Open Discussion How to improve the game to make it more friendly for beginners

Discussion in 'Community Thinktank' started by Mintyfresh, Sep 13, 2019.

Share This Page

  1. Mintyfresh

    Mintyfresh Skilled Soldier 2018 Tribal Wars Team

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    First think tank discussion topic:

    How to improve the game to make it more friendly for beginners

    The goal is to discuss ways to encourage player retention, encouraging new players to carry on playing the game.The benefits of this should be obvious, more players = larger and more competitive worlds and a bigger community of players to interact with. New friends, new rivals etc etc.

    What are the some of problems that new players face?

    1) The learning curve is incredibly steep, the current quest system is static, very rudimentary and drops off sharply after the first couple of days leaving brand new players with very little to on on how to make their account better and how to survive

    2) The power gap between new and old players is extremely large, it takes literally years to grasp a lot of the nuances of the game unless you dedicate a large portion of your leisure time.

    3) Eat or be eaten design structure. Essentially the easiest way to grow big and powerful is to take out the small and weak (in general terms). Im not sure that this is something that can be fixed because thats almost how the game is based at a base level

    4) Lack of contacts/connections. For myself i can just join any world and talk to anyone and be invited to their tribe or whatever i need. New players dont have that luxury and they're often left as easy pickings in a game like TW where communication and cooperation are key.

    What is currently in place for new players?

    Firstly the mentoring system. This is designed so a 'new player' can get quests and small rewards, help and advice from 'veteran players'. Im not sure what criteria the game uses to determine which is which but i think its based on previous worlds played. The idea behind this is nice but the problem is its very rare to get a mentor that actually wants to assist their apprentice. My theory why is because there is no material benefit to the mentor at all in any way. They dont get any rewards at all for mentoring someone so why should they bother? You could say human decency but on the flip-side why would you help someone get stronger when they might one day use that strength against you? Mentors and apprentices are based far away from each other (i assume to prevent pushing/collusion) but all it does is create a barrier between them

    Secondly the casual worlds. These are to allow new players a 'safe space' to grow and experiment with example settings and rules in place to prevent them from being taken out easily by large players. Fine in theory. However in practice the system is deeply flawed. New players who do join casual worlds and do carry on playing just develop bad habits and dont improve on their skills as players. Due to the limits of nobling on casual worlds they dont learn what i would consider to be 'combat' skills to fight other players. Then when they attempt to play a normal world again their building skills might be higher but they are still going to end up as easy food for more advanced players. Additionally there are no limits to joining casual worlds so a lot of veteran players join them to pass the time and flag farm and also to try and play competitively because they prefer that environment for some reason. I feel like the idea of a casual world is nice but only on paper.

    What are can be done to improve things?

    The steep learning curve is partially because of the depth of the game once you get past the beginner stages. Not sure how that could be changed without changing the game drastically. Perhaps instead more should be done to help people get either experience easier or quicker with starting off with the game. More help, resources, guides, easier settings to learn in etc etc.

    My suggestion would be to overhaul casual worlds and make a "Tutorial world" system. These would be faster than normal worlds (think 3-6 speed) and only last a month. They are solely for people to get the hang of the basics in a relatively safe environment. I would suggest a week or 2 maybe of beginner protection. One big modification should be removal of all rankings. This is not a world for people to compete within. I dont want to see veterans looking for a cheap win by lording it over noobs/new players with their experience. If there is no rankings then there is no competition and no reason for people to just bulldoze the worlds. Players should be given premium account for free for the duration of the world. There should be some kind of caps so that there isnt any one player dominating an area. I havent fully worked out all the kinks and the way these tutorial worlds should work exactly but i feel it would be a good idea to help people find their feet in an easier environment in a normal world. Perhaps additionally an enhanced mentor system where the mentor receives a tangible reward. Maybe each world they successfully mentor someone to 2k points or something they get a week free PA or some shit, that should help motivate a lot of people to help out new players.

    Anyway let me know your thoughts below on all of this, if you have any opinions on anything above then please feel free to share them. Looking for peoples thoughts on problems for new players now and what they think might be good ideas to resolve those problems.
     
    Bjorn Ironside and aaron murray like this.
  2. roman01

    roman01 Still Going Strong

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Messages:
    917
    Likes Received:
    64
    What are some of the problems that new players face?

    1) Tribal Wars was originally built to be played as a desktop game. I noticed when they introduced the game to mobile we had a strong influx of players, giving them the impression it could be played competitively on that platform. In those days we didn't have as much automation of basic game processes as we do today, those that played casually had no advantages and were limited to what they could do. This was a large turn off, If the marketing team can refocus their efforts on marketing it as a desktop game then the new players joining will have a better grasp of what the game's about. There just isn't enough new players in the game anymore which in its self is a problem.

    2) There aren't as many barbarian villages as there used to be. Whilst the concept of barbarian nobling is generally frowned upon, the option of having barbarians available to players made acclimatising the game significantly easier than it is today. The use of barbarians took the pressure off people having to prey on each other straight off the bat, today this is no longer an option due to the current growth mechanics of barbs and the severe lack of them on any recent given world. Unfortunately the issue is magnified by the lack of players thereof and as a result of this they have the dynamics of what the veterans know as HP/Speed worlds, where player eats player out of necessity. There's no cushion between the new and the experienced, and no chance to forge lasting alliances or otherwise.

    3) The distinction between someone who plays with $ and someone without is now too high, the way the concept was introduced was fair to begin with as points could be transferred. Unfortunately there are now stricter limitations, If I was new player I wouldn't want to wait x amount of months to use my PP in what is clearly designated a P2P world. I've got no desire on waiting x months in hope of releasing a featured world with premium content disabled. I feel if there's going to be PP features in the majority of worlds, then the restrictions should be lowered for new players.

    What is currently in place for new players?

    1) Yes, there are mentoring schemes. There are also extensive guides on the forum that detail the processes of startup, farming, calculating timed attacks and so fourth. There are guides out there that have stood the test of time that were made by veterens and are freely available on our forums. I'm sure there's more, but at this time I can't think of anything aside from what you've mentioned @Mintyfresh

    What can be done to improve things?

    1) There has been no new innovations on how the international servers operate, it is usually a copy and paste job of a recent world with managers and marketing teams expecting wondrous results. This just isn't the case. In order to bring diversity back into the game they need to look at diversifying worlds and providing an incentive for players to join the world. Yes, people ask for no PP worlds, yes people ask for limited hauls, yes people ask for no hauls. There was real innovation when TW introduced Casual, No Haul, Limited Haul and HP.

    Introduce something new, introduce a world where people are more spaced out. There are 100 continents on the game, utilise this. If not, introduce a different dynamic: Night Mode. Make this a regular thing on a few select worlds, deploy an algorithm that monitors players logins and give people the option to put it in night mode during those hours. Implement limitations to avoid abuse. Not everyone can have their account covered by someone 24/7 on a regular basis for many reasons. TW Beta is there for a reason, give us new toys to play with.

    2) Introduce a startup location filter based on players past experience. Introduce this in tiers of desirability. If you've played for 5 years, you will spawn in an area of people who've played the game for a few years either side. If you've just joined us, welcome. You'll be placed in an area with assigned mentors and be given the opportunity to meet and play with people who've just joined the game or have only played for x many months.

    3) Actually provide an incentive for being a mentor. As it stands, anyone can be a mentor by the time they've played x as many days. This isn't going to do new players anymore as the mentors haven't been verifed and have no motivation to be honest with you or treat you fairly. In a lot of cases they turn the new player into shields, farms, bashers and their chances of improving are limited. I'd say make a recruitment process on the Inno/TW website for official TW mentors and as a reward they receive a free premium account.

    4) Categorise worlds according to an "activity or experience rating". The worlds with high troop movement speeds, the worlds with PP enabled, the worlds with full hauls + scavenging, churches, watchtowers etc should be labelled as "High Activity Required" or "Moderate Knowledge Needed" with a complementary wiki page detailing what the world requires of the player when he/she first joins the game.
     
  3. Sigurdr

    Sigurdr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    20

    Where, if anywhere at all does it state what rams do?
    "Rams assist your troops in your attacks by reducing the Wall's effectiveness in battle and damaging it."

    Yeah but how many, and why?

    Sure a wall will go down to 0 with 219 rams provided no troops are killed.
    Why do you want the wall down in the first place etc etc.

    I don't think this information is anywhere in quests, no new players need to learn this from old players or play in the sim for a while. We've all seen the tables for it by now, as I severely doubt there are a lot of new guys on the externals, except of course to find information just like this.

    Potential solutions, make a quest for rams, explain what they're for.
    Add what wall effectiveness does and how many rams are needed on win to the wiki.
     
    Arcward and Mintyfresh like this.
  4. mch123

    mch123 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2016
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    80
    We can talk details and strategies for changes that will improve the game until we are blue in the face. Change only happens when there is a culture for doing what is best in the players interest. Culture starts from the top; from the leaders and decision makers within Innogames and their parent company MTG.

    Their priority is profit first and while that is the case, the micro transactions and P2W mehanics are not going anywhere. It's this feature that makes the game unbalanced and unfair. This unfairness breeds frustration, bitterness and negativity in the players. That negativity makes the social landscape within TW rather hostile at times. This all combines to work against player retention.

    If you want to retain players and enable new players to overcome the learning curve, make new friends within the community, and be able to compete... then you need to address the source of the problem and not the symptoms.

    Due to the compounding economic nature of TW, if you are not buying resources from the premium exchange at the start of the world, you have no shot of getting near the top 25 ranks regardless of skill. You can't outwork the core players if you start late. It's so demoralising, especially for a new player, to realise that the game you fell in love with at it's most simplest level is so broken on the competitive/advanced level.

    For the first 2 days of w110 someone was using a script to instantly buy all the resources. Now I'm not justifying my actions for this but, as a 10 year veteran of this game, I circumvented the rules and wrote (poorly) my own market script because I wasn't able to buy anything without one - and subsequently got banned. I am tired of trying to compete from a disadvantage. I've recently been building a small community/crew of friends based on good morals and providing a sense of belonging and loyalty that is so lacking in the game at the moment. We don't focus on results on any given world and just build upon good values and principles. I frequently leverage my time, my skills and the resources I have as a product of my faster growth, often PP enhanced, so that I can help them get more out of the game. I lend an ear and positive support when there is problems in their real lives and generally just care deeply about them as individuals. This was my real incentive to circumvent the rules; to work against the current state of the game so I could offer them a greater experience and a place of belonging.

    If the decision makers, developers and community managers acted from this position, with this perspective, you'd not only retain players but have a thriving community willing to give whatever they can to support each other and this game - whether that's information, guides, constructive criticism, emotional support to other members or financial support to the developers.

    Fix the source not the symptoms. If Innogames won't, I will. I'm tired of these discussion and 'tactics' to try and trick the community into thinking the company cares. Nothing of significance ever develops as a result of these.

    Most of all, I'm tired of seeing my friends escape from their real life problems just to find more issue and get let down by a game that has so much potential for good.

    Also, mods, don't delete because "it's about PP" (yes I read the rules for this forum) because it isn't. It addresses the previous post on player retention.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  5. Mintyfresh

    Mintyfresh Skilled Soldier 2018 Tribal Wars Team

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Without commenting on whether i agree if you're right or wrong i will just say that for the most part the sort of things you're talking about is pretty much outside the scope of what we can realistically hope to achieve here so its kinda a moot point

    However the issue of early game market exploitation is a big problem and does exacerbate things. If we cant get rid of the PP market and P2W aspect then at least we can bring the loopholes and exploits that people do to their attention so it gets addressed. Anything that can be done to level the playing field and reduce the unfair advantage the experience gap gives should (and will be) raised. For myself im vaguely aware of this thread that came up this week which is good content to highlight the problems of the system currently in place. If anyone else is aware of other potential issues now would be the time to put them in detail :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  6. lokigodsback

    lokigodsback Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    15
    I fully understand the reason for the PP Market. Inno wants to generate income which is why they're in business. My question is why not simply sell ads? I don't see a whole lot of that other than login screen. To me if I was just coming to the game. Probably would not be willing to stay. I remember when I started the game (W74?) The amount of players was significantly higher. I think this was due to the fact that everyone was pretty much equal. To make it easier to play competitively maybe get rid of coplayed accounts. I like the thought of night mode. Maybe allow the individual set the hours?
     
  7. Sigurdr

    Sigurdr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    20
    First off, not completely true. I have in recent worlds achieved top 15 without spending pp outside of premium account and account manager. It's entirely possible, just hard. Problem is, I got into this game because back then academy tribes taught people to play because we had a 100 tribe member cap. So there were fewer skilled players than spots and that created a demand for capable players.
    Of course the pp market could be capped, but it would need to be capped both in sales and purchases per player.

    First we need to address the fact that for someone starting the game, there is limited to no info. Nothing gets fixed all at once, for Inno to lower their money grabs they would need a larger player base paying less each.


    So to echo what others have said above and add a bit more.
    -Make incentives for mentoring.
    -Publish the quest line in wiki
    -Explain what a nuke is and what a DV is in wiki
    -Explain stacking villages and why there's a stacking bonus.
    -Make an external forum called guides, to let players pick up the slack.
    -Remove non-working scripts from the forum, they're just clutter, maybe just a subforum called discontinued in case people want to cannibalise the code.

    That's all for now of things I feel would improve the flow of information to the noobs.
     
  8. mch123

    mch123 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2016
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    80
    "Your post in the thread How to improve the game to make it more friendly for beginners was deleted. Reason: First post was fine, but this is pointless edgelord bashing"

    "An edgelord is someone on an internet forum who deliberately talks about controversial, offensive, taboo, or nihilistic subjects in order to shock other users in an effort to appear cool, or edgy."

    This is exactly what my deleted post was referring to; the futility of these threads.

    You only accept ideas that have little to no impact on the issue being discussed and quash conversations that expose the realistic conditions preventing actual progress because they are contrary to the company's interests.

    Also, it takes an edgelord to spot an edgelord. Use of power to protect your own image and feelings instead of defending your position with your words...

    Despite everything I said in my first post about my intentions to fight for my friends/community's best interests, you somehow manage to come to the conclusion I'm only doing this for my own ego and image. Seriously...

    Can you not tell us why you are focussing on retaining new players instead of serving the community you already have? Because if you did the latter, you'd naturally achieve the former as a consequence...
     
    lokigodsback likes this.
  9. Mintyfresh

    Mintyfresh Skilled Soldier 2018 Tribal Wars Team

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Well the obvious answer is that this is the first of hopefully many threads that will address lots of different issues and problems with the game. I assumed that something like improving game quality for new players would be something safe and neutral and that everyone would want to encourage and would therefore be an acceptable starting point. There will be other topics regarding game balance and the effect of events etc in the future. I will 'quash' your conversations that are irrelevant to the topic at hand and I will continue to do so going forward

    Clearly from the tone of your words and posts you have a bone to grind with inno and thats fine, dont really care about that but this isnt really the place to discuss your personal philosophical problems with MTX and P2W. As said, your first post is fine because it highlights there is inequality with early game pp markets but your second post was just inno bashing which is really pointless. Go vent elsewhere if you have feelings you want to express please. There is a time and a place for everything and this is neither the time nor the place for discussions on inno as a company. Feel free to contribute some more if its relevant to the issue at hand

    @Sigurdr good points, i have raised the lack of quest chain with jawjaw yesterday actually and hopefully by the end of the week there should be at least a flowchart of the current quest chain available for people to view
     
    JawJaw likes this.
  10. Sashaahn

    Sashaahn Non-stop Poster

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2014
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    66
    I think there are two issues that seem to be quite prevalent.

    1 - Education.

    We all acknowledge that there are serious problems with the learning curve, and as minty pointed out, it’s oftentimes hard for a beginner to get into a good tribe, thus hard to survive, thus hard to learn beyond the basics.

    My suggestion for this would be perhaps to introduce more worlds like world 27.net.

    Not getting into too much detail, upon joining the world, everyone was assigned to a random tribe, irrelevant of location. And all tribe were locked for 100 days. So there really was a great spread of talent levels in each tribe. The better players have to step up in this situation and educate the newer members.

    It’s not perfect in any way, but it will definitely help newer players with some serious exposure as to how better players operate by getting to play alongside them for a decent period of time.

    2 - same old same old

    Regardless of settings, worlds are generally played very similarly. Archers/non-archers. New end-game, same result. Watchtower/non-watchtower. Church/non-church. Farming/Limited-haul.

    While these are all good variations to have, they really don’t change the game at all. Worlds start with everyone having one village, pick out dangers, eliminate dangers, get some easy caps etc etc etc. EVERY WORLD FOLLOWS THE SAME BASIC PATH.

    Why not shake it up a little.

    Multiple village start. Why not try a world where we have 3 or 5 villages. It would certainly increase the size of the world and would definitely get a lot of players excited and it would for sure change the startup dynamic. There are so many new things to think about in this scenario.

    Mature village start. Let’s try a world with a mature/semi-mature village start. Again, this would certainly take the grind out of startup, and it would equalize things a little. Beginners make the most mistakes at startup. After all, anything they do wrong in the first few days is just magnified over time and without knowing it they’ve lost their chance at survival within a couple of days.

    Locked random tribes. As mentioned earlier, let’s put everyone in random tribes and lock it for 100 days. It’ll at least give some newer players some experience and give them a chance to make some connections.

    A self equalizing farming world. As stupid as this sound, why not have a world designed to handicap the top players. I do believe people will have a major problem with this, but again it could help smaller/newer players. The bigger you are - the smaller your daily farming limit.

    The limits can look something like this.

    Rank 1 - 10k per day
    Rank 2 - 20k per day
    Rank 3 - 30k per day.
    Etc etc etc


    Just some of my thoughts - Rob
     
    Mintyfresh likes this.
  11. crimsoni

    crimsoni Contributing Poster

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Messages:
    3,252
    Likes Received:
    244
    The game is too complicated now for new players. The different events, attack buffs, noble booster, growing crops, flags, the armies of Pauls and their desire to read books, pally buffs and specializations, noble persuasion, boosters for catapults and rams, item boosters for everything else you can think of, PTW features and how to efficiently use them, the list goes on. Even the daily bonus is such an inconvenience. Sure, this stuff is cool for older players as it adds a new dynamic to the game, but for newer players it can be pretty overwhelming.

    We took a simple, easy to learn game and complicated it; making it harder for new players.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
    Dewdropdeb and Curious George like this.
  12. Bjorn Ironside

    Bjorn Ironside Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    32
    Online games always dies within time, such small improvements might give some life to the game but still it needs something bigger and dramastic change. Most players wouldn't like big changes since we are adapted to this system and settings, its like when u have to move from a place to place, you always feel uncomfortable but once you move, you may realize that is better then it was.


    Inno may consider to change the game system:


    1) Rank system - from 1 to 10 each player would have his own rank due to his gameplay and his achievements. For example new accounts would be rated with rank 1 since they didn’t play any world yet.


    How can a beginner level up his rank?

    Once a beginner play one world - if he noble someone and if he enter mid/late game, he would get leveled up to rank 2 or 3 and so on.
    Benefit of this rank system?

    New players wouldn’t get rimmed right away, they might achieve something and maybe they would end up by loving this game.

    2) Worlds in lower ranks would be faster - for example one world would end in 2-3 months - so these worlds wouldn't be overhelming for new players that already started to play TRIBALWARS.


    3) You can lose ur rank – for example Higher ranks - can lose their rank (10) lets say one player wont commit in 5or10 worlds, he would lose his rank totally and in order to gain his rank he needs to play 2-3 worlds to calibrate his new rank.


    4) Tournaments - once in every 5 worlds – TW would organize a tournament world which premades should register earlier in order to play, each TIER (ranks) would have their own tournaments; these tournaments might have a limit of premades and players – Premades that won most worlds (fast worlds 5 months or so) might get invited immediately.


    Someone might find this stupid but i think if we want to make TW great again - we might need such improvements.
     
    TheBeatConductor and Arcward like this.
  13. Mintyfresh

    Mintyfresh Skilled Soldier 2018 Tribal Wars Team

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    I actually think thats kinda cool although what would stop people from making new accounts to destroy low ranked new people?
     
  14. Bjorn Ironside

    Bjorn Ironside Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    32
    Hmm i didn't think that and yeah that would be a problem but still - 1 world win - would level up a beginner 2-3 levels. Which i dont think that someone might have time to create accounts and deal with lower rated players - since everyone would like to achieve rank 10 and commit in a big tournaments.... still these are only ideas and we can improve this one aswell :p
     
  15. Arcward

    Arcward Non-stop Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2017
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    462
    Assuming flags were still relevant in the above scenario, that is at least one trade-off from just creating new accounts to pubstomp etc.

    It seems like with this suggestion, the game could gravitate more towards HP lifespan.

    Would the "tournament world" be locked to premade tribes or would solo players be able to join also? I like the idea of a world locked to pre-registered tribes, in which the players are all locked to tribes, and cannot switch/backstab effectively for the benefit of their own account.
     
  16. Bjorn Ironside

    Bjorn Ironside Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    32
    Yup, tournament world would be locked and it would last longer than regular worlds.
     
  17. Sashaahn

    Sashaahn Non-stop Poster

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2014
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    66
    I kinda like the idea of this tournament idea. But.....I think if they went with something like that then tribalwars would literally change into a different game format overnight and very possibly crash and burn faster than it has been. It would need to be a completely new server and attracting people to that server will be a huge issue considering how little the game is advertised.
     
  18. Bjorn Ironside

    Bjorn Ironside Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    32
    I don’t think that people will play the game just that inno changes a building or add new kind of paladin system. It needs something bigger and something more competitive.

    Its up to Inno if they want to advertise in other games so ppl might recognize this game... :rolleyes:
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  19. The Noble Symphony

    The Noble Symphony Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2018
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    11
    Personally I think the introduction of more barbarian villages into the worlds would make a difference.
    Let them grow to 3,000 points again as well i see no harm in it what so ever.
    I also think you should extend beginner protection for new players. Increase the guidance/quests, before you know it someone has 5,000 mixed troops and a limited understanding of what units work best but are well on their way to nobling?!
    It is far to easy to noble a new player to the game and once that happens they often lose interest.
    Obviously the idea of massively increasing the number of barbarian villages in worlds is going to change the dynamics slightly, but it at least gives newer players more of a chance. Not only that but the world spread would be much larger, it would actually give the worlds more time to develop interesting wars.
    Tribes would be further apart and that end game war would be all the more earned.
    Also, the larger the spread and the increase in barbarian villages would allow players to farm more and not be so reliant on premium. On the other land those who do want to spend could go on a tudadar spree, the increase in resources available will obviously effect the premium market, but perhaps inno could build something in specifically to not render themselves pocketless, because otherwise they won't consider it anyway....
     
    Mintyfresh likes this.