Social Media Content

General out-of-character discussion among players of Cantr II.

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Tiamo
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby Tiamo » Sat May 18, 2019 2:59 pm

What if new players would always start on the intro server, where they will have to complete some simple actions (like talking, starting a gathering project, finding out another character's name, read and use info on a note, etc. Provide a little list...), designed to get accustomed to the basic game mechanisms, after which they can start a proper character on the Cantr server?

This procedure doesn't need manual approval, just some automated checks (ban/duplicate/IP nr. check, email with confirmation code, a few hours time between creating the account and starting a serious character) when signing up. Manual approval cannot do much more, it does ensure the player is active on the intro server for at least a short while getting accustomed to basic gameplay, the player sees the game in action for a bit, the procedure is almost undoable for bots and too long for manual account/character flooding.
It would avoid useless waiting time, maybe even drag prospective players into the game.
I think ...
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby Joshuamonkey » Sat May 18, 2019 3:15 pm

Thanks, I was just thinking the same thing, though some automated checks along with it is a good addition. I think the intro server should be simply part of the process for a week or so. New players should have no idea their account is being approved. There is no approval, only denial when necessary. Same thing with reactivations, who I also want to put on the intro server.

A major benefit of staying on the intro server longer is that there's a reasonable amount of time for real roleplay and not just introductions.
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Wolfsong
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby Wolfsong » Sat May 18, 2019 7:50 pm

I mention how destructive the intro island is to players, so the solution is to... lock them there for a week? I don't mind the automated checks Tiamo suggested above, but the idea there IMO would be to reduce tutorial time as much as possible, not drag it out and continue a fully manual, broken process.

As for the other proposed changes to the game... Not much really worth discussing there, they are so laughably insignificant.
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Money
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby Money » Sat May 18, 2019 9:54 pm

Wolfsong wrote:I mention how destructive the intro island is to players, so the solution is to... lock them there for a week? I don't mind the automated checks Tiamo suggested above, but the idea there IMO would be to reduce tutorial time as much as possible, not drag it out and continue a fully manual, broken process.


I agree with Wolfsong. Longer wait times to start playing a game just reduce the number of people who start playing it. If I had to wait a week to play a game, be it Cantr or something I downloaded off Steam, I wouldn't bother playing.

If I had needed to wait a week on tutorial island before I could create a real character on my reactivated account, I wouldn't ever reactivate it again.
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby PaintedbyRoses » Sun May 19, 2019 1:47 am

I think this difference of opinion about the value of spending time on tutorial island represents a difference in types of new players.

At one end of the spectrum are players who are very experienced at playing many kinds of games and expect to launch into a typical fast-paced, highly stimulating game. I don't think many of these players are going to like Cantr no matter how they are introduced to it.

On the other end are players who are used to slower, self-paced games or who might not have played any games before and have come to Cantr specifically because they have heard that it's slow-paced and text-based. These are the players who are more likely to play long-term and who would benefit from tutorial island.

Like it or not, I think Cantr must try to adjust and accommodate the players who are most likely to continue playing long-term. We need to think about what was available to players in the past which has diminished and/or disappeared over time. Here are a few things I would put on that list:

~ The ability to explore and discover new places.
~ A sense of danger and adventure in the world. We shouldn't be so worried about keeping our characters alive forever.
~ Community building. Not just occupying abandoned towns but the desire and the need for creating new towns and new relationships.

If it were my decision, I would implement some sort of catastrophe which would wipe out at least half of all characters and most resources and infrastructure. If players get mad and quit because they loose old, beloved characters, too bad. Cantr is dying anyway. Why not do what has happened in the real world so many times when humans barely survived extinction? Catastrophe either makes a species extinct or makes them stronger.
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Wolfsong
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby Wolfsong » Sun May 19, 2019 2:07 am

Fortunately we don't have to speculate on what type of new players are coming to Cantr, because that can be easily determined via survey.

Somehow, though, I doubt very much the majority of players new to Cantr are new to browser based games or text based games, or games at all. Call it an educated guess. And I think if this is something that staff earnestly believe, then there is a serious problem upstairs with disengagement and echo chambers giving them incorrect ideas about their own playerbase.
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby PaintedbyRoses » Sun May 19, 2019 2:35 am

Well, now they have my opinion as someone who hasn't played many games and who doesn't like the fast-paced shooting games and, although I do like puzzle games, they lack interaction with other players/characters. I thought Cantr would be just what I was looking for but it turned out to be a dull wasteland broken up, here and there by cities which are controlled by powerful characters who are, clearly, controlled by long time players who are allied outside of the game with other old-timers.

These relatively few players have networks of characters everywhere. No new character can do much unless they, somehow, get accepted by the characters of the established players. They are the ancient, white men of the Republican party who refuse to die or give any power to outsiders. It's impossible to depose them because they have all the resources. They have spy characters everywhere so it's impossible to recruit allies.

The restrictive mechanics which savvy players are able to manipulate to their advantage combined with the repressive character network make it all but impossible for new players to enjoy the game. Unless, of course, they are into sucking up to the powerful, which I am not willing or able to do.

Cantr needs death. A limited lifespan for characters, the possibility of war and random disease. It's already been decided that this won't happen so, IMO, no other fixes will fix Cantr.
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Tiamo
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby Tiamo » Sun May 19, 2019 7:30 am

The goal of my suggestion is to remove unnecessary obstacles for new players, like useless waiting periods and manual approvals, not create them. At the same time we must avoid the game being swamped by unmotivated or even ill-motivated visitors.
The activity (a list of simple tasks) on the intro server gives a taste of the game, without waiting periods/delays, but also without disturbing the game itself.

I was thinking about taking it a few (active) hours, not days or weeks. so i agree with wolfsong and money on the time aspect.
The intro server should be for new accounts only, not reactivated accounts. Returning players already know the game.
I think ...
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Wolfsong
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby Wolfsong » Sun May 19, 2019 7:37 am

I'd prefer 45 minutes to an hour maximum of time spent in the tutorial island (with more time being optional after the tutorial was completed - but realistically, it's not a complicated game, and most tutorials are aimed at being around 15-20 minutes long) - but I agree that a list of steps required to complete the tutorial is a good idea, as long as it speeds up the process for those who are more engaged, and isn't an arbitrary hindrance meant to discourage players from joining the game. I don't mind the tutorial island in theory, but in practice it's bad. Streamlining it is a good thing, especially if that comes with a more directed tutorial that clarifies the purpose of all of the unexplained icons, buttons, status markers, etc.
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby Alladinsane » Sun May 19, 2019 3:24 pm

I think that there is another simple solution here.

Staffers and "mentors" can only be in so many places at one time.
When you are in a location, it's easy (with paying attention of course, maybe "easy" is the wrong word?) to see and find new or players who are not used to playing through the sense that your actions and thoughts must be written out. A good mentor can help show them the ropes, so to speak.

I recently was referred to a new player and my char went out of his way to approach the char and teach a little about the game. I gave out the link to the ticks counters (http://joo.freehostia.com/cantr/ticks/) in a whisper... it was not like those of us who have played the game for a long time have a particular "secret"... It was an honest attempt to make a better player who might just immerse into the game. This player had or still has the chance to tell others about the game... the experience of playing. I took this char (rather than player!) on a journey into some other locations where I used ooc stuff to actually show them how to farm... some of the tricks of farming exactly what you need. I also showed how to regulate the amount of petrol you used when traveling, or how to pace yourself so that you do not arrive at a location when you are RL sleeping... at some of these spots, you can be found and robbed. It you are on the road at 99% you are less likely to be found...unless somebody wants to waste a whole tick (3rl hours) searching for somebody that can't see until they get there... they could be working, sparring, farming, or doing some other less savory things in these locations...or they could spend a tick searching a road looking for "treasures" that they cannot even harvest until the return to the nearest node. So I showed this person how to protect themselves. I have more to show, about the little tricks the buildings, or even sitting in a wooden cart can do for you. I just hope this person learned something and had a good time doing it. I am not saying that everyone should be like me.. (but you would be really, really good looking! Well, like 90% of all cantr chars, but I am just cuter!) but if any of us wants to see this game saved... give a little. Not just money, but time if you have it. You might just make a friend for cantr life!

So... I think mentor chars are a huge help to make people learn to enjoy this game. But short of the intro server, they don't get a chance to work with new chars.

I think that there was an old solution to the game and as a veteran I may not necessarily like it because it does not suit my style of rp...but when I started it was primarily the practice.
Forget the intro server... this is a culture of immediate gratification.

I think we should go back to fixed spawn points.


1, 2, or 3, cities on each continent that holds a decent population... or will hold if the "hive" spreads like cantr once did. I knew them once and will not mention them here...even though it is years past. This gives people who choose to be mentor type chars a place where they know the new players will show up... they spawn with nothing so there is not really a whole lot of room for abusers to bilk the "noobs' of their treasures etc. But you can be a teacher, a coach, a partner... and you might just be doing the thing that you seem to think somebody else should be doing. I do it for nothing...my donation is my time and thats the minimum that can be asked of anyone( I think... I will wait for some of you to skewer me for this). Make a new char into your partner, you lover if thats your thing, make them into somebody you travel with to trade or raid (You pirates out there know who you are!).
I was surprised PD did not contact me for excessive ooc (I thought somebody might complain), but the content of my messages were coaching and helpful... it did not always start as a "hey babe!" type message, or "work for me". We have excessive resources in a world that is wide open now and the new "rot" rules serve to even the playing field. When you have excess, which I doubt you will have, you can be prideful of the treasures that you built...not popped a lock for. Resource piles will still persist... but they may have to be found or might be acquired through some benevolent generosity.

What can I do to bring more in and make them feel welcome when they join? Just a first... then later they can be taken advantage of.

You can't reel a fish in until you set the hook and we do that by making the game fun (at first).
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Money
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby Money » Sun May 19, 2019 5:12 pm

What we really need is a simple A/B test to answer the question of which tutorial method is "better". Based on this thread, that would mean a higher level of player activity, increased player retention, and a lower (personally I'd settle for static) rates of rule breaking on the part of those who went through the tutorial.

Randomly assign each new account to go through one of the two tutorials, then, after a long enough period, evaluate some key metrics. Based on my previously mentioned criteria, I would say number of times logged in, if their account is still active, and number of times the player department had to contact them).

As with a lot of research, we might even find that the type of tutorial doesn't have a significant impact on any of these :lol:
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby PaintedbyRoses » Sun May 19, 2019 8:04 pm

Alladinsane wrote:[Lots of great stuff about mentoring.] What can I do to bring more in and make them feel welcome when they join? Just a first... then later they can be taken advantage of.

You can't reel a fish in until you set the hook and we do that by making the game fun (at first).

There are a couple of considerations that I can think of.

1) Some people want to discover how the game works for themselves. For me, the best part of a game like this is figuring out, trial and error, how to do things. I avoided the Wiki for as long as possible for that reason. Finally, I had to concede that there were things which were too complicated for me to figure out on my own even if my character asked the other characters for info, so I started using the Wiki. Maybe a new player could have a choice for each character about how much mentoring they would like to receive and the character would go to a town with that level of mentoring. To be a mentor, a character would have to be at least 30 years old and somehow designate that they are interested in mentoring and to what degree.

2) I strongly disagree with one character giving out OOC info to another. It breaks a cardinal rule of Cantr and could be abused. A mentor would have to find ways to convey info without OOCing. This is why I suggest videos with useful OOC tidbits being offered at intervals.

3) You are, clearly, a good teacher/mentor but not all people have that skill nor would it be 'in character' for many of the characters.

5) I could agree with designated spawn places but not all in big cities. I think it's important for characters to be spawned in all kinds of areas (especially small towns which are often desperate for newspawns) but I think the criteria for spawning should be changed. Maybe something like this: Each character, when they reach a certain age, say 30, would have a toggle or something appear on their description page where they could request a newspawn in their town or not. At least two people would have to request a newspawn in order for the town to be put into a random spawning pool of towns. The number of characters requesting newspawns would not affect the likelihood of getting a newspawn.
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby KVZ » Mon May 20, 2019 2:33 am

Sorry, I dont read all, but I will try later, but:

Alladinsane wrote:I think we should go back to fixed spawn points.



I support this idea. I proposed that some days ago in Polish #karczma on discord. I think that would help a lot with spawning which is bad. At least maybe 1-2 first characters of each new player should spawn this way to prevent people to have pack of characters in one location.
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Wolfsong
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby Wolfsong » Mon May 20, 2019 2:49 am

Agreed - not for everyone, but I would say the first 5 characters of a new account spawn at fixed points, then disperse as normal thereafter.
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Money
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Re: Social Media Content

Postby Money » Wed May 29, 2019 6:08 pm

Is a recording of the last discord session going to be posted in the google drive folder? I can see some transcripts, but I can't find the recordings.

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