Topic: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

I would like to raise a few issues with the current "new player experience"

Assuming that most new players are going to start with combat, and until agent missions are introduced that might have an additional reward. A player will have to collect drone kernels and loot to refine/sell to gain access to the next tier bot.

Curently. the time required for a player to transition from their introduction machine to something a little better is prohibitive. To capture the interest and try to give the new player the feeling of progress and ownership, and a greater reason to come back, they shoould be able to see a visible progression within 2-4 hours.

A few ways i believe this could be approached to reduce the current grind time .

1) TUTORIAL - a series of tasks that introduce and involve the pilot in various aspects of the game. kill some npc to recover a license copy. scan and mine some ore, harvest some plants. do 1 level of research. and build one unit of XXX bot . which is the players reward for completing the tasks.

2) TRANSITION - add 1-XX new robots that are a transition between starter and light . prices at around 200-300k NIC. possible based on 1 per race, with 1 less turret slot and 50% of the bonus that a light would give.

3) ITEM BALANCE - possible increase the drop rate of kernels from the standard "drone" . care would have to be taken to ensure the NIC/hour ratio is maintained so that higher level players dont gain from farming these. possible increase the ammo drop rate/ammount by 10-20%

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

1. there will be no more "new" player till the mission-patch (or even longer)
2. the npc orders will be back soon, so you can sell your loot again with constant minimum-prizes

this is just a temporary problem - best solutions would be teaming up with someone else and do kernel-farming on something bigger then drones (eg. 2nd star smasher)

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

The deletion of npc buy orders was a test ... well i think the test showed there are not enough players atm hmm
the best thing would be some "market IA" that would be able to interact with the market, and add buy and/or sell orders when needed (item not available, or prices out of range)

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

While I agree that a new-player experience is needed, I disagree with your reasoning. The difficulty of the "grind" should be a motivation for new players to join a corporation, or dabble in other disciplines until the player can purchase a new bot. I actually made a character to test out how difficult it was to make NIC as a new player, and I was able to break 100k NIC in about an hour through mining.

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

Bunkerkind Anni wrote:

1. there will be no more "new" player till the mission-patch (or even longer)
2. the npc orders will be back soon, so you can sell your loot again with constant minimum-prizes

this is just a temporary problem - best solutions would be teaming up with someone else and do kernel-farming on something bigger then drones (eg. 2nd star smasher)

errm. thought the entire reason for beta testing was for a live launch. and live launch you hope like hell you have MANY noobs. . i aslso believe npc market was expected to not be around in live aws it was a true player driven market.

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

Bambi wrote:

the best thing would be some "market IA" that would be able to interact with the market, and add buy and/or sell orders when needed (item not available, or prices out of range)

that would kill free market. if you have a script that stabilises a market you cannot compete. price gouge. undercut et c.

edit - wiould also kill the ability for traders to fill market gaps and make income etc

Last edited by datamax (2010-01-23 16:45:37)

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

actually, the npc market is meant to be removed AFTER release, not @ release.

and this is the "closed" beta - which is for polishing existing concepts and find missing things, which should be in before the "open" beta starts

open beta is then more for testing things that need a bigger playerbase, like open market, POS and server stability.

i dont know in which phase they gonna test terraforming.

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

Bunkerkind Anni wrote:

i dont know in which phase they gonna test terraforming.

Mmm, closed beta phase?
I do hope the terraforming is added during the cb, that means sooner possible ...
1. missions
2. industry revamp
3. terraforming

Could be in , well, 2-3 months maybe??

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

Bambi wrote:
Bunkerkind Anni wrote:

i dont know in which phase they gonna test terraforming.

Mmm, closed beta phase?
I do hope the terraforming is added during the cb, that means sooner possible ...
1. missions
2. industry revamp
3. terraforming

Could be in , well, 2-3 months maybe??

Devs said no terraforming until after release.

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

I can confirm that, there is no real point in terraforming until you can't actually own that land and the mechanics for that are not done yet.

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." -- Bill Cosby

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

Roastduck wrote:

I actually made a character to test out how difficult it was to make NIC as a new player, and I was able to break 100k NIC in about an hour through mining.

this proves my point very nicely actually

1) experienced player that knew what do do on creation
2) 7 hours mining to get a better bot. (sustained 100k per hour)

not sure about you. but for a new player. by the time they master scanning, locate a good spot . THEN spend 7 hours mining in one spot to get an upgrade?

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

you cant really tell how a new player will experience this game when it goes live.

1. the Tutorial is not done yet (90% of the new playerbase will ignore that anyway)j
2. when i started this game, i wasnt able to do anything. now i know how to get money and equip fast -> but that will change when the Mission system is online.
3. i believe that short after release, the market will fill with demands for either resources or offers of basic equipment.

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

Keep in mind that there are more ways to make money in this game. Sure, it might take a while to scan down a good mining spot, but why spend hours mining it, when an enterprising new player could sell it to a corp? Scan down a decent-sized imentium deposit of about 40-50%, sell the scans to an industrial corp for a couple of million NIC

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

roast.. dunno mate.. smells like scam to me. unless there is a way to TRADE the item. and it can be verified for authenticity prior to sale.

wait forget i said that.. if your willing to buy scan results from brand new players for a few million. then i have a few i prepared earlier.. guranteed 48% stermonit !! (or jsut a random square i scanned and renamed just for you)

bunker. i am aware of that. i was merely recommending a few ideas to ensure player retention is a healthy percent. . i can only comment on whats here now. and what would be classified "acceptable" at launch.

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

data, then the pressure is on for sellers to prove that they're legit, and corps to be wary. Welcome to the sandbox

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

Hmm scamming on the scans could be easy at the front end but once the Area scan is loaded the buyer knows the percentage and type of ore. All it takes is the wrong Corp scammed and you will have a hard time in game.
Even if you just sell a bad scan to a single PC the forums will be lit up with your name and any alts they can figure you play under.
Good luck scamming with the scans. tongue -V

PS I know some may feel that scaning for ore is a grind and the learning curve a bit tediuos but I found it rather fun myself. It brought about a subclass combining figting and industrial skills called a 'Prospector.' As in the old gold rush days of the wild west. Which also brings to mind sense the scans are tangible items in your cargo bay are they lootable?:/ -V

Last edited by Vintnor DiEisen (2010-01-29 12:39:26)

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

Normally I wouldn't necro a thread, but it's pretty much perfect for what I have to say, and even references the fact that "new players" wouldn't be added for a while.

Since there are now new players again, I can point out my noob experience as of current date.

I have no desire to mine. I made a character with combat skills and experience, so that's how my character intends to play. As such I never considered for a moment that I would even try to mine anything for money. (Which is probably fairly safe to assume will go for a good number of players who begin to play upon the game's release.)

As such I started to shoot things. Drones. I also played around with the two police missions. (Mind you, the other combat missions are WAY too hard, as I verified . . . which is odd considering the police missions are at the BOTTOM of the list!) Some success there, I suppose . . .

In any case, at this point in time I can say that a pure grind on "Drones" recycling all the autocannons and selling off the kernels is the quickest way to a new mech. Which means that if you engage in some super boring, repetitive, and (since they spawn AT the starting bases) potentially competitive killing, you can get a new light mech (whee, four guns!) which will allow you to farm these even faster, which will then allow you to buy a new assault mech. (As it is possible to kill other lights in the non-noob light, but it involves more travel and more risk . . . both things that limit the bottom line.)

IMO this isn't very engaging, and isn't going to make people want to play.

The tutorial should eventually be much longer, and should guide you though doing things to the point that you have upgraded your mech (perhaps even twice, once for combat and once for industry assuming there are two main paths for the tutorial) and should give you a much better look at the world than you get just slaughtering Drones out front . . .

It could be argued that farming the Droids is not necessary, that you can do the racial droids as well . . . except for the fact that you need to remember ammunition drops, and the costs of resupply. If you're not killing what drops your ammo, you will have a huge problem with ammo supplies. I burnt through 400 rounds doing police file 2, which if you look at 93NIC per, is nearly 40k NIC . . . for a 7.5k NIC assignment. I got a single badly damaged EM gun that run before I failed with 1 loot left (mission times are far too restrictive . . . just imagine competing with 15 other people for spawns on release day . . . that hour will pass in mission area "A" . . .) which sold for a profit of 5k after repair. I got about 80 EM rounds, which I kept. At the time I was using the kernels, which is apparently the WRONG thing to do for a noob who wants a new robot! But of course the system does not tell you that . . . it just says you can research them. So I did, and blew whatever profit I might have made.

After a number of hours of messing around with the assignments (during which police file 1 became unavailable) I decided to switch up and simply kill off the drones out front, thus ensuring unlimited ammo and stuff to sell off. It worked much more efficiently than trying to actually "follow the missions" or "do the quests" like most people are used to from other games.

So if the goal is to make the grind the most effective way to do anything as a noob, and if it is intended to be boring and repetitive on the way to the first tangible upgrade (which we must be honest is going to be the first new robot players get) then we are on track.

If, however, the goal is fun and immersion into the world, there's a ways to go.

(P.S. I got chewed out in chat for "crying" last night about how it was "too hard" to get a new robot. I don't think it's difficult to grind Drones. I just think it's boring. The point of a beta is not to run around figuring out how to best grind things out upon release. It is to make suggestions that will be beneficial to the health of the game . . . like how to captivate and retain players.

So please, if you don't agree that the game should have more story/tutorial/assignment emphasis, that's fine, but please don't mistake my suggestions for an inability to manage to play the game in it's current form. That's simply disrespectful.)

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

I'm one of these "new players" that you talk about. Started a couple days ago.
The grind to get into the upgraded bot was a bit annoying, but, the goal was clearly defined and it really wasn't that bad. Also I did get some nicer equipment (armor repairer, and looted guns) for the starting bot which helped. Got a player in something big to run through one of the tougher missions with me but it really wasn't that rewarding.

Anyway, the thing that's really limiting when starting out, is not cash, but rather EP. I have about 2mil-worth (at NPC prices) of various gear now (weapon tuning, armor hardeners etc) and am still stuck with the 4-turret light bot. I need probably at least a week of EP to get the required levels for an assault bot, and that's me starting full military spec.

Doing the harder-missions (bounty hunting, against lights) once you get light bot is not that hard, especially once you figure out the damage types to use against enemies. Sometimes they'll mob you but you can always run away, and generally you can get it down to 2-3 shooting at you, which is manageable.

As for combat, from the perspective of a newbie with very little by way of skills - by far the greatest limiting factor is accumulator. I don't have enough to even run my armor rep continuously with nothing else turned on. The skills to improve it need a LOT of EP and I'd rather save for an assault bot anyway. Running 3 light EM railguns (don't have RP for 4) and a weapon tuning, I can run the armor rep maybe onec per 30-40 seconds. Without the guns maybe one per 20-25 ish (so just a bit of pause instead of running continuous). Yes I do know about peak recharge and to not let accu run down too low.

Anyway that's just my views on it. Basically everything is fine, just have to wait for EP. Maybe a bonus to EP gain for your first week or two, double/triple rate just to help you get some basic skills, would be useful. Not much more to add here.

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

That other game gives double learning for x amount of points because it allows new players to get up to speed more quickly. That was, however, a post-release feature.

I do think that it is an idea which has merit. If everyone is gaining EP at the same rate nobody has an advantage. If the first 2 weeks or month or two months (or whatever) are double speed, then you have more ability to play around with your character(s) . . .

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

Some really good post guys. If I may put in my 2 cents.

I think everyone needs to realize the DEVS need to finish the core game first before they start tweaking stuff like double, triple the EP amount gained for an X amount of time or anything else for that matter at this stage.

But with that said keep the discussion going. Some really good community feedback here.

Perpetuum Community Wizard Guy!
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Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

Like the previous couple of posters I've nestled into the game in the last couple of days, and I'm experiencing similar feelings.

Whilst I found the help channel very useful on the whole, the more settled players have advised me to farm the drones as an initial source of income. Whilst this is logical, it is intensely boring. I cannot take more than 45 minutes of it at a time. The rookie guns are very weak, and the slightest relief in the terrain will skew applied damage. I'm all for the cover system but micro-managing every slope is a nightmare.

Loot drops can be quite depressing. I went through seven drones this morning and all of them dropped the ''police file-thing'' which appears to be worthless. Ammo of course is useful but in terms of progression, and being specced for lasers eventually, only a weak pulse for a hamstrung new player experience.

I quickly learned that attempting the lowest level of bounty hunting missions was a big mistake in my rookie-bot, which was again off putting. Whilst I'm sure enterprising players have found innovative mays to make dough, these initial play times for me were less than immersive. I felt as if I'd been consigned to some sort of Drone run purgatory:/

I'm sitting on about 800k. I'm struggling to motivate myself to carry on.

People are gonna flame me for saying that but new players cannot be expected to think anything else at the moment. We're playing a game which is very similar to Eve and therefore bound to draw comparisons. Eve has been around for years of course, but Perpetuum's first few hours will make or break it for most people. Couple that with the fact that it (graphically) looks like a Playstation 1 title, and I fear for its future.

I love the idea of this game. I realise that we are playing a beta and I'm very impressed with what has been done so far in terms of artwork, the market etc. I'm excited to be part of it. I am just a little staggered at the initial effort it takes to get off the ground through solo play.

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

My first time in the game today, I ran across somebody named Muawijhe who was apparently camping a newbie target drone point with a sensor booster.  Consequently, I was completely stonewalled when it came to trying to get the first mission done because he would always lock on first and kill the mobs.  He was password protecting his containers without bothering to loot them, so I'm guessing he was just griefing.

So, for individuals who find themselves in my situation, I guess you could measure the grind at infinity% too high.

Last edited by Galdron (2010-05-28 23:14:07)

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

Containers not belonging to you (ie he got the first hit on the drone) will always show a password box.

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

Prophet wrote:

Containers not belonging to you (ie he got the first hit on the drone) will always show a password box.

I see.  Hmm, he still wasn't looting them, though, so that was pretty suspect.

Re: beginner experience - grind or no grind?

well tbh when i kill the basic drones, i take all loot except the datalogs cause they're mission-only. maybe that's what he was doing. it still leaves cans tho.