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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Improved Compendium Quest Info: Retaining New Players

    There's been a fair bit of talk about getting new players into the game and how to keep them playing.

    Partly to address this, a redesign of the Harbor area is apparently in the works, which, if done well, could certainly help newer players.

    However, my feeling is that one of the key reasons many players get frustrated and stop playing is that they don't have enough good quest information all in one easy place.

    We have a terrific list of quests all in one place in DDO already: The Adventure Compendium. The problem is it doesn't list quite enough information...yet!

    Several friends I introduced to DDO wound up picking up dozens of quests they had no access to (as free players) and until they discovered the map icon filters (after the fact), no easy way to tell which quests were available to them and which ones weren't. The map is good, but the information should really be available in written form too.

    The quest information issue becomes even more problematic when trying to figure out quest chains and flagging. If nobody's online to ask you have to go searching on the wiki to find the information, as very little is readily available within the game. It can often be confusing for newer (or even sometimes not so new) players to determine where they are in a quest chain and what quest(s) they need to complete to be able to go on the next (or final) quest.

    Therefore, I propose the following additions to the compendium (and yes, this would take a fair bit of time to implement but I believe the result would be well worth it):

    1. Add the name of the adventure pack to the sortable list of compendium adventure information, colour-coded to show if the player has access to it or not.

    2. Add a greatly-expanded information window when the quest is clicked in the compendium.


    This window would show the most useful information from the compendium and quest journal, as well as flagging info and quest chain progress (in a mini-flow chart format) at the bottom, and if the quest is both available and ready to enter and a brief solution if it's not.

    I've prepared a couple of examples of what this expanded compendium adventure window might look like:



    Last edited by Fnordian; 07-31-2013 at 01:07 AM. Reason: Fixed tags and switched image order.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fnordian View Post
    We have a terrific list of quests all in one place in DDO already: The Adventure Compendium. The problem is it doesn't list quite enough information...yet!
    Looks to me like the DDO Wiki (http://ddowiki.com) already covers what you're looking for. A link to that site and a link to "Ron's Planner" are the two I've tried to give to obviously new players for a while now although I guess Ron's Planner is likely not to be updated any further and will be useless after U19.

    It's not likely IMO that Turbine will invest any further into online resources after it just went through a sizable purge of those assets. DDO Wiki on the other hand would let you directly edit that information and help improve it as you like without waiting on Turbine...

  3. #3
    2015 DDO Players Council Hazelnut's Avatar
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    Default As a new player I found ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fnordian View Post
    There's been a fair bit of talk about getting new players into the game and how to keep them playing.

    Partly to address this, a redesign of the Harbor area is apparently in the works, which, if done well, could certainly help newer players.

    However, my feeling is that one of the key reasons many players get frustrated and stop playing is that they don't have enough good quest information all in one easy place.
    ...
    Korthos had a pretty good plot progression as I went through it. Jeets pointed you to the next place to go after making it through the starter "quest" and eventually the NPCs pointed me to the pub and ultimately to the final quest that stops the snow and the final suggestion to take the ship to Stormreach.

    Upon arriving at Stormreach and talking to whats-her-name to get the bag, I was directed to head up to the leaky dingy. But then the story line stopped and I was basically on my own.

    It would probably be useful to have a sort of exploration quest or story-line in Stormreach harbor where you actually go to various places like the Wayward Lobster, the Hammer and Chain, the Waterworks, etc. Basically make you explore and highlight what is there. Optional, of course.

    Korthos taught me the basic game mechanics nicely and I could happily explore the Harbor when I got there but I was left with a big "what next?" after entering the Leaky Dingy.

    Also, a lead-in to actual questing story lines would be good. Maybe base this on the alignment of the character. Like a coin-lords quest for lawful characters, a free-agents quest for neutral characters, and something else for chaotic. Just a thought.

    I don't mean any of the above should be forced; just that it is available as a default. It might even be worth keeping that up for many levels. Sort of an over-arching storyline that follows a whole series of quest chains.
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  4. #4
    Legendary Founder Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hit_fido View Post
    Looks to me like the DDO Wiki (http://ddowiki.com) already covers what you're looking for. A link to that site and a link to "Ron's Planner" are the two I've tried to give to obviously new players for a while now although I guess Ron's Planner is likely not to be updated any further and will be useless after U19.
    Where in the world are you getting that idea from?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Where in the world are you getting that idea from?
    Please tell me you're in the beta, so you can get a head start on a new planner for us all

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Where in the world are you getting that idea from?
    Well the last time I visited your forum, you had a post indicating you'd halted development over the issue of the horrible forum conversion and I didn't see how they've done anything since then to improve the forum situation. With the enhancement pass the current planner wont be of much use after U19. If the planner is still moving forward actively and with U19 in mind then thumbs up, it's probably the most useful thing to give new players aside from the DDO Wiki link itself. This game really punishes build blunders, particularly the kind that can only be fixed with rerolls or LR/GR. The planner goes a long way to helping avoid that.

  7. #7
    Legendary Founder Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hit_fido View Post
    Well the last time I visited your forum, you had a post indicating you'd halted development over the issue of the horrible forum conversion and I didn't see how they've done anything since then to improve the forum situation. With the enhancement pass the current planner wont be of much use after U19. If the planner is still moving forward actively and with U19 in mind then thumbs up, it's probably the most useful thing to give new players aside from the DDO Wiki link itself. This game really punishes build blunders, particularly the kind that can only be fixed with rerolls or LR/GR. The planner goes a long way to helping avoid that.
    Ah, I see. Yeah, that part is true, I did halt development for a while because of the whole forum snafu. But it didn't last too long.

    I had a list of two things that had to happen to lift that embargo. One was to fix the code boxes, which they did. The second was to fix the log out timer. That hasn't been fully fixed to my satisfaction, but they mitigated it somewhat, it's better than it was. So I resumed development.

    There will be an update to the planner for the enhancement pass (and all the other stuff coming down the pipe). I don't fully know when it will be released in relation to the release of U19. We have to recode the entire enhancement section of the program. Also adding in new levels and classes and stuff. So yeah, it is a lot of stuff, and we've barely started. But it'll happen. For sure

    Sorry OP for pulling the thread off topic. I like your idea of better info in the compendium. I use that screen quite a lot and I agree with you it could use more information. Case in point: I wanted to rerun Necro 1. So I did what I always do when I reset quests, I went to the quest givers and reset the quests and ran the four of them. So you can guess what happened when I went to run Bloody Crypt, it reset all five quests. Because I didn't reset them properly. Quite frustrating.

    So yeah, you get a +1 for support from me!

    One thing I will say though. I'm not so sure I want the game to continue hand-holding me like it does in Korthos. That is okay for the starting area, but at some point you have to turn the player loose and let them roam. While right now it is somewhat difficult to find a quest (I actually had to look up the other day where the heck the entrance to Red Fens was, because I had forgotten), I don't want the game to constantly be shoving me toward "the next quest". Just some better info from the compendium would be great!
    Last edited by Ron; 07-31-2013 at 02:01 PM.
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  8. #8
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    I like ideas like this and players like this too. Unfortunately, wholly helpful and positive suggestions nearly always tend to attract naysayers like flies to ****.

    Two thumbs up and kudos for the quality of the op's work.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hit_fido View Post
    Looks to me like the DDO Wiki (http://ddowiki.com) already covers what you're looking for. A link to that site and a link to "Ron's Planner" are the two I've tried to give to obviously new players for a while now although I guess Ron's Planner is likely not to be updated any further and will be useless after U19.

    It's not likely IMO that Turbine will invest any further into online resources after it just went through a sizable purge of those assets. DDO Wiki on the other hand would let you directly edit that information and help improve it as you like without waiting on Turbine...

    It's not that quest information isn't available on the web. It definitely is, and some very good and detailed information too! My point isn't that we need more online resources but that it should be available there in the game, in a very easy to access way, that includes not only information about the quest but information about the quest for the current character, including a simple graphical/flowchart-like diagram showing how the quest fits into the quest chain (or if it's wholly standalone).

    Imagine if every time you wanted to organize your inventory you had to go to DDO wiki (or some other site) to check what each item does, and if there were no item bonuses reflected in your character sheet? It's the same principal--incorporating this type of information into the interface in an easy-to-access and relevant way to a particular character can mean the difference between someone feeling that DDO's too complicated and too much work to bother playing any more that evening, and someone feeling empowered to know exactly what to do and where to go next.

    The revamp of Korthos makes it relatively easy to follow the storyline and follow through the quests but players are confined to a very limited area in Korthos village and you're restricted from even entering the island area until you complete the four village quests. Even the harbor isn't too confusing (for the most part) at present, but once you get beyond that, it gets more and more convoluted as you advance in levels, and even start to purchase a pack or two (take for example, Necropolis, where even several players who had played awhile and done a number of the quests couldn't remember which quest was part of what arc and what the flagging requirements were).

    I'm sure everyone's experience differs, but I'm also sure that making the more information about quest status easily available to players would save a lot of time and clear up a lot of confusion, and would even be likely to spur sales of adventure packs if it were obvious which quest belonged to which pack and how much they cost to purchase.

    I too have doubts that Turbine would implement this--after all, there are probably a million ideas they have that aren't yet implemented--yet I feel it would significantly improve the experience of players, new and old, if they did.
    Last edited by Fnordian; 07-31-2013 at 05:56 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
    Also, a lead-in to actual questing story lines would be good. Maybe base this on the alignment of the character. Like a coin-lords quest for lawful characters, a free-agents quest for neutral characters, and something else for chaotic. Just a thought.

    I don't mean any of the above should be forced; just that it is available as a default. It might even be worth keeping that up for many levels. Sort of an over-arching storyline that follows a whole series of quest chains.
    If I recall correctly, in one of the forum posts the devs mentioned "sagas" which would be extra rewards for completing larger story arcs. So perhaps they're already considering something along those lines.

    And it would definitely be good. But still doesn't address the questions of "Do I have access to this particular quest? What's my status with this quest? Have I done it before? Am I flagged for it? Have I picked it up? What are the other quests in this quest chain and which part is this anyway?"

    At present, many of these answers can only be found by a combination of checking both the compendium and the quest journal, talking to the quest giver, trying to enter the quest and/or visiting the DDO store and looking through the packs still available, visiting the wiki and hunting for both quest chain and specific quest info for the quest in question. That can be a lot of work to just get some basic answers. Granted, in many instances you don't have to go through all this and can just pick up the quest and go in, but there are also many instances where you do need this sort of information, or find out too late (at the quest entrance after the party's already filled up and you've just finished buffing and preparing), that it's not a quest you can enter for one reason or another.

    I'd like to see an end to the quest confusion!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Sorry OP for pulling the thread off topic. I like your idea of better info in the compendium. I use that screen quite a lot and I agree with you it could use more information. Case in point: I wanted to rerun Necro 1. So I did what I always do when I reset quests, I went to the quest givers and reset the quests and ran the four of them. So you can guess what happened when I went to run Bloody Crypt, it reset all five quests. Because I didn't reset them properly. Quite frustrating.

    So yeah, you get a +1 for support from me!

    One thing I will say though. I'm not so sure I want the game to continue hand-holding me like it does in Korthos. That is okay for the starting area, but at some point you have to turn the player loose and let them roam. While right now it is somewhat difficult to find a quest (I actually had to look up the other day where the heck the entrance to Red Fens was, because I had forgotten), I don't want the game to constantly be shoving me toward "the next quest". Just some better info from the compendium would be great!

    Thank you! Necropolis is probably one of the worst "offenders" in terms of confusion and I'm supposing at some point they might address it simply by changing the way the flagging works, so that resetting the quest chain doesn't prevent a character from entering the quests again, in any order, but even so, having the information in the compendium would be highly useful for a first run through of Necro and other chains.

    I think one of the issues is that there's a lot of inconsistency in the way quest chains are handled. Some require you to do them in a certain order, some any order but have to finish all to run the final one, some you can re-run any (including a final quest) once you've done them once, and so on. This keeps things...interesting...but leads to a lot of confusion and uncertainty, compounded by the lack of detailed in-game quest info.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aolas View Post
    I like ideas like this and players like this too. Unfortunately, wholly helpful and positive suggestions nearly always tend to attract naysayers like flies to ****.

    Two thumbs up and kudos for the quality of the op's work.

    Thank you for the support! I suppose suggestions are a dime-a-dozen and it's easy for people to dismiss them as not needed. For those long-time veterans who have now memorized every quest chain detail, and who always complete a full chain in one session, this information would be entirely redundant. But for the rest of us, I'm sure it would greatly enhance the experience of players by empowering them with the information they need to smoothly continue their questing without all the confusion that often surrounds it causes delays and leads to frustration.

  13. #13
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    I can appreciate what you are saying, but at the same time, i don't really want the game to become fully linear, the way final fantasy games are. Just knowing what the levels of quests are should be enough of a guide as to what you should be running. Once you have acquired the quest, an arrow shows you where the actual entrance is, in most cases. Pretty much all of the level 2 quests are grouped together in the harbor, with obvious quest givers right by them.

    I suppose there could be more of a hint that there are many more quests to be done in the various houses, but i would assume people would explore a bit on their own and discover this. It may not be obvious that many questgivers are located inside taverns, but isn't that pretty much standard for rpg's in general? Isn't the tavern the first place you visit in most of them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FestusHood View Post
    I can appreciate what you are saying, but at the same time, i don't really want the game to become fully linear, the way final fantasy games are. Just knowing what the levels of quests are should be enough of a guide as to what you should be running. Once you have acquired the quest, an arrow shows you where the actual entrance is, in most cases. Pretty much all of the level 2 quests are grouped together in the harbor, with obvious quest givers right by them.

    I suppose there could be more of a hint that there are many more quests to be done in the various houses, but i would assume people would explore a bit on their own and discover this. It may not be obvious that many questgivers are located inside taverns, but isn't that pretty much standard for rpg's in general? Isn't the tavern the first place you visit in most of them?

    I 100% agree that DDO shouldn't become more linear. However, I don't believe this would contribute to making it more linear in any way.

    My suggestion is to expand the information in the Compendium so that players can more easily find information about quests, and about their current status in any given quest, including flagging status.

    It would (I would hope), reduce frustration and wasted time and let players get on with the enjoyment of playing the quests.

    Finding the quests in the harbor isn't much of an issue at all. As for discovering quests in taverns...in a pen and paper RPG, there's usually only one (maybe two) taverns in the vicinity and the game master is more than likely to guide the players to any adventure NPC rather quickly so as not to waste a lot of time. In DDO, there are many taverns and most have quest givers and many quest givers also aren't in taverns. It can be a real challenge sometimes to even find a few of the taverns (until you're familiar with the layout and navigation of some of the houses) but I don't think that's the point either. Even if you could more easily see that certain quests are picked up in a particular tavern in a particular house, you still have to go to it (or possibly get a share from someone who already has the quest) so nothing changes there. You're simply not left scratching your head, hunting on the wiki or skipping the quest entirely because you have no idea where it really is.

    But finding the quests is only one of the issue this would address. The other main points are: knowing which adventure pack it's in and if you have access to it (or should perhaps consider buying it) so you don't waste time picking it up, joining a party for it, and then unable to enter; seeing if you're flagged for a quest and what you need to do to get flagged if you're not; and figuring out which the next quest in a given quest arc is. To a degree, the latter is visible in your quest journal but having the information simply and graphically displayed for every quest (up to your level range) via the compendium by simply clicking the quest title would surely be a welcome saving of time and energy.
    Last edited by Fnordian; 08-01-2013 at 12:26 AM.

  15. #15
    Community Member FestusHood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fnordian View Post
    I 100% agree that DDO shouldn't become more linear. However, I don't believe this would contribute to making it more linear in any way.

    My suggestion is to expand the information in the Compendium so that players can more easily find information about quests, and about their current status in any given quest, including flagging status.

    It would (I would hope), reduce frustration and wasted time and let players get on with the enjoyment of playing the quests.

    Finding the quests in the harbor isn't much of an issue at all. As for discovering quests in taverns...in a pen and paper RPG, there's usually only one (maybe two) taverns in the vicinity and the game master is more than likely to guide the players to any adventure NPC rather quickly so as not to waste a lot of time. In DDO, there are many taverns and most have quest givers and many quest givers also aren't in taverns. It can be a real challenge sometimes to even find a few of the taverns (until you're familiar with the layout and navigation of some of the houses) but I don't think that's the point either. Even if you could more easily see that certain quests are picked up in a particular tavern in a particular house, you still have to go to it (or possibly get a share from someone who already has the quest) so nothing changes there. You're simply not left scratching your head, hunting on the wiki or skipping the quest entirely because you have no idea where it really is.

    But finding the quests is only one of the issue this would address. The other main points are: knowing which adventure pack it's in and if you have access to it (or should perhaps consider buying it) so you don't waste time picking it up, joining a party for it, and then unable to enter; seeing if you're flagged for a quest and what you need to do to get flagged if you're not; and figuring out which the next quest in a given quest arc is. To a degree, the latter is visible in your quest journal but having the information simply and graphically displayed for every quest (up to your level range) via the compendium by simply clicking the quest title would surely be a welcome saving of time and energy.
    It would probably make sense if quests that you didn't have access to didn't even display in your adventure journal. The way quests that you are not yet in level range for don't. Showing them might be considered a way to advertise them by turbine however. I don't know. Quests that are part of an interdependent chain could possibly be color coded. Maybe a check box next to them that shows they have a status of completed. Maybe grey out quests that you haven't acquired.

    Once i discovered the wiki, i never looked at the compendium again. I honestly wasn't even aware that there was any information about quests in it at all. But yeah, anything that helps out new players to find what is available to do is a good thing.

    So /signed

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