I’d like to add two more sub categories
**Those who have OOC knowledge of how the server works
Those who don’t have OOC knowledge of how the server works**
I’ve played on and off for years on this server and I’m still clueless when it comes to the geography of the server (I have no direction sense in RL too), where the various shops are (especially the class shops I’ve heard about), where the quests are (and there level range), and the various secrets of Arabel (portal passwords, locations of secret places and how to gain entry etc). This is one of the biggest obstacles for me to get others involved. This coupled with my timezone (GMT +13) and casual playtime (2-3 times a week for between 1-3 hours) is the real killer for me.
Some of the above can be mitigated by me exploring Arabel taking screenshots of my maps, and systematically finding the npc quest givers and writing down their party sizes and level ranges, and also asking in game for this information.
This is still a big learning curve, and this is the same learning curve that any prospective new player will face. For those who know how the server works (which obviously isn’t me) it’s apparently easy to get a character up to level 9 within a week of playing. Part of that must be playing in a TZ where there are enough players to group up, the other big part is OOC knowledge of Arabel.
Despite what I’ve mentioned above I’m not actually complaining about the above situation. I’m merely trying to highlight a difficulty for new and/or casual players. I’m a big proponent of not mentioning or complaining about a perceived problem, unless you’re prepared to do something about it, or have a suggestion on how to remedy it.
One option would be players to have low level characters set aside to help newcomers get the feel of Arabel and the lay of the land. I’m more than happy to do this. However a big problem is how to know when a new player arrives to the server. My suggestion (which I will post in the suggestion thread) is to give a select group of players an item (such as a ring) which will notify them when a new player logs on. This could be accomplished via a chat in the starting area (“Are you a new player the server? There are currently # player ambassadors who could help introduce you to the Arabel server”).
Players who have this ring could be notified that a new player has joined. They could then be ambassadors to the new payer, show them how Arabel works, point them in the direction of the quests to get them their first level, and then group with them to do some of the early quests. This could go a long way to helping these new comers stick around. Not only will this be an awesome experience for new players it could help factions recruit new members.
My controversial suggestion is for this ring is to enable a temporarily reduction in a characters level to level 3 (to enable the character to interact with the new player). The trade- off would be that the ambassador doesn’t earn XP or gold for doing the quest. Yes there are possible exploits which is why you only give the ring to trusted players, which could require an application.
Alternatively new players could have the option of getting a walk through book like EFU. I’m not a big fan of this option, as it stops new players getting involved with the current player base.