New Players and CLOK

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Zahrah
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New Players and CLOK

Post by Zahrah » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:08 am

Hey, guys! After a discussion on chat today (well, Discord for me as I keep chat tuned out in-game), I just felt compelled to make a post here on the topic of helping new players transition into CLOK. As a new player myself (having been playing now for less than a month), there have been several things I have noticed and experienced that, to be frank, probably would have made me simply give up and leave CLOK during my first week here if I had not already been so in love with the lore. And since we have an influx of new players that I'm sure we would all like to keep around, I thought it would be relevant to share! Maybe.

This will no doubt be long, so apologies in advance. And I would just like to stress that I'm not calling anyone out or complaining or anything like that. I do love CLOK and I intend to enjoy it for a long time and I would like for other newbies to develop the same love for CLOK that I have which is why I am posting this.

Alright! Here we go.

"It is known."
I have observed that a lot of knowledge in CLOK is simply "known." Most of the playerbase has been playing for some time, so there's no need to document said knowledge, which is understandable. But with important bits of information scattered across this forum and the wiki being out of date and there being no way to discover a good many bits of need-to-know information in-game, it can be very frustrating for a new player to acclimate themselves to the way things work. For example, trying to figure out cooking was a nightmare for me IC. I had to scrounge up the recipe for making shortbread in the cooking sub-forum since the wiki simply mentioned you'd need to know the recipe in the right proportions (but not what the recipe is) and I could find no cookbooks IC or anything like that (though I might simply have not been looking in the right place). But what wasn't explained anywhere was that you have to keep mixing as it isn't an auto-mix (like how grinding herbs in a mortar will just auto-grind until it's done) and then you need to put your cookie sheet down on a surface and put your dough down on that same surface and then just keep spamming "shape cookies" until you finally get that done. And then apparently the cooking process for cookies is a little buggy as if there's another source of fire in the room, the code will assume you want to cook with that instead of the oven and will yell at you to use an oven until you extinguish the other fire. This was a headache-inducing experience that required me to wait until a player with cooking know-how came on so that I could bother them OOC (thank you again, Jilliana) which meant I probably spent about 45 minutes of my life on this one batch of cookies trying to work it all out.

But this is simply an example. There are many other such examples (too many to list). But something I have noticed is that sometimes when a person asks a question, "What is the best way to do xyz?" for example, I see that they will receive a sarcastic reply in response instead of genuine help. Once again, not calling anyone out and not saying this is always the case (I have encountered many helpful people both IC and OOC on CLOK), but I would just like to very kindly bring this to everyone's attention. It can be difficult to figure things out in CLOK for yourself as a new player and so certain things will need to be explained both IC and OOC and while we all snark every now and again (nothing wrong with a good snark!), when you're on your last thread of patience trying to work through something that isn't intuitive and you turn to a knowledgeable playerbase for help, sarcasm can be a bit ill-timed.

I also simply wanted to point out that, until the wiki is updated, things are going to have to be explained. There are so many little things about CLOK that I never would have known if someone hadn't told me. Like how to make line breaks in an IC letter, the existence of the ritual command, the swap command, that scabbards count as a container so someone with the ability can simply nick your weapons from said scabbard and only PC leatherworkers can make scabbards that close so this can be bypassed, the shortcut for including tone and speech in a say and how to target someone in a say (ie. "say #tone $speech ::target" for those other newbies who might read this and want to know that bit of info), or that you can target someone in an emote by using @name, or that nominating people for RPAs is a thing and you use the nominate command to do that. All of these things had to be explained to me or I never would have known them. They'll have to be explained to other new players, too.

New Players and RP:
Now, this was the thing I struggled with the most my first week of CLOK as I felt like I was in some RP desert with no oasis in sight (to be poetic/melodramatic). Here is where I would like to note that I am a HUGE supporter of "make your own RP." I'm not an OOC wallflower. I'm not playing a shy character. Zahrah is perfectly happy walking up to a stranger for a chat.

But that first week, I would bump into someone in town and speak to them or emote at them and they would ignore and walk away. I would run into someone in the wilderness and they would ignore and walk away. Two big exceptions to this would be Dorn and Jilliana, so thank you you two for making an effort to stop and talk to the random newbie you bumped into out in the middle of nowhere. (And a shoutout to Jasan who tried so hard to hook me into some RP in the middle of Haiban one day but it was the rare occasion when Zahrah actually had something important to go do so I blew you off and I felt like crap about it afterwards.)

I'm a RPer myself. I don't much care for the grind, though I do it as it's necessary. But on a RP-enforced MUD, I was sad that I didn't find more IC interactions at first. Now, almost a month in, I have perhaps... three people out of the CLOK playerbase who I know I can get some sort of RP with a couple of times a week (and I've had some lovely GM interactions as well which always makes me squee with girlish delight when that occurs), so I no longer feel like I'm in a desert, but this is something else I just wanted to bring to everyone's attention.

I understand that sometimes our characters have reasons to ignore certain persons or sometimes we might be busy IC and not want to stop and chat, but hooking new players in with RP opportunities is important in making them want to stick around and play with us. So I would just like to humbly suggest that perhaps we could all try to be more aware of when we bump into someone IC and try to make some sort of effort. Even a quick nod of acknowledgement and a, "Good day," or, "I haven't seen you before. Are you new to these lands?" can go a long way. Or even if your character is grumpy and standoffish and would ignore an overly friendly newcomer, this can be conveyed with a quick emote (ex. Dorn stares down at the overly friendly newcomer and grunts) instead of simply ignoring them and walking off.

I feel this is especially important with world plots. So far, I have been semi-involved with an ongoing story arc IC and I say semi-involved because it sometimes feel like if you have the misfortune to not be at that exact location when something seems to be happening, trying to get other people to explain to you IC what is going on/let you help and get involved is like trying to pull teeth out of a flailing hippopotamus' mouth. This is another case of where I have experienced walking up to people IC and simply being ignored. Once again, I'm not complaining and in these instances, it doesn't really bother me so much because Zahrah is stubborn enough that she'll keep pursuing the matter until she's knee deep in whatever is happening. But other new players/characters might not be so insistent. CLOK is such an amazingly tight-knit community that I feel like, in this particular example with the big RP, you all know what player/character can do what, who would be good in said situation, and who to call on for help so it's easy to overlook a new player/character whose skills/allegiances might not be known. Most of you have been playing together for a very long time and that's wonderful and it's easy to feel how strong the community is here in this game and it's great to see. But perhaps we should also keep in mind that new players want to get involved with the big RP, too, and to try to include them where we can.

Alright! That's it for my wall of text. Thank you for reading, those of you who managed. I would like to stress one more time that none of this was aimed at anyone in particular and all of this has come from a place of love as I do adore the world of CLOK and the lore and what RP I have managed to bury myself in so far and I look forward to continuing to flood the forums with ideas and bother you all IC for a good, long while. These are simply things I've observed as a new player trying to headbash her way into the world and I thought I'd bring them to the attention of others who might no longer notice such things because you've all been playing for so much longer than I have.

EDIT: Oh, and also to any other new players who might read. Have a sensitive letter you want to destroy? Type "light letter." If you have firestones in an open container, you will burn that baby to a crisp and destroy all evidence of its existence instead of dumping it in a trash barrel or bin and hoping it despawns before someone sees it. That was something else nifty/important that had to be explained to me OOC so I thought I'd share right quick.
Last edited by Zahrah on Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Dorn bluntly asks, "And does it appear I have a wagon in my pocket?"
You quip, "It would honestly not surprise me if you did."

You notice a horribly disfigured squirrel quietly scanning the area while attempting to appear nonchalant about it.

Vestyn
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Re: New Players and CLOK

Post by Vestyn » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:45 am

Zahrah wrote: I have observed that a lot of knowledge in CLOK is simply "known." Most of the playerbase has been playing for some time, so there's no need to document said knowledge, which is understandable. But with important bits of information scattered across this forum and the wiki being out of date and there being no way to discover a good many bits of need-to-know information in-game, it can be very frustrating for a new player to acclimate themselves to the way things work.
I agree that a lot of things seem to be known. Part of that from my understanding, is there in regards to lore, are tidbits that are meant to be shrouded somewhat. As to the events and such, and the way players interpret what's there, everyone has a slightly different story, and figuring out the truth can be the task of the day. Also, I agree about the wiki. I’ll think on it and come up with a solution. It's easy to forget, sometimes, that we know what's going on and others don't. Also, I believe there is a cookbook sold IC somewhere, or there was.
Zahrah wrote: But something I have noticed is that sometimes when a person asks a question, "What is the best way to do xyz?" for example, I see that they will receive a sarcastic reply in response instead of genuine help.
Don't do this, guys. Please? People really do need help. I'm sure we all did when we first came to Clok. That's one thing that I absolutely can't stand. If someone needs help, help them. If you are unable for whatever reason, don't snark at someone's legit effort to receive help. I really don't want to have to get acquainted with taking question away from unhelpful people. Remember that, just because you think something might be amusing, someone might honestly be frustrated and need the help.
Zahrah wrote: But that first week, I would bump into someone in town and speak to them or emote at them and they would ignore and walk away. I would run into someone in the wilderness and they would ignore and walk away. Two big exceptions to this would be Dorn and Jilliana, so thank you you two for making an effort to stop and talk to the random newbie you bumped into out in the middle of nowhere. (And a shoutout to Jasan who tried so hard to hook me into some RP in the middle of Haiban one day but it was the rare occasion when Zahrah actually had something important to go do so I blew you off and I felt like crap about it afterwards.)
I will say this. I've tried to do some things to some of you, and you've walked away. Take the extra minute to pay attention. I know we all have goals and things we'd like to get done, but the GMs, and your fellow players, do try to get your attention. Make sure you look out for it. Obviously, you're completely in control of your character, and if you want to just walk off, nothing can stop you and it shouldn't. You have the right to play Clok as you see fit -- RP or grind, entirely up to you, but something special that you didn't expect may come your way. Even if it's sitting around and observing, you're still there. For those that enjoy the grind, we do love to see roleplay and reward it with RPAs which does help your grinding! Give me a reason to give you one. I'm not looking for stellar mind blowing world shattering roleplay, either, but I'm looking for people to interact and for it to go somewhere, even if it's talking about the weather. If you talk about the weather well, you still roleplayed, chatted with someone, and made a potential friend, enemy, or even a frenemy!
Zahrah wrote: But perhaps we should also keep in mind that new players want to get involved with the big RP, too, and to try to include them where we can.
Good reminder here. We really are a great community, and I'm so happy to see it begin to thrive again. We've brought in new players, and that is so cool. Give them a chance, too. For those that do, thanks! For those that don't, remember, you were new too, and some of you were given that chance. It's so easy to settle into what we know, isn't it? It's also refreshing to get a new person's outlook, perspective, and unique flavor to a place we all love so much.

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Zahrah
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Re: New Players and CLOK

Post by Zahrah » Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:02 pm

And a quick shoutout to Castillo who is currently IC right now holding very scholarly forums on all things that a newcomer to the Lost Lands should know. That was one of the most pleasant things I've ever stumbled into IC and it really made me smile to see it.

On the subject of paying attention, Vestyn, I FELT LIKE SUCH A DOUCHE YESTERDAY bumping into the commander in the Artisan compound and just firing off a quick greeting and then leaving. I just assumed it was a random wandering NPC and was trying to get out of the way. So I definitely need to pay more attention myself.
Dorn bluntly asks, "And does it appear I have a wagon in my pocket?"
You quip, "It would honestly not surprise me if you did."

You notice a horribly disfigured squirrel quietly scanning the area while attempting to appear nonchalant about it.

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Re: New Players and CLOK

Post by jilliana » Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:40 pm

Thank you Zahrah for the shoutout but more importantly, the nudge in the right direction. We need these reminders on occasion.

I will say that even for someone who has been playing three or so years, going away and then coming back a day, a week, and even a few months later...catching up to the latest happenings is like pulling teeth. A few of us are trying to do better at making sure people are spreading the RP love instead of keeping it all to themselves. Like Vestyn said, everyone has a version to one single story, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. The catching up thing is a work in progress for me but some people. Well. Some people.

As far as just knowing...there is so, so much to the game. The shortbread cookies...that's kind of one thing we all had to figure out when they were released because they were such a pain, and still are. I hope I'm not giving the impression that your concerns and worries are not important, because that's not what I'm saying at all. Even now I have to figure things out for myself and have to pull out my notes to remind myself on how to do something.

If any of the newbs aren't getting questions answered on that channel and I happen to be around, send me a tell or something. Things like that can get lost in a wall of text/sound in the middle of combat or traveling. If I don't know the answer, nine out of ten times, I know someone who does.

There is so, so much to CLOK and I'm certainly glad that you Zahrah as well as other newbies have stuck around to give it a try.

Be on the look out from me on some possible means to update folks on things that have happened in the past that affect things today, etc etc. Also, if anyone has any questions about things being spoken about on the network, just ask. Some of us don't always feel comfortable with talking about things on the network because it's so public but it doesn't mean that we're not willing to talk about it.
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Liani
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Re: New Players and CLOK

Post by Liani » Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:13 pm

I don't want to sound like a grumpy old lady, but I think it might also help if people do actually ask their questions on the question channel. It's easy to get caught up in teasing on chat, and this might be a good way to try to separate trying to help others and general chatter.

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Re: New Players and CLOK

Post by Akila » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:41 pm

I missed Castillo? I'm gutted :( Stupid work!

As for helping new players, I do what I can if I'm around and am quite willing to answer any questions if I know the answer. Like Jilliana, you can send me a tell if I'm around (usually as Tirya recently).

I am, however, a great lover of finding questions that can be answered IC and will direct people that way to start RP. Such as "Where's the best place to kill stuff?" I will usually direct the questioner to the ESP. It starts RP, may get them some free lessons or tutoring in their chosen weapons and they may find a buddy in the process.

And yes, I agree with Liani that the Question channel is your friend!
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vidor
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Re: New Players and CLOK

Post by vidor » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:53 am

Serious props to you, Z, for bringing this up. CLOK is in a huge revitalization mode right now which is fantastic, but we need to get our mentor hats out of the closet and sport those puppies proudly.
On a me level (know you're not calling me out, but there you have it), I'm very sorry for not rping with you more ic. I'm pretty sure people know I'm a law student, and about 90% of the time when I'm online I've got other windows open studying civil procedure and taking notes. Maybe I should just close out of CLOK at these times -- that's on me -- but I think people would agree that I do rp when I'm not distracted by supplemental jurisdiction and conversion and art I sec 8 powers.
I would love to see the Wiki updated. I'd also love to see a few more mentors added who can really focus on helping new players. That being said, just because someone's not a mentor doesn't mean they shouldn't be helping.
I will note though that, though we're all super duper helpful ooc, we might not be ic. Or that help might come in different directions. I want to give Dorn a shoutout on this one -- I've never seen someone be so helpful and creapy at the same time ic. It's well done.
Anyway, action items
- get mentor system back up
- update wiki
- Suggest people update and maintain a new players link on the wiki. Not just the "don't forget bandages" stuff, but things like "careful logging" and "don't pet the bison."
- Remember that the help you're looking for ic will come in different ways than you expected.
- Feel free to reach out to people ic. Say you're getting breakfast at the café in Haiban and ask folks to wander on over. Ask for a tourguide around the lost lands to start learning the wilderness.
- Make use of the question channel instead of chat for actual questions, as to avoid the chatter and teasing (great point, Liani!)

In closing, I'm so happy we have new players. I'm counting on those new players to let us know when they're not getting the support they need so that we can make it better! This is your game to, and I'm happy you're here to play and hopefully stay.

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Zahrah
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Re: New Players and CLOK

Post by Zahrah » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:00 am

vidor wrote: On a me level (know you're not calling me out, but there you have it), I'm very sorry for not rping with you more ic. I'm pretty sure people know I'm a law student, and about 90% of the time when I'm online I've got other windows open studying civil procedure and taking notes. Maybe I should just close out of CLOK at these times -- that's on me -- but I think people would agree that I do rp when I'm not distracted by supplemental jurisdiction and conversion and art I sec 8 powers.
Aww, definitely wasn't calling you out or anything like that! RL always comes first. And the RP I've had on CLOK so far has been lovely. I simply brought up the "lack of RP" point in regards to my initial experience when I first joined as I sometimes see people sigh on chat about being bored and wanting RP and the (rather excellent) suggestion of making one's own RP always comes up so I just wanted to point out that in my first week, I was trying rather desperately to make RP with people and no one was biting. And I understand why. Trust me, there have been times when Zah's been trotting down the road with a laundry list of things to do when I ended up bumping into someone and the urge to just keep on trucking so you can get through your to do list is pretty strong. But I do try to make an effort to stop anyway and just say something even if it's quick and I've ended up meeting some rather lovely people that way IC! You never know when you might smack into an interesting plot hook somewhere out in the middle of IC nowhere.
vidor wrote:I want to give Dorn a shoutout on this one -- I've never seen someone be so helpful and creapy at the same time ic. It's well done.
I would like to jump on the Dorn shoutout train and second this. I think he's a wonderful example of being helpful on an OOC note while still keeping your bad guy rep intact IC. He helped me when I first joined. I know he's helped over newbies, too. Granted in his own murderous, convoluted way, but that's what makes it great. Helpful without compromising your RP!
Dorn bluntly asks, "And does it appear I have a wagon in my pocket?"
You quip, "It would honestly not surprise me if you did."

You notice a horribly disfigured squirrel quietly scanning the area while attempting to appear nonchalant about it.

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