從玩家角度解析爲什麼《星球大戰:銀河英雄》這麼耐玩

原文作者:Jon Jordan 譯者:Megan Shieh

2010年3月的時候,我試着玩了F2P模擬經營手遊《We Rule》,當時只堅持了一個星期。

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。

從那以後,幾乎沒有什麼遊戲能讓我玩過六個月,這可能更多的是因爲新遊戲發行的數量遠遠超過了它們的質量。

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?

Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes(from pocketgamer.biz)

Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes(from pocketgamer.biz)

新希望

該遊戲於2015年11月發佈,從一開始就給我留下了深刻的印象。儘管跟星球大戰系列的其他產品比起來,它就只是個打醬油的,但我仍覺得它是‘2015年度最值得玩的遊戲之一’。

它將西方遊戲設計和用戶體驗與亞洲RPG中常見的‘自動戰鬥’功能結合到一起,這點令我印象深刻。

在這款遊戲裏,玩家可以通過“獎勵加速機制”來“更好地利用他們的時間”並“確保進階”。

但良好的設計和對玩家心理的理解,通常不足以讓我繼續玩遊戲。

實際上在最初的6個月裏,我本來是打算在幾個月後再開另一個賬號,然後使用正派(Light Side)的角色從頭開始玩。

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。

我不是星球大戰的粉絲,但不知道爲什麼這樣一個不規範(與電影情節不符)的選項讓我很惱火,於是我決定重新開始。這種自我施加的限制並沒有讓遊戲變得更容易,我也還是得從頭開始玩。

然而真正讓我停不下來的是遊戲在2015年4月新增的公會系統。

一起玩更好玩

我一向不喜歡加入遊戲中的社區,因爲幾乎沒有遊戲會提供像樣的獎勵,而且被無緣無故地踢出社區是能讓我刪除APP的最快途徑。

《銀河英雄》的公會系統不是最具深度的,但結合遊戲的其他留存功能(例如:事件、每日活動以及對新碎片和裝備永無止境的需求),再加上我之前的遊戲體驗,足以讓我繼續玩下去。

某天一個業內人士突然邀請我加入他的公會,直到這時,我的《銀河英雄》之旅纔算真正開始。

但是我在我們公會裏也不算很活躍,所以這並不是我決定繼續玩這個遊戲的主要原因。

我之所以選擇繼續玩這個遊戲,其實是因爲有朋友邀請我加入公會,而且公會裏的一些人我在現實生活中也見過,因此產生了相互作用,我可不想讓他們‘失望’。

更新

我已經達到了等級上限,也把我所有的關鍵角色都刷爆了;但考慮到遊戲的最近一次更新,我認爲我還會接着玩。

這次更新的規模雖然可能比3月份(增加飛船系統)小,但相比起來,領地爭奪的更新更令人興奮。

這次更新爲公會添加了一種新模式——公會成員選擇戰場的不同部分來攻克,然後集結地面部隊和飛船艦隊的力量,在規定的時間內完成相關任務。

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。

這種更深層次的合作方式將會提供更多的社交凝聚力,推動公會之間的聯繫。

和朋友一起玩

對於像我這樣的長期玩家而言,有朋友同玩一個遊戲是件非常好的事,但它同時也凸顯了其他手遊開發者的一個大問題。

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。)

這也是移動遊戲開發者在2010年面臨的問題,Ngmoco,OpenFeint和Scoreloop,甚至是蘋果和谷歌也難逃一劫。此外,Line和Kakao等消息傳遞網絡也遇到了同樣的問題。

當然,微信爲某些遊戲在中國提供了壟斷性地位,但很難看出騰訊是如何在全球市場佔據主導地位的。

讓人哭笑不得的是,如今我們和愛人、家人、朋友、甚至素未謀面的人都能通過社交網絡來拉近彼此之間的距離,但是要讓這些人同玩一個手遊卻變得前所未有的困難。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

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.

Better together

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.

Something new

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