Quality of life

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An interesting conversation starter from Sithaco popped up on Reddit yesterday: What would your top 3 quality of life improvements be that you want added to the game?. I’ve chosen a handful that I thought might be interesting to discuss a little further.

“Dodge cancels res”

Currently, dodging while ressing a player or npc doesn’t do anything. This very issue has resulted in my untimely death on multiple occasions, generally when someone comes along and drops an AoE field right on top of you. Fixing dodge so that it would break out of whatever you're currently doing, excepting actions where you’re deliberately supposed to be stationary, would be a good change.

“Allowing the player that opened the dungeon to leave the party or swap characters without booting everyone out. This is the cause of endless frustration for people.”

This is an essential change; it’s somewhat unthinkable that it hasn't happened already, really, which I can only imagine is due to the existence of technical complications. I’ve been lucky not to have been on the receiving end of this often, but have accidentally dumped a whole group out of the final Fractals level when I tried to change characters for Mai Trin without realising that I was the group owner.

“1+2+3: Skin locker. Does that count?”

I’d rather not be forced to have to choose between keeping an old skin from an event that will never return, and obtaining a duplicate piece of armour with the necessary runes/sigils/infusions so that I can use a newly acquired skin. I understand the need to keep skins as a revenue stream via the gem store, but think that players may well be more inclined to purchase if they could be used multiple times, and/or without risk of accidentally losing them.

“'Locked' overflow-type instances.”

As a member of TxS I can entirely understand the desire for this kind of setup. We go through all kinds of hassle trying to get as many guild members into the 150 available main server/overflow slots as possible for events, often leaving some to spend half an hour jumping in and out of portals between zones (a process dubbed ‘taxiing’) hoping to get in. That said, I can also appreciate why ArenaNet are keen to keep organised large–scale PvE in the open world: players who aren’t in super–guilds will never get the chance to serendipitously happen onto a successful kill.

The thing is, Tequatl and the Great Jungle Wurms have such a high bar to entry due to the level of co–ordination required that they’re realistically only aimed at organised groups. The Twisted Marionette from Origins of Madness was an excellent example of a world boss that’s better tailored to casual play, with a graduated reward structure, and relatively straightforward tactics.

I think that a strategy which facilitates ‘private’ instances for the most difficult world bosses that don’t rely on gaming the overflow system, as well as a wide range of challenging, rewarding, but casual–friendly bosses for everybody else would work well for Guild Wars 2.

“The ability to see the fraction of dyes you've collected out of the base set.”

This didn’t get much love on Reddit, but the idea really appeals to the collector in me. Potentially dangerous to the ol’ wallet though. It would be even better if we were able to preview using dyes that we haven’t yet unlocked, and see information on when the dye was added and how to obtain it.

“Give a free bank upgrade of 2 rows. What we have now was good for like a year and a bit, but with all the LS stuff, even a new accounts bank gets filled quickly.”

The number of interesting ‘story’ items filling up bank slots is definitely a good point, although I’m not entirely sold on new bank slots as the most appropriate solution. I’ve had to throw away items like Scarlet Briar’s Journal and the Zephyr Sanctum Model to make room in my bank. Instead, it would have been nice to have had a separate repository specifically for these things that would function as a personal history for your account, separate from the standard bank. Perhaps you could view or reclaim story items from the achievement tab, or keep them in their own tab. There’s been talk for a while of ArenaNet looking to overhaul the way that a character’s personal story and history is represented, and it would be excellent if Living World mementos were made persistent as part of the process.

“Fix the way that conditions work so they aren't competing with each other, in order to make condition builds more viable. Also to fix condition damage against structures.”

There are many documented problems with condition builds in Guild Wars 2, so I won’t go too in–depth, other than to say that a couple in particular have been getting me down of late. The second character I got to level 80 was a Necromancer. Sure, I’ve used power builds, which work well enough, but the condition play–style of loading a single target up with all manner of nasty afflications and then spreading them around with Epidemic is too damn fun not to use.

Sadly, however, that doesn’t follow through into a lot of the Living World content. Take Origins of Madness and Escape from Lion’s Arch as examples: large zerg–type events with enemies that die quickly, and structures that need to be quickly destroyed. Taking a condition build into those situations just doesn’t work. Your conditions will never have long enough to do decent damage to the waves of trash mobs, and they don’t affect structures whatsoever. I’m hopeful that one day ArenaNet will address these issues and make conditions more attractive, but for now my Necromancer will stay unused while I play something in Berserker armour like everyone else.

“Allow us to further zoom out the camera.”

I’ve wanted this since the game launched! The artwork and world design in Guild Wars 2 is fantastic; I only wish I could fit more of it onto my screen at one time. There are a handful of boss fights that zoom your camera out, but I wish we had the option to do it all the time.

Other topics being discussed

There are a lot of suggestions pertaining to the Trading Post, largely around improvements to the interface, better ways to sort items, etc. While this would definitely be nice to have, I feel like the current system does just about work without too much grief, and as such I’d rather wait a while longer for a complete overhaul instead of minor enhancements.

The other big topic of conversation is traits and skills, with many people wanting to be able to save and restore pre–configured builds. I fully admit that I would probably see this as being more urgent if I were the sort of player that jumped between builds on a more regular basis, but I don’t currently see it as being imperative due to the relatively limited choice of traits and skills for each profession. That said, I’d be screwed without having a bunch of trait calculators bookmarked, so maybe I’m using that as a band–aid fix for functionality which the game ought to provide?

Thanks to Redditors gaix2, Groonzie, Tylacat, Wheeton, OptimusYale, csk8tr, and RAMPAAAAAAGE for the ideas discussed in this post.