Author Topic: Consider a temporary alternative play style  (Read 3469 times)

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Consider a temporary alternative play style
« on: August 03, 2015, 09:56:43 PM »
This is my appeal to all of the elite, old school players that are still hanging around, either on the forum or in the game:

Have you ever considered that perhaps the way (that I assume) you play this game could use some refining? As I read these forums, I'm coming to understand that everyone would like to see more new players and there are a bunch of ideas being thrown around about how to do that. My suggestion is to actually take the few new players that come into this game (and yes, they do exist) under your wing and show them the ropes. Before you flame me with the tired rhetoric that every scrap of knowledge must be painstakingly earned through trial and error, let me explain. As a new player, my friend (who got me hooked on the Dragonlance books) took me around the Cemetery and Harbor of Palanthas to show me how to level up my character (named Lasher, of course). He didn't tell me every secret, especially because he didn't know every secret. In fact, I ended up showing him a thing or two. My point is, he showed me how to get to the zone and helped me figure out what to expect, then left the rest up to me. Sure, I died and even got pked on my first day, but it was awesome! Since then, Palanthas has become THE city to start the game in for me. After that I learned Haven (solo) and I've finally come to embrace Solace (mostly because the playerbase has dwindled to the point that it is now possible for me to gain exp there). I recently went to Illyoc Swamp by myself for the first time and I remember when I first went to Hylo and started murdering kender (good times).

Maybe this all sounds stupid to you better players, but my point is, I like reading through the room descriptions in a zone I've just found out about. I like figuring stuff out on my own, but it's awesome to have someone nudge me in the right direction sometimes when I feel lost. It must be terribly hard on newbies who are either left in the dust, or just outright given the answer by higher ups and clannies. I clanned once in my entire Arctic history (can't honestly remember which one, they all seem the same to me and it was like six years ago) and my cleric was outright given the answer for how to get Heal so we could go zoning. Because, you know, killing mobs and getting stronger is primarily what this game is about for some people... but in that moment I realized that it wasn't for me. This game (to me) is about learning how to scribe scrolls and brew different potions and figuring out what to do with all those damn ingredients that cost so much to rent! I used to want to scribe scrolls of fly so I could give them to other players, back when that would've actually meant something, then they introduced the creamy potions and it didn't matter anymore... but you know what? The other day I found the ingredient to scribe fly onto a scroll... and it worked! I scribed the scroll! A goal I've had for over a decade was finally achieved, and it meant nothing to the larger world of Arctic as a whole, but it meant something to ME, damn it!

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I'm attempting to convey to you the deeper love for this game that some of us have. Again, I'm not asking for outright hand holding and care bear attitudes, far from it actually! If someone seems like they would enjoy pkilling, give them some advice on how to be more effective! If they don't, give them tips on how to defend themselves! Be a Master to a lowly apprentice and guide him, or her, down a path toward becoming more competent at getting to the level of an intermediate player. For example, I know enough of Falstaff's Manor to kill most everyone there and a few keywords, and I know there's another room somewhere (because I've seen someone go in and out) but I don't know how to trigger all of that by myself... and I DON'T want the answer! What I want is to see people leading more people TO the hedge maze and saying "this is a good zone to kill some low and mid level guys for decent exp" instead of solving it FOR them or running the Goblin Sewers for the 100 millionth time! I'm not asking for you to take anyone on a Xak run or Cyan or anything like that, just show others some of the nuances of this game. Share some zones and their locations and help newbs feel more at home navigating the world. Take someone to Neraka or Kendermore or Mount Nevermind or Thorbardin or wherever! Preferably somewhere from the books, but really anywhere that will show them how rich this game truly is, I don't actually care where! I'm learning all those zones myself right now, but again, that's really intimidating to a newbie. Anyone who I group with that doesn't know, but is willing to learn, I help out. It's not a waste of my time, it's about building up the playerbase.

Why should you do this? Because no one is playing, and no one is playing because (I believe) there is a perception amongst newbies that this playerbase is not very welcoming. I guarantee that more people who have quit this game would come back if they felt like the older players wanted to mentor them for a change instead of dominate them. And honestly, don't you want something better to do than run the same zones over a million times? Do you guys already know every secret in the game? Do you just not care about the secrets that you don't know about because they're not "elite" enough to spend/waste your time on? I can tell you, it would be really refreshing to see shouts saying "experienced tank/mage/cleric/whatever seeking someone willing to learn/try new zones with" instead of the constant "seeking an experienced tank/mage/whatever to help me out because i'm totally clueless" or "seeking group for exp/ranks/eg because this game is all about being the most powerful and having the most shinies" or "selling this object that you will never have the opportunity to get yourself because you don't even know this area/item exists" that is currently dominating the MUD.

Don't clans already help out new/returning players? Again, it's entirely possible that this post is a waste of time and that there is at least one clan that has done/is doing this and I simply don't know about it. I'm not sure that clans are enough though, simply because many returning players, like myself, are wary of associating ourselves with clans when there's seemingly no end to the conflict they endure. I don't want to have to shackle myself to a warring faction in order to gain limited knowledge and I'm not the only one. So, yes, perhaps clans fill this void to some extent, but there are seemingly many players returning only to find that clanning up simply isn't an option if you intend to remain (relatively) unmolested.

My proposal: spend ONE wipe teaching newer players the ropes of the game. Just ONE wipe! Don't immediately go chase all that elite eq and max your characters out with exp and ranks! Take a breather... relax for a second... Armageddon is just around the corner, all of your work this wipe will be erased soon enough, but the knowledge that you impart to others and the feeling of community that you have generated will linger, I promise you. If you disagree, then I suggest attempting to recruit at least one newbie to give you their honest feedback about this game, both the positives and the negatives. I see a lot of people spouting out that there is no new influx of players. There is, they just aren't sticking around. Instead of assuming that we already know why that's happening, why not ask them honestly and without judgement?

Then again... maybe I'm an anachronism. I don't run scripts or anything like that, I type everything out. I'm a mage without a tick timer or auto stand or whatever the flashy things you kids have these days. I don't roll characters, I just take what the game gives me, which makes the game a lot more interesting, I can tell you. I don't run in groups, not just because I'm reasonably suspicious after years of justifiable paranoia, but because the people who seem to be playing the most are too busy chasing the dragon (metaphorically, but I suppose even literally if your goal is to actually chase down and kill a dragon) of high end eq and exp/ranks on yet another disposable character.

TL;DR - An appeal to older, more experienced players to spend one wipe guiding newer/younger players in learning how to zone and play the game as more of a role playing/puzzle solving experience WITHOUT giving them any blatant answers, in order to expand the playerbase and overall community. Maybe old fashioned way of thinking, maybe the most painless/least time consuming way to keep the game alive and kicking for a new generation of players to become fodder for the old.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 10:08:27 PM by Lasher »


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Re: Consider a temporary alternative play style
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2015, 07:18:08 AM »
Actually, I think people are much better at helping  and fostering newer players than you think. I started playing about year and a half ago, and people helped me basically from day 1. Which was impressive given that it was 7 days before a wipe (I didn't know what a wipe was and assumed this game was a brutal PK-fest after people kept poofing and killing me). Once the new wipe started, some (very) experienced players helped me for months to understand the game, dragged me around a lot so I could see what upper zones looked like, and gave me lots of spare eq. I especially appreciated the fact that they never gave me zone keywords, and I generally never asked them for help figuring out a zone. I think it was quite a good arrangement.

After I got (somewhat) better at this game, I found it was actually quite fun helping newer players or people returning from a long retirement. It's a nice break from coining, ranking, or googling synonyms, and always fun to see people get better at zones or learn the subtle aspects of fights and spells.

As for recruiting players ... uhh ... I don't really know how to bring up "hey wanna play a text based online game from the 90s featuring super nerdy dragonlance stuff?" in a casual conversation. The only reason I knew about this game was because some kid in a middle computer camp showed it to me back in ... 1995 or something. I made it from Pal to Kal and then didnt play again. No idea how I remembered it.

Oh lol, as a newb I learned a decent amount from the angelfire site. Awesome how that site exists, despite seeming 10+ years old.


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Re: Consider a temporary alternative play style
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2015, 09:50:13 PM »
As our elders within this game grow old, and real life comes into play many of the secrets learned are lost with their retirement. The difference between when they learned and when we are learning now is based entirely on the number of people we have to support us in our learning.. There is no comparison as to how much harder it is to get a 10man group going now. Literally the only way is to get 3 different clans together usually and thats like 50-75% of the people online often. Some secrets are meant to be earned but that doesnt mean we shouldnt guide people along their learning. If I could thank people that have absolutely pointed me in the right direction i would have more names here than i do freckles, and im a soulless ginger. But honestly without people helping me, I would never be in the position I am to help others today.

When i joined mythclan i was like noob fodder that could barely go from town to town. But people like Jeppe, Nate, Ilya, Eddie, Matt Walthers, Justin, Reed, Sam and his brother SEB.... Have all gone out of their way to make sure that I am a capable leader. I personally admit that I would be struggling to lead zones harder than ct without their guidance.

Instead I am running ravenshadow hct nytes ancients pax all of these awesome and fun zoning experiences because of them. So to anyone who says giving away info the odd time or showing people zones takes away their own shinies, i call bullshit, and i say thank you to all of those that came before me wishing to pass on their knowledge. Because yes in turn I will do my best to train people as I once was. In myth i like to say to the people trying to learn that 10 leaders is stronger than 2 leaders and 8 sheep.

Dont be afraid to share information with people, everyone has their own learning styles and not everyone can convince 9 people to follow them into a zone to learn the big 10man zones. Help other players grow and spread the love.