Gems of War GUI Pain Points

Introduction

This post will try to capture as much feedback on the user interface and user experience of the game as I can remember. I will start with features new to v4.6 before looking at things that have been in the game longer. Within each section, I will try to list items in order of priority, from highest to lowest (though that is only my own opinion, based on my own observations of the community). Many of these items have been raised in community discussions on various forums.

Honestly, I didn’t want to do this all in one post – and certainly not all in one day! But Salty made it clear there was only a narrow window for feedback.

Summary of All Major Suggestions

I’m starting with a summary for reference. However, some of this won’t make sense (or won’t seem as important as it actually is) without reading the equivalent section, below.

Summary of version 4.6 Issues

  1. Show the orange, 20% Mythstone Bonus icon on the Explore Screen, on one of the Boss panels.

  2. Implement a setting to choose “Guided Explore,” “Quick Explore” or “Advanced Explore.” The current system is “Guided Explore.”

  3. Allow Explore at the previous difficulty by clicking straight on the Explore panel.

  4. Add a Difficulty spinner to the Explore Screen with Quick and Advanced settings.

  5. In Advanced Explore, move directly from the Victory Screen to the next Fight Screen, changing the text on the button to reflect the nature of the next battle, including any Mythstones to be spent.

  6. Display the battle name and Difficulty prominently in the centre of the Fight Screen, where the Warlord selector used to be.

  7. When the Boss Chest panel is clicked, move straight into the Chest animation, without another click from the player.

  8. Show the names of the Tokens on the Reward Graphic instead of in a further list.

  9. In Advanced Explore, give the player an option to Explore the Kingdom again (with an orange icon shown if it has the Mythstone Bonus).

  10. In Advanced Explore, transition directly from the Mythic Boss Victory Screen into the Boss Chest animation, then straight into the next battle (if that button was selected).

  11. At the end of a run, show a list of which Kingdoms now have the Mythstone Bonus, that doesn’t need a click to dismiss. OR…

  12. On returning to the World Map, flash all orange icons on the map, along with further icons along the edges of the screen in the direction of Mythstone Bonuses.

  13. Quick Explore (needs a better name) enables the Difficulty spinner control, allows Exploring at the previous Difficulty, removes the Boss Unlock Dialog, and moves directly into the Boss Chest animation from the Mythic Boss Victory Screen.

  14. As soon as the player completes their third Mythic Boss battle, Luther tells them about the three Explore settings.

  15. If a player on Advanced Explore shows signs of being confused, Luther suggests returning to Guided Explore.

  16. After activating Advanced Explore, the player gets a confirmation dialogue for starting the Mythic Boss battle, but only the first two times.

  17. Consider increasing the drop rate of Legendary Tokens, to better match the rarity spread of Troops we actually use.

Summary of Other version 4 Interface Issues

  1. Change the hyperlink on the World Map pop-out for the Adventure Board to a proper button.

  2. Reduce the amount of vertical white space in Full Chat.

  3. Reduce the size of Portraits in Full Chat to match the height of a single-line post.

  4. Introduce smaller text sizes for Chat on PC, so you can no longer see more on an iPad with a screen half the height!

  5. On inserting an emoji from the list, return focus to the end of the composition text box.

  6. Fix the behaviour of Home and End in the Chat composition text box.

  7. Add the ability to move/select word by word in Chat composition (Ctrl-Left/Right arrow).

  8. Change the icon for the Battle Summary Screen to a more appropriate Information icon.

  9. Move the Settings icon back to the battle screen, next to the Battle Summary icon.

  10. Allow the player to type numbers as soon as the change Chat channel text box is clicked.

  11. Add a category for Levelable Troops when sorting by Upgradable, so they don’t get lost.

  12. Show the duration of each battle on the Victory Screen.

  13. Widen the scrollbar in the cosmetics interface so it can be used properly on mobile.

  14. Show the reason we obtained each cosmetic item.

  15. Change “Unlocked from Event” to at least specify the type of the event.

  16. Release emojis of other Game Resources (eg: Orbs).

  17. On the Manage Team screen, change the pale green panels to match other GUI elements in the game: either fully-saturated panels, or bright green buttons.

  18. On the Manage Team screen, change the Team Share Code button so it doesn’t look like a text box.

  19. Change size of the Filters on PC so the Troop Role setting is properly visible, just like on iPad.

  20. Change the right-pointing green arrow that sometimes appears at the top of the Adventure Board to a more appropriate icon.

Summary of Long-Standing User Interface Issues

  1. Add an indicator for class level progress to the Victory Screen.

  2. Never hide the Fight button on the Doom room in Tower of Doom; just grey it out. It’s too easy to accidentally waste a Heroism Scroll.

  3. When scrolling the Troop menus with the green arrows, make sure the Double Green Arrows always move at least one screen.

  4. Change the Guild Events Screen so the Results of the last Event of each type can always be viewed, and so the Guild Wars panel can be disabled instead of confusing everyone.

  5. Add a Legendary Task counter.

  6. Add the ability to Sort Pets by kingdom name and pet food colour.

  7. Add the ability to Filter Pets to see only Non-Cosmetics, and only Faction Team Bonus.

  8. Split the Troop/Weapons Filter into two separate, independent Filters.

  9. Change the Inventory so Arcane Traitstones can be counted without all the scrolling.

  10. When viewing Armour Bonus, Armour Style, Class or Banner, make sure the currently equipped item is on screen when the tab is first clicked.

  11. Dynamically reduce the number of Seals or Chaos Shards spent by the highest-spend button when you have fewer than the usual number on that button.

  12. Allow all extra copies of all Pets to be Traded for pet food at once.

  13. Change the Chest Odds icons from Help icons (?) to Information icons.

  14. Fix the Odds display for Treasures from Chaos Portals.

  15. Sort Collected Mail so the most recently claimed mail is at the top.

  16. Show a player’s Trophy count somewhere in the PvP interface.

  17. Remove the Most Invaded Kingdom statistic if it’s no longer relevant.

Bonus: Allow someone other than the GM to Kick the lowest-ranked players from a Guild.

Introducing Myself

My experience with the game covers PC/Steam, iPad 6, Android (Samsung Galaxy 5) and BlueStacks 4. I have no experience with any console versions or with a controller on PC, beyond what I’ve seen in other people’s videos. I’ve been playing an average of 4-6 hours per day since mid-June 2018. I watch Tacet’s and Keylime’s videos and streams, and participate in discussions on the top Discord GoW servers, and sometimes on the official forums.

As a System Design Engineer, I have experience with all aspects of the software life-cycle, to varying degrees. Most relevant, I’ve built complete system specs and a complete testing system with detailed procedures, and I’ve documented numerous processes. I’ve always taken a particular interest in how a user experiences a piece of software, though my conclusions sometimes conflict with established wisdom (eg: I believe in educating the user as part of the process). I have some insight into games development through my brother (10 years as a games programmer) and acquaintances in the industry.

That said, I certainly don’t think my ideas are the only good ideas. An actual expert would likely be able to improve everything I say, and frequently find a much better solution. Even more so, with inside knowledge.

I’m going to focus on pain points, for the most part. I will suggest solutions, but they’re intended only as inspiration for real solutions. I’m aware that there will be technical and platform limitations that I’m not privy to. Some of these – such as the behaviour on different sized screens – I will attempt to anticipate. I also consider that some features are worth having even if they only work on a subset of release platforms.

My understanding of GUI design has been heavily influenced by one video, in particular: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTYet-qf1jo If you jump to the 2:20 mark, you will see four Cs of GUI design: Control, Conveyance, Continuity, Context. In my mind, I accidentally reworded two of these as Clarity and Consistency, which are also good rules of thumb. I expect to refer to these further down.

Please don’t be put off by the length of this post. It only covers a tiny fraction of the elements in the game. Also, things get much briefer after the initial treatment of the new Explore.

The New Explore

Before version 4.6, Explore was used by most people to mindlessly farm Traitstones and Class XP, often while watching YouTube videos or Netflix. The new Explore is both slower and requires more frequent attention.

Pain Points

  • Overall speed for fast Explore has dropped significantly (up to 40% for an end-game player on a touch device).

  • Finding the next Kingdom with a 20% bonus can be tricky and takes time.

  • Choosing Difficulty takes time, and if you change it, there is a “loading” delay.

  • Moving on to the next battle involves a screen transition we didn’t used to have.

  • Unlocking a Boss battle has three separate reminders: rewards card, pop-up dialogue and a new panel to click. The dialogue makes us feel like the game thinks we’re idiots.

  • The Boss Chest requires at least 4 clicks/taps to open (ignore Evolving – that’s done well).

  • The relative drop rates of the different Token rarities is problematic, as it does not align with actual troop usage (or the desire to have enough of each Medal to equip the best combination).

There’s a Summary of possible solutions to these Pain Points at the end of this section. But first, an examination of the problems.

The Wizard Paradigm

The first few pain points arise directly from the choice of a Wizard paradigm for the new Explore screen. Wizards are most commonly seen when installing programs on Windows, but many programs also use them as part of a “Simple” mode of operation. The purpose of a Wizard is to guide the user through a series of steps to make something happen. Generally, a Wizard is unable to access all the features of a program, and sometimes the way the software works has to be unnaturally rearranged in order to fit the Wizard paradigm.

From a design point of view, Wizards work great for beginners and when a particular feature is used infrequently. The hope is that the user will move away from the Wizard to the normal operation of the program as they become more familiar with the software. This is where we run into problems with the new Explore mode.

Obviously, there’s no chance of completely redesigning Explore around a different paradigm. However, we can certainly try to remove some of the pain points.

Player Flow

We can examine the passage of the player through the user interface with a diagram:


The most important thing to note is that actual gameplay only occurs on the bottom-most line, the “Battle” line. Everything else is navigation or information.

The player is jumping through multiple layers all the time, constantly coming back to the Explore screen. Even opening the Boss Chest takes four clicks!

Compare this to Explore mode in the previous version:
5
Here we see a short and simple cycle between the Fight Screen (showing the opponent), the Battle itself, the battle Rewards, then straight back to the Fight Screen. Quick and easy.

Simplifying the Flow of Battle

There’s a number of ways to approach this, but I’ll suggest what I think is the most obvious. I’ll also mention a way to link the two flows together.

The sequence of battles operates the same way in v4.6 as it did in v4.5, except for the fact that there are two special battles. Unlocking the Boss battles is currently announced three times: as a very prominent card on the Victory Screen, on the super-redundant Boss Unlock Dialog, and by the fact a new panel is active on the Explore Screen. That’s significant overkill.

The obvious thing to do is to put all the extra information on the old “Fight Again” button on the Victory Screen. Instead of reading, “Fight Again,” change the text to “Fight Battle 2,” “Fight Battle 3,” “Fight Battle 4,” “Fight Mini Boss,” “Fight Mythic Boss.” The last button would need to show the Mythstone count, just as the Mythic Boss panel does on the Explore Screen. Putting Sigils on buttons has become common-place, so this isn’t anything new.

At the end of the Mythic Boss battle, there are a couple of options. My preferred option is to label the left button “Explore Another Kingdom” and the right “Explore Here Again” (or “Explore This Kingdom Again”). However, it is essential that, if the current Kingdom has retained its 20% Mythstone Bonus (this is possible – I’ve seen it happen twice), the orange bonus icon must also appear on the button.

So that players never lose track of where they’re up to or what Difficulty they’re playing, both of these pieces of information can be prominently displayed in the middle of the Fight Screen, where the Warlord difficulty slider used to be.

I would also make claiming the Boss Chest an automatic transition, much the same as revealing your Orbs after winning a Vault battle.

Giving the Player an Option

The Control element of good GUI design (see the video linked above) suggests that players should have the option of how much prompting they would like. Forcing people into the current system takes away that Control.

I recommend three settings. The “Guided Explore” setting would correspond to the existing situation. “Advanced Explore” would follow the quick flow described above, along with the suggestions below. An intermediate option might be called, “Quick Explore” (or something else!).

Quick Explore would remove only the worst pain points, namely the Boss Unlock Dialog, the Difficulty Selector and the Boss Chest sequence. I’ll consider the last two in a moment.

To prevent players from accidentally getting stuck in the wrong mode, I would suggest confirmation dialogs in the settings whenever the Explore mode is changed. The text would explain which prompts they won’t see in the new mode and ask them if they’re sure. The game could also watch for signs that the player is getting confused with Advanced Explore mode; some research might be required, but long delays on the Victory screen or always choosing to Leave might be good indications.

From the point of view of Luther’s Tutorial, I would suggest that, once the player acquires their third or fourth Token (after 3 Explore runs?), Luther comes back to suggest that the player might want to change to Quick Explore or Advanced Explore, and asks if they want him to show them the setting.

Finally, the first time or two that the player reaches the Mythic Boss in Advanced Explore, they should be prompted, to check that they understand they’re about to spend 100 Mythstones. This should never appear to any player more than twice!

Difficulty Selector

There’s no obvious reason why the player should have to reselect the Difficulty at the start of every Explore run. Having both the Difficulty and Explore panels active should be sufficient. If necessary, the Difficulty panel could be highlighted, or the Explore panel could have some extra text, along the lines of, “Retain Difficulty 2.”

I would argue that changing the Difficulty is quite clunky, especially if you want to scroll all the way from D1 to D12 or back. However, I think I understand the why: mobile devices, and the desire to display the information that distinguishes the Difficulties. Nonetheless, there is space for a spinner (like the old Warlord selector) across the bottom of the Explore Screen.

In my opinion, allowing the player to continue exploring using the previous Difficulty is essential (both because of the extra click/taps and the delay returning from the Difficulty Selector). Adding a spinner control for changing Difficulty directly on the Explore Screen would be nice, but is not essential.

Claiming the Boss Chest

The animations are lovely … and a royal pain!

I would love to see the Reward List merged into the Reward Graphic, but I suspect that’s not really possible. However, there’s no reason why the player should have to click the Chest to start the animation. Clicking the Boss Chest panel should jump straight into the animation. In Advanced Mode, the Boss Chest animation should simply pop-up after picking a button from the Mythic Boss Victory Screen (much as Orbs do in the Vault).

Moving to a New Kingdom

As mentioned, it’s possible for the same Kingdom to retain its 20% Mythstone Bonus. However, you have to go back to the World Map to see this. Even if you do need to move to a new Kingdom, it can be hard to find another Kingdom with the Bonus, especially on small screens.

I have two suggestions:

  1. The orange bonus icon really should appear on the Explore Screen, to the right of the Mythstone tally (or on the Mini Boss panel). That way, you always know if you’re playing for the bonus.

  2. When you return to the World Map from Explore, orange icons should flash at the edges of the screen for about 5 seconds, pointing you in the direction of all Kingdoms with the Bonus. Any orange icons already on-screen should also flash.

The latter is probably harder to implement, but it’s kind of important. It really is difficult to locate the Bonus Kingdoms, at times, sometimes taking more than 15 seconds!

Alternatives would be to show some kind of guidance to the Bonus kingdoms at the end of each Explore run before leaving the Explore Screen. If it must be a dialogue box listing the Bonus Kingdoms, don’t make us have to click it to go away! Let us click Difficulty or Explore at Previous Difficulty directly.

Summary of All Suggested Solutions to Explore Pain Points

  1. Show the orange, 20% Mythstone Bonus icon on the Explore Screen, on one of the Boss panels.

  2. Implement a setting to choose “Guided Explore,” “Quick Explore” or “Advanced Explore.” The current system is “Guided Explore.”

  3. Allow Explore at the previous difficulty by clicking straight on the Explore panel.

  4. Add a Difficulty spinner to the Explore Screen with Quick and Advanced settings.

  5. In Advanced Explore, move directly from the Victory Screen to the next Fight Screen, changing the text on the button to reflect the nature of the next battle, including any Mythstones to be spent.

  6. Display the battle name and Difficulty prominently in the centre of the Fight Screen, where the Warlord selector used to be.

  7. When the Boss Chest panel is clicked, move straight into the Chest animation, without another click from the player.

  8. Show the names of the Tokens on the Reward Graphic instead of in a further list.

  9. In Advanced Explore, give the player an option to Explore the Kingdom again (with an orange icon shown if it has the Mythstone Bonus).

  10. In Advanced Explore, transition directly from the Mythic Boss Victory Screen into the Boss Chest animation, then straight into the next battle (if that button was selected).

  11. At the end of a run, show a list of which Kingdoms now have the Mythstone Bonus, that doesn’t need a click to dismiss. OR…

  12. On returning to the World Map, flash all orange icons on the map, along with further icons along the edges of the screen in the direction of Mythstone Bonuses.

  13. Quick Explore (needs a better name) enables the Difficulty spinner control, allows Exploring at the previous Difficulty, removes the Boss Unlock Dialog, and moves directly into the Boss Chest animation from the Mythic Boss Victory Screen.

  14. As soon as the player completes their third Mythic Boss battle, Luther tells them about the three Explore settings.

  15. If a player on Advanced Explore shows signs of being confused, Luther suggests returning to Guided Explore.

  16. After activating Advanced Explore, the player gets a confirmation dialogue for starting the Mythic Boss battle, but only the first two times.

Token Drop Rates

I think Legendary and Mythic Tokens are probably too rare. I’m basing this on two imperatives while farming for Tokens:

  1. Wanting to have three Medals of each type, to equip.

  2. In late-game, an average team is likely to be 1 Mythic, 1 Legendary, 1 Epic/Rare, 1 Weapon.

The latter suggests that we’re going to want to upgrade a lot more Legendaries to Elite than Epics and below. Food for thought.

Other Version 4 Interface Issues

Opening the Adventure Board

Clicking the Adventure Board icon from the World Map slides out a mini-panel. At the bottom is cyan text: “Go to Adventure…” This text breaks the design rule about Consistency: the text behaves like a hyperlink, but no other text in the game does so.

The right thing to do is to change it to a proper, Green button.

(I notice you did change what the text says, which is definitely an improvement over the original!)

The Scale and Readability of Chat

One of the goals of the new Chat interface (introduced in version 4.3, if I recall correctly) was to allow players to read Chat more easily. By implication, that includes being able to see more messages than before (why? because, less scrolling to make sense of a conversation).

In this sense, there’s two issues with Chat as it is, and neither have been addressed in any way.

a) Poor Use of Vertical Space

The screenshot below shows just some of the places where vertical space could easily be compressed in Full Chat:


In case it’s not clear:

  • The space between the poster and their post can be halved.

  • The space between consecutive posts from the same poster can be halved.

  • The space above a poster’s name can be reduced, so the top of a capital letter aligns with the top of their portrait.

  • The size of the portraits can be shrunk (possibly as a user setting). The standard portrait size should be the height of the poster’s name and one line of comment, after the interline tightening proposed above.

  • The space below a portrait can be shrunk, to be the same as the space above a portrait.

b) Impractical Text Sizes

In theory, the following two screenshots should say it all. Both have the Text Size set to Small (the smallest option).

This is what I see on PC, on a 1280x1024 monitor with a screen height of 30cm:


This is what I see on iPad, at a resolution of 2048x1536 with a screen height of 15cm:

I am able to read both quite easily. But it’s insane that I can’t see all those extra lines on the much larger physical screen on my PC. Full Chat is much the same.

Please fix this.

Losing Focus in Chat

To type in Chat, the player needs to click/tap the text box at the bottom of the Chat window. To enter an emoji from the list in their message, the player clicks the emoji icon and selects an emoji. The emoji is inserted in the text. The focus should then return to the text box, with the cursor after the emoji. But this doesn’t happen. After choosing the emoji, the player must again click the text box to continue typing. Not only that, but the entire message is selected, making it very easy to accidentally delete the whole thing. None of this is sensible.

Worse still, on iPad (and probably other mobile devices), it is currently impossible to insert an emoji from the menu except at the very beginning of the message. Trying to access the emoji list mid-message is either impossible (you can’t see it), or it sends the message immediately. I don’t know how to solve this (or what the issues are), but it’s certainly pretty annoying. I expect a solution is possible, given some thought.

Editing a Chat Message

On PC, certain keyboard shortcuts can be used in the Chat composition text box (mobile devices can achieve similar results by tapping). However, some of these don’t work right, and other important shortcuts are missing:

  • In a long-ish message (over 46 characters?), Home, Shift-Home, End and Shift-End don’t move/select to the start/end of the message.

  • Ctrl-Left Arrow and Ctrl-Right Arrow (and their Shifted versions) do not move a word at a time.

It would be really good if these could be fixed.

In-Battle Settings Icon

When the Battle Summary Screen was introduced, the Settings icon was erroneously retasked to display it. To actually access from within a battle Settings (eg: to adjust the speed or sound level), the player must click an identical Settings icon on the far left of the Battle Summary Screen, shown here:


There are three problems here:

  1. The Battle Summary Screen shows information about the battle. Therefore an Information icon (eg: exclamation mark or lower case i) would be far more appropriate than the Settings cog icon.

  2. Settings cannot be accessed directly from the battle screen.

  3. The Settings Icon is a very long way from the location just clicked to reach the Battle Summary Screen, and hence from the player’s attention.

I know there’s a potential issue with screens with different form factors, but there appears to be plenty of space for two icons (one the Settings cog, one for battle Information) in the corner of the screen, as seen in this screenshot:
Settings%20Icon
The second icon can go below the first. On the squarer screen of an iPad (no screenshot, sorry), the second icon can appear to the left of the corner icon.

Changing Chat Channels

Changing to a different Global Chat channel involves bringing up Chat Settings (the details vary), selecting the text box labeled “Channel,” clicking/tapping the text box on the dialogue box that appears, typing the number of a new channel, clicking the Go button, then selecting either Lite Chat or Global.

There’s more than one thing wrong with this, but I’d like to focus just on the fact that you click a text box twice in a row. That’s dumb.

Either the dialogue box needs to be removed (ie: enter the number directly into the first text box), or the second text box needs to be automatically selected, with focus and an active cursor, so the player can immediately start typing the new channel number.

I’m pretty sure part of the problem here is related to touch devices, but I doubt that’s a good reason for the second tap/click. Either there is a solution for mobile devices, or there’s no reason why PC users should suffer for a shortcoming of mobiles.

Levelable Troops not Sorted as Upgradable

When Troops are sorted by the Upgradable option, there is currently no category for Levelable Troops. Why is this a problem? For example, I might Ascend a Troop and forget to level it. It disappears into the list of Troops, and it could be months before I accidentally realise I could have raised it to level 20 for an extra Kingdom star.

Show Battle Duration on Victory Screen

It’s nice to have a battle timer on the Battle Information Screen, but it’s made almost completely useless by the fact the Total Time for the battle doesn’t appear anywhere on the Victory Screen. There’s plenty of space to add it in.

Finding and Identifying Portraits and Other Cosmetics

With the huge number of cosmetic items recently released (I’ll focus on Portraits), two basic problems have become apparent:

  1. It’s really hard to scroll through all the Portraits, especially on mobile.

  2. Once we obtain a cosmetic item, we have no idea how we earned it.


To solve the first problem, I suggest narrowing the Portait panels so the scrollbar can be made wide enough to be used on a touch device.

To solve the second problem, I suggest retaining the goal text that tells us how to unlock something, even after it’s unlocked. After all, the text has to exist in the game, regardless! That information would then allow us to tell what someone is potentially proud of when setting their Portrait or Title. I really do find it bizarre that you would want to hide this.

I also think “Unlocked from Event” is pretty dumb. At the very least, you could tell us what type of Event (Raid Boss, Bounty, etc).

Emojis of Game Resources

I would love to have emojis of the different colour Orbs. They would have a lot more use than most of the other emojis I have.

Manage Team Screen Breaks All the Rules

The Manage Team screen was a great addition to the interface. However, the designer inexplicably chose to break with all the established GUI conventions in the game. This should really be fixed; it makes the devs look bad.

There’s two issues:

  • The panel buttons are a textured pale green. Everywhere else in the game, buttons are either a solid bright green or feature a fully-saturated background image (panels). One of these two conventions needs to replace the pale green.

  • The box containing the Team Share Code looks like a text box but behaves like a button. Either it needs to be bright green, or a green Copy button should appear beside the code, no longer surrounded by a box.

I’m actually quite baffled how this design got through the design approval process.

Last Filter Can’t Be Seen on PC


This really falls in the same category as the Chat size issues, above. There’s no good reason why the last drop-down in the list (Troop Role) shouldn’t be visible on PC. Here’s what it looks like on iPad:

Jumping to a Task at the Top of the Adventure Board

Some of the early tasks at the top of the Adventure Board feature a Green Arrow pointing to the right, as so:

Based on the use of such arrows elsewhere in the game, it looks like clicking that arrow will scroll the panel to view a second task. In fact, in this case, it takes the player to the Kingdom Screen for Adana.

This is a case of an icon being reused in a situation incompatible with the convention established elsewhere in the game. A more suitable icon needs to be used.

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Long-Standing User Interface Issues

Class Level Progress on the Victory Screen

On the Victory Screen, the player wants to know two things: What rewards did I get?, and How much do I have? The latter question is especially relevant when farming Arcane Traitstones or Class XP. The following modified screenshot shows two possible solutions for displaying Class XP progress. I’ve used orange text (and the black background box) only to make the changes obvious. I don’t see why this wouldn’t work perfectly well on any device.

Wasting Scrolls of Heroism in Tower of Doom

It turns out, it’s really easy to accidentally waste a Scroll of Heroism in Tower of Doom.

Here’s what a normal room looks like when you have no Fireball Scrolls. Both buttons are visible, but the Scroll button is greyed out:

When you find a Fireball Scroll, both button become active:

When you have neither Heroism nor Unlock Scroll, the Doom room looks like this:

Here’s what a Doom room looks like when you don’t have a Heroism Scroll but do have the Unlock Scroll. Only one button appears:

When you find a Scroll of Heroism, but don’t have the Unlock Scroll yet, the other button appears. This is confusing, because at first glance, it looks like you DO have the Unlock Scroll:

Here’s what happens when you have both Heroism and Unlock:

Please change it so that both buttons are always visible, but the inactive one is greyed out. Same as on normal rooms.

Double Arrows on Troop Menus

In the following screenshot, I’ve had to click the double down arrow three times before the list of Pets scrolled at all, and then by only one line.
Pet%20Arrows

This behaviour is severely counter-intuitive. A double arrow implies more movement than a single arrow. The problem with the green scroll arrows is especially noticeable on shorter lists of items (such as Pets), but it can show up on the Troops list when filtered or sorted appropriately.

I strongly recommend changing the behaviour so the double arrow always scrolls at least one screen. That is, its minimum scroll distance equals the scroll distance of the single arrow.

Event Results After the Fact

Once an Event has ended, we can’t see our results. Except for Guild Wars. Sort of.

This has been broken forever. I’d like to propose a solution that makes it less confusing and more useful. Here’s a mock-up:

Obviously, the existing panels need to be narrowed to make space for the new panels. The new panels could simply have the word “Results” to make it more larger and more readable, and the starting times could be shifted on the existing panels so the event names could be seen.

Why do this? At the moment, Guild Wars results are partially viewable for a few days after the event ends, but the entire Guild Wars interface is always accessible. The latter is tremendously confusing. The former is inconsistent with the other Events.

My suggestion brings all four Events into line. Previous results are viewable for every Guild Event, without the clutter of the full Event’s tabs. Only the current event ever has its central panel active. And Guild Wars registration can be moved into the Results section (or just fixed; it’s been broken for ages, maybe you could fix it so it correctly says whether or not you’re registered).

No Way to Count Legendary Tasks

How hard can it really be to add a Legendary Task counter to the Guild Task tab? People have been asking for this one for years!

Missing Pet Filters and Sort Order

We’re really missing some key options in the Pet Filter. I’m hoping their usefulness will be obvious if I just list them:

  1. Sort by Kingdom name

  2. Sort by Pet Food Colour

  3. Show only Non-Cosmetics

  4. Show only Faction Team Bonus

Additionally, we really need to see the name of the Faction on Faction Pets, next to the Kingdom name, just as it appears on Faction Troops. (This is so vital, I’ve taken to naming my Pets with the name of the Faction, as seen in the screenshot above.)

Separate Filters for Troops and Weapons

Currently, there is one Filter shared by Troops and Weapons, and one for Pets. It would make more sense to split the former into a separate Filter for Troops and one for Weapons, each of which could be Saved to a different setting.

Viewing Traitstone Numbers in Inventory

In the Inventory, when the collapsible control is opened, Minor Traitstones appear at the top, and because there’s so many of them, it’s annoying to scroll down to Arcane Traitstones. I can see a number of different ways to fix this pain point (of varying effectiveness and complexity):

  1. Move Arcanes to the top of the list of Traitstones.

  2. Give Arcanes their own collapsible control, so we can see and collapse “Arcane Traitstones” and then “Other Traitstones.”

  3. Create a second level of hierarchy to the collapsible controls, and always start with the inner hierarchy collapsed.

In the last case, opening the Traitstones section would reveal collapsed sections for each Traitstone rarity (Celestials can just be shown, I guess). Any one or more of these can then be opened. I would definitely combine this with suggestion 1: moving Arcanes to the top.

Armour, Class, Banner Selection Screens Don’t Work Correctly

This is what I see when I click the Armour tab:

As you can see, the Armour I actually have equipped is nowhere to be seen. In fact, it is to the far right of the list. If ever I want to switch between Celestial and Dragon Armour, I have to manually scroll all the way to the right. This is silly. The equipped armour should be on-screen when the tab is opened.

Same problem happens (sometimes) on the armour Style tab, the Classes tab and the Banners tab. I thought this was supposed to be fixed more than 6 months ago. What happened?

Spending Chaos Shards and Guild Seals

If a player has fewer than 200 Chaos Shards, they can only open 1 Portal at a time. The same thing happens for Guild Seals. The game is adaptive with other types of Chests, so why not these?

In the following screenshot, this is what it would look like if I only had 183 Chaos Shards:

This is what it would look like if the game was smarter and more adaptive:

To be honest, the Guild Seals version of this problem affects players far more often than the Chaos Shards version shown here.

Trade Extra Copies of All Pets

I think we all understand how useful it would be to Trade Extra copies of all Pets at once, rather than having to click each one separately, for perhaps one piece of pet food at a time.

Salty seemed to think this would be difficult to add to the interface. I have to disagree. Here’s two simple options:

  1. Split the Trade Extras panel in two, one part Trade Extras, the other Trade All Extras.

  2. Whenever the player clicks Trade Extras, the game checks to see if any other Pets have extra copies. If so, a dialogue appears asking the player if they want to Trade Extra Copies of All Pets.

I’m sure there’s lots of other possibilities.

Chest Odds Use Wrong Icon

On any of the Chests Screens (eg: Gem Chests), there is a question mark icon (?) in the top left corner. However, clicking this icon does not provide any sort of help. Instead, it shows a list of odds for each rarity of troop dropping from this type of chest.

This is an instance of a common icon being reused in an inappropriate way. The correct icon would be either a lower-case i (i) or an exclamation mark (!). You can choose which to use, universally across the game (including for the In-Battle Information Screen), but you can’t use (?).

Chest Odds are Wrong for Chaos Portals

The displayed odds for Chaos Portals are provably wrong. I’ve received at least 10 times as many Gold Rings as Coin Purses (thank goodness!), yet the table of odds says Common and Rare Treasures are equally likely to drop. Many people have noticed this, and current speculation is that the odds change with Hoard Quality.

Whatever the case may be, the current table of Drop Rates is actively deceiving anyone relying on it. Why?

Collected Mail is Sorted in the Wrong Order

The Collected tab in Mail is sorted in the wrong order. Anyone viewing this tab is extremely likely to be interested in viewing a recently-collected piece of mail (probably because they clicked Claim All, and want to examine an individual reward).

Clearly, the most recent Mail items must appear at the top of the list.

Trophy Count Not Shown in PvP

Bizarrely, it’s not possible to see how many Trophies you’ve earned anywhere in the PvP interface. The only place it can be seen is on the Guild Roster tab of the Guild menu.

Please find a place to display your Trophies within the PvP interface.

(There’s also a bug where your PvP points are shown as 0 on the Stats tab. Not sure what causes this, but it’s been around for ever, it’s been reported many times, and it happens frequently.)

Most Invaded Kingdom is No Longer Relevant

On the PvP Stats tab, the Most Invaded Kingdom has not been relevant for years. In which case it should be removed.

If it actually is somehow still relevant, it needs to be explained what it represents.

Spreading the Power in a Guild

My Guild very sadly collapsed after the Guildmaster unexpectedly went on a trip for three weeks without telling anyone. They were still playing, and we tried and tried to contact them, through Guild Chat and Discord. All to no avail. At the end of three weeks, some of us despaired. Four of the top six players found other Guilds. The GM returned just two days later, but the damage was done. Two months later, a successful, rapidly climbing Guild with 30 members (2 inactive) had become a Guild of just 10 members (4 inactive).

While it may not be immediately obvious, the key problem was that we had no way to kick those 2 inactive players without the GM. Of course, this is an extreme example, but many Guilds have experienced similar problems, and the current setup only allows for the GM to be kicked if they’ve been inactive in the game for a certain period of time. This is inadequate.

The current system locks the Guild for as much as three weeks (IIRC), and doesn’t address a failure to communicate at all. This is all the more frustrating when there are simple solutions. Here’s one:

  1. Allow players one rank below the GM to kick people of the lowest rank only.

  2. However, these same players can only demote by one rank at a time, and at least one week must pass between demotions and between the final demotion and kicking the player.

This has the added advantage of demotions indirectly warning the player that they’re not performing.

Here’s another suggestion:

  • Allow the GM to nominate a 2IC (second in charge) from amongst the top rank of players below GM. The 2IC has the same powers as the GM except they cannot demote or kick players of the same rank as them or above.

And that is how you do a proper (draft) report analysing a User Interface. :smiley:

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I only wish I could like this post more than once, you make some excellent suggestions @Starlite ! Excessive clicking through screens has been an annoyance to me forever, not just in explore (why exactly do I need to click on the stage in the pet rescue screen, if only the next one is even selectable? Just make it ‘next battle’ like arena).

And from all the others, I would really love to see the battle time/personal trophy counters added to the battle results screen!

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That flow chart for explore is pretty horrifying to look at. We mostly just settle into using one team now, we do not need all that extra nonsense anymore.

In addition to that (totally normal example), I usually jump between kingdoms to get the 20%, which means even more work and even less actual gameplay. No good.

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I want you to know that I have been on this forum since the day it was implemented, and this is the most comprehensive, coherent and useful critic of this game I’ve ever seen. Thank you a thousand times for the work you put into this. I can only hope the devs choose to implement the majority of your suggestions.

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There’s a lot to read here, and a lot to digest.

This is a very informative and thorough break down. Unfortunately, it is also too long. By presenting feedback in this way, it is overwhelming and doesn’t adequately highlight what you feel are the most valuable, key issues that we should consider working on.

A lot of work has gone into this, which is clear. However, as developers, we respond best to quick actionable feedback. Much of this is also well reasoned, and includes good quality of life suggestions, but other points aren’t relevant when looking at this purely from a QoL and GUI stand point. For example, releasing more emojis. This isn’t something that should be presented alongside usability issues, or a request to overview the amount of clicking required in the Explore rework.

We cannot action all of this at once, and it will take a significant amount of time to parse through before we can add parts of this to our internal review lists. A lot of the information discussed is useful, but when presented this way, with so many moving parts, and at this length, it becomes unusable.

In future, we would greatly appreciate the outlining of a few points in a way that we can easily digest the information.

TLDR, please add a TLDR to your TLDR.

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You can use the “details” tag to hide blocks of text. I could not make it through the entire posts because they put Mithran’s posts to shame in terms of length. If you decide to go back and edit your OP, please consider hiding information behind these tags so that it’s less overwhelming.

Example

This text is hidden at first.

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image

Should I be worried? This has been going on for an hour…

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Do you really believe that devs have:

  • a design approval process
  • GUI designers
    After this patch and seeing how messy the new Explore interface is, I don’t think so… :slight_smile:
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If the job of the devs who are designing the GUI was done properly, he would not have to write this wall of text, and you would not have to read it :slight_smile: .

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I think Mithran’s just trying to retake the crown for largest wall of text. No not really lol. I’m sure it will be equally useful.

(Gonna return to taking the thread seriously now … )

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Making stuff short takes time. Considerably more time than a stream of consciousness post that I just have to pair down a bit, let me tell you. I moved three pages into my GoW unposted posts dump. You’re welcome.

Key issues, as I see them:
Explore interface flow. But if that section in and of itself is too long, refer to the handy flow chart pictures for the explore interfaces, which I thought summed up the issue quite well. We don’t need to go back to the interface every battle so we can click back into the next battle - its the only option other than backing out completely. Each run can simply be a series of “next battles”, with an option to quickly select from a list of whereever the next mythstone bonus is, repeat the same run at the same difficulty, or change the difficulty.

Everything dealing with explore interface is pretty much an in-depth look at the same basic feedback offered over and over and over again. I did a fairly long post on the same issue myself. I’d say this rises to priority, as it makes the mode unpleasant to play at length when it doesn’t have to be.

Portal odds chest preview being wrong. Glossed over here, probably deserves its own thread. Has been flying under the radar for now because people don’t want to see a nerf and changing the actual rates to the displayed rate would be a nerf (rather than just showing what the real rates are). Treasures drop currently over 50% in portals, when the stated rate is 30%, and the ratios aren’t even close to those displayed - always more gold rings than chalices than coin purses when they are stated to have the same drop rate. Edit: I have data.

In my opinion the rates of the actual treasures themselves is far less important than the fact that these drop rate displays were supposed to be “100% accurate and from the server”, and they are, in fact, not.

Then, everything else. Most of the interface issues honestly can be lumped together in a big list, though I’d highlight the other two things as priority items. A lot of the interface stuff being requested is individually pretty small. I hope the interface design isn’t so impenetrable as adding some GUI elements or rearranging them, usually just for better display or flow of information, is something that takes a huge amount of effort and isn’t actionable. Should we make a thread on each screen in the game and how it could be greatly improved with a few simple changes?

Smallest actionable items:

  • Explore: A “play next” for all the battles until the run ends (at the same place on the screen every time, so it can be committed to muscle memory), and way to quickly get you into the next run (a play again button for the same difficulty and kingdom when the run ends, and a mythstone bonus kingdom jump list on the explore interface). We should be seeing as little of the main explore interface screen as possible as it should be just a launching point to get us into our explore battles.
  • Portal Drops odds are displayed wrong: Implement a system where drop rates displayed to the player are always 100% accurate based on what is actually dropping. And then let us know why this was wrong and why it will never happen again.
  • Actually reading posts that detail what is broken/bad about a system, especially when the short form version of the complaints are already all over, because otherwise otherwise a lot of intent behind the requests getting made are lost in the tl;dr.
  • Everything else: Lots of minor annoying interface stuff to fix that maybe would work better as a bulleted list with priority sorting, or separate threads maybe?

Edit2: Not brought up in the original post, but another extremely bad interface thing is the location of badges on the map screen. Needing to go all the way back there to change loadouts when different loadouts are quite often optimal is what I believe Sirrian would refer to as a “bad play pattern”. It was already stated no plans to attach them to teams or hero classes, which would probably be the best solution, but offering a way to switch them on the battle preview screen would be the next best thing.
Smallest actionable item:

  • Associate a badge set with a hero class or team slot
    OR
  • Allow badges to be changed on the battle preview screen.
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tenor%20(40)

I understand it’s a full analytical report made by the OP that I myself didn’t bother to read. But I’m also not in charge of collecting feedback.
@Starlite I understand it’s probably hard to decide what has a priority over the others because it’s all UI. But perhaps numbering the categories in order of most important to least important will help Salty pass the data on.
From what I skimmed you not only identified the issue but also gave helpful resolutions for them. So perhaps hide the solution and just stick to the issue.
Game breaking UI should be ranked the highest.

For instance… When I’m using my Chromebook, I can’t see what I’m typing until after I send the message and see it on screen. Something from the game is covering the text that I’m inputting. This happens in chat as well as the troop section.

I can’t help but think that the feedback would be a lot more “digestible” if there was a lot less issues to give feedback on.
I have now been playing GoW for 3 years and personally I’m happy that the game and community is at a point that we are pointing out scratches and dents in the car. Because we don’t have to worry about the car being broken or the tires losing air.

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This thread was amazing. The game could be so much better if many of these ideas were implemented. I hope someone on the staff does take the time to go through this in detail.

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Two things!

  1. Regarding portal drops, the game is displaying the exact same piece of data for the odds that the server uses to calculate them.

  2. I stated on stream when the amount of clicking required in explore was raised that it was something I had already added to our QoL list to be investigated.

I do not believe it possible that the game is showing the same portal odds it is using. @Mithran has the data to prove it; I suspect we are far beyond a 5-sigma discrepancy between what people are reporting and what the game says should be the case.

Edit: in case this winds up causing a change, please modify the table odds to match the actual odds, Salty. Not the other way around.

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Im well aware that @Mithran will provide actual data, but thought I might add a little bit to it:

These are my treasures:

I use Lamp and Sacred for leveling hoards after quality 10 usually.
I use 2 Kings Crown, 2 Priests Chalice and 1 Gold Ring every new faction 10 times to get quality to 10. Then I never touch them. All are at Mythic rarity now through using the treasures themselves.

If it was correct and the 3 lower rarity were all the same rate, over the thousands of portals I have opened (~10,000 shards used every new faction) the amounts would have leveled out. But as I do not use any Coin Purse and I use the Gold Ring, they should be at similar amounts having give the same % to drop. Same with the Chalice.

If it is showing the correct drop rates that are used in the calculation, I think the calculations need to be looked at again to make sure they are dropping the correct amounts and that a bug isnt sitting in there unnoticed eating some of the results making them lop sided.

I do. It actually doesn’t take that big of a sample to show that the overall type rates are wrong with a great degree of confidence, so even discounting the ones on the forums (total compiled from the other thread - 3465) that might have sampling errors(eg., including treasures that were shop purchases and not drops, although you’d need a massive amount to skew the results I got), I have at least one screenshot backed sample set of 500 (10k shards) from a guild member, which alone is enough to show high levels of confidence at least some of the rates displayed are wrong.

Anecdotally even, it is common knowledge that you get more gold rings than chalices and more chalices than purses, in relatively predictable ratios, consistently, in any sample set of significant size. Most of the time, you can see these patterns emerge (overall number of treasures trending toward >50%, significantly more rings than chalices, significantly more chalices than purses) with just 100 pulls. The more you pull, the more obvious it is that these aren’t the stated rates. Testable in 5 minutes on a dev account.

But this comment means to me that the displayed rates are what they are supposed to be, ie., changing them would be a nerf, so maybe I shouldn’t push too hard to get it corrected? It still really bothers me that its wrong, anybody paying attention knows its wrong, it is provable that it is wrong with a very high confidence level through sampling without all that much effort (if you have the chaos shards to do so anyways), it is being brought up risking a nerf, and I’m still being told “nah, don’t need to check that out”.

It also doesn’t inspire confidence of all the other things that are “certainly correct”.

But yeah, also, please don’t nerf. People are already saying they need more treasures, and the displayed rates are almost universally lower on that front than the actual rates.

Still more than willing to show my work here (or in DM) if you are interested, but I think I’m done lobbying to ruin things for everyone interested in delve progress for now.

Edit: And now I feel like we are hijacking things, since this was just a tiny portion of the original two posts, with the much larger focus here being overall interface issues, focusing heavily on the explore flow.

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So many shorter posts are left unanswered, not even a “tx, will check it out”, lately at least until @Kafka decides to do one round of responding/updating every few weeks. Is that the SOP now? :thinking:

And then we have important information (like the list of questions listed for he upcoming Q&A) that will be only conveyed through a stream, so whoever is unable to join won’t be able to ask anything, and the answers will be lost in the wind unless people like @Lyrian puts personal effort in writing down the key points in the forum. Good SOP? :thinking:


You claim to hear us loud and clear: do you really?
:thinking::sweat_smile::vulcan_salute:

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