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Just make the map dynamic, and only show details of the lands the player has explored.  No need to put a skill restriction on it, you want this map to encourage new players to stay.  As to PVP, make sure the map does not show too much details of a deed, just that the deed exists.  All of you that hate the idea of ingame maps are speaking from your own prejudices and those prejudices are what has kept so many players away, so think about the future of the game before you say anything more.

I disagree with a dynamic map. First, I don't know how well the game engine would handle it. Second, by making them static and tying them to a skill, you develop a new market for explorers to make money in game. I have no problem with a map showing all the physical things in the game, i.e. buildings, deeds, towers; as long as they don't have labels attached to them, those things mean little in and of themselves, and there are more than enough ways already in the game to avoid people finding out deed names and who lives where that those that wish their privacy can still easily have it.

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I disagree with a dynamic map. First, I don't know how well the game engine would handle it. Second, by making them static and tying them to a skill, you develop a new market for explorers to make money in game. I have no problem with a map showing all the physical things in the game, i.e. buildings, deeds, towers; as long as they don't have labels attached to them, those things mean little in and of themselves, and there are more than enough ways already in the game to avoid people finding out deed names and who lives where that those that wish their privacy can still easily have it.

 

My contention is that this should NOT be a marketable skill, it is something that is essential to all players and should therefore be easily possible for everyone.  Again I tell you, think about the future of the game, not yourself or your pockets.

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My contention is that this should NOT be a marketable skill, it is something that is essential to all players and should therefore be easily possible for everyone.  Again I tell you, think about the future of the game, not yourself or your pockets.

I'm not personally an explorer, so it's definitely not my pockets being helped. The problem with your contention is that easily possible and Wurm are not the best of friends to begin with, and no matter how you do the map, that won't change. Expecting to be handed more than the very basic of tools and aids is more than you are going to get from Wurm, for both technical and basic conceptual reasons. As for it not being marketable, that would basically remove any reason older players would have to pursue it to create the types of maps that a new player would actually find useful if tied to a skill and tools, and not tying it to a skill would create a lot of problems in other areas. Expecting more than a basic generic map dump without tying it to skills and/or tools is asking for trouble down the road because it completely breaks with how things have been done up to this point; even meditation and prayers are ultimately based on a skill level. Maps are very nice, and very helpful, and need to have some kind of in game implementation, but they cannot take away from what the game has already created and established in the process of that implementation.

 

One shot tradable static maps with no automatically generated labels can be done using items already in the game, and do not impinge on the genuine pvp and privacy concerns raised thus far, or at least force the person wishing to abuse maps for pvp or to bother someone to actually work, either by finding someone to make the map or by doing it themselves. At the same time, the areas around the starting towns change little enough in regards to deeds and highways at this point that being handed a static map of those areas would remain useful for a sufficient period of time to be helpful without setting expectations of the game holding their hand overly high; the details of the individual buildings and topography may become useless fairly quickly, but the overall layout is not going to change all that much. Give them any more than that, and not only are they going to expect the type of map that this game is never going to be able to support with the constant changes being made, but they are going to expect their hands held in other ways that this game is not going to provide, and cannot provide without completely changing the entire character of the game.

Edited by sunshadow21

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Expecting more than a basic generic map dump without tying it to skills and/or tools is asking for trouble down the road because it completely breaks with how things have been done up to this point; even meditation and prayers are ultimately based on a skill level. Maps are very nice, and very helpful, and need to have some kind of in game implementation, but they cannot take away from what the game has already created and established in the process of that implementation.

I'd say that's exactly what needs to be done, to break with the way SOME things have been like up to this point. The way things are up to this point makes Wurm really tiny and with horrible player retention. And as older players go away for one reason or the other, you're not getting enough ppl to fill in the gap. Which means Wurm is bleeding out his player base. I've been trying to warn about this since i've started playing, but apparently its getting to a point where Devs got some sort of wake up call, and are now really trying to give new players an incentive.

Edited by ReaverKane

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I'd say that's exactly what needs to be done, to break with the way SOME things have been like up to this point. The way things are up to this point makes Wurm really tiny and with horrible player retention. And as older players go away for one reason or the other, you're not getting enough ppl to fill in the gap. Which means Wurm is bleeding out his player base. I've been trying to warn about this since i've started playing, but apparently its getting to a point where Devs got some sort of wake up call, and are now really trying to give new players an incentive.

But that incentive cannot setup expectations the rest of the game cannot support. Yes, the game is small, but it's overall design is such that it always will be when compared to other games of the same genre; the vast majority of casual players will never want to play this game in anything even remotely like it's current state. Also, they need to get new players, true, but they also need to not upset the existing players overly much either, since those are the players that will largely drive the experience of the new players and are the largest factor in whether those new players stick around or not. The fact they are considering a map at all is a huge break from the past, and one that is needed, but implementation of it matters a lot. You can't simply slap a map into the game without having it effect both game engine performance and the overall feel of gameplay. It'll be interesting to see what they come up with, though I'm pretty sure that whatever it is won't satisfy much of anybody at first.

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As for it not being marketable, that would basically remove any reason older players would have to pursue it to create the types of maps that a new player would actually find useful if tied to a skill and tools, and not tying it to a skill would create a lot of problems in other areas. Expecting more than a basic generic map dump without tying it to skills and/or tools is asking for trouble down the road because it completely breaks with how things have been done up to this point.

 

A marketable map made by older player, I am sorry to say, makes me cringe. One of the problems for new players in Wurm is the feeling that a few veterans look at us as a means to make money. I've seen new players buy armour, boats, etc just so as to survive. Then, after a few weeks, they quit the game. Is this what older players want? A continous stream of new players who just pop in briefly, buy stuff from the (to me hopelessly designed) market system, and then get the hell out to leave the existing community happily intact?

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A marketable map made by older player, I am sorry to say, makes me cringe. One of the problems for new players in Wurm is the feeling that a few veterans look at us as a means to make money. I've seen new players buy armour, boats, etc just so as to survive. Then, after a few weeks, they quit the game. Is this what older players want? A continous stream of new players who just pop in briefly, buy stuff from the (to me hopelessly designed) market system, and then get the hell out to leave the existing community happily intact?

But without that marketability of everything, maps included, you lose a lot of the potential for interaction between new player and old player, which is where the true impetus for a new player staying is going to come from the vast majority of the time. The current design of the market could use some improvement, to be certain, but the forces driving it are an important aspect of the game, and one that new players need to get used to if they intend on staying in the game. Trying to hide that from them only to hit them with it harder later doesn't help any, and usually makes it worse. It's part of the game, and one that people need to be aware of from the start. If they aren't willing to accept that, then they likely would have issues with large portions of the rest of the game. I agree we need to find ways to get more people to stick around, but the reality is that most people who try this type of game aren't going to stick around, for a lot of reasons. While the whole market could use a significant rework as part of the stabilization effort, the market must still be there. You can't simply decide to ignore it because it doesn't currently work all that well; a more effective solution is to look for ways to fix the market, not bypass it.

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But without that marketability of everything, maps included, you lose a lot of the potential for interaction between new player and old player, which is where the true impetus for a new player staying is going to come from the vast majority of the time. 

 

As a new player, an interaction with existing players who just want to get money off of me is far from attractive - especially when we are talking about real money, since it's practically impossible for a newby to earn in-game cash. Most people who play games are not rolling in dough  :rolleyes:

 

I should say straight away that I don't like fighting much, and I particularly dislike PvP, which has made it difficult to find something I really enjoy. ATITD was great for me because it had no fighting and a very cooperative society, but the developer has moved on to other games leaving the player base stagnating, so I started looking for another MMORPG and discovered Wurm. 

 

The things I love about Wurm and which I think are better than ATITD are the deed system, house building, landforming, forestry, farming, sailing, animal husbandry.

 

The things I don't like about Wurm (and where I miss ATITD) are the lack of a cooperative world, the lack of an ordinary in-game map (with land features and coordinates, not deed names), the lack of a more user-friendly market or auction system, the lack of newby-friendly features, and the way buildings decay leaving beds and chests and other debris scattered around the place especially in the starting area, which is not a very aesthetic introduction for new players.

 

I'm not saying Wurm players are not cooperative; the people on the Help chat tab have been extremely kind and helpful. Also, the public mine in Celebration was a godsend, I don't think I would have survived this far without it, so thank you very much to those who created it :)  What I mean is that there could be more game features aimed at promoting friendly social interaction. One of the things that really struck me about Wurm is how rarely I have seen any players in the game, and the few times I have met someone the interaction has not been always friendly. Maybe the game was designed more for PvP, and Freedom was an afterthought?

 

Anyway, here are a few ideas that could possibly promote more social and friendly interaction:

1) regular religious gatherings near the starting area where everyone receives temporary buffs useful for their level;

2) an auction house near the starting area that players need to visit in order to buy/sell stuff and where new players can sell stuff and/or barter;

3) special events organised by GMs such as parties where players can bring drinks, wine, and food to share;

4) newby deeds near the starting area with small 2x2 houses with a bed and chests, which can be rented for a nominal amount while a new player develops enough skills to forge his or her way ahead in the big wide world;

5) an in-game map with physical features and coordinates that you do not lose when you die!!!!! (at the moment the compass is actually lost if you die, and when you're a beginner it's sometimes impossible to find your corpse; I had to get around that by creating alts just to get a compass!)

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I agree with the above post that the starting compass, just like the starting tool kit, needs to be respawned if it's in inventory when a new character gets killed. Strongly recommending this, though I also think his other suggestions are generally good ideas too.

On that note, the plan is that the in-game map will not be an item that can be lost, but will be able to be pulled up as a feature just by pressing a keystroke ('m' has been the thought so far). Also, plans are that low quality items (and junk) can be sold at any deed token/trader/merchant (including the deed token of the starting village) for just a few iron coins for a maximum of 5 coppers an hour income. Rolf's posted these plans in his lastest info (see 'Money Distribution Improvements' thread in this forum).

Edited by Tristanc
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My knee-jerk reaction is against any kind of in-game map, HUD, or radar.  However I will push myself and try to be open-minded about this.  


 


Focus on the first 5 hours of gameplay?  Player retention?  All right.  These are good things.  Many players play a few hours, get hopelessly lost in the woods, and quit in frustration, never to return.  This is something we want to avoid.  


 


So.  for the first 24 hours, free Noob Compass pointing the way back to town.  Perhaps even a minimap with the local terrain and a "you are here" dot.  No problem.   Just make sure they know, when that noob glow fades, so too does the noob map. 


 


OK so you want a map after the first 24 hours?  Make it a high-value crafted item that adds a GUI, like compasses.  


 


Map:  Crafted from, say, birch bark.  Some elaborate crafting path.  


Ink:  Crafted from black paint, already difficult to make (good).  


Pen:  Made from, say, a feather.  


 


Join them all together and you get a "cartographer's pack."  Equip it, and a map appears in a corner of your screen.  At the cost of, say, 25% of your move speed, it slowly and automatically draws your map for you.  Lower-quality cartographer packs and lower cartography skill results in less-accurately drawn maps.  You can double-click the map to blow it up to fullscreen to see more area but then you're slowed 50% (and good luck spotting any spiders before they get you).  


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I just joined and started playing and I really enjoyed the game, personally I don't care much for a map I like getting lost. Most new players would likely want a map though. There are a few things I would suggest. For the tutorial at the beginning adding a few more things to it such as basic combat against a rat or something , treating a bad wound ( I fell off a cliff as I started the game luckily someone helped me).


 


List of some ideas coming from a new player 2 hours in:


  1. First impressions will retain more players make the tutorial a bit more expansive and exciting add more things to it such as combat basics and making basic items
  2. Make us noobs make the map as part of the tutorial maybe gather some resources and make it?
  3. Make some basic supplies such as bandages and food in tutorial so we have some when we set out
  4. At first teleport all new players to a starting zone maybe somewhere that is not inhabited just for us to mess around then put teleportation stone far away into the noobie zone to go to a normal island so we explore and learn safely
  5. A popup after new players enters an island with some ideas to get him started
  6. Ability to resize bar at the top (just an extra idea)
  7. Easily accessible macro list for opening different things for inexperienced players ( I have played lots of other MMOs and another sandbox game)
  8. Advertise more about the game I had to search really hard to even find the game (youtube, facebook, twitter, mmothut, mmobomb, an interview for publicity etc)
  9. Explain a premium account clearly in the shop, I had no idea what I would get or what it was for I had to look it up, show a list of things side by side with what extras you get by paying
  10. Add links on the website menu for the getting started information or guide so new players can see it immediately. Wiki could be changed to getting started and then add a submenu for the wiki under that
  11. Make the wiki search less obscure in the escape menu maybe add it at the top somewhere?
Edited by kaepora
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Thanks for taking the time and writing your feedback, kaepora! It's greatly appreciated!  We as devs tend to become blind to the obvious when playing and coding the game for a long time :-)


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Tutorial - could teach us how build a basic house and some few things

For one, people rarly even read the tutorials, doing this will make them even longer and boring thus even less people will play.

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We have maps now. Would be great if it was game dump accurate map. no need for x mark your spot...

 

The first 5 hrs of play is crucial to keep new players here. I'd make the new players invisible to mobs for 24 hrs...

 

 

That would make the game confusing.  I actually felt like the decreased aggro radius and increased healing were not great things, becuase they skewed how I learned the game.

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For one, people rarly even read the tutorials, doing this will make them even longer and boring thus even less people will play.

I think a decent solution to this would be to allow new players to skip any part of the tutorial they want to speed things up, doing the tutorial should be an advantage to new players so if they skip anything they should also not get whatever is made in that particular portion of the tutorial, the map portion should definitely no be passable but shouldn't be too difficult to make at first. This way new players feel rewards early on quite fast. 

Edited by kaepora

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newbie missions, right inside the game, not tutorial server.


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Instead of making quests, why not try to explain that Wurm doesn't have quests but you can have lots of fun anyway? This game is not at all about quest (except missons on Epic) so why get new players into questing?  Or are you thinking about adding quests for every skill level?


 


Maybe if these "quests" would be more like achievements instead, optional ones that you can skip entirely or one by one. Something like a prolonged tutorial, in the real world.  Could be something like "Travel some distance from starter deed, find a place to settle. plan your first house, or optionally make a mine, build a door,  build a fence etc.. There probably needs to be optional routes in this tutorial depending if you want to live on your own or settle with some existing village and so on.

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My initial feelings are also "against" dynamic maps. A rough map of the land, in low detail, is good enough. Deeds and names do not belong on a map in my humble opinion. The indi community map however, is nice (nice enough).


On other areas, I agree with Torgrim. Quests to me, are silly. Wurm is special because it is exactly a "do as thou will" sandbox. Be anything, live anywhere, move anywhere, do anything. A lot of questions in the chats seems that the new players are focussing on skilling up, forced grinding skilling up, chasing a number while missing out on the experience. New players should be brought in with the right idea of what wurm is, not expecting some sort of skyrim with mission after mission, nomad'ing over the map (unless that's what they want, which should be a personal choice).


 


But for the most part, I liked everything I read here. If maps come into play, I will disable it, those who want it, sure. I try to help new people where possible, healing, food, place to stay, fighting mobs. The only thing I see as problematic for everyone is:


1. They don't know about the wiki. Learning to use it, is invaluable.


2. They cannot find "land" to go settle on. A map might help this, but part of the fun for me was finding this. However, to keep new the impatient noobs calm, perhaps, a way to help them help-themselves, to find a spot to settle on.


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This can not be right... Map???? Why don't you focus in make the paint weapons/shield/armour work???? map sure that will lost the survivor aspect of wurm.


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This can not be right... Map???? Why don't you focus in make the paint weapons/shield/armour work???? map sure that will lost the survivor aspect of wurm.

I dunno u if have seen the map but it really isnt that detailed lol

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I dunno u if have seen the map but it really isnt that detailed lol

I think it will be nice for people that don't have multiple monitors, as it's not even as good as the public mapdump, just a handy reference.

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Make cartography and map making new skills,  One records the data to various QL's and the other makes the actual map.


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To add my own feelings as a newbie about what would have really helped during the first five hours.  


This is going to come across rather negative as it only focuses on the things that were problems.


 


The tutorial is really bad.   Really Bad.


 


The game is extremely unstable.  It often crashes as I start it up but it is at least stable after this happens for me.  However I have a friend who understands computers who has it freeze and/or crash whenever he tries to play it.  So far he's had this result from three different computers.   This is a huge hurdle to getting new players.


 


The game is really obscure.  I would have played this years ago if I'd known it existed.  The only reason I found it at all was because of someones reference to it in a forum post that wasnt even about Wurm.   This is after having spent hours during the last couple of years hunting for something similar.


 


It was demorilisingly hard to find a starting point.  I started off just wanting to try things out but there was a ring of deforestation around the protected trees of the starting zone so just trying to find a tree I could cut down took me many playing hours and multiple deaths.   After spending a couple of days around the starting area because i felt tied to the newbie food vendors I decided to start out and find somewhere to settle that fit what I was looking for - open land with only one or two neighbours and space to expand.  After a couple of days of stumbling around I was met on the road and given a place to live in an established village for a bit.   At this time I was starting to feel like there would be no area that met my wishes and that my only option would be a tiny house squeezed inbetween long established deeds or a place within an already established village.   I was within a day or so of giving up at this point as village life, although lovely, didnt supply the gameplay I wanted.   Research on the forums led me to believe that there might be land up for grab to the south so I set off to find another place.   This was an extremely frustrating trek as it put me back in sloping sands everytime I died forcing me to trek back to my dying position.  This happened a LOT and if I had not known that this is exactly the sort of game I had wanted to play for years I would have quit multiple times over.  I quickly got lost amongst the maze of roads as I was trying to follow what I thought was a highway, and getting blocked by deed walls.   This was with the use of the community map.  I am honestly still not sure where that highway actually is.  I picked the area I have right now at least partly because the idea of making the same journey yet again was too depressing.


 


Its also very hard to tell when an area is abandoned due to the beds and such that are lying around.  To me these indicated that a place was already occupied.


 


Things I would like for newbies following my experience are:


 


More information on the servers when presenting me with a choice.  For example I would have liked an indication of player population compared to ideal/capacity population and % of world covered by deeds/enclosures.   Might also be nice to have an average skill level for the server but this might make it very hard for the older servers to get new people.


 


A bag of travel rations that are not lost on dying that will keep me fed for 24 hours instead of the vendors or at the least scatter the vendors along the main highways leading out from the newbie town.


 


There were a couple of items in the newbie kit that lasted about 5 minutes before I had lost them such as my backpack and a bowl.   It would have been nice to have those as part of the newbie kit.  I remember the bowl in particular being very hard to replace due to clay not being everywhere.   The backpack was even harder to replace but more of a luxury.


 


Some simple money making tasks at the beginning to teach me what I could do for coin without relying on other players.  For example the traders could ask me to supply them with 10 corn or 5 chunks of iron ore and ask, at the time of giving the task, if I wanted advice on how to perform that task.


 


First aid supplies.   It is extremely hard to find cotton as a newbie.   I died at least three times in the first day just because I was trying to forage what felt like mile after mile of spider infested woodland for cotton so that I could try to start healing up again.   I actually had much better luck supplying myself with healing covers than bandaging. 


 


The ability during the first 24 hour period to respawn at the nearest settlement to facilitate any newbies travel away from the spawn area.   Even if settlements have to opt into this it would have helped a lot.


 


A limited time newbie town area where people can only have heavily restricted housing (ie a max 1 square shack with 1 square of enclosure for example) to enable people to find spots around the newbie spawn point to experiment in without first having to invest tens of hours getting lost within what was a mazelike nest of walls around the starting town.   Ideally this should be part of the tutorial world before you leave as this would enable people to work out what they want and then try to find the server/town that provides it.   Have a recruitment channel for these guys so they can ask for villages looking for them and then pick the server that has the town they liked most.   Populate it the critters newbies can actually learn combat on without being immediately eaten.  You would probably need to cap skill gain here and have it so the buildings go poof the minute people leave.    The option to build your shack through some sort of task/quest system offering different levels of support to the player.


 


Completely redo the tutorial. The movement section is overly complex and the route was very confusing.  Personally I would have done the following. Point out that movement speeds depend on the terrain without going into details and then have an square area with some different land types all next to each other.   Have it so the new character has to fight their way through a harmless foe (preferably a fur dropper) to a climb atop which they chop down a tree to get a single log, have them fall down that slope and then have them craft a component that will then let them repair a gate as an introduction to the crafting menu.  Make them change to defensive combat stance and shield bash a second foe on going through this gate.  Then explain and have them tend the bruise from the fall.  Then have a compass navigation spot, possibly with the lantern light exercise you already have.   Explanation boxes should never be more than a paragraph at a time.   I particularly hated the digging section of the tutorial and feel this would be better tackled in the newbie settlement area described above by giving folks step by step popups on building that first shack.   The mining section was ok but it badly needs to explain ways to find ore that do not involve an already existing mine.  The tutorial also never mentioned that I could customise my characters appearance not did it mention banking at settlement tokens or the ability to sell items to the tokens for a bit of starting cash. 


 


Better starting merchants.  The starting merchants in some of the servers arent very obvious.  I had no idea these existed on my first character/server.   They also never had any money for selling things to them during the first 2-3 days I spent in the sloping sands region.    I was frustrated as a newcomer because it was extremely hard to trade things due to the lack of coins to make up the price differences.  For example I wanted to some items for a bowstring but because the bowstrings value was not an exact multiple of the items I had to sell I couldnt buy it even though my items were worth more than the bowstring.   You should either give newcomers a few iron coins for these small items or have special traders that always have a certain amount of coin available for the use of newcomers only.


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regauarding maps, they really should be a cartography skill and relevant tools... low skill you only get a local map, eg what you can see from where you standing, actual mapping should be much higher level


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