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New player onboarding

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PROJ, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. PROJ

    PROJ Private Tester

    As I haven't been playing or testing midair recently due to other commitments, I got around to playing a couple maps after the alpha launch and want to comment on a few things that I noticed that may be helpful in regards to new player onboarding. As someone who's pretty intimately familiar with the series and a lot of its quirks, I realized coming back after several changes that there were a few things that were confusing to me, and I figure if they're confusing to me, they're probably really confusing to somebody testing it out for the first time or anybody unfamiliar with the old tribes series.

    1) The repair packs can be difficult to locate and interact with. I must have run around for a minute just trying to find the repair pack in the iratus base. Once you do find it, you need to know the bind (it's "g" by default, afaik) to actually interact with it, and that's if you even know that a repair pack exists and what it looks like. I think the entire repairing the base process has to be very clearly explained in the simplest language possible with lots of waypoints and prompts. Maybe have the thing glow on the wall so it's clearly an object that you can interact with, with waypoints that lead you to its location and some text about what button to press to pick it up. Also a label if you put your cursor over it. I really think it's one of those things you can't explain enough, and you can put an option in to get rid of all the extraneous information for experienced players that don't want all the screen clutter (kind of like a "don't show me tips" option that many games have).

    2) The location of various base assets and how they interact is not always clear. I was informed after the fact that several maps have self-powered assets that I wasn't aware of. It's really not clear what assets are powered by the gens, and if you're not familiar with the series, you might not even realize that assets don't have to be powered by the gens in the first place. This is a bit trickier than explaining the repair pack, but I still think some sort of text prompt, waypoints, etc. would go a long way to help people realize how each map works.

    3) It's not clear that the remote invs are different from the base invs. I saw someone in chat during a pub confused about this one. The remote invs can't change your armor while base invs can, and it could be understandably confusing why that is to someone who's not familiar with the gameplay.

    In addition to these points, I think a minimap would really go a long way to reinforce a lot of these concepts. Not only does it fit with the series in terms of precedent and make sense in a game with such large maps, but you can also clearly and visually explain a lot of what's going on around the base. You can clearly mark the generator's influence, sensor range, where all the inventories are, the location of the repair pack, which invs are self-powered, etc. I think these kind of explanatory tools are super important to introducing players who are not used to this type of gameplay; a lot of people that have been involved with the series or the game might not even realize how complicated it can seem to outsiders, and a good first impression is always a plus for player retention.
    turtlebacon, DÆMAN, Ont and 9 others like this.
  2. SeymourGore

    SeymourGore #1 Stinkiest NA

    I wonder if it'd be more intuitive to allow players to manually repair a generator without a repair pack. This manual repair would be at a slower rate than a repair pack and would *not* stack with other players manual healing (only repair pack heals). I dunno, just a thought because you're right that is a hard concept for new players to engage with. I like to imagine that it would play out like this: new player's generator is destroyed, so he begins manually repairing the generator. More experienced player runs to the repair pack, equips it, returns to the generator and completes the generator repair.

    Yar, definitely agree with this point. They should go for a drastically different physical design from the base's inventory station and call it a 'Ammo Station' or 'Supply Cache' to further differentiate it from an Inventory Station. Still have it function similarly: equipping weapons/packs, recharging 'charges' faster, but not armour.
    Swordfish likes this.
  3. Swordfish

    Swordfish Event Coordinator Staff Member

    A minimap is the natural extension of a sensor network. Being able to see any deployable sensor's bubble of effect is crucial to their efficient placement. Likewise, being able to see where teammates have deployed any turrets or inventories from a bird's eye view gives a player very valuable information they'd otherwise have to spend time looking around for and remember.

    Having some kind of color/shape system to differentiate deployables/base assets for the minimap, akin to the armor icon system (V, V-Dot, Triangle) would be great.

    +1 for more toggle'able Asset IFFs too
  4. Whitewhale

    Whitewhale Instant Access

    All good points
  5. yami

    yami Alpha Access

    Dead nuts on Proj, I struggled with all of these playing for the first time ever yesterday. The three points shouldn't require any more discussion, they are a necessity to avoid confusing new players, and if all this stuff can be turned off there is literally no downside.
    Minimap obviously requires more discussion but it's a good idea. They can be tricky little things to do correctly though.
    The Weirdo and Jon_Osc like this.
  6. Application-1

    Application-1 Private Tester

    I think it would be helpfull if you had a hotkey that just showed IFFs of all base assets. You hold shift for example and you get to see repair pack, inventory stations, generator, base turret, base sensor IFF and the self powered tower. Maybe even deployable IFFs. As you hold shift maybe you pull out this watch on your left hand and put away your gun, think like a pip boy but then it doesnt take up the whole screen. With that watch you can look at base assets and either in chat or on screen and maybe even audio it tells you what that base asset does.

    Then atop of that you could give that watch a holographic face or something much like you gave this chat box here a face cause it would fit the artstyle quite well.

    All this could also be put into a tutorial level for base. Doing a tutorial level with your wrist buddy that makes remarks like glados or more serious like cortana could make it fun even. When you scan stuff in the base tutorial your companion gives you a more detailed description in audio with its quirky remarks and in a real game it just tells you that it is a inventory station but on screen you still get the full explanation.

    This watch could also be voiced by the people that do the vgs commands for extra IMMERSION WOW. If you do it well I am pretty sure that new people will love this.
    Whitewhale, Swordfish and yami like this.
  7. Ont

    Ont Private Tester

    All great points Proj.

    Another small problem is that the game does not communicate to the new players that finger blaster - which both looks and sounds weak - is really effective weapon against the shield HO. Ideally, the map loading screen should show a picture of lights overwhelming a heavy in the generator room with blasters, and there should be a text saying that blasters can be used as an effective counter against shield HO attacking your base.
    Jon_Osc likes this.