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Thread: How to encourage/train up new players

  1. #1

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    Right - on to the main question which is actually nothing to do with defensive towers if you think about it. Scything through the crap - what Trooper really wants to do is to make sure that Travian doesn't die in the UK or elsewhere. Laudable.
    [This thread is separated out from the cranny/defense tower discussion]

    How about a server that is specifically for new players? A sandpit server if you like. Only new email addresses - that sort of thing. I know that this is hard to police but for those of us who have been around a bit I am not sure that many would want to be involved in a server where there was very little real competition. Alternatively, a few trusted experienced players were invited by Trav (as a crew type of arrangement) to run a number of alliances and see the server through to the close.

    The server would have to be shorter than normal to give people a taste of the game. I recommend normal speed however as "speed" speed would put off many newer people I think.

    Perhaps an amended win strategy - first to obtain an artefact (only one type of them in the sandpit). Hundreds would spawn at an appropriate time (just later than the majority of the current people delete). The level of difficulty of taking the artefact would be commensurate with the time when they spawn. Number of troops would require teamwork - 3 waves from 3 different players.

    I reckon this would perhaps bring some more people in who got the bug and then wanted to migrate onto the proper game.

    Just a thought. Be gentle if I am suggesting something that has been suggested or tried before!
    Last edited by MOD Sam; 07 Sep 2013 at 02:30 AM.

  2. #2

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    To me the Ego players are the new players who look at the options and choose Teut on their 1st server, they expect to just rule like they can on their X-box, the idea that this (or any game) actually requires brains is alien to them.
    The start-up guide points players towards Gauls as the ideal starter tribe (I still play Gaul now years later) using Gaul crannies, trappers and walls any player who thinks can avoid becoming a farm.
    Top raiders go where they get resources if they don't get resources they go pick on folks who do hand them over with no protection. To my mind the single most soul destroying feature of Trav and the one most likely to drive new players away is the stupidly overpowered hero's that can be bought early in the game. They are the things that take the skill out of the game.
    The one thing I find that this game has lost over the years is that when I started Top alliances had 'training wings' and talent spotters who took promising noobs under their wing so to speak and helped them learn the game. These days we all, me included, just see noobs as farms regardless of their potential.
    Last edited by MOD Sam; 07 Sep 2013 at 02:31 AM.

  3. #3
    MartinJames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hawken View Post
    Alternatively, a few trusted experienced players were invited by Trav (as a crew type of arrangement) to run a number of alliances and see the server through to the close.
    I don't think that a server with alliances backed officially by the domain would work - it would really just give those alliances an unfair advantage in game, its fine for crew in game to support their alliance, but I don't like any idea whereby crew in their official capacity support alliances. I'm not sure they'd have anything more to offer than any other alliance leader anyway
    .
    The server would have to be shorter than normal to give people a taste of the game. I recommend normal speed however as "speed" speed would put off many newer people I think.
    I think speed server actually are the ones that initially attract more players - speaking for myself at least I didn't have the initial interest to want to play a slow server, a speed server just always had something to do.

    Perhaps an amended win strategy - first to obtain an artefact (only one type of them in the sandpit). Hundreds would spawn at an appropriate time (just later than the majority of the current people delete). The level of difficulty of taking the artefact would be commensurate with the time when they spawn. Number of troops would require teamwork - 3 waves from 3 different players.
    It seems like you'd basically be teaching new players a different game to the actual game they came to play. Its a bit like if you were teaching me to play monopoly, but because you didn't think i'd be interested enough to stick around for the full thing you said 'Pass go three times to win' instead.
    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)

  4. #4

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    Too literal Martin - not actually crew but invited by Travian to supervise the sandpit. Perhaps ex crew? The incentive might be gold to spend on other servers? Anyone who is known to be able to play well and be interested in developing new talent.

    For example - one alliance in each quad and that is all you can join - smaller quads with one artefact arriving at 0,0. If it is small enough everyone can attack everyone either going through 0,0 or the other direction.

    Omg - re something to do - I have a hard time not finding things to do on a slow server!! I am NEVER playing a speed server - I'd be in a loony bin!

    Yes it would be a different game - part of the issue is probably the time commitment so you need to get them hooked with a shorter game. Speed isn't the answer as the requirement to be on line more frequently is too onerous for a noob in most cases. I would however design it so it had more than a passing resemblance to the real one so that the transition was easy.

    Bad example on Monopoly. You have just made my point as there is a junior monopoly game. My son loved it and then graduated to the full version a number of years later. In that case most of the issue was the time involvement in getting to the end of a full monopoly game - the junior one is much quicker and simpler.... It also makes the transition pretty straightforward. If he didn't like junior monopoly I wouldn't have suggested playing the full version...QED.

  5. #5
    MartinJames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hawken View Post
    Too literal Martin - not actually crew but invited by Travian to supervise the sandpit. Perhaps ex crew? The incentive might be gold to spend on other servers? Anyone who is known to be able to play well and be interested in developing new talent.
    But theres already players doing that job fairly well on active servers, I'd count myself in that number as mentioned earlier with my alliance on UK1 having committed a lot of time to new players.
    Omg - re something to do - I have a hard time not finding things to do on a slow server!! I am NEVER playing a speed server - I'd be in a loony bin!
    Haham well when you first start out raiding isn't something you do until a while in at least, you tend to start out just building stuff, wait for res, build more stuff :p

    Bad example on Monopoly. You have just made my point as there is a junior monopoly game. My son loved it and then graduated to the full version a number of years later. In that case most of the issue was the time involvement in getting to the end of a full monopoly game - the junior one is much quicker and simpler.... It also makes the transition pretty straightforward. If he didn't like junior monopoly I wouldn't have suggested playing the full version...QED.
    But does junior monopoly change the victory conditions? Thats one of the most important parts to know of any game really.
    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. #6

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    I can see both Bob Hawken's and MJ's points of view. I think there would be a value for a "hands-on/real game" tutorial that goes beyond what can be learned by the task master...sure, it won't give a clear idea of the whole game, but it would help getting new players up to speed and with an overview of the basics before being thrown into the depth. This is what alliance leaders try to do (at least the good ones), but it does require time and in a standard game it "eats up" the time one can devote to the rest of the game (strategy, diplomacy, and looking after one's account). On the other hand, not sure a training server would actually work, since it would hardly give enough chances to try on the various aspects. Maybe one could think about asking a couple of more experienced players to run some beginners alliances in new rounds to come. They would not be in the game to win it (which means that incentives of some type, such as those suggested by BH might be helpful) but it would be an interesting challenge for those who enjoy that aspect of the game.

    Alternative could be better tutorials/tools, but there is a limit to how many of these an experienced player is willing to share (at least while they are still playing). I know I've debated often enough with my dual on whether we should try to make our analysis tools public, but they are one of the things that give us an edge in the game, and if there is the chance we get back to it we wouldn't like everyone on the server to have them...
    Luna (1/2 Ram Punch, UK1 2012/13)
    Who needs a meta when 27 players can win a round? Gogogogogogogogogo WOPPPaaaaa!

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    intelligencer Honoured Gaul MemberHonoured Gaul MemberHonoured Gaul MemberHonoured Gaul Member james22's Avatar
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    The main problem with that is how much can be got for very little effort on T4's, experience and skill were learned the hard way, through hours of trial and error, getting smashed up, having all your troops lost or villages chiefed. Now you can buy back your troops and heroes, buy new villages, buy extra strength and save your villages with loyalty and free defence (I'm not saying that it doesn't take skill to play properly mind). A lot of the gameplay that develops a player is gone from the game, and it is down to the old guard to try and keep it alive. You get alliances that assist with training wings, you'll even get leaders who will sit with a new player for weeks teaching them the ropes, but at the end of it all you're still looking at hundreds of "more money than sense" players with only a handful around to teach them how to play properly, and a system trying harder and harder to pander to their needs while alienating the experienced, until that trend shifts keeping players in the game isn't going to happen...
    Nobility is not a birthright, it is defined by one's actions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinJames View Post
    But theres already players doing that job fairly well on active servers, I'd count myself in that number as mentioned earlier with my alliance on UK1 having committed a lot of time to new players.
    There's too few alliance leaders like this

    I think part of the difficulty is that most new players are neither active nor committed enough for a top alliance. What's the best way to get them addicted

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    Quote Originally Posted by septimus ii View Post
    There's too few alliance leaders like this

    I think part of the difficulty is that most new players are neither active nor committed enough for a top alliance. What's the best way to get them addicted
    We've got a handful of actually new ones, a fair few more of them our not necessarily new players, but they're players who on previous couple of servers were in the more traditional newbie alliance - the ones that give bad advice and where nobody at all knows how to play, those players actually tend to be quite easy to work with, since you don't have to explain absolute basics. The main thing I watch out for is a good application, a new player who makes that kind of effort deserves something. The best application i've had in a long time came from a new player on UK1, she's the best new player I've ever seen though mind, had read several guides and pages on T4 answers as soon as signing up.
    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)

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by septimus ii View Post
    There's too few alliance leaders like this

    I think part of the difficulty is that most new players are neither active nor committed enough for a top alliance. What's the best way to get them addicted
    I can Vouche for this because ever server i have played with martin or against him i have and he has always taken in newbies to help show the ropes. As martin says, its the application they send over which often is a good shout to if they are worthwhile or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Someone View Post
    I can Vouche for this because ever server i have played with martin or against him i have and he has always taken in newbies to help show the ropes. As martin says, its the application they send over which often is a good shout to if they are worthwhile or not.
    Thank you I think possibly people don't want to do it so much is because it can be very difficult to get the formula right. For example on UK2 in PX we got it wrong, several key players left to form foad because they weren't happy that the alliance had included several less experienced players. on UK1 on the other hand the top players have all been happy to try and help as much as they can/ The top players need to be happy to help an be a part of it, the newer players need to be prepared to make the effort, and be receptive to advice. Without both of those you can't really do an awful lot.
    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)

  12. #12
    intelligencer Honoured Gaul MemberHonoured Gaul MemberHonoured Gaul MemberHonoured Gaul Member james22's Avatar
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    It's always a balance, those that want to be playing just with experienced players, and those that recognise you need to take in a train a bit of new blood to continue
    Nobility is not a birthright, it is defined by one's actions.

    "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few"

  13. #13

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    I agree with you, MJ, and I am one of those alliance leaders who at least tries to help out less experienced players (sept might disagree though :p ) and some of the best players that were in WOP last round were players that had started with us on their first server and followed us over here. On the other hand, I don't think it is very common, and it's definitely a matter of luck whether you end up in the right alliance or not. And of course it's at least partially luck whether you get accepted (you mention the best application form you have seen, but who explains to new players what a good form looks like? or how to distinguish a good alliance from a rubbish one?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha78 View Post
    Ill split the new player stuff into a separate thread later as its largely distinct from the specific cranny idea; but keep chatting in the meantime

    Thanks Sam
    Luna (1/2 Ram Punch, UK1 2012/13)
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy View Post
    I agree with you, MJ, and I am one of those alliance leaders who at least tries to help out less experienced players (sept might disagree though :p ) and some of the best players that were in WOP last round were players that had started with us on their first server and followed us over here. On the other hand, I don't think it is very common, and it's definitely a matter of luck whether you end up in the right alliance or not. And of course it's at least partially luck whether you get accepted (you mention the best application form you have seen, but who explains to new players what a good form looks like? or how to distinguish a good alliance from a rubbish one?)
    Well we took on one of the 'newbie' alliances as a wing around week 6/7 which helped - they'd already recruited a lot of the players, the leaders after speaking to me and Lord Aslan could see that we'd be able to help them. That alliance was doing okay in raid, off, sim stats, had one or two very good experienced players in there already, and the only people popping up on their def logs were us pretty much :p
    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)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinJames View Post
    Well we took on one of the 'newbie' alliances as a wing around week 6/7 which helped - they'd already recruited a lot of the players, the leaders after speaking to me and Lord Aslan could see that we'd be able to help them. That alliance was doing okay in raid, off, sim stats, had one or two very good experienced players in there already, and the only people popping up on their def logs were us pretty much :p
    Problem is, it still relies on several levels of luck:
    1) There is an experienced alliance willing to take a newbie alliance as wing (note that there are alliances that don't play with wing, which would imply taking newbies in your main wing ) or a newbie who is lucky enough to write a good application form or convince the leaders in some other way
    2) The leader of the newbie alliance is good enough to convince the leaders of the experienced alliance to get them in
    3) The leader of the experienced alliance is willing to take the time (or give up experienced players' time) to explain the game
    Luna (1/2 Ram Punch, UK1 2012/13)
    Who needs a meta when 27 players can win a round? Gogogogogogogogogo WOPPPaaaaa!

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    intelligencer Honoured Gaul MemberHonoured Gaul MemberHonoured Gaul MemberHonoured Gaul Member james22's Avatar
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    If you've got a few experienced players along with you, getting the newbies upto scratch isn't difficult. Tha main problem is getting them to
    1) ask for help
    2) accept we know more about the game dynamics and listen to the help
    3) act on said help
    Nobility is not a birthright, it is defined by one's actions.

    "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few"

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by james22 View Post
    If you've got a few experienced players along with you, getting the newbies upto scratch isn't difficult.
    Agreed, though I know a bunch of experienced players and only very few who are willing or able to help others (much like I know a bunch of experts in various fields and very few good teachers). Part of it is because I am not sure all experienced players have a clear idea of *why* they do what they do: they have learnt (maybe even in T3.0) that it was a good strategy and kept repeating it for years to follow. Even when it doesn't work anymore because the game has changed

    Tha main problem is getting them to
    1) ask for help
    2) accept we know more about the game dynamics and listen to the help
    3) act on said help
    Personally, whenever I have had the time to explain why things worked, and why the "rules" were set (rather than just telling people what they should do) I hardly ever experienced that problem...I might have just been luck though...
    Luna (1/2 Ram Punch, UK1 2012/13)
    Who needs a meta when 27 players can win a round? Gogogogogogogogogo WOPPPaaaaa!

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    MartinJames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy View Post
    Problem is, it still relies on several levels of luck:
    1) There is an experienced alliance willing to take a newbie alliance as wing (note that there are alliances that don't play with wing, which would imply taking newbies in your main wing ) or a newbie who is lucky enough to write a good application form or convince the leaders in some other way
    To be fair i'm just working off how we've done it, and that having worked out quite nicely so far, is fairly early days, being 5 weeks to arties though. :p The one we took had 50 odd members, too many for bringing into a main wing

    2) The leader of the newbie alliance is good enough to convince the leaders of the experienced alliance to get them in
    They'd initially contacted us over a confed I think, and new alliances do that every server, if the experienced alliances leader is prepared to speak to them and discuss suitable terms like we did. you can probably get the right setup.

    3) The leader of the experienced alliance is willing to take the time (or give up experienced players' time) to explain the game
    Thats probably the biggest one - though on a slow server the time is fairly easy to manage, depending on the stage of the game and the styles played I guess. I'm not a heavy raider so don't have that killing time. I think your best bet is probably to get in as much as you can early on (pre artie time) so that you don't have to explain quite as much when you get into a proper war. Have a practice of same second attacks, and do the odd hero def when maybe a dodge and spend down would've have done to practice timing and such. If you can get the players and leaders willing to give the time then its doable, I can't say i've done it and its worked out awesome in the past etc. But I do genuinely believe its a doable thing. If you get the leaders willing to give the time, then they'll generally find the players somehow too I reckon.
    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)

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinJames View Post
    Thats probably the biggest one - though on a slow server the time is fairly easy to manage, depending on the stage of the game and the styles played I guess. I'm not a heavy raider so don't have that killing time. I think your best bet is probably to get in as much as you can early on (pre artie time) so that you don't have to explain quite as much when you get into a proper war. Have a practice of same second attacks, and do the odd hero def when maybe a dodge and spend down would've have done to practice timing and such. If you can get the players and leaders willing to give the time then its doable, I can't say i've done it and its worked out awesome in the past etc. But I do genuinely believe its a doable thing. If you get the leaders willing to give the time, then they'll generally find the players somehow too I reckon.
    It definitely IS a doable thing: I have done it and it has worked well, exceptionally so in some cases . Could easily name names of brilliant players who were with us last round and were only at their first or second round yet achieved massive results. I wasn't by any means suggesting it is impossible, but I do believe it is a hurdle to getting a sufficient number of new players into the game, since time is a limiting factor (especially if you are playing in/leading an alliance with ambitions in a given round).


    EDIT: 4pm, Friday...I am really enjoying the conversation, to the point of having stayed in the office 20mins longer than I wanted to, but it's time to go home at last!!!
    Luna (1/2 Ram Punch, UK1 2012/13)
    Who needs a meta when 27 players can win a round? Gogogogogogogogogo WOPPPaaaaa!

  20. #20
    MartinJames's Avatar
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    True enough, though like I say it can be very helpful to take advantage of the early game when its generally quiet enough that time isn't too much of a factor. We certainly had one advantage- something we'd got exceptional fortune with in that the leader of the wing we took on was a genuinely clever guy. He had all the right attributes for a leader barring experience, something that the other leaders of my alliance I'd got to speak to him agreed, and also Khnum who happened to have a small alliance in SE and had spoken to him in the past agreed with. Guys like that are pretty rare to be fair.

    I've never forgotten the one or two players who helped me to become a good player, they took the time to help me - I just feel like I owe the players who were like me then the same thing in return.
    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)

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