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If you were a newbie combatant....

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  • IocunIocun Member Posts: 3,695 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited September 2013
    Dolomar said:
    o Tracking afflictions. Without a system especially, and even as someone new who has one, good lord there's so freaking many lines. I don't know if the reason for non standard lines is to help discourage systems (it really doesn't, anyway) or what, but something as simple as adding generic 'You are now paralysed.' or 'You are no longer paralysed.' would make thing so much more accessible and easy.
    It almost certainly isn't meant to help discourage systems, because if anything, it does the contrary. It's easier for a computer to remember lots of weird lines than our brains. The reason, I assume, is to make the combat content not seem entirely dry and technical, but keep it up to par with the colourfulness of the rest of the game and thus aid immersion.

    One might argue that during combat, nobody will actually have the time to appreciate those lines anyways, and that's somewhat true. But there isn't just intense combat and non-combat, but quite a few intermediate forms as well, where individual text lines definitely form part of our overall impression.

    Combat already is in danger of going very much in a technical and OOC direction, where the nuances of the game's atmosphere vanish and it becomes a numbers and mechanics game, so I'm very wary of intensifying this. At the same time, I certainly do understand the desire for accessibility. But accessibility unfortunately very often stands slightly opposed to a deep, complex, and unique game world, so games need to make some tough decisions in this area.

    While I appreciate many of Achaea's innovations that serve accessibility, I still believe that Achaea needs to stay strongest in its "native domain" as a very deep (and yes, also somewhat complicated) game, rather than trying to compete with games which are far ahead in accessibility already, yet far back when it comes to a game world that will captivate players for years or decades.
    MishgulPhraagSylvance
  • SaevaSaeva Member Posts: 1,947 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I don't think that accessibility and complexity are mutually exclusive. Or don't think they should be.
    There is a difference in strategy and memory and a sixth sense in combat than with being a computer savvy script programmer.


  • DolomarDolomar Member Posts: 33 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    The immersion thing is a good point--but does adding those 'generic' lines really break immersion? I could understand not wanting to remove the flavor text and attack lines, and would never ask that. But for example, most denizens that break limbs that I've seen -do- have a generic 'Your X Y breaks' or whatever, and I don't find that any less IC when I'm getting curbstomped and ragdolled by icky things with too many teeth, let me tell you.
    YaeSaevaSylvance
  • IocunIocun Member Posts: 3,695 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited September 2013
    Saeva said:
    I don't think that accessibility and complexity are mutually exclusive. Or don't think they should be. There is a difference in strategy and memory and a sixth sense in combat than with being a computer savvy script programmer.
    No, they're not mutually exclusive. But there still are many situations where they go in quite opposite directions. To make Achaea's combat system truly accessible, it definitely would have to become much less complex.

    P.S. I don't know of a single successful combatant who owes his success exclusively to programming skills. They help, no doubt, but they're not the primary defining factor.

    The combat system isn't only difficult to get into because it requires a certain degree of client automation, but also because its inner workings take some time to understand and get used to.
    Dolomar said:
    The immersion thing is a good point--but does adding those 'generic' lines really break immersion? I could understand not wanting to remove the flavor text and attack lines, and would never ask that. But for example, most denizens that break limbs that I've seen -do- have a generic 'Your X Y breaks' or whatever, and I don't find that any less IC when I'm getting curbstomped and ragdolled by icky things with too many teeth, let me tell you.

    I'm not saying that simple and clear lines of text are inherently worse for immersion than the more elaborate ones. Sometimes, even the contrary is the case, because overly elaborate lines can stick out and become tiring. 


    I wouldn't mind certain particular affliction lines to be a bit clearer than they currently are, but it would have to be judged on a case-to-case basis. All I'm against is a tabula rasa solution that does away with all unique affliction lines in favour of a unified system, just for the sake of accessibility. Yes, even such a radical solution would not magically ruin Achaea's immersion on its own, but neither would such a solution on its own make Achaea's combat easily accessible.

    PhraagPraxides
  • HeguaHegua Member Posts: 160 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Synbios said:
    Dolomar said:
    Just the 'You follow so and so this way to here', with no idea where 'here' is or what or who is there. As spammy as it might be, I really think that adding in the ql to following would make new players WAY more comfortable.


    What does @Cardan or @Tecton think about pinging a QL to following - that is to say, following should still allow you to see the room once you change rooms, similar to regular movement?

    EDIT: To reflect my addiction to all things configgable - make this a toggleable ability in Vision or a config option, like, say, CONFIG FOLLOWQL ON/OFF, for those who like it less spammy?
    +1

    Would sell brain slug for this. Either of you want a nice hat?
    Alcinae
  • AktillumAktillum PhilippinesMember Posts: 1,368 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited September 2013
    I don't know if this has been suggested but a visual skill bar would probably be great. I mean when I play WoW, Diablo or LoL I can look at the bottom of my screen and see a row of skills available to use, and they're already assigned to QWER or F1-F2-F3 for me. You could do the same for newbs with their most basic attacks + sipping health, or something.

    image

  • AktillumAktillum PhilippinesMember Posts: 1,368 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited September 2013
    I don't think bashing attacks and sipping health are a large part of playing the game. It's like 1% of the game, unless we're just a text-grind. Easing newbies into their skills with buttons will get them past the text-barrier.

    I mean, Sarapis' OP was "If you were a newbie, what would you find most frustrating about combat without a system?" and my answer would have to be the wall of text and the need to read through HELP ALIASES when I can just easily press 8 buttons in League of Legends. There's a point when we gotta start catering to a modern crowd in any little way possible.

    "when you relegate a large part of playing the game to actually just hitting buttons (which, to be fair, a lot of people do anyway) that just seems to detract from it a bit (to me, at least)."

    It's not about you though, it's about the newbs and the hurdle of this being a text-game in 2013. You and I could fight without systems, manually curing ourselves. In the newb's eyes, they're going "holy shit, what is this wall of text, where's the graphics, I have to type stuff, this is boring, I thought this was an MMO". I think they absolutely need to be detracted from the text and given loads of GUI stuff in the initial stages, until they decide they want something more advanced like Mudlet.

    Aedin
  • AedinAedin Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited September 2013

    Antonius said:
    I feel like something similar was mentioned in a thread before, and Sarapis said they wouldn't consider something like that. The whole point of MUDs is that you communicate with text; when you relegate a large part of playing the game to actually just hitting buttons (which, to be fair, a lot of people do anyway) that just seems to detract from it a bit (to me, at least).
    I'm actually one of those people, I own a Razer Nostromo, (a keypad) and it's how I do about 95% of my stuff on it for combat to bashing, then other 5% would be on my numpad on the keyboard... I find it a lot easier as it allows me to more quickly than accidentally get a key wrong. It's all about person preference really. While I do still have alias' but none of it's for combat or hunting. It just eliminates what I feel are crucial milliseconds  over typing something and risking the chance of getting it wrong.


    Edit: Typo fix
    Aktillum
  • AntoniusAntonius Member Posts: 5,040 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited September 2013
    I've played WoW and, quite frankly, I don't want the vast majority of the people I encountered while playing it anywhere near Achaea.

    I'm also not convinced that giving entirely new players buttons for combat is going to help in any way. I think that just sets up entirely the wrong expectation of what's going to come later. If they're here with the impression that this is a WoW style MMO then we need to be demonstrating that it's not and never will be, not catering to it by giving them the same things they'd find there.
    KyrraSylvance
  • AktillumAktillum PhilippinesMember Posts: 1,368 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited September 2013
    Iron Realms is a for-profit company though. They can't stay in business catering to the same shrinking MUD crowd, unless we all start buying a lot more credits. You're looking at it from the perspective of "I don't want those damn MMO kids near my mature, complex MUD". I'm looking at it from the perspective of this game is 16 years old, QW is 200+ players at peak time and it's mostly the same faces or alts, and we need some game-changers.

    Unfortunately, the way Achaea will stay profitable is by trying to appeal to a modern generation, and that means dumbing down some of the complexities. But I think adding more GUI buttons in the style of MMOs is not such a drastic change, most of us experienced players use Mudlet so it's a change you'll never even see.

    Look at the new signup page, it's already nearly identical to League of Legends: http://www.achaea.com/signup/one vs https://signup.leagueoflegends.com/en/signup/index - so already we're setting them up with some sort of expectation that this is a modern type of game, unless they watch the trailer and hear Sarapis talking about the text.

    Today's generation of gamers are just not interested in a deep, text-based roleplaying experience, unless we give them something familiar to work with.

  • KyrraKyrra AustraliaMember Posts: 4,941 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Except for the crowd that MUD and just haven't come to Achaea yet.

    I love the broad, sweeping generalisations.
    (D.M.A.): Cooper says, "Kyrra is either the most innocent person in the world, or the girl who uses the most innuendo seemingly unintentionally but really on purpose."

    Sylvance
  • AktillumAktillum PhilippinesMember Posts: 1,368 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited September 2013
    Kyrra said:
    Except for the crowd that MUD and just haven't come to Achaea yet. I love the broad, sweeping generalisations.

    What crowd? There's 2 major MUD networks, TMS and TMC. Anyone who MUDs has heard of IRE games by now and has decided whether or not they want to try us. There's no untapped pool of MUD gamers just waiting to be marketed to. IRE already runs ads on TMS and TMC. Achaea has been in the top #5 MUD games on TMS for years.

    In the month of July, Achaea received significantly more traffic hits from freely posted MMORPG.com blog articles than from paid TMS ads. 82% of the traffic visits from MMORPG.com were new visitors, compared to 59% from TMS. You're living in a fantasy world (not Achaea) if you think appealing to the "MUD crowd" is a sustainable business model for the next 5 years.

    AedinDartegaFlorentinoAehren
  • KyrraKyrra AustraliaMember Posts: 4,941 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I started MUDing through word of mouth of a friend at school, and surprisingly, most of the people in high school were MUDers and not graphical gamers.

    Sometimes people get bored and want something new. It's how I started on Achaea. My text husband in my previous game made a character here, thought I would enjoy it and so I came over. He went off to play World of Warcraft and I am still hanging around some ten years later. In my first few years of playing, credits were something I was given as a gift at Christmas. I didn't have my awesome disposal income and I don't consider Achaea as something to invest in. It's a game I enjoy, and I contribute back because of that.

    I sometimes check out other MUDs because they look interesting. I was playing Discworld for quite a few years during my 5 year absense from Achaea because it looked interesting. I hadn't heard of Terry Pratchett or read the books (I own most of them now), but the game was just amazing. It was free to play, there were no paid perks. The community is what keeps people around.

    I know quite a lot of people through gaming and most of those started through MUDing, some have come to Achaea, others haven't.

    I personally think that the newbie introduction and a person's first experiences are a major factor of whether they decide to stick around and play.

    When I first started, I was new to Achaea but not MUDing, I had a full orientation that took 15 minutes max, including a brief tour around the city to explain important places like the guild hall and where to get food, and I was off to play with the pixies in Minia. If I had started now, instead of then, I would admittedly be put off by the lack of people during my time zone for assistance, the sheer amount of reading involved in houses, and how much more complex it is. Add in house requirements where your HoN is never around to test you, a lack of progress generates disinterest in the character, and thus the game. Oh, can't forget the Minia stalkers that offer to pop my character's cherry within two hours of creation.

    I am quite looking forward to seeing the new introduction and hopefully it'll help retain more of the folk that come by to check things out.

    There is still quite a large community of MUDers, young and old, and it's not just about appealing to the graphical gamers. That's really no different to splitting hairs between the Xbox and PS3 players because they prefer one console over another. Ask Jovolo or Vaehl why they started playing Achaea. Ask Jespar. These are young people in the generation of "we only play graphic point and click games".
    (D.M.A.): Cooper says, "Kyrra is either the most innocent person in the world, or the girl who uses the most innuendo seemingly unintentionally but really on purpose."

    SaevaSylvance
  • AedinAedin Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    In order for a company, such as IRE to try to appeal to more people outside of that MUD crowd, which I'm sure as @Aktillum said those who play MUDs have probably already tried IRE. However in order for new people to come aboard IRE needs to appeal the on coming generation of people who are used to Graphics. So logical thing would to try by using the HTML client offer a form of basic healing and giving a nice graphic GUI HUD to help them get into it.

    While almost most of us, probably use Mudlet or any other form of connecting to the realms, newcomers aren't gonna just jump on in and not know whats happening without a HUD display. I know I as sure as hell didn't I used the HTML for first three weeks of playing and got told about SVO and Mudlet and how it'd be alot easier using them.

    The change was hard but I was able to sip quicker and heal afflictions as well. HTML Client doesn't have this nor does it seem to be if any who code for it. So trying to find someone to help them out is gonna be difficult.
    Aktillum
  • DolomarDolomar Member Posts: 33 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    SPEAKING OF the newbie intro! I was SO MAD when I first made a character! I had newbie channel off by default and it wouldn't let me turn it on or send tells to guides or ANYTHING to get some help or ask questions! I couldn't even check most help files because it restricted my commands. I was seriously so upset that I couldn't do anything to get help or answers and ugh. If I hadn't had previous MUD experience, and hadn't been really bored that day, I don't think I would have stayed. I HATED it.
    KyrraSylvance
  • SaevaSaeva Member Posts: 1,947 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited September 2013
    I'm sure there is more Iron Realms could do as far as advertising and or "getting with the times" as far as graphics go, etc. But! The web site keeps up to date, visually and informatively.
    Achaea's newbie assistance is ..... -insanely- helpful compared to a lot of other muds (Maybe all Iron Realms MUDs are this successful with available newling guidance, I don't know, but Achaea is tip top), and the playerbase that I have encountered is -really- patiently helpful.

    Yes the house scrolls got annoying. There were 10 scrolls that multiplied into fifteen that multiplied into fifty.
    It was like a never ending scrollfest for about two days straight then tapered down to a reasonable light read, frequently. But you -have- those scrolls available at any new players fingertips and -that- is amazing.

    The real heart of the issue is - a vast majority of your new players coming in are probably either coming from another MUD (Probably aren't 100% expecting to use such fancified scripts if they are *motions to herself*) or they are coming from hack and slash games and they want to be a bad ass and they are pissed when they come in, suck balls at combat and realize how much they are going to have to invest themselves if they want to change that.
    I think people figuring out combat has always been one of the harder parts about text games - it's a totally unique combat experience in any text game. But this one is particularly... inaccessible. I think it's a positive part of the gameworld and also a negative. Double edged sword, if you will.

    My pal has been writing up a lot of HTML5 scripts and they've made it to where now we don't ...die so quickly >_>
    Over time, maybe they will evolve into something progressive, we'll see! One step at a time. It's been fun!
    But without him, I'd have just had to make the hop over to SVO or Omni already... which honestly.. I'm resisting until I -just- have to.


  • DolomarDolomar Member Posts: 33 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    RE: point 1, @Cidusii: This is already the case. When newbies diagnose, they see the cures listed below the afflictions. That goes away at level 30 I think.
    CidusiiYaeAnaidiana
  • IocunIocun Member Posts: 3,695 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited September 2013
    Aedin said:
    However in order for new people to come aboard IRE needs to appeal the on coming generation of people who are used to Graphics. 
    The on coming generation of people who are used to graphics? Achaea's current playerbase isn't that old in average. The majority of us grew up when computer games were largely graphical. I'm certainly not the youngest player, but Achaea was still the first text game I played. Yet I stuck with it much longer than many of the simple, graphical, button-clicking games I had played before.

    I simply believe it is an error to believe Achaea can or should compete with games who have made accessibility their main selling point. If you want that, you'd have to scrap Achaea altogether and have another go at Earth Eternal. But Earth Eternal went under, while Achaea's still kicking. Yes, Achaea will always have a harder time to appease to completely new players than some other games, but it also has a great retention rate among players who have really got into it - and it is a mistake to believe that it is in any sense easy or cheap to make a super successful game that will have both.
    AepasPraxides
  • CidusiiCidusii Member Posts: 346 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Oh neat! That I didn't know as a newbie *eyeshift*. I don't think I ever noticed it when I used the command.
  • AktillumAktillum PhilippinesMember Posts: 1,368 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited September 2013
    @Kyrra I agree with everything you described about lack of people around and excessive scroll reading. What I don't agree with is how an example of 2 - 3 people discovering Achaea through word-of-mouth is a viable marketing solution in today's world. The promo that had us inviting Facebook friends for credits bombed horribly. 

    Nobody uses their Reflink. Did you know the Reflink even exists? You can type REFLINK in-game and get your own special link that you can share with friends, and you get bonuses for signing them up. 

    I don't agree that your anecdote of starting 10 years ago over WoW is still relevant today, when there's too many options. There's a handful of people who haven't logged into Achaea since FFXIV was released. If this trend continues, we're going to bleed players until there's 50 people online during peak hours over the next 5 years. While that might be okay with you, it doesn't bode well for the paid coders and producers of Iron Realms.

    "I personally think that the newbie introduction and a person's first experiences are a major factor of whether they decide to stick around and play."

    Absolutely, and I've harped on how much the intro sucks for a couple years now. I've emailed Sarapis and ranted in forum threads about how much the newbie intro needs a makeover. Nobody is happier than me that it's finally getting the attention it deserves.

    You are posting from the perspective of a player who is satisfied with the status quo. I'm posting from the perspective of someone who is genuinely interested in large-scale expansion and financial growth for IRE.

    @Cidusii"Man, I'm so not used to people saying 200+ players at peak time is an unhealthy number for a MUD."

    Achaea once had double that, sometimes reaching 500+ during peak hours.

    @Iocun "I simply believe it is an error to believe Achaea can or should compete with games who have made accessibility their main selling point. If you want that, you'd have to scrap Achaea altogether and have another go at Earth Eternal."

    I completely disagree with your choice of example. Earth Eternal bombed because of multiple reasons, the theme of the game and a lack of funding being two of them. Achaea absolutely can be accessible to the new generation of gamers. 

    "it also has a great retention rate among players who have really got into it"

    It has a great retention rate among players who have been here for years, there's very little new blood coming into the games and sticking around. Do you plan on financially supporting IRE for the next 5 years? How many alts do you plan on transing out? Do you know the average income for a coder these days? Are you going to volunteer your time to spend hours a day trying to fix up 16 year old legacy code to introduce shiny new mechanics this playerbase demands every few months?
    Post edited by Aktillum on

  • KyrraKyrra AustraliaMember Posts: 4,941 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I know the reflink exists but I don't do stuff for a personal reward. I'd rather people sign up over their own initiative than to help someone get referral rewards and go inactive after X amount of time.

    Kind of reminds me of cyber pet sites where you need X amount of friends to sign up to get you perks, or you need 50 thousand clicks a day to stop the little picture of a dragon egg from dying before it hatches.

    It might be a way to generate incoming traffic but I think it only appeals to certain people. Maybe some need that incentive but look at WoW recruit-a-friend for a shiny mount. Wonder how many people created second/third etc accounts they drop after they get what they want. The focus is solely on collecting perks and less about other aspects of the game.

    Kudos to those that use things like that if it works for them. It makes me genuinely curious now how many players have come from the reflinks and if they are still actively playing.
    (D.M.A.): Cooper says, "Kyrra is either the most innocent person in the world, or the girl who uses the most innuendo seemingly unintentionally but really on purpose."

  • AktillumAktillum PhilippinesMember Posts: 1,368 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited September 2013
    You only get the reflink bonuses after they purchase credits, so it's not abusable. Don't think of it as doing something for a personal reward, think of it as being rewarded for taking the initiative to use word-of-mouth advertising. Think outside the box. Go to MMORPG.com or OnRPG.com or TMS or any of the hundreds of communities for gamers, write a little blog or forum post about how awesome Achaea is and how long you've been playing it, and stick your reflink in there somewhere.

    Hi, I'm Aktillum. I've been playing Achaea for 12 years. It's super awesome and the depth of the role-playing experience is unlike any game you've tried before. If you're bored of hack'n'slash games and want a really fun, immersive virtual reality with a fantastic playerbase, give it a try. Look for me in-game and I'll be answer to answer any newbie questions you have! :)

    Edit: I'm slightly wrong about the details. You get a miniscule reward if they play long enough.

    - If you refer a new player who registers and plays for 5 hours or more, you
      gain 1 credit (up to 10 credits per week).
    - If any player you have referred purchases credits on -ANY- IRE game, you get
      10% of the purchased amount as a reward, forever!

  • SylvanceSylvance Member Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited September 2013
    Aktillum said:

    - If any player you have referred purchases credits on -ANY- IRE game, you get
      10% of the purchased amount as a reward, forever!
    Seems odd that referers get more reward, overall, than mentors do. Is this because it's harder (or more important?) to get people here than to keep them here? I'd be surprised if that were the case.

    ETA: inb4 "Mentors get a greater psychological reward". Yes. I get that.
    Tvistor: If that was a troll, it was masterful.
    I take my hat off to you.
  • AktillumAktillum PhilippinesMember Posts: 1,368 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited September 2013
    @Sylvance Mentors used to get a credit reward if their proteges bought credits, but I think too many people were just using it for mentoring their friends alts. None of my true-newb proteges ever bought credits :(

  • JakiroJakiro Member Posts: 151 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    One of mine did. I think he was @Olden. And he was the only one, out of god knows how many that actually stayed. The credit reward was not that big of a percentage but enough to make me smile. Heh.
    Aktillum said:
    @Sylvance Mentors used to get a credit reward if their proteges bought credits, but I think too many people were just using it for mentoring their friends alts. None of my true-newb proteges ever bought credits :(
    They don't anymore? Aww!
    image
  • AntoniusAntonius Member Posts: 5,040 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I just don't see any way for an action bar to work with Achaea. How do they target? Are we expecting them to have to type an alias to target something they want to attack? Are we going to have them click on the enemy in the list of creatures in the room? That seems like a dangerous road to go down; Achaea is a game where you enter commands to perform actions, it's not a game where you click on things and hit keys to perform actions.

    The earlier they become accustomed to the idea that there's a lot of reading and typing involved, the better. Giving them a super easy point-and-click interface may get a few more newbies to hang around for a bit longer, but it's going to be incredibly jarring when they want to do anything more complex (like PvP) and suddenly realise that the neat toolbar they're used to just doesn't cut it at all. If people want to use hotkeys for abilities then the option is there for them, but I feel like they should be learning the basics about how the game is played (by entering commands) before they start thinking about simplifying complex sequences of actions down to keypresses, aliases, etc.

    Sarapis spoke in the Massively interview about the difficulties and tradeoffs involved in appealing to people who are used to WoW-style graphical MMOs while still retaining the things that make MUDs unique and cool. Achaea could be a lot better at accessibility, about communicating how things work, what your skills do and how to use them, etc; I'm not at all convinced that a toolbar is the best - or even a good - solution to that.
    SylvanceKyrra
  • MishgulMishgul Trondheim, NorwayMember Posts: 5,378 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    newbie combat is also just button bashing. 80-90% of strategies require you to be transed out, or close to transed out.

    -

    One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important

    As drawn by Shayde
    hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae
    SylvanceDolomarWilhelmina
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