In this week's Community Spotlight we focus on the thread, "Who's idea was it to have tutorials for mmorpgs?!?" by bcbully.
Please get rid of tutorials.
I think they do more harm than good for first impressions. After trying a new beta still under NDA, I just had to stop and say "man this sucks." Now I wasn't talking about the game it's self, because that felt good, real good, but the tutorial made me exit game.
Give me a clear concise help center/guide/maual then let me figure it out. Stop this bad tutorial nonsense.
Read on for some highlights from the discussion!
VirgoThree offers a comprehensive take on the topic:
Tutorials are fine, and to be honest should be there the more complex your game is. Most of us on this site have progressed with this genre through the early days. So all of the incremental advancements and features throughout the years come natural to us.
However, throw a total newbie to MMO's or even a newbie to gaming in with out a tutorial and the out come is likely a brief period of frustration.
Think of it this way. A lot of console gamers grew up with NES games. All you had was a d-pad, A, B, select, and start buttons. That's it! Games were very straight forward and intuitive (at least good ones) so you didn't really need a tutorial. If you had questions, you could look at the manual.
These same console gamers have adapted and grew up with the console industry. When the SNES came out, we now had X,Y,L,R buttons added to the controller. This was an incremental change, and we adapted.
Now comes N64. We have an Analog stick, Z button, and acouple others! Again we adapted with it, because it was an incremental change.
Now fast forward to the current gen, and we have Dual Analogs, d-pad, Four face buttons, 4 Shoulder buttons (2 on each side), and the dual analogs are buttons too! Again we adapted because this was still incremental. However, throw a new gamer into a modern console game, and they will need time to figure out what the hell is going on. Some will learn quickly, others will take more time and that is where tutorials come into play.
With all that said, i think the idea of forced tutorials need to go the way of the dodo. The market obviously has many seasoned gamers, but at the same time new gamers as well. The older gamers should not be forced to relearn how to aim for the 1000th time, or that a quest is a thing you do to get loot and exp. So in short I say keep tutorials, but do not force them upon us.
Biskop doesn't mind optional pop up tutorials, but hates being forced into full blown tutorials:
Optional pop-up tutorials are fine, at least if the game is complex and non-intuitive at first (like EVE and AoW, two games with a vast quality difference between their respective tutorials btw).
Personally I hate tutorials and prefer figuring things out on my own (one of the things I liked about MO was that it just dropped you into the world and let you find your own way), but I know that I'm in the minority here and that tutorials help bring new people in.
Zzad believes strongly in the use of tutorials:
I believe Tutorials are very well needed for A LOT of players.
they serve as introduction to the game and...
they usually give you some kind of reward for doing them anyway!
Usually u can skip them after the first run....or even b4
Some MMORPGS really need a Tutorial....
I disagree srry OP.
Personally, I don't mind the optional tutorial, but I think developers have been going around the implementation of tutorials in MMOs all wrong. For those of who are veterans of MMOs, we are likely to skip any tutorials offered (or be annoyed by the unskippable ones and not learn anything new in the process). Newbies, on the other hand, obviously benefit from the tutorial, if they are bothering to pay attention.
I think developers should perhaps spend the time creating a sort of 'intelligent tutorial' that only provides you with help based on how you're playing the game. Load into the world for the first time and find yourself standing around doing nothing for 30s because you don't realize WASD are your movement keys? Present the information to the player. If the player seems to know all the MMO basics and starts moving around and opening up key UI panels quickly, the game could detect he's got a basic familiarity with MMOs and only present tips on systems that may be specific to the game.
Is this a worthwhile investment of development time? Perhaps, perhaps not. I feel the first hour or so of the MMO experience can often make or break it for a new or even veteran player. This means putting the time into creating a starting experience that is less annoying for the vet and intuitively informative to the newbie at the same time may be worth the additional effort.
What do you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!