It is important to reflect on how new users will approach your game. You should be able to recognize how your game evolves and continues a level of complexity that keeps veteran users interested while still keeping new users from quitting. I’ve made games that were too simple and found interest was easily lost after playing a game or two. I’ve made games where it was too complicated and nobody could figure out how to get into the swing of it. It took a couple years before I found that comfortable medium where it’s complicated enough to keep people playing, but easy enough to learn that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
You have the option of creating a supportive community around your game that can offer assistance and friendship to new users. Many a game has been played because of a healthy community and good company. On top of other users interacting with each other it is a great idea to provide in-depth tutorials and guides on how to use and compete in your game. Many games create a wiki on top of a forum community that gives you tips and explains in detail the mechanics of a game and provides users an outlet for their acquired knowledge.
One way to introduce complexity to the game while still keeping the learning curve small is to add in optional content. Crafting in MMORPG is optional because it doesn’t require the user to invest time and energy into it to complete the game. However, it does give them something entertaining to do that can be learned midway through the game. Frequently you’ll want optional content to give some kind of bonus as an incentive for users to attempt to learn the mechanics of it. Not all optional content has to be beneficial to the user. Some of it such as mini-games, which are smaller games within a larger game, can be played simply for a small distraction from the larger game.
The Learning Curve – Simple to Complex
An additional way to soften the complexity blow of an advanced game is to only offer certain options when a player is starting out and slowly introduce them to new concepts as they progress in the game. A lot of games, particularly MMORPG do this by introducing “end game” material. This simply means that once you’ve reached a certain depth of the game you are introduced to a host of new content to keep you playing. Typically this involves PvP(Player Versus Player), whereas things like crafting items and gaining access to transportation are introduced in the mid-game to give you a taste of what is to come.