從用戶體驗的角度談多數RPG戰鬥系統中的缺陷

從用戶體驗的角度談多數RPG戰鬥系統中的缺陷

原文作者:Benjamin Wolf 譯者:Megan Shieh

在爲RPG創建戰鬥系統時,多數開發者首先會考慮到這個問題:“遊戲中的各個角色會有哪些優勢和弱點”。

四大元素系統

基本的戰鬥系統之一是,帶有水、火、風、土的“四大元素系統”——水比火厲害,火比風厲害等等。

這一系統適用於元素不多的遊戲,因爲玩家幾乎立刻就會明白哪些元素能對敵人造成更大傷害。

在現實生活中,不同元素的相互作用是衆所周知的,因此開發者可以在不提供大量教程的情況下使用這些現實生活中的元素。但如果將這個系統進行延伸的話,就會導致交叉優勢,進而增加系統的複雜性。

例如,火元素不僅比風厲害,而且還能傷害大自然和蟲子;而對水、冰、岩石和金屬的抵抗力卻很弱。這爲玩家提供了更多的戰略選項,但卻沒那麼好理解。玩家可能會被繞暈掉——水和冰的區別是什麼?火和熔漿的區別又是什麼?如果每一個元素都有多個優勢和弱點,那麼玩家犯錯的機率就會急劇增加,甚至是在遊戲後期也會犯類似錯誤,因爲需要考慮到的優勢和弱點實在是太多了。這種做法不會爲遊戲提供更大的戰略深度,只會增加複雜性。

武器類型系統

另一個常見的系統是“武器類型系統”。在這個系統中,特定的武器對應特定的敵人會造成更大傷害。例如,“一把利劍”對穿盔甲的敵人只能造成很小的傷害,但是對穿皮質鎧甲的敵人卻能造成很大傷害。

pocket Lengend (from mmorpg)

pocket Lengend (from mmorpg)

這個系統的基本原理與“元素系統”相似,只不過是用武器代替了元素。但相比之下,“武器類型系統”對玩家而言更難理解——雖然人人都知道水能滅火,但不是人人都知道在戰鬥時要用什麼武器才能取得優勢。

與“元素系統”相比,要弄懂“武器類型系統”需要花上更多時間;而且如果將這個系統進行延展的話,很快就會把玩家弄暈。雖然玩家可能明白劍、錘子和匕首的區別,但是茅和戟的區別又有幾個人懂?

魔法效應系統

最後是“魔法效應系統”,包括詛咒、buff、毒藥等。這類系統在面對敵人時也帶有某種優勢或弱點——用詛咒法術來削弱重型盔甲的防禦能力,可以起到和“用利劍砍盔甲”一樣的效果。

“元素系統”和“武器類型系統”時刻都有着對應每一個敵人和角色的優勢和弱點。而“魔法效應系統”的優勢則只能對特定的敵人持續幾分/幾秒鐘,這類魔法效應通常不存在弱點。例如,用詛咒法術削弱對方盔甲的防禦能力意味着你提高了“利劍”的傷害值(弱點變爲正常狀態),但是由於盔甲類型沒有改變,所以重型武器仍然會對敵人造成較多傷害(優勢仍然是優勢)。

混合多個系統可能會產生的問題

“我的遊戲包含了武器和法術(四大元素和魔法效應),所以我要把這三個機制結合起來,爲玩家提供一個極具深度的戰鬥系統。”

這個想法很好,但做出來的效果多半不盡人意。

這些系統基本上都是一樣的,然而同時引入三個系統不僅不會增加遊戲的深度,反而會增加遊戲的複雜性。這類遊戲要求玩家同時記住三個系統以及系統內所有項目(角色)的優勢和弱點。而當你推出新的武器或元素時,對應的系統也會隨之不斷擴大。最終玩家會偏愛一個系統,而且只原意使用這一個系統,因爲他們不原意/懶得學習其餘的系統。這樣看來,爲戰鬥系統提供更多深度的目標其實並沒有實現。

比方說,一位玩家偏愛“武器類型系統”,因此TA很清楚哪些武器可以對抗特定類型的盔甲,而且在這方面變得很厲害。在這種情況下,另外兩個系統就被忽略了。雖然同時利用三個系統可能會對敵人造成多一點傷害,但這樣一來,玩家花在學習上的時間上就會多過實際遊玩的時間,因此普通玩家會覺得不值。這種設計迎合的是少數玩家(遊戲邦注:原意花時間去鑽研的玩家),而不是廣大受衆。

此外,如果同時採用了三個系統,那麼設計師很可能會設計出一個需要結合三種系統才能打敗的敵人。當普通玩家遇到這種敵人的時候往往會感到沮喪,同時也會覺得遊戲是不公平的,因爲這個敵人實在是太難打了。TA可能會忘記掉其他兩個系統的存在,或者結合三個系統嘗試一次然後失敗了,這就導致了糟糕的體驗,致使玩家對這款遊戲產生負面情緒,然後索性一走了之。

問題是,爲什麼這款遊戲非得采用多個系統?多個系統結合帶來的到底是深度還是複雜性?

與其採用多個系統,不如專注於一個系統,再適當結合其他遊戲機制(比如解謎元素),當你拼湊出適量的元素類型以後再把它們列入到優勢和弱點表格中,這麼做可能會帶來事半功倍的效果。

不必要的“驚喜”

當玩家到達某個地方的時候,他們可能玩到了10級或者20級,那麼問題來了:該不該把敵人適配到同等級別?還是把這些敵人的級別和屬性設爲固定值?在這場戰鬥中,各種優勢是如何發揮的?當玩家使用了正確的優勢或武器時,是該讓TA輕輕鬆鬆地獲勝,還是得再給TA一些挑戰?

當然,這些問題沒有固定答案,因爲這取決於設計者想要爲玩家創造的體驗,但有些做法明擺着是不理想的。

比方說開發者採用了一個“四大元素系統”,並在一個以水爲中心的區域放出敵人,這麼做是非常好的。因爲玩家不僅瞭解“元素系統”的運作方式,而且還了解特定的主題意味着什麼。因爲這個主題,TA會認爲自己正在對抗的是水BOSS。

但如果TA對抗的不是水BOSS而是風BOSS呢?

這時玩家肯定會感到憤怒和迷惑,TA會想:明明是水的主題,怎麼莫名其妙冒出個風BOSS。

設計師可能是想玩個花樣,給玩家一個驚喜,但這種做法可以說是已經違背了這些系統的基本原則。整個體驗應該是條理清晰的,不要給玩家來個(可能)毫無防備的驚喜,這樣玩家才能進一步提高自己在“元素系統”中所學的特定技能。

此外,當大BOSS對玩家所學系統免疫的時候,整個系統就會分崩離析。

關卡中的“小型”敵人應該是用來學習這個系統並鍛鍊所學技能的,它們一般不會很難打,而且可以在不利用優勢和弱點的情況下被打敗。

在擊敗一堆這樣的對手之後,玩家會希望BOSS難打一點,這樣在TA發現敵人的弱點並想出如何利用這些弱點時,會覺得自己很聰明併爲此感到滿足。但如果大BOSS不屬於這個“元素系統”,並且還對該系統中的所有優勢免疫,那麼玩家就失去了這種滿足感,得到的反而是挫敗感,因爲TA剛學到的東西根本用不上。

尤其是採用“魔法效應系統”的時候,設計師必須考慮到這一點。如果魔法不能對任何大BOSS產生作用,那整個系統就只是擺設罷了。這種設計能對玩家產生的唯一影響就是“直接忽略掉魔法效應系統的存在”,因爲這個系統並不能在關鍵時刻帶來任何幫助,所以何必浪費時間去學?

總結

作爲開發者,當你在創建一個帶有優勢和弱點的RPG戰鬥系統時,需要回答自己以下幾個問題:

在我的戰鬥系統中,應該有幾個優勢、幾個弱點?2個可能太少了,但20個又太複雜。

爲什麼我要把幾個不同的系統混合在一起?這樣做能給遊戲帶來什麼好處?

我現在創建的到底是深度還是複雜性?

我採用的系統在關鍵戰鬥中能否幫得上忙?它是否需要在更激烈的戰鬥中爲玩家提供優勢?

這些問題的答案能夠幫助你避免無聊或令玩家感到困惑、憤怒的RPG戰鬥場景。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

Many RPGs use an Advantage / Disadvantage System for their battles and while this offers the strategical and tactical depth that an RPG needs, it also delivers problems that need to be solved by the designer.

Different types of systems

The first question that will occur is: “What kind of advantages and disadvantages will my game feature”.

One of the basic systems is the Element System with water, fire, wind and earth

Water will do more damage against fire, fire will do more damage against wind and so on.

This system works well with a small number of elements, because players will almost instantly understand that the increased damage is coming from an advantage against the enemy’s element.
How different elements behave towards each other is widely known outside of games and can therefore be used without offering a big tutorial or learning curve. However, increasing this system will lead to cross advantages that will add complexity to the system.

Suddenly fire is not only strong against wind, but also against nature and bug – while being weak against water, ice, rock and metal. It gives more strategical playground, but at the price of understandability. Players might get confused, where the difference between water and ice is or fire and magma. With every element having multiple advantages and disadvantages, the chance that the player makes mistakes (even late in the game) due to the number of elements he has to consider, increases drastically. Does an increase in elements in this system not further enhance the system itself or offer more strategical depth, it only adds complexity.

Another common system is the Weapon Type System. Here specific weapons deal more damage against specific enemies. Sharp swords for example do little damage against armored enemies, but increased damage against leather type enemies.

The basics of this system are similar to the Element System, only with weapons instead of elements, but also slightly harder to understand for the player. While everybody knows that water extinguishes fire, the proper counter to a sharp weapon might not immediately be known.
This system requires more time for the player to learn to use it properly. Additionally, increasing this system will lead to confusion pretty fast. While players might understand the difference between a sword, a hammer and a dagger the difference between a spear and a halberd might already be harder to grasp.

The last system I want to bring up is the Status Effect System with curses, buffs, poison and others. While it can be argued if this system even fits into this category or not, it offers an advantage or disadvantage over the enemy. Lowering the defense of a heavy armor type with a curse, can have the same effect as using a heavy sword against him.

The Element System and Weapon Type System are offering advantages / disadvantages against every enemy and character all the time, while the Status Effect System creates an advantage only for a period of time against a specific enemy, usually without offering the disadvantage.
For example, decreasing the defense of the heavy armor increases the damage of sharp weapons (disadvantage turned into a normal state), but since the armor type is not changing the heavy weapon will still deal more damage (advantage still advantage).

The problem of mixing systems

“My game uses weapons and magic (elemental and status effects) so, I will combine those three mechanics to offer the player a combat system with maximum depth.”

While the idea behind this sentence is good the result will probably be very different.

All those systems are basically the same. No matter if it is a fire spell against a water enemy or a sharp sword against a leather armor, when the system is stripped down to the mechanics it means for example 50% more damage against the weakness. Therefor bringing in all 3 systems is not increasing the depth but only the complexity of the game.

These systems will not add new layers on top of each other, but increase in size horizontally.

The player is asked to remember all 3 systems and all the advantages and disadvantages.

Since implementing more and more weapons or elements is easy, the size of each system will grow and grow. Eventually the player likes one system in particular and will only focus on using that, because he doesn´t want to be bothered with learning all the others.

He chooses for example the Weapon Type System and becomes a professional in choosing the right weapon against the right armor type. The other two systems are being ignored, because doing 50% more damage or 75% more damage is not offering another strategical level. He might do a bit more damage against an enemy, but at the cost of more time spent learning the system than playing the game, so the outcome does not justify the effort for the regular player.

It caters to min/max players but not to the broad audience. The goal of offering more depth to the combat system is therefore not met and since the designers wanted to use all three systems the chances are high that at one point the player will face a specific enemy that is designed to use all three systems. At that point the player gets frustrated and thinks the game is unfair, because of this powerful foe. He might have forgotten parts of the other systems or tried them out once in a bad situation and failed, which led to a bad experience with the system and him never using the system again.

The question is, why does the game need multiple systems? And does the combination offer more depth or complexity? Stripping it down to one system, but really sticking with this system and implementing it in other gameplay mechanics as well (for example puzzle solving or specific areas only to open with the right amount of element types) might offer the game more than five more elements that need to be put somewhere in the advantage / disadvantage chart.

The balance of the advantage

Balancing an RPG is always a hard task. Players might be level 10 or level 20 when reaching a certain point, and the question is always: should enemies scale with the player or should they be fixed in their level and stats? Also, how is the advantage handled in this fight. Is the fight a challenge even when using the right advantage or should it be an easy fight, when choosing the right weapon.

Of course, there is no real answer to those questions since they depend on the experience the designer is creating for the player, but there are things that are just not optimal.

Introducing an Element System for example and offering enemies throughout an area that are water focused is perfectly fine. The player does not only understand the Element System, but also the theme of the specific area. With this in mind, he will face the boss thinking he will face a Water Boss. But what if he suddenly is fighting against a Wind Boss?

That would anger and confuse the player, because he cannot see the reason behind this.
The designer might have thought of tricking the player and offering him a surprise, but that is not the intention of the system. It should rather be clear, so that he can further improve his skills in the Element System and not offer him surprises that he might not be prepared for, thanks to the rest of the level design. And when the boss is not the wrong element, but actually neutral and does not have any advantage or disadvantage at all, the whole system will fall apart.

Smaller enemies throughout a level are used to learn the system and play around with it.

They usually do not offer a challenge and can be defeated without using advantages.

After defeating a bunch of those, the player wants to have a challenge when he reaches the boss and he wants to feel satisfied and clever when figuring out what weakness his enemy has and how to exploit it. When the boss is outside of the Element System with a neutral state, the player is stripped from this satisfaction and leaves frustrated, since all his learning has been for nothing. This effect is especially important when using a Status Effect System.

The whole system is useless when every boss is immune against Status Effects.

The only effect this will have on the player is not using the Status Effect system at all, because in critical times the system will not work anyway, so why waste time on that?

Conclusion

When creating a RPG Battle System with advantages and disadvantages some questions need to be answered:

1. What feels like the right amount of advantages and disadvantages in my system? 2 might be too less but 20 is getting to complex.

2. Why do I want to mix different systems? What is it offering my gameplay?

3. Am I really creating depth or complexity?

4. Is my system useful in critical battles? Will it provide the advantage in stronger fights or can I ignore it?

Answering these questions makes the difference between a boring fight against a neutral type, non-elemental Eater in Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth and an awesome fight against the fake President in Final Fantasy 8 where the player can use the advantage of him being undead, by defeating him with heal and resurrection spells. (Source:gamasutra.com  )