New Player Experience: Part 1

Dev Blog

New Player Experience: Part 1

Salutations experienced Robot Pilots!

In this blog we will provide an update on one of our Roadmap Items: New Player Experience.
We identified a high attrition rate in the early game (like very early).  The most disappointing case of a player leaving the game is the player that never made it out of the tutorial.  This accounts for a large quantity of players that never make it back to the game.

This is a challenging problem, as our hands are tied when it comes to in-client interventions.  We can not alter the tutorial/rookie checklist itself, let alone text contents, pictures, menus, buttons, prompts, etc.  We know however players are leaving out of frustration, confusion, lack of direction, uncertainty, or helplessness in the face of all of those feelings.  We need to provide an outlet, provide them information, and make sure that their needs could be met.  So the first strategy was to provide as much supplementary information to the new player as possible with the tools we have.

Welcome Mails

The first mail on first arrival into the Tutorial
The second mail on completing the tutorial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first strategy became the Welcome Mail feature, and the initiation of our Help page (https://openperpetuum.com/help).
As of Patch 10, new player receive an in game mail that informs them of their immediate needs: what is the tutorial, how to skip it, where to go for more information, and where to go for help.
It was very important that whatever we put in front of the player was as concise and short as possible.  The Rookie Checklist is already an awesome amount of text, that few read carefully or to completion (often getting stuck by not following some instructions properly).  So amount of data is not the problem, but emphasis, and clarity.  We sought to provide that with the Help page – an on-going project that YOU COULD CONTRIBUTE TO!

This strategy is information going to the new player, the next is about everyone else.

Welcome Chat Announcements

The second strategy now focuses on the rest of the server being given the opportunity to interact and build relationships with new players by making their presence in the game known and clear to others.  Up until now, you would have to look at someone’s online time to get a sense of how new they were.  This is still putting work on the part of other players to be scanning chat members to see if anyone is new.  While that might be fine for some now, it certainly won’t scale.  To reduce this burden for players, and to make it increasingly obvious when new players are joining the game, we have made Chat Announcements.

The first message announcing the player in Help chat.
The second message in Recruitment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of Patch 11, new players that join the game, and also when they complete the tutorial, will get a special shout-out in public chat channels.  Specifically, the first will go to Help chat, and the second will go to Recruitment.  The idea is not to spam all public channels, and not spam one channel with both events for each new player.  Now players that want to Help should join the Help channel and they will be alerted to new players as soon as they arrive in the tutorial – clearly a candidate that will need help.  Whereas when the player leaves the tutorial, they might need an ice-breaker to get into the game community.  The best way for players to feel like they are part of the game and community is corporations and player groups.  Recruitment channel is a natural candidate for this second chat announcement.  The least you could do is congratulate them for getting that far, it is a journey that is clearly something to celebrate and welcome the player into the game!

The New Player Experience: What’s next?

You tell us! We have a reddit thread up to solicit more ideas and avenues to explore.

Furthermore, instead of just pitching ideas, you could be part of the solution to not only make plans, but get it done!
Join the team!  Help write code, build features, write guides, make videos, the sky is the limit!
https://openperpetuum.com/volunteer