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Handling newbies

Are you a Newbie and need some help? Or are you a seasoned player and have tips for newbies? Post here!

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Tatiana
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Handling newbies

Postby Tatiana » Sat Oct 06, 2007 5:20 am

Hello, I have a few comments on the way newbies are handled.

It seems that those who are really after roleplay and not
a simple hack and slash might be discouraged seeing that:

1. They're given money and full equipment sometimes including
special armours and weapons for no good reason

2. They're taken on hard hunting rounds by a group of
unfamilliar people again, for no good reason.

3. They're not roleplayed with but rather dragged around.

The other extreme is treating them like mature players
already and applying same standards to the point when
they are too scared to say anything and just log out
without a wish to come back.

I believe the best way to act with a newbie is treat him
like a newcomer and roleplay with him for a while finding
out what HE wants to do and not forcing what we want him
to do. Before we take any action which may determine his
path for him we should make him aware of other possibilities,
point out other people to talk to, to let them decide on their
own what guild they are fit for and which god they want to
follow.

Sometimes if a player is forced into something he did not
want for his character he will eventually stop logging on.

Also it would be good to point out things to read:

'help roleplay'
'help faith'

As a base for roleplay with newcomers you can use gossip
exchange which at that time was the only way to exchange
information about happenings in distant lands. For such
information travellers were rewarded with a meal and a
place to stay at. But giving them armour and weapons, which
are supposed to be very expensive isnt right. If you
convince them they should have them or if they express
a desire to become warriors they can be found jobs which
they can do to earn money themselves.

If you have new ideas about the way of handling new players
share with us :) It's a hard job and it would be really good
to make it more fun for the players who's done it hundreds
of times already.

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Postby Delmon » Sat Oct 06, 2007 2:37 pm

1. They're given money and full equipment sometimes including
special armours and weapons for no good reason


Equipment -I have no problem in seeing why they can't be helped out with basic armours (leather chain plate). I don't see anything in the normal shops that is "very expensive" either, and I don't see custom or special items being dished out.

2. They're taken on hard hunting rounds by a group of
unfamilliar people again, for no good reason.


I see the point here... but the alternative is leaving them in the dust with volog while the group goes merrily along. Remember, if they roleplay a warrior, well, can't they help out too?

3. They're not roleplayed with but rather dragged around.


I agree. But what to do? Half of what I do on geas is fight. The other half is sitting around. Include a newbie and you get fighting + newbie, or my sad roleplaying + newbie. :(

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tessa
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Postby tessa » Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:10 pm

Equipment -I have no problem in seeing why they can't be helped out with basic armours (leather chain plate). I don't see anything in the normal shops that is "very expensive" either, and I don't see custom or special items being dished out.


An important note are those minute old newbies with ash spears and slender daggers. It's quite frustrating when it takes me ages to get such weapons or buy them, and see a newbie running around with them as free gifts.

I see the point here... but the alternative is leaving them in the dust with volog while the group goes merrily along. Remember, if they roleplay a warrior, well, can't they help out too?


You could take them to gremlins or nibblers or thildens or such. Okay, that's not very good training for your experienced character, but the point would be to help the newbies, right? Usually if a newbie wants to hunt, I'll find something their level and help them there, going mood wimpy/defend or stunning so they get a fair chance to beat up those smaller things, usually explaining to them things like aim or protect or fencing or such.

But then, usually I don't try to help them get quick xp, as much as give them a chance to get a feel for fighting, and I think it's more fun for the newbie if they can beat up something more their size, than scratch an occasional ogre that gets pummeled by the big chars.

I agree. But what to do? Half of what I do on geas is fight. The other half is sitting around. Include a newbie and you get fighting + newbie, or my sad roleplaying + newbie. :(


You could take them training at something more their size, or perhaps show them how to get to different cities, or explain the different gods or guilds in the game. Or maybe ask them about themselves and help the person develop the char a bit. I know it's easier to feel more into my new character after I've talked to some people and see how my character responds. Plus, it's easy to talk to friends, right? Just consider the newbie a friend in the making. ;)

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Postby Delmon » Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:34 pm

I'd like to add another thing:

Newbies: The game is great, it's fun, pick a path and stick with it. You'll love progression ect... and we all want you to stay

But: In your first days, don't screw your character with silly rp. Don't mouth off to stronger people. If you want to become evil (good luck), stick to gathering information about the game, and basic training.

Here's some "do not do!!!!" (I know, if you are a teenager torturing another newbie sounds just fun but trust me and don't)

1. Don't steal anything or loot from another player.

2. Don't assualt or attack another player, whether weaker or stronger than you. Common consequences occur such as 1. vigilatism, 2. fines and or bans from critical cities through court 3. torture and lessening of your experience(which is low to begin with!!).

3. Don't worry if you die. Most of the veteran players will be happy to help in any way, and it's not as bad as it might seem.

4. Don't worry if you get lost. Use your tell ring ('rtell' 'whoever' 'blah!') or even the newbie channel to get a hint or something :wink:

5. Don't worry if you are threatened for stupid things. Most of the time you can counter them with quick wits and strong alliances.

6. Don't mouth off to stronger people. Remember you are a stupid ignorant weakling to most people hehe! :twisted: (no not really. :D I love newbies)

7. Follow these basic concepts and bide your time!

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eirikeld
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Postby eirikeld » Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:48 am

Yeah. I basically roll a mix of these things for newbies. Take the time, talk with them. I know, I am not all that much past newbie myself, but I've been on the game a while, and mudding for forever.

Spending a bit of time with them really helps. Don't drag them everywhere, but rather, show them the basics. How to fight, how to wield weapons, and such. Point out any critical problems you are seeing [wielding weapons all the time, while traveling] and such.

As for Delmon's last one, I saw a very new elf mouth off to Aragog. OOPS!

If you are helping a newbie, remember your experiences as one. Try to give them tools to help themselves, not just hand them 3 commands and say "do this".

If you are a newbie [I wonder how many really read these forums], then remember you are just starting out in life. Yeah, you're the equivalent of 18, and think you know everything, but are confused as hell. Just remember that, and that many others here are much tougher, and not always friendly.

Lastly, I agree that most common items are gimme's. I also believe that most normal equipment is undervalued, as is mentioned in other posts, but that's a whole different thread. I mean, bronze coins aren't worth carrying, but a handful can buy you a weapon, or 2 roasts at the dragon. Just doesn't make sense. However, since it is cheap right now, get them basic armor. After figuring out what kind of fighting they want to do, run them to a city, go on a small shopping trip.

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rafael
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Postby rafael » Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:29 pm

I think the mud's rather newbie friendly once you get to know the world enough so you know where to go to get your newbie coins and start learning the commands. It gets a lot better once you get into some sort of guild and start making relations. A large number of the players are interesting roleplayers and the game has a lot of ambience going for it. I actually feel like the world is dangerous. And at least in the more central areas there seems to be a lot going on and the world looks full of life.

Most things I had trouble with even when coming from an Lpmud background where some of the commands. I only figured out tracking recently. But once you do it gives you a lot of skills to learn and so on.

Could be because I read the helpfiles long ago, then started playing again after a long break.

mmm. hope I can get more intro crafting eventually.

I seem to run out of newbie quests, but I imagine that's due to the size of the game world. Also I imagine it's a good thing to have a reason to team and interact with others, though I enjoy solving quests on my own more. Maybe hiring a few mercs are a viable alternative. We'll see!

As for the treatment I got as a new player, I have to say it was exellent and well roleplayed. I never felt that I was treated as a newbie, but as a character, even as they showed me the ropes. The only time I've gotten something handed to me it came as a surprise and something as given to an older player too. It was just a quirky character. I don't think you need to equip newbies. Things are cheap enough so they can easily experiment and buy and sell things until they find their style of play.

Well that's all.. my two cc.

A post-newbie?

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Postby endellion » Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:09 pm

To add comment to this:

On one of my alts I watched a veteran player upset a new character and player (had about 9 hours of playtime in) that I have been trying to get used to the mud by telling him things about karma and that if his karma wasnt right he could go hunting with them, etc. I understand its a RP enforced mud, but the character had not yet chosen a god, and was truly interested in helping and learning. It was a friend of mine OOCly so I was able to explain to him about it, but sometimes going _too_ heavy with the RP when someone is just starting can be a turn off as well. Eventually we got another character to take him on a hunting party, he is now hooked.

Im just pointing out that the handling of newbies is a touchy one. And we should always assume people _dont_ know how the world works and take that into consideration with younger characters.

poEndellion

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Torel
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Postby Torel » Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:24 am

I haven't read it all sorry. But here's a point of view from a newbie.

1. The tutorial one can get from the start is too simple, you don't learn how to interact with others or NPCs for that matter.

2. The items you get are fine, I would just appreciate if there were some way to start your character out exactly as you want it.

I created a streetwise 20 year old guy, whom should be more than capable of fighting with a weapon in both hands, but instead I end up like a kitten compared to anyone else, only got a sword and a leather jacket. Would be nice if one could get some points they could spend on certain things, so that they don't end up as complete noobs comparead to anyone else, and perhaps an option to set your age exactly as you want it, as I got a 16 year old kid instead of a 20 year old (got a wizard to change it though.. thanks mr. wizard).

3. I met several people who showed up in the bar and tried to interact with me, but new as I was I could only sit there trying to read the help files fast enough for me to reply to them.

As I said the tutorial didn't teach me how to interact with others, so it took me a while before I could prove to those who dropped by, that I was indeed active and wanted to RP. So keep in mind that if you find a newbie, you might want to give them a few hints.

4. The newbie line is a great help, something I haven't seen in other MUDs I've played, however I do find it strange that 50% of those who help just tell one to read the help files.

I wouldn't ask if I hadn't already read what I could find, so please take some time, be patient and understanding, and help out a little.

5. I know OOC should be used wisely, however it doesn't help a newbie if you start out by telling them that OOC is bad, as they might want to use OOC in order to get some help from you, without forcing their characters to be complete newbies as well, afterall a 20 year old streetwise kid, should know the place where he lives, and might not need a lot of help, but the player might want that help.

So as long as it's not off-topic I think it would be nice if people were a bit more relaxed about OOC. If I make a mistake with a command or something, and it makes my char do something he wasn't supposed to do, I don't always want to pretend that I did a mistake IC, and would rather use OOC to explain to people that it wasn't what I meant to do, and it should therefore just be ignored.

6. This part is just something that would be nice, but nothing required at all, but if I could check the forums shortly after entering the game, find some people I could create some relations to, so my character wouldn't have to be a new addition to the IC community, that would be really nice.


I'm sorry if I sound hateful or dissapointed with the game, as I am not. I like this game a great deal, and can't wait to complete my character with skills, relations and reputation.

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Postby tessa » Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:58 am

Torel wrote:1. The tutorial one can get from the start is too simple, you don't learn how to interact with others or NPCs for that matter.


This will probably be attended to in time, in one way or another. It would just take time for a wizard to get to it.

2. The items you get are fine, I would just appreciate if there were some way to start your character out exactly as you want it.

I created a streetwise 20 year old guy, whom should be more than capable of fighting with a weapon in both hands, but instead I end up like a kitten compared to anyone else, only got a sword and a leather jacket. Would be nice if one could get some points they could spend on certain things, so that they don't end up as complete noobs comparead to anyone else, and perhaps an option to set your age exactly as you want it, as I got a 16 year old kid instead of a 20 year old (got a wizard to change it though.. thanks mr. wizard).


Well, no one gets to start out as a warrior or anything. Everyone starts off as 'fresh on the streets', so to speak. Otherwise, most would then want to start off as big strong warriors and then things start to get chaotic and problematic.

As for 'points' you can set your statprefs as a newbie. This can determine your beginning stats slightly, as more emphasis on a certain stat means more starting xp there (ie; you'll have higher str if you set it at 30 at the beginning, than you would if you set it at 5).

As for age.. I guess an admin could answer that better than I. But from what I can tell, few people want specific ages, and it takes little effort for a wiz to set it for you.

I wouldn't ask if I hadn't already read what I could find, so please take some time, be patient and understanding, and help out a little.


That sounds like a bit of laziness from the helpers, though admittedly there are sometimes newbies who ask about things without checking the helpfiles first. Mentioning that you've already read the helpfile and would still like help should solve that easily enough, though.

5. I know OOC should be used wisely, however it doesn't help a newbie if you start out by telling them that OOC is bad, as they might want to use OOC in order to get some help from you, without forcing their characters to be complete newbies as well, afterall a 20 year old streetwise kid, should know the place where he lives, and might not need a lot of help, but the player might want that help.

So as long as it's not off-topic I think it would be nice if people were a bit more relaxed about OOC. If I make a mistake with a command or something, and it makes my char do something he wasn't supposed to do, I don't always want to pretend that I did a mistake IC, and would rather use OOC to explain to people that it wasn't what I meant to do, and it should therefore just be ignored.


Asking for help, explaining mistakes, or saying you need to go brb or something is fine with OOC. The reason OOC is restricted is because at one point, people used it for things like talking about their new pet dog, or talking about their favourite bands or what's on the TV. Things like that should be discussed on instant messengers or the OOC area (accessed with the simple command of 'ooc') or such, not within the game itself.

So, basically as long as the OOC bit has importance to the gameflow (like the examples I mentioned above), there shouldn't be a problem.

6. This part is just something that would be nice, but nothing required at all, but if I could check the forums shortly after entering the game, find some people I could create some relations to, so my character wouldn't have to be a new addition to the IC community, that would be really nice.


*scratches original message*

EDIT: Perhaps I misread this. By relations you meant like background? IE; sibling, childhood friend, etc? In that case, I'm not really sure how to go about that, so I couldn't really offer much help there.

I'm sorry if I sound hateful or dissapointed with the game, as I am not. I like this game a great deal, and can't wait to complete my character with skills, relations and reputation.


No worries at all. Constructive feedback from new players can be very useful, it lets us know what the mud may be lacking, since experienced players or wizards can't quite see things from the same angle as a fresh newcomer.

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Postby chara » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:11 pm

Torel wrote:So as long as it's not off-topic I think it would be nice if people were a bit more relaxed about OOC. If I make a mistake with a command or something, and it makes my char do something he wasn't supposed to do, I don't always want to pretend that I did a mistake IC, and would rather use OOC to explain to people that it wasn't what I meant to do, and it should therefore just be ignored.


It's a lot more atmospheric and interesting if you roleplay mistakes than if you just pass them off OOC. People stumble over their words in real life, too, for example -- you don't have to explain a typo OOC when you can act on it IC.

Even fairly serious mistakes are more interesting if you roleplay them. If you type "kill human" and you attack your friend, it's much more interesting to blush and apologize for swinging wildly than to say OOC: Oops, didn't mean to!

Every time you use OOC, you break the roleplay and the atmosphere of the world. Sometimes it's unavoidable, but a little bit of creativity can turn those mistakes into more fun than just relying on OOC.

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Postby Torel » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:20 pm

chara wrote:
Torel wrote:So as long as it's not off-topic I think it would be nice if people were a bit more relaxed about OOC. If I make a mistake with a command or something, and it makes my char do something he wasn't supposed to do, I don't always want to pretend that I did a mistake IC, and would rather use OOC to explain to people that it wasn't what I meant to do, and it should therefore just be ignored.


It's a lot more atmospheric and interesting if you roleplay mistakes than if you just pass them off OOC. People stumble over their words in real life, too, for example -- you don't have to explain a typo OOC when you can act on it IC.

Even fairly serious mistakes are more interesting if you roleplay them. If you type "kill human" and you attack your friend, it's much more interesting to blush and apologize for swinging wildly than to say OOC: Oops, didn't mean to!

Every time you use OOC, you break the roleplay and the atmosphere of the world. Sometimes it's unavoidable, but a little bit of creativity can turn those mistakes into more fun than just relying on OOC.


If I by mistake type "Kill <friend>" then i will appologize for it OOC unless I before emoted that I was swinging my knifes around, it ruins the RP a lot more I think, and a bit of OOC along with all the NPC-actions shouldn't make much of a difference, if it saves you from ruining your character.

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Postby Devi » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:45 pm

Torel wrote:if it saves you from ruining your character.

I think the best roleplaying results from ooc mistakes, and if you're clever, your character will never be ruined. If you accidentally attack a friend, simply say the sun had blinded you, you slipped on the street, you confused him for an orc, etc.

One nice thing for character mis-tells and the like is 'excuse'. Due to some ooc mind lapses, I often confuse words:

say The best place in Arborean is the Skalds gold. Most definitely.
excuse
say The Skalds guild, rather.

No one seems to mind at all - ever, although some characters grin and start arguments, which is especially entertaining. You can also do this when you tell something to the wrong elf (due to elf numbering problems).

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Postby Andreati » Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:17 pm

say The best place in Arborean is the Skalds gold. Most definitely.
excuse
say The Skalds guild, rather.


-peer- Stop stealing my lines!

I agree, trying to make up for typos in an IC way is usually the best way to do it. However, there are some circumstances where I think it can be okay to say 'oops' oocly, like if you put a command in to a word/sentence without realizing it.

say I just saw him go through herepoint west
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Postby tessa » Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:20 pm

I'm guessing the accidental mud command in the forum post wasn't intentional. :P

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Postby Delmon » Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:42 pm

Id say adjective problems are also something to say oops ooc about.

example:

smile helplessly

(didnt mean that)
ooc oops!


smile hopefully

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chara
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Postby chara » Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:07 pm

There are a number of occasions when OOC is necessary -- otherwise, we'd just take it out altogether ;) However, it should be the absolute last resort.

We all know that OOC things come up, typos are made, and real life happens. While in real life, it's kind of unlikely that someone would be "absentminded" in the middle of an important conversation or "be called by my goddess and need to pray right now," as players we can extrapolate that there is an OOC problem like a disconnection or a phone call, and handle the interruption IC without the OOCness of it being rubbed in our faces.

"I have an important appointment in 20 minutes that I have to attend to" is a thousand times better than "OOC: I've got to go in 20 minutes, so let's finish up this dungeon fast!"

If you stop leaning on the OOC crutch, you might be surprised at how your character development can grow by staying in character more of the time.

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Re: Handling newbies

Postby lanyara » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:33 pm

There was recently a (more or less) newbie.

He struggled with the commands, especially 'back' and 'advance' were unknown to him. It would be nice if the intro tutorial could include an extra room for another gremlin (or whatever enemy exists there), and a NPC or some other creature would invite you, telling you to go back, before you engage together against some enemy. This should ensure that newbies would know how to use 'back' and 'advance'.

The other small issue is stuff like this here, after the newbie having done a few of the easier quests:

<OOC>: newbie_char: i think i earned a lot of experience but i dont know how much

I am not entirely sure that this can be easily "solved" (if it is a problem), but I can easily see why a newbie may get confused:
If he solves an easy quest, he gets some message like ~"You feel a little bit more experienced". The "stats" command does not show the progress though, so he may be confused. Just wanted to mention this.

Oh, there could be a few more easy starting quests as well in the goodie areas IMO. Epic quests like the lich-thingy are for characters who are usually already playing since quite some time. The starting phase however is by far the hardest part in all regards, and above new character soon ran out of easy "things to do".
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Re: Handling newbies

Postby triska » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:40 am

The idea of teaming and older characters taking new characters out to see the world and show them around also includes asking if they need help with working in teams.

A lot of role play can be performed telling the new players how to do things in a way that is kept in game. Also I have had much fun helping a new player to assist the people in Arborea to do jobs without actually telling the player what to do but assisting in a roleplay way so they learn the technique.

Having said that I am not good at questing although I know the basics of how.

There nothing worse than entertaining a new player that tells you all the time oh yes I know this or I know that but genuine newbies are a delight to spend time with and leave you with a good feeling for giving your time.
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Re: Handling newbies

Postby lanyara » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:10 pm

A lot of role play can be performed telling the new players how to do things in a way that is kept in game.


Sure. The only problem is when there aren't others around to teach the newbie at a given time. :)
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Re: Handling newbies

Postby Sairina » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:26 am

On the other hand, when he's fighting alone, he doesn't need "back" and "advance" anyway. I don't think it needs to be in the tutorial, being told in your first teamfight works just fine. It _is_ your first teamfight, after all.

That being said, I wouldn't mind more easy quests, although there are quite a lot of them already. Or even some intermediate ones that can be done alone. Maybe I'm just not seeing them, but there seems to be a gap - there's quests for beginners that need no qualification from a character whatsoever, and quests for really good fighters and experienced scouters that should be done in a team (like venturing into the swamp or dripstone cave). I'm missing something a little challenging I can decide to do as an experienced player, if I happen to log on when nobody's around. It has been ages since I last did a quest (alone).


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