Author Topic: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.  (Read 933 times)

ExtraPlanar

  • Posts: 85
I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« on: March 02, 2017, 12:36:40 PM »
Hello GDB,

Something that I found incredibly intimidating when I was a new player was explaining IC my character's complete ignorance to ig norms. I'd often forget what symbols portrayed what noble houses (or what a noble really was or meant politically) the delineations of different templars, the ways to certain popular areas (which my PC, if growing up in that area, should easily know) or even knowledge of other cities I hadn't played in yet (like Luirs or Red Storm). While older players were often pretty good with explaining these to me IG, my PC not having a reason for not knowing these places, even though s/he should, was really awkward, and it often felt as if it took away from the realism of my character.

What I'd propose is some IG mechanism to explain why certain people don't know anything about anything. My general idea would be a (virtual) short-term disease that resulted in memory loss, maybe from drinking bad water/eating bad food/getting bitten by a certain snake. PCs afflicted with this could wear something that would denote this problem (Like a bracelet or necklace of some kind?), and this would show other that this character doesn't have the best brain at the moment, and that the player might be new and not know much about Zalanthan culture.

In regards to IC, due to forgetting social norms, a character might be at risk of offending nobles or templars, and therefore would want to show that they are not being intentionally rude, just "diseased", and that the offended character would rather brush them aside as a feeble annoyance rather than an outright detractor. I know that it is not fully in Zalanthan culture to forgive and forget, but I figure that nobles and templars would not go out of their way to punish a mentally compromised person. This is not to say that I see Templar and Noble players beheading newbies all the time, but would provide an IG reasoning as to why that super-strict-and-coldhearted Tor is lenient to this one commoner in particular.

I think this could be a great way to negotiate the intimidation some new players might feel getting in game and not knowing everything about the extensive documentation, and also avoid awkward circumstances in which you have to explain to someone, who has apparently lived in Allanak their whole life, what "His Arm" or a "gemmer" is. I know that there are some problems with this, (Why would a commoner in Zalanthas hold a "I'm vulnerable and have a bad memory" sign over their head) but I think it would work really well to make new players feel more comfortable.

Jihelu

  • Posts: 2445
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2017, 12:49:21 PM »
...
We could just have better information docs.
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ExtraPlanar

  • Posts: 85
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 12:57:54 PM »
...
We could just have better information docs.
I think that no matter how good the info docs are, there is still quite a bit of learning to be done IG.

Melkor

  • Posts: 416
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2017, 01:03:11 PM »
I always thought that a person's first character should be a child. Ignorant, inexperienced, weak, etc. This way, they would need to ask lots of questions, learn syntax, not sprint into the wastes and start whacking beetles, etc.

Maybe the Arm could have an orphanage where they train children to be soldiers of tomorrow. I.e. noob central.
And thus, I became a Madman.

Cind

  • Posts: 1169
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2017, 01:06:37 PM »
Child roles were available a long time ago (there's this cool story about a child nilazi gemmed who the Arm used) but they stopped them because they said that the players were acting more like RL children instead of zalanthas-style, hardened little adults. Or something to that effect.
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BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8077
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2017, 01:09:32 PM »
Zalanthas is a big world, and Allanak is a big city. Most of this bigness is virtual, but it's important to remember. There's nothing wrong with playing an ignorant character, and players shouldn't be too surprised to meet them. In Allanak there's only a few things a given PC should be guaranteed to "know": that Tektolnes is the Highlord, your god; that you bow to templars (or kneel if they're a color other than white and blue); that the Gem is for magickers; that His Arm is the militia. Most of this can be gleaned from the helpfiles, except maybe Templar and Gemmed details.

Anything else can be excused just by being from another part of town.

I always thought that a person's first character should be a child. Ignorant, inexperienced, weak, etc. This way, they would need to ask lots of questions, learn syntax, not sprint into the wastes and start whacking beetles, etc.

Maybe the Arm could have an orphanage where they train children to be soldiers of tomorrow. I.e. noob central.

I prefer suggesting that your first character should be kind of an idiot or a bumpkin. Worked for me.
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Jihelu

  • Posts: 2445
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2017, 01:20:31 PM »
"(there's this cool story about a child nilazi gemmed who the Arm used)"
Highlords mercy, someone purge the city.


Playing an idiot is a good idea I haven't thought of.
Helper chat is a big help for most common sense lore questions. As long as it isn't sensitive they can usually give you an answer. I've been there like...
Fuck I'm in the triple digits so it's a lot. I'll ask next time.
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Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1662
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2017, 02:27:01 PM »
Something that works for some is they say they are from one of the villages around the city. This lets them be citizens of the empire but also sort of like farmboy/girl hicks who know little about the city.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 02:55:29 PM by Molten Heart »

Feco

  • Posts: 1713
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2017, 02:43:52 PM »
Something that works for some is they say they are from one of the villages around the city. This lets them be citizens of the empire but also sort of like farmboy/girl hicks who little about the city.

I've run into several noobs that do this.  +1

I also don't think this is large enough an issue to worry about at all.
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Marauder Moe

  • Posts: 12446
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2017, 03:33:14 PM »
A widespread amnesia disease and a token object for sufferers seems WAY more awkward and disruptive than just cutting obvious newbies some slack.

Raptor_Dan

  • Posts: 312
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2017, 05:36:50 PM »
Did everyone forget to mention being Krath-struck as an excuse? Seriously new players, next time it feels awkward asking a question your character should already know, just tell the other chars, "Sorry, I'm a bit Krath-struck." It's the 'illness' that affects chars who are linkdead, afk, new, or just ignorant of a specific aspect of the game. "Whoops, sorry, I was Krath-Struck, yeah, I remember where the Gaj is. Damn this heat!"

I should also add that virtually, there are more taverns than just the coded ones we PC's frequent. Maybe you've always got your ale at the 'Kank an' Hacker', that nasty little hole miners like to go to instead of the Gaj, and you only just now wanted to try the Gaj, because you heard that new Gladiator everyone likes visits there, or Lord Templar Hardass the Blue told you to. There's no reason your char should know every single tavern in Allanak. Have some fun with the virtual world, new players.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 05:54:21 PM by Raptor_Dan »
I'm just looking for a general consensus. Or Moe's opinion. Either one generally can be accepted as canon.

Rathustra

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Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2017, 05:43:08 PM »
> help directions
Code: [Select]
Directions                                                           (Newbie)

   This command allows the character to find directions to locations
they are familiar with in their hometown.  As a resident of a city you
will know the directions to the most common locations.  You must be
outside and be able to see in order to get directions.

Syntax:
   directions [location]

Example:
   > directions
From here you know how to get to:
   The Stables
   The Market
   The Cool Tavern
   The Western Gates

> directions stables
From here, you need to go:
   west;west;west;south;west;north

Notes:
   When looking up directions if more than one location matches the keywords
you provide, it will show you the options and ask you to be more specific.

For example, if there is more than one 'Gates' in the city, typing
'directions gates' it will tell you to be more specific and tell you
the options that matched.

Obviously not the be-all and end-all of what is asked here - but might help finding the Gaj.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 884
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2017, 06:08:05 PM »
Rath beat me to that, but I do think it should be more obvious we have that command for newbies, I didnt know about it for awhile so who knows how man my newbies never find it at all.

whitt

  • Posts: 1542
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Melkor

  • Posts: 416
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2017, 06:40:47 PM »
+1 raptordan
+1 rath
And thus, I became a Madman.

ExtraPlanar

  • Posts: 85
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2017, 07:08:48 PM »
The main target players I had in mind for this type of thing are "pure" newbies i.e. ones who had never made a character ig, and probably don't have an account on the forums either.

Compared to other muds, Arm's documentation is massive, and sometimes I feel as if this by itself is intimidating enough to new players, if we have something in game that new players can use as a touchstone of "hey I don't know that cause of this", I feel it'd make them more likely to get into the game and start playing.

I understand that isolated farming villages (which I think is mentioned in the intro docs) and playing an idiot/child might work, but that still comes with an expectancy of knowing some things (like that commoners can't read/write or the history between allanak + Tuluk or even big IG events that may have happened recently). Maybe things are a lot different from when I was a newbie, but I often wished I could just express my ignorance plainly and simply, and I feel like having a small feature on char gen/ in starter rooms that you could add to your character to show these gaps in knowledge would help.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 07:10:55 PM by ExtraPlanar »

Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1662
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2017, 07:22:14 PM »
There's a new player primer on the old website http://old.armageddon.org/intro/ (nevermind, all that content isn't linked any longer)

Though you're right, the intro docs are a lot of reading.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 07:27:23 PM by Molten Heart »

Samoa

  • Posts: 651
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2017, 08:00:04 PM »
Child roles were available a long time ago (there's this cool story about a child nilazi gemmed who the Arm used)

Hey, what? That was me. I got a story written somewhere?
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manipura

  • Posts: 1417
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2017, 09:03:00 PM »
While I do agree that there is a -ton- of documentation, it's not as if you have to read all of it to manage through your first few characters.  The website has a decent information section that breaks down everything from how to make a character to what your character knows about life in general, based on where they are in the Known.  There's even a Quickstart page that goes through the bare bones information for people who don't want to read much (or any) of the documentation.  There are helpers and there's the GDB, both accessible from the game's main page, and I think someone already mentioned the directions command, so you can navigate to the important parts of the city.
 
I think some players are going to get engrossed in the documentation of the world and some players are going to say "Screw all that, I just want to kill things with bone swords!"  Does the player who reads through a bunch of documentation before they play (or as they play) possibly have a bit of an advantage over the other type of player?  Maybe.  But I don't think that it's entirely unreasonable that the person who puts in more effort initially has a bit of an easier go of things compared to the person who doesn't want to bother with any of the suggested documentation.
In my opinion the Intro section on the main page covers a good bit of starter information as well as introduces players to the wealth of information that can be found in the help files.  For a game with such in depth history, I don't think it's asking too much to want new players to at least give the basics of the documentation a read through.
 
The main issue described by the OP is how to best explain a character being ignorant because the player is ignorant...People have suggested a few reasons why your character could be ignorant (they're young, they're from just outside the city, they're suffering some sort of illness or injury etc) and I think those work just fine if a player needs a reason to explain why they don't know the way of the world. I don't think we need any sort of code or item to broadcast this to the rest of the players.
 
The other issue that sort of popped out to me though wasn't so much an IC, but an OOC thing.  I generally have a decent idea of when a PC is a brand new player, I imagine a lot of players do.  Sometimes it's realistic for my PC to help out those PCs, sometimes it isn't, but I just about always approach it with understanding, even if I can't actively 'help' them. 
On more than one occasion I've seen new players bombarded with questions, accusations, and threats...because they haven't immediately reacted 'appropriately'.  When the player is obviously new, even if they haven't given a reason "I'm Krath-struck...I got hit on the head, I'm forgetting things...my ma never let me out before...etc" for their ignorance, it's not that hard for other players to come up with a reason to disregard them and move along.  I don't think it's horribly helpful to most of them to have your hardass templar/noble/Sergeant show them how unforgiving the world is and to make a spectacle of them for not knowing the ropes, especially when there's a strong likelihood that the player is new.

Samoa

  • Posts: 651
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2017, 09:36:37 PM »
In answer to the original post outside of my narcissistic curiousity, you can just... do what you suggested. Have some weird memory disease. Have amnesia (my first PC with which I "got it" had amnesia), be a simpleton, or whatever else. Hell, in Armageddon, being openly a simpleton is actually really enjoyable, and a great introduction to the game world, because people love taking advantage of 'em. People can tell when you're new whether you tell them or not, and they'll cut you slack regardless, but if you feel put on the spot and uneasy (I was TERRIFIED logging in, honestly, of getting things wrong), just fudge one of those reasons.
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---
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Cind

  • Posts: 1169
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2017, 12:52:19 AM »
I think its totally fine to be a typical 'naki commoner and not know where the Gaj is. There aren't that many safe quit rooms in the city for some people, though, so learning where it is eventually is probably a good idea.

Child roles were available a long time ago (there's this cool story about a child nilazi gemmed who the Arm used)

Hey, what? That was me. I got a story written somewhere?

Nah, I think you mentioned it in detail at some point, including the white slug staff had you throw up.
Look, a petting tregil.  So silky...Feel him.

Samoa

  • Posts: 651
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2017, 06:38:37 AM »
Nah, I think you mentioned it in detail at some point, including the white slug staff had you throw up.

Best thing that's ever happened to me.
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[Laeris] (11:52:53 AM): If penicillin started spilling out of your butt, what would you do with it?

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7233
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2017, 07:44:37 AM »
I agree with what Manipura says. This game has a learning curve. It's much less steep than it used to be, but it's still a hurdle. I like that it has one. Consider that most people who have been playing it for awhile, have ALL had to endure the learning curve. They've all gotten past it to enjoy the game. This game, in order to be the successful RPI it has been for two decades, required that players were *thinking* people. They didn't have to be smart, but they did have to be interested in delving into the game world. That's what the docs are for.

What I'd like to see is a rewrite of that new character approval e-mail. Here's what it says:
Quote
Extensive documentation about the world is available on the web at 'http://www.armageddon.org'. You and those with whom you will play will have much more fun if you are familiar with the basics of the game's documentation. Please note, if you haven't already, that Armageddon provides a strictly enforced roleplaying atmosphere. If you are more interested in killing stuff and maxing out your character than in character development, then please play at one of the great many combat MUDs running on the Internet.

As a new player, if your character dies in the first hour of play, your character will come back into the game. But whatever killed you will probably kill you as soon as you come back, so we suggest waiting a while before coming back into the game (a day is usually sufficient). In such circumstances, the character should be treated as a new character.

If you are having major problems feel free to mail mud@armageddon.org for assistance. You can also reach a player helper in a chat at: http://www.armageddon.org/intro/helpers.php The game discussion boards are located at http://gdb.armageddon.org. Thanks, and we hope you enjoy our world.

I'd like to see it less "paragraph" and more "bullet point." Something like:

Welcome to Armageddon! According to the bio you wrote, [name] will be starting out in [world area.] He/she will enter via [tavern name]. Here are a few things to help you before you start your first hour:
  • [website's main search engine for the help files page] Our help files are located here.
  • [link to the helper system] If you need live one-on-one assistance, some of our volunteer helpers are available most times of day or night. You can access our helper messaging system here.
  • [link to the New to the Game page or a revised version of Mansa's walkthrough] If you're feeling intimidated by all the documentation, here's a good place to start!
  • [link to the [autofill character's starting location] website page] Your character will start in this area - so here's some information to help you feel a little more familiar with it!
  • [link to the jobs page] While there are clans to join, some folks just want a basic start, and something to do. Here's a page with a few coded coin-making opportunities.

Lastly, if your very first character dies within the first hour, he/she will respawn in the same room. Whatever killed him/her, will still be there if you try to log back in immediately. When you eventually do log back in, please treat your "new reincarnation" as if they had shown up for the very first time at that moment. We offer this one-time chance to "do-over" for all players' first characters.

Once again, welcome to Armageddon!
« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 07:48:15 AM by Lizzie »
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Akaramu

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Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2017, 08:02:46 AM »
I'd like to see a line added to that email about quit rooms. It seems some newbies think they just have to type 'quit' in order to log out.  :)

Also a line about their starting tavern, that it has a quit room, and maybe a link to one of those Allanak maps for newbs.

Oh, and maybe something about the rumor board. When I started I emoted actually 'reading' it.  ;D Rumor boards are super useful for newbs to find jobs and exciting stories to get them hooked.

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7233
Re: I'm a born and bred 'Naki but I don't know where the Gaj is.
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2017, 09:25:35 AM »
The tavern board reading part is almost a rite of passage. In addition, the very first lines on those boards remind readers that their character is not, in fact, reading but rather they are overhearing gossip.

If you were to put a lot of info in the e-mail, people wouldn't read it. As it is now, people don't read it. Adding more to things they don't read in the first place, will just ensure that they avoid reading it at all.

If they did read it, they would be going to those help files, and getting in touch with those helpers. Yet we can see clearly by posts from new players here on the GDB, that they don't even know there is such a thing as helpers, let alone how to contact them. Even though it's right there in that e-mail. It's also in the account e-mail, and it's written prominently on the website.

That's why I'd like to see just the absolute most important "immediate" things for players to have access to, be listed simply and cleanly in that e-mail.
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.