Newbie Difficulties/Troubles/Concerns

IeptixIeptix Member, Moderator, Gods Posts: 819 Divine
edited November 2013 in Common Grounds
So, the big thing I'm working on right now is making the game more accessible and easier to get into for new players, especially those who've never played MUDs before. Now, the trouble is, I've not been a newbie in a very, very, very long time, so it's a bit difficult for me to find some of the more subtle or confusing aspects of the game from a newbie perspective. And thus, a forum thread is born.

The purpose of this thread is to be a place to bring to the administration's attention these sorts of things that are giving new players trouble. So, if you're a newbie and running into trouble, or a more experienced player who's observed aspects of the game consistently causing confusion for your guild's novices (especially if it's some particularly basic aspect of the game), or similar, let us know here and we can look into it!

Additionally, we're aware of current troubles with the Fates quest/introductory tour - for the time being, I'm requesting that issues with this not be included in the thread at this time.

As examples of some of the sorts of things that we're looking for, changelog 379 features two changes that were implemented as part of this overarching process. Specifically, the output for invalid commands was changed because previously it was not necessarily intuitive that the message printed should be interpreted as "you entered a command that does not exist", and further, newbies are also pointed to a help file listing common commands; for the other change, there would be confusion about how to communicate with orgs - using the organization name is much more intuitive than trying to figure out or remember CT/GNT when there's so much other stuff to learn - hence, org-names as aliases for those commands.
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Post edited by Ieptix on
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Comments

  • HiriakoHiriako Member Posts: 333 Gifted
    Ieptix, welcome to the forums. I look forward to talking to you and working with you as a GA and Envoy! There are things I can definitely suggest here, and I'll propose a more solid list soon.

    But what I will say is that so far I'm noticing a lot of confusion with novices when they do leave the Fates quest. What to do, what to learn. I had an L25, GR1 newbie without any skills yet! (Inept Knighthood, nothing in the other guild skills, no other skills learned).

    I think something to more thoroughly develop basic skills would be helpful, be it as part of the intro, or a very strong message for said newbie to 'GO LEARN THESE THINGS!'

    I will ask around though and see what people think, and continue to try and work to refine novice education and retention.
  • VivetVivet Pika-Boo Member Posts: 1,973 Transcendent
    This thread's existence makes me happy.

    To echo Hiriako, I've had similar issues with getting basic skills done for newbies. It's really hard to tell them when to read the appropriate CGHELP that lists their basic lessons now (and to ease things, perhaps all such CGHELPS should now be trimmed to be nothing but the lesson recommendations).

    I direct newbies to them every now and then, but they sometimes don't notice, or will acknowledge it but put it off, then ask again later when there's no one around anymore. I think they generally want to focus on finishing ALL of the Fate tasks before interacting with other players much, which can be frustrating. Especially if they attempt to do the planar task on their own and just want direction/avoid help.

  • EnyalidaEnyalida Nasty Woman Member Posts: 4,327 Transcendent
    It [the fates quest] does kind of create a funny place for the collegiums. For a long time, when someone came out of the portals, they were directed to player orientations, or at minimum a CGHELP scroll with the information provided in the orientation sessions. With the new system, novices are pointed towards these same scrolls/orientations, but are preoccupied by the continuing fates quest. There is no notice for the nation once the fate quest has ended, so it can be hard to make a smooth transition from automated tour into player interaction. This isn't exactly a bug in the fates quest, exactly, but it can be a problem.
  • HiriakoHiriako Member Posts: 333 Gifted
    The Greywalkers of Serenwilde have been discussing completely redoing CGHELP files, in part like that. I do agree with what Vivet's said, about wanting to do all the Fate tasks before doing much more. 
  • IeptixIeptix Member, Moderator, Gods Posts: 819 Divine
    Fear not, the problems posed by the Fate tasks will be addressed soon!
    7c95dbc25a4a9ae292cccb899a49a79b18529207e135ebccd89c0877d386ebea
    ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY GLOW CLOUD.
  • KarlachKarlach God of Kittens. Member Posts: 3,673 Transcendent
    edited November 2013
    I really do wish the Planar quest could be entirely completed by a Novice (excluding Aetherspace bubbles) even if it's a one off "You can transverse here for now without the skills, and survive on this plane without taking damage, as long as you have Grace" mechanic.

    Edit: By a one off, I mean while you're doing your planar quest, not something during your entire Grace period.

    The divine voice of Avechna, the Avenger reverberates powerfully, "Congratulations, Morkarion, you are the Bringer of Death indeed."

    You see Estarra the Eternal shout, "Morkarion is no more! Mourn the mortal! But welcome True Ascendant Karlach, of the Realm of Death!


    image
  • VivetVivet Pika-Boo Member Posts: 1,973 Transcendent
    Also, a lot of novices will just speak on CT and never use CGT for anything, even when I point out its existence. And with more newbies trying to finish more/most of the collegium before really interacting much with anyone, CGT as a whole is starting to feel outmoded/pointless.
  • KarlachKarlach God of Kittens. Member Posts: 3,673 Transcendent
    The automatic "I have recently stepped out of the Portal of Fate" line (which is a really terrible line IMO) could easily get changed to being on CGT, so they are first introduced to the Commune via the College.

    The divine voice of Avechna, the Avenger reverberates powerfully, "Congratulations, Morkarion, you are the Bringer of Death indeed."

    You see Estarra the Eternal shout, "Morkarion is no more! Mourn the mortal! But welcome True Ascendant Karlach, of the Realm of Death!


    image
  • ParuaParua Member Posts: 319 Gifted
    edited November 2013
    Morkarion said:
    I really do wish the Planar quest could be entirely completed by a Novice (excluding Aetherspace bubbles) even if it's a one off "You can transverse here for now without the skills, and survive on this plane without taking damage, as long as you have Grace" mechanic.


    I actually love that it requires them to interact with us.

    I get a chance to check on where they are in their learning, and can actually -explain- how some things work, and warn about Faethorn and the Elemental planes and how our org and the orgs of the associated other planes interact and such.

    I wish -more- of the collegium tasks would prompt them to interact with us.

    When I was a true newbie, oh, ten years ago or so, (on another IRE mud) I remember being brought into the fold with explanations and care. I think the collegium does a really good job with some things (healing, influence) but could use work on org history and org locations (which are actually relevant to their needs) and world locations. 

    I think the more hands-off it is, the less likely the true newbies are to stay, as this game is all about the interactions we have with others, be it political, mercantile, familial or combat.

    Obviously it's about striking the right balance between being the to extremes, player dependant/independant, because not everybody is going to show up for the first time when there are other players around.
    A whisper from the trees and a frosty presence tells you, secretly, "But you are strong, little 
    flower, and wise." The voice shifts and expands, becoming more real. "And everything you just said 
    in the ritual made me feel safer. You should, too."
  • KarlachKarlach God of Kittens. Member Posts: 3,673 Transcendent
    Some organisations don't have people on at certain timezones, you don't want a newbie kicking about for a few hours hoping to find people to help them do something they should be able to complete themselves.

    The newbie experience should be able (key word able) to be self completed. That doesn't stop them from interacting with other people, that doesn't stop them asking for help or getting involved, it just means they aren't entirely dependant on someone else to get past the most basic elements of the game if there's no one around. If there's anything the game needs, it's more newbie direction on things they can do by themselves without the dependency of others.

    While it would be nice and idealic that they work with other people whenever they happen to roll a character, we don't live in ideal and there are times when people simply find themselves in an empty org. Which is better at this point, keeping them occupied with things they can do until other people are around and they can interact and progress post-college, or watch them quit because they rolled a character, and couldn't do stuff because no one was around to help?

    The divine voice of Avechna, the Avenger reverberates powerfully, "Congratulations, Morkarion, you are the Bringer of Death indeed."

    You see Estarra the Eternal shout, "Morkarion is no more! Mourn the mortal! But welcome True Ascendant Karlach, of the Realm of Death!


    image
  • RialormRialorm Member Posts: 1,055 Transcendent
    Until we have a large enough playerbase to make interaction with players the preferred way to go, I'd also rather than things were in place so newbies can complete the whole thing on their own. I feel that a newbie will be put off more by being forced to ask for help and not get it. Because that creates the illusion that the game should be full of people willing to help, but there might be nobody about at certain times, so it is easy to conclude this game is perhaps dying or not worth it. In general, anything that can be perceived as a loss is best avoided during early stages of the game, as losses psychologically speaking feel worse than gains.
    image
    You have received a new honour! Congratulations! On this day, you have shown your willingness to ensure a bug-free Lusternia for everyone to enjoy. The face of Iosai the Anomaly unfolds before you, and within you grows the knowledge that you have earned the elusive and rare honour of membership in Her Order.
    Curio Exchange - A website to help with the trading of curio pieces in Lusternia.
  • ArimisiaArimisia Member Posts: 421 Expert
    There are a few things I can give in this area. I have a project I am working on which requires me to make several newbies. I have done two so far. The first one, I had an issue with the shadow not showing back up when I was instructed to teleport back to newton. I checked the whole place and it wasn't there. I checked here for information, someone suggested it had to do with learning. so I went and learned, teleported back still nothing. I had to log out and back in before the shadow showed up. I have also heard other newbies on newbie channel not being able to find the shadow. On my second newbie, I did all of my learning before going back to newton and the shadow showed right up.

    This aside the game no longer props a novice to use CONFIG PROMPT STATS, which I believe is a very bad decision when it comes to people that have never place this or any other IRE games. Until another player tells them about it, they may never know how to turn their stats on other than looking in score. Also in the config, it is no longer told to the novice to CONFIG MAPVIEW ON which is a very helpful tool. I do like that the whole pathing and landmark system is being emphasized more but some older, equally important things are being forgotten right now.
    The soft, hollow voice of Nocht, the Silent resounds within your mind as His words echo through the aether, "Congratulations, Arimisia. Your mastery of vermin cannot be disputed."

    image
  • CaerlyrCaerlyr Member Posts: 282 Capable
    ANNOUNCE NEWS #2266
    Date: 11/18/2013 at 22:03
    From: Estarra the Eternal
    To : Everyone
    Subj: Newbies - No Race or Guild

    Starting immediately, newbies will no longer enter Lusternia with a race
    or guild; however, they will be asked to select a city or nature commune
    to start. During their tour, they will be prompted to join a guild
    (listed from those available in their city and commune). After they join
    a guild, they'll be prompted to select a new race (they begin as human).
    Guild Administrators who have not set the recommended and restricted
    races yet should do so ASAP.

    Guides and those who help newbies need to be aware of this change. It
    should be noted that newbies can use the GUILD command to select a guild
    at any time (they don't need to wait until the tour tells them to), but
    if you are going to suggest that to a newbie, you must have the time and
    be prepared to be their guide and explain about the guild system, how to
    learn skills and answer any questions they may have. In other words, if
    you see a newbie, don't suggest to them to type GUILDS and then leave
    them on their own!


    Penned by My hand on the 11th of Dioni, in the year 369 CE.


    Words simply cannot express how much reading this pleases me. -These- are the kinds of things that should take precedence when selecting work.
  • ShaddusShaddus *Heavy Breathing Intensifies*Member Posts: 7,143 Transcendent
    edited November 2013
    The intro is still asking me to choose a race before I step out of the Portal.

    So far, I'm liking the new intro. The addition of the fink bandits to Newton is interesting, and doing the quest to turn them in would really interest me as a newbie. As a (insert my newbie's guild here), but I've noticed an issue. After you defeat the Shadow, your "attack" defaults to that guild's special attack, IE Cosmicfire in my case. There's no explanation for this, but that's not a major issue. What is slightly more interesting is that once you fight the shadow the second time, the "attack" alias won't defeat it, even after your attack has defaulted to your magical attack; instead, you actually have to type ABJURE COSMICFIRE SHADOW to kill it.


    Next, Atropos suggests you join a guild. The intro already allowed me to pick a guild, and so I can't seem to choose another. 



    http://pastebin.com/DHjVYr9Q


    I'll look into continuing the novice intro, but it seems to require a little more work.



    Edited slightly for clarity
    Post edited by Shaddus on
  • DaraiusDaraius is so over haiku The juror's taco spotMember Posts: 4,173 Transcendent
    I completely agree that guild shouldn't be the very first thing chosen when a newbie starts the game, but I still would like to know how far into the game kids are getting before choosing a race. It just seems extremely awkward that everyone starts out human, and then becomes something else after having passed through the Portal of Fate. Isn't the Portal what reshapes you and stirs up your memories? What does it look like when you choose your race (to the player and anyone standing around)? I just can't think of a viable RP where your character is supposedly born one race, becomes human for a while, then becomes some other race.

    If there's no avoiding this, I'd suggest having everyone start out as some new non-race with terrible stats. They'd be indicated as having a "race in flux" or something. 
  • IeptixIeptix Member, Moderator, Gods Posts: 819 Divine
    Shaddus said:
    The intro is still asking me to choose a race before I step out of the Portal.


    This is updated now. The new creation setup for the HTML5 client was pushed before the in-game creation was updated, but as of a few minutes ago you're prompted to join a city during in-game creation.
    7c95dbc25a4a9ae292cccb899a49a79b18529207e135ebccd89c0877d386ebea
    ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY GLOW CLOUD.
  • AllyrianneAllyrianne Member Posts: 334 Expert
    Daraius said:
    I completely agree that guild shouldn't be the very first thing chosen when a newbie starts the game, but I still would like to know how far into the game kids are getting before choosing a race. It just seems extremely awkward that everyone starts out human, and then becomes something else after having passed through the Portal of Fate. Isn't the Portal what reshapes you and stirs up your memories? What does it look like when you choose your race (to the player and anyone standing around)? I just can't think of a viable RP where your character is supposedly born one race, becomes human for a while, then becomes some other race.

    If there's no avoiding this, I'd suggest having everyone start out as some new non-race with terrible stats. They'd be indicated as having a "race in flux" or something. 
    I don't think this is unsurmountable. Humans are weird. People are briefly human after passing through the portal until their true race reasserts itself.
  • DaraiusDaraius is so over haiku The juror's taco spotMember Posts: 4,173 Transcendent
    Allyrianne said: 
    I don't think this is unsurmountable. Humans are weird. People are briefly human after passing through the portal until their true race reasserts itself.

    Weird, yes. And not native to Lusternia. And the Portal of Fate long predates their arrival with Estarra. 

    Human tends to be the default race for players on planet Earth, but it's the last race I'd choose as Lusternia's default. 
  • IeptixIeptix Member, Moderator, Gods Posts: 819 Divine
    I've split off the discussion on the descriptions of cities in the new char creation sequence because it's a bit orthogonal to the purpose of this thread.
    7c95dbc25a4a9ae292cccb899a49a79b18529207e135ebccd89c0877d386ebea
    ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY GLOW CLOUD.
  • IythaIytha Member Posts: 880 Mythical
    Question: Do bard guild novices still get a lute? If so, when does this happen?
  • IeptixIeptix Member, Moderator, Gods Posts: 819 Divine
    Iytha said:
    Question: Do bard guild novices still get a lute? If so, when does this happen?
    When joining via the GUILD command, yes. If for some reason this isn't happening, please file a bug report.
    7c95dbc25a4a9ae292cccb899a49a79b18529207e135ebccd89c0877d386ebea
    ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY GLOW CLOUD.
  • ShaddusShaddus *Heavy Breathing Intensifies*Member Posts: 7,143 Transcendent
    edited November 2013
    Somehow, the game just advanced me past Clotho's first tasks.
    -look
    Before the Portal of Fate.
    A spacious cave has been carved into the hard granite of Avechna's Peak. The walls are smooth and 
    cool, adorned from floor to ceiling with tightly spaced sigils and symbols. These hieroglyphs glow 
    of their own accord, twisting and squirming, casting undulating fronds of gold and purple light 
    flickering over the walls and ceiling. A strange sense of expectancy radiates throughout the chamber,
     as though the air is pregnant with momentous events and possibilities. Smooth flaxen hair pouring 
    from beneath her hood, Clotho the Spinner waits here, her fingers picking out the threads of fate 
    itself.
    You see a single exit leading out.
    -
    "I know you have probably forgotten," says Clotho, gliding towards you on feet that do not touch the 
    ground, "but we have met before when you first entered the Portal of Fate. I have spun the fabric of 
    your life anew, and so you only have vague memories of who you are, and even your history has become 
    clouded."
    -greet clotho
    You greet Clotho the Spinner with a sincere smile.
     [1] Can I magically teleport around the land?
     [2] I would like to know how to move about the realm.
     [3] I would like to know more about how to interact with the realm.
     [4] I would like to know more about the Portal of Fate.
     [5] How do I get more help?
    -
    You need to complete the following tasks to advance in the Fates of Lusternia quest:
    Congratulations! You have completed all the tasks. You'll be prompted what to do next.
    -
    Clotho says, "Now, I and my sisters will be your guide as you rediscover who you are and find the 
    destiny that awaits you."
    -
    An inky darkness swirls within the Portal of Fate and then seeps out onto the ground, swirling 
    around your feet. With uncontrollable shivers running down your spine, the shadow coalesces into the 
    humanoid form. You cannot discern its features, though there is something sinister and familiar 
    about it.
    -
    Edit: it seems it only postponed them until I completed the task for the finks/gnomes, but didn't actually require me to do them before I advanced to Lachesis.
  • ShaddusShaddus *Heavy Breathing Intensifies*Member Posts: 7,143 Transcendent
    edited November 2013
    Issues I'm also noticing:

    TELEPORT NEWTON is blocked by monolith. I know this isn't a bug, but can this be changed somehow?

    After picking a race and guild, Atropos still wants me to pick a guild. http://pastebin.com/ezw9ax5t

    -say I have completed my history lessons
    You say, "I have completed my history lessons."
    Afifah y'Bolgari says, "Excellent work, Shug! You have studied well the history of Magnagora, and 
    learnt but a fraction of what there is to know about our history and culture. I pronounce you ready 
    to move onto more challenging and greater tasks."
    Your karma rises in response to your deeds.
    Your soul cries out in ecstasy as it reaches new heights of power. You have advanced to level 6.
    You have reached the illustrious level of Novice.
    You feel the exuberance of youth flood your veins, restoring your vitals.
    NOTE: You have completed a quest for your Collegium! You gain 1000 gold sovereigns for completion of 
    this task.
    You have completed the Seek the Tainted Histories quest!
    [HINT]: Type COLLEGE to see which quests you still need to complete.
    -college
    You are a graduate of the College of Necromantic & Tainted Research.

    Syntax: COLLEGE SHOW
            COLLEGE STATUS
    -college status
    You are not a teacher in a collegium.
    -college show
    You are not a teacher in a collegium.
  • EveriineEveriine Wise Old Swordsbird Member Posts: 2,641 Transcendent
    I had trouble getting my second shadow to appear--I teleported to Newton, ran around a bit, kept greeting the Guide, and nothing appeared. I think I had to physically leave the front door to Newton, greet the Guide again, reenter the front door, greet her--I'm not exactly sure what I did to get the shadow to appear, but it definitely did not appear when I went to Newton and I had to figure it out for myself.
    image
    Everiine is a man, and is very manly. This MAN before you is so manly you might as well just gender bend right now, cause he's the manliest man that you ever did see. His manly shape has spurned many women and girlyer men to boughs of fainting. He stands before you in a manly manerific typical man-like outfit which is covered in his manly motto: "I am a man!"
    NEW Avatar by the amazing Arimisia!
    I'm totally shipping @Eliron and @Everiine now. 
    Daraius said:
    You gotta risk it for the biscuit.

  • KagatoKagato Auckland, New ZealandMember Posts: 932 Fabled
    Currently you need to tell her that you are ready to face the shadow in the room that you arrive in when you TELEPORT NEWTON.
  • EveriineEveriine Wise Old Swordsbird Member Posts: 2,641 Transcendent
    Hmm, not sure if I did that or not.
    image
    Everiine is a man, and is very manly. This MAN before you is so manly you might as well just gender bend right now, cause he's the manliest man that you ever did see. His manly shape has spurned many women and girlyer men to boughs of fainting. He stands before you in a manly manerific typical man-like outfit which is covered in his manly motto: "I am a man!"
    NEW Avatar by the amazing Arimisia!
    I'm totally shipping @Eliron and @Everiine now. 
    Daraius said:
    You gotta risk it for the biscuit.

  • RilunaRiluna Member Posts: 1,062 Mythical
    Yeah, that's the problem most people are having with that issue. It works only in that one room, but you're already told it's in Newton before you teleport, so a lot of people just run off and explore to go looking for it.

    Mayor Steingrim, the Grand Schema says to you, "Well, as I recall you kinda leave a mark whereever you go."
  • ShaddusShaddus *Heavy Breathing Intensifies*Member Posts: 7,143 Transcendent
    I've noticed that INFO HALLIFAX/GAUDIGUCH still says that only the Mage guild is open.
  • IeptixIeptix Member, Moderator, Gods Posts: 819 Divine

    Shaddus said:
    I've noticed that INFO HALLIFAX/GAUDIGUCH still says that only the Mage guild is open.
    I'm not sure what you're talking about.
    7c95dbc25a4a9ae292cccb899a49a79b18529207e135ebccd89c0877d386ebea
    ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY GLOW CLOUD.
  • CaerlyrCaerlyr Member Posts: 282 Capable
    During the tour, I think he's referring to.
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