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More activity for new players

Pauly7

Mentor
I recently started a new city for the first time since I've been playing this game. I realised (having forgotten, but now with the benefit of hindsight) how it can get dull very quickly. After a few hours I almost stopped, telling myself it would be a pointless waste of effort to put myself through this journey again. I've soldiered on so far, but I do have the benefit of knowing exactly how things are going to develop. It therefore doesn't surprise me that such a big quantity of new players quit having only logged in that one time.

The initial tutorial stage is fine, but after that is through and you have a collection of level 1 residences and workshops, a couple of manufactories and a few culture buildings (about another half hour of play) you suddenly find yourself stalling with not much to do, except wait for the next research to complete, which may take another 24 hours. In desperation you scout a bunch of provinces and then clear as many as you can before the limited resources run out, but then that's it. There are no events, no Spire, no tournaments (unless you join a fellowship very early). There's no real trading to do as all the offers tend to be out of your scope and way too big in quantity anyway. There are no Ancient Wonders to be tending to. There are no instants or spells to help.

So I can entirely see why 99% of new players will play this game for half an hour then switch it off and look for the next thing. My suggestions to improve this are as follows:

  • Have events and mini-games which constantly roll and are just for those people in chapter 1 and 2, making sure there is always something to be doing
  • Increase the number of introductory free diamonds - probably to about 2,000. This would allow people to boost their way through the first chapter. (This won't lose you any money Inno.)
  • Give players in the first two chapters a trading boost (i.e. I trade 100 planks for 100 steel and the trader gives me a bonus 25 steel).
  • Give new players a modest collection of time reducing instants
  • Make the first three rings of provinces all locked on "very easy"
  • Reduce construction times of all buildings up to level 4 down to something like 15 minutes
  • Devise a system (this one may be harder to implement) where there are at least some other people starting at the same time nearby. This may make for some good initial camaraderie, although established players nearby to help are also important.

I could probably go on, but there has to be more that can be done to make this engaging for new players. That's when it's the most important.
 

trilljay

Forum Moderator
Elvenar Team
:)hello @Pauly7 I like ideas 1, 3, & 5. Just thinking about no°7 (the last one on your list)...maybe instead, add a refusable "join a fellowship" quest? Seeing as fellowships are a major element in gameplay?
 

Timneh

Artisan
I think it can be very hard for new players to find a fellowship that will allow brand new players to join. I think the main problem is that they don't want players in the fellowship that might get bored of the game and just quit but not leave the fellowship first and that means that there is an inactive player taking up a place until it is noticed that the player has stopped playing and they are removed.
The archmage of my fellowship insists that new players at the very least have a trader but prefers them to have at least 30K points before they can join us (we sometimes sneak one in with less points but they do have to have a trader).
Thinking back to when i first started playing i did actually give up after the tutorial and then try the game again with a new city a few weeks later and managed to keep going but i have to agree that brand new players need to have more to do to try and keep more of them in the game.
 

Pauly7

Mentor
Just thinking about no°7 (the last one on your list)...maybe instead, add a refusable "join a fellowship" quest? Seeing as fellowships are a major element in gameplay?
Having been "reborn" as a new player I'm still trying to decide on my best strategy for joining a fellowship. As yet I haven't joined one. I feel that I would want to get to a certain point myself so that I can join a team worth joining without being too much of a burden to them. (I've actually never joined a fellowship before - I founded my own one on day 1 after starting my main city.)

I like the idea of the "join a fellowship" quest, but I think that it needs to be more than that. Yes, it's really important, but in my new city I haven't heard it mentioned much. (perhaps once in the tutorial?) Perhaps there could be an either/or quest which says either join a fellowship or apply to 10 fellowships. That will at least push people into taking a pro-active approach to it and if it's part of the storyline process people are much more likely to follow. As many people will know I'm not a big fan of the game trying to push me down a certain route with its storyline quests, but I think it probably is really key to the first two chapters.
 

Timneh

Artisan
If i remember correctly (and there is a chance i don't) i didn't know anything about fellowships or what they were before i was invited to join the one i am in now and i am the only person left in the fellowship from the time i joined. I saw the fellowship chat icon but did not know what it was for. I don't remember seeing anything in the tutorial about fellowships so i think it would be a good idea to make new players aware of the benefits of fellowships when they enter the game (if they can find one that accepts new players).
 

Pauly7

Mentor
I think at one moment at the beginning the Fellowship icon lit up as if there was something in there. On opening there is some message about "you do not yet have a fellowship".

I agree, the earlier you can get new players into an FS the more will stay.
 

Julian

Scholar
I've always thought the build time for residences jumps too much. It's 10s for Level 1, a minute for Level 2, but then it jumps to 1 hour, 23 mins for Level 3. The time jumps need to be less severe initially. Though I quite accept the long times at later stages.
 

Pauly7

Mentor
Unless I'm mistaken, you can join only the top 50 fellowships on mobile, which are unlikely to accept bloody newbies. If so, this should be adressed with utmost priority.
You could be right insofar as you can only actually look up the top fellowships on mobile. People from the other fellowships can still find you and send an invite though. Regardless I agree that needs to be changed. In fact the proper search facility, including looking up players, needs to be ported over to the app.
 

FieryArien

Sorcerer
Unless I'm mistaken, you can join only the top 50 fellowships on mobile, which are unlikely to accept bloody newbies. If so, this should be adressed with utmost priority.
If I remember correctly, when I started playing over 2 years ago, I was offered a group of random fellowships to chose from. I could read their description and if I didn't like any, I could get another random group of fellowships. After several refreshes I was lucky to find a fellowship I liked, joined it and it has been my home till today. Amazing luck, to be honest. Anyway, I thought it was very inefficient way to find a fellowship and I unfortunately wouldn't be surprised to see this method still in place. At least messaging was added to the app and that helps a bit in joining a fellowship. In my opinion new players who don't join a fellowship are more likely to drop the game.
 

Aerlinniel

Dreamer
These are all very interesting comments from very experienced players. I have only been playing for 5 weeks and joined a fellowship immediately. I play from my iPad, and indeed after you have joined a fellowship, the top 50 are the only fellowships are available to look at. You can also look up fellowships immediately around you via individual players near you on similar points.
I have already become the top of my group with 8184 points and on level 3 so far. No one really interacts all that much and the Archmage is not active and is on 4K points, so there is no-one to guide anyone. I have tried to find a new fellowship, but have had no feedback yet. Absolutely love the game, but have been very confused about certain things. I am really pleased that I pushed through the tedious parts as discussed before.
What would be great, is a mentor type of system, where there are benefits for highly experienced Players to mentor players like myself.
The team at Elvenar have graciously helped me with my very basic questions within the first few weeks, and for that I am thankful, but a mentor would be wonderful as I am ready to progress further and feel a little uninspired in my fellowship, but thankful for the start it gave me.
Any suggestions would be warmly received. : )
 

Pauly7

Mentor
Hi @Aerlinniel, this forum is also a good place to come if you need help, as you are probably also finding.

If you are not happy with your fellowship then it would be a good idea to post a thread here in the "members seeking a fellowship" section. If you post the type of team you are looking for, etc, then there tends to be a good response this way round (it's usually harder for fellowships looking for players). If a fellowship would like to invite you then they should be able to look you up and send an invite, even if you can't look up the FS in-game.
 

Aerlinniel

Dreamer
Thanks so much @Pauly7
I have placed a message in that section, so hopefully someone will invite me Into their fellowship.
I have found some of the information here to be really helpful and I am so pleased that there are some players here ready and willing to give advice to novices like myself. I really love Elvenar and am happy to have finally found a game so suited to me in so many ways.
 

Fralinren

Seeker
Re: the fellowships, I wish that you had to have a certain amount of points before you can actually create a FS. There are so many who just start playing and create their own FS because they want to be alone - rather than looking for a FS that means they can still play the game how they like but still with others. FS's are difficult to work out really, some of the highest ones aren't always the most active, a lot keep higher score players who have actually quit the game then you get a lot of newbies joining each other and struggling with trades and experience. I think it should definitely be made a quest to join a FS and you can't create one yourself unless you have over 25,000. You really should have some experience under your belt if you want to be an AM because there's a chance that others will want to join you and then they end up quitting because they can't get the trades they want or the advice they need. I have no experience of playing on an Ipad though - so if there are issues there, then they do need addressing asap.
 

Pauly7

Mentor
FS's are difficult to work out really, some of the highest ones aren't always the most active, a lot keep higher score players who have actually quit the game then you get a lot of newbies joining each other and struggling with trades and experience.
This is a good point. People look at their overall fellowship rank, but it would be interesting to see fellowships ranked based on their overall level of activity, i.e. there could be a calculation that amalgamated tournament scores, spire scores and fellowship adventure scores. Then there would be no point having big inactive players clogging up teams and taking away other people's opportunities to join them.
I think it should definitely be made a quest to join a FS and you can't create one yourself unless you have over 25,000.
I'm not certain about this because I created mine on day 1 and it worked out OK. Also, if no one with less than 25k points was allowed to create a fellowship there would be an even bigger sense that any fellowships that did get founded would be intended to be "superteams" and would quite likely want to block new players from joining them. Most other people that have got themselves settled in a group by that stage may then not be keen on branching out on their own in order to build a team from the ground up. You could still have the quest, though, but just lock the ability to create a fellowship until you reach chapter 2 or 3. Perhaps that's the compromise.
You really should have some experience under your belt if you want to be an AM because there's a chance that others will want to join you and then they end up quitting because they can't get the trades they want or the advice they need.
My experience was that it was really hard work in those early days. I don't think I had a single player approach me to join my fellowship, probably for at least the first 6 months. It does all depend on the people, but experience is not the only factor.
 

Timneh

Artisan
As i said before, a lot of FS will not allow newbie players to join so it is possible that some (not all of course) of those 1 person FS with just a newbie are players that could not find a FS that would let them join.
 

Pauly7

Mentor
As i said before, a lot of FS will not allow newbie players to join so it is possible that some (not all of course) of those 1 person FS with just a newbie are players that could not find a FS that would let them join.
Yeah absolutely. Either that or they started the game thinking that they would create their own fellowship, but then they either didin't fancy the effort of searching for members, or they immediately just stopped playing the game and are then locked in a one person FS until their city gets deleted.
 

Gargon667

Scholar
FS are not that easy a topic, most newbies will not be able to make a good decision, since they don´t even know what to look for in a FS, neither can they reliably say how active they will be. Then again, joining the wrong FS may still be better than joining none at all...

I like 1,3,4 of the other ideas :)

7 should not be necessary, there are always new towns nearby everywhere, except maybe the very centre of the map, and there you have much more advantages than disadvatages if you happen to spawn there.
 

rock stream

Spellcaster
As hard as it was for me to find a good fellowship, I'm finding it harder to fill out our fellowship with active players. May have to post an ad "Free Beer" or something o_O
 
As hard as it was for me to find a good fellowship, I'm finding it harder to fill out our fellowship with active players. May have to post an ad "Free Beer" or something o_O
there are more fellowships looking for players than players looking for fellowships. too many chiefs and not enough indians--as we say in the states. it should be easy to find a good fellowship for any level of activity, especially if you use the forum to post an ad and look up potential fellowships on elvenstats.com. of course you will find a lot of crappy fellowships, especially due to the way elvenar refuses to enforce its own policy of not allowing push accounts. there are some practically dead fellowships that look like they're full because their made of bogus cities. i feel bad for new players who have their gaming experience limited by cheaters this way.

anyways, i'd join a more active fellowship instead of trying to fill or start one. the only reason i did otherwise is because i was made an archmage by default for both of my cities and one of those teams was already somewhat successful and the other succeeded before i realized how much effort it was going to take to get it to that point. also, i got a head start at building a good team before teamwork became more important. we helped each other before we needed fellowship rewards to motivate us to do so. fellows like that are hard to find.