[MUD-Dev] Re: Convincing Players to Read Documentation

Marc Bowden ryumo at merit.edu
Mon Oct 2 06:48:30 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

--On Sunday, October 1, 2000 12:09 -0700 John Hopson 
<jwh9 at acpub.duke.edu> wrote:

> First, we need to recognize that if players are ignoring helpfiles,
> it's because we told them they weren't important.

  It's be so cool if this were the blanket panacea it appears to be, we 
could just blame the victim for the mugging and move on. =)

  Unfortunately, the majority of the kids we get come to us in that 
condition. They don't want to read, won't even entertain the need, and 
if something is too different from what they already have scripts for, 
they'll shoot away by closing the client program at the first 
opportunity. In many cases we've found on my end that they *can't* read 
well enough to understand something as simple as 'say'.

  I'll give you an example, since I can see you digging in your heels. 
A new player popped in last night, and since I was the only one around, 
it's my job to pop in and say hello, make sure they're situated, etc.

  This is what you get if you ask us for help on the help command 

Life 100 Mana 62 > help help

       "Ignorance. Fear. Fear and ignorance.
        Dedicate yourself to these principles."
                - The Paranoia Ethos

  Ok, so you're in need of help. You probably fall into one of three
categories of "needing help"....

  1. Temporarily clueless.
     Quote:"Now what was the command to change the password?"

  2. Slightly lost.
     Quote:"How do you talk/shout/move around/kill?"

  3. Needs to be led around by the hand.
     Quote:"You mean this ISN'T alt.callahans????"

  Whatever category you fall under, the important thing to do is
to NOT PANIC! There is always help! If you can't get the answers
to your questions here, try the question channel (type help channels), 
and your question will be answered, assuming there are any Immortals on 
to do so.

  To use DreamShadow's help documents, type help <topicname>, where
<topicname> is your best guess about what you're confused about.

  ...which is, more or less, like every other 'help help' in the 
universe, baring the exact position of your tongue in your cheek.

  This young gent was quite upset, because the help command lied to 
him. "Your mud's broken," he tells me over and over. "I'm supposed to 
have this command and I don't. It's not fair."

  Our 'help' system logs all requests that don't turn up an answer. A 
check made me begin banging my head against a wall. He had, you see, 
been typing variants of "help <topicname>" for five minutes or so, and 
was angry, because the 'topicname' command didn't work.

  This is not wholly indicative of the class of kids we're getting 
today, but it's not as rare as it ought to be. By in large, they're 
used to pictures, and by God, they don't need to read, or learn how.

Marc Bowden - Soulsinger         Dreamshadow:The Legacy of the Three
  ryumo at merit.edu                        3333

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