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11
Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: How to Tutorial
« Last post by Ehndras on January 02, 2018, 02:43:18 AM »

Hmm. A few thoughts, then.


First, we can all agree that no one wants to take part in a lengthy simulated tutorial. Nobody - especially not impatient new players and RPG vets who want to interact with actual human beings.


Outside of providing a player-run tutorial area replete with its own drawbacks and biases, it seems the optimal way forward is an unobtrusive, basic framework simulated tutorial that shouldn't take longer than 5-10 minutes to complete.


Have it as a basic requirement for new accounts, and an optional link for others who desire a refresher course in mechanics. You access the simulation and there you are in the map view to begin with, in zoom-tier 5. (furthest before settlement names no longer display) Cue tutorial:

"This short tutorial will teach you the basics of interaction in Might & Fealty. Lets begin!"

"Welcome to the village of Whitemead![/size] T[/size]he Map and Travel tab lets you see and navigate the world: first lets zoom in using either your mouse-wheel or the + & - buttons on the upper-left zoom slider. (you can minimize tutorial text-volume by using visual UI aids like arrows, outlines, cutouts, and highlights)

Click on the red circular settlement icon to learn more from the settlement tooptip: Whitemead is a large village in a dense forest biome, owned by Lady Alina Huntsmaster. Later you will learn about biomes, settlement types, and ownership. For now, lets find the city of Hawks Hold!

Find the settlement search bar a
[/size]bove the zoom slider[/size]: typing Hawk or Hold will display every settlement containing those words. Type in Hawks Hold and click on its entry in the drop-down menu to proceed. Note the map has selected Hawks Hold and highlighted it with a yellow circle. But how do you get there?

Click the Travel tab located on the bottom-right and c
[/font]lose the Hawks Hold tooptip. Drag your mouse pointer across the map and note the blue circle that marks your destination. Now click on the Hawks Hold settlement icon to set your destination, then set route to begin![/font][/size] If you make a mistake, just [/size]remove [/size]{[/size]the} [/size]last[/size] waypoint or [/size]clear[/size] all movement. Note that y[/size]ou can set multiple waypoints for point-to-point long-distance travel.
[/size]
[/size]For this tutorial we'll speed things up, but long-distance travel occurs over a period of in-game days. O[/size]ne day in Might & Fealty happens every 6 hours. For more information read [/color][/size][size=78%]http://wiki.maffans.org/w/Manual/Units#Time[/size]


By now you've reached the gates of glorious Hawks Hold! You're currently outside the city walls, where bandits and enemy armies can attack you. Click or hover your mouse over the Actions tab and select Enter Settlement. Oh no, the gate guards deny you entry! We'll notify the guards for you this time, but in the future you'll need permission from the estate owner to get inside. Can't just let any random army wander past our defenses, now can we? Please see [/size][size=78%]http://wiki.maffans.org/w/Manual/Permissions[/size][/size][size=78%] [/size][/size]for more.[size=78%]

[/size]Lets try that again, shall we?

Success! Through the Actions tab you can now access Local Quests, visit the Tavern, and get a drink or hire mercenaries at the Inn. With certain permissions you can even Train Soldiers, Recruit Entourage, Trade, construct Buildings, andmuch more!
[size=78%]


[/size]Looks like your liege Alexios Eirenikos, ruler of Hawks Hold, has sent you a missive! Click or hover over the Messages tab - Conversations Overview and Messages Summary will list all your future discussions, but for now just[size=78%][/size] select Unread Messages. Note that all in-game messages are In-Character unless otherwise noted. Communication takes place between the characters of two or or more players who don't necessary know one another face-to-face, representing different ranks and cultures in any given realm. For more information see [/size]http://wiki.maffans.org/w/Manual/Knight

"Hail and Well-Met,

Welcome to Hawks Hold, young knight! We are currently in the midst of war against the Kingdom of Badlandia, so you must be on your guard. I've instructed my captain to assign you a few soldiers and give you x gold with which to recruit mercenaries. I trust you'll serve with honor.

Nearby is the village of Gnarley Wood, held by the enemy lord Vidar Lindholm. We've harried Vidar in the western grasslands so now would be an opportune moment to strike while his army is away. Recruit a band of mercenaries at the Inn to supplement your unit and travel to Gnarley Wood. Once there, you are tasked with initiating a takeover. If you succeed, you will replace Vidar as the Lord of Gnarley Wood and become master of your very own estate.

While Knights rely on the troops and supplies of landed nobles, a Lord can train, equip, and lead his own men into battle. There is more to Lordship than combat, of course, but lets focus on the task at hand for now. Take your men and secure Gnarley Wood for the good of the kingdom, and we'll speak again when your mission is complete.

(OOC: http://wiki.maffans.org/w/Manual/Lord )

For the Kingdom,

Alexios Eirenikos
Duke of Hawks Hold

[/size]Exemplar of Hawks"


[/size]In the actual game its wise to reply to messages, especially from your liege. To learn more see [size=78%]http://wiki.maffans.org/w/Manual/Messages[/size] .

Remember the Inn from earlier? Via the Actions tab, select the Inn and hire a group of mercenaries. For this exercise their equipment, size, and experience doesn't matter. Hire a group then return to the Map and Travel tab to make way for Gnarley Wood. Once you arrive you'll notice you can't enter the settlement. You're their enemy, after all!

This is where your army comes in. You'll want to Take Control of the village once you've forced your way inside; though you'll have to force your way into a defended settlement first."

So on and so forth. I'd keep going but none of my characters are in a non-owned settlement so I can't recall the proper button names and texts atm.

You get the gist. With near-instant travel and action timers (5 seconds perhaps) you can guide a new player through the gist of travel, interaction, combat, takeovers, and basic lordship in a few minutes' time and completely eliminate that dastardly "the hell do I even do" feeling we all start with.

Hell, it'd be a boon to those who've been gone long enough to not remember certain details or nuances, or who predate certain mechanics or changes made over time. One could also script a scenario that teaches some more complex strategic maneuvers like bridge blockades, multi-party battles, sea travel, and the like.

Yeah, I know it might be a pain in the ass to script all this within the context of the game, but perhaps it'd be easier to just simulate the gist of it independently, since the simulated tutorial world would look like MF but not actual BE MF. Just a barebones framework to teach you the basics, complete with links to the respective manual/wiki entries for those who want/need to learn more. I've written tutorials for a few smaller games along these lines, and the simulated environment bit always seemed to work out for the better, as long as you do so in a streamlined and "natural" manner.

Thoughts?
[/size][/font]
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: How to Tutorial
« Last post by De-Legro on January 02, 2018, 12:09:03 AM »
The whole achievement-as-a-tutorial concept is wonderful. After questioning fellow players in hundreds of games of every genre and UI-style over the years, the most well-received and respected tutorials were nearly always that of nonscripted ie open-ended tutorials. Guided by a series of achievements with associated tooltips that follow a logical step-by-step process, or an achievement Tree that branches out into different activities, this method allows players to learn the ropes at their own rate, while amassing and keeping track of minor accolades. (which do bring some weird pleasure to some, including myself, for entirely unknown reasons).

For example, Medieval Engineers. Their newest system is more comprehensive, however, now split into a Tech Tree where you do a little tutorial mission where you test out every new major block/item/tool and unlock it as a result, leading up to you actually knowing wtf to do with the more complex and dynamic components and items.


Step 1 is usually thus "go to x location (first time, teaching you HOW to do so, what buttons to press, little tips on what to do and not do for optimal performance), then "gather x number of materials A B and C" (helping you learn to identify different natural flora/fauna/geography in the process!) or "Access panel/button/UI/hotbar X via Y to proceed to Z" so you know where to go, what to do, how to do it, what you need to achieve it, and then, most importantly, what you can do/make/achieve as a result.

In this case, first you just do the basics like gather rocks and make a campfire, or gather stone/flint+sticks from x y or z natural resource (berry bushes, saplings, etc) to make your first tool, a stone axe. Then you start the one where you equip said axe via a tooltip that explains how to use and cycle thru the ever-useful hotbar, then use it to cut down a tree, then cut that into logs and scraps, then make your first crafting table, all the way down to how to find natural ore veins, up to cooking logs to make charcoal for fires and steel, and later even advanced engineering processes and logic of the physics system, because no one likes it when your fancy new windmill collapses because your rickety stone tower topped off the side of a mountain because the game just expects you to know everything magically.


Great, so now explain in the context of a massively multiplayer RPG, where the bulk of actions either require access to settlements which you may or may not have at the beginning, access to certain buildings which again you may or may not have, or the interaction of other players, how all that is going to work in a time sensitive manner?


If you want people to be able to quickly access the various parts of the game then you need a environment for them to do so. We can't expect they will get that within the game world, thus the concept of having a separate tutorial area where the game can provide the needed access and resources.


The trick would be forming it in such a way that it is not just a single scripted start of the game thing, but something you can access at need.



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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: How to Tutorial
« Last post by Ehndras on January 01, 2018, 11:48:55 PM »
The whole achievement-as-a-tutorial concept is wonderful. After questioning fellow players in hundreds of games of every genre and UI-style over the years, the most well-received and respected tutorials were nearly always that of nonscripted ie open-ended tutorials. Guided by a series of achievements with associated tooltips that follow a logical step-by-step process, or an achievement Tree that branches out into different activities, this method allows players to learn the ropes at their own rate, while amassing and keeping track of minor accolades. (which do bring some weird pleasure to some, including myself, for entirely unknown reasons).

For example, Medieval Engineers. Their newest system is more comprehensive, however, now split into a Tech Tree where you do a little tutorial mission where you test out every new major block/item/tool and unlock it as a result, leading up to you actually knowing wtf to do with the more complex and dynamic components and items.


Step 1 is usually thus "go to x location (first time, teaching you HOW to do so, what buttons to press, little tips on what to do and not do for optimal performance), then "gather x number of materials A B and C" (helping you learn to identify different natural flora/fauna/geography in the process!) or "Access panel/button/UI/hotbar X via Y to proceed to Z" so you know where to go, what to do, how to do it, what you need to achieve it, and then, most importantly, what you can do/make/achieve as a result.

In this case, first you just do the basics like gather rocks and make a campfire, or gather stone/flint+sticks from x y or z natural resource (berry bushes, saplings, etc) to make your first tool, a stone axe. Then you start the one where you equip said axe via a tooltip that explains how to use and cycle thru the ever-useful hotbar, then use it to cut down a tree, then cut that into logs and scraps, then make your first crafting table, all the way down to how to find natural ore veins, up to cooking logs to make charcoal for fires and steel, and later even advanced engineering processes and logic of the physics system, because no one likes it when your fancy new windmill collapses because your rickety stone tower topped off the side of a mountain because the game just expects you to know everything magically.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: New Permission System Design
« Last post by Ehndras on January 01, 2018, 11:18:13 PM »
Cipheron nailed it.
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Stories to tell / Re: The Awakening
« Last post by Alumaani on December 28, 2017, 04:35:25 PM »
As he slept,  he dreamed.

Not peaceful dreams of a comfortable slumber but dreams of terror, of violent storms and reeling ships, the loss of his father on their fateful voyage to the new world and the clash of steel, the rivers of blood and flames of conquest that forged a kingdom in that new land.

He re-lived the days of Rathgar, their march south into the lands of the Empire, their glorious crusade to stifle the encroaching masses of the southern gentiles.  A united Rathgar, a glorious ripple in the eternal life he had lived which filled his chest with the warmth of pride and brought tears to his eyes as slept.  They had conquered.

He dreamed of betrayal, Rathgar devoured from within, lives stolen from his line and his humans slaughtered in their hundreds.  He stood once again on the mountain of the bear, watching as his villages burned.  The spirit of the bear appearing to him and his allies, urging them forward, the clans of Sky, Stonedman and the Alumaani, the saviours of Rathgar.

He stood once again on the fields of battle, a cataclysmic conflict that shook the bowels of the earth and saw the northmen die in their thousands.  Entire generations of humans wiped from the world and First Ones falling in their dozens, thousands of years of knowledge blinked out in a mere moment of time.  Unspeakable tortures, oaths broken and his nemesis Tan De Serra laughing over the bodies of his Kin.

His spear trailed blood and flame as it tore through the lines of never ending foe, he carried the Luin Letchar, the spear of the sun and it burned as it passed through the bodies of his enemies.  A madness overcoming him, a rage boiling up once more, revenge was close, victory assured, his body tensed as his mind wandered in this dream of remembrance and he drew closer to the standard of their king.  He would have the revenge that had evaded him in life, here now, in this dream.  He would behead the snake, leave his body to the worms and then turn his attention to his generals.

Then the picture shifted and the banners of his foe flew away from him, his enemy from his reach, just as they had retreated from him in life, they now moved beyond his grasp and his revenge was yet again un fulfilled.

He stood alone in the darkness of his mind.

Not alone…”wake up” the voice whispered in his ear.  “It is time for you to rise again”.

Belemont Alumaani opened an eye, slowly, persistently, as the fluids of decades had sealed tight his lids and the light of the future blinded his retina, the skin slowly parted.

His memories flooded into his brain along with the long lost light of the sun.  War.

His enemies had been crushed but in victory he faced the loss of his consciousness, his ability to protect his own.  His family were all dead now, he felt their loss like a chasm in his heart, he had not been there to protect them.

A new age dawned...new plans and a new purpose.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« Last post by Andrew on December 24, 2017, 08:27:29 AM »
For the curious, I've moved into the "hammer the bugs" stage of development, alternatively known as the "you forgot WHAT!?" stage. In other words, I'm very near to actually being able to show something for my work these last few months.
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Realms Chat / Re: Suddenly, I inherit half a continent
« Last post by Ehndras on December 19, 2017, 02:15:31 AM »
Suddenly, hes slumbered again.  :-*


Too much of a headache to deal with. Figured it best to let nature sort itself out.
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So, not something you'd be interested in seeing then?


Not personally, but experience should tell that I am not a great candidate for determining what the majority might like.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Last post by Andrew on December 17, 2017, 12:15:01 PM »
So, not something you'd be interested in seeing then?
20

On a different note, De-Legro, if you do the time swap in javascript, you can have it grab the user's timezone info from the local machine rather than have to figure it out server side. Nothing says we couldn't grab that through registration though, much how forums do these days. If there's an easy way to have it convert to local time before page generation, having a method for it wouldn't be bad as we'd not need to duplicate code elsewhere, though we could do that in Javascript through the twig implementation.



Yup I noted that advantage.


There are ways however of extracting the time offset from the client and sending that back to the server, for example this explains a way to do it using cookies


http://prideparrot.com/blog/archive/2011/9/how_to_display_dates_and_times_in_clients_timezone


If we had reasons/advantages to knowing this data at the server that would be ideal.




I should note that if we want to use real time ETA updates though, you would want to encapsulate at least some of that in javascript, as it makes no sense to tie up a websocket or a make frequent ajax request just to update a clock.


I've been looking for ways to encourage people to subscribe, and making it so subscribers can see the hours, or minutes even, remaining on these things might not be a bad idea. It doesn't restrict information from free players, but rewards subscribers.

This reminds me of the Travian/Tribal War style games and how they would unlock a much better interface with proper management pages if you paid a monthly fee. Don't know how other people feel about such things but it pissed me off enough that I never purchased anything from those style games.
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