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New Player Experience - After 22 years of looking at UO I finally 'get it'.


A quick background: I attempted to get into UO in 1999 but ultimately moved on due to being way too young to know what I was doing. I then came back around in 2004-2006 where I would mess around on private shards but would rarely log into the same character twice. A lot of this was due to just not knowing how to play the game.
Fast forward to today: I have been active on Outlands for 3 weeks now and am having a great time. This is after a failed attempt to play Outlands nearly a year ago.

Today I was listening to the most recent Inside Outlands episode that Owyn was a guest on, and towards the end of the episode he was spit balling ideas on how to make Outlands a better experience for new players and have it be more likely that they continue to return to the shard. I feel that my experience on this shard could have been a quick one as well, except for a few things that differed when I gave it a second chance.

When I first joined the server I made a bard thanks to a helpful Youtube video. The class was fun but ultimately I didn't understand enough of what was going on to save myself from getting dunked by players and monsters alike. But at the very least I still got much more out of the game then I ever had before on other shards. Part of that was due to Youtube and the active content creators that you have. The other part was due to friendly people seeing a scrub in distress and stepping in to replace gear. I just didn't understand all of these fancy aspect systems and what item was worth what and how they kept disappearing from my bags.

Fast forward to last month when I started seeing Trammie releasing more content and now he has a guild of people just like me going out and learning the game. I reinstalled Outlands and got to work... making 2 more characters that were way too ambitious for a few player. But! third time is a charm after speaking with fellow SQzD members and I came across a player template that was just right for someone like myself. Then what really made me finally say "ah ha!" was when this kind soul said "meet me in Shelter and I will give you everything to start your shadow aspect". It was that type of hand out that gave me what I needed to finally feel like I had a chance of figuring this out.

Now for the easy reading.

Why I failed to stick around in Outlands approx. 1 year ago:
  1. Not having enough experience with UO (my fault).
  2. Not understanding how to use Razor.
  3. Confusion over what items were used for what (not recognizing the importance of the wiki).
  4. No guiding hand on how to progress or what progression even looked like.
  5. I didn't read the wiki. And this is coming from someone that has another games wiki as their home page in Chrome. The wiki has great information in it, but can be difficult to navigate if you don't know what you need to be reading. I find this EQ private server's wiki to be nearly perfect. It does a good job of leading you to what you need to know, even when you don't know where to start. https://wiki.project1999.com/

Why I succeeded this time and now play all day at work:
  1. Content creators. I know everyone sings songs of praise for people like Trammie Surprise and Pwnstarr, but they have made this game obtainable for people like myself.
  2. Being given all 6 shadow distillations, cores, arcane essence, and the aspect kit by a very kind player. Collecting this myself as a new player who was already very confused would have likely ended with me giving up again.
  3. The Wiki. Armed with new information thanks to content creators and SQzD I was able to dig deeper into important parts of the game that I didn't know about when I first started on the shard. Though like I said before, this wouldn't of happened before since I "didn't know what I didn't know"
  4. Outlands Discord. From finally understanding how to use Razor properly to learning how to buy and sell things, the Discord server is a larger part of the shard then I first realized.

I will keep this somewhat short for you guys and gals. If anyone on the staff would like more insight into my new player experience I would love to share. I have a background in game/VR/AR LiveOps and would love to write some more. I know the new user experience can be a tricky one to dial in and my newbie perspective might be of some use.



Ironically I had never played EQ, a friend of mine was hardcore into it back in the day.. a number of years ago, I decided to go back to it with him, I literally lasted a week, before I thought - this game is horrible, can't even figure out what to do, how to do it, with years of MMO experience under my belt.. Having really gotten into UO back in the day, UO comes natural to me, yet, it's as clunky, and outdated as you can get from a new player perspective, so I definitely understand what your talking about.

I didn't listen to the last couple of podcasts, but Owyn has said in the past, they are looking to broaden the newplayer experience, put a couple of quests, potentially get you into some of these systems early, for free or have them limited, so that you at least get introduced, because your right, it's incredibly hard to find your way, if you've never done UO before - and the reality is, you only find it, if your finding some of this player content - which is hard to find, if you don't even know where to start looking, or what to look for.

Thank you for sharing your story though, love it!