We Removed Novices from Guilds - Lets Talk About That

MjollMjoll Member Posts: 305 ✭✭✭✭
We removed novices and new characters from guilds for the city-centric system it is now, and while it's good for impressing that cities are Aetolia's central driving organizations, and not getting dumped into an empty organization to fend for yourself, it's bad for new players and new characters to not see and interact with their guild until they graduate from the academy.

Keeping them out of the guild until they graduate deprives them of seeing the guild and class themes, they don't know what the guild environment and player count looks like, and they have no way to judge if they'll mesh with the guild culture until after they've lost the ability to easily change. This causes them to miss out on a core component of the game for at least 31 levels, and all of their novicehood.

Moving the brunt of the novice experience to the city was a good thing! More people to answer questions with CNT rather than a smaller populated GNT, better likelihood that someone is paying attention, etc. However! If a new player takes the time (doesn't get power bashed) and plays the game all the way through newbie dom on their own, it can take several hours of playtime spread out over several days, and never interact with what will become their guild - and when they finally DO land in that guild now there's a whole process of being pointed out as new AGAIN, a bunch of people who may have not noticed them on CWHO available and interested in them, and they may find that the guild sounds good on paper but they just don't mesh with the people - and they have to manually quit and find a player to let them into a new guild to try the process again.

tldr; Put newbs back in guilds so we can track them better, interact with them earlier, and decisions can be made while grace periods are still open.
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  • SryaenSryaen Member Posts: 115 ✭✭✭
    edited September 10
    I suppose maybe I can see why it was done this way in that most other games have a tutorial that sort of gives you a bit of a taste first before sending you off onto the first storyline quest. I would assume this is done so as to not to seem so overwhelming to the new player, because Aetolia is such a vast, wide world and even for a seasoned MUD player, learning a whole new world would be a daunting task. It's been well over a decade since I was a new player, and Aetolia was my first MUD too, so I remember how confusing it was to learn what to read and what to pay attention to/what to ignore, etc.

    Not saying I disagree with you at all, Mjoll - because I absolutely agree 100% with this post. We've had our fair share of Templar novices come through and I'm hesitant to reach out to them because I don't want to be the thing that interrupts their focus on their academy tasks. I'm not sure where a good middle-ground for this is, maybe putting GNT back in so the newbie can interact with their guild too?

    I'm not really sure how long it takes new players to graduate, either. I want to say when I made my shadow alt, I blew through the intro + academy in maybe an hour? Considering that novices can switch to different guilds, classes and cities with relative ease, having them separate from a guild makes it incredibly difficult for them to get a taste of the guild atmosphere or RP they're considering joining and it ultimately leaves this up to the city to be hyper-involved in any newbie that they get. I can only speak for myself, but in the year I've been back, I've interacted with maybe 1 or 2 novices and that was to help them out with directions or ask them why they were murdering city tutors.

    Not everyone is great at interacting with novices, but for those that have the patience for the zillions of questions and wrong syntaxes, God bless you. But I think putting newbs back in guilds would go a long way for increasing the 'perceived value' for new players, because it's just one more thing for them to sink their teeth into if they're trying Aetolia for the first time.

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  • TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 755 ✭✭✭✭
    The only real downside I can see to having novices funneled into guilds again is that it might be slightly awkward when they switch guilds instantly using their Newbie Privilege, but honestly that's an expected part of the game to me. I honestly miss having some little level 5 bastards running around my feet; it would make the Guild Novice Wrangler jobs a lot more fun and intersting, too. Yeah, plz bring them back. I think centralizing cnt is probably a good thing, and I don't think we need a GNT again, but damn please give us our precious babies so we can spoil them properly before they start bashing level 50 zones at level 31.
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  • SaidennSaidenn Member Posts: 143 ✭✭✭
    To me the easiest answer is to have them show up on GWHO as well as CWHO and give them access to GHELP even as a novice. I would also like to take this time to say I would absolutely LOVE org help permissions. I loved them in Achaea as it let me condense information down for novices and recent-novices so I can give them 3-4 files to read rather than say... bombarding them with 15 different GHELPS, many of which are not relevant to them until they become established.

    I, too, am typically cautious about inundating Academy persons since I know they can change class easily and may or may not become part of my guild permanently. It is a tough balance as you don't want to feel like you're persuading a choice, but you also want to give the newbies a taste of your guild's atmosphere before they hit the 90% return and then having to manually get inducted and no longer have the easy class repick option of the Academy.

    Maybe even if it is just adding a "guild" task into the Academy, that introduces the Academy person to the guilds through short quests that give a generic rundown of what the guild is about? Going on a short jaunt to find a lost soul and suck it into a soulgem for Carnifex and brutal slaughter of a Dhar-ite who shows up to stop them. A trek into the desert, using sand to free an initiate from icky vines and watching them get embraced by Undeath. A quick trip to a village where a vampire has to masquerade to pass off as living to collect an item, and then eats a victim in a properly eye-rolling frenzy. Things like that.

    SOMETHING or ANYTHING to give our novices a more proper introduction to the guilds PRIOR to making the commitment. It makes their experience better as they find the rp and playstyle that is their jam, and it helps the orgs/players as it brings us people interested in the RP we're trying to foster in our guilds.
  • EleneElene Member Posts: 334 ✭✭✭✭
    I am on the boat with giving them Academy tasks to complete for the different Guilds/classes tied to the city. That allows them to have a feel for guild their class is tied to, and helps them to make up their mind before they graduate and go into a guild they might not necessarily think they fit, even if they find the class interesting. 
  • IazamatIazamat Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭✭
    Regardless of what's implemented, I'm still of the opinion that newbies should have access to GT (or even GNT), just so they get a taste of guild culture.
  • SibattiSibatti Mamba dur Naya Amidst vibrant flora and treesMember Posts: 367 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I thought there used to be a guild task in the Academy, wasn't there?
  • TeaniTeani Shadow Mistress SwedenMember Posts: 2,230 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It was disabled almost right from the start for some reason, @Sibatti

    I think they said something about letting guilds come up with something suitable to showcase their orgs for the academy, but it never got set up.

    It's always felt a bit strange for me that newbies choose a class in the intro without knowing anything about where they would end up, especially now with multiclass and even mirrors being a thing. I can definitely understand choosing a city, as it would be more likely for people to have heard about that type of culture and feel drawn towards a "side".

    If I could set up the intro the way I wanted it,  I'd guide new players through the general skills of fending for themselves, things that allow them to bash in a Newbie area without a class, as well as general commands like they do now. 

    Then there would be talk about the cities and the world, to explain where they are heading, and ask where they'd want to live after their escape (on the premise that cities offer better protection against slaver abduction). I would have it inform them about the city Academy so they know where to go first once they escape. The intro would be focused on city, but give the newbie information about what guilds reside in them for future reference. The OPTION to choose right away in the intro could be there, but if someone wanted to wait that would be fine too. 

    It could be sort of like saying: "If you don't know what might suit you best, once you get to a city, reach out to the guilds there to learn the awesome skills of a proper adventurer! The Academy will let you test all the classes that the city trains in their guilds." 

    At the Academy, I would set up a guild information quest line, where the newbie could choose different classes to look at and test the skills, read some selected GHELP stuff, and perhaps get access to GNT to ask more questions to get a feel for the guild as well as the class. Show the newbie as a potential recruit, to let guild members know that they are still weighing their options and might choose something else. They might disappear soon, unless you manage to ensnare them with awesome, engaging rp!

    The main takeaways from all this:
    * make sure to put more emphasis on the Academy in the intro, and let people know they can test and choose there.
    * open the Academy up to some guild interaction as a trial to give them more immersion while testing classes.
  • ObaOba Member Posts: 16
    My idea would mean a complete revamp of the novice system, but I think it could be a good way for the novices to learn about both the cities and the guilds. And perhaps there should be a way to graduate quicker for those who already know what they need to know, so they don't have to go through it all. Perhaps I am over-thinking things, but I had fun coming up with this!

    Step 1: Slaver's Isle. This is basically how it was before, but instead of picking a city and guild in the boat to mainland, Ghantia talks about the Esterport Academy, where you will end up when embarking.

    Step 2: Esterport Academy. 6 Tutors.
    Tutor 1: Teaches you about the general things, such as emoting, descriptions, attire, news and so on. Perform tasks and answer questions to finish.
    Tutor 2: Teaches you about firstaid and curing, give the newb a general bashing skill that is a bit more powerful than kick or hit, but still not connected to a guild, so they can get through novicehood properly. Perform tasks and answer questions to finish.
    Tutors 3-6: Teaches you about the different cities, what they stand for and what guilds reside inside. Perform tasks and answer questions to finish.
    You should probably have a tutor (or the Head Master/Mistress) talk about the guildless classes, such as Wayfarer and Indorani too.

    The novice would be encouraged to ask questions over the Newbie channel when performing these tasks.

    Once finished, you talk to the Head Master/Mistress to graduate and pick the city of your choice. You will instantly be transformed to the city academy where you will continue on with your studies.

    Step 3: City Academy. 4 Tutors.
    Tutor 1: Learn a bit more about the city. This could be where you learn to find the bank, how the post office work, ask guards for help and so on. Perform tasks and answer questions to finish.
    Tutor 2-4: Each tutor teaches about their specific guild. The novice will learn about what the guild purpose is and what their place is in the world, as wel as learning about some of the more useful guild skills. Perform tasks and answer questions to finish.

    The novice would be encouraged to ask questions over CNT when performing these tasks.

    Once finished (and you have reached lvl31), you talk to the Head Master/Mistress to graduate and pick the guild of your choice and go on your merry way!
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