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Old 2012-07-21, 06:31 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
EisenKreutzer
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Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


Please don't start discussing the NDA-breaking video that spawned this thread. This discussion is not about the video, the guy or the NDA.

A recent thread, rightly closed by the mods because it referenced a breach of the NDA, managed to come up with some good points that warrant further discussion.

Specifically about what kind of experience Planetside 2 gives to complete newbies currently, and how that experience can be improved.

SurgeonX posted:

From the dev's perspective, this is actually quite interesting.
Without knowing it, this guy is performing a think aloud usabilty test.

He doesn't know what he's supposed to do.
He doesn't quite get the PvP aspect, and is concerned about where he gets quests from.
Discovers classes by clicking through each one.
He clearly doesn't get that everyone he has seen in the Warpgate is on his side, or he just doesn't care.
He wants to try out all his weapons straight away, even if it means team killing to do so.

Of course, the most pressing feedback should be how to solve the problem of what to do about bell ends who, within their first ten minutes will immediately team-kill, kill-steal and fire at Gal's because they haven't been picked up.

Definitely need a weapon lock in the WG though.
To which I replied:

This guy, not knowing what an NDA is aside, is actually the perfect beta tester. He doesn't know anything about the game or it's mechanics, he has no forehand knowledge about the game, and is in essence a blank slate. Thousands of players just like this guy will hear about the game, download it since it's free, and encounter the exact same issues he is encountering.

If we get lots of guys like this into the beta, the end result will be a smoother, better experience for newbies when the game is launched.
It is clear that currently, the game isn't very accessible to a completely green player. With no background from PS1, and not having followed the development of Planetside 2, a new player gets lost and confused by the way the interface is currently set up, the intro screen, faction selection and the way a new player is first introduced to the game world.

What can be done to remedy this? How could the game best communicate what kind of game it is and what it is about to a complete newbie, in as efficient a manner as possible?

Last edited by EisenKreutzer; 2012-07-21 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 2012-07-21, 06:36 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
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Re: Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


I have seen multiple people who are in the tech test and who are not PS1 vets saying "where is the combat" and "where is the teamwork".

Now, as for where the combat is, I'm not sure if I would want more notification than PS1 gives or not. Too much help from the game is bad.

As for where the teamwork is, the squad interface window, for example, has GOT to be very accessible. That's one of the things the people I've seen talking about it have said - where is the squad join button?

However, at the same time, there does need to be some kind of tutorial that sets expectations. A lot of the teamwork needs to be accomplished through VOIP coordination and NOT the game telling you exactly where to go, that needs to be communicated.

And they better figure this out or there's going to be a lot of hair pulling by people who want PS2 to be their savior from other games.
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Old 2012-07-21, 06:36 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
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Re: Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


I think a little bit of background on the factions play styles would be helpfully in the beginning where it talks shortly about their history.
Also, a VR room and maybe some training like PS1 has.
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Old 2012-07-21, 06:38 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
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Re: Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


I am glad this has been brought up as it seemed an interesting discussion based on what we have seen.

The guy for a start needed information about the play styles of each faction, for all he knew it was simply their colour that was different and not weapon speeds etc.

To get the guy into battle I think a way point type system to certain terminals and then a way point leading to the most focused battle might be an option but at the same time overwhelming.
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Old 2012-07-21, 06:39 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
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Re: Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


VR training and weapon locks in WG would go a long way to solve this. Of course you might need to have live weapons in the footholds so you can shoot your way out if you need to. If no weapon lock the at least no friendly fire in the WG.
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Old 2012-07-21, 06:40 PM   [Ignore Me] #6
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Re: Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


There is one thing also. As far as I know, the "Mission System" is not yet actually implemented. As far as "generic quests" go that would be the main way for people to learn what to do in the game, however it relies on people knowing the interface, and recognizing what they can do, and it doesn't do that much to really explain what is going on and why.

Perhaps one thing that could be done is putting a series of terminals in the footholds, that could be interacted with to give basic information and a list of available missions (as well as how to access that information on the fly).

That could help out players used to the idea of talking to NPCs to get a tutorial of sorts while actually being useful but not necessary to use.


(Also, for Vanu's sake, put in weapon locks inside WG. Even without considering new player confusion that would cut down on griefing and anti-fun "4th-Faction" strategies.)

Last edited by Flaropri; 2012-07-21 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 2012-07-21, 06:41 PM   [Ignore Me] #7
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Re: Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


I agree about the VR room. Some form of tutorial explaining what the goal of the game is while at the same time familiarizing the new player with the controls, base capture and vehicle controls would be a huge help in this.

Also, the strengths and weaknesses of each faction should be clearly stated on the faction select screen, so a new player can make an informed decision.
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Old 2012-07-21, 06:41 PM   [Ignore Me] #8
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Re: Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


It's a tech test, not the beta proper, so only basic functionality is implemented. I wouldn't concern myself too much at this point, since logging in and spawning a toon onscreen is the main point of the testing going on now.
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Old 2012-07-21, 06:41 PM   [Ignore Me] #9
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Re: Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


What does this guy being clueless have to do with running the game on his spacific hardware though? This is the tech test, not beta.
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Old 2012-07-21, 06:41 PM   [Ignore Me] #10
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Re: Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


Originally Posted by SixShooter View Post
VR training and weapon locks in WG would go a long way to solve this. Of course you might need to have live weapons in the footholds so you can shoot your way out if you need to. If no weapon lock the at least no friendly fire in the WG.
I was thinking something in an instance of the VR chamber that starts by showing a player how to change classes, where the spawn points are and how to use them(ie, if you aren't close to them when you die they won't be available, if that's how it ends up working), points out the VOIP and other commands, shows you have to form a squad and invite others, and how to join and puts you in a squad of NPC placeholders(not necessarily AI, could just be inert NPCs standing there), puts you in an outfit that only exists in your instance of the tutorial, etc. Should last 10 minutes and run through all this quickly and basically touch on it all.
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Old 2012-07-21, 06:44 PM   [Ignore Me] #11
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Re: Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


Originally Posted by GreatMazinkaise View Post
It's a tech test, not the beta proper, so only basic functionality is implemented. I wouldn't concern myself too much at this point, since logging in and spawning a toon onscreen is the main point of the testing going on now.
I think it's an important discussion to have. The devs might not have nailed down exactly how they wish to do this, and some input from the community, even before the beta proper starts, could always be valuable.

I mean, at this early point in time it seems to be an issue, and it's a good idea to preempt this sort of thing and get it nailed down. The game will only benefit from new players grokking the game, and getting this right early on means that they can focus on other things come beta.
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Old 2012-07-21, 06:44 PM   [Ignore Me] #12
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Re: Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


They need to bring the VR back and place them in the foot holds for the newer players to the game. To help with the TK'ing they need to lock weapons while they are in the Warp Gates.

The small information screen they gave at the beginning could of been more detailed also with some better helpful advice. Last but not least they could bring back the ! icon over terminals and such that bring up info as the newer players that select them/use them.
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Old 2012-07-21, 06:45 PM   [Ignore Me] #13
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Re: Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


The original Planetside had a really steep learning curve and suffered from many of the same problems. If you were new to the game it was difficult to figure out what to do. The HART (shuttle) was not obvious, neither were certification terminals, equipment terminals, saving favorite loadouts, continental/global map, etc. There were some things you simply could not learn on your own.

All that said, the player in that video didn't seem particularly savvy about shooters, and perhaps video games in general. I am certain that the average Battlefield player would have opened the map and looked around. Plus, this dude had a screen telling him what to do, and he just closed it. Although judging by the way he struggled with the word authoritarian, reading might not have been that helpful.
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Old 2012-07-21, 06:45 PM   [Ignore Me] #14
EisenKreutzer
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Re: Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


Originally Posted by WiteBeam View Post
What does this guy being clueless have to do with running the game on his spacific hardware though? This is the tech test, not beta.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

This thread isn't about the NDA-breaking video or the guy who posted it. It is about the issue some of us see with the accessibility of the game. The devs might have plans for it, they might not, but it certainly cannot hurt that the community discusses this. Who knows, maybe we might bring to their attention something they haven't considered yet. Can't hurt, atleast.
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Old 2012-07-21, 06:47 PM   [Ignore Me] #15
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Re: Newbies and the accessibility of Planetside 2


Originally Posted by WiteBeam View Post
What does this guy being clueless have to do with running the game on his spacific hardware though? This is the tech test, not beta.
Please don't ruin this thread by being a whiny bitch.
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