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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!

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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.

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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.

Backer 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

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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.

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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?

Chucktheduck
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I actually have noticed that a great way to get players to stay is simply talk to them. My favorite thing about the server is the community, and that's one of the main reasons I stay. My town is a good example, I had a small community out in the east, where I would occasionally bring new players. After my two month absence, I didn't see any of them on, really. I've started growing the community again somewhat recently, but it's a little difficult. Of course, since the server isn't for everyone, some people will still join and leave regularly, but my point here is that we really just need to try and be a bit more welcoming to new players, and going out of your way to do so really goes a long way. Sorry for the mild-rant, I've just been thinking about this a lot lately. -Gira

MeridianNight
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One issue i see is how established the area already is. If you're new and all you enter Laurasia because all other people play there. You don't join a multiplayer to play alone in your own server. So new people will obviously prefer to play on Laurasia where the others are. But that is a problem by itself as Laurasia is a established Server. You enter it and see everything nearby claimed, yet abandoned (Absolutely no clue who most of the people even are who built near the Spawn). That can be frustrating. Especially if one considers how well spread out all farms are and new players not knowing immediatly how to get to them all. That can put pressure on those new people as their hunger bar drains even tho there are farms right at Laurasia Spawn. But then having to travel around trying to find a nice location to build in is another task. While there is the /map cmd am i not sure how aware new players really are how important it actually is in order to find a suitable location for their own house. Typically other servers have a /wild or something similar to drop people in a random, unclaimed location or use some sort of plot system where people can teleport to a empty, unclaimed plot and start right away. Here on Creeperslab such systems are not in place, making it more difficult to start out right away. Another huge problem i see are the custom quests. I personally mostly gave up on that because i'm completly lost on my progress there. Idk where i left, what i have done, what i can do with what i have etc. I would probably have to fully start over and do that whole thing in one go or have to keep making notes of where i stop which will probably get lost over time. A proper ingame guideline would be of much help i think. Another idea i wanted to throw in was the idea of volunteered guides. People that are already playing for a while (Guess at least trusted? idk about that) on Creeperslab and have some decent knowledge of the server and the game and their mechanics could volunteer to help out as new player guides. Thus if a new player joins they should get the option to get a guide helping them get into the game. That also can help forge bonds and eventually even bind new people to stay. It's no guarantee but it is a chance. Of course a guide is supposed to provide informations and help out if really needed. They should not be seen nor used as a source for free stuff. Don't give fish, teach to fish. How about making a regular backup of Laurasia and then wiping those builds of people not been online for 1year or longer to make space for newer players? The backup could help reinstalling a build of someone who came back after a longer break. That could free up space near Spawn location, giving newer players another option to settle in. Another point on my list was the access to the Moosemart. Below it is pretty much just water. How about adding portals there leading to the outer Stations of the rail network as it generally takes quite some time to get e.g. Windgrabbah or Jamestown to Moosemart and then back.

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Tackling this one section by section.

Quote from post #238640:
But then having to travel around trying to find a nice location to build in is another task.

I don't think this was in place when you first joined, but we now have two beginners lines directly in Central, right next to spawn. This way, people can quickly get a minecart and get to a wild area within a few minutes, without having to find their way around too much. Plus, it gives them an early feel for our rails network.

Another bonus of this is to avoid a teleport. This way, newcomers don't come to expect more teleports in the future.

Quote:
Another huge problem i see are the custom quests. I personally mostly gave up on that because i'm completly lost on my progress there.

This might not answer everything, but you can look at your player profile to see your current progression through the Horsemen Areas and the Guilds. While that won't tell you exactly where to go, it's a general indicator. In your case, since you've completed Wychwood, your next target is Snowhead. We also have a wiki section with some information on these.

Quote:
Another idea i wanted to throw in was the idea of volunteered guides.

We often have players spontaneously offer to show the place to newcomers, if they're polite, and anyone is welcome to do so! A more formal program would take efforts to manage, and I'm not sure anyone in the staff wants to get into this right now. Plus, I like it when the community can take care of their own without needing a nudge!

Quote:
How about making a regular backup of Laurasia and then wiping those builds of people not been online for 1year or longer to make space for newer players?

It already happens, it doesn't always get announced... and people don't always notice! :) The best builds tend to be kept around because they're nice to look at.

Quote:
Another point on my list was the access to the Moosemart.

Yes, that's a common complain, and something is in the planning stages for an easier access to Moosemart. It might not happen real Soon™, but it's coming.

We don't include direct teleportation spots in endpoints like Windgrabah and Jamestown since people could use these to quickly warp around, like Windgrabah -> Moosemart -> Jamestown. We have the rails system to cover that distance!


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!)

MeridianNight
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Thanks for the answers. Just wanted to share my point of view. I still consider myself as a rather newer player and especially with the rail network am i still quite lost often. Takes me alot of time reading on the forum on how to get where. The idea of guides wasn't meant as another task for the staff. Rather the common players that are willing to volunteer with advices. About the access to Moosemart problem i can see the issue that could evolve. And yes i agree there needs to be a way that can't abused for such matters that you described. That's not my intention at all. Just thought it may be a idea. About those quests. I am not really sure how that all works but some servers and mods have their own Achievement Tab. Then you have the usual Minecraft Achievements and in another tab some server/mod related achievements. As said no clue how that works but i could see that achievement tab coming in handy in order to give people a structure. Then they could quickly see aha Wychwood is done, next would be Snowhead. Thanks for your time.

InvokingDonut
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Hi, I'm fairly new here compared to most of the folks here. People join vanilla servers for different reasons so I can only speak for my experience in the server thus far.


What I loved about the server were:

1) Friendly people

Absolutely the main reason I decided to say. As soon as I joined, I was fortunate enough to be warmly welcomed by multiple people. Since the main reason I play on multiplayer instead of single player is to feel a sense of community, it was great. The people seem close to one another and the server chat doesn't seem "dead".

2) Well established train system

I actually prefer this method of travel over teleport. It is more time consuming but it gives a sense of vanilla, which I find it very unique to this server. I love it.

There are many other good qualities but if I were to pick the best two, those two would be it.


When I first joined, the following were the confusing parts. Now, They will be trivial to players who've played on the server long, they did not come as natural to me. I am a very newbie to multiplayer (or MC in fact) so some might be trivial knowledge to average MC players.

Confusing Points

1) Which maps to join? There are many maps, it was difficult to choose which map most people played on without looking at the map. I've actually started on Rodinia and spent 20 minutes travelling only to realize most of the players were on Laurasia.

I know there is a "Survival Guide" book in the Lobby that describes the server but the title seemed not very descriptive where I actually skipped reading it. Although I understood the map was generated in 1.8 and still playable in 1.19.2, it was dubious whether new ores would be available or new items would be available in the map or whether the new height limit has been implemented. From the "veterans'" perspectives, we share the inventory across multiple servers so it doesn't really matter. But if the new players didn't read (which I've learned from working, most of them don't) or joined on the server on their own, they may believe the maps are not up-to-date from the floating description in the lobby. I don't want to sound pedantic but while two worlds describe when it was first generated, the other three worlds do not describe when it was first generated. And many questions arise still.

  • Do I still play in the latest snapshot when I join that map? i.e. combat system, mobs, etc.?
  • If there are so many maps, which one is the best fit for me?
  • How often do these maps get reset so if I get bored with MC and come back after 6 months, will my build be still around?
  • Which worlds are generated with the latest snapshot?
  • I registered and don't want to play with visitors who may have ill intentions but I want to play in the latest world generation. Where should I play?

These are all very trivial to veteran players but the fact that older versions were mentioned worried me that I won't play with the latest snapshot. I'm sure everytime there is a huge MC update, people are looking for the latest and the greatest but mention of older versions might be off putting to some.

My suggestion is to rename the book, remove the versions it was first generated (but rather mention the year it was generated) and explicitly state which ores/generation is present in it. As for the lobby floating descriptions, remove the versions it was first generated and have more personalized description like Lauarasia for each map. Lasttly, in the case of Laurasia, there are many chunks generated in different versions, we will need to point them to a wiki or a map that outlines which areas are generated in which versions. Very difficult to do for the already generated ones but the veterans seem to know which parts of the map are new and old :)

2) Presence of Moosemart Until other players told me after 1 to 2 hours on the server, I didn't know about the existence of Moosemart. I originally thought the economy ran on player exchange until I was shown the Moosemart.

My suggestion is to streamline the spawn area (use floating description if we have to) to show which systems are in use.

3) Railway system Railways are daunting at first, especially if the entire server uses it! It should be explicitly stated that nether traveling is 8x faster and that railways are connected by hubs and hubs lead to trusted members' portals, where you can walk to a remote wild location. Also, the central train station was hard to navigate at first (whether to go to basement or second floor, which direction I must go to the "wild")

Keep in mind this is only the very start of the server so if there wasn't anyone around who knew, it would have been quite confusing. Also, I didn't know about the /minecart command.

4) Maps Maps should be introduced with educating the railways. When I first opened the map, I was presented with beautiful live map of the world but the default view was 90 degrees rotated and also, a player had to show me how to view the portal locations for my first trip to the wild.

My suggestion is to make the default view aligned with NSEW and to include markers for portals (possibly make the portal icons smaller).

5) Trusted? It's unclear how to earn the title "Trusted" to use lava buckets for building farm. It seemed worrying that as a casual gamer myself and sleep schedule really messed up, I may not be able to interact with the players as often as I want. It is also not clear whether I can build nether portals in the middle of nowhere (where the closest portal is ~1500 blocks away). So, if I want to mine quartz, I need to mine around somebody else's portal which usually has a separate build. I don't want to look like I'm griefing so I'm having to walk additional 300 blocks away to start mining for quartz. Even 300 hours or 500 hours on the server to become trusted is fine, I wish it was more clearer. I don't want to sink many hours potentially without unable to use lava, crucial to building large cobblestone structures, mob traps, trash can, obsidian, and cool lighting. Also, to have somebody trusted place one for me (which thankfully Groovy did), I would need to wait awhile for them to travel all the way.


Conclusion I had to really think to come up with these 5 minor points. I am of the opinion if the learning curve is too high, the new players may lose interest quickly so I focused on what was confusing to me as a newbie when I first joined 1 week ago. Sorry for the long read, didn't expect it to be so long.