I think all of these things that are being talked about (cards, refinement, ect.) should be interactive;
reading is out, participating is in.
First, revamp that nasty training grounds (TG) building. Make it more fun looking.
The first thing players should walk into after entering the building and verifying their name is (I think) every job sprite lined up on either sides, much like the rebirth NPC's on the Valhalla Island. This will give new players an early view of what they want to be.
Secondly, as far as the interactive part of TG, make a side-quest so players are given unique TG cards and refining materials so they can experiment with refining and adding cards to their novice weapons. This gives 'green' players a little experience on how a very important mechanic works. Make this weapons effective for 10-20 levels outside of TG, as well.
As far as for veteran players who don't want to go through training grounds EVERY time you make a new character, a [coding] value should be added to accounts that have gone through the grounds at least once. This allows existing players to immediately enter Rune-Midgard without going through the monotony of speaking to every NPC again, (I know there is already the direct-warp Kafra as soon as you get in but I hope the revamped TG is more interactive). This will ensure that every new account has to go through the training system at least once, while not negating the hindrance for bots whom won't make more than 1 character per account.
The Magical Stone was implemented in an attempt to hinder the bot pollution problem. Seeing a lot of new players very shocked and upset with this requirement to turn to 2nd job, I think there should be an extensive (optional) quest in TG that gives the player exemption from having to use a Magic Stone when looking to change their job. This quest should be very visible and obvious in it's intention so new players don't leave TG without realizing what they may be missing out on.
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Edited by kbb93, 07 August 2013 - 07:43 AM.