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Joined: Jun 8, 2012 11:12 PM
Last Post: Jun 10, 2012 01:42 PM
Last Visit: Jul 22, 2012 08:23 PM
Location: Kitchener, Ontario

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Judgement Dave has contributed to 3 posts out of 1071 total posts (0.28%) in 2,482 days (0.00 posts per day).

20 Most recent posts:
Changes/Suggestions » The Game from a New Player's Perspective Jun 10, 2012 01:42 PM (Total replies: 15)

Right on - I don't think it's fair that you'd have to write up all of the guides, so I'll take some time and write up a "1000ad basics" guide, that will offer new players a concise way to get oriented in the game and learn the basics.

In terms of the SEO aspects - looks like you've got a good handle on that!


Changes/Suggestions » The Game from a New Player's Perspective Jun 10, 2012 01:39 AM (Total replies: 15)

As far as feasible numbers go - what's the difference if we start at 4k land or 200k? Wouldn't the 50% of your score rule handle this? Sure some of the land would filter up, but by and large I'd see most new players just exchanging it with each other.

The point of my argument is more along the lines of this: Give players two options. Either they can play through protection and get a handle on the economic system, or they can choose an option that forgoes protection but lets them start getting in to the fun stuff right away (and I use the term "fun" as a generalization - I'm one of those guys that loves protection runs). This argument doesn't preclude the notion of huge amounts of land being added. The option could even be to start at 4000 land out of protection but with an army. If the argument is land, I'm sure it could be circumvented.

Regarding the multi IP issue - more traffic would certainly help things, however there is definitely still an element of inter-alliance trading that is necessary to truly co-ordinate attacks. Remember too that co-ordinated alliance attacks were one of the huge draws to this game. I remember my first round watching an alliance take down one of the top players - not just taking them down, but ruining them. Seeing things like that was one of the biggest draws in this game.

In terms of traffic - I agree on all fronts. Taking a brief look at the source code for the main page, maybe the header could use a little work to include some of the search terms that would draw the right kind of person?

In terms of player guides - I'd be happy to help out wherever I can, although I can't attest to the caliber of player that I am. Maybe a thread detailing the guides that still need to be written would be useful?


Changes/Suggestions » The Game from a New Player's Perspective Jun 8, 2012 11:53 PM (Total replies: 15)

So Peddler and I (real life friends) returned to the game recently after a long (!!) hiatus. We're talking a 6 or 7 year gap here. Not sure if anyone remembers us or not.

We were talking over beers with another of our friends about the game and how much fun we had with a simple text based game. I went online that night to see if the game even still existed, and sure enough, there it was.

The three of us decided to form an alliance in the current round of standard, with one of us being a completely new player. This offered an interesting perspective - Peddler and I had played before many times, but our other friend hadn't. I got a first hand view of what it's like to be a new player in this game, and I think I can offer some insight that might reveal some ideas to capture new players and help the game grow into what it used to be:

1. The first five years are harsh

I've never seen so much red in my life. He's a fast learner, and caught on quickly, but still, the first 5 years are filled with plenty of negative re-inforcement and extremely harsh penalties. I mean come on, miss your food quota by 1 when your people are being fed with extremely high rations and thousands of them die?

In an age where games have taken a shift towards immediate gratification (Congrats on your achievement for jumping 10 times bro!), I think 1000ad might have a bit too much "tough love".

2. The game provides little to no feedback.

Especially when the number of players is low, there really are no metrics or benchmarks for a new player to know if they're doing good, or totally sucking. Even back in the day with more and more players, you really had no way of knowing where you stood comparatively because you had no idea what year other people were in.

3. The action takes a loooooong time to get to.

Lets face it, the vast majority of the people that play this game play it for the strategy and battles. It was tales of alliances working in unison to take down top players, economic warfare and thieves that drew our friend in. These are the elements of the game that are going to keep people coming back. When he started playing, he had all sorts of enthusiasm, but it faded about 100 turns into protection because of the slow pace.

I've seen the idea floating around of "auto pro", which would allow players to either start a new kingdom as usual, or opt for an already completed kingdom with a relatively low score. This would afford new players the opportunity to smash around with each other immediately and get hooked on the game.

4. Multiple IP bans are a double edged sword

Now don't get me wrong here, I was around for the days of multi accounts, so I know the IP trade ban serves a very real function. However, picture this, if you will:

Me: Yeah, it was really awesome - I'd be a Byzantine and fund all of the production runs of the other civilization runs, and in return they'd supply me with weapons and wine
Him: Sweet, I'll try out Mongols. I like the sound of being able to produce weapons

*Create accounts from our shared workplace*

Oh damn, we've been IP banned and can't trade.

Talk about taking the wind out of my sails.

So my issue with the Multi-IP ban is twofold. First, it discourages word of mouth growth of the game in the real world. For example, a university student finds the game and has a great time, and convinces a couple of his buddies to play too and form an alliance - what do you think the odds are that they all log on to the game at school at some point are?

Secondly, in an age of cellular 4G connections, free wifi, unsecured wireless networks and IP spoofing, I'm quite confident that anybody looking to abuse the game via multi accounts will still accomplish it.

I really do feel like an "innocent until proven guilty" policy is the way to go here, as opposed to a blanket rule based on one or two bad apples.

In conclusion, I'd really love to see this game go back to the type of traffic we used to see. However, I think it's necessary to accept that a lot has changed in the world in 7 or 8 years, and if we really want to make a go at this, a few things need to change to make the game a bit more accessible to new players.

Not everyone has a high enough level of patience to learn the ins and outs of resource management right off the bat, and I think modern day video games have reduced this number even further. For many, introduce them to the game with armies and catapults and the focus will quickly shift to resource management in order to get bigger armies.


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