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Staff Backer Doctacosa
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This is part 2 of sorts of the topic I opened up last year on offering a better introduction to new players. I'm starting anew since the vast majority of the points brought up in the previous topic have been dealt with.

Lots of things changed in the past year. A lot more people can successfully register on their own, without help. Upgrading the forums, adding full mobile support and redesigning the registration page seems to have done wonders. Great! There's one extra piece I want to put into place on this front, but I consider this as mission accomplished.

We keep our long-term players. Looking at the numbers of the past year, we're doing fine at keeping our regulars over time. Some tire out of the game, of course, but plenty return after a while, so I think we're in a good position there.

That leaves one problematic spot: people who register, play a bit, then never return. The vast, vast majority of those who register don't come back after their first visit. Some might return on the following day, but that's it. We need to do better at getting these people settled in.

For the classic question of "What to do?", I've regrouped the list of conditions of the themed building areas on the website. I'm planning further improvements to that page. Directions on how to get somewhere are often tricky, and I've got something in the oven to help with this.

I'm now looking at how to keep the new players around. What can we do to make their settling in easier? Is something too complicated that could be improved?

One random idea I had, should an email be sent to those people after a few days if they don't rejoin, asking "what's up, why didn't you stay?", like an exit survey of sorts? Or would that be too obnoxious?

Of course, if something that's already in place could still use improvements, I'm all ears.

What else could be done?


The admin formerly known as Dr. Cossack.

I post musings, images and nonsense on Tumblr! I play games on Steam! Add me on either/both, and don't hesitate to ask if you want to play something with me!

"There are only three things certain in life: Death, taxes, and Teej's obsessions." ~ RisingDragon (still true in 2019!)

Backer Twixxi
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Okay, got a few ideas.

One thing is getting people started, because it's hard starting with a blank inventory when you're in an area you can't harvest. More and more people are registering straight away, and I think that means more of them are starting in Laurasia rather than Cimmeria. Could we:

  1. Add the tutorial to Laurasia as well, with a link directly out of spawn? I think people are missing this now they don't start in Cimmeria.
  2. Move that thing next to the Community Centre that gives out Iron Armor into the spawn square so even people who don't want to do the tutorial can instantly get some basic kit

Then we still have the classic problem of getting to somewhere to start. I'm still in favour of some kind of one-time teleport into unused areas tbh, but a couple of other ideas:

  1. Add Speed status to the rail lines. Carts are slow and our lines are long, so let people run fast. Carts will still be useful for those who want to AFK it.
  2. Make use of the one teleport we do actually have - Creeper Citadel. It's actually in quite an underdeveloped area, but if you hit the 'surface' button you're just in the middle of an ocean. What if we built rail lines from the surface there to a few of the nearby landmasses, and also provide a supply of boats. This would be an alternative for people who want unused land.

Staff Backer Doctacosa
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Defeat Bass.EXE in the AFD2013 event!
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Zenny
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Squid beaker
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Earned all 150 original CL achievements
Acquired on 17 January 2016
Lilly Satou
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Okay, first updates.

  1. For the tutorial, there's already a user-friendly message to tell people to head to Cimmeria if they try the command anywhere else. Having a copy of the thing would also let people get duplicates of all the items; they might not be high value, but it gives people an opportunity to be a bit careless too. They need to learn to live to tell the tale!
  2. I've moved the iron gear dispenser to be right outside Laurasia's spawn, in front of the Citadel access. That should be easier to find!
  3. Speed on rails, UE is planning to add a line of soul sand to all the mainlines. That way, people with that new-boot-enchant-that-lets-you-go-quick-on-soul-sand will be able to do so, in a gameplay-friendly format!
  4. Starting somewhere, I've been thinking about that.

I wanted to revisit a point that we discussed earlier this year: the idea of having potential starting areas accessible directly through special Nether lines.

Based on Twixxi's initial area plotting (thanks!), I've designed two lines (one heading North, one heading West), each offering five potential biomes to settle in. Each special Nether line would be available to newcomers; once an area gets settled enough, it could be connected to the main network and a new starting area be added in its place.

North beginners' line: savanna, desert, shattered savanna plateau, snow, plains
West beginners' line: mesa, mountains, taiga, forest, savanna

Both lines would be accessed directly from Grand Central Station using dedicated portals. All of these locations are reachable within 5 minutes by the Nether. All are a fair distance from anyone else's build, and all offer room for several players to settle around. I know some players scouted other locations too, but I'd rather begin with locations that are closer to spawn for a faster travel time.

Simple access, quick travel, variety of locations, I think there's something to work with, here. Thoughts?

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The admin formerly known as Dr. Cossack.

I post musings, images and nonsense on Tumblr! I play games on Steam! Add me on either/both, and don't hesitate to ask if you want to play something with me!

"There are only three things certain in life: Death, taxes, and Teej's obsessions." ~ RisingDragon (still true in 2019!)

Pteryx
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Oh hey, only just noticed this topic!

Soul soil on rails doesn't really help new players -- instead, it's a perk for established players, ones who've been around long enough to get enchanted gear. I don't think many of the players we aren't retaining get far enough to get enchantments of any kind. In short, soul soil rails don't help people who are new traverse the rail system that so many of them clearly think they shouldn't need to use in the first place.

Which brings me to another point: one thing I've noticed is that the idea of "Nether rails" seems to commonly go in one ear and out the other to begin with, when it's crucial to getting from place to place in a timely manner on Creeper's Lab, especially in Laurasia. The tutorial saying we use rails to get from place to place doesn't seem to be making as much of an impact as it seems like it ought to. It also may be counterintuitive because people tend to associate the Nether with danger, when the Nether rails are anything but. I'm not sure it's common knowledge that the Nether is like sci-fi hyperspace, either.

The idea of live maps also seems to be a thing people don't always grasp the significance of -- when figuring out how to use them quickly is important to finding a free location to set up in within our very well-established worlds. This may partly be institutional for some players. I have the impression that a lot of players are used to specifically going to ungenned areas, often in an automated manner like /wild, in order to get started; the idea of using a map to scout genned areas in order to select a free spot they like may be counterintuitive to many people. If it's genned it must be claimed, if it's claimed building a base there is griefing, and the ops abruptly ban people for griefing on a daily basis, right?

Which brings me to the one significant downside I've seen for the warning system: it's not clear to anyone else that someone got warned before they got banned, while by contrast everyone sees bans happen. This makes the ops seem more strict and capricious than they are, which may scare people off. It seems to particularly distress, confuse, or enrage people who visit or join alongside friends who suddenly get banned seemingly out of nowhere. Adding some brief in-chat public feedback ("Foo was warned!") to the warning system might make it a little more transparent, and even prompt discussion of the rules in chat that might raise understanding serverwide.

Kinnial
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I have something that may help

I recently had a friend who I eventually got to join me on this server. When he first joined he said the lobby or server in general looked extremely outdated as if it looked from 2015 or 2016. I got him to play a little longer as I told him if you play a little longer you’ll like it, which he did and he liked it.

The conclusion from this: Honestly I think the general lobby should get a little make-over to make it more “up-to-date” which I personally think that when people join the server for the first time ( lets be honest their age is around 12-15) they’ll see the outdated sort of lobby and kind of be turned away and leave. As many people from that age group will like to see something more akin to what they play on most of the time.

I find another problem as many people have stated before. Transportation is extremely hard in Laurasia. But there’s something that would be nice as well. Maybe adding a sort of tutorial inside of Laurasia instead of Cimmeria because I think more people are going to be attracted towards where theres more people playing.

Though I think theres a possible solution here. I think that there should be just one portal leading into the separate worlds. But when you enter the portal it will give the player an option to take the tutorial and might as well add the ( recommended for new players) because honestly almost everyone is going to skip over the tutorial. Even I did when I was new. I think there should be a support system that specifically answers for new players as many people would rather ask someone than take a tutorial. Going back to the one portal topic. Then once you enter that one portal it can divide into more sub-portals which leads to the portals we have now.

Overal Conclusion: I think a more modernish looking lobby and a more simpler and overall easier world system would definitely benefit on helping us keep more of our newer players.

annika or neededet

Staff Backer Doctacosa
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6392 posts
Princess Celestia
Princess Celestia
Got all items in the AFD2012 event!
Acquired on 1 April 2012
Unity.EXE emblem
Unity.EXE emblem
Defeat Bass.EXE in the AFD2013 event!
Acquired on 1 April 2013
Zenny
Zenny
Unlock all of the main forum features!
Acquired on 1 April 2014
Squid beaker
Squid beaker
Earned all 150 original CL achievements
Acquired on 17 January 2016
Lilly Satou
Lilly Satou
Acquired on 1 April 2012

... and 25 more
Quote

Transportation in Laurasia is something that we're working to improve, on multiple fronts. The concept of beginners lines that I described earlier is being prepared, while various tools to help people orient themselves are in various stages of planning.

I'm curious to read more on how the lobby would be outdated. Your friend's intuition is spot on, as our lobby first went live in 2015. There have been plenty of upgrades and improvements in the meantime, though. Any examples on how the lobby is outdated, from either you, your friend or anyone else reading this? There are only so many ways you can show a list of destinations, after all.


The admin formerly known as Dr. Cossack.

I post musings, images and nonsense on Tumblr! I play games on Steam! Add me on either/both, and don't hesitate to ask if you want to play something with me!

"There are only three things certain in life: Death, taxes, and Teej's obsessions." ~ RisingDragon (still true in 2019!)

Whop
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A grief prevention plugin usable by players and not banning people for stupid reasons. (because for some reason you ban people running around in spawn hitting things.)

Backer jmal77
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Lots of old but good stuff here… but I think a starting book of sorts that helps explain things might be helpful as well. Let people know about the website and it’s features, tell them about events, guild quests, the Zelda area and skulltulas… just a few things. Also maybe a history book that gives one succinct history for newbies to the community?