The Guild Join Cooldown Hurts New Players; Queen Patch 5 Made The Problem Worse. Here's a Fix.

    • The Guild Join Cooldown Hurts New Players; Queen Patch 5 Made The Problem Worse. Here's a Fix.

      To start, a disclaimer. I am the Head Diplomat of the Brave Newbie [Newby] alliance. My perspectives will obviously be biased in favor of new players, and it is my personal goal in game to help out the new player experience as much as possible. Because of this, I feel it is important that I voice the concerns that I see new players bring up time and time again across the community in order to bring more attention to them, and hopefully contribute to making this game the best it can be.

      I have posted about this issue in other feedback threads, but with Queen Patch 5 and the increase of the Guild Join Cooldown from 2 to 3 days, it is urgent that I write this thread now and outline the issues with this mechanic, made worse with the change. In my alliance, we see dozens of new players every single day, and myself and our recruiters see the negative effect the Guild Join Cooldown has on an individual basis. Here are the issues:
      • Despite the warnings in game (which perhaps should be more prominent/require more interaction), many new players are unaware of the cooldown until they run face first into the barrier that it becomes.
      • Contributing to the abundance of players who are unaware of the mechanic, there are ONLY two ways to check how much time you have left on your guild join cooldown and neither are obvious: to receive and attempt to accept an invite to a guild, or to attempt to apply to a guild via the guild browser.
      • For a lot of day 1-7 players, they are coming from very terrible guilds designed to exploit new players, or accidentally joined guilds due to the torrent of random guild invites lobbied at them. Removing their ability to really integrate with another social group for a longer duration than their free premium can be devastating for their retention.
      While I was going through our discord to read first hand experiences to inform this post, I noted a significant number of players who never ended up joining despite taking the agency to look for and find a player organization that they believed suited them. I don't think it's that much of an assumption to say those players probably quit the game largely due to this mechanic.

      So how do we fix it?

      Before I go into my solutions, I want to acknowledge that I understand this mechanic is in place to prevent exploiting a number of other mechanics in the game, so any changes need to target new players specifically to avoid opening up those exploits.

      My proposal is to implement the following changes:
      • Players are now exempt from the guild join cooldown under the following circumstances:
        • If that player has no PvP Kill Fame and
          • has less than 500k PvE fame.
          • has less than 1m total fame from all sources including tomes.
      • The guild join cooldown now appears as a status effect to make the cooldown more visible.
      • The warning prompt for the guild join cooldown is reworked to disable the accept button for the first few seconds.
      These changes intend to disable the guild join cooldown for the newest and most vulnerable players only, to place additional emphasis on the warning, and to make the cooldown more visible in general.

      Whether SBI rips these changes directly from my post, or finds a different (and hopefully better) solution, I hope this mechanic is reworked to stop the bleed of new players quitting every day as a result of this.
      Head Diplomat for the Brave Newbie Alliance
    • I'm a recruiter for the Newby alliance, and so many players who come to us are asking questions like, "How do I level my gear past T3?", "Are there more than 3 or 4 weapons?" and "What am I supposed to do in this game?" Not having access to a supportive community to help them get to a Royal city, learn how to fame farm, participate in PvP with a group, and learn the basic mechanics of the game is so difficult for them. We recruiters do our best to help, but our time is limited, and without the ability to actually get the new player into one of our guilds, they don't have access to all the other players who could play with them and help them learn.

      I don't know how difficult the changes suggested here might be to implement technically (disabling the accept button to give players time to read the warning message seems like it should be straightforward), but I agree that extending the guild cooldown past the length of the free premium bonus given to new players will significantly reduce the number of players who stick around to continue trying the game.
    • Hello.

      Here is my view on this topic. I joined a guild soon as i got off the boat and it had a tax of around 45% to 50%.
      I didnt know if that was good or not so i just went along with it. Until i spoke to BlackBoa while he was streaming and he told me i should leave because the tax is to high. So here i am waiting for my cooldown to finish. Having nobody to speak to is pretty crap in general so without a guild i found myself very bored. I was ready to quit but a streamer i was watching told me to see the cooldown out and ill enjoy it once im in a guild.

      The only way i can see how long i have left on cooldown is to try and join a guild.

      I believe the changes that @Exonfang has suggested would be a move in the right direction.
    • i had never thought about how the new guild cooldown is the exact same as the free 3 day premium given to new players. holy crap that really makes it worse.

      i spoke on the thread about this before, but a new player is not going to be playing the game every day either. i gave the example of, maybe they can only play on weekends, they accepted a potato guild invite on friday, immediately left, and now they have to wait a whole week. extending the cooldown just makes that even worse. these are new players, they aren't dedicated to the game yet, why the fuck should they come back next week? im not sure they have a reason.

      im trying my best to keep the cooldown people informed, i added a discord bot that does remind-me messages.

      this proposed solution i think helps new players from being punished and preventing exploits.
    • I've also recruited for Newby and some guild before and can confirm that lots of players lose their interest when they bump into a cooldown. They want a nice group of people but don't want to wait so they either forget about the guild or drop the game completely.

      Shortening or dropping the cd for players under a certain threshold is a nice idea but one thing I would also propose is giving players more info about a guild when they get their invite.

      A lot of guilds that are trying to steal from new players just stay in the cross and spam invites on new players. I have nothing against that in general but I think it would be nice to give the invited player more info about the guild once he gets the invite. Let the player see how many players there are in the guild, What tax does the guild have and more info BEFORE accepting the invite. By not being able to get any info when getting invited players can just shy "Well ok why not join them" (as I myself did before) and get trapped in a shitty guild.

      When they leave the guild they also get the cooldown which can lead to a decision to not play the game again at all.
    • I'm a new player who started this game a few days ago, on March 8, 2020.

      I'd like to confirm some of the concerns.

      • I was invited upon landing in the first "cross" town after the tutorial by a guild, which turned out to be non-English speaking, making it an unfeasible option. The invite only showed the name of the guild so I couldn't discern that level of nuance in the invite.
      • While trying to learn more about the game, I felt limited from trying any PVP aspects of the game because my general impression was that this game requires group-play for a full experience.
      • I've mostly been gathering in green zones while I wait for my 72-hour cooldown timer to end very soon. I feel as though this is just a small part of the game, but reading more about the game made me feel that I couldn't commit to things such as player islands or etc until I knew where my long-term guild would be. This makes me particularly regretful that I can't effectively utilize some of the focus that I've accumulated from premium membership.
      • I've had generally optimistic impressions about this game. Nonetheless, I've experienced moments of griefing where players with significantly more experience would follow me around and "steal" the resource I was trying to gather. I was told to "delet game." Upon seeing that they were a part of a very large alliance (which I've only started to figure out), it made me wary of how dense and non-navigable the guild system and existing dynamics are for newer players. I feel as though a new solo player's experience is easily abused by someone with more social capital and equipment.
      I intend to keep trying this game, at least for the next month. But being locked out of the guild experience has definitely had a dampening effect on my willingness to try more permanent and risky parts of the game.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Regulation ().

    • Regulation wrote:

      I'm a new player who started this game a few days ago, on March 8, 2020.

      I'd like to confirm some of the concerns.

      • I was invited upon landing in the first "cross" town after the tutorial by a guild, which turned out to be non-English speaking, making it an unfeasible option. The invite only showed the name of the guild so I couldn't discern that level of nuance in the invite.
      • While trying to learn more about the game, I felt limited from trying any PVP aspects of the game because my general impression was that this game requires group-play for a full experience.
      • I've mostly been gathering in green zones while I wait for my 72-hour cooldown timer to end very soon. I feel as though this is just a small part of the game, but reading more about the game made me feel that I couldn't commit to things such as player islands or etc until I knew where my long-term guild would be. This makes me particularly regretful that I can't effectively utilize some of the focus that I've accumulated from premium membership.
      • I've had generally optimistic impressions about this game. Nonetheless, I've experienced moments of griefing where players with significantly more experience would follow me around and "steal" the resource I was trying to gather. I was told to "delet game." Upon seeing that they were a part of a very large alliance (which I've only started to figure out), it made me wary of how dense and non-navigable the guild system and existing dynamics are for newer players. I feel as though a new solo player's experience is easily abused by someone with more social capital and equipment.
      I intend to keep trying this game, at least for the next month. But being locked out of the guild experience has definitely had a dampening effect on my willingness to try more permanent and risky parts of the game.
      Thanks for sharing your experience with this. even having basic guild info on the invite UI would be nice, what language they'd picked as their main language, etc. maybe you would have declined if it had said "german" or "spanish".
    • More information on the guild invite window would be a major improvement, This window could simply show:
      • Guild Tax
      • What the guild speaks (English, French, Ect)
      • Main guild timezone
      • Location of the Guild in royals (Lym, Fort, Thed, Ect)
      • Maybe an option for location in Blackzone (Like which zone they base out of in the BZ)
      • Players in guild. (Number of players)
      • Alliance Name/Tag
      • Guild Name

      The post was edited 4 times, last by Neef ().

    • DoomRawrus wrote:

      Or reverse the guild invite system so the person joining the guild has to right click the recruiter and select "request guild invite" It would then bring up the dialogue and the recruiter hits Accept or Decline
      Love this idea!

      Neef wrote:

      More information on the guild invite window would be a major improvement, This window could simply show:
      • Guild Tax
      • What the guild speaks (English, French, Ect)
      • Main guild timezone
      • Location of the Guild in royals (Lym, Fort, Thed, Ect)
      • Maybe an option for location in Blackzone (Like which zone they base out of in the BZ)
      • Players in guild. (Number of players)
      • Alliance Name/Tag
      • Guild Name

      Good expansion on a few ideas that were touched upon earlier in the thread! I'd support all of this.
      Head Diplomat for the Brave Newbie Alliance
    • I am more on the cautious side. I read the spammed guild invite notices carefully and saw the warning about the 72 hour cool down. I didn't join any of these spammed invites. But it also made me super weary of joining ANY guild at all. After all, if I pick one I didn't feel comfortable with, I would be either out of guild play for three days or stuck in a guild I was unhappy with. Not to mention that the in game guild tools make it really hard to get a feel for what a guild is like and about.

      So I had been playing for close to a week before I finally decided to 'risk it' and try and join my first guild. It's worked out well so far. My main complaint is that the cool down resulted in me choosing to delay getting involved in a guild far longer than I think is good for a game like Albion online. Even if you read the notice, understand it and refuse to join a guild from a spam invite, it can still hurt the newbie experience.
    • Eldranon wrote:

      I am more on the cautious side. I read the spammed guild invite notices carefully and saw the warning about the 72 hour cool down. I didn't join any of these spammed invites. But it also made me super weary of joining ANY guild at all. After all, if I pick one I didn't feel comfortable with, I would be either out of guild play for three days or stuck in a guild I was unhappy with. Not to mention that the in game guild tools make it really hard to get a feel for what a guild is like and about.

      So I had been playing for close to a week before I finally decided to 'risk it' and try and join my first guild. It's worked out well so far. My main complaint is that the cool down resulted in me choosing to delay getting involved in a guild far longer than I think is good for a game like Albion online. Even if you read the notice, understand it and refuse to join a guild from a spam invite, it can still hurt the newbie experience.
      I really appreciate this kind of feedback. I'm glad the warnings worked in your case, but it is unfortunate that it made you delay getting into a guild yourself. I think you hit the nail on the head mentioning that the game does not have good in-game tools to get information about guilds.

      I think encouraging a bit of caution is good — it can encourage people to more thoroughly get to know groups before joining them — but a balance needs to be struct with the communication to both encourage getting involved with guilds in general and being careful which guilds you choose to join.
      Head Diplomat for the Brave Newbie Alliance