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UO Lord Blackthorn's Revenge Diary #2

(PC: MMORPG) | Posted by Rendelius @ Friday - January 11, 2002 - 03:44 -
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Gamespy brings you the second development diary for Ultima Online - Lord Blackthron's revenge, this time written by Ultima Online's lead designer Tom Chilton. He talks about the problems they've encountered while trying to retain new players:

    In order to gain insight into the new player's challenges, we focused our exit survey research on why players left. Specifically, we focused on those players leaving early within the first month of play. We quickly realized that we were losing most of our new players within the first three play sessions due to a lack of clearly defined goals upon entry.
    There were too many choices to make without enough information on which to base decisions and a lack of early "wins" to keep them motivated to continue exploring the world. All of this was driven by the player's inability to move through the world by successfully navigating our user-interface. Therefore, our ability to attract and retain new players was clearly hinged on our ability to make it easy and fun for players to enter the game, navigate through the world and score some "goodies." And, this had to occur within the first three visits -- or else!
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