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  1. #1
    Community Member HatsuharuZ's Avatar
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    Post Iconics may not be friendly to new players....

    Compared to other MMOs, I think that DDO is complicated. Stacking rules? Multiclassing? Multiple Attribute Dependency? Metal-based Damage Reduction? Other games don't have these. Not to mention that it's a real-time combat system with no turns, and a multi-player one at that.

    A new player coming through Korthos gets all these neat little tips, but a new player rolling up a Bladeforged, for instance, doesn't get any of those. Oh, the equipment you get is good, to be sure. Being able to roll up a level 15 character lets one get into the interesting content really quickly.

    However, there is a huge gap, in terms of difficulty, between running Korthos on elite and running the Web of Chaos chain on elite. When completing Korthos, you discover things like 'traps can kill you' and 'how to find a spirit binder'. But the Lord of Blades just creates his paladin minion, raises him to level 15, then kicks him out of the house to fend for himself.

    Imagine that you're starting to play this new game. You buy this AWESOME-looking character that you can level directly to level 15, you load up the game, follow the prompts and level up your new Bladeforged character. Then after you figure out which equipment in your inventory goes where in your equipment slots, you finish making your character and go outside. YOU ARE SO BADA**! ....until you try to run an elite quest (oh, that sounds fun!) with a bunch of guys who have these wing-like thingies around their names. Then, after you die a few times, a very annoyed party member tells you that you need to start healing yourself. You ask how you're supposed to do that, since you've run out of Lay on Hands charges. (or something like that. There are plenty of mistakes that can be made). You become really embarrassed, and when the quest is over, whether or not it's successfully completed, you get kicked out of the party. You decide that this is not fun at all. (and I doubt it would do anything for your self confidence, either). You wonder if maybe you want your money back, and if you should try playing another game.

    Okay, the above paragraph is a bit generalized, exaggerated and definitely represents a worse-case scenario, but I hope that it illustrates my point.

    At the very least, there needs to be an NPC in the Iconic character creation area who can explain basic game concepts to the new player, and possibly a training dummy. Really, this is a game that kids in middle school or even elementary school play. If you don't put instructions in front of them, they aren't going to looking for them, most likely.

  2. #2
    Community Member azrael4h's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HatsuharuZ View Post
    Really, this is a game that kids in middle school or even elementary school play. If you don't put instructions in front of them, they aren't going to looking for them, most likely.
    How many times do adults go for the instructions? I know I generally don't unless the UI is non-intuitive.

    I do think you're right though, the Iconics are not a good choice for a new player. In face, I'd consider it a trap. Not because they're bad (I actually liked the PDK somewhat, needs a better weapon though). But because they're shoved exactly where they are; in the middle of the Heroic levels. And there's no tutorial like Korthos at that level for newbies
    It was the night before Hogswatch....

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  3. #3
    Community Member Hendrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HatsuharuZ View Post
    Compared to other MMOs, I think that DDO is complicated.

    YOU ARE SO BADA**! ....until you try to run an elite quest (oh, that sounds fun!) with a bunch of guys who have these wing-like thingies around their names. Then, after you die a few times, a very annoyed party member tells you that you need to start healing yourself.
    If your a brand new player and make an Iconic and then jump into Elites right away, you deserve to die, a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by hsinclair
    I heard the devs hate all wizards, bards, clerics, fighters, and fuzzy bunnies and only want us to play halfling barbarian/paladin shuriken specialists!

    It's totally true, I have a reliable source. You better reroll now.
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  4. #4
    Community Member Charononus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hendrik View Post
    If your a brand new player and make an Iconic and then jump into Elites right away, you deserve to die, a lot.
    And so did the original stoners, we never saw first life toons with a spiked turban and no fort when those were released right?

  5. #5
    Community Member Hendrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charononus View Post
    And so did the original stoners, we never saw first life toons with a spiked turban and no fort when those were released right?
    And they learned the hard way.

    As would any Iconic new to the game stepping into the hardest content setting available to them.

    The hard learned lesson is the one most learn from.

    Quote Originally Posted by hsinclair
    I heard the devs hate all wizards, bards, clerics, fighters, and fuzzy bunnies and only want us to play halfling barbarian/paladin shuriken specialists!

    It's totally true, I have a reliable source. You better reroll now.
    Adventurer, Bug Reporter, Mournlander.

  6. #6
    Hero nibel's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm optimistic, but I can't see a brand new player that never EVER played any character going to the Store of their newly-installed game and spending a lot of real money to start at level 15.
    Amossa d'Cannith, Sarlona, casually trying Completionist (12/14) [<o>]
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    I want DDO to be a better game. Those are my personal suggestions on: Ammunition, Archmage, Combat Stances, Deities, Dispel Magic, Epic Destiny Map, Fast Healing, Favor, Favored Enemy, Half-elf Enhancements, Monk Kensai, Monk Stances, Past Life, Potency, Potions, Ranger Spells, Summons, Tiered Loot.

  7. #7
    Community Member Wanesa's Avatar
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    iconics should start with spent action points on enhancements (according to choosen path) Last time i checked Lammania i had to spend all APs which can be little annoying for newbies.

    Thelanis: Shewind the Airbender (Sorc20/Epic5 -> Bard20/Epic8 -> Rog20/Epic8/Epic2 -> Harper_FvS20/Epic4 -> Art20/Epic8/Epic8 -> Rng10), Azaxe (Rog18/Wiz2 -> Sorc20/Epic8/Epic8)

  8. #8
    Community Member HatsuharuZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hendrik View Post
    If your a brand new player and make an Iconic and then jump into Elites right away, you deserve to die, a lot.
    You are missing my point. My point in making that example was that it's very easy for a new player to make mistakes in this game. New players will make even MORE mistakes if they don't get any kind of guidance and their character is only able to run high-level heroic quests.

  9. #9
    Community Member Hendrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HatsuharuZ View Post
    You are missing my point. My point in making that example was that it's very easy for a new player to make mistakes in this game. New players will make even MORE mistakes if they don't get any kind of guidance and their character is only able to run high-level heroic quests.
    But we ALL made those mistakes when we started playing.

    We made them then we learned from them. We took what we learned and applied it.

    IMO, learning by mistakes made is better then someone hand holding you though the decision making process.

    It is OK to make mistakes, just need to learn from them as in all things.


    If you want those new players to learn, teach them NOT to start right off with a L15 Iconic. Start a L1 with a non-iconic Race and learn from there. Apply what is learned to creating an Iconic.

    And what new player to DDO is going to plop down $30 right away for the second expansion and jump into the shallow end of the pool head first? I have not yet met the new player that is going to spend $30 right off the bat for our second expansion without even knowing if they are going to like the game or not.

    I think your worry for this new player is misplaced.

    Quote Originally Posted by hsinclair
    I heard the devs hate all wizards, bards, clerics, fighters, and fuzzy bunnies and only want us to play halfling barbarian/paladin shuriken specialists!

    It's totally true, I have a reliable source. You better reroll now.
    Adventurer, Bug Reporter, Mournlander.

  10. #10
    Community Member HatsuharuZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hendrik View Post
    But we ALL made those mistakes when we started playing.

    We made them then we learned from them. We took what we learned and applied it.

    IMO, learning by mistakes made is better then someone hand holding you though the decision making process.

    It is OK to make mistakes, just need to learn from them as in all things.


    If you want those new players to learn, teach them NOT to start right off with a L15 Iconic. Start a L1 with a non-iconic Race and learn from there. Apply what is learned to creating an Iconic.

    And what new player to DDO is going to plop down $30 right away for the second expansion and jump into the shallow end of the pool head first? I have not yet met the new player that is going to spend $30 right off the bat for our second expansion without even knowing if they are going to like the game or not.

    I think your worry for this new player is misplaced.
    I am worred since I have seen a few Bladeforged who have gone into a elite quests and gotten killed repeatedly. Not many, but a few. It was a massacre.

    There are something that new players need to learn, which they do eventually learn going from levels 1-15. And some people are likely going to make their first toon an iconic, not realizing that a level 1 character running a level one quest is not the same as a level 15 character in a level 15 quest.

  11. #11
    2016 DDO Players Council PsychoBlonde's Avatar
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    Considering you have to pay to play Iconics, I don't think they're aimed at new players anyway. I think, personally, that they are aimed at existing players who are trying to get their friends to join the game. I even suggested making an "Iconic Box" that paying players can get to give to their friends that gives them a free Iconic character and maybe a couple of level 15-18 packs.

    The reason why I suggest this is that I've tried more than once to get my friends and family to come play DDO with me, but they don't want to level a character all the way from 1-20. They're willing to play once in a while, but they don't want to start at level 1. Iconics would be a way for them to come play with me without having to start a brand-new baby toon from scratch (although there properly needs to be a caster iconic, either a sorcerer or wizard--or maybe not, caster classes tend not to multi as well as other classes).

    If you look at it that way, a new person starting an Iconic character probably HAS somebody to guide them around. If it were a free-to-play option, yeah, you'd want to make it as newb-friendly as possible.

    That, and spending enhancement points with the new system is pretty intuitive IMO.
    Thelanis player: Lehren (heroic/epic completionist), Kimberlei (heroic/epic completionist), Natheme, Daiahn, Arrekeh

  12. #12
    Community Member Hazelnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nibel View Post
    Maybe I'm optimistic, but I can't see a brand new player that never EVER played any character going to the Store of their newly-installed game and spending a lot of real money to start at level 15.
    As a single data point, I'm a new player. Started about 3 or 4 weeks ago. I didn't know anyone else who plays DDO. After the first week, it looked to be worth sticking around. I debated trying a VIP for a few months but opted to buy $20 in Turbine Points since that gave me more flexibility in what to spend it on. I haven't spent much because I'm finding everything very expensive.

    So, for me if Iconic cost more than about half of what I spent, it wouldn't even have been on my list (at least not the first month).
    Last edited by Hazelnut; 08-11-2013 at 01:11 PM.
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  13. #13
    Community Member Antheal's Avatar
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    There should be some kind of optional tutorial quest for new Iconic characters.
    If your "Known Issues" list needs a freaking scroll bar, then one of you needs to go.

  14. #14
    Community Member waryJerry's Avatar
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    Despite hating the idea of iconics when they were first announced--mainly because it seemed like a cheat--I've gradually warmed up to the idea, though I do wonder that the development team thought of this as the way to attract new players to the game. The iconics are mainly going to appeal to players who've done the early content a number of times already and want characters who can jump into late-heroic material pretty much immediately. I'd agree with those posters above who suggest the DDO system as a whole is too arcane even with these iconics for new players to just jump into the middle of things. And I also wonder which marketing geniuses convinced the development team that there was likely to be a new wave of players waiting to be seduced away from Neverwinter and all the other MMOs out there. Complex character builds which mature through a number of incarnations is what DDO has had and still has to offer apart from all the other MMOs out there. I doubt a multitude of new gamers is going to flock to the game whatever new gimmicks (however interesting they may be) the developers offer up--but I do think there are gamers out there who will appreciate the ways in which this game is different from the rest.

  15. #15
    Community Member Zillee's Avatar
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    I'd agree that some sort of tutorial quest to introduce the game may benefit those starting out with an iconic. But even with tutorial quests and, let's say, a friend helping them start out with guidance, even the most basic stuff can be overlooked.

    I was running around wayfinder for a few days with a new player who had been introduced to the game by his brother. The player was keen, willing to learn and having fun. He even knew about getting favor for TPs as he was working up to getting the Red Fens pack (on his bro's recommendation). With two toons rolled up and lvl 5 reached, however, he hadn't realised you could buy cure pots. He thought that you had to make do with the pots that fell out of breakables. I kinda blinked and showed him where the potions vendor was but it shows that things that seem obvious can be overlooked. I do remember it taking me a few days when starting to discover hirelings.

    Now, whether or not he would have read a guide, I don't know. But having some sort of basic guidance would be good.

    On a related note, I just tried out the bladeforged iconic, just taking the ready made path. It can hold its own fine in the new lvl 15 quests and also ran through the spinner of shadow quests and the rift quest fine on normal, soloing with no hireling, no ship buffs and no pots drunk. Just resists from the iconic's own spell, occasional repair spells and a few lay on hands every now and then. Hack and slash, nothing fancy.

    Which is how it should be. The devs aren't going to make quests at lvl impossible to do.

    I'd say that those who get put off because they can't hold their own in these quests at elite from the start have unreasonable expectations. Those who try out normal difficulty first, though, will find a satisfying and enjoyable start to their DDO journey.

  16. #16
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    I am up to build #5 of a morninglord. I can't get my hps above 250, did manage to get reasonable light/positive/fire spell power, can't pick up any racials.

    I have had to try all sorts of things. I am a total noob first time cleric using only the equipment provided. When you try to sort out your enhancements, it is a nightmare for a new player. I had much much better luck respecing my monk, ranger/rogue, and bladeforged (from scratch rebuild). No matter what I do however, I can't get the sunelf morninglord to look anything like a cleric on live. Certainly, there seems to be no way at all I can get 3-400 hp like most on live have at ~the same level.

    And to be honest, to get the cleric even remotely functional, I can't take any racials, other than the 2 10k heals and the +6 levels to undead turning (if I am lucky).....

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nibel View Post
    Maybe I'm optimistic, but I can't see a brand new player that never EVER played any character going to the Store of their newly-installed game and spending a lot of real money to start at level 15.
    Just to comment - I haven't played DDO a lot (maybe a few weeks after Underdark launched, and a month or two recently) ... I have something like three dozen D&D sourcebooks, so the idea of D&D online is appealing to me.

    I *HATE* low levels. I would buy a level 7, 12, 15 char in a heartbeat, and I can certainly afford to. I think this game's main failing is that its so newb unfriendly and has so much complexity (carry 100 cure serious/blindness/disease potions at minimum is not exactly what comes to mind as a given in D&D) and pain in the early game. People picking this up for fun just get slaughtered in early levels if they have any interest in grouping, since most of the groups are E BB BYOH and the average newb has no clue.

    Anyhow. I guess my point is the game doesn't really get fun till levels 8-11ish, and it has a terrible stickiness factor with all the difficulty before that. Will people buy to 15? Hell, I'd ADVISE them to.

  18. #18
    Community Member Satyriasys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaeb View Post
    Just to comment - I haven't played DDO a lot (maybe a few weeks after Underdark launched, and a month or two recently) ... I have something like three dozen D&D sourcebooks, so the idea of D&D online is appealing to me.

    I *HATE* low levels. I would buy a level 7, 12, 15 char in a heartbeat, and I can certainly afford to. I think this game's main failing is that its so newb unfriendly and has so much complexity (carry 100 cure serious/blindness/disease potions at minimum is not exactly what comes to mind as a given in D&D) and pain in the early game. People picking this up for fun just get slaughtered in early levels if they have any interest in grouping, since most of the groups are E BB BYOH and the average newb has no clue.

    Anyhow. I guess my point is the game doesn't really get fun till levels 8-11ish, and it has a terrible stickiness factor with all the difficulty before that. Will people buy to 15? Hell, I'd ADVISE them to.
    We were all noobs once and we had to start at level 1. Some people are just to lazy to learn.
    Getting slaughtered is part of the fun. Using you mind to formulate a strategy to defeat a difficult encounter. Learning the hard way just how important the right potion can be in a bad situation. If you want a game you can jump into and mash some buttons and watch things die that's what Neverwinter is there for I guess.
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  19. #19
    Community Member Alistina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nibel View Post
    Maybe I'm optimistic, but I can't see a brand new player that never EVER played any character going to the Store of their newly-installed game and spending a lot of real money to start at level 15.
    ^^^
    This

    IMO a big problem with an iconics is that they are thrown at a level where there are a lot of expenses in the game to keep questing. You need to buy pots, DR breakers from AH, scrolls, etc. And the iconics start with zero money (well, almost zero. You could get enough to atttend your 1st repair bill by selling pots you get in the creation quest lol). Now add to it that you are a new player/ or relatively new player. You wouldn't know where or how to farm gear and pp. While the starter items are fine, icons need to given some pp at creation. Not a lot, but say about 10k to let them buy some basic weapons (it is especially a big problem for multiclassers) and/or pots.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hendrik View Post
    If your a brand new player and make an Iconic and then jump into Elites right away, you deserve to die, a lot.
    This may make you feel all nice and self-righteous, but what a new player will most often do in this situation is conclude (incorrectly) that the game sucks and go play a different one. Which hurts all of us -- it's not like DDO is swimming with new blood as it is.

    I'm sure that Turbine put in these level-skipping features in the belief that they would encourage new players by allowing them to skip the early levels. But I agree with others that they are mostly detrimental to new players and to the game as a whole.

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