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First Impression Feedback


Kyphis the Bard

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Due to the Review of MD [url="http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/10/23/rise-and-shiny-recap-magicduel/"]here[/url], I have made a new alt today called Manifold.

Its job is simply to go through the starting orientation, and see what simple and important concept need to be made clearer to help new players understand the game better.

[i][s]The first thing I have noticed is that the screen it takes you to after registering an account is incredibly bland:[/s][/i] [b]FIXED[/b]
[log=[i][s]Registration Screen[/s][/i]]
[img]http://i55.tinypic.com/viiq81.jpg[/img]
[/log]

[i][s]The Account activation screen also lacks a lot of MD's style, however the main thing it lacks is a background:[/s][/i] [b]FIXED[/b]
[log=[s][i]Activation Screen[/i][/s]]
[img]http://i54.tinypic.com/fcp93a.jpg[/img]
[/log]

Upon actually logging in, the first thing that appears is not a welcome screen, not the paper cabin, not even the game, but the DNA choice screen. For a new player, this is going to make the game look like spam.
While I suspect there is a reason for this to be the case, I would encourage that interface to be altered to not turn up until the player has at least 5 active days.


After the DNA screen, the welcome screen comes up. The first page is very good, however from the second page unnecessary vagueness comes into play:
[quote]
You are now in interactive story mode. First thing you should do is to click the shiny scroll and see what it tells you to do. You can also chat with other players, [b]click them[/b] to see details about them. Slowly you will unlock hundreds of unique map locations, recruit creatures to fight for you, participate in [b]multiplayer[/b] quests and much more ..
... but not right now, for now just read on...
[/quote]
[b]Click them[/b]: I have heard a LOT of new players confused about what that even means. It should make more sense if it said "click their name"
[b]Multiplayer[/b]: I have heard a LOT of players asking about where the quests are and why they can't find any. A lot of this confusion could be alleviated if it said "player created" instead.

Page 5 of the welcome screen begins talking about events in the game which don't occur for quite a few tasks, and also give the impression that you are supposed to fight monsters a lot:
[quote]
Dont expect to defeat those shades the first time you try :D they are like this so you can learn how to regenerate your creatures.
[/quote]
I would suggest moving these two sentences to the story page, rather than the welcome screen, as it gives the impression that a main goal in the game is killing shades, and can be confusing when you will not see the shades for quite some time, and then not again for a very long time after that.

Page 6 introduces yet more confusion:
[quote]
After story-mode, you are out again. This stage is the main part of the game where you will upgrade creatures, unlock map areas and much more. Don't search for npc's to fight, you must train your character by fighting other players, talk to them, everybody will jump in to help you as they can. [b]Try to solve the puzzles you find, they are usualy interconnected and will get you deeper in the game.[/b]
Communication with other players is most important, you could gain access to places and achieve interesting things just by talking and making new friends.
[/quote]
There are only [b]two[/b] puzzles in this game that look like normal puzzles: The Sphere and the Gazebo. The majority of obvious puzzles are player created quests, which are generally NOT interconnected and generally WON'T get you deeper in the game. While there are literally thousands of puzzles that are interconnected in the game, they do not look anything like a puzzle until you have been in the realm for a very long time, long enough to understand what it means by puzzle.
I would suggest revising that line, if not completely removing it. If revised, I would suggest something like: "Many players create quests you can do which have interesting rewards, and are a great way to have fun while socializing and learning about the realm"

Page 8 continues with yet more confusion due to a MAJOR need for an update:
[quote]
Each creature under your control has its own weak and strong aspects. Setting up the right ritual is always important. Its not brute force that wins a fight but the right ritual. Experiment different rituals and ask around other players for their best fight strategies. [b]Heat, indicated by the "Erolin device" in the upper right corner of the interface[/b], is very usefull and helps you get better reward from the battles but also lets you cast magic at later game stages. On the other hand, heat makes you get more [b]XP[/b] and you will hit your [b]XP[/b] cap faster and thats not good.
[/quote]
[b]Heat...[/b]: Firstly, MP3 players do not have an Erolin device. They cannot use that interface. It is not something that they need to know about there, they will learn it fast enough in the game.
[b]XP[/b]: This is a MAJOR point of confusion, which is going to need some serious looking at due to the decisions that have been made in game development. Firstly, the obvious: XP does not exist, it is called.... heat.
However, what sort of confusion does this create for a new player who looks at the list of things that you gain for moving location, when it says that your heat increases? And what about when they look at the explanation for worshiping, that says you sacrifice heat?
Or any of the other references to heat, that mean the magic gained heat, but there is no explanation that it is different from the Experience heat?
If I was a new player, this would be a major point of frustration and confusion to me, and I know a lot of people would quit because of this.
Some kind of decision needs to be made about the choice to name two incredibly important, yet completely different, concepts and mechanics the same thing. It is unnecessary confusion.


Wow, I discovered this by accident... If you go Idle while the welcome screen is open, it just takes you straight to the story and doesn't have a link to reactivate the welcome tutorial. Um... what?
I would seriously recommend making the game keep track of whether a player has reached the last page of the welcome tutorial and opening it automatically whenever they resume the game, just like it opens on the first login.
And obviously, fixing it so the link to re-read the tutorial, y'know, sticks around for a while? Maybe for the first 5 active days, keep the link there?
EDIT: Found the link, however had to do a lot of searching to find the tiny, unobtrusive link along the top. I would recommend changing it to a banner link at the top that stands out, sort of like the other banners that have been used in the past, for the first 5 active days.

Page 9 of the welcome screen again has unnecessarily confusing text:
[quote]
Each character will evolve on its own path, depending on the story he choses and on the way he is playing. Solve the puzzles , talk to other players about clues, try to reach beyond the aparent restrictions...[b]there is a reason why there are weapons that cost 40k value points and your maximum is just 1k[/b]. Most of the players will see just 80% of the game, the secret 20% left is up to you to discover. The true secrets of this game are not behind a puzzle or a door, but behind the way you will play it...and remember, even the newest noob can manage in time to "defeat" the oldest veteran if he understands the game mechanics well.
[/quote]
The bolded section is quite unnecessary, and actually missleading. The maximum isn't 1K. You will go above that number [i]before you even [b]see[/b] your first weapon[/i]. I started with 1011, before I could even explore. And almost everyone (we are talking close to 100%) will realize when they see an item like that that they just need to raise their VP until they can afford it. It is a basic gaming concept.
However, the message it is sending IS a very important one, so something like this should mentioned.
The solution? Viscosity.
Eon tells me that a lot of the newer players ask about what viscosity is and does. Since the newer areas are generally free of viscosity, I wasn't going to talk about it until later, however here is the perfect opportunity to utilize a brief reference to get people thinking about it.
Instead of the old bold text, I would recommend saying something like: "there is a reason why some locations need more than 600 action points to access, when you only start with 100 maximum."

As a member of the CLC, page 11, the last page, has a confusing bit of text that really bother me:
[quote]
This game is thought to be played a bit every day, comming back daily will give you certain advantages over time. Talk to the other players, share ideeas and work together to upgrade your characters, they are always willing to help someone new out. [b]A lot of things like fast regeneration of creatures are possible only with help from other players, and no its not cheating, its a unique form of collaborative play so that you can bend the rules of the game in your favor[/b]. keep an eye on the changelog, things are updating frequently. From time to time "Game Borders" are expanded and new features, quests or even entire lands open for more adventure.[center][center] [/center][/center]
[center][center]


[/center][/center]
[center][center] [/center][/center]
[center][center]Welcome to my world, a one of a kind game, Enjoy
[/quote]
The message that this presents is not clear. While the statement is true, it doesn't mention that a lot of the ways that you might try to "collaboratively" play useing alts is against the rules. It needs to be clear that when it says other players, it means other players and not other accounts. However, this message is quite a good one for new players to see.
Solution? Add another page explaining another one of MD's unique aspects: Alts.
In MD, you are allowed to use alts. I'm only able to offer this review of the early game BECAUSE we can use alts. But there are a lot of things that need to be remembered when useing them, and none of this is made clear to players who won't know about the restrictions untilt hey have known for a while that hey, alts are okay.
In a lot of other games, the only reason for having alts is to abuse the system. In MD, they have a genuine purpose.
Think of it like the sex talk: You can be a good parent and make sure they get the facts straight up (from yourself or the school, or someone else you trust), or you can hide away from it and let them learn it on the street, with no real idea what they know and don't know.

Having read through the entire welcome, I have to say that the spelling and grammar is not very good. The whole welcome tutorial needs to be heavily looked at, as a lot of the data is out of date, missleading, and poorly written. A lot of the reasons that players leave that have nothing to do with the filters could be fixed right here.

[b]Further first impression, before going deeper and exploring[/b]:



[/center][/center]
[list]
[*]At no point was any mention of LHO's made.
[*]At no point was any reference to the LHO button made, it is a crucial tool for new players who have a lot of questions and a large chunk of them don't find it until they don't need it.
[*]Official signposts, that aren't editable by most players, often contain important information that is missed. These sorts of signposts would be harder to miss if they had an orange glow until they have been opened by a player a least once.
[/list]

Into the actual story now, the story scroll page when you have acquired your first creature and need to head back tot he land guardian displays this message:
[quote]
"Now it is time to return to the Land Guardian. However, once you have a creature bound to yourself, [b]you begin to attract other creatures[/b] which desire only to devour your vitality."

[b]Tasks:[/b][list]
[*]- Deal with all the threats you encounter on your way back
[/list]
[/quote]
For the reasons stated before, this is going to confuse new players. There are almost no NPC's in this game, fighting is between players. It is an important warning, however the wording definitely needs to be changed.
I would recommend changing this to just tell you to head back the land guardian with your new creatures so you can continue exploring the land, and have a new page come up when you return to Old Mans Road telling you that Shades seem to be attracted to your creatures now.
ie, for the exploration pop-up:
[image of shade]
"A strange creature has formed in front of you, consult your scroll"
For the Story Page:
"Now that you have creatures of your own, new creatures seem to be attracted to your presence, and threaten your life.
Almost all the combat you engage in in this world will be against other players, very few creatures will threaten you as these ones do. Use this rare opportunity to learn how to fight, and how to control and look after your creatures."

Generally, the combat interface is very friendly and user friendly now (thankyou Rendril) however one problem still remains obvious: The Battle Results tab and Summary tab still refer to XP instead of heat.



This is as far as I will take the alt for now. Once a player leaves story mode, they are into the game proper. My main concern is with the first impressions upto this point.
If anyone has any specific concerns with later stages of the game they would like me to look at, please post below and I will look into it as soon as I can.
I would really appreciate if someone could provide me a link to the topic "What makes you quit MD" since I can't find it, and it was supposed to be pinned.

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I noticed that there was a need expressed for a explanative document in both the critic’s review and your own, Kyphis. There are many simple things that are explained in the original tutorial, but there are ten times as many questions that new players can find to ask.

The critic mentioned on how players were “slow to respond,” to anything he had to say, and were vague in their answers. I know this is because there are few of us, who are not constantly active, and that we want there to be a certain air of mystery about MD, but perhaps is should be clearly defined as to what questions we will answer, and which ones should be found out on their own.

What am I getting at? Well, just as it was brought up in the discussion of Law Advisors and rules, I think there should be a collective document of general information, just for the knowledge of newer players. (Or older forgetful ones.) It could be a collection of simple details on gameplay and just how things normally go on in MD. Find out what players struggle with, and come up with answers or clues for them. Yes, I understand there are the LHO’s, and I believe this document should be [i]their [/i]collection; but just having a LHO available is not always enough. (Which as a side note, the critic mentioned on how we have our own “lingo” that only [i]we[/i] seem to understand. Perhaps part of the document could be definitions of acronyms and words specific to MD. Such as “Live Help Operator.”)

It’s also understood that there is a FAQ in the MagicDuel game… it is a good start, but is obviously not enough. Seeing as that some quit with many questions unanswered.
And for any of you who are thinking players can just go to the forums to find information… have you actually tried doing this? The critic specifically mentioned how the forums seemed to be filled with players chatting and speaking of the “drama” in MD. It is quite difficult to find information there without having to hunt for long periods of time, so it is not exactly a well of knowledge.

So in ending, I’m not sure the details of how this document should be made, or where it should be placed… but I sincerely believe it should be worked upon and made a reality. Thank you for any consideration you give this; and many thanks for your time Kyphis. I know we all appreciate it.

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That's the one! Thankyou Burns ^_^

I'm going to have a look through that topic and see if there are any points I can look into in there...

[quote name='The Great Wanderer' timestamp='1319425590' post='94532']
It’s also understood that there is a FAQ in the MagicDuel game…
[/quote]
Soooooo... anyone know where? I have never seen it >.>

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Ah, thankyou again Burns >.>

This is the price I pay for independent knowledge... especially amusing since I spell checked that whole thing...

Further suggestions:[list]
[*]Where it tells you how to heal your creatures, include a picture that shows clearly the button you need to click to heal your creatures.
[*]Make the FAQ a bit more in depth and its location more obvious. Since a lot of new players don't even know about the LHO button, they aren't going to find the FAQ, are they?
[/list]
Suggestions for the FAQ should really go in a different topic, so I will leave that to some other nutbag to crusade about (or wait until I go stark raving mad again)

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Chose a password to protect your account

Choose a password to protect your account

however good one:-) maybe leave the old one and when you click on register appear this one... or use this one and put all info that was in old homepage in a new button on the top...
more visible and quickly to see could be put in the middle a button for register and one for login...
for example put an image in the middle... at right of it register button and at left login button... on the top all the buttons that there now...
if you click on login will go to the normal login page, instead if you click on the register will go the page that you have created now..
put also in tip that you can create more accounts and you can't change name manually in options page

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[color=#008080][font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]I generally don't do things like this, but it sort of goes along with the recent review. This a message I received from what appears to be an aggravated newbie. I've changed nothing in it. It is pasted exactly as I received it.[/font][/color]

"HELLO...SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR GAME 'GUIDELINES' ON PROPER FIGHTING, BALANCE...WHAT THIS SITE NEEDS IS SOMEONE TO CAPTURE SCREEN SHOTS OF YOUR RULES, REGULATIONS, PLUS THE EMAIL FROM YOUR SITE STATING THAT 'ACCOUNT CAN NOT BE DELETED' AND POST IT ON YOU TUBE..NOT RECOMMENDING YOUR ONLINE GAME."

[color=#008080][font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]My response message has gone unopened. Most likely because the player will not be returning. Deleting an account is something I'm asked about more often than I'd like to admit. I would venture to say that the question comes at least once a week. My suggestions would be:[/font][/color]
[color=#008080][font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]1. make deleting an account available[/font][/color]
[color=#008080][font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]2. remove the comments in the tutorial fights about needing to win/lose. (I hear about those a lot, too)[/font][/color]
[color=#008080][font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]3. make the [Restrictions] at the top of the page a different color to draw attention to it.[/font][/color]
[color=#008080][font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]4. pull the FAQ information from the LHO to a separate choice at the top of the screen with the restrictions and announcements.[/font][/color]

[color=#008080][font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]Even if the above player was an alt, they present valid points.[/font][/color]

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Two more points that have been raised with me by new players:

Stat boosts during story mode - It is often unclear when a boost is temporary, and when the stat is permanently increased. This causes a lot of frustration, and could be easily fixed.

MDA Gates - Obviously, these have been changed for a reason. Since Papers are an important tool for fleshing out your character, I suggest useing a tool already in place to help alleviate confusion in this area: The New Player Location Tips.
Something along the lines of: "Getting through these gates is one of the first obstacles you face. As you spend more time in the realm, it will become easier and easier to travel, but for now you will need to find ways to temporarily raise your AP if you wish to pass this gate. The lessons you learn here will help you succeed later in your travels"

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I was slightly confused about Stat boosts during Story mode also, so good catch. I'd also recommend slightly changing your tip above to actually say "action Points". (change highlighted below)

One of the more irritating things my third day here was asing some question (I forget what) and being helped with something simialr to " Well, walk around for VP but wait for timer get AP and VE, but don't bother going to LR, GG or NV yet for UPs. You won't need them at MP3. Want a Tree?".
Took me even more asking to realize the info was correct, and what all those acronyms meant as Value, Action, Vitality, Golemus, Mind Power, etc.
Granted, tips won't usually reply in such 'cryptic' ways all at once, but writing out AP=Action Points would be helpful to some, and though redundant for others, still valid.

[quote name='Kyphis the Bard' timestamp='1320196142' post='95081']
... find ways to temporarily raise your [b]Action Points (AP) [/b]if you wish to pass this gate. The lessons you learn here will help you succeed later in your travels"
[/quote]

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The difficulty of understanding MD's vocab is being worked on... slowly... by a few of us.
Give us a few months :P

One other thing that was a large point of confusion in Beau Hindermans Video:
The Calender project. Currently for days without any data it doesn't give any explanation for what it means. It would be good if whoever was running that project could put a message explaining the project on every page that currently has no date. That way, it won't be confusing for new players and it will also display the other information it is supposed to (daily stat gains).

EDIT: New question highlighting something else that could be confusing: The Loreroot access puzzle ingredients where assigned before harvesting tools existed. As such, some players think that you need access to harvesting tools to get the water and nightshade.
Might want to put in a little bit of clarification somewhere that that isn't the case.

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[color=#008080][font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]One of the most often questions I get has been referenced above: It says I get x number of action points in the story boost, but I didn't get them. I get that question more than "What is heat?"[/font][/color]

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[quote][font="Georgia, Times New Roman, Times, serif"][size="2"][color="#663300"][b]Congratulations, you filled 10k of your heat tolerance by fighting. Visit your quest page to continue. [/b][/color][/size][/font][/quote]

This notice should probably be changed. Filling 10000 heat tolerance doesn't do anything in the quest page anymore.

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[quote name='Muratus del Mur' timestamp='1319511026' post='94584']
here is the new homepage, much more direct and less confusing i hope. The registration takes one directly to the game. further gameplay changes are pending,

magicduel.com/new_begining.php
[/quote]
While re-reading some old topics to see if there was anything for the CLC to discuss, I came upon a discussion about the way registration was done before, which the new method lacks.

At current, the new page does not say anything about not useing names of officials and characters from within the game.
[quote name='Restrictions Page - Main Things That Can Get You Banned'][list]
[*]Impersonating an other player pretending you are him or using very similar playername to do that
[*]Using playernames like "MagicDuel" or a creature name or combinations that could cause confusion[/quote]
[/list]
Something to indicate that should probably be added in again.

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I helped someone today regarding "healing creatures". The prologue states the following when you reach the point of the Aramory:
[log='Congratulations, you have bound your first creature to your spirit.']"Congratulations, you have bound your first creature to your spirit. The first step on the path of battles has been taken. However, the road ahead is still long.
A new icon has been added to your menu, leading to the Creature Index.
On the upper part of the page, your Adepts, along with yourself are shown praying to your Vitality Sphere. By clicking on the Vitality Sphere you will be able to give a percentage of your own life, depending on the number of your Adepts and bestow it to one of any of your creatures.
On the lower part of the page all your creatures along with details regarding their life and level of evolution are shown. By clicking on their icons, you will be able to see more details about them."[/log]

This is a bit unclear, since you don't actually click the big yellow orb with "adepts praying to it" in order to share your vitality. You need to click the little orange dot under each individual Creature, instead.



Edit: Also, I just noticed that it is possible for a new player to wander into the capital of MArind Bell and get "stuck" on the "Weaponshop", the "Influences" or "Guilds" rooms inside there. Entering is easy, but they require +40 AP due to viscosity, and there is no chat window to ask for help. Might be a minor thing, but wanted to mention it, since it may require someone to wait almost a half hour to "escape" which is a long time when just discovering this 'Game', and thinking that a single "regen tick" would help them.

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[quote name='Maebius' timestamp='1320924583' post='95575']
I helped someone today regarding "healing creatures". The prologue states the following when you reach the point of the Aramory:
[log='Congratulations, you have bound your first creature to your spirit.']"Congratulations, you have bound your first creature to your spirit. The first step on the path of battles has been taken. However, the road ahead is still long.
A new icon has been added to your menu, leading to the Creature Index.
On the upper part of the page, your Adepts, along with yourself are shown praying to your Vitality Sphere. By clicking on the Vitality Sphere you will be able to give a percentage of your own life, depending on the number of your Adepts and bestow it to one of any of your creatures.
On the lower part of the page all your creatures along with details regarding their life and level of evolution are shown. By clicking on their icons, you will be able to see more details about them."[/log]

This is a bit unclear, since you don't actually click the big yellow orb with "adepts praying to it" in order to share your vitality. You need to click the little orange dot under each individual Creature, instead.
[/quote]
That, along with a lot of other issues, could be fixed by including a simple labelled diagram with the information page telling them about healing creatures. I'm actually getting a small library ready to post on the Wiki with basic play guides (healing, ritual setup, etc) as a step by step thing.
Hopefully I can start posting them later this week, but I have been very busy with RL stuff the last three weeks.

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  • 3 years later...

Necropost, mp3 don't have an elrion device but can still feel the effects of heat. I cite only anecdotal evidence, someone needs to make an alt and test it (*pokes Ary Endleg*).

 

That is well known thing, don't need to test anything, I used heat while I myself was MP3. If I remember correctly from my PM talks with Chew year ago, it all works as it should.

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