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And, not in a good way. But, before I get into that I want provide a little background on what I am talking about and why.
I like to loiter around the newb landing zone (Burthrope/Taverly area) on free Runescape Accounts play once in a while, answer questions and hand out a little starter gear (makes me feel good being in general an unmotivated player). One question that I have not been able to answer that comes up a lot from returning, and new players alike is how to escape the tutorial.
So, I thought I would have a look for myself. After all it has been 12 years since I have been a newb. And the newest version of a tutorial (which was pretty much non-existent when I started) that I am familiar with was from making PK'ing accounts some years back (so yes, tutorial island).
My first thought about this was: "why do so many want to get out of the tutorial so badly?". Secondarily, what came to mind was "How do instruct them on how to exit it if they really want out of it?"
These were both things I had no answer to. And, so I decided to make a new account and go through it myself, so that I can understand what it means to be new to the game these days.
After creating an email for this account and logging in the first issue I saw is that I got glimpse of the lobby. But without any explanation of what I was seeing (which I feel would have been a really helpful starting point as when we log in it is the first thing we see) I was auto-logged in to who knows what world (I assume 3?) and put through my paces in series of horrible constructed interactive cut scenes.
Now, this specifically is what i would like to go into detail about. What I mean when I say horrible. But, I try not to rock the boat with out picking up a bucket and helping to bail out the water now. So, I also have some solutions. But, to get to them I need to make note of the issues I saw. Which given allotted character space I see is all going to take another 1-2 posts (maybe 3)...
Problems as I encountered them (ordered list that the solutions correspond to):
1) This intro that pushes into the real tutorial blazes past a lot of important things. As I mentioned in the last post it completely dodges what the lobby is and how to use it. But, more then that. It does things like having me select a weapon and use it without explaining some more basic fundamentals (like that when I pick items up they go to my inventory, how to access said inventory, and that some things are equip-able and that i also have a character equipped items menu, how to access that, and how to equip/unequip/swap weapons).
2) The tutorial is fast paced with lack of context. I am instantly put under a commander I have never met, with an ally I know nothing about, and pitted against an enemy I am unfamiliar with. It is hard to care about what the commander wants me to do, and hard to understand really who is giving orders. And, my ally get crushed by a boulder a second after I have not even been formally introduced to him. I am given no reason to care about anything that is going on. And little explanation as to what I am doing and why.
3) I felt like I had no agency. This path felt heavily forced. Especially given that the escape key for exiting the cut scene doesn't seem to work (something I got to experience first hand with this after having heard about it in complaint from other players). And, what was with the weapon selection... This is Runescape. So, why can't I pick up two or even all 3 if I wanted? There are plenty enough enemies to test out how I might like different weapon types. And, with this you missed an excellent opportunity to explain equipping items and swapping them out (as well as use of the z and x keys). Even how to toggle auto-retaliate.
In all though I couldn't seem to progress unless I did things according to script. And the script conflicted with the actual order (one troll flashing red, and as I go to attack it my character turns and attacks a different one).
4) Lack of optimization. It doesn't even appear as if the game even tried to pick my best settings for entering into this intro. That might be the exact reason why text, scene, and voice were all completely out of sync and repeated themselves several times (which really only helped to make the whole experience frustrating and confusing...not to mention characters who seemingly just died springing back to life). The lack of coordinated aspects and how rushed the whole thing was. the quick fading in and out of cut scenes... It made the entire narrative pointless.
Also, there seemed to be no per-rendering? With a game that has a graphical ability so out of sync with the aesthetics to start with, I expect to see a lot of attention towards cut scenes. they should all look like your video where Ozan is aided against a troll by Ariane and Sir Owen. The reason being you can't expect to get away with zooming in on characters and actions given the way the game looks...up close it just isn't pretty. It's actually incredibly ugly****-rendered cut scenes are arguably a necessity for Runescap