=- Zach wrote on Fri 30.Mar'07 at 19:28:11 -0400 -=

> On 3/30/07, Rado S <regrado at web.de> wrote:
> >
> > You think newbs will like a feature enriched Paradise game
> > more than Bronco for starters to get hooked up (and later
> > maybe learn about Bronco)?
> That is how I got into netrek. { Zach's story into Netrek }

Thanks, but I'd like to hear a modern times newbie opinion.
James? :)

> > I guess advertizing is useless before the landing zone is well
> > prepared: places to play with real in-game activity, places to learn
> Exactly and this happened about 5-6 years ago when a player
> posted to slashdot about netrek just at the same time that
> Karthik and then some others were working on a new plan (forget
> the specifics) to attract newbies, so while the player probably
> had good intentions their preemption did not do much to attract
> and retain new players.
> {...} but obviously we are not retaining enough of them. So this
> is the question we must focus on.

I vaguely remember that. "Retain" is the emphasis here, exactly.
I don't doubt that Joe's efforts attracted new flesh, but we
didn't keep enough of them.

> I think we should approach this from two tracts: the server
> and client efforts. {...}

I see some more, as mentioned in other threads:
- (semi) static docs at a central well known place (www wiki),
- in-game tutors with semi-admin power to keep peace rather than
arbitrary ejects/ bans (see Paradise royalities).

> On the server side I think a paradise server and even a fun
> chaos server will help. and it would be good if they had
> something on the motd or login screen that made it clear that
> the purest form of netrek is bronco and once players learn the
> basics they are encouraged to play on the bronco servers.
> {...}
> There are also some tricks we could do with the metaserver and
> client to "strongly encourage" users to play on bronco servers
> if decline of bronco t mode becomes an issue again in light of
> new non-bronco servers ;-)

"pure"??? Even it were a relevant quality to newbies, I don't
think it would be one to attract complete strangers to netrek.
"Pure" implies less than what you already have, why would you want
to go for this if you already like what you have/ where you are?
Every player interested in netrek who stays long enough will
eventually learn about all other existing netrek styles, even
Bronco. ;)

Bronco was 1st, ok, but doesn't mean anything more than that,
definitely not that it implies that it must be better. Just
because some players can't see the qualitiy of other Netrek game
styles it doesn't disqualify the games, but rather those players.

I like to play any Netrek variant, but I prefer Paradise for its
variety (and being closer to the TV-show TNG ;).
If you only have limited options where you can support the team,
and you don't excel in any of them in a small team of just 8, then
this _can_ become frustrating.
OTOH, if there are many options, then the chances are better to
find a niche and still enjoy the game.
Plus, when the team needs _many_ players (more than 8) to function
well, then even mediocre players can do well just to provide space
control/ coverage.
(oh, "scummer" comes to mind ... once it was regarded as a
negative quality, ... by those who expected inferior players to
stay to be slaughtered by them just to confirm their superiority.
D'oh. Actually it shows that even though inferior the guy is smart
enough to know when to run to win a game. Ask your team to catch a
scummer (sometimes also butt-torper) ;)

It's a pity nowadays people don't have the chance to decide
unbiased (lack of other server types, meta-server preference of
servers/ types, or that people preach "only Bronco is the real
deal") what kind of game-style (Bronco, Paradise, ...) they prefer
on their own.
Maybe Bronco's time is simply over, time to make way for "the next
generation" of players and their preferred game-style?! :)

> must focus on better graphics that will make the tweens, teens
> and college students say "Wow this looks cool!"

TedTurner and windows clients look already good enough, I don't
think it's worth to put more in the area of better graphics.

> and very good 3D sound comparable to what they get in other games,

I've never played netrek with sounds, but I know from other games
that additional feedback that does _not_ get in the way visually
does help a lot.

> { code merging related strategies }

The plans are out there ... just somebody has to spend the time to
execute them.

> Another idea I had is to allow players to create mods (the whole
> borg issue would need to be considered) so that they could
> easily change certain things like ship types, sounds, GUI look,
> etc.. Modding is very popular in many games right now.

Uh ... "modding" comes later when the original product is well

> {...} it is imperative we design a more intuitive help system
> and configuration system comparable to what the typical user
> will be used to from most major games (there are about 3 or 4
> basic designs I've noticed with minor variations).

Yes, help + config can be better.

>  And I am not talking about the historic
> type of trash talking and joking which has always been a part of the
> game.

The problem is: newbies don't know about the history, therefore
they can't rate/ judge well how to take such comments.

> There is no perfect solution I recognize however I wonder if we
> could be doing more security wise.

Self-control apparently doesn't work (for various reasons).
A delegated control system a la Paradise (possibly extended by the
power to ban) might do it.

> > A game doesn't see itself anymore by the code alone, especially
> > not one such complex as netrek.

That was meant to say "sustain", not "see".
Meaning: simple games are easy to pick and stick to, while netrek
is not.

© Rado S. -- You must provide YOUR effort for your goal!
EVERY effort counts: at least to show your attitude.
You're responsible for ALL you do: you get what you give.