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Improved Play Tips
Learn as you Play

I was thinking about how other games with complex systems introduce them to new players.

Most complex games teach people as they go via play tips. Sindome is different in that there are a large number of help files, videos, web pages, etc. that new players "need to" read. That runs counter to how most people pick up new games these days. This creates a lot of friction where people naturally want to learn as they go, but then run into obstacles. eg having a phone but not knowing how to answer it or use it the first time it rings, getting into combat but not knowing how the combat system works, trying to use SIC but not knowing how SIC works, etc.

World of Warcraft comes to mind because they have done an excellent job of putting tool tips on what feels like EVERY SINGLE COMMAND, even the most obvious and mundane. It has been years since I played WoW, but my recollection is that the first time I used any command, it gave me a tool tip.

Doing something similar here in Sindome would be extremely time consuming and more difficult due to the coding involved, the limited time of staff with coding knowledge, and the system itself. But any additional effort that can be devoted there will pay off.

Slither had mentioned setting up help command aliases based on a log of 'failed' help commands. I think that something similar for play tips would be useful.

When I say play tips, I do not mean the types that reward UE. I think having 49 of those is sufficient.

I am thinking about things that are detailed in the help files or the bulletin board, but not completely obvious. The one that comes immediately to mind are SIC brown outs in Red. Those are detailed in the bulletin board files. An example of a 'play tip' for that scenario is that the first time a player tries to communicate on SIC and gets a coverage error, they get a link to the bulletin board that details brown outs. That does a few things. One, it potentially eliminates an xgame query that has already been asked a million times. Two, it eliminates player frustration. Three, it gets a player onto the bulletin boards, maybe for the first time. Four, once the player is on the bulletin boards, they might continue to dig deeper.

Another example might be the first time a character picks up a phone. "You've picked up a phone. Make sure you type 'help phone' and learn how to use it, before you miss an important call."

I like this idea a lot. I had recently been mulling over something along these lines, trying to figure out how we surface information when a new player needs it. The OOC sys-msg reminders of some of our general concepts was a first stab at this, for example.

However, I do like the idea of surfacing this information the first time a player attempts something, in the same way graphical games do.

Something like this might require a fair amount of code, but it's also the kind of thing that we wouldn't have to implement all at the same time. We could identify the top 10 questions asked on game help and try to figure out how to surface help and BGBB links the first time a player experiences this, perhaps leveraging some of our existing systems for tracking the first time a player does or experiences something.

Let's keep this conversation going. Players active on game help, what are the most common questions that get asked?

I have been playing this game for two years. I have a deep and complex understanding of the game mechanics and how to leverage them to wring victory out of otherwise unwinnable scenarios. I frequently run into situations where I have to explain how systems work to established characters or even staff members, and I still do not fully understand how to program a door.
I'm with Vera on this.

Been here two and a half years, I still get confused by what should be basic stuff, like the door programming example. There's also other stuff that blows my mind, but mostly because I, as a player, haven't yet played a character who has needed that kind of knowledge. Thus, I've not had to touch that sort of stuff yet. (Anything to do with secure/electro tech comes to mind.)

SIC stuff comes up an awful lot from new players on game-help, but we have a bunch of stuff for that already. Are there specific commands to interact with x or y, another. Faction related NPC commands are a simple, yet often overlooked thing. So much so I think I've only been in the position where I've had access to them, let alone had to use them once. Maybe add a help file about factions and what you can do with them in general would be neat.

Door programming is a m y s t e r y, ngl I cannot figure out why I can't program an upgraded door from the inside when a secondary code gets assigned to the outside???
In the past like 15 years and evern with a gm bit I never understood how to change the code on a door so don’t feel bad. I’m pretty sure you gotta call someone at NASA for assistance.
i once met someone ic who had two different freaking codes and changed them often and honestly i felt so severely intimidated by that skill
"How can I see how much money I have on me?" seems to be a common question in my experience.