Newbie Improvement

KrysalissKrysaliss Member Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
This got brought up a lot during the Twitch stream. A number of us are seriously concerned about the quality of introduction, the 'hook' for new players, and what happens when they emerge out of the initial guided tour. 

I have made a stupid number of new characters across basically all of the IRE games. I'm always curious about what both the games are doing to keep new players in game and what the playerbase is doing to ensure those new players stick around. I also do this with non-IRE muds for similar reasons. 

The current tour does little to introduce new players to -why- they might want to stick around. It teaches them the basics and gives them Things To Do until they hit about 25. And then...nothing. There is no real introduction to lore or what you do beyond basic bashing and questing (which, let's all be honest, is not even close to the most interesting things about Imperian). Further, the removal of most of our newbie-catching systems (novice programs and the like) means there aren't players who feel a direct responsibility to make sure new players are being welcomed in and assisted so they can get a sense of the community and stick around. 

My idea on how to fix that involves expanding the content geared towards game introduction well past early levels. Once they've got the basics, hit them up with progressing quests that introduce lore and assorted other activities one might want to do in the game. A well-built MMO guides players into ever more challenging areas of play suitable to their level. I think we could do this with new players. Introduce them to ever more complex aspects of the game while guiding them to new bashing areas suited to their level, introducing them to PK oriented activities through quests and achievements geared towards newbs, etc. This gives them stuff to keep them occupied and gives them more time to get immersed in the culture and meet other players and get a feel for why mudding can be fun. 

I also think we should make this a priority, because players are what is necessary to make Imperian fun and we don't do a great job of retaining new blood. If we can make the introduction to the game more engaging and keep people entertained longer mechanically (while showing them how crazy immersive and complex this game world can be), maybe we can bring our numbers back up (and hey, more bodies means more blood out of the stone...er.. profit for the game)
WyllAodan

Comments

  • WyllWyll Member Posts: 124 ✭✭✭
    Personally when I try a new mud, I log out if there are walls and walls of text telling me to do X, Y, and Z. I'm not that invested yet to sit there for 30-60 minutes reading about your world. There needs to be a good mix of allowing me to do things freely and also guiding me. I also found that games that, I wouldn't say forced, but encouraged me to engage with the population early on were more engaging.

    Krysaliss said:

    The current tour does little to introduce new players to -why- they might want to stick around. It teaches them the basics and gives them Things To Do until they hit about 25. And then...nothing. There is no real introduction to lore or what you do beyond basic bashing and questing (which, let's all be honest, is not even close to the most interesting things about Imperian).

    I couldn't agree more!
    Aodan
  • KrysalissKrysaliss Member Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
    Oh yea. I should clarify that I do NOT want the added stuff to be forced. There should always be the option to ignore it and do your own thing. 
    Wyll
  • KrysalissKrysaliss Member Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
    And definitely we need the player engagement to be a part of that. We don't really have much that does that now, and no incentive except goodwill to push experienced players to newbs.
  • AnetteAnette Member Posts: 650 ✭✭✭
    Rokas said:
    Speaking as a relatively new player, the newbie introduction was lacking in terms of giving me a reason to stay. I had no idea about the lore, little idea about how my character fit into the world, and really what my goals should be.

    I still don't feel as if I know those things as much as I should for someone being an aspect and having played for a few months. I was invited into my sect for favours (no real IC reason given), my guild for bonus xp and "because it's the only active guild", and invited in the the circle ring where pretty much all interactions happen, except in an OOC fashion. I joined Antioch because that's where my OOC friends from other IRE games were, but I couldn't really tell you why I'm anti-magic. I had some people ask why a lycaean shaman was in Antioch, where I was from, etc, but I couldn't really give any justifications. As for my profession, mechanically it seems really fun, but it still feels as if it's lacking lore depth whereas it should be ripe with flavor. I realize that it's formerly the witch class, but I wasn't around for them. What are the spirits beyond their abilities? Why do I consume inks to throw bones, and why do they take the shape of an elk or dove or oak?

    The reason why I've stayed around is twofold: the promise of establishing my own bloodline and pack and the hobby project of building a system. Without those and the friends I have in game, I wouldn't have played beyond the second week.

    My SO started roughly the same time I did, and didn't stick with it. He's new to IRE, but not to muds, and basically the only attraction to Imperian was me.

    I had basically the same experience.  My wife started earlier than Anette was created by a week or two, but she doesn't stick around.  She checks in occasionally more for my sake than anything else, but she doesn't find anything that draws her in.  A text MUD should actually be something more to her speed since she's most familiar with RPing in text to begin with from using XMPP to RP with groups that are difficult at best to get together in meatspace and kind of awkward at best to since she's mute, but it just didn't have staying power.  And while she'd happily concede that a lot of the lore around Imperian is really neat when I get into it with her, very little in the actual game communicated it to her.  Quests are the main means that exists, but quest discovery in Imperian is extremely poor.
    image
    Krysaliss
  • WyllWyll Member Posts: 124 ✭✭✭
    Sort of on topic, but I had a newbie ask a newbie quest question on the newbie channel and I was unable to help because I couldn't go into the newbie hunting area where the quest was given.

    What do we even do in that case? Point them to message Jeremy or Eoghan? They were trying to do a newbie quest and was frustrated it wasn't counting.
  • AnetteAnette Member Posts: 650 ✭✭✭
    "Why don't we retain newbies?"

    "If you're leaving over just [x], I'm Loling at you"

    Cause, and effect.
    image
    TheophilusWyll
  • TheophilusTheophilus Member, Beta Testers Posts: 673 ✭✭✭✭
    .... If painting a city one time is making our newbies leave, then good riddance. That was out of context, and you know it.
    Aodan
  • AnetteAnette Member Posts: 650 ✭✭✭
    If you make an environment where people don't want to be around because it's unpleasant, there's a responsibility there.
    image
    Wyll
  • LartusLartus Member Posts: 287 ✭✭✭

    AnetteWyllDruu
  • AnetteAnette Member Posts: 650 ✭✭✭
    Lartus said:

    Yeah, sorry, the personal sparring has no point being in here.

    I think the productive discussion out of that bit is considering having the over-arching meta conflicts of the existing endgamers occur in a way that isn't going to be driving newbies off, but I'm not sure how much people want to discuss that, because the consensus seems to be "just deal with it".

    That's not an indefensible position, but it also isn't one you can hold, while at the same time complaining about new player retention.
    image
    Wyll
  • GjarrusGjarrus Member Posts: 290 ✭✭✭
    Expecting the conflict to never cross paths with newbies seems excessive. If Derpophilus paints something actually offensive, issue it by all means. If it's just grating, then see it as an opportunity to tell the nubs about how terrible the demonic influence makes your mind etc etc and use it to reinforce either their circle-based roleplay and potential desire to do some peekay one day. If the issue is the paint brush exists, take that up with the promo item design department.

    If the 'lol nubs' thing is in reference to the tutor thing, we've been over that. No one is arguing that newbs should *have* to go to Caanae, but I also see that as a missed opportunity to teach them about the PATH FIND and PATH SEARCH commands if they left because they couldn't find the Caanae library. Aside from that, this particular problem requires an admin fix so 'that sucks' is the only answer you're going to get from players.
    TheophilusAodan
  • TheophilusTheophilus Member, Beta Testers Posts: 673 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 5
    .
    Aodan
  • KrysalissKrysaliss Member Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
    The paint thing - Achaea is -way- worse for that and has a larger playerbase. That's clearly not the core issue. The training mobs being the target for the raids was a flat out terrible idea and shouldn't have been done. Expecting other players to point out where to go assumes A) other players will know it's an issue and B) will be around when it's happening which is a terrible way to operate. 

    The solution to the core issue, which is -retention- is bigger and more important than paint. 

    The game has to be fun and engaging out of the box without a steep learning curve. It has to introduce the What To Do and the lore and opportunities pretty early on. It has to prove itself, because there's plenty of other stuff to capture the attention of our potential target audience. FIrst, we gotta fix that, then we can worry about whether or not a random newb is offended at written smack talk in Antioch. 

    So, constructive ideas? 



    AodanTheophilus
  • ZerinZerin Member Posts: 41 ✭✭✭
    Just brainstorming, play nice.

    Maybe we could try introducing more of the "fun" things into the newbie tutorial. Liiiike, pets/Taming, even if it's just a dog that follows them around and does nothing.

    Maybe they can sample some of the classes before having to pick one - I know they can sort of do this already, but I was thinking more like the Elder Scrolls intros.

    I agree with the others who are saying that there isn't much introduction to lore. That said, I hardly even know what the lore is, anymore. So I'm not sure how to fix this.

    Also, making sure the HELPs are all up to date. I made a newbie once in Achaea (I think), and half the commands in the HELPs I was directed to didn't even exist anymore. I dunno if ours are as bad as that, but I'm sure we're a bit of date too.
    AnetteKrysaliss
  • CaelyaCaelya Member, Historian, Beta Testers Posts: 372 ✭✭✭✭
    As far as a lore introduction, I think at the very least there should be a brief recounting of the most recent history. 'Once, there were Gods and they were amazing. Then mortals did dumb things and now the Gods are dead. Fragments of Their power still exist, but make no mistake, this is the Age of Mortals.' If people want a deeper story than that, they can certainly find it, but we are in fact supposed to be in this brand new Age, so it seems like the easiest place to start newbies off.

    GjarrusAnetteKrysaliss
  • WyllWyll Member Posts: 124 ✭✭✭
    Zerin said:

    Maybe we could try introducing more of the "fun" things into the newbie tutorial. Liiiike, pets/Taming, even if it's just a dog that follows them around and does nothing.

    There is currently a fox that follows you around and does nothing, but not sure if that is a quest newbies get right away. I fully throw my support behind a puppy or kitten that is useless and follows the newbie around.
  • LaekaLaeka HoustonMember Posts: 8
    Some general history would be nice. I still only have the most basic idea of what the lore is around antioch and my guild and sect. I blame khizan for this (he was just awful :smiley: )

    But really, like with rokas I tried to impart what little knowledge I could dig up on our lore but it really is wholly unsatisfying in its brevity.

    Some circle/city based into in the newbie areas would go a long way in immersion and an overall summary of history for each city and guild would be lovely. I am ok with having to quest for this knowledge for the older players, if the knowledge exists for the admin to reference.
    Krysaliss
  • KrysalissKrysaliss Member Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
    The fox is rad, but that's an area quest, not a newbie quest.

  • RokasRokas Member Posts: 6
    What fox? I tried to do the newbie quests before I leveled, but I don't remember any foxes. :( That would have been cool.
    Wyll
  • WyllWyll Member Posts: 124 ✭✭✭
    Rokas said:
    What fox? I tried to do the newbie quests before I leveled, but I don't remember any foxes. :( That would have been cool.
    It's an area quest, Rokas. I'll give you a hint. Heartlands.
    Krysaliss
  • KrysalissKrysaliss Member Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
    It's a pretty simple quest. I figured it out and I'm notoriously awful at questing. I strongly dislike the guess the verb game. 
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