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Extended Newbie Protection
Only to be applied to new Players

The following is a mix of idea I got from two other MUDs/MOOs.

Since I come from Arm I can work pretty well with the theme of this game and play it as its supposed to be played. I understand the theme and setting perfectly. It's supposed to be a struggle. You have to interact RP wise a lot in order to get anywhere. Hacking and slashing will only get you killed pretty quickly. Etc.

Sadly not all the players that come have an understanding of these things. So I propose several ways to help new players and only new players to get reeled in more easily. So please bear with me.

Newbie Protection+

For a month, the new player's character is protected from all adverse actions upon their characters. Robbing, getting attacked, mugged, etc. Yes this seems like a little too much. But understand that many players could be more easily reeled in if they have a month to learn the game without any of the usual ill effects everyone else has to deal with. And by everyone I mean us who have more experience. Of course there is a catch. If they perform any robbing, killing or anything of the kind that which they are protected off, the protection gets revoked and it will not get applied again. So if JoeSchmoe decides to attack a ganger from there on he is open to getting robbed, mugged, attacked, etc. So here is my next idea on this.

When JoeSchmoe is about to incur in any of the aforementioned activities a warning comes up. It should be something along these lines:

Warning! Engaging in this activity will completely revoke your newbie protection. From here on any NPC or Player can PK you. Any NPC or Player can freely rob you. Any disease can be inflicted upon your character (several other nasty things that can happen)... Do you wish to continue?

Yes NO

Believe it or not this can be a powerful deterrent. Specially when it is mentioned they are now 'open to PK.' Most people will think a bit more when they learn that they can now get attacked freely by anyone. Still I might be being a bit too harsh... We don't want to scare them of either. But something balanced out but that warns them that once that Newbie Protection is gone its gone and that from there on they can get robbed and attacked by anyone. 

Thoughts?

Don't we already have this, just for two weeks?

Yep. It might not cover every activity cited, but its there and we've been happy with it. :)

I also quite like the fact that the current system is fairly transparent. It isn't made completely obvious that it's there, so newbies still get a sense of the danger, and if they do anything 'hostile' to lose their protection, they aren't given a warning and a chance to change their mind, instead having to accept any consequences of their actions.

Oh okay. Well I only suggested this because I see to many people making that mistake. I myself got confused about how Newbie Protection works since all I did was hunt dogs in a previous character to sell the dog meat. But I wasn't aware engaging an NPC meant NPC's and PC's could engage me now as well. I suggested something similar to how it was in CS were the person gets a visible warning (and at that time I was fully ready for the consequences) So since I never saw the warning I was surprised when a PC attacked me. Sure I learned not to make that same mistake. But I certainly would have liked if there would have been a warning. That and SD is quite harder then most MOO's. I enjoy it now though.

The added warnings won't actually help with the underlying cause of that mistake: not fully thinking through their actions in the game. Take a moment to think about how you just mentioned the dog hunting for money as "all you did", as if it were something a perfectly civilized and well-balanced citizen would do. It's a brutal, violent act that speaks about your character's nature.

You have to think about your actions in terms of how they would be perceived by real people, not by video game characters. Think about the comics/gifs that parody how Link goes around trashing people's pottery in Zelda for rupees. It seems perfectly logical in gameplay, you do this particular task to get money, but when you put yourself in the game world, suddenly it seems absolutely mad.

As for why did you get attacked by a player? It wasn't simply because you lost your newbie protection, and it very likely wasn't completely random, but because of something you did to make that PC want to attack you personally, whether you realized it or not. No amount of extra newbie protection would've saved you in the end from that, they just would've had to wait until it had expired, or found another way to fuck with you.

The lessons we remember the most in SD are the ones we've had to learn the hard way. And that's awesome. :D

a) The dig hunting was done along a more older player. He was teaching me alternative ways to make money. Not just by doing packages.

b) I got mugged for 100 Chyen, which I really didn't have since I put my money on the bank. Although I tried telling him I couldn't pay him as I had no money with me. He attacked me and at this point I was surprised because I really didn't understand the Newbie Protection. 

Heck I even asked in XGA and a majority of players did not know that even existed so I had to quote it for them to see. That whole bad situation would have been solved had I gotten a warning before I hunted the dogs. How many players leave because of that misunderstanding? And I was aware the game is RPI after all I came from an Arm background.

In Arm however there are several things that stop you from doing such a thing as a newbie. You have about 3 hours or so where you will get auto rezzed. Trying to attack an npc in the city immediately sets you as a criminal and you get killed. Rezzed. Going out and fighting something will more often then not kill you. Rezzed. That there allowed me to see my consequences of even daring to trat the game as a hack and slash would get me killed quick. That in itself was a powerful deterrent. After those two things I started instead RPing and exploring. The character did die but because I made the mistake of walking into a no-no area where criminals jump you immediately. However by my second character I understood that trying to attack like that = to one dead character. And I enjoyed the game.

In CS the first time I was about to attack some NPC was because I thought I was being attacked but when the warning popped up I hit No since knowing I would lose Newbie Protection was not a good idea then I realized I wasn't the one being attacked. It was someone who had stealth that was in my same room.

What I'm trying to suggest is what Arm and CS have implemented to act as a Common Sense Indicator. Kind of like when in a PnP game you are about to do something stupid and the DM issues you a warning. People with common sense would go: Oops better not do that or I'll get pwned.

What I'm sugessting is a Common Sense Indicator for New Players so they know:

"You are about to fuck up."

But if the system works then I have nothing else to say. But I'm certain we lose more new players not because they can't be taught to Role Play and what not but because the game is extraordinaly harsh even to new players when it should be less harsh for X amount of time.

And my reason to extend it a month is for casual players that have not yet committed. I'm a casual player because I'm forced to be one. But I greatly love this game and I understand that it is harsh. Just saying not everyone will understand that part.

"can't be taught to role play"

... If they create a character without knowing that's what this game is about, they don't read anything and won't have a happy experience even with extra nerfing and messages.

A player like you sticks around after a nasty surprise because you're already seeking RP. Welcome!

Just one more thought:

SD is deliberately vague about what newbie protection is and what the effects are. In my case, it didn't give me a false sense of things I could *get away with* as a brand new player, instead it gave me quite a respect for the *dangers* in the game.

Again, I didn't even know the details. But it made me think *all the time* about what the consequences of things I might do, might be. Carefully. I don't exaggerate when I say I thought about that *more* by being aware that some finite form of "grace" might be extended to me as a noob, not *less*.

I don't know. Maybe that's not what was intended by the existing design of newbie protection either. It probably made me get into the really, really good RP slower than I might have, too.

Just to add my two pence's worth. Being a new player to this game i would kind of have to agree with IssacF's idea if not necessary the implementation.

Imo what this actually boils down to is the education of new players in an effort to make sure their transition into the cruel world of Withmore that we all know and have grown to love is as smooth as possible for new players that arent used to this style of game.

I know from my experience of recently starting to play the game that this is unlike any other game i have ever player, and whilst its similar to other mud games ive played thats actually worked against me here.

We all want sindome to grow with new players.. heck its new players are vital to the game to keep it fresh and to make sure there is a fresh new batch of plaything for the existing population of withmore.

so whilst there is plenty of information available on the website and in the newbie guide (i know i read all of it before entering through the gates). Previous experience playing mud games certainly left me with expectations of what i should and shouldn't be doing.

Its all well and good saying that life here is tough and hard and youd better get used to it.. but if i would have started with a pure combat character.. after wandering around a bit to get my feet , sure as hell i would have been immediately looking for something to square up against.. thats what years of game play has lead me to believe my next step should be... so say you do this and get wasted.. fair enough lesson learnt.. start again you say..

well thats fine if you have a reason to love this game already.. but why give a newbie a chance of getting hacked off in the first couple of days play and then never coming back and playing something else instead..you might say good ridance if they cant hack it they lightweights and dont deserve to play..but thats a bit simplistic and isnt going to help expand the player base.

there is also the chance that someone fresh from the gates also squares up against another new player . finding there feet. someone who is also going to get their ass handed because they have gone through the two week window and are still finding their feet and are getting into the swing and spirit but have 0 combat skills..

I dont have the answers, i havent been here long enough to know how it all works yet but i sort of think a final warning popping up is a good idea.. just one last chance to point out.. hey this isn't your standard mud hack and slash level up time game.. going around fighting stuff has consequences are you really sure..?? .. maybe that simple message would help a newbie get it and then maybe stick around..

At the very least its a good starting point of a conversation on how could experience for a brand spanking shiny new player be tweaked to keep them around.

Wintermute hit the nail with the hammer head. What I'm really asking is a transition for newbies to the harsh reality that is our world. I love this game. It knovked down Armageddon as top 1 and this id the only MOO I have ever voted for.

Anyway new players are our bloodline. If we are too harsh with them they won't have a chane of learning the game, familiarizing with it and gettint hooked. In fact I think they shoyks be given a taste if working if even for small Red District companies that pay decent but not that much. After the month is up these companies lay off the players as they are only temporary services. This will allow -any- role to find work but only for a limited time. This gives new players a reason to seek better jobs and RP more. I just want to increase the retention rate of new players. Now on the other hand all they seek is a hack and slash the door is right there...