I have a certain "lesson plan" I go through when I discover a true novice. It covers common hiccups like DIRECTORY, curatives, serverside curing, and the like. It's usually a good experience for both of us, and it gets more refined as I continue to give it.
That said, I've been wondering (as some of you likely have): Couldn't the early experience be improved? I actually had a novice tell me the other day that serverside curing prevented her from quitting. I started asking around, and it was suggested to me that I should possibly target the main tutorial with a forum post and/or an IDEA.
So I'm asking you guys. What are the most common stumbling blocks you hear about from your novices? How could these be implemented into a new tutorial? Should all of these be included, or should some be saved for a more personalized experience? Where does the city, newbie clans, Houses, etc. step in? Any feedback is welcome. I just want to get a new discussion going.
It's that simple, honestly. A personalized tour might be better, but that only works if somebody is online and willing to do it, and that's not a safe assumption to make.
While perhaps not preferable, you should be able to learn everything you need without interacting with a single person. This seems like it's exactly what the TASKS system was designed to accomplish, since the early tasks teach you the basics of playing the game by actually getting you to go out and do things, and reward you with basic supplies at the same time.
May be time to add or update TASKS that cover newer improvements to the game.
Results of disembowel testing | Knight limb counter | GMCP AB files
Fast forward a year, my thoughts based upon various interactions is that novices struggle most with is:
1) Culture (What is the tldr of your belief? What are the rules? What is expected of them?)
2) Money (How are they going to afford all of the curatives you're requesting. Don't just give them the items, teach them the best way to make it. My god, do not suggest catching butterflies! <---You know who you are.)
3) Finding interactions with their immediate peers (Small cities will have a problem with this, but I hear this complaint a lot)
I think the Merchant house attempts to address this and our growth is steadily increasing. I cannot even keep track of all of the new faces.
When I've been bored a couple of times, I've rolled a throw away alt in a city to figure out how the experience is so I can have some more empathy. The joining the house process is interesting, but the quests themselves do not truly explain what exactly the houses do and paint a very false, hyped picture. They're fun, but I think novices get very disappointed picking based off the initial experience. Depending how good a house's novice team & reqs is when you know if you'll retain your novices.
Based on those three struggles, I don't think this is something that -should- be addressed by the game, but by houses & cities.