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NPE Updates Summary The current tutorial has received several complaints, from its length, amount of enemies in proximity, to its rewards. For that reason, the new goal of the NPE is to provide a faster through-line to players who wish to get to the action, with optional quests sprinkled throughout. Main Quest Line Track This rework will involve removing quests and converting some quests into side quests. For that reason, we need a method to assign the next main quest to players who have had their quest removed, or turned into a side quest. The main quest line should be a defined list of quests (See - Fast Track NPE) When a player logs into a campaign with the main quest line and has no active main quest, the first incomplete main quest from the main quest line is automatically granted to them (if any) General Quest System Improvements To better facilitate players choosing the length of their tutorial, we need to improve the way we track quests. Players can choose an active quest from their quest log This will cause the quest marker on the map and compass to only point to the active quest Only active quests appear in the quest tracker Players can set up to 3 quests as active at a single time Players may abandon any quest which is not the main quest from their quest log It is possible to untrack (set inactive) all quests, even if only one quest remains Game Flow Suggestion - Server Swap from Temple Currently, players have to log out to switch servers to shadow or dregs. Forcing players to log out (and wait 20 seconds) could be a drop-off point for some. If we were able to bypass that wait by allowing players to server swap their current character from the temple, it would improve the flow of the game, and we could even give the player a quest to interact with a world-swapping portal. This portal would need to enforce import and export restrictions in the same way that we do from the main menu Tutorial Tip Addition After Finishing the Main Quest, we will trigger a tutorial tip that indicates that God's Reach Worlds are tutorial worlds and that they should move onto Shadow or Dregs Main Quest Revamp As the intention of the NPE has moved towards getting players to the action as quickly as possible, we will be removing quests, and converting many quests to entirely optional Side Quests. The following functionality will need to be added based on new quests: A quest task to join a group The list of changes to the Main Quest Line is as follows. GR1 The following quests should become side quests: GR_Z01_Main_1001_000_005 - GR_Z01_Main_1001_000_011 This is the camp with Sammae, Hilda, and Yuri GR_Z01_Main_1001_000_017 (Kill Enbarri Bandits) Dawnchild sends the player to kill bandits GR_Z01_Main_2001_000_001 - GR_Z01_Main_2001_000_012 These quests contain the storyline that forces players through the Stoneborn ruins, the abandoned village, and back to the temple The following quests should be REMOVED: GR_Z01_Main_1001_000_022 (Gloomwing's Hunting Grounds) Shakkan sends the player to a dirt mount GR_Z01_Main_1001_000_023 (Nowhere to be Found) The player goes from dirt mound back to Shakkan The following NEW sidequests should be added: A sidequest that tasks the player to join a group should be available immediately when logging in GR2 The quests following should become sidequests: GR_Z02_Main_3001_000_011 - GR_Z02_Main_5001_000_009 This is the questline that sends you to Lt Ismerelda, to the Urgu camp, to Scout Enver, The sage of gloaming, and eventually back to Vatra GR_Z02_MAIN_6001_000_009, GR_Z02_MAIN_6001_000_010 These are the quests to kill sun elves and burn the tents GR_Z02_Main_8001_000_000 - GR_Z02_Main_8001_000_007 This is the questline that sends you to the Sun Elf camp near the Temple The following quests should be REMOVED: GR_Z02_Main_2001_000_001 (Too Many Sun Elves) This is the Sun Elf kill quest near the Temple GR_Z02_Main_2001_000_002 (What Are They Planning?) This is the quest to steal the Sun Elf plans GR3 The following should become sidequests: GR_Z03_Main_02001_000_000 - GR_Z03_Main_02001_000_006 These are the quests to aid survivors and craft a bandage GR_Z03_Main_03001_000_000 - GR_Z03_Main_06001_000_001 These are the quests that center around the Canyon and the Aracoix village GR_Z03_Main_09001_000_000 - GR_Z03_Main_09001_000_005 This is the questline that sends you to aid a soldier with arachnophobia The following quests should be removed: GR_Z03_Main_01001_000_003 (Thin the Herd) This is the quest to kill Muskhogs GR_Z03_Main_07001_000_001 (To the Heart) This is the quest to kill Enbarri after the outpost capture quest GR_Z03_Main_08001_000_001 and GR Z03_Main_08001_000_003 These are the quests to sample the hunger for Gaius and to defeat a hungrified Bog Bear GR_Z03_Main_10001_000_000 and GR_Z03_Main_10001_000_001 These are the quests where the player is ambushed by the Enbarri GR_Z03_Main_11001_000_002 - GR_Z03_Main_11001_000_006 These are the quests that revolve around Soldier Sanev and Scout Ruenar GR4 (LowSec) The following should become a sidequest: All quests beyond GR_LowSec_Main_3001_000_008 with the exception of GR_LowSec_Main_5001_000_000 - GR_LowSec_Main_5001_000_003 These are all quests in GR4 which come after the keep We should add the following to the main quest: After the keep quests, a quest should direct you to enter the Shadow Campaign when you are done in God’s Reach Temple The following side quests (with repeatable dialog) will be ADDED A side quest to craft an epic mount A side quest about upgrading minor disciplines (which discusses major disciplines as well) A side quest to upgrade a harvesting discipline (if the player has a harvesting discipline) A side quest to upgrade a crafting discipline (if the player has a crafting discipline) A side quest to equip and then upgrade a belt (once the player can equip one one) A side quest to equip and then upgrade a toolkit (once the player can equip one) A side quest to describe the benefits of upgrading buildings in keeps by interacting with the city planner
One of the biggest and most important lessons that we can learn from dissecting Shadowbane is the failure to capitalise on the new player experience. For those without knowledge of Shadowbane, and infact most "open world sandbox"-esque MMOs, the new player experience was/is abysmal. Most of the game world is open-pvp, allowing you to kill anyone anywhere for any reason - except the starting area. It was an island entirely segregated from the rest of the world in which PvP (the main point of the game!) and all PvP content was missing. You essentially auto attacked for an hour to 3 hours to get off the island. Once off the island, you were thrown into the world with little to no direction. You had to find everything out yourself (exploring or rewarding exploration is not a bad thing, but feeling lost is), and infact the game taught you little of the reality of the game world before this point. You didn't know how to build your character, how to fight players, how to find a guild, where it might be a good idea to level, etc. Truly, only the diehard or those with friends guiding them through made it past this point. You could go outside the safezone/city and immediately be ganked by a few level 75s, promptly followed by hate tells. It was harsh for new players for little reason; ganking new players wasn't even that enjoyable for many players. The time of the "anti-PK" guilds is mostly over in this genre, and even then it was a poor band aid. All of this lead to a very, very, very low new player retention rate. Most sandbox MMOs have this problem: they focus on the gameplay post new-player experience or the "end game" but treat the new player experience as an after thought. This will always lead to the complete inability to grow as a game in terms of playerbase, and infact it quite steadily increases the rate at which a game could die. So here is some bullet pointed suggestions for the new player experience: Let it be a micro-schism of the real game, or allow new players to get into the real game un-segregated. Ensure that new players are adequately equipped to deal with the reality of the game. Ensure that the "tutorial" system is well developed and sleek. I should actually learn enough to be relatively confident in the mechanic you're showing me. Sending 10 paragraphs of text in a pop up (ala Shadowbane) and nothing else is a quick way to get me to cancel the popup. Show the mechanic in action so I understand it fully. The interfaces for character creation and general gameplay should initially be sleek and easily understood. Complexity for the sake of complexity at the start of the game can unnecessarily overwhelm new players. Trickle gameplay lessons & mechanics. Do not shelter new players from what the real game is about. It will only serve to confuse the audience you're trying to captivate: eg if it's a safezone with awesome PvE but no PvP, initially, then turning into a ravenous PvP hungry game world.. you're not exactly showing off what the game will later be or how to get involved in its content. Discuss the potential problems of higher-progressed players griefing brand new players. Wolves don't always like fighting just other wolves, and if you allow your 20,000 wolves to stand at the only entrance to the game where all the sheep come in one by one.. you're gonna have a bad time. There is minimal benefit to allowing this unabated considering the risk is just having a dead game. Do you all have any other things you think the new player experience should be about?