Endless Journey and new players - feedback and thoughts

Hello there!

The "Forum Feedback" section, I presume, is for feedback on the forum and not the game. So I'll post here instead!

I came back a week or so ago, after a long break (familiar story I think, lately!). However, I never really "quit" - I just stopped logging on. So I have all my stuff, house etc.. great!

In the 8 years prior to now, I have met various people throughout my social and work circles - and some of them actually seem to want to play, subsequent to my posting about EJ on Facebook. However, the feedback I have had so far from people makes me think that there are too many restrictions on EJ accounts. I guess what I am really interested in is this:

Why is there *so much* restriction for new players? This is not just about returning players; it is about those who are new to the game. I can completely understand the logic behind why you wouldnt allow a free account to own a house - from a business you would want people who pay have *some* reason to do so; but also you can just imagine how many houses would pop up otherwise! But with just two characters and a bank that can only hold 20/28 items - with no way to access storage at a friend's house - I think this could really harm some new players' experience.

At least two people have commented to me on the restrictions and so I have to - already - tell them to throw away things like the book or the candle or those 10 chairs you found at the bank. This is, in some sense, quite sad; your new player experiences should be about fun and not powergaming - the time when you mess around, store things and try to train in every skill and keep all the tools necessary. The new player experience already arguably omits some really fundamental parts of the game to new players and - coupled with a small bank box and only two characters - you have no space to explore and develop in the way that new players would prior to EJ.

This isn't my asking "can you fix this in the next few weeks" - I have no idea what Broadsword's plans are for UO's long term strategy and how churn/new player onboarding and player retention factor into the development forecast. However, I really love UO and want it to succeed - I am just worried that the restrictions might serve only to cause frustrations for those genuinely interested in playing rather than to achieve what such a cautious approach may hope to combat.

Ultimately, I am not a product manager or an MMO marketing expert - and I don't wish to sound negative - but the release of Endless Journey should have been a MASSIVE fanfare moment across the internet with every provision made to entice people into the game (both new and returning players). There's only one real shot at something of such a magnitude and I might argue it could have been better to have had only the house restriction initially (and then add restriction later) rather than have to scale back the restrictions over time (by which time, people's interest has been momentarily piqued across the net before fading away again).

All of the above is based on my own thoughts and observations of two new people, so this is really limited and subhective - but I do think things could be tweaked a bit. Maybe it needs more time first to wait and see - but that email has already gone out to everyone and I think that there's a finite amount of time that some of that new-buzz energy surrounding EJ can be used. Either way, I am sure its brought a fair number of people back already - and hopefully they (we!) will stay, even if just to play somewhat more casually than we did years ago!
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Comments

  • Dot_WarnerDot_Warner Posts: 233
    edited May 2018
    Broadsword is deathly allergic to all but the most passive forms of advertising, i.e. the newsletter. 

    They had to be publicly shamed into posting when they added something new to the in-game store, and even that was like pulling teeth. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    re:Bank boxes - Since you can create an infinite number of EJ accounts, they had to limit the bank boxes or else the house/storage incentive of subscribing wouldn't be much of a draw.

    However, there will be an account-wide vault system added "soon™" that EJ will (supposedly) have access to for a per week/month gold fee. 
  • Arroth_ThaielArroth_Thaiel Posts: 752
    However, there will be an account-wide vault system added "soon™" that EJ will (supposedly) have access to for a per week/month gold fee. 
    We haven't heard anything about the "Vault" in awhile, is it still on tap?
    -Arroth
  • Dot_WarnerDot_Warner Posts: 233
    We haven't heard anything about the "Vault" in awhile, is it still on tap?
    @Kyronix
  • BilboBilbo Posts: 2,834
    Trevelyan said:
    Hello there!

    Why is there *so much* restriction for new players? This is not just about returning players; it is about those who are new to the game. I can completely understand the logic behind why you wouldnt allow a free account to own a house - from a business you would want people who pay have *some* reason to do so; but also you can just imagine how many houses would pop up otherwise! But with just two characters and a bank that can only hold 20/28 items - with no way to access storage at a friend's house - I think this could really harm some new players' experience.
    Do you mean EJ Accounts (FREE) or PAID subs.  If they are true new players and just testing out UO then they will be fine.  IMHO I think you are more worried about returning players wanting everything but a house ownership.
  • SyncrosSyncros Posts: 116
    Got a few guildies on EJ accounts that recently upgraded to "vet" accounts so looks like their system is working.   
  • TrevelyanTrevelyan Posts: 21
    edited May 2018
    Bilbo said:
    Trevelyan said:
    Hello there!

    .....
    Do you mean EJ Accounts (FREE) or PAID subs.  If they are true new players and just testing out UO then they will be fine.  IMHO I think you are more worried about returning players wanting everything but a house ownership.

    Not at all - I am actually now only thinking of new players here. With regards to returning players, I think its a very clever strategy to allow people to log in, sit around and reminisce about UO if they want to and allow them to take short breaks rather than a full blown quit in future. Its already got some people subscribing again and that's great.

    But I still believe that new players are important to UO - and that's the thing I am concerned may be harmed, moving forward. People could still make many EJ accounts and I wonder if 10 account creations really is less resource heavy than having 1 account with no bank restrictions. 

    The vault sounds ideal really; one of the people who I know who has started has made a few million already by obsessively killing turkeys and selling their feathers and has already managed to GM blacksmithing in a day; all in the space of this week. If he has that kind of gold, he can pay for extra space in this vault system; but when I suggested he could just get a subscription, he wasn't sure if he would keep playing UO or not yet to justify having a subscription to something new. 

    Part of me is amazed at how quickly he's managed to accumulate skills and wealth; but then UO today is not the same as it was in the early 2000s. What I might consider to be an advanced character doesn't correlate with the experience of the *player*. The example person above hasn't explored around properly yet. Money seemed so easy to make, yet he has no idea about spending it; he managed to buy a 120 archery powerscroll and use it - yet he may never make the most of it. This is still his first week or so as a new player - and no matter how much you manage to do, you just won't "get" it for a while.

    The problem is that whilst these restrictions hook returning players, there is now a gap in the new player model. I cannot see why it wouldn't make sense to return to the system where your first month (or fortnight) is the same as a regular player's - but entirely free (and with an added restriction of no housing). After that month, you then are switched to the EJ system. It allows players to get that bit more hooked and pay to get back what they had, rather than forcing them into it just to be able to spend more time exploring whether or not they want to play the game as other people experience it.

    Or perhaps I am missing something; can you add a credit card and have a 1 month free proper "trial", still?
  • crunchnastycrunchnasty Posts: 241
    Literally have not met someone who is considered new to the game, every single one of the EJ players ive met are old school returning players. Makes me sad, I really want some fresh players to enjoy the game and help it continue.
  • InLorInLor Posts: 353
    I've spoken to quite a few people who are new to UO.
    A qua lemmúr wíste, an zen anku vol verde wís.
  • SlayviteSlayvite Posts: 113
    I wouldn't say they we're "new"....probably just old returning players acting like new players to get free stuff.
    Remember when we all started 20 years ago and we RP'd a Female char cos male chars couldn't help but give free stuff to you....like they thought they were chatting up real women or something??? LOL

    Ahh....so much free stuff back then. lol
  • TrismegistosTrismegistos Posts: 148
    Still some accouts without EJ flagging in my main account. Any ideas?
    No bans or anything else happend to them in the past.
  • TrevelyanTrevelyan Posts: 21
    Just email support, they can sort it out 
  • Uriah_HeepUriah_Heep Posts: 915
    Still some accouts without EJ flagging in my main account. Any ideas?
    No bans or anything else happend to them in the past.
    Have they been inactive for 4 months or longer?  
  • TanagerTanager Posts: 634
    edited June 2018
    As I understand it, EJ was designed to bring back old players and get them hooked again. EJ does kind of stunt the beginner experience, but it is really just designed to give a trial of the game. They can see what they are missing out on quite clearly, but still learn and enjoy the game at whatever pace they like without a limited timed trial. They just have to make friends and learn what is junk very early on.

    Most of the restrictions are to either encourage a subscription or to try to curb script abuse of free accounts. EJ is not really a free to play model, intended for long term use, and Broadsword has tried to make that clear. I do however strongly believe that UO will eventually need to gradually transition to a proper F2P model. This may not ever happen, but if it does it has to be sloooooooooow.

    While the no-access to house containers is understandable (many resource scripts call for dropping off their load at a house to continue), I would like to see other restrictions lifted. Books, Bulletin boards, public dye tubs and other services, etc. I am hopeful these things will come along over time.

    EJ cannot speak here, so we the subscribers must ask for these changes.
  • jaytinjaytin Posts: 417
    Tanager said:

    While the no-access to house containers is understandable (many resource scripts call for dropping off their load at a house to continue), I would like to see other restrictions lifted. Books, Bulletin boards, public dye tubs and other services, etc. I am hopeful these things will come along over time.

    EJ cannot speak here, so we the subscribers must ask for these changes.
    I agree with you, not allowing access to books, bulletin boards and dye tubs is really sad. Even sadder is the fact none of the EJ players can post about their experiences with the game on the Official forum.
  • TanagerTanager Posts: 634
    There are many many items that can be locked/secured in a house, a hefty percentage of which have some sort of clickable effect, including a myriad of unique EM items. I am not a coder, but I think it was far easier to code EJ as "no" to using ANY house item, and then go in and manually make exceptions like the wall safe and veteran craft stations. Over time, I believe other exceptions can and will be made if we ask for them - these things would not benefit scripters, but would improve a new player experience.

    I think their highest priority right now should be making veteran accounts whose EJ banks are overflowing have some way to clear out the bank. As it is, tho, many of those folks subscribe out of frustration in order to do so, and this influx of subscriptions might be giving the impression that it is not a big deal. However, I think many more take a look and just log back out instead of playing a bit more and seeing the good side of UO.

    It is regrettable that there is not at least a section of the official forum for EJ to post, but understandable. And there are other, very well established, outlets for them to share their experiences or ask questions. I actually kind of think this is a good thing, because I don't want to see a certain other site that has served Sosaria faithfully fall into disuse.
  • jaytinjaytin Posts: 417
    As always @Tanager you make some excellent points, what I find unbelievable is that they gave no thought at all to the problems of veteran bank boxes and some type of alternative storage for EJ customers prior to launch. Vault storage was mentioned way back at the 20th anniversary party, but then they just didn't seem to bother doing it. I would imagine that has lost them a few potential customers.
  • BilboBilbo Posts: 2,834
    I disagree, I think they gave a lot of thought to Bank Boxes and Veteran accounts knowing that a lot of players would open up old accounts think they could get everything for free.  EJ has far more things that Trial Accounts did and people are still wanting more.  EJ is meant to bring paid customers into UO.
  • TanagerTanager Posts: 634
    My take on it is that they did give it a lot of thought, but that the coding did not work out within the time limit. Secure storage code has to be PERFECT, and UO's old engine has trouble with perfection lol. But the rest of EJ was able to launch, so they did, and then added EJ storage soon after. I consider UO to be an indy niche game with a tiny dev team so I try not to be too judgmental.

    They say on the EJ description page for vet accounts to subscribe to access their bank, and they have now moved on to the bugfix publish. This leaves me with the impression that vet EJ bank boxes are either on the back burner now or off the table entirely. In any case, returning players ARE subscribing so I guess it works (for now).
  • MissEMissE Posts: 774
    Can EJ accounts get arti drops from say the roof, exodus, peerless etc into their backpacks?  It doesn't actually say or make it clear on the wiki accept for saying no to rewards at champ spawns from what I can see.

    Cheers MissE

    For more info about Angelwood Warehouse Events go to the A.W.E Forum
  • TanagerTanager Posts: 634
    I can confirm 100% that they get backpack drops from Ilshenar paragons on Siege. I have not personally tested the others yet.
  • MissEMissE Posts: 774
    Would be nice to know @Kyronix

    Cheers MissE

    For more info about Angelwood Warehouse Events go to the A.W.E Forum
  • ZiffizZiffiz Posts: 1
    Bilbo said:
    I disagree, I think they gave a lot of thought to Bank Boxes and Veteran accounts knowing that a lot of players would open up old accounts think they could get everything for free.  EJ has far more things that Trial Accounts did and people are still wanting more.  EJ is meant to bring paid customers into UO.
    I am someone who just returned. I logged in as EJ to see what had changed and of course all characters on my main account had 10x the items allowed in their bank and could remove nothing. Of course I could not place a house either so you are left with an unusable storage situation. All you can really do is take a look at new content, look around at the world and the new in game store, work on skills etc. I ended up subbing one account but EJ has very little value to me for returning players.
  • TanagerTanager Posts: 634
    That was generally the plan, I think; getting people to subscribe.

    It is not designed or intended for long term use, but I do think that EJ can serve as a free to play model - it just requires some investment to get a veteran account ready. Subscribe, then clean out the bank (load up a fresh EJ or 2). Set up a new character to play while the main account goes dormant for 120 days, or just come back to UO later. Make sure the char you intend to play has your things that you cannot use from a public service house, but work just fine in your bank or backpack. (Dye tubs, luck statue, etc.)

    Crafters have it rough as EJ, with the restrictions on com deeds, BOD books, and farming colored resources. But EJ has the same limits as everyone else on gear, skills, where they can go, quests, and chat. EJ makes for a hard working, simple lifestyle, but that can be fun for a casual player who just wants to enjoy the game itself.
  • MissEMissE Posts: 774
    edited June 2018
    Can't believe EJ accounts can't use crystal or corrupted portals.  If  you want people to be able to 'experience' what UO has to offer you have to let them get around.   Is this intended? @Kyronix

    I cannot and will not recommend EJ to anyone after having experienced a week of it.  I have given it a trial for ONE week before I was gonna invite some of my ex-guildies to return and a few other friends who would be 'new', but the limitations, especially on entering houses etc is just abysmal.  Most people, especially 'new' player will just log out after a day or so of 'you cannot access this, you cannot do this, you are overweight, you can't send anything to the bank, you can't add this to your stack' you can't bloody do anything".  They can't get a taste for the game as they can't actually 'play' it.

    Because I play on siege it is near impossible for an EJ account to play, 98% of public houses have locked doors, so even if you can technically 'friend'  a character to access a wall safe in a public house, they can't get in anyways as they can't open the doors. People are NOT gonna leave their doors open.  They can't use the portals to get around, and NONE of my friends want to shell out money to buy that starter pack until they know if they wanna play.  They can't use teleport pads if they are set to 'friends', can't use dye tubs etc, even to a public house.

    If they put leather or something into the bank, if they go to add more to it it takes up another slot of the measly 20 they get, so the only way to 'stack' it is to take it out but of course it won't 'fit' in their backpack if their back pack has more to deposit. So even if they want to 'experience' crafting it is impossible, unless they want to work on 100 bits of leather or wood at a time.

    Oh and then if they do have 10 things to put in the bank, they can't drag and drop like we do, they have say 'bank' get the menu up, select 'deposit item from the menu, then target the item. Instead of this target cursor remaining to put in the other 9 items, they have to go through the whole process again, saying bank, select deposit, target item, etc etc

    Oh yeah and without the LRC suit I gave the char, she can't 'fit' her mage and mystic regs in the bank after allowing for a spare suit, gate scrolls and smokebombs.  Absolutely HOPELESS.



    Anyways, I am not gonna even bother to tell people to come back and test UO out with an EJ account after actually trying to play a character for a week under the conditions that are currently set. UO is hard enough as it is, the restrictions placed on just basic stuff in EJ make it near impossible.

    I seriously think that if there was actually any 'new' player (someone fresh with no friends in UO to pass them everything they needed) who started an EJ account they would last about 2 days before they went 'stuff this' and left.

    I challenge any vet to open an EJ account, and with 0 help or donations or passing stuff to a char like a suit etc to be able to play for a week and tell us exactly what would make you want to stay or how it is possible to experience the majority of UO under these conditions.  Even with me being able to 'give' my char everything it is near impossible to effectively 'play'.

    Cheers MissE

    For more info about Angelwood Warehouse Events go to the A.W.E Forum
  • JollyJadeJollyJade Posts: 578
    MissE said:
    Can't believe EJ accounts can't use crystal or corrupted portals.  If  you want people to be able to 'experience' what UO has to offer you have to let them get around.   Is this intended? @ Kyronix

    I cannot and will not recommend EJ to anyone after having experienced a week of it.  I have given it a trial for ONE week before I was gonna invite some of my ex-guildies to return and a few other friends who would be 'new', but the limitations, especially on entering houses etc is just abysmal.  Most people, especially 'new' player will just log out after a day or so of 'you cannot access this, you cannot do this, you are overweight, you can't send anything to the bank, you can't add this to your stack' you can't bloody do anything".  They can't get a taste for the game as they can't actually 'play' it.

    Because I play on siege it is near impossible for an EJ account to play, 98% of public houses have locked doors, so even if you can technically 'friend'  a character to access a wall safe in a public house, they can't get in anyways as they can't open the doors. People are NOT gonna leave their doors open.  They can't use the portals to get around, and NONE of my friends want to shell out money to buy that starter pack until they know if they wanna play.  They can't use teleport pads if they are set to 'friends', can't use dye tubs etc, even to a public house.

    If they put leather or something into the bank, if they go to add more to it it takes up another slot of the measly 20 they get, so the only way to 'stack' it is to take it out but of course it won't 'fit' in their backpack if their back pack has more to deposit. So even if they want to 'experience' crafting it is impossible, unless they want to work on 100 bits of leather or wood at a time.

    Oh and then if they do have 10 things to put in the bank, they can't drag and drop like we do, they have say 'bank' get the menu up, select 'deposit item from the menu, then target the item. Instead of this target cursor remaining to put in the other 9 items, they have to go through the whole process again, saying bank, select deposit, target item, etc etc

    Oh yeah and without the LRC suit I gave the char, she can't 'fit' her mage and mystic regs in the bank after allowing for a spare suit, gate scrolls and smokebombs.  Absolutely HOPELESS.



    Anyways, I am not gonna even bother to tell people to come back and test UO out with an EJ account after actually trying to play a character for a week under the conditions that are currently set. UO is hard enough as it is, the restrictions placed on just basic stuff in EJ make it near impossible.

    I seriously think that if there was actually any 'new' player (someone fresh with no friends in UO to pass them everything they needed) who started an EJ account they would last about 2 days before they went 'stuff this' and left.

    I challenge any vet to open an EJ account, and with 0 help or donations or passing stuff to a char like a suit etc to be able to play for a week and tell us exactly what would make you want to stay or how it is possible to experience the majority of UO under these conditions.  Even with me being able to 'give' my char everything it is near impossible to effectively 'play'.

    Couldn't agree more. I loved to help new players out, show them around and have some fun days. Simply not possible with EJ players. Very frustrating experience. 

    I still got no answer why EJ players can enter public houses but no private houses.
    Just a troll who got told by lesser trolls (moderator classification)
  • CinderellaCinderella Posts: 1,349

    I made an EJ account at the end of May (account down for two days til pay day).

    when I created the char she had the usual items upon creation, regs, dagger & sextant. when I opened the bank box the only thing that was in there was a young player ticket. I remember thinking there was no Mininova Fireworks Wand in there. I thought maybe they decided to not use them any more & actually forgot about it.

    I gave the char a suit and some supplies she would need to do cartography. I spent all day buying scrolls and filled my bank box (20 items) with 9K blank scrolls. I thought about having my hubbys char take all the scrolls back to my house at the end of the day but was too tired. I thought I would be able to just pick up where I left off.

    The next day I log in and the wand is in the bank box. I am now over the limit of items and now can't take out of the bank box. So now I have 9K of blank scrolls that I can't access cause an item wasn't in my bank box on the first day.

    My friend told me to contact a GM, which the only option EJ has is contact an Advisor. they thought maybe that they could help take it out. so I used that option & I received an email telling me that to report it as a bug. I had already did that with the in game option & received an email. The email said that its not supposed to be doing that, that all items appear at time of creation. It also stated that they aren't to receive bug reports at that link & they provided a link for bug reports. (I think they should change it that the in game option of bug report to go to the real link)

    Not sure if this has happened to anyone else but the items didn't all appear at creation. I can screen shot my bank box.

    Another thing about EJ account is young status. I played constantly for two days and I'm still at 40 hours. So you can play endlessly and always teleport back to Haven?

  • HonkwompHonkwomp Posts: 44
    I think that if I were too cheap to pay 15 bucks to periodically relive the game that gave me the very best time of my life, game wise,then EJ is only going to have a limited effect in bringing me home in the hopes that I sub. But one thing I know, if you planned your quit and you placed your best stuff in the bank, then limiting your access is not a smart thing.  There are too many free shards, some with some really cool things.   I am back but I paid from the start.  
  • MissEMissE Posts: 774
    edited June 2018
    Weird,  on siege I didnt get a new player ticket, althought it was a fully 'new' account and a 'new' master account as well.  Didn't get young status either although on siege you can't be young but it had siege in the list when i created it.  I will check and see if I am young on another shard.


    Edit: Even weirder, I created a char on Baja to test.  This char had no new player ticket, no fireworks wand and is not 'young' either.  The bank was completely empty.

    Cheers MissE

    For more info about Angelwood Warehouse Events go to the A.W.E Forum
  • PawainPawain Posts: 5,271
    MissE said:
    Weird,  on siege I didnt get a new player ticket, althought it was a fully 'new' account and a 'new' master account as well.  Didn't get young status either although on siege you can't be young but it had siege in the list when i created it.  I will check and see if I am young on another shard.


    Edit: Even weirder, I created a char on Baja to test.  This char had no new player ticket, no fireworks wand and is not 'young' either.  The bank was completely empty.

    Another poster said the wand will come tomorrow.  Dont fill the bank.  They made that mistake.  The wand made it overflow.
  • MissEMissE Posts: 774
    I had a wand on the dude on siege, not on baja tho, no new player ticket on either character.  Neither characters were 'young' even tho the account is a totally new account/master account.

    Seems a bit hit and miss.

    Cheers MissE

    For more info about Angelwood Warehouse Events go to the A.W.E Forum
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