Recruit Mode guidance

Discussion in 'Archive' started by Ghost, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    I feel that currently various map locations are not actually well explained to new players, especially if there's a lack of guidance (i.e. you die and can only talk/ping but they might not get it).

    NOTD is a big map and it is not very easy to learn for new players who easily get lost and split from team.

    While Military Base, Airlock and Apollo and terms thrown about and marked initially, it will not be overly apparent to newbies exactly where the locations are.

    The benefit of the start for example is that the map is small and they are funelled into the Mining Site, which also has a buzz of activity.

    Once the map enlarges, some may get lost on way to Military Base, especially if they hold out at Mining Site for a while. That is relatively rare and tends to happen only if several run off in the wrong direction and others follow them as they have no idea where to go themselves.

    During Military Base very few actually pick up the various items there. Medkits are commonly picked up as they animate, weapons almost never. You usually see all the flamethrowers and snipers still lying about. There needs to be some guidance on what an item chest is and how to use the inventory properly, ideally in pictures or by blinking animations.

    After Military Base, people sometimes manage to find the way up to the Tart gate, but some hang around Military Base as they are not explicitly told where to go next and why. There is only a mention of "unlocking gates" but the gate is actually invisible. It also doesn't help that the ambient message is "Now is a good time to recon and find items" which tells people to run away from the gate and into the wide map rather than stay around for boss.

    For Tartarus, there really needs to be a message to tell people to avoid getting hit. It may be obvious to vets, but getting hit by a 55 dmg boss is not exactly healthy. It can be learnt the hard way but there must be a message telling people to avoid hits in the first place.

    Once inside the Airlock (most manage it, but you'd be surprised how many have no clue to step on the 2 hexes and enter Airlock), they tend to either fall en masse to waves due to face tanking or manage to get up high ground rather randomly.

    It happens quite often that newbies will also see the 2 Delta-1 hexes and step on them during the waves which causes quite a bit of carnage so it may be a good idea to disable them till after waves (give some feedback message saying "we should try this later") for Recruit mode only.

    If they manage to escort civs, they usually get very lost right afterwards, especially if it took them a while to start civs in the first place, as they Airlock Egg marker disappears quite quickly. Ideally that area should be permanently lit until triggers after initial waves. Newbies at the civ truck generally have no idea where/what the airlock is even though they've just been there (due to mass action distracting them) and then either camp the truck and remain confused or randomly wander off into the wide world and get eaten by a zombie.
    If they somehow find eggs, as it requires everyone to be close, they might wonder what's happening and wander off again or leave the game. There needs to be a message constantly telling players to get to eggs if 1 or 2 are at eggs already and it should be apparent for them how to get there.

    Erebos is generally fine now, however the message saying "It doesn't look heavily armored, our snipers and flamethrowers will take it down" is misleading. Yes it is classed as Light, but to say it isn't heavily armored makes people think "oh i'm gonna use my gauss rifle" without knowing it has 13 armor, next highest outside of Queen. Furthermore, since snipers was renamed to marksman rifle, this probably should be adjusted too to avoid confusion.

    Post eggs, they generally scurry about the airlock and don't necessarily know to get up the high ground without guidance. Maybe mark nearby high ground as suggestions for hold outs. If they survive waves, there should be a dialogue (global, not overhead) along the lines of:
    Marine 1: Do you think that thing will come back?
    Marine 2: I don't know, but we should get ready - stay together
    Marine 3: Let's equip our flamethrowers and marksman rifles again just in case
    Marine 1: Good idea.

    You'd be surprised how many people forget by Ere2 that they need to use flamer and sniper as they've been using gauss rifles for the waves just now, much to their doom when they meet Erebos again.

    Apollo. Again, no real hints as to what/where Apollo really is outside of the cutscene. Apollo is also the name of the entire location in the first place to add to the confusion. There's also nothing saying "get to lab" eventually.
    For domes, there needs to be weapon suggestions for the various domes, again via dialogue or Bergmann instructing players.

    After Apollo and D is down, there needs to be something telling players to get out of the lab or ideally seek some sort of high ground. Bergmann disappearing leaves a newbie team completely in the dark with no guidance whatsoever. There's also no hints for taking Thermals or Road Flares and that Black Ops are cloaked.

    As for Queen, it is OK that there is not much guidance (except maybe mention laser rifles are good vs it) as it if the final boss.

    A lot of what I ssaid may be considered hand holding and the like, however if you want to attract and retain players, that is what you need to do in Recruit mode.

    I've watched many games where I died stupidly to see how much new players actually could adjust to the map and find their way around, and it is actually a very sad story.

    Vets might object to the extra text in Recruit Mode, bit it is their choice to play it and the guidance should be there for when there are no vets or no vets who want to guide players.
  2. Blaqk
    • Development Team
    • Webmaster/Ops

    Blaqk NOTD Staff: Operations and Web

    This post will contain something relevant and epic after a nap. I'm too sleepy right now.
  3. KatsuraJun

    KatsuraJun New Member

    I especially want to reinforce the post-starport and post-civs portions of the game.

    There's no significant indicator of going north after starport, and I've seen newbies game after game simply wait in military base alone till they get overrun and killed, no matter how many pings I spam in front of Tart gate.

    After civs is just a mess. Since it's most of the sidequests are done, people are all running off in different directions to mines/cams/comms/etc while the newbies are just left wandering the map with no idea. This is the part I see most newbies quit the game or die, honestly.
  4. Waves_Blade

    Waves_Blade New Member

    Very good post Ghost, but I feel that this part REAALLY needs to come earlier than tart. I see new players bum rush the ghouls at the starting gate and lose lives. I've seen new people burn through all their lives before even reaching military base.

    There potentially should also be a note about how some zombies/bosses will utterly demolish you through all your lives at once(Slashers/Queen/ect...)

    While on the topic of things that new players might need guidance on:

    "Why do I move so slow?" with 100+ magazines.

    "X what?" - utter lack of understanding about the more actions (Not just Medic X V (av))


    Perhaps for the topic of "ignoring weapons", maybe a small glistening effect that draws their attention?
  5. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    How to balance between sign posting and letting people explore and make mistakes, even in recruit mode?
  6. Blaqk
    • Development Team
    • Webmaster/Ops

    Blaqk NOTD Staff: Operations and Web

    I'll tack this into my bigger post, but get rid of sidequests in Recruit mode. Recruit doesn't need the bonus xp it gives, and it detracts from the teaching aspect by having little to no direction. Remove sidequests and create better location indicators.
  7. KatsuraJun

    KatsuraJun New Member

    One other thing, I just led a couple of 0 xp newbies (Everyone else died or quit, and then died before Tartarus) through the entire game up until Black Ops. And I have to say:

    Nerf the damn Black Ops Sentinel regeneration in Recruit mode. It's all fair and well when you have Sonic Traps/OSOK, but it's pretty much a crapshoot when you have 0 XP newbies who went down whichever Rifleman tree they thought looked cooler and don't have access to Marksman, even if you told them the whole "stick to one tree" advice which they may or may not listen to. I had all three of us close in on the thing and try to knife it to death, but no avail. It got up and the Black Ops wiped us out. I can't imagine how it would go in a 100% newbie game if only 4-5 people survived and were just blowing their ammo on that thing with no idea what to do. At the very least, have some kind of dialogue about it being weak to knives/sonic traps or something.
  8. Blaqk
    • Development Team
    • Webmaster/Ops

    Blaqk NOTD Staff: Operations and Web

    Recruit mode needs to be a different beast altogether. It should not be NOTD Lite, it should be a hand-hold mode where the path is well directed and the objective clear.
  9. KatsuraJun

    KatsuraJun New Member

    That would be nice, but you honestly won't see much of a difference.

    I've been feeling very community-service-y recently and been trying to seriously lead games with newbies, and there's one thing I noticed when I tell them "Don't facetank things, you'll die." They either do one of two things:

    1. Continue to shoot things while facetanking them.
    2. Run away helplessly without shooting them as ghouls/stalkers get stray hits over and over till they die.

    A better text line might be:

    "Do not take hits in this game. Use the Knife (D key) to damage and slow enemies that get too close and get in extra shots, or to run away."

    That, or add a "second" Recruit mode that has all the sidequests removed, and tons of instructional dialogue when 3 or more people on the team have under 100 XP and keep the current one as 100-500 XP. Some might call this overkill, but NotD is honestly pretty damn overwhelming with very little built in instruction. It's offputting and depressing to get killed without even understanding what you were supposed to do.
  10. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Simple (I hope) Suggestion:

    In Newbie mode, or perhaps for everyone below a certain XP Mark I would like to see the following.

    Anytime you approach a certain location it has the name of that location pop up near the top middle of the screen.

    It's a small thing. But it can help Newbies get used to the location terminology and when more experienced players tell them "Head to Starport" (Honestly I don't know where Military Base came from, always been Starport that I've seen), or "Go to Airlock", etc, they will start to know what those locations are automatically. Not to mention it will help clear up Terminology confusion by providing a concrete term. No more "Is it Starport or is it Military Base", or "Is it Mines or is it Epsilon?"

    Locations I'd like to see Marked:

    Easy Start Location
    Mine Site Epsilon
    Security Checkpoint (Tartar Sauce Fight Area, that's what it seems to be)
    Dome B
    Communications Tower
    Forest of Lag
    Containment Facility
    Abandoned Mineshaft
    Dome A
    Dome C
    Dome D
    Hill 132 (old "Black Ops Hill". Probably needed a better name than "Black Ops Hill")
    Scrapyard Access Point

    That should cover just about everything a newbie needs to know, location name wise.
  11. Miracle
    • Development Team
    • Community Leader

    Miracle NOTD Staff: Assistant of many things

    Just another idea, but what about another skill that opens up a window, which shows a map of Apollo with all the important locations marked?

    Also, more messages that are marked as 'tip' might help out a lot, or random tips (manual reload is faster than automatic reload) that appears every five minutes (which you can turn off with a command).
  12. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    I think hand holding in recruit mode is extremely important in that people know what to do. Exploration can be encouraged but should be within limits.
    Note that there is a difference between signposting and reducing difficulty.
    Outside of reducing sentinel hp regeneration or removing it altogether as GG is no longer present in recruit mode, the difficulty should remain as is, so unless newbies listen and learn, they still won't get too far on their own.
    Signposts and handholding gives them the opportunity to learn and explore in the first place so that when they do survive to a certain extent and come back for their next game, they can look further than the signposted road.
  13. Scar

    Scar New Member

    this is the biggest problem along with the fact that they actually dont read what you type them...

    sometimes even if i specifically ask them to do something (like take medkits and click in inventory or use skill XY) they still ignore... then normally i do this:
    Me:"hey player A do you speak english?"
    Player A:"what?"
    Me:"did you read what i just typed"
    Player A(reply 1):"STFU"
    Player A(reply 2):"what?"

    im starting to think that if you want to take their attention you have to insult them first or something...
  14. Kage

    Kage Member

    Remove the black Fog of War and replace with the explored Fog of War to direct newbies along a certain path in Newbie or remove it entirely.
  15. Nicarco
    • Warden
    • Donator

    Nicarco Warden

    I'm pretty sure in newbie the fog of war is always explored, though the directing newbies along a path should be implemented.

    Another thing is really the guidelines. Newbies don't know what to do 90% of the time. One particular instance would be the airlock thing. The indication pops up during the tart fight, a time when most people won't actually look at the minimap or small lines of dialogue.
  16. Kage

    Kage Member

    I meant to say the map sort of lights up a path using the Fog of War or have directional arrows like the one Campaign mission where you have to intercept trains to get an Adjutant.
  17. Peerawatz
    • Development Team

    Peerawatz NOTD Staff: Sound Mixer and NOTD Troll Chieftain

    Just limit map size for each chapter so you cant go beyond the intended location.

    In actual military operation, if you're giving an order to go to certain location, then you WILL go and stay in that location, and not marathon 30 miles away and say to your General "I think I'm gonna grab me some stuffs first, trololol"

  18. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

  19. ProbeGst

    ProbeGst Well-Known Member

    get a sign boards which are very visible and if u click them they will show u what to do at that point at chapter X at mission X
  20. Bobosk

    Bobosk New Member

    Is it possible to just add a skill to low XP classes during recruit mode, that'll bring up a general map of the area, with names of locations, or even possibley a mark on it as to where the next "objective" is generally located.(Progressing the "Main" story)

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