First long post in a longer time. Bear with me. I have a lot of thoughts on this.
Side note: Ironically, the playerbase worsening “might” be a good sign. It could imply people who stopped playing VG/newbies have started playing it again. Both those people and a lot of “current” players are in dire need of basic information.
The new player tutorial is much, much better than previous incarnations. It feels a lot more interesting and fun to me, at least. This format is something I wanted to see before (Idmonfish asked me to think about 5v5 tutorials and I totally dropped the ball on this) - both for 5v5 and other game modes. I am purely talking about the format here. There is no way a new player tutorial will cover any important information about basic strategy. Its way too much for one sitting.
I fully agree that the tutorials can’t be too long - at least, not all at once. Not all the information is important to know up front, and its annoying to have to wait for a long, long time before being able to play any real games. I think I have a pretty long attention span, and I still delete some games because the tutorial is super boring or is unflattering to the game.
My issue with linking people to guides and forums are numerous, even though that is clearly the most practical and easy approach to achieve:
- Information is not always… helpful or accurate.
- They might not trust said people
- Most casual-ish players are not as likely to bother visiting outside sources. Most people I see in the community are there to rant, are high tier, or are not interested in learning.
- Most importantly imho - it allows SEMC to distance themselves from this, when this should primarily be THEIR project. Yes its nice for players to make guides, but ultimately this is SEMC’s issue as much as game balance or bugs or graphics.
I’m not saying that the forums and other places shouldn’t be linked to players. They should be and are. They just aren’t enough, there should be information (almost forcefed?) to players. The ingame tutorials and videos have a lot more information than in past games, but it doesn’t seem to do a good job teaching teamwork and the like. Some things, such as Meta Hero/Builds are not something SEMC should try to cover by tutorial because balance changes happen far too frequently. The information covered needs to stand the test of time.
I think most knowledgable people could roughly agree on what information takes precedence, without factoring in the tiers to learn it at. Unfortunately, people have shortened attention spans trained to jump away instantly at the sound of a notification. We’ve already had the basic tutorials “all at once” and they weren’t stellar. A lot of the time you can just skip them with no penalty. Skipping is gr8 for smurfs and totally bypasses the original intent of teaching other players.
A mix of approaches might work better. We could have short tutorials that are set to automatically appear at different levels of the game (bear with me), that are NOT SKIPPABLE. At the end of each tutorial a simple questionair pops up. If the player answers correctly, they get to move on with a significant reward. If they get it wrong, they can rewatch before another quiz attempt, or move on, but no reward. A new player should know they can come back any time. The tutorials should always be visible to any player at any time - allowing older players some easy rewards for game knowledge, and incentivizing less knowledgeable veterans to brush up on their knowledge. The tutorial rewards for answering questions correctly should be significant. Not piddling little things. Large, noticeable amounts. The game has expanded enough that giving out a few more heroes and skins won’t hurt anyone.
So the flow I am envisioning for a tutorial is:
- Player triggers a tutorial
- Player watches/plays tutorial
- Player attempts quiz at end of tutorial
- If wrong, can cancel or retry. If correct, gets significant reward and unlocks the next tutorial.
The basic format can be very flexible, allowing people to have tutorials for more advanced things like blocking Blast Tremor with Crucible or using Rose Offensive/Kaiten to dodge an ability. Any player who wants to do a series of tutorials in a row (or replay without a reward) should be fully enabled to do so, but not required.
An example of this overall tutorial system:
- Player hits starts the game
*Player does basic tutorial.
*Player plays 3 casual games
*Player unlocks basic tutorial about assisting allies
*Player reaches level 5/plays 10 Casual games total
*Player unlocks tutorial about basic team compositions - Laner+Jungler+Roamer
*Player gets to level 10
*Player unlocks tutorial explaining ranked mode.
*Player hits T5/Plays 25 Ranked games
*Player unlocks tutorial explaining the importance of each role.
(No, this is not at all intended to be comprehensive, or accurate in information placement, I just wanted a simple example of the timelines and how stuff goes together. Let me know if this isn’t very clear. I am not doing a TL; DR because this is not a simple topic.)