Hello. Firstly, I want to say thank you for the efforts which are being expended to improve the new player experience. With 'vanilla' RO lacking a lot of amenities offered by modern MMOs, this is a very positive step in bridging that gap and making the game more inviting to newer players.
Based on my observations to date, below are the summary of improvements which I would like to suggest to polish this implementation:
1. The existing quests and NPC feel unnatural and disconnected.
As a new player, you are told to speak to this Janeway person. Who is this person, and why are you blindly following orders from her? Having say, a proper introduction on your first encounter with this NPC, would remove this feeling of disconnect. The same applies for quests - when we are being asked to hunt X number of Y, providing a backstory behind the operation subconsciously makes the task feel less like a grind, but more of a motivation. I wouldn't care how ridiculous the story is (well, maybe within limits); in the end, having a semi-sensible and coherent story/reason is infinitely better than the current "Kill X number of mob Y, because I told you so!" approach.
Note: It would be preferable to provide these extended backstories only on the player's first encounter with that NPC/quest type, so as not to tediously bombard those who are repeating the same quest. Either that, or dialogue options along the lines of "Who are you?", "Why do you hate Thara Frogs so much?", etc. - your call!
2. Quest progression is much too coarse.
The aforementioned "I am level 70 - what do I do now?" quote comes to mind. New players are in for a rude shock after level 70 once they realise that quests on RO reward you NOTHING like how Janeway does. Veterans will not even flinch, but I would not at all be surprised if this shocking change in pace drove many new players to quit; the current system is portraying a completely different game in terms of pacing!
Let me expand on that last point. This coarse progression has brought about another more subtle, yet very real problem - it has ended up short-circuiting many of the existing, interesting features of RO. Take job levels, for example. Reaching first class job 50 used to be an optional but a rewarding achievement (which was also reflected by the various small perks offered by many 2nd job change NPCs). Now, this has merely become yet another stepping stone on the linear stairway to level 70. Also, what about all the existing hunting/turn-in quests for below level 70s? These have all become orphaned and meaningless, with only ghost NPCs standing and waiting to give out quests which no-one will take.
For the sake of reference, let's look at the existing Asgard Quests progression:
- 20 Thief Bugs; fixed reward of Lv20
- 30 Zombies; fixed reward of Lv30
- 30 Boas; fixed reward of Lv40
- 40 Thara Frogs; fixed reward of Lv50 (and job 50)
- 50 Archer Skeletons; fixed reward of Lv60
- 70 Pitmen; fixed reward Lv70
NO other quests in RO (ignoring the Novice Training Grounds) give a fixed level reward, let alone ten(!); the current system simply portrays a wrong impression of the game. These should instead be replaced with smaller, repeatable quests which give experience-based rewards (just like the rest of RO). This encompasses the idea that hunting quests are more than mere single-use utensils, but instead repeatable options which also open partying opportunities.
There is nothing wrong with giving new players a bit of a leg up through easier leveling, but that and giving a completely misleading impression are two very separate things. With Asgard Villiage capable of serving as a prime hub for streamlined partying, I don't think it makes sense at all to distort the new players' perception of progress by showering them with ludicrous amounts of levels from early on.
3. Linearity of the existing quests.
This issue is closely tied together with point 2; aside from the pacing issues, there is simply no quest variation throughout. That is not to say that linear progression should be abolished completely, however - it can in fact be beneficial during lower levels, where (new) players are most likely to be in their learning stages and coming to grips with the game itself. Having too many choices during the learning stage can be overwhelming and off-putting. On the flip-side, as people familiarise, it is natural for them to want to venture out further and explore - and the Asgard Quests should cater towards this.
Below is a simple example of a change with facilitates this idea. Compare and contrast this to the aforementioned existing quest progression, above:
- Quest options for up to Lv20 characters:
* Thief Bugs
- Quest options for up to Lv30 characters:
* Peco Pecos (could directly warp to the existing quest giver, for example)
- Quest options for up to Lv40 characters:
- Quest options for up to LvXX characters:
Not the best example of mob choices, but I hope you are seeing the point which I am trying to make - as players progress in levels, they are offered wider choices of quests to promote further exploration of the in-game world. Ideally, the mob choices should be as diverse as possible - not only in terms of type (race/element), but also in geographical locations.
4. Reborn characters are excluded from low-level quests.
I don't see any reason to arbitrarily exclude people from low-level quests. If anything, having quests adds a reason for partying - which is a good thing. To be clear, the existing system of Asgard quests is absolutely NOT compatible with this suggestion. However, should point 2 and 3 be addressed, changing this will create a great window for ALL lower level characters - be they new or reborn - to party, mingle and overall just have fun. To keep things fresh for reborn characters, more difficult hunting quests can be suggested in addition to the changes in point 3.
5. Janeway gears.*
They are helpful early on, but later on become yet more clutter in your inventory. Give us an option to remove these items, or at the very least, allow them to be tucked away neatly in storage - just like the Cursed Armour set.
* Not really an issue exclusive to Asgard Village - same can be said for many other existing items.
- MORE partying options and incentives
- MORE quest variety (and hence exploring opportunities) as levels are gained
- SMOOTHER pacing of quest levelling
- REFINED NPC and quest dialogue/backstory
Edited by Delitus, 14 January 2016 - 02:42 PM.