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The new player experience

Discussion in 'UHall' started by BeaIank, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. BeaIank

    BeaIank Babbling Loonie
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    Sorry if I will sound frustrated or rather aggressive in the following post, but I need to get this out.

    Today I ran into a new player at New Haven by chance, having recalled to rez my beetle.
    That guy reminded me when I started a lot, because he was just as clueless as I was when I joined for the first time.
    After setting him up with a LRC, MR suit and some gold, it came to me that our basic systems are too darned unintuitive!
    Guy had no idea of what insurance was, or that it existed, because our bloody beloved game doesn't even HINT at that for a new player.
    Put a bloody message box telling the new player that he can protect his belongings, and explain how to do it.
    While we are at it, put a bloody 10K check at his bank box to make it possible for him/her to insure the suit.

    And... speaking of suits... why the heck the starting equipment has to be that poor and basic?
    What good does it do to the game?
    Giving the new player a leather suit with 100% lrc and abour 55 resists would hurt NO ONE!
    And a more filled spellbook as well. Mages won't be able to do much with level 4 spells one. I know... I spent 2 whole weeks trying to FIND level 5+ scrolls in NPC vendors and by killing monsters when I was new.
    Guess what... didn't work. Fighting those undeads at cemeteries, with a very paltry suit, while having to carry reagents was a recipe for death. Most new players will have no idea where to try to hunt for high level scrolls as well, because we just toss them there, without ANY guidance.
    Don't want to give a 100% filled magery or mysticism spellbook? No worries. At least add some more higher level spells to the starting book so the mage can keep training after reaching 60 skill.
    Add at least energy bolt to the magery book and bombard to the myst book.

    Now... skills... all the skills come unlocked, and the new player has no idea about their synergies, again, because the game makes a VERY poor job explaining it.
    Just by walking around, he will gain focus, he will gain lumberjacking by hitting things with an ax, he will gain resist spell when the monsters at haven cast at him.
    And in no time, he will be filled with many skills that don't work for what he had in mind, and he won't know how to decrease them or clean them up.
    I've only heard of soulstones when I was 8 months into the game. My template was already filled with lots of skills that I didn't need, but at least I knew I could set them to decrease. Many new players won't know that...
    Create the new player character with all skills locked, safe for the ones he picked and put a book on his backpack that explains the synergy between the skills!

    And, if nothing of this can be done for whatever reason, then at least broadcast a bloody message to the whole shard when a new player arrives, and in which city he is so some of us can stop doing what we are doing to drop by there, equip him/her and explain the bloody basics to him/her.

    With how the current situation is, the turn over of new players that use the trial and give up after the two weeks are over must be high because we just toss them into the wild with a bone and tell them get lost.

    So, please, consider the suggestions above to make the bloody new player experience more bearable so that perhaps, we can get to hold MORE OF THEM.

    ~Bea.
     
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  2. drcossack

    drcossack Babbling Loonie
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    Agreed. It's a total pain in the rear having to start from scratch. I was in the same boat when I first started playing. Some friends introduced me to the game, gave me a spellbook, armor (GM leather), regs, etc. and told me to go to the Moonglow Cemetery. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and died a lot (being guild PK'd didn't help matters either. You CANNOT do that to a new player.)

    It wasn't until later that I actually got my own set of "decent" gear, one set of which had LRC on it. I was constantly upgrading it, or getting better suits from friends throughout the years whenever I'd come back.

    If I happened to run into a new player these days, I would almost certainly give them my suit (provided I had a spare, which I may or may not have), 50k or so (which I, as a veteran player, can easily make in about 30 minutes), and if I knew they were a purchased tamer (whether through an advanced char or mythic token), the taming jewelry I use (maybe - this I'm not as eager to part with, since it gives quite a boost to my taming and has a few other good mods for a Mage/Tamer) and maybe 1-2 of my pets (which are well trained) so they can go out and kill things. Some runes to pet locations (like, say, bulls or ridgebacks) would also be useful, especially for those who want to train their skills before going off and taming the mid-level/high end pets that get pissed off.
     
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  3. kRUXCg7

    kRUXCg7 Sage

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    I didn't read everything you wrote (sorry, I am too tired, absolutely no offense meant), but why should the system give you all that stuff that you can get so easily from other players?

    It's a nice situation to make a new friend. On both sides. I have yet to encounter a shard where I would not encounter a helpful mind giving me some gold, a fire beetle, LRC armour, a full spellbook.

    Let's imagine 6 months later when people begin to look back. Being asked "How did you feel like starting UO?"... which answer shows more compassion?

    "The system knew I would need insurance so it provided me with 10k gold. The omniscient system also told me to wear underwear and this basic suit of LRC armor. I was also told to build a character with 120 in taming, lore, vet, magery, meditation and eval int - so I followed this guideline and never looked back."

    Right now it's more like:

    "Oh my god I felt so lost in the beginning! I had no idea what to do! But I was soon helped by Miranda of guild [XY], she told me how to hunt, even peerless monsters. And she provided me with a basic set of an archer's armour. She already tought me that against monsters magery won't help much as an archer, so I ditched that and had so much more fun as a pure archer. We've become close friends and she also introduced me to Karl, her fiancee, also an avid UO player. Before I played UO I had no idea what it can mean to play a game, I've learned that it's all about the people. Items and skills are just pixels and numbers."

    ----

    To conclude:
    I value your opinions and yes, I think UO can be tedious and cumbersome. But I don't think being given too many items from the beginning is the solution. The tediousness and cumbersome things should be addressed instead. Like when you sort items (e.g. bods) and you got to wait one freaking second after each single movement... that's what makes me mad. Items can always be easily acquired IMHO.
     
    #3 kRUXCg7, Jul 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
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  4. BeaIank

    BeaIank Babbling Loonie
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    Because many times those new players go unnoticed, specially on smaller shards.
    It is not always that there is a veteran sitting at New Haven when a new player shows up.
    When I see one, I make point in suiting them up with pretty decent gear to make their start there, easier.
    But as I said, it might take too long for a new player to be noticed, specially now that trial accounts can't use the general chat.
    At Legends, it took two weeks until a vet noticed me, two years ago.
    I happened into this new player by chance yesterday, and then later, into a second player who had started one month ago at Origin and was trying other shards.

    What I am proposing should teach them enough and give them enough to get by and have fun until a vet notices him/her and helps the new player.
     
  5. Warpig Inc

    Warpig Inc Babbling Loonie
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    What it would be a crime to have a program for a UO tutors. Vets of verified worth that can get a month free sub for putting X ammount of time in teaching. We know the powers that be are a little slow. Here is the math. One month free UO for a player, to make sure another player plays/pays at least for another month. For the slower money grubbers - sure would suck if the other player sticks around longer or for yeeaarrrr$$$$$.

    It is the actions of vet players that sells UO and not OZZY. Most vets have a vested interest in UO's future. We also been playing/paying to long just to quit, so why not tap into that knowledge of the game. To sidetrack the post. You can send me the EC players. CC makes me Squint Eastwood and causes migrains with a tinge of playing the game with one arm tied behind my back feeling.
     
  6. kRUXCg7

    kRUXCg7 Sage

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    I had different experiences. Then again even with a new character I am a legendary beggar by heart...

    Let's find a workable compromise. A new-player-quest that forces a new player to beg a veteran player for a 100% LRC armour. If the new player succeeds, the omniscient system rewards him with 10k gold for insurance.

    Does that sound acceptable?
     
    #6 kRUXCg7, Jul 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  7. BeaIank

    BeaIank Babbling Loonie
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    I'd be good with the system broadcasting a shard wide message saying that a new player has arrived at Haven/Brit/Whatever city they picked.
    With that, at least we'd know they're there, and can stop by to offer some help.

    But we still need the game to do a better job explaining some of it's systems to those new players, like insurance and the skills.
     
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  8. Sophi

    Sophi Adventurer
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    I like that idea very, very much - a noob quest for a starter lrc suit (and maybe quests for a few more advanced spells like magic reflection?) and a little gold to insure it with. Maybe on the quests they could go to spots where they could learn little bits of info, like about skills, virtue system (a bit), etc [that way they can read about it if they want to]. On the other hand every new char gets a blank book..... what happens to those? Discarded - waste of space... Why dont you put some basic info in them? Like insurance, etc.

    There is still SO much for noobs to know about the game that giving them a little boost at the beginning is not going to keep them from needing help from vet players. They still need to know where to go, how to get around, more about skills, spots to fight, etc. so we wouldnt lose that new player/exp player bonding experience...
    It's hard enough to acquire new players that stick with the game... this might mean that we keep a few that otherwise wouldnt have.
    Just a thought. :)
     
    #8 Sophi, Jul 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
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  9. Lady Storm

    Lady Storm Crazed Zealot
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    This is reason I wanted the game to have Disney Tours...
    We need something the new player can see and observe another doing on their screen... trying to explain it without a visual aids is a *****... and more times then not the new players throws up their hands and leaves without giving the game a second thought.
    I do agree a better welcoming pack is in order.
    A spell book with up to lvl 5 or 6 spells sounds about right..
    Suit perhaps lrc /70 is going too far but something close enough where the regents and suit mesh for use and don't disappear in a blink of the eye.
    As for the regents 50 to 100 of each for starting is fine not 30. They don't know of all the places the minute you are born in New Haven to collect regents off the ground.
    Our world is great but to get into it one must not get frustrated, I think a ticket for a free pony or llama at the stable would be a good addition. You cant count of New Magincia to have the tamed pet they need at the price they can afford.
    And I do second that proposal of upping the gold 1k on them and 10 k in the bank box is a good start. As for insurance... I think a beginner suit and player items should be auto insured the first time by entry to the game at no cost. Sort of to give them a head start till they learn the system.
    We gain players when we help the new .....
    A hand from the game is the right step in my book.
     
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  10. Tamais

    Tamais Lake Austin Reporter
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    Agree more needs to be done for the new player. On lake Austin I know of at least two we have lost this month :(
    One quit as they had no idea how to use spells or weapons. I know the enhanced client does give tips and helpful hints but they are not enough. I think your ideas are great,especially a tour of the game. At least let us lock down a beginner guide in haven. I didn't remember trial accounts couldn't use general chat. In the new client, I couldn't
    Find the help channel the idea of having an announcement is wonderful. Not only would it help us but it would show how valued the new player is. I hope the powers that be take some of your great ideas. For now I guess I'll be leaving beginning Guide books and living in haven.
     
    #10 Tamais, Jul 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  11. Painted Elves

    Painted Elves Journeyman
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    If we keep giving newbs stuff they'll never figure it out for themselves!!!
    When I was new I had no idea what I was doing. I kept my newb armor I think for a few weeks. I wandered around haven killing headless until I had about 10k then I met up with some people who showed me how to use the moongate (I was scared and couldn't remember if they were safe, I remembered my sister getting gated to fel and killed years before lol) then Someone gated me to a player mall and taught me about rune books, then showed me despise and told me to kill ettins. I also had an assortment of skills, I had tamed myself a horse because I seen someone talking about taming and my horse had died, so i had swords, magery, taming, camping, focus etc etc until I learned you could only have 7 skills so I learned to lock skills and turn down the ones I didn't want. Then I learned to make a craft character and about BODs
    This was all over the course of a couple months.
    I loved it all!!
    I think people handing out goods to new players just makes them lose the concept of how to earn things and takes away from what UO is about...adventure! Dieing, learning, growing, being challenged, feeling accomplished by doing all these things yourself. They should bring back new player quests, that helped me a lot.
     
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  12. Lady Michelle

    Lady Michelle Sprite Full SP
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    For the 10k I think they are more concerned about players making the character getting the 10k waiting 7 days deleting that character 7 slots 70k every 7 days.Its stupid I myself wouldn't do it others who sell gold would like this easy way collect gold.

    If they could do this the first 7 characters you create will only get the 10k gold for each shard after the 7 characters are created any other character created after this will get the 1,ooo gp.
    Then you have the trail accounts which are free to deal with do you give the 10k or just the 1,000 gp ?
    Player decides to pay for the trail account 9k be placed in their banks.


    What I would like to see is a suit placed in a new account players pack or bank box that is temporarily blessed with a count down timer on it. The timer starts when your logged on stops when you log off. every suit is made for the kinda character that is created. warrior would get a metal suit, mage a leather suit, etc
     
  13. hen

    hen Certifiable
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    I don't think the Dev team have the resources to develop a high quality new player experience.
    What they have left is channeled into keeping current players. At most they would be hoping to lure a few oldbies back but we are in a damage limitation phase rather than going through any sort of growth.
     
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  14. Flagg

    Flagg Sage

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    UO is rich in features to be sure. It is entirely possible to play this game on and off for 10 years and still have good portion of mechanics remain a mystery. Still, if we overlook the signs of age in engine and graphics, I wouldn't call UO a hostile mistress for a new player. UO's pool gains depth in reasonably steady phase. There is much to learn... but there is no rush to learn. Due to UO's nature, the new player just starts learning whichever slice of sandbox initially appeals to him. Enhanced Client is only real pitfall I see on NewGuy's path. I can easily imagine it delivering this nasty " wtf am I supposed to do with all this stuff?!" vibe. More spartan Classic Client offers less indimitating 1st experience to guy completely new.

    Both the helpful vet and new guy alike will get headache and lost if you try spending his 1st afternoon in-game by explaining finer points of armor imbuing and stat system. Mention mark, gate, recall. Give a spellbook with em perhaps. Then send em to the big world I says:p I says play with them and talk with them, don't teach em. They'll learn! They don't need to hear anything about LRC, Insurance, optimal FC/FR numbers and god knows what.

    If the new guy has made it all the way to UO, got past the jurassic game engine and found this here ancient Sandbox a potential home, he has already proven himself to some degree:p He can ask around and find the info himself when he has learned enough to know which questions he considers relevant to find answers for. Play with em, don't (just) try and explain the game to em!
     
    #14 Flagg, Jul 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  15. drcossack

    drcossack Babbling Loonie
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    While this is true, you have to realize how daunting a game this is for the new player. Think of it like the original Legend of Zelda (but on steroids) for those who played it way back in the 80's. We start the game, get dropped at the starting point, have no idea what to do, etc. We have to explore things and find out for ourselves.

    While the NES LoZ obviously has nowhere near the depth of UO, it's a similar experience. I don't think anyone is saying to actually completely hold the hand of a new player - they don't learn how to play the game that way. Giving them "crappy armor" and some gold to get them started (say an LRC suit with all 50's resists so they don't die in 1 hit to a Lich Lord's Flamestrike, or using it to prevent them from getting overwhelmed by the spawn at the local cemetery + enough to insure it for a few deaths) will keep them in the game.

    As I said in my last post, if they're tamers, give them either a trained pet or help them out (Hell, I'm a veteran player and even *I* would need help taming stuff [well, taming a Greater Dragon anyway...]) if they want to tame, say, a Nightmare: show them what to do (i.e. lowering the monster's health so they move slower and do less with a breath attack), explain how to use macros to keep their taming attempts going, show them what lead-taming is, etc.

    The new player may or may not stay in the game even with the assistance, but I would think they're more likely to do so if they have a clue as to what they're doing.

    -------------------------------

    Looking back, I suppose things might have been easier even for me had I made a crafter of my own, but I never did. I was always more interested in the combat portion of the game, so I never wanted to bother.
     
  16. kRUXCg7

    kRUXCg7 Sage

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    One more aspect that I *always* see with new players:
    They want to be up to par with older players. A lot of older players might even look down upon them, but I haven't seen this attitude like I had seen them 12 years ago (people grow up etc.).

    Why do they want to be up to par and don't want to spend 5 years before they can be like veterans?
    It's in their human nature and I think most returners want to be up to par in no time, too. It's a natural kind of ambition and it's all good.

    I mean, should they be hunting only trolls, liches and ogre lords for years like we had done for years? They could, of course. But it would be a lonesome experience. It's the peerless monsters, the champions and the Void Pool where you will meet people, it's not Deceit Level 4 like in the old days.

    Having said that I am absolutely in favor of giving returners and new players (and anyone who had been unlucky) a new chance for at least some of the most powerful items and pets in game:

    • Bane Dragons
    • Dread Warhorses
    • Conjurer's Trinket
    • Conjurer's Garb
    • Harvester's Blade
    I mean, they will see those items and pets - and like *everyone* else they will want them (I know it's not true for 100% of all players, but still!).
    As their mentor you will honestly tell them to shell out US $ 30,- or to pile up a good 150m gold for that warhorse, probably more. That is not motivation at all.
     
  17. Sauteed Onion

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