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Galeria
04-12-2012, 08:14 AM
New players are the lifeblood of any MMO.

DDO is hard on new players. It doesn't play like D&D for the tabletop gamers, it doesn't play like most MMO's with preset characters and auto combat. Knowing where to go, who to talk to and finding someone to play with can be complicated.

Changes to Korthos are a step in the right direction. The new auto-LFM system will hopefully help. But what newbies need is someone they can feel safe talking to, someone to show them the ropes.

Dungeon Guides

A dungeon guide would be a player who's been around a while and knows how things work. A dungeon guide would get stars instead of wings next to his/her name to identify him/her as a guide and LFM's led by a guide would also show a star to indicate that it is a training/guided run.

Guides would be pleasant, friendly people with a mic.

A guide would answer questions in advice chat and happily answer tells with specific questions from players.

A guide would assist the party but not dominate it, letting the other players do most of the work and find the way, only prompting when the party is stuck.

A guide would give build and gear advice as well as coaching a party on roles and teamwork. A guide would teach strategies, not "stand here" "Stay back" and "jump up on this tiny ledge".

A guide would leave no toon behind, even in Tempest Spine.

A guide would not solo the content to get a completion for players, but would play his/her part. Learning to recover from a party wipe/near wipe is part of the game.

Guides would be useful at every stage of the game; many people get stuck transitioning to mid- and high-level content.

Why would you be a guide?

2 TP for every completed quest or raid.
Free character slot for the guide toon.
Monthly allocation of BTC bracelets of friends, teleport rods and Siberys spirit cakes.
Access to rogue hirelings.
Private guide forum for discussing issues and ways to better help players.
Possibly access to some guide-only gear.
The personal satisfaction of helping people learn the game and the social interaction with lots of people.

Who would get to be a guide?

You would have to apply for the program, pass a test on the basics and an in-game tryout. One guide toon per account. The guide toon, when played, must always be helpful and regularly post LFM's as well as handling requests for specific content runs.

What about bad guides?

Complaints would be monitored by server guide coordinators. Legitimate complaints about guides would result in the guide toon's deletion.

What would this cost Turbine?

Staff positions. You'd have to have an employee for each server to manage guides, respond to complaints and vet new guides for the program. Then you'd have to have a coordinator in charge of the program.

The TP earned by guides is game money, reinvested in the game. Nearly free.

What would Turbine gain?

Player retention. With all the new players who join, get frustrated and leave, a mentoring program would probably convert a fair amount of FTP'ers to premium or VIP. It would keep players from getting frustrated and leaving the game.

How would this change the game?

Imagine logging onto your favorite server at any time of day or night and seeing LFM's up at many levels with stars. Guides would be global, covering all time zones.

You could put up a PUG for content and have a higher percentage of people join who knew what they were doing, having played with guides already.

You could feel comfortable joining any starred LFM knowing you weren't going to be ridiculed for not knowing where it was or not having the "right" gear. A guide would be able to tell you before you enter the dungeon what you needed to prepare. Joining a guided LFM would mean you wouldn't be left to die in the wilderness or left behind because you fell off the path and don't know where to go next.

A guided LFM would not be a fast completion, it would be a way to explore a dungeon with someone who can lead but doesn't dominate.

Real People Are The Answer

In a game as complex as DDO, the best way to hook people on the game is to give them live help.

Live help is expensive, but utilizing players who love the game and have time to devote to building it up (while earning TP for their account) would solve a lot of issues.

I hope you will at least consider some variant of the idea!

madmaxhunter
04-12-2012, 08:29 AM
I like the idea so I'll start with /signed

Issues I see would be:

1) I put up a guide pug. Two newbs join, a third player joins. He hit the lfm just for the quest completion. We start the quest and he zergs ahead ruining it for everyone else (this happened to me before. When the raid "The Master Artificer" first came out, I put up an lfm for "first timers only". Of course one person joined and immediately started telling everyone that it will be a complete wipe if we didn't listen to his explanation of the raid.

2) There aren't that many new players to support very many guides. If you have to do X amount of guide parties. Would be hard to keep the status.

3) That was what guilds were supposed to be for. If it weren't for the horrible size/decay mechanic, they would be able to put new players "under their wings".

Flavilandile
04-12-2012, 12:15 PM
I like the concept.

It probably needs some refinement, as it's already what is done by some guilds around here when new players join them.

The only point that i find strange is the mic requirement.
You can guide quite well through the party chat, and there's a lot of people around here that either
don't have mic ( and speakers ),
don't want to use a mic because their understanding of english is better written than spoken,
don't want to use a mic ( and speakers) because there's a baby sleeping not far,
and so on.

Having mic as a requirement would put them out, even when they are willing to help.

Galeria
04-12-2012, 12:48 PM
Well, it's not a requirement but people tend to explain more over voice than in typing.

And yes, it's a very rough idea that could be tweaked in a lot of different ways.

Interesting that both comments mention guilds handling training, but the only guilds I find recruiting new players off of Korthos generally are not guilds that offer training or help to their players.

Maybe there need to be incentives for guilds to accept and train new members instead of disincentives to increasing your guild size.

I have started new toons on 4 servers and have yet to come across any guilds actively recruiting and training new players.

Ungood
04-12-2012, 04:30 PM
I like this idea, but, as opposed to this guide Program, where new players need to find or figure out this person is a guide, they could have a "Starting Guild" for all new players (Like what Guild Wars Did) where there was normally always an "Officer" or "Guide" in the newbie guild to answer questions and help out in general as we ambled our lost selves though the tutorial village.

I suppose offering an Officer Position in a "New Player Guild" would be similar or even comparable to the Guide idea, however, with a New Guild, a "Guide" could help several players without needing to run quests or put up LFM's, but could join a quest if they wanted to.

I think Stars next to the Guide Toon would be a great idea as well, that way there is no mistaking this toon or the player for some power gamer, or noob themselves.

I also tend to believe that Mic's while handy, are not as easy to follow complex directions, as players might need to keep the directions active as they stumble their way though the process and this would save the guide from needing to say the same thing over and over again.

And while I agree that players tend to "talk" less when they do not have a mic, that is normally only the case when they are mid quest and time+actions are of a premium. When they are lounging around Krothos, you would be amazed at how much players type :D

My only consideration is that Guides should only cater roughly to levels 1 - 5, pretty much till after you head off to the Harbor, and maybe a bit longer, Via New Player Guild, after that, a large part of the game is finding circles of friends/guilds to help you out and direct you. While yes a guide could offer advice to anyone of any level, I believe that a large part of this game is interacting and learning from other players.

smiley2allen
04-12-2012, 04:37 PM
When I started I had no clue what I was doing but being a cleric everyone Invited me into their group the first 2 thatinvited me were zergers and got mad at me for being new but the 3rd group helped me showed Md the ropes and even gave me some great gear sadly I didn't know how to add friends yet and I cant remember their names I would love to thank them.

An idea though guides should be voted in by other players.

/signed though

Galeria
04-12-2012, 07:02 PM
I like the idea of an official training guild as another alternative.

Maybe with volunteer officers from other guilds who contributed their time and were able to screen for new recruits to their guild, sort of a graduate program!

We need some program to mentor new players instead of sending them links to DDOWiki and "learn it."

Quetzacoala
04-12-2012, 08:08 PM
I like the idea, but I find the idea of offering two store points per quest completed to be rather detrimental. Greedy players would abuse this system for personal gain.

My suggestion is that a guide would be put on a trial run for a two month period, during which they receive less or none of the privileges awarded to regular guides. After two months, if most of the players that they helped feel that they did a good job, then they would be awarded the benefits.

count_spicoli
04-12-2012, 08:29 PM
I like the idea, but I find the idea of offering two store points per quest completed to be rather detrimental. Greedy players would abuse this system for personal gain.

i think that is why galeria suggested a reporting system to turbine that would let them know it the guide was doing a good job.

I think it is a great idea. It does seem that this game must be tough on new players. The only lfm's i see on khyber are elite tr and vets only. rarely anything else.

So ya /signed for me.

PS but dont ask me to do it. I am too busy zerging elite amarath right now.

EnjoyTheJourney
04-12-2012, 11:59 PM
An optional "starters guild" seems like a good suggestion, as does having mentors for newer players.

As for compensation for mentors, it probably needs to be zero or low so that the system doesn't get turned into a "TP generator device" for those who get friends to set up ghost accounts, that kind of thing. There would probably still be more willing mentors than new players who self-identify as being interested in working with a mentor, even with low-to-no TP rewards..

Another change that could help is that in the first few months after joining newer players could cause less decay when their character(s) meet usual "guild renown decay" conditions, and earn slightly greater rewards for their guild, when adventuring. The idea would be to create a (time-limited) incentive for guilds to sign up and help out new players, with incentives not so strong that new players are harassed to join guilds, but significant enough to help them get more attention than they otherwise might.

Sgt_Hart
04-13-2012, 02:50 AM
What about bad guides?

Complaints would be monitored by server guide coordinators. Legitimate complaints about guides would result in the guide toon's deletion.

Red flag. Direct oversight and review of complains not withstanding.. Anything to the tune of "People *****ed, so we're destroying your work" is bad.

Kicked out of program, Lose benefits, Temp Ban, you can make a case for. Out right deletion however is (To misquote Robert A. Heinlein...) like chopping a baby's head off to teach it a lesson.

Ungood
04-13-2012, 07:59 AM
Red flag. Direct oversight and review of complains not withstanding.. Anything to the tune of "People *****ed, so we're destroying your work" is bad.

Kicked out of program, Lose benefits, Temp Ban, you can make a case for. Out right deletion however is (To misquote Robert A. Heinlein...) like chopping a baby's head off to teach it a lesson.

Actually, in EQ, they had something like this, Guides that functioned like sub-GM's to "help" players who had bugs or other issues, and they required that it be done on a special account, which would get "Banned" instantly if you were caught abusing your powers.

I assume that since the motive here is to earn TP for your main account, the "Guide" toon would need to be special, but better to be it's own account, in this regard, if they simply locked out that toon (maybe not delete it outright) you could still play your main account with zero infractions against you, IE: You loose nothing beyond not needing to deal with people you were not enjoying dealing with to begin with.

Also, it would stand to reason that a Guide Toon would need to be level capped at around 4th, so they can remain in Krothos and other new areas, to help new players as well as to limit "Investment" into the toon. so you can't have say, a TR6 Guide Toon that you invested soo much time into, it really should be a throw away toon, because the work you do, should be in helping other newer players.

Also, a Guide should have their own "Starter" set of gear, fully outfitted and looking unique, to scream "Hey look at me, this is my Guide Staff, and my Guide Robe, and I have stars next to my name, I am a guide" you know.

It would stand to reason that they would also not have access to the shared bank of the main account if they were just a "Bonus" toon, so you could not "twink" or "Invest" in the guide toon. This would also help, because IF they started a group to do a training run, they would not be uber-powerful to carry the group to a win and need to play the game like all the other starting players. I their Guide Gear, would need to be a step up from Newbe Krothos Gear, and perhaps having effects like "Detect Secret Doors" "Raise Dead" "Knock" "Eternal Wands of Cure Light Wounds with No UMD check" and the like to allow them to "Save" the party as opposed to just winning the fight.

In this front, I am fully for any disciplinary actions to be taken against the Guide Toon, or Separate Guide Account, and the main account and toons to be left alone.

If I was going to face a temp ban on my main account because someone did not think I kissed their bottom enough as a guide, I'd never guide.

Galeria
04-13-2012, 09:03 AM
Right, only the guide toon would be deleted, nothing would happen to your account or characters. Since that character is only for your "job" of being a guide, if you are no longer a guide, it should no longer exist.

I don't think a guide should be capped at 4 though as mid and high level quests could definitely benefit from having guided runs as well.

Not everyone wants to guide in the Orchard, for example. Just having someone explain to a group how to navigate Reaver's Refuge would be a benefit even.

You might say "people should have found a real guild by then" but the reality is that a lot of people don't and a lot of guilds are just shared buff stations. It's not easy to get into the good, active guilds.

The idea is to have someone around to answer questions that people feel stupid asking or get flamed for asking in general chat. You can get to level 20 still not knowing how things work or how to handle some types of content. Guides would be encouraged run content that generally says "know it" and "no noobs."

I'd guess 4 out of 5 Wiz Kings I see up say "Must solo a tower." This is the sort of thing guides could run.

Not just anyone could be a guide; it's not like every player could apply to be a guide just to farm TP. I would think there would be a limited number of positions and some training/touching base requirements. But you would have to make it worth the guide's time to invest in this program.

dotHackSign
04-13-2012, 10:16 AM
I think this is a good idea so for the basic idea /signed

Couple of ideas for implementation:

1. Guides are locked at lvl1 to avoid exp issues with power leveling ect for those being guided. They would need some guide items that were BtC to allow them to avoid dmg, ect.. maybe a nice robe and a wide brimmed hat. This way they could provide information and still be able to offer some intervention if needed.

2. An alternative would be to have the guide be a ghost or ethereal without a soul stone. This would allow them to avoid dmg as they provided information about a quest. These guides would not be able to assist players, only offer advice. I prefer this idea as it allows players access to information but also requires they do the quest for themselves as well as they can.

Compensation:

I think it would be hard to get a lot of guides without some kind of reward, but this is a touchy thing as it would almost certainly be abused. Any types of complaints or rating system to maintain these could be abused or flamed by friends or contrary players. I would almost say using volunteers only would be the way to go, but they I don't know how many you would be able to get.

How Often:

Depending on how many guides you maintained and how many people actually have to go to work.. :) It might be hard to get guides staffed every day. You might shoot for guide events every week or 2 weeks where guides come in and run different content to help the newer players out as well as offer advice in general.

Galeria
04-13-2012, 10:35 AM
2. An alternative would be to have the guide be a ghost or ethereal without a soul stone. This would allow them to avoid dmg as they provided information about a quest. These guides would not be able to assist players, only offer advice. I prefer this idea as it allows players access to information but also requires they do the quest for themselves as well as they can.


This would be really cool, but my concept was to create the program without requiring much developer work, something fairly simple to test and see how it worked.

Coding a ghost character would likely require some devoted resources.

I'd like to see some sort of mentor program implemented and using what we already have in the game seems to be the most efficient way to do it.

Korthos-only mentors would be a good start, but it would be great to see them at all levels of the game.

I think in some games, player guides can even do minor DM-abilities like unstick people and teleport but I don't even think that is necessary. Just creating some official players-helping-players program with moderate rewards for people who donate their time to guide and help others, in any form, would get more people past that getting-started frustration.

I'm not as concerned with the actual parameters of what and who and how much as hopefully giving some workable ideas that can be tweaked into a pilot program of some sort.

danotmano1998
04-13-2012, 11:00 AM
Just creating some official players-helping-players program with moderate rewards for people who donate their time to guide and help others, in any form, would get more people past that getting-started frustration.

That would be a neat idea.
Of course, we already have people helping others without any sort of rewards other than just feeling like they did the right thing.

But some folks like to see a little more concrete reward for their effort/time, so..

/Signed on the idea of implementing some sort of "guide" status.

Vanquishedfo
04-13-2012, 11:23 AM
LOL and OMG all the way. If you want DDO to be more appealing to a more wide spread audience, and increase the flow of new players then its much much easier then trying to impliment some new system that would be certain to be filled with bugs and take up precious DEV time from actual content. In fact the same reason to say no to this is the same one people use against PVP. It wont improve actual play time for the vast majority of players. Granted pvp actually could improve player numbers exponentially and thus revenue for new content, where as this system suggested by the OP is a FAIL all around.

Suggest an end to guild ship buffs. They are the reason for guild levels and guild decay. If guilds where simply about players of like mind banding together you would see a stronger player community. Guild buffs represent gain for no risk and engender elitism and a desire to hoarde them from unworthy frewbs.

Suggest an end to the entire TR system, as it only created an ever widening rift between older many TRd vets and frewbs who are seen as more a threat to XP aquistion then a young adventurer in need of a little guidance. Let people just pay in store for 32,34,36 and more base stat point packages, as that would at least allow new players to not be months or years behind hard core long time vets. Remove past life feats as they only further divided players.

D&D at its spiritual core is about everyone in the group being an equal and anyone min amxxing to go beyond that accepted standard was met with a DM smackdown chart roll. Yes they really exist! the Devs of DDO are not DMs, nor are our in game ADMIN. This sadly is one of the major differences between the source material and the reality of our game. We have monty haul Devs, with no spine to nerf old items in mass or raise thier min lvl reqs to keep some semblance of balance between players.

There should have never been a way for a player through play time to have a starting character with higher base stats then others. that should be a pay to win perk, which it actually is even here, its just also gated to those waisting time playing a character they dont even enjoy just to have the right past life feats etc.

The system should be as simple as we all start the same no matter what. No matter what number character your making in your stable. If you want advantages you should have to be bribing the DM here just like you do at the table top.

And yes that does happen in RL. Its pretty old school tradition in my neck of the gaming world that the DM is usually the host house, providing a stable gaming zone free from drama. In return its the fellow players who bring munchies and drinks. Nor is it atypical for those who are extra generous, providing the group with more then thier fair share of food etc, to usually be rewarded in game with at least some extra friendly NPC contacts and maybe an extra DM fudge roll behind the Shield here and there as a gesture of thanks to the guy who bought the 2 extra larges this week.

Sadly DDO is divided, and thus remains an MMO most choose to solo or only play with RL friends rather then deal with all the in game drama created by flaw stacked upon flaw that is our games caste system.

Ungood
04-13-2012, 12:33 PM
Korthos-only mentors would be a good start, but it would be great to see them at all levels of the game.

The idea is to not let the player get attached to their Guide Toon, or invested into it as the case may be. Perhaps, have it so a player starts at level 2 (static) in Krothos, with their Special Guide Gear to start off with.

Given every new player would start in the "New Player Guild" which would be a Guild the Guide Toon would be in by default and could not leave.

However, If at some point, a player wants to be a higher level guide (or there seems to be a need for such) they could just request to have a higher level toon, like they do on Lammy and they are just given the extra levels and level capped there, with new Higher Level, Guide Gear.

Personally, the issue I have with higher level guide toons is of course temptation, if they can run content, they can get items and loot that they perhaps can transfer those items to their main account, or take bribes for their main, and I feel that avoiding that whole issue is the best way to go in my humble opinion.


I think in some games, player guides can even do minor DM-abilities like unstick people and teleport but I don't even think that is necessary.

I think this is a good thing, and all the extra abilities like teleport, or summon player could be easily provided via click items in their guide gear package, that way the account ability is not modified.


Just creating some official players-helping-players program with moderate rewards for people who donate their time to guide and help others, in any form, would get more people past that getting-started frustration.

I'm not as concerned with the actual parameters of what and who and how much as hopefully giving some workable ideas that can be tweaked into a pilot program of some sort.

and I think your idea is a great start. Flesh it out, get some ideas down to make it work and this could be a great plan.

themoonbreaker
04-13-2012, 07:53 PM
/signed.

kclark1980
04-13-2012, 08:39 PM
What about things like quest trackers with little arrows in your mini map pointing you towards the objective on your first run in the game. It would not require a person to take part in but it would give you some direction in the game.

I myself take people into Vale in the guild when they get to be acceptable level and teach them where the explorers and rares can be found at and also run the Shroud flagging quests with them making sure to go slowly and explain why we are doing things and what we will be doing them for. But I only do this for guild members and their close game friends. They must be first time characters though or be willing to listen and wait with the party the whole time. I require that everyone stays together and no man gets left behind dead or alive. Do I ask for anything in return nope just like running the quests and being social it is a MMO after all.

I admit I don't know all the quests, heck I hardly have over 2k favor but I know how hard it was for me to learn if people were just more willing to take the time and be nicer to people that ask questions then it really wouldn't be an issue. While I like the idea I don't think it's necessary all we need is more people willing to be nice. Get into a guild that is social and talkative and you wont have an issue. They may not have the highest guild level but they are willing to teach and learn along side of you.

~Quilny
04-13-2012, 09:17 PM
New players are the lifeblood of any MMO.

Real People Are The Answer


I hope you will at least consider some variant of the idea!

I agree with the above. However I believe people shouldnt get bonuses to help others. Guilds are made to help eachother out., advice channel is also in game for same reason. If someone helps someone else the feeling alone should be reward enough.

I love to help those who want to learn and grow as a player I do not want a reward for my effort but I would aprecaite a thanks :D.

themoonbreaker
04-15-2012, 09:57 PM
I like the idea of an officially organized/ recognized program of mentors.

Training and teaching people would reduce new player frustration and allow Turbine to continue to develop complex and challenging content, using mentors to help transition newer players.

Regardless of how they are recruited, retained or compensated, I believe this is the answer to the future of the game. The details are important, but getting the concept recognized as valid by the Turbine team comes first.

Memnir
04-16-2012, 12:35 AM
♪ ♫ ♬I believe that newbies are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the raid
Show them all the loot that chests possess inside
Give them a sense of place and make it easier
To let the kobold's slaughter remind us how fun this game can be!!!♪ ♫ ♬



Apologies to the late Ms. Houston for that...
While I like the idea, I think it'd be very hard to get it implemented at a formal level by Turbine, just for practicality reasons. I've always enjoyed helping new players get acquainted with the game - and in my many years playing this game have found one of the most rewarding things to be recognizing the name of a player I helped in Waterworks tho is now leading a raid. For me, that's really reward enough for helping out. Now, I'd be all for a mentor or guide program - but I doubt it'd actually get off the ground as an official program.


Besides, there already exists a player-run mentor program for those who want to help, even if it's not officially recognized or rewarded. LINK (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=230838)

Antheal
04-16-2012, 02:10 AM
This is a great idea. I've been playing since f2p and know most of the low levels quests like the back of my hand, but I've very rarely run anything from Sands, Gianthold, etc.

So I'd be in a position of being able to guide lowbies, yet needing a guide myself for higher-level quests.