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Do we want to attract new players to MOOS?
Poll ended at Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:48 pm
Do you want MOOS to attract new players? 66%  66%  [ 60 ]
You do NOT want to attract new players? 7%  7%  [ 6 ]
Do you NOT care either way? 25%  25%  [ 23 ]
Only matters if MOOS is not cheap to run? 2%  2%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 91
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:09 am 
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mszv wrote:
The current players are going to drop away, naturally. You won't manage to keep every single player who played the previous versions of Uru. If you don't attract new players - what is going to happen?
Just guessing, of course - like most everyone else here - but here's what I think is going to happen:
1. Cyan will give us code and tools, maybe at the same time, maybe not.
2. Cyan will give us some sketchy outline of a game plan - or not. It may be mandatory, or voluntary.
3. Servers will be established according to Cyan's plans or wishes and outside of Cyan's plans or wishes.
4. Some things will work moderately well right off the bat, some things will not. Little if anything will work perfectly right away, and certainly not for everyone's tastes or even a majority's tastes.
5. Some servers will be improved, some will centralize or coalesce, some will drop away quickly.
6. New ages will be available to new players, varying wildly in quality. Some will be nearly indiscernible from Cyan product, some will clearly be fan work. Methods of differentiating or labeling Cyan ages, approved 'canon' ages, and non-canon ages may develop, but some servers may not adhere to such conventions.
7. Tons of heated, passionate, but ultimately productive discussion will ensue. Factions will form, evolve, and stabilize.
8. Word will spread pretty quickly among the 13400 registered users of this forum. Assume that many of these users are no longer around, assume that many are lurkers that don't post, but also assume that many players - especially from the Gametap era - never even registered here, and I still think we could have this same number of players within the first 3-6 months of normal word-of-mouth...ESPECIALLY since the game will be free-of-charge!
9. Until means of handling greater numbers of active players than we saw during MO:UL are developed, we're going to be experiencing lag. It's possible that large numbers of new ages will keep players diffused and not concentrated in the city and the 'hoods. But players like to congregate, so I think at least initially, we will see lag in the usual places - even without any advertising campaign.
10. If we see that the above is not true, or that we DO want more players, and that the servers' improved handling CAN now accommodate greater numbers with no side effects, if we agree that we've cleared our major initial hurdles and can provide newcomers a great, pleasant and positive entry to URU, then by all means: at that point, let's tell the world!

I think that the draw of a major, huge, online environment like URU, at no cost, could be overwhelming if publicized too soon.
I'll also guess that items number 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 will be frustrating to newcomers, until these issues have settled out.
The combination of these two factors could leave a very poor first impression for newcomers.
I'll keep emphasizing that we shouldn't let our "beta" period be the first impression that gets reported to the gaming world at large.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:51 pm 
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I can't help picking out this to play devil's advocate:

Nalates wrote:
If we use the Zandi greeting, we have new players isolated from other in-game-players until they have solved the Cleft. Those playing in other MMO/MMVW’s believe that is a disastrous first impression.

And those playing Myst games believe that is a wonderful first impression.

(I'm not saying that's my point of view, in that extremeness, even though it's one I have some sympathy for - just to illustrate that the question is not as clear-cut as it might seem to some.)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:32 pm 
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I like Nalates' quote and the response. Mine is along similar lines - but we're not other MMOs.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:17 am 
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Perhaps a simple two-button choice could come up to a new player:

How would you like to begin exploring?
Alone or Together

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:19 am 
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Christian Walther wrote:
I can't help picking out this to play devil's advocate:

Nalates wrote:
If we use the Zandi greeting, we have new players isolated from other in-game-players until they have solved the Cleft. Those playing in other MMO/MMVW’s believe that is a disastrous first impression.

And those playing Myst games believe that is a wonderful first impression.

(I'm not saying that's my point of view, in that extremeness, even though it's one I have some sympathy for - just to illustrate that the question is not as clear-cut as it might seem to some.)

What if we clearly tell people that they will be placed in an empty cleft, then have a box of Relto books somewhere (with a note? having Zandi ask you if you want to just get out now? With a sign?) for impatient people. They could always come back to the cleft later (without Zandi) and solve the puzzles for a Relto page (which would come with the Relto book naturally for those who completed the Journey at the beginning). Thus, people get the mysterious and wonderful Uru beginning, but can quickly get out of the cleft without us dumbing down the puzzles. Furthermore, there is relatively little work (much less than the complicated city scenes, DRC explanation kiosks, scaffolding, etc. that many other ideas are based on) involved. There is no "forcing people into decisions when they aren't ready" and no new Ages or add-ons to Ages necessary (other than a box, which would admittedly be a little complicated). There would be either clear signs or clear out of game explanation of the box, so it would be newcomer friendly.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:27 am 
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Whilyam wrote:
Perhaps a simple two-button choice could come up to a new player:

How would you like to begin exploring?
Alone or Together


Good suggestion. Or at the very least a choice between the Cleft and Relto... but I like your idea better.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:18 am 
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Christian Walther wrote:
I can't help picking out this to play devil's advocate:

Nalates wrote:
If we use the Zandi greeting, we have new players isolated from other in-game-players until they have solved the Cleft. Those playing in other MMO/MMVW’s believe that is a disastrous first impression.

And those playing Myst games believe that is a wonderful first impression.

(I'm not saying that's my point of view, in that extremeness, even though it's one I have some sympathy for - just to illustrate that the question is not as clear-cut as it might seem to some.)


Christian is right about how many in the Myst/Uru Community think of Uru. People that would come from other Myst games would be expecting an alone adventure. Those familiar with Uru from 03 to 08 would know what to expect. Neither of those groups presents a challenge. That they think it is wonderful is understandable. We do not need to make any changes for them.

It is the new players that come from GW, Eve, WoW, LoTR, and others that will be a problem. They are going to be expecting to meet people when they walk in. They are going to need to need help adjusting to a radically different Virtual World from what they are used to. They are going to expect the basic that most VW's offer. These 'new' players are now most of the online gaming community, a huge number. They are the pool from which most new players of Uru would come.

One of the ResEng’s (or was it a Greeter) has written about his experience in GT’s MOUL and how new players from GT unfamiliar with Uru had problems. He sees a clear need from past experience to either change how the game starts or get the GoG out front to handle new players. I suspect he is right and support the idea.

On the other hand Whilyam’s “Alone or Together” choice takes care of the issue pretty well. It is simple and likely easy to implement. There is still the problem of those that choose ‘Alone’ and then get in trouble and need help. Also, it makes some IC issues for storyline.

There are some threads here discussing how the new player issues issue might be handled and what changes may be needed. (I can’t find any of them now that I’m looking for them). A popular one is making the Cleft multiplayer and having GoG greeters there.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:42 pm 
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Nalates wrote:
One of the ResEng’s (or was it a Greeter) has written about his experience in GT’s MOUL and how new players from GT unfamiliar with Uru had problems. He sees a clear need from past experience to either change how the game starts or get the GoG out front to handle new players. I suspect he is right and support the idea.


That is interesting, Nalates. Do you know who, and whether his writings are still available?

The GoG has helped new players not exclusively but to a limited extent. In previous incarnations of Uru Live new players would encounter a Greeter (a) through the Bevin classrooms, (b) through the recommendations of a ResEng speaking in the classrooms, (c) by chance encounters in the City or one of the Ages. The Cleft is an idea, but the Bevins were primarily the place of first contact with Greeters.

Votes YES

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:39 pm 
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I read some of these posts, not all. I barely got beyond the first post that was quoted. It shocked me.

"Attracting new people" I read to mean "Marketing to attract." For me, if all of this Cyan generosity and our hard work is to only build a shrine or playground for ourselves, I'm out. There are no good reasons or shades of spin that can rationalize making all these wonderful game elements a gated community.

A new player's experience should be as good as our own, and as friendly as we are. Not knowing what to do is the FUN, not our FAULT. Were are NOT responsible for living up to their expectations, and it is scary to think you can control their emotions. Let them explore! Let them learn to love or hate what they see, and stay and go as they please. Plenty of explorers will help them in the free-range of noobdom. But if you have to assign being nice and helpful to another group, you should rethink why you're here and why you're incapable of playing with others.

BTW--you can take big lessons from Second Life. No two-buttons, no control, just opportunities. Noobs are dropped right into public, with helpers and resources all around them. In time, they learn, and the process is a blast.

Even without marketing money, those who are so motivated could be evangelists for the game in other forums, etc., as much as we are supportive of our own areas of personal expertise by creating Guilds for ourselves.

Don't worry about controlling others. Control yourself. Go sketch a new Age, go write a good storyline, plan some fun events. The pressure will be on YOU to create quality content and keep us all here. If your work sucks, we leave, noobs and all. So maybe you should focus on the product, not attaining power or control.

Great entertainers (which is what we should be here) will go to any lengths to put themselves aside to entertain others. They'll make themselves look incredibly silly for a laugh, or expose their deepest pain for a tear. I think it's time that some of you hit yourselves in the face with pie.

Just so you're clear:
I'm upset with some of you on a personal level. You are exhibiting a disturbing megalomaniacal, egoistic, antisocial, and lazy side of yourselves. Just by this post alone, I'm probably acting the same way. But I came into this game in '03 and was helped by some of you in the Caverns back then, when it was all new, amazing, flawed. Things now have changed.

URULive became who we were back then--kind, spirited, creative, adventurous, sharing. I go back and read some of posts on GuildofGreeters.com from back then (my name was CountryEastern) and it was certainly a different and golden Age. If today's new open source URU will reflect who some of us have become now, that will be incredibly sad.

I want to come back here as a noob. I want to feel that way. So I think I'll avoid all this "development" and just come back later. I'm willing to debate this with any of you. Email me or PM me here.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:39 pm 
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Romer Openfield wrote:
A new player's experience should be as good as our own, and as friendly as we are. Not knowing what to do is the FUN, not our FAULT. Were are NOT responsible for living up to their expectations, and it is scary to think you can control their emotions. Let them explore! Let them learn to love or hate what they see, and stay and go as they please. Plenty of explorers will help them in the free-range of noobdom. But if you have to assign being nice and helpful to another group, you should rethink why you're here and why you're incapable of playing with others.

BTW--you can take big lessons from Second Life. No two-buttons, no control, just opportunities. Noobs are dropped right into public, with helpers and resources all around them. In time, they learn, and the process is a blast.


Hi Romer,

The thread at this point is about opening Uru to the public and letting them have resources all around to help them ...

However the rest I do agree with, some people are too deep into keeping Uru for themselves when it should be for the people.

I hope you have time to read through the rest of the thread and have your opinion changed.

We are not all evil ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:35 pm 
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Romer Openfield wrote:
Just so you're clear: I'm upset with some of you on a personal level.

Romer, could you be a bit more specific as to whom you include in that group? You're actually not being particularly clear. I can deal with people being upset with me, but I'd like to know up front whether they are upset with me or not. What follows is under the assumption that you include me. If you don't, consider this post baseless.

I don't usually respond to such confrontative posts, but I'm doing it here because I suspect some misunderstandings.

Quote:
I read some of these posts, not all. I barely got beyond the first post that was quoted. It shocked me.

I take it you're referring to my post in another thread that was quoted by Nalates to start this thread. In that case, the shock is most probably caused by my failure to make myself understood in said post. Because I actually agree with most of what you're saying. Have you at least read the rest of my posts, where I try to express myself more clearly?

Quote:
"Attracting new people" I read to mean "Marketing to attract."

That's not the way I meant it (although possibly the way Nalates and others did). I meant "Changing to attract", and specifically, "Changing to attract people that weren't attracted by it before, thereby risking alienating those that were". I'm not opposed to marketing, like most other posters here. I won't be doing much of it myself, but I welcome others doing it.

Quote:
For me, if all of this Cyan generosity and our hard work is to only build a shrine or playground for ourselves, I'm out. There are no good reasons or shades of spin that can rationalize making all these wonderful game elements a gated community.

I was never my intention to give the impression that I would prefer to turn Uru into a "shrine" or a "gated community". And a "playground for ourselves" only insofar as while I do base my work on Uru on making (or keeping) it an enjoyable playground for myself, that by no means excludes other people who like that sort of playground. I welcome them as much as anyone.

Quote:
BTW--you can take big lessons from Second Life. No two-buttons, no control, just opportunities. Noobs are dropped right into public, with helpers and resources all around them.

Just a side note about this: I'm a loner, and dropping me right into public as a newbie would have been a sure way of driving me away from Uru. Which would have been a shame, considering the great time I've had, and plan to continue to have, with this community. (But I'm not at all worried that this point will not be handled gracefully.)

Quote:
Don't worry about controlling others. Control yourself. Go sketch a new Age, go write a good storyline, plan some fun events. The pressure will be on YOU to create quality content and keep us all here. If your work sucks, we leave, noobs and all. So maybe you should focus on the product, not attaining power or control.

Right on. That's exactly what I plan to do. Talk is cheap, let's see who can deliver.

Quote:
Great entertainers (which is what we should be here) will go to any lengths to put themselves aside to entertain others.

I don't think that we all need to be entertainers. It's great that we have some, but I for one am not one, and I don't think that makes me any less valuable to the community. If I write an Age, I don't do it because the result of my work will entertain people, I do it because I enjoy writing Ages. (Bad example, because it's likely that I will never publish a completed Age :) - substitute "Pod Clock" or anything else I have delivered.) If I help a newcomer in Uru, I don't do it because I consider it my responsibility to be nice to newcomers, I do it because I enjoy exploring with newcomers and learning from them. I'm very much a "journey is the reward" person, and I'm here for that reward.

To everything else you said, a heartfelt yes, except that I don't think that things are changing for the worse. I'm as amazed by this community as ever. Things may be changing, but change is good. It keeps us on our toes and opens up chances to make things better.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:57 pm 
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Christian Walther wrote:
I don't usually respond to such confrontative posts, but I'm doing it here because I suspect some misunderstandings.

Romer Openfield wrote:
I'm willing to debate this with any of you. Email me or PM me here.


Yeah, not something for these forums.
I think it is a good idea to accept the offer to react by PM or Email. :wink:


Last edited by veralun on Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:16 pm 
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No, I'm sorry. I deliberately didn't. I'm not interested in a personal fight with Romer. If anything I'm interested in the public debate. (Not that I think I have anything to fight about with him, as my post above tries to explain.)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:01 pm 
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Romer, I agree some and disagree some. I’ve clipped the quotes, hopefully not changing the intent.

Romer Openfield wrote:
"Attracting new people" I read to mean "Marketing to attract." For me, if all of this Cyan generosity and our hard work is to only build a shrine or playground for ourselves, I'm out. There are no good reasons or shades of spin that can rationalize making all these wonderful game elements a gated community.

Making the game available to more than just existing fans is, I think, important to the survival of MOOS. Your desire to share the game I think is shared by many.

Romer Openfield wrote:
A new player's experience should be as good as our own, and as friendly as we are. Not knowing what to do is the FUN, not our FAULT. Were are NOT responsible for living up to their expectations, and it is scary to think you can control their emotions. Let them explore! Let them learn to love or hate what they see, and stay and go as they please. Plenty of explorers will help them in the free-range of noobdom. But if you have to assign being nice and helpful to another group, you should rethink why you're here and why you're incapable of playing with others.

This ‘new player experience’ is debated in several threads and forums. I think I see your point and you may be right. I see it differently as the original game opening came from a Myst style single player time (Cleft start) and walked us into MMO/RP/puzzle thingy. Since then MMO’s have changed and become more popular. As MOOS will be seen as an MMO game, it is likely that game player segment where its new players will come from. Experience in GT showed that Cyan/GT’s changes (Relto start) to get fans to multiplayer environment fell short for those coming from other MMO’s.

Romer Openfield wrote:
BTW--you can take big lessons from Second Life. No two-buttons, no control, just opportunities. Noobs are dropped right into public, with helpers and resources all around them. In time, they learn, and the process is a blast.

Maybe… When I first landed in SL I landed on a ‘help intro island’ all alone and went through training with, as you say, lots of resources, nobody was there unless another noob started at nearly the same time. It has changed several times since then. It is still a ‘help area’ that new players start in (my last check) with lots of ‘how to’ stuff all around. BUT they added people so new players are not alone. Alone or together is a big debate here. I think the other players around is needed to keep new players coming from other MMO’s. (That you found the experience in SL a blast means you should probably duck…)

Romer Openfield wrote:
URULive became who we were back then--kind, spirited, creative, adventurous, sharing. I go back and read some of posts on GuildofGreeters.com from back then (my name was CountryEastern) and it was certainly a different and golden Age. If today's new open source URU will reflect who some of us have become now, that will be incredibly sad.

I want to come back here as a noob. I want to feel that way. So I think I'll avoid all this "development" and just come back later. I'm willing to debate this with any of you. Email me or PM me here.

I think the sentiment needs repeating…

Christian feels Romer’s post was confrontational. Confrontation is often a good thing. Christian’s come back touches each point and …challenges… …clarifies… without being disagreeable.
Christian Walther wrote:
Quote:
BTW--you can take big lessons from Second Life. No two-buttons, no control, just opportunities. Noobs are dropped right into public, with helpers and resources all around them.

Just a side note about this: I'm a loner, and dropping me right into public as a newbie would have been a sure way of driving me away from Uru. Which would have been a shame, considering the great time I've had, and plan to continue to have, with this community. (But I'm not at all worried that this point will not be handled gracefully.)

This is the heart of the debate on whether/how to attract new players. Christian’s preferences for how to play the game initially (alone – I know that is over simplified) whether or not to attract new players surprised me. Christian’s views are being considered in several threads. Hopefully the MOOS version of the game will work for him and new players coming with more MMO experience.

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Last edited by Nalates on Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:24 pm 
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Nalates wrote:
Romer Openfield wrote:
A new player's experience should be as good as our own, and as friendly as we are. Not knowing what to do is the FUN, not our FAULT. Were are NOT responsible for living up to their expectations, and it is scary to think you can control their emotions. Let them explore! Let them learn to love or hate what they see, and stay and go as they please. Plenty of explorers will help them in the free-range of noobdom. But if you have to assign being nice and helpful to another group, you should rethink why you're here and why you're incapable of playing with others.

This ‘new player experience’ is debated in several threads and forums. I think I see your point and you may be right. I see it differently as the original game opening came from a Myst style single player time (Cleft start) and walked us into MMO/RP/puzzle thingy. Since then MMO’s have changed and become more popular. As MOOS will be seen as an MMO game, it is likely that game player segment where its new players will come from. Experience in GT showed that Cyan/GT’s changes (Relto start) to get fans to multiplayer environment fell short for those coming from other MMO’s.

Romer Openfield wrote:
BTW--you can take big lessons from Second Life. No two-buttons, no control, just opportunities. Noobs are dropped right into public, with helpers and resources all around them. In time, they learn, and the process is a blast.

Maybe… When I first landed in SL I landed on a ‘help intro island’ all alone and went through training with, as you say, lots of resources, nobody was there unless another noob started at nearly the same time. It has changed several times since then. It is still a ‘help area’ that new players start in (my last check) with lots of ‘how to’ stuff all around. BUT they added people so new players are not alone. Alone or together is a big debate here. I think the other players around is needed to keep new players coming from other MMO’s. (That you found the experience in SL a blast means you should probably duck…)

Christian Walther wrote:
Quote:
BTW--you can take big lessons from Second Life. No two-buttons, no control, just opportunities. Noobs are dropped right into public, with helpers and resources all around them.

Just a side note about this: I'm a loner, and dropping me right into public as a newbie would have been a sure way of driving me away from Uru. Which would have been a shame, considering the great time I've had, and plan to continue to have, with this community. (But I'm not at all worried that this point will not be handled gracefully.)

This is the heart of the debate on whether/how to attract new players. Christian’s preferences for how to play the game initially (alone – I know that is over simplified) whether or not to attract new players surprised me. Christian’s views are being considered in several threads. Hopefully the MOOS version of the game will work for him and new players coming with more MMO experience.

There is a way to have the positives of both the alone and together parts of the game. An example would be my slightly neglected post up there, or an "alone or together" out-of-game choice. Let's focus on ways to satisfy both sides.


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