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Old 06-01-2005, 09:30 AM   #1
rotm_adm
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Unhappy

What are current methods that games are currently using to start out new players to their muds? And for what I mean as 'new' is someone that has NEVER played a mud for once in their life.

Example: I find alot of our new players logging in and doing things like 'hello' or 'how do I play' w/o the correct command tag like 'say', 'tell', etc. If they don't get an answer, they up and leave/linkdie.

We are implementing a database driven global hints system for new players, but still have the issue w/ the non-command users. Those that are accustomed to Diku-related or LPmuds (like our game), try out our mud school, get a few items from the equipment bin and start exploring.

I would like to hear about what others are doing to prevent this type of non-game behavior and what methods are being used at keeping these new players on-board.

-- Silver
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Old 06-06-2005, 02:14 AM   #2
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The most elegant solution I can think if would be to have a more-helpful-than-usual response from the mud when it doesn't understand a command. Where must code bases often say "What?" if someone types "hi how do I play this game," it might make sense for you to have it say. "'hi' is not a known command. Type 'help commands' for a list of commands and how to use them." Beyond that, it'd be really difficult to try and determine the intent of the unrecognized input and provide any more specific assistance.
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Old 06-06-2005, 01:57 PM   #3
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(Ooo, that's a great idea, above! )

One thing our wizards did is to put new PC's right into a 'Newbie Reception Center' with specific commands right in the long description. It tells them to try things like 'read scroll' or 'gossip hello'. The scrolls there are things like overviews, helpful newbie commands, and syntax info for communication... basically, the 5 help files they should read. ;>

I find the ones who try the command syntaxes the room tells them to do begin to understand the communication aspect a bit better. If they gossip and seem lost, larger players can go into the Reception Center and talk them through basic communication commands. This won't work on RPI's, of course, but having the first room they see tell them to try commands like 'score', 'help communication', etc, seems to go a long way.
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Old 06-06-2005, 05:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Earthmother @ June 06 2005,13:57)
This won't work on RPI's, of course, but having the first room they see tell them to try commands like 'score', 'help communication', etc, seems to go a long way.
It can work on RPIs, just need a seperate room that is OOC and seperate from the game. When newbies finish their apps in SoI and get accepted, they start out in their own private newbie room with info and stuff and it tells them that they can type assist and a guide will help them. There's also a guest room that is OOC where newbies can ask questions. Being nice to newbs can go a long way to having them stay at the mud.
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Old 06-29-2005, 02:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Raesanos @ June 06 2005,02:14)
TWhere must code bases often say "What?" if someone types "hi how do I play this game," it might make sense for you to have it say. "'hi' is not a known command. Type 'help commands' for a list of commands and how to use them."
I think that would indeed be helpful, but I could see experienced players getting annoyed with seeing it every time they make a typo.

Possibly set it to only give that if the player is below a certain level, or has played under a certain amount of minutes/hours/days or something?
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Old 06-29-2005, 04:59 PM   #6
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We have an automated intro "tour" that new players get the choice to take right after character creation. The idea of it is that it introduces all the basic game concepts and commands, and also references all the help files they could need.

After that we also have a newbie channel on which they can ask questions (experienced players can answer over this channel too) and we have people to play "Guides" some of the time, in case they need someone to help them personally.

Of course it's still a massive learning curve, but so far these things have helped a great deal. We try to encourage all our players to be newbie-friendly and help any of them if they see they're stuck. For example experienced players can "mentor" the newer ones, which comes with possible rewards.
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Old 06-30-2005, 09:48 AM   #7
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Haha, I set it up so whenever a very new player (under 5 minutes) typed a bad command, he would get something like this:

Are you trying to communicate with others?
Try the following commands:
ooc (xxx) - send a message everyone
tell (player) (xxx) - send a message to a certain player


This was in addition to a big help file of useful commands you see when you create a new character. And you'd be surprised how many people just couldn't get the hang of it even though I saw them see this message. You gotta accept the fact that a lot of newbies aren't just newbies, they're dumb too.
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Old 06-30-2005, 06:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Amnon @ June 30 2005,09:48)
You gotta accept the fact that a lot of newbies aren't just newbies, they're dumb too.
Heh!

While I won't argue that it could be a result of someone being dumb, you have to also take into account that some people have never, ever played a text game and thus have no idea of what even simple commands are. For example, giving them a prompt "ooc (xxx) - send a message everyone" may make them think that it doesn't apply to them because "ooc" doesn't seem to apply (since they would have no idea what 'ooc' is. Or "tell (player) (xxx) - send a message to a certain player" could have them placing parens around the players name.

Our introductory tour really is spoon feeding with hints like,"[HINT]: Type SMILE LACHESIS". (And, yes, some true newbies think they have to type in all caps to emote but at least they can emote.) I had a friend of mine, a very intelligent woman over 40 who had never played a text MUD before, go through the beta of our newbie tour. I'll tell you that navigation (typing N, S, E, W) was the biggest obstacle. It's just one of those things that is non-intuitive but once learned we completely forget that it was ever non-intuitive (and thus most of us take movement for granted without a second thought). We ended up revising the tour to spoon feed instructions for movement even more!

But, then again, yes, there will be those who for whatever reason just will never grasp a text game.....
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Old 06-30-2005, 09:42 PM   #9
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I was a true newbie to muds when I stumbled across Achaea in an attempt to find an old PC text game (Adventure) I used to play.

The automated newbie intro tour really is well done and gives you all the basics you need.

The newbie channel and the guides Romeo and Juliet (which, after a while I got to be myself) are easy to communicate with, with all those obvious newbie questions.

Believe me, I have asked, and heard them all.

In Achaea/All IRE games, most of the times the answer to your "How do I command ..." questions, will be in the question you just asked.

How do I read journal?
How do I look in my pack?

I have tried other muds (just to prove I am not totally addicted to IRE. I failed), but got confused and bored during their intro tour and just left.

I think I have been spoilt by Achaea.
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Old 06-30-2005, 09:58 PM   #10
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Wow. You sound exactly like me. I tried every mud I thought might get my interest, none of them did. Pretty sure im addicted too.
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Daedroth @ June 30 2005,21:58)
Wow. You sound exactly like me. I tried every mud I thought might get my interest, none of them did. Pretty sure im addicted too.
We are creatures of habit. One grows accustomed not only to the MUD world, but to the very feel of the interface and syntax.

When I first started MUDDING, I changed MUDS every 4-6 months. But then I found a super one (Avendar), and I've been playing it for five years now. I know there are other MUDs out there that have very interesting things to see and experience, and I've checked out some of them. But at this point, they simply don't feel like home.
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Old 07-04-2005, 05:59 PM   #12
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I have never seen it, but I wondered if anyone has ever tried to implement an intro system where the new player's choices affected their character potential and make up.

For example, if an NPC has an item people need and they are presented with a choice of killing the creature or bartering, does the choice affect their alignment, trading ability in the game, etc?

And if the NPC is stunned and drops the item, does the player take the item and leave or take the item and kill the NPC--does the choice impact aspects of their character as well?

And so on.

I know there is at least one game that gives you profession choices in the intro where if you decide to be a scholar you get certain bonusses and if you decide to be a woods guide, you get others, etc, etc. and you are told what bonuses the choice will give you.

I was just wondering if anyone created a game where you had choices and the repercussions were a little less transparent so that the character's potential is shaped more by the choices the player makes in accordance with how they envision their character to act and less by an attempt to massage numbers.
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Old 07-04-2005, 11:25 PM   #13
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I use to play achaea. Then I realized you would always lose to people who put more money in it than you and I gave up. Too bad, nice game. But you got to have 20$ a week to spend on it to be any good really. Unless you want to spend your time bashing which is the second most boring thing in the world.
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Old 07-05-2005, 04:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (slethik @ July 04 2005,23:25)
I use to play achaea.  Then I realized you would always lose to people who put more money in it than you and I gave up.  Too bad, nice game.  But you got to have 20$ a week to spend on it to be any good really.  Unless you want to spend your time bashing which is the second most boring thing in the world.
Already posted my views on that... So I wont even bother
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