Rumble Run Analysis: No Tournament with This AI

General Discussion
Disclaimer: Rumble Run came out just yesterday night in my timezone and I've only played one run, so this is likely more of a random rant than an analysis.

I liked Dungeon Run and I very much liked Monster Hunt, so I was awaiting Rumble Run with much anticipation. Its arrival yesterday was decidedly anticlimactic and here's why:

Both the Dungeon Run (DR) and the Monster Hunt (MH) were based on a premise that they'd allow player to build decks with power level far outside regular gameplay. Then they'd pit them against these other crazy pre-constructed boss decks. The concept was kind of working in DR, but it really shined in MH, where instead of the regular classes, the player was given the brand-new "OP" classes. Boss decks were in both cases special, each of them with unique cards and powers, each constructed so as to strongly support them.

In contrast, the Rumble Run (RR) pits the player against decks constructed in the same way as their own. You could say this lets the player be the "boss". Unfortunately, that's not what it feels like and the cause is something that should have been crystal clear in advance - the opponent AI. Through all the previous solo expansions to Hearthstone the AI had been dumb (term is not intended to be derogatory, just descriptive of the exhibited level of intelligence) and as expected, it remains so in the last one. To compensate for this, the decks given to the AI were always a bit stronger than would've been necessary, if the AI had been solid. But where it may be acceptable for dungeon bosses to be super-strong and silly, in a tournament-like setup it stands out like a sore thumb.

The problem is that in RR, unlike previous solo content, the player is comparing their deck to those of their opponents. It feels bad to be forced to choose between 3 bad fits for your deck after a match and then fight an opponent whose deck fits together nicely. But more importantly, there's suddenly a jarring mismatch between the level of intelligence shown in construction of these decks and that exhibited in the matches. It ends up feeling like taking part in a tournament where you're smarter than everyone else in the room, but they're compensating by cheating like crazy. Instead of feeling like a boss, I feel like being left out in the locker-room while everyone else is busy in the referee's office. I'll try it some more to be sure, but my initial reaction is very much not up to the expectations.

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And to illustrate my point with an anecdote: I decided to post this before I finished the run and then ended up successfully completing the run with my last match going as follows: The opponent was a druid with the "refresh crystals on armor gain" shrine. Due to his misplays, I held my ground into the midgame, then he proceeded to cheat out multiple 8-10mana minions per turn and draw multiple cards (Gonk, 2 spirits, shrine, each overkill attack is a full mana refresh, 2 card draw, and allows another attack). And then instead of killing me in 2 turns (safe way outside my kill range), he proceeded killing my proffered 1/1 murlocks and drawing deep into fatigue until killing himself :)
Well, it's even more fun when the AI plays Keleseth on turn 1 and triggers the battlecry 4 times before I have even done anything.
Only to get back into the game for the AI to play Shudderwock.
Just so damn stupid
14/12/2018 19:35Posted by Detector
Well, it's even more fun when the AI plays Keleseth on turn 1 and triggers the battlecry 4 times before I have even done anything.
Only to get back into the game for the AI to play Shudderwock.
Just so damn stupid


yea if you got that shaman endboss with his battlecry trigger +2 times and he can play 1 battlecry card before you could kill his shrine it is game over, I played rogue and luckily stole his keleseth and de 4/4 boost all minions in hand and deck with +1/1, but still I stood no chance :(

the first 7 were really easy though, so I did not expect this end result without even being able to put up a fight, it feels really weird!
It's just a dumb fight where the AI can put out 6/9s instead of 2/5 and 9/9s instead of 5/5s. Just when I turned it around he got Shudderwock which cleared my board and gave him a board full of minions. Just no way you can deal with it
Well as I read probably you all got lucky. With starting hand/card draws/bosses or with everything, but I am not.
For me it is chanceless, everything is pre-programmed "you-can-never-win-just-be-frustrated" crap as always.
If I got good hand, bosses got even better, if I drew well bosses topdeck the 1 card that beats the hell out of me under 1 turn, if I think I did summon a Pogchamp minion, it is 100% dead next turn and if I manage to play till the end I am fatiguing when boss still got 500 cards... so balanced, very well constructed for fun... ERROR! ERROR!.... NOFun!

How can an RNG-rolled, playermade, non-synergetic deck capable to beat a preset cheated boss deck, which has the core card always in hand...?
After 1000 runs maybe you will have that lucky cardset with lucky draws, but this has nothing to do anything with fun... its an under-rewarded repeating frustrator machine you have given us there, nothing else.

GG Blizzard!
Hoy fellas, let me join on this conversation. Quite frankly, much stated here is true. One of my biggest run-killers is priest with damage-by-healing. Countless times he just massacred me regardless of how good my deck was. After a maybe half a dozen runs I've got the said priest as a starting shrine... So I took it, and beat my first run, no hassle.

I can't really speak on how to fix these issues, but I too have seen some quite considerable flaws that make the Rumble Run rather disappointing after the first 2 runs I loved all the way through.

The random starting pick is absurd. There's nothing to gain with RNG straight from the start. It just makes it annoying not being able to pick any specific shrines I might want to try.

As mentioned above, fighting against pre-constructed well synergized decks with a random pile of cards is also not all that good. I mean picking a shrine at the start pretty much decides what cards go well with it and what cards are next to useless. Double battlecry has really no use from deathrattles or hero power buffs, etc. And too many times I've had to choose between new cards that had nothing to do with my shrine, which is utterly frustrating and only lowering any chance of going through with the run.

Also one thing I loved about the old Runs were the treasures. Being able to shift your deck's essence into one way or another by ludicrously OP cards was a great move. I don't see that here though. As I've already said, picking a shrine makes you play a certain way. Protect the shrine and use it's power to win. You don't protect the shrine, you're as good as dead. You have deck that can't use shrine's power, dead.

And one last thing that comes to my mind that's more of a oersonal thing that a flaw in the game mechanics themselves: I've won once. With an OP shrine because of dumb mistakes the AI sometimes made. And yet I've completed the run, received the card back and I'm done. The old Runs have multiple classes, each needed to be understood and conquered to get a reward. Here though, one single win was enough.

Thus, from what I believe, few changes could fix issues I've mentioned:

  • Let player pick the starting shrine. It's easier, more practical, smoother. A win-win.
  • More passives, less followers. Followers are nice, but it's still just a bunch of minions that can be OP if you manage to have your shrine alive. Shuffle the passives with followers, let player have some tinkering with the main source of his power sooner that at the very end of the game. Otherwise there are only so many ways to play the run as there are different shrines.
  • Last but not least, make those wins count. Make me feel like I'm moving closer towards my ultimate champion title with every shrine I make it to the end with. One win is not nearly enough. It.wasn't with the old Runs, nor is it now.
  • Balance those enemies. I don't want to play against another version of myself that got to pick the perfect cards. And if it needs to be like that, at least make them less overwhelming. Step the RNG back and let player breathe. I tried my triple battlecry thrice so far and every Run ended with an enemy that just had something to keep my easily killed shrine dead (twice it was the healing priest) rendering my deck useless. And while there is a tip on loading screen not to rely on a single tactic, the Run is based on shrines. Shrines make players OP. Without them one doesn't stand a chance.

Thus my addition to this discussion. I've never been to forums, but I felt this was the time. Runs are great. The last one isn't... Yet.
(...) I mean picking a shrine at the start pretty much decides what cards go well with it and what cards are next to useless. (...)


This is an important point I mostly missed in the opening post. A crucial difference from DR and MH is how the starting deck is built. In DR/MH the starting deck was build so that it contained a bit of everything, i.e. could go in any direction. Then as you went along, you picked a direction and later either tried to keep on it or shift and combine it with another if there was good synergy. In RR you get a starting deck that has super-awesome synergy with your chosen direction ... and then if you're lucky, you're offered one option from the three that fits in. If unlucky, you're offered 3 choices of how to pollute your deck.
When Blizzard playtested/balanced this, did they actually think to themselves "Yeah.. our players will find this fun"?...

I guess this is supposed to be "challenging", but it's only in the same way that walking blindfolded through a mine-field is "challenging". Either you're super-lucky and succeed, or most likely you die by something you had *absolutely no* way of preventing.

Yeah.. good game.
This rumble feels like you need to rely alot more on RNG compared to the previous adventures and hope you actually get your own OP or combo cards faster then your opponent. (which somehow rarely happens)

Also i feel the 4th boss is waaaay too strong. The 4th boss occasionally also has a much larger deck then you (overload Zentimo and the priest boss with healing do damage shrine are the best examples). Not to mention the enemies decks are just perfect with their shrine. Perfect cards, perfect answers and also the best teammate combo there is. There is too much RNG to beat.

The last 2 bosses getting a mana crystal advantage is also too much, you don't got an edge over them at all compared to the previous adventures ( a single buff to a shrine that is really not that amazing). They already get the perfect deck, don't give them the mana for it.

I'm not saying it's unbeateable but i have reached the last champion twice (and twice the druid with mana refresh on armor shrine which is too OP) and it's frustrating to lose at that point.

TLDR: it's alot less fun and you don't got the same advantages like you used to have in the past while your opponents have always perfect decks with their shrines.
I'm pretty relieved to see these posts. I posted a similar complaint yesterday and while there were a couple of people agreeing that the balance seems waaaaaay off in this latest solo mode, there were quite a few of the "maybe just don't suck" and "easiest mode ever" responses.... helpful.
I seemed to find it relatively easy to get to the 8th run where I was invariably obliterated by turn 2! The opponent's final deck is just so overpowered compared to what tends to become a polluted deck on the player's side. Some really valid points in the posts above with suggestions on how to improve RR. Another one to add is that it would be good to have a smaller deck (i.e. have the option of removing cards from run 4 or 5 onwards) to have a better chance of actually being able to use some synergies earlier on against the overpowered 8th boss. Unless HS goes back to the quality of solo modes a couple of expansions back I think I'll just stick with standard mode play and arena runs which, to provide balance to this rant, I still love :)
20/12/2018 09:27Posted by ATHANASIA
Another one to add is that it would be good to have a smaller deck (i.e. have the option of removing cards from run 4 or 5 onwards) to have a better chance of actually being able to use some synergies


That was exactly my suggestions in this post :-)
https://eu.battle.net/forums/en/hearthstone/topic/17625462440#post-5

After certain point, adding more cards into deck is weakening deck, despite it should have been theoretically strenghtened. Adding more cards affects consistency/stability of deck.
20/12/2018 10:02Posted by Motylek
20/12/2018 09:27Posted by ATHANASIA
Another one to add is that it would be good to have a smaller deck (i.e. have the option of removing cards from run 4 or 5 onwards) to have a better chance of actually being able to use some synergies


That was exactly my suggestions in this post :-)
https://eu.battle.net/forums/en/hearthstone/topic/17625462440#post-5

After certain point, adding more cards into deck is weakening deck, despite it should have been theoretically strenghtened. Adding more cards affects consistency/stability of deck.


I saw your post Motylek and I loved it - I linked back to it in my original "complaint" on the forum about RR. So all credit to you for the idea - I really wish they'd consider this if they're going to continue along this vein for future solo modes.
"We want the game easier and whine for boomsday walktrough"

Difficulty is fine, rng is annoyoing yet not excrusiating

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