《Clash Royale》的成功與失敗的原因

作者:Ciro Continisio

那些認識我的人應該都知道,我並不支持免費遊戲模式。但是當不久前《Clash Royale》(Supercell的最新遊戲)面向全世界發行時,我決定再給這一模式一個機會。讓人驚訝的是,我真的非常喜歡這款遊戲!於是我便決定在此分析我認爲《Clash Royale》是一款優秀遊戲並超越同類型其它遊戲的原因。

它是如何運行的?

簡而言之,《Clash Royale》是一款簡單的實時策略遊戲,其遊戲經濟是基於橋牌建造的遊戲層。在這裏紙牌代表的是玩家可以在戰鬥中使用的單位,是不可購買的。如果玩家能夠囤積更多同類型的紙牌,他們便可升級一個特定單位。

Screenshot(from gamasutra)

Screenshot(from gamasutra)

遊戲場地

在遊戲中,玩家需要通過摧毀對手的King’s Tower(遊戲邦注:設置在中間位置)或比賽最後的大多數塔防去擊敗他們。他們可以通過將單位置於自己的遊戲場地去做到這點。一旦設置好,單位便能開始移動並攻擊它們所遇到的任何敵人。這看起來似乎與Ronimo的《劍與勇士》很像,只是是基於自上往下的遊戲形式。玩家可以一直通過消費mana去補充單位。

這款遊戲是免費的,即使用當下最典型的免費遊戲模式,在遊戲中沒有一個領域是玩家花錢而到達不到的。如果玩家想要寶石(遊戲中的硬貨幣)或貨幣(遊戲中的軟貨幣),他們便需要爲此而花錢。貨幣讓玩家能夠購買全新紙牌並升級單位,而寶石則讓玩家能夠加快等待時間,這通常是發生在你想要開啓寶庫時。當玩家贏得每場比賽後便能夠獲得寶庫,裏面裝着各種數量的貨幣,寶石和紙牌。

可感知的公平

就像許多RTS遊戲那樣,單位的優劣就如剪刀石頭布一般,即沒有一種單位是所向無敵的,但如果你能夠有效使用一種或多種單位,你便能夠輕鬆逆轉它並繼續發動攻擊。舉個例子來說吧,幾乎不可擊破的Giant需要來自Mini P.E.K.K.A.的3至4次攻擊纔會倒下,但是這一單位卻對飛翔單位毫無抵抗力。而Archers雖然能夠有效抵禦飛翔單位但卻抵抗不住Bomber等能夠創造濺射傷害的單位。,

這種關聯會讓玩家覺得,即使單位是基於不同水平,他也不會覺得對手的勝利是因爲他擁有一個級別3的Giant而你只擁有級別2的單位。雖然這麼做較困難,但卻是可行的。

這款遊戲的比賽創造機制被劃分成不同層面,並由不同比賽場所表現出來(遊戲邦注:這同時也能打開不同紙牌)。所以如果你在一場特定場所中玩了幾次比賽,你便會了解自己將面對多少紙牌,而你的對手級別也幾乎與你相同,所以這將能夠有效地傳達公平感。

公平感是想要變成電子競技內容的遊戲必須具備的元素,開發者可以通過整合TV Royale,即一個讓玩家能夠觀看其他玩家比賽成績的屏幕而進一步強化這一元素。不幸的是,即使觀看比賽很有趣,但是我卻發現我所觀看的玩家都是具有極高水平,所以我在此所學到的技能對於我當前所處的級別是毫無意義的。我認爲Supercell應該基於玩家當前的級別對此進行調整。

Screenshot(from gamasutra)

Screenshot(from gamasutra)

除此之外,儘管遊戲整合了機會元素(遊戲邦注:即紙牌的分發是隨機的),但實際上玩家只擁有4張可選擇的紙牌,所以這種隨機感便被大大削減了,即很有可能其中一張紙牌便是那張可能與你對手移動方向相反的紙牌。

一款需要等待的遊戲

如果你未抽到一張合適的紙牌,還有第五個將提供給你紙牌的插槽。如果你擁有Elixir,你便可以選擇另一張攻擊性紙牌並快速發揮新紙牌的作用,即將其用於守衛自己。這便是爲何管理Elixir如此重要,因爲一旦你擁有所需的Elixir,你便可以儘快去使用合適的紙牌。大多數情況下,這將導致你難以抵禦另一面敵人的攻擊,所以如果你的紙牌的創造較爲緩慢,你的塔防可能很快便會被Balloon等強大單位所佔領。

我們經常能夠看到各種等待時刻,即沒有人能夠操控一張紙牌15秒鐘,他們必須等待那張與敵人移動方向相同的紙牌。在這種情況下,單位之間以及與戰場的互動都很複雜,即它允許玩家在自己並不感興趣的場所使用誘餌紙牌。當你的敵人操控一張昂貴的紙牌去阻礙你的移動時,你便能夠在另一面使用一張二級紙牌對其塔防發動小規模攻擊,並以此削弱對方的生命值。

舉個例子來說吧,在比賽場所中間選擇Skeleton Army並將其一分爲二,如此其他玩家便可以選擇一方進行防守。如果你擁有一些較廉價的Archers,你便可以使用他們去支持Skeletons去攻破對手的塔防,並給對方創造一個小小的打擊。

你將會被吸引

我喜歡(並討厭)《Clash Royale》的一部分原因便是其驚人的反饋和快速的遊戲循環。

首先,這款遊戲是建立在豐富的反饋基礎上:你所採取的任何行動都是讓人滿意且具有多樣性和各種驚人的音效(遊戲邦注:特別是角色的聲音都非常有趣)。這些都很棒,並且遊戲規則也是基於現代遊戲設計,即特別是手機/免費遊戲。

其次,因爲某些原因,遊戲的3分鐘比賽規則很酷。當比賽很短時,不僅勝利者能夠感受到喜悅,失敗者也不需要承受太久的痛苦。每次當你遭遇失敗時,你便會覺得自己需要復仇,而因爲比賽很短,所以你會覺得自己將對比賽更加迫切。

同時除了名氣和部落外,你幾乎不瞭解其它有關你的對手的信息。你們不能聊天,只能使用一個情感系統,你與其他玩家的互動都是標準化的,這裏不存在獨特性。同樣地,任何對手都有可能在最後一秒擊敗你,所以我個人覺得最好“多玩幾場比賽”去搞清楚情況,即使我可能在下一場比賽會面對不同的對手。

這款遊戲同時也利用了其禮物機制作爲吸引玩家回到遊戲中的方法。這些禮物間隔都不遠,所以當玩家在等待開啓3個小時的Silver Chest時,他們便可以選擇Free Chest(每4個小時會出現一次),並且離Crown Chest只有6個小時(每24個小時只會出現一次)。再加上玩家需要20個獎盃去獲取一張新地圖,所以這樣的列表將不斷延續下去。從根本上看來,每隔2個小時玩家便會接收到來自遊戲的離線通知,並且玩家可以隨時爲了等待Chest的開啓而嘗試各種比賽。

是的,玩家沒辦法關掉離線通知。

有很多等待玩家開啓的Chest

如果離開遊戲一段時間,你便會感到疲倦,如感官上的超負荷或節奏過快。就像我便在玩了幾場比賽後離開Free Chest12分鐘時感受到這點。最終我更是毫無知覺地投入一個多小時於遊戲中。

結論

正是在那時候我決定將這款遊戲從手機上卸載掉。雖然我還是認爲這是一款很出色的遊戲並且是如何在觸屏上創造一款RTS遊戲的典範,但我還是覺得這款遊戲因爲使用太多無用技巧在浪費我的時間。沉浸於遊戲2天后,我不想再投入更多時間而只是看到一些更高級別的單位了。我的年紀已經承受不了這些內容(笑)。

本文爲遊戲邦/gamerboom.com編譯,拒絕任何不保留版權的轉發,如需轉載請聯繫:遊戲邦

Three days with Clash Royale

by Ciro Continisio

As those who know me will already know, I’m not a proponent of the F2P model. Though when Clash Royale (Supercell‘s latest effort) was released worldwide last week, I decided to give it a spin. The surprising result: I really like the game! So I decided to make a small analysis of what I think makes Clash Royale a great game, and positions it above similar titles.

How does it work?

(If you already know how the game works, skip this section)

In short, Clash Royale is a simplified real-time strategy game, with its game economy based on top of a deck-building game layer. The cards represent the units that the players can use in battle, and are not consumable. The only purpose of hoarding more cards of the same kind is to level up a certain unit.

The game field

In-game, players have to defeat their opponent by destroying his King’s Tower (sitting in the middle), or the most towers at the end of the match. They do so by placing units (represented by 4 cards taken at random from the player’s deck) on their side of the playing field. Once placed, units start moving and attack any enemy they meet. It looks very similar to Ronimo’s Swords & Soldiers, only top-down. Units cost mana (the famous Elixir), which replenishes all the time.

The game is free, and as is typical with the F2P model nowadays, there’s no area of the game that players can’t reach in time without paying a single cent. Players are asked to pay if they want to purchase Gems (the hard currency) or Coins (the soft one). Coins allow the purchase of new cards and leveling up of units, while Gems allow the speed up of waiting times, which usually happen when you want to open a treasure chest. Chests are won after each battle, and they are full of coins, gems, and cards in various amounts.

A perceived fairness

As many RTS, units’ strength and weaknesses are dictated by a sort of rock-paper-scissor correlation, meaning that no unit is invincible but always has one or more units that if used correctly, will counter it with ease and move on to attack. For instance, the nearly-indestructible Giant is easily taken down by 3-4 hits from a Mini P.E.K.K.A., but said unit is very vulnerable against any flying unit, and so on. Archers are good against flying units but being a group (of 2), they suffer against units that do splash damage, such as the Bomber.

This relationship makes it so that even if units are of different level, you don’t feel like the opponent won just because he had a level 3 Giant while yours was level 2. It’s harder, but it can be done. Play the right card, and you’re in for an advantage… a second too late, and you’re in for trouble.

The game’s matchmaking is divided into tiers, represented by different arenas (which also unlock different cards). So if you have been playing a couple of matches in a certain arena, you already know many of the cards you’re going against, and your opponent level is roughly the same as yours, which helps the sense of this perceived fairness.

The fairness is a much needed component of the game trying to become some sort of e-sport, something reinforced by the incorporation of the TV Royale, a dedicated screen to watch recordings of other people’s matches. Unfortunately, even if matches are entertaining to watch, I feel they I was never compelled to watch more because they show very high-level tier players, thus making the tips I could learn meaningless for my current level. I think Supercell should adjust the matches’ level based on the current player level, or just a little above (to tease him into playing more? uhm…).

Additionally, even though the game incorporates chance (in the way cards are dealt to the player, they’re random), the fact that you always have 4 cards to choose from mitigates this effect, as it is quite possible that one of them is the right one to counter your opponent’s move.

A waiting game

And if you don’t have the right counter-card, there’s always a fifth slot showing the incoming card. If you’re not low on Elixir you can choose to play another offensive card and quickly bring into play the incoming card, and use it to defend. This is why managing Elixir is key, and it’s never too wise to play cards as soon as you have the needed Elixir. Most of the time, this will leave you defenceless against an attack on the other side, so if your card is one that develops slowly (as is any structure that produces units such as the Tombstone (with Skeletons) or the Barbarian Hut, you might have already lost a Tower to a strong unit such as the hateful Balloon (which rapidly deals HUGE damage to Towers if left unattended).

It is very common to see moments of wait when no-one plays a card for around 15 seconds, waiting to see which one will be the opponent’s “opening move”. In this respect, the way units interact with each other and the battlefield is so sophisticated that it allows the possibility of playing bait cards, by using them on the side of the field you’re not interested in. While your opponent plays a costly card to counter your move, you can play a second-class card on the other side to direct a small attack on his lonely Tower, wearing down some of its HP.

For instance, playing a Skeleton Army in the middle of the arena splits it in two, so that the other player has to choose one side to defend. If you have a couple of cheap Archers, you can play them on the side he is not covering to complement the Skeletons that make it past the Tower defences, and deal a small blow.

You’ll be hooked

Part of the reason I love (and hate) Clash Royale, is its amazing feedback and its fast game loop.

First, the game is obviously built on top of juicy feedback all around: whatever action you take is satisfactory and full of juiciness, effects, particles, and amazing sound effects (especially the character voices, they’re really fun). This is all good, and a rule in modern game design, especially mobile/F2P.

Second, the game’s 3-minute match formula is a cool one, because of a couple of reasons. When matches are so short, victories are sweet but losses are not that hard to take. Every time you lose, you feel like you need a revenge, and since matches are so short, you feel like you always time for one more.

Also, apart from their name and clan, you don’t really know much about your opponents. And since you cannot chat but only use a system of emoticons, your interactions with the other players are standardized, and lose uniqueness. As such, any opponent could be that guy that has just beaten you to the last second, and thus, I was personally feeling the need to play “just one more match” to set things straight, even if I was actually playing against another person.

The game also makes good use of all of its gifts as hooks to lure the player back into play. They are spaced very near to each other, so while you’re waiting for your 3-hours Silver Chest to open, it’s almost time for the Free Chest (spaced every 4 hours in time), and you’re just 6 hours away from the Crown Chest (which is available once every 24 hours. Plus, you only need 20 trophies (won in each battle) to get to a new map… and the list goes on. Basically, every 2 hours you’ll have an offline notification from the game, and every moment is good for just playing a couple of matches waiting for that Chest which is just about to open.

And yes, there’s no way to turn off the offline notifications.

There are a lot of Chests waiting to be opened

If you detach yourself from the game just a bit, you’ll feel the tiredness of such a sensory overload and relentless rhythm. It happened to me once that after playing “just a few matches” (I probably played 15), I was 12 minutes away from a Free Chest. In the end, I sunk more than an hour into the game without even realizing.

Epilogue

It is at that point that I decided to uninstall the app from my phone. I still think the game is a very good game and a good example of how to do RTS on a touch screen properly, but I feel the game is begging for my time using too many nasty tricks. Apart from 2 days of intense play, I don’t want to invest an enormous amount of time just too see a few more higher level units. I’m too old for this : )(source:Gamasutra