The following is constructive criticism and is no way meant to be trashing PK but an attempt to improve it by creating more new player retention.
I’ve seen a lot of discussion on what to do as a newbie on the forums, but all these “tips” a new player would not know.
- New players do not visit forums.
- New players may read the guide, but they do not want to.
I’ve played many MMOs (EQ, WoW, GW, etc) and PK has the worst start-up of any of them. We may chat about what new players should do and we may offer useful tips, but the fact is, someone that just downloaded this game wants to be instantly immersed in MMO activities. The best games are intuitive and do not require you to read anything (unless it’s like a quest) until later in the game. The fact that this game needs mentors makes it obvious that there are flaws and a miscommunication between the game’s developers and new players.
Experiences of a new player:
- I’m plopped down where I am located… okay… what do I do now? I don’t have a “quest”.
- My land has 1 tree. I can use it for healing (yay!) but to make a flag I need 3 wood. Okay, I’ll chop down that tree and get some wood. Uh oh, it only yielded 1 wood. What am I to do now? I now have only 1 berry of healing, the tree is gone, and there are a bunch of monsters around me.
- I know, I’ll walk the dog to get more wood! Hmm… where am I now? Sweet! I found more wood and now I have leather to make a flag! [Makes Flag]
- Hmm why can’t I see what’s on this flag land? Why do I need to visit a flag I just built? I am “there” at the flag. If I built it, why do I need to “visit” it? Does this game think I built it with remove control robots?
- Ok, so I’ve built a couple flags and leveled up to 3. I’ve ran out of food. By now I have discovered general chat and they tell me to sell wood and leather for food (but man I noticed people do not talk about the topic of the channel, in WoW if someone talked in regional defense that person is told not to by many people as it is the defense of the area, in PK help chat so many people do not discuss “help”!). I see a trade hub in my estates. I ‘ll collect wood and leather and sell it there!
- By now I can figure out the game is about gathering items, selling them for food, then leveling up.
Suggestions to fix bad new player experience stated above:
Give the player a more clear objective of what his or her first 5 levels will be like. This should include:
- Why and how to make flags
- How to hunt on other people’s land (I had no idea how to do this, I made all my flags on my own and as a result I went ahead and bought food… but perhaps the Devs want it this way)
- Disable feed pet option until level 10
- Disable attack option until level 10 (I think this was done, but I have not been able to test it)
- Give new players 20 wood and leather to make a couple flags with. They can build where they are (which people like) as opposed to making flags wherever the dog takes them. God forbid they hit relocate and can’t figure out how to get back to their flags.
More controversial but more effective suggestion at retaining new players:
Make the game more FUN!!! Here's 1 way how: Make monks more prevalent and make them daily quest givers. Since PK is a rather simple game, make the quest the traditional “kill x of y” or “collect x”, such as “I am making a stag hoof necklace, please give me x stag hooves and I will give you y gold / z items, etc”. These items should be soulbound and they will drop only when the player has the quest and is killing the particular type of mob. A reward of materials would greatly help new players. Most new players do not have city sewers in their city for those valuable early game mats and this would be a fun, interactive, way of doing it.
I hope you Devs figure out a good way to make PK able to retain characters better. These are my suggestions in how to do it. Implement, Critique, or reject them as you see fit.