The Metaball Composer addon uses different patterns to calculate the position of a metaball array, to create complex forms.
AND YES! THERE'S A 2.80 VERSION! (just upgrade it. Let me know if you experience any issues with it.)
Random pattern: Metaball clouds using simple random coordinates.
Elliptical pattern: sine/cosine elliptical spirals.
Spirograph: geometric mathematical roulette curves.