New Player Introductions

 
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Silverthorn



Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Posts: 12
Location: Waycross, Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:49 pm    Post subject: New Player Introductions Reply with quote

What are current methods that games are currently using to start out new players to their muds? And for what I mean as 'new' is someone that has NEVER played a mud for once in their life.

Example: I find alot of our new players logging in and doing things like 'hello' or 'how do I play' w/o the correct command tag like 'say', 'tell', etc. If they don't get an answer, they up and leave/linkdie.

I would like to hear about what others are doing to prevent (or at least limiting) this type of non-game behavior and what methods are being used at keeping these new players on-board.

-- Silver
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Greggen



Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Provide a tutorial in an enviroment they are familiar with. A webpage would do nicely. It's amazing the number of games that don't do this. I hate going into a game without a little working knowledge.

Put it on the first page of your site. In capitals. With exclamation marks.
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Scandum



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 28
Location: I'm in the TV

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 2:42 pm    Post subject: Re: New Player Introductions Reply with quote

Silverthorn wrote:
Example: I find alot of our new players logging in and doing things like 'hello' or 'how do I play' w/o the correct command tag like 'say', 'tell', etc. If they don't get an answer, they up and leave/linkdie.

That's because they do not read the introduction that tells them to type: LOOK SIGN.

Whoever figures out how to motivate stupid, lazy, or unmotivated people to follow instructions and patents the method is going to be a very rich man Wink

But as a starter you could make sure local echo works with the Windows XP telnet client. This way people are less likely to think your game sucks, and perhaps they're right if they can't see what they type. Another option is a java client, though they aren't as easy to link to and less reliable in performance.

I doubt total newbies are willing to install a mud client. Even if they do they might not manage to connect. If you tell them to install Zmud they'll likely end up playing Medievia, or another mud it advertises.
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Pheralan



Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 13
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One method I've seen work fairly well, assuming your game makes use of good mprogs, is have a mob that comes up to a new player and just starts talking to them. Don't make it scroll fast, or anything, but make it something that'll walk the player through their first few steps in the world. You could also put an option into said mprog that allows experienced players to tell the mob to leave them alone as well, as to not frustrate oldbies.
Another thing you could put into the above example is a quick-help, so that experienced mudders, but new people to your game, could get a brief rundown of the unique things about your game that they need to know in order to survive, assuming there are unique things about your code Wink.
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Greggen



Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: New Player Introductions Reply with quote

Scandum wrote:
That's because they do not read the introduction that tells them to type: LOOK SIGN.

Whoever figures out how to motivate stupid, lazy, or unmotivated people to follow instructions and patents the method is going to be a very rich man


There is truth here: give up on retaining anything close to 100% of newbies. Some people just aren't ready to start playing a MUD and there's not a lot you can do about it really.

Another good way of keeping new players, though, is to have actual people help them. This is probably the best way, actually. Reward experienced players for doing so.
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 94
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:05 am    Post subject: Re: New Player Introductions Reply with quote

Scandum wrote:
But as a starter you could make sure local echo works with the Windows XP telnet client. This way people are less likely to think your game sucks, and perhaps they're right if they can't see what they type.

Given how the Mud Connector works, that's a very good idea. Unfortunately, I don't use XP, myself. In fact, I don't know anyone that does. Hmmm...

Maybe I'll site ban AOL for good measure. Wink
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CerberusDog



Joined: 05 Jun 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could have a download on your website that installs a mudclient (like mudmaster), loads a basic script and attempts to connect to your MUD.

Also having a newbie tutorial area and "Avatars" (specific mortal players that help newbies) and also "New Player Helper" staff that greet the new player and guide them and show them how to use the commands. They could contact the new player and tell them exactly what to type to respond. e.g. "telepath xxxx Hello, I am a staff member of this game and am here to help you. If you have any questions you can type TELEPATH xxxx <question> and I will respond."

Also if you could have them tell you how new they are to MUDs when they start so you know what level they are at.
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 94
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always meant to come back to this and give a real answer, but it got lost in the shuffle. Sad I've actually put a bit of effort into making things newbie friendly.

The first thing I did for newbs was remove Creation from the Nanny. Now, after a name and password, you're in the game, and can ask questions on the channels and talk to the staff about the choices involved in setting up a character.

Whereas most games greet newbies with a list of rules, we show them a help file on how to set up their client so they can see things clearly. Once they are connected, the standard greeting on Gossip has become, "Welcome to Tir na nOg! If you have any questions, feel free to ask."

Usually, when someone new logs in, one of my staff teleports right to them, and gives them personal attention. It's a tradition, one I probably started myself, but I never told anyone to. I do often repeat, however, "What makes a game work in the beginning is visible, friendly, helpful, Staffers."

The room you log in to has a brief welcome blurb, then invites new players to enter up, and experienced players to go down. Note the "enter up" - I don't assume a complete Newbie knows how to "go" anywhere yet. When they go up, there are a series of rooms that explain the game they are seeing ("You are in a "room". It has "exits". "We have "channels". Etc.) and give them a one-argument command to create a default character - an Elfkin Warrior. Then they are sent to the MUD School. Yes, THAT one - it worked for all of us, why change it? That is, I like the attitude of players that learned from Hatchet's school. I have a brief, simple "school" for experienced players.

I also log 'misses' on the help system, to be aware of obvious keywords I've forgotten to include or files I need to write. I have a helpfile called "new" that lists a couple dozen 'must read' files, listing them by types, as in "game", "advice", "commands". This serves as a handier reference than 'default', and appears much less intimidating.

I've almost tripled the help files, the trick is making it so you can find stuff easily. I've used lots of cross-references (See also:) and hilighted keywords. Also, my 'help' command only returns one file so you needn't fear getting spammed by accident. 'Helps' retains the old behavior of showing all files that match, and 'index' just shows matching keyword strings.

I know I'm forgetting details.... like, when you're in the pre-school zone, there's no update, so you don't get hungry while reading help files. I used to give new players a Guide object, but found it often got lost or just went unread. Now all the same information is in the help files.

Anyway. I think the trick is don't assume a person has played anywhere before, and get a human to the scene ASAP. Keep in mind that you are "talking" to a new player as soon as they see your login screen and you need to convince them your game is fun and worth the effort.

HTH,
Sandi
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