Arctic Mud

ArcticMUD => General Discussion => Topic started by: Heo on February 26, 2019, 01:43:30 PM

Title: New Players and Quests
Post by: Heo on February 26, 2019, 01:43:30 PM
I noticed we still get a decent amount of new players or players returning after a long hiatus.

It might be nice to have a thread/post on zones to do to help get them to 25, tips/tricks (like being able to "pray" at a cleric guild to get rid of curse), etc.

And for things like heal quest or regen quest or robes quest to point them in right direction.  The world here is super large, and I think a lot of the knowledge all of us have is passed on from clans or friends, which gives people a distinct advantage.

Just a thought.  I see a guy named Ruck trying to make his way through the game, and I as well as other people help them, but it would be cool if there was something to make sure people don't get frustrated and stop.  I remember when I started playing again and Johari helped guide me through Neraka, I appreciated that.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Heo on February 26, 2019, 02:33:36 PM
Off the top of my head suggestions in the minute or so of thinking, I'm sure I left off a bunch of good ones


Some zone suggestions for Evil chars (ordered from low lvl to high lvl)

Palanthas farm (w and n of Pal w gate)
Druid Nook (west out of kal w gate, touch marble - lots of keywords in this zone)
Fort Khalarm - (west and south of kal)
Palanthas Gnomes n w e out w gate pal
Palanthas Library
Hylo - west of palanthas over ocean
Fyzia - west and south and west and south of palanthas
Palanthas palace guards
Solace Thanes - west north of Solace
Fallstaff Manor - southern part of palanthas
Crimson keep + Gulfport
Volcano
Kal docks
Dwarven Keep + Deep Mine


Good players

Pal Graveyard
Brog (lots of keywords) - neish from balifor
Sligs
Goblins
Pigmies - east south east of kalaman, make sure go east and not west or south after taking the down
Solace kobold - out w gate
Argand Keep
Northern Ergoth + illrigger - west of palanthas
Bali training ground + pirates
Neraka
Drac Tower


Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Kam on February 28, 2019, 01:05:45 PM
If anyone or some folks collectively want to review and update help newbie and all the help newbie <area> specific helpfiles that would be great and I will happily update the ones in game.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Mickey on March 01, 2019, 06:45:28 PM
I remember when I started playing again and Johari helped guide me through Neraka, I appreciated that.
I remember him from the past. Johari helped me when I was confused trying to help my cleric get heal. It is tough to get going again after, any help the better, especially updated help zone files.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Zozen on March 06, 2019, 07:47:28 AM
Just stay in Solace.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Terk on March 18, 2019, 01:01:03 PM
Just to add to this, when we did the redesign of Solace (now a decade old), the goal was very much that basically all new players would spend time leveling in Solace. Most of the zones repop so quickly, it is expected players can do Solace through level 15 without any hindrance--both good and evil characters.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Heo on March 22, 2019, 03:13:52 PM
Specifically for clerics and shaman, maybe it would be useful for a quest to appear when they hit lvl 25 instructing them to go to xak or jungle to find heal/regen - just to get them on the right path, otherwise there's pretty much no way to figure that stuff out besides asking people.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: el conquistador on March 27, 2019, 04:19:56 AM
Specifically for clerics and shaman, maybe it would be useful for a quest to appear when they hit lvl 25 instructing them to go to xak or jungle to find heal/regen - just to get them on the right path, otherwise there's pretty much no way to figure that stuff out besides asking people.

sadly this game is Extremely dependent on having inside information.  as you said how would a new player even know heal and regen existed?  imagine actually figuring out the stoneskin quest with no help.  even if you somehow found all the pieces there is pretty much 0 chance anyone is going to figure out what to do with them on their own.

many zones are the same way. 

Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: hanlon on March 28, 2019, 11:59:46 AM
Specifically for clerics and shaman, maybe it would be useful for a quest to appear when they hit lvl 25 instructing them to go to xak or jungle to find heal/regen - just to get them on the right path, otherwise there's pretty much no way to figure that stuff out besides asking people.

sadly this game is Extremely dependent on having inside information.  as you said how would a new player even know heal and regen existed?  imagine actually figuring out the stoneskin quest with no help.  even if you somehow found all the pieces there is pretty much 0 chance anyone is going to figure out what to do with them on their own.

many zones are the same way.

I agree with you on the heal/stoneskin/regen quest. I think more helpfiles should be added to the game for these types of quest. Especially when they are required for you to progress further on that class...Mainly Legend! However Saying quite a few zones are like this doesn't help anyone out. Which zones do you think needed insider information to help? I've went through and re-learned/solved so many zones this wipe and so far I only really have a problem with two zones. Castle Uth Wistan I think needs a major re-vamp. Solving the Vault or even figuring out Latanth is next to impossible to solve without someone with access to that information helping you out. Would anyone care to show me where the hint in the Castle Uth Library is at that tells you to "Browse books"? I can tell you right now there isn't one yet everyone whose ever played a mage magically knows how to open her? The Caslte Uth Vault is the same way. Have you ever met anyone who can open that vault and can also show you where all the clues/hints are for it? I can't!!

The next zone I have a problem with is Icewall and the Sleet Dragon orb quest. This Zone is beyond broke and I've never met a single soul currently playing this game that can show me a single clue or hint for anything in Icewall. Its like everyone who knows Icewall just woke up one day and magically knew how to do it. Where are the clues/hints/anything for Icewall? I've been in the caslte and up and down the rift and there isn't shit on how to solve that zone. A prime example would be unlocking the secret inside the castle? Where is the Clue to even "unlock secret". How did anyone ever solve it to begin with?

If we want to talk quest that I believe are broken and need a re-vamp...look know further Than Emil Ravenscore ques! This one is an absolute mind boggle. I've seen it done several times and I Still don't understand how it was solved and that's after seeing it done and knowing how to do it! Like how did the first person to solve it ever solve this quest? What did they do run around Palanthas handing out 50 coins to every single random mob until one finally spoke to them about the quest? Same thing for Jacob in neraka or having to go to Cabre and all the other stuff you do for this quest. You can't solve it legit. Someone would of had to of looked this info up for you!

I hope this doesn't get deleted. I Wasn't trying to give out game info but at the same time I don't know how to complain about these zones and ask for changes it I can cite examples of things I think are broken with them.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Caine on March 28, 2019, 07:45:41 PM
When I was first starting out, I stumbled on the start point for that quest by complete chance, but only because I was scanning in every room while mapping out the city. After Jacob, however, I agree wholeheartedly that the quest becomes basically impossible for any new player to figure out on their own. Maybe there's some silly KW i'm missing with the items that I never figured out, but even if there is, that's beside the point.

I would suggest that all quests either give you a very good idea of where to go, what to look for, or what to do to complete them. An example of such a quest already in the game:

Quote
As you free * from his confinements, he rises and pauses then offers
you a word of thanks. He pauses slightly then retrieves a small object from
within a hidden fold in his clothes. He whispers to you "return this object
to me when I have returned home and a just reward will be given. I am
saddened that I have nothing to offer you now. To enter my homeland go
north from Kalaman. The ocean will be difficult to navigate, but hopefully
Paladine will guide your path."

And if that's too easy you can bump up the difficulty a little by telling players some, but not all of the above (perhaps indicate what to do, but not where to go / vice versa / etc.)

Quote
Leaning over his desk, * continues, 'The caravan never made it. We made
travel plans with Emperor Mercadior to meet us at the dock of Gulfport and
arrange travel safely through Hylo, past the pirates beyond and to Palanthas
where gracious Lord Amothus was awaiting. He was to supply sustenance to our
knights and help them continue the last leg of the journey to the Tower. The
caravan never made it to Gulfport and now there is the only the worst to fear.
Sitting down, * opens his desk drawer and pulls out a bloodied piece of
paper. He looks at it and grips it firmly, before pushing it over for you to read.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The revisions have been acquired. My pets * and *
were able to subdue the entire caravan without me showing my
face. I will return to the keep at once with the manuscripts.
-N
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* says 'Present me with any evidence you can recover.'

Contrast that with Emil... which is a quest that, at least up to the point hanlon mentioned, doesn't give you any indication of how to progress further at all.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Kadaj on March 29, 2019, 07:43:35 AM
Enter Nothingness is all you need to know!

On a more serious note, I do wish that the game was a little more transparent. It's not 1999 anymore, sure there are still secrets, but as far as quests go, there really isn't anything to guide the person along. I really think though, if people had access to these zones and could sit down and learn them, more people would be playing. The thing that burns me and a lot of other people out is leading. I mostly play solo during the day, but I honestly hate leading. Sure, I know the content and what to do, but sometimes I just want to sit back and let someone else do the work. I think with more people playing and learning the zones, players would come back/stick around longer.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Jorake on March 30, 2019, 08:44:31 PM
I'm the opposite lol. I hate following anyone. I dont want to lead a clan but I love zone leading. I actually quit playing as much because of all the zone walkthroughs going around and everyone forming a group. I dont even care about most of the eq. Just like driving.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Terk on April 01, 2019, 11:16:27 AM
re: Quest difficult from the creator of the Emil quest

So I would say the Emil quest is deliberately challenging, but I think there is a chronology of the shifting landscape of Arctic that gets lost over time and adds to the difficulty. [For example 2 of the progression clue points locales have had massive revamps since the quest was introduced, which I think adds to the difficulty]

As an example, if you've played this game for a long time, when the Emil quest first started the start mob was obvious because it was a completely new mob in the middle of a town that had been unchanged since the beginning of the game.

I'll admit that 12-15 years after its creation, the thinking is that mainly people will pass down the knowledge (that's one of the things that creates game community, which I think is an integral part of Arctic)--but generally interacting with named mobs in hidden rooms should not be considered "every random mob in the game". Solving the Emil quest takes a tremendous amount of broad game knowledge. The people who solved it when it was fresh, did so because of that tremendous game knowledge. They were able to spot what was different in each of the places the quest leads you to--it was thus easier for them to know where they had to apply pressure to find a secret.

That said, I for one don't particularly hate the idea that general walkthroughs become available 5-10 years after a zone is first solved. They should maybe even credit the initial solver if known.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: el conquistador on April 02, 2019, 06:49:11 AM
the thinking is that mainly people will pass down the knowledge (that's one of the things that creates game community, which I think is an integral part of Arctic)

i believe that thinking is flawed.

yes there are a lot of nice people on arctic and i have gotten quite a lot of help from players over the years.  but i have also seen plenty of people go into the next room to do keywords to keep their secrets safe. 

i dont blame them.  in a limited equipment game which also has pvp, if you share knowledge you are inviting your items to be stolen on repop or making other players stronger who could some day kill you. 

as arctic has slowed down and pvp has mostly died off people have become much more willing to share information.  but they still have a vested interest in keeping the best stuff secret.  and now i am hearing that if too many people learn something, it will be changed.  that is another strong reason to not share information with anyone.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Kadaj on April 02, 2019, 07:36:52 AM
I don't understand where this whole 'too many people know this so it's being changed' thing is coming from. Every wipe there's a few KWs that change here and there. It's not something new. Perhaps with more people learning these zones, they are just now noticing that the KWs have been changed?
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: el conquistador on April 02, 2019, 08:05:23 AM
I don't understand where this whole 'too many people know this so it's being changed' thing is coming from. Every wipe there's a few KWs that change here and there. It's not something new. Perhaps with more people learning these zones, they are just now noticing that the KWs have been changed?

hanlon was told directly by a staff member that is why a change was made

i have been suspicious of that before.  but yeah being told straight out like that is being told not to help people learn stuff.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Iadus on April 02, 2019, 04:19:50 PM
Just so we're clear, not all staff members are privy to the actual reasoning behind any changes, much less all changes. Staff have their biases and suspicions as well. I have never heard from anyone who actually makes changes that the reason was because too many people knew how to complete it. As has been said, there are keywords and combinations that change every wipe or so, but, the clues rarely change location, and are always at least SOMEWHERE to be found.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Willoe on April 02, 2019, 10:15:13 PM
I think changing of kw's is a positive thing. It gives those who actually solved the zone something to do and is not overly difficult to resolve when you know the actual zone. I think the gripe is for the folks that got the info handed to them and then don't know how to solve it. That being said, I think there is certain information that should be common knowledge, and then other information that should be earned. I don't think anyone that actually solves the zones minds the kw's changing so much.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: el conquistador on April 03, 2019, 05:29:50 AM

why change existing zones that are not broken instead of just putting in new zones?  why change keywords or remove/move fights ever?

the elite players who are good at figuring that kind of stuff out and have plenty of time to solve it are fine.  a new puzzle to solve and more gear and spells exclusively for them.  along with those who are friends with the right people. 

but if knowledge starts trickling down to the plebs...  the people who have jobs and families or players who are just too dumb to figure out the puzzles without help.  that cant happen.  now keywords and zones have to change.  they are not allowed.  it is not for them.

it fits the theme for the rest of this wipe.  too many people are making it to legendary.  that is only for the most hardcore players.  casuals can be satisfied with their regular characters.  then jack up the difficulty on the dragons.  more content that is not meant to be for common players.  arctic is for the elite and how can they be elite without trash to look down on?

bapt this game.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: eddiex on April 08, 2019, 11:02:48 PM
I think changing of kw's is a positive thing. It gives those who actually solved the zone something to do and is not overly difficult to resolve when you know the actual zone. I think the gripe is for the folks that got the info handed to them and then don't know how to solve it. That being said, I think there is certain information that should be common knowledge, and then other information that should be earned. I don't think anyone that actually solves the zones minds the kw's changing so much.

Perhaps I will always be the devil's advocate, but I think there's a problem with the idea that changing kw's is a positive thing.  People who have made the "right" friends will always have an advantage when kws are changed.  Some people have not only been told keywords, but also how to find the keywords and solve the zone.

The fact is: Everyone who has played this game has been told super secret keywords.  There was many a time when a clan or two with a high immortal friend received entire zone notes.

However you acquire your knowledge, through forging bonds or adventuring through Krynn, there is a significant time investment.  Any person who has played this game at a high level knows how long it might take to get in the good graces of an elite player to the point where they will share their secrets.  Setting people back because they took an alternate path to knowledge just for the sake of doing it only serves the people with more knowledgeable friends.

The effect of changing kws is to make certain aspects of the game more exclusive.

In my opinion, a more fair way to change a zones kws is to do what has been done with the Mystic Vault.  Change the location of the kws, the clues, and how they are acquired.  This would help to even the playing field for both the people who were told the kws and those people who were told how to solve the kws.

The purpose of changing a KW is to make people resolve it, right?  It's not just to make items more exclusive (benefitting a few old timers or people with knowledgeable friends)… right? lol

I honestly, think kws should not change as more people knowing how to do something fosters competition, conflict, and interaction.  These are pillars of the Arctic experience.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Alecto on April 14, 2019, 10:31:44 PM
I think the mystic vault changes this wipe were a good example of how keyword changes should happen. Everyone had to start over and resolve the zone, and it took a group of people working on it pretty continuously to finally solve it. I think those sorts of changes should happen every wipe for the most powerful items.

It should take people time and effort each wipe to earn the most powerful items regardless of clan affiliation, personal friendships, etc. It also means that no clan can just win the first week and monopolize the elite shinies. A similar vein runs through the decays this wipe - it is hard to monopolize the elite gear because most of it decays within a few weeks.

While these changes might seem frustrating they actually make the game more fun for a casual player who is not in an elite clan because gear is loading most of the time. If you don't want to deal with decays then just collect less elite gear. You can cobble together a decent set which lasts 6 weeks to 2 months without decaying, but if you want a crapload of +dam realize you are going to need to commit a lot of time to maintaining that set.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Rhak on April 25, 2019, 02:20:34 AM
Mystic vault is a sort of outlier in the way zones work nowadays, most of the zone can be explored completely solo without much of a hassle, and its not so much of changing keywords as shuffling up a puzzle.  In another zone if you know you need to climb the cliff, or cut down the tree, it's hard for us to do much to change it in any interesting way because the players are usually set on a certain path and the keywords are used as hurdles.  Mystic also barely has any built in coding (specs), so there's not much chance of breaking things if you change them, where other zones can have hundreds on many objects, mobs, and rooms, and connect to any other zone(s) in the game.  Mystic is around 25 years old, most zones that are within the last 15 or so years are infinitely more complicated, and worse as they are newer.  Icewall is one example, where it's complicated to the point where it can't really be meaningfully altered anymore unless it gets a huge revamp.  I reworked the quest parts of Mystic this wipe but have barely been on since due to work, when I would pop on though all I heard were complaints about it being too hard :/
There's not really much stuff in the game that should suddenly become undoable because a keyword changed.  If somebody tells you a keyword that had a clue behind it without ever revealing the clue, it's a bit whiney to be mad about it being changed if you were too lazy to ever look into it further.  A lot of people being excluded from exploring zones lies on being afraid to die in a place they don't know where you chance losing everything while gaining little to no knowledge.  Knowing keywords to a zone is nothing compared to knowing what is coming up ahead of you, or just having an idea of how to prepare and survive or recover.  If you can clear or survive a zone you can explore at your own pace.  People who have general knowledge of things will always have an upper hand just because you know where to focus your attention after things change, or even in new areas, the rest lies in the thesaurus.  If you find yourself having no idea how to figure out keywords, instead of asking people for keywords, ask them how they explore.  The games a lot more complicated than it used to be, but a huge part of exploring used to just be testing out mechanics in a way.  If you see a hidden branch in a room and you try to 'get branch', there's different messaging depending on whether there is an object physically in the room to interact with or if it's just a little flavor description.  Knocking on, unlocking things, etc. can similarly give different messaging depending on how a zone is built.  Locating random colors, locating walls, locating keys, tracking mobs, randomly teleporting to see if you can get to the other side of an inaccessible area.
People get paranoid that elite players are only elite because there's some clandestine handing off of information from some immortal friend or some secret inner circle, 99% of the time it's just because they are looking at everything five times and know little tricks that you can't even tell they are doing as you get dragged around.  If you have to wait for people to trickle you keywords and can't be bothered to do even a minimal amount of exploring, it won't matter whether new zones go in or old ones get changed, you won't be reaping the benefits of any of it.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Nostramazos on April 25, 2019, 05:45:48 AM
To Rhak:

You make some very good comments. The how you explore is key here and the understanding of game mechanics may also be hidden knowledge. It should not be this way. The 'huh?' message needs to be replaced completely with an indication that you are doing something wrong but also an encouragement that you are on the right path.  Several zones do that already but not all. This should be a focus for a wipe or so. But yeah help the players spent more quality time in figuring out the zone. That being said, I have grouped with elite solvers and they do enjoy the current way of solving zones.

Another general comment is that you should allow casual players like myself an exploration mode where specific sets of eq for exploring are provided. This should be average eq that will do the basic. An autofly, a light, some damage dealt. You can have add said exploring gear throughout the game. This gear will not be lost if you die. I think this makes sense. When I die...in arctic I mean, I really really don't want to cr but I also don't want to bruise with a crappy sword or wait for a repop or what not. I should have my gear ready to go for one more death.

Some suggestions

Nostramazos

ps I was joking about the suggestions cause I am an overlord.
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Kadaj on April 25, 2019, 08:33:52 AM

 If somebody tells you a keyword that had a clue behind it without ever revealing the clue, it's a bit whiney to be mad about it being changed if you were too lazy to ever look into it further.  A lot of people being excluded from exploring zones lies on being afraid to die in a place they don't know where you chance losing everything while gaining little to no knowledge.

I think this is honestly the biggest hurdle for people trying to explore. If they received a log with a keywords in it and they suddenly change, they get frustrated because they can't find the new one. Also, with so few people playing, right now is the absolute best time to go exploring. If you die, you can put together a new set in a day or two.

Knowing how to explore is absolutely key. I love solving shit, I love exploring new zones. People don't see that I spend hours in a zone, locating, temping, teleporting, testing things out. They just see that I know how to do a zone and wonder 'which imm told him this information'

I think people need to stop getting attached to their gear and get out there and try some shit. I usually explore fully geared and know how to CR if I have to. Get out there and look around, folks!
Title: Re: New Players and Quests
Post by: Willoe on April 27, 2019, 04:20:11 PM

"bapt I just died in shadow with all my gear, bapt it im done!"

He doesn't joke about exploring with full sets of eq!:)