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News & Features Discussion  » Fallen Earth: Revamping the New Player Experience

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  Stradden

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/08/05
Posts: 6729

 
OP  10/27/09 8:58:50 AM#1

The team from over at Icarus Studios has provided us with this developer journal discussing the changes that the company is making to the new player experience in their new MMORPG, Fallen Earth.

When the Fallen Earth development team decided to revisit new player content and events just after launch for Patch 1.1.0, it was a big question mark on a roadmap to fun. The game launched with a tutorial, meant to give players a taste of upper-level play while teaching them basic game mechanics before jumping into a sandbox-style experience. Instead, some players noted that at the end of the tutorial, they felt like they had been pushed out into a wide-open world full of choices--and it was overwhelming. But how would the developers balance the desire for more of an introduction without sacrificing the "challenge" they worked so hard to inspire?

Initially, the developers worked to create a dramatic, story-driven tutorial that would teach basic game mechanics while introducing players to the plot of Fallen Earth. Some things, such as crafting and harvesting, weren't explained in the tutorial because it slowed down the experience and broke pace with the rest of the narrative. It was also important to create an experience in which players could focus on mechanics instead of getting distracted by group play. Lastly, players mounted an ATV and rode out of Hoover Dam in the tutorial without really knowing much about vehicles or how they work.

Read Revamping the New Player Experience.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

  Khalathwyr

Tipster

Joined: 6/02/04
Posts: 3151

Google is your friend.

10/27/09 9:30:00 AM#2

I don't know that the New Player Experience (why do three word labels for game changes make me uneasy...) was a necessary addition, but I don't think, as it has been described, does any real harm to the game. Part of the charm, at least for me, was not having every little detail spelled out for me. Having to figure some things out on my own, or ask other players who had figured them out, added a certain quality to the world that other recent games have either just flat out ignored or genuinely lost.

 

"Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

Kickstarter 1 / Naysayers 0

  RavingRabbid

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/11/09
Posts: 1131

Remember Rabbids cant play MMO's, but they can dance!

10/27/09 9:37:58 AM#3

I have to agree that I felt a little lost when i got out into the world and had trouble "getting going". I think the adjustment of the tutorial are very needed to teach more aspects of the game, but not hold my hand so to speak. Im enjoying my game experience so far and it a refreshing breath of freash air to the fantasty mmo genre.

(AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH raises plunger in Salute to the Fallen Earth Developers)

 

All my opinions are just that..opinions. If you like my opinions..coolness.If you dont like my opinion....I really dont care.
Playing: SWTOR, Marvel Heroes and WOT.

  User Deleted
10/27/09 10:03:10 AM#4

I think the new player experience revamp was highly needed. While it didnt take me long to figure things out, there are players out there not used to this style of gaming and do feel overwhelmed. Adding an additional 30 minutes or so of tutorial is not a bad thing. It helps people like my gf (who refuses to ask me for help) to get into the game

  Senadina

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/16/06
Posts: 885

10/27/09 10:24:44 AM#5

I agree it was a needed change. I had NO idea what to do with mutations in beta: how to get them, improve them, or use them. I am sure others were clueless in other areas. This was a good move.

  cukimunga

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/03/05
Posts: 2275

Ah I'm drunk and I'm in the street like a vagabond.

10/27/09 10:27:42 AM#6
Originally posted by Senadina

I agree it was a needed change. I had NO idea what to do with mutations in beta: how to get them, improve them, or use them. I am sure others were clueless in other areas. This was a good move.

 

I havent played the turorial in a while they show more about mutations? Cuz Im still kinda confused about them, not how to use them but where to find different ones all Ive seen were just the better versions of the ones you start with.  All I know is that there is ones that are faction based but IDK where else to find other ones to uses besides the upgrades.

  User Deleted
10/27/09 10:48:02 AM#7

The new tutorial/1st level training missions are pretty good at helping you figure out things like mutations, crafting, and such. Also, you get a mount half through the missions. I think adding this will help greatly with retention because the old way could and did get a lot of people extremely frustasted to the point of quitting

  Wrayeth

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/30/05
Posts: 229

10/27/09 10:55:22 AM#8
Originally posted by cukimunga

 I havent played the turorial in a while they show more about mutations? Cuz Im still kinda confused about them, not how to use them but where to find different ones all Ive seen were just the better versions of the ones you start with.  All I know is that there is ones that are faction based but IDK where else to find other ones to uses besides the upgrades.


 

AFAIK, factions from S2 onwards are the ONLY places to get the advanced mutations.  Only the alpha mutations are readily available elsewhere.

Which reminds me, now that I've actually put some points into Suppression, I should probably go visit the Suppression trainer and see what abilities I have enough skill for.

-Wrayeth

"Look, pa! I just contributed absolutely nothing to this thread!"

  Terranah

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 3616

10/27/09 10:57:41 AM#9

I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.

  User Deleted
10/27/09 11:32:10 AM#10
Originally posted by Terranah

I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.


 

But that is not for everyone. For people like you and I, they give us the option to skip the new player experience and jump right into things. For people like my gf, they have the new player experience to help them get familiar with what to do

  Sniperace06

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/06
Posts: 11

10/27/09 11:41:46 AM#11

i realy dont think it need to be changed ath all,

 The thing is ppl just rush true ewry thing i didt hawe any problems whit the game ath all i love that its this way it gives you a bit of a challenge to learn the game

But I spended allot of my time helping ppl out in game and usaly the problem was that ppl didt Read the Tutorial instructions that the quest's gave? almost ewry time i got this response from the new players, Oh! im sry im soo stupid i didt read the quest or instructions proply,

but this started as soon the free trails came on and new ppl started to pure in and wanted a quick way to start testing the game out and ingoring the Tutorial usaly this are 10 year old kids thinking this is a Wow game yes sry to take Wow up but its true this game is for a mature players,

and why i didt hawe any problems whit the game and learnd it fast was becouse i took my time reading the instructions and quests or asked ppl out if there was still something i didt know i took me 1 and half day to learn the game and thats less what it should

and yes there are players out there not used for this style of gaming and do feel overwhelmed when getting out but thats what the help channel are for, helping ppl out if they still didt figure it out But this is what this game stands out for this is not Wow or any other mmorpg this is Fallen Earth it gives you that  i need to earn my knowleage for the game and not get ewry thing handed to you like ppl are used to

But i might be wrong but this is what i think and feel and ive playd allot of mmorpgs and this is By far the best MMORPG ive playd since SWG pre nge and im staying for a long time and thats for sure

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19773

10/27/09 12:02:21 PM#12

I think it is BAD game design to make things obscure. It is NOT hand-holding to give information about all the systems & game mechanics in the game. It is only hand-holding when there are no choice.

The choice of doing watever is still there, and won't be affected by adding more tutorial material.

  Khalathwyr

Tipster

Joined: 6/02/04
Posts: 3151

Google is your friend.

10/27/09 12:19:08 PM#13
Originally posted by Mordrid
Originally posted by Terranah

I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.


 

But that is not for everyone. For people like you and I, they give us the option to skip the new player experience and jump right into things. For people like my gf, they have the new player experience to help them get familiar with what to do

 

Which is fine, I just hope they don't get too carried away with introducing new "tutorials" to make other areas easy step 1-2-3.  There has to be be a good amount of things remaining that folks have to learn by trial and error to keep with their initial vision for the game. That's a part of what makes it "different" from the AAA standard faire being rushed to release these days.

The sense of accomplishment figuring something out on your own just seems way more gratifying than having someone look over your shoulder and tell you step by step what to do. Least it is for me and no doubt many for whom this game was targeted*.

*Guess based on how the game was initially created.

"Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

Kickstarter 1 / Naysayers 0

  maskedweasel

Tipster

Joined: 9/24/07
Posts: 7264

"Kids, try imagining how far the universe extends! Keep thinking about it until you go insane."

10/27/09 12:26:12 PM#14
Originally posted by Khalathwyr
Originally posted by Mordrid
Originally posted by Terranah

I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.


 

But that is not for everyone. For people like you and I, they give us the option to skip the new player experience and jump right into things. For people like my gf, they have the new player experience to help them get familiar with what to do

 

Which is fine, I just hope they don't get too carried away with introducing new "tutorials" to make other areas easy step 1-2-3.  There has to be be a good amount of things remaining that folks have to learn by trial and error to keep with their initial vision for the game. That's a part of what makes it "different" from the AAA standard faire being rushed to release these days.

The sense of accomplishment figuring something out on your own just seems way more gratifying than having someone look over your shoulder and tell you step by step what to do. Least it is for me and no doubt many for whom this game was targeted*.

*Guess based on how the game was initially created.

I don't think these devs would do that, the other day I was in help chat and someone was asking how to get into lokis door, and the GMs were discouraging players from telling them, letting them know there was a "trick" to getting in the door but not divulging the secret.  I think overall the Devs want to keep the quirks and secrets to certain things in the game, but they want to at least give players the initial tools to discover them all.

 

 

"Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


  Tisiphone

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/04
Posts: 487

"Every time you skip security patches, Cthulu kills a kitten."

10/27/09 12:43:06 PM#15

I agree that this was needed. Its not a huge change, but it is a better transition from linear training to total sandbox.


  User Deleted
10/27/09 12:48:41 PM#16
Originally posted by Khalathwyr
Originally posted by Mordrid
Originally posted by Terranah

I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.


 

But that is not for everyone. For people like you and I, they give us the option to skip the new player experience and jump right into things. For people like my gf, they have the new player experience to help them get familiar with what to do

 

Which is fine, I just hope they don't get too carried away with introducing new "tutorials" to make other areas easy step 1-2-3.  There has to be be a good amount of things remaining that folks have to learn by trial and error to keep with their initial vision for the game. That's a part of what makes it "different" from the AAA standard faire being rushed to release these days.

The sense of accomplishment figuring something out on your own just seems way more gratifying than having someone look over your shoulder and tell you step by step what to do. Least it is for me and no doubt many for whom this game was targeted*.

*Guess based on how the game was initially created.

I truly think there is a difference between having a tutorial for some of the basic game mechanics and them removing the sense of accomplishment for figuring out things on your own. I dont see them hand holding throughtout the game. 30 mins of extra tutorial on crafting, mutations, mounts, and a few very basic missions is a far cry from what AAA games do. Once you are done with the new player experience (if you even choose to do it), then you are back to your own devices with the basic knowledge of what you need to do to survive.
 

  IMPYRE

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/04
Posts: 2913

Yes, I have a question. When did you turn into a nutbar?

10/27/09 4:05:38 PM#17

You gotta admit, 3 words can be scary in the mmorpg market especially if you were a SWG player. LOL!

Couldn't they think of something better than calling it the NPE. haha

[NPE] New Player Experience (Fallen Earth) and not [NGE] New Game Enhancements (SWG)

  Mordacai

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/13/06
Posts: 310

There are only 10 kinds of people in the world. Those that understand Binary and those that do not.

10/27/09 4:15:50 PM#18

 

 

I am a new player, as a newbie I read every step of the tutorial and quests and it helped out quite a bit. I didn't get to start FE until the retail version came out at my local Gamestop. I didn't get to go thru the new tutorial yet only the one with the atv..so it would be helpful probably for me to restart a new character and go thru it again so i can learn how to get a horse and get a free horse since right now i'm horseless still at level 7. also learning a bit about the other crafts like mutations which i have no clue on and some of the other stuff would greatly help I think the avg newbie player just coming in. Although for me I did learn quite a bit on my own and everyone was very helpful in help chat. Learning about the nodes an all that would be really useful as well and how you get the ability to harvest them specificially.

 

Just my thoughts as a newbie...still enjoying FE...

http://www.forceofarms.com/index.php

  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6732

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

10/27/09 9:16:39 PM#19
Originally posted by Terranah

I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.

 

I agree full heartedly,but i noticed right away,harvesting was nodes shown easily on map,so no thinking or exploration excitement.

Npc's were easily found,all spread around the town,very static setup,so again no thinking needed or exploration.The only thing i needed to know was how to get crafting started,and it was not bad but a little misleading.They need to make it a lot more clear as to what you are buying from the npc's.

Anyhow after i figured out pretty much all you need to know in the whole game in the very first day,i was completely bored,as i found nothing involved thinking at all,it was just a search and seek out nodes/recipes and quests.That is the whole game in a nut shell,no thinking at all.

Crafting is no thinking and combat is no thinking,you can clearly see your best weapon damage,there was no in depth combat system.I guess utilizing realistic weapons is not going to be much thinking involved you point and click.I guess i am  used to Fantasy type combat utilizing combos and team work and having the basic tank/healer/dps setup,anything less now seems too simplistic ,i can't get into it.

Basically i found the entire game  had zero thinking,just remembering where the heck you were and where certain NPC's were.I was not overwhelmed with possibilities as imo there is almost nothing to do or explore[vast barren land is not exploring]and every town had the same generic look/feel so again no excitement from exploring..I was more overwhelmed with how much junk i collected in a very short time and yet i still could not complete anything to craft,i was always short one item.How can you have over a 100 items and can't make anything? lol.well i could make relish .:(

http://www.youtube.com/user/Napolianboo#p/u/15/rCYLLQCNc1w
Samoan Diamond

  User Deleted
10/27/09 9:52:06 PM#20
Originally posted by Wizardry
Originally posted by Terranah

I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.

 

I agree full heartedly,but i noticed right away,harvesting was nodes shown easily on map,so no thinking or exploration excitement.

Npc's were easily found,all spread around the town,very static setup,so again no thinking needed or exploration.The only thing i needed to know was how to get crafting started,and it was not bad but a little misleading.They need to make it a lot more clear as to what you are buying from the npc's.

Anyhow after i figured out pretty much all you need to know in the whole game in the very first day,i was completely bored,as i found nothing involved thinking at all,it was just a search and seek out nodes/recipes and quests.That is the whole game in a nut shell,no thinking at all.

Crafting is no thinking and combat is no thinking,you can clearly see your best weapon damage,there was no in depth combat system.I guess utilizing realistic weapons is not going to be much thinking involved you point and click.I guess i am  used to Fantasy type combat utilizing combos and team work and having the basic tank/healer/dps setup,anything less now seems too simplistic ,i can't get into it.

Basically i found the entire game  had zero thinking,just remembering where the heck you were and where certain NPC's were.I was not overwhelmed with possibilities as imo there is almost nothing to do or explore[vast barren land is not exploring]and every town had the same generic look/feel so again no excitement from exploring..I was more overwhelmed with how much junk i collected in a very short time and yet i still could not complete anything to craft,i was always short one item.How can you have over a 100 items and can't make anything? lol.well i could make relish .:(


 

You gotta set yourself goals in the game and not hopelessly run around in S1 or S2 and hope for the best that you get the right materials for crafting.

You seem like a  pretty educated person and I am pretty sure you used waypoints in the game to map certain mats that you need to level in.

If crafting is not your gamestyle, then forget everything I just said. But if crafting is one of your focuses in game, find out which starter town has the best missions for receipe books in which you want to level in and take it from there.

On another note, there are many AP missions scattered across S1, unless you used a waypoint source of information from another user and where they have found the AP's missions, I would say your one damn good explorer since I missed alot in S1 and some AP missions are from NPC's where you would least expect them to be.

Believe me, I had to use my brain just on simple things like constructing my 1st rifle and finding the mats and skill to level in and also had to find the skill in which to make ammo for my rifle and level in the skill as well.

Its not rocket science, but you still got to use your noggin.

 

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