| Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 11:54 pm |
Noobness is inevitable for anyone new to this game. It has a steep learning curve, it has virtually no newbie resources, and it is user-unfriendly even to experienced players. Consequently, newbies often ignore the basic mechanisms of their countries and focus on war (which is itself poorly documented and unintuitive.) These countries often fail or become inactive.
One of the hallmarks of noobness in SC is buying too many military bases. In my ~6 months of total active time on this game, I've seen many countries with poor asset ranks where half-shells and airplanes dot the maps like a bad case of acne. However in the two weeks since my return, I've noticed that many of these countries have very high war ranks. You'll likely never find them, because they aren't anywhere near the top 300.
When I first came back, current military leader RUSH was #2 war rank. A few days ago, he moved to the top spot, but not by any internal accomplishment. The #1 war rank, Xeronia, was reset. Here is a picture of Xeronia at the height of its power.
Look upon your master and tremble!
Here is the current #6 war ranked country, MajorPaynus:
This country possesses a whopping 40 offensive airports, 100 defensive airports, and 197 offensive bases. (Inexplicably, it has no defensive base.) About 190k of its 275k soldiers are manning the offensive bases. This all was accomplished with an impressive 966 asset rank.
Odds are you can find a juggernaut much like these two in your area. It's clear that many people coming to this game Just Aren't Getting It, and, given the virtually nonexistent help, this isn't a surprise.
A quick look at the documentation shows an intimidating mess containing approximately zero helpful hints for playing the game. The section on corporations (the most important part of the game) reveals a few bits of useful info for new users (example: higher quality stuff sells better), a few bits of info that might be useful (I didn't know only 12% of the max workers can be hired each month), and some stuff that is just plain wrong (each corporation has 30k to 100k workers? all corporations are important?). All of this is buried in a massive amount of information entirely unhelpful to new users. However, nowhere does it say which corporations newbies should choose to build among the countless varieties.
Unless users get recruited into an alliance or ask (and get a good answer) on the forums, newbies won't find the information they need to play this game. Relying on the community to provide a basic tutorial isn't a great way to attract more players. Add all the new and amazing features you want, but if people don't get past the manual, your game isn't going anywhere.
So until W3C provides a decent quick-start guide, look forward to more well-based countries arriving in an unpopulated wasteland near you!