This topic has 9 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 10 months ago by bagz.
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    • Lugar Participant
      October 31, 2015 at 12:29 pm #27264

      I’ve been on LOTR for 2 or 3 days now, so I thought it may help everyone to see the journey of a player that is 100% new to LOTR. Walldo, please feel free to smack me in the back of the head or pat me on the back as appropriate. 🙂

      First, a bit of background on me. I am *NOT* new to MU* gaming in general. I have been playing on RP-based MU* games since the early 90’s. I’ve had LONG stints on several games (mostly Trek based MUSH and MUSE games), before RL priorities took me away for a while. I made the journey all the way from being totally clueless to being in the Senior Admirality in the IC realm, as well as a system coder and player admin on the same MUSH. During that journey I was in charge of the academy for several years, working directly with the new players. So I can’t say I’m truly “new”, but I am truly “new” to LOTJ. I’ve missed the world of true RP (sorry, MMORPGs are very lacking on real RP… I’m old-school), so recently wanted to hop in someplace new. LOTJ looked fun so I figured I’d take the jump.

      Now that you know a bit about my background, you will hopefully be able to understand my perspective as I game. Note that none of the thoughts I post are aimed at criticism of any game mechanics/setup/etc, but they are purely a reflection of how I think (as an LOTR newbie) from the paradigm of my past. I don’t want anyone to take anything I may post in this diary as a criticism! Much like I believe the “think” command is intended to work, I’ll post my thoughts here as I recollect them and as I continue my journey through LOTJ. The first batch here will be pretty scattered since I wasn’t actually keeping a record of these and I’m going from memory. Also, the questions are NOT intended to have people on this thread answer, they’re just questions that have popped in my head along the way that may hop in other newbie heads.

      On to the diary of my first few days:

      – A MUD-like prompt? So this really is a MUD and not another flavor of MU*! Not what I was expecting, but no biggie.

      – Wait, is there an easier way to figure out what classes/races are best mixes? Pick race, check, go back, pick race, check, go back… maybe I missed something… Bah, screw it, Human it is!

      – The academy helped to get my feet under me as far as the individual commands specific to LOTR go.

      – There’s an online wiki I can reference, yay!!! (would be great to have MORE of the in-game help available on it though)

      – Some of these mechanics are really neat, for example the greet/dub mechanic!

      – Wait… there’s space, we get to pilot ships, but… um… I’m at the end of the academy and where’s the instructions on the flight system? Guess I’ll have to learn that out in the IC world.

      – WHO doesn’t show online players and which factions they’re in? They really take IC/OOC seriously here (yay!!!). On the downside, I can’t look and quickly see which faction is most active in my primetime. Guess I’ll have to make an educated guess.

      – OK. First time on this game, let’s pick an active faction so it is easier to find RP… Republic should be an active organization, lets’ do that.

      – OK, I’m on Coruscant. Let’s quest away and level up a bit so I’m useful in the IC world.

      – Glad I got Xavious’s client, I’d be get lost without the auto-mapping!!!

      – Wow researching is a slow process… the fails are damned annoying… good thing I can multi-task RL (I know, game mechanic, not complaining, just a new player thought that popped in my head).

      – Hmm… How high should I level before moving on? Maybe I should try to get a few to 25 which appears to be tier 2 then venture out… but WHERE is a good place to venture?

      – Odd, I haven’t seen ANYONE IC yet, just mobs. Maybe Coruscant isn’t a happening place in the RP world.

      – Not that anyone should be spoon-fed RP, but I wonder how someone totally new to gaming would ever find any RP. If I hadn’t had to ask stupid questions on Newbie, not sure anyone would even realize I joined the clan (let alone the game).

      – Level 30 hit: Oh crap, I haven’t done a bio yet? OK, let’s get started… <someone IC finally comes past… she nods> Yes! Someone I can start some RP with… <I try to nod… denied because bio isn’t done and I’m now level 30> Crap crap crap!!! <I quickly type in a placeholder so I can try to RP then come back and finish bio… I hit /s but she’s already gone and I can’t find her> Augh! Back to finishing bio, maybe someone will come around later.

      – Most games I’ve been on you someone from the clan you join reaches out to you OOCly to find out what you want to do in the IC world and gives you a little guidance on where to go/who to talk to in the IC world to inject yourself into that RP. Yes, the OOC channel is there, but a lot of people new to a game (myself included) feel a bit awkward asking too many questions. We also don’t want to come across as wanting things spoon-fed, so I know some people may give up after a bit of questing on their landing world and never seeing or talking to another person in the game (ICly or OOCly).

      – As a newbie the only thing I know is how to get going on initial questing. There’s no hints on how long you should stay in the initial landing world or where you should go next to meet people/start your RP journey in your class of choosing. Figuring out how to best “fit in” is often the biggest hurdle as a newbie on an RP game.

      As I said in the preface, this is just my thoughts on my first few days on the game… Not trying to do anything more than give a bit of insight into how a new player may experience things (not all newbies are alike). I know after you’ve been on a game for a long time you take certain things for granted that newbies have no idea about. 🙂

      Feel free to poke me here or in-game if you think of anything I might be able to comment on from a newbie perspective.

    • Ryken Participant
      October 31, 2015 at 3:32 pm #27265

      I’ve been poking at LOTJ for years, but this is my first timeline where I’m actively trying to participate, contribute, and make things happen.

      I think one of the easiest ways to get started is to pick one of the major organizations and enlist, let them know you’re fresh out of the academy. You’ll probably get scooped up by someone who has been playing for a long time and can at least give you enough information to get you to be contributing to the org and making a difference (which is all we’re really after anyway), from there you basically have to osmose information from commnets and clan chatter, doing your best to ask clarifying questions ICly.

      Some tips:
      -Get a bag of comlinks, player shops usually have them for sale, they’re pre-tuned to all the different organizational channels and identified thusly. If you’re feeling saucy, make and tune your own comlinks for each org, you’ll pick up a lot of info just listening.

      -Make a combat main and get trained to level 150, and/or a character with the “doorcut” and “sharpeye” skills and begin to “help explore” yourself some information. The planets are jam packed with secrets, information, tips, help, quests, and interesting things to do, you just have to suss it out. If you come from a ROM/RoT background like I do, you need to throw away those eyes and get “help explore” eyes on. Exploring Kashyyyk for instance, this timeline, has been one of the best MUD experiences I’ve ever had, which is amazing to say after 20 years.

      -There are “somewhere” exits in this game that are not the cardinal or ordinal directions (ne, sw) or up/down. They are only accessible by a keyword that can usually be found somewhere in the room, either in the desc, an object desc/string, or an extra desc (or something obvious). These are TRICKY AS HELL sometimes.

      -You’re going to die at some point, don’t sweat it.

      -changes search <term> will let you find change files that explain things you may be interested in. I used to ask a lot of non-IC questions on OOC (still do, heh), but you can usually changes search up some relevant information that’ll tell you what you need to know.

      -Eventually you’re going to want to do your own thing, and start up some shit, make things happen. As Zeromus says, LOTJ is lacking in motivated self-starters, so jump into some shit and start doing. This usually means crime/espionage type activity, but it doesn’t have to be, whatever you will have fun doing that you can get other people to tag along and also have fun doing. If you decide to do things like this, it’s best to be unaffiliated, as clan affiliated players have charter rules/laws to follow.

      -LOTJ is a reactive system, if you get into a jam, don’t get super mad (I’ve done this), try to play it out and make the best of it, the people involved are probably old hands who don’t want to do anything boring as much as you don’t want to sit in a cell or be executed, so stay in the game.

      -Have fun!

    • Walldo Keymaster
      October 31, 2015 at 5:52 pm #27269

      This sort of feedback and insight is EXACTLY what we are looking for out of this subforum, thank you so much!

    • Lugar Participant
      October 31, 2015 at 6:07 pm #27270

      Hey Ryken,

      Thankfully I had the client already (the automap feature kept me from losing my bearings, plus the separate log windows so I don’t lose chats in game spam makes it possible to watch the conversations).

      I’m also on a good path now (happened to see someone put out a commlink frequency where they were recruiting, which opened the door for me to the IC world). I’m a content player, so no worries there. A lot of the thoughts I expressed above had already been handled before I posted, but my experience on other games helps in knowing how to work through it. If you get someone that’s used to MMORPG games and just starting out in the MU* world, they might give up on points that players of other MU* games might not.

      In my experience, once you get your foot in the IC world, things go MUCH smoother. If I had to pick one thing to suggest for improving a newbie’s experience, it would be finding some way to interject them into the interacting with other players (even if it is just OOCly, but ICly would be better). Once people feel like they “belong” they’ll truly enjoy themselves and hang around. The player-to-player interaction is what makes games like this truly fun! =D As I’m still learning the ropes of the place, I’m not even thinking about setting up a multi account yet (though I may sometime in the future)

    • Zeromus Participant
      October 31, 2015 at 8:11 pm #27279

      -LOTJ is a reactive system, if you get into a jam, don’t get super mad (I’ve done this), try to play it out and make the best of it, the people involved are probably old hands who don’t want to do anything boring as much as you don’t want to sit in a cell or be executed, so stay in the game.

      cannot emphasize this enough

    • Lugar Participant
      October 31, 2015 at 8:19 pm #27280

      Oh yeah. I’m not at all unfamiliar with that in my gaming experiences. 😉 It is something that would be good to remind people new to RPing games though! I do see it mentioned in the hints that pop up every few minutes which is a good thing!

    • Zakattack Participant
      November 1, 2015 at 4:50 am #27281

      Yeah, the wiki needs some lovin’.

      As someone who avidly encourages newbies to ask questions, (I learned mudding/MUSHING on LOTJ, and had to ask a TON, and still have to ask some from time to time), I’m glad to read this so I know how they’re feeling, because sometimes I forget how hard it is to get used to. We’re trying to make help newbie_index a common answer to most questions, because, like you said, most people don’t want to act too needy and prefer to help themselves.

      Welcome to LOTJ, btw. Hope you stick around.

    • Harlon Participant
      November 1, 2015 at 10:31 am #27283

      I provided a newbie diary entry in another thread a couple weeks ago. Since then, I have experienced a few additional newbie pain-points that I wanted to bring up.

      Smuggling skills. If a newbie chooses smuggling as their primary class, are they able to learn smuggling skills from books? Or are they provided any guidance to where they can learn their skills? As a non-smuggler who wanted to learn a few of the basic skills, it took me a month of casual exploration before I found the teacher.

      Stat-boosting equipment. It took me forever to learn about this; particularly because the engineering system allows for so much creativity, I had no idea that I could acquire equipment that modified my stats beyond what is explained in <help armor_table>.

      I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with exploring. Compared to other MUDs I’m used to, LotJ has a significant lack of descriptors for the nouns in rooms. This would be fine, but there is also a significant lack of IC hints provided for some areas (Bespin). Not knowing that a specific skill is required and must be used in a specific room when there are no hints other than ‘it’s somewhere around here’ is very frustrating and a quick way to dissuade exploration.

      There’s also been a couple profession-specific pain-points that took a lot of IC and OOC lessons to learn and overcome:

      Armor-crafting guides would be very useful. Making armor and enhancing it is pretty simple to figure out thanks to the <help armor_table> resource. It’s a lot more difficult to figure out that different materials provide different results and why the same materials can produce armor with different stats.

      On a similar note, ship-building seems like it would be really fun to create and modify your own ship. After all, the space and ship system here is pretty cool. But there are a lot of caveats and hidden pieces of knowledge that are not readily known to newbies. ‘You must be in a clan that has access to blueprints or all you can build is the one public ship type; in addition, the ships have strict maximum and minimum values, so you only have a little bit of flexibility. Good luck figuring out what each of the components does.’

      Other than the pain-points, I have also had a blast RPing — which is what keeps me coming back. The more time I play, the more exposure my character gets to other players, which provides more RP opportunities, and the cycle continues. And now, when I get stuck with an IC or OOC question, I just ask instead of digging through help files. Nearly everyone I’ve asked a question to has been willing to help out.

    • bagz Participant
      November 4, 2015 at 5:13 pm #27289

      Still reading the OP but I want to say that I think a webcomic like OotS but LotJ would be on point and helpful.

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