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Fallen Earth: Revamping the New Player Experience

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

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.

Read Revamping the New Player Experience.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • KhalathwyrKhalathwyr Denton, TXPosts: 3,138Member

    I don't know that the New Player Experience (why do three word labels for game changes make me uneasy...) was a necessary addition, but I don't think, as it has been described, does any real harm to the game. Part of the charm, at least for me, was not having every little detail spelled out for me. Having to figure some things out on my own, or ask other players who had figured them out, added a certain quality to the world that other recent games have either just flat out ignored or genuinely lost.

     

    "Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

    Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0

  • RavingRabbidRavingRabbid Virginia beach, VAPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon

    I have to agree that I felt a little lost when i got out into the world and had trouble "getting going". I think the adjustment of the tutorial are very needed to teach more aspects of the game, but not hold my hand so to speak. Im enjoying my game experience so far and it a refreshing breath of freash air to the fantasty mmo genre.

    (AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH raises plunger in Salute to the Fallen Earth Developers)

     

    All my opinions are just that..opinions. If you like my opinions..coolness.If you dont like my opinion....I really dont care.
    Playing: SWTOR, ESO, WOT, and Marvel Heroes

  • MordridMordrid Winter Park, FLPosts: 237Member

    I think the new player experience revamp was highly needed. While it didnt take me long to figure things out, there are players out there not used to this style of gaming and do feel overwhelmed. Adding an additional 30 minutes or so of tutorial is not a bad thing. It helps people like my gf (who refuses to ask me for help) to get into the game

  • SenadinaSenadina San Diego, CAPosts: 896Member Uncommon

    I agree it was a needed change. I had NO idea what to do with mutations in beta: how to get them, improve them, or use them. I am sure others were clueless in other areas. This was a good move.

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  • cukimungacukimunga Dacono, COPosts: 2,259Member
    Originally posted by Senadina


    I agree it was a needed change. I had NO idea what to do with mutations in beta: how to get them, improve them, or use them. I am sure others were clueless in other areas. This was a good move.

     

    I havent played the turorial in a while they show more about mutations? Cuz Im still kinda confused about them, not how to use them but where to find different ones all Ive seen were just the better versions of the ones you start with.  All I know is that there is ones that are faction based but IDK where else to find other ones to uses besides the upgrades.

  • MordridMordrid Winter Park, FLPosts: 237Member

    The new tutorial/1st level training missions are pretty good at helping you figure out things like mutations, crafting, and such. Also, you get a mount half through the missions. I think adding this will help greatly with retention because the old way could and did get a lot of people extremely frustasted to the point of quitting

  • WrayethWrayeth Phoenix, AZPosts: 229Member
    Originally posted by cukimunga
     I havent played the turorial in a while they show more about mutations? Cuz Im still kinda confused about them, not how to use them but where to find different ones all Ive seen were just the better versions of the ones you start with.  All I know is that there is ones that are faction based but IDK where else to find other ones to uses besides the upgrades.



     

    AFAIK, factions from S2 onwards are the ONLY places to get the advanced mutations.  Only the alpha mutations are readily available elsewhere.

    Which reminds me, now that I've actually put some points into Suppression, I should probably go visit the Suppression trainer and see what abilities I have enough skill for.

    -Wrayeth
    image
    "Look, pa! I just contributed absolutely nothing to this thread!"

  • TerranahTerranah Stockton, CAPosts: 3,605Member

    I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.

  • MordridMordrid Winter Park, FLPosts: 237Member
    Originally posted by Terranah


    I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.



     

    But that is not for everyone. For people like you and I, they give us the option to skip the new player experience and jump right into things. For people like my gf, they have the new player experience to help them get familiar with what to do

  • Sniperace06Sniperace06 gPosts: 10Member

    i realy dont think it need to be changed ath all,

     The thing is ppl just rush true ewry thing i didt hawe any problems whit the game ath all i love that its this way it gives you a bit of a challenge to learn the game

    But I spended allot of my time helping ppl out in game and usaly the problem was that ppl didt Read the Tutorial instructions that the quest's gave? almost ewry time i got this response from the new players, Oh! im sry im soo stupid i didt read the quest or instructions proply,

    but this started as soon the free trails came on and new ppl started to pure in and wanted a quick way to start testing the game out and ingoring the Tutorial usaly this are 10 year old kids thinking this is a Wow game yes sry to take Wow up but its true this game is for a mature players,

    and why i didt hawe any problems whit the game and learnd it fast was becouse i took my time reading the instructions and quests or asked ppl out if there was still something i didt know i took me 1 and half day to learn the game and thats less what it should

    and yes there are players out there not used for this style of gaming and do feel overwhelmed when getting out but thats what the help channel are for, helping ppl out if they still didt figure it out But this is what this game stands out for this is not Wow or any other mmorpg this is Fallen Earth it gives you that  i need to earn my knowleage for the game and not get ewry thing handed to you like ppl are used to

    But i might be wrong but this is what i think and feel and ive playd allot of mmorpgs and this is By far the best MMORPG ive playd since SWG pre nge and im staying for a long time and thats for sure

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    I think it is BAD game design to make things obscure. It is NOT hand-holding to give information about all the systems & game mechanics in the game. It is only hand-holding when there are no choice.

    The choice of doing watever is still there, and won't be affected by adding more tutorial material.

  • KhalathwyrKhalathwyr Denton, TXPosts: 3,138Member
    Originally posted by Mordrid

    Originally posted by Terranah


    I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.



     

    But that is not for everyone. For people like you and I, they give us the option to skip the new player experience and jump right into things. For people like my gf, they have the new player experience to help them get familiar with what to do

     

    Which is fine, I just hope they don't get too carried away with introducing new "tutorials" to make other areas easy step 1-2-3.  There has to be be a good amount of things remaining that folks have to learn by trial and error to keep with their initial vision for the game. That's a part of what makes it "different" from the AAA standard faire being rushed to release these days.

    The sense of accomplishment figuring something out on your own just seems way more gratifying than having someone look over your shoulder and tell you step by step what to do. Least it is for me and no doubt many for whom this game was targeted*.

    *Guess based on how the game was initially created.

    "Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

    Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0

  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel houston, TXPosts: 7,276Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Khalathwyr

    Originally posted by Mordrid

    Originally posted by Terranah


    I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.



     

    But that is not for everyone. For people like you and I, they give us the option to skip the new player experience and jump right into things. For people like my gf, they have the new player experience to help them get familiar with what to do

     

    Which is fine, I just hope they don't get too carried away with introducing new "tutorials" to make other areas easy step 1-2-3.  There has to be be a good amount of things remaining that folks have to learn by trial and error to keep with their initial vision for the game. That's a part of what makes it "different" from the AAA standard faire being rushed to release these days.

    The sense of accomplishment figuring something out on your own just seems way more gratifying than having someone look over your shoulder and tell you step by step what to do. Least it is for me and no doubt many for whom this game was targeted*.

    *Guess based on how the game was initially created.

    I don't think these devs would do that, the other day I was in help chat and someone was asking how to get into lokis door, and the GMs were discouraging players from telling them, letting them know there was a "trick" to getting in the door but not divulging the secret.  I think overall the Devs want to keep the quirks and secrets to certain things in the game, but they want to at least give players the initial tools to discover them all.

     

     

    "Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


    image

  • TisiphoneTisiphone Chicago, ILPosts: 486Member

    I agree that this was needed. Its not a huge change, but it is a better transition from linear training to total sandbox.

    image
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  • MordridMordrid Winter Park, FLPosts: 237Member
    Originally posted by Khalathwyr

    Originally posted by Mordrid

    Originally posted by Terranah


    I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.



     

    But that is not for everyone. For people like you and I, they give us the option to skip the new player experience and jump right into things. For people like my gf, they have the new player experience to help them get familiar with what to do

     

    Which is fine, I just hope they don't get too carried away with introducing new "tutorials" to make other areas easy step 1-2-3.  There has to be be a good amount of things remaining that folks have to learn by trial and error to keep with their initial vision for the game. That's a part of what makes it "different" from the AAA standard faire being rushed to release these days.

    The sense of accomplishment figuring something out on your own just seems way more gratifying than having someone look over your shoulder and tell you step by step what to do. Least it is for me and no doubt many for whom this game was targeted*.

    *Guess based on how the game was initially created.

    I truly think there is a difference between having a tutorial for some of the basic game mechanics and them removing the sense of accomplishment for figuring out things on your own. I dont see them hand holding throughtout the game. 30 mins of extra tutorial on crafting, mutations, mounts, and a few very basic missions is a far cry from what AAA games do. Once you are done with the new player experience (if you even choose to do it), then you are back to your own devices with the basic knowledge of what you need to do to survive.

     

  • EvelknievelEvelknievel Ehrenfeld, PAPosts: 2,977Member

    You gotta admit, 3 words can be scary in the mmorpg market especially if you were a SWG player. LOL!

    Couldn't they think of something better than calling it the NPE. haha

    [NPE] New Player Experience (Fallen Earth) and not [NGE] New Game Enhancements (SWG)

  • MordacaiMordacai Atlanta, GAPosts: 309Member

     

     

    I am a new player, as a newbie I read every step of the tutorial and quests and it helped out quite a bit. I didn't get to start FE until the retail version came out at my local Gamestop. I didn't get to go thru the new tutorial yet only the one with the atv..so it would be helpful probably for me to restart a new character and go thru it again so i can learn how to get a horse and get a free horse since right now i'm horseless still at level 7. also learning a bit about the other crafts like mutations which i have no clue on and some of the other stuff would greatly help I think the avg newbie player just coming in. Although for me I did learn quite a bit on my own and everyone was very helpful in help chat. Learning about the nodes an all that would be really useful as well and how you get the ability to harvest them specificially.

     

    Just my thoughts as a newbie...still enjoying FE...

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,434Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Terranah


    I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.

     

    I agree full heartedly,but i noticed right away,harvesting was nodes shown easily on map,so no thinking or exploration excitement.

    Npc's were easily found,all spread around the town,very static setup,so again no thinking needed or exploration.The only thing i needed to know was how to get crafting started,and it was not bad but a little misleading.They need to make it a lot more clear as to what you are buying from the npc's.

    Anyhow after i figured out pretty much all you need to know in the whole game in the very first day,i was completely bored,as i found nothing involved thinking at all,it was just a search and seek out nodes/recipes and quests.That is the whole game in a nut shell,no thinking at all.

    Crafting is no thinking and combat is no thinking,you can clearly see your best weapon damage,there was no in depth combat system.I guess utilizing realistic weapons is not going to be much thinking involved you point and click.I guess i am  used to Fantasy type combat utilizing combos and team work and having the basic tank/healer/dps setup,anything less now seems too simplistic ,i can't get into it.

    Basically i found the entire game  had zero thinking,just remembering where the heck you were and where certain NPC's were.I was not overwhelmed with possibilities as imo there is almost nothing to do or explore[vast barren land is not exploring]and every town had the same generic look/feel so again no excitement from exploring..I was more overwhelmed with how much junk i collected in a very short time and yet i still could not complete anything to craft,i was always short one item.How can you have over a 100 items and can't make anything? lol.well i could make relish .:(


    Samoan Diamond

  • bewickedbewicked Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 82Member
    Originally posted by Wizardry

    Originally posted by Terranah


    I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.

     

    I agree full heartedly,but i noticed right away,harvesting was nodes shown easily on map,so no thinking or exploration excitement.

    Npc's were easily found,all spread around the town,very static setup,so again no thinking needed or exploration.The only thing i needed to know was how to get crafting started,and it was not bad but a little misleading.They need to make it a lot more clear as to what you are buying from the npc's.

    Anyhow after i figured out pretty much all you need to know in the whole game in the very first day,i was completely bored,as i found nothing involved thinking at all,it was just a search and seek out nodes/recipes and quests.That is the whole game in a nut shell,no thinking at all.

    Crafting is no thinking and combat is no thinking,you can clearly see your best weapon damage,there was no in depth combat system.I guess utilizing realistic weapons is not going to be much thinking involved you point and click.I guess i am  used to Fantasy type combat utilizing combos and team work and having the basic tank/healer/dps setup,anything less now seems too simplistic ,i can't get into it.

    Basically i found the entire game  had zero thinking,just remembering where the heck you were and where certain NPC's were.I was not overwhelmed with possibilities as imo there is almost nothing to do or explore[vast barren land is not exploring]and every town had the same generic look/feel so again no excitement from exploring..I was more overwhelmed with how much junk i collected in a very short time and yet i still could not complete anything to craft,i was always short one item.How can you have over a 100 items and can't make anything? lol.well i could make relish .:(



     

    You gotta set yourself goals in the game and not hopelessly run around in S1 or S2 and hope for the best that you get the right materials for crafting.

    You seem like a  pretty educated person and I am pretty sure you used waypoints in the game to map certain mats that you need to level in.

    If crafting is not your gamestyle, then forget everything I just said. But if crafting is one of your focuses in game, find out which starter town has the best missions for receipe books in which you want to level in and take it from there.

    On another note, there are many AP missions scattered across S1, unless you used a waypoint source of information from another user and where they have found the AP's missions, I would say your one damn good explorer since I missed alot in S1 and some AP missions are from NPC's where you would least expect them to be.

    Believe me, I had to use my brain just on simple things like constructing my 1st rifle and finding the mats and skill to level in and also had to find the skill in which to make ammo for my rifle and level in the skill as well.

    Its not rocket science, but you still got to use your noggin.

     

    Currently Playing: AO and FE.

  • KhalathwyrKhalathwyr Denton, TXPosts: 3,138Member
    Originally posted by Wizardry

    Originally posted by Terranah


    I liked being thrown out into the world and feeling a little overwelmed by all the possibilities and things I didn't know.  That's what stimulates my brain and makes me think.

     

    I agree full heartedly,but i noticed right away,harvesting was nodes shown easily on map,so no thinking or exploration excitement.

    Npc's were easily found,all spread around the town,very static setup,so again no thinking needed or exploration.The only thing i needed to know was how to get crafting started,and it was not bad but a little misleading.They need to make it a lot more clear as to what you are buying from the npc's.

    Anyhow after i figured out pretty much all you need to know in the whole game in the very first day,i was completely bored,as i found nothing involved thinking at all,it was just a search and seek out nodes/recipes and quests.That is the whole game in a nut shell,no thinking at all.

    Crafting is no thinking and combat is no thinking,you can clearly see your best weapon damage,there was no in depth combat system.I guess utilizing realistic weapons is not going to be much thinking involved you point and click.I guess i am  used to Fantasy type combat utilizing combos and team work and having the basic tank/healer/dps setup,anything less now seems too simplistic ,i can't get into it.

    Basically i found the entire game  had zero thinking,just remembering where the heck you were and where certain NPC's were.I was not overwhelmed with possibilities as imo there is almost nothing to do or explore[vast barren land is not exploring]and every town had the same generic look/feel so again no excitement from exploring..I was more overwhelmed with how much junk i collected in a very short time and yet i still could not complete anything to craft,i was always short one item.How can you have over a 100 items and can't make anything? lol.well i could make relish .:(

    The whole tank/healer/dps setup has gotten to that "bored to tears" stage with me. I can see where some folks are comfortable with it and prefer it, but I certainly can live without ever seeing it in the established MMO form again. There are actually quite a few combat abilities in the game so that you don't just click your attack all the time. While they may not be necessary against regular mobs, they most certainly are useful against Elite, Boss and Master mobs. I've tried fighting Elites (Hunter Elites around Spider Hill that were level 20 (I'm 19) without using them and then with using them. There is a marked difference in the amount of time and ease of taking them down. I would imagine adding Mutations into the mix would create more options to tackle opponents.

     

    I'm not saying the game is rocket science. No MMO is. In every p2p mmo you can see the stats on gear and pick the ones with the best stats. Whether it's picking the best damage weapon available in FE or picking a +5 Flame damage weapon to go into the Ice Dungeon in X fantasy MMO, it's the same amount of thought, or lack of thought, going into it. Although, AC1 was nice in that they had a ton of different mobs that were vulnerable to different types and combos of damage (Luigians hated lightning damage, Gromnies hated piercing, and others even hated combos of the various damage types), but they way of thinking is a lost art for today's MMO developers in my estimate.

    "Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

    Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0

  • neonwireneonwire OxfordPosts: 1,787Member

    Adding more to their tutorial certainly isnt a bad thing and can only be viewed in a positive light, especially as the people more capable of figuring things out for themselves can easily skip it all. However I agree with what Khalathwyr said earlier in the thread. I'm hoping this doesnt start creeping into other areas of the game. Sorry to sound snobbish but to put it bluntly it would be a shame for Icarus to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

    Yeah when you first set foot in the game you can feel slightly unsure of where to go and what to do but come on its not THAT confusing. Fallen Earth really isnt that complicated to play. There are some things when first encountered that do require a little bit of thought but once you've gotten past the initial minor hurdle its really very easy to understand. Complicated crafting system that needs a deep explanation? No it isnt. Get recipe book, use it, select recipe, see what you need, get the stuff in your inventory, click create. Whats hard about that? Its the same as most mmos. The same goes for the "challenging hunting missions". How difficult can it be to move your avatar towards a red cross on the map that updates when you reach it?

    To be honest I think a lot of players brains have become rotten and lazy from being subjected to one simplistic mmo after another which practicly tells them what to do and where to go. Its quite rare to see a complex mmo.......and Fallen Earth isnt even all that complex anyway.

  • pmcubedpmcubed Portland, ORPosts: 289Member

    yah, but you might not have noticed, in-game tons of people constantly asked questions, and those who get no answers probably don't re-sub.

    This is a way to get people more familiar with the game.

    Granted, it actually isn't hard at all to figure out stuff on your own, but people have been indoctrinated by wow.

    for god sakes people, there is no quest helper anymore, try to walk on your own!

  • colddogcolddog Gilbert, AZPosts: 173Member

    I found that the main issue with the New Player Experience was that it was released buggy. I had to restart the game to make a mutation skill show up in my mutations skills section. Many of the nodes could not be harvested and I had to relog several times because it would start rubberbanding. Also, once they added the New Player Experience, the rocket launcher in the tutorial stopped showing up for me and I had to relog to pick it up.

     

    Once you get to the end of the New Player Experience, you just feel generally unsatisfied. The name implies like it is much more than what it is. It is about 10 or so quests that are extremely easy and basic. They are normal quests that basically showed me where to find my skills in the menus and told me what skillbooks were. There wasn't a feeling of storyline. It was basically bland and uninspired. I was expecting at least the quality of the tutorial. I got a low quality experience that should have never been titled and should have instead just been mentioned in passing in the patch notes.

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,757Member Uncommon

    “I’m late, I’m late for a terribly important date” said Mr New Player. Where oh where is Mr New Player going? Has he decided to only play the game for a month and has to cram as many carrots in his mouth as he can before he leaves? This obsession with doing everything in the quickest time possible is the bane of MMO’s.

    It is not a race, playgirl bunnies are not waiting at a finish line to hand you a prize gold carrot. You will get to end game and go “What’s up doc?” because there will be far less to do. So take a step back, put your stopwatch away and enjoy yourselves.

    Really hoping we get a European server, but not in a mad white rabbit rush for one. :)

  • dreldrel san francisco, CAPosts: 918Member

    So, with the new player experience, does this make Fallen Earth more playable?

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