September 1, 2016 at 6:21 am #2443
I thought I would post my main newbie impressions while they are still fresh. These things tend to fade over time and I thought they might be of benefit (they could also be the ramblings of a madman though). I’m going to try to keep this simple and not get too tangential with stuff, I will however try to give more thoughts rather than less. Feedback can be tough (particularly over the internet) so I just want to say that you guys have done an awesome job and the amount of work clearly shows.
Before logging in:
- There is a fair bit of good will for Luminari, that and the Mud of the month status from /r/MUD drove me to take a look (the MUDs of the month stay on the side bar of the subreddit so this one is still listed).
- Website is a mixed bag to be honest. First impression was “oooh this is polished”, but the formatting on the “Lore” page and the very quiet forums made me wonder. Also, this is really nit-picking but some of the images being used on the blog updates are not as pleasing and make the homepage look slightly messy.
- The ‘Soiled’ web client is really cool but it doesn’t display properly with Luminari, help files and other things become unreadable. I think the link to it should be removed to avoid newbies from using it without know what to look for.
In game impressions:
- My very first impression logging in was that the MUD “UI” reminded me a little of IRE games. That is a very big compliment as I think they have the layout and colours really worked out. I usually dislike ANSI maps but the Luminari one works well. That being said, due to inconsistencies in building I think the UI does weaken in terms of rooms and mobs outside the first small newbie zone.
- It doesn’t take long until you get to choosing feats. This is a problem. I was pretty familiar with the system as I was a NWN fanatic back in the day but it still took me some time to work out. I’ve seen this feedback elsewhere and the option of builds was bought up. I think that is a step in the right direction but overall I think some thought needs to be put into slowly introducing systems to new players. At the moment, you are sort of hit with a lot at once but some of it is kind of easy to miss too. I think as an initial fix, builds and class how-tos would go a long way.
- Leading on from this, and perhaps where class how-tos would come in, using abilities, spells and maneuvers is pretty tricky. Actually just finding them is hard. As a bard I have songs which I access through PERFORM, spells which I access through STUDY and maneuvers which I access through… actually I don’t know.
- The quest system is unique, I think a more traditional quest log approach would be useful. The functionality is there, maybe the commands could be more intuitive? Typing quest list and being told you cant do that here feels weird. Also choosing from a list of quests, some you arent eligible for is also a bit strange. I think most MUDders would expect QUEST to bring up something like the quest history, but with your current quest listed.Then you can QUEST INFO # to see more information. In regards to the QUEST LIST, I just wonder if an NPC couldn’t prompt you to QUEST JOIN at the appropriate time? Hmm… As I am writing this I am seeing that the current system really works like a WoW mob does in way, you choose from the list and start a quest.. Perhaps the quest log is the most jarring part and the
- Some thoughts on Mossvale. This is a good area and the builder has done a good job. Reflecting on it from the new player experience my thoughts are it’s a bit large and there is way too much white noise in the form of mobs. In fact this comment extends to Ashenport, way too large and the white noise makes it almost impossible to “hang around”.
- Ashenport needs a clearly defined newbie guild area, maybe one that can service all classes up to a certain level? It would also benefit from a clear hub area. I think the Fountain would be the hub but it isn’t easy to find. The city is so dense and so busy it’s a bit of struggle.
- Wilderness is cool, travelling around in it cool. This system makes sense and it adds to the world.
- Using torches is a pain and I am not sure it adds much to the game. Experienced players will get used to it and always carry them, new players will constantly get caught in the dark.
- There seems to be a lot of content. Even if you don’t consider the wilderness area there could be too much right now? Obviously I haven’t seen enough to know, just used portal and the teleporter but my sense is there is a enough already there to remove the stuff that’s not in the theme and make a concentrated, understandable world for people to grow characters in. I think the huge advantage of the wilderness system is you don’t really need to remember locations, you just know that this city is north along the coast, or that place is west of the mountains. When I looked back through the forum I saw a few builders talking about making new areas but I wonder if you just need to sort of edit what is there already? (I think you guys might already be on the same page here)
- I am terrible with LUA scripting and for some reason basic scripting in Mudlet seems to escape me but I think a super basic mudlet UI script for the game could go a looooonnnng way. There is already stuff scripted for a comms miniconsole, the more complex stuff would be the map display and setting up the prompt gauges within the ui. If I manage to get stuff working I’ll share it on the forums of course but I seem to struggle.
I just want to preface all this by saying I have a bit of history working in games dev as a 3D artist and then teaching games design – the industry totally bombed here in Australia (hence the teaching) which lead me down the education path. These days I am an education consultant, specialising in digital skills and capabilities in organisations, so one of my academic/general interests has been learning in games. Not what we learn FROM games but how an agent learns within a virtual environment. Not saying this to toot my own horn, because there’s really no horn to toot, but just want to flag that I have an annoying habit of seeing every game in terms of the learning that takes place (my partner enjoys the long discussions I try to have about learning in board games too… now you get the annoying part…). So I think this interest in reflected in my impressions, which may or may not be helpful.
- This topic was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by dewinter.
September 1, 2016 at 6:27 am #2445
Yikes! WordPress has linked this account with something I set up in about 2003/2004! That’s disturbing but I can’t change it…
September 1, 2016 at 8:26 am #2446
Ok… Case in point for some of what I wrote above.
Earlier today I was moving through the main quest line. When I found Veralis in the Wizard’s mansion, I automatically finished my quest, she says something and then you are directed to to QUEST LIST. When I entered the QUEST LIST I wasn’t up to the right level for the next quest. I had the exp but I needed to GAIN the level.
So I headed back to Ashenport and and starting trying to find each of the guilds which are shown on my map. Some of them appear to not be there now (or I was missing them?). Kordon then told me to teleport to Sanctus (spelling might be wrong), where I found a newbie trainer and Homer Simpson. The first thing thaentered my mind was the the first quest npc in Ashenport should really be in a newbie type academy, which could be a bit of a hub for new player needs. Anyway I GAINed the level and went back to Ashenport, then chatted etc before going AFK.
I come back a few hours later and cant remember where I was up to. Looking at QUEST HISTORY my last quest was to find Veralis, I remember I found her and what had happened. Now I need to find her again. OK, no big deal, its pretty close.
I walk out of Ashenport via the River Gate on the east, which I don’t think is shown on the map. As soon as I walk out, darkness. I step back into the city and start going through my 4 torches, they are all burnt out. My first instinct is to go to the Central Market area north of the fountain. Looking around there it seems no shops are open… Hmm… I look on my map and see there are 4 shops marked across the city. I go to each. The first is a located slightly differently to what the map shows, but I find it and its an armor shop. Second one is the Post-Office. Third is weapons and finally I find the supplies shop (a room or two off what the map said I think). In the supply shop I find…. an eternal light source that doesn’t need to be held….
Now… back to the wizard mansion…
September 2, 2016 at 12:58 pm #2448
First and foremost, thanks so much for the thoughtful feedback. The fact that it comes from someone with your education/experience obviously increases the value.
Just the very very unfortunate reality is I am the only individual that is actively contributing as a staff member right now. So as much work that needs to be done, I can barely scratch the surface. We have exactly zero builders, which means every single aspect of this game falls on me right now, including coding, building, website… everything. I don’t want this to sound like an excuse for not having a more refined product, but more as a realistic look at timeline for development.
So taking that into account, everything you said sounds like great goals, a lot of the issues sound like they stem less from coding sphere and more from the building sphere. That is a legitimate problem. We have a mix of custom made zones, imported zones from another game, and stock zones from the tbaMUD codebase. Tons of work has been done to try and sort this all out and implement things in a meaningful manner. But tons-upon-tons more work needs to be done by someone cleaning up, refining and blending.
Anyhow in short, everything you’ve suggested sounds awesome, and along with our current bug/idea list I am going to try and implement everything I can 🙂 Needless to say I am going to be referring back to your post often :p
Please keep the feedback coming hot and heavy and we’ll do everything we can to try and accomodate!
September 3, 2016 at 2:59 am #2449
Thanks for the response. Totally agree it’s mostly build stuff. I think the coding stuff you guys have done is great. Some syntax takes some getting used to/could be refined but I have had so much fun leveling a characters and creating a ‘build’.
I suppose I just want to encourage you guys to think of the easy solutions where possible. for example, instead of doing a full coded “builds” option for newbies, why don’t we just collaboratively build some signs for the STUDY room in the newbie area and maybe some help files with some builds for each class? (HELP BARD-BUILDS, HELP WARRIOR-BUILDS etc). I know that’s not as polished as a full coded implementation but I think it would be a good medium term solution.
September 7, 2016 at 1:18 pm #2450
That would be awesome, we definitely have a lot of ‘filler’ and ‘temporary’ solutions set up as we refine certain aspects of the game. Like races right now basically are 3 different systems all in the process of transition. It is a very incomplete system, but in-game it is functional.
The class-builds help file is a great suggestion, we can post suggested builds here in the forum and one of us staff members can turn them into help-files. Then we can set up a sign, mobile or script in the game tutorial to point new players to it.
September 17, 2016 at 9:54 pm #2486
Also because of the respec option, it allows new players a chance to change how they’ve created their character if they think they made wrong choices or wanted to tweak things a bit.
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