I tried it out the area. I ran into problems at the grizzled dwarf. Apparently my quest journal wasn't updated after practicing skills, and killing the bear didn't yield a skin, so I was unable to proceed. I'll stop by again a little later and see if you're around, as I have a few suggestions.
As you know I was there yesterday to check it out. Very nice to meet you and your staff Volk (who was very helpful, came to my aid immediately when I had a question). I have also just rewritten the stock Darkhaven Academy and was very curious to see how others approached it.
Overall, I'd rate it a 7/10. It's excellent in terms of display, the mprogs instead of reading room descs was a pleasant experience as I know people get bored reading long text. It was easy to do and I passed through it without a hitch. Can certainly tell a lot of hard work has gone into it. Good job :)
From a designers perspective and thinking in terms of new players who have no MUD experiece whatsoever, here's a little feedback:
- With the mprogs moving you around, there's no explanation of basic movement commands or of opening/closing doors or what exits are. IMO these are important commands to identify early in a tutorial. As soon as you graduate and pass through, a new player would be totally lost in that closed room. - Equipment, inventory, killing, looting, looking in containers, all these important commands were explained easily. I think maybe score, your health, regen, etc should also be explained. A lot of new players who don't know about health usually end up dead in 5 mins and never come back. - A small point, but I felt that the last room, The Tribune Council, was too spammy. With 5 mobs all talking the screen scrolled a little too fast. The screen scrolling throughout the academy was fine for me but again may be too fast for new players. In some spots the mob asks you to type something or do something and continues talking before you can do it. Not sure if you can slow it down or trigger it to continue.
Those are my general comments on the experience. Here's a few a few other suggestions:
- At the lizardman: A lizardman tells you ' Greetings Hanaisse. ' A lizardman demonstrates swim to you. You feel more learned in this subject. then it goes on to.. A lizardman tells you ' I am going to teach you how to swim, and travel underwater. Seems backwards to me. Shouldn't he tell you he's going to teach you before he actually does?
- At the bear: Exits: up. A bearskin has been left here. (31) A black bear is looking for food here. Hmm, I could have easily just picked up a skin rather than kill the bear however I did kill the bear and found he loaded 3 more skins. Since I was 'told' to Get All Corpse, I end up with extra baggage in my inventory, something a new player wouldn't know what to do with.
- There are various spelling and grammatical errors (sorry, I'm a stickler for that kind of thing). I won't list them all here, I'll probably return to the game and hopefully we can spend a few minutes chatting about them.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience very much. Makes me feel like I've put no effort at all into my boring "go read stuff" Academy, lol. Plus, I liked the questing, helps you get out into the city and look around.
Hey Vlad, I've went through your beginning and it was pretty good. I think a suggestion would be to ask if the player has been there before and if he'd want to skip the tutorial. He could then say yes and be taken to the starting area. It looked really good though.
I guess I want all new people to go through the school, mayhaps I can solve this by at the end of tutorial telling them they can use a skip command. That way if they recreate, or what not, they will know next time, but new people still will have to go through the school.