SP - General Improvements for the New Player Experience / Tutorial

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argie3270

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Hello, as a new player who is still in the process of learning how the game works (and having figured out some of it) I have a couple of suggestions on how to improve the new player experience and to (hopefully) make some areas of the game less confusing and frustrating to new players (and perhaps improve player retention). I'm not looking for advice on how to deal with specific topics (I can google or ask about those separately, if needed, at a later date) but want to point some things out that experienced players or developers may overlook.

Suggestion: Explain weapon-switching in a tutorial, and make it clearer and more consistent if there isn't a reason for all of the differences. It's never explained how weapon switching works; you find it on accident, through trial-and-error, or by looking at the hotkeys. You can use the mouse-wheel to scroll through some weapons, and you can use the number pad to swap to different weapons. However, depending on which method you use, what buttons you press, and what type of map you're on you'll end up with different combinations (javelin only, javelin with a shield, sword only, sword with a shield, shield only, fists, shield only). There may be a reason for this, but it's very confusing to new players.

Suggestion: Mention that there is a Kick/Bash button in the tutorial. This is never mentioned and I found out either on accident or when looking through the hotkeys. Similarly, do the same for Jump and Crouch; even though I've yet to encounter a scenario where those are needed.

Suggestion: Add a button to access the Encyclopedia directly (perhaps next to the Clan button). I found myself wanting to access it repeatedly to look up character locations, but always first have to find a researchable person/location to bring it up.

Suggestion: Add the bottom UI from when you're at a town on the world map (the UI that shows the Inventory button, HP, Food Remaining, etc) to the in-town UI (perhaps as an option in Settings). After a lot of time I figured out that you can access these in town by pressing their hotkeys, but that isn't obvious and not something I want to have to remember.

Suggestion: At some point, perhaps during the projectile weapons tutorial, mention that projectiles deal friendly fire damage but that melee weapons don't. This is never mentioned anywhere, and isn't obvious until you know it exists.

Suggestion: If the tutorial is turned on, then when a player is about to accept their first optional quest, mention that quests can't be abandoned and you'll have a reputation decrease (I'm not sure yet what that affects) if you don't complete it in time.

Add Tutorial: Add a tutorial/quest where players can learn about and practice issuing commands to their troops. Perhaps add it after the player gets 10 units in their party, and have it occur at the same town where the weapons tutorial takes place. For quite some time I had little idea what the UI was trying to communicate (I encountered it unexpectedly and the current in-game explanation isn't thorough enough), and after 10+ hours decided to try and understand fully what it was trying to say by going to the main menu's Custom Battle and figuring it out there. In addition to the tutorial hints/content that was already shown, the tutorial should explain (based on my experience of having to figure out (or yet to lookup)):
  • What a Commander is.
  • What a Hero Troop is.
  • What are the similarities and differences between a Commander and Hero Troop.
  • What a Formation Type is.
  • That you need a Formation Type for each unit type in your army.
    • I think I'd managed to unassign a unit type and this took a few frustrating minutes to figure out.
  • You can select all formations by selecting "F1 + 0" (or selecting F1 plus an unassigned formation hotkey).
Bugfix (probably, or maybe a strong suggestion): Related to commanding troops, always show hotkeys on the Commands UI. For example: During a battle if you have nothing selected, then press "F1" (resulting in Formation Group 1 being selected), then press "2" (resulting in Formation Group 2 being selected), the bottom UI doesn't show any F1/F2/etc shortcut tooltips. As a new player trying to figure out during a risky battle what a button that you can't click on does with no UI telling you how to press it is, all wrapped up in a system that was never explained, is extremely frustrating. Especially so when (based on experience) you accidentally tell your mounted units to dismount when fighting cavalry archers and have no idea how to undo that.
 
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