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Archetype Exploration
Giving the new guy a taste of what they can do..

Now, before y’all start screaming lynch and the like, please read this post in its entirety before passing judgment and take this from the point of view of a completely new character that has no clue what the hell their doing, may not even know basic MOO commands, etc.

We’re always looking for ways to help get a new player running pretty smoothly on their feet when they come into SD. As a new player, they are likely to work with the ideas and suggestions created by both players and the staff. One of the first ‘ideas/suggestions’ they’re exposed to while making their new character is Archetype suggestions.

What I am suggesting, in addendum to the Archetype suggestions is a mock up OOC area to give them a taste of each archetype and familiarizing them with some of the commands and giving them a taste of what playing that archetype might be like.

Why might I be suggesting this? Because Guardian made a great reply in another idea thread and I’m going to re-quote it here:

Newbies need three things:

1) They need to know what's possible to do, how to do it, and what the fuck they're doing.

2) They need help getting eased and integrated into the IC world as part of that world.

These are obvious. But there's the elusive number three. Without number three, we could have fifty players on at once and there still wouldn't be much fun to go around:

3) They also need to be polarized. They need to form opinions on everyone and everything they encounter and learn to act according to those opinions. They need to be able to think "I hate that guy" and "I like that guy" and those feelings need to evolve into "I wanna fuck up that guy" and "I wanna be that guy".

With the suggestion I am posing, this will help alleviate –some- (not all) of item 1, and –some- of item 2.

Now, as I experienced earlier in OOC chat as I tried to explain the idea, some of you may be screaming: “They need to discover this shit IC’ly – yadda, yadda, yadda..” So before you get to that point, -hear me out-

While the Player, being new would be expected to have no clue whatsoever as to what they’re doing, their Character even being bad at the skill in question, would have to have some type of experience to pick that skill up.. So why shouldn’t the player be at least mildly on the same level of their character?

I’m not saying, blow the top off the game and let them know everything they can do with an archetype in the game, I’m talking very simple, give them a taste of the commands and –some- what’s possible. Hell create items with generic names so they don’t know to go looking for item x out of chargen but something close to it.

For example: For the Ripperdoc, give them a mock-up of an operating room, with a generic surgery tool and a generic implant that does jack shit.. let them get familiar with the command(s) to install/remove cyberware from someone…

Or for a gearhead, give them a generic vehicle to work on and explore, etc, etc…

I’m not saying give away every secret to playing along those skill lines, I’m saying give them enough of a taste to satisfy the first of three things a newbie needs (according to Guardian). It will give them a chance to experience the archetype and the related commands and give them an idea if they would enjoy developing a character like that.

Other benefits I feel this would bring about:

-Higher Conversion Rates (i.e. player comes to check out SD, gets to try the archetypes out, likes and develops a character based on that experience, continues to play SD since he had an idea of what to expect with the character he rolled)

-More RP, Less Explaining OOCly (Because we gave the new player a small taste, they get a slightly better understanding of the initial commands, so now they can actually RP and not spend 10 minutes in game chat trying to work through obscure answers)

-Easier integration into the IC world (Because this person has a better idea of their character, they might actually come out of Chargen with some goals and in turn, a slightly deeper character for them to enjoy because they were given a chance to grasp basic concepts)

-(As a result of the above) More time to focus on item 3 that a newbie needs.. (Since they’re not entirely lost and clueless now.. and have the opportunity to RP around that little morsel of information we gave them.. they can now be more open to being polarized and further developed into a player with a character that actually adds to the game world)

Conclusion

Now I realize, that even after all that, there might still be people out there going “let them find that out IC’ly…” but to be honest, a little experience to the basics of basics in a particular archetype can IMHO go a –long- way to keeping the player interested for the length of time it will take them to actually get a developed character into the game. So I’m done with my rant, discuss, debate, upvote, downvote as you will. And most of all, thank you for reading.

TL;DR – Go read it.. it took me about 3 minutes to read through.

I like this idea largely because of item 1. I don't know how many times I've gotten into a MUD (not just Sindome!) with intent of being able to do a Special Thing (TM), and not having a clue, OOCly, how to do it.

Using the example above, suppose a cyberdoc or ripperdoc doesn't actually know the syntax to do the job, or even know it can't be done just anywhere? They might actually have the skills to do the job ICly, but not be able to do it because OOCly, they don't know how to make their 1s and 0s do that.

The issue with Item 1 is made worse when the player tries to keep IC out of OOC and gets vague with their questions, tries to just Find Out IC, or is outright told to Find Out IC for something they encountered or do know IC, but don't know OOCly when they try to gain the OOC knowledge so they can RP their IC knowledge, either because of a misunderstanding, or because it's related to a Super Secret (TM).

I think a low-effort, high-yield way to address this would be to write a standalone helpfile or a supplement to "help @notes" or "help xhelp", which *suggests* ideas for ways to "find out IC".

In my opinion, the trouble here isn't that there's a lack of tools or techniques for discovering this information, it's that new players wouldn't know to think to use the ones that exist.

The player would still have to put effort into setting the situations up, but they wouldn't feel like there's such a blackhole obstacle absence of options, and leave. Hopefully.