Feedback from 40ish hours of play

Discussion in 'New Player Experience Feedback' started by moxiepilot, Dec 27, 2017.

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  1. moxiepilot

    moxiepilot Avatar

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    I think part of my responsibility early access is to be able to provide feedback on my progress so that the development team can assess if goals are being met to bring in new players to the game. Like my last post in this sub-forum, this might get a bit long, so here's the TLDR version:


    It's a MMORPG, why do I play alone?
    Housing, it's not just for the homeless anymore.
    I want multiple personalities, how do I create more than one Avatar?
    Deck Swapping? Sounds risque.
    Promote the Telethon!

    Dear Mr. Vernon:

    There are a few items which I feel I needed more support in as I have gotten my feet wet. I'll list those areas shortly, but first let me address what the solution was: The forum community has been above and beyond helpful to keep me moving in the right direction, and to keep me involved through a level of excitement that is self-perpetuating, because they are still excited about the game. This is a unique and rare thing.

    As you can see by some of my postings peppering the forums, I have some basic questions. Some of these questions are based around game play and some of them focus around how to support the community and production / development of the game itself.

    Not everyone is going to be involved with the forums, so those questions that I have had answered through the forums are the ones I think need to be addressed in the beginning tutorials. Essentially I'm recommending a stand-alone tutorial which teaches more game fundamentals and incorporates how to use the on-line community (different than the forums.)

    In walking through the first steps again, I will try to refrain from revisiting the items I published in my first feedback post.

    I'm In The Math Club

    First, I am essentially playing this game solo... in a MMORPG.

    I'm jumping ahead of other feedback, but this is a very important point. There are so many people in this community (through the Forums) that have come out of the woodwork to help me. Me, the new guy who is essentially a MMORPG idiot. I'm the guy that asks questions like, "So, how do I open up my Inventory?" after running through the tutorial. (By the way, for anyone reading this who is like me, press "I" - it opens up your Inventory.)

    40 hours in, I'm still playing alone. There are folks I've heard of called Hospitallers. This presents a unique opportunity to connect a new player with someone who wants to help. If there was an additional avenue to the tutorial where the new player created a party with an online Hospitaller to go on a quick quest it would introduce a few things. It can show the new player the party system. It would show how to create a party, how various chats work, and perhaps open up the Friends list so that a new guy (or gal, or ogre) has a resource to go to when they have additional questions. By creating a party I probably wouldn't feel so inhibited to reach out.

    Let me tell you what has happened so far. I've received maybe 10 friend requests....from people I don't know. My question is why I want to friend them when they've had no interaction with me whatsoever. So I asked one of them (fully knowing the answer.) "Hey, have we ever been on a quest before or something?" The response was predictable; "No, but I saw you online."

    That's where the conversation ends (and I hit deny Friend request.) Now what I gather is that someone was really trying to say, "Hey there! I see you and you're online. Maybe you want to go adventuring and loot some stuff, eh?"

    Perhaps by introducing me to the party system earlier in a tutorial or something, I wouldn't be as inhibited to accept random people into my network. Because that's essentially what this community becomes - a network of online friends who I'm going to rely on in moving forward in the game.

    So I guess that's the first next area I wanted to address. With being a MMORPG, introducing the aspects of how to be involved in a game with other people is useful.

    I'm In The Physics Club Too

    As a springboard from the Party/Network/Friends idea, it is an important concept because they become the resource for answering questions.

    Many of my questions come from part laziness and part ignorance. I don't mind searching for the answers to questions about how craft or keep moving in the right direction with character development, because not all of the game is going to be intuitive and not all of it is going to be spoon-fed to me. I accept that and I understand that - as a 40 year old. For the younger audience I think there needs to be a bit more spoon feeding because sometimes finding the answers seems like a lot of work to be putting into a game.

    These other areas which I have had to dig for answers are the areas I would have preferred that the game run the player through a tutorial. Perhaps with the ability it skip if the player already knows what they are doing would be a good balance and option.

    Let me use housing as an example. As a noob I don't expect to have access to all of the major parts of the game. That comes with time and experience among other things. But I do want to know how things work when it comes time to be able to utilize those resources.

    As far as I can tell, there are no resources to teach players about the housing system except by Google search and the Forum. But the game developers have set housing up so there are multiple avenues that a new player can take advantage of, and also be exposed to the benefits of home ownership. Why take all that time to set a system in place that is used, but not introduce it to the new players?

    If you own, you can (evidently) give a player access to a room and become a landlord. You can charge for rent, you can do it rent free. Of course, you all know what various scenarios can be set up with housing. I'm still learning about them (through Google, YouTube and the Forum) but ultimately have no idea how any of this really works.

    My opinion is it would be beneficial with a new player to have a limited 2 week in game starter house so that new players can get familiar with the benefits of a house. It will introduce placing items, locking them, access to the house and other important features of home ownership. In the long run I would think this would generate income for the game because a new player will get attached to having a house those first 2 weeks, and then when they lose it at the end of 2 weeks, want to invest in getting one again.

    But is addition to these benefits, it would get me to interact with a POT. Until I learned more about housing I didn't see the need to venture into a POT.

    So back to making this about me.

    As a new player I am excited about a lot of things in the game, including home ownership. But I just don't know enough about it to want to invest in a bundle if it's not going to fit into my larger game plan (pun intended.) So here's what's happened: Another player has been quite generous in setting me up with co-ownership in a house to be able to get my feet wet. Again, the players of the Forum have generously supplied a temporary solution to the issue I was facing - is home ownership for me? I don't know yet, but now I have an avenue to figure it out. This is important because I have been thinking about buying a bundle in the ballpark of $500-$1500. That's a bunch of change for me to drop in an area I don't have any experience in.

    I guess that wraps up this idea.

    My Impression of Life at Big Bri's House

    On a less grand scale let me walk through the character progression where I have had trouble and am still having trouble.

    The first tutorial area got me through rudimentary game mechanics. I learned how to fight (and run away!), and set a few things up in my hot bar.

    This is good, these are fundamentals I need to know.

    I learned how to loot, which essentially came down to wanting to pick up everything in sight until I was overburdened. The one hotkey I wish I had been introduced to explicitly (pointing out, hey dummy, use this key) - is "E". To be able to use my mouse to scroll over a door, cabinet or dead dude and then hit "E" to loot, open, or skin would have been a helpful piece of knowledge to know early on. Maybe it was introduced, but I missed it in the tutorials.

    The starting tutorial for warrior (Highvale, I believe) had a few things that could be modified. First, the campaign is long. By that I mean I am going to search every nook and cranny so that I don't miss anything. I've played too many games where I just follow the current quest task and surpass other important skills or pieces of knowledge to learn. So I checked the whole campaign platform in case part of a tutorial was hidden in a certain area I didn't know I was supposed to head to. That took a while. If you compare that with the Ranger tutorial in Soltown using the same thoroughness, the time is decreased by about 1/5. That's a big difference to learn the same skills.

    Since a tutorial is to teach, I try and pick up on all the information that is presented. In the tutorial at Highvale I believe you learn how to bring up the Map. That map displays pieces of information, including little white dot points of interest. One of those white dots displays the location of the Mace Cuthbert. I spent a long time searching and wondering why I couldn't find the Mace Cuthbert. My reasoning is that if it marked on the map it is something I need to know about or find. It of course does not generate until after the tutorial is completed, so I wasted a lot of time trying to find something that did not exist.

    In a similar fashion, the tutorial teaches about combat - a significant piece in this game. So starting out I want to know how to use the various options available to me. Again with the Highvale campaign, I equipped the sword in the rack to practice on the dummy. Great, got that one nailed. What I couldn't find was the bow to be able to practice archery. I looked, but it is so well blended into the ground scenery that I couldn't find it. I'd recommend putting both weapons on the rack so that the new player can find them both relatively easily.

    As a tertiary thought, since I'm learning about swords and bows in the tutorial, even though I'm playing a Fighter wouldn't it make sense to reinforce that casting Light is the magical branch of the three? I suppose it's my lack of brain power that never made the connection, but I think a new player needs to know they can pursue multiple avenues in cross-training their character's specialties. It's actually the reason I started over after a day. I realized I was using my long range combat skills more than Tanking and wanted to specialize in how I played. Now that my character has developed slightly I'm diving into a little of the magic side too as a Ranger. This adds depth to character development and to the facets of the game that I can take the time to pursue. This is going to keep me involved in the game for a longer period of time (if the game had no new developments) because of the complexity of cross-developing skills.

    The introduction of multi-discipline leads me to my next thoughts:

    You Wear Tights?

    I have seen people that have multiple character accounts with SotA. I expect it's because people want the ability to play differently with unique builds. My question is did these people purchase multiple instances of the game to have 3 characters, or is there a way to create three separate characters on one account? If there is a way to make multiple characters on the same account I need to know how to do this.

    I also point this out because if I can create another character and run through the tutorial again (or all three), I can give more feedback. But there will come a point when I'm unwilling to give up the things I've acquired through time, play and other member's generosity to delete a character and run through the instances again. Of course, no one is asking me to delete a character, but this is pre-launch testing, correct? It seems like it behooves me to find and exploit bugs so that they can be reported and it is part my responsibility to review quests I have already completed to give feed back if the changes were successful from a players point of view.

    I'm more than happy to give feedback, but there will come a point where I get far enough removed from the beginning stages of the game that I am no longer able to comment on the beginning stages of the game. Make sense? Essentially I am asking to be pointed out how to create multiple characters on the account so that I can run through the beginning stages and tutorials again.

    So....What's Your Poison?

    Deck Swapping. 40 hours in and I'll be honest here. I have no idea what this is, how to do it, or what use it is to me as a player. Because of my limited exposure to deck swapping, I cannot comment on its effectiveness or use. I believe it was mentioned in the tutorials, but I didn't get enough information to make it useful to me as a player.

    With that out of the way, the next area I would address is crafting.

    Because it is so complex I understand not everything is going to be covered. But I think a simple recipe that takes 2 or 3 steps to produce is warranted. For example, let's make a SotA widget. The widget needs a step Smelting, a step Blacksmithing and a step using the Carpentry skill. By walking the player through multiple steps of crafting you introduce that you might need a ton of different resources to create that object. It indicates that you need to focus in certain areas to make progress and rely on other's specialties to fill in the parts you cannot create or buy.

    This brings us full circle to the MMPORG aspect of the game. The new player needs to realize they are dependent on the local economy and others playing the game. Now with me being dependent on others in the game, I might as well start making some new Friends, amarite? Hence the tutorial on creating a party with a Hospitaller so that this aspect of the game can be explored early on.

    If I Lose My Temper, You're Totaled, Man

    I'm sorry, but my brain is starting to hurt because braining is tough. So I'm going to wrap this up with the questions I have had about game development and supporting the game - as compared to the game play itself.

    As I mentioned previously, I'm probably going to spend a good chunk of change on a bundle when I know a little more about the game. But there is a piece of information I found out through the Forum networking versus the information published on the official website that greatly impacts what I do: the Telethon.

    It's either buried somewhere in the website or not intuitive to find out about (in one of the drop down menus from the home screen) and supremely important to me as I invest in the game. Taking a few bucks off of a bundle is going to make it easier to buy and more likely that I will. Not only that, but if I found out in two weeks I could have saved $100 I would be slightly irritated. In the big picture $100 isn't going to make a difference in playing the game or not, and it's not going to break my bank. But, if I didn't have disposable income because whatever circumstance that $100 could mean the difference between SotA and another choice.

    If I'm not mistaken, the Telethon also generates income for the company to continue this path. I recommend making it a higher profile on the website so that the traffic sees it. Forgive me if I'm out of my lane here.

    It affects me though, so I figured it worth mentioning.

    As always, if I can assist with further detail in the areas I addressed or if you need clarifying information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  2. Alley Oop

    Alley Oop Bug Hunter Bug Moderator

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    ah, they're not interested in you at all. you can only use teleport scrolls to go to people on your friends list, so (some) people try to build large friends lists of people they never bother to talk to so they can use them as teleport mules.

    i turn them down too. learn the map, learn the lunar rift system, the underground passages eventually... it's fun to try to figure out how to get where you're going and discover new places along the way. you're more likely to make an actual friend running into another new player trying to get through a control point than skipping past it by teleporting to a stranger.
    moxiepilot likes this.
  3. Alrik Doom

    Alrik Doom Avatar

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    I disagree with Alley, the teleport system requires friends, which in a way pushes you to go make some, now not everyone has time to chit chat and this shouldn't be a requirement to accepting friend requests! Made lots of friends this way, being critical or putting a condition on this will hinder your advancement in making new friends!
    moxiepilot likes this.
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