthstone, and League of Legends… has Legends of Runeterra! 

For League of Legends’ tenth anniversary, Riot Games announced not only that TFT is coming to mobile but also that there will be a mobile-variant of the base game, a class based tactical shooter (that kind of reminded me of Team Fortress 2’s and Overwatch’s lovechild) and actually and most importantly that they’re releasing a new card game spin-off where you face off against other players, trying to take out the enemy nexus by strategically making use of your units and outwitting your opponent. 

You get to play as your favourite characters from all of Runeterra, combining the strengths of different regions into your decks and making use of their advantages to claim Victory! 

I personally would love to play more card games if my drawing RNG wasn’t that bad. I used to play a bit of Magic The Gathering but didn’t get into it all due to preferences. I played a bit of Gwent but didn’t like it all that much, maybe due to the fact that I haven’t really played much of The Witcher before. I really enjoy Hearthstone at the moment, although I’ve never touched World of Warcraft! I love Slay The Spire, Book of Demons, Minion Masters and other games that utilize cards but aren’t just games of Trump, each time. And… well, I could see myself playing Legends of Runeterra! 

I’ve played League of Legends for quite some time now. I started in 2011 and ended up playing quite a lot of it, actually like Esports now and also enjoy playing TFT, Riot Games’ take on the Auto-Chess-Genre. I love League of Legends lore, the whole universe, and the world of it. And as I know quite a lot of LoL’s lore, I probably will enjoy LoR a lot more than people that know nothing about LoL and its lore. 

So far, from what I could see, you choose a region (Noxus, Demacia, Freljord, Ionia, Shurima, Zaun, and a few others) and use cards from that region to get a bonus.

There are “Support”, “Item”, “Spell”, and “Champion” cards that one knows from the games and you basically play them on the field while trying to defend your own Nexus (the equivalent of the Hero’s HP in Hearthstone) at all cost, by blocking incoming damage, attacking enemy units and trying to level up your own champions as quick as possible. All cards have certain conditions that allow them to either level up or cast some sort of spell. Some cards have familiar features that Hearthstone players might now, like “Deathrattle”, while other cards have special interactions based on their lore. 

For instance, there’s a Gunslinger/Marksman called Lucian whose wife, Senna, was taken from him by Thresh, a Soulcollecter who imprisoned her in his lantern. Those three will feature a special interaction in Legends of Runeterra. When Lucian or Senna see 4+ allies or each other die, they level up, gaining a special ability – on top of that, there’s an interaction with special effects and voice lines that get played when Tresh, Senna or Lucian get to be on the board together. There will also be other interactions between characters for sure as there is plenty of room for those with all the rivals in League of Legends’ universe! 

Other mechanics that LoR will feature will be a system that makes use of Newton’s “Actio = Reactio”.

Every action has a reaction. Every turn one player gets to attack while the other player gets to defend – but both players get to play cards, resulting in this interesting game formula where you don’t want to play all your cards just because you can but think about the best possible outcome. When you played a Champion card, the enemy can do the same. You can also place “Secrets” of sorts, throw in some Spells in between fights, buff your units with item cards and overall bend the rules for possible sneaky wins. 

Legends of Runeterra will come out soon and you may pre-register here. You’ll need a Riot/LoL-Account for it but those are set up quite easily. The game itself will be free to play as well, with you unlocking new cards by exploring your regions or winning games. You can also earn “Wild Cards” that render you able to craft Common Cards to your liking. 

I am kind of worried about Non-LoL-players not getting warm with this game as they don’t know the champions, but as there’s a ton of Tutorials for all kinds of Regions, Interactions, Mechanics, and more I’m sure that they’ll get to know everything rather fast.

Overall, I’m rather excited about this new spin-off and I can’t wait for my account to get activated! What are your thoughts on this?