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ease them newbie blues....
just spit balling an idea ,

yes sorry its another one of those wintermute threads.. please feel free to ignore it..

Ok. So let me prefix this with a i'm as usual just spit balling an idea here, and what i have in mind either might not be needed nor worth the effort to implement but id thought id throw it up there to see if anything stuck...

Ok the basic premise of my idea is :

"is there a better way to introduce new players to Sindome rather than just the current immigration process, ie queue-- chip -- hologram - blamo"

Now this might not be needed and its been awhile since i've been a new player and gone through the process but i was wondering if there was a better more thematic way of introducing players to SD and withmore icly that might help ease their culture shock and prevent some of the more frustrating aspects for new players and prevent them from making theme/cultural fauxpaus that's jarring to the general population.

Dont get me wrong, its entirely in theme and very cool that you get this "boom you in go nuts, its on your own ass".. And also recent (relatively speaking) work has gone into those cool tutorials and and there is a shit tonne of stuff available on holograms and website and wiki and everything else... but we still see new players coming in not just lost in game but also viably struggling to get into the swing of things in a timely fashion... also judging by the number of immies sleeping on the streets and generally cluttering up places i assume that we still have a high drop out rate of new players (i maybe totally off base and whilst the player base is great and healthy and never been higher.. im a sucker for wanting more players to stick it out the 2 weeks say that it takes to truly see what an amazing game/community/experience we have here in SD).

so i'm really posting to see if there was any cool great ideas to help ease the integration of new players if this is perceived as an issue.

My idea just to get it rolling would be to expand the immigration process and merge the tutorials into it and make greater use of the line waiting to enter the city.

There could be more scripted conversations that the new player is exposed to that could introduce some of the theme elements into their perception and also educate/entertain the new players into some of the differences they will need to implement in their play style between SD and other games (ie two things i can immediately think are that actions have consequences and the importance of playing in character etc...).. And then at the end of the line is not just the city of withmore blamo open to everyone and all.. but maybe an actually immigration center (suitably themed *think your worst Grim/Cyberpunk immigration/ over worked/under payed city employees jaded and uncaring as to the million immie they processed") where the player is guided through different rooms that contain the existing Tutorials and new ones.

In effect this place could be used a a sort of ingame / icly repository where the player should come out of it slightly more adjusted to experiencing SD in all its glory.

Key things that as well as the mechanics of playing the game would be

* getting a valid history.. it might also make the whole submitting your "paperwork" make more sense icly. shit maybe even a form would help with them filling out all the major points that causes GMs to reject a history thus saving time all around and reducing frustration.

* getting them up and running on sic - alias etc. - to enable them to communicate with players.

* the cause /effect of their actions ie attacking gangers/ breaking the law (also the basic laws - ie mouthing off to judges on sic) - whilst this is a great RP generator, i have witnessed new players getting fines and not getting this an opportunity. some warning before hand might reduce initial player frustration and then help keep a new player until they choice to do this and make RP that way).

* the need to get a place to stay for the night and set expectations around earning money. the cost of things and all things economy wise..

* in short anything that gets them up and running/ actling themely and reduces the pain of learning the game to get them into the RP sooner and smoother..

* None of these should replace the need for interacting with the players to learn stuff but if it can ease them in to it and then go whamo.. welcome to withmore it might help all around.

This slightly delayed entry to withmore might filter out some of the immie bodies that litter the mix as a player that's going to drop out is more likely to drop out in this center and could be auto reaped quicker than in withmore itself.

My reasoning behind all this is remembering two other games where this was done to great effect..

if anyone has ever player Guild wars 1 .. their initial Newbie area did all this to good effect before unleashing players onto the world.

and 2ndly for my sins i briefly dabbled in Aardwolf before finding SD which has that whole academy thing..

whilst both are very different games they have a much easier learning curve for new players and both of these games are much more like the run of the mill crowd that SD does such a great job of distancing itself from (thus making their learning curve even easier to get into for them and thus harder for SD...).

In short SD is such a great game that i believe that if all the new players that came through them gates lasted longer they would all be hooked like the rest of us addicts and we would all have more play things heheh... its just a question of getting them over the learning curve, getting them to understand that this isnt your usual run of the mill game and getting them into the RP faster and smoother..

Thank you for you time reading my waffle.. ignore if you want.. contribute if you can/want to...

I too have played Aardwolf and other games with the newbie tutorial areas. It would be a nice idea to have an immy center. They walk in, get SICced, and get told to do certain things before proceeding. The clothing store could be intregrated into this as well. And, the end of the line could be the coffins. This would chuck new players out with a grasp of the basic commands, clothes and how to use items, an idea on submitting history, and possibly ideas on certain jobs and things. Maybe we'll get more players recreating characters to do some of the lesser played jobs.

Also provides expectations on what SD is and is not.

As a new player (couple of days) I quite enjoyed the process of being SICced and then thrown to the street to work it out for myself.

I felt basic things like finding a safe place to sleep and getting around the city to be covered well enough to fumble through. The @tutorials could benefit from being expanded and a bit more emphasis put on them, one for the grid would be great too, maybe better handled in a short video tutorial.

A bit more information on history would be great I think, my first time writing I didn't really know the expectations it so I ended up submitting something short and lacking in detail, the GM that denied it left pretty good notes and was happy to answer a couple of questions via xhelp so I could get my next one approved.

Bit of a mess of thoughts but I thought I'd throw in the perspective of someone who is still going through the whole new player experience.

I personally think this would be a pretty good idea. I recently tried to introduce an irl friend to sindome. He's an experienced roleplayer and quickly understood the kind of vibe the cyberpunk genre was likely to provide however, this was his first moo and, even with me at the other end of a facebook chat and the xgame channel to help I know he found it frustrating and immersion breaking fighting his way up the basic command learning curve. I'll have to ask him if he has actually stuck around as I've no idea who his ic character is.

This is a genuine problem for newbs.

Hate to be "that guy"though. This probably should have gone into the ideas section.

It should have Hailfire but, no edit/delete option so meh. It's here.

Some people are quick to learn how to play, a lot of people might not be and need to have some hand holding. Especially if this is their first M**

As a new player on SD, and on MU*s in general, I found that one of the greatest challenges I faced was the economy of jobs and housing. i'm given a small amount of chyen in the beginning, but not a lot to base its worth off of. It would be nice if there were a few more opportunities to get a sense of how much chyen is worth, and how much living will cost.

Aside from this, being confused and lost as actually a fun part of being a new character. My first time RPing on sindome was trying to find employment, and it was a very interesting experience, being unsure of the rules of the city, and feeling alone and scared. I would definitely support a little more tutorial-izing in the intro area though.

"My first time RPing on sindome was trying to find employment, and it was a very interesting experience, being unsure of the rules of the city, and feeling alone and scared."

This means the current experience is highly effective.

Part of the fun is finding this stuff out through RP, exploration of the world, the economy, and how those questions and that inexperience brings you into RP with people that have answers, work, drama for you to get involved in.

I've only just lost my newbie tag so the immie experience is still pretty fresh in my mind. I feel like "alone and scared" can be achieved without also tacking on "frustrated by game mechanics" and "unsure of how to communicate". I honestly enjoyed the lost and alone feeling when it came to theme. This said, when it came to the mechanical side of things, I felt alone the same way an accountant feels when they walk into an office to be audited and they see several hundred bank boxes of unsorted documents from the last fifteen years.

The @newbie IC communication section is sparse at best, which is reasonable, but the helpfiles in general are not particularly good at pointing to further resources if you need more in-depth explanation of OOC elements of the game. I'm still having trouble with emoting, and it took me days to figure out the differences between SIC coverage, grid access, how gridphones are different from gridmail, and why I could only access certain systems certain places.

With some things, I sort of flew by the seat of my pants. People explained that aliases on xchat tended to be different from character names to maintain a strong separation between IC and OOC. With IC systems, I did my best to RP my way through some of those systems, and it went fairly well for some of the more specific things. Someone told me how to create a SIC alias, someone else explained how to register for grid access and gridmail. I assume I'll learn more systems as I need to use them?

tl;dr Lost and alone in theme is good, lost and alone in MOO and game mechanics is less good.

Okay. So here is what @newbie contains on IC communicate.

EWBIE HELP SYSTEM 2.0] -> Communicating ICly

IC is shorthand for 'in character' and refers to actions your character takes as part of the role you're playing.

The first thing you should understand about communicating with others on Sindome is that it is the foundation of our roleplaying game. Whether another character (player or automated) both hears and understands you is based on your stats as well as each person who might hear what has been said. In crowded places, someone may not hear you if you use the very basic 'say' command, but will hear you just fine if you use the 'to' command.

The rules covering when someone hears you are explained in more detail in the help topic 'speaking'. Please do NOT ask other players OOCly if they heard you ICly. If they didn't hear you, it's IC.

say - lets your character talk aloud (" )

to - lets your character talk directly to someone or thing (` )

emote - lets your character emote an action (: )

pose - lets your character pose an action, a pose is a complex emote (see 'help pose')

cm or cc - lets your character talk over the SIC network

- - lets your character talk on a telephone

think - lets your character think something (info not usable ICly)

The NLM QuickTerm and the NLM Street Term are like web browsers in the game that let your character use a message board, email system and a virtual internet. You'll find these scattered about the city as well as purchasable from stores. Login with your username and password on the homepage of our website. The terminals provide access to the Grid, the low-tech solution allowable under the laws restricting Matrix software from being allowed in Withmore City. The Grid is 100% IC, so it's your character using the Grid, not you.

Set your @voice so other characters get a picture of what your character sounds like. It's another part of the overall picture of who your character is and is really important when talking over phones or radios.

@voice me is

Your voice will then appear to other players as: *speaking in a voice*

Tell me what is missing from here that would be helpful? Personally, when I read it I see a full explanation about how to communicate locally, on the SIC and use the GRID and I don't feel like I am missing anything, but again I've been playing for about seven months so I am used to the game mechanics.

*shrugs* I'm not that worried it's in the wrong section just thought i'd point it out. Anyways I am glad someone bought it up.

@newbie is undeniably a useful resource for new players but it is also a LOT of text and difficult for a new player (or even an old player) to absorb in one sitting. unfortunately it is also very immersion breaking for players to have to use every time they are confronted by a situation requiring a new command.

I -think- what wintermute is suggesting here is that we give new players an opportunity to understand how to play the game with hands on experience in simple situations (like how to pick up a weapon in a room with two identical weapons for example) before they actually come to matter icly where lacking such knowledge would be very immersion breaking. Even just a tutorial explaining proper use of the examine command would help people help themselves on the way to better moo commanding and thus a better quality of roleplay for the newb and for those surrounding them.

Maybe since we're getting so many newbies, there could be some sort of OOC/IC training class that a player can work out with a newbie or a group of newbies. Sort of a one-on-one thing where they can do roleplay in a more relaxed environment with OOC help and guidance in real time?

I remember when I was a newbie the first time, someone did that with me and it helped a lot. I didn't feel quite as much pressure to 'get it right' and it gave me enough of a feel for it to be comfortable to go out into the world of SD and do it solo.

Honestly, I feel like we should just promote the hell out of Game-Help aka 'xgame '.

Very simple, very fast, very effective improvement. I'm not sure that a highly organized framework is necessary or reliable.

I'm with Vetra.

Besides, we remember coming through the gates and the welcome we got. The immy building wouldn't have helpful people at all.

Let's go for xgame, welcoming players and encouraging them to use xgame and sic.

good to see my ramblings started a healthy debate and if nothing else promoted a higher forum post of useful tips for newbies..

*maybe a sticky or a separate Newbie area on the boards might be a nice idea to collate all the cool and helpful newbie posts in one.. im a big fan of the tips for newbies that i re-read regularly but its becoming harder to find*

But yes Hailfire is right in that my original idea was that there are plenty of really useful sources of help and that an in game walk through area would be the quickest/easiest / most guaranteed way of getting this info out to new players as well as using it to "set the tone" of SD. However Vetra is also right and i hope i made it clear in the original waffle that all this should never detract or replace the wonderful help that the community gives out to new players. Honestly its a massive credit to SD/ the community/ GMs that the magic a "new player has entered the city" never fails to raise a xgame response of welcoming people with lots of help...

"tips for newbies that i re-read regularly but its becoming harder to find"

http://www.sindome.org/search/?q=tips

The best ones are right near the top. If you're talking about the ones I think you're talking about.

There's also "How do you progress in the game?" http://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/anything-really/how-do-you--progress--in-the-game--662/['url]

And [url]http://www.sindome.org/search/?q=newbie, soon this very thread right here will probably pop up to the top of that list.

So - we can link to those frequently.

"i assume that we still have a high drop out rate of new players"

Well, sure. It all depends what "high" means. People who can't figure out how the hell to play and quit for that reason? Or people who can't find RP immediately and need that in a game? Or people who just brick their pants wen they see Sinn Street and don't need this theme? "High" needs to be compared to something meaningful, and, I'd say we're having both better tryout and better retention than ever. Ever. EVER!

Still. I'm glad everyone's thinking of the newbie blues and ready to take action to welcome and help people.

And here's a whiny newb:

I don't map right from the start so I can never find my way back to the starter area.

Nothing seems intuitive, I know this is completely subjective and on me but every thing I want to do takes 10 mins for me to find.

I'm told a place is always hiring (by the NPC in charge). I then enter an area with a time clock. There's no way to interact with time clock (yes, I used 'exam here').

Just wandered for hours for nothing and feeling stupid. And I know there are all sorts of places to find information.

I love the setting and my history but maybe I am too lazy for a game like this at this point in my gaming life.

SD does require some dedication to learn at first if you haven't played a MOO before. The information you are looking for can be found by asking in character (IC). There are also in game maps if you ask IC where to find them. Command questions can be asked by typing xgame your question here. (Ex. Xgame How do I put clothes on?)

It sounds like you aren't at the place you think you are at as far as the job part goes. People on SIC (an IC communication method) will be generally helpful if you say something like, "I'm new, where can I find work?"

Cyberpunk ain't easy, chummer. Welcome to Withmore.

A couple of help files you might find useful.

Help sic

Help sic-encryption

@newbie

Help NPCs

Figured out how to work and actually got to role-play with a couple of other newbs. I feel better already.

Thanks for the general encouragement. ;)

Have an option to use pregenerated characters.

"Forge Immigration Documents" IC to produce ready-made histories.