[MUD-Dev] Newbies

MichelleThompson m.a.thompson at mindspring.com
Wed Feb 23 22:11:55 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


On Tue, 22 Feb 2000, Johan J Ingles-le Nobel wrote:
> When complete newbies log onto my mud, players are not as helpful as I like,
> for a variety of reasons. That might be that they find themselves answering
> the same old questions, they're busy in a pk melee, they're unwilling to
> invest hours in helping/teaching someone who might leave, or whatever - so
> if I might prod your collective wisdom...
> 
> Have others experienced this phenomenon, and how did they deal with it? Do
> you reward people in some way for helping newbies, and if so, how? Things
> like a newbie-only channel or newbie helper imms are not really consistent
> with our mud, anyone have any subtle ideas or URLs covering the subject that
> do the business?
> 
> The point is this, I think a lot of muds do get non-mudders visit them, but
> they're turned off by this, and together with the confusion of learning your
> first steps in your first mud, I suspect that this accounts for a lot of
> lost people...
> 
In a method similar to what Charles Hughes mentioned, I have logged on as a
regular player to help newbies.  From my experiences, players seem more at ease
running with someone than talking to an admin.  An added advantage to this is
that you can also get some insight into how players see the mud.  Again, it
seems that they are more likely to say what they think, good or bad, to someone
they are just playing with instead of an admin. 

Here are some thoughts for helping newbies:

1).  One system that I have seen that I liked for helping newbies randomly
flashes tips about playing the mud, until the player types <newbie> to turn it
off. 

2).  There is a motd, and an immortal motd,  why not a nmotd (newbie message of
the day).  A person would also be able to toggle this off.  It would start
displaying for new characters.  A message at the end would say something like
This message teaches provide information about how to play the mud.  You may
turn it off at any time by typing <nmotd>.

3).  Why not do the mud school differently?  Instead of a small area where
people go thorugh and type look sign, look sign .............
Use mobs with prog, procs, or scripts (whichever you call them) that the
players follow and then the mob teaches the players.  Ie when they log on, they
talk to Eran, he leds them to the key shops in town, and explains how to
purchase things, not to fight in town, at least not in sight of guards,
anything that would fall logically into town information that you would want a
newbie to know.  Yuri would lead them to some of the close newbie areas and
explain about fighting.  Would he show them by doing a kill with them?  There
could be a mob that specailizes in whatever you needed.   One problem
presented by this suggestion: how do you keep jerks from killing the newbie
helpers? Questions that arise from this system:  Would a mob be able to take a
person on tours as often as they like, or would they do it only once?  If they
do it more than once, how do you make sure something is there for a newbie if
the key contacts are occupied by other newbies?  Actually, that question
applies whether they do it more than once or not. If they only do it once, the
mob has to retain a memory of who it has helped.  Is doing it only once not
worth it for that reason?  Should it be restricted by level instead?  Ie, they
can spot inexperience a mile a way.  This is something is just thought up so
please forgive the ramblings.  What would make it more interesting than a mud
school?  You have seen how there are mage_progs, thief_progs, warrior_progs
etc?  Why not include social progs?  Ie how would someone with a shy_prog react
if someone slapped them?  Now how about someone with a bully prog?  I have seen
generic progs that people attached to mobs that made them react to what players
did to them, but I have not seen any that would impart a specific character
to that mob. 

My apologies for my inability to stay on topic.  My mind wanders.

Michelle Thompson



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