The New User Experience (Landmark)

Discussion in 'News, Announcements, and Dev Discussions' started by Dexella, Feb 19, 2014.

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  1. Dexella Content & Social Media Manager

    The video response is now available on our YouTube channel:


    Blog from Darrin McPherson, Lead Designer

    Many of you probably saw the forum thread that was started to gather impressions on the first few minutes of gameplay. We would like to thank everyone who has participated so far and all those who will participate going forward. Your feedback has been very helpful.

    You may be asking yourself – “Why do they need my help with this?” Let me explain.

    Even though we as developers spend a lot of time within the game, we often miss very simple things that make up a new user’s experience. We enter the game often to test something new, to fix a bug or try out a new feature and this repetition makes us accustomed to how things work. Even when playing the game from the beginning, which we did many times pre-Alpha release, this acclimation prevents us from seeing everything.

    Based on your feedback and our own observations we have plans to improve the beginning flow of the game. Sometime in the future we will have a system that will give you hints about aspects of the game. This won’t be a heavy and restricted tutorial system, but instead will give you information based on what you are doing. For example, if you start the game and run to the hub we will give you a small hint saying something like: “At a hub you can craft basic items as well as use the portal crystal to move between continents and worlds.”

    So, what do you think would be most helpful to the new players who follow after you?
  2. Aazimar Well-Known Member

    I'm all for a fair but not overwhelming amount of character customization. I want to feel different from other players from the get go and begin to identify with my new online persona immediately.

    Some games have too little and some have way too much (Aion comes to mind in this regard for me). A nice balance would be my preference.

    Oh, and dwarves from the start!
    • Up x 2
  3. Syllogy Well-Known Member

    All of the above, honestly.

    However, for new players, I would say easier to identify resources alongside clear, established goals for the first few minutes of play (which would include crafting.)

    For example, in my first few minutes it was frustrating to constantly see "You cannot harvest this"

    Tell me WHAT I can't harvest so I can at least learn to identify it.

    For experienced players, I would say a refinement of building tools -- we can do some amazing things by making the tools work in ways that I'm pretty sure they were never meant to.

    However, I'd like to see a few additions and changes:

    A Cylinder-type Selection Tool, where we can draw a radius out from a center and get a perfect circle, and use the add/delete function to create shapes.

    A "Cube Restoration" tool to turn smooth shapes back into cube-style.

    A "Move/Rotate" option to the Selection Tool's functionality that affects the voxels in the selected volume.

    A total rework of the Line Tool to get rid of those funky distortions caused by the tool, and also create lines between individual voxels.

    A way to disable the automatic smoothing function that causes distortion to surfaces (such as the distortion caused when placing a wedge against a solid surface)
    • Up x 10
  4. PinkRebecca New Member

    That's awesome
    It's a dilemma for me!

    I would LOVE to have some serious character customization. As a lady player, I'd even love some makeup options! :)

    But I think the most important thing at the moment is something to direct us. I Do love the first message, move away from portal to start digging! :) F12 isn't working for me, so I've done a lot of figuring it out for myself, but it's really not that hard yet. Looking forward to the tutorial system!! <3 Thanks!
  5. Dartaris New Member

    " Clear, established goals for your first few minutes of play"

    I'd love character customization, but that's not going to help a new player in their experience. Let character customization come later, and allow us to redo it when it gets here. Making the start of the game easier to get a grasp on should be priority IMO.
    • Up x 2
  6. Maelitta New Member

    My vote is for character controls - it doesn't matter how perfected any of the other options are if the player is feeling disconnected from their character due to poor and unintuitive (or very clear and logical) controls.

    Perfected controls and camera are the basis for the other options reaching perfection, so its priority
    • Up x 6
  7. Jonardan New Member

    character customization dose need a lot of work but I thought that more would be added sence this is just alpha but Crafting is in need of a LOT of work if what we have now is the way they are going. its just not as good as EQ2 SWG or dare i say it Vanguard lol
  8. Diomedes New Member

    All of the above really. Each and every one of those options are critical for making sure players experience everything the game has to offer in Landmark.
    • Up x 2
  9. Kiry New Member

    I'll be honest. When I first logged into Alpha with the pickaxe in my hand, I was a bit lost. Didn't really know what to do.

    I figured, explore, try to see what I could hit with the tool. Wood/copper/etc. From there, I had to figure out that I had to make something in order to progress. This could be cleared up just a bit to help people that have never played a crafting/creating type game before, paricularly if there is a lot of eye candy on login.
    • Up x 2
  10. Murrick Member

    It's hard to choose because all of the above is really important IMO.
    I do, however, hope for a much more detailed character creation. A general option list with an advanced button for finer details should we choose to be more particular. I for one love having a character that looks similar to myself, or something I would like to be....or stare at the whole time I'm playing ;). That is one of the features I loved about eq2. Height, eyes, nose, age, all of it so finely tunable. And I specifically request the ability to make thick/heavyset characters. Not all humans look like Angelina and Brad! :)

    I want my character to be able to look like Robert Kirkman <3
    • Up x 2
  11. Malorik Member

    I agree I think that all are important, but I picked the clear, established goals in the first few minutes of play. First impressions are everything and this is no different here.
    • Up x 1
  12. maxjam New Member

    Clear instruction on how to spend there first minutes ingame is essential imo. A tutorial should guide a new player in basic harvesting and crafting.

    Character Customization is essential however (imo) I want to design the way I look and eventually dress the way I want to look (the game needs craftable clothing!) I want to be a unique character crafting unique structures. MMOs are a big turn off if you have to follow the same route as everyone else, looking exactly like everyone else.
    • Up x 2
  13. SriinKnorei New Member

    WTB reply button at top of forum pages too... okay, moving on.

    The only reason I chose option 1, more character customization, is because I personally want EQN and EQN/L to really, really push the envelope on character creation and physical appearance customization in gaming. SOE has stated the intention to push the envelope on MMORPG gaming in general, and for me, character customzation and creation is part of that. It has been a long time since we've seen a truly robust system. The systems have cropped up once in a while, but not on what I personally consider a successful title. I define successful as the game has kept me playing consistently for more than 6 months. And there hasn't been an MMO in years that has done that for me. In fact, SOE might have been the only company to put out a game that had me playing for more than 6 months consistently. So, I'd like to see them do it again, and with character customization.

    However, the real answer I wanted to give was 'F' all of the above. I am sure all of the above will be covered eventually, and I understand that SOE wants a place to start their focus before they branch out. All of the above needs to be looked into.
    • Up x 5
  14. Jiminimonka New Member

    All of the above.

    Character Customisation options are already on the cards, I suppose more races would be what most people want, and plenty of options to make your character unique. Ways to scale body parts to fit each persons "ideal" for their character instead of just a fixed set of bodies for each race/sex would also be better. I am thinking Weird Science here, but there are other options about body shape/style.

    Controls are pretty standard, maybe a popup tooltip to tell people what keys to use, but that seems too much like hand-holding to me, and we have had enough of that haven't we?

    Clearly established goals - well what exactly is the goal of Landmark? Unless we have more information on what is going to be in the game apart from building, it's hard to answer this one.

    Resources are pretty easy to find at the moment. Perhaps they should be a little harder to find but then once monsters and other dangers are introduced that will all change. One thing that would be nice is knowing what metal or mineral it is that you are hitting when the gathering tool is not good enough to crack it, then again, the not knowing is quite good too. Crafting is pretty straightforward, and the UI obviously needs improving. Making it easier to know which is the next Tier of a crafting table, and also of items (like accessories) are higher tier just with a visual aid would help.

    Refining the building tools. Well those don't come into the game when you first create a character, so not sure why they would be important for a new starter. Getting a claim flag is No.1 priority for many people. The tools definitely need refining (there are lots of threads on that topic in the forum already), and expanding the tooltips (maybe at the crafting tables) might help. The Journal (I heard/read about this somewhere, timeline?) could also have some information about how tools are used, maybe with mini videos.

    My dinner is gonna burn if I don't get it out of the oven. That's enough to chew on. :)
    • Up x 1
  15. TimSkijwalker New Member

    I would love to see even more music, music makes exploration for me at the moment.

    there is already a lot of beautiful music in the game, i would love to see more added =D
    • Up x 1
  16. Dave49424 New Member

    My perspective is that new players fall in love with the character model initially which is the bait. Once the hook has been baited you have to provide an initial sense of guidance (primarily with resources and harvesting). As others have mentioned feedback that say for example (this T3 metal requires a higher level pickaxe.. or the like). Once the 'quest/achievement' system is ready then most likely a short series of activities that guide the player through low level harvesting and the constructing the next tool.
    • Up x 1
  17. Beathan New Member

    I've been having trouble with the camera and controls, but I can't tell if it is a legit interface issue or merely alpha clunkiness. A bad control set kills an otherwise good experience. Otherwise, character customization is most important. Clear initial goals are useful for true newbies, but the protocol should be something that can be skipped by experienced players building a new character unless the initial experience is extremely varied so as to be a new experience for an old player.
  18. SriinKnorei New Member

    Additional thoughts time, after my initial post.

    More character customization options
    I see EQN/L as the testbed for much of the systems going into EQN. Use EQN/L to test your character creation options. Start with Human, as stated, make sure everything is working, all the scaling and features are in place. Then, branch out from there.

    Better and more clear controls for character and camera
    A lot of this comes down to key-mapping. I'll have much more control of my character once I can keymap everything. I know it's coming.
    I would love to be able to put the camera exactly where I want it while I'm working. If not possible, I would really like to be able to truck the camera in and out much, much more than I can already. I need to be able to see the entirety of what I'm doing on my claim. Get the big picture. (Trucking is not the same as zoom, just to clarify.)

    Clear, established goals for your first few minutes of play
    Maybe some tutorial tips that hover over parts of the game when a player first logs in. Or, A to-do list as a mini-game or quest that brings you through some of basic systems. This sort of delves into the guided, theme-park gameplay realm, but some clues or direction is always nice to have. I always find a new game really overwhelming when I first jump in. I need about three or four hours to really get my bearings on how the interface works, the map, everything.

    Easier to identify resources and improvements to crafting
    Mouseover the resource, a fly out tells you what it is, whether you can harvest it with your current tool, and if not, what tool it requires. Done. Crafting I think needs some additional sorting and organization. A search features with/and/or checkboxes for accessories would be great, so I can easily narrow it down to whether I want to make a harvesting, crafting, run-speed, etc, etc, accessory. This can be applied to additional systems as they are released.

    Refinement of building tools
    This is a huge area to tackle. People have sort of figured out the linear progression to upping the power of their tools through trial and error. A comprehensive help guide might come in handy, just to say okay, these are the levels of picks, axes, and crafting stations, and 'oh, btw, the order of crafting stations is forge > bench > worktable, rinse, repeat.' Wiki? I love wiki. GW2, for example, has this massive, beautiful wiki with most everything you'd ever need. I recommend SOE hop right on the wiki bandwagon. I love wiki.
    • Up x 2
  19. Ceardach New Member

    All of the above really, but better controls and a bit of direction at the beginning is really needed. A smarter zooming mechanism would be most welcome. I ran around my first few hours frustrated that I couldn't zoom the camera out, until I finally figured out I had to hold the shift key. Maybe zoom should be default mouse wheel when a tool is not selected.

    I would also like to throw my 2 copper in for hotbar lock, I don't know how many times I've accidentally removed something from the hotbar.
    • Up x 2
  20. Caonedh Active Member

    Since this is another Landmark poll, I voted for more customization. Human only is weak tea for an Everquest game. It's one of the reasons I am so blah on Landmark atm.
    • Up x 2
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