Here are some ideas for graphics tweaks designed to make battling as clear (graphics-wise) as possible. While some of these may seem unnecessary (especially to experienced players), do keep in mind that there are plenty of casual players who may not have the time to fully understand every aspect of the arena battle system. Not to mention, some of these can help make life easier for more experienced players too
Continued: (part 1 here)
- Redesign (certain) ability icons such that what the ability does can be worked out from a glance
This is something I came up with after noticing how some of my relatives (who are casual players) didn’t even realise that the abilities on some of their creatures were Strikes/Impacts/Rampages etc.
All icons should be redesigned to fit a pattern so their effects/damage multiplier can be easily worked out from a glance.
This can be done either with minimal tweaks to the icon design or with a significant overhaul.
With minimal tweaks the icon design roughly stays the same as it is now. The only major difference is with the presence/absence/changing of claw-lines to signify damage-dealing and the damage multiplier.
The icons would all follow the below rules:
All abilities which deal damage & have a secondary effect will have claw-lines in the top-left of the icon. These claw-lines will change according to the damage dealt by the ability, following the claw-lines of the ‘basic’ abilities (i.e. 1x = 2 thin lines, 1.5x = 3 thin lines, 2x = 4 thick lines).
The only exception for this would be Shielding abilities - see the next rule:
For Shielding abilities, all of the 50% shield abilities deal 1x damage, and the 100% shield abilities deal no damage (for now). Thus, for these abilities, it’s not very helpful to have the claw-lines to tell how much damage they deal (since the 100% shield abilities have a different icon anyways). It’s much more useful to know how long the Shield will last (i.e. Short vs Long).
For 50% shield abilities, instead of claw-lines in the top-left, the Shield icon should be in the top left. In the bottom-right, there should be an hourglass icon along with a number indicating how many turns the Shield lasts for. For 100% shield abilities, the hourglass icon and number can be imposed on top of the image, although their colour probably has to be changed to maintain their visibility.
Any ability which doesn’t deal damage will not have claw-lines in their icons, to minimise confusion. This is to prevent players with poorer eyesight from getting confused - e.g. between Ready to Crush and Ferocious Strike on Tryostronix (happened before to an older relative of mine. Yes I know the positions are different, but if you’re a casual player who doesn’t memorise every detail it can get confusing, especially with poorer eyesight).
This means that, for example, the Instant Distraction icon would be changed to just a red down arrow, with the ‘instant’ marker in the top right corner; Ready to Crush would be a yellow up arrow and a (preferably orange; see part 1) critical symbol; Acute Stun would just be a Stunning icon etc.
Any ability which has multiple effects should have icons for all effects present in the icon. The one that (currently in the 1.6 update) gets to me is the Cleanse & Swoop icon. It looks identical to the Swoop icon, and so I’ve known people to accidentally tap it when locked into Stigydarex, expecting to remain in the field to hit the opposing creature with a Lethal Wound but swapping out instead. Admittedly this is an issue of unfamiliarity with a new ability, but regardless it doesn’t make sense that two abilities with different effects share the same icon especially when there’s enough space to squeeze a cleanse mini-icon in. Similar offenders include Bellow (same icon as Slowing Impact & Thagomizer; doesn’t include the Shield icon) and Pounce (same icon as Rampage; doesn’t include the Distraction icon).
With a more significant overhaul, the icons would retain their round shape but change how secondary effects (buffs/debuffs/stuns etc) are presented. Instead of having the secondary effect icons be placed in the main icon, the main icon would be smaller and used for presenting an image representing the damage multiplier of the ability. Most of the rules would be similar to the above, however the main difference is that for damaging abilities, the secondary effects would be presented outside of the main icon in smaller circles surrounding and overlapping the main icon (see sketch below for examples).
Sketches (exact proportions and positions are going to be somewhat off, also all of these are pencil so you’ll have to imagine colours)
Should the ability icons be changed to make it easier to identify the ability from the icon?
Which icon style would you prefer, option 1 or 2?
- Option 1 (less change, icon shape stays roughly the same)
- Option 2 (secondary effect icons for damaging abilities moved out of the main icon)
Also check out:
Some QoL graphics tweaks part 1