Skip to main content

The Beautiful Path: WoW New Player Experience Critique


  • The New Player experience tends to follow the pattern of "teach the player three times"

 The Beautiful Path: WoW New Player Experience Critique

The good:
Effectively introduces the player to core mechanics and game loops in the game, as well as familiarizing them with controls and player progression systems.

In the early parts of the tutorial sequence for WoW characters, the player is asked to hit a target dummy. 

The player is told via text, verbally, and then visually with obvious indicators to execute the attack. This combination of "teach the player three times" is a key lesson explained in one of our USC courses- games often have a lot going on, and their complicated systems require reinforcement and time for players to grasp them.

The bad (what can be improved):
Feels very much tutorial-y, and the premise of the locale, while believable, is not immersive and feels removed from the rest of the game and the way WoW is marketed to the public (there are no epic characters you are fighting alongside a la Shadowlands cinematics, no grand nation you represent a la Battle for Azeroth trailers, etc)

Note that this tutorial takes place on a deserted island apart from the mainland, which is a key narrative decision which succeeds in isolating the player, but lacks the organic immersion and discovery of mechanics that, say, the carefully crafted beginnings of Stardew Valley have. Both are RPGs which are very dialogue-driven in their narrative exposition, but Stardew Valley does a better job of making the player feel unique, able to craft their own character, and allowing for discovery of the world that feels authentic, while still within the bounds of the designer's intentions.

Popular posts from this blog

Infatuated Game Design Doc

Takeaways: Emotion is a crucial part of player experience Knowing and understanding how and why you feel things is valuable Always get a prototype in front of a player as soon as humanly possible INFATUATED Game Design Documentation by Charlie Feuerborn My inspiration & background: “Turning Out Pt. ii” by the indie pop group AJR. A sequel to the soul-searching “Turning Out” from the EP What Everyone’s Thinking, the songwriter, Ryan Met, describes it as a tearjerker. “It was the hardest song I’ve ever written. 100%. We don’t even wanna play that one live, ‘cause it’s such a sad, brutal song.” The target emotion of the player experience: Heartbreak Pictured in wallet Polaroid: my highschool sweetheart Earliest iterations of the game pull some questions verbatim from a psychological study on love and affection, published in the New York Times by a participant in the study. The questions begin as surface-level ice-breakers, but gradually e

Here There Be Pirates Game Design Doc

Takeaways Invest the time early to carefully choose dramatic elements that adhere strongly to your mechanics Being a pirate is cool and exploration is fun Be thoughtful with time-estimates to finish things, then double the number you arrive at Under-promise and over-deliver Particular game strengths: Aesthetics (pins for player markers, pirate-map art, gold coin points) and dramatic elements (pirate exploration & stealing) complemented mechanics (moving, staying, looting, stealing, attacking) excellently. Design Journal - “Here there be Pirates” Team members from left to right: Laura Littleton, Charlie Feuerborn, Reid Weston, Abigail Sullivan. Our affordance object: A reversible sequin throw pillowcase Our team was quick to jump to work, experimenting physically with the object and bouncing ideas off one another. We found that the object interestingly affords: Throwing Rubbing/color changing Holding things Wearing like a hat or hood Spinning Multiple people interac