+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12
Like Tree8Likes
  • 4 Post By Tarien
  • 2 Post By ExcelsiorH
  • 2 Post By atreayu

  Click here to go to the first Rift Team post in this thread.   Thread: New Player Problems - and solutions for Trion!

  1. #1
    Rift Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    625

    Default New Player Problems - and solutions for Trion!

    The Problems

    I'm a fairly active poster on the MMO-Champion RIFT subforum and over the last year there are a couple complaints that I see from people who trial the game that crop up time and time again. Complaints I feel are actually justified and that Trion could do something about which in the long run would give them greater retention with new customers and even through existing customers who don't currently relish the idea of rolling a new character.

    The first complain is that the soul system is too complex for a new player. They get three souls within a very short space of time, and with those souls come a lot of abilities. Now obviously most souls are meant to stand on their own or as the 'main' soul with most points invested, and as a result each soul requires a standard attack, an instant attack with lower damage, a slower attack with big damage, a finishing move, a DoT, and so on and so forth.

    But the end result of this is that new players are swamped with a lot of abilities that are very similar and no real idea which is best to use.

    The second complaint is that the levelling quests are to put it politely, pretty standard fare. Kill twenty cultists, bring me twenty of their tongues as proof. There are exceptions of course, I have some amusing memories of a certain quest involving my liver being stolen for sale on the black market, but generally questing is about as exciting as a coma patients sex life (please, no stories involving coma patients).


    The Solutions

    Stepping right along, the 'complex souls' issue. I feel I should make it clear here that the soul system in RIFT is one of it's shining features, it is flexible and allows for great adaptation and experimentation. I certainly am not advocating that we nerf the souls one bit.

    What I propose instead is that once you pick your first soul, you cannot have more than one active soul until around level 8-10. You should be able to swap to any other soul for free so that players can try them out, one soul at a time.

    The reason for this is that it will let you get familiar with your tree of choice, you will invest in it and get used to the abilities before you get another set of abilities. Once you're used to your abilities and you start to understand how your class/soul works, you'll also be in a better position to pick an appropriate second soul and invest points in it in a way that benefits your main soul, or gives you abilities your main soul doesn't have such as DoTs, CC abilities, heals, charges etc.

    Then at level 8-10 give players their second soul slot where they should immediately have a few points to spend, and at 15-20 the third and final soul slot giving them the ability to combine three souls as we are familiar with now.

    This staggered approach to earning your three soul combination will reduce the feeling that new players get of the game being too complex when their action bars get swamped with similar abilities.


    And now questing

    I do not have a ton to say here, except that it needs to be more interesting. Sadly I do not know your tools, the Gamebryo engine or anything about how to implement quests in RIFT.

    There are a few suggestions I would make however.

    One is to have a storyline arch in each zone, I know that most zones already have this, but embellish it and tie in more quests, make the storyline quests more rewarding too (in terms of XP and vanity, possibly award (slow) mounts, titles, unique looking weapons). I hesitate to say it but take a leaf from SWTOR's levelling experience where almost half of the quests you complete are tied to the central personal storyline. As it stands the story quests in RIFTs zones account for 10% or less of all quests.

    Another idea is to place more emphasis on being a powerful ascended. While I know lower levels are meant to be quite weak it's odd to be a multi-souled immortal returned by the Gods to save the world and spend 90% of your time fetching and carrying and other trivial tasks. Give us more quests that make us feel like immortals!

    And finally the obvious, replace some of the kill/fetch/carry quests with something a bit more interesting. It's acceptable to have a certain amount of these, but 90%+ is too much for many new players. It's a tough one as you might need to create some whole new mechanics for players to interact with, but I am confident that a year with the game live has taught you a lot with what can be done. I look at some of the recent world event quests to know this is the case.

    TL: DR;
    1) New players complain that questing is boring, give us more story and interactive quests and quests that make us feel like Ascended beings.
    2) New players also find the soul system complex, a possible fix is to only allow new players one soul at a time until level 10 at which point they may have two, and at 15 they get all three slots to mix and match. Allow them to swap souls for free until 15-20ish so that they can find something they enjoy to level with, after which they must respec or purchase extra soul slots.


    Constructive feedback welcome. I know many end game players don't care about new player experiences, but if we want RIFT to be sustainable it needs to attract new customers, and these are two hurdles that new players complain about that have never been addressed.
    Last edited by Tarien; 01-20-2012 at 10:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Soulwalker
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    15

    Default

    One thing i'd really like to see in the future is starting level zones that apply to races, i know we're all Ascended and stuff, but i feel race related starting areas would help people bond better with their race/

  3. #3
    Shadowlander Pilkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    37

    Default

    I remember having massive problems with the talent system when i started, i dont really have any amazing ideas or solutions to add but i just thought i'd chime in and say that when i first started, despite enjoying everything else about the game i found the souls so confusing with all the different abilities you get placed on you that i just literally didn't want to play, and i actually didn't for months. I believe i even left feedback saying something along the lines of "i love this game but it's just too much to take in, please inform me when the souls become more new player friendly"

  4.   This is the last Rift Team post in this thread.   #4
    Rift Team ExcelsiorH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    101

    Default

    Hey - there's some great feedback in here.

    We actually have some changes to the starting experience coming out on PTS soon - so once that's available, go check out the changes and see what you think. (You get the inside scoop on that one)

    Edit for update: the inside scoop did not last long: http://forums.riftgame.com/public-te...ml#post3540674

    As for the questing - again, great feedback, and while overhauling a whole zone is always a risky venture, we're always looking for ways to mix things up in new content. (Epic quests were one attempt at getting a deeper story)
    Last edited by ExcelsiorH; 01-20-2012 at 02:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Soulwalker
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ExcelsiorH View Post
    Hey - there's some great feedback in here.

    and its replies like these that prove that rift not only produces the most content, but has the most active, user friendly staff of any mmo to date

  6. #6
    Rift Disciple Denna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    182

    Default

    I'd had an idea awhile back regarding the soul system for new players. I don't know that it's feasible or even necessarily a smart idea, but I'll share it anyway. In essence: Create soul-specific quest for levels 1-10 that take place in the starter zone.

    Breakdown, from the perspective of a Guardian Cleric:

    Game begins and you're given a particular soul, say, Inquisitor. For the first 2 levels (since they're so short) you're tasked with killing the ghosts in the cemetery. Pretty much par for the course so far. At Level 3 you're switched to the Sentinel soul and asked to assist in the killing of the corrupted knights (and grabbing their weapons). You'll be forced to attack mobs while also keeping your NPC partner alive. At Level 4 you're switched to the Druid soul and tasked with killing shades and saving townsfolk. At Level 5, you've been turned into a Justicar and given 2 partners. You need to keep the Defiants busy while your NPC buddies kill them. At Level 6.... you get the idea.

    At Level 10, as you prepare for the final confrontation with Reggie, you're granted the true gift of Ascension and allowed to choose any 3 souls you wish. At this point the game would offer you some helpful soul combinations (just as the messengers initially do through the onscreen soul breakdown). Levels 1-9 give you a taste of what each soul is about. As you're stuck as an individual soul for each level, you're forced to understand the very very basics of what that soul represents. More, 1-soul at a time helps prevent ability overload while letting you start forumulating ideas on what three specs go well together

    Level 10 is a level that progresses your personal story; you've been imbued with the power to wield three souls. It's the penultimate reward, short only of your eventual resurrection. Not only does this break down the souls for easy player consumption, but it really makes your appearance on the shore of Silverwood feel like the beginning of a new chapter in the game. Hope that wasn't too painful to read. Nice post Tarien, see you back at MMO-C!
    Last edited by Denna; 01-20-2012 at 02:49 PM.

  7. #7
    Rift Disciple Denna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    182

    Default

    ...uh yeah, disregard just about everything I posted above. Just read about the plans for 1.7 and starter builds, I think Trion's got things under control lol

  8. #8
    Rift Disciple
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    123

    Default

    Just to add my two cents - these are issues I totally agree with so its ace you are looking into them.

    The improvements to picking souls sound great and are much needed for some players.

    The questing was always an issue for me. I didnt hate it, but at the same time I didnt enjoy it either. There arent enough epic questlines that make you feel like you are taking part in an epic story. There isnt enough variety in locations either. Sometimes its just nice being able to go somewhere else and have a change of scenery.

    While some will hate me for bringing it up, one thing wow did well was having a lot of choice of where you went and having to go all over the world while levelling. It made you feel like you were part of a huge world and going on an adventure. You could go all over the place before you hit 20, compared to Rift where you would barely be in Gloamwood. I mention at 20 because thats where your trial ends, and is essentially what new players giving the game a go will see. In one game you can go all over the world, the other it feels like you are barely getting past the front door.

    One thing MMO champ certainly established was the "I tried it and uninstalled after an hour" type of mentality is pretty common. And in a lot of cases it seems like that first impression is the one that has stuck and no matter all the cool things you add, they remember being bored killing goblins in Silverwood or something asinine.

    I'm interested to see what you have planned, but I do think you need to look at the questing to entice new players. First impressions and all that. One person on MMO champ quite rightly said that the focus is on 50 and you seem to have made levelling quick to get people there. The problem with that is that trial accounts or new starters need something early on to impress them.

  9. #9
    Soulwalker
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Great post and it's exactly how I feel.

    Being a veteran MMO player, it just felt odd and a little tedious to have 2 or 3 skills that seemed exactly the same, and when I turned on my tank offspec (always been an end game tank elsewhere) I just couldn't be bothered for some time to actually learn it as there was such a missmash of abilities. In the end the tank side wasn't actually as daunting as first look suggested however.

    Some little tweaks to not give duplicate abilities, atleast to low level newbies, would be great.

  10. #10
    Shadowlander
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Chicago, Il.
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by atreayu View Post
    One thing i'd really like to see in the future is starting level zones that apply to races, i know we're all Ascended and stuff, but i feel race related starting areas would help people bond better with their race/
    Racial tension doesn't really exists, as it's a factional game.

    I'd rather see more in-depth time with your own faction at the beginning, to give the player a better sense of belonging.

  11. #11
    Ascendant ilex011's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3,309

    Default missing the soul quests

    Bring them back! Training for souls loses the lore behind the callings. That was such a great innovation and I was disappointed in seeing them gone.

  12. #12
    Telaran
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    39

    Default

    One of the things I thought that TOR did well was the Bonus quests. Basically what they did was move all of the "Kill X Mobs"-type quests to bonus quests tied to a specific other quest. Most of these were simply one-time deals, but every once in a while you would find a tiered bonus quest which often led to hidden boss encounters. This did quite a bit to break up the monotony of non-class quests.

+ Reply to Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts