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A new journey - what are your thoughts on the beginning player experience in MMO's?

Fuppo HeadhunterFuppo Headhunter Moderator, Member, Alpha One
edited May 26 in General Discussion
What are your thoughts on a new players experience in a MMO world.. what have you seen from other games that worked out well and others that may not have?


Not a official story, just flavor story to go along with Discussion ideas!


Prologue:

Fuppo sits calmly on the broken wall beside a small box that contains what appears to be cookies. "I swear there were more of these. Did I eat one? No, there is mischief afoot." He nods his head in disapproval.
He feels something, a presence that was not there a moment before.
He swivels his head, looking to the west over towards the tops of the pine trees across the large meadow that spreads out before him. The glade has an ancient structure, with fallen and broken stone walls and towers. It sits rising on top of the ground that gently slopes up from the meadow's edge to the center where the tumbled stone blocks sit, jumbled in disarray but with enough structure to show the tower's grandeur and walls that once stood there.

Suddenly, he hears a noise in the distance, crashing branches and sees movement deep among the trees in the thick scrub brush that lays in dark patches under the spreading branches.

Quickly the small cat, for that is all that Fuppo is, is he? There are more profound mysteries about the feline than appear at first glance. One might be the glowing eyes, slitted with an iris that seems to burn with an inner fire that might consume the onlooker with a deluge of heat if released from the prison that traps it. Other hidden mysteries are not apparent at first glance hidden in the feline's body which is as black as the darkness you might find in a cave deep in the earth's bowels.

Bounding down from his perch, Fuppo leaps behind one of the large building stones toppled from the tower walls.
Looking again towards the treeline, he sees emerging from the deep shadows that cloak the forest edge a group of what appear to be travelers!

"Ah yes, finally," he thinks to himself.
"It took them long enough; I have been here after sneaking back through the Gateway from Verra for over a month waiting; what has taken them so long to arrive?" he wonders with a slight annoyance appearing on his small feline face. An old face, older than anyone could suspect.*

But that is not of import now. Fuppo leaves his hiding place and jumps to the top of a larger stone block so they will be able to see him clearly; one must be careful as one will not want to scare the travelers; they will have had run-ins with the... inhabitants in this area and might be slightly, well maybe more than a little frightened. "No use getting an arrow shot at me." he thinks, though that would be a wasted arrow.

"Good morning, or is it? The start of your adventure, travelers. Oh, they have no idea of the wonders and dangers facing them." He purrs... "oh yes, they have no idea."


Chapter 1: Through the Forest.

“Corruption and Walnuts, This forest is horrid! ” Zii exclaims, her high voice rising an octave and ascending from there as she continues to speak. “I said we should have taken the path towards the mountain, but no! No one listens to Zii! We have been wandering for days aimlessly through underbrush and trees in that valley and are probably lost forever! When one of those nasty spiderlings that were back there eats us all, you can not blame me. No! No! Not blaming Zii! Allu, you remember this! You remember my words as you get wound up in spider silk Alluring!” She looks over at the stout and muscular dwarf walking in front of her and slightly to the left.

“We are not lost! This compass works I know it!” says the dwarf, as she looks back over her shoulder, her long luxurious braided beard that hangs down to her knees flipping around her leather and chain armor, catching on the twin blade daggers that are sheathed in her scabbard she has on her right hip attached to her belt. Alluring, or Allu, as she is known to those that knew her before joining the company, glares at Zii, who is a Niküan Dwarf. Zii is a Tank; this is not common but not unheard of among the Niküan as they continue what they call the Great Hunt. She has thick iron armor plates on her greaves and breastplate and a chainmail shirt that hangs to her knees, fastened by a leather belt at her waist. A longsword sheathed beside her hand and a round shield of leather-covered wood underneath a cloak on her back.

Niküa are a sea-faring, island-dwelling race traditionally. “Close to the sea do our hearts be!” was a saying Allu had heard many times pass from the Niküa's lips. Zii is slimmer in build and taller as well by a hand span. Slightly duskier of complexion than Alluring, a mountain Dwarf, or as they and others call themselves, a Dünir. Dünir and Niküa are related far in the past before the inhabitants of Verra fled to Sanctus. Descendants of the mighty Dünzenkell Dwarves of myth and legend. However, Alluring can scare believe this, thinking to herself, “How can we be related at all!” as she begins to turn around to give Zii a piece of her mind.

A low deep voice interrupts the words that had just started to escape Allu's mouth. “Why do we not continue this conversation less harshly, friends? Is this how we treat our companions?” The voice emerged from a Massive figure, an Ork. A Ren'Kai, to be precise.

Allu and Zii both look back at the tall Orc with a giant two-handed hammer fastened on his back and become silent, though not before shooting glares at each other and making huffing noises like they are puffing air through their beards.


To Be Continued-

What are your thoughts on a new players experience in a MMO world.. what have you seen from other games that worked out well and others that may not have?

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Comments

  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited May 25
    I think the new player experience should not overwhelm players with tutorials for the first 2-3 lvs.
    Ideally, when players log in they can whisper their friends, meet up and check one anothers characters, pretend one of them is tank the other healer eyc etc and take down a couple of mobs together. Maybe even pvp for a bit.

    The first login is one of the most exciting parts of mmos. Let the players act like the noobs they are in an unknown game.

    Then one by one, not all together introduce them to crafts, story quests and the early systems. Dont divide friends from the get go. Dont make them split "I will check the blacksmithing", "ye but I wanna check those ruins", "where is the MQS npc?".
    This creates frustration.

    Let players and friends breethe for an hour or two (2-3 lvs).
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited May 26
    Nice story! I like the inclusion of the mods :smile:

    I have a suggestion for Intrepid at the end about the new player experience, but I want to explain why I think it's so important first, and why it works from a psychological standpoint.

    Background
    I think a very important part of the new player experience has nothing to do with the game at all, but about where the player is coming from in terms of both life experience in general, and any previous multiplayer gaming experience, as well as any roleplaying proclivities. This is obviously outside the developers control, but something they need to consider and work with.

    My first MMORPG was Asheron's Call (AC) closed beta in the summer of '99. Before that I had played Freespace - The Great War multiplayer mode in '98, so online play wasn't completely new to me, but it didn't really prepare me for the magic I experienced running around in a 3D world with people from all over the world in AC.

    My point here is that I came in wide-eyed and without preconceptions to this magic new world, and for me the rather new concept of playing with hundreds of strangers at once over the internet was mind-blowing. It majorly shaped my new player experience in ways the developers had very little control over. I fell in love with the game and the community, and everything was magic. Bugs or bad features mattered little to me. I was just happy to be there. I remember people generally being friendly and much less toxic than now, but memory is tricky that way. I can't be sure of that last part. There are many people with stories like mine I am sure.

    I know one thing for sure though, and that is I was a lot more trusting and helpful back then. I wouldn't mind spending even a few hours just helping a stranger. Not for any real personal gain, but simply because it was the kind thing to do. I made new friends and had a good time. It helped build a better community in the game (Thistledown represent!), looking back on it, but that wasn't really at the forefront of my mind back then. But people paid the help they received forward, and started helping others too. I know, because some of them told me later on.

    Teachable moment in MMO History
    I think we had an amazing community on Thistledown back in the day (year 2000). We even had to have the developers intervene in a live event, because the community banded together to protect the Shard of the Herald, that other servers killed, but we elected to level up and save instead. I forget now if it was @Roshen or @Vaknar that experienced this as well? :)

    There is a 2-part video series that explains the significance of this event: Part 1, part 2. I think the two major factors in the outcome on Thistledown was the server community, and the fact that the developers allowed player actions to shape the story of the server, much like what Ashes is trying to do on a much larger scale.

    Psychology
    One of the most powerful and easy trust-building tools is asking for help. It shouldn't be a big ask obviously, but something small, or at least mutually beneficial. If the other person helps you, they automatically trust you a little more. It's part of our psyche as humans. Good leaders use it often. Con-artists use it as well, but for evil obviously. In RL it can be as little as asking a stranger to pass you the napkins or the salt. In a game it can be asking a passerby for help killing a monster you are struggling with. Google the concept if you doubt me :smile:

    The suggestion
    Now I'm an older, somewhat jaded guy who's been around the block in RL and in online games. :wink: The old magic of that first MMORPG is never coming back of course, and I am definitely less wide-eyed and naive about the MMORPG community at large, and harder to please. In some ways I have been "corrupted" by the selfish assholes you invariably meet on the way.

    So my main suggestion is for Intrepid to make launch events (or close to launch) that force players to help each other against a common threat. Invasions by the Ancients are an obvious example. Something that requires a massive effort by the server community to overcome. Something that kick-starts the process of not looking at the stranger next to you only as a competitor, but as a fellow human player that you can have a conversation with. Build up a little mutual trust on the server and humanize the other players, and you'll reduce a lot of toxicity out of the gate.

    People like me - experienced and more jaded players - are likely to be the majority in Ashes at launch. The game is designed around soft-friction between players, and to compete for resources. I think live events near launch (and throughout the lifespan of the game) can help kick people in the ass, and by "forcing" rivals to help each other once in a while I think Intrepid will help curb toxicity that in the end can kill the server population. The sooner in the game this happens, the better. Friendly rivalries are MUCH more fun in the long run, than having toxic, bitter enemy relationships.
  • CROW3CROW3 Member
    I think it really depends on the story. My hope for Ashes is that the story is strong. There generally two basic ways to block an introduction: outside in, and inside out.

    Outside-in is your classic fantasy epic. The opening sweeping shot that slowly focuses in and toward the starting point. This is a perfect place for contextual exposition. Game examples: WoW (all races have this same structure), LotRO, Valheim, GW2, and probably one of the best (in its time) Half-life.

    Inside-out replaces exposition with showing the story, starting right in the middle of action. It’s intentionally jarring, and relies on the player to learn to swim while swimming. Good examples of this are Witcher 3, RDR2, Gothic, and UO.

    For Ashes, I think the gates being part of the opening sequence can go either way.

    I’m not a fan of tutorials - at all - I will figure everything out just fine. But I’m a huge fan of showing me why things are what they are. I have never understood why a character in a medieval fantasy setting has a mini-map. Crysis was one of the first games that integrated the HUD UI into the story. There was a reason I had access to the info I had. A hobbit doesn’t have freakin’ sonar.

    For crafting, I’d have apprenticing to NPCs or Players be a thing. Learn by crafting, not by clicking where the tool tips tell you.

    An MMO in 2025(?) has a significantly smaller learning curve for players to understand than in 1998. Raise the expectations of the denominator and you’ll win more players via respect than frustrate total beginners.
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  • ThreatherThreather Member
    I have a couple of items that I do not like about New player experiences (coming from a person starting a new game already well established, continuation of a game through expansions, and quitting a few expansions ago and having to catch up)
    1. Beginning/Older zones always appearing dead because the games design is solely focused on "end game content/zones"
    2. Sharding: The technology that removes people from an area for the purpose of being able to always have mobs available to kill but turning the MMORPG into an RPG feel
    3. Not having the things i get/gather early game being worthless late game. Example, leveling an artisan class early, making items, getting resources to just ending up vendoring it because no one needed the resources or items. I spend 500% to get to end game, but then when I get to end game, the artisan skill i mastered is now no longer really relevant because I can't contribute to the already well established market
  • RoshenRoshen Moderator, Member, Staff
    Nerror wrote: »
    I think we had an amazing community on Thistledown back in the day (year 2000). We even had to have the developers intervene in a live event, because the community banded together to protect the Shard of the Herald, that other servers killed, but we elected to level up and save instead. I forget now if it was @Roshen or @Vaknar that experienced this as well? :)

    I don't think @Vaknar is old enough to remember peak Asheron's Call 🙃

    Thistledown x Shard of the Herald event seems like such a unique moment in MMORPG history, both from the player and dev side.

    On the player side, the server community organized to create unexpected gameplay. Devs had to intervene.

    On the dev side, they recognized the community and created an in-game memento.

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  • VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
    edited May 26
    Roshen wrote: »
    Nerror wrote: »
    I think we had an amazing community on Thistledown back in the day (year 2000). We even had to have the developers intervene in a live event, because the community banded together to protect the Shard of the Herald, that other servers killed, but we elected to level up and save instead. I forget now if it was @Roshen or @Vaknar that experienced this as well? :)

    I don't think @Vaknar is old enough to remember peak Asheron's Call 🙃

    My 'old-school' MMORPG is OSRS lol. I'm old enough to remember dial-up internet but that's about it 🙃

    The future is NOW old man!!!!
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  • Fuppo HeadhunterFuppo Headhunter Moderator, Member, Alpha One
    All good insights! thank you for the replies!
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  • Fuppo HeadhunterFuppo Headhunter Moderator, Member, Alpha One
    Vaknar wrote: »
    Roshen wrote: »
    Nerror wrote: »
    I think we had an amazing community on Thistledown back in the day (year 2000). We even had to have the developers intervene in a live event, because the community banded together to protect the Shard of the Herald, that other servers killed, but we elected to level up and save instead. I forget now if it was @Roshen or @Vaknar that experienced this as well? :)

    I don't think @Vaknar is old enough to remember peak Asheron's Call 🙃

    My 'old-school' MMORPG is OSRS lol. I'm old enough to remember dial-up internet but that's about it 🙃

    The future is NOW old man!!!!

    Dial up? we used tin cans connected with sting you whippersnapper!
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  • Fuppo HeadhunterFuppo Headhunter Moderator, Member, Alpha One
    Threather wrote: »
    I have a couple of items that I do not like about New player experiences (coming from a person starting a new game already well established, continuation of a game through expansions, and quitting a few expansions ago and having to catch up)
    1. Beginning/Older zones always appearing dead because the games design is solely focused on "end game content/zones"
    2. Sharding: The technology that removes people from an area for the purpose of being able to always have mobs available to kill but turning the MMORPG into an RPG feel
    3. Not having the things i get/gather early game being worthless late game. Example, leveling an artisan class early, making items, getting resources to just ending up vendoring it because no one needed the resources or items. I spend 500% to get to end game, but then when I get to end game, the artisan skill i mastered is now no longer really relevant because I can't contribute to the already well established market

    What would you wish they would have done differently as solutions to these problems?
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  • ThreatherThreather Member
    You can fix a #1 and #3 with similar resolutions, which Ashes is already looking at doing. You can make the lower tier items always be in need for late tier items in some manner. Whether that it is a catalyst, fuel, or component. This would at least let players see some other movement in the new zones that aren't just mobs to kill.

    For #1 they could make zones not be a static level range. Example: All starting zones don't need to ONLY include level's 1-5 mobs only. Put some level 30 area's in the area too so people in mid tier have to return for some quests and explore areas that they once thought or unbeatable. Place some important cities or events there that entice foot traffic to participate in that area.

    Sharding I am both for and against.

    PRO:
    1. It really sucks when you get into an area that is highly populated by players and you have to acquire X - resource from nodes or mobs. However, you are completing for that limited resource with 70 other players, making it not an enjoyable experience...especially if you are the 70th player to get that resource. This allows you to split players up to have more exposure to the resource so people can "play the game".
    2. It can help with lag

    CONS:
    1. Shard jumping can be used to force gather the resources to expedite gather rates more than the intended purpose.
    2. It reduces the number of players you are interacting with (going from 1x70 servers to 7x10 servers reduces the players seen by 60)
    3. Resources, monsters, players, you once saw might disappear based off an unexpected shard change
    4. The outside world feels more like a large dungeon instead of an open world
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    CROW3 wrote: »
    I have never understood why a character in a medieval fantasy setting has a mini-map. Crysis was one of the first games that integrated the HUD UI into the story. There was a reason I had access to the info I had. A hobbit doesn’t have freakin’ sonar.
    We have mini-maps because in real life we have 5+ senses to help us orient and navigate.
    In a video game, we basically just have limited sight. Even in real life, some people have problems with navigation.
    So, people need tools to help with navigation in video games. Typically, I would say a mini-map is a must, but...
    I like the compass in New World much better.
  • CROW3CROW3 Member
    I’d much rather the compass UI appear after you acquire a compass. 😉
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  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited May 27
    If the vast majority of players are going to acquire the compass, it's better to just have it integrated into the UI by default. Part of the standard kit everyone gets before leaving Sanctus.
    Individual players can toggle the compass/minimap off the UI.
  • tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Perhaps when someone logs in for the first time, they can be given a choice.

    If they choose 'I am new to massive multiplayer games' then they get a basic tutorial teaching what a mob is, how to attack, guilds, what a node is and lots of beginner information.

    If they choose 'I have played games like this but don't know much about Ashes' then they get introduced to new concepts like nodes, lack of fast transport, and AoC new concepts.

    If they choose 'I'm experienced, throw me into the game' then that is what happens.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I don't think I've ever experienced a MMORPG which teaches what a mob is.
    I have experienced ones that include basics like WASD movement.
    Typically MMORPG tutorials focus on the basic attacks for each class - and that's because those can differ significantly with each specific setting.

    I'm not expecting an Ashes tutorial to discuss Node progression or lack of fast travel.
  • - I like the idea of different beginner entrance - which I would suppose would become more important if people make alt toons (yes we can skip the intro thanks). First time playing no choice, after that choice.

    - Some higher lvl creatures in a noob zone would be nice. Like in spots one finds while exploring. Also since you have seasons maybe they migrate at a certain time of year. Certain plants sprout in spring and X creatures loves to eat it so now we have a mix of creature lvl because of the season change.

    - Everyone having a compass is nice. How about you can get a mini map from a scribe for a specific zone? That it only works in that area and when you leave it the map defaults back to a map "collection" book or tab? Of course the only way for a scribe to make a map is if they have gone to the actual area to explore it. You can also have different quality of maps with more detail to them. Of course to make the mas you need to have the skill. To actually make the map of higher quality you need special ink, paper, etc..

    - As for dead older zones that ones kinda' hard. In New World since you can only craft and have houses in town you don't get much of a choice everyone is mixing together. Same with GW2. So there needs to be a REASON for everyone to go to towns/cities/etc.

    I would imagine to have a caravan you need a center meeting point as well as to travel by ship. So that might be a good thing in that different levels would be meeting. As well as festivals/tournaments that would be held in central places. Sure that wouldn't be all the time but sometimes.

    well thats all I got lol
  • GandalfthegrapeGandalfthegrape Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I'm not going to absorb the story through reading quests. When I don't absorb the story I don't care bout it. FF14 does a better job of this than wow does. It shows you what is happening most of the time rather than forcing you to read, but it does force you to read a lot. The best communication for a story I have ever seen in my entire life was a game called the gallery call of the starseed and the second part heart of the emberstone. It took show don't tell to a completely different level. If wow was a 2 with story telling, warcraft 3 a 4, ff14 was a 5, twilight princess is a 6, the gallery would be a full 10. Nothing comes close. Nothing I have ever played is even within a few tiers of it. They hyper focus on telling the story through the world, music, mood etc and there are a very limited number of voice lines. The only text is in books or on pieces of paper. It was the first and only game I ever played that emotionally shook me and made me tear up, felt chills from the unexpected and raw power of the environment you are dropped into. 1000x more impact than the purging of stratholme just from going from one area to another.

    I'm playing games to have an interactive story. If the entire story is text based, like I don't mean to be rude at all and you're going to think im a piece of shit for bringing this up but the reality is there are books like the lord of the rings and stuff written by Stephen King that will hit a lot harder and will be a more valuable for my time. I want to experience the world not read about it. Ya its cool to have a library in game where I can read the history or something silmarillion style. But as far as the story being told reading is not a good thing in a video game. You're massively limiting what you are able to do with the technology. Cinematics are expensive, in game ones less so. I would rather have large amounts of mediocre or even low quality voice acting and ridiculous looking animations for the nps than very few super high quality cinimatics at the end of a raid boss or zone. I should be able to know 80% of the story without reading anything. The zones, npcs, events, ect should show what is happening.

    Going from one quest npc to another following a waypoint reading novels is probably the worst way you could ever tell a story ever in a videogame. Please don't do this.

    I still have no clue how garrosh got free after we beat him in pandaria. It's been like 10 years and just nothing. oh bloop hes now gone back in time. Fucking what? Don't have gaping holes in the lore where nothing is explained at all and fully ignore the problem. If you need to go back after a story is released add more content and revise it please do so. Spend time fleshing out the old stories where after being exposed to the public they are confused or don't fully understand all the inner workings of what is happening.
  • SengardenSengarden Member
    edited October 4
    Nerror wrote: »
    So my main suggestion is for Intrepid to make launch events (or close to launch) that force players to help each other against a common threat. Invasions by the Ancients are an obvious example. Something that requires a massive effort by the server community to overcome. Something that kick-starts the process of not looking at the stranger next to you only as a competitor, but as a fellow human player that you can have a conversation with. Build up a little mutual trust on the server and humanize the other players, and you'll reduce a lot of toxicity out of the gate.

    People like me - experienced and more jaded players - are likely to be the majority in Ashes at launch. The game is designed around soft-friction between players, and to compete for resources. I think live events near launch (and throughout the lifespan of the game) can help kick people in the ass, and by "forcing" rivals to help each other once in a while I think Intrepid will help curb toxicity that in the end can kill the server population. The sooner in the game this happens, the better. Friendly rivalries are MUCH more fun in the long run, than having toxic, bitter enemy relationships.

    I really like this idea. The pre-launch events that last for a few weeks before every WoW expansion have always been pretty well-loved by that community for this very reason. They got players who'd become hyper-focused on raid progression and instanced PvP towards the end of an expansion to team back up in the open world, explore a bit, and do some fresh content together as a server. If Ashes provided a lore-relevant world event at launch that caused players to have to team up a bit and develop a sense of comradery right out of the gate, it would help give the world's story more dynamic context and weight rather than just a bunch of voice and quest lines about how we got there, what's going on in the world, etc. This way, you'd actually be living it as part of the entry experience, forming early relationships and alliances. Maybe after the first month that the game is out, the enemy is vanquished, or sulks back into the shadows, vowing to return, leaving the players with a truly cosmic sense of scale for the overarching storyline that's about to unfold. This could also be a great selling point for Intrepid to advertise before the launch of their game. A bit FOMO-y, but at least it's server-wide content focused that doesn't require any extra payment.

    As for the entry experience for any player, no matter when they start the game, I think tutorials should be skippable, and replayable from the game menu whenever a player is ready to dive into that material. A lot of players just want to start off a new MMO by exploring and being immersed in the world, not given a gameplay manual. The game menu can have its own tab with brief rundowns of how different archetypes, professions, and gameplay elements work with a search function. Sort of like a well-organized, succinct encyclopedia.

  • I should be able to know 80% of the story without reading anything. The zones, npcs, events, ect should show what is happening.

    Going from one quest npc to another following a waypoint reading novels is probably the worst way you could ever tell a story ever in a videogame. Please don't do this.

    I agree. I think the world and gameplay experience itself needs to do most of the storytelling. Not through quest text, but through NPCs actually doing things in the world and getting the player sucked into their related events and quest opportunities. In terms of an introductory experience, it's very important to present this sort of gameplay early on to give players the sensation of being part of a dynamic world.

    The guard captain with a gnoll problem needs to be out fighting the gnolls with their guards, maybe struggling a bit and crying out to passing adventurers for help, not standing around by the town inn pleading for help with their tail between their legs. "Oh yeah, I'm just too busy to do it myself." Busy doing what? Nothing, apparently. It needs to be clear that the content in this game is actually happening all around the player, not just waiting for them to scoop up from an NPC with a quest marker over their head.

    Quest logs should update dynamically, maybe with a single click on a side-bar tracking interface to accept a role in assisting with something that's happening around them - the context should be made obvious by what's being presented to the player visually and auditorily. GW2 did a pretty good job of this, though their dynamic events lacked much impact with either their success or failure. In very few cases did I ever see an event fail, so the appeal of their dynamic questing system never reached the full scope of its potential. Ashes could amend this.
  • mobtekmobtek Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    I can't stand tutorials, the fun of exploration early in an mmo is learning the systems through trial and error and making mistakes myself.
  • CROW3CROW3 Member
    FFXIV was a 600 hour cutscene with some gameplay here and there. I can’t imagine a more thorough way to entirely disconnect a player from a story.

    So, no - let’s not do that… 😉
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  • SapiverenusSapiverenus Member
    edited October 5
    Log in -> playing the game. No story early on. Please. SHOW some of the premise in a stylized way instead of WORDS AND NARRATIVE I DON'T CARE ABOUT.

    If I like the game on the basis of its gameplay and the impression it gives, I will continue and enjoy the rest of it. Exposure to the game's systems is good.

    A bit of style is just fine though.

    Hopefully the story is good too. The opening of the game can be immersive and rich. . . but it's usually pretty bland and doesn't "intertwine" getting started and getting a solid impression of the game well.. . .
    I should be using game/ combat systems that don't violate the world and story and immersion; impression of the game; so bad they need to be kept away from players so "the story can do its thing" LOL . . .

    In other words the combat should look good in the game world, and the style or mood it's trying to convey. And I should be doin' something right away. Game should generate its own atmosphere by playing it.

    My idea from another thread I made, which I've improved a bit:

    Log in, automatically load into the Selection Map! Streamlined and immersive! Mystical!

    Basically you move through the small branching map to pick your race and class. Each is like a microcosm representative of the 'choice' you're picking.
    You walk into one area you transform into that. When you spawn in you look like some. . . Essence. . . form. . . something. Something lore based, basically. Energy. Whatever.
    So start with male/ female 2 ways heh heh
    then 9 paths/ tunnels/ hallways/ trails/ whatever leading out of the starting area to pick your race (however many there are)
    then 8 paths or whatever for each class.

    All of them should be like their own microcosm, think "Caverns of Time" world of warcraft except much better, much more style, and some ON POINT thematic stuff. Bit of Alice in Wonderland, Caverns of Time, even optical illusion (through the looking glass alice in wonderland) type stuff.

    For each race + class, there is a safe area and a dark place to go to to fight enemies!

    This permits playtesting before committing; tryout of level 10
    profession type stuff existing in the Race or Gender areas, then combat type stuff in the Class areas. Game systems demonstrated in the microcosm of each selection.
    Kill the enemies reach the end of the cave and go through the portal to enter a small underground chamber with a faintly illuminescent pool of water at the opposite end with some sort of arches around it seemingly chiseled from the rough cave stone! Enter the pool of water then suddenly --> the player can't move! the water turns into a solid and starts climbing up the player and dragging it down! Translucent star and galaxy speckled purple cosmic goop???? With a spinning flow [vortex] starting from the edges rather than the center?

    Then: CHARACTER CUSTOMIZATION MODE!

    Devs, Make the character customization background look good and reflect one's race and class choice and the fact they're portaling through the cosmos, rather than be a blank slate or simply "thematic" to their race/class.
    Have the face make expressions characteristic of the race and class, and the situation they're in -> some sort of DESCENT INTO THE MATERIAL PLANE.

    Then: VERRA!

    Easy win, Intrepid.
  • HighSpeedHotdogHighSpeedHotdog Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Personally I loved the eve way.

    Show me how to control my character in the beginning, show me the settings menu. Show me how to interact with quests.

    After that drop me off in the universe and get to the rest of the crap later when its relevant.
  • HeartbeatHeartbeat Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    I think it's important for the new player experience to be a fresh, unknown experience, meaning the player should be rewarded for exploring around rather than having system pop-ups tell them what to do or where to go, minus a storyline quest giving them a slight bit of direction of course. If players, and i'm only talking about this as if the game just released full-scale for the first time, are trying to speedrun the game with guides then you'll see players burn out fast

    I'm all for watching guides and tutorials if you're stuck and need help, trying to speedrun, min-max or whatever, but AoC absolutely should not launch in a post-information stage, Alpha tests and beta tests need to be severely limited in what they offer us, or else we'll have a New World situation where the game releases with tons of guides and info written and available for the player and players rush to max level and then realise that they went through months worth of content in a couple weeks.
  • So, i'm someone who will be fairly new to the mmorpg genre when this game comes out. I've played them before, but not extensively. I'd like to see a couple things.
    * I'm not a huge fan of "WASD to walk" Type things. When i'm thrown into a world, i want to be immersed. I want to look around and see what there is to see, without it feeling "gamey". I 100% vote for the menu selection of how new you are to the genre/video games. Most of the mechanics as a gamer i can figure out myself because i have a backlog of other games i play that pretty much follow the same rules. I'd lean towards struggling to figure those things out vs being handfed all the information i need to play the game, as long as it's not impossible. And if i don't figure it out in time, maybe that would warrant a pop-up.
    * I'm a big fan of the thing that guild wars 2 has, where there are little puzzles to use the game's mechanics in different ways, i.e rolling backwards with iframes through a laser gate. If you can't make it so that i can naturally use the mechanics without being explained, at least make it so you don't have to explained what their used for. If guild wars didn't explain that the roll had iframes, i would have been able to figure it out, and felt a little more clever for it.
    * Make sure the pacing is correct, and don't throw incredible challenges when most people will be on autopilot for a good portion beforehand, even if that challenge is arbitrary. Again, a guild wars 2 reference (only mmorpg I've played recently), i got thrown into a boss fight when right before all i had been doing was watching story clips and such. There has to be a weaning into different ways of engaging with the play. If I'm in "story mode" and abruptly get put into "paying attention to boss fight cues" mode, even if the game gives you time to prepare, if it isn't communicated directly to the player in some way, I'll feel lost when the game throws things at me and all the sudden I have to pay attention to things i didn't before.
    * The problem that all this has is if i make a goal for myself that I'm going to do this jump puzzle, even if i have never done a damn jump puzzle in my life, it has to be communicated through the world (or the dialogue, but the world as much as possible) how I'm going to get there. If people are confused as to how to get there, or don't have the tools to get there (i.e i don't know how to jump) then they're just going to leave. I think if you're going to do the story justice, it needs to be done through the world as much as possible. All the gameplay stuff can be communicated, but do it as little as possible so people don't feel like the conclusion is obvious. Tutorials can be challenging if done right, and it means the information will stick more because they had to work to get it.
    * Overall, I just don't want another mmo experience that i have to auto-pilot through the first 50 levels. If you can do that, i'll be happy with the system.
  • SapiverenusSapiverenus Member
    edited October 5
    @Hamsammach
    lol Guild Wars 2 starter bosses weren't difficult but when the majority of the game is going to be at a lame boring pace I'd rather start with whacking boars with a stick and maybe get used to dodging by having the boars be rather lethal and regen be dogshit.
    Making the character 'epic' day 1 is kind of bad for getting into an MMO with tens of thousands of other players told they're also "so epic bro".

    Guild Wars 2 starter zones were bad. UI and sound effects were grating. . . you could have just slaughtered a bunch of people and your mum could have just died and things would jingle like cheerful bells and meters would fill, yippyyy!
    Visual scale was always off in some way and the ways they try and make you feel important (and require you do the chores for XP to leave the area) is obnoxious.

    I like a ramp up. You might appreciate the 'game' stuff if it were more immersive to move through and do stuff in the game, by having. . . variable inertia on the character perhaps? Where you accelerate in a direction and decelerate before changing direction or stopping?
    Which has extreme relevance to how combat plays out and opens up room for more challenges/ skill checks by allowing the devs to offer more nuanced movement options, especially for those with the attributes or perhaps skills.

    If playing the game is not creating its own 'story' then the game is simply arcade BS.

    Every MMO is a grindfest but its basic combat is often boring. Its movement is boring. Its systems are boring. They aren't grounded and break immersion.

    GW2 is conveyor belt of chore trash into small cramped Zones, into a somewhat small open island. . . It doesn't handle things well. It's generic. It's lame. It's obnoxious. I get a new weapon every 10 - 30 minutes because tiny upgrades through easy content is necessary I guess? And I'm buying it off random people I did chores for?
    The starting experience was not good and not immersive despite their attempts.

    If it's a living world that responds to player actions, with intelligent AI; with good skill checks, exploration, movement, and progression; it will stand tall on its own and make the story look bet ter.

    I wish world design was a bit more vertical too. Hopefully that happens.

    EDIT: quite a bit
  • @Hamsammach
    lol Guild Wars 2 starter bosses weren't difficult but when the majority of the game is going to be at a lame boring pace I'd rather start with whacking boars with a stick and maybe get used to dodging by having the boars be rather lethal and regen be dogshit.
    Making the character 'epic' day 1 is kind of bad for getting into an MMO with tens of thousands of other players told they're also "so epic bro".

    I wouldn't go so far as to say i want to start off getting wrecked by everything, but i get your point. The easy to learn, hard to master concept works find in things like moba's where the challenge is proportional to the enemies you face, and can be further enhanced by matchmaking. But i think it's a shame that mmorpg's took up that stance as well, when a large portion of the game is spent early/mid game and pve being your primary source of content leveling up, i think it's better for a games longevity for there to be some challenge be added to the leveling process because most people have better things to do with their time then sit through endless cutscenes and scurry about collecting meaningless items for npcs that don't matter. The game should be fun to play in all areas, and feeling like a champion for even getting to endgame should be prioritized over getting to endgame in the first place.
  • SapiverenusSapiverenus Member
    edited October 5
    Hamsammach wrote: »
    I wouldn't go so far as to say i want to start off getting wrecked by everything, but i get your point. The easy to learn, hard to master concept works find in things like moba's where the challenge is proportional to the enemies you face, and can be further enhanced by matchmaking. But i think it's a shame that mmorpg's took up that stance as well, when a large portion of the game is spent early/mid game and pve being your primary source of content leveling up, i think it's better for a games longevity for there to be some challenge be added to the leveling process because most people have better things to do with their time then sit through endless cutscenes and scurry about collecting meaningless items for npcs that don't matter. The game should be fun to play in all areas, and feeling like a champion for even getting to endgame should be prioritized over getting to endgame in the first place.

    Okay then let there be a choice between beating up a tree (hanging corpse for Charr? Who knows), small boars, or large wolves or something.
    Those fake cutscenes from the getgo are pretty obnoxious though. Poor voice acting. Maybe save that for something big Anet lol.

    The sense of scale, pacing and progression is always pretty bad in MMOs and games in general. I'd even appreciate a training mini-game that amounted to spamming a button, and hit a tree to progress; because there are big wolves in the forest or whatever and I need to get through it. It would be nice to see players 'training', dueling, and organizing, so they can tackle tougher challenges. That makes it feel like a 'world' and 'epic'. . . not 'JINGLE ding ding dink Level Up! You helped Farmer Dan Milk His Cows! Now you can beat the shit out of Demon Giants!'

    Linear zones with progressively higher difficulty is pretty bad though. . . bad for story even. . . maybe the forests outside of the starting zone are tough but it's easier and you have more options once you get past them. Like. . . a real world, of sorts. . . devs. . .

    A 250* hour grind is already planned for the game LOL so why not?

    Anyway I don't really think a difficult encounter early on is bad, but the GW2 starter boss was not difficult so I'm not sure if that was really the issue for you or if you thought the entire pacing and scale and systems of the game were off-putting, and immersion breaking.
  • Balrog21Balrog21 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I've always thought, that about a week before launch you have a dedicated web page with tutorials about certain aspects of the game be it a new player or veteran.
    This way you experience the world and you don't have to worry about learning stuff as soon as you step into the game.
  • DizzDizz Member
    I’m a person prefer there are NPCs introduce me some information about the place I am plus the world and nodes are constantly changing so I feel that NPCs help me as new player with world and near nodes information will be very useful like where is the big city can buy something very useful like a mount or what I will see if I choose travel to ESWN at least these 4 directions that offer some interest information to me and let me and my team to choose which direction we want to start our adventure, and I hope there will always a NPC like a scout or guider who maybe roaming around near node or the main road between nodes or a sign on road side to help me update information about the world without I need to constantly check on map to update information, I’d like see the things in environment to find my way instead of constantly checking map.
    A casual follower from TW.

    ↓Good youtube channel to learn things about creating games.↓
    Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv1DvRY5PyHHt3KN9ghunuw
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