I'm not going to debate how clue becomes clue. 

But there is no question, the more new players there
are, the more clue will rise from it. 

Bottom line is we need a bigger new player base.
Continuum seems to be the only game in town.  The wait
queue on there is big. All other servers are either
empty or don't have enough people for anykind of
meaningful game.

There's almost enough to support a second server.
Maybe we should have a newbie-like second server for
the leftover players (play against the robots). 

I've been working on the robots, and the newbie
server. It's more configurable than it ever was.
Hopefully someone with good internet access could
start another one up, hopefully not in India. 

The current newbie setup, players are forced to join
whatever random team Merlin chooses. As netrek is a
very social game, I think humans should be allowed to
join the majority human team (or whatever team they
want), and have a general humans vs. bots game. 

Since newbie robots are programmed to ignore everyone
and do their thing, I think it's important that team
play be developed by allowing the humans to "gang up"
on the robots.  Then, we can make the robots alot
tougher ;-P. 

Anyways, who agrees or disagrees or has some form of
opinion about my opinion? I've got the code that will
make Merlin work the way I want it to. I'm just
wondering if the majority of other developers see it
my way or not.  Otherwise, Merlin as is... is quite
bug free :-).  And, it's obvious someone programmed
him this way so the humans will be spread evenly or
almost evenly amongst the robots. 


--- James Cameron <quozl at us.netrek.org> wrote:

> Karthik and I discussed the state of Netrek
> generally last night.
> The major demotivator we have for clue at the moment
> is the lack of new
> clue, or lack of development interest among the
> newbies.
> Clue is defined as the ability to play as a team
> contributor during a
> game.  Clue is what makes Netrek really fun.  Clue
> play with clue
> because it's fun.  Clue avoid playing with newbies
> because of the
> let-down.
> Newbies are appearing regularly, presumably through
> random surfing.  But
> few are developing into clue.  Those that show signs
> of enjoying play
> with clue are prime targets for development.
> So we need to make more clue from newbies.  We can
> code all we like, but
> unless we can get this to happen, Netrek will be
> less fun.
> The methods we used in the past for developing clue
> were university
> computer labs, corporate teams (Digital, Sun), the
> INL, and the Draft
> League.
> I'll add that Stephen and I have been doing a yearly
> clue development in
> the form of a time slot or two in an IT oriented
> kids holiday camp, but
> without an INL or Draft to feed these guys into, the
> effort isn't
> returning as much as I'd hope.
> These development methods reinforced the behaviours
> necessary for team
> play.  The basic stats model doesn't reinforce this,
> although it has
> some usefulness.
> So there's lots of things we can do to improve the
> situation.
> For the moment, what I'm thinking is:
> 1.  every service provided to the netrek community
> should have two
> gatekeepers, so that the service can continue
> despite someone dropping
> out, ... if a service only has one gatekeeper then
> it should be said to
> be degraded and in need of fixing, like a RAID set
> with a dead disk,
> 2.  newbies need to be rewarded for team play
> somehow, to encourage them
> to develop toward clue, the stats model we have
> rewards the wrong
> things,
> 3.  clue need to be told when other clue are present
> (metaserver, RSS
> feeds, e-mail notifications, cell phone text
> messages, whatever it
> takes),
> 4.  the meta-node clue, the ones who persist with
> helping the newbies,
> need to be supported by the rest of the clue.
> -- 
> James Cameron    mailto:quozl at us.netrek.org    
> http://quozl.netrek.org/
> > _______________________________________________
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> netrek-dev at us.netrek.org