Armageddon MUD General Discussion Board

General => Player Collaboration => Topic started by: Fnord on June 02, 2006, 12:18:51 PM

Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Fnord on June 02, 2006, 12:18:51 PM
There's been a lot of talk lately about how to better acclimate new players to Arm. Some new players have done us all a favor by posting their experiences. Most seem to have come from other MUDs, know the basic mechanics, but still find Arm a little overwhelming. That's understandable, Arm is deep. However, the learning curve surely loses us players. Darwinism at work? I think not. I've shown a few very creative people Arm, and they've told me that if I wasn't on AIM with them, pointing them to help files and filling in the basics (basically serving as an unofficial helper) they would have quit out of frustration.

Here's how I suggest we make things easier for new players:

:idea: A new D&D campaign is coming out called Ptolus. It comes with a Player's Guide (http://www.montecook.com/cgi-bin/page.cgi?mpress_PG). It's a free download (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=49_554&products_id=11959) via PDF. This is a very deep player's guide that tells a new player everything they need to know about the world before making a character. We should have a simpler version of something like this (obviously in text without pictures, at least at first) for each starting town. Each guide would be available as an HTML file on the website. After all, a native of any place should and would know where to get basic things, like food and water or a weapon, how to behave around nobles/templars, etc. I mean, they grew up there for Tek's sake.

:idea: After you point at the map in the Hall of Kings, you're taken to another room, not yet in the game world. There's an NPC, and X number of exits to the room.

:idea: You're immediately prompted with something like: If you're a veteran to Armageddon MUD, type "leave" to exit this tutorial. This would allow return players to get into the game and start playing with almost no additional delay.

:idea: Stats should be set when entering this room so other information makes sense. Stat/Score and Reroll would be explained elsewhere, see below.

:idea: Every character should load in with the same generic clothes and 1000 "funny money" coins. All this goes away when typing "leave", and is replaced with starting gear as we know it, when actually entering the game.

:idea: The NPC starts talking. "Type list to see what services I can provide for a new player. Then type ask NPC # to access that information."

the n00b tutor is offering the following information:

1) How do I use this tutorial? This would prompt a basic explanation about the concept of rooms, how to move between them, where the exits lead, and a blurb about enter/leave. The adjacent rooms could have:

  [N] A locked message board with the aforementioned player's guide for the starting location selected. Each post could be a section.

  A room where a tutor explains crafting.

  [E] A room where a tutor explains how to buy stuff from a vendor. Here you can "buy" armor and weapons, try them on, learn to wield 1-h weapons, hold off-hand, wield 2-h, hold a bow, pull from a quiver, load a crossbow, etc.

  [W] A room where a tutor explains Score, Stat, Reroll, being hungry, thirsty, various misc. statuses, etc. How to eat/drink, inven, equip, how to use a container, etc.

2) Random tip. Everytime you requested this, a random tip would be offered.

"Allanak eh? Mean streets. Why not start by putting your money away. Type put 1000 coins pack. Then, close pack. You can get your money back out by typing open pack, then get coins pack."

"If you ever get really lost in the game, Helpers are very useful and friendly. Visit this link to contact one any time."

"Elves are generally thieving bastards that nobody trusts, and dwarves have no hair, let alone beards, in Armageddon MUD. Visit the races page on the website for more information."

"Some structures can be entered and left. They are like rooms within rooms. Tents work this way too. Type enter to enter and leave to leave."

Etc.

:idea: Again, everything (money, skills, gear, but not stats) should be reset when typing "leave". Add a purge script that clears this whole area out every RL hour, so it doesn't become cluttered. Have a message that comes up, "The n00b tutorial area will reset in 5 minutes. 4, 3, 2, 1, etc."

Obviously a lot more could be done with this, like having a room to learn basic melee combat and ranged combat. Maybe "karma-only" room with a tutor that teaches the very basics of magick to a newbie 'gicker. etc.

Thoughts?

p.s. If the imms like this idea, I'd offer to help write up the material.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Gimfalisette on June 02, 2006, 06:18:24 PM
I love this idea, think it's great as you've posted it. I would add explicit information regarding where to get water and food in the new player's destination city. Like, in a prompt, not just a message board. Plus I'd probably give them a waterskin, make them fill it up, give them some flour, craft it into travel cakes, etc. All with specific instruction on what the commands are to do those things.

You'd probably want a room for basic combat instruction, too. Info about "nosave," what kinds of things will make the guards try to arrest you, and so on. Put an NPC or practice dummy in there.
Title: No noob in-game tutorial.
Post by: gfair on June 02, 2006, 08:41:18 PM
The in-game noob tutorial has been decided against already.

Here's a thought:

Rather than tie in the game, why not create a small virtual world where people could do this without even needing a character, they could just go there to try the simple commands?

As for making it easy by telling them where to get food and watery - no. That stuff should be handled in-game by interacting with other people..
Title: Re: No noob in-game tutorial.
Post by: Fnord on June 03, 2006, 01:03:33 AM
Quote from: "gfair"
As for making it easy by telling them where to get food and watery - no. That stuff should be handled in-game by interacting with other people..


Because it makes sense that a native of a city wouldn't know where to buy food and water.  :roll:

The imms already weighed in on this and said nay? Can someone point me to a link?
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: spawnloser on June 03, 2006, 04:12:52 AM
Why not just utilize the helpers?
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Gimfalisette on June 03, 2006, 04:36:02 AM
Because not all people who potentially want to play ARM are naturally extroverted or oriented toward learning via interaction with people. Introverts and people who learn by doing are not naturally inclined to contact helpers. Because there is no "do it myself" tutorial or walkthrough which puts people in the game to "do it," these types of people are underserved in the newbie experience. And they may get turned off to the game, if they can't figure it out by themselves before they die or get hopelessly confused.

I am one of those people--both an introvert and a "do it myself"er. And as a newbie, in my opinion the newbie experience especially sucks for those of us who don't want to contact a helper.

As far as "handle it IC" in finding out about food and water...damned if I would have done that, since ICly speaking my character *should* be laughed at as a complete idiot for asking such a question. (There's no way any Zalanthan of age greater than about 8 would *not* know such a thing--unless they were an overly-pampered noble, which type of character is always played by a person who is not new to the MUD at all.) Why force newbies to have their first RP experience in the MUD be one that is totally OOC?

What I did, rather than contact a helper or ask stupid OOC questions while pretending that they are IC, is I just figured it out myself. In RL I'm a database programmer/analyst, so I'm used to figuring out code and problem-solving. But that sets the bar really, really high for newbies--and doesn't ARM need newbies, and more of them?
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Morfeus on June 03, 2006, 05:48:51 AM
Quote from: "Gimfalisette"
Because not all people who potentially want to play ARM are naturally extroverted or oriented toward learning via interaction with people. Introverts and people who learn by doing are not naturally inclined to contact helpers.


That is how I learned. I readed documentation over and over and then I jumped into a water... erm... sand.... and found I can swim.

I am not for newbie intro. I know it could be hard for newbies, but in my opinion, no newbie intro could show what is Armageddon about. We have nice documents about basic commands and I think lot of things could be found there (http://www.armageddon.org/intro/walkthrough.html and http://www.armageddon.org/general/mechanics.html).

I would suggest newbies to create a character who was not born in the said city (could be a villager for example). Then it is easy: do you need water? Ask someone where to get it. There is no shame that you do not know and it also gives you chance to interact with PCs. And that could give you more feel of the MUD than any newbie intro ever could.

All in my opinion.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Anonymous on June 03, 2006, 09:29:57 AM
Quote from: "Morfeus"
Quote from: "Gimfalisette"
Because not all people who potentially want to play ARM are naturally extroverted or oriented toward learning via interaction with people. Introverts and people who learn by doing are not naturally inclined to contact helpers.


That is how I learned. I readed documentation over and over and then I jumped into a water... erm... sand.... and found I can swim.

I am not for newbie intro. I know it could be hard for newbies, but in my opinion, no newbie intro could show what is Armageddon about. We have nice documents about basic commands and I think lot of things could be found there (http://www.armageddon.org/intro/walkthrough.html and http://www.armageddon.org/general/mechanics.html).

I would suggest newbies to create a character who was not born in the said city (could be a villager for example). Then it is easy: do you need water? Ask someone where to get it. There is no shame that you do not know and it also gives you chance to interact with PCs. And that could give you more feel of the MUD than any newbie intro ever could.

All in my opinion.


Agreed, Morfeus.

And I really dislike the idea of using helpers to find out where water is, etc etc. as it sets a precedent for using OOC resources to find IC things, and that's just bad.

Am I the only person left who feels like part of the fun of the game is discovery? Having everything given to you off the top OOC just ruins the fun... Just because you've already discovered it all and forgotten what it was like to not know it does not necessarily mean that a new player benefits from having it all just told to him.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Fnord on June 03, 2006, 10:47:42 AM
Quote from: "davien"
Am I the only person left who feels like part of the fun of the game is discovery? Having everything given to you off the top OOC just ruins the fun... Just because you've already discovered it all and forgotten what it was like to not know it does not necessarily mean that a new player benefits from having it all just told to him.


Who said anything about giving everything away? We're talking about basic, basic knowledge that any citizen in a city would know, like where to get food and water. I get the impression you're a veteran of Arm, and you know there's a huge difference between the two.

Honestly though, I am not really championing this cause. If our methods of acclimation are more Darwinian, so be it. I just think we lose some good potential players that way, and I'd like a larger playerbase. Maybe just an echo right when a new player logs in that points them to the helpers webpage would do. That's a lot less work. ;)
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Yokunama on June 03, 2006, 01:06:13 PM
Quote from: "Fnord"
Quote from: "davien"
Am I the only person left who feels like part of the fun of the game is discovery? Having everything given to you off the top OOC just ruins the fun... Just because you've already discovered it all and forgotten what it was like to not know it does not necessarily mean that a new player benefits from having it all just told to him.


Who said anything about giving everything away? We're talking about basic, basic knowledge that any citizen in a city would know, like where to get food and water. I get the impression you're a veteran of Arm, and you know there's a huge difference between the two.


This knowledge is already accessible for new players.
'help map allanak'
'help map tuluk'
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Fnord on June 03, 2006, 01:46:13 PM
Quote from: "Yokunama"
This knowledge is already accessible for new players.
'help map allanak'
'help map tuluk'


People that know the game, or even know about Mudding, already know a dozen ways to find out what they want. "help map allanak" is not exactly intuitive to someone new to Mudding. My suggestion is basically that we actively educate new players ahead of time, instead of counting on them to figure it out. Don't get me wrong, as an Arm regular, I love the harshness, but there are good potential players out there that will be turned off by that approach. I say, provide the most basic IC knowledge and game mechanics up front, so they don't get frustrated and feel stupid and leave before finding "help map allanak" or the helper webpage. Sifting through our massively large website, and having examples in game, where you can actually try commands, is two different things.

Arm has been around for what, 10 years? We have on average 50 players at peak? Why is this? It's not for lack of awesomeness, because Arm is the best there is. I bet ya one large a factor is the learning curve that turns off potential new players. I'm not saying my solution is the right one, but it should be addressed somehow.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: spawnloser on June 03, 2006, 01:47:43 PM
For your first character in any city, don't make your character knowledgeable of the locations of food or water.  Simple.  Problem solved.  If you don't know the area, don't make your character have IC information that you don't have.  The documentation tells you everything that everyone in that city knows, and everything beyond that, I hate to use the phrase, but FIND OUT IC.  First off, it's not that hard to track down, if you go about it systematically.  Second off, it could force some actual interaction with another PC which may be inclined to give you even MORE information about the city you're in, all in a preferred IC way.

Helpers can give hints.  They aren't going to tell you where exactly to find the food and water.  They will tell you exactly where when you ask in game, though.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Marauder Moe on June 03, 2006, 01:56:34 PM
I think every single one of us regular players managed to find the water without a newbie zone, and probably most of us did it without helpers either.  Where do you draw the line on spoonfeeding newbies anyway?  The water fountains?  The grocer's shops?  Armor and weapon shops?  Names of currently active clan recruiters?  There is ALWAYS more to learn.  I've been playing for years and I still learn things all the time, both about the game world and about the code.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Delirium on June 03, 2006, 02:04:10 PM
Way to be elitist, Moe.

I didn't know about the water sellers until I was a long time into my first character, at least 10 days playtime.  I was buying water in taverns, believe it or not.  This was back when those watery fruits kept you almost indefinitely not-thirsty and the thirst code was less severe, so I managed to survive.

In lieu of an in-game tutorial, I would rather see walkthroughs made for both Tuluk and Allanak.  I believe there is one for Allanak, but it may need updating.  In fact, if any newbies that started in Tuluk or Allanak would like to PM me with the questions and problems they remember running into, I'll start collecting information for those.  The problem with a veteran writing tutorials is, often, that a vet doesn't remember what a new player finds confusing.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: amoeba on June 03, 2006, 02:18:34 PM
Quote from: "Delirium"
The problem with a veteran writing tutorials is, often, that a vet doesn't remember what a new player finds confusing.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Cale_Knight on June 03, 2006, 02:22:44 PM
Quote from: "amoeba"
Quote from: "Delirium"
The problem with a veteran writing tutorials is, often, that a vet doesn't remember what a new player finds confusing.


Which is why the players you ask to write this are the ones who haveare comfortable in the game, but still remember what it's like to be a newbie. There are plenty of us.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Dalmeth on June 03, 2006, 02:35:47 PM
Quote from: "Delirium"
Way to be elitist, Moe.


People throw that term around way too much.  I suggest you stop using petty names to try and strengthen your arguements.

Besides, he's not being elitist, he's simply not being nurturing.  If he had said that they didn't belong here if they couldn't figure out everything by themselves, that would be elitist.

I too lean in the direction of the do-it-yourselfers.  This game isn't designed to be learned in its entirety in just a couple months.  Also, an introduction standardizes new players' interpretation and approach to this game.  I'm in favor of letting people build those on their own, with some help from friendly players and the helpers.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Marauder Moe on June 03, 2006, 02:45:37 PM
Elitist?  Hah!  I wrote more but decided against actually posting it because it was kinda harsh.  What's left isn't elitist, it's true... unless there are veterans running about not knowing how to get water.

Seriously, though, you didn't answer my question.  Where do you draw the line?  What's the minimal amount of information that an intelligent newbie needs to play Armageddon?  I'll admit that there are a few key gaps in the documentation (that will be adressed in new sections being created I think), and a few parts that I personally feel are outdated and give the wrong impressin of the game (*cough*guilddescriptions*cough*), but for the most part they're quite comprehensive... assuming new players actually read them.

I don't think a tutorial zone will help very much, and I do think it could give some players a bad/wrong impression of the game.  People will judge a game based off what they see in a tutorial zone.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Cale_Knight on June 03, 2006, 02:57:06 PM
Quote from: "Marauder Moe"
What's the minimal amount of information that an intelligent newbie needs to play Armageddon?


A newbie should have access to the knowledge that every single 20-year-old citizen of Allanak/Tuluk would have.

That includes directions to the water temple, shops in the bazaar, and the grocer. And all the other stuff that you call "spoonfeeding," if it would be reasonable for a 20-year-old citizen to know it.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Gimfalisette on June 03, 2006, 07:52:09 PM
I completely, 100% agree with Cale_Knight and others who've said the same thing: Give newbies the basic information that their character *should* know ICly. Where and how to get water, where and how to get flour, etc.

Not giving the newbies basics like where and how to get food and water *will* drive otherwise interested people out of the game. Because the help documentation sucks on this stuff. Let me lay out for you pretty much how this went for me about a week ago:

1. Look at the help file for help_map_allanak. Ooh cool, there's a map of the city! Oh, I will be able to find what I need now! There's the temple where I can get water, and it's clearly marked. Great. OK, navigating isn't too hard, I just continue straight down this road and eventually I'll get there...

2. OK, I'm at the temple. There's a templar here. When I try to talk to him, he doesn't say anything. There's no one else here for me to ask...ok, I'll look in the help files again...

3. How to buy things! Yeah, that must be it, I'll look in help_merchant...Wait, there's nothing there that's relevant to buying something, not even a link...OK, help_buy...great, a buy command! I'll type "buy water"...But that doesn't work. What the crap am I doing wrong? I just want to buy some water.

4. OK, I'll look at some other commands related to buying things. List! Yeah, ok, so I type "list" and surely the templar will tell me how to buy water...um...list doesn't work here because he's got nothing to sell? Crap again.

5. Back to the help files. Help_water, that must be it! And this help file tells me...absolutely nothing I didn't already know, because the only thing of use is that it tells me WHERE TO GET THE WATER, which is where I already am!

6. Alright, I'll look at help_drink since it's linked from help_water....nothing there of use at the moment, since I don't have any water to drink yet. Help_thirst, no help at all, help_eat, not there either.

7. Finally, it's only by traveling from help_water to help_drink to help_fill that I actually find out how to get water at the temple.

8. And guess what? I don't have anything to carry water in yet. That means a trip to the Bazaar...

9. I've just spent an hour trying to figure out how to get water, which I still don't have, and I really don't feel like banging my head against the Bazaar at the moment, so I log out...

10. Never to return because, frankly, I didn't have any fun at all and my first experience in ARM was one of complete annoyance and time-wastage.

(Actually, I myself did come back, because I'm stubborn. But not everyone is like me.)

Oh, and I still don't know where to get flour.

I encountered a newbie earlier today in the game and I tried to give him as much helpful information as I could, ICly, because there was no one better-qualified around to help. He, however, had to roleplay as if he was brain-damaged AND not from the city. Poor guy. Good thing he didn't ask me where to get flour, because then I'd have to roleplay being brain-damaged too.

I hope he comes back, but I really wouldn't blame him if he didn't.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: amoeba on June 03, 2006, 09:07:23 PM
I like Gimfalisette's post. It lays out some of the things veterans take for granted.  A game of guess the keyword is not all that enjoyable. I remember my first character in Allanak I could not even find out where to buy water.  I saw the temple, looked in and saw a templar, after all the talk about templars being dangerous I figured waltzing into a temple I didn't belong was dangerous.  

Now, you could have stated I was one of the 'unintelligent' newbies. Hell my first and only question to a helper (in frustration mind you, I hate emailing strangers with a passion) was to ask where water was, boy did I feel stupid.  But, like I said, this was my first character in Allanak, it was my second character overall.  My first character lived up north, was a ranger and spent 70% of the time in the wilds.  He lived 5+ playing days.

My point is, there should have been a simple -obvious- way to find out this information.  I still think a simple command 'help newbie' that would transport the person to an ooc room, where boards of relavant information would be placed,  and a couple of npc's to interact with would be useful.  It is no more 'jarring' than being able to in the wilds type 'change ldesc' and being transported to a similar ooc construct.

Btw,  Gimfalisette. At least you did better than me. I couldn't even find the water in the first place. :)
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Realedazed on June 03, 2006, 09:18:28 PM
Actually, I think that the newbie land would be a good idea.  But, I'd like to see it completely accessible outside of the real game. It would be a nice thing that a newbie to do while waiting for their first (or second, or third) application to go through.

I think it'll be nice. If there are several newbie there, they could practice emoting and RPing with each other, fighting etc.  Also, in newbieland,  there could be links or references back to the help files.

For example in a market.

>Ask shopkeeper help

A hunched back, human woman says, "If you like, I'll LIST you my wares so you may VIEW them. You may need HELP on BARTERing and OFFERing, too.

I don't know. This how I used to help new players when I was a helper on another slightly less intensive RP MUD.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Gimfalisette on June 03, 2006, 09:24:13 PM
amoeba, what happened above was actually the second time I went to the temple for water. The first time I did just like you, didn't even dare to go in when I saw a templar standing in there. By the second time, I figured...heck, I'm going to die if I can't figure out the water issue, so may as well try approaching and talking to that templar... :)
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: FiveDisgruntledMonkeysWit on June 03, 2006, 09:28:40 PM
Delirium wrote:
Quote
In lieu of an in-game tutorial, I would rather see walkthroughs made for both Tuluk and Allanak. I believe there is one for Allanak, but it may need updating.

Yes, I would rather see more walkthroughs, and I'd like to see them featured more prominently on the site. I didn't see the Allanak walkthrough until I'd been playing my third character for about a year, heh, but it was a very good walkthrough that would've let my first two characters live a lot longer, I'm sure.
For some visceral, primal, intangible reason I really can't explain, I really, really, really dislike noobie tutorials in -any- game. I'd hate to see one in Arm... sorry, that's just how I feel.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Fnord on June 03, 2006, 10:00:36 PM
Quote from: "FiveDisgruntledMonkeysWit"
For some visceral, primal, intangible reason I really can't explain, I really, really, really dislike noobie tutorials in -any- game. I'd hate to see one in Arm... sorry, that's just how I feel.


You'll notice in the OP I suggested there should be an easy, one-word command to exit it. That way people that are brand new to Mudding or brand new to Arm that feel they need some help can use it, and more advanced players can jump in and play as they're accustomed to.

Another thought that occurs to me... the NPC tutors could end any lesson with something like, "Remember, while these beginner tutorials are OOC (out of character), once you're in game you should make every effort to stay IC (in character). Go to this link on our website to learn more about these important concepts."
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Anonymous on June 03, 2006, 10:43:50 PM
How about a web page with a set of short player logs? Like a log of someone seeing what a merchant has to offer, looking over an item or two, haggling and finally buying an item.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: FiveDisgruntledMonkeysWit on June 03, 2006, 10:51:35 PM
Fnord wrote:
Quote
You'll notice in the OP I suggested there should be an easy, one-word command to exit it. That way people that are brand new to Mudding or brand new to Arm that feel they need some help can use it, and more advanced players can jump in and play as they're accustomed to.

Yes, I saw that in the original post, but the thing is, I really don't like tutorials. If a tutorial was in place when I first joined however many years ago, I probably would've turned around and left, even if I could've skipped it. I wouldn't want a tutorial in place even if I could skip it- its very existence is what irks me.
But, then again, that's me. I'm probably crazy or OCD or something.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: spawnloser on June 04, 2006, 01:01:01 AM
Quote from: "Cale_Knight"
Quote from: "Marauder Moe"
What's the minimal amount of information that an intelligent newbie needs to play Armageddon?


A newbie should have access to the knowledge that every single 20-year-old citizen of Allanak/Tuluk would have.
You see, this is where we disagree.  I DON'T think every newbie should have access to this information.  Not every citizen of Tuluk/Nak will know where to buy everything.  Water?  A simple, "Go where someone has lots of water and type 'fill [watercontainer]' should solve your problem," is good enough.  Forcing a newbie to explore and find his/her way around is BETTER for the newbie, in my opinion, than just spoonfeeding them.  If you spoonfeed them, they don't learn, just memorize.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: amoeba on June 04, 2006, 01:58:03 AM
Quote from: "spawnloser"
Quote from: "Cale_Knight"
Quote from: "Marauder Moe"
What's the minimal amount of information that an intelligent newbie needs to play Armageddon?


A newbie should have access to the knowledge that every single 20-year-old citizen of Allanak/Tuluk would have.
You see, this is where we disagree.  I DON'T think every newbie should have access to this information.  Not every citizen of Tuluk/Nak will know where to buy everything.  Water?  A simple, "Go where someone has lots of water and type 'fill [watercontainer]' should solve your problem," is good enough.  Forcing a newbie to explore and find his/her way around is BETTER for the newbie, in my opinion, than just spoonfeeding them.  If you spoonfeed them, they don't learn, just memorize.


-Every- Newbie should know where the water is, Why? Because they would, pure and simple. The rest is a subjective, and fairly erroneous take on the learning process.  There are gobs of things to learn in the game.  Straightforward stuff, like where food and water are, stuff they -should- already, know don't need to be part of the process.  People will explore naturally, and if not, quite frankly, so what? It is their choice.   All I have to say is I am glad many of you are not my thrid graders teacher.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: spawnloser on June 04, 2006, 03:26:59 AM
See, the thing is, this game doesn't cater to third graders.  See, it's a bit more mature than that.

See, I truly do believe that if someone can't take the time to explore the city they are in and find where water can be found (the syntax, I will agree could be given out to newbies) as well as food (the syntax to purchase, again, I think can be given out), they don't have the patience to properly roleplay the character they have applied.

Call me elitist, but I don't think it is.  I think that people have to have some ability to think as well as learn on their own to absorb that which is ArmageddonMUD.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: bloodfromstone on June 04, 2006, 04:02:43 AM
I disagree. While patience is required for the game, it was about the most frustrating thing in the world for me when I was a newbie to feel like I'd broken character despite myself. Not having access to the information that my character would know gave me the options of roleplaying a stupid/sheltered/mentally retarded character, forcing myself and others to bumble through awkward scenes that don't make any sense in the context of the world, or saying "I'm not from around here.", which is about the worst thing you can ever say in Allanak. Of course, it's easy enough to say you're from a small village around Allanak, but newbies don't know about those, either.

I can understand how others would want to just dive in and find things out, but I, personally, ran into a number of instances in my early days where something I said or did was completely incorrect, despite having read through the docs and having tried my best to stay IC. I don't see any necessity for situations like this. I don't think giving someone the tools they need to roleplay a character is spoonfeeding, but maybe I'm wrong.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: amoeba on June 04, 2006, 04:27:14 AM
Quote from: "spawnloser"
See, the thing is, this game doesn't cater to third graders.  See, it's a bit more mature than that.
A cute retort, but has no bearing on the arguement I was making.

Quote from: "spawnloser"
See, I truly do believe that if someone can't take the time to explore the city they are in and find where water can be found (the syntax, I will agree could be given out to newbies) as well as food (the syntax to purchase, again, I think can be given out), they don't have the patience to properly roleplay the character they have applied.

See this is where you let -your- way of thinking become the only way of approaching a given situation. It is short sighted and does not allow for the fact that the way people approach problems have a considerable amount of variblity.  Also your premise translates into one of where people that don't suceed with your approach are incapable of suceeding in the game. Quite frankly in practice that is entirely untrue.  

This line of thinking is on par with thowing kids into the deep end of the pool, and telling them they need to swim to the side. Don't dismiss this, sadly I've seen people do this.  In practice it is a stupid, dangerous thing to do.

People in game can and do succeed without being thrown into the deep end to sink or swim. Quite frankly my wife is one of those.  She has a lousy directional sense. Had your advice been applied, she would never be playing this game. As it stands now she is a very active and productive member of the community.

Quote from: "spawnloser"
Call me elitist, but I don't think it is.  I think that people have to have some ability to think as well as learn on their own to absorb that which is ArmageddonMUD.

I don't think I will ever understand statements like this. It implies a certain superiority. Once again in practice, different people have differing skillsets. There may be a person who is wonderful in social situations and creates a great deal of interactions with those around them, yet couldn't find their own ass with both hands.  Yet others who live to explore, find things easily, catch onto syntax like a breeze, but are as dull as dishwater in conversations.

The problem with cookie cutter thinking is that it limits the type of players that are drawn to the game, and in turn limits possiblities.  Is this truely what we want? To discourage and turn away potential players like my wife?  I just wish people would open up their minds to the idea that not everyone thinks the same way they do.  Allow there to be mechanisms for each of these players, and don't presume that because they don't think like you, that they are somehow inferior, or can not contribute to the game in some meaningful way.

Edit typos, it's late and I should be sleeping instead of posting.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: spawnloser on June 04, 2006, 05:14:14 AM
You know what, amoeba?  I really don't think you understand where I'm coming from.  Your wife could learn without being spoonfed.  If she's a productive member of the community, she's either learned things on her own or broken LOTS of rules about IC-OOC information transfer.  It is that simple.

Give assistance, advice and hints...but don't give the answer.  Giving the answer to 'the person trying to learn' teaches this person that the answers are going to be handed to them instead of teaching the person how to seek the answers themselves.  A teacher does NOT give the answer first, but guides the students to the answer.  This is what helpers should be doing.  This is how education SHOULD work, both in real life applications and when applied to the MUD.

Editted to add: By the way, don't tell me that I'm saying my way is the only way, especially when you're doing the exact same thing.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Larrath on June 04, 2006, 05:47:57 AM
Quote from: "spawnloser"
Give assistance, advice and hints...but don't give the answer.  Giving the answer to 'the person trying to learn' teaches this person that the answers are going to be handed to them instead of teaching the person how to seek the answers themselves.  A teacher does NOT give the answer first, but guides the students to the answer.  This is what helpers should be doing.  This is how education SHOULD work, both in real life applications and when applied to the MUD.

Spoonfeeding, spoonfeeding, spoonfeeding spoonfeeding!
Nonsense!

No matter how much help, answers and advice I have given a new player, I have never, not once, seen a player become accustomed to being spoonfed.  I have never seen a player that became dependant on me in order to try to learn the game.  Invariably, new players try to learn the game by themselves and use Helpers (or at least my help) as a crutch.
Why?  Probably because they feel awkward asking for help.  Fact is that this is the case.

I will have been a Helper for two years two weeks from now, and have helped a very nice handful of new players.

If someone truly believes that telling a new player where they can buy water or *gasp* where they can buy dirty water for cheaper would promote bad playing habits in that player, they're in sore need of a reality check.
I've explained the general outline of Allanak, made a few hints towards genuine IC information, given people exact directions to the Barrel from the Gaj, and even wrote backgrounds and helped with main descriptions.
This has never caused a player to be lazy as far as I'm able to tell, and it certainly never caused them to depend on me in excess.

Armageddon isn't for everyone, however it is NOT strictly for players that are willing to bang their heads into a wall for a few good months until they get something similar to an understanding of the game.  Armageddon has a steep learning curve, but that curve shouldn't extend beyond two to three months at the very most.
In order to keep the learning curve relatively short, sometimes new players need to be given answers.

I'm leaving this thread now before I see another elitist post.  I might go on a killing spree.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: The7DeadlyVenomz on June 04, 2006, 07:55:27 AM
I'm with Larrath 199%, with the exception of "players becoming lazy" part. But the cure for that was simply a "I can't tell you that, it's IC."

I have no problem turning off one player to the game because he didn't have the balls to learn the real secrets of the game by himself, when I've helped keep twenty or more players here by letting them know things like Tavern Locations, Water Sources, what a commoner would prolly do about food, what a background should look like, explaining why they didn't get accepted for the ninth time, etc.

I want players. Newbies need real help if they ask for it, and if they don't ask for it, then they don't need it. It's really that simple.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Cale_Knight on June 04, 2006, 09:09:09 AM
Quote from: "spawnloser"
A teacher does NOT give the answer first, but guides the students to the answer.


ArmageddonMUD is a game, not the LSAT.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Fnord on June 04, 2006, 10:20:03 AM
Quote from: "The7DeadlyVenomz"
I want players. Newbies need real help if they ask for it, and if they don't ask for it, then they don't need it. It's really that simple.


That's really it. I think it was Hot Dancer that said in a tangent thread about elitism that if you've learned to play Arm, you're elite. Honestly, I think that's true. I'd say the majority of our regular players are exceptional in one way or another having made it this far. But, I know from personal experience there are some very creative people that are natural RP'ers out there that would just get too frustrated without a helper to get over the hump.

The n00b tutorial is basically an automated helper. Probably not as good as our excellent human (uh, at least I think they are...) helpers, but perhaps used in combination could retain more players. That's the essence of this thread: How do we retain more players.

See how many people show up for the HRPT tonight... usually 100+. Imagine if we had a base like that each night at peak. So many fucking boots to steal!

Love, Fnord.
Title: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Gimfalisette on June 04, 2006, 01:25:51 PM
I also have a spouse that I would like to have play ARM with me. But honestly, with the in-game help as poor as it is, I really don't see him picking it up on his own. It's going to take a -lot- of work on my part to even get him in the game checking it out, because it's so non-intuitive and puts newbies immediately in the situation of looking stupid IC.

So yes, in order to get him in the game, I will have to directly tell him where to get water, how to get water, where and how to get food, where and how to find some people to clan with, etc. But if he tries the game (and I'm still working on convincing him even to -try-), then the game world will benefit because he is a good roleplayer, likes to play fun/interesting characters, has pretty good spelling/grammar, and is an easy person to play with.

I just know there are lots more people with potential out there like him, who won't even bother to try ARM because it's far too hard right out of the gate.
Title: Re: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Winterless on August 16, 2008, 10:49:26 PM
Found this thread and thought it was a good idea, what do you guys still think?
Title: Re: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: Clearsighted on August 17, 2008, 12:03:53 AM
I always thought that the in-game newbie tutorial was the T'zai Byn.

 :-\

In all seriousness though, I know that if I had probably taken any other course but fall in with the Byn, I would have never made it when I was a newbie. I still love everything about it too. I'm also one of those introverted do it yourselfers, and the Byn provided that hands on experience in a controlled environment that I needed. I even learned to solo emote cleaning latrines.
Title: Re: Fnord's New Player Guide Idea
Post by: helix on August 17, 2008, 01:56:34 AM
I like the idea. I've played another RPI (ShadowSiege) that features an in-game tutorial. Its almost as complicated as Arm, in some parts, the the tutorial was half "What you know" from the docs and half "These are your commands". In that respect, it REALLY helped me develop a character and stay IC as I knew:

It took me about an hour to go through the tutorial, meanwhile I could ask questions of the imms, if something came up that I didn't understand, or I had a question. However, afterwards I didn't have to break character at ALL, not even to ask for directions (which I consider asking for directions, if you've lived in the same city for 20 years and never been outside the gates, you probably know where to get a bite to eat).

Let's face it, Arm's helpfiles, while extensive, are poorly organized and in some cases, outdated. I honestly don't see how an in-game tutorial detracts from the game experience, only how it increases the chance that people will have a good time (I still play, and enjoy, ShadowSiege) and not feel like an idiot. Personally, it takes very little to turn me off on a game (it was so little as the character creation process of one MUD) and a big part of why I kept going with Arm is that I had someone I could ask a few questions (like: where is the water seller in Allanak, because I also was afraid to go into the temple, at first) of and not feel dumb. Learning that information on my own in SS enabled me to begin good RP from the moment I stepped into the gameworld.