Some Newbie Area Help

For the discussion of general topics about the game.
User avatar
Andreas
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 720
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2003 4:55 am
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Contact:

Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Andreas » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:53 pm

Having recently convinced a friend or three to give playing here a try, here's some issues that they encountered in the newbie area that might need additional explanations.

How to manage inventory and equipment! They didn't know how to view their inventory or equipment. Kept trying to buy things and were told their hands were full and didn't know what to do to solve that problem. I walked them through how to check their inventory and equipment, how to put things into a container and take things out of a container. Also had to explain how to use/hold and remove equipment items.

How to check their score sheet. I had to tell them about the score command.

An explanation about how some items might have the same wear locations/layers and therefore can't be worn together.

An explanation that there is better equipment available outside of the newbie area and in the actual game itself.

An explanation of the help files for getting help with various topics in the game and failing that, how to activate their forum account so they can ask questions on our forums.

An explanation of what the ask channel is and how to use it.

More in depth discussion about quests and how mobs respond to stuff in say (not ask) when trying to do a quest.

These are some immediate concerns that have been brought to my attention recently. There might be other stuff as some of my friends progress through playing the game.
Helm keep thee.
User avatar
Harroghty
Staff
Staff
Posts: 9655
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 5:38 pm

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Harroghty » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:13 am

Some of that stuff is covered. Obviously, for some folks, it be covered more or in a different way.

I think the answer is that there should be different paths ranging from "I know nothing" to "I play MUDs all the time." I've put some thought into how to do that, but it's just one project among many.

It would be interesting to get some more feedback though.
"A man may die yet still endure if his work enters the greater work, for time is carried upon a current of forgotten deeds, and events of great moment are but the culmination of a single carefully placed thought." - Chime of Eons
User avatar
Andreas
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 720
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2003 4:55 am
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Contact:

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Andreas » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:27 am

And a little more feedback...

How to drop items also needs to be covered.
Helm keep thee.
Yemin
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 1589
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:08 pm
Location: On the back of castle oblivion

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Yemin » Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:10 am

Two common themes I see there are object manipulation and help file access.

I think the latter can be greatly improved with a simple mention that if you think there is a topic you would like more help on, you should simply type help followed by the one word subject, most help files I've encountered have some pretty nicely general keywords that link to them.

For the former well. Sounds like you could solve it with more instruction from the beginner NPCs.

The newbie school to me should be geared towards never played a Mud before, Experienced mudders only have to go through it once and can easily skim those bits
I trained up double-edged bananas because the uber-plantain of doom I scored from the beehive quest was the best weapon in the game. Now it's being treated like a bug and they have gimped its damage! That's not fair! My character is ruined!
Thurgan
Sword Journeyman
Sword Journeyman
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:26 pm

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Thurgan » Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:03 am

What I recommend is to create a pdf file etc with a crash course for playing the mud, all of the basic commands, basic walk through for how to accept quests etc. Can probably be made in as little as 1 or 2 pages. And I would make it in big bold bright letters right at character creation with the link, so that if they are a new player they can download it and have it as a easy quick reference.

Have like 5 sections

section 1:Basic/generic mud commands, things like look, inventory, examine, equipment, how to look in containers, get, put, yell, open, close, recall etc etc
section 2: combat specific commands, kill/attack, flee, cast, consider, murder, and brief talk about pvp
section 3: how to buy and sell at shops, how to examine an item a shopkeep has etc.
section 4:how to accept quests, and interact with npcs
section 5: basic intro to FK, some links to things like FK wiki so they can look up lore etc if they arnt familiar, how to use the ASK channel for help, how to acces help files etc

Basically a quick reference guide for the mud, made as short and concise as possible. I know most of this is all covered in the tutorial, but it seems like a lot of people miss a lot of that info, or just simply forget. This might be a useful resource for new players to have.
User avatar
Terageld
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:56 pm
Location: Westgate

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Terageld » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:37 am

I feel like a lot of the basic problems could be solved by opening up the ASK channel to experienced players. I had a hard time breaking in the MUD at first because my questions were only replied to sometimes.
I do like that pdf idea though...
"There is nothing more invigorating than challenging the elements. The feel of wind and spray on one's face and the deck pitching beneath one's feet is the greatest feeling in the world."
And cats. I love cats.
Yemin
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 1589
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:08 pm
Location: On the back of castle oblivion

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Yemin » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:54 am

Rtf would be better for blind players.
I trained up double-edged bananas because the uber-plantain of doom I scored from the beehive quest was the best weapon in the game. Now it's being treated like a bug and they have gimped its damage! That's not fair! My character is ruined!
Areia
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 490
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:11 pm

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Areia » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:13 am

Terageld wrote: I feel like a lot of the basic problems could be solved by opening up the ASK channel to experienced players. I had a hard time breaking in the MUD at first because my questions were only replied to sometimes.
As far as I'm aware, anyone is free to apply to become an apprentice member of the Player Council to take questions on Ask. Though I think it's fair to say that over the past few months I've observed a large increase in answered questions as well as a decrease in time between the first posting of the question and a reply, so it looks like things are going better in that regard! :)
Yemin wrote: Rtf would be better for blind players.
Agreed!

And in general reply to that idea, I think it's a very good one. I was actually just talking with a new player a few days ago, and he/she mentioned that he/she might have to be taking a bunch of notes about commands and the like just to be able to use the game. The beginner tutorial is very well done, if lacking a little in some of the finer details as has been mentioned above, but one only gets that tutorial once before one is let free in the huge FK world. We do have tons of very well done and detailed helpfiles, but I've noticed over time that for some reason, a lot of people either don't know how or don't want to search through those to find what they're looking for. They were very intuitive and extremely helpful resources for me when I started (and still now), but I recognize my way of learning isn't exactly the norm. *shrugs* Incidentally, if the people up top think it would be worth doing, I'd be glad to make up some sort of reference guide, or at least help in its making.

I was going to add a few more suggestions for the tutorial, but it seems other people have gotten to most of those I had in mind. The rest are these: That one can examine an item at a merchant before buying it (I didn't know this was even possible until several months after I started and what a discovery that was!) and the targeting of different items through use of the 2.item, 3.item, etc. syntax. The latter is a question I see very often posted by new players--"I have two packs but can't access the second one," for instance. The mob whom you're directed to see after the banker might be a good one to explain the examine <item> <merchant>, while the inventory-management mob would make a good one to explain the manipulation of more than one object with similar keywords.

But also agreed with Harroghty that different paths could be a nice thing. I saw something like that on the one other MUD I've played around with, and I remember thinking how nice it was I didn't have to go through a bunch of dialog and so on since I knew I'd already learned most of the commands and such from FK.
Nascentes morimur, finisque ab origine pendet.
User avatar
Hrosskell
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 595
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 9:14 pm
Location: Silverymoon
Contact:

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Hrosskell » Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:09 pm

Most object manipulation is discussed in the pre-build newbie zone. I don't think "drop" is, but put/get/wield/wear etc. are thoroughly covered. Expanding this area just a little would probably be a great way to handle things--if it's followed closely, it really does lay out most of the commands you need to get going.
Jamais arriere.
User avatar
Andreas
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 720
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2003 4:55 am
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Contact:

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Andreas » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:05 pm

How to send and reply to tell and otell.

Some information about corpses, corpse recovery, getting all your gear off a corpse and the corpse conservatories in Waterdeep (and elsewhere).

Etiquette for greeting people. I.e. Don't just use the greet command without RPing the greeting.
Helm keep thee.
User avatar
Andreas
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 720
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2003 4:55 am
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Contact:

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Andreas » Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:21 pm

Apparently a wood elf is the first attainable kismet cost race available to new players. But they are restricted to their own starting zone in a remote location with very little player activity. I suggest either the kismet cost for wood elves be raised to represent the truly challenging nature of that race's RP and starting zone or there be a warning about how challenging it is so new players don't create wood elves and get frustrated by the starting zone.
Helm keep thee.
User avatar
Lylena
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 596
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:50 am
Contact:

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Lylena » Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:58 pm

Andreas wrote:Apparently a wood elf is the first attainable kismet cost race available to new players. But they are restricted to their own starting zone in a remote location with very little player activity. I suggest either the kismet cost for wood elves be raised to represent the truly challenging nature of that race's RP and starting zone or there be a warning about how challenging it is so new players don't create wood elves and get frustrated by the starting zone.
Goodness yes, please. Wood elves are not all that common, tbh, and where they start out is so very unpopulated. 50 hours is enough to dabble into the game, get a slightly functional working idea of how things go, but not ready someone to be thrown into isolation with very, very minimal help.
For a wounded man shall say to his assailant, "If I die, you are forgiven. If I live, I will kill you."
Such is the rule of honor.
Thurgan
Sword Journeyman
Sword Journeyman
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:26 pm

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Thurgan » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:45 am

Just because you have the kismet available to spend doesn't mean that you should spend it. The wood/wild elf area isn't that bad in my opinion. Especially since that side of the map has been expanded and added to in the recent past.

I think it's fine the way it is. Sure its slightly harder, and presents more challenges. But if you want easy play a different race and start in waterdeep. The only reason its harder is if you spend all your logged on time in waterdeep and never really venture out too far.

There are numerous lower lvl areas within a relatively short distance.

Lowering the kismet cost wont make it any easier, and will probably only lead to more frustration from even more novice players.
Vaemar
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 663
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:21 am

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Vaemar » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:54 am

Actually they wanted to raise the cost, although I am against that, personally, since there is very few wood elves around, when on the contrary, according to the lore, the bulk of Faerunian elves should be made up in fact by wood and moon elves. On the contrary we have in game that the majority of active or semi-active elven characters are sun elves.

Regardless, Tangled Trees is not that hard to start, although it could use a few extra tweaks, like:
-add a banker
-fix the bug that makes the food seller of the inn never wake up and never show up on her workplace
-lower the price of the intelligence trainer, it has a very high price and it is often used by new characters since both wood and wild elves start with an intelligence penalty.
-maybe add a one-way caravan to Shadowdale.
-Put in a *decent* teacher of common in TT, as it is the case for the Orc Camp. Same story for other hometowns where common is not the main language, like Golden Oaks or Skullport. There is no fun in reading gibberish from 90% of characters and mobs you meet.
Vaemar
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 663
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:21 am

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Vaemar » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:17 pm

Some more on the tutorial:

-Once used the first time remove the peg from the character inventory and turn it into a qbit, so that if the character dies across the bridge they can go back there and recover their corpse, without requiring the help of an imm or another player.
-At the very least allow characters to go back from the final room. Otherwise if your character's name is not approved you are stuck there. Personally however I would be even more drastical and let characters waiting for approval in Waterdeep and newbie areas like rat hill or the sewers.
-Tone down the gibberlings. :P
-Some kind of recall to go back to the starting room.
User avatar
Rhytania
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2003 1:46 pm
Location: Forests of Cormanthor

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Rhytania » Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:07 pm

Just to add to this. I brought in one of my old tabletop buddies from a while back, I had been talking the mud up all week to him and he finally went to give it a go, unfortunately I was not around to walk him through and guide him. He played for a while and got stuck in the newbie area, for well over an hour and eventually logged off in frustration.

Andreas hit the nose on the head, we need to lessen the learning curve a bit. The code, the tutorial area (minus the bugged on), and the questline is fine, however, we might need to produce a document that can kind of bridge the gap, aimed specifically at first time mudders.

Solution: The help files are great, the initial landing page on the FK website is good, but I propose one more addition. A crib sheet/cliffnotes of sorts. Basic commands, movement, object manipulation, how to utilize the help files, and when and how to use the question channel. If the command/syntax was explained, in the tutorial it should be on that sheet, to include any variation or alternate commands.

Lets face it, our recruits with mud experience are going to get thinner and thinner. That vein is drying out, so when we are pushing for new players its highly possible its going to be a person that has never mudded before. First time muds can be intimidating, things are flashing across the screen, your looking around lost, and its possible you could have just missed that one key phrase for the command or syntax you need. The attention span of gamers these days are waning, most games you'll be in and killing something within 5 minutes of starting the game, and no fault of their own, they are just a product of the society as it is in its current state.

Also the ask/question player council, have to really be on their toes to kind of anticipate these problems. If a newbie is stuck in starting area then please try and read between the lines of what they are asking, becuase they might not even know what to ask for. When I was on Newbie Council I would occasionally ask if this was their first character, then I knew it was time to stop whatever I was doing and spend a few extra minutes with them.

I think if we can just help foster that feeling of inclusiveness for the most critical time in a new player (that first couple of hours in game) then we will hook them in, rather than have them log off in frustration to never return.
User avatar
Gwain
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 2353
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 9:25 pm
Location: Waterdeep
Contact:

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Gwain » Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:38 pm

I'm tempted to say that we could reuse the previous version of the new player tutorial area by giving players the option to choose between the two with the old area being more straightforward but with lesser rewards and the new current one being more challenging with greater rewards.
Justice is not neccesarily honourable, it is a tolerable business, in essence you tolerate honour until it impedes justice, then you do what is right.

Spelling is not necessarily correct :)
User avatar
Rhytania
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2003 1:46 pm
Location: Forests of Cormanthor

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Rhytania » Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:57 pm

Not to steal another games thunder, but look at this:

http://www.aardwolf.com/wiki/index.php/Main/NewbieInfo

we need something like this, maybe not word for word but similar. Everything they need right there in one easy place to find.

Gwain: If we give them 2 options then we still never address the issue, and the problems will continue to happen, except now you have 2 different versions of new players coming out of the start area.
Vaemar
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 663
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:21 am

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Vaemar » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:09 pm

Guys, what you think of a tutorial for players already experienced with muds and a tutorial for players totally new to text-based games?
Yemin
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 1589
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:08 pm
Location: On the back of castle oblivion

Re: Some Newbie Area Help

Post by Yemin » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:26 pm

Throwing this in here for consideration.

Would it be possible for the guide to be integrated more into the game.

To expand on this, , the last time I played console games back in 012 or so the training was the first level in the game.

In the same way, Some of the iron realms Muds dropped you into the main game after creation, gave you a recall command and a simple quest that taught you the bare minimum you needed to play the game.

I guess my point is that currently and possibly in the future one can overload a new player with simply too much information. Currently, since the newbie process is in a very simple area. Once out of it as has been reported it seems like people don't know what to do when their thrust out into the world.

Since currently, the newbie school spins you blocks and blocks of text without much more input than saying yes or ready, it doesn't really encourage you to get into the habit of going to the help files as part of your playing experience.

I would recommend that any changes in the future aim to give the bare minimum of what you need in a way that it is necessary to read the help file to progress.

My first mud which I played for 6 years was far more complex than FK and their newbie experience came down to an NPC taking you around your home town and explaining the bare minimum of commands and showing you the way around. That was about it.

Recommending this because as I've seen this conversation progress and my experience on the council, it's often not that the information isn't there and sometimes it isn't even that the player isn't told about it. It's either presented in a forgettable way or the player isn't directed strongly enough towards that resource.
I trained up double-edged bananas because the uber-plantain of doom I scored from the beehive quest was the best weapon in the game. Now it's being treated like a bug and they have gimped its damage! That's not fair! My character is ruined!
Post Reply