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The New Tutorial: A Closer Look and Opinions


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_Tsavo_ #1 Posted Aug 24 2017 - 19:55

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TL;DR: New player tutorial is a solid base, but a few more things can be added to help lessen new player frustration and help keep new players around.

 

WARNING:  MANY IMAGES CONTAINED IN THIS POST

Player retention.  It's one of the things that this game has struggled with quite a lot.  In the beginning, I don't recall there even being a tutorial of any sort.  Mind you, this is back in early 2011, and my first foray into this game is a fair bit foggy.  I do know that a tutorial eventually showed up.  This tutorial didn't really do much to "teach" anything.  WASD moves your tank around.  Mouse aims the turret.  Right click to auto aim and left click to shoot.  Oh, also, the front armor is strong, so shoot the sides and rears of targets!  There ya go, you're good to go out and kick some butt!  

 

Beyond that, there was zero explaining of the mechanics or any nuances of the games.  This lead to a lot of players getting frustrated with being killed while having literally no idea how they died.  Crew skills, map awareness, mini map features, types of ammo, how armor works, and so on, none of this was explained.  There's always been a wiki, which hasn't been absolute in terms of accuracy, but it wasn't linked to in game and sources to learn the game generally had to be found on your own.

 

So, the new tutorial, what is it?

 

I made a new account, and used a new-player code "WOTREDDIT" (which needs used while the account is being made) which netted 500 gold, a Churchill with a 50% crew, and 7 days of premium.

 

After the tutorial is completed, the account is also given 500 gold and 3 days of premium.  This starts an account off with a potential 1,000 gold and 10 days of premium.  NotBad.Gif

 

When you fire up a new account in tanks, you're first greeted with this:

 

 

Your first experience now is a training battle and lets you get a feel for mow the tank moves around, shoots, and has allied and enemies blatantly labeled.

 

To start off, it throws a variety of enemies at you at different speeds and movements.  Some drive straight line, some swerve, stop, go, and reverse, and others peek around a hangar and pull back.  You get two little meatbag teammates that are AI, but generally it's no challenge to anyone who's played and unexciting.  As a first impression, I'd say it's not that bad and gives a feel for things.

 

Upon completion, you get rewarded with a tier 2 vehicle and a 100% crew for it.  Default, at least for NA, is the T2 Medium.  You can choose a few other tier 2s, I forgot to write down which ones.

 

Next match for newbies will be here, on Abbey.  This one throws some targets at you from different locations and has a few waypoints for you to go to .  Like the previous, enemies have varying movements and speeds.

 

Many dead things, though the bot allied AI seems to be worse than the enemy AI. 

 

 

This was one of the neater aspects of the tutorial.  It highlighted the gun arc for this fixed gun TD and your short term mission, via voice over, was to flank it.

 

When the second match is over, it provides enough credits and experience to research the engine of whatever tier 2 tank you've picked.

 

Then it's on to more bot matches, next up: 

 

 

"Spot enemy vehicles" easy enough

 

The first wave here is 3 vehicles, they crest and keep moving.  Nothing to challenging. A glowing marker urges you to keep going to the crest.

 

These two bots have pretty decent aim and the game, via voice, tells you it's for the best to fall back.

 

Another glowey arrow indicates where you should be going, the areas not highlighted on the minimap are not accessible, sadly.

 

 

 

Huh, I don't remember there being this many bushes in this area of the map.  Well, if you say so, Mr Glowing Arrow Thing.

 

WOAH.  Hey, guys, they fixed Prokhorovka! 

 

DAT 70s BUSH!

 

This mission essentially demonstrates bushes, cover, and basic capping.  

 

 

With the victory, you end up with 31,000 credits and 1,140 experience.  Coincidentally, it's exactly what's needed to get a a tier 3 that follows your free tier 2.

 

It also gives you a free gold crew and a commander with 6th sense.   You also get a piece of equipment to plop onto your freshly minted tank.

 

The last battle you go into is "against other players" which it isn't.  The bots are just named "Ryan Fellows" "John Lupe" and so on.  Obviously not gamer tags.  This sessions is also only hosted for you.  Out of curiosity, I drove to my death, and the match ended when I died, despite 1 enemy being alive and 8 or 9 allies being left alive.  

 

Once you finish this match, you're thrown into the garage and "ready" to go.

 

 

So that is the "new" new player tutorial experience.  It's a whole lot better than what we had before.  You learn on the fly that you'll need to lead targets, the pen indication marker to help with aiming and learning general weak spots, and a very brief lesson on cover and flanking.

 

Compared to the previous tutorial, this is a huge improvement. 

 

 

Benefits and drawbacks:

 

  • BENEFITS:
  • Teaches leading targets
  • Teaches basic UI features.  Minimap and HP/Module components.
  • Teaches basics of consumables
  • Teaches basics of equipment
  • Teaches basics of crew skills

 

  • DRAWBCKS:
  • Only introduces players to large equipment
  • Encourages usage of equipment that shouldn't be a primary consideration outside of a few tanks
  • Encourages capping without explaining cap mechanics or how resets work
  • Does not explain armor angling
  • Does not explain ammunition types
  • Does not explain basics of tank classes
  • Does not explain basics of spotting/bush mechanics when shooting.

 

 

 

At the end of the day, this tutorial is far superior to what was previously in place.  But how can it be improved?

 

For the Consumables: A brief, 30 second voice over, can explain the difference between large and small consumables.  As it is now, it forces players to use large kits only.  Most likely to encourage their use as primary consumables, but letting players know the difference and to make the choice for themselves would be a good addition.

 

For the Equipment:  Another area where, when the tutorial prompts you to mount some equipment, a few options should be made available with an explanation of what each type of benefit each piece of equipment does.  As it is now, it throws a tool box at a new player, a piece of equipment with little value outside of slow and bulky heavy vehicles. I'd prefer to see something far more combat beneficial, say a gun laying drive, rammer, or vents, as they're almost defacto equipment for players who understand the game.

 

For the Capping:  Capping has a place in this game, no debate.  A primary goal it is not, as almost every base is wide open and you've given away your position.  You might put some pressure on the enemy to react, but you're not going to have much more advantage beyond that.  Having an enemy bot or two head to your own cap and have you reset it and explain how resets work would be a far more beneficial avenue to go down in teaching cap.  Players will understand the cap alarms and how to reset and just how often you're giving up a boat load of advantages when capping.

 

NOTE: This is not me saying capping is bad.  It's a tool to use but simply going into the cap at every opportunity is going to give you more headaches than benefits.

 

Armor Angling:  Again, a small voice over during a match or during a specific part of one of the 4 games in the tutorial saying "armor is more effective when not flat-on to the enemy, angling it makes it thicker"

 

Ammo Types:  While the tutorial is walking you through mounting equipment and consumables, it would also be a good time to explain some basics about ammunition and when/how to use it.

 

Tank classes:  This one will be tricky and would probably take a whole new tutorial match to demonstrate properly as there's always a vehicle or five that don't go with the idea of their tank class (FCM 50t, for example, is played very much like a medium)

 

Vision and spotting mechanics:  While the game does explain that you'll be spotted firing from a bush, adding in a demonstration of transparency mechanics and explaining the delays to 6th sense and how long you remain lit afterwards can go a long way towards alleviating one of the biggest new player complaints: being shot unspotted or failing to understand 6th sense.

 

 

 

 

So that's my take on the new tutorial.  It's far better than what was once in place, but far from covering everything what's essential and does set up new players for some future bad habits.   The change in your free 100% crew is also not welcome, it used to be you could sit on that 100% crew token until you unlocked a specific tank that you wanted, then could plop them in.  Now you've no choice but to use that free 100% crew (with a 6th sense commander) on whatever tier 3 tank is on the line you picked.

 

 

 

P.S: A finale note here, while I do appreciate some effort being spent on the new player experience now, this was something that needed to be done years ago.  On NA this is a waste, our market is mature and the new players trickle in.  Over at EU and RU these ideas and efforts will probably result in more new players and a much better player retention rate.  I personally think they've not cared enough for new players for too long, sadly.

 

 

 

 

 



YANKEE137 #2 Posted Aug 24 2017 - 19:59

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Very thoughtful, they should listen to your advice.

_Tsavo_ #3 Posted Aug 24 2017 - 20:20

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View PostYANKEE137, on Aug 24 2017 - 13:59, said:

Very thoughtful, they should listen to your advice.

 

like all things NA, our opinions are meaningless where decisions are actually made

LeaveIT2Beaver #4 Posted Aug 24 2017 - 20:37

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View Post_Tsavo, on Aug 24 2017 - 14:20, said:

 

like all things NA, our opinions are meaningless where decisions are actually made

 



_Tsavo_ #5 Posted Aug 24 2017 - 21:00

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View PostLeaveIT2Beaver, on Aug 24 2017 - 14:37, said:

 

 

<3

Themutt36 #6 Posted Aug 24 2017 - 21:08

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Thats a lot of work, good job and lets hope some new players use it!

heavymetal1967 #7 Posted Aug 24 2017 - 21:16

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I actually ran it on my regular account since I came back just to see what changed.  Good input OP.  One thing I didn't like was the absence of the map till later in the tutorial.  Actually initially I thought Whiskey Tango Foxtrot are you kidding me WG no map on a tutorial, but it does appear later on folks. 

 

Maybe they don't want new players overloaded and they do mention the map once it appears, but a bit more about it and situational awareness wouldn't hurt.  Especially since a lot of players tend to ignore the damn thing and/or can't cipher it out.

 

Edit: Also good point about the token Tsavo.  Having already ran it I had no clue about the rewards.  Well to be more exact, I had no idea the crew was still assigned to that tank after the tutorial.


Edited by heavymetal1967, Aug 24 2017 - 21:27.


_Tsavo_ #8 Posted Aug 24 2017 - 22:12

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View Postheavymetal1967, on Aug 24 2017 - 15:16, said:

 

Edit: Also good point about the token Tsavo.  Having already ran it I had no clue about the rewards.  Well to be more exact, I had no idea the crew was still assigned to that tank after the tutorial.

 

Yeah, I was originally doing a write up on the new player missions and the rewards (one of which was the free 100% crew token) but with this new tutorial, the new player missions were dropped entirely.  They had a bunch of missions with rewards ranging from credits, to multiple sets of large consumables, leaving a player who'd complete them all with a very healthy credit pool and a tank of their choice with a ready to go crew.

 

The addition of a free 6th sense commander is very nice, and should be something included on all tank commanders.

 

I'd like to see that 100% crew token return, and only be applicable to a tier 5 as a reward to a new player for getting through the pain of tiers 3 and 4.

 

 






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