New player reporting in.

Discussion in 'New Player Experience Feedback' started by Tanaric, Jul 29, 2018.

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  1. Tanaric

    Tanaric Avatar

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    I'm about 100 hours in over three weeks or so. No, I don't have a job. But here's my composite experience over those three weeks.

    Positive summary:

    I really like this game, despite the perhaps overwhelming number of critiques below. There's nothing quite like it. UO died a long time ago, so it's nice to have something that feels like UO 2.

    I bought the game for a friend to play with, because I like it so much. I mean, I have 100 hours in 3 weeks. It's already one of my most-played Steam games, which is saying a lot.

    I also bought a village plot from the store, to compensate for the lack of a subscription fee. I know running the server ain't free. And this is without any income -- I think there's that much potential here.

    Other standout positive moments:

    I really, really liked Artifice, and all the things that happened within. I wish there was a little more dialogue with folks there, but the whole theming of the place was _fantastic_.

    I really like moments where I say "oh ****". The first of these was when I was heading through the T3 pass from Resolute -> Brittany and stumbled upon a red troll. I tried to fight and barely got away. I _loved_ this and wish that kind of obvious interesting threat/danger happened more often.

    There's a kid in Resolute who asks you to help her mom. I didn't get this quest from the kid, because I didn't explore every NPC in Resolute. However, I did find her mom... and because I usually hang out in combat stance, I accidentally murdered her. This made me laugh out loud, and I enjoyed that the quest handled that and gave me special dialogue for being a ****.

    I also liked the black arrow quest in Ardoris. I thought it was super interesting. One minor complaint: I tried to take the arrow that was balanced on the fire to "prove" he was the black archer, and guards spawned and made me pay a fine for stealing, heh. Not what I intended.

    Criticism:

    The introductory quest in Highvale Outskirts with Batty whoever is broken or super obscure. There are other posts about this, but using the floor mirror at the end doesn't work for many/most of us. It's a giant bummer to have the first questline fail at the end, especially when it's the questline trial users are forced into.

    Maps are broken in a lot of zones. This is frustrating every time. I don't need a super detailed map with POIs laid out, but basic terrain maps are essential for navigation.

    Stuttering is a problem. I have to reboot my machine every couple days to get rid of stuttering issues. I realize (as a programmer) that this might be a Unity issue, but as a player, this is unfathomable and no other games on my machine require this.

    The world seems empty. Most player-owned towns have nobody in them. This is incredibly demoralizing. I know your revenue stream depends(depended?) on selling these, but if they're abandoned, it makes for an incredibly bad new player experience.

    You already have an unlimited free trial. I suspect you'd be better off making the game free-to-play on Steam and then using a microtransaction unlock to boost to a full account with unlocked skills. Player population seems to be the biggest issue the game has, and it's really demoralizing as a new player to not run into anybody in the first few hours.

    (Again, I bought the game and have played a ton, but that's because I'm old and remember UO. Most in the market don't have this experience.)

    On the subject of microtransactions -- it's incredibly, incredibly frustrating that most of the cool stuff in the game _seems_ to require ponying up lots of real-world money. For example, there's no obvious way to get a deed with in-game currency. Sure, I know now that I can get a row lot for free by doing the main quest, but that's never said in-game and there are no vendors that sell deeds. I would have been happier coming across a vendor that sells row lot deeds for, let's say, a million gold. It would have given me something to strive for. As it is, it seems like a cash grab and it's depressing/offputting for anyone that isn't flush with real-world cash.

    I also learned later that there are deed raffles, but since there's no way to determine how many raffle tickets have been sold and there's no indication of how many deeds will be given out, this is simply not an option. Provide some UI around this and (preferably) make it scale to number of tickets purchased. From a game design perspective, you should be able to suck X gold out of the economy and provide X/Y gold worth of deeds. Gold sinks are great. Mystery gold sinks are horrific.

    ...also -- and I know, with a subless game, you gotta do something -- but the begathons on Twitch are _extremely_ offputting for me, and other new folks I've played with. Everything surrounding this game just screams "we're two months from going offline", which isn't a compelling message for getting new folk to stick around.

    ...apologies if this is too personal, but I remember pictures of Richard Garriott going into space at a purported cost of $30M. Can he not dump another two million into this and give it some respectability?

    Finally... why the flying (censored because I don't know the rules) wasn't there a wipe at launch? This invalidates all PvP -- which is doubly frustrating when R56 is focused on the Obsidian Trials. I LOVED UO's PvP, but I'll never opt-in in this game, because (from my perspective) many/most folks have all skills at 140+ because they've been playing for 4 years before launch!

    Final thoughts:

    I hope this game survives a long time. It's my favorite game.

    Please do something to make this appealing to the masses. It already feels like the game has died.
     
  2. Violet Ronso

    Violet Ronso Avatar

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    I skipped the positive, and went straight into the negative. Now I can't argue with most of your list, but I will simply point out that the reason there was not a wipe at launch was because since this game is so focused on player made stuff (towns, consumables, gear) if the game had been wiped at launch, it would have been EMPTY. This way, vendors were a plenty and stocked. Yes this means players who were here before launch had an edge, but the edge falls off easily. Also, we did not have 4 years to get our skills ahead, we had a couple months (less than a year IIRC).

    Good criticism for the rest, and now I'll go read the positive!
     
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  3. Stundorn

    Stundorn Avatar

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    Great Feedback i think if you go deeper you will become more critic and desperated :D

    There is a sub btw , but like so many things hidden knowledge.

    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?page_id=77345

    About empty world, it's maybe advertised as mmorpg, but it's not.
    It's still Selective Multiplayer and lots of players stay in their private instances, because the games zones are mostly not designed for MMO. Less Mobs, respawn, ressources etc...
    Second thing is, all character can skill all and everything and if you dont do this for magic at least and become the Avatar of all Trades you shoot yourself in the foot.

    Unfortunately they implemented a player made Map into the game and forget about their initial plans for the Map System what is still in the game, but very rougj and incomplete.
    The sotamap Integration is still buggy and incomplete and destroys a lot of immersion and shows you the borders of a scene to quick. Before i got lost in several scenes, after i just felt restricted into small instances.


    The whole Money and Housing, Microtransaction stuff is just meh and overpriced and completely a showstopper for thousands of players.
    They cannot lift that, it's more of it will be more into this direction. See Neverdie discussions here and lots of people like Crypto Currency, RMT and stuff like this.
    They scare of a lot of people with that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
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  4. Tanaric

    Tanaric Avatar

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    Thanks for the feedback, Violette!

    It's hard to judge that kind of thing because so little is spelled out in this game, but it's good to know. Some of my guildies have said otherwise, so I guess I still don't really know. Leads me to post...

    A couple more negative points re: missing information:

    1. Why do I have to google for XP requirements for skills? If it was actually a mystery, fine, that works for me. But it's not. People know. There are links to spreadsheets about skill XP in this very forum. Just put it in-game.

    2. Look at e.g. https://www.sotalore.com/lunar-rifts. The rift information is well-known, so just put it on the in-game map.

    3. Why don't recipes tell me how many materials they produce?

    4. Why aren't re-teachable recipes in my recipe book by default? This isn't 1998 anymore -- wikis exist, so there's no game mechanic benefit from making these explorable. Doubly so when recipe vendors very cruelly sell re-teachable recipes, and 250 gold remains non-trivial money, even 100 hours in.

    5. Why do crafting tools break down? They're trivial to replace/stock extra. They're cheap and weigh little. It's just annoying. I imagine it's because there's a cash-shop-only unbreakable tool -- but since those tools also have buffs on them (which breaks the cosmetic-only nature of good cash shops, but I digress) it wouldn't devalue those tools to make stock crafting tools unbreakable but with no buffs.

    6. lol I can have two food buffs? That's not explained anywhere in game. This breaks the Zero One Infinity rule: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_one_infinity_rule

    7. lol devotionals give buffs, but you have to stand in the water, unlike _every other object in the game_ which is interactable with double-click? Also see above.

    And some zone feedback:

    Copy-pasted zones are super depressing. You hit these early and just nope-out. Why do these exist? Feels like maybe the world should just be 30% smaller to make each zone unique. If you have stats on zone usage, it'd be interesting to share and see. I suspect many T1-T4 zones are almost entirely unused.

    NPC towns with no quests are pointless. I get the appeal in single-player, but given how goddamn many PoTs there are (and even most of those are empty), the barren NPC towns are just pointless.

    Group XP splits not caring about adventure level or input into the combat seems weird, especially considering the existence of the Upper Tears grind and all these 2x XP weekends. Folks who started after me are now stronger than me because they sat idle in UT while the guild ground out levels. This feels broken. I intentionally have not done this, because the vast majority of the zones in the game are T1-4 and I didn't want to skip them.

    The Kobold Expeditionary Camp seems fundamentally broken. My buddy entered it while grouped with me, and though I was across the world, I guess he got a group version of the zone where the Kobolds are hostile? We figured it out eventually and he got the solo version, and got the "kill the champion" quest update. But he couldn't solo it, so we grouped up again to do the zone hostile. We slaughtered the place, and weirdly the solo ring event still popped even though we were grouped, and he got the quest update when I killed the final mob in that ring event. However, the group version doesn't seem to have the cage with the prisoner, so we ended up just getting frustrated. Maybe he can progress the quest solo now that he got the update.

    (Also, the final ring event mob in solo mode has an AoE which can hit the other Kobolds, making them hostile -- you can easily just stay out of range while that mob slaughters kobolds, loot the corpses, and wait for kobold respawns to kill him)

    And finally: I really, really like the underground dungeon-y zones, but there don't seem to be too many. Please add more! I usually play in a duo, so the big ring events like UT are tough, but slowly exploring a dungeon feels _great_!
     
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  5. Stundorn

    Stundorn Avatar

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    Can you describe in detail how i can get easily ~ 200 Skills at 140?
    August 2016 is 1 year and 7 Month before "release".
     
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  6. Tanaric

    Tanaric Avatar

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    Stundorn:

    Thanks for the reply! I typed my other one between replies, lol.

    I don't get too frustrated, despite how this thread might sound. I got what I paid for and that's enough for me... it's just a crying shame because there's _so much good_ here in this game that it could legitimately become populated and more than it is now. I get sad over the potential of the game, but I'm not disappointed with my purchase.
     
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  7. Tanaric

    Tanaric Avatar

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    Sorry for double-post, but one last thing I just remembered:

    WHY IS THE CHAT BOX FADE-OUT ENABLED BY DEFAULT? I've tried chatting to loads of new folks when I was getting started, and because they couldn't see it, I never got a response. Essentially, even if you do bump in to strangers, you're very unlikely to actually be able to chat with them!
     
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  8. Stundorn

    Stundorn Avatar

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    Initially @Lord British wanted a Roleplaygame, instead ot became a min-maxing game.
    He wanted to not even show your level, was added a couple of Month ago again.
     
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  9. ldykllr

    ldykllr Avatar

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    There are lots of deeds for sale in game (from players), for gold. You can also buy COTO's (with in game gold) and purchase lot deeds them from the Obsidian Home and Deco merchants in major towns (Central Brittany, Owl's Head, etc).
     
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  10. DavidDC

    DavidDC Programmer Moderator SOTA Developer

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    For a guy that played only 100 hours in 3 week you sure got alot to say. ;)
     
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  11. Stundorn

    Stundorn Avatar

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    I share your view.
    Once i was hyped , i played for more than 1700 hours, but there are so many little things and in the end the endless progression and having an empty world absolutely no interdependencies for chars and the huge power disparities , the "economy" what to me doesnt exist, except the RMT is the economy drove me away.
    I returned to see what happened, but i end up with the same issues the game has.
    Curious what you will say after having a deeper insight of endgame and what it is about .
     
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  12. Tanaric

    Tanaric Avatar

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    Well, the forum asked for candid feedback! Again, I really enjoy this game overall, so thought sharing the bits that didn't work for me would be useful. If they're not, that's okay! I'll keep playing because I'm having fun.

    I'm 50% on this. Mostly because the tooltips say COTOs drop from monsters sometimes, but I've never seen one drop. Plus, houses are not, like, 2 COTOs or whatever, and you're just grinding for a couple. They're a ton of COTOs, and your only option is to buy from player vendors, which makes it feel like an obvious RMT mechanic -- like the month sub items in sub'd MMOs.

    Most games let you do everything with in-game cash. While, technically, you could do this here, because players sell RMT items for in-game cash, it's not exactly the same. A vendor that sold lot deeds for millions of gold would at least give the impression that the game was fair, even if that was way more than player vendor price. As a new player but also a game developer, a lot of this is more about appearances than the bottom line.

    I mean, I ended up just buying a village lot, because I can afford it, lol.

    Also, one more point of feedback: WTF the taxes on the village lot vs. the row lot caught me by surprise. Why are taxes not even hinted at in-game until after you claim a lot? I thought moving to the village plot would still be 250 gold a day. 1000 gold is still a _ton_ of money for me.
     
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  13. Luca Xante

    Luca Xante Avatar

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  14. ldykllr

    ldykllr Avatar

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    No, it's not exactly the same. But it is an avenue that is available and doesn't require you to output RL cash yourself, to pay for. The developers have been very open about RMT since the beginning, but I can see how newer players might be off-put by it; however, it's not likely to change. The free row lot deed is something relatively new and a great idea, imho.

    They could do a better job with letting people know what taxes are (maybe a pop up prior to claiming the lot?). That being said, the disparity between row and village taxes is relatively new - row lot taxes used to be 500 gp a day (which is why you get 500 gp from the Oracle if you speak to, and pass, her daily test - it was put in to assist new players with the cost). Not sure if they'll lower taxes anytime soon, but gold will come easier as you progress through the game (not that that is a comfort now, but it does get better).
     
  15. Beaumaris

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    Welcome to the game, Tanaric! Its great to have you join the community.

    All good feedback above. Here's a couple tips:

    On RMT, most 'cool' RMT items in the store are about decoration, not power. Many of those have an equivalent version that can be crafted in game. I have many more hours into the game and have never really found RMT to get in the way of core game play, at all. Its only frustrating if you are a decorator and don't want to grind for it. Which of course we can do.

    On no skills wipe at 'launch', I wouldn't sweat it too much. Skills deliver diminishing returns with experience, so the super-grinding highest-level players tend to end up with more diversity of skill moreso than extremely more power. Depending on deck builds, a reasonably leveled character can skill beat super-grinders in PVP. Maybe not easy, but doable.

    On NPC towns, while its not apparent now, there was a time when the community did not want to be forced into player-run towns, so extra NPC towns was a solution for housing overflow from the more story-driven NPC towns that filled up first. The good news is that in the game's zone system the NPC (no story) towns can be easily skipped, or even given new quests later.

    On recipes, they dont start in your quest book because seeking them out is supposed to be part of the 'fun.' That a crafter doesnt start knowing all, the game gives crafters a journey to go on from apprentice to journeyman to master too, just like an adventurer character. Its just that instead of exploring dungeons, a crafter needs to visit some towns to find these prizes.

    On crafting tools breaking down, most equipment in game does this. This was a demand from crafters in game during game design. That stuff breaks means that it has to be replaced, which is the key to having an economy. So crafters now get to not only reforge armor, but their own tools too.

    On deeds, be sure to check out Idykllr's post above. Just reach out to someone in the community if you are ready for a deed and can't find one. I'm sure you will get a lot of help.

    Hope this helps a little. Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
  16. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

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    Hello and welcome @Tanaric. Thanks for all your honest feedback. I'm happy you are enjoying the game. There really is imo a lot to enjoy. I agree the game does a bad job of giving important information to players. Many players I meet (new and not new) don't know about the music system for example. Which imo is one of the awesome features this game offers. Also looking for group is kind of a hidden feature. Alt f will bring that up.

    The first icon in the upper right corner of your screen will show some things to you but also many miss that. One thing that shows you some players who might be around you is the see nearby players option you find there. Use it on the Novia map and usually that's a larger amount of players you'll see. You can zone chat to say hello but many don't know how to customize their chat windows to not miss convos so it's not as reliable as it should be.

    Also your friends list shows where people are even if they are not in multiplayer you can still whisper to them. Whether they see your whisper is another thing;). I do believe we just got a notification sound in this release but I have not heard anything from other players yet about it since I can't go in game to check it out until I return from my trip. I say friend as many players as you can to see people are playing and where some are. I am out of town until August 23rd and I would be happy to make your acquaintance when I return. I accept all friends requests.

    Also don't forget to get recipes traded to you from other players. I am happy to share recipes and emotes with anyone when I get back. Getting the recipes saves players a lot of gold. Your recipe book is the b key and emotes are the o key. Opening these and the trade window allows you to drag tradeable recipes and emotes there to share with other players.

    So remember just because you don't see other players doesn't mean they are not there. Unfortunately we don't have a heat map showing where players are and I have thought it mught be nice to have one and they could show up as blue dots on it.

    Also this is a fully crowd funded game. It is Not the model I would have chosen for a game with this much potential but it was chosen so it is buy to play and then play as much as much as you like. I did buy a pledge in 2013 so I've been around quite some time and I did recently do the new subscription to support the game development further.

    You may hear doom and gloom but remember this is a very young game still with so many more plans going forward for it so patience, perseverance, and of course funding will be needed to see all that this game can be. Weather we like it or not and we may not all agree on allbif what this game should be but most of us here imo do agree that we do want it to find its way to the potential we know is there. Even if that looks different in our minds.

    Normally I don't like to do a lot of "talking about" and speculating about the game but prefer to rally for the things I want to see in game with feedback and pictures and examples to illustrate them but I only have my phone atm to use.

    One upcoming feature update will be our fishing update. I have high hopes this that it will be a full improvement to bring this system what it needs to be and deserving of the game. This will happen in R58. It was a long pushed out system for years. While it's not all that needs done by any means it is it's turn. I see many necessary components it needs like many bait types for certain fish, lots of types of fish and located in certain areas like Brook trout, sea bass, flame fish, cave fish, cold water fish etc, some better fish recipes, fish have weight and sizes and more. I am very interested that these things happen. I will be one of the voices for this and for other updates to happen.

    Thanks again for letting us know your thoughts. I am Majoria in game. I am happy to help anytime well when I return that is;) *Cheers*
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
  17. Stundorn

    Stundorn Avatar

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    Like 29% damage from Blade base skill 100 - 140 what is 53 Million xp
    And not to forget that your Resistancies against Magic Schools highly depend on attunement what increased with more and higher skills.
    @Tanaric
    There is barely a chance of beeing only a Crafter without beeing able to beat and ex0lore T5 scenes/ mines.

    Maybe some see things different, but i allways found these pronouncements somewhat misleading and sugarcoat talk.
    Sorry Beaumaris, i know you wont agree.
    @Tanaric can get deeper into it and make his own experience and conclusion.
    To me these 2 points you made are not completely false, but imo misleading.
    Respect my opinion please.
    I dont want to spoil it for @Tanaric, but maybe see both sides of the medal and think over to get to his own opinion about this.
     
  18. Beaumaris

    Beaumaris Avatar

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    This is the new player welcome and help section, Stunborn. Anything provided was to help a newcomer, not to debate with you. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
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  19. Ravicus Domdred

    Ravicus Domdred Avatar

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    Get In MY BELLY!
    use the report button, you are not a moderator
    nor work for portalarium.
     
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  20. the Lacedaemonian

    the Lacedaemonian Avatar

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    Welcome to Shroud
     
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