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Thread: The Online Manual

  1. #21

    Re: Great input folks

    Originally posted by Cz
    /me takes lots'a notes

    Xeni, all the profession descriptions will be checked and probably rewritten, or maybe even removed (as we don't want to put a cookie cutter on how people develop their characters) and replaced by general tips and a link to the profession forums.

    Agents also have cyan Chemistry and green Psychology. Not the most utilized trade skills, but that was something we couldn't predict when those descriptions were made.

    I'll try get a subchapter of its own on the profession shifting for the Agents.


    I'll be reading and taking more notes tomorrow, so keep the feedback coming.
    Good, idea! The prof. descritions(some of them atleest) do not fitt the ingame version at all! Just putt upp a few tips on each prof. Dont write the tips yourself plese(yourself = FC) Putt upp threads where players can putt in tips, you can putt them together and post them for uss

  2. #22

    Thumbs up Keyboard commands

    When I first started, I couldn't remember most of the keyboard commands for attacking or chatting. So I created my own paper copy of a keyboard with each of the commands highlighted.

    I'd suggest that a more "professional" and printable version would be infinitely helpful for new players.
    It might include:
    1. A representation of a standard keyboard layout
    2. Different colors for chat, attack, windows, etc.
    3. A key to define the colors
    4. A description of the combo commands (using shift+ or ctrl+)

    Anyway, glad to see you're taking steps toward improvement!

  3. #23
    OK, this is quite a lot, but I couldn't stop once I got started. Enjoy...

    Section 1:
    Installation instructions:
    No instructions for installing the game if the installation file is downloaded from your servers. Add that.

    Logging in: Lacking instructions on several features, such as:
    - How to select video driver and resolution
    - How to select a skin
    - etc.
    Generally, there are poor instructions in this section on how to do things, and the information is unstructured. Write down the procedures in sub-sections, such as "How to create a character", or "How to change screen resolution" etc.

    Section 2:
    Character creation: Since the GUI is unfamiliar to the new player, you should describe the procedure in detail. As an alternative, flesh out the Beginner's Guide on this topic.

    Breed alternatives: The real differences should be described here more clearly (blue/green abilities).

    Affiliation: Describe exactly what choosing affiliation means in game terms. The only info you provide here is game fiction, and not that important when the user is wondering how and what to choose and why.

    Section 3:
    Interface: The information here is unstructured. Put a number on each button/indicator etc and describe them in a list. Mostly the best way to give a good overview of a GUI.

    Action View: Complete this with a shortcut list of all keys related to this subject.

    Chat View: Make a shortcut list with all keys relating to using the Chat View. Also make a shortcut list for all chat modes (shout, emote, whisper etc). Also, are the Social Moves and Scripts sub-sections at the proper place in the Chat View section? I'd like to see that somewhere else. In any case, they need to be fleshed out with a complete listing of Social Moves, and a detailed description how to make scripts, where to place them etc.

    Command View: Complete this section with a shortcut list.
    Wear window: Correct the error that you can swap items by right-clicking them. You can't do this from 14.2, at least regarding implants.

    Mission Window: Player created missions? Do they really work? If not, remove any texts about this. If they do (which I seriously doubt), describe how to make them. And add an instruction for how to upload missions to the map.

    Friends Window: Complete this section with the relating text commands (such as /cc addbuddy etc). Also, some features are not described, such as the Show Only and Temp Group buttons, and the obvious fact that you can choose to chat with another specific char by clicking the corresponding list in the list. Also, there are no instructions on how to make a character in the list a "friend" or how to remove it.

    Information View: Add instructions for how to resize the window.

    Combat: There should be a description here about the very basic concepts in combat, such as; AC, attack rating, aggro, attack speed etc. Lots of info really, Combat should be a section on its own, and not a sub-section under Interface.

    Improvement Points: Update with IP reset and such new rules from 14.2.

    Nano-Programs: What's the Death and Insurance doing under this section?

    Section 4: Maybe this section suits better in the Beginner's Guide?

    Section 5: Be fair to the users and inform about what skills that aren't used in the game. And update those that are used, such as Vehicle Air.

    Section 6: Add information about what "colour" skills and abilities are to different professions. Make a chart, like the ones found at AO Basher, for example.

    Overall, what I'd like to see in your manual is more structure, and maybe re-structure the manual in a different way. As it is now, it's mixed up with descriptive and instructive elements, with shortcuts everywhere right in the texts, and subsections that has little to do with the section it's under. And separate functions follow each other in the same paragraphs. Not very clear and hard to find what you're looking for.

    My tip as someone who has done these things for a living is; First provide the descriptive information, so that the user knows what is what, and how the basic concepts in the game work. Provide the required knowledge the user needs to use your product. Then provide instructions for how to do things. All in a clear and structured way. Use tables and (updated) figures more. Try it, and I think you'll find the document a lot more accessible.

    Also, most important when making a manual: know your user. Who is the user reading it and why? That leads to the answers you need about what to include in the manual and what not, and how to convey the information to the user. I think you need to cater for both new and very seasoned players. Personally, I'd like to see as much as possible in it, and it's also a good idea for the company to strive for that, since a detailed manual always saves you customer service resources. Lots of people have excellent ideas here, include it all in your manual.


  4. #24
    Where to start? I guess with what I know best. Changes to crat section:
    where pacification, fear, and experience buffs are unique for the profession
    Not true, other professions have pacification and fear.
    Strong fields
    Nano formula skills

    Some trade skills

    Some initiatives.
    Take out trade skills until you implement the paperwork tradeskills based on Psychology. Initiatives? Take that out also, you have NanoCInit listed under key skills and the init buffs we have are not available until level 120ish and are a complete and total joke anyway.

    Add No marketable trade skills and No marketable buffs to the Weak fields list.

    It is Matter and not Material Metamophosis.

    Add motivational speeches to the nanos list. Do NOT add demotivational speeches since they are useless. I would also take Fear off the list based on the amount it is used by crats and the Psyche check.

    Bureaucrat also currently falls alphabetically between Fixer and Martial Artist on the current list for some reason.

    And on the general professions page, take the statement about how bureaucrats manipulate their way through the vast bureaucratic channels on the planet until you have actually implemented some bureaucratic channels that his skills allow him to manipulate.

    Lengthen the affiliation section! This would be a great place for you guys to finally say what you want to say about Neutrals. You have been giving conflicting info lately about whether you want neutral affiliation to be a 'side' in itself or just a place for people to start until they pick a side. Decide and put that here. Also talk about the disadvantages of being neutral (only can use neutral shops, neutral save points, etc. while the other sides can use the neutral shops and save points).

    Take 'Death and Insurance' out of the 'Nano-Programs' section.

    Be honest in the skill descriptions about how useful something is. TELL beginning players that the Sharp Objects skill has not been implemented so they don't waste IP in it. And if you REALLY want to be honest then you should tell them not to waste points in adventuring, swimming, piercing, parry, sneak attack, grenade, nano resistance, concealment (unless they are planning to max it), or vehicle water.

    And definitely put something in discouraging beginning players from trying to play nanomages!

    And change "rather expensive" to "ludicrously expensive" when talking about fixer nano skills.


  5. #25


    How about adding this as a description of the Agent class:

    Pronunciation Key (gmp) Slang
    A limp or a limping gait.
    A person who limps.

    intr.v. gimped, gimp·ing, gimps
    To walk with a limp.

    [Origin unknown.]
    gimpy adj.

    Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

  6. #26
    Please add this:

    "Beggars found in Newland City, Borealis or surrounding areas will be shot, shat on and spat on. But not necessarily in that order."

    pirates. with lasers.
    Are you having an argument on the internet, again?

    Gene13 - on a space odyssey since 2001
    XXX - N

    Some day your ship will come in, but you will be at the airport.

  7. #27
    Also in many of the weapons skillls descriptions / professional descriptions it states things like "(shotgun) quite popular for it's ability to hit more than one target at he same time". Especially as the game now stands you can only target and hit one opponent with a given weapon shot. Another good piece of information to give noobies would be the various basic armor styles and that they are tied to two certain abilities. This allows a newb to see that if they concentrate on an armor style that complements the direction they are taking their they can focus IP and same themselves headache in the end. Along with the basic Newb guide you should also include a section - hints and tips this could include about 2 pages of tips that they could learn before heading into the game. These are things that most of the older players already know but that as a newb many people could benefit by but could just as easily learn about through trial and error

  8. #28

    Cool The New Online Manual (Apartments)


    I would like to see a bit more on the subject of apartments. When I read the current manual, I had no idea that it was really not that important to get one immediately. Following the manual, one gets the impression that one should settle in before leaving the backyard. It would have been best if the manual stated that apartments are not changeable, so the new citizen should play for quite some time in different playfields, etc., before deciding where to settle in - unless the option to move to another apartment will be implemented soon.

  9. #29
    NT's aren't the master of nanobots

  10. #30
    I'd like to see a more detailed description of the implant system and how different clusters affect the finished implant - more specifically a guide that would enable a player to design an implant set (if he/she so wishes) without the use of third party tools like NanoNanny. I remember doing this in the very beginning, and thinking about all the funny and useless/impossible to equip implants I made really makes me pity new players without knowledge of these tools. Learning the hard way isn't always the best way
    Bret 'Bothead' Bannister
    Member of Rising Phoenix

  11. #31
    Perhaps a small section about the grid?
    Explaining what it is. (best explenation I have, is comparing it to "hyperspace".

    Perhaps even include wompahs?
    Not long ago, I helped out a guy (if you read this, you know who you are), which had little knowledge about travelling aside from using his own legs.

    Not that I mind helping others out, I actually enjoy it but there's so many, and I cannot help them all...

  12. #32

    Unhappy Starting equipment

    NUMBER 1 --- explain the GUI !!!!!! Can NOT emphisise this enough .... EXPLAIN IT

    Put something in the manual (or as a startup splash screen for that matter) about the start up equipment is not necessarily the best or even mediocre weapons etc. to go with. You have no idea how many startup characters I played using the starting pistol till I found out I could do better damage at low level with my FISTS!

    Explain HOW to make implants and that you need crystal QL's of equal or greater values then the implant.

    If you insist on putting references to un-implemented items/skills at LEAST be up front enough to SAY they are not implemented, and even put the standard buck passer 'yet' in the statement if you feel defensive.

    Have a section on what skills are what color for what class, and what the color means
    Life's a bi*ch and then you die.

  13. #33

    Unhappy Finding your way around

    Biggest problem for me as a starting player was the concept of having to find your way around a city that is as complex as Omni-1.

    I played for a few months as a Clanner, then thought I would take my understandings and begin again (you expect to make stupid decisions as a newbie). This time I decided to join the Omni...

    ...bad idea. Getting out of the backyard is virtually identical to Tir - but then I was stuck in some Sewer district - no people around - noone doing anything but personal chat and 'ooh - fixers suck' on the channels. I think I ran around for over an hour, not found more than 3 shops (most of which sold food), entered a PvP district (Omni-HQ ?) and eventually sent a /petition asking to be transferred to the clans.

    My point? THE START AREAS NEED TO BE CLEARLY MAPPED OUT. Even just having plenty of signs around would help, FT this way, arena over here... I can find the bl**dy South Gate by going south

    I realise that Omni is supposed to be an oppresive future - but even opressed citizens need to know how to get to the shops!

  14. #34
    I knew it! You're going to remove 'Masters of the Grid' from the fixer description because it's just not true. Damn you all!
    Christopher "Gogliostro" McClymonds - Neutral Circus Artist for Forsaken
    Epos "Levandri" Nine - Clan Tradesman for Forsaken
    Sherwood "Velorik" Cordiero - Neutral Patcher for Oddities
    Augustus "Cipheron" Shone - Neutral Leet for Oddities
    Stormbringer "Keelan" Nine - Neutral Mute for Oddities
    Prince "Vidorian" Swicord - "The First One"
    Joseph "Silensus" Markarian - Clan Memory for Concubia Nocte
    Prince "Kahveh" Delaet - Neutral Coffeemaker for Oddities

  15. #35

    Re: Keyboard commands

    Originally posted by Oeloff
    When I first started, I couldn't remember most of the keyboard commands for attacking or chatting. So I created my own paper copy of a keyboard with each of the commands highlighted.

    If you look in your ao dir (or ao cd, whatever you got), you will find a file called "keyboard map.gif", the file name should be quite self explaining So perhaps FC should point out the existance of this file

    This file came with my copy of the game, and i downloaded the 7 day trail thingy from the AO website.

    You need to explain how to upload mission coords.. doing missons in Athen was a real pain for me, trying more or less every door until i hit the right one (or sometimes didnt). And when i discovered this feature (by accident), my missons didnt go to Athen anymore...
    Last edited by Crowly; May 30th, 2002 at 20:45:48.

  16. #36

    Talking My 5 cents on this matter

    A lot of things have passed the line already, but I do believe it wise to let new players be warned about professions and the breed that go along. Don't just give the preferred breed, but also discourage the non-preferred breeds all the way to infinity. When I felt like being an enforcer once again, i rolled an enforcer, a female solitus enforcer. Sure this is harder than atrox, but very much doable IF you have played the game as long as I have.

    However, upon entering the trainggrounds, I saw a few odd things there. I saw an enforcer, wearing black clothes and a facial mask, shouting why the H*** he couldn't make a kill. I saw an engineer atrox beating the pulp out of a reet, shouting why he didn't get creds (right, tell them that as well: rightclick the dead parrot to loot it and get the cash)

    My point is this, even though the ARKs do a ood job in the traininggrounds, it's impossible for them to help all newbies. And every newb is lost. So plz make it clearer for them how to start of and summon pets and//or equip weapons.

    Incllude in the manual the commands they have to give to the guide and guard as well. It's so annoying to seem them try, only to see them resort to profanity because they forgot to highlight the guard or guide...

    I think it was said before, but also make sure that they know how to upload missions. The settings for missions is not the most important thing, although you should state that setting it to max difficulty in the beginning is equal to certain death when alone...

    As has been said, and i will say the same: DISCOURAGE PLAYING A NANOMAGE CHARACTER AS A FIRST CHAR!!!

    Instead, give newcomers the advice to become MA. This is at low level one of the easiest to raise professions, as they have no weapons to worry about, but their fists do it for them.

    Explain how there is armor that fits the green base abilities. I have seen so many people complain about their armor being too low, but they couldn't equip higher because of the reqs... I'm talking about an atrox in cyberarmor now....

    Also, and i must say i find this one actually the most stressing one personally... Make sure to explain that this is an MMORPG, in other words, all the other characters running around the cities are people, not things you can B*ST*RD or ST*P*D F**KH**D...
    It is so annoying to get yelled at just because you are there... I find it annoying to the core. I could start on the PvP areas now, but I won't, I don't want to start a flame here, but some minor guidelines to behavior there might be good as well.

    I'll say it anyway... Make sure newcomers understand that not everyone wants to PvP. I hate being called a sissy, just because I don't enter PvP with anyone. I am a bureaucrat, I don't use guns, I'm all defense, no attack whatsoever. Don't start shooting me, it's lame, you'll get a crooked notch on your gun...

    Anyway, to get back on track... Advise people about implants, if necessary give them a tool to helpp them out, so they know what the reqs will be after creating an imp...

    By now I have set my standard set and know what skills are required, but there was a time where I spent almost 100,000 creds on an imp I could no way no how equip... and I made it from my last cash. Make sure you state the fact that another skill besides treatment is needed.

    I've run out of air now, but if I think of more things I came across I'll do another post.
    This account was cancelled at:
    2004-05-10 06:47:01
    It will remain playable until : 2004-09-20 08:20:45

    Time for RL now

    Meet Fluffy

  17. #37
    Explain initiative and exactly how much 1 pt affects your weapon speed. Also explain how evades work.
    "Self Proclaimed Fixer God since Jan 2002"

    Note: This account was stolen from me by someone I thought I could trust. I didn't realize what was going on untill someone from my guild contacted me and let me know what was happening. Funcom was gracious enough to give the account back to me, the original owner, but the account is deactivated for the time being and my main concern was just getting it out of the hands of an unsavory character. Sorry for the drama.


  18. #38

    Cool manuals we don't need no stinking manuals

    okay so we do , I agree with the need more about the trade skills
    and the shops and missions need greater details in the manual
    and is off topic I know , but true newbie shops would be a good
    idea so newbie can go by equipment they can use.

    some days a newbie can not find a gun to save their life

  19. #39
    I like Ghump's idea, a newbies guide would be awesome, I remember my first hour of gameplay, having NO CLUE on how anything worked, and just trying to figure out what the heck is it im supposed to do in the game. I never played any MMORPG so I didnt know what buffs were, or the fact that you just attack and it stays attacking, etc.
    So I mostly just sat in one of the omni backyard's seats and just watched people. Someone was turning people into reets so I guess that was kinda fun, but I was at a loss to what the heck people did in these games all day. Or where to go after im too high level for the backyards.

    Maybe just a learn by example guide on here's a sample way to play. Pick this class, raise these skills, now upload the starting nano, now put it on your quickbar, now go look for one of these and kill it, now use a healthkit (heres now), now loot it by right clicking, now kill till you ding, etc.. just a guide for someone who starts and doesnt have any experienced friends to help them along their first day until they're not ubernoob anymore.
    So just for the learning expierience I dont see anything wrong with telling someone how to play an example character, just so it covers a whole lot of basics and the newb can sit there with a printout and try it all without just reading a dry manual and trying to just remember it, you get to actually DO it.

    As far as the more nitty gritty details other people are going on about, you learn those as time goes on and by that time you're hooked, and if you've grouped with enough people chances are you have a few friends you can just ask questions to.
    Not that a comprehensive manual documenting the whole game system that is AO is a bad thing! That would be great for the experienced players.

    What needs to be focused on I think is not discourging noobs cause "this game is too hard and I dont know what to do!", just at least get people out of that phase.

    I love the stuff already in game though, shift click on this, and ask the guides a few newbie things, obviously someone has a clue over there at funcom to do all that cool stuff, the more of that the better.

  20. #40
    Don't forget to include what the titles levels are and what the level-based soft skill caps are about. Also, explain how the IP-allocation system works, including the ability-based hard caps on skills, and the dribbling down of points when you invest in basic attributes.

    I can't count how many times I've calmed down a panicked newcomer at level 12 or so who had reached a skill cap... "What's a title level? What do I have to do? Does this mean I can't ever put more into this skill again?" etc. etc.

    On another topic, put something in about the general nanoformulas that are available to every class. I've run into characters as high as level 30 who didn't even know that they exist.

    180+ Rockin' Adventurer
    Jester's Vengeance

    Soon to be in possession of majestic powers that no other profession will rival...

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