Author Topic: A Discussion on How to Improve Player Retention and Player/Staff Relations  (Read 5976 times)

Feco

  • Posts: 1788
I'M NOT THE BOOGEYMAN.  I'M NOT OUT TO GET YOU.

I am.  I'm glad Synth keeps you guys off my back, tho.
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Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1874
I don't understand why you people seem to think I have my own interests in mind.  None of this has a damn thing to do with what -I- personally need. 

I don't think that at all.  I'm just trying to understand your proposal.  So let me re-word the question you quoted slightly.

I think this is precisely why your argument falls on deaf ears.  If you a ranger/warrior can rofl stomp a half-dozen of some of the most badass critters in the game and not get a single failure?  How much better would you that character really need to be to ring the bell for whichever sense of achievement you're the players you're advocating for are aiming for?  Is it as simple as seeing Master in your their skill list? 

The message I'm reading from Sythisis is that skill gains are a long and sometimes tedious process that few willing to engage in. He'd like to see more characters in game with skills that he could enjoy interacting with. The suggestion made isn't going to make people fighters into ninja warriors but it could make someone competent over a long time when those around them ho log in more regularly are already ahead in the skills department.

One plus of offline skill gains is that players with severe limits on their play times could spend that time engaging with others without worry of being stuck at low skill levels while they role play and engage with other players in non-combat orriated activities with their precious login time.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 02:20:14 PM by Molten Heart »

whitt

  • Posts: 1684
The message I'm reading from Sythisis is that skill gains are a long and sometimes tedious process that few willing to engage in. He'd like to see more characters in game with skills that he could enjoy interacting with.

There's the thing.  I can buy into everything from gradual off-line skill progression to help the game be more available to the casual player to starting folks off at higher base skill levels in their main guild to help them be less risk-adverse due to the crippling grind of the new PC.

Pretty much the only point I asked for clarification on, was the focus on maxxing out combat skills, especially after Armaddict's ask if lowering the branching point on skills wouldn't resolve that sense of a "must do" to get to Master.  In short, if you can branch all the guild's skills and you never seem to fail, where is the need to improve?
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Riev

  • Posts: 4825
Combat-wise, Whitt, there's a significant coded difference between "doesn't miss/fail" and "gets parried all the time".

Low Journeyman "not missing often" and high advanced is a totally different story. Higher skill helps you get over the opponents Parry/Block defenses, increases your average damage (which helps against armored creatures like bahamets and mekillots). So while you may "not miss", there's still a "I'm useless in an advanced group".
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Synthesis

  • Posts: 9443
I don't understand why you people seem to think I have my own interests in mind.  None of this has a damn thing to do with what -I- personally need. 

I don't think that at all.  I'm just trying to understand your proposal.  So let me re-word the question you quoted slightly.

I think this is precisely why your argument falls on deaf ears.  If you a ranger/warrior can rofl stomp a half-dozen of some of the most badass critters in the game and not get a single failure?  How much better would you that character really need to be to ring the bell for whichever sense of achievement you're the players you're advocating for are aiming for?  Is it as simple as seeing Master in your their skill list? 

The proposal is not intended to increase maximum DPS for warriors at the top tier.  The proposal is to allow getting to the top tier to either a) take less time or b) not require highly specific and poor (at best) RP, so that a) casuals can achieve it and b) more social players can still play characters that are combat-effective.

I don't understand why you people seem to think I have my own interests in mind.  None of this has a damn thing to do with what -I- personally need. 

I don't think that at all.  I'm just trying to understand your proposal.  So let me re-word the question you quoted slightly.

I think this is precisely why your argument falls on deaf ears.  If you a ranger/warrior can rofl stomp a half-dozen of some of the most badass critters in the game and not get a single failure?  How much better would you that character really need to be to ring the bell for whichever sense of achievement you're the players you're advocating for are aiming for?  Is it as simple as seeing Master in your their skill list? 

The message I'm reading from Sythisis is that skill gains are a long and sometimes tedious process that few willing to engage in. He'd like to see more characters in game with skills that he could enjoy interacting with. The suggestion made isn't going to make people fighters into ninja warriors but it could make someone competent over a long time when those around them ho log in more regularly are already ahead in the skills department.

One plus of offline skill gains is that players with severe limits on their play times could spend that time engaging with others without worry of being stuck at low skill levels while they role play and engage with other players in non-combat orriated activities with their precious login time.

Yeah, pretty much.

I'll have to amend my previous post that the proposals aren't really intended to benefit me, in that, as a "casual" player (on a typical day, I can put in maybe 1 IC day--90 minutes, tops), offline skillgain capped at jman would free me up to do more interesting shit with that 90 minutes.  I mean, sure, my PC is pretty badass for a 26-day warrior, but that's 26 days played split over 8 months RL time.

The message I'm reading from Sythisis is that skill gains are a long and sometimes tedious process that few willing to engage in. He'd like to see more characters in game with skills that he could enjoy interacting with.

There's the thing.  I can buy into everything from gradual off-line skill progression to help the game be more available to the casual player to starting folks off at higher base skill levels in their main guild to help them be less risk-adverse due to the crippling grind of the new PC.

Pretty much the only point I asked for clarification on, was the focus on maxxing out combat skills, especially after Armaddict's ask if lowering the branching point on skills wouldn't resolve that sense of a "must do" to get to Master.  In short, if you can branch all the guild's skills and you never seem to fail, where is the need to improve?

There are multiple code reasons.  Suffice it to say...that last 10 points in a weapon skill is worth it, even if you don't notice the difference in hit vs. miss with the weapon skill itself.
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wizturbo

  • Posts: 2476
I saw this thread and was tempted to offer some thoughts because I deeply care about the subject, but I just can't muster up the motivation to engage in yet another one of these discussions.  If staff are interested in tweaking things, there isn't a lack of ideas on how to do it.  It's all about whether they want to focus on this topic, or spend their efforts elsewhere.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 03:12:49 PM by wizturbo »

solera

  • Posts: 1759
i like the sound of the mobile psi-ing. i don't know if it would make any difference to player numbers at all, but it would make life easier.  imagine the cross-world mistargetting.  ;D

nessalin

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  • Posts: 368
Not committing to any work, but I do like spit-balling.

On the concept of off-line skill gains two things come to mind.

1) Neal Stephenson's Reamde has an MMORPG in it where players can define tasks for their character's to perform while offline referred to as 'bot behavior'.  Read a book, cook food, work in the mine, etc...  There was no limit implied by the few references the book made to the system, but it was implied that this was mostly a way to keep people paying for their account even if they weren't currently playing.  Similar to Eve Online.

2) RuneQuest, a pen-n-paper RPG, had a system for what your character does while not adventuring on the premise that your character would not be out in the field full time.  OOC this was useful if you were going to miss a few game sessions your character could still advance through research, study, and practice.  IC this was useful for times when the plot calls for the characters to count time, such as holing up in a fort for the winter when a pass is snowed shut.

Part of this system involved declaring which skills could be improved through research, study, and practice while also limiting how far they could improve.  Knowledge skills (language, history, math) could be trained up as high as your stats and instructor (whether a book or a mentor) allowed.  Combat skills were similarly limited by your stats and mentor, but were capped out below maximum to account for the things you can only learn in the field. 

Riev

  • Posts: 4825
The second idea from HeWhoShallNotBeNamed has definite merit, and I honestly like the idea enough and trust staff to know how fast is "too" fast and etc (based on average PC life and expected competency at certain milestones). Not "I want to practice all my combat skills forever and never log in", but maybe more of a situation in which you're clanned Byn, but you can only play a few hours a week. After an IC year of that, you may or may not even see your skills move, which isn't realistic. So virtually, your skills are adjusted to match the expected level of a year-old Runner. Let staff decide which guilds get to which points, but it'd make the "I spent a year in the Byn" really matter, because you CAN hold your own, codedly, to be someone's field aide or etc.

I'd put my full weight behind it if you could force whippings and ass kickings for dustheaded Runners in the Byn that stick around a year, and tell employers they didn't learn shit.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Synthesis

  • Posts: 9443
Not committing to any work, but I do like spit-balling.

On the concept of off-line skill gains two things come to mind.

1) Neal Stephenson's Reamde has an MMORPG in it where players can define tasks for their character's to perform while offline referred to as 'bot behavior'.  Read a book, cook food, work in the mine, etc...  There was no limit implied by the few references the book made to the system, but it was implied that this was mostly a way to keep people paying for their account even if they weren't currently playing.  Similar to Eve Online.

2) RuneQuest, a pen-n-paper RPG, had a system for what your character does while not adventuring on the premise that your character would not be out in the field full time.  OOC this was useful if you were going to miss a few game sessions your character could still advance through research, study, and practice.  IC this was useful for times when the plot calls for the characters to count time, such as holing up in a fort for the winter when a pass is snowed shut.

Part of this system involved declaring which skills could be improved through research, study, and practice while also limiting how far they could improve.  Knowledge skills (language, history, math) could be trained up as high as your stats and instructor (whether a book or a mentor) allowed.  Combat skills were similarly limited by your stats and mentor, but were capped out below maximum to account for the things you can only learn in the field.

Yeah, my particular suggestion was just one way to implement offline skillgain with particular answers to the fundamental questions:

1)  Which skills can you learn offline?
     a) Should some skills require a certain IC circumstance to be met?
2)  How do you pick which skills your PC is learning offline?
3)  What should be the skillcap for offline learning?
     a) Should some skills have an offline learning cap higher than others?
4)  How fast should offline learning occur?
     a) Should some skills train offline faster than others?

My proposal was 1) Any skill a) Yes, that you've used the skill in the past RL month; 2) Any skill you've used in the past RL month; 3) Jman for everything a) No; 4) Average-wisdom human 6 months to jman if you do absolutely nothing but log in once/month and use the skill once (in the extreme case).

Obviously, those are not the only acceptable solutions.
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I come to the GDB to roleplay being deep and wise.
Quote from: Vanth
Synthesis, you scare me a little bit.

burble

  • Posts: 103
Just some ideas on gameplay

1. Wasted time/idling - a lot of the game is idling. Either waiting to find someone in particular, weather, daylight, mounts to rest.

Delays:
Is there a reason to have a delay after the failed "contact" attempt?

Is there a reason to delay logoff after being attacked by a kagor? It's not like the kagor mafia is going to put a hit out on you. Maybe do not set delays on outdoor mobs if you make it back to a quit room in the city. Or if you kill the mob. Or if it can't hunt you anyways - like getting away from a scrab attack.

Resting:
Logoff for a few hours - have the mounts fully rested when you log back on.
Maybe even have your stamina, hp back to full as well.

Weather:
How about not having the weather be terrible or worse for 2 days in a row? And/or make sure it is not terrible (or >) the same times of the RL day in a row.
You're going to be this grungy grebber. Log onto the game. Weather says nope. So you sit in an empty bar a RL hour to try again or logoff and try again tomorrow? How does weather roulette help the game?
Same with the moons. What is the purpose of having a completely dark city? Light up the major streets. At the worst, don't let two nights in a row be completely dark.

2. Communication - the in game boards are seriously whacked guys. You can read about someone from 2 years ago wanting hides. The boards make the world seem really dead.

Rolling boards:
Make a similar board but have it roll off over a short period of time (2 days or a week). Put it in the markets as local chatter. Someone probably mentioned there's a Mek out trampling in the salt flats today but it is certainly not relevant a month from now. Same with dead people - Someone found another dead grebber today..he had brown hair and a scar on his cheek. So-and-so just got to town with a pile of furs if anyone is interested. Put something more dynamic than the tavern boards.

Help files:
A new player should be able to get everything he needs from the helpfile. There's no help file for blowgun.
I remember years ago walking into a tavern with a spell effect, everyone staring at me and me going "what is something on my face"? "Look me" did not show anything. The help file did not say anything about others seeing the effects...so it makes no IC sense, it makes no OOC sense.
Get newbies to test the help files. If you already know how things work, you will miss important details.


3. Total dreaming - update the guild system

Full character customization:
Start the game with points to buy skills. Still offer preset guilds for a lump of points but have the ability to totally customize your character.

Reward current characters/incentives to play a certain way:
The karma system rewards a future character. Your current character has to die before you get any benefit.
Maybe for a character that is still alive after 6 months (might want a real time and play time qualification) you get a journeyman cap upgraded to advanced..or advanced upgraded to master. Have it preset so you don't have to get approval or bother people with requests.
Same thing if you are rewarded karma while playing a character for other categories - bump up a cap on that character.

nauta

  • Posts: 2237
A comment and an idea.  The idea first.  Then the comment.

Idea. OOC Communication.

Plot hooks should be communicated outside the game and curated by storytellers.  Think of it as a kind of Zalanthas IG Newsletter. The content could be included in the MOTD as you log in and included on the web-site alongside chronology.  It should get a few plot hooks per month, and these can be both virtual plot hooks (e.g., Lady Borsail is rumored to be dabbling in dark magicks to keep her lips so fresh) and real plot hooks, both staff-driven plot hooks (e.g., that comet that fell from the sky) and player-driven plot hooks (festivals and the like).  Players can request plot hooks get added to it via the request tool to their clan staff.  This would leave in-game boards for more localized and temporary plots, e.g., trades, etc. Objection: but we don't want to advertise plots so broadly!  Reply: Granted we have but one city state, I don't see this objection having much force. It is true that a criminal on the lam in the desert or a desert elf would get access to plots going on in Allanak, but this isn't such a bad thing and we can pass it off as the virtual word-of-mouth from travelers.

The comment:

Help files:
A new player should be able to get everything he needs from the helpfile. There's no help file for blowgun.
I remember years ago walking into a tavern with a spell effect, everyone staring at me and me going "what is something on my face"? "Look me" did not show anything. The help file did not say anything about others seeing the effects...so it makes no IC sense, it makes no OOC sense.
Get newbies to test the help files. If you already know how things work, you will miss important details.

There's this http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,50232.0.html.  Staff have implemented a lot of the suggestions, so if you have a particular one, like blowgun (which is new and probably why it is not documented) I'd say add it to the list.  For the magick stuff, we can't really talk about it on the gdb, but I would think staff would be open to receiving a "bug" via the request tool with the rationale.  (I totally agree, too.  A couple years ago I played my first gick and the help files are the spells are in need of some serious reworking, streamlining, etc.  There's talk of 'God' in one of them even!  But for external effects of some spells in particular, "look self" doesn't tell you that you are (to use a random non-game example) flaming like a million lights, but people who see your sdesc see "The tall woman is here, flaming like a million lights.")
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

azuriolinist

  • Posts: 334
I like the idea of a newsletter. Or the events feed that was being discussed here. Boy do I know how quiet the world seems at times, especially around off-peak in areas other than Allanak.

The secrecy's a necessary thing for immersion, I get it. Figuring things out on your own feels pretty damn good, too. It's stifling at the same time when you don't know what might be going on or where it's happening, despite everyone saying there's a slew of plots happening.

The stories going on in the world of Zalanthas, virtual and not, are a main part of what's got me hooked to Armageddon. I hold more interest in a concept if there are stuff currently going down with the PC. So, bring other PCs into the fold and yank them into the action. I'd appreciate it, personally, because I've rarely been one to start things. Seriously, all my accolades to you guys who involve others into your plots.

The opportunity to explore things (whether those things are character concepts or the in-game world) has always had me clinging to Arm, too. I still have a lot of things to come across, but it's always awesome to discover new (maybe?) things in the world. It's why I'm bummed over the closing of some stuff. Those are things I'll never get to dip my feet into, now. That topic's been discussed enough, though, probably.

Basically, changes to the game world and the opening of new things will pique interest. Show it's a dynamic world, both IG and out. The new gladiator clan, for one, definitely has me hyped!

In addition, though it's probably far-fetched: integrate character generation into the website. Graphical UI, buttons, the like. Along with that, a graphical client for those completely new to MUDs might lessen the steep learning curve Armageddon (and MUDs, generally) has. That's some work, though, but it's a thought. Modernize the MUD, all that.

Feco

  • Posts: 1788
In addition, though it's probably far-fetched: integrate character generation into the website. Graphical UI, buttons, the like. Along with that, a graphical client for those completely new to MUDs might lessen the steep learning curve Armageddon (and MUDs, generally) has. That's some work, though, but it's a thought. Modernize the MUD, all that.

I recently introduced a new player to the game, and they wanted to figure things out on their own.  They seriously struggled with the text editor.
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Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1874
In addition, though it's probably far-fetched: integrate character generation into the website. Graphical UI, buttons, the like. Along with that, a graphical client for those completely new to MUDs might lessen the steep learning curve Armageddon (and MUDs, generally) has. That's some work, though, but it's a thought. Modernize the MUD, all that.

Some muds have browser integrated mud clients, with multiple windows, offering much more than the Fmud client on the website. I think the multiple windows would really help new players get a feel for the game. Here's an example of a mud I found with a graphical client. I found it in a reddit thread about web-based mudclients. The example has a map, which may or may not be good for Arm, but there is a lot of potential for something with the right creative people involved.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5958
I don't think features are what make people feel like sticking around.  That's kind of the same approach we've been taking for a long time, but in the end, will usually result in 'It has some neat stuff, but I just didn't have anything to do.'
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Riev

  • Posts: 4825
I don't think features are what make people feel like sticking around.  That's kind of the same approach we've been taking for a long time, but in the end, will usually result in 'It has some neat stuff, but I just didn't have anything to do.'

There are two lengths of retention we're looking at though. New Player retention (I'm thinking, less than three months) would probably get some use out of an easier interface, and nifty little tools. Not EVERYONE loved bios being editable after death, but man it is nice.

But we also need to look at long-term retention. The "things to do", the feel of collaborative storytelling, the adventures, a sense of "This is new, I haven't done this exact same adventure on a different PC".

Its like we're all stuck with old DnD Modules to play, and we've played every kind of character in them, but nothing is surprising.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

azuriolinist

  • Posts: 334
I recently introduced a new player to the game, and they wanted to figure things out on their own.  They seriously struggled with the text editor.

That's exactly what I was thinking about. Instead of having to wrestle with the in-game text editor or setting up a MUD client, new players should be able to jump right in and not frustrate themselves in the process. The initial character generation and reading up on docs. takes plenty of time already, as it is.

wizturbo

  • Posts: 2476
Here's an outline of how I view this subject.  The bullets that I marked with an asterix are the ones I have some ideas for, and I feel are worth a double-click:

1. New Player Acquisition
  • Account creation - Status Quo is O.K.
  • First character creation - Difficult for new users
  • How to Play (i.e. Syntax, Basics) - Difficult for new users

2.  Player On-boarding
  • Learning the culture of Zalanthas - Difficult for all users
  • Learning the culture of Armageddon's player community - Difficult for all users
  • Understanding the role of staff and how to interact with them - Difficult for all users

3. "Veteran" Player Retention - Addressing why people leave
  • **The game is time consuming - Difficult for all users at various times in their life
  • **Gravity - without new content to capture player's interest, any game's player base will decay
  • Player Conflicts
  • Staff Conflicts

Double-click on things that are time consuming and/or make it more difficult to create content:

Skill training is general is slow, skill training for the fun combat roles is even slower.

There's plenty of discussion on this thread about this subject already, and there's good ideas there.  I don't think I need to add more to the pot.  My only other thing to add is that slow skill training also significantly impacts the "Player Conflicts" and "Staff Conflicts" portion of why people leave.  If you've invested 500 hours making your character decent at something, you're going to be significantly more pissed off if someone fucks with them than if you only spent 50.


A lack of tools to communicate
Planning an in-game activity is 90% coordinating with other players & staff using tools that harken back to the days of telegrams and snail mail.  I recognize that opening up channels of communication has potential consequences, but I would argue that these channels already exist and are being used by the 'bad guys' anyway which greatly mitigates this problem.  This problem also impacts the "Gravity" bullet on my list above.  It's hard to generate player driven content with one arm tied behind your back.

Bureaucracy
Sponsored roles require a lot of reporting.  I probably spent 100+ hours writing reports to staff over the years.  That's time where no one is having fun (staff or players alike).  The whole point of bureaucracy is to make things manageable, and I get that, but it definitely has an affect on people's ability to play the ever important sponsored roles.

Responsiveness of staff
It takes a lot of time to get staff support on something.  I'm not saying staff aren't open to supporting things, they definitely are, and do amazing stuff when they get involved.  I'm just saying that it often takes a long time to get that support.

To use an analogy, pretend you're going to have a bunch of friends over and you want to make sure you can feed them.  You're the worst cook ever, so you're forced to order food.  You place an order.  The guy at the restaurant will either say when you should pick up your food, or when the delivery guy will drop it off.  You know when you and your friends will be eating. 

By contrast, if you're planning something in Armageddon, the call for assistance is much less streamlined.  You use the request tool, which feels like snail mail.  You don't know how long it might take for the staff to get your message,  you don't know when they've read that message, and no indication of when they might reply.   This makes the planning process significantly less efficient, and saps a lot of the momentum and energy out of a potential plot/event.


Lizzie

  • Posts: 7508
I guess I just don't consider "difficult to learn" to be something that falls on the negative side. I think it means that the game requires intelligent thought, not just pushing a bunch of buttons.

When you got your very first X-Box, did it take you while to open the container, take the parts out, figure out how to hook it up, spend time figuring out what to do with the thing, then load up a game and learn how to play it? Was it worth the effort and time you took to accomplish all that? All of that - before actually playing your first game?

How about your first computer ever. Wasn't there a learning curve to that? What about the first time you loaded up a game client. Didn't it take awhile to figure out the ins and outs of how to get it to work the way you wanted it to work, setting up macros, making scripts, changing colors, echos, etc. etc.?

How come people will spend hours upon hours of time figuring out how to prepare to have fun, but when it comes time to the "thing that is actually fun" they suddenly complain that it's difficult?

I just don't get it. It was difficult for me when I played my first mud, but eventually I figured things out, and can now play the way I like to play, and enjoy how I prefer to enjoy.
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.

Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1874
I just don't get it. It was difficult for me when I played my first mud, but eventually I figured things out, and can now play the way I like to play, and enjoy how I prefer to enjoy.

These things can be obstacles for some people that cause them to choose to do something else with their free time.

I think the idea is to remove these obstacles as much as possible to maximize the enjoyment of the role play experience.

Here's an outline of how I view this subject.  The bullets that I marked with an asterix are the ones I have some ideas for, and I feel are worth a double-click:

...

A great post that summarizes the situation well. I don't have anything more to add but to say thank you wizturbo, for taking the time to post this.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 11:41:03 AM by Molten Heart »

azuriolinist

  • Posts: 334
I love configuring my own set-up. That way, I can tailor it to how I want to play. The thing is, not everyone has time for that, so an already set-up default client widely available might help direct attention towards the game itself, rather than the process of getting things prepared for the MUD.

I think that's the point that's been made a couple of times throughout this discussion: make it possible for casual players to still be able to enjoy the game despite the lack of playtime available. I'm pointing this out under the assumption that by "difficult to learn", Lizzie, you're talking about setting up a MUD client, or maybe the ideas for skilling up that's been mentioned (ideas which I like the sound of).

If, rather, it's about the gameplay, I agree with Molten Heart -- in the way that we should be alleviating frustrations with the code so that roleplay can be focused on. Otherwise, I think the cultural details of a world like Zalanthas will naturally be difficult to figure out, and that should be a necessary stepping stone. Maintaining immersion should require understanding of the world. So I think we agree there?

Riev

  • Posts: 4825
Lizzie, you're just being curmudgeonly. In your example, the Xbox was designed for more-or-less plug and play adaptability based on previously utilized designs familiar to those who would be purchasing the product.

So far a the PC and clients, many of us started with Telnet. But we were interested, so some people developed designs and functionalities that made things better. I never played Arm on Telnet (except that one time I was off-site at a training....), and even still I use GMUD, which is a woefully outdated client but does the minimum I need to interact. I'm still all for a better client experience if we want to attract NEW players.

Making things "Easier", I understand, might worry some that we're attracting the wrong type of people. But we don't want things "easier" we want them "better". If we want to include great storytellers that aren't used to the medium, we might have to make our medium easier to access.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5958
Quote
Making things "Easier", I understand, might worry some that we're attracting the wrong type of people. But we don't want things "easier" we want them "better".

I think there's a misunderstanding.  I don't want a hard OOC learning curve to curb non-enthusiastic players.  But I do think that people who get disgusted by having to input into a text editor so they leave are more than likely not going to be inclined to stay anyway.

Newbie-friendliness has been a big push for a long time now.  It's brought about various features, revisions, and approaches in reaching that goal. That's not a wasted goal; there's been a lot that came out of it.

However, insisting that this is the best way is being single-minded and negligent; I've brought 4 people to the game in the past two years.  Two were returning players.  1, I'm not sure if he's still playing or not, he hasn't communicated with me one bit beyond when I said 'Arm is still kickin', but it's gone through a lot of changes'.  But he also let me know he returned to play.  2, he quit again after about two weeks of 'This is a cool addition.  What were they thinking when they did this, though?  Was this...really necessary?'.  He was very critical of everything new, and wanted to expose me to his approval or lack thereof of each change.  But he fits into the same category as 3 and 4, who were entirely new.  One, entirely new to muds in general.

They were pumped by the creation.  They were pumped by their early play.  They had some frustrations with commands, but liked it.  However, they ended when they asked that inevitable question.  "Soooo...what now?  I just do this daily routine?"  "Yes, you live the character's life.  There will be fun events, I promise."  "I dunno, I've done this for a few days now.  It seems like there's nothing to do."

Enter my big push that the thing we need is -actual- content.  Not features.  Not color.  Not these things that provide beautification or simplicity.  We need for there to be things to do in game, even for those who aren't 'brought in' to the little plot groups that are often invite only, in practice.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Melkor

  • Posts: 896
Has there ever been any consideration of NPC-driven newbie plots/quests? Or even a staffed (By helpers, or staff) character who's sole purpose is to give certain NPC quests to newbies? Perhaps tailored to their character's guild/subguild?

"Follow X and tell me what he is doing"

"Ride out to X and find me this herb/material"

"We need another caravan guard, go to X and you'll get paid after"

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.