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Thread: How to encourage/train up new players

  1. #21
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    How important do you think it is to have mentors with more individual contact between new player and experienced player?

  2. #22

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    Finally got around to this thread; I was read it at work and totally didn't have time to reply, but it so so interesting lol

    So although I don't like most of the sandpit/training ideas, there is fairly reasonable logic why

    - A sandpit server would be very different to the real servers if most/all inexperienced players. (And, not only hard, but nigh on impossible to police with how easy emails are to get) The start line moving gradually outwards is probably as efficient as it's really going to get. And the server usually closes half way through / server restarts are regular so no one starts too far behind. (That said, two of my favourite servers were when I started super-late, but I think that's more down to luck of the alliances I ended up in)

    - Artefacts/end game etc. how to give more players a 'special role' is probably worthy of a separate thread.

    - I really really can't stand training wings (or true metas); they aren't usually effective at bringing on new players. I've seen too many training wings isolate new players, or have them taught by someone who is fairly clueless themselves.

    - the model I always preferred (again influenced by early experiences) and practiced myself, is to have a wing/multiple wings with a mix of experienced players, casual players, new players, active players etc. - if they are all mixed up they can learn from each other, develop friendships, inspire each other etc. experienced/active players (not necessarily in leadership) in team-orientated alliances will often help mentor less experienced players. Time/effort is best invested in those keen and receptive to learning. [For leaders I talent spotted, I usually put as much emphasis on their willingness to support others as their ability to play]

    - sitting is a really good way to help newer players learn too; if the trust is there, get them sitting some of the bigger, well-run accounts (while it can scare the living daylights of them, it does get them thinking about what can be achieved)

    - the UK domain (even more so in 3.6 days) has a very rich history of guides/accurate help etc. available on the forum. As a leader I'd routinely include links to the forum - especially Avi's arti thread (!), and the internal forums included links to helpful sites / threads etc.

    - from the perspective of the forum for this domain [which is more within our control than the game mechanics], is there more/different we can do to help support existing leaders in training up their players? (For example, while Avi has a collection of 'best armies' in her sig, we ought to think about collecting them together into a single place).

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha78 View Post
    Finally got around to this thread; I was read it at work and totally didn't have time to reply, but it so so interesting lol

    So although I don't like most of the sandpit/training ideas, there is fairly reasonable logic why

    - A sandpit server would be very different to the real servers if most/all inexperienced players. (And, not only hard, but nigh on impossible to police with how easy emails are to get) The start line moving gradually outwards is probably as efficient as it's really going to get. And the server usually closes half way through / server restarts are regular so no one starts too far behind. (That said, two of my favourite servers were when I started super-late, but I think that's more down to luck of the alliances I ended up in)
    I think this is the main point where you are saying that you don't agree with a "sandpit". Correct me if the others are arguments against it too and let me know why please - the subtlety was lost on me (but it is late...)

    I don't think the above is a good reason for there not being a Trav-lite for noobs. Yes it would be different. But it would be a taster. It would need to be designed such that it was different but not hugely different. The leaders would be training their teams and this would mean that the differences to the real thing would not be huge (assuming they did a decent job).

    I was trying to come up with a solution to the problem that the experienced really aggressive raiders destroy the noobs too easily at the start of a grown up server. This probably wouldn't happen that easily on a sandpit so more would stay and more would carry on. It is true that it would produce players who would see more benefit in simming at the start I imagine, but surely bringing on those, with the added bonus that they would understand game mechanics before migrating to Trav proper would be a good start.

    I know that it wouldn't be possible to police it. I don't think that would be necessary. I think there would be a credibility issue with those who were experienced joining a sandpit and they probably wouldn't want to in the main. I imagine that they would be easy to spot as well - no assistance asked for but performing really well and doing advanced stuff (like same second attacks). A quiet word would be all that would be required I'd have thought. If not - no disaster, just a slightly more realistic intro to the game in the sandpit.

    The starting position moving away from 0,0 actually doesn't help let people into the game much in my opinion. Most of the larger more established alliances (where most of the learning happens) wouldn't be mega keen to have lots of people based out in the boonies (I believe). If they do then they would be used for defensive fodder (more likely). This isn't a great way into the game I feel - quite boring really. Also I have lost count of the number of times I have heard that people would be setting up a new village on the fringes of the new joiners in order to get easier access to fresh meat...

    To be clear I am not wedded to the idea - was just offering a suggestion. The original question on the original thread (although muddied with anti-raiding sentiment) was a good one - how do we get new people to play and stay playing... It just felt to me that no one was answering what that real question was asking.

    One thing that I am hearing is that the game is losing players so the status quo is not going to be a good solution. Improvements to the game which make it easier to do stuff that you know you want to do, helps the established players making it more likely that they will stay and thus interestingly by implication they penalise the newer player as they are at a greater relative disadvantage.

    I believe that the status quo (or even T5) is not going to be a good solution to the problem of UK Travian oblivion, which is what seems to be forecast everywhere I turn.

    If I don't have the right solution say so - but please also say what should be done differently than currently - it isn't working seemingly...

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinJames View Post

    But does junior monopoly change the victory conditions? Thats one of the most important parts to know of any game really.
    Yes it does. Not radically and the way in which you do win is different.

    Doing a server which the aim is to obtain an arty which spawns at 0,0 isn't really changing the victory conditions much - it is a winning of a major battle during the "big boys" game. You then migrate on to actually winning the war. If you wanted it more realistic then the game finishes 2 weeks afterwards and you can steal the arty. Means that mini WWKs are created and shows that defence and supplying wheat is vital.

    Again, just an idea...

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hawken;1437586=

    I was trying to come up with a solution to the problem that the experienced really aggressive raiders destroy the noobs too easily at the start of a grown up server.
    I think this 'problem' is a hell of a lot smaller than people make it out to be, frankly - i'm not sure its especially common. Though I am certain that it isn't a major factor in lower player numbers.


    The starting position moving away from 0,0 actually doesn't help let people into the game much in my opinion. Most of the larger more established alliances (where most of the learning happens) wouldn't be mega keen to have lots of people based out in the boonies (I believe). If they do then they would be used for defensive fodder (more likely).
    No offense, but this whole quote is SO wrong. I mean, it just is completely untrue.
    Quote Originally Posted by antonio View Post
    You just jump around like a tart.
    Quote Originally Posted by Elros View Post
    MJ may be many things: a 15 year old who's raided his dads dress up box, a huge ego-loudmouth and a goat botherer to name but a few, but he generally writes a fair and unbiased analysis (except when I bribe him to say good things about me)

  6. #26

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    I also suspect that many who might benefit from a server would have too much pride/arrogance to sign-up for one :p

    Essentially, I think it would be better for everyone if the main servers did this - ensure a start that wasn't a complete bloodshed for those who do try (some are probably beyond hope) and with a scattering of people who will support players

    Any move of at least some ww away from the centre would help to deal with not wanting people in the sticks and of course small artifacts - which are super - are typically 150 - 200 squares out

    MJ - hmmm, it's more common on some servers than others; clamping tightly down on anyone botting can make a big difference; ending up near a micro-raider can be very disheartening (but it's also what the resilience ones will learn a lot from). But then there are commonly messages from people who claim they are constantly being raided...and when you look, it's maybe once or twice a day, resources are taken, and the players is only logging in for 10 mins each evening. [Travian is definitely not the right game for someone if they plan to only login once a day in the first few weeks...I think partly, Travian is still very much a game you can't ignore for 12hrs + at a time, but expectations have changed with many browser and facebook games being fine to be quite casual - only a couple of short logins a day]

    (One thing absolutely fascinating about being a MH is being able to compare what someone says in a support message/on their profile/their perceptions against the reality of what is happening on their account - adventure rewards, attacks, number of troops etc. - perception and reality don't always align)
    Last edited by Samantha78; 07 Sep 2013 at 11:58 PM.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinJames View Post
    No offense, but this whole quote is SO wrong. I mean, it just is completely untrue.
    No offence taken and I am sure none meant. Unfortunately not my experience. I completely agree with you that it shouldn't happen in order to bring on new players.

    I agree that people would be eaten for breakfast if they spawned near the middle after week (say) 4 but that wasn't my point. I am not saying that they it doesn't help them start - it does, as does BP. However I don't count being based (spawning) out at 150,150 as being in the game unless you are part of something that matters to the server. Big established alliances generally don't let these guys in and keep them involved and informed (in my experience).

    Martin - the problem is that the numbers are falling. If being raided out of the game isn't the reason then what is and what should be done about it?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha78 View Post
    MJ - hmmm, it's more common on some servers than others; clamping tightly down on anyone botting can make a big difference; ending up near a micro-raider can be very disheartening (but it's also what the resilience ones will learn a lot from). But then there are commonly messages from people who claim they are constantly being raided...and when you look, it's maybe once or twice a day, resources are taken, and the players is only logging in for 10 mins each evening. [Travian is definitely not the right game for someone if they plan to only login once a day in the first few weeks...I think partly, Travian is still very much a game you can't ignore for 12hrs + at a time, but expectations have changed with many browser and facebook games being fine to be quite casual - only a couple of short logins a day]
    Micro raiders have a tendancy to just send a couple of troops at a time to players seen as inactives, they see red swords and delete from farm lists largely. How many micro raiders actually go to the effort of turning anyone into a farm, compared to how many just build inactive lists, click and then go away for another few hours

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hawken View Post
    No offence taken and I am sure none meant. Unfortunately not my experience. I completely agree with you that it shouldn't happen in order to bring on new players.
    Players (properly) in the boonies tend towards WWK building. The best alliances LOVE those players.

    Martin - the problem is that the numbers are falling. If being raided out of the game isn't the reason then what is and what should be done about it?
    I think Sam has got the big one in the changing face of internet gaming. And honestly, I don't know exactly how to fix it. There's the teaching new players thing which I've made the effort to do - and was the reason I joined support too. Beyond that, I don't have anything to offer at the moment, apart from constructive criticism of other ideas in the mix.
    Last edited by MartinJames; 08 Sep 2013 at 12:03 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by antonio View Post
    You just jump around like a tart.
    Quote Originally Posted by Elros View Post
    MJ may be many things: a 15 year old who's raided his dads dress up box, a huge ego-loudmouth and a goat botherer to name but a few, but he generally writes a fair and unbiased analysis (except when I bribe him to say good things about me)

  9. #29

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    I'm just telling you what I know to be true

    micro-raiders are disheartening for new players; a constant stream of raids isn't nice (it's most common tho tbf for those who are fairly inactive and giving up res) - the raiders don't get red swords from these guys

    and, of course, micro-raiders are easily to deal with - we know that, new players don't necessarily know that / some are slower at working it out. It's actually far worse to come across an aggressive player, for example, someone who likes to keep their capital clean and will catapult any village within 10 or so squares, and will actively crack open farms.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha78 View Post
    and, of course, micro-raiders are easily to deal with - we know that, new players don't necessarily know that / some are slower at working it out. It's actually far worse to come across an aggressive player, for example, someone who likes to keep their capital clean and will catapult any village within 10 or so squares, and will actively crack open farms.
    Tbf theres sod all a newbie can do about that unless they're fortunate enough to be in an ally capable of defending them!
    Quote Originally Posted by antonio View Post
    You just jump around like a tart.
    Quote Originally Posted by Elros View Post
    MJ may be many things: a 15 year old who's raided his dads dress up box, a huge ego-loudmouth and a goat botherer to name but a few, but he generally writes a fair and unbiased analysis (except when I bribe him to say good things about me)

  11. #31

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    The catapulting ? Yeah - they are pretty much screwed - restart or relocation is the only real option (or going to dual / take over another account etc.) - the alliance option can work..but as you say it needs a good alliance. There was one server in particular, where we had to do a lot of early server defense against catapults - it 's far from impossible (and really rewarding when you pull it off); but it does take good organisation and players willing to build good v. early on.

  12. #32
    Cloud Strife

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hawken View Post
    Martin - the problem is that the numbers are falling. If being raided out of the game isn't the reason then what is and what should be done about it?
    I think falling numbers has very little to do with what happens in-game.

    There's a lot more competition for browser games. Travian has to compete for new-signups with lots of other ones and it's hard for someone to tell until they've signed up to a game and played it for some time whether it's any good. I personally find that Travian is only fun once you get into good friendship groups. This can take a long time. I reckon most signups don't stick around for more than a few weeks, if not minutes. It doesn't help that the ads for Travian don't give the faintest idea of what the game is actually like, but that go for all games in this category.

    There's also a bit of what Sam said - the trend is for facebook games which are much more casual. There's rewards for logging on frequently, but very little problem with disappearing for a while. It's also easier to have social contact with other players when the whole game is through facebook, interacting with people that you already know. In short, Travian requires quite a bit of investment of time and effort, far more than facebook games.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinJames View Post
    Players (properly) in the boonies tend towards WWK building. The best alliances LOVE those players.
    Ok - that want the type of player that I am talking about -and I agree with you.


    Quote Originally Posted by MartinJames View Post
    I think Sam has got the big one in the changing face of internet gaming. And honestly, I don't know exactly how to fix it. There's the teaching new players thing which I've made the effort to do - and was the reason I joined support too. Beyond that, I don't have anything to offer at the moment, apart from constructive criticism of other ideas in the mix.
    Ok again - thanks for admitting it. I think it is a really hard problem to solve. Thanks for being as constructive as possible.

    Sam's point leads me to believe that people need to be attracted to a game which is a bit more hands on. In today's world of zero attention span I think they need to be gradually moved. Full version Trav may just be a step too far for the vast majority.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hawken View Post

    Sam's point leads me to believe that people need to be attracted to a game which is a bit more hands on. In today's world of zero attention span I think they need to be gradually moved. Full version Trav may just be a step too far for the vast majority.
    The idea of a zero attention span world is harsh but I think there is a grain of truth in it. I started playing because my son was and I wanted to see what sort of game it was he was playing as he was only 12 at the time. That was in early 2010 and whereas he stopped playing after a matter of months I stuck with it. I know a surprisingly large number of people whose story is very similar. I know of people playing in their 70s too and although not older than that I would be perfectly prepared to believe there are players who are older still.

    There are exceptions but in my experience most of the people who have played for several years started when they were already past school age, although many did start as students. However, advertisements I have seen appear to be aimed at a relatively low age and changes to the game (enhanced graphics, all the rewards for doing quests, and so on) seem to be aimed at attracting younger players. I am not convinced that school age children will be the ones who will largely be attracted to the game and stay so potentially Travian needs to aim the changes to the game and advertising at a different audience who are likely to enjoy the intellectual challenge of learning to play well. (Yes, I know that is rather overdoing it but it is nice to believe we need to be clever to be good!!)

    Of course, you do have to hope to run into people who are prepared to help you. I still remember what a shock it was when I realised (after being in an alliance someone described to me as being about 'as much use as a chocolate teapot') that not all alliances had an attack page comprised almost entirely of attacks on the alliance and loss of resources. At the time I had no idea what a farm was! But I did find a really impressive mentor, actually through my first ever post on this forum. And that is the big problem. Most people who have stuck with game have had a really good mentor along the way, and that is down to luck. But my feeling is that a sandpit alliance isn't really going to give you the chance to find that luck and that it is better to stick with the existing system with servers - but possibly aim advertisements and new developments, differently.

  15. #35

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    Exactly slinky

    It's a game that can be played at several levels - quite casually and simming, bit more active but generally throwing troops about and hoping it works; and the types that often make their way to the forum include those who take the game more seriously in terms of understanding the mechanics, strategy/planning, and the social/diplomacy/politics side (and of course those who care most about rankings/outcome and will throw time/money at the game).

    edited in extra waffle: The other thing that has massively changed since the year I first started is that multi-wing alliances are very much out of fashion. And it's all one-wing or anti-meta. Which means the new keen players aren't getting pulled up the ranks.

    On s2 I joined about six weeks before the end game; I was in a rank 50 or something alliance and one of the leaders agreed with the main alliance in the quad to support them for end game. So we go some insight into what was going on (the comms was v. good) and many were in a much better place for the following server

    On s1 I joined half way through, found a three wing, mid rankish ally, which then merged into the dominant quad ally (when up through the three wings in about a month lol)...but with the larger alliances, you do get to mix with so many different styles and it's never dull if there are regular groups merging in.

    ^^ are probably the bits I miss the most
    Last edited by Samantha78; 08 Sep 2013 at 06:38 PM.

  16. #36

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    id be curious as to how many players were on the s6 that started after the TV campaign last year (its what caught my eye) compared to a normal server?

    obviously more advertising will bring in more players and a % of these will return. without mass advertising not enough pepple will hear about the game unless searching somethunng similar. (sorry for bad spelling. forum is terrible on my phone.)

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by vort3x View Post
    id be curious as to how many players were on the s6 that started after the TV campaign last year (its what caught my eye) compared to a normal server?

    obviously more advertising will bring in more players and a % of these will return. without mass advertising not enough pepple will hear about the game unless searching somethunng similar. (sorry for bad spelling. forum is terrible on my phone.)
    From memory, I think at the highest point it was around 20k. A number of those never got past village 1 and the vast majority quit when the game wasn't what they expected.
    By the end of the server it was down to around 1500 although that included inactives.
    When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope.


  18. #38

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    I learned more being destroyed by Angels a couple of servers 3 ago than I did making it to endgame on server 5 the year before (I miss Ghey, they were nice, even when they were attacking you, you still wanted to buy them a beer), I came up with a system that I use, often it works out quite well, sometimes a big bad Roman from SWM decide he doesn't like me having a village within 20 squares of him and cat me down before I can settle another village, but I'm always tweaking my system just a little bit, trying things out and learning from doing them, but I would struggle to explain my system to people so I would be useless teaching anyone.
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  19. #39

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    I think this is a great thread and as a result would like to post my opinions seeing as I would put myself in the class of fairly new players who only recently learned their trade.

    I originally started playing with some friends with school (I am now 18) and we at first just found it fun building and simming like anyone our age. However whereas my friends got bored by the long waiting times and being constantly raided I had made friends with a player in my 7x7 wo was in the #1 alliance and in the top 50 players. He agreed to help me and while he did little in terms of advice he intrigued me to the point of wanting to become as good as him. ( I still remember his name Boris)

    I then went away and read various guides on how to play on the forums and the like and came back for the start of a server intending to be amazing. Things didn't work out all that well ended up next to #3 raider on the game (in my 7x7) but managed to weasle myself into his alliance and as such was immune from his advances. He took me under his wing along with the whole alliance and the things I learnt from the skype group chat was just incredible and within 1 month I had learnt everyting i probably know now which I feel is a good standard (hopefully some people who know me now will back me up)

    Basically what I'm trying to say is the problem with trying to teach and encourage new players to join and carry on and learn can be generalised to this:
    1) A good first experience of the game. Basically not destroyed as soon as BP ends.
    2) A intrigue to try and better themselves read guides join forums e.t.c
    3) LUCK: To end up in an alliance that has a passion of the game and to learn from them
    4) Make friends. The main feature determining whether I continue a server to the climax or as long as time permits me is the fact that there are people i enjoy chatting to while writing a farm list or waiting for reprts to flock back.

    As such I think what many people don't realise is that there is a reasonably large time requirement but the ability to make great friends. I think the social aspect should be more widely advertised not neccessarily by the developers but by current players as that is what makes people continue for long periods of time in my experience.

    P.S Rushed typing so excuse any parts that may not make sense

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oscillator View Post
    I think this is a great thread and as a result would like to post my opinions seeing as I would put myself in the class of fairly new players who only recently learned their trade.

    I originally started playing with some friends with school (I am now 18) and we at first just found it fun building and simming like anyone our age. However whereas my friends got bored by the long waiting times and being constantly raided I had made friends with a player in my 7x7 wo was in the #1 alliance and in the top 50 players. He agreed to help me and while he did little in terms of advice he intrigued me to the point of wanting to become as good as him. ( I still remember his name Boris)

    I then went away and read various guides on how to play on the forums and the like and came back for the start of a server intending to be amazing. Things didn't work out all that well ended up next to #3 raider on the game (in my 7x7) but managed to weasle myself into his alliance and as such was immune from his advances. He took me under his wing along with the whole alliance and the things I learnt from the skype group chat was just incredible and within 1 month I had learnt everyting i probably know now which I feel is a good standard (hopefully some people who know me now will back me up)

    Basically what I'm trying to say is the problem with trying to teach and encourage new players to join and carry on and learn can be generalised to this:
    1) A good first experience of the game. Basically not destroyed as soon as BP ends.
    2) A intrigue to try and better themselves read guides join forums e.t.c
    3) LUCK: To end up in an alliance that has a passion of the game and to learn from them
    4) Make friends. The main feature determining whether I continue a server to the climax or as long as time permits me is the fact that there are people i enjoy chatting to while writing a farm list or waiting for reprts to flock back.

    As such I think what many people don't realise is that there is a reasonably large time requirement but the ability to make great friends. I think the social aspect should be more widely advertised not neccessarily by the developers but by current players as that is what makes people continue for long periods of time in my experience.

    P.S Rushed typing so excuse any parts that may not make sense
    Great post - makes perfect sense.

    The original thread was trying to address point 1 of your list (I believe).

    Point 2 is a Travian issue to ensure that the guidance is as good as possible - am I missing a trick here? Is there a route of having a better scenario driven mini game as part of the guidance?

    I am trying to address the #3 point. If a trusted person is in charge of a quad who knows how to run an alliance well and involves people you will get more people to stay. In other words take the luck out of it for newer players.

    Point 4 is a great point. Solutions? A really good chat facility within Travian (don't think that has worked before). How about a tie up with Skype or other provider of internet chat where there is greater promotion of the game? Difficult to do this I suspect - however, having just done a search I have found that skype has apps (in the tools menu) which might be a good place to generate more players (although not sure what the app would be.... Certainly advertising the game when people search for skype on the internet would be a good idea. Needs some SEO. Perhaps the relationship building you were referring to does not happen on skype - in which case where else?
    Last edited by Bob Hawken; 09 Sep 2013 at 11:49 AM.

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