I have seen quite a few Newbies posting and asking basic questions. I know I did it and others here have too.
Can there be a questionaire that must be answered by the Newbies before they get a stable?
Where do I buy horses?
What race does a horse that has 2 wins, qualify for?
When can breed my mare?
How does my 3 yr old colt become a stallion.
How often do I enter?
How often and how much work should I give my horses?
What injury did my horse get and how long is recovery? What could I have done to help prevent this injury?
and so on.
The idea behind this is for the Newbies to HAVE to look throughout the whole site to find these answers. Obviously, some are not reading the FAQ, Other main topic areas on the forum by the basic questions that are being asked here recently. Or maybe they are reading it but not understanding it. Some feel overwhelmed in the beginning. I know I did and Shannon from Shadowbrook helped me alot as did others. Sometimes members answer pretty harshly to stuff and Newbies don’t ask a question for fear of getting their head “bit off.”
I know you are busy Shanti and maybe this could be designated to another member to do. Write up the questions and the newbie has 5 days to respond with correct answers BEFORE they are given a stable of horses.
Just a thought and it might be a little easier for a Newbie to start the game.
She’s not asking those questions, but rather suggesting that this questionaire become part of the newbie application process.
I think it’s a really great idea. There’s so much you need to understand in order to play FF, that by making sure they know the broad strokes on how to play the game, newbies will be better equipped to just dive right into game play when they finally do get their stable.
I have considered a mandatory “quiz” prior to joining the game, so that you would need to really look for answers (and presumably, at one point in time, know the answers) to basic questions like “can I retire my unraced 3yo colt to stud status?” and so on.
If people want to suggest questions for the quiz, that’s fine. (Though part of me still thinks that if it’s in the FAQ and you don’t bother to read it, you probably shouldn’t play the game ;-) Obviously the FAQ still needs expanding, though.)
1- What is Energy?
2- What is Fitness?
3- Looking at my horse’s E/F, when should I work him/her? When should I enter it in a race?
4- What kind of equipment should I use on my horse and why?
5- What is the purpose of Blinkers? Shadow Roll? F8? Wraps?
6- Why should I use Blinkers and Shadow Roll together on my horse?
7- My horse is coming back from being injured on one of his legs, should I use Wraps and why?
8- How often should I do workouts on my horse?
9- What kind of workouts should I do?
10- Do I use different equipment during a workout than on race day? Why?
11- Can I tell the difference between a flat race and a steeplechase race?
12- When I change my horse to a Steeplechaser?
13- Should I try different distances and equipment changes on Turf or Dirt surfaces before changing to a different surface? ie: Trying your horse for 4 or 5 races with different variables on dirt before trying turf to see which surface the horse likes and prefers.
14- What do these mean when describing the surface racing conditions? Wet? Fast? Good? Sloppy?
15- How many races does my mare have to have before I can retire her to be a Broodmare(Mom)? What minimum age?
16- What are Stud Qualifications? Must list all of them.
17- Where should I locate my stable and why?
18- How much does it cost to ship my horse from Australia to Santa Anita? How long? How does a long trip like this affect my horse?
19- When shipping longer than 1 day by road, when should I plan on getting my horse to the track BEFORE he runs? ie: Race is on May 3rd at Del Mar and my horse is at Woodbine. When should I ship so my horse has plenty of recovery time?
20- How do I do Handicapping?
21- What does Win, Place and Show mean? Trifecta? Quinella?
22- How do I pick horses for those placings?
23- When does Handicapping have to be done by? Day of week and time it needs to be posted to forum?
24- When do I have to have my monthly totals done and posted by so everyone gets “paid”?
Just a few off the top of my head to get it started.
Shanti, I would be happy to help on doing the questionaire and going over them for you when submitted by Newbies.
Some of these are personal preference. Not set in stone absolutes. They’re good to think about, but I imagine it’d be best to have questions that were very basic/general. The nitty gritty stuff comes with experience playing, and probably shouldn’t be posed to newbies.
Some of these are great questions for the FAQ/newbie guide, as they’ve got subjective answers (and I can guess at what you think is the right answer based on how these questions are phrased). This is an excellent opportunity for you to put your experience to work and give some advice that will help flesh out the FAQ some more.
Questions like #15, #16 (How does my horse qualify to become a stud/broodmare?) are good, because every person will answer the same way. Definition questions, like what is energy/fitness/natural energy, are also good. Other questions (such as, where should I locate?) have no wrong answer. Granted, some places are better than others in terms of pros/cons, but anywhere is okay.
People run their stables differently. Some ways are more successful than others, but no way is wrong–except for behavior that will, without a doubt, end up seriously injuring a horse (i.e. running a horse at every race meet). And even then, that might be open to discussion.
On most of my questions, there is no right or wrong answer. BUT it does require the person to “look” for the answers.
Alot can be found by reading the forum and the many different topics on here. You can have them use the Search part of the forum for specific topics.
Members can be asked by PM their opinions on certain subjects. Look for the stables that have been here for awhile and ask them how they became successful. Ask them questions like: If you have a horse that does “this”, how would you find a solution to it?
All things in the questions are pertinent to successfully playing the game and keeping your horses safe. You can ask them to go through the steps for shipping, doing workouts, reading the results page and enter race page. How to decipher the entry page and so on.
Just this am there was a question from a Newbie asking how to ship their horse home.
Maybe there can be a “pretend” stable that the Newbie has to do things in. Like shipping, workouts, or entering racing. Lets them have “feel” for it and get help before they start their own stable. That might be too much hassle w/ coding to do. Maybe just a page setup like a stable and horses can be viewed and you can go through the motions of workouts, shipping and entering.
The whole goal is to get new people comfortable with playing the game and sticking with it.
We could also do mentoring. Each new person gets an established member(who wants and has time to do it) to help the new person for say 6 months. By that time, the newbie should be able to stand on their own 2 feet and continue on. Maybe 3 months or when the Mentor feels the person has a good grasp of the game.
The main thing to remember with these questions, is to have the person look for the answers and read the site. There are no right or wrong answers. A lot is personal preference and IF the person does not understand something, now is the time to ask before they get their stable and BooBoo something.
A mentoring program would be great (though I’d strongly suggest it’s optional, because I hate games where I’m just randomly assigned a mentor).
For the quiz though, Cat’s right. These need to be non-subjective questions. Ideally, Shanthi would set this up as a form that the new member just fills out in order to activate their stable or whatever. No one would have to look at them, the website would simply grade them and require that the new player takes the quiz as many times as necessary for them to get a 100% (or 90% or whatever). I’d personally make it 10 questions, multiple choice/true false. The idea isn’t to ask a ton of questions, but just to get them poking around and learning HOW to find the answers to their questions (as well as alleviate some of the repetitive questions people ask).
So just off the top of my head something like:
How can players get more horses?
A) Claiming Races B) Auctions C) Horses for Sale page D) All of the above
How many stakes wins does a stallion need to retire to stud?
A) 5 (5 Grade I) B) 1 (0 Grade I) C) 10 (3 Grade I’s) D) 10 (1 Grade I)
At what age can a horse be bred?
A) 2yo B) 3yo C) 4yo D)5yo
What is the maximum number of horses a member can enter in a race?
A) 1 B) 2 C) 3 D) 4
Can a stable currently relocate after the initial location is picked?
A) Yes B) No
A “Maiden” is a horse who has:
A) Never won a race B) Never won a non-claiming race C) Never won a Stakes Race D) Never won a million dollars
The Kentucky Derby does not require nomination.
A) True B) False
When discovering a bug the correct action is:
A) Ignore it B) Post about it on the forum until Shanthi fixes it C) PM Shanthi that it’s broken D) Check the forum and post if you don’t see it listed
A member is considered a “newbie” for how long?
A) 1 month B) 6 months C) 1 year D) 2 years
Stables in Final Furlong can go bankrupt.
A) True B) False
I think a quiz would be excellent. I think it should cover topics such as entries, shipping, selling/purchasing/leasing, racing, race conditions and qualifications, and retirement qualifications. All mandatory, everyday must know gameplay stuff to make your stable work. Instead of making it part of the application process, it should be administered and passed before the new stable can enter a horse. Like a probation thing. Here’s your stable. Play around, study, and take this quiz. When you prove you sufficiently understand how the site works and how to run, you may race. I remember being new and confused by some of the FAQ explaination, and actually had to see the site and try things to figure stuff out.
See, told you it was off the top of my head! The max changes with the day… so for 2yo race it’s one until the last day of entries when it becomes 2, for 3yo+ it’s 2 until the last day of entries when it becomes 3. So yeah, that’s probably not the best question.
I don’t think it really matters whether the quiz happens before your stable gets activated or before you can race…before activation is more tempting to me because no horses/stables have really officially been created at that point. So if the person doesn’t have the patience/desire to fill out a 10-question quiz, then the game doesn’t care and just deletes their stable, as opposed to creating their stable, handing them horses, and then having to delete it because they realized they didn’t like the quiz/game.