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Unread 21 Apr 2009, 21:04   #1
Kal
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Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

Good things
-quests - gives you something to do before ticks start and gets you lots of roids
-Paid accounts - much better way of doing it than previously - though i think the choice between asteroids or resources is a bit silly - one is clearly better than the other imo
-covert ops - just from looking at the page it looks much more interesting than previously
-interface has some slight improvements with the ability to hide aspects

Bad things
-takes too much effort to find out why I should bother upgrading
-default skin, and skins availble to free accounts are very poor
-user interface in general needs a major upgrade - there will be no point trying to get new players without a complete overhaul of the current user interface - too much information is displayed at one time, it takes too many clicks to get to information you need - finding out about features is too difficult - need things like mouse over help etc.

Now I admit that the impressions before tick start might not mean much - but if it wasn't for the fact that I activly wanted to investigate what the game is like now, I probabaly would have stopped logging in by now.

The game needs to look modern and sexy in order to keep players once they have signed up - it takes time for people to learn to play the game (quests will be a huge help) - so players need to be kept interested until they get adicted.

There will be no point in doing any marketing, face book integration etc. until the game interface is drastically improved - unfortunatly form my knowledge of the game design/code this may be far from an easy tasks without a complete recode (though I admit that my knowledge is somewhat outdated).

My advice to Pete would be to do some extensive research on user interfaces for web based games, but also on what websites for sci-fi based games do in terms of style. We need a functional design where information is easy to get to, but also a sleak and modern sci-fi style. I believe that he and Fubra have hugely underestimated the amount of work that will be requried to make real money out of Planetarion, but I am pleased that Pete has shown he is willing to make brave decisions. Lets hope the brave decisions continue, and that they are the right decisions for the long term future of the game.

Expect me to make another post in the future once I've played the game a bit and seen how it treats inactive players
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Unread 21 Apr 2009, 21:13   #2
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

The graphics stuff done by MrLobster is nice, if he hasn't already, Pete should really talk to the guy.


Also I'd get rid of protection or cut it down to 24h. Let people start with a useable planet (give them points to spend on research/con etc OR let them select a premade planet). Give everyone access to a basic unit, planet and landing scan.
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Unread 21 Apr 2009, 21:32   #3
Kal
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gate View Post
The graphics stuff done by MrLobster is nice, if he hasn't already, Pete should really talk to the guy.


Also I'd get rid of protection or cut it down to 24h. Let people start with a useable planet (give them points to spend on research/con etc OR let them select a premade planet). Give everyone access to a basic unit, planet and landing scan.
I agree with both of thoose points, MrLobseter's stuff is very nice indeed.

With protection, perhaps what we need is some additional quests that can be done during that time.

For example a good setup might be:
-5-10 quests thaty can be completed before ticks start
-5-10 quests that can be completed before protection ends
-5-10 quests that take you to your first attack/defence - on the road to growing your planet
-etc.

With tick start on a Friday evening, we waste 72 hours when most people have more internat access then normal with very little to do - so either shorten protection or give players much more to do during that time.
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Unread 21 Apr 2009, 21:37   #4
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

Someone (I forget who) mentioned that the quest system should ideally be split up in two groups: tutorial and achievements.

I look forward to your next post, a lot of what you said rings true.
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Unread 21 Apr 2009, 22:17   #5
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

You make very good points kal, my only question would be why you didn't make the same points when you were in pa-team...
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Unread 21 Apr 2009, 22:19   #6
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mzyxptlk View Post
Someone (I forget who) mentioned that the quest system should ideally be split up in two groups: tutorial and achievements.
Greaper
I think it's a great idea
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Unread 21 Apr 2009, 23:05   #7
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

It's an even better idea if it's linked to a permanent profile. It's impossible to overestimate how much gamers care about that kind of shit.
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Unread 21 Apr 2009, 23:14   #8
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

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Originally Posted by Achilles View Post
It's an even better idea if it's linked to a permanent profile. It's impossible to overestimate how much gamers care about that kind of shit.
This is a very good point. This should be the #1 priority of anyone working on the portal; to allow a place for someone to create a username which they then associate any future planets with. This username will have a record of all achievements, ranks, best roid raids, best position, highest XP gain, blah blah blah.

This kind of stuff IS important to gamers.
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Unread 21 Apr 2009, 23:37   #9
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

The new History page settings are a good step towards that, I was pretty impressed with it. Just need to make it carry over from round to round, and add a bunch more interesting stats.
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Unread 22 Apr 2009, 00:55   #10
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomkat View Post
This is a very good point. This should be the #1 priority of anyone working on the portal; to allow a place for someone to create a username which they then associate any future planets with. This username will have a record of all achievements, ranks, best roid raids, best position, highest XP gain, blah blah blah.

This kind of stuff IS important to gamers.
+1

Interface + passport portal system should be priorities of R31 development ready for R32.

As I've said before, there's so much talent willing to help out within the community zPeti really should just start getting people onboard to help if it's all too costly.
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Unread 22 Apr 2009, 20:34   #11
Kal
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

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You make very good points kal, my only question would be why you didn't make the same points when you were in pa-team...

retirement seems to have inspired me into about 500% more activity than I had before -quite scary really.
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Unread 23 Apr 2009, 02:28   #12
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

The game needs an overhaul for new players. Planetarion has been going on far too long without considering the new player experience and it shows badly.

Bringing in new players is so vital for the game to continue and it's not an area in which Planetarion is succeeding. Changing the appearance alone isn't sufficient - there needs to be plenty of game changes to make Planetarion an interesting game again.
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Unread 26 Apr 2009, 09:30   #13
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

I'd like to add something about the ticks before shuffle for somebody who hasnt played in a loooong time and didnt sign up in time last round.

There was ZERO information about why gals had 80 planets and when why how or if, the shuffle was taking place. A new player would be totally confused.
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Unread 26 Apr 2009, 09:43   #14
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

I put this on the overview page for that very reason:

Quote:
Originally Posted by me

Welcome to the 2:9 pre-shuffle galaxy. The round will start at 20:00 GMT on Friday the 24th of April. Until then, there is not much to do but start up your planet. Light has been so kind as to describe what actions result in the best possible planet, you can find the instructions on the PA forums: http://pirate.planetarion.com/showthread.php?t=197682

This is a temporary galaxy, so don't grow too attached to your fellow players. 36 ticks (hours) after the round started, there will be a shuffle and everyone will be put into the galaxies they will likely serve out the round in.

If you have any questions, feel free to mail me at 2:9:2. If you're a new player I will do my best to answer. If you're an old player, I will mock you relentlessly and eat your babies.
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Unread 26 Apr 2009, 21:40   #15
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

Yea Mz something like that would have been perfectly enough.
I played rounds 3-10 so i knew a shuffle was coming, but this round i had absolutly no way of finding out when. Last round, my first since 10, i signed up late and didnt experience the shuffle.

Imagine the loook on my face when we were 78 in gal
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Unread 26 Apr 2009, 22:36   #16
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

It's things which have been around since the start which could do with looking at again.

Why do we have temporary galaxies before a shuffle? Far too much functionality is given which gets reset at the shuffle tick. From a story point of view it might be better to hide anything to do with galaxies, say that players will find a home planet at tick 36. Call it a big bang, or that players are on a mission to find a planet after some horrific accident which wiped out their old home planet was destroyed.

Hide the forums, politics screen, etc. until planets are shuffled.
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Unread 27 Apr 2009, 20:12   #17
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

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Originally Posted by GReaper View Post
It's things which have been around since the start which could do with looking at again.

Why do we have temporary galaxies before a shuffle? Far too much functionality is given which gets reset at the shuffle tick. From a story point of view it might be better to hide anything to do with galaxies, say that players will find a home planet at tick 36. Call it a big bang, or that players are on a mission to find a planet after some horrific accident which wiped out their old home planet was destroyed.

Hide the forums, politics screen, etc. until planets are shuffled.
That would make the first 36 ticks (if that is possible), even more boring though.
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Unread 27 Apr 2009, 21:07   #18
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

The duration of protection (and therefore pre-shuffle) is another issue which has another thread.
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Unread 27 Apr 2009, 21:34   #19
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Re: Pre tick start impressions from someone who hasn't signed up for several rounds

Stop derailing the thread then
I just pointed out that info about the shuffle was nowhere to be found.
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