My New Player Experience Feedback

Discussion in 'New Player Experience Feedback' started by Baron Drocis Fondorlatos, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. Poor game design

    Poor game design Avatar

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    @RichardGarriott
    @Lum
    @Attenwood

    Obviously I'm not a "new" player. But I do have feedback for the new R31 Isle of Storms/Path of Love (Solace Bridge)

    1. I really enjoyed the new beginning to the Isle of Storms. I like that you don't create your character first, you just pick a name and then you're instructed to create a character. Nice move. Well received. The sounds and the atmosphere were also very cool, really captured my attention even though I've been there "before".

    2. When I go to the mirror, I can double click it from the back side. If it's easy to fix this, I would. It's kind of cheap and hey the new player just arrived into our world so let's make our best effort to impress them!

    3. I crashed the first two times I double clicked the mirror. Cloth was disabled so there's no excuse for this. (long term, I mean) This has to be rock solid if we want to retain people. My computer and internet connection are "the best".
    OS: Windows 10 (10.0.0) 64bit
    CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4820K CPU @ 3.70GHz (8) System RAM: 32687
    GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 GPU RAM: 1989
    SotA.EarlyAccess.Win.64.437.Date.07.01.16

    4. When I returned from creating my character, I was put back in the same spot I was in when I left. Which was behind the mirror. Kind of silly, again, shouldn't be able to double click behind the mirror. Also, even though the instructions tell me to return to Arabella, there's no icon put on the compass to help lead me back there. If I'm a new player I might not be paying attention to names and where I'm going, I probably expect you to tell me all that. So tell me like you're doing all the other times during the tutorial. It's a small gap, but it's one that will serve you better if you fill it in. (Over the weekend there was a bug with Arabella that also made it impossible to continue unless you had the Enable Conversations Close-ups selected, but I figured that out by reading the forums and was able to continue)

    5. I found the Oracle chamber to be a waste of time. I expected that once I talked to Arabella again the Oracle would show up and give me some wisdom or integrate herself into the story a little better. Perhaps this part just isn't done yet? If that's all we plan to do at this point is foreshadow, I guess it's better than nothing. But I think it's a wasted opportunity. You may even want the Oracle to point the Avatar towards Edvard so that we're expecting him when we get to Solace Bridge (for example).

    6. When I got to Solace Bridge I really liked the child side quest! But then I hated the summoning whistle. It's tacky. I understand you're probably very limited from a technology standpoint, but it's a painful part of the experience that begs the player to laugh confusingly at it. This is the part of the game that reviewers will use to how how dumb the quests are. It's in the first 10 minutes of playing, it translates immediately as a poor example of quest building that all viewers can relate to, and it's lame. When the child leaves our point of view (seemingly becoming a whistle in our pocket), that's where players will start to question "wtf is going on here?" We'll lose them. We have to do better. Because otherwise, that's a really cool scene and a great moral test right off the bat! Save the scene, take up the moral challenge and find a better solution than the taming whistle. (BTW, there appear to be a lot of books here that can not be used as decorations)

    Also, I think the dialogue for Charlotte Grey was excellent. It was convincing of a child being put in that situation. It made me want to help her. I find it difficult to believe that people will not help her unless they're purposely not helping her for the sake of it, or unless they're mentally unstable. Good job.

    7. Stupid Edvard! I get through the gate and I'm immediately met by my least favorite person. But I'm ready to ignore the fact that he's standing 20 feet away from zombies and skeletons that are just waiting for him to talk to me. But only once I pick up a bow! I MUST pick up a bow! Because for god's sake don't let me choose my own skills or weapons, I'm an archer because Lord British says so. Please dear god stop doing this!

    That's the point where I look at my skills and all I can see is all the wasted skill points I'm never going to use. If you're not a classic archer, knight, or mage of eclectic spell tastes, you're wasting points and it's annoying. Why are we annoying people that are just trying to build a character the way they want to build a character? Let them pick up whatever weapons they want, let them pick up whatever skills and spells they want without punishing them by default.

    8. Ok, Edvard actually does things now! Yay! But here's some issues:
    • The first thing Edvard says is something like "be silent there are enemies about" and then he Lee Roy Jenkins it into a throng of skeletons! I feel like this whole situation could (should) be a little better than this.
    • Edvard's talking while running and I feel like I should be reading that instead of fighting.
    • Zombies don't give you the plague, this could be troublesome for new people later when they start to die from real zombies.
    • When I get to the end of the Bridge, Edvard tells me to put away my "bow". I never used the bow, I'm using the sword that was in the weapon rack.
    9. And I crashed again while talking to Edvard. Probably a memory leak because it was just me standing there in conversation with him while I was typing this up.
    10. When I logged back into the game, it was unclear what do to next. I remembered to type "boat" but some new players might not be following along. So this is a point where Edvard needs to have more accessible quest mechanics from casual conversation so that in the event of a crash players can get back to where they need to go next without feeling stuck. I crashed right before the journal entry was made.

    11. I still think that boat is too hidden. I think Edvard should walk you closer to the boat and point to it or something. Or have it show up in the compass as a landmark. There's no need to make people get lost looking for this boat.

    12. And... crashed again going to Soltown.

    13. When I log back in, I'm at the start of Solace Bridge. I can hear Charlotte Grey again. That's when I remember, oh yeah she's in my pocket! But she's not, because there's no longer a whistle in my inventory. So I return upstairs and there she is! I'm so confused. She doesn't understand anything I say and repeats "Let's find my mommy..." So I guess I failed that quest?

    14. I ran through all the zombies. I made it to Soltown without crashing this time.


    I know this feedback is pointed, but I'm trying to simply be direct in the interest of time. If there are placeholders or other features that have not been fully built yet, I wouldn't know. Please take what you can from this feedback to make the New User Experience as good as it can be.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  2. Poor game design

    Poor game design Avatar

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    Quick Note on staring gear for new players: (some of these may be found in the world during new player experience)

    1. Books can't be used as decoration.
    2. Torches can't be placed on hot bar.
    3. Food items can be placed on hot bar but there doesn't appear to be a way to eat them otherwise? (i.e. you can't just click on them or right click on them to eat)
    4. There appears to be an extra set of armor in your inventory? Why?
    5. Quest items can't be destroyed, which is really annoying the more items you collect. There should really be a pouch or some space made for items like this to make the separate from the other day to day "stuff".
    6. Teleport and Recall Scrolls have the same icon for the hot bar. Confusing.
    7. Food Items have the same icon for the hot bar. Confusing.
    8. Crafting items (like the skinning knife, for example) should also have their own special inventory pouch so that they're out of the way of day to day items. This would be a great feature and also give player crafters something else to make. Scroll cases, wine skins, tool belts, whatever. For now it would just be great if there were "sacks" that could be inventoried to help with clutter.
     
  3. FrostII

    FrostII Avatar

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    Shouldn't this be in Feedback and not the New Player WELCOME forum ? :confused:
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
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  4. WrathPhoenix

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    I think this is good feedback overall. I agree with most of it. The point about the oracle though - she's gonna be greeting us directly in the next release, they already mentioned that.
     
  5. WrathPhoenix

    WrathPhoenix Avatar

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    This is the new player experience feedback subforum...this is in the correct place.
     
  6. FrostII

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    Ok.
     
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  7. Poor game design

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    Don't you perhaps owe me an apology?

    I do understand how you could've jumped to this conclusion. But since you seem to dislike the majority of my feedback (regardless of what it is), maybe this would be a good time to reconsider how you respond to me in general on these forums.
     
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  8. Celthon

    Celthon Avatar

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    Very informative and well-written, but as someone with old eyes (getting close to 60-years of age), may I ask that when you (or anyone else) have such long posts as this, perhaps put a hard-return (hit the enter key) at the end of each section? The space between sections makes it a bit easier to read.

    But the feedback is good, and well done.
     
  9. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    :)~The Most Informed and Up to Date Understanding of the Game~:)!'

    ~Your opinion always matters to me @Baron Drocis Fondorlatos o_O...
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    ~Time Lord~:D
     
  10. Poor game design

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    @Lum
    @RichardGarriott

    @Berek Please make sure this feedback gets to Richard and the team.

    Adding something else here...

    Once you get to Soltown, there's an incredible amount of "Hi my name is Drocis." and "What's your name?" going on. Why am I doing this over and over again? You should put a greeting button in that does this automatically for you or something. It's very tedious. I like it the first three times, but the first fifty or one hundred times? What are we doing here? (can we at least give XP for talking to all the NPC's? If it's going to be such a focal part of the game, seriously please consider this because it takes time to do this and it takes time to read and understand what's going on)

    There are a ton of little side quests that players are very likely skipping because they don't know about them. As I get ready for final wipe I'm actually slowing down with a another new character to explore. It's fun in some ways, but in other ways it's not. The name of this game is unfortunately grind grind grind. So every quest I go on results in time taken away from not training my skills up and not grinding out levels.

    I'm going to be totally direct with you here because this is the truth. You have people that are getting 50+ GM's in two months. You have people hitting level 100 in less time than that. By allowing people to do this and rewarding power gamers, you're making that the part of the game that is most rewarding. Finding out who set the fire in the static NPC camp is not that big of a deal when you compare it to many of the alternatives. I really feel like you guys should allow players to play how they want, but within reason. At some point if one playing style is dominating the game, it's not good for the game. Just like we wouldn't want non-consensual pvp, we shouldn't want uncontrollable power gaming.

    I'm standing in the little Soltown tavern, there are a ton of NPC's in here but new players are not talking to them. They're just going to the NPC Banker and getting "stuff" and walking out. I think if you guys just observe Soltown, watch the new players come into the game, you'll see what I mean. All these NPC's set up for new players are being ignored and people are jumping out of the town into the big wide world of "MMO", some of them likely lost forever. I think we can and should do a better job of keeping them interested in the story longer. I should be seeing big clumps of new players talking to all these NPCs, shouldn't I?

    I don't think this is engaging enough for players. I think the quests should be more rewarding and more challenging. I think players should be able to make bad decisions and have to live with the results. I think these quests should be more dynamic so that it doesn't matter if someone posts the answers on a wiki because the quest's are constantly changing and there's no way to "know" the answer, you have to figure it out each time like a story problem. And in turn, we reward the players that can do that! We give them items and gold and resources and experience and training and if other players want to skip all that so that they can kill the same monster 5000 times that's fine, but after 40 hours of being a smart player I should be a higher level than those people because I'm actually engaged with the story.

    If the quest were more thought provoking and if there were more ways to fail at them. That would certainly be a lot more fun (for me) than standing around killing the same monsters over and over again. I would love an alternative to that. Frankly, I'd love to complete all these quests and not go out grinding, but the quests don't reward me with phat loot and tons of xp. Please consider the design of the game and how it impacts player behavior. Soltown is a perfect example of a place that doesn't reward players for caring about it, and doesn't challenge players to succeed or fail. It's just there, in case you didn't want to grind anymore...

    EDIT: After playing all night just walking through all the quests that aren't broken (Fire to the Wagons is broken). I'm having an incredible amount of fun. But I can't help but think that all these new people, confused, and wandering around that great big world trying to "level" are hopelessly lost. I think the solution is supply and demand. If the reward for power leveling is too high, people will skip the quests. If the reward for questing is too low (and I think it is) then people will skip the quests. We should stop rewarding power gaming and start rewarding roleplaying.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
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  11. High Baron O`Sullivan

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    is everything.
    I can't even get the camera to stay still. Everywhere I go it just jumps and points straight to the sky. Very frustrating.
     
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  12. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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  13. Poor game design

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    Have you tried adjusting the "Camera Look Sensitivity" in the "Controls" tab of the settings window?
     
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  14. StrangerDiamond

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    Say what ¿ :)
     
  15. Lum the Mad

    Lum the Mad Keeper of NPCs

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    It's possible to fix this but it also seems kind of punitive for not much of a good reason. I'd be more inclined to if it were not the first scene of the game.

    For R32, we're changing the flow of the scene. You'll meet Arabella, she will explain why you landed there and are a ghost and send you to the mirror. After the mirror you'll visit the Oracle, who now sets your initial path. That was always the plan with the scene layout but we couldn't get the Oracle done in time for R31, thus why you're running back and forth for no reason. It makes, hopefully, more sense now. (There are also more things explained such as how to read a book and how to open your journal.)

    Without the whistle if you are knocked offline you would have no way to bring Charlotte back. I considered having her try to explain it in-world but ultimately decided it was better just to ignore it.

    Because this is a tutorial for new users who are not as intimately familiar with the skill system as you are and do not see bonus initial skill points as "punishment".

    You have to initiate his headlong run into death, unless you pulled skeletons to him (which is possible).

    Much less so than if they had to deal with dying from zombie plague in the first combat with their character.

    The extra weapons are a feature added for advanced players. The tutorial can't branch based on whatever weapon you use. It assumes you are using a bow and gives you guidance based on this.

    For R32 the boat landmark will unlock when Edvard tells you about it.
     
  16. Lum the Mad

    Lum the Mad Keeper of NPCs

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    Talking. Talking to 100 people can be tedious, yes. And there's no button in real life to automate conversations there, either!

    We have done zero (0) balancing on XP/risk/reward for quests, all the values there are placeholders. We're going to start looking seriously at this very soon.
     
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  17. Poor game design

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    Lum, thanks for the reply. Yes, some of the things make more sense now as you're still in the process of changing how the Oracle works, and balancing.

    I hope that feedback helped some. It doesn't sound like it did. :)

    I wanted to mention again how confusing and odd I feel the Charlotte/whistle thing is. I really can't stress enough how weird this is. I actually was kicked off line and the whistle was no longer in my inventory anyway, so I don't see it as a working solution at the moment. You may want to test that yourself by rebooting your PC and logging back in to see if the whistle is still there.

    But beyond that, I really dislike the way that flows, especially for new people. I was walking my friend through the opening scene and he was like "this is so weird, I have this little girl following me, now she's on fire, why do I have this whistle?" It's hard to explain without laughing about it. If that's the best we can do, I guess we're stuck with it. I just wish it wasn't happening during the first 5 minutes of game play. This is when people form some of their most important opinions about a game, isn't it?

    I noticed Chris seemed to be working on "new player skills" in the standup notes. Could this be changing, hopefully? I realize that new players don't really care all that much what they're given as skills, but once they figure it out I think they will care. Isn't that important? I mean, sure you can sell a car that has a bad transmission, but once the customer drives it a while and figures it out they're going to be rightfully upset. :)
     
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  18. Gideon Thrax

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    Maybe some of the NPCs could approach players at some point. After a set amount of adventuring, maybe a NPC could recognize a player as a go-getter and approach with a proposition in mind. In real life, when people gain reputations for success they're often broadsided with information and requests for assistance.
     
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  19. Daenerys Targaryen

    Daenerys Targaryen Riparian Reaper

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    @Lum The proper fix is to just add pathfinding for the ghost to automatically move to the front of the mirror before entering the mirror when the player is double-clicking the mirror from the back or from another location.
     
  20. Daenerys Targaryen

    Daenerys Targaryen Riparian Reaper

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    My First Time User Experience about the Soltown tavern was that the Soltown tavern did not feel like adequately tavern-like. I never saw any NPC drinking alcoholic beverages inside the Soltown tavern. It felt silly that the bunch of NPCs were just standing inside the Soltown tavern without doing any bar activities. In Ultima 9, the tavern of Britain is more lively and has more immersion and you can see an NPC drinking alcohol there. It is depressing to see Avatars just come and go and no Avatar is stopping to drink anything inside the Soltown tavern most of the times. :( Maybe Avatars should be granted extra XP for drinking alcohol inside the Soltown tavern. :p Maybe Avatars should get a virtue hit from being inpolite for the Innkeeper as they are not ordering any drinks while staying inside the tavern. :p The barmaid of the Soltown tavern never came to ask me, if I want to buy any drink: the customer service is bad in the Soltown tavern.
     
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