New player experience overhaul


#1

This thread will be for discussing the WIP new player experience.

Joining the game

A player finds the server either by searching the Internet or from a friend. They must spawn in something that immediately gives them a good impression of the server, something that exceeds their expectations for a Minecraft space server.

I think the current spawn is honestly perfect for that; if you don’t recall, it’s the big refugee starliner under attack by pirates. If anything, it needs visible lasers in addition to the explosion sound effects.

Leaving the spawn

After the player gets to a spawn, they need to find their way from it to the actual gameplay of the server. Before they get there, there should be an (optional?) tutorial teaching the basics, especially how to fly a ship.

Getting into the game

Once they get past the spawn and its tutorials, they should be equipped to get into the game. This is currently a challenge. The people who stick around typically join settlements and nations, so they should somehow be encouraged to do that. There should be a logical, intuitive path that goes directly to them becoming incorporated into the server’s community and knowing how to play the game.

More ideas and potential implementations of the above ideas would be appreciated.


#2

I return to my line of thinking here with satellite settlements run by staff to let new players develop. I know that it was suggested to instead be a player nation operated idea, but I think its worth bringing up for the purpose of this thread. I’ll get a link to that post, but the general synopsis was that there should be a few settlements that act as “newb settlements” where a new player is accepted and has the opportunity to learn how the machines etc work while being active. nations would be able to directly recruit players from these starter settlements and it would serve as a way to screen valuable players from ones who would quit after a week or not make any efforts whatsoever.

A few points from my perspective as a nation owner and settlement owner, regardless of the illegality of griefing and stealing from your own settlement it feels far too dangerous to simply recruit any player. potential issues include accidentally letting in a mole from other nations, having a player steal and grief without being caught, spending valuable resources to supply and develop someone who will go inactive shorty thereafter, and a negative stigma that can come from a single recruit (See, TheIrishArmy)
If there were more options available (and user friendly commands for structuring these) to control permissions within settlements and nation claims, this would solve a few of the aforementioned issues such as minor theft and uncaught theft/griefing and significantly decrease the potential issues of a mole (such as letting enemies into locked rooms or turning off areashields etc). Ideally this would mean I could designate an area of my settlement to only allow settlement or nation members of certain ranks to access chests or build.

A potential fix for the issue of negative stigma is more community based, but a general relaxation of a nation being held responsible for the actions of members. Members of mine in the past have shown aggressiveness where they were asked not to or have initiated conflict where unadvised, and this has caused issue for leadership. This has played part in my reluctance to admit new members without proven good behavior and im positive has influenced the decisions of others in who they admit into a nation. If the common view of the server was less on national responsibility for individual issues, i would imagine everyone would be more willing to take a flyer on a newb and give them a shot.

the last issue i’ll address here is the difficulty of sifting between players who are just going to quit after a week and a half and players who are going to be active contributing members going forward is to have some kind of extended in game tutorial to provide new players a safe way to integrate themselves and learn the nuances without needing the assistance of a nation initially. this of course cant be an alternative to nations and must serve as a bridge to one. My prior suggestion was the aforementioned newb settlements but there is a lot of tweaking that can be done with this idea to make it more applicable for server staff


#3

Adding onto this, a significant trend i’ve seen is that a group of friends with little connection to SL will join collectively and start a small new settlement or a small nation and self isolate. This historically has led to these nations going inactive as a collective and moving onto other things. I’m personally of the opinion that this is a significant issue for maintaining activity. Players a part of these small friend nation will join and leave as one unit and often dont last more than a month.

My solution to this is broad, but there should be added incentive to fully join larger nation with more established infrastructure. many players choose instead to do things on their own because they think it will be more fun than listening to other people and not having absolute authority of their own groups. While this can work, it has shown extremely limited success. every nation with significant activity and bearing on the course of the community has had some direct affiliation with a nation that existed prior to theirs. Whether that means they are in an alliance with them or split off from them, they still were involved in some capacity with the older established nation. Exceptions of this are the fully grown adults Aerghabaegeck and Jocube who are far than the standard.

Ways this could be initiated include re-introducing taxes to nations and settlements, re-introducing upkeep costs that require a nation to actively produce. This could be modified so that each settlement in a nation reduces upkeep for those settlements with an independent settlement having the most upkeep. With this there could be an addition to the activity payout for settlements and nation which could further incentivize maintaining active populations