Dev Discussion #29 - Mentoring

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Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!


Dev Discussion #29 - Mentoring
What kinds of tools or rewards most encourage you to become involved in a mentorship program, either as a mentor or mentee?

Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion topic regarding crafting!
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Comments

  • GejeetoGejeeto Member
    edited April 8
    Nobody wants to play with me. So I don't even bother to find someone.
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  • ashoneashone Member, Braver of Worlds, Alpha One
    edited April 8
    FFXIV has a good mentoring program. Over there the mentors can earn a special mentor only mount.As a mentee just finding someone who is willing to answer questions is a good thing.
  • MikasaMikasa Member, Leader of Men, Alpha One
  • StretchStretch Member
    edited April 9
    I can't remember what game it was but you could "opt in" to be a mentor and get a little M next to your name or different border around your character and then the tutorial had something about those are players who you can ask for help.

    I don't think there should be too much encouragement other than wanting and willing to help out in the first place. As you may have people badgering new players just to get rewards.
  • I don't think this system would work straight up in Ashes, but I really enjoyed how politicians in Star Wars Galaxies weren't a straight-up mentor program but created mentor situations. When you first hop in the world you didn't understand all of the players or could speak all of the languages which were a give away for politicians to try to help train those players. It then created a person for a new player to message if they have questions. There were similar situations with Doctors in medical centers sending buffs were players that new players could always ask and talk about. That goes the same with entertainers. These interactions weren't forced but caused players to interact with each other including new players.
  • RLTygurrRLTygurr Member
    Having the right tools to both mentor and be mentored is super important, and an in-game glossary or "wiki" is extremely helpful for newer players who might easily get confused by more advanced terms. Having it be in-game is key because it means the player doesn't have to tab out of the game to find the info they're looking for.
  • recklessreckless Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    I’ve always enjoyed helping my friends with quest that they’re stuck on. It feels good to go back to a (low lvl quest) that was difficult at said lvl but now I’m op and I can just walk my friends through it with ease. At the same time if they don’t want me to speed run them through it I can always hop on a lower lvl alt and teach them the mechanics to get through the quest or boss ect.
  • TulvirTulvir Member
    As a mentee just having someone who's willing to answer questions is usually enough. If there's an additional bonus, even if it's nearly inconsequential later, it'd be great. Not to mention hopefully you could befriend the mentor so that you have someone to play with.

    As a mentor I think it's mostly self centered and I don't just mean that as *selfish*. For example I enjoy helping people and would do it because I like teaching. Then there is the "selfish" reasons which, again I'm not condemning. If someone helps another player for a reward... that sounds mutually beneficial and I think people would like it.

    As for the actual rewards... Well I think a tax exemption for X number of days while/after mentoring, if you're consistent and if there's a way to measure who's doing a good job you could reward them with housing even if it is the most basic, cosmetics or a title could always be fun, a small buff for working with your mentee (example increased materials, damage, or xp while partied), and lastly there's the obvious just straight item reward from random item drop of X quality or perhaps a mount.

    Hopefully this is what you were looking for or at least some of it's helpful.
  • I was thinking that mentorship could be part of the religion system. I think it would be cool if new players were invited into the different churches and in return, they would get help learning the game. I was thinking it would be something like a proselytizing questline.
  • DamoklesDamokles Member, Alpha One
    I think people should get Mentor tags in chat etc and players can then tag mentors with questions.
    Like:
    "@Mentors How do I do xyz?"
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  • botbot Member
    edited April 8
    The most important aspect of a mentor program is ease in finding one. An in-game system that makes it easy to find a mentor will mean it'll actually happen. Some sort of benefit to being a mentor without it being something to farm would be good so people aren't just abusing it with alts. I think an example of a good mentor program is for example a max level player helping a low level player with a dungeon where their gear is equalized for the dungeon so it's just them helping out rather than doing the content for them. The reward for the mentee is they get help with a dungeon if no parties their level are available and the mentor receives some sort of bonus like maybe a 1.3x loot and xp multiplier consumable potion. Another benefit could be that it helps to remove corruption, something like a community service type of concept where mentoring players restores your character some.
    Another part of the mentor system could be a questline or achievement line where the mentor and mentee unlock rewards for working together. This would be nice for a veteran player with a friend new to the game that they plan on playing with from level 1 to cap since it rewards a vet for bringing a player to the game.
  • containercontainer Member, Settler
    Don't know much, but I think it would be great to have like a shared XP/ bonus XP for mentor/mentee
  • SsezraSsezra Member
    As others have pointed out, I don't think there needs to be a reward for mentoring as this needs to be an organic process and not a forced process to acquire a reward that can't be acquired by other means.

    That said, mentoree should receive bonus experience and what not to make them progress faster and reach their friends or guild level so they can participate in the community and that's a reward on its own for both the mentor and the mentoree. It can act as a recruitment facilitator for your guild and alliance to bolster your strength.
  • IYIIYI Member, Alpha One
    Just be sure to only give people who deserve mentor; mentor. Nobody wants someone who has to refer to the wiki 24/7 in order to answer simple questions as their mentor.
    try and make it an in game time restricted thing: Get 5000 hours and then apply + answer these questions for a chance to become a mentor, or something like that.
    "Imagine dying to a broken sword."
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  • CrowigorCrowigor Member
    I remember a similar system in Allods Online, as it gave the ward not bad awards, but the mentor was chosen by randomy and this created difficulties. Often times the mentor would simply ignore the mentee.
    Therefore, I would like to be able to choose a pair of mentor and mentee by personal agreement.
  • I think that you should definitely be able to pick who is your mentor/mentee. I'm more of a casual MMO player so I have convinced friends and been convinced by friends to join after there is a sizable level difference. It would be great if the mentorship mechanic allowed a high-level player to have something to do when working through leveling with lower-level players.
  • SarevokSarevok Member
    These types of programs can have their uses or just be taken advantage of for small free rewards. Honestly, if you can’t find help with your guild, a discord community or by the plethora of content creators and streamers then a Wiki is the last go-to spot for helping you through whatever it is you need a mentor for. Research your question yourself, ask for help in your guild or see if your favorite senpai is streaming and hit them up. No mentor program required. If all of these options fail ask random people in the area for assistance.
  • gelopogasgelopogas Member
    edited April 8
    I would say make it beneficial for doing a mentoring or learning, but not in the sense that someone can be quickly leveled by being carried through dungeons and whatnot. Easiest and most simplistic would be an xp boost for both parties, while being a mentor can have a cumulative effect to where you get higher bonuses (and rewards) the more people you teach(successfully). However, I believe xp should be given out based on current level and assistance provided for the kill/quest/raid so that the mentors aren't losing xp, and the mentee's aren't getting boosted to hell like another game we know.

    Also, some type of built in rating system that players cant see but can vote on, and would allow you to determine if a player should be made ineligible for the program.

    EDIT: Also, the way to get a mentor should be a queue based system where you can request one with filters, and players rated at mentor level (whatever you determine that is) would be able to accept the mentorship.
  • TulimaTulima Member
    edited April 8
    Joint questlines between both mentor and mentee in all activities. For example a artisan quest tasking the players to gather, process and craft an item. At the end of the quest the mentee could get that item and the mentor get some other type of reward. Obviously, it should be a low lvl item for the mentor but decent for the mentee.

    Similarly, this could be done for PvE quests and maybe even 2-man instanced dungeon.

    Along the way of these quests, hopfully there is time for the mentee to asks whatever questions and learn from the mentor.
  • mentoring should be available outside of those nodes.
    Dev Discussion #29 - Mentoring
    What kinds of tools or rewards most encourage you to become involved in a mentorship program, either as a mentor or mentee?
    I like the idea being floated of the mentor system having benefits for religious nodes, but I think it's better for the in game community if all new players have access to a mentor. One tool I think would be most important is a building or menu to allow mentor/mentee match ups. That would allow willing mentors to register, and willing mentee to actually connect to mentors in game. With limited fast travel, it would stink if my mentor was on a different continent, so I think local might be better. As for rewards, I think it would help if the system had some type of quest content tied to it. Mentors could earn temporary buffs, cosmetics, or titles, and mentees could earn xp and starter pack type items to help their progress.
  • As a bonus wild idea, depending on the diversity of the horizontal progression paths in AoC, it could be fun to have Mentors with different expertise and different quest match ups. For instance if I mentor as a monster hunter, I have to be a certain level and I need to take my mentee on a quest to kill a rare monster. If I mentor as a crafter, I have to be a certain crafting level and I need to help my mentee smith a rare item.
  • spelchekspelchek Member, Warrior of Old
    I really like Everquest 2's mentor mechanic that allows you to level down, I think it is well served in a game where the zones are so strict on their level range and the ability to go back and enjoy "older" content. I'm not sure how relevant this is to the way groups and "zone level" is planned for AoC but I like being able to use whichever character I'd like if I'm playing with someone newer to the game to "show them the ropes" without feeling like I'm powerleveling them.

    This also has me thinking about the skill-sharing mechanic in the original iteration of Star Wars Galaxies, where higher level characters could actually "teach" you skills instead of purchasing them from an NPC, and the economics of that process. Obviously it became very diluted over time, but I initially loved the idea that if I was grouping with a Wookiee they could teach me their language or that I can have a traveling musician teach me a new song that I'd otherwise have to travel to another planet to learn.

    I find a Mentor tag system less useful only because I prefer to learn through experience instead of bombarding someone with questions.
  • caedwyncaedwyn Member
    i have ALWAYS enjoyed helping others and random people
    most of the time i had no friends playing with me and it was hard as hell to learn and level up and get geared in games, but when i was at end game my favorite thing to do was always going through newbie areas and help them get their bearings in the game

    sometimes i spent full day teaching them everything
  • GodawfulGodawful Member
    Mentor systems are (in my opinion) never good. You're better off putting a global chat window labeled "help" where players could ask questions to the community around them, and other players can answer.
  • AndrewFrAndrewFr Member, Alpha One
    People have already covered some of these points, but here's some ideas for ways to make Mentoring a interesting and simple on both a Mentor or Mentee level:
    • It needs to be easy to find a mentor, a way that this could be facilitated is through a structure/feature in a node (something like a bulletin board or similar) that a potential mentee could use to connect to a mentor in the same node. Someone mentioned being able to find a mentor outside a node, but I feel like having trouble and returning to your local town/city to seek out help is a generally good vibe
    • Mentors should be able to level down to join mentee's in content as a guide while not over powering those challenges with sheer power.
    • Mentoring should be rewarding both for Mentors and Mentees. Its a bit easier for Mentees as well they get information that they lacked about the systems/challenges they were facing, though Mentors are a bit harder. Someone mentioned FFXIV's mentoring rewards which might be something to take a page out of
    • I want to tie mentoring in some way to religious nodes but I honestly don't see a way it could work out without locking people who aren't in those types of nodes from useful mentoring.
    • More specific mentoring designations might be useful as Ashes has a lot of interlocking systems and not everyone can be expected to be familiar with the entirety of it, with mentors for various crafting branches or different Archetypes.
    • Mentoring should be easy to do in groups. If I want to teach new players how to run a local dungeon, I should be able to put together a group of mentees interested in learning that while also aiding with it.
    I might come back later with whatever new ideas I think of/good systems from other games I recall
  • edited April 8
    I haven't played a game that had a mentor system in place. I have mentored others, by seeing them asking questions in chat, and looking like they needed help then reaching out saying I am happy to help. The joy from helping is enough compensation. If there was maybe a 2-3 sentence summary of what you expect from mentors and the attitude AoC wants to be expressed throughout the community that would display on the screen when a mentor goes to enter like, a mentee finding queue, I think that would be enough.

    *also perhaps an anonymous rating system for the mentors/ mentees.
  • VhaeyneVhaeyne Member
    What kinds of tools or rewards most encourage you to become involved in a mentorship program, either as a mentor or mentee?

    I feel like I am expected to say something positive about what works with mentorship programs, but for the sake of honestly I have to report that there is little good about these systems. The one thing that works is a well moderated optional help chat channel that people can opt into.

    Beyond that these systems 'just encourage people to go out of their way to earn extra "rewards", whilst doing the bare minimum, and give "mentors" a false sense of authority over the game. The system attracts some of the worst and least qualified to help personalities to becoming mentors.

    FFXIV is a prime example of what not to do. When you create a new character or log in after a long time with no play a "Sprout" icon is above your head to let people know that you are not as well practiced as someone without the sprout. This leads to derogatory use of the word sprout. It becomes a insult and often times new or returning players will want it off them as soon as possible. The mentors have a "Crown" icon, which has also become a derogatory term for someone who thinks they know the game more than everyone else and has false sense of authority and inflated sense of ego. Anytime a argument comes up they think they are right because they have the crown, but more often than not they are just being unhelpful. They get derogatorily refereed to as "BK crowns" or "Burger King Crowns" for the crowns that the restaurant Burger King gives children's on their birthdays to make them feel special. The whole way FFXIV handles mentorship creates a sudo class system that hinders game play. It is not a good example of things to do and should be avoided at all costs.

    The reward for helping someone should be the opportunity to make a new friend, and not be a sudo class system that creates people with ego problems.
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  • I see a lot of posts talking about mentoring being linked to religious nodes. As I understand it there will be 6 religions and every node type can build a temple after reaching level 3. I think that it makes sense to have some sort of general /help chat and then once a node has leveled up it would want to build a temple to attract new players and the temple would want to help the new players to gain more influence.
    This is a bonus idea, more advanced mentorship features such as deleveling can be unlocked through progressing your temple.
  • GreevzGreevz Member, Warrior of Old
    I don't know if many will agree, but I think it would be interesting if there was like a reward system for showing new players the ropes or helping them with quests, i know this seems strange, but games like monster hunter have helper rewards that are like 10% more money and a few extra materials, I definitely think small incentives like that wouldn't affect too much ingame and could be added as something to dungeons and raid rewards along with exploration.
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  • FFXIV's approach worked for that game in particular but I also wish there was some sort of way to have a lore-friendly approach to the system. FFXIV's mentor/mentee-mentee chat being self-moderated by the mentors was an awesome idea but also it ends up power tripping people and being horrible in practice. However, only allowing new/returning players to be mentee'd cut down on what would be a very trollable system. You also can't get in unless you get an invite from a mentor which in practice fleshed out as a "Oh you need help? Would you like an invite to the club?" sort of thing. It felt special and intimate.
    But my personal idea would be something akin to a profession (that doesn't take up a profession slot) in which you could level up the profession by completing 'orders' of a sort. Based on how your mentee would rate you as a mentor, you would get more/less xp. Enough poor ratings and you get reset maybe? Not sure how it would work in practice but it was a fun idea I just mocked up.
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