Kismet system, newbies and more

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Yemin
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Kismet system, newbies and more

Post by Yemin » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:24 am

i wanted to poke the community of the general thoughts on what kind of factors keep new players playing and which ones drive them away.

I've had a few friends over the years try out FK and though none have stuck it. I've generally gotten some good feedback from them.

I believe the 2 most common things I hear are the kismet lock on classes and the monotony of early levels.

They generally understand why the kismet requirements are there. But it is still something that makes them lose interest.

As I understand it, the kismet lock on classes is there to prevent new players from playing an overhard class and being pushed away by that. But if the lock itself is making them lose interest then it may be defeating its own purpose.

I still do strongly agree with the ksimet lock on races however. I feel thats important in shifting the quality of racial roleplay up a bit.

The monotony was something I had to think back to remember. As I've played the game for a while now I can very quickly do things probably earlier than intended to bump my way to the level / equipment I want. But for a new player, especially a cautious one like I was with my first wizard. I remember spending days not doing anything more exciting than fighting dummies and zombies.

My first experience questing with someone, yes YOU Laexus was on my third day of play. I played during Uk times so things were quiet during my usual play times and..., that was about it. It was a fairly monotonous and isolated experience in those early days.

I think we can do something about the monotony by increasing how quikly new players meet other characters IC. I know there's something IC telling new players to go to the market which is good. But One thing I notice from other games is whatever channel system they've implemented. There is usually something that lets new players communicate with the player base almost immediately out of creation.

While I don't think it would be IC for there to be a world wide channel on FK even through amulets. I would be supportive of say, giving the dripping dagger mechanical benefits for being in there. Such as somewhere to brew to attract PCs to hang out there. Just for that earlier exposure.

I had some more thoughts, but its late and I'd enjoy seeing the input this receives.
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!

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Re: Kismet system, newbies and more

Post by Mele » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:09 pm

As someone who sees the turnout of new players and kismet related second alts I, as a person, disagree entirely. I would go as far as claim your pals are a minority.

That said, I welcome conversation on the topic.
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Yemin
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Re: Kismet system, newbies and more

Post by Yemin » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:47 am

That's a very good possibility. I've only had a couple friends over the years try it and this was their feedback.

The MUD they do play now are very quick and dirty affairs that gets people involved in the community after a number of hours rather than days. And Whilst I personally think those MUDs are..., well, kinda crappy tbh. Those MUDs do have a fair number of *good* players that wouldn't be disruptive here. Though they certainly have a lot of players in their playground that I wouldn't enjoy seeing in our playground so my aim isn't to suggest we copy formats or characteristics too heavily or well.., at all.

FK has its own rather appreciable way of improving itself that I enjoy. I'm wondering what the set up time for other people was like though. In relation to my second point.

I know for me since my main first character was a wizard it took me literal weeks before I felt I was *part of the game* but can be very different for many people. it being very subjective. For me I don't feel *part of the game* until I've achieved a few things like getting an official class, getting at least a couple of PC contacts or IC friends and have enough gear or experience that I can explore or lead a group in exploration with a death rate less than 70%.
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!

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Re: Kismet system, newbies and more

Post by Althasizor » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:43 pm

What class is locked behind kismet except for thieves? No newbie should have that be their first experience with the MUD.
What are you talking about? What, that guy?
That was like that when I got here.

Yemin
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Re: Kismet system, newbies and more

Post by Yemin » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:09 pm

What are the factors that makes thieves difficult as a first class?
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!

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Re: Kismet system, newbies and more

Post by Simossus » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:28 pm

Yemin wrote:What are the factors that makes thieves difficult as a first class?
Thought they implemented the kismet requirement for thieves as a result of multiple griefing attempts or just overall sub-par roleplaying from thieving PCs around a decade or so ago. There most likely is an understandable reason for it, but I think the MUD does well to police itself in that regard. Could be time to disband the requirement and, if there isn't already, add notes in the character creation explaining the IC requirements for use of the 'steal' skill.

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Re: Kismet system, newbies and more

Post by Harroghty » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:13 am

There recently was a discussion thread on TMC about games being too hard these days. I think, to some degree, our game should be a little daunting by its very nature. We're asking players to do more than they would in most other games. We may always seem hard to some players.

Still, if something seems unreasonable, then we should prod it and discuss it.
"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

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Re: Kismet system, newbies and more

Post by Areia » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:10 am

yemin wrote: As I understand it, the kismet lock on classes is there to prevent new players from playing an overhard class and being pushed away by that.
If that were its primary purpose, wizards should probably have been the first ones to be locked. Can't say how many times I've done support on Ask for a new player hell-bent on starting with a wizard who ended up getting frustrated and ultimately leaving the game for it.

I've understood kismet rather to serve another main purpose: To keep the standards of RP high by locking hard-to-RP characters to those who have shown at least some experience in our (FK's) specific RP environment. This is why you have PCs like lawful elves costing kismet to create, because most people's understanding of elven culture portrays them as mainly chaotic creatures, so the mannerisms and motivations of an LN sun elf likely will be difficult to RP well. Secondarily, kismet might also serve to keep rare race/class/alignment combinations rare and keep potentially abusable characters (e.g., thieves) out of the hands of those who haven't at least been around a while to get to know our rules and systems.

Now, assuming my understanding is correct, which it well may not be, I cannot say the kismet system as a whole is perfect. There have been those who earn enough kismet to make, say, an aasimar, and despite their 900 hours in game have absolutely no business playing the race, because they break rules, use the race just for the unique feats, don't give two craps about RPing, or what have you. And there have been those who come to FK with really fantastic RP ability, as well as a genuine desire to understand and conform to our rules and policies, but who get discouraged by something or other and leave. Obviously I can't say why some of the latter have left, but a few I'd spoken with indicated a real desire to play such-and-such and just didn't want to spend the time earning large amounts of kismet (I remember this being one of Vaemar's difficulties with the game when (s)he came on, for instance, but fortunately (s)he stayed around). There is likewise no sense of rarity among races like aasimar or genasi, so kismet certainly doesn't help to make sure humans, elves, and dwarves are prodominent.

I've considered from time to time how applications, instead of kismet, might work for the purpose. And though I think it could be fairer for the good but new RPer and better at weeding out the non-RPers, I imagine complaints about individual cases would inevitably arise about how this imm plays favorites or whatever nonsense that might "hurt" the game as much as do the dispassionate code-driven checks that we have now. And imm work loads are large enough already besides. At end, I think kismet is the best solution to a difficult problem.

The problem itself, again as I understand it, is to maintain a high level of serious RP in our community. Arguments could be made for or against wanting to make a game difficult, but I personally think it is a good thing for what our game strives for. Ultimately, I think it's fair to say that FK is not really geared toward the very casual player. The RP here is so well done, the quests (mostly) so involved, and the current events often so quick to change that a casual player will necessarily have difficulty at least experiencing the best parts of the game in any short amount of time. And that's fine, and those who don't want to be bothered or who simply can't invest the time have other MUDs to look into that will make them happier in the long run. It is certainly tough that the audience to which FK is aimed is a narrow one even as MUDs go in general, but I also appreciate and admire that most everyone who does stick around is dependable to give some real meaningful RP and is likely to experience it in turn.

As far as the lock on rogues goes: Bards should be very RP intensive characters, and thieves in FK are not what I believe thieves in most games are. We aim for the jack-of-all-trades, the scout, the entertainer, the merchant, far more than the assassin or the "thief" proper, which I dare say, judging by personal experiences and observations of TMC etc., are what most new players are looking to RP when they seek the rogue class here. Thus the kismet req. And I also agree with keeping that particular class, as potentially volatile as it is, locked behind kismet.

The first many levels of the game can be monotonous. That is not to say boring, but mostly involving doing the same or similar things. As a new player this didn't bother me much. While at times I really wished I could just get out there and explore, I was also grateful for the at-your-own-pace introduction to a whole style of gaming, never mind the game itself, that I had never tried before and by which I was fairly intimidated. At the same time, I never felt left out of anything. I remember playing my first character, Ursus, and getting attention from the FM of Tempus at the time, chatting with Brye and others in MS, being a part of that fighter's tournament in Westgate with people like Diritas and Nerian, and being swept up in the incident of the killer slimes in WD. Not that I knew WTF I was doing for a moment through any of it lol.

So in short, I don't think anything is necessarily needed to increase newbie-veteran interaction. If a new player wants to interact with the community, I honestly don't believe it is very difficult to do so (at least once one gets past the nerves), judging by my own experiences. And I know nowadays I personally make an effort to help out and interact with newbies just for that reason. If a new player wishes to keep on the down-low for a while, on the other hand, (s)he can do that also freely. That's all just by my own experience, though; I'd likewise love to hear other opinions on it.
Nascentes morimur, finisque ab origine pendet.

Yemin
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Re: Kismet system, newbies and more

Post by Yemin » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:14 am

Some good points there, most of which are enlightening and I agree with, except the comment surrounding class roleplay.

Classes or professions as we call them here IC are too broad in scope to be limited by the few variations a person can come up with. I feel the point of roleplay is imagination and someone's thief will not be the same as another person's idea of a thief. A better example that just occured to me that you said is that a bard should be highly roleplay intensive.

I'd personally ask why, there are just as many bards who are authors and scholars who I imagine do not care overly much for the entertaining aspect of the profession. WotC even not too logn ago released a bard subclass that is a spy, gossip and propoganda expert. I'd imagine a legitimate roleplay for those bards is to go out of their way to be pretty ordinary. Point being that while I agree with stricter roleplay limits on races, I find it difficult to say the same for classes with any great legitimacy.

If someone roleplays an over eager thief swiping everything their eyes land on..., well then their a bad thief in the conventional sense and I have confidence the IC environment will deal with them appropriately.

As an aside, I'm not saying I don't have my own dislikes about seeing a certain class portrayed or used a certain way, and sometimes I even express the opinion IC because its entertaining to do so at the time. But I feel thats as far as it should go. Outside of exceptions to the rule like Paladins which are setting specific because of the importance of religion in faerun. Mechanics and the game's rules are the only thing that should limit class behaviours, and the more imaginative rendition of each class the better. I feel the only trouble here occurs when someone calls themself something they are not IC, but thats its own issue.

To complicate the issue even further. Some professions like priest, are actually professions and not classes. A Priest might become a cleric, but not all priests are made equal and at least in my games and hopefully I'm right in saying so. a priest can be of any class as long as they are inducted into the church and ordained in the terms and agreements of that organised religion.

In terms of difficulty Harroghty, I'm not entirely sure I can properly identify the specifics outside of a couple cases. One is the school of wonders branch mage guild entry task. Unless its been changed, its an unreasonable task for level equivalent parties that an 8th to 13th level wizard would usually group with to tackle.

I've personally never thought its a problem persay as there's usually someone around Waterdeep of a high enough level to smash it, but...., yeah.

I'm currently of the opinion that if the kismet check on rogues isn't there to stop new players from falling into an over-difficult playing experience then it should probably be removed and replaced with a difficulty rating. easy to hard in all the class help files or plainly labeled alongside the options when choosing a class.

I'm not entirely sure that difficulty in and off itself is a problem as long as you either have the tools or party members to help you. With this in mind. It just occured to me that since I'm playing in a european time zone again my participation in events and the game IC community is drastically less and my opportunities to group up has markedly decreased. Would it b worth discussing some kind of gamewide bonus or mechanical advantage based on how many players are logged in?

Something on the inverse so the fewer players on the larger the advantage / bonus is with a cap?
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
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Re: Kismet system, newbies and more

Post by Areia » Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:08 am

Granted and agreed that even in the rogue base class there is quite a broad range of gimmicks that could be thought up. My own thief for the longest time never even knew how to steal because she was never really a "thief".

That said, steal, hide, sneak are all very abusable (and often enough abused) skills and are all available to bards and thieves alike regardless of their RP. As it is, I can recollect three thief characters just off the top of my head who would use hide like invis, used it with sneak to get out of a tough situation when IC they wouldn't have had any means to do so, who have in short made me as a player very nervous to be around them for fear that they might do something to cause headaches either for me or for others.

The above taken together with the knowledge of those new players I have seen who come here looking to play a troublemaker IC, the thought of opening rogue up to anyone is not an overly pleasant one. If those who have spent 200+ hours here and who have ostensibly read through all the relevant helpfiles misuse the abilities regardless, I would feel uneasy to see a brand new player have them. Here is another area that might be better handled by app, so that even supposedly experienced players would need to show maturity and understanding of the rules, but again, I'm not sure it would be a practical solution. As goes the IC community policing itself, I agree that it would likely happen. The worry is that damage could already be done before the behavior is corrected.

I am most agreeable on the topic of wizard guilds that Yemin braught up, however, and it applies to more than the mage guild. Of the seven surface wizard guilds with whose recruitment quests I am familiar, I would call two doable, two extremely difficult, and three outright impossible, without the aid--and by aid, I mean something more akin to hand-holding--of incongruously higher-level PCs. The latter is, curiously, a practice which the rules clearly state should be avoided. Since the main topic here is kismet and new players, I'll leave further comment as to these guilds for another time unless anyone else would be interested to hear it. But I do think it is something that could use some tweaking for the sake of players new and not-so-new alike.
Nascentes morimur, finisque ab origine pendet.

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