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We shall grab n00bs with both hands!

Napisany przez MatthewChow, 16-11-2018, 15:55

We shall grab n00bs with both hands!

Offline MatthewChow

(14-11-2018, 04:04)MatthewChow Wrote: There's also another thing I'm just realizing that is wrong...
When you play any NFS games, the first thing the game gets you to do is to drive a fully tuned car (NFSU Integra, NFSU2 350Z, anyone?). That happens exactly as a strategy to hook the player into the game, telling him or her right away that "this" is what they're working for. A beautiful high performance car! That is what shows what the game is about!
With NFSSA, your first experience is very boring by comparison, and so is your first car. Slow and ugly, and in most cases not even tuning it will help...
I think the real NFS games have a way more exciting introduction to them, with NFSSA, I can almost say there's literally no introduction.

If we made the start a little more exciting, fun, intuitive and specially more informative, it would help retention a lot, because the player wouldn't just be there looking around trying to get a clue, it would know exactly what he was getting into, what his end goals are, and thinking to himself "Holy fuck, this is cool!".
We seriously need to work on a flashy entrance and good advertisement.

A few days ago I posted this.
I've been thinking, and I think I could develop a bit more into this subject...

All Need For Speed games, at least from Porsche Unleashed up, have a brief story to place the player in the right mindset. In Underground you are in the middle of a crowded street race. You find yourself at the wheel of an iconic widebody high performance Integra. In the first two minutes you know exactly what Underground is all about! From then on, you basically work to get the experience you had in your first race, leveling up your car to be at the same stage of the one you first drove.
Underground 2 is a similar formula. Rachel lends your car to you and by doing races with her car, you get a taste of what Underground 2 is all about.
Most Wanted, once again, similar formula, but this time even better! Once again, you own this iconic widebody high performance BMW which you immediately fall in love with, you get a taste of it and you get it taken from you in a race. This works even better because the whole game is exactly about you trying to recover that exact car! The ultimate prize.
Carbon, same formula. You know where this is going.
Basically, in all games, you start with this high performance car in your hands that gives you this great feeling of power, that you lose almost immediately. The objective in all the games is to get that power back, the feeling of driving a powerful fast car back. Since the very beginning, you know what the game is about and you got your objective set. It literally tells you "You see this car? This is what you're working for! Get your power back.".
Even non car related games do this. Ever played through the intro of any Saints Row game? It's freaking epic! It's that, it's power, the beginnings have to be exciting and prepare you for what comes next.

Why doesn't NFS:SA have that?! When you start NFS:SA you're this powerless meaningless thing in a Manana who can't do shit. You don't even know what you're doing there! You stand there looking at all these guys in Freerun because you can't Duel any of them as they're at least two tiers above you, but you can't join a quick race either because there's almost no one to race with because you're literally so freaking weak! You can figure out as far as doing Diamond Hunts, but you can't do Magazine Runs because your car doesn't have the 3 star rating yet, you can't really do Time Trials because you know you're slow as fuck so you don't even try, and, you feel like this insect being thrown in the wind and it's just not a good feeling. You leave the game because it's just too much. It's everything but intuitive and you're just not having fun.

That's exactly the opposite experience we have with a good old NFS game. The antonym of exciting.

This is a server based on the Need For Speed series. Copy what makes it successful!

With this, now I start talking about what I think it could help our case...

What does this game lack? Well, for starters, and introduction to itself!
Yes, the freaking title says "Need For Speed: San Andreas", that's why you clicked it in the first place! That tells you quite directly what the server is about, but that doesn't mean that you should be thrown in it like some fart in the toilet! That is no way of presenting a toilet to a fart! Or, I mean, your new players ain't farts, and you shouldn't be throwing them anywhere, you're gotta give them your hand and ease them into your server. Mess with their mind a bit, show them how your book got a good looking cover, like a good seller does, you know what I mean? Show the best you got right away so they know what they got coming.
The way I'd do this, in this particular case, is with a very vague introduction story, like we have in the Need For Speed games. I think Underground 2 is everyone's favorite, so I'm going for something that closely resembles the intro to that one because I even think it fits well with San Andreas' map, as none of the other games had the intro scene in open world freerun.

After making your account, NFS:SA has you transported to a character selection screen where each character is leaning on a Bobcat... Now, what the fuck does a stock Bobcat have to do with the game? You can't even get the Bobcat ingame, so, why is it there? And as far as anything goes, a guy leaning on a Bobcat doesn't tell us a thing about the server! There's no message. Or, actually, there is, it tell us that Bobcat is one of the cars we can select, and it's a lie. Not a good start, in my opinion. Don't remind us of the existence of what we can't have, show us what we can have!
Lets look at Underground 2... You just came from another place, you arrive in a place at the airport and your friend has hooked you up with a car so you can get home. ... That is a good and yet vague introduction! Lets use that!
So, imagine this. You just made your account in NFS:SA. The next screen shows you an airplane approaching San Fierro's landing strip. (I'm sorry for the kindergarten drawings, but I'm in a hurry.)

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You are then transported inside the airplane, and this now is your character selection screen! Each character is sat at their respective place in each seat and your camera pans around to each character so you can select the one you want. Imagine GTA:VC's weapon store.

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You select your character and type in their name. You now see the airplane landing and the screen fading into dark.
(Insert loading screen here if needed)
Fade in, the camera is now point to a car next to a door, your character just outside that door (since that door can't actually be opened) walking towards and entering that car. An iconic widebody fully tuned high performance car.

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The car turns on and lets out a powerful cold start rumble, the lights turn on and the camera now rotates to its normal driving position. Your only objective shown on the screen: Reach your garage at Doherty.
Now, this will still be offline for now. There's two ways we could go with this, either make a time trial track and just put a map marker and let the player freeroam at will, experimenting with the car. Maybe the second option is best.

When you reach the Doherty garage, you are presented with a few brief animated tutorial screens explaining activities like the DH, Magazine, Time Trials, etc, and where you can start a race, made to feel similar to those short videos in the Underground games where they explain what Drift, Drag and Street-X are for the first time.

You are then asked to pick your first car.
This is maybe the opportunity to mention the reason why you got to Doherty in that car and why you can't drive it anymore. When you see Rachel, she mentioned she was just borrowing her car to get you home. We gotta come up with something alike, and a reason for you to basically get a Class E for free now.
"You can have one of my crap cars, I wasn't going to fix them anytime soon anyway. Have fun!" - Says your imaginary friend, lol.

In Need For Speed Underground, when you choose your first car, Samantha immediately comments "Outch, that is seriously weak, dude!".
That's gotta happen here too!

You are then directed to enter Freerun, and once you do, you get a message saying something along the lines of "Your car is very weak for racing. If you find out you can't compete, go to the nearest Rent-A-Car so they can hook you up a better ride until you can modify yours."

The Rent-a-car feature:
- Grinding in stock cars is not fun. -

These are pre-modified cars - complete builds - you cannot modify yourself. Their special ability is that when you race with one of these, the RP gained will be sent directly to a pre-selected car.
For example, you just bought a Manana and you can't do anything with it. Can't level up through Magazines, can't be good at pursuits, you can't find races. Instead of being limited to DH, you'd use one of these cars to do these kind of tasks and find races more easily while that whole grind would be leveling up the Manana to a playable state.
This "service" would be free until the player levels up his first car to 100%. Since after that there is no excuse for that car not being able to compete, the rental car is removed and the service gets back to being a Premium only service.
As a premium service, you can have any of the rental cars for as long as you got Premium on, however, they will only level up your selected car up to the 6th tier (just enough to reach a 2/2/2 or 0/3/3 build). 
This system is somewhat similar to when you buy a Premium tank in World Of Tanks or WarThunder, if you ever played those games. To me this is more natural as buyable premium instead of the miserable and completely unnoticed 10% extra RP and $$ we get from having premium. Because, admit it, you only buy premium for the extra garage and vinyl slots...

If you choose to enter the quick race lobby with your stock first car, all the players in the server that are either at the garage or Freerun will get notified that a first time player has entered the quick race lobby. The objective of this is that you, this new player, have the fastest queuing time possible so you don't get the perception the server is freaking deserted, and so the more experienced players that choose to join will be sensitized to go easy on you, noob, instead of murdering you right away, lol.

If and when you do choose to get a rental car, you'll have a more reduced list of cars to select from what an older player simply using premium has. A selection of very different cars that suit different needs and tastes, cars like a AWD Rally Euros or Sultan, an easy to drive FWD Blista, an SUV, a Muscle or a drift build Uranus, so that you can experiment with different styles and plan ahead on what kind of racing you want to do most of (instead of failing miserably trying to drift with a Manana...). I'm excluding Vintage cars because those can be unlocked very early on and I'm aiming at C class cars because they are the sweet spot between fun, drivability, easy match making and competitiveness.

Whatever the car chosen, the first time a new player joins the quick race lobby, the other players will get the notification to make the matching times shorter, but that will only happen in the first race. After completing the first race, that function gets disabled.

After that, it's just a matter of leveling up that first Manana - and once that happens the Rental car gets removed (showing a notification as to why and how to get it back by buying premium) - and it's normal game from then on.

And that's basically my idea to change the introduction to NFS:SA to noobs. I'm sorry for the wall, but I really GTG now, so do whatever you want with this info and see yah tonight!
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I told you it was coming!

Offline Akamataa

I really like your idea Big Grin But one thing... rental cars, can't be from A class and cant be fully tunned, to avoid making toptimes, and everyone know... a class cars are to easy to drive.
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Offline Nemercs

A good idea actually, nice.

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Offline Sardyna153

Pretty nice, and city ambience would be good https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T1fj5mPATw
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Offline susis

nice tho alot of work

Away Lefty

That would make new players a lot more confortable, very nice idea.

Offline Geimeris123

nfssa 3.0

Offline MatthewChow

Nice, I'm glad you guys liked the idea!
About the car at the airport, I was thinking it should be either an NSX Infernus or an RWB Porsche... More leaning towards RWB. It has to be something truly iconic, and all cars, including the rental ones gotta have really good looking paintjobs on them.
If this idea could someday go ahead it would be cool to have a contest for the best looking cars and dyno setups to use as airport car and rental cars. I wanna make sure the new players say "Wow" when they look at the cars! The first car has to make the player want to get it and even attempt to recreate it on their own (like everyone does with the Integra and M3 GTR...).
With this, the loading screen could get a revamp too to look more modern and artistic. One of those fancy photoshoped pictures (I've done those before, I'm willing to give it another go, with time).
Even a cover car, slash mascot car, which is basically what it is. All the Need For Speed games have those too (R34, 350Z, M3 GTR on the DVD covers of the games). > To be featured in said loading screens.
Actually, that car should be the same as the airport one, because the other NFSs did that too... I vote for a Comet with Helo's RWB kit. It looks great and it's easily recognizable.

About the rental cars for noobs, I'm imagining C class with maybe a few B class cars all tuned to have around the same score but for very different racing styles. The score is to be determined because it has to be the score there's most cars of, which I'm guessing that it is the same as a maxed C class car?... If it's that then we'd have maxed C class cars and B classes at the same score as the C.

As for rental cars for normal premium players... Well, that's for someone else to decide because I don't really care for that atm (hey, just harsh honesty...). I'm more worried with impressing noobs for now.
But I'm imagining a more complete and extensive list of cars, yes...
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I told you it was coming!

Offline Akamataa

I can help with making tune and dyno for rental cars, odc this will be different from weird dynos, that I'm actually using. Making them good, easy to handle but not OP.
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Offline scaftz

Very nice suggestion, things explained carefully and well. I will put some of my thoughts about it. Happy reading~.

I like the in airplane character creation, but guess that will be limited into only for character creation or first character creation. I like the live character selection where we select our characters, with the camera highlighting the character we selects as seen with some roleplay servers i have been into. But it would be a problem here since we have unlimited (correct me if i am wrong) characters slot using premium. however, that's really good for new characters since it follows up with what happens next, where you arrives at the Airport and finally get the first time driving.

As for the following up "try the fast car" part intro where you use a provided high tuned car, i don't think offline mode would be good for that. Currently nfssa don't feature traffic or anything, imagine how dead the city will be. That's not a good first impression for newcomers. If possible, we can have it uniquely scripted. Have it race track like mapped, Scripted traffic and scripted moments to make them climatic. We can ignore this if it's going too much scripting wise and go with the other solution, online. On the other note, i also don't really like to have them online. Clearly don't wanna see very identical starter cars goes into Doherty garage every 5 minutes interval or having "newbie cars meet". Solution for that is probably make them timed, while there's no severe consequence on failing it. Instead having the timer runs out will just send them to instantly finish their task but give them some unpleasing dialogue to mock them such as "You're too slow!" or else.

Also, instead of going to the garage, we can have it go to the car lot instead. Too much NFSU2 copy yes? well that's the idea. They are going to get a new ride anyway right? additionally, the objective may varies depends on player's choice of stating cities. E.G. I pick Grove Street as my starting place, then I started using my borrowed car on Los Santos Airport's parking lot and my objective is to go to Los Santos's Car Lot.

I would vote Sultan for the starter intro car on the airport and i have nice reasons why. It's argueably the most nice looking tuner car in SA and it's one most wanted car to have on the server. Also it's AWD, meaning with all the power it had shoved toward the newbies on their first time driving on nfssa, they would still fairly control it with ease. It's also placed on the middle tier in term of performance in game, so if they thought that it's the peak of what we can have on the server, WRONG! progress up and see by yourselves. This car also features decent amount of customizations since it got a tuning update recently, making an iconic one shouldn't be an issue with all those options it have.

As for what happened next, i am not sure. I don't really find a good solution of making newbies get to the game further. I also dislikes the car rental for some reason. The thing is that the joy comes from driving your own car and winning on it, at least that's how it is for me. Giving them rentable fast cars will make them neglect their own car. Maxing the car without even driving it also makes no sense to me. Rented cars can be an idea for something else for preventing game overs where you lost all your cars because just got busted on your last pursuit and got your last ride impounded, but that's another thing and am not gonna say anything more about it for now.

Yeah, maxing the first Manana is indeed pain in the ass to do. I have to let faster cars joins my race in order to have races last time i am raising an alt account, as finding other newbies that just started as you is rather hard to do. Perhaps we can have Time trials cooldown reduced for newbies, something like 15 minutes per time trial considering they can't fairly race against others until their car reach certain point. Also they must be encouraged to do time trials regularly since it will be their main income for the beginning of their journey of grinding up. Put it into the tutorial, shove it into their face that it's the must do activity.

That's all for now, please make it happen. We can't neglect newbies anymore, we are losing players from time to time. Now with the exploit thingy partially solved hopefully the devs have more time working on this instead of dealing them exploits. Good day, good bye.

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