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thunderclown

Improve New Player Retention

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It breaks my lil heart to watch the CA HELP tab and see the number of brand new players just getting completely obliterated by huge problems at the start of their adventure.  A lot has been done to make the game more accessible over the years; it's all very impressive.  The problem, as I see it, is that new players seem to always go to Xanadu.  Now maybe that's not true - perhaps it's equal across all the servers - but the ones in trouble, the ones that cry in vain for assistance are invariably on Xanadu.

 

So here's my basic idea: let's not give Xanadu as an option to toons created on fresh email addresses.  Assume that they are brand new players, and stop them going to the biggest, most murderous, most isolated, most awe-inspiring server until they have skilled-up, or perhaps they're joining friends already there on an established deed.  Something like that.

 

Speaking for myself, I'd cross half a server to help a noob bleeding to death in the woods, but I cannot do that on Xan.  Nothing against Xan; I am just thinking about the new players and the realities of being dropped into the middle of it.  I'm really not trying to revitalise the older servers; I have interests on several servers including Xan, where I have deeded 3 times in different places.  I like Xan.  Xan doesn't like noobs.

 

I think a mechanic along the above lines would lead to an increase in the Xan population as people will aspire to go there, and they'll be playing long enough to make that a reality, because they'd have survived better on the smaller servers.

 

Sorry that i didn't write this better, but I hope you can see my point, and that the idea is actually helpful.

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+1, though I might recommend having an invitation system of some sort implemented, so that while a player is in the tutorial, they can be 'invited' to Xanadu, so that way it isn't a hassle for friends to be able to play together.

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don't forget to block chaos, elevation and all the epic servers.... cause we don't want their feelings hurt if these new players accidentally get killed.

 

 

 

-1

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It might not hurt to at least have some notes in the description of the servers, or a popup before someone officially agrees to go to a server indicating which starter towns are more crowded, mob-filled, and/or landlocked. Even a little descriptive text for each server, possibly.

 

Do newbs have access to the all server chat before they leave Golden Valley? Maybe a suggestion to confirm in chat where your friends are, or to ask for server recommendations before choosing? 

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Chaos already has warnings, and has had them since before it was even called Chaos.  Nobody much goes there eyes shut.  I've met a few noobs there, but they seemed pretty ballsy :).  Epic isn't something that's high in my mind on this topic.

 

Beyond the dire warnings about PVP vs PVE, descriptions aren't going to help because of why people play computer games.  The reality is that gamers prefer larger worlds over smaller worlds, so they choose according to that - they make a technological decision, and they end up in a spiral of bad luck because the immensity of Xan proportionally decreases the likelihood that they'll get receive motivational feedback, or any assistance.  

 

The ADVICE given is to join an existing town, but the REALITY is that most people don't want that at all - they are focussed on finding out what the game offers THEM.  The requests to "join my town" come across as a little desperate sometimes, and self-serving.  There are academy towns, of course.  In my own playing, I have (when I remember to refresh them) put in-game recruitment board notices up that actually say "I don't want you to join my village, but if you're new and you want to feel a bit of backup in this tough world, then come and let's find you a place to build your first house near me."

 

 

 

 

Edited by thunderclown
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why not just link the recruiting boards from other servers to the tutorial?

 

Have it pop up 'Before you decide on which server to join look at the recruitment board'

 

Dunno just a thought, but excluding a server just because it's so gigantic isn't a solution.

 

Heck for that matter, just link All the recruitment boards across All servers, so even if they make 'bad' decision on what server they choose at least they can look and go 'Hmmm Indy has 40 villages recruiting while Epic has 1' ( just an example please no offense to epic players )

Edited by Stormblade
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If you acknowledge the problem, and take into account the psychology of new players, then I argue that my idea is in fact a solution. 

 

Whilst I'd enjoy seeing global recruitment messages - perhaps graphically depicted as pins on a recruitment map, that's a new feature, and not a solution to the actual problem I believe that I have identified.

 

Excluding the server provides a finer-grained slope into the game with no downside -  the upside is that moderate-skilled, optimistic, fairly new players will be queueing up to travel to xan to see what all the fuss is about - and they'll appreciate that it was wise not to let them loose there in the beginning..  The recruiting boards, as I said, are not what people want.  They want personal epic journeys that don't burn them out in the first two weeks.

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3 minutes ago, thunderclown said:

If you acknowledge the problem, and take into account the psychology of new players, then I argue that my idea is in fact a solution. 

 

I appreciate that you think about new player retention and that you try to find a way to improve it. That's good!

 

However, I don't think your suggestion from this thread has any noticeable impact on new player retention. What Wurm may gain by putting new players on an "easier" server it will lose as well. Plenty of new players come to Wurm exactly because they like a more wild and unsettled and "dangerous" server with lots of space. And that's what Xanadu still provides. I do not know whether any hard data exists about player retention rate for different starting servers - and if that data even indicates that different servers have different retention rates. It may well be that Xanadu even has a better new player retention rate.

 

But that sort of hard data must drive any change. Sorry, but assumptions about what is and what is not are not good enough to justify a change in server selection for new players to Wurm. These decisions can only be based on hard data.

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+1

 

I absolutely agree, however, I wouldnt block selection, but instead just offer profuse warnings about the issues with the two conflicting parts of wurm. Xanadu for being laggy and too big and Epic for being a test server that ofently is deserted.

 

57 minutes ago, Eobersig said:

 

I appreciate that you think about new player retention and that you try to find a way to improve it. That's good!

 

However, I don't think your suggestion from this thread has any noticeable impact on new player retention. What Wurm may gain by putting new players on an "easier" server it will lose as well. Plenty of new players come to Wurm exactly because they like a more wild and unsettled and "dangerous" server with lots of space. And that's what Xanadu still provides. I do not know whether any hard data exists about player retention rate for different starting servers - and if that data even indicates that different servers have different retention rates. It may well be that Xanadu even has a better new player retention rate.

 

But that sort of hard data must drive any change. Sorry, but assumptions about what is and what is not are not good enough to justify a change in server selection for new players to Wurm. These decisions can only be based on hard data.

 

I disagree with you, a new player has no practical knowledge of the size of a server, and most likely wont be able to asses its size untill he has means of mobility, at wich point, he can move to other servers.

What new players DO know, is lag and frustration, and they are predominant features in Xanadu.

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-1 

 

no reason to stop new players to go somewhere, why mother others?

i loved the extra risk

but warning them about the north of xanaduu might not be a bad idea.

 

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there are ways and features we could implement to help new players more IF they want help but i think limiting people out of protectionism is never a good idea, not in this game or RL

 

we could make it so that you can ask for a help and people that want to help could teleport to you (first 24 hours) 

or have more descriptions with the servers and the starter towns 

warning people about the north.

even saying that Xanaduu is the biggest server but beause of that suffers a bit of lag is fine too. you can inform people to give them a better chance to choose and maybe give them a free server hop elsewhere in the first 24 hours but dont limit please.

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Rathgar said:

I disagree with you, a new player has no practical knowledge of the size of a server, and most likely wont be able to asses its size untill he has means of mobility, at wich point, he can move to other servers.  ...

 

Quite some new players have because they read-up on it before, and others ask when they are on Golden valley, the tutorial and login server. Don't forget that GV has a CA channel as well.

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2 hours ago, Eobersig said:

But that sort of hard data must drive any change. Sorry, but assumptions about what is and what is not are not good enough to justify a change in server selection for new players to Wurm. These decisions can only be based on hard data.

Let the data be the judge.  I wouldn't want an idea to go ahead if it didn't add up :)

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As I was a new player I did see the map and I assumed that the WO world is full of players so I would go best with choosing the biggest server to find a place to be able to settle. I am shure a lot of new players think biggest server is best and choose Xan not knowing that all servers have enough space for everyone yet. I am for a suggested server which changes every month.

Edited by Sirene

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22 minutes ago, Sirene said:

+1 As I was a new player I did see the map and I assumed that the WO world is full of players so I would go best with choosing the biggest server to find a place to be able to settle. I am shure a lot of new players think biggest server is best and choose Xan not knowing that all servers have enough space for everyone yet. I am for a suggested server which changes every month.

 

why not just inform people then before choosing instead of denying access too.

 

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To be honest, I think there's gotta be quite a few tweaks for players coming into the game fresh, especially if they don't have friends already here to guide them. The game has a BRUTAL learning curve, and is very, very unforgiving about death, you die once, you've already lost the gear that made it viable for you to fight mobs at all, much less running into one of the over-abundant trolls or hell hounds. I'm not even fully sure of what all has to be tweaked to make the game more welcoming and easier to get into for players, just putting that there for my point of view. I honestly think if Wurm is going to last the ages and start growing again, instead of seeing the population slowly dwindle, we've gotta figure this issue out =/

+1 For trying to retain new players :)

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