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The team from over at Icarus Studios has provided us with this developer journal discussing the changes that the company is making to the new player experience in their new MMORPG, Fallen Earth.
When the Fallen Earth development team decided to revisit new player content and events just after launch for Patch 1.1.0, it was a big question mark on a roadmap to fun. The game launched with a tutorial, meant to give players a taste of upper-level play while teaching them basic game mechanics before jumping into a sandbox-style experience. Instead, some players noted that at the end of the tutorial, they felt like they had been pushed out into a wide-open world full of choices--and it was overwhelming. But how would the developers balance the desire for more of an introduction without sacrificing the "challenge" they worked so hard to inspire?
Initially, the developers worked to create a dramatic, story-driven tutorial that would teach basic game mechanics while introducing players to the plot of Fallen Earth. Some things, such as crafting and harvesting, weren't explained in the tutorial because it slowed down the experience and broke pace with the rest of the narrative. It was also important to create an experience in which players could focus on mechanics instead of getting distracted by group play. Lastly, players mounted an ATV and rode out of Hoover Dam in the tutorial without really knowing much about vehicles or how they work.