By AURON570 0 Comments
Note: This was originally intended to be a comment on Gootecks' SF5 First Impressions video (Edit: which looks like it has been made private!), but my comment went on way longer than usual, and became more personal also, so it turned into a blog!
Response to Gootecks’ SF5 Leak First Impressions: thinking about F2P, 'accessifunibility', and a structured single-player?
So you're saying fighting games should become F2P? with an option to just buy the full version and/or unlock characters one at a time, whether through playing or paying? I can get behind that idea since it will bring in more players. Most people only play a few characters anyways, so I guess if you give them the option to unlock a few characters for free, then play-to-unlock/pay from there, it should be fine. I can see it working, but it would take some time to design.
And somehow I think it needs to be more rewarding for casual players.. "accessible" isn't really the right word.. and I really don't know how it would work, except for maybe a more structured training/leveling system?? But I don't know what you would get from leveling in a fighting game. Because as it stands now, you literally get nothing from playing online except a few glory points.. (which don't mean anything because you can have 3000bp and not know how to crouch tech *cough*).
Anyways.. I also mostly agree with the idea of putting out more regular updates, instead of waiting over 6 months for something big, to get people to buy a new version. Back in the old days, of course it wasn't possible to update games after they were released, so you would literally have to make a new game, but nowadays it's much easier to update games after release. So come on Cashc-, I mean Capcom, get with the program! Bugs could be fixed more quickly, and you can save balance/character changes for bigger updates. OR just tweak things one at a time (which lots of other games do), instead of throwing out half a dozen changes per character in a single huge update.
For example, I remember when I picked up USF4 on launch week, I found lots of matches around my skill level. But now there's almost no one online, and when I do find a match it is bad connection and my opponent is way better than me. If it was F2P I imagined there would be more casuals willing to sign on and give it a chance, making match-making a little more fair and fun. BUT the F2P has to be designed in such a way to get F2P people to keep coming back, like how ‘quests’ work in Hearthstone or something, which give gold if you complete the quest and you can spend the gold to get more cards. For Hearthstone the Quests are like “win 2 games with [X] character online”, so I can see something similar working for fighting games.
But again, it’s not like that would work 100% in fighting games.. I can see how F2P might work with fighting games, but I just don’t know the specifics and I know it will take some work to design a GOOD F2P model for a fighting game that keeps people coming back.
I don’t think a “simple mode” would be very good. But I do think the training mode/single player needs to be better structured and planned to motivate players to start from the basics, then builds and builds as the player works their way to knowing the ins and outs of a character. As it stands, SF4 doesn’t have that in-game. I imagine like at the end of completing the ‘campaign’ with any given character, the person would be able to know stuff like a character’s best pokes, what can cancel/link into what, movement stats, and general strategy against a variety of other characters.
E.g. first ‘mission’ (stage or whatever), movement options! Unfortunately designing, programming and structuring such a single-player experience would take A LOT of work. But honestly I think that’s one of the only ways we’re going to get more casual players into fighting games. As it stands, literally you spend $40+ bucks on the game, have 40+ characters to chose from, with almost no explanation, and are expected to have fun with that. For a casual gamer, there’s almost no sense of progression, and less and less reason to keep coming back to the game (if you don’t have people of similar skill level to play with). So having a fun, structured single-player mode, which has that cumulative progression I think would be good. So that if you don’t want to play online, you can progress through the campaign with your favorite character and learn something new about the character.
I envision it being kind of like, when you start off in the single-player. You literally have no tools. Then you get walking, then you get dashing, then you get one or two of the character’s best pokes etc. Of course it might sound boring on paper, but think about how it’s like in RPGs. In almost NO RPG do you EVER start with every single character and ability unlocked. You start with the basics, then learn a few, and then change and develop your strategy and gameplay preferences as you unlock new abilities and learn new stuff about the game.
Again, I can imagine something similar working for fighting games, I just don’t know exactly how it would work, and I know it WILL take A LOT of work to make something good.
Well, that’s my piece on making fighting games more ‘accessible’ or fun for casual players. Remember we all started playing games for fun, and hopefully, deep down it is always for fun. But as it stands in SF4, there is almost literally just Online or Training Mode. And for a casual it’s no fun getting beat down, and it’s no fun just sitting in training mode, trying stuff seemingly randomly. Which results in the game just being no fun, and casual players dropping the game in favor of doing something else.
P.S. PERSONAL BACKGROUND (which may or may not bias my opinion): Let me be upfront about who I am and some of the things that might bias my thoughts on the issue of accessibility of fighting games. I’m a young adult. Got ‘into’ fighting games with SF4, bought Super, skipped AE, bought Ultra. So I guess I’m a ‘casual’ player.
I’ve watched a lot of tournament streams over the years, and tried learning about the game through websites and tutorials on the internet over the years. Not so much anymore because there are other things I would rather invest my time in. I joke to myself sometimes saying “I bet I have watched other people play fighting games wayyy more than I actually have played fighting games myself”, which is probably true (*sad sob story*).
Also I don’t really have people in real life to play fighting games with (or really video games with in general…) Anyways! So that’s maybe where some of these ideas of accessibility are coming from, I just think about what would make playing fighting games more fun ‘for me’, and these have been some of the things I’ve thought about.
But at the end of the day, I still think the simplest, but sometimes not the easiest (depends on the person), way of making fighting games more fun is finding real people to play with, especially a rival. So even though I have these ideas of “aww yeah if fighting games were more structured, or maybe if it had a good f2p system”, I still have in the back of my head “dude, just find people irl to play with, or just move on to something else.”
That’s kind of been my mentality now that I’m becoming an adult. “If it’s not working, just move on.” You can’t play all the games, meet all the people, be the best at everything etc. No complaining, just take it for what it is and move forward. But it’s still important to pick something (or things) and pursue those things with a passion.
So if I had to categorize my general ‘disposition’ I would be a… slightly unstable optimist-realist? With maybe some ‘zen’ mentality in there? Take from that what you will *shrug*. I can see fighting games being WAY better and more popular than they are, but if they don’t get better, no biggie? I’m still gonna check the streams every now and then and be a theory fighter, lol.. LOLLL *manic laughter*