Author Topic: How to help Newbies. Some thoughts and ideas.  (Read 169 times)


  • Hydlaa Citizen
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How to help Newbies. Some thoughts and ideas.
« on: September 05, 2023, 05:57:43 pm »
Dear all,

Newbies do not have a simple start to PlaneShift right now because the current player base is low, and often hardly anybody is online. As I write this, Gonger is all alone...
We need new players, we want new players, but how are we going to give them support? I discussed the following ideas during the latest Dev Meeting, and people seemed to agree:

  • In the PS Launcher, add buttons that lead to the Discord Channel or the Forums.
  • In the In-Game Help Channel, add a text with the links to the Discord Channel or the Forums. Links that actually work would be even better, but may be hard to implement. (Thanks to Uadjet for the idea of working links.)

With easier access to Discord Channel or the Forums, newbies will easier get support. At least for solo players this will be very useful.
But what about people who join PlaneShift because they want to Role-Play (which is one of the distinctive features of PlaneShift)? They need other people online, so it would be great if some of you were online more often. So many people on Discord, so few online, it just does not make sense.

PlaneShift is a complex game, so pretty much everybody will be glad about some guidance when getting started. As things are now, I fear we will lose many newbies because of a lack of support. A few weeks ago a newbie asked a question in the Help channel when I was AFK. Nobody else was there to answer the question, so the newbie left... and I never saw this newbie again!
Since I finally am on holiday now, I will take up advertizing again, but I will do so with a kind of stomach ache because I am not sure this is the best moment. But then, who can tell when the best moment would be?

I hope it will be possible to give more support to newbies. Everybody can help by connecting to the game a bit more often. Then newbies will see that there are people present in our world, and even a late answer to a newbie question will be more useful than no answer at all!

Thank you for reading, and thank you for your support.

Travel safely,



  • Hydlaa Citizen
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Re: How to help Newbies. Some thoughts and ideas.
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2023, 05:40:42 am »
Greetings Gonger, greetings everyone.

I thought about this for a while after the discussion in last dev Q&A.

I also chose to come online several times in the evenings, CEST time zone, for several hours and typed "/who" command frequently. However I did not find any new player online during that times. Of course this not representative in any way, however I am not sure whether we loose as many newbies at the moment as you fear. Of course loosing just one new player or a few new players is bad given the current state of affairs. During these challenging times however I find it difficult to be online every evening just to see whether a new player logs in. I find myself needing a lot of time to recover from the sheer insanity happening in our world today. I believe this is headed into a good direction considering all what is happening and the meaning behind it, but at times this is not easy to see.

Some ideas I had about helping new players along:

1) Hint newbies at the GM events on Saturday in a prominent place and also to the market on Sundays. Cause there are at least some long time players online during that time. I am sure Uadjet would be fine for us all taking some time to help a new player along during the event. For me the GM events are rewarding experiences of game play and role play within the game. My hope would be that this could be similar for new players. Also it is a great opportunity for chars and players to make friendship with one another and maybe make an appointment for playing together during the week.

2) Maybe additionally it would be an option to agree on a time for newbies each week. A time were long time players can agree on aiming to be online each week. Maybe an hour before the event or an hour before the market. Or between market and dev q&a - that would be nice, cause at the market things tend to be quite quiet anyway these times and there is plenty of opportunity to help a new player along. And of course Gova has everything in store a new player could ever want and if not Damola can help along. ;D - Damola looking at her immense collection of glyphs and all the other stuff she collected. - At least those are times I could make often enough. Thing is, I cannot afford to look out for new players 24/7, I simply cannot and do not want to afford this, but during certain times, that would be doable for me.

3) Make it possible for chars of long time players to enter the tutorial area to directly help there. This could be locked by a quest that can only be accessed after a reasonable amount of other quests completed or a reasonable amount of time in the game or a combination there of. I really would like that. Not telling a new player everything straight away and thus spoil the fun, but maybe Damola could give a hint in the labyrinth or the tutorial every now and then. I can do a wish report about this if not already done.

4) I wondered whether to make Dryken plane, Labyrinth and tutorial area easier than they are now. However I also see the value of some effort to be made to enter the game as a new player. Why? What PlaneShift needs are players who engage on a regular base for a longer time. If someone is not willing to make some effort, then that someone may not be genuinely interested in playing the game anyway. Of course this is a difficult balance. Even someone who would be genuinely interested could loose motivation in case they face a frustrating obstacle during early game play. I played through the tutorial once with a new char and it was pretty much straight forward for me. Except for me not understanding that the new char did not yet do everything required to talk to the last NPC in there in order to leave the tutorial area. My issue was that the last NPC did not say anything at all before the quest requirements were met. Also part of the issue was that I did not get how to enter the second tower with the mage in the basement initially. I was running around with the new char back and forth until I eventually recognized what part was still missing and how to arrive the place to complete it. I'd prefer that NPC giving a hint on what is still missing. But aside from that I found the labyrinth and tutorial area reasonable enough. I may open a bug report about last NPC giving a hint, but I forgot the name of that confident Klyros NPC already.

Does any of these ideas make sense to you? What other ideas do you have?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2023, 05:44:02 am by Damola »


  • Traveller
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Re: How to help Newbies. Some thoughts and ideas.
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2023, 09:59:08 am »
Find a way to easily see who is online. This is a double-edged sword though since players attract more players, and no players detracts potential other players.

Add a discord integration that 1. says I am playing Planeshift right now, 2. allows certain users to monitor the help channel or something, and 3. gets a notification when someone joins, again a double-edged sword.

Make the tutorial dead simple, like walking along a corridor, only need to go forward together with a narrating NPC. An alternative would be having some players guide new players.

In-game tutorials, show pictures of how to do different things, how to attack, how to cast magic, how to craft, and how to add skills to the skill bar. I know there are some in the well-hidden, help book. Let it pop up on the screen or something.

Make some "events", beginning with weekly but ideally daily, this will not be GM events, just player meetups at Hydlaa and the tutorial zone. Keep the in-game Global chat active (I know some will hate me for this rather non-roleplaying suggestion.)

Engage people on social media to join the game. This is the most difficult way but the only one to get more exposure.

Identify obstacles that keep players from playing. Listen to the feedback and consider. Right now the feedback is rather little through so we need to collect more opinions.

I would not recommend linking the forums through, but the Discord for sure!
« Last Edit: September 11, 2023, 10:05:10 am by falmer »
So I arrive, to a world beyond recognizing...