EDIT: To clarify, I'm a pseudo veteran myself. Been playing a year now. These are just my observations from the new players I've talked to and trying to get friends into the game.
So as this game matures and more content is added, it appears that little has been done to ensure that new players can easily pick this game up and get a reasonable amount of enjoyment out of it. I’m in a not-currently hAAT guild for it’s more relaxed and chill nature as we’re mostly a bunch of grown-ups with not as much time to invest in this game as others. Part of being in a guild like this is that we pick up a bunch of new/low level players and I like to check in with them to see if they’re enjoying the game and if there’s anything I can help them with.
Having a good new player experience is important for several reasons, but of course the main one is that it increases the lifespan of this game which I believe most of us would like to stick around for a while. First lets go over the pros and cons of being a new player and what this game does to help you out.
Phoenix Squad: This 6 man group of heroes has been added to the game as a way to give new players a squad that can be used to unlock several legendary heroes, and also hold it’s own in GW. It also gets players near the top of the arena rankings until around the low to mid 70’s at which point more powerful Rebels usually take over. With the addition of Territory Battles, Phoenix continues to be a wise investment for new players. It should be noted that at the time of writing this, Phoenix is speculated to be given some numbers tuning and possibly some Zeta upgrades so they could potentially become an even safer farm.
Imperial Troopers: After their rework, this squad is sort of an upgrade to Phoenix or their dark side equivalent. These guys can do GW quite well and also make top spot in Arena with the right mods and a Zeta on General Veers. They are a mostly easy farm with Deathtrooper and Shoretrooper being the hardest. Troopers should come into play right around the time that Phoenix is becoming obsolete in Arena with Shoretrooper probably being the last hero you’ll farm up. The Troopers can put up respectable damage in phase 4 of the hAAT as well, meaning you’ll have at least one good raid team to offer up to your guild. Plus, Empire is totally righteous so you’ve got that going for you
Hard Nodes: We now get 5 attempts now making any hard farms you need go by quicker. In a similar vein, we now get 3 energy refreshes at their lower costs, 50 and 100 for LS/DS and Cantina battles respectively. This makes for some better timing regarding gear farming and heroes from Cantina.
100% Drop rate on mods: This was such a healthy change for the game as a whole but particularly good for new players. Way to go CG.
More content than ever: This game now has 8 different activities you’ll regularly be using your heroes and ships in. This isn’t counting any special events, only LS battles, DS battles, Ship battles, Cantina battles, Galactic War, Pit raid, AAT raid, and Territory battles. TB alone has a requirement of at least 4 strong LS oriented teams to be able to fully contribute and on the heroic level, the AAT raid requires up to 4 very specific super teams capable of putting in serious numbers to a phase of the raid.
Commander Luke Skywalker: This hero is arguably the most powerful we’ve seen introduced into the game and he’s not exactly been healthy for the game from a new player perspective. He’s one of those heroes who can make this game much much easier if you own him, and a burden if you don’t. Those with him are capable of soloing the Pit raid, so any new players without him are at a disadvantage in trying to put in raid damage.
Credit Crunch: With so many required teams at this point, Credits are needed more than ever. They are the fuel for everything you’re going to want to do in regards to your heroes. You need them to craft gear, you need them to upgrade your mods, and most importantly you need them to level up your heroes.
Gear Crunch: C&C, I’m not talking about the great RTS game Command and Conquer here, I’m talking about Carbantis and Cuffs. These two items are universally needed by an incredibly large amount of heroes in this game now. They are almost always the bottleneck most players experience while gearing up their heroes once they have reached higher gear tiers. At the time of writing this, we’re currently in the middle of the first Territory Battle with reworked rewards, so maybe the 6*+ mystery gear box will be a huge benefactor in relieving this stress.
Legendary Heroes: While most players can now safely ignore Master Yoda and to an extent Emperor Palpatine, there’s no argument that R2 and Thrawn are powerhouses that are required to make some of the best arena and raid teams in the game. Thankfully, Phoenix and Troopers are decent new player squads that can unlock these two amazing Legendary heroes. With that said, it’s easy to fall into the mentality that Legendary heroes are 100% required and with BB-8 now requiring one of the hardest squads to farm in the game, new players could easily be turned off.
New Shard Shop: For a lot of lower level players, the Fleet Shipments were a great place to pick up the harder to earn gear pieces. New players do not have themselves a slew of 7* heroes with a steady income of Shard Shop currency like veteran players do, so the removal of gear from Fleet was definitely a detractor in terms of the NPE.
So now that we've gone over that, what can we do about the NPE for Galaxy of Heroes to improve it? I’ve thought of a couple things that could be nice touches and also help out veteran players a bit as well.
For starters, I think the single biggest thing that could be done is to make Commander Luke much more accessible. Have the event occur every other month or something, so that new players can unlock him and be on their merry way with this god hero that can give them a chance in raids and high end arena.
The next thing would be to overall increase credit payouts throughout the game. LS/DS battles, GW nodes, Arena and even Territory Battles could have credit payouts improved upon. This would help virtually every player in the game and would go a long way to boost morale.
Lastly, and this is maybe minor but insanely requested, but I’d love to see the Tac Challenge rewards reworked. They could easily make that challenge in particular much more rewarding. The Lonar Power Cells are the only decent reward from the event with maybe MKIV Stun Guns being good for new players.
All in all, I think there’s several more things that can be done, but I want to see what else the community can come up with. Also I'd love to hear from anyone at CG about this, as gaining and retaining new players is also in their best interest to remain gainfully employed and working on this fine piece of SW goodness.
1. The game requires a tremendous amount of time while leveling from 1 to 50. The lack of sim tickets has force me into playing for hours in the first days in order to be as efficient as possible (i think my start is of mid quality).
2. All the tutorial / intro scripting part of the game is made for 12 years old children or ppl with some serious brain damage. The game doesn't even try to bother to pass essential information to new players. Is just a bunch of scripted "press here to see what happens".
3. Store is a total rip off. In RL ppl do prison time for similar misinforming "once in a life time opportunities".
4. Guild chat and guild managing is very similar to what games in the late 90s were offering. Bugs included.
5. The starting chars are a complete waste of resources in a game that is making money out of the scarcity of them.
6. Until lvl 65, GW store is the only place that can provide a real boost to a new player roaster with a potential income of 15 shards/day. Cantina battles store and guild store are way more slower. Arena squad could be a 10 shards / day income source. Given the fact we have to manually play 12 battles each day CG should make it a lot easier and use it to help new player develop their roaster. But no, GW must a frustrating lottery.
7. The game doesn't really care for new player as ALL of the new content is for the old ones, especially the paying old ones. TB requires 2 stars chars in the first phase, but requires lvl 65 to unlock TB. Legendary events are something new players has to skip and with each event i can't i feel like the strong one get stronger and the gap is wider.
8. Phoenix team is a pain in the **** to get. 3 of them are Store only chars and the other 2 cantina only (**** move one to light side low lvl nodes). Without spending some good money there is no point starting with this team, unless you point for a top 200 arena rank. At lvl 45 my arena shard were already seeing the first Lando 7 stars teams and at lvl 50 the first Darth Nihilus 7 stars ones. The top phoenix team were like 5 lvl ahead of the others (just try to measure the investment in refreshes).
9. After 5 weeks a got my first 7 stars team. I feel good about it, but creating other similar good 3 teams seems like a real pain in the ****. I need a GW team, a fleet one, an arena one, a credit heist one and then there are legendary events that require all these "i have no other use" characters.
For me this game is like a beta version for so many reasons.
But agree 100% to start a new account now you have no chance to compete.. such an amazing divide between long term players and newbies simply cause of the requirements to get the OP toons..
If i started playing last week i wouldnt be playing now... however i did start playing Dec 2015 and even now concerned by the cash and grab way the game is going...
CLS was a game changer.. lets face it the next op toon will be on the way (jedi rey or whatever).. its gonna get to a point there is too much to chase...
Compete with whom though? Why do you think that you should immediately be able to compete with long term players or have everything they have, and in what game modes are you actually worried about competing with them anyway? Arenas are divided by start date, so you don't see those older players, and those are the only modes in which you are directly competing with anybody.
TBH, I don't really see how it's any harder to be a new player now than it was before. And, new players immediately benefit from QoL upgrades that long term players had to suffer without, such as having challenges give the lower gear at higher levels (no more choosing between carbantis and keypads or syringes and droid callers), more low cost refreshes, 5 hard node attemps, guaranteed mod drops, etc.
For some the slow progress is a turn off, for other like myself who has played over a year it is actual one of it's appealing factors. One has to plan their resources for months a ahead, early mistakes can hurt someone immensely down the line.
I also would not suggest Phoenix and esspecially not a trooper squad to new players. Getting a scroundel team going to manage the last phase of credit heist should be paramount, couple with a decent arena with longevity and not one that performs well till lvl 70 and has to be replaced.
Couple things to note though
Rancor soloing has been happening long before cls was released. Is it easier with cls sure but he is not needed at all to solo
Since new players are added to new leaderboards they all start with the same disadvantage of not having cls, Thrawn or R2. Yes there will be a little of a transition from those new players that did get him to those that didn't when filling up the leaderboard but at this point that transition should be over till the next time it comes around.
Edit: wrong hyperlink, oops
Exactly. The No. 1 priority in this game should be competing well in Arena and your Arena shard is made up of people who started around the same time as you.
End Game content is just that, End Game. Its tuned for players who have been playing for a long time (ie. over a year) or people who have spent money on the game to catch up.
It wouldn't be fair to those of us who have played the game for over 1.5 years if a new player could just come in and be able to access everything that we have had to grind towards to get.
I would like to add one thing though: Sim Tickets.
The #1 turn-off for me when I tried to start playing this game (right after release) was sim tickets. Since I got so few, I was always worried I should save them, and so I did every battle manually. As a result, I always had way too much energy and the game got boring really fast (and I quit playing within a month). Earlier this year, I gave the game another go. This time, I used sim tickets, and now I am addicted. I have to buy sim tickets periodically since I am still farming low energy nodes, but now I sim everything. If I didn't have to worry about sim tickets as a new player, I would have never stopped.
Solution: Remove sim tickets. Just make battles able to be auto'd after 3*s.
Side note: I think one cool feature that would improve new player experience would be to let new players pick one character from a list of characters that would start at 5*s. This would allow players to kind of choose their direction as they got started and also have a jump start while they are still getting their other players ready to go.
Like, what's the point of gating Territory Battles by forcing them to reach level 80 when right now it's level 65? Or prevent people from doing the AAT until they've finished the Heroic Rancor? What's even the point of that, considering one person in a guild who's able to solo it means anyone who has even one 7-star character is able to complete the Heroic Rancor?
This is just mean. Why do you hate new players?
"See all this stuff? Well you can't do it until you tick these boxes first. Sure, you don't need any zeta characters at all to do the Territory 1 special battle, but you're going to have to farm it up first m***********." You're looking at this from the point of view of someone already at the end game. These things are introduced slowly over the course of weeks so you get used to each one before the next one is added.
1-farm pheonix(hera,zeb,chopper,kannan and sabine)
2-farm st han for arena old ben cantina, **** gw, boba cantina store
3-farm 2 empire vader palpatine thraw are free you need 2 more
4- farm ships
The check boxes are exactly the point. They give newer players actual goals to achieve. "Why should I do all the Mod Challenges? To unlock Heroic AAT of course!"
In the current system, a new player feels pressured to do everything immediately, but they can't do anything because they don't have the teams. They haven't had the time to build the roster. So when a new event or mode comes up and they can't do it, they get frustrated and scream bloody murder that it isn't fair. Locking things behind achievements would build in a progressive element to the game that is currently lacking.
And it would keep the game modes fresh. Well, fresher anyway. Give an L65 player access to all these game modes they get overwhelmed. There is too much to do, and they can't do any of it anyway. Why even bother? Instead, I suggest gating the content so that they have time to actually get good at The Pit before throwing them up against an AAT or TB. Give them time to farm up some decent mods before attacking the AAT.
Old-timers like me had months and months at L80 to build squads and farm mods before trying a tank raid. And it's a good thing too, because if I had to trying to kill a tank with only a couple lame squads, I probably would have quit.
It doesn't matter anyway. The system is what it is, and it's too late for what I outlined above. I still think it would be better that way.
This ^^. maybe not paying your dues, but anyway. this.
There needs to be content for them to want to achieve, for older players it was yoda, palp, and vader. Now it is R2, thrawn and CLS.
The gates that were there for us are there for them, gear and credits (we didn't have the credit heist).
As i pointed out they have many more events to participate in to get credits, training droids, omegas, and gear then most older players did. Yes they have more toons and teams to build, but that has always been the balance needed. how you build your roster is what made good players better.
I'm not saying everyone who joins the game should get handed endgame content, but it's also kind of annoying that popular characters everyone coming into this game is going to be interested in are so difficult to obtain.
The "Legendary" events should be available at all times, I agree. Even if it costs crystals or some kind of "currency" system to activate them. It would at least allow new players to see what they need to get without coming onto the forums and scouring around for info, or just farming the first character they recognize only to find out months down the road they've wasted all of their time, resources, and potentially money.
There is definitely nothing wrong with looking around on the forums, but there is a very large portion of the player base that doesn't do it.
Perhaps you wouldn't have been as directionless if you had a clear goal to work toward?
Either way, these types of players are bound to just eventually get bored and quit, and I can't imagine that's the end result CG is looking for.
I really don't get the "farm phoenix first" route. I realise it's for Thrawn (and to a lesser extent Palp) but imo there's more pressing matters for a new f2p player than just getting thrawn.
Ezra would be in my top 10 early farm characters for f2p but not the other phoenix.
Phoenix is a good starter team because they have amazing synergy, that do well in arena, GW and Lightside or Cantina battles. And they let you unlock Thrawn and Palpatine, as well as giving you already two characters for Yoda. So you cover up the requirements for 2 Legendary Toons completely plus 1 with almost the half. And that's only five to six characters you have to farm. They do not perform that good on mature shards, so you do not see them there in the high ranks of arena. But some weeks ago I started an alt account, and Phoenix is seen pretty often on that arena shard. So I think it is safe to say that Phoenix is a good way to go for new players.