[MUD-Dev] Re: mudschools

Robert Woods rwoods at nebula.honors.unr.edu
Mon May 25 12:35:42 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


On Mon, 25 May 1998, Mike Sellers wrote:

> I'm not so sure.  Many new players complain about having to make decisions
> in character creation or training that they don't really understand.  Also,
> the method of teaching commands via automatic tutorial is problematic --
> and not just for MUDs. :-) 

That's why you make mudschool optional.  They can go in there and learn
things that way, they can browse help files, they can ask other players.
That way, the people who learn well through the automatic tutorial can do
it that way, etc.
 
> >> Here's an idea: why not use the age-old apprenticeship program?  Just as
> >> many (esp older) muds have quest requirements for getting to high levels,
> >> why not introduce a requirement that says that you must help <n> newbies
> >> get to a certain percentage in your primary skill area before you can
> >> advance?  This would give higher-level people an incentive to find newbies
> >> and help them out, including equipping them, helping them learn the ropes,
> >> etc.
> >
> >The big problem with this is that it creates 'oldbies' players who are
> >fairly high level but are basically clueless.  They have been taken by
> >the hand by a couple of high level players,  grouped while their guide
> 
> >took out some pretty tough monsters and have not learned nothing about
> >the game itself.  By the time they are on their own  they are clueless
> >still and revert to either newbie behaviour  or give up after they are
> >killed a couple of times.
> 
> Making this work is a matter of thinking carefully about the design.  There
> are all sorts of ways to make sure that the newbies get the the early help
> they need without having everything handed to them.  If clueless oldbies is
> a problem, limit their overall experience or rate of skill increase with
> the percentage of the world they've seen, for example.  You could also
> limit the experience they get from any encounter to the ratio of their
> experience with that of the highest experience person present, if that's
> how your MUD works.  Finally, I think this would be a great way to give the
> newbies more than a limited, canned experience by having their mentors send
> them on "quests" to get items they need or do similar apprentice-like
> tasks.  The most useful part of this though is giving newbies a known
> contact who knows more about the world than they do; this may be the single
> biggest factor in getting and keeping new players.  Yeah, some older
> players will not want to deal with new players, forgetting that they were
> new once too.  But do you really want to facilitate people like this in
> your game?  
> 
If you want to do the apprenticeship/mentor program, here's an idea of how
you can implement it.  Make a "clan" (a group unrelated to
class/guild/profession) which can be joined by people who want to help
newbies.  Give them a few commands/skills/etc. that will allow them to do
so, and a method of communicating with each other.  This has a few
benefits:

1) It makes it easy to discern between those who are your "newbie helpers"
and those who aren't.

2) You have a relatively small group that is enthusiastic about the
program and that can be trained in what kind of help to give easily.
Otherwise, you just have a bunch of old players running around trying to
find a newbie who will give them a good report for apprenticeship.

3) You can reward those who are truly helping the newbies without it
seeming like you're forcing everybody to help newbies.  There are still
players that won't want to help, at least not on that level, and we need
to respect that attitude.

############################################################################

I'm not insane, I'm just irrational.

-Bob
       





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