Early Game Playability Issues

Level 4
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
75
I know we spoke about this issue a couple of times in the past but I want to revisit this topic because I played with friends who played the game for the first time this week.

The early game somewhat is still boring or frustrating for newcomers. I know this is not an issue for more experienced players like most of the members of this forum, but I think it is a serious issue letting new players explore the game.

At first I thought most of my friends were reckless or just impatient, but it even happened with friends of my friends.
In my experience, only 4 out of 12 people want to play Gaias again and even when this persons are action-RPG or RPG lovers (that plays or have played Diablo II, Diablo II mods, many wc3 RPG maps, Lineage II or even World of Warcraft).

So I'm curious about what everybody else in this community and Zwieb thinks about this matter. Maybe you have your own observations about this.

PS: I want to clarify that I'm not complaining about the game, I really love what the developer makes for everybody of us and totally for free, just wanted to share something I experienced with the community.
 
Level 5
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Jun 21, 2011
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166
I'd suggest more positive reinforcements early in the game. The game is incredibly grey in the beginning, something I personally love, but Warcraft 3 players usually want those flashy colors a bit earlier, also I'd sincerely suggest lowering the resurrection time to maybe 15 seconds until level 10. Would it be abused? Maybe... How? People would zerg Zubnix... Is that really so bad? Besides, you have to rest before u reengage in combat unless you're a Squire, and if the group survives 15 seconds with Zub without a tank they deserve to win.

I'm not saying dumb down the game, skip the green items earlier part and all you get is a bit less of a penalty (Waiting-time wise) in the beginning. Imagine if you'd have to wait 60 seconds in the beginning of a DotA game if you died. It ends up like 90 secs in end-game, and I personally despise dying in the end-game, because it leaves me with either staring at my corpse for 90 seconds or alt-tabbing and getting distracted.

Just my side of the coin
 
Level 4
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
75
I'd suggest more positive reinforcements early in the game. The game is incredibly grey in the beginning, something I personally love, but Warcraft 3 players usually want those flashy colors a bit earlier, also I'd sincerely suggest lowering the resurrection time to maybe 15 seconds until level 10. Would it be abused? Maybe... How? People would zerg Zubnix... Is that really so bad? Besides, you have to rest before u reengage in combat unless you're a Squire, and if the group survives 15 seconds with Zub without a tank they deserve to win.

I'm not saying dumb down the game, skip the green items earlier part and all you get is a bit less of a penalty (Waiting-time wise) in the beginning. Imagine if you'd have to wait 60 seconds in the beginning of a DotA game if you died. It ends up like 90 secs in end-game, and I personally despise dying in the end-game, because it leaves me with either staring at my corpse for 90 seconds or alt-tabbing and getting distracted.

Just my side of the coin

We said this before, resurrection penalty seems a little HARSH as it actually is in early levels.
As you said, I don't want to dumb the game either, but another quests or some extra content between lvl 6-10 could help a lot.
People doesn't seems to complain about farming when they reach their first talent and pretty much enjoys the road from lvl 10 to 15, but between lvl 1-10 I noticed a lack of interest on playing the game.
 
Level 14
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Jun 22, 2007
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1,296
As you said in OP, this has been discussed several times before. My stance on this is like yours: A few extra quests at low level would be great (for instance, previously I suggested adding a simple farming quest for the spiders.)

Zwiebelchen stated some time ago (2 years or so?) that it is not worth it to revisit already released content, as he already has a lot to do with the new areas. I can completely understand this for a 1-man team. If he had someone to help him add a few new things in the Riversdale area that would be great. However, until someone steps up with the knowledge and capabilities for doing so I think we won't be seeing any changes here. One exception is of course the corpse time. I agree that it could be reduced for low levels just as the gold penalty is removed.

I do not think that lvl 1-10 is too bad though at the moment. Also we should keep in mind that the overall new skill system will affect even the early game in ways we cannot predict, but have to try out first.
 
Level 5
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Jun 21, 2011
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166
Make green souls more frequent in early-game maybe, that'd add a bit of the spices you get mid-endgame. To be honest none of the features added over the years have no reflection on the early game, you no longer can specialize your hero with for example stat points, now instead you have to wait until level 10, and until that level is reached you're stuck with 2+ spells and minuscule differences player to player.

But, ressurrection-time at early levels I feel is a massive turnoff, especially as complete noobs most likely will think that taking on the great wolf at level 5 without prior experience is a good idea for a group of 3. Resulting in a major wipe and 60 seconds in-between trying out the other exotic fun-to-do things you actually can do in early game.
 
Many new elements are coming in the next release that will greatly improve the low level game:
1) mounts will be available to add some incentive to collecting gold after obtaining the skills
2) heroes will now auto-rest when not in-combat. No more stopping and waiting after battles, you can just move on with what you want to do and your hero will regen at normal rest speed until engaging the next battle
3) no more ability scroll farming will put and end to endless boss grinds on low level
4) new ability system which actually emphasizes build choices in ability selection instead of just getting them all
 
Level 14
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Jun 22, 2007
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1,296
^ This exactly.

I can't remember, did you at some point agree to making a quest leading the players from Riversdale to the south? If not, this could be a good idea seeing that the game lacks direction after you have done all Riversdale quests (that is, until the player decides on his/her own to explore). One of the great achievements in Gaias is the sense of scale. Some new players initially think that the small Riversdale island/peninsula is the full playable area. But when they realise how large the map really is it's kinda epic for them. A quest telling the player that "X npc needs help in the south - in the forest of Ankhmaron" would make that transition even better. This quest should only be made if it requires minimal effort from you to create (no reason to waste time on such a small thing). Just a thought.
 
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I kinda like that the game doesn't always give you a direction. Exploring is a big element of RPGs. That's why there is stuff that is kinda hidden until the players stray a bit off the given path:
Maluvu, D2, The Shade, Anomines quest... I consider these "exploration" content that some new players could actually miss if they don't try to explore the map on purpose. That's also why the game has fog of war enabled by default (unlike many other ORPGs I've played).

In fact; I will add more exploration content (as in content that is not connected to the main quest hubs) in 1.2C, as I felt that the foothills area was way too narrow and restricted for my taste.


It's also why I enjoyed vanilla WoW way more than Cataclysm WoW. Everything was so streamlined and linear after the revamp of the old zones... I kinda liked the open world feeling of pre-cataclysm classic content and that there are areas that seem just empty and desolate unless you really try hard to discover those little hidden quests that are sprinkled everywhere...
... now it's just "grind that quest hub, the follow the transit quest to the next quest hub" ... booooring!


Anyway, please be patient with the update guys! my current private situation is very stressful. There's just so much that is going on in my life that I couldn't find any time to really work on the map during the last days. And it seems this state will at least last for 2 more weeks. I'll go back with full force on content creation once things have settled, but so far, I just wouldn't get anything done. And even if I have a free minute, I'd just create half-assed work if I can't get my head free... and I guess nobody would want that.
 
Level 14
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Jun 22, 2007
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1,296
I completely 100% agree with you that Cataclysm Wow is awful (having recently tried it out). Any sense of immersion and believability is completely gone from the game. Instead it is now this amusement park where everywhere is casually reachable and inviting.

Back to Gaias, all I'm asking for is for there to be a lore related reason for the player to travel south. This is perfectly done with the Talk to Qwerty quest. I can't remember if it's req. level is still 15, but I think it should be grabbable at lvl 10.

This is a perfect example of how to keep the exploration intact. You are asked to go to Mytargas, a city far away, but you only know that it is somewhere to the south. This gives you a sense of direction. However, on the way you run into many adventures (Sanev q, pokemon boar q, D2, etc.) and you probably lose track of why you went south in the first place. A good analogy would be the Baldur's Gate main quest. After you witness Gorion's slaughter at the hands of "the armored fiend" you know that G urged you to go to Friendly Arm Inn. But the player could go anywhere he/she wanted and could simply ignore Gorion's wishes.

This change would simply require lowering the level req of the Qwerty quest to lvl 10.
 
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Level 10
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Nov 20, 2005
Messages
795
Anyway, please be patient with the update guys! my current private situation is very stressful. There's just so much that is going on in my life that I couldn't find any time to really work on the map during the last days. And it seems this state will at least last for 2 more weeks. I'll go back with full force on content creation once things have settled,

No worries Zwiebel take all the time you need. Hopefully everything works out :D The new version with all these amazing features + The new bosses/quests that are coming too is worth the wait :]
 
Level 4
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
75
I kinda like that the game doesn't always give you a direction. Exploring is a big element of RPGs. That's why there is stuff that is kinda hidden until the players stray a bit off the given path:
Maluvu, D2, The Shade, Anomines quest... I consider these "exploration" content that some new players could actually miss if they don't try to explore the map on purpose. That's also why the game has fog of war enabled by default (unlike many other ORPGs I've played).

In fact; I will add more exploration content (as in content that is not connected to the main quest hubs) in 1.2C, as I felt that the foothills area was way too narrow and restricted for my taste.


It's also why I enjoyed vanilla WoW way more than Cataclysm WoW. Everything was so streamlined and linear after the revamp of the old zones... I kinda liked the open world feeling of pre-cataclysm classic content and that there are areas that seem just empty and desolate unless you really try hard to discover those little hidden quests that are sprinkled everywhere...
... now it's just "grind that quest hub, the follow the transit quest to the next quest hub" ... booooring!


Anyway, please be patient with the update guys! my current private situation is very stressful. There's just so much that is going on in my life that I couldn't find any time to really work on the map during the last days. And it seems this state will at least last for 2 more weeks. I'll go back with full force on content creation once things have settled, but so far, I just wouldn't get anything done. And even if I have a free minute, I'd just create half-assed work if I can't get my head free... and I guess nobody would want that.

Man, you are doing all this for free, and even if we appreciate that a lot I think we don't have any authority to put pressure on you.
Also, I think that everybody agrees on the fact that you won't deliver your best possible content if you don't have your head free.
If we suggest something is with the best intentions and only hoping to help you with development.
Anyways, good luck with you private situation and I hope it gets bettter soon =)
 
Level 14
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Jun 22, 2007
Messages
1,296
Yeah it's cool Zwieb. At the moment I am gathering people for a demonstration outside of your house with the slogan "We want GAIAS NAUW!". But no rush ;-)
 
Level 1
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
283
I kinda like that the game doesn't always give you a direction. Exploring is a big element of RPGs. That's why there is stuff that is kinda hidden until the players stray a bit off the given path:
Maluvu, D2, The Shade, Anomines quest... I consider these "exploration" content that some new players could actually miss if they don't try to explore the map on purpose. That's also why the game has fog of war enabled by default (unlike many other ORPGs I've played).

In fact; I will add more exploration content (as in content that is not connected to the main quest hubs) in 1.2C, as I felt that the foothills area was way too narrow and restricted for my taste.


It's also why I enjoyed vanilla WoW way more than Cataclysm WoW. Everything was so streamlined and linear after the revamp of the old zones... I kinda liked the open world feeling of pre-cataclysm classic content and that there are areas that seem just empty and desolate unless you really try hard to discover those little hidden quests that are sprinkled everywhere...
... now it's just "grind that quest hub, the follow the transit quest to the next quest hub" ... booooring!


Anyway, please be patient with the update guys! my current private situation is very stressful. There's just so much that is going on in my life that I couldn't find any time to really work on the map during the last days. And it seems this state will at least last for 2 more weeks. I'll go back with full force on content creation once things have settled, but so far, I just wouldn't get anything done. And even if I have a free minute, I'd just create half-assed work if I can't get my head free... and I guess nobody would want that.

I agree with all that you said here.

I still dont understand how people dislike even the beginning :vw_wtf:. Doesnt it make sense to start simple? poor and ungeared? without awesome looks?

Oh man the last thing i want to see is Gaias become something like Tkok. Linar map without any freedom.
Exploring is part of every good RPG, even if the area is empty. Its like reality. There are places you have never been, places that people just dont go for some reason. Its part of our world. Isnt that beautiful?

This is so obvious that we shouldnt even mention it. But, take your time. If you are not OK then Gaias wont be OK. So first and foremost you must be OK.
 
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