Why I am not in chat (in General)

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] June 13 2006 5:27 PM EDT

So I started out thinking of different ways to make a post that could not be responded to, like selling a katana for 10K and then making this post underneath it, etc, etc. Anyway, I choose option D, make the post, turn off the notify and not look at it again. So, here I am in General. The intention is not to comment on CB or to illicit comment on CB, good or bad, my intention is to answer the poll question fully, because "other" was not descriptive enough, and this post will be way to long for a reply in the poll posting.

AGAIN, if you expect any response from me on this post and the subject therein, you will have to CM me, because I will not be reading this post again.

Why I am not in chat

When I first rolled into CB as a clueless new person intrigued by the layers of strats and abilities and equipment and no clue what to do with any of it, I popped into the new player chat. Back in the day, the people wishing to help new players had a lot more flexibility to do so, but they knew in general a lot less about how the system worked. For instance, after chatting for a little while Rain Dancer gave me a fairly hefty short bow for a new player and said use it to grow quickly. If you get hooked like me, you can get some other stuff that well help. But when I asked him what was the base damage for a compound bow, he could not tell me. This is an example where there was more flexibility and less knowledge. No one knew the base damage of a compound bow. Anyway, it was this interplay of all of us exploring some answers and some of us sharing the answers they knew that developed a fairly strong community that bordered on a clique of new players chat. Some of these chat personalities were so strong, they literally held the thing together by themselves. Once I was hooked, had gotten a pretty good handle on the how things worked, what did and did not work together, I went from helpee to helper. This I carried through pretty much to the end of CB1. And I would like to think to some degree, did so on the early stages of CB2. But a lot of things changed about how CB works, and how you can help new players, that well quite frankly took all the fun away from it.

First and foremost was/is the ability to give a new player something special, something you would not and could not give to more than one at a time, but something that would help seperate them from all the other new players. Something that you could deem them worthy to use and get them hooked on it, get them winning most of their fights and asking why not all of them. Get them excited about the game during the most difficult time, starting out. Now, you cannot do this. NW is linked to PR. Now you can give only base gear out or else, without a solid well though out strategy built around the over powered gift (or limited by the max tattoo cap) you doom them. So you lose the ability to single out those really good ones, and give them an extra charge, the extra push that makes them say yah, I could like this, and be as good for the game as it is for them.

So that was gone, but I worked around it best I could by giving away lots of base gear and low level gear, as much as I could really. Anything that couldn't get me atleast 100K more NW on my Elbow was given to new players for either nothing or a small fraction of market value (mainly to teach them the value of spending hard earned CB $ on worthwhile items) So that kept the interest because you could be in chat, you could say not worth it, not worth it, hey wait a sec, PM hey would you be interested in a free tattoo? Repsonse, sure, then questions about what it does, then other questions, then send the item, then more questions then hooked. You could still single out the ones worth time and effort. Was I ever 100% heck I would consider myself lucky to hit 50%, but still it was fun to try. Also, at the time it seemed, that it wasn't just a no brainer start a NUB as single mage, rinse repeat. People were just trying out stuff walls and 4 E teams, etc. Anyway, it didn't seem so formulated. Now it seems if you recommend anything but a single mage you might be cheating them of a good start. And with only one shot at the NUB, you need to make it a good one.

So there you go, I used to have fun chatting in new players by selectively helping those I wanted to, beginning with the giving of some item (which BTW establishes trust) and then getting them going on how to use it right etc. Now with NW to PR you have to be very careful what you give them, with camping down the crapper you have to actually pay real money to give away an item to someone who might very well just turn right around and sell it for lots more money (which happened to me several times, but when you buy it from the store for 20K who cares if someone you gave it away to, sold it for 100K when the store is popping out 3 million dollar corns) So no more steady supply of gear, then the starting strats seem to have gotten flat with only the single mage worth recommending.

With all the fun gone out of helping new players, I tried one last ditch effort, popped into carnage for a strat discussion. After fielding 10 different ways of asking if I was in chat because I wanted to be this quarter's QB and saying no, I finally got into a brief discussion about the strat I was working on and a tweak I wanted. This was short lived as there was only me and one active participant. After more ribbing about the QB I simply left and have not been back.

This in a nut shell is why I do not chat anymore. Am I complaining? NO I repeat is this a complaint....NO!!! I am simply answering the question of why. I have found many other way to make up for not chatting on CB with many other online things, I do not miss it one bit, well OK I do a little but perhaps selfishly because of all the things that used to go with it (unrestricted NW, camping, etc) Does this mean we have to rally to fix CB or it's doomed.....??????? NO!!! its the answer to the question of why I am not in chat. So, this is a post of my answer. I will not be reading the response, but if you want to post I cannot stop you.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] June 13 2006 5:37 PM EDT

While weapons still can't ruin the setups of new players, AC should no longer be that much of a problem. I'd say your explanations of the changes to chat are on the money, and layout a good number of the oddities the NUB has given newer cb'ers. There was at least a month of time where you were expected to make every mistake possible, and hopefully find your way out of them (often with much help from NP). You still see the occasional bright shining newbie who actually understands what he is doing, but the majority seem like the easy route left them lacking understanding.

th00p June 13 2006 5:38 PM EDT

Bravo Sefton, Bravo. This truly was an inspiring speech (trying to get new players hooked, of course). It's true that most (85%) of recommended NUB strategies are indeed single mage FB. We need to change this (as well as the ability to help out players more with weapons/armor). Hopefully the new supporter item will be a big help to new players, although obviously not sure what Jonathan will have in store. One other note: you really did get me motivated to join NP and start giving out at least some leathers to those new players.

Thank you!

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] June 13 2006 5:38 PM EDT

dag habit, I meant to say "still can" not "still can't"

{cb1}dyno June 13 2006 10:22 PM EDT

Amen seft, I idle in chat but rarely speak a line or two unless I hear someone mention cribbage. Sad how things have gotten...

QBsutekh137 June 14 2006 1:01 AM EDT

OK, so what is the problem? Sefton's views are sound and tight. But I don't think anyone is really going to rally around a cry of "The NW-PR link killed chat!", are they? (and Sefton doesn't care if you would).

Sefton's post creates a valid _sentiment_. But you can't fix a sentiment. Yes, I am operating from a point of, "If we think something is wrong, then define the problem and solve it!"

My personal problem with chat is all _me_. I am the one who changed: less time, less interest, less caring. The only other thing I can think of is that, for whatever reason, things have become more "cliquish" in CB2. I haven't been able to discern why that is either, though. Sure, I might could blame it on clans, but I blame everything on clans. Truth be told, at this point clans are so useless and stupid and formulaic that I wouldn't even want to give them credit for killing chat. Giving them that would actually be saying they accomplished something, and that's not remotely possible.

Ironically, I think chat, as with the game, has taken itself too seriously. The NUB and the NCB have made the game all about "winning", whatever that means. Sure, there are still folks who live for the next contest or humorous post, but when I am in the NCB and know what I am doing, what is the point of chatting? I get great help from random CMs (thanks novice!) or the odd post -- but I don't need chat for talking about strategies. And, quite frankly, I haven't the energy to deal with l33t-speak and rudeness that I find often in new players. I'm not here to change diapers, and I never will be (yeah, great QB, eh? I'm as baffled as y'all are, trust me...)

So, chat is just...dull. I hope it is still as wondrous for new folks as it was for me when I started, but you have to realize -- three years ago (my three-year anniversary was a month ago) the chat-and-console concept was cooler: smaller monitors, slower computers, less-savvy users... Now everyone has 1600x1200 screens, myriad windows open, and machines that can easily make full-screen Messenger and Carnage Blender (sans chat) available. Who needs chat when they can be IMing their friends about the great pretzel they had down at the food court while still banging out BA on a pure-fight CB console?

QBBarzooMonkey June 14 2006 8:24 AM EDT

I love chat. Fried up, with a little olive oil and garlic, and a side of botcheck with clan sauce - that's good eatin'!


AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] June 14 2006 10:41 AM EDT

jabber server maybe?

Negator June 14 2006 12:41 PM EDT

Thanks for starting this thread, Sefton. I have only been on CB2 for about five weeks, so I cannot comment on a lot of your points, but there is one thing that I feel strongly about.

The single-mage-Fireball thing.

CB2 is a rock-paper-scissors type balanced strategy game. It has elements of collectable games (rare weapons/armour) also. If you look at games with similar dynamics, the one thing that keeps them alive is diversity. Magic: the Gathering survives still because the environment is constantly changing.

The SMFB concept is so entrenched that I have seen veterans chastise newbies for even considering building anything else early. This is the death of diversity, the opposite of the very thing necessary for the long-term viability of CB2. At this point, "strategy" does not seem to start until you have spent at least a month mindlessly clicking Fight with your single-mage Fireball setup.

I would LOVE to see the smarter new players be able to have some genuine competition with different strategies of appreciable complexity, rather than the only variable being the ratio of HP to FB.

(No, I didn't go SMFB early. I'm too much of a nonconformist, and/or too dumb. Your choice.)

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] June 14 2006 1:55 PM EDT

I think Sefton is incapable of writing anything shorter then a full page forum post.

On the topic: Yeah, it makes you feel good to give stuff out to new players in the hopes that they will stick around. But hell that aspect of gameplay is gone now, so instead of complaining about it, why not suggest alternatives? It isn't doing anyone any good by saying how "CB used to be so much better". Gawd! reminds me of cliche old-people saying "back in my day"

Suggestion: Just for Mentors, let them have the ability to loan X number of items to their mentees. These items loaned from the mentor to the mentee have a very low or 0 affect on the newbs PR. Most mentors are likely to loan out items on a weekly basis, which would help new players immensely. This would ensure that the newb could get a foothold, without blatantly selling the item, and would benefit from it's use, and possibly stick around to learn more about CB.

NSFY June 14 2006 2:59 PM EDT

Verifex - I suggest that you begin reading at the second sentence of paragraph 9 (2006 CSR 1910.134)


QBsutekh137 June 14 2006 4:22 PM EDT

And stop making NSFY's goat freeze up and tip over.

AdminJonathan June 14 2006 4:25 PM EDT

that's a thoughtful idea, verifex.

deifeln June 14 2006 5:00 PM EDT

Why not allow mentors free item transfers to thier mentees for the first two weeks after the relationship is established?

bartjan June 14 2006 5:09 PM EDT

I still believe it's the mentor's job to answer questions for those that do not have chat. Playing Santa mostly has a short term effect...

QBPixel Sage June 14 2006 6:45 PM EDT

I'm liking that too Verifex. Maybe in a few months, I'll campaign for new ways of finding new players and encouraging them to stay.
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