Author Topic: New Player Experience  (Read 1084 times)

Vita

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #15: August 03, 2017, 06:03:46 PM »
Newbie-only island is on the Frequently Rejected list for the following reason by Tom:
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This would shut newbies away from some of the most interesting aspects of the game—the players—and would, in the end, be counterproductive. Integrating them into the general population right off is the best way for them to learn the game.

Bronnen

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #16: August 03, 2017, 06:10:58 PM »
But, when the majority of people aren't staying anyway.....

Not saying it's wrong or even would help, but I think it could be considered at the very least.

Though I do think it's as simple as this.

People come across the game, they think "Hey, this seems neat" They make an account, log in. And once they log out they immediately forget it exists. Reminder emails generally don't work either.

I've never once seen the WOW emails I get sent and think. "You know, this email reminded me that I used to play the game, I should play it again" It just gets sent to the garbage.

It's gonna happen the same no matter what new things are tried, they'll just forget about it. The goal should be to make it harder to forget, somehow.

Vita

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #17: August 03, 2017, 06:24:41 PM »
Also, I honestly feel that monsters and demons detract from the game more than they aid.

Sure I understand on Dwilight the player base was too fractured, wanted to push them all together, but at a certain point all you're doing is making it so the realms are too busy fighting monsters than they are interacting with one another.

Make the eastern part of Dwilight just be swamped with them, and let the western part fight each other.
And the players who never interacted before, will interact this time! It'll be so different! All those players who are more interested in holding onto their titles and land (god forbid a realm lose some regions), rather than interacting with fellow players, ensuring new players leave out of boredom, will suddenly become active roleplayers and engage in warfare like never before! With battles daily! On unicorns! And golden dew every morning so we never run out of gold! And all the battles will go the way the participants want, pleasing both attacker and defender, making no one unhappy! We'll have new players swarming to join us! Just like that!

Seriously though, I see nothing that would make any difference in the pre-existing problem behaviors by getting rid of monsters/undead so they can go back to sleepily patting themselves on the back for how awesome they are for holding fancy titles with a character in a game.

I think there are players who don't want to interact with others, because they risk losing their shiny titles and regions, which are their god-given right, apparently, and have forgotten the joy of BM is the process, the journey, the story you build along the way. Not the various ranks and positions a character gains.

Also, it doesn't deal with the fundamental problem of there being smaller playerbase in a game with larger worlds. BM is not meant for realms to be *anywhere* close to every noble being a lord, but thats sure what some realms see to pursue. Lordship is supposed to be something to be worked for, not just handed out like plastic bags at the grocery store.

Vita

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #18: August 03, 2017, 06:26:56 PM »
We do email the existing playerbase. But, we are very conscious to respect people's emails by not pestering them often (I think we even tell them that when one registers), and so only do it in on a rare, ad-hoc basis. Like the island sinking, new realms, and various other changes awhile back. And we have seen older players check out the game again, either prompted by that email way back when, or just curious on their own account. The other part of that though, is there are probably a lot of emails that just aren't used/checked by the owners anymore.

Bronnen

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #19: August 03, 2017, 06:44:17 PM »
I'm wondering if there's some peasant mechanics that can be introduced to encourage war. Similar to how peasants get mad when you're at war for too long, they could get mad when you aren't at war often enough. Or maybe have peasant armies attacking other regions to strike out on their own. They could have the banner of the realm they spawn from and everything, but make players have absolutely no control over them.

Not saying it would solve anything, but just wondering if anyone has thought of it at all.

Especially when peasants aren't dying, they have more time to think and rebel against their lords.

Anaris

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #20: August 03, 2017, 06:48:01 PM »
I'm wondering if there's some peasant mechanics that can be introduced to encourage war. Similar to how peasants get mad when you're at war for too long, they could get mad when you aren't at war often enough.

We tried this. It nearly killed the game, because it introduced a vicious cycle: there's not enough war, so peasants get upset (manifesting as trouble with regions), so trying to go to war would be far too dangerous, so we have to fix up our regions, so there's not enough war....etc.

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Or maybe have peasant armies attacking other regions to strike out on their own. They could have the banner of the realm they spawn from and everything, but make players have absolutely no control over them.

That wouldn't achieve anything except to annoy people. If Realm A doesn't want to go to war with Realm B, peasants from Realm B attacking Realm A (which everyone knows is not being done by the players) will do nothing to provoke a war. If Realm A does want to go to war, sure, they could use the peasant attack as a pretext for war, but they could also use any of a dozen other things that already exist.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Bronnen

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #21: August 03, 2017, 06:54:12 PM »
What about rebellions against their current lords? Instead of needing the stats to be super low, maybe if they're too peaceful, the peasants start to get some thoughts of "independence" and start wanting freedom.

Gotta kill off the trouble makers by giving them an enemy other than yourself.

I do think thought that a PVE island with a set storyline would be really fun and perhaps easier for new players to get into.

Anaris

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #22: August 03, 2017, 06:56:23 PM »
What about rebellions against their current lords? Instead of needing the stats to be super low, maybe if they're too peaceful, the peasants start to get some thoughts of "independence" and start wanting freedom.

Yes, that's exactly what we tried.

Think about it for a minute, Bronnen. What happens if your regions start revolting? Does that put you in a good position to go to war? Or does it mean that if you try declaring war and fighting battles, you'll end up getting the floor mopped with you and lose even more?

Any kind of "regions have trouble if you are at peace too long" system is going to be guaranteed to set up a lose-lose situation for anyone who falls afoul of it.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Bronnen

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #23: August 03, 2017, 07:03:11 PM »
I wouldn't care lol, but I'm probably one of the few that play the game to have fun and not to win. I know there are a lot more people who play it just to have fun, but there's way too many who play it to gain power and never lose it. I was just spitballing is all.

Chenier

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #24: August 04, 2017, 02:48:00 AM »
I like the idea of a "Noob" Island with an actual coherent storyline.

Make it a PVE island or something, have a storyline, let people get invested in the game, and then make a transition over to a PVP island.

Also, I honestly feel that monsters and demons detract from the game more than they aid.

Sure I understand on Dwilight the player base was too fractured, wanted to push them all together, but at a certain point all you're doing is making it so the realms are too busy fighting monsters than they are interacting with one another.

Make the eastern part of Dwilight just be swamped with them, and let the western part fight each other.

Belu has the same issue as well, right now we're trying to deal with a storyline of demons and rooting out demon worshippers, but most of the realms are too busy defending against 15k CS of undead and monsters to actually be able to leave.

Teleporting also sucks, get rid of that.

This game is old. A lot of its problems existed way back, even if not quite as they are now, and pretty much all of the obvious things have already been at least considered, if not outright tried.

The daimons on BT, it's a love-hate relationship, really. They've been back and forth there for about a decade now, around 8-10 years off the top of my head. Anyone who sends a character to Beluaterra knows about them, it's in the continent's description. If they were such a deal breaker, then why was BT, historically at least, one of the most populous and dynamic continents? NPCs popping back and forth to kick down peoples' sandcastles had a large role in it. Of course, there are always people who complain, too. Sometimes justified, sometimes not so much. But there are a lot of players on BT, and knowledge is not shared universally, so some people aren't getting all the fun they could be having because of other players. Are the GMs to blame for this? Too much hand holding makes it less real and fun. The perfect balance of how hard to make the invasions, how much to spread the lore, how long to make it last, and so on, is ultimately arbitrary and everyone will have their own opinions on it. I don't think invasions have ever generated enduring consensus. Some parts of some invasions were more largely appreciated, others were more resented, but in the end the devs aren't omniscient and can't really predict what actions will always have the best outcomes, and even if they were the players themselves wouldn't agree on what's "best". I think it's a common trend to have these invasions linger on too long, but it was also rather underwhelming when at least one was abruptly ended.

Dwilight... the continent itself does not lend itself to conflict, much. Only the North-East has a respectable spread/density that has allowed for many conflicts over the years. But for the rest? Very few wars were had. Take Madina for example: can they afford to go fight another realm now, with all those monsters that were unleashed? No. But were they doing it before the monsters were unleashed? No. They weren't. Basically the only realm in the east that is now able to wage wars despite the monsters is also basically the only realm that was doing so before the monsters. Morek, HD, and Westfold (in particular) get some credit for what they did in the recent past, but I don't think the monsters had really anything to do with they current states. Maybe, MAYBE Luria could have intervened had it not been for the rogues... but that's a huge maybe, and as the saying goes, "you snooze, you lose". They didn't really have anything stopping them from getting involved well before the monsters came. Nothing that wouldn't still exist, anyways. So really, if you remove all of the rogues on Dwilight, you won't see more fighting. In fact, what you'll see is just realms spreading eternally, and propping up micro-realm colonies, until the whole continent is populated by 25 realms that each have only 4 nobles and no financial means to fight each other. The monsters, in this sense, are a needed stick to beat out the urge of eternally expanding into the wild, and instead looking at neighbors.

All in all, PvE  elements have often been criticized, but the continents that featured them the most have also been, historically, the most dynamic. Perhaps for the simple reason that in PvE, you can't sue for peace, while continents without any often devolved into alliance blocks that either united everyone on the same side or split them into factions unwilling to risk fighting each other.

Koitalike Family

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #25: August 04, 2017, 03:50:45 AM »
Why not reward those who go to war then? Boost production, morale, and control as your armies win more battles maybe?

As for the new player experience, I think there isn't much you can do about it.

At the end of the game, BM is a social game. Most people don't have the patience to wait a day to see a welcome message from another player. Not sure sending an automated welcome message will even do anything. Maybe sending a message where the game encourages people to introduce themselves and get involved right away wouldn't hurt.

Chenier

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #26: August 04, 2017, 03:08:48 PM »
Why not reward those who go to war then? Boost production, morale, and control as your armies win more battles maybe?

Because that's the same problem applied in a reverse matter.

Giving bonuses to winners just makes losers lose more. Big realms bulling entire continents used to be a pretty big problem: "don't do anything, or we'll destroy you". Such mechanics, instead of preventing the small realms from waging efficient war, would have made it easier for the big realms to enforce their no-war policy. End result is the same: no war.

Superpowers are less of a thing now, though, but still. War is favored by a multiplicity of similarly-powered realms, and giving bonuses to victors tends to just make lopsided battles even more lopsided.

Not saying that the entire concept was completely unworkable, but it's hard to think of a perfect code that will be perfectly fair. If I remember correctly, one of the last nails in that mechanic's coffin was when it started applying to small realms that were already at war with a bunch of nations and under siege from the daimons, "too much peace" was hitting what might have been the most militaristic realm on the continent of the time. But the thing is, the more you code the mechanic so that no innocents are hit, the easier you make it bypassable, and a mechanic that is too easy to bypass does no good whatsoever.

So it boils down to this: can you think of a mechanic that doesn't harm people in a way to dissuade them from waging war, doesn't overpower the strongest in a way that would dissuade others from war, and is not easily bypassable by gimmicky false wars and the like, and does not penalize people during a normal peace cycle after (or before) an important war? Because as it is, the most straightforward answer to "too much peace" is the grassroot one: players that are bored from too much peace should replace their leaders with others that will give them less peace. The Dev team can only do so much hand holding. And a lot of players are quite content with doing absolutely nothing year-round.

I think what has more potential is not looking at mechanics that regulate wars, but more indirect matters. For example, making militia far less effective, siege engines far more effective, travel times lower, salaries lower, penalties from distance from the realm lower, and such things. "Just fight someone closer" used to be the automatic response to those saying fighting realms far away is too difficult, and there's a lot of truth in that. But the declining player base has changed the continental dynamics some. Many realms have no immediate neighbors that would make sense to fight. Take Fissoa and Madina, for example... Adjacent cities are utterly stupid for this, I must insist. Neither realm would ever want to aggress the other, because both of them have their capital adjacent to the other's. As soon as one realm turns on the other, both will never be able to have their army leave their capital, out of fear of a surprise sneak siege that would destroy their realm. They have zero choice but to be friends, or just about. But then who else could they fight? They are so far from everyone else, especially Madina, that even if they did magically grow a pair, they'd never be able to even scratch their next neighbor. Another point I've made many times is the impact of lowered player counts on the feasibility of sieges; we now have people leading way, way more men than before. Instead of 20 units of 25 men with 1 siege engine each, we have 5 units of 100 men with 5 siege engines each. Though the number of men the army has is the same, the CS is much lower, and the travel times much higher. While in the defending realm, the city will still have a ton of militia units without size penalties, and since all realms have less nobles, the wealth is usually concentrated more into the lords and dukes, who in turn tend to invest much more readily into lots of militia for their cities. So you've got weaker and slower units marching against better defended cities than back when BM had its highest player count. Wars are therefore harder to wage than before, simply by player demographics, and adjusting the mechanics to bring things back in balance would seem appropriate to me. We should be favoring player vs player battles, not player vs militia battles. If militia units gradually decreased to about 50% morale (after say 10 days of being made militias), maybe we wouldn't have quite as much of them, and players would have more gold, and mobile armies would be more potent. Or maybe increasing their decay so that every month half of the men are gone. Of course, we need to make it so that militia isn't so weakened so that realms are afraid of having their armies leave their capital, but as it is, realms don't leave their capital because their armies are too weak to accomplish anything anyways.

Eduardo Almighty

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #27: August 04, 2017, 03:33:58 PM »
I lost my old account with an influential and wealthy family. I started a new account and immediately looked for Sirion... I was not surprised to find that the realm is a cemetery of old characters in the same positions and beyond the orders, nothing. Even in elections, nothing. No messages. The place is basically a disgrace to new characters, even the ones of old players returning to the game.

Mortality would be good for them and for the realm.

Wimpie

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #28: August 04, 2017, 03:43:38 PM »
I lost my old account with an influential and wealthy family. I started a new account and immediately looked for Sirion... I was not surprised to find that the realm is a cemetery of old characters in the same positions and beyond the orders, nothing. Even in elections, nothing. No messages. The place is basically a disgrace to new characters, even the ones of old players returning to the game.

Mortality would be good for them and for the realm.

If the more northern realms would actually see that and turn on Sirion, now that would be great.
Jeames (Vix Tiramora, EC), Osgar (Thalmarkin, BT), Nasgar (Westfold, DWI), Jari (Outer Tilog, COL)

Vita

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Re: New Player Experience
« Reply #29: August 04, 2017, 04:21:48 PM »
No one's characters are going to be forced into mortality against their will.