IC instructions vs OOC instructions

TeaniTeani Evening SkySwedenMember Posts: 2,110 ✭✭✭✭✭
I've been thinking, so bear with me.

I'm wondering a little something about how many of the players get involved in actually ICly educating people about afflictions, cures and defenses, rather than instantly going OOC and start talking systems or First Aide.

I remember sitting down, taking my time to help newbies understand the difference between certain defenses, how to build up to a venomlock, how to prevent it. I held classes about it no matter how few turned up, simply to make it more part of the game rather than simple mechanics. I'd encourage them to explore and ask questions to get a good sense of the lore of the game (cause hey, it's a roleplaying game after all). Newbie areas were there to help them understand how to move around, how to quest and minor things like that. After this they got to practice how to function in low areas where the mobs hit harder or even dealt afflictions, like the Beastlord's dungeons, Scidve, Hashan, Liruma. Level 80 was something you really treasured, because it meant you could stop worrying about food and sleep. Endgame gave you something to strive towards, a purpose.

Those low-level areas seem to serve little purpose nowadays, because most people are rushed onwards. The focus, already from the beginning with true newbies, seems to be to reach as high in level as soon as possible, sort of a "Hey, I want to become a super-top-tier-fighter right NAOW!" and people oblige, taking them hunting to reach endgame as quickly as possible.

Now I'm not saying helping people out is a bad thing, but I remember back when I started playing and it took some effort to reach somewhere. Yes, it's good that it's easier to reach, that people don't get discouraged, the perks are great and all that, but what happened with all the other things that people are now rushed passed? Is it really good that people are instantly pointed in the direction of First Aide without any additional IC instructions? Don't they lose out on some important character building if they are 'imprinted with curing abilities'?

I know people like Moirean are doing awesome things with her guild, training recruits in a military fashion. It's awesome and makes one feel like it's more than just turning on a system and start hitting things.

I sat down the other day with a newbie (really wish I had time to do this more often), explaining all there was to know about defenses and why they were any good. Had a really good time too, especially explaining why being deaf and blind were good things!

So, my questions are, how many of you do things like this on a regular basis? How many of you feel you might be stepping OOC a bit too readily? If a newbie starts asking about system things, is that your cue to move OOC completely or do you still try to juggle it ICly? What do you think are the pros and cons of each of these methods?



Comments

  • TozToz Member Posts: 2,494 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I can't handle affs on an IC basis. Too many problems, so I just gloss over them. Like eating with paralysis is impossible. Stupidity is an aff? So can you give the newbie sp33king in 1337 some goldenseal and have them start speaking properly? Or everyone's favorite: stuttering. Epidermal. Apply directly to the forehead.

    So, in short, ehhhhh. If you can find ways to RP combat go for it. But the mechanics simplify in-depth rp to a level I'm not comfortable with. An orphan? Lol just rezz your parents with end-game racial.

    Arbre-Today at 7:27 PM

    You're a vindictive lil unicorn
    ---------------------------

    Lartus-Today at 7:16 PM

    oh wait, toz is famous
    ---------------------------

    Karhast-Today at 7:01 PM

    You're a singularity of unicorns awfulness Toz
  • ArekaAreka Drifting in a sea of wenches' bosomsMember, Guildmaster Posts: 1,693 ✭✭✭✭✭
    image
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    TozSetnePerilunaAryanne
  • TozToz Member Posts: 2,494 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm so glad someone got that.

    Arbre-Today at 7:27 PM

    You're a vindictive lil unicorn
    ---------------------------

    Lartus-Today at 7:16 PM

    oh wait, toz is famous
    ---------------------------

    Karhast-Today at 7:01 PM

    You're a singularity of unicorns awfulness Toz
  • MoireanMoirean Chairmander PortlandMember, Newbie Helper, Guildmaster Posts: 5,612 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    Carnis have an OOC clan for people to ask questions about mechanics, syntax, rp specifics, coding, combat, etc, which I think is a good resource to have for players to be able to ask about the nitty gritty without bungling through it ICly. However, I actually am pretty militant about when our newbies get inducted to that - either they need to have been around a while or be pretty clearly alts/imports from other IREs. I think simply dumping newbies into OOC stuff like that can really destroy the early immersion. For that same reason, I never take REAL newbies bashing. Alts/returners/imports, sure, but real newbies need to wander around and explore.

    That being said, there's a measure of tedium involved with spelling stuff out for every newbie who comes through. I have made a big push to make our scrolls helpful and newbie-friendly, including things like little RP reasons for tasks in our advancement scrolls (Achieve the 35th circle of experience.- We do not tolerate weakness. Prove your strength against the creatures roaming the land. - See GHELP HUNTING.).I then direct people to that stuff a lot, since it can get REALLY tiring otherwise. Scrolls are helpful for your questions because they can straddle the line between both IC/RP and OOC/mechanics, with links to more mechanical/syntax stuff embedded in them. You can also integrate learning mechanics into interaction itself - for example, during inspections we have recruits "demonstrate" an attack against an invisible foe and usually accompany that with a tell about how emoting works.

    Regarding teaching stuff like curing itself, I think that while it can be good fodder for RP (warning: that log is amazingly old and I was really new to RP/Aet myself), I don't personally find curing on its own to be anything incredibly immersive or engaging. It's a mechanic, and one of the more complex and tedious ones; I find that decently useful explanations about it tend to draw me out of roleplay rather than into it, but I could just be lacking creativity here. My focus is on ensuring the new player is solid in the basics, as I think that opens the door to more engaging stuff. Just like a system lets you focus on your higher-level tactics in PK instead of micromanaging curing, giving newbs simple configs to get the basics handled lets them focus on deeper gameplay, imho. 

    I think whatever you do, you need to do it on a case-by-case basis. We get a HUGE range of new players. For one recent recruit I explained the concept of rooms and movement and what "in-character" meant; for another, we talked about the nature of souls and why their torment and fear lets you use barrage to attack things. The skills themselves definitely have a lot of room for RP - this is probably my favorite personal RP ever - and there's a TON you can do with exploring them. I just think you need to gauge what type of newbie you are dealing with. The real new newbies I try to make the mechanics clear for - but maybe I'm heading down the wrong path here? Maybe a bit of confusion but a lot of immersion will help keep people engaged better? What early parts of gameplay are most important for retaining new players? Most MMOs have gone for very simple, streamlined systems, even paring down their older intros and introducing simplified UI over the years, replacing the meta sort of grind (talent trees, complex skill choices, equipment management) with easy choices. But are MUDs the same as MMOS? Maybe completely different things hook new MUD players? I honestly don't know, and I'm curious if anyone does.
    HavenPhoenecia
  • HavenHaven World Burner Flight SchoolMember Posts: 2,332 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    As far as education is concerned, it's a matter of preference really. I wouldn't say either IC or OOC learning techniques are superior to the other. Though I'd argue in some cases OOC is more practical like in regards to forging and equipment stats to give one example.

    I agree with you in regards to power bashing though. I personally feel that newbies should not be power leveled at all until they've reached a certain level of understanding. Alts, veterans, or people generally familiar with IRE muds? Sure, if they ask for it and you're willing but everyone else ought to go through levels 1-50 at the very least on their own or with people in or near their tier group because that area of the game teaches you a lot about our mud and what to expect later on.


    The quests and stuff slow down significantly after level 55ish. At least in complexity and variation for the ones I've discovered. Then picks up again around 77ish. So if you make them skip 1-50 and dump them at 70ish where power leveling becomes harder, you're essentially dumping them in the deep end without teaching them how to swim. What's worse is that depending on where you go, that deep end might not be calm waters but a typhoon of sorts in terms of mob complexity and difficulty.

    As you gradually progress through each area, you're introduced to new mechanics, afflictions, and challenges/puzzles that reveal things you can or need to do in order to progress and understand the more complex stuff that comes later, from "turn rock" to "climb chute" or "put x in y". (This is also why I love that the Admin have redone the dialogue and quest systems since some of these lessons are obscure and or hidden. Like for some places, the answer/hint is in the room description!)

    To have a newbie skip over that knowledge cheats them and ultimately us all in the end. Since you've rocketed them to a higher level , they've lost a large incentive to explore the area due to the XP no longer being ideal. Which means the quests & lessons the newbie area provided are lost to them and thus making the puzzles/challenges of their current level area that much harder to do on their own. So on and so forth building unnecessary frustration and what not that could've been avoided if they just leveled normally to begin with. (Admittedly this isn't such a big deal in the grand scheme of things, especially considering the meat of the game isn't in exploration or questing.)


    An alternative to power bashing, what I used to do as HoN or novice aide back when I was interested in that sort of stuff, is chaperone and instruct where applicable. Guide them to "important" quests so that they learn how to play both the game and class.
    ¤ Si vis pacem, para bellum. ¤
    Someone powerful says, "We're going to have to delete you."
    havenbanner2
  • MoireanMoirean Chairmander PortlandMember, Newbie Helper, Guildmaster Posts: 5,612 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't think anyone actually takes truenewbs powerleveling. I've not noticed it among my orgs - is this an issue people are seeing somewhere?
  • IrruelIrruel Member Posts: 670 ✭✭✭✭
    One of the most fun periods of mudding I can remember is when I learned to pvp in Achaea. My main for, I suppose about a year, was really bad at pvp. Not for any lack of trying, but I just couldn't get the hang of it.

    I made a monk alt (Kharon, before the days of Ashura monks existing). The guild was full of strong pvpers, who gave me a enough ooc suggestions that I was able to make a workable system (three macros which cured the last three afflictions that were given, in order. Nothing special, but it was workable and better than most other systems out there at the time).

    They then taught me to fight. One guy would randomly find me and attack me. If I wasn't shielded, he'd keep attacking me and sometimes kill me. Another would make me attack people and watch the fight, giving me tips mid fight - sending tells like "left leg now. Hit anything else until I tell you and I'll kill you myself."

    Of course, the game back then wasn't particularly RP focused, but there was a distinct line between OOC and IC. Aside from specific system advice, the rest of it was, while not RPed out in detail, certainly in-character enough not to break immersion, and loads of fun.

    A few months later went back to my main and did my best to hunt down the people that had griefed me in my first year of mudding. Sweet, sweet revenge ;)
    AngweArbre
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