Stox, based on the removed Stocks from IC, is a fun little, as I've head it called, mini-game for us players.
But, look, one of the biggest problem this game has is attracting new players. As we've all heard before, it's an extremely niche game. While there does seem to be a steady stream of rookies, there's a not nearly as steady stream of players who will stay.
Now, think back to your first play. I know, when I first logged on, I wanted to Help that person. Fairly certain that person was Omega...
The second I click Help, and read that text, I was horrified. I literally remember the feeling running down my spine. What did I do to my character?!? I just started!
At the time, I was too scared of messing up anything else in the game to join Banter and ask for "Help." However, I tried out a few other links, found they were all just fine, then found I wasn't being molested by a tentacle monster any more, and went on playing the Game.
Based on what I've seen, almost everyone who's played II has had a similar experience with Stox.
All the time we're getting people who ask, "UH WHAT IS THIS PURPLE THING ON MY HEAD AN IN MY EAR I JUST WANTED TO HELP SOMEONE PLEaSE HELP MMMEEEEEE" or something like that. Player Chat and Story are they only place they get to ask that. If they are capable of reading, maybe they figured out that Player Chat is OOC and that they should ask for help there. But then, you get that sometimes the latest message in PC is anywhere up to 12 hours old, and no one's using it to help them out!
If I manage to talk to these people, I always tell them that Stox is a prank, and in no way affects your character. If they still press on, on the topic, I tell them that it has a Hall O' Fame for time and that its based on the removed Stocks, and that sort of calms them down.
But I'm just text. They don't know me yet. By default, player colours are off, and so all the text is just black to them. There's not even anything there for them to differentiate me from anyone else, besides my name. I don't mean something to this other person. They don't understand that we are one of the friendliest communicates to ever even exist.
None of that exists when you first start playing. Community is this game's selling point, and if someone gets scared off because somethings feeling up the inside of their ears, or because they think the game's abandoned, they are gonna run like hell.
And I know calling it a selling point kind of... makes the whole thing awkward, but in reality, it is.
And, I really think it needs to be at the forefront. We can't welcome people if they can't come to us, ya know?
I think we should discuss each and every aspect a new player gets, here, so we can work to, perhaps, improve it.
Has anyone had a positive experience with Stox as a newbie? (Genuine question - I'd like to hear your stories).
If not, might it be worth moving Stox to IC (where The Stocks used to be), so that people don't stumble into it until they've had a while to get used to the island?
I have always felt fairly uncomfortable with both the Stocks and the Stox.
I like the joke, I mean the island is FULL of wacky jokes, all over the place.
This one though, with the unwanted touch and so forth... it is prettttttyyyy skeevy? It feels skeevy. That is the word I would use for it. And I second the 'move further from Newbies' idea. They will eventually find all the OTHER creepy stuff, but yes, maybe PV would make more sense? idk.
- see what "help" does
- oh! a trick/joke
- well someone else will fall for it and pull me out; just don't help in the future
- (found this thread) oh, so its a contest/game to see how often and how long you can be caught
I would think merging Player and Character back together would benefit the Rooks, all the separation of chats lead to is ignored Rooks.
Rather than merging the two chats back together again, maybe it would be better to simply encourage existing players to develop the habit of popping into Player Chat every once in a while (even if they are busy talking in Character chat) to see if there are questions that need answering or rooks that need befriending.
The separation of Player and Character chats was kind of a weird solution to kind of a weird semi-problem, but I don't see a better solution, and it seems to be working out okay.
Back to the topic. I'm not a rookie by any means, but I did not find my first and only Stox experience "funny" or "interesting" or whatever. It was just gross. I assumed someone would get me out, and they did, but it's a good point that new users may just find it unhappily bewildering.
A conversation I saw in Banter yesterday:
I remember as a new player actually being afraid to pet Crazy Audrey's kittens because I thought she could send me to the Failboat. I didn't click questionable things for a long time, in fact--until I realized the Failboat was merely inconvenient, and also had some extra chronospheres. So on the one hand, I would never have clicked that link as a Noob, and by the time I would have tried it, I'd have known nothing could actually hurt me in any permanent way. On the other hand, if that's the first thing a new player does...well, yeah, I can see that being less than welcoming, but also a fairly gentle way to tell new characters that nothing they click will really hurt them. I guess I'd have to come down on the side of 'a bit scary for new players' if only because being in Stox doesn't do anything helpful, while seeming to be pretty terrible.
I am against recombining the chats, unless we can exile the off-topic noise (Flight Rising, Undertale, Xcom, what the player had for breakfast) to some place else (Common Ground, Location 4, Joe's Diner, etc). Right now, Character Chat is too noisy to be useful to be a narrator comment area for Story.
I support moving Stox to a different Outpost.
as a new player, I found Stox a bit confusing. I wanted to 'help' the other player, got the nice little parasite jumping to me, rolled my eyes a bit (What did I expect would happen, really?)...
Then noticed that being caught seemed to have absolutely no effect at all?! I chalked it up to a little bug and went on exploring.
While I did appreciate the fact that getting caught didn't block me from exploring my new environment, it might have been interesting if it would have somehow given me the little push I needed to enter the chat and get introduced to my nice fellow contestants. (In the end, the Mystery of the Hunger bar did that.)
I have no idea if it's even possible to make the Stox experience something that allows you to get out of it while staying IC.
I just wanted to put in my two cents stating that, for me, Stox wasn't anything that would have scared me off. (The Jokers, on the other hand... ;-) )
Clinking the help link for that Stox-stricken character was the first thing I did after reading the page above. Same feeling of "what did I just do to my brand new, naked character?!" as mentioned before. Didn't even occur to use the chats, and if it had, I wouldn't have known which of the three to use. Before long, I clicked on something shiny and forgot about the Stox. Didn't think about it again until I saw it again. Won't touch it. Didn't know anything about the timer until this thread.
So, the Stox is only in NewHome? Did not notice that. It would be better in PV or KT. Give players a chance to roam a little, instead having something oozing in their ear two minutes into a new game.
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