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Mobhunter: The New Player Experience

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Anonymous
a b Ý World of Warcraft
May 29, 2005 11:44:50 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

Mobhunter: The New Player Experience

How can SOE get more players playing Everquest? This is a question
we've asked since the release of Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft.
It's hard to bring new players to a six-year-old game when newer and
shinier games appear right next to it. This has been a question I've
discussed often in these articles.

SOE has asked this same question many times as well. Recent expansions
have mostly focused on the game above level 50. Newer features such as
missions are given to players above 50 while those below 50 play the
same sort of game we played six years ago. While many small
improvements were added to the level 1 to 10 game, they weren't
cohesive and didn't compare to the newbie experience in newer games.

Last week on the Everquest Test server, SOE began testing an entirely
new tutorial zone. The original tutorial did a good job of showing new
players the large array of strange Everquest commands and put them on a
few quests but at level five or so, the game dumped the new player back
in their old city and gave them little else. I have heard new players
speak their frustrations at that point. No direction is given and no
other players are in those towns.

The new tutorial extends the original by five more levels. A player can
hunt from level one to ten within this new and much larger zone. New
Kobold models were released and the zone uses new drake, spider, and
goblin models from the Dragons of Norrath expansion.

Quests, about a dozen of them, use the mission window of Dragons of
Norrath. Quests have a wide variety of interesting jobs including
blowing up Kobold mining operations and stealing the jailer's key.
There are even a set of group missions to defeat some of the larger
boss mobs in the new zone such as the Kobold king, the spider queen,
and some huge unnamed horror in the depths of the mines themselves.

The new tutorial is intended to take players to level 10. Players can
leave the tutorial at any time and doing so drops them in the Plane of
Knowledge.

Here is where controversy begins. Many people want to continue the
fight against Plane of Knowledge. They think this city removes the soul
of the original Everquest and removes their race identity that they had
back when they hunted six years ago. They're right, but there's more to
it than race identity.

Knowledge is often the most populated zone in Everquest. If there is
one place where a new player can really understand the difference
between Everquest and Morrowind, it's in Plane of Knowledge. The city
has all of the practical features any city needs. It has single-click
access to sixteen newbie zones. It is the one place where a new player
can see how large the population of Norrath really is. This also opens
up the opportunity for SOE to rebuild Knowledge, a large job no doubt,
into a new and shining city as technology and design understanding
continue to grow. Changing one city changes the city for every player.

After the tutorial players are directed to a new Plane of Knowledge
Greeter. The greeter gives a new set of quests to explore New Tanaan to
find a banker, a spell vendor for their class, their local guildmaster,
and a new NPC who begins sending players on a new set of armor quests.

At the time of this writing I was unable to start these armor quests
(my little dwarven paladin was only level 7) but my understanding is
that these new armor quests replace the original guildmaster armor
quests using the new task window. These quests should help lead a new
player from levels 10 to 20. At level 20, a new player should have a
good view and understanding of the game and now has a path for even
greater rewards.

These game updates are the first steps in a new push to bring new
players to Everquest. Only successful marketing can do the rest. At the
Fan Faire we will hear about a new expansion and then we may learn how
SOE plans to market Everquest to a new and wider audience, an audience
competed over by other massive online games such as Everquest 2 and
World of Warcraft.

Now let's bust a common myth. "There are no new players of Everquest.
Everyone's a twink." I hear this a lot. I also hear that the majority
of EQ players are raiders and the majority of these raid MPG and above.
We always focus on the area we ourselves play. There ARE new players,
they just aren't hunting in Riftseeker's. I spend a lot of time in
lower level zones buffing and healing new players. Many of them are
indeed twinks, but quite a few are actually new players who either
downloaded the trial or had a friend bring them in. These new players
are often pretty quiet and often hunt far away from other players,
especially higher-level players. No doubt there are less new players
joining today than there was even a year ago, but they do exist and
changes like these may bring in even more.

Will these tutorial changes and new quests indeed bring more players to
Everquest? That's hard to say. There are a lot of variables unknown
even to SOE. In order to really grip a new player and drag them into a
game as huge as Everquest, the newbie experience has to be smooth and
clean. The best newbie experience I have seen so far was World of
Warcraft. It focuses on a small town with very easy to accomplish
quests. I had little difficulty reaching level ten and I never got
badly stuck. As SOE continues to improve this level 1 to 20 segment of
the game, it would do well to take lessons from WoW. Much of what I see
in the tutorial falls into this line.

Expect the new tutorial to be released to live servers after the Fan
Faire but in the mean time, build yourself a level 1 test character and
give it a try. There are many good threads on this topic over at the
Everquest forums and the developers are actively seeking input on these
new tests. New players help improve the game for everyone. The more
players that play Everquest, the better the game will be for all of us.

Next week expect a brand new Evil Agenda for my trip to the 2005
Everquest Summit and Vegas Fan Faire.

Loral Ciriclight
29 May 2005
loral@loralciriclight.com

More about : mobhunter player experience

Anonymous
a b Ý World of Warcraft
May 29, 2005 8:17:50 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

"Mike Shea" <mshea01@gmail.com> wrote in news:1117377890.425678.96880
@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:

> Now let's bust a common myth. "There are no new players of Everquest.
> Everyone's a twink." I hear this a lot. I also hear that the majority
> of EQ players are raiders and the majority of these raid MPG and above.
> We always focus on the area we ourselves play. There ARE new players,
> they just aren't hunting in Riftseeker's. I spend a lot of time in
> lower level zones buffing and healing new players. Many of them are
> indeed twinks, but quite a few are actually new players who either
> downloaded the trial or had a friend bring them in. These new players
> are often pretty quiet and often hunt far away from other players,
> especially higher-level players. No doubt there are less new players
> joining today than there was even a year ago, but they do exist and
> changes like these may bring in even more.
>

I must say that, since moving to Stromm anyway, I am seeing many more truly
new players that I expected. I was pleasantly surprised.

--
Rumble
"Write something worth reading, or do something worth writing."
-- Benjamin Franklin
Anonymous
a b Ý World of Warcraft
May 29, 2005 10:53:13 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

On 29 May 2005 07:44:50 -0700, "Mike Shea" <mshea01@gmail.com> wrote:

>Mobhunter: The New Player Experience
>
>How can SOE get more players playing Everquest?

I think thats the wrong question,the right one would be
why did SOE cannibalize EQ by releasing EQ2.
Instead of having 1 game with a healthy player base ,they
now have 2 with pretty low populations compared to WoW,
not to mention the costs of 2 developing teams and 2 server
farms.
Luckily for SOE management the SOE shareholders seem to
have no idea about online games and are happy with 1$,where as
instead they could get 2$.

Meldur
Related resources
Anonymous
a b Ý World of Warcraft
May 30, 2005 3:08:06 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

Rumbledor wrote:
> "Mike Shea" <mshea01@gmail.com> wrote in news:1117377890.425678.96880
> @f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:
>
>
>>Now let's bust a common myth. "There are no new players of Everquest.
>>Everyone's a twink." I hear this a lot. I also hear that the majority
>>of EQ players are raiders and the majority of these raid MPG and above.
>>We always focus on the area we ourselves play. There ARE new players,
>>they just aren't hunting in Riftseeker's. I spend a lot of time in
>>lower level zones buffing and healing new players. Many of them are
>>indeed twinks, but quite a few are actually new players who either
>>downloaded the trial or had a friend bring them in. These new players
>>are often pretty quiet and often hunt far away from other players,
>>especially higher-level players. No doubt there are less new players
>>joining today than there was even a year ago, but they do exist and
>>changes like these may bring in even more.
>>
>
>
> I must say that, since moving to Stromm anyway, I am seeing many more truly
> new players that I expected. I was pleasantly surprised.
>
If i had a all station pass, I'd be greatly interested in playing with this. What i regret is the fact that they
organised things so that at the upper levels (my highest was a 56 druid i think) you could no longer act in the same way
as in the lower levels and had to group or charm solo (and if i wanted to charm things, i'd be an enchanter!).

I liked playing a twink, and being ridiculously buffed. I liked being healed by a stranger who got nothing directly out
of it, or buffing someone as I ran past (so long as i wasn't begged for buffed, used to loathe beggars). I think the
factions could be quite exciting, although i think making them simpler, so that it would be easier for 'evil' races to
get good faction and not be ganked by that one npc who is on a faction table that can't be improved.

I think Early EQ1 has a lot to offer. Enormous amounts of content. Perhaps that point could be pushed more, in gaming
magazines and so on? It's the later game where there seemed a lot of crude fudges designed to force you to group that I
disliked.
Anonymous
a b Ý World of Warcraft
June 1, 2005 12:57:03 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

On 29 May 2005 07:44:50 -0700, "Mike Shea" <mshea01@gmail.com> wrote:

>Mobhunter: The New Player Experience
>
>How can SOE get more players playing Everquest? This is a question
>we've asked since the release of Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft.
>It's hard to bring new players to a six-year-old game when newer and
>shinier games appear right next to it. This has been a question I've
>discussed often in these articles.
>

A very good read to a recent returnee to EQ and I agree and hope the
devs take notice of this.

I left EQ to play DAoC when DAoC released, this was just after Kunark
came out I think? I enjoyed EQ a lot so it didn't leave through
frustration or anything negative. I left because I loved the idea of a
game base on the Medieval periods, Arthurian myths, Vikings, Celts etc
because I'm a history buff especially for the Dark Ages and Medieval
periods. Also the guild I was in consisted for older mature player and
a lot of us were based in Europe, especially the UK and Scandinavian
countries. A lot of my guildies shared my interest with the concept of
DAoC and decided to leave too. That's the potted history over :) .

I loved DAoC and stayed there until quite a while after ToA came out.
I tried other games along the way naturally like us true MMORPG
junkies do, but I always returned to DAoC as my main game. I was
eventually lured away from DAoC to try the so-callled 'second
generation' games. I tried SWG for a while but realised it wasn't
going to get fixed although it had some great potential. Then I tried
EQ2. I played EQ2 for a few months but got sick of the 'on the rails'
nature of the game. All levels had to go to certain zones, locked
encounters etc. I missed being able to help folks, buff them, explore
strange new areas even if dangerous or fatal at my level. I could go
on but you get the picture.

Having taken out a Station Pass for EQ2 I thought I'd try EQ again. I
was aware that many new expansions had come out since I'd been away so
I dug out my backup of my EQ directory and reinstalled it. I picked up
some of the new expansions really cheaply. I started to play again
with all my characters based around Freeport. The highest were a DESK
and a Barb Shammie in the early 30's. Alts ranged from level 6 to
upper teens. I was impressed with how well the game had stood up. The
new interface was great once I got used to it. I ran around all the
zones I'd known but saw nobody else. There seemed nothing to do in the
areas I was familiar with other than solo. I saw nobody anywhere as
low level as me. I canceled my Station Pass as I wasn't going back to
EQ2 until many issues were addressed and my disappointment with trying
EQ again.

Now if there was an expansion, as you have suggested, aimed at us
newbies and lowbies. One that got us involved with the game again,
lead us to the new areas with new quests etc. then I'd probably be
back paying SoE my money.

I have also revisited DAoC which is also suffering from the sparse
player problem otherwise I'd be back there also. But at least from
what I read that Mythic is actually doing what you suggest and aiming
at the new player or returning lower level players. How successful
they will be I don't know but I know that Catacombs is thought to be
an excellent expansion.

So for now I am playing WoW. I'm enjoying it as I play on a RPG server
and the jerk factor is low an stamped on quickly but it's just not EQ
or DAoC. I yearn to play EQ and DAoC again and would return to these
games as my MMORPG staples if only there were a population and the
content was there to draw new players and get old players back. EQ and
DAoC are *still* great games, but no fun if you end up soloing or
running around for absolute ages trying to find another player.

BB.
Anonymous
a b Ý World of Warcraft
June 1, 2005 1:02:13 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

Barnacle Bill wrote:
> I yearn to play EQ and DAoC again and would return to these
> games as my MMORPG staples if only there were a population and the
> content was there to draw new players and get old players back. EQ and
> DAoC are *still* great games, but no fun if you end up soloing or
> running around for absolute ages trying to find another player.

The populations problems seems to have been alleviated a bit with
the server mergers. Before the merger, I could go to CS and hunt
for weeks and never have another soul come into the zone. Now, it's
pretty rare that I can go to the zone and have it all to myself and
people are pretty consistently passing through on their way to SG
or WW. Other zones that I would pretty much have the whole run of
myself are the same way.

Tracey
Anonymous
a b Ý World of Warcraft
June 1, 2005 4:36:56 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

On Wed, 01 Jun 2005 09:02:13 GMT, Tracey <rbrancher2@aol.com> wrote:

>
>
>Barnacle Bill wrote:
> > I yearn to play EQ and DAoC again and would return to these
>> games as my MMORPG staples if only there were a population and the
>> content was there to draw new players and get old players back. EQ and
>> DAoC are *still* great games, but no fun if you end up soloing or
>> running around for absolute ages trying to find another player.
>
>The populations problems seems to have been alleviated a bit with
>the server mergers. Before the merger, I could go to CS and hunt
>for weeks and never have another soul come into the zone. Now, it's
>pretty rare that I can go to the zone and have it all to myself and
>people are pretty consistently passing through on their way to SG
>or WW. Other zones that I would pretty much have the whole run of
>myself are the same way.
>
>Tracey

Hi Tracey,

That's good to hear. I am hoping that after the buzz of trying the
new EQ2 and WoW has died down a bit then folks will realise how good
EQ and DAoC really are. I'll probably stay with WoW until I hit the
level cap and have done the high level instances, and it is an
enjoyable game to be fair to Blizzard, but I certainly hope that more
folks do come back. I'll certainly be keeping my eye on changes in EQ
and DAoC and will probably re-subscribe periodically to check things
out.

BB.
June 1, 2005 6:42:30 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

More exciting?? HUH?? how is quadding more exciting than charming..
ever.. charm breaking just as you pull and you mis-timed repop so
you've got 2 unsnared and a hasted pet chasing you... how is this less
exciting than snaring 4 and running in a circle casting lightning.. or
if you want real excitement swarm kite the werewolves in pon.

StanMann
Anonymous
a b Ý World of Warcraft
June 1, 2005 7:26:38 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

Shadow <na@na.na> wrote in
news:qXrme.6521$BR4.642@news-server.bigpond.net.au:
> If i had a all station pass, I'd be greatly interested in playing with
> this. What i regret is the fact that they organised things so that at
> the upper levels (my highest was a 56 druid i think) you could no
> longer act in the same way as in the lower levels and had to group or
> charm solo (and if i wanted to charm things, i'd be an enchanter!).

To be fair, charm soloing is not your only choice for soloing at level 56
as a druid.

--
On Erollisi Marr in <Sanctuary of Marr>
Ancient Graeme Faelban, Barbarian Soothsayer of 70 seasons

On Steamfont in <Insanity Plea>
Graeme, 28 Dwarven Mystic, 24 Sage, Retired
Aviv, 15 Gnome Brawler, 30 Provisioner, Retired
Anonymous
a b Ý World of Warcraft
June 1, 2005 9:12:02 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

Graeme Faelban wrote:
> Shadow <na@na.na> wrote in
> news:qXrme.6521$BR4.642@news-server.bigpond.net.au:
>
>>If i had a all station pass, I'd be greatly interested in playing with
>>this. What i regret is the fact that they organised things so that at
>>the upper levels (my highest was a 56 druid i think) you could no
>>longer act in the same way as in the lower levels and had to group or
>>charm solo (and if i wanted to charm things, i'd be an enchanter!).
>
>
> To be fair, charm soloing is not your only choice for soloing at level 56
> as a druid.
>

Root rotting and quadding. I much prefer quadding. It's much more
exciting. :p 

Tracey
Anonymous
a b Ý World of Warcraft
June 2, 2005 2:49:36 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

stanmann wrote:
> More exciting?? HUH?? how is quadding more exciting than charming..
> ever.. charm breaking just as you pull and you mis-timed repop so
> you've got 2 unsnared and a hasted pet chasing you... how is this less
> exciting than snaring 4 and running in a circle casting lightning.. or
> if you want real excitement swarm kite the werewolves in pon.
>
> StanMann
>

I was comparing root rotting and quadding and find quadding more
exciting. Wasn't comparing charming and quadding. I never even
mentioned charming in my reply.

Tracey
!