Sunday, May 20, 2012

Where is the polish?

Don't get me wrong, the elite fights are absolutely gorgeous, and in the end that is what matters. But there are so many things Blizzard failed at, even after their half a year of polishing the polish for a perfect user experience.

The chat is horrible. No customization options whatsoever. No separate tabs so when I salvage things everything friends have said gets lost in the endless spam of me having gained essences and tusks. No option for sticky party chat so it's the default when you hit enter, instead of replying to whoever whispered you last? How could someone think this game needs less of a chat compared to World of Warcraft? The ingame activities are exactly the same, but with less people per 'instance'. Add the lack of custom channels and I don't think there's a way they could have shipped with a worse chat.

Closely related is the way how friends list behaves completely differently in game and in the menu. Why on earth/hell/high heavens would it do that? Someone (me) will use it inside game, and then wonder how people manage to inspect others through contacts, did I miss some hidden button®? Oh gee, I was just playing the game, is that so wrong? I need to stop playing to view my friends properly now? The same deal with auction house.

It's not like leaving game and starting a new one in order to use AH or view your friends properly would be too much of chores, if only they didn't drop your stack of Nephalem Valor, which breaks the proverbial camel's neck.

Diablo 3 guild chat looks like this.

Speaking of hidden buttons, maybe 80% of my friends didn't know about elective mode. All are skilled and relatively 'hardcore' gamers, but they didn't follow the forum discussion beforehand. The game itself hints to elective mode only by a single loading screen tip among hundreds. Would it have been so hard to at least put the checkbox for elective mode in the skill UI, instead of hiding it in Options/Gameplay/Interface with an obscure name that doesn't tell anything about it's function? If someone reading this wonders what I'm talking about, it's a way to enable you take any skill in any slot, so you can actually make good builds instead of gimped ones. This is especially pronounced on defensive skills that for many classes don't overlap at all, but each serve a different purpose and can easily be taken in the same build, which helps a lot in conquering the games hardest content.

You can shift click to link most items in chat, but for some reason that doesn't work for items sold by vendors. In AH view, if an item isn't at full durability, you can't sell it. That is reasonable, but not being able to see the unsellable items' stats is completely terrible. If I didn't repair before logging out, I need to go back in game so I can actually compare items that are for sale to my own gear to know if it's an upgrade or not. And the last thing about AH — I for some reason hope the search becomes faster over time — is that on completed tab you don't see the stats on items that you've managed to sell. Who is able to remember the myriad of stats on a piece you put for sale 36 hours ago, which would actually be helpful to learn what kind of items sell best.

A1win just told me he found a fourth Crypt this morning dubbed Development Hell. It's kind of ironic they would use time for adding such a feature that will get irrelevant over time when you see it hunreds of times and could be viewed as an inside joke, rather than actually making a good UI for everyone all the time.

1 comment:

  1. Some really quite annoying aspects. I powered up my jeweler to be able to sell crafted gems but the AH doesn't display gems after the first 8, the ones you can find. gah!