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Why your spell descriptions need a rework

I am comparing the descriptions of the Force Field (FF) Spell on the Mage Cowl on the left with the Arcane Orb (AO) Spell on the Arcane Staff on the right.

 

If you compare both spell descriptions there seems to be an inconsistency with how spells are described and what kind of information and values are given to the player.

 

Lets look at a screenshot for reference:

Lets first look at the descriptions:

 

FF:

 

'Knocks all enemies around you away, dealing damage to them.

Cast time: 0s Cost: 0 Range: 0m Cooldown:

30s'

 

AO:

 

'Shoots a powerful sphere in the targeted

direction. On hitting an enemy it will remove all

buffs from them, and knock them 7.46m away,

dealing 131 damage.'

Energy Cost: 45

Cast time: instant

Range: 35m

Cooldown 15s

 

There are a lot of differences between those two descriptions of a spell that essentially does the same (knock peole away and do a little damage).

At first you don't really notice, but if you look closer this kind of stuff actually drives me nuts and shows how much polish Albion Online still needs.

 

First, the description of the AO is a lot more detailed, even to the second decimal. The longer description seems useful to a degree, because the AO is a failry complex spell, but '7.46m' seems like too much detail.

Either have it 7.5m or leave the value out completely. This should be easier to read - especially as players dont have a good grasp on how 'far' 7.46 actually is ingame.

 

Second, the AO details how much damage is dealt exactly (131), the FF skips this information. This is not only problematic, because you will likely never do 131 damage exactly, due to resistances, but also because this kind of information is ommitted in some spells and not in others (lack of consistency)

 

Third, the phrasing and the display of the other values of the spell are

 

a) not in the same order and

b) not consistent in their wording.

 

I am referring to the second row of information: Cast Time, Cost (Energy Cost), Range, Cooldown.

 

the FF has this order: cast time, cost, range , cd

the AO hast this order: cost, cast time, range, cd

 

The wording and display of the values is different aswell.

 

Both spells cast times are instant, but on FF it says: '0s' and on the AO it says 'instant'.

 

Fourth, the display of the values is different on both spells.

 

On the AO you have your info box and then, each in a new line, the different values from top to bottom.

On the FF you have them all added behind each other with no 'new line' between them.

 

My suggestion would be to come up with a standart naming / description template for spells for the future, so all spells & translations follow a design that is intentional and not different or inconsistent for each item.

 

Suggestion:

 

[lore] + [spell description] + [details of the spell]

 

Wether or not you display actual numbers within the [spell description] and / or only in the [details of the spell] is up for discussion, depending on how useful and accurate and hard values are for the player.

 

I know you are looking to hire an UI designer and all this will recieve a nice polish prior to release, but it could save some description rework (+ translation costs?) later down the road, if you do not have to redo the descriptions of spells and items, assuming you design a proper description template now.

 

Another inconsistency, that yet has nothing to do with the description of how things are worded in the tooltip - is the range of the knockback and the scaling of the distance with item power and tier of the item.

The AO knockback is far shorter than the FF knockback.

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