Tonight while finishing up the Scavanator costume (pictures coming soon!), I listened to Episode 7 of EQ2 Talk. Coming back to it four weeks later, I'm having some second thoughts about some of the things we talked about.
While talking about our noob experiment, one of the points we touched on was about some of the elements of the game that have been changed for the new player -- elements such as spells (hate transfer, mez, taunts, etc.) and transmuting. Looking back, I think my stance was a little bit too hard-line old school. As usual, Dell was more level-headed than Ali.
On transmuting: As it is, the skill is in the knowledge book, but doesn't appear on the hotbar. I took the position that, if you're going to give it to the new player, you should tell them they have the ability and maybe explain what it's all about. Dell pointed out that if you do that, you have to then explain adorning. And with all of the other things going on, that would be too much for the true new player. Looking back, I think Dell is right -- you don't want to overwhelm the new player. There's plenty of time later for people to learn about transmuting. It's only a catch 22 for the veteran players, because we want things to be the way they used to be.
On certain spells not being auto-granted: My stance at the time was that if you don't give new players those spells from the beginning, they won't know how to use them when they eventually get the spells later. Having read some of our listener feedback and then also going back and listening to the show again, I really think I was oversimplifying. For the most part, I think people generally don't group early on. If you give players all of those spells early (when they won't use them if solo, or likely won't need them if grouping), they could easily be forgotten about by the time the player starts to group. But if you hold off on granting those spells until later levels, the player will have read the description more recently by the time they start grouping.
It is indeed difficult for me to get out of that old school state of mind, but I can keep trying.