I think Port is trying to solve some bigger, more ideological problems in the game market of the last decade with a project like SOTA. I think the last 10-15 years of MMOs produces this kind of thinking, that new player experiences are supposed to be guided along in such a way that you have to really not be paying attention to encounter any real considerable consequence. Plenty of games hold the players hand in this way all the way to "endgame," which further entrenches this thinking. I think this project (SOTA) gives us the freedom to break away from the same patterns most mmos follow and create a much more engaging experience. While new players need some guidance, the game system itself doesnt need to hold their hand. Afterall, its not tremendously consequential for a new player to die. I think players should be forced to respect the game world and its systems. If you play on rocks with no safe fall ability, you die. If you walk through a graveyard and are new to "garriot games," you die. If you try and swim across a continent (hypothetically...), you die. If you charge into a siege at adv level 5, you die. You learn that there are alternate routes, how to predict the environment will react, what equipment mitigates certain problems, and what skills help you navigate the world better. If you dont, you just die, then you respawn, and you retry or think of a new approach. The game world should be highly navigable with this process, and players remain engaged and always learning and exploring the nuances of their environments (again, hypothetically... use your imagination and think of a finished game in the future). My experience in MMOs shows me that hand-holding results in disengagement, lack of exploration and innovation on behalf of the player, and eventually, a boring game. I even want them to ditch the predictability of adv level in zones. The 1-5 skull concept can remain, but scenes should have a variety of different "levels" of creatures. A 1-skull zone could have a 2-3 skull bear stalking around in it. And yeah, its going to kill some new players. Theyll learn to avoid it, or team up with friends on it. Theyll learn the game world is dynamic, and a player needs to remain vigilant and aware of whats around them - things arent so predictable all of the time. I loved the idea from Everquest where a relatively low level zone, by day, would all of the sudden start spawning level 30-45 undead by night (in certain key areas of the scene, like the forested area of a road). Players could choose to drink in the tavern until daylight, scout out a safe way through the (massive) zone that doesnt go near an undead spawn, or hire an experienced paladin friend to guide you through. Much like SOTA, you could get a level 30 quest at level 3 and not realize it it until you try and go to that zone and die. The troll at the Hilt is a good start - 3 skull scene with a "6 skull mob" in it. I think there should be similar challenges lurking in all scenes, esp low level. The game environment and its creatures should make it a big challenge to find a place to AFK . Remember your first UO character? If you walked out of Britain, youd almost surely die. Someone needed to show you where the sewers were, so you could fight little lowbie rats for a while. You probably died a few times to the Giant Rat or the big frog down there. Eventually, you figured combat out enough, food, bandages, basic armor, etc, that you could handle enough rats and run away before dying. It probably took a while, but after a few days, you could actually survive beyond the first encounter outside of Britain. In all actuality, none of that was really hard either, you just had to learn. It simply diddnt hold your hand. You probably also died the first time you thought an orc mage was a regular orc... Or, perhaps, foster a better in-game culture of exploring the environment and trying things out during the new player introduction scenes By the time you encounter a siege, it should feel intuitive to think "well that road looks tough, let me back up and see if there is another way around here,...".