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Muratus del Mur

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Aaaaand, hallucinatory flashbacks setting innn.. right about... now.

I was mp3, mp5 dudes like genius, actraiser and deetn being mp7 at the time, kicking my arse. Didn't care, because at that point, I got to see new creatures, huzzah. A lvl 3 dark archer, 'wow' I asked, 'what is that?' 'That's awesome!'
Now I need the age limit to max any creature.. wooptidoo...
Remember when you only got 300 xp, max, per fight?
And when mp5 were not as ungodly powerful as now?
I do, I also remember what kept me playing.
Not the grinding part, it was the friends part.

But friends sometimes don't come quick. First real friend was BigC. Had fun times with him.

But kept me coming back in the first place? What were those fun times with BigC?

Exploring new stuff.
You have to agree with me, exploring new stuff is awesome. But once you are done, what do you do then? Grind? Pvp?
No real goal is set, and that goes on for a loooong time. Sure you have wp quests, you have other goals, such as getting into an alliance, or (it used to be) becoming an RPC, or maybe mp6, just to explore new stuff.

But, WP quests are gone awefully quick, or really hard, like my quests, grinding takes ages and all that time you will be beaten down by ungodly powerful mp5. Roleplaying used to have an opportunity for RPC as a reward, but now, roleplaying does not get you very far, [u]I'm looking at you Mur, change this part especially[/u], alliance's are sorta bogged down in the point that one cannot really accumulate a lot of wealth in the form of either glory, or currency. Sure you have the torch competitions, but I don't even know what the rewards are, so why even bother?
And glory? You can't even kill each other for real, and even if you could, you'd get that 'grinding' problem again.
Mp6? Getting adepts.. active adepts, is dang annoying, and getting 80 worshies is an ugly business as well, and for what? Spells that can be handy, but once you get a hang of them, are just like the rest of the game, you get used to them. You get used to the scenery, you get used to the new creatures, you get used to the new battle system, you get used to spells.

As such, there is not a lot of incentive to keep on playing.

I thusly recommendeth that 1, Mur kicks mp3 godplayers up into mp4 or mp5, remember when you did that in alpha.. 3 or 4? Maybe it was 5...
And you also kicked down players who were too weak for mp5 to mp4.

This should sort of help with the 'newbies being beaten senseless' problem.

Roleplayers should get some sort of incentive to keep playing.
What I suggest is that you start either a really low reward system, that players can throw at each other, sort of like, 1/1000000th worth of a wp,and you just throw it around, or whatever. Like either give it to explorers; make the maze move (mwahahaha) and then put hundreds of those things in the maze. Or give roleplayers who are doing a job, such as bartending, a lot of those things.
Because WP should be able to be collected, without the use of humans, otherwise you will ALWAYS have a problem with 'friends who know people who know the answer' or 'dangit, dst and shadow already got the wp's'.

Or... you could start doing something else, you could start implementing decay. Simple tools or simple items, such as beer, that start decaying, within 1 hour? Someone who has a wp, can then make decaying stuff.

One could combine this into a bartender who makes a lot of decaying stuff, and roleplays it well, and then starts earning gazillions of those points.

Ungodly powerful mp5 players.
Well... that's a big problem, lol.
No clue, hehe.

But making new stuff is always good. Keeps them exploring instead of grinding.

But if you make new stuff, you should always finish it.

Urgh, have to go to school, wrapped it up really sloppy.

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Okay, I'm a new player still, really. I intend on hanging around but I'm going to give you how I feel. I might not be representative. I know some of my niggles ARE NOT. I'm enjoying this game because it *is* different. It's sold as being completely different, and tbh it's not quite, however "like the best bits of quite a few games put together, with several twists added" doesn't roll off the tongue as well as "like nothing you've ever played". I like the game, however that doesn't mean it's perfect as I'm sure most people understand.

Most of the main issues were covered well a page back, and then shot down. However the attitude that comes with shooting down is part of the problem. New players are told to put up and shut up, discouraged from speaking up because they're new, treated rudely by certain people (some of whom are held in high esteem by the community), because they're new, not given a little margin for error because they're new. There are people out there looking out after new players, they are infact the majority and a lot of the community does look after them, however despite that, I've never played a game with such a large amount of discouragement and hostility to new players, both in the community and the game mechanics. When a new player says something that is oblivious to them because they're about 100 days short of amount of playtime needed to realistically have experienced it, you should be thinking "they can't be expected to see that" if they have no reason to know that it doesn't occur the way they see it, why should they be expected to see it? They will act based on the information they have, and that information paints a different picture. Or perhaps they see things the way they are for them. How the established player play is of no relevance to a new player because they cannot play like that.

This game is one that rewards patience, it also includes several "filters" if you have filters, expect to lose crap. That is normal. However without poor players those who would be "average" on other games tend to be pathetic here. The balance system sort of works but it's still dodgy. My experience of MP3 was that I could win fights by smashing people while they were down initially and only then. Eventually I built a semi decent rit and found aside from the demi gods I could probably beat anyone, I'd hit the exp cap and off I went. I hadn't succeeded in the LR task because while growing a few of this and that crit in order to sac to get certain crits to higher levels later I had hit the exp cap. I still need a bunch of wins and some time to get the required crit and get to LR. However now I'm an MP4. And this is where the game is just waiting, clicking a few links and biding time. I don't feel like I can beat anyone right now. Even weak people demolish me with a bunch of crits on 200 health. This isn't counter rituals, these are just the same crits I have 2 levels higher a lot of the time. I feel that because I hit the exp cap without doing it a certain way, I'm gimped. For a game with no advice it's very punishing if you don't do things a certain way. There's a huge number of crits I don't have access too, and so I *cannot* make a counter rit for most of the stuff I face because I can only really make a couple of distinct rits, really. It's very hard to learn at this point because I need stronger crits to win and I need to win for stronger crits. I could sit around asking for people to send out cheap rits for losses but that's a matter of chance, hit and miss.

(A personal niggle and won I doubt will make a huge difference, but one that makes learning as a new player a lot harder) The combat log goes too fast to interpret in combat and there's not enough info in the summary at the end. I would love to see a sum of damage done, taken, healed, stolen, for each crit, freezes done. I also play WoW and believe me I'm looking for something completely different, because lets face it, what WoW does, it's the best in the world at. However the supporting community is the winner, using world of logs, I can break down a raid after it's run and look at my strategy and see who did what, who wasn't effective and so on, then I can adjust accordingly. I know that this sort of request is pretty niche but being able to see what's gone on in a fight more clearly and in more detail would help some players learn. However largely they'd just sit and wish they could win more. This would let you learn more, more easily however, while still being useless to dumber players, however I suspect the bar would be set a bit too high regarding who it benefits.

The "how are players supposed to know if they cannot know?" conundrum is a good one. A few more vague hints might be good. For example drumming it into players to read ALL SIGNPOSTS, or that eggs usually require several levels of investment before they repay, but once they do so, will make you glad you did might encourage people to avoid silly errors (not that I didn't figure this but not everyone does).

I think the biggest issue not already mentioned is the number of players. Because this game has a trickle of new players it actually perpetuates the issue with the trickle of new players. The game is immensely topheavy, I think I probably fought less than 15 different people at mp5, one of them was godmode kyphis, I saw the other godmode mp3 and didn't ever bother to attack. No point. I could not win unless he said "I have a weak rit" and even then I'd struggle. The lack of new players gives new players few targets. So while we're at those clunky start of mp stages, we get stuck. Right now I cannot win. I'm hoping with time and maybe a couple of dozen lucky wins I might get a break but for now, I don't see it. The problem with a small trickle of new players is that there are few people who are new to the mp at any time, so other new players have no one to fight. Closing the gates will exacerbate this to some extent, but really, when most of the people at your MP level have maxed versions of your crits and several crits you can't reach because you need more wins you'll never get, it's depressing. To fix the problem, you either need a massive and sustained surge in new players, or some way of giving them more chances to pull away from the bottom of an MP level. People level at different rates, so once you're past the pathetic stage, it's fine. Giving more hints are to unlocking more crits or more room might help. Possibly extending the MP3 cap a bit so people go into MP4 with a slightly better creature range may help especially if followed by a little signing. An MP3 who can spend twice as long levelling crits can hit mp4 with more maxed crits and so stand a better chance. Or perhaps, for those people whose balance ends up hugely out of whack, putting some in game training in (I know players exist for those but there is an element of "meh" to people letting you win) to let them tighten their rits up might help. Of course that's abusable so if you limit the battles per day allowed, and remove the exp bonus for sheath, so it stays more appealing to beat players when you can... Might help. It would mean that the pathetically weak would still do okay, but you would have to get it right to ensure that players who get the training option advance slower than those who don't. I mean sure, you can clear an MP level with it, but you're better off hitting players once you're a bit stronger, otherwise it'll take twice as many wins. This might weaken the spirit of the game, so I guess the important thing is that I feel this is the problem.

In a nutshell, yes, the "this game is elitist" system works to an extent, but the more top heavy the community becomes the more exclusive to outsiders and the harder it is to get recruits. You can repeat those mantras about patience, filters, not being for everyone, but at the end of the day, new players don't want to be told by the most respected members of the community like DST, that it's all about older players, that they should quit whining and put up with being brutalised and lost so that after a very long period of time they can join their club (even though it feels at times like they're just chasing their tail), they'll just go play something which is more welcoming where they can make steady progress day on day until they're "in". You need to either find a massive and sustained inflow of recruits (and not be afraid of them dropping out past a way into mp4... because people can get all crits then) or make it easier for the trickle you have to get into the game.

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just a few thoughts on Nahblard's post:

we all start raising crits with kicking upon people who are already down, and i'm pretty sure that you can win some fights every day with hit and run tactics, that's how mp4 starts.

You don't kill the loreguards on mp3 normally, and it's very uncommon and to some extent annoying that too many people stay mp3 forever and show off with lore-crits, because it's out of the ordinary to have them, or to be mp3 longer than 3 weeks at all, and those few show a completely twisted picture of the world to newbies.

I'm also pretty sure that at least some of your creatures don't need too many wins and xp to grow further, but a whole lot of age, so technically you could at this point already know that patience and waiting is a key element of this game.

The battle logs do run WAY too fast, but if you are attacker, you hav ethe full log in the combat details, and if you are defender or forgot to copy it, you can always let it scroll through, highlight all and copy it to an editor or word, and bang, you have a full log :D

mp3 cap has been even lower before, and we still survived, but of course you are right, it would be easier if more weaklings stumbled through MD... however, most of those weaklings we want hide in GGG or secret training circles with their friends, and we don't actually want the rest of the weaklings XD

dst is a troll sometimes, don't always take her words just because she's a mod and old and all that ^^

and i fail to understand the last comment you have in there since i have never seen a game with a clearer concept of daily progress than MD, with 'stats for today', creatures that grow older and level up every now and then, free credits that will give you a power boost on short term and help you get cool, helpful features on long term... and really, on mp3 and the start of mp4, a few bottles of learning and DO make a difference, don't underestimate them!

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I'm going to do this in a couple of posts.

Mur, every artist needs a rest. Every soldier needs a visit home. Every GM needs a break from the table. No problem if you step back for awhile, you got my support.

I have found myself with reasons to leave or stop playing MD but I always find myself logging in each day if not too just talk to a few people and duel a bit. It may have flaws but I still find it fun getting to know people and interacting with them. You have a good thing here Mur, please don’t give up on it. No one should ever give up on their dreams. Just stick to what your dream is for MD, you'll get players.

If you want help let me know, I can do writing, marketing, design, analysis, web work, explosives, interrogating, help take over small countries....oops sorry quoting my other resume.

Seriously though, I’m willing to help out and I hope you find your joy in MD again.

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Maybe these points will help too:

I’m writing this list as I read the other postings in this thread. If I mirror what others have said I’m not trying to steal anyone’s thunder. These are my thoughts too. I really like MD or I would have left a long time ago. But it does need some help to keep new players and just simply to better itself. So here’s my input. I know it’s long but if you knew me this is me being short winded….

1) Any monkey (and especially gamer) should be able to figure out the basics of how to set rituals, recruit creatures and the basics of combat in MD. Nothing here should be changed. It may look like a Pokémon style game but it does hold its own and is different. One thing that could help is maybe better define or explain what creatures are for new people. Maybe even set up a flash introduction story where things are explained or (see #3) make a guide for the game.

2) If your losing players in story mode I offer a couple ideas why it seems that way:
A) They were trying to figure out the different paths in the story not caring about the specific character(s) being used at the time. (So they will make many to map out the whole story, cant really stop this without a lot of coding and work.)
[img]http://magicduel.invisionzone.com/public/style_emoticons//cool.gif[/img] They received some negative stats because of a choice they made in story mode, did not like it and dropped the character. (Will most likely repeat many times as many gamers would do this. But don’t change this, they made their choices they can live with it.)
C) Are a vet player trying to make a very specific character/story path and felt the need to try a few times to get what they were hoping for to create an Alt. (Will most likely do many times and again is normal. This would happen in any game, it’s just what gamers do.)
D) Are new, don’t realize what MD is about and don’t have any patience and need instant gratification and can’t wait up to 24 hours for each part of the story to unfold. (We don’t need that impatient of players anyway, let them go.)

3) Players may not realize that MD is so unique and specialized. They may think it’s a browser based MMO, find that it’s not and leave. (This can be helped with a better packaging of MD in its marketing. Maybe make a couple of guides too for the game that better explain it but this is lacking in MD. Players have to read many forums, hunt through archives after joining the game and or wait for discussions in game to really know what is going on. I’m willing to bet many older players don’t even know the story line and have not even tried reading everything or tried and gave up. MD needs to be better defined and presented to players, new and old alike.)

4) Create and present a better and less cryptic definition of MD, it’s storyline, players, lands, magic, etc. (goes along the lines of #3 but I can see how MD could be very confusing to many players and this would defiantly make them lose interest.)

5) Alter how players become confirmed. Require LHOs to fill out a quick hidden form on players as part of the confirmation process. For example they simply have to check off 3 boxes on the confirmation screen and “digitally sign” that they reviewed the player. Player’s characters should not be confirmed until they have become MP4 (passed MP3 and understand basics of combat), created their papers (have a defined character to even play), have an appropriate name (yes subjective but we don’t need 10 Darth Vaders or Great Demon Gods, running around MD). MP3 should be the discovery phase for players by MP4 everyone should have a fully developed and created character. (Basically I think the start of the game needs attention especially how new characters are created and how the MP 3 level is utilized).

6) Consider using an automated naming feature where players pick from a random list of first and last names like other games use. Then have the option for players to create a nick name of their own which can be displayed. This could be a MD shop purchase. But this would also alleviate naming problems and help with over all game continuity.

7) Consider throwing players a bone, or just altering the magic system and start giving magic to MP4’s and above. It is Magic Dual. When I had the time to try and help as a LHO (don’t have the time to be one but did help). Many new players thought they would be able to use magic right away. So consider adding some basic magic to the game sooner. You could simply offer magic spells as you do creatures for MP 4 and 5. These could be considered lesser magic for example and could fit into your definition of things Mur. And it could give you an alternative to using creatures to drain principles. So players would be able to use spells in their rituals with creatures. I read your old forum postings about how you envisioned creatures and I feel this idea of spells in rituals would still fit just fine in with your overall concept of things for MD. You could still keep your other forms of magic too with no problem.

8) If you do #5 then consider paying LHOs in some sort of point system. Each new member they review and then confirm receives the LHOs name in a tag on the character sheet. In turn the LHO gets paid X number of points for taking the time to do it. They can spend these points on WP, Shop credits etc. I don’t know, just an idea. They do have a lot of work to do.

9) In conjunction with #5, freeze players initial papers. So once an LHO confirms/authorizes them freeze that paper at that time. Maybe make a copy of it somehow or turn it to read only for everyone. Then make a second paper accessible to the player to record their player development, history, personal story, etc. This would better show and record the life of the players in MD and also prevent players from deleting their papers once made and approved by the LHOs.

10) Consider creating a perma-death arena for MP5 and above. This is where the character would enter into a dual with another but if a creature reaches 0 Vit it is automatically removed from the players character (ie. It dies) and the player loses permanently a certain percent of Max Vit and VP. You could tie this into your concept of what creatures actually are and how they are bonded to characters. BUT it is also just a game mechanism to give the more powerful players of MD something else to do besides grind stats. They can see which among them really has balls. You could create a new set of achievement medals just for them, surviving X number of perma-death duels, or killing X number of creatures for example.

11) Code an “EASY Button” for use with LHO’s. Yes it’s nice for them to be in the starting areas HOPING a new player will show but it’d be nice for them to be able to be out playing too. So how about a button in the paper cabin that when a new player presses it, it “summons” an LHO to that location. Of course this would require new players to read….(Or put a bot there, that way something is there to greet them).

12) I agree with Burns and the others, the start up does take some time. I also agree that the people who lack patience should not even be here BUT they should be made more aware that MD is unique and does require a lot of patience to play. But that goes back to my #3.

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Other points:
(Do-Jo) I don’t like the Dojo occurrences either but what can you do. People are going to group together and help each other or simply grind together. Mur could hard code things to disrupt people gathering like that but that would create even more complaints and issues. Even if the veteran players through roleplay and influence tried to get people not to do that, it’d still happen (they would do it too). There are no NPCs to fight and people need some way to level and train their crits. I don’ think MD needs NPCs and they too would be abused. We have to live with it and work around it. There are a few alternatives but no matter what people will group together like this.

(God-Moding) the game allows Alts. Players will always use alts to better their mains to some fashion in any game they play, it’s only natural for gamers to do so. I was told by a vet MD player when I first joined “MD is like the land of Naruto. It’s not a matter of not cheating or being unfair but a matter of the player avoiding being caught. So if you’re a good little “ninja” than that means you don’t get caught breaking the rules, not that you don’t break them.” So here lays one of the problems that only Mur can tackle about MD; controlling players from using alts to better mains. OR now, it’s stopping players from using mains to build even stronger and more powerful alts. To do that would mean tighter restrictions on trading creatures, or stopping it, etc. Sigh…the way MD and really any other MMO is designed, you cannot stop god-moding. In game design, it will always happen unless you hard code a reset of some sort but that only starts the cycle all over. Mur could code more MP levels or sub levels for these players and auto assign them but again, the cycle would still repeat itself. Even with skill and attribute caps this cannot be helped and with those it’d mean everyone would stagnate at the upper level eventually. We just have to live with it.

(Patience) I would agree that many players leave because MD requires so much patience. You have to wait a day for each “page” in story mode in order to get full benefit. You have to wait days to build up power before you can attack shop guards and the few other things in the game. I don’t mind this at all. MD is unique and should stay as such. It should not cater to the common gamer and it’s players should have patience or be vetted out.

(Quests) I have solved about 5 of them and never received a prize. I got messages about the quest not being done or ready although the creator never said so and implied that it was up and running in their quest doc. Others had nothing I needed creature wise and could not give me any other prize (I knew that ahead of time in some situations, so this is not a complaint). The Quest system needs help. I love the idea that players make them in their own image which is great BUT… I know the system has to prevent abuse, give good rewards that players need and be player driven. More attention and discussion needs to be done in this area or more players are going to leave MD or not even care about that aspect of it, thus not be involved. I guess it comes down to trusting the Quest givers. Can WPs be tracked and monitored as to who receives which one from whom? I know a lot of work but would help the abuse. Maybe offer WPs for sale in the MD shop ONLY for players to give that have earned their quest doc. It’d be one way for players to give back to and support MD but also a way for them to earn WPs to give for quests. Or set up some sort of monthly allotment for them. Trusting a community to manage such a valuable commodity is a huge leap of faith for a game designer to take though.

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(To Mur) The continuity of MD’s theme needs help and I think this is its biggest issue. For example how does one explain creatures? In your old forum posts you have them explained a lot differently than many current players view them. Even I thought they were creatures you recruited from different places in the lands to fight for you like in a Pokémon game that they were something living and breathing like my character was. That theme is what is presented to players by the game.

Now unless I’m mistaken you wanted it to be a lot more than that and deeper, more unique. The creatures were really representations of a mental concept that the characters themselves created and as the creatures leveled this was really the character gaining more skill in modifying and using said mental concept. If this is how you wanted them to be, well, it’s not how they come across. Nothing on a person’s character sheet and nothing about how creatures are recruited obviously says that they are a mental construct and not an actual physical creature.

The nomenclature you used in the game world, in the character sheets, on the websites need to be changed to help better present your true theme for MD and its lands. For example, instead of telling a player that they just recruited their first creature tell the player that they meditate for awhile and finally learned how to form and project their first mental construct (that has the form of an Armor or whatever).

There are a lot of questions too that don’t have answers. I know you and your philosophy of what’s really important, the answer or question but in game design mechanics you got to set that aside and make sure the overall theme works together well. And it does not right now. New players are faced with too many questions about things that any other game would have helped answer long before they even finished making their character. This hurts MDs retention.

Other things hurt it too. On your listing of main features for the game, you have it saying there is no economy system but yet one of the first items a player can get is a silver coin. It’s just common sense that coins are used in an economy system of some sort. It’s inconsistencies like that which lead to confusion or misdirection in the games design. It may seem small but it all adds together and I’m sure hurts player retention.

I’d recommend that you form a Tiger team and asses your game design, maybe that would help you get a better perspective on it and what needs to be done to it. None of us can tell you what to do with MD it’s all up to you. You have had it for how many years? You had your initial gaming group in it and many seem to have moved on. That happens in games but now you need new blood, maybe a new story line or direction? Maybe more automation in it and less you running the game like it was a table top RPG group. Or can you still do that? Whatever you decided I’m willing to help, I really like what you have done and I’m going to stick around. I know I’m long winded at the moment but there is a lot going on here. Best of luck whatever you decide.

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Drats! I wrote half an hour a loong and calm post. Then I erased it.

So:MD is a hard game. Yes, it requires patience. Yes, it has filters. Yes, it is an elitist game. Yes, it has players like me who yell and shout at every player (no, I don't shout only at new players: I shout at everybody who gives me a reason). But it gives you something you'll never ever find in another game:freedom! You are allowed to do whatever crosses your mind. The limit is indeed your imagination. Are all those (patience, filters, elitism) a high price to pay? No. I say a big NO!.
There are lots of wrongs in MD but there are also many more great things to compensate.
MD is not the game where you have specific goals to attain. You have them but they are few and after probably 3 months you can reach them all. MD is about creating your own goals. If you don't do that you'll get bored and leave.
MD has no walthroughs, no help pages, almost no hints. It's the best like this. Why? Cause of the above statement. Imagine this: you register, go through the tutorial and then you are given all the information you need (game mechanics, crits levels, etc, etc). You will be bored to death in a week. You'll not have time to make friends, you'll not have time to integrate yourself.
Also, if you get discouraged by a member who yells at you (aka me) then you're not too <insert the word I want to but fail to remember>, are you? Let me tell you a story: I was a noob. Back then Wodin was the star. He was arrogant and full of himself. I used to love stepping on his toes! I wanted to be better then him. I wanted to make him cry :P. So, instead of running away cause big bad Wodin stole my toy I defied him. I started to learn, train and in the end I defeated him. I don't quit cause of players! If you do then you show weakness. You need a backbone to survive in MD. I told you something mean? Be brave enough and reply. I might hate you for that but at least you may earn my respect. Again, MD is full of hypocrites. So I prefer a honest swear then a nice a**-kissing.

Bah...I am bore to write those things again and again and again...



[size="7"]One last thing: BURNS!!! I am not OLD![/size] [color="#0000FF"]*undresses the troll costume and throws it after Burns*[/color]

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[quote name='dst' date='10 November 2009 - 04:54 PM' timestamp='1257890098' post='47173']
But it gives you something you'll never ever find in another game:freedom! You are allowed to do whatever crosses your mind. The limit is indeed your imagination.

MD has no walthroughs, no help pages, almost no hints. It's the best like this. Why? Cause of the above statement. Imagine this: you register, go through the tutorial and then you are given all the information you need (game mechanics, crits levels, etc, etc). You will be bored to death in a week. You'll not have time to make friends, you'll not have time to integrate yourself.

Again, MD is full of hypocrites. So I prefer a honest swear then a nice a**-kissing.

[size="7"]One last thing: BURNS!!! I am not OLD![/size] [color="#0000FF"]*undresses the troll costume and throws it after Burns*[/color]
[/quote]

I hope you had something on under that troll costume. :P

I can agree with you on at least a few things but I have to disagree about the guides. Guides would not remove any freedom from the game, in fact I think they would give more freedom Or at least help people realize just how free they can be in MD. The guides would help people understand the world better and thus be better players. A well written guide does not tell people what to do but helps present options and correlations between ideas so others may better be able to understand and take free action themselves. I also disagree that guides would make people bored and thus hinder them from interacting and making friends. People choose to not interact and make friends. It's not hard for them to stand around and talk and make the effort.

I could agree about the hypocrites but that's the same anywhere you have humans. People have good intentions, say things but often times end up doing something different for who knows why. Nothing new really when dealing with people so no reason to get any under garments tied in a knot about it.

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[quote name='dst' date='10 November 2009 - 01:54 PM' timestamp='1257890098' post='47173']
Drats! I wrote half an hour a loong and calm post. Then I erased it.

So:MD is a hard game. Yes, it requires patience. Yes, it has filters. Yes, it is an elitist game. Yes, it has players like me who yell and shout at every player (no, I don't shout only at new players: I shout at everybody who gives me a reason). But it gives you something you'll never ever find in another game:freedom! You are allowed to do whatever crosses your mind. The limit is indeed your imagination. Are all those (patience, filters, elitism) a high price to pay? No. I say a big NO!.
There are lots of wrongs in MD but there are also many more great things to compensate.
MD is not the game where you have specific goals to attain. You have them but they are few and after probably 3 months you can reach them all. MD is about creating your own goals. If you don't do that you'll get bored and leave.
MD has no walthroughs, no help pages, almost no hints. It's the best like this. Why? Cause of the above statement. Imagine this: you register, go through the tutorial and then you are given all the information you need (game mechanics, crits levels, etc, etc). You will be bored to death in a week. You'll not have time to make friends, you'll not have time to integrate yourself.
Also, if you get discouraged by a member who yells at you (aka me) then you're not too <insert the word I want to but fail to remember>, are you? Let me tell you a story: I was a noob. Back then Wodin was the star. He was arrogant and full of himself. I used to love stepping on his toes! I wanted to be better then him. I wanted to make him cry :P. So, instead of running away cause big bad Wodin stole my toy I defied him. I started to learn, train and in the end I defeated him. I don't quit cause of players! If you do then you show weakness. You need a backbone to survive in MD. I told you something mean? Be brave enough and reply. I might hate you for that but at least you may earn my respect. Again, MD is full of hypocrites. So I prefer a honest swear then a nice a**-kissing.

Bah...I am bore to write those things again and again and again...



[size="7"]One last thing: BURNS!!! I am not OLD![/size] [color="#0000FF"]*undresses the troll costume and throws it after Burns*[/color]
[/quote]

I don't think anyone is suggesting that MD should have everything laid out in a walkthrough, or that we should all be forced to play the same way. Exactly where the balance lies between giving newbies too much info and not enough is tricky and obviously something we are still discussing.

But in a sense, I feel like you are making my point here. If the criteria for a new player to be successful in MD is someone who is extremely patient even when they have no way of knowing why the game is worth being patient for, who can create their own directions and goals with no guidance whatsoever, who doesn't mind being yelled at occasionally when they try to do so, and who finds being continually beat up by stronger players to be more challenging than frustrating - then that describes a fairly small group of people, and and we shouldn't be surprised that we aren't recruiting and keeping more of them. So, we can either accept that numbers will stay low and decide that's a reasonable trade-off to have only players who meet all of those criteria, or we can consider whether there are ways to support new players a bit more without sacrificing too much of what makes MD special.

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Yeah, I'm not saying you're wrong here, just that elitism has it's drawbacks. If you want more new players and new ones who stay, you have to accept that there are big downsides to it. You have a vision and if it's an elite and difficult to get into game that rewards people (and challenge in itself is an incentive enough for some people) then you have to accept the low retention rates that come with. Most of my points are "this is why" not so much "this is bad". Just bear in mind you cannot have it both ways.

And DST, I'm hard to anger and on confrontational, so it takes a lot more to actually rattle me. That's not an invitation, I like my calm and I don't want to go round making enemies. Don't forget you're a powerful player, bughunter and forum moderator, it means that trolling for you is basically from a position that most people would not dare attack. And to be really honest, trolling people is easy enough as is. EVERYONE is easy enough to troll once you find a weak spot or just brute force it. Honesty is a good thing, but it's possible to be honest, disagree, and stay on good terms.

Also that not everyone will ever catch you up and beat you. Some people haven't got it in them, or the time to do so even if they do. Or would take so long, well I imagine should I decide that hate for a player of your position was my only reason to log, that the time would be better spent elsewhere. You need a more attackable troll, one a new player can realistically aspire to hit, if you want to motivate newbies to stick at it.

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Nahblard: I am not the one who set the standards for MD.The way to play the game kept certain types of players while the others got bored or frustrated and left.
I do like the current status.
And I will tell you another story:
Few months ago someone showed me another online game. It looked nice. I started to play. It was a good game. But it had a major flaw: the players. It was almost impossible to talk to most of them. They were rude. They lacked the basic common sense. The game was playable without too much player vs player interaction but it was no fun from this point of view. Even now I still want to play it but every time I start it I exit quickly cause of the bad karma :) it has.

The conclusion? I prefer such an elitist medium to a mediocre one. You have the chance to improve yourself by talking to smart people. If you want just a hack and slash game or a click to advance the Internet is full of them. I always say: there is at least one option: to go away. It's each one's decision.

You say I am a powerful player/bughunter/forum mod. You're wrong. I am just a player.I was punished just like everyone else when I did wrong things. And I was awarded when I did good things. For me doesn't matter if you are Loreroot INC's CEO. If I have something to say to you, the titles will not stop me.

That is the problem with MD: you all see something players as gods. They are not. They are just normal players. Some of them got to that position simply by buying their way up. I will not go into details because they are not significant. So, stand up for yourself. What do you have to lose? It's a game after all. You can always come back with a different character.

Honesty...hmm...why do you think I am the bad guy (well...girl) in MD? Not only for certain things that I did but because I don't hide my feelings. I will tell you if I hate you or like you. The bad part is that I like few people (yes...that's one of my flaws) so I don't have friends in MD (ok...i think I exaggerated a bit...maybe I have 2 or 3). There are 2 kinds of players: the ones that need me so they act like my friends (no worries, I know who you are and if I played along doesn't mean I am stupid) or the ones that fear/hate me so bad that they stay away.


@Daemon: You have the LHOs to guide you. THEY are the books you need to read. The only problem is they are "special books". You need to ask the right question in order to get the info you want. See, there's a trick to this also. It forces you to interact. It forces you to think before asking stupid questions. It forces you to think when you receive an answer that is not always blunt and straight forward.

[quote]
A well written guide does not tell people what to do but helps present options and correlations between ideas so others may better be able to understand and take free action themselves. I also disagree that guides would make people bored and thus hinder them from interacting and making friends. People choose to not interact and make friends. It's not hard for them to stand around and talk and make the effort.[/quote]

A guide is a guide. Otherwise you can call it riddles book. You have to understand that it's not the game's goal to make you take the best decision. It's simply about decisions. It forces you to evaluate all your current knowledge and decide.
For example:
What will you do if a girl asks you to play a game? You have to take that decision based on the info you have up till that point.
If you would knew from the beginning that by taking a certain decision you'll end up dead in Necrovion would you still take it? When you also know that taking the other will open the Drachorn Layer?
And another example:
Would you recruit let's say...creature X if you would know it is worthless at a higher level?
Would you not recruit 10 creatures Y if you would know they are amazing at level 3?
Would you level creature z knowing that at the next level it sucks?
If those guides would exit then the multiple story choices would be useless. Don't tell me that you would not choose the paths that will open Necro and certain parts of Marind Bell if you would know which decisions to take at what time. This is one of the main reasons alts are allowed. You have the option (see? another one :o) to replay the story as many times as you want BECAUSE this is one of the ways to find out what the best choice is.
You already have in the news box some hints. If you take the time and read them you'll learn a lot. Then you have the announcements.98% of the players don't read the announcements. You have no idea what a source of info the announcements are. But few bother to read them (basically cause they are so many and some of them are not that important or they are not important for everybody).
Let me resume: you have the hints in the news box, you have the announcements, you have the LHOs, you have the battle logs, you have the adventure log and you have also the forum. As for the forum: if you know where to look you'll be amazed on how many things you'll find there. But again...few read it and few even bother to use the simple function called SEARCH. There are even some small FAQs put in place by old players. I agree: part of the info in there is outdated but the basic is still there.
Do you really need more guidelines? If so then...maybe MD is not the place for you.
Oh and one last thing: you can always ask anyone. The worst thing that can happen is that the person to whom you send the PM will just ignore you. But don't ask for an official guide. I doubt we'll ever have one.

Damn...this is a long post so I will stop...for now.

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DST,

I agree with you that we have the LHOs to guide players and that they are books or should be. They can even be “special” as you say and ride short buses if they want. ;). Seriously though, yes I like the uniqueness of having them, I like that they have a presence in the game and if they are active and willing to deal with the boredom of hanging out and waiting to be needed, they are a great asset to the game and set it apart from many other games. I disagree that it forces people to be blunt and straight forward but agree that their presence does encourage interaction on the scale that is missing in other games. But still a written guide would help.

I know MD does not have the goal of leading people to the best decision, “best” being speculative of course but I feel I know what you meant. I would never want the guide to “tell” people what to do but merely present a better presentation for the game to help them realize what all they can do. Gamers are not use to this type of game and that could be one of the key issues about player retention and why so why gamers join up or stay long. MD is a lot like Myst when it came out. Gamers did not know how to take it, how to approach it and could not even tell it was a game. Once more reviews came out about it and people wrote about it then players had something more to guide them to the game and get them interested in it. Which is what a guide for MD could do.

A guide for MD would not just help gamers with the game but it’s something that can be seen outside the game. People can’t see an LHO and talk to them outside of MD to see if they like or would be interested in the game. The web site for MD is not very well laid out for functioning as a guide or to build more interest and the forums are to cluttered and Mur’s discussions are too cryptic to spark that first clear understanding of what a person would be getting into if they chose to join and play the game. A printed guide goes far beyond the realm of MD in attracting players. It reaches people in a way LHOs can’t. Not to mention it is industry standard for games to clearly define themselves to attract gamers, most doing so through some sort of guide. Like Myst, Magic Dual is filled with puzzles or challenges for its players to discover and try to understand. I laugh now when I hear players say that MD does not have magic right off the bat for players, it does (sadly I use to make that argument too). But this is my point, players do not clearly understand fundamental thing from the start. MD is not made clear enough and that is a fault of the game design and or presentation. I had to read through years worth of old forum posts to find a lot of my answers to things. If that is what Mur wants, ok, he succeeded. But I know there is some degree of a communication barrier in his ability to describe his game world along with a few other things I feel are for to fault to game design rather than designed game mechanics (like his challenge in naming the presses and labeling players interaction with them i.e. Sacrificing).

MD is a great game and that is not just me blowing sunshine. MD has that home town, home grown, very personal touch feel to it. I liken it to a personal gaming group and their table top game in someone’s home where players played their favorite RPG together. But all that with the convenience of being a browser based game and the added element of it being like an MMO with hundreds of players. The game is awesome and stands almost alone on the internet, from its concept, design and execution. But even that message is not clearly communicated to potential players so they miss out and in turn so does the game. MD could probably have a ton more gamers that would fit into its style and theme perfectly and love it and add to it, if the game was better presented, and more clearly marketed. This is best done with a guide book for example that can reach outside the games boarders which the LHOs are technically trapped in.

I agree with you, I would not want any spoilers in the guide and I hate books that have cheat codes to games as they ruin them. MD is unique and special because the way Mur designed its style and theme I would not want that ruined. But I’m sure MD does not even reach the volume of players it could have because it does not present itself well. It’s nice that the forums, news and other locations hold hints to the game, its history etc. but it’d be best if all of that was only in the game. But that is another discussion. I agree though that this information and how players have to puzzle through it does make MD unique and fun to play.

And I read all the announcements. :)

I guess even a small guide of sorts to address some of the more confusing elements of the game that could be attributed to game design issues would help. For example: The idea of what creatures are and how Mur intended them to be should be clear from the start but it’s not. MD’s magic concept and how and when players would get more access to it should be more clear. How players should design their characters and even pick a name should be discussed before they log in and create them but it’s not. Giving players a better understanding of how MD’s role playing could/does work would be very beneficial in multiple ways for potential gamers. All this could/should be in a guide and better presented to players even before they log in and create an account.

Your right, a lot of this information is already out there but is it presented to potential players in the best possible manner? Are we settling for 80% quality right now or can things be upgraded a bit to give us 90% quality or more?

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i'm working on a comprehensive FAQ atm, there's a post asking for other suggested questions to answer, or comments on the current ones, it's in the Q&A section.

I....think i could do a "Starting MD for Dummies" (you know, the book series) type thing, i could certainly do it up till past Story Mode, but after that it would be very concise, more like "look around for quests, learn what the creatures do, and become teh awesome" > but, you know, better.
Not sure where it would go though, main site page, possibly, but kinda goes away from the theme of the game. Sure, i can probably make it, but is it wanted and in line with the game?

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[quote name='dst' date='12 November 2009 - 06:18 AM' timestamp='1258006732' post='47253']
That is the problem with MD: you all see something players as gods. They are not. They are just normal players. Some of them got to that position simply by buying their way up. I will not go into details because they are not significant. So, stand up for yourself. What do you have to lose? It's a game after all. You can always come back with a different character.
[/quote]
You say what you think and do what you want, you talk like you have no trust of people. Most people consider that "bad". So yes, by those superficial standards, then yes, you ARE bad*. I'm talking purely from the point of view of well... what I see. Bear in mind I'm not inclined to make snap decisions, and I'm aware there's more than meets the eye both in the game and structure.

I'm not trying to push what I'm saying in terms of absolutes just in terms of how it *appears* from where I'm sat. I'm also lucky enough to be the sort of person who investigates, probes and looks around. But a lot of people aren't. I will stand by my point, Mur wondered why he can't retain new players and there it is.

You are not wrong about much, but that doesn't change that Mur said he wondered where new players went and the game is quite difficult and hostile to retaining new members. There is the cause. The question is not of whether I am right, or you are right, but whether Mur decides that his vision is important, people can like it or leave, or that he wants to reach more people and is willing to alter it a bit. I don't wish to push either alternative as the way to go, as the problem or the solution, just that here lies the choice and the crux of the issue. You obviously feel that an elite group makes a better game, I'm not saying your wrong, just that an elite group means fewer new players.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Oh, I must have missed the replies. Just saw them...

@Nahlard:
In a way, yes, I believe that elite group makes a better game. And you spotted the weakness:an elite group means fewer new players. Trouble is: you already have the group formed. And with elitism (in most cases) infatuation comes along (and I agree with it when it comes to MD). How will you break the group? How will you make it accept new players easier? The easiest way would be to ban them all :D. But I can assure you that if decide to come back they will be elite in notime. This is a fact and not a theory. It was already proven.

@Daemon:
I see your idea related more to advertisement then the actual game. You say that a guide could bring more players. You might be right.But is it enough to keep them? How much information can you put up to keep a player interested at least until s/he reaches mp4? Cause if you give too much...
Most of the players lose interest at mp3. So if you manage to bring them to mp4 your chances of keeping them increase. It's funny :), I am trying to make one of my cousins play for 2 months I think :D. He has all the info :D but he logs in only when I yell at him to do it or when I play with him. Right now I am not sure why he is not playing constantly: too much info or is he just being stubborn? I agree, this is an isolated case but... So see my problem? How much is enough? We have different measures when it comes to information. What a person can achieve in few minutes with certain info another one might achieve in days. It's way to subjective.

Oh, I just got an idea :D. Maybe there can be mp related guides (looots of work and I don't know if I personally would ever volunteer for such a thing). Something like: you get a doc when you register. Then when you reach mp4 you get another one with more info. And finally, if necessary (although i kind of doubt) a new doc when you become mp5.
Or maybe something else can be done. Right now I have just a rough idea. It's crits/battles related but I think it can be extended. Implement some sorts of quests that would give as reward a small boost of stats (5 or maybe 10 of one kind or whatever). And the quests should go like this: ask a player to explain for example how haotic damage works. H/she submits his/her answer to a designated player/group of players. The answer gets reviewed and in case it is correct the player gets his/her reward. The downside is that answers might (actually they will) be passed from player to player and few of them will actually do the research for themselves. On the other hand I think I also have the solution for this issue...


All in all maybe things will change and MD will become a more player friendly game. Until then you can do 2 things: accept the current situation or start to change things. Second option is as you assumed the hardest. It's not easy to change something, it's not easy to make your ideas accepted. But if you ask me it's the best option. After all: what better things do you have to do in the game then try to change ist course/history? :D

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Ok i will add some Tips how to get people hehehe
Now MD is a unique Game for unique people, Ho yeah thats the truth, Its not for everybody.
SO how to find those unique people uhhnn.

I got to know this world my a player named blu sapharine ( she not playing any more ) i meet her in Tribal wars (another mmog ). So plz every body post how did u know this game and Mur can concentrate on Advisement on those ares

1)Ok speaking of Advertisements i was clicking all those Free credits and i was laughing to myself hahaha. Mur u r just wasting ur money on making a golden member on those online list hehehe. Believe me iam playing MMORPG for more than 10 Years. And we don't get attracted by those Golden color on ur MD ADD hehehe. All we see is
A-the Ranking
B-INs and OUTs figure
c-And a those description of the game.

2)And i found on some Game list we rank well below, that i have to click on page 2 to find ur game hehe. In those game list its better we don't paste ur adds hehehe

3)Always remember a true Online mmog player will Go through the game forums so i think if we put some ADDS in famous game forums we might find those unique hardcore gamer. I can give some like " Tribals wars" " Atlantis mmog" " battle dawn"
" Immperial Online " and many more just try to find RPG which is played by most people and try to get a space in their forums, which will bring many player in.

4)Most important is Google : Yes thats correct Plz put ur adds in Google. There is way to get ur Wb address in the first place by just changing the Title and description. Plz consult a Google specialist. I mean lets say i type " FREE RPG ONLINE game " and when i click search ur web side should atleast fall in the Top 10 List. Actually we can do this if we understood how the google search engine works.

5)Try to add one more Question in the game registration page like : How did u came to know about this game ?." something like this. This way we can concentrate on those areas in Adds.

Finally iam doing my best to this game i have 8 adepts hehe iam a noob myself but iam traing those who get defeated by me hehehe. amoung 2 will shortly get to mp4 so iam trying my best to get all those 8 in mp4 just give me some time and i will support this game shortly thats all i can do byee
WARNINGS !!! Don't underestimate me i have ruled all RPG Game now i have set my sight on MD soon i will conquer This world too. So get ready so called GODs, Tipu is hear , Say ur last prayers hehehe :)

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[quote name='Tipu' date='01 December 2009 - 01:33 PM' timestamp='1259674439' post='48811']
1)Ok speaking of Advertisements i was clicking all those Free credits and i was laughing to myself hahaha. Mur u r just wasting ur money on making a golden member on those online list hehehe. Believe me iam playing MMORPG for more than 10 Years. And we don't get attracted by those Golden color on ur MD ADD hehehe. All we see is
A-the Ranking
B-INs and OUTs figure
c-And a those description of the game.
[/quote]
that is the generic add used with actual adverstising, and if it looks pretty, thats a bonus

[quote name='Tipu' date='01 December 2009 - 01:33 PM' timestamp='1259674439' post='48811']
3)Always remember a true Online mmog player will Go through the game forums so i think if we put some ADDS in famous game forums we might find those unique hardcore gamer. I can give some like " Tribals wars" " Atlantis mmog" " battle dawn"
" Immperial Online " and many more just try to find RPG which is played by most people and try to get a space in their forums, which will bring many player in.
[/quote]

Tribal wars? a game for the brain dead, little stragity, merely whoever pays more, personally i dont think that its the type of game "great" people will come from, i played it for a while, but the futility wore me down.

[quote name='Tipu' date='01 December 2009 - 01:33 PM' timestamp='1259674439' post='48811']
4)Most important is Google : Yes thats correct Plz put ur adds in Google. There is way to get ur Wb address in the first place by just changing the Title and description. Plz consult a Google specialist. I mean lets say i type " FREE RPG ONLINE game " and when i click search ur web side should atleast fall in the Top 10 List. Actually we can do this if we understood how the google search engine works.
[/quote]

Thats called SEO(Search Engine Optimisation) and Mur has and is doing that as he goes on (he works as a web devolper so knows a thing or two) and there are limits on what you can do to make you appear higher up.

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