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Trial of Rebirth modifications

Xith
Xith Member Posts: 2,602 @@ - Legendary Achaean
edited November 2012 in The Golden Dais of Creation

To partly solve Achaea's learning curve and improve the Trial issue (which Sarapis mentioned in one of the Rant forum's posts), I'd consider an academy or something that allows newcomers to do a bit of extra reading or intro work, with the aid of either Romeo/Juliet, or some additional Guides.

Part of what this could entail is extra help scroll reading, so that their exit from Ceylon is locked until they've at least opened each required scroll once. HELP INSANITY, HELP NAMECHANGE, HELP NEWBIES would be key points to keep easy mistakes from happening.

In the modified Trial, the player is still in a 1-player environment with only the same denizens on a guided tour. The Crone's functions are still good to review, but the flavour on that might be different.

Denizen tasks to highlight in the "Trial":
* MAP usage, SAY/TELL, and emotes, GET/GIVE, and the things Gruul walks through. Essentially everything already in the Trial is good for that phase. But might adjust the default speed to be slightly higher.
* Learn about hunger & sleep
* PROBE/CONSIDER might be good here before attacking the Fire Guardian
* Skip the city/class/house choices though.
* Choose RACE. To avoid using up free reincarns and so on, a player might want to learn a little about the races in-game and how they'll function.
* Tells from Pasiphae or somebody to read insanity/namechange/newbies and likewise.
* A chance to review CONFIG options, possibly with auto-advice on them.

From here, instead of immediately reaching the ring of portals and having still attained Lvl 5, the newbie is instead placed in the Delosian Academy, a classroom-like environment that is essentially part of the real world, but still with Minia-like restrictions. Players will be advised in a tell upon entry that they are now in full roleplay and should behave as such.
This is where the youngest newbies, from about levels 5-10 could remain. At the head of the classroom would be a Pasiphae type, either as a guide or guide-controllable denizen, that serves as a more personal intro and answers questions in person (Romeo/Juliet can step in too). At the same time, other new players can wander the school-like environment doing menial quests. In scope, something between Hogwarts and a one-room schoolhouse would be about right.

Denizen tasks to highlight in the "Academy":
* Health/mana sipping and the fact that endurance/will regen on their own
* Rooms that have IN/OUT exits. I can't say how long it took me to figure out that the entrance to Ember Tower was not EAST, but IN, because I relied on the map, never having played a MUD before
* Quests that improve exploration skills
* CONSIDER/PROBE and etiquette involving city/personal loyals
* A Sorting Hat-style denizen that helps new players decide which class would best suit them by asking "Do you prefer close up fighting or magic?" "Would you prefer runic magic, elemental magic, dark magic....", etc. The reason I suggest this is because I was introduced before character creation by a couple people on another game. They asked those questions to fit me with the right race, city, class, and house, and I think it helped.
* Class choice after the above item.
* In this environment, newbies can interact with each other before they are split up into opposing factions. Upon "graduation" from the Academy, city/house would be granted.
* Discussion of the best racial specialisation to suit the chosen class.
* Discussion of TRAITS and how they'll be available at Lvl 20+.
* At the request of a newbie, the denizen teacher could begin a lecture on a particular topic listed on the board. "Teach me about Gods," says the newbie. The denizen would launch into a timed lesson explaining how to interact with the Divine and how They like Their pronouns. A few "live" help files could be worked in this way. Weapons, Ships, Dragons, Killing/Fighting/Combat, Marks, Divine Orders, Crafting, Lessons/Credits, Artefacts, Theft...
* Quests should include means of acquiring small amounts of herbs, especially some free myrrh.

* HELP files themselves, as well as explaining that CAPITAL LETTERS will be used in a sentence when people tell you how to do something. Try PULLing the ROPE for example.

A series of quests would ultimately lead the newcomer to a room with an invisible lever to pull or something. For returning players creating alts, they could obviously go straight to that room and choose their class/etc. to leave the tutorial. Might run an IP-check and then have the game recommend heading straight for that room if not a new player.

I think the most helpful part of this area for a new player would be a more standardized, controlled version of House interaction, where players can grasp game mechanics without having to sort through confusing HHELP scrolls at the same time.

So, thoughts, add-ons, ideas?

I like my steak like I like my Magic cards: mythic rare.
ArillesBeya
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Comments

  • Beya
    Beya Member Posts: 353 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    I like the idea of a Delosian Classroom, but the concept needs less dependence on guide-likes and denizens and more interaction with other players.

    ...Like houses.
    "Trust in me, Universe, I will deliver / the promise that no-one shall ever / set their mind to games or play / for Serious Order is the way. I will not rest until it is done; / rules will be made for everyone. / They will know Order and its graces - and just like me, all shall be Greyfaces." - The Heroes of Sapience, Act 5, Greyface.
    AzorZeonJonathin
  • Lodi
    Lodi Member Posts: 252 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Not a great fan of this. The academy format seems to be pretty stock when it comes to a lot of Muds (I think, could be wrong). I've always loved the fact that Achara doesn't fall back on it.

    I think the trial needs to have more of an engaging story line behind it, with a touch of dramatic tension thrown in to grip new players. e.g. Like in the old one when you got attacked (I think) by a goblin in Azdun.

    With the old intro, I'd introduce people to the game and at least a few would stick around. With the new one, people I've tried to introduce just stare at the screen for five minuets, then get board.

    You cant expect everyone to want to sit down and read for long periods of time before actually starting to game. You need to hook them right away or allot of people won't hang around for long.


    I won a competition awhile ago to have Chris Bourassa paint a picture of Lodi. My profile pic is the end product. :)
    DaslinJhaeliAthorem
  • Xith
    Xith Member Posts: 2,602 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited November 2012

    There can be a storyline, as long as it's vague enough to fit into any time period instead of built up as something important that you then forget about after leaving because it has no impact on the world. The important thing is to appeal to people that have never played a MUD or text-based game before. Most mudders have (hopefully) already heard of or tried Achaea.

    The things I struggled with were the slow pace and lack of direction. I didn't see a clear objective or goal in the game aside from reaching Dragon or Ascension, which obviously entailed a lot of work. The irony is that there is no particular objective or goal other than what you choose to do in the world. You can do what you want, and that has to be taught at the intro level. This is where newbies interacting with other newbies and alts could spark additional learning and discussion. My first character was about 23 when he was finally comfortable leaving Minia. Because there is enough of a learning curve in that. He'd kill pixies and catch butterflies until he had fewer portals and realized he had no idea how to navigate, and so died voluntarily to ensure his xp wouldn't kick him from Minia.

    So many of the basics should be covered before letting novices wander and get bored questing in Minia, because the extent of the game isn't 'kill/catch this' 'give to other denizen who wants this'.

    I would include in the Academy a sparring feature to let true newbies test their below-fledgling skills on one another. Or perhaps even a denizen sensei who paralyses them and then offers the bloodroot to cure, instead of the newbie tasks that currently 'ask tyrandiel web' or however that works. Someone who wants to get into the fighting after hearing about the complex combat system should be able to walk through a tutorial in the Academy that describes just that.

    Then there are the creative types who want to shape the world, and a 'home economics' walkthrough of the possibilities in tailoring, jewelling, and cooking should be highlighted, voluntarily. And that's the difference in this phase. Ceylon is narrow and must-have knowledge, while the Academy lets people explore, and every tapestry and statue has some kind of lesson.

    People who like exploring would enjoy a room of maps, an overview of the WALK TO function, and discussion of seafaring.

    The copycat pixie girl thing is good for emote practice, so something like that in the academy environment would be good too (the difference being that everything in Minia can be killed, while killing things in a school that are trying to teach you is a common sense no-no).

    House scrolls won't cover all of this, and aren't as interactive besides. This way you don't have to rely on a house member or friend being present to have any direction.

    I like my steak like I like my Magic cards: mythic rare.
    Arilles
  • Sylvance
    Sylvance Member Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    I'm willing to respond to this if you promise this isn't a troll thread. Because I'm honestly not sure.
    Tvistor: If that was a troll, it was masterful.
    I take my hat off to you.
  • Vasool
    Vasool Member Posts: 184 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    It's likely serious, and the administrators have already said they are working towards a different, streamlined, new player introduction. I suppose offering advice is encouraged.   : )
  • Tarkanian
    Tarkanian Member Posts: 254 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    a good format would be the Imperian newbie intro, wherein a true novice would be exposed to the history of the game world (orc attacks, destruction of Aetherius, etc).
  • Xith
    Xith Member Posts: 2,602 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Sylvance said:
    I'm willing to respond to this if you promise this isn't a troll thread. Because I'm honestly not sure.


    I don't do troll threads. And if I did, they wouldn't be as detailed as the first post.

    "Yeah, once the current event is over with, we're going to spend a lot of energy looking at the newbie experience, possibly redoing much of it from scratch and integrating better support for new players who haven't played text MUDs before in the HTML5 client."

    I don't think they've had much time to really sort the Trial issue out, and new players are something we could stand to have more of, instead of the same people recycling alts forever. So this is intended to be a discussion thread. Support my idea, change it, scrap and rewrite it. I have no preference other than putting my idea out there.

    I like my steak like I like my Magic cards: mythic rare.
  • Xith
    Xith Member Posts: 2,602 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Or throw the newbies straight into a teamwork environment where they have to check out their basic skills in some little armoury, with some annoying soldier standing there going "Hurry! Your help is needed in the courtyard!" non-stop. Then they head out to fight some wimpy goblins with punches and kicks.

     

    image

    Obviously the idea isn't perfectly inclusive of Achaean gameplay either, but it does bring a little more excitement and urgency to the intro.

    After the smoke settles, some captain-of-the-guard-like individual trots out and says "I noticed you got hurt and stuff. You may want to SIP HEALTH or SLEEP to recover." Then some praise of the newbie's ferocity: "You were really something back there. I think you've got what it takes to move beyond punches and kicks. Have you thought about choosing a class?" Then continuing on to cover the other necessary gameplay points listed above, consider/probe "how to pick your fights", and something introducing race specialisations.

    Then there's myrrh, something that's usually listed in House scrolls, but also something every novice needs but can't easily find in novice quantities, except by asking for some free. I think part of the trial/other intro should reward novices with 10-15 myrrh to save everybody that guaranteed hassle.

    I like my steak like I like my Magic cards: mythic rare.
    Lodi
  • Sena
    Sena Member Posts: 3,957 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Xith said:
    Then there's myrrh, something that's usually listed in House scrolls, but also something every novice needs but can't easily find in novice quantities, except by asking for some free. I think part of the trial/other intro should reward novices with 10-15 myrrh to save everybody that guaranteed hassle.
    Novices don't really need myrrh, it's mostly useful for players who just bought credits or changed class, and have a lot of lessons to learn. Novices usually learn lessons in small sets, and will probably be reading AB files for their new abilities as they learn, so the few seconds saved is pretty meaningless.
  • Xith
    Xith Member Posts: 2,602 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    True, but it's minutes upon minutes that all current and future novices will spend looking for something their house wants them to find.
    What is the actual speed difference with myrrh, by the way. Do you know?
    I like my steak like I like my Magic cards: mythic rare.
  • Sena
    Sena Member Posts: 3,957 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Myrrh reduces the time for a set of lessons from 45 seconds to 37 seconds.
    Xith
  • Llyth
    Llyth Member Posts: 23 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    Myrrh moreso useful for teaching novices about defences and upkeep.
  • Nellaundra
    Nellaundra Member Posts: 1,556 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    If both parties eat it, it's reduced even further - I wanna say to around 25 seconds.
    image
    Daslin
  • Eld
    Eld Member Posts: 3,946 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    If both parties eat it, it's reduced even further - I wanna say to around 25 seconds.
    Is that actually true? I've heard it claimed before, but I'm pretty sure the one time I tested with the teacher eating myrrh, there was no difference.
  • Alyssea
    Alyssea Member Posts: 417 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2012
    The person teaching eating myrrh has no effect on the length of the lessons.
    image
    Oceana
  • Xith
    Xith Member Posts: 2,602 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Iocun said:

    "You were really something back there. I think you've got what it takes to move beyond punches and kicks. Have you thought about choosing a class?"

    "Yes, I wanna be a monk!" tutor: *facepalm*

    Yeah, I thought about that. But obviously Xith's first draft of the new trial experience isn't intended to be flawless.
    I like my steak like I like my Magic cards: mythic rare.
  • Lodi
    Lodi Member Posts: 252 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I love that idea, but I think there should be an option to negate this part if you already know what you want to be. :)
    I won a competition awhile ago to have Chris Bourassa paint a picture of Lodi. My profile pic is the end product. :)
    AlysseaJonathin
  • Synbios
    Synbios Member Posts: 4,634 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    When I played Guild Wars: Nightfall, the tutorial level had you start as a Sunspear recruit, and you were given two paths - one was to escort some recruits to a village, all the while teaching them(and by extension, you) the basics of the game. 

    The other path involved participating in a raiding mission towards a bandit camp near the same village, essentially skipping the tutorial bits.

    JhaeliArillesBeya
  • Synbios
    Synbios Member Posts: 4,634 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Daeir said:
    Synbios said:
    When I played Guild Wars: Nightfall, the tutorial level had you start as a Sunspear recruit, and you were given two paths - one was to escort some recruits to a village, all the while teaching them(and by extension, you) the basics of the game. 

    The other path involved participating in a raiding mission towards a bandit camp near the same village, essentially skipping the tutorial bits.
    Factions was better. The tutorial was actually moderately difficult and forced you to approach the camps with some degree of caution - outlining the rest of the game pretty well, I thought.

    The Trial definitely needs to include something about probing and considering. A lot of newbies fall into the trap of "attack city loyals and get wasted by guards" still.

    Though I think the main point of what I was getting to is that players are given the option of choosing the longer, more novice-friendly educational route, or the shorter, more action-packed route for veterans for their rebirth tasks.

    (Factions gives you the option of skipping the tutorial sequence entirely by just talking to the monastery guardian.)

  • Xith
    Xith Member Posts: 2,602 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Yeah, returning players should definitely be able to skip at least a portion of the Trial or post-Trial experience.
    I like my steak like I like my Magic cards: mythic rare.
  • Soma
    Soma Member Posts: 6
    No. If you're taking more than 15 minutes before dropping them in the game world, you've already failed.
  • Tvistor
    Tvistor Member Posts: 2,900 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited November 2012
    Not sure about fifteen minutes exactly, but I will say that a trial of more than fifteen minutes is a bit of a pain when the newbie doing it can clearly see the trials isn't representative of the game itself. And even past the trial, there can not constantly be a Tvistor online to orient everyone.

    (also can we not start newbies at level 5? All my friends quit because bashing is boring as hell.)
    Lodi
  • Mannimar
    Mannimar Member Posts: 987 @ - Epic Achaean
    honestly, I think they should pick a class if they want one, and learn their class attack during the tutorial... and I kind of like true newbies kicking guards It gives me someone to teach/recruit.
    Beya
  • Xith
    Xith Member Posts: 2,602 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited December 2012

    Yeah, that would be useful.

    Just a little bit more guided instruction before brand-newbies get turned over to the real world. Better for them and a little less of the obvious stuff for us to cover.

    I like my steak like I like my Magic cards: mythic rare.
    Boosteya
  • Xith
    Xith Member Posts: 2,602 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Also an extra HELP NAMECHANGE reminder in the character creation process.

    "Littleleaf has been Reborn in the Flame!"

    Every time I see one of these...
    I have this tick that makes me want to 'tugarm Romeo/Juliet' and say "Ommberrrrr.... Lookit lookit!"

    So maybe a function that lets guides mark names in the creation process for an extra HELP NAMECHANGE reminder upon completion of the Trial. Or depending on when they enter the world itself, that could be when the reminder is given.
    I like my steak like I like my Magic cards: mythic rare.
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