原文作者：Jon Jordan 譯者：Megan Shieh
2013年9月的時候，我挺認真地玩了一年的《Clash of Clans》，不過後來也玩不下去了。
那麼爲什麼21個月後，我還在玩《星球大戰：銀河英雄（Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes）》呢？
雖然遊戲中有一個模式會迫使你選擇一個Light Side小隊來擊敗Dark Side角色(反之亦然)；但遊戲的PVP模式允許玩家通過混合和匹配正反兩派的角色來創建一個小隊。
參與戰鬥的每個公會成員都能得到同樣的獎勵，更新的獎勵是一種名爲Guild Event Tokens的新型貨幣，這種貨幣可以用來解鎖角色，包括新版的Leia,Han和Yoda。
越來越少的開發者使用Facebook Connect作爲遊戲的社交工具，這樣的話他們怎麼能讓那些知道彼此的人加入到社區中來，並在最初的3-6個月裏保持玩遊戲的狀態呢?（遊戲邦注：Facebook Connect，是指一些網站爲了使自己更加社交化，在首頁加入“login with facebook”按鈕，這樣用戶可以不用註冊而直接通過已有的facebook帳戶來加入該遊戲。）
Like a lobster boiling in a pan, it’s difficult to look back and remember exactly when the heat got turned up and my tolerance for playing F2P mobile games changed to enjoyment.
Given I’ve been writing about mobile games for the past decade, there are a couple of headlines that stand out, though.
Back in March 2010, I only lasted a week in pioneering F2P mobile kingdom builder We Rule.
But by September 2013, I’d manage to play Clash of Clans pretty solidly for a year before logging off.
Since then, few games have stretched me much beyond six months. Perhaps that’s more to do with the relentless churn encouraged by the sheer number of new releases than a mark of their quality, however.
So why I am still playing EA Mobile’s Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes?
A new hope
Released in November 2015, I was impressed from the get-go, calling it“the most significant game” of the year and that despite being no more than a passing fan when it comes to all things Star Wars.
Instead, what had impressed me was its combination of Western game design and user experience with the aggressive autoplay features more typically seen in Asian RPGs.
As discussed with Executive Producer John Salera, this was a game that enabled players to “optimise their time” and “ensure player progression” through “reward acceleration”.
But great design and an understanding of player psychology isn’t usually enough to keep me playing. What actually got me through the first six months was the decision, after a couple of months, to open another account in the game and start from scratch just using Light Side characters.
A new Light Side character for me to collect
Although one mode does force you to select a Light Side squad to defeat Dark Side characters (and vice versa), the game’s PVP mode (and other challenges) enable players to create a squad by mixing-and-matching characters from both sides.
Not caring much about Star Wars, I’m not sure why such a non-canonical option annoyed me to the extent I decided to start over. This self-inflicted restriction certainly doesn’t make the game any easier and saw me repeating a couple of months of sustained grind.
As with any F2P experience, however, it was the game’s guild system (added in April 2015) that provided the glue which has kept me playing since.
I have a tendency not to join in-game communities. They are hard places to find comfort.
Few seem to offer decent rewards while, in my experience, repeatedly getting booted out by the moderator for no apparent reason is the fastest track to app deletion.
Galaxy of Heroes’ guild system wasn’t the deepest – originally offering raids, donations and a store – but combined with the game’s other retention features such as events, daily activities and the neverending need for new shards and items – my initial experience was strong enough to keep me going.
The new Territories Battles update screen
Yet, it wasn’t until a surprise invitation from an industry insider to join his guild that my Galaxy of Heroes experience really took off.
Significantly, this is not because I’m particularly active on our guild’s Facebook chat or a star player, although I am proud to be ranked second in terms of lifetime item donations. No, it’s just the fact I’d previously met some of the people and was invited to join the guild, which then generated enough reciprocity to want to not ‘let the team down’ in some weird way.
Given I’ve hit the level cap and maxed out all of my key characters, no doubt, this attitude will be tested in future, but given the scope of game’s latest update, I don’t think I’ll be leaving anytime soon.
Perhaps not as large as the March 2017 update which added space ships, the Territory Battles update is more exciting.
Adding a significant new mode for guilds, for the first time it sees players choosing different parts of a battlefield to conquer, then combining their ground troops and ships together to fight through the relevant missions within a restricted timeframe.
This activity is rewarded by a new currency which unlocks characters, including new versions of Leia, Han and Yoda – if that sort of thing appeals. What seems more interesting will be the way in which this deeper co-operative play will provide more social glue to bind guilds together.
You’ve got a friend
That’s great for long-term players of Galaxy of Heroes like me, but it does highlight a wider issue for other mobile game developers.
With declining use of Facebook Connect as a social enabler, how can they get people who know each other to join together into the communities that will sustain the game past the first three or six months?
This was the same problem mobile developers faced back in 2010, and which companies such as Ngmoco, OpenFeint and Scoreloop, even Apple and Google, promised – but failed – to fix. The shine has also gone from messaging networks such as Line and Kakao, which at one point did solve the issue, at least in some countries.
Of course, WeChat/Weixin is enabling a monopolistic position for certain games in China, but it’s hard to see how even Tencent can take that dominance global.
Ironically then, given we’ve never been more connected to the people we love, as well as the friends we know or may have never even met, getting them together to play a mobile game has never been harder.（Source: pocketgamer.biz ）