How Might We Better Expose Player Created Content to New Players?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Black Tortoise, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Magnus Zarwaddim

    Magnus Zarwaddim Avatar

    Messages:
    956
    Likes Received:
    1,853
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Yep. Listen, I don't pretend like what I say is right or will work in a particular instance. But just spitballing, this game needs two things to really do well in this day and age:
    1. Content. Any game needs this. Games can survive without regular content, but stagnation sets in fast.
    2. Purchasable content. Games need to make money to keep running. I do not disparage cosmetics. They have their place. I have purchased cosmetics. But things that go beyond that to increase the value of my purchase in terms of engaging in the game over the long haul...here, hold my wallet.
     
  2. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

    Messages:
    9,718
    Likes Received:
    23,811
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    United States
    We definitely need content sooner than later. Some of that could come in the form of an achievement system and perhaps a task board. Player created content is there but many new people won't touch that with a 10 foot pole at least at first.

    We need some basics added in that progress like daily progressive reward quests for all things such as catch of the day done for 5 days in a row give a special reward like for example special bait, pole, or fishing hat.

    Other dailies could progress as well like crafting quests, and pvp quests.

    Invasion of the dragons event could happen with us seeing and hearing them fly over-head. If only we would get that raid system implemented. An announcement could pop up on screen and teleport us to raid group to battle to protect our world. It could say 'join'or 'decline'.

    Also we need timed events such battlegrounds similar to Wintergrasp from WOW that has quests and flags to capture, npc's to rescue with raid groups competing to beat the clock. Participating in these can earn tokens to purchase something, or cotos, titles, special resources.

    There is so much content that could be there that is just basic but still we don't have the tech for any of it. No raid capabilities, no timer capabilities, and not even a rating system in game which very well could have been placed as an option on lot stones or lot signs and dungeon entrances.

    It's sometimes a bit painful to me. *sighs*. Well way too often.

    So much needed with not enough funds or focus in these directions in my opinion.

    Episode 2 will have its own surprises with new lands, quests, treasure hunting. I'm hoping for mounts and horse racing too but if we can't raid or hold timed events before that imo it will be sad.

    Sorry didn't mean to get so long.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  3. Magnus Zarwaddim

    Magnus Zarwaddim Avatar

    Messages:
    956
    Likes Received:
    1,853
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Over a year ago they tested out Dragons and Daemons on the Overworld. They could infest the Overworld with different encounters. For now they could keep the existing encounter maps. They could even copy existing mob mechanics. Just make it an "event" (like the Atavists, etc.) and add some loot. It's work, but it seems like the most efficient since they would be using existing items. More bang for the buck, so to speak.
     
  4. Ataniiq

    Ataniiq Avatar

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    88
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Tiered achievement system with adv./crafting exp and titles as rewards. Exploration of POTs and game scenes being a huge part of that.
    Some examples:

    - Open 10/100/1000/10000 player owned doors
    - Speak with 10/100/1000/10000 player owned vendors

    Etc etc

    Guild Wars 2 is the champ of achievement systems.
     
    Bedawyn likes this.
  5. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

    Messages:
    9,718
    Likes Received:
    23,811
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    United States
    Well not the same thing imo. I am wishing for it do be done right not just half way. It just feels too cheap for this game and it deserves better than that. ;)
     
  6. kaeshiva

    kaeshiva Avatar

    Messages:
    2,672
    Likes Received:
    10,404
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Female
    I have seen players construct some really great things for various purposes - whether its an intro area to new players, an event venue, a player made quest, etc. You can just see how much effort has gone into these things using the deco system and the in-game book/paper/flyer writing system to the max. There are incredible things. But they aren't really interactive. You can look at things, read things, or buy things, or take something out of a public box or a box for which you have permission. There are no other tools/mechanics to work with.

    If we want to truly have player content and we want people to do it, there are a lot of things we need first, toolkit wise:

    1. Signage that you can actually see.
    There's no way to catch player's attention - the 'signposts' very rarely in my experience get 'hovered over' - best case, you can stick 'runes' on a very select few walls/surfaces but most people can't sight-read runic so that doesn't really help. Consider signage where player can just type what they want on a sign and people can read it. This would be reasonable "calls to action" in the user experience. Not to mention the applications in organising one's things....

    [​IMG]

    2. Quest/Event flag tools

    At the moment, there's no way to dictate what happens when the player does something, there's no cause and effect. I've seen really clever ways to try and circumvent this, by having the player have to buy something from a vendor for example to create the necessary 'interaction', but for the most part, you can't make a static 'quest' that doesn't require you to be stood there watching/ "DMing" unless you limit yourself to "player walks around and looks at stuff." There's no way for them to solve a puzzle to open a door or pick up a key or find a clue or etc. Consider that you put a bottle on the table that says 'drink me' - and if the player chooses to drink it, it -does something- in your quest. There's no way to facilitate this - 1, they can't pick the item up because permissions don't allow it. 2 - even if they could, there's no way you can link/trigger that action to something happening in your quest. The best you can do is put a piece of paper on the table that says "when you drink the potion xxx happens." And they can read that regardless. You can't even designate which box to pick or which door to choose with signage clearly. As I said, I've seen some really clever ways to try and get around this mechanic, but the point is that the system and lack of tools is stifling things considerably. I guess the need for placeable npc/dialogue would come here too.

    3. Benefit / Purpose to player content

    I find that very little player content 'serves a purpose' - usually its just appreciation of "come see what I built!". Some is tailored toward new player experience, but other than the handful of new players that might stumble on it (as there's no way to guide them to it) its mostly just "look and see." There's a handful of people who have really tried to maximize what they can do with the tools we have, like @Vladamir Begemot at S-Mart factorium who has, with boxes, signs, containers, and npc instructions tried to set up a sort of factory where new players can do refining tasks to earn gold.

    For example, a player can build a quest or obstacle course and place a reward box at the end with some items in it. There's no way to keep that box from being cleaned out by 1 individual. Said rewards must constantly be 'funded' by the player - checked and refilled and maintained. And I know this is because of all the potentials for abuse if players were given a way to award xp/gold 'from the faucet' - but this makes creating content that is "worth doing" difficult unless your target audience is there for the RP/appreciation of the story.

    The 'achievements' idea is a good one - complete a certain number of player quests, etc. But to do this there needs to be a way to register said quests with the game and integrate them into the game instead of being static decorated areas. And anything like this would likely require moderation. And since player content can only be built on player properties, there's always the risk of it 1 day poofing which makes it difficult to rely on it for any sort of permanence.

    ----

    I'd love the ability to make my player lot - the house, and dungeon under it, into its own story-driven dungeon experience - but there's too few tools and too many barriers to doing so.
    I'd love the ability to make my town a quest hub full of activities for players to do - that would be worth doing - but the amount of grinding for cash and giving it away as "rewards" I'd have to do to make said items lucrative for a large audience is staggering. I'm not really sure how to get around this - if we let players give away a "quest token" that is worth gold/xp - then what would stop players from making a silly quest "click on the rock, get reward!" and gaming the system? Without having to qualify your content via dev moderation I don't see a way around this, and anything that requires more dev time is likely going to get a no. Although maybe if players did the leg work to make quality content (as well as consider all the stuff they'd buy from the shop to do it...) it would be worth it. I don't know.
     
  7. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

    Messages:
    6,106
    Likes Received:
    11,863
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    @kaeshiva regarding the quests I think those are coming some day.

    Regarding the signs which are incredibly important I don't know if the devs ever intend it.

    If it's ttp reasons, that's also ttreport and we have plenty of other opportunities so shouldn't be an argument.

    I think the argument is lore, which is a bad argument We would obviously start making signs in our native language!
     
  8. Magnus Zarwaddim

    Magnus Zarwaddim Avatar

    Messages:
    956
    Likes Received:
    1,853
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I don't disagree. However, given budget constraints, it's one way to quickly make varied content for people to enjoy. Something of a stop-gap measure pending more involved content in the future.
     
  9. Black Tortoise

    Black Tortoise Avatar

    Messages:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    3,648
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Storm's Reach

    I like these ideas!

    I fear this is the biggest barrier of them all

    How can we begin to get that flow together, to connect? How can we improve the disconnected mechanics so that you can have your bow shop? I agree its odd that I cant walk into a town and go to a player crafter bowyer. I have to go to everyone's personal bizarre of everything. Id love to see player adventurer shops, equipment shops, magic shops, taverns, etc. Novia feels incomplete without this sort of diversity and specialization.

    Really liking this idea, but sounds hard to implement, given the variety of environments they may be in.

    I think this one is really important! Separate vendors from other NPCs and Pets! Pets move around and stuff, while vendors just stand there (or sit). I imagine vendors take less resources for the game engine than pets or moving things do.

    I think we almost have the tech to do this. We have heraldry, and you could conceivably make your heraldry just text that says "Pat's Weapons" or something. Thatd be a silly hack though. They could enhance this in EP2 or something where in addition to haraldry, you can pay Port $ and get 2-3 new uploadable image types that you can make banners, robes, signs, etc from. These additional images (they technically wouldnt by heraldry, but same in-game tech) can serve as logos or signs for your vendor. Port can then have fun rejecting all the "COTOS IRON WOOD CHEAP" images :)

    Yes! Love this.


    Never a broken record! I always love your UO comparisons, the features you envy from it, and really adore it when you post so many classic UO pics!!! These are excellent ideas. Named packages like this are necessary for a better vending experience.

    Thats a great perspective. I can totally understand this playstyle.

    Here is one thing though - you may not ever discover quite a few things in the game without having first learned of it from another player. Additionally, gear and items from game NPCs are purposefully limited to poor / baseline quality. Items from mobs or quests dont get interesting until one is very high level. If you rely on an NPC blacksmith for weapons, for example, youll end up playing the game with poor weapons. This is why I have a new player oriented "outfitter" shop in Storm's Reach. Players come there for the understorm mine quests (tier 2 dungeon). I make available all sorts of armor and weapons that only players in the tier 2-4 range would be interested in, at very affordable prices for someone at that level. Scattered around the shop are all sorts of rare or exotic weapons, just to make the shop look cool, and expose the player to things theyd find from mobs in the tier 5+ scenes. I dont sell those since theyre either extremely common at tier 5+, or easy to find in the brittany player markets.

    So again, I like to have a little shop for new players to come in and say "oh wow, here is where i can always find a great tier 3 shield / helmet / spear / etc", and even if a player cant afford an item at that moment, one could just go kill 45 sheep and chickens across town and sell the butchered parts, and come back to get the item from my store (or go kill 15 skeletons or something). The point is, I wanna make more things for new players to explore, to evoke the imagination early on in the game as to how they can customize their own experience. Plus perhaps they will be eager to pay it forward and start thinking about how they wanna design their own player crafted "place to be" once they get their first deed.

    Hrm, this sounds restrictive, but I think I like it. This would work fine for me, since im into RP, and Black Tortoise lives in his own little castle, far away from the Tortoise Clan shops, museums, and public gardens. I think we may need to divide this feature between basement / dungeon / town-scene lot, so that players with only 1 lot dont have to compromise too hard. A player can declare the above ground lot as "commercial" and then make the basement "residential".

    An excellent observation from a new player. Thanks for sharing this experience! I too miss what Ardoris felt like the very first release it came out (what was that, R15 or so?). I wish it retained the feeling of "bustling city" rather than "uniform strip mall". However, there is currently no structure or incentive to make it feel like the systemized and diverse structure of a real city, and players are incentivized to just broadcast ads from their porch.

    This is sort of by design - you can get player crafted items as drops from monsters when those items were sold to NPCs. However, you can only buy player crafted items from vendors, to keep the player economy strong. NPCs will only ever sell "baseline" (junk) items to force players to engage with the player crafted economy.

    I like your style, and concern for a homeowner's intentions :). I would say someone leaving their door unlocked is a safe bet that you can go inside. You cant actually steal anything or cause any harm. If someone has a chest thats unlocked and accessible, its highly likely they intentionally made it that way with the item permission controls. I usually go inside lots of unlocked homes purely to see if someone has used items as deco in a clever way, for my own inspiration. As for me, I make it very obvious that I want players to enter - vendors are typically inside, and I use deco, lighting, and (mouse hover...) signs outside to indicate the space is "public". I even make public outhouses and kobold toilets! I think its up to use players to create lots that "invite" other players to come explore. :)

    Well, your presence will be missed in my public workshop, taverns, museums, gardens, fighting arenas, party boats, and port-o-potties!
     
  10. Black Tortoise

    Black Tortoise Avatar

    Messages:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    3,648
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Storm's Reach
    When I read about this game in the kickstarter, this is what I had in mind. I wanted skeleton invasions of towns, not a separate siege scene outside of town. I wanted player crafted forts with defensive bonuses for when the kobolds are slaughtering the NPCs and guards downtown, etc. A dragon attacking Desolis? Heck yah! Players have to save the day! If they dont, then the NPCs die and down respawn for 24 earth hours or something like that.


    First I +1 all the things you said in that post.

    As for this - lets not leave out toilets! You can flush my kobold toilet :p

    In all seriousness, this is an issue - not enough interaction in the game world. I have faith this will improve, as its the essence of "garriot games". I am making a museum of interactable objects and other strange things from Novia at the moment. There simply is not enough stuff to interact with. I like the hourglass, aforementioned electric toilet, pianos, the teletype, etc, but Id like for there to be some more dynamism. I want to craft things, then do "creative" placements with them in my home to make new combinations of objects, and in turn create some kind of unique interactable experience for players. I want to set timers on objects automatically engaging some script, and to have a simple script to describe the on/off state of various animations or interactions. I think what I want is kind of like Minecraft, but hey, this is a sandbox game, right?
     
    Ataniiq and majoria70 like this.
  11. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

    Messages:
    6,106
    Likes Received:
    11,863
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    It'd be better to just write it on the sign by typing it in and having it appear. There's a Unity asset for that already.
     
    Ataniiq and Black Tortoise like this.
  12. Bedawyn

    Bedawyn Avatar

    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    854
    Trophy Points:
    93
    But if NPCs re-sold what they buy from players, instead of just loot-dropping it, then players buying from those NPCs WOULD be engaging with the player economy. They'd just be engaging via the NPC vendor instead of the player vendor, so that fewer player vendors would be needed. It would be one integrated economy, instead of forcing people to try to figure out two parallel economies at once.

    As for specialty shops ... what you said made me realize, I've seen plenty of player vendors, but I've only actually purchased from a few. A couple of those were things that I knew I would need and figured I'd better grab the cheap price while I could. But most of those purchases were from one vendor, the only one where I've made repeat purchases: Bella's Boutique in Fallin' Green. And I can go back to her willingly, if I'm looking for what she sells (dyes & clothing) because she has a realistic specialty shop and I know that going to her will not break my immersion or force me to break character. All the other vendors... I might check them out if I'm looking for something specific that I know I need a bargain on, or if I'm trying to check a town off on my "thoroughly explored" list. But if the shop itself isn't consistent with my roleplay, then I'm not going to return to it or buy anything there that I can get elsewhere. Heck, I'm not even going to remember it -- most of them just blur together.

    It's not that a vendor has to sell only specialty stuff, but for me, it's about how the shop fits into the environment. Fitting in well is easier with a specialty shop. My own shop sells random stuff, I can't afford to specialize yet, but I'm also trying to build it up in an immersive way (not very far along on that yet, but it's a work-in-progress). And I wouldn't have put it in a town that had a bunch of other random-stuff vendors. It makes sense to have a general goods store in town, but not to have 15 of them that are barely distinguishable from each other. When I picked the lot, I specifically chose the one where the house I was using at the time would complement the overall appearance of the market square, rather than thinking only about what my own lot would look like. That's the thing -- the devs and POT owners have spent all this effort giving us a good environment, we need to use our individual lots in ways that work WITH the work they've already done, not contradict it.

    Not really, I'd be in a bad mood and poor company if I were there. :) All my social energy goes to the forums.

    As for lots being private or not... I know you can lock things, but I also know how the permission system can get confusing or buggy, and I know that every time I leave my house, it's a struggle to remember to turn around and manually close the door because it will stay open if I don't. I wouldn't want to assume an unlocked house was public when really the owner was just trying to give a friend perms and got things messed up. (And yes, I know people aren't supposed to be able to enter a locked building even if the door is open, but it's a privacy thing.)

    I've been thinking about that. We can already assign lots to be either "Private Residence" or "Guild Chapterhouse." That's part of the problem -- most lots show up on the marker as Private Residence, whether they're really private or not. Would it be too difficult to just get a couple more options there? Let us mark it as Private Residence, Guild Chapterhouse, Public Space, or Mixed-Use. With the latter usually meaning "ground floor is public, but don't go up or downstairs, or maybe "outdoors is public, indoors is private. There'd still be some ambiguity around the "mixed-use" lots, but it would be less ambiguity than there is now. Common sense and courtesy would usually resolve the ambiguity -- as opposed to now, when we have to throw common sense out the window to grok the idea that a "Private Residence" is really an inn or a store or a museum.
     
  13. Black Tortoise

    Black Tortoise Avatar

    Messages:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    3,648
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Storm's Reach
    I want this!