Monday, April 30, 2012

Mithion's Beta Feedback for Guild Wars 2

First, let me start by saying that I am die hard Guild Wars fan. From those first moments of Charr attacking Ascalon to defeating Duncan the Black in Hard Mode. And countless battles against those darn Kurzicks. My expectations for Guild Wars 2 were set pretty high.

ArenaNet delivered.

+Download and Installation+

Likes: Was a quick download and pretty self explanatory.
Dislikes: Was unable to get game to download and install into a drive besides C: drive.

Suggestion: Allow the user to pick the installation path when installing.
Suggestion: The patcher screen sometimes forgets you opted to automatically play. Needs some attention so the option remembers for every log in.

+Logging In+

Likes: Love Jeremy Soule's music in combination with the artist's work showing through the GW2 logo.
Dislikes: None really.

Suggestion: Tabbing and clicking into the form boxes seemed sluggish / delayed. As if keystrokes and clicks were not registering on time. May need some polishing.
Suggestion: Maybe add a small news window above the log in box. Something showing sales in the gem store, upcoming events, etc.

+Character Select Screen+

Likes: I like the medals area which shows my progress in the game.
Dislikes: When you log out of the game it takes you to the log in screen, really wish it would log you to this screen instead. Or at least provide the option to log out to character select.

Suggestion: Allow players to buy additional character slots right here from the character select screen.
Suggestion: I don't remember the game doing this but, the background image for each race should show up different on the screen. If I select my charr character, switch to charr. You get the point. You could even switch the music when you click on the different character to add even more effect.

+Character Creation+

Likes: I enjoyed character creation more than any other feature / aspect of the game. You guys and gals really nailed this perfectly.
Dislikes: None.

Suggestion: Random X generator. Where X is character name, face, etc.


Likes: Loved how the tutorials really drop you right into the action. And the story / lore is presented to you so you know the "Why the hell am I here?" answer pretty quickly.
Dislikes: Game does not do a very good job explaining all aspects of the game and game mechanics to you. The pop-up tutorial windows are not very informative and could use a little polishing.

Suggestion: My suggestion here is really just to address the dislike I had. I would like to see the tutorial information detailed a little better. Even after you leave this early stage of the game.

+Hero Window+

Likes: I love the side bar on the left that turns this window into a side-tabbed "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About John Doe" type of screen. Also almost all of the tool tips are explanatory and tell you exactly what is affecting your character.
Dislikes: I don't like how some items are grayed and don't let you preview the information within them. This really hinders players from planning how they would like to play their characters. Also, some stats are not explained very well. Such as the Honor area. What and how does this impact your character?

Suggestion: I would love to see a hearts / skill challenge / quest log in addition to your main story line information. Including incomplete quests / objectives. Mini suggestion here would be clicking on an incomplete would open map and move to the position for where the objective is.
Suggestion: The traits system is very hard to understand. What exactly is the benefit of unlocking Minor traits? Major traits? The game doesn't explain this to you when you are trying to define your character's path.


Likes: The search bar and auto-sort is great!
Dislikes: I don't like how slim the window is. Is there way to make it wider and not so much of a endless scroll bar to the bottom?

Suggestion: I would add additional sorting options. Such as sort by rarity, sort by equipment (weapons and armor), sort by craft ables, etc. This would always place those items up at the top for easy access.
Suggestion: This may be me but, I was unable to split stacks. If this is not a feature, add it. If it is a feature, needs to be explained a little better.
Suggestion: Would love a bank tab that minimally let's me see what is in my bank. Not necessarily for access purposes but, so I can just see what I already have. Makes it easier to determine if I should sell or trade items. Or not.

+Friends List+

Likes: Adding a friend adds their entire account and it is account wide for all your own characters. I love this and a lot of companies mess this up. I don't want to add every toon my friend has. And I really don't want to do this for every character I have. I also love how ArenaNet implemented the Online, Away, Hidden, etc. statuses.
Dislikes: The user name followed by a "." and number is a bit confusing to actually show on screen. Smells of programmerishness. I also don't like that you can see someone is "Online" even if they are sitting on the character select screen. I sent many whispers that went no where because of that. If someone is on the character select you should have them auto flagged as invisible.

Suggestion: Would love to see a Role Playing status (purple?) that shows a person is RPing. This status might hide your race, class, and level from searches but shows that you are online.


Likes: I like that you are able to access this from anywhere. Also, I like that completing a heart / quest gives you a little more content by the giver contacting you via mail. Sometimes with a reward.
Dislikes: You can't mail your own characters. I wish you could. Also this feature seemed a bit flaky during the beta testing. Sometimes my mail wouldn't get received at all. Sometimes it would but no items attached. Stuff like that.

Suggestion: Auto-suggest recipients name based on names from your friend's list or from your own character names on your account.

+Gem Store+

Likes: I love how you can opt to either buy with real money or trade your hard earned gold for those gems. I also like the variety offered this early in the game development.
Dislikes: The text in the UI seems a bit blurry skewed at times. Even when everything looks fine in other text windows. Also, the checkout process for making real payment purchases is very rough. Needs to be cleaned up quite a bit.

Suggestion: Allow the ability to purchase more character slots (limit is maximum race / class combinations), purchase character "make overs" so you can change your look, etc. And provide incentives to buy from the store in the game. For example, if you added a barber shot that did freebies on hair styles. But the barber recommends further changes by buying in the store. Display sales on item X on the log in screen. Stuff like that.
Suggestion: I would re approach the UI all together.


Likes: I was very happy with the number of options for customizing your graphics, audio, etc.
Dislikes: No option for target of my target that I could see. Also I didn't see an option for hiding head slot graphic.

Suggestion: Continue adding options to further facilitate players being able to modify their gaming experience.

+Report Bug+

Likes: I never like reporting a bug. But, I will say that I like the hierarchy structure built into the form options.
Dislikes: Should be able to report a player (inappropriate name, spamming, harassment, etc) and this wasn't apparent enough for me.

Suggestion: Add a FAQ into this window to filter questions versus actually game issues.
Suggestion: Ability to get into a queue to speak with a GM in case I have an issue like stuck in the world or what not.

+Chat Window+

Likes: Easy to use in general. And easy on the eyes.
Dislikes: Combat window is very programmerish with code numbers showing up. Lack of /emotes.

Suggestion: When you create a party you should auto-switch to the /party chat channel. Instead of having to type it out.

+Skill Bar+

Likes: Perfect, don't touch! :)
Dislikes: None, though I wish I had more stamina for dodging.

Suggestion: Maybe make negative conditions on your character little more apparent.


Likes: I absolutely love the Google Earth type feel when zooming in and out. I have expect you to have a GPS implemented soon that tells me where to go.
Dislikes: Sometimes map points don't show up at all or show up when you haven't unveiled an area.

Suggestion: When talking to a "Scout" you should just unveil the area for the player. Makes sense because someone is explaining the area to you.
Suggestion: Hide map points unless (a) on a quest or (b) you already explored that area. Sometimes it appeared as if I already knew where a vendor was when I never once was near the vendor. See what I mean?
Suggestion: Add a in-game and out-of-game time clock to the mini map.


Didn't really get to test because of a number of factors...

...the dungeon told me I needed 5 fellow adventurers.
...the server overflow was preventing me from really getting into a true party with friends.

Suggestion: I know this is taboo in some circles but, a dungeon finder tool would be helpful. And no, shouting in local chat and putting up a LFG flag is not enough.
Suggestion: Ability to transfer to the overflow / server instance that the party leader is in.


I joined one but, didn't quite understand how it worked. Tutorial would be great here.

Suggestion: Add a tutorial when you first join a guild.
Suggestion: Add a guild quick icon in top left like you do with the others, if not already.


Some follow up suggestions, if this doesn't already exist in the game:

Suggestion: Ability scroll far enough in to view world from a POV perspective. Not just over the shoulder.
Suggestion: Maybe a little better job scaling money. Seemed I was making same amount of coin at level 8 as I did at level 2. How am I supposed to afford a 2 gold piece book at that rate?
Suggestion: More adult-like / less anime character faces. The default baby face on character creation was little creepy at first. Just saying.
Suggestion: Tone down the NPC whispers. They are a little off in volume.
Suggestion: Scale your servers to address the lag and network latency. It was really bad but, I wrote it off as "This is why we are testing.". You can't know your limitations without reaching them, right?
Suggestion: Auto-loot needs to work. I don't want to hit the F key. Just auto loot for me please. It is hard to loot during a world event and all chaos is breaking loose.
Suggestion: More charm, dignity, and ferocity choices during dialog. I feel like that will further mold your character into something custom when it comes to questing.

My conclusion. I plan on throwing a lot of money your way in the future ArenaNet. You have ruined all other games for me. Please hit these follow up betas quickly so you can release soon!