Author Topic: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.  (Read 7014 times)

Jinxed

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Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« on: July 26, 2014, 09:15:40 PM »
Greetings.

Today I stumbled upon this project and decided to try it out.
Before I start my feedback let me warn you that I am new to MUD. I found out about MUD a week ago and since then roaming the mudconnectors to find a suitable project for me.
Previously I was trying my luck on projects of my native language, but they are not able to provide the level of enterteinment I am after. This is my first english MUD.
It is easily that I missed some crucial information along my explorings and pondering so you are more than welcome to point out where I am wrong.

Point #1: the creation of new character and learning the basics.
While creation of the character is intuitive, it is impossible to gain any in-game information about what the hell are you doing.
On some other MUD projects it was possible to type out, for example, HELP THIEF during the character generation and study the class you are about to pick. In this case I needed to roam along the website to find the information I desired to learn.
Other than that I would like to note once again that character generation was intuitive and easy.

After my character was successfully accepted by staff (which happened less than in 2 hours) I  logged into the game and "pointed newbie" to receive some basic training about in-game interactions.
Is it just me or training consists only of five rooms?
In first room I was taught to look at tables, sit at tables, speak to others and read the message board. In same room I was told about some psionic abilities.
In second room I was teleported to market, which I had not a single clue how to use and could easily skip if I did not figure out how to use "HELP BUY" in time. On market I spent about half a hour attempting to wear the robe and manipulate the hood, but gave up and just stored it in a backpack. I bought there some items, without knowing how exactly they may be useful to my character and if I picked the correct equipment and proceeded to the last room of training (market area consists out of 3 rooms).
The last room was a room where I needed to pick a place to start my adventure.
In short - I am disappointed by training.

On my first MUD project I was taught to properly navigate around the world, interact with world, to use skills and gear, evaluate how dangerous various beings are, initiate and participate in combat, assist someone in combat, interact with containers, interact with merchants, bank, stables, loot and skin corpses and etc, etc.
Compared to that - you just gave me a stick and nudged into a dark cave to fight a dragon.
If I did not receive that training before trying this project, it would be just impossible for me to understand anything at all.

Point #2: the pace and prioritization of output.
The second thing I want to whine about is extremelly high pace of the game and lack of assist to prioritize the output provided by the game.
For example, there was a moment when my character was inside of the tavern with more than 7 PC patrons inside and someone attempted to interact with him.
In the same time there was ongoing conversation, trading, drinking and system messages happening.
I found myself in a rather dazzled condition, when I was starting to type my response, then stopped it to study over 10 new lines of text to see if I should modify my character's responce so it would respond the current situation inside, continue typing, stop typing in a few seconds to see that the character who originally adressed my character previously looses his patience and adresses the character again in slightly modified manner, start over typing the message, understand that I forgot what was said to my character, find the message somewhere in the middle of drinking roleplay, continue typing and, finally, see that another player gave up and just left the area.

It is nearly impossible to keep track of situation in conditions like that. And I doubt that there are that many people who actually can do it.
Myself, I feel confused and in need of rest to process the information even after more than 20 minutes from this situation.
My brain is simply not able to process that much information AND to translate it right off the bat that fast.

On other projects I tried out I was in similiar situations, but never had the same problem just because they used the colored fonts to indicate the nature of output.
My brain quickly learnt to recognise it and react accordingly to priroty of the message.
For example, the red font was used for combat and dangerous situations, light blue to indicate that someone spoke to my character, yellow to indicate another characters and interactable items, and white for anything not related to situations above.
In fast-paced situations I just paid attention to colours and investigated those messages of higher priority first.
If engaged in active discussion, for example, I completely ignored any white output and just concentrated on blue text.

I was told by helper that coloured output was suggested many times before, but, for some reason, was not implented.
Please, reconsider - it will make player's life (especially new one) much easier.

Point #3: general perception of project
Despite my disappointment regarding point #1 and #2, I enjoyed my experience I had on thos project and looking forward to return and continue my roleplay.
I enjoyed the roleplay I witnessed during my visit, my interactions with some other characters and I also noted that community is friendly towards the new players, which is actually very rare in any previous projects I visited. On one of them, for example, some of the old players placed the bounty on my head as soon as I mentioned that I am a new player and I was offered a choice - to waste my time and prove that I am actually a new player by meeting some of the older player in real life or to be endlessly killed by anyone, since they suspected that I am just some old player deceiving them to infiltrate some clan.

Currently all my questions had been answered by very kind helper in "live help", but I will constantly update this thread and it's head message if I will have any new questions.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 09:21:29 PM by Jinxed »

Barsook

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2014, 09:19:06 PM »
Welcome and dibs on his boots!

Jinxed

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2014, 09:22:15 PM »
Welcome and dibs on his boots!
Are you a russian?

Barsook

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2014, 09:23:20 PM »
Yes, but I live in the USA for 21 years now.  Are you, comrade?

Jinxed

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2014, 09:25:36 PM »
Yes, and I live in Russia for 23 years now.
It is actually amusing that I stumble at russians literally everywhere across the internet - it is a very rare corner of internet where I find none.

Barsook

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2014, 09:26:47 PM »
Ah, I see.  We do have a few Russians that play this game.

RogueGunslinger

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2014, 09:34:02 PM »
Welcome to the game. This is a beautiful post that highlights some areas for improvement in the game. It so rare to get perspective from newbies, let alone newbies who are new to MUDs in general and I imagine it is very helpful to staff.



Ways to deal with lots of emotes/talking/interactions can be done by downloading a MUD client and playign the game form there. These clients can set up trigger to highlight specific words(like when ever someone says your name or adresses you).

In-game you can limit some spam from things like combat or room descriptions with the Brief toggle('brief room', 'brief exits'. 'Help Brief' may be useful.

I can assure you however that even without highlights or mud-clients you CAN keep up with a scroll. It just takes practice, and I'm sure for people who's first language isn't English it may take time. I only highlight the word You and Your. So they pop up in red color and I can pick them out of the spam easily when someone is interacting with me. You learn to tune out things that your PC isn't really involved in.

You can also deal with spammyness by adding a \n to the end of your prompt. 'Help Prompt' to get an idea of what I'm talking about here. It basically puts a space between your prompt and whatever echo comes next. Here's my prompt:

<%h/%H : %v/%V : %t/%T-%w-%s-%A-%o-%a>\n Which looks like this in game: <100/100 : 90/100 : 100/100-walking-standing-unarmed-sirihish-southern>


There are a lot of tools on the website that will help you out as a newbie. Have you checked out this? http://www.armageddon.org/intro/walkthrough.php

Barsook

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2014, 09:35:46 PM »
Mudlet, MUSHCLient are two that can recommend for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Cutthroat

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2014, 09:36:14 PM »
Welcome to the game, and thanks for the detailed post.

I also struggled with point #2 when starting to play this game, and sometimes I still get hit with this problem during RPTs (Recommended Playing Times - basically big player gatherings) when there are 20-50 people, sometimes in the same room. Coloring helps, but unfortunately as you mentioned it isn't a feature of the game, and it's something players have to do client-side. Many players here use MUD Clients, like MUSHClient and Mudlet, and should be able to help you easily with setting up colors for yourself, if you're using one of those clients.

You're not wrong about point #1 either, but the commands are something you definitely will get used to with a bit of practice. The newbie area is meant to introduce people to the basics, but there is no good substitute for practicing while you play.

Harmless

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2014, 09:44:18 PM »
Hey and welcome.

1.) Yeah, that's a good point. Char creation is kind of the same system it's been for years. Maybe over 10 years or so; there are some things lacking about the newbie rooms but in any case we want you to learn by joining us!. The character creation system probably references the MUD's website, though; http://www.armageddon.org. There you can access the help files by searching for the terms in the search bar.

2.) Yeah, this is something I struggle with a lot too. I hope at least your one-on-one interactions are something you can keep up with! In any case, practice makes perfect! People have definitely learned how to read English better playing this game, though, I can assure you of that. We hear about it all the time.

3.) Welcome to the game, and I am glad you enjoy it. There's going to be rough times ahead, but the game will give you some memories you would never have had otherwise. Spread the word! We LOVE it when people bring their friends in... and if you happen to have even one who'd want to try it out, that'd be great. ;)
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valeria

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2014, 10:20:17 PM »
Thank you very much for your detailed post with suggestions. 

I just wanted to add, regarding point #1: in helper chat, you mentioned two areas that would have been helpful to you.  A room on "combat," and a room on "how to interact with items."  I wanted to put that here in case anyone was wondering what additional rooms you would have specifically found more helpful.

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your experience and are looking to come back.  I was really overwhelmed at first too, and I've played plenty of MUDs.  The best thing to do is just jump in with both feet and roll with it, and it sounds like you're doing that.
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Lizzie

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2014, 10:30:39 PM »
Hello and welcome Jinxed. Zdravstvuj!

On your first note: Your previous experience was with what's known as "mudschool." Those are mostly for combat-oriented games, commonly known as "hack and slash" where the main focus is hunting and killing animals for experience and levels and loot.

Armageddon doesn't have experience points, or levels, and skinning a critter doesn't result in finding treasure boxes. So that whole part of mudschool wouldn't exist here, it wouldn't make much sense.

Since Armageddon is heavily roleplay focused, there's less emphasis on combat. There is definitely combat! But it's not necessary to play a well-developed character.

Everything you're looking for can be found on the help files on the website, and learning how to use combat really is best done while you're in the game interacting. The basics are "draw sword" then "kill gortok" (or whatever critter it is) and if you kill it, you can "skin" it. If it's beating you, you can try to "flee west" or "flee down" or "flee self" or just plain "flee." That's combat in a very compact summary. There's a lot more to it, but that's all you'd learn in a mudschool anyway.

For colors: The game "supports ansi color." That means that it will be in whatever color you set it to on your game client. Some of us prefer it that way. Because I might not like red for my highlights. Maybe I prefer blue. Or maybe I don't like highlights at all. Or maybe I like mine black, but bolded. So the game doesn't force any specific colors on me, and instead lets me set my own (or not set any if I don't want to).

If you need help with mushclient colors, feel free to ask, many of us use it as our client.

For the general pace: There are some games that are "turn-based" and move much more slowly. A single casual introduction of three people at a bar can take several real hours. In Armageddon, that same meeting can take ten minutes. Not being a native English-speaker will make it more difficult for you at first.

Eventually you get the rhythm of the pace, and learn what to notice and what to ignore, and what to just "skim over." That takes time even as a native English-speaker, so don't feel too uncomfortable if it takes you awhile longer.
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Jinxed

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2014, 03:06:03 AM »
Thank you for a warm welcoming.
Let us continue the discussion.

Hello and welcome Jinxed. Zdravstvuj!

On your first note: Your previous experience was with what's known as "mudschool." Those are mostly for combat-oriented games, commonly known as "hack and slash" where the main focus is hunting and killing animals for experience and levels and loot.

Armageddon doesn't have experience points, or levels, and skinning a critter doesn't result in finding treasure boxes. So that whole part of mudschool wouldn't exist here, it wouldn't make much sense.

That would actually make a sense since this particular MUD is listed #1 on mudconnecter and it to be expected that those rare people who are completelly new to MUD will try out this project first.
There is absolutely no harm in having a mudschool and advanced armageddon school - first one to teach the very basic interactions and second one to teach you exclusive features of the project.

Speaking of which, it may be a very good idea to add an "Emote" section in existing school. Emote system is advanced indeed and needs at least some practice to understand how it works, I was not really comfortable experimenting right in the tavern.
It meant that I needed to study the HELP EMOTE, other character's actions and form the syntax of command correctly both in mechanically and roleplaywy-wise at the same time.
A peacefull and still room where syntax in explained carefully and where you are given a couple tasks to practice it would be really nice.

learning how to use combat really is best done while you're in the game interacting.
I have to disagree with that. I, myself, feel under pressure when acting on field where any of my actions may yield consequences.
And I would be really disapointed to suffer consequences just because I failed to figure out fast enough how to do something mechanically.
For example, I never knew about "DRAW SWORD" command. And it would be a shame to be killed while figuring out how to arm yourself.
And I doubt that agressive NPC (or some PC's) will be that kind to explain it to me during combat.

For colors: The game "supports ansi color." That means that it will be in whatever color you set it to on your game client. Some of us prefer it that way. Because I might not like red for my highlights. Maybe I prefer blue. Or maybe I don't like highlights at all. Or maybe I like mine black, but bolded. So the game doesn't force any specific colors on me, and instead lets me set my own (or not set any if I don't want to).
Previously I visited a project which featured the color system, as I mentioned previously.
I recall it allowing the player to customise the coloring - I could turn on/off coloring in combat, conversation, loot, status bar. As well as I could switch between the full set of colors and only high priority ones. Or even just turn them all off.
I do not remember if it allowed me to change the colors to my desirable ones, though, but I do believe that this is possible as well.

It is good that people invented ways to implent it themselves in any fashion they desire, but new players are not known for patience - they see something new and exiting in front of them. And everything new and exiting needs to be investigated as soon as possible - this is our human nature based on survivval instinct. And it suddenly becomes much less exiting and interesting if player, after opening the shiny box, suddenly discovers "assemble yourself".



In any case, I am going to study the available clients now and get exploring the game world once again.

Harmless

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2014, 03:45:24 AM »
I definitely agree that an integrated color system is a good thing potentially to add. There is definitely a contingent of us at this point who have had our own custom color highlights for so long we'd never bother to turn it on, but maybe someday it can be implemented for some of the bare bones things that people new to the game would definitely like highlighted -- damage messages, for example, or other important (and common) messages pertaining to the survival of your PC, but not much more than that...
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 04:34:46 AM by Harmless »
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solera

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2014, 04:23:18 AM »
Emote practice.  Most of us, I'd say, learnt to emote by practising alone in a quiet place.
For example

Code: [Select]
em trails ^me fingers along the spiralling lines carved into ~bench .
The  pale scrawny youth trails his fingers along the spiralling lines carved into an ornate stone bench.

Jinxed

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2014, 05:44:53 AM »
I started to use MUSH client. It was fairly easy to configure the color for "you" and "your", yet it is not as useful as I hoped - it simply highlights any mentionings of those words without prioritizing them by the type of actions.
Yet I feel that it is possible to create a complex system of colored words, it is just not the same as I experienced on other project and not as comfortable to use.

I also have a question about MUSH client - it appears that this particular client is not using the whole output window.
As demonstrated on the following screenshot (no IC sensitive information is present), MUSH suddenly breaks the line in the middle of the screen and transfers it to the next line.
I would like it to break the line only at the proper end of the window on the right - how can I do that?


Kol

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2014, 07:05:13 AM »
Hey there, and welcome!

Firstly, it's best not to compare this game to other MUD's or MUSH's, all the staff, coders, helpers and admin in this game are unpaid, and do what they do out of love for the game, as opposed to what I suspect may have been a IRE MUD, where the coders and staff get paid for what they do, and so can dedicate a lot more time to it (The newbie training area you visited was put in early this year if I remember).

Secondly, in regards to MUSHclient, there is no way I know of to extend the linebreaks to a longer length, however, it does make it easier to use a browser at the same time, for quickly browsing help-files as you need them on the website (useful for social situations where the screens moving at a pace that's too fast for you.)

This should add some colour to your world if it helps and was written by one of our own players.

Learning to play a MUD from scratch is hard, this one is harder still if you've never played a MUD before in your life, OOC interactions are discouraged, unlike other MUD's out there, and most of the information you need, you'll have to find yourself. Armageddon is a steep learning curve, but once you manage to get up the slope, it's worthwhile. I still opt to play this over my XBOX and steam games most days.

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valeria

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2014, 09:17:32 AM »
I think the comparisons in this case are okay.  They aren't as much "wow let me advertise this other place" as they are "I've found these features at other places helpful, maybe they would be helpful here."

I use MUSHclient.  You can change the linewrap settings, but it will not change the MUD's output.  The MUD outputs in strings of 80 characters.

Learning to play a MUD from scratch is pretty hard.  After a while, it becomes the Matrix/Dwarf Fortress "I don't even see the characters anymore" but that takes time.  I think maybe the emote part of the school could be as easy as having a suggestion in the newbie tavern (if there isn't one there already) about "help emote" and an encouragement to practice emoting.  I think that would have been a good place for you to practice.

I don't think that having a default color set for specific messages would be bad, especially if it either defaulted to off or you could easily turn it off (as happy as I am that Arm doesn't rape your cornea with color).  Some people just think better in color.  I'm just not sure how easy it would be to implement.

Anyway, thanks again for the feedback!  Keep the ideas coming.
Retired from playing, but probably still lurking around somewhere.

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slvrmoontiger

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2014, 01:03:02 PM »
Welcome to Armageddon.

I have to agree with most of your points in some cases. As already mentioned, for some characters combat isn't a position they find themselves in. For some guilds: Merchants for instance they would rather stay out of combat situations than to get into them. Armageddon is first and always about role playing. No levels, no experience points, no buying points to train with. It's just not what it's about. I love the way skills progress on Armageddon and it's the best role playing MUD there is, hands down. In my MANY years of playing Armageddon I have yet to find a MUD that people actually RP as much as they do on Armageddon. Oh, other MUDs claim to have RP but most of them are experience based and when you turn a RP game into an experience based game it boils down more to it being Hack & Slash.

I agree completely with the level of spam scrolling on your screen at times and how difficult it is to digest it. I said difficult (it's not entirely impossible, some cases are more impossible than others RPTs (Recommended Player Times) and HRPTs (Highly Recommended Player Times) can be those times). I would encourage you in such situations to pick out just one or two people that are interacting with your character to focus on in situations like that, or even in the one you highlighted. I believe the reason the other player left was probably because he/she wasn't getting any responses from you. Sometimes its better to respond with what you were first going to respond with. If the situation changes continue on the change. But respond. At first it's best not to do lengthy tells and emotes. "Hello, how are you?" for instance could be a quick way to show another character/player that you did get their tell/emote and you are at the keyboard and responsive. Carry on the conversation from there. No one is expecting everyone to be a quick reader or be a super typer. However, some response is appreciated no matter how little or if it doesn't completely address everything that character said to your character immediately. There's plenty of time for that. Continue to keep tabs on the other people around your character, but if they aren't directly communicating with your character it's best to focus on those who are.

Good luck. Helper chat is awesome, even being an Armageddon Veteran (I've played since the mid to late 1990's) I still use it from time to time. Not everyone knows everything about the game, but as time goes on your learn quickly and you'll become used to and very adept at responding and playing.
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lordcooper

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2014, 04:53:21 PM »
If you're looking to learn the basics of combat in a safe-ish environment, I'd highly recommend joining our resident group of filthy mercenaries, the T'zai Byn.
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Harmless

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2014, 05:29:12 PM »
if you'd like to find monsters that are fairly easily found and killed, there's one well-known example of such a critter called a "gurth," which is basically a tortoise. They can be found in the scrublands to the north, near where the city of Tuluk is. To the south, the closest equivalent is a jozhal, which is a small reptilian humanoid -- however, they are excellent at hiding (and fleeing) and make for hard prey because of that.
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Fujikoma

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2014, 07:02:06 AM »
I learned to use all the emote symbols properly from mudsex. :P

Yes, muds can be difficult to keep up with at first. I've been playying muds off and on for well over ten years now, Arm only about one year, and I have to say, I'd never played an RP based mud before, nor did I think an RP based mud would appeal to me, nor did I even think I was -capable- of playing an RP based mud. I guess I'm just lucky someone signed into another game to vent about the death of their PC, which was what drew my attention.

Anyway, hang in there. I'd definitely recommend playing in a clan for your first dozen PCs at least, maybe just half a dozen, depending on how quickly you pick up what you need to. The learning curve is steep, and a good teacher can help even the odds a lot with future characters, these will most likely be found in clans, although, there are other places they can be located... even after you learn what you need to, clans are fun to play in and much less hazardous than going out on your own, well, usually. Some leaders can be more hazardous than a grouchy mekillot, so, ymmv, and it can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you want out of the experience.
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Barzalene

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2014, 08:25:26 AM »
I started to use MUSH client. It was fairly easy to configure the color for "you" and "your", yet it is not as useful as I hoped - it simply highlights any mentionings of those words without prioritizing them by the type of actions.
Yet I feel that it is possible to create a complex system of colored words, it is just not the same as I experienced on other project and not as comfortable to use.

I also have a question about MUSH client - it appears that this particular client is not using the whole output window.
As demonstrated on the following screenshot (no IC sensitive information is present), MUSH suddenly breaks the line in the middle of the screen and transfers it to the next line.
I would like it to break the line only at the proper end of the window on the right - how can I do that?



Welcome Jinxed,
Good to have you, and I hope you enjoy.
You make a lot of good points, and now that we have a newbie area to start in, I wouldn't be surprised if some of your ideas were put to use. That might not happen overnight as someone would have to take the project on, think about it, code it, test it, have it approved etc. But it could definitely happen.

With regards to the triggers a lot of people use mushclient (I use cmud) and I bet many of them would be happy to share their set up with you. People have set their clients us to do all sorts of things. Some you'll like and some you won't and eventually you'll likely make your own adjustments.

Also, (incase you worried)  it's absolutely possible to learn the emote system while your pc is fully dressed and upright.
Varak:You tell the mangy, pointy-eared gortok, in sirihish: "What, girl? You say the sorceror-king has fallen down the well?"
Ghardoan:A pitiful voice rises from the well below, "I've fallen and I can't get up..."

slvrmoontiger

  • Posts: 1446
Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2014, 10:48:06 AM »
I learned to use all the emote symbols properly from mudsex. :P

LOL. Mudsex does force you to learn how to become quite creative with emotes, especially on which symbol to use in which instance. It can get confusing with all the different symbols to put before names or keywords. But it becomes second nature after a while. When I first started playing again after a 5 year break I printed off the chart in the help files of the symbols for emotes and I taped it right above my computer on the wall so I always saw it while playing. It only stayed there for a few months and then it became second nature. People adapt and learn and memorize stuff.
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Fujikoma

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Re: Jinxed's thread of Feedback and Questions.
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2014, 10:59:00 AM »
I learned to use all the emote symbols properly from mudsex. :P

LOL. Mudsex does force you to learn how to become quite creative with emotes, especially on which symbol to use in which instance. It can get confusing with all the different symbols to put before names or keywords. But it becomes second nature after a while. When I first started playing again after a 5 year break I printed off the chart in the help files of the symbols for emotes and I taped it right above my computer on the wall so I always saw it while playing. It only stayed there for a few months and then it became second nature. People adapt and learn and memorize stuff.

After a while the buffer limit starts to become second nature too, so you don't get chopped emotes.
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