"New Player Experience" changes on full release?



  • TheTotsTheTots Posts: 2,279Player
    Once upon a time I worked on a game called "Darkfall". It was a hardcore full loot open pvp mmo.

    As one might imagine, not super great for new players.

    The community did something amazing though, they made a clan for noobs. They would go around to the starter areas, grab noobs, take them to their clan city, and help teach them the game.

    The story of that clan is a lot longer than this, and very interesting, but it's not the point of this post. The point is: Communities can do more for new players than you think.

    I've already seen a lot of you guys helping noobs. Aside from the usual pub stompers, we have a really noob friendly player base I feel.

    I've long wanted to do something with a Mentor program, but I've never come up with a good way to do it. If you guys agree that it could be good, I'd love to hear your ideas.
    The game wasn't made exactly to my specifications, so I feel it's broken.

  • Keebler750Keebler750 Posts: 3,621Beta Tester
    Is it possible to make a training map scenario that is co-op with mentors? You know how the Drill Sarg is walking the walls in the old Aa2 Shoothouse? Etc? Actually put 'em through Basic with real people to help!

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  • .shhfiftyfive-.shhfiftyfive- Posts: 495Player
    @thetots total aside: did you work with the darkfall dev team in the beginning before it's first release? or long after first release after everyone had basically moved on? i played that game when it (soft) launched. it only had a euro server at the time. my clan owned an island 24 hours a day for several weeks before any group got large and strong enough to push us off and take it from us. that launch experience is very memorable to me, like a vacation i'll never forget... i joined a clan via forum before the launch and we hit the ground running when it released. we were so organized. reminded me of military discipline: comms, maneuvers, patrols, and 360 security. during those weeks on that island we pulled plenty of new players in and taught them the game quirks, and our way of surviving... we were pretty well-known among other small high speed clans. we were much smaller than those blob alliances... just about every alliance we talked with wanted to employ our services.

  • AvgusteAvguste Posts: 125Player
    Tots, I know exactly what you are referring to. Eve Online has similar corporations. However I dont think a "noob" clan per say would work in AA. However what I think would work is a mentorship program within the game. Basically, the easiest way to have this working is to have about 2-3 official servers limited to level 1-15 with at least 1 mentor on servers at all times.

    2nd method would be to do it a bit ala AON where interested mentors are trained by devs/admins and assigned a forum Mentor tag along with an official AAPG email address. Then new players can contact the mentors on the website or by email.

  • .shhfiftyfive-.shhfiftyfive- Posts: 495Player
    edited May 2015
    notice both examples, EVE and Darkfall, both recruited via forums before those new players even jumped into the action... maybe aapg's Steam forums should have a sub section just for clans to advertise.
    though seeking out a mentor clan in darkfall or eve was done out of necessity.. those games were clearly complex. new players sought out those mentor clans because the game pretty much required you to do so if you wanted to survive...
    aapg is quite simple in comparison and built for solo play, so i don't see many clans going to length in trying to teach a new player the ropes. that would involve going into an empty server and teaching them every trick and spot to watch out for on each map.. to fast track their learning to be able to survive against the veteran players.... that's the kinda stuff comp teams do for practice, but pub clans aren't really at that level of dedication to get better...
    sadly, many pub clan leaders still don't grasp how the top players are so good. how their awareness and accuracy and reaction speed is so much higher... that higher level of intuition that plays a huge factor... they're not really the best qualified to be the mentors. so basically those comp guys would have to be incentivized into becoming the mentors for the newcomers. no such incentive exists.

  • AvgusteAvguste Posts: 125Player
    edited May 2015
    great points.
    Regarding Steam, I would rather for the Steam board to forward potential players to these forums and the official Unit board

    The issue with clan leaders and other players is simple: lack of playing time. I see this in every game. Players complain about how they get shot/killed or call hacks, when the person who killed them has spent many and many hours playing the game and/or the specific map.

    So best advice for current and new players? Get online and play. As soon you get home, get on the computer and play...

  • SOPMODSOPMOD Posts: 230Player
    An FPS shooter is a: "jump in -> play a match or 2 -> jump out" kind of experience. Going deeper into it only comes when you decide you like the game so much that it's worth it.

    I don't think you can compare that with RPG's. I don't imagine many people install an FPS shooter and expect to be heavily reliant on the community for anything. It all needs to be quick and clear.

    For example: low honor servers or on-screen tips with visual reference would be much more effective and would have a direct, instant effect.
  • =IK=Doba==IK=Doba= Posts: 2,789Player
    So much covered, not all needed. I understand quiting because the game crashes or PB fails. I don't understand quiting because you have to make a profile.. it's the same in every game.

    Training ...it should be short and to the point, the basics. I for one don't open a new game to play hrs of training. But I do jump in for key familiarization, ex. Insurgency, did the quick training it's simple and to the point, finish and go play.

    If players quit because they are bad, rage etc. Nothing you can do at release because we're all 1 honor so the new play with the pro.... but as the game progresses, those low honor servers could help.
    When a new player asks a question in game, I always hear someone helping, so the community does help others for the most part.

    Making guns shoot easier for the new player? Just no.. this game is dumbed down enough with new player featers.

    I still believe retention comes down the big 3, performance, optimization, hit reg.
    At least it does to the new players that look for a skilled game where they want to put time into.
  • ddra-ddra- Posts: 455Player
    Servers specially for noobs is a no brainer alongside other changes. It worked in the past and will work again.
  • Dem@nDem@n Posts: 564Player
    Servers with a 1-10 honor limit and every other server 10-100 or whatever the new score ranking system will be.Server Browser info about the server settings of each server would be also nice just the general settings like 1-2-3 revives,no revive on headshot kill ,round time,number of rounds to win.Next to the map loading videos usefull in game tips and hints.
  • [v]roach[v]roach Posts: 14Player
    How about co-op maps. They use to be great fun. When servers were dead or players wanted to improve there skill. I remember playing Interdiction and Snake Plan for hours. It also counted abit towards honor which was a great incentive for new players. Gave a great model of team work as you needed a certain amount of breaches to complete the missions.
  • -sVs.rQm^-sVs.rQm^ Posts: 73Player
    Mentor program will not work in this game it's as easy as that.. Al the other things from honor ranked server s etc etc etc is just a plain [TOS Violation] question for old players to make a new account own the noobs and make them quit once again..

    What i would suggest and i don't care if you hate it or love it is the next thing.

    Bring back the training like it was in AA2.

    Shooting , leaning everything the DEVS feel like that should be covered by these trainings they can put in to it. Just don't come with a sneaky mission like the SF one on AA2 witch was cool but not needed imo.
    Don't start on going to add mentor players and programs into it as it just doesn't fit the game. If a guy is willing to play this game he should learn the hard way like most of us did. We all were a noob once.. When they find a clan that puts in the effort to teach them is better then having a mentor program or what so ever. Before i forget don't come with exam [TOS Violation] well like the medic training just is not needed.

    You can also introduce a tutorial before a player actually jumps on to a server and learn the basic movements , use , items .... etc at least that is my idea.. Just don't think people are waiting on a mentor program or players..
  • Keebler750Keebler750 Posts: 3,621Beta Tester
    edited May 2015
    Since we don't (yet) have anything better, I've suggested several times before that XPM is a better guide to noobness than Honor. Any player that crosses a certain threshold obviously has a clue and graduates to big boy servers.

    Also, this shouldn't be about teaching a player all the tricks, per se, but about the game...the things that people know nothing about like clearing an area and covering for revives, or the fact we actually have a Tactical Walk key that many new players go "What?!!" when I tell them in a server...

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  • [v]roach[v]roach Posts: 14Player
    Trying to split new players from old players will just caused players abusing it and starting new accounts to troll. Which will ruin player experience. Do what has been tested and successful. Co-Op maps which have a large range of different objectives offering different roles to choose from. That way they learn basic fire and movement, over watch and suppressive fire. Moving as a team to get objectives done and how to communicate. And do it in a way that isnt just for new players but for old players to take part in aswel. Points which count towards honor and medals for playing certain roles.
  • .sauce.sauce Posts: 308Player
    I think there is a lot more forgiveness for noobie control problems in MMO's, things like character development, questing and general progression help them through that frustration. Not only does that not exist in PG, new players tend to spend a HUGE amount of time spectating instead of continuing to improve in that area.

    I have seen quite a few new players complain about putting 10 headshots in a guy, but when I spec them they have a hard time pointing their crosshairs toward the enemy, let alone controlling recoil or reacting to the environment. I think that is why things like the shoothouses are good, some players just need time to feel out the controls and you don't really get that in PG online games because you spend too much time spectating. Maybe a co-op shoothouse would be a good way to blend practice and online play?

    It's also one more reason why respawn deathmatch servers would be helpful. They are the best way to keep players playing so they get comfortable with controls. Make several servers that float at the top of the browser like RECRUIT-PRACTICE-ORD24 and VETERAN-PRACTICE-FRA45 and set honor restrictions on them. No honor for playing, just aim style practice. Make the maps real cardboardy so they give that setting as well.
  • SacchoSaccho Posts: 1,577Player
    With a mentorship program, my first question would be "What's the target endpoint?"

    I see the true raw basics (movement, ADS) as so straightforward to explain that they belong in a tutorial/training level. There's not really extra value in having one player say to another "right-click to pull up sights for accurate fire" over having the game tell a player that.

    The value in mentorship as a training system, as I see it, comes from a few areas:
    • targeted improvement -- the mentor can recognize and target a player's weakest skills, whether positioning, cursor placement, recoil control, etc
    • situational topics -- the mentor can discuss a broad topic ("Clear the area before a revive"), but bring in specific information and discuss how the broad idea changes ("but since it's a 1v1 right now and you just saw the enemy running away on the other side of the map, now's a time when you can act quickly")
    • skills can be addressed in situ. Do they know how to lean but never use it?

    I believe player-player interactions can be more stressful than player-game interactions, so I strongly think a solid training/tutorial experience is a necessary first step. If nothing else, it'd be a good "First, run through training, *then* come to the Mentor Group for some added polish".

    But, man, there are some topics where I just don't want to think about what the advice-giving process could look like. I was in a game recently on Slums where my team kept getting rolled every round. Another high-honor player said "Everybody stay really far back, we're pushing out too fast and dying too fast." I said "No, the issue is we're not pushing out quickly enough -- they're controlling more of the map early on and we're ending up cornered, staying further back will only make it worse." Who's right? They're competing philosophies on how to respond to that kind of situation. What kind of advice would the mentorship group be offering?

    I also frequently see players using tactical movement in a sub-optimal way, moving slowly even when there's dire need for fast movement. (Example: 30 seconds left on assault, needs to grab flag or otherwise make something happen. Or, on defense, the opponent is running objective, but the player needs to run to have line-of-sight on extract in time. Etc) Just knowing the mechanics exist isn't enough, they have to be taught as conditionally useful or you can end up doing more harm than good. If a player's spending an entire round in stealth mode, that's not good.

    I think a mentorship group could be good. I'd also like to see "Matchmaking Academy"-style demorec reviews in the future, a place where somebody can say "I was in Situation XYZ. I lost. What did I do wrong? How could I have played that better?"
  • Keebler750Keebler750 Posts: 3,621Beta Tester
    edited May 2015
    Another great bunch of posts here. I really like seeing this level of civil and insightful discussion!

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  • .shhfiftyfive-.shhfiftyfive- Posts: 495Player
    edited May 2015
    i honestly don't foresee people even putting forth the kind of effort to ask a mentor for help and feedback. as you said, send in some footage for a mentor to review and get critique. i don't see that happening in this game. there aren't youtubers or twitch personalities with tons of subscribers standing up on a platform trying to teach people how to be as good as they possibly can. the game isn't pulling in a huge crowd. thus there isn't much incentive for players to seek out ways to improve their game from their favorite youtuber or twitch personality..
    i think the bigger issue is that none of that sorta stuff has anything to do with getting people who download the game to play more than 10 minutes or 1 hour.
    it would be good for the game IF there were actual youtubers and twitch personalities out there playing this game, but that's not gonna happen because this game is very plain.

  • Keebler750Keebler750 Posts: 3,621Beta Tester
    edited May 2015
    The question remains: What can be done to draw people in and keep them? If confusion around the game install, setup and initial use is an issue, build it better. If supporting the new players so they don't get hosed by you expert guys, well.......deal with that too.... :) I'm sure BadaBing remembers the amazing community support in AAO back in 2002....

    PS: BTW Shifty....that sig pic has been mesmerizing me big time! Nice! :p

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