Topic UI still sub-par 2 years later. Why don't we care?
This is a post taken from teamliquid.net, I am posting it here so more people and hopefully blizzard would notice it!
Link to original thread:
One thing he talks about is the automated tournaments they had in WC3 - that was so much fun! It would make more players play I just know it :)
Hope you read it! (and I really hope Blizzard reads it) :D
Edited by Shockk on 05/02/12 12:30 (GMT)
Hey there; thanks for linking to the thread. I'm the author, and the more this is spread, the better our chances of bringing attention to these issues. The amount of feedback this topic has received on TL, Reddit and the official forums is huge. Thanks to everyone for keeping this alive. I've added a number of links, background info, UI concepts, videos and images to the second part of this post just below - take a look!
Counting the beta, SC2 will be two years old in March - and the game's interface has barely developed over that span. While the lack of LAN support is the major issue for most people (as frequently demonstrated in tournaments with connection issues), I feel that the general feel and usability of the new battle.net UI are just as frustrating for the average user.
Sure. We've seen some improvement with chat being added. But it's telling that we had to ask for that in the first place. And we have vague promises for the map marketplace / arcade to fix the completely broken custom game scene with HotS. But there's so much more.
Personally, the game's UI discourages me from playing on a daily basis. When the new battle.net was developed, we were promised that we'd "never want to be offline again". But every single time I log on, I feel utterly alone, maybe play a game or two, and then leave again. Both in SC/BW and WC3, I'd idle around forever, hang out in channels or waste time in custom games.
So what's different?
Communicating and socializing is too hard.
Chat. It still sucks. Simple commands like /w outside of games would make life tremendously easier. Real channels would be great. Or sending messages to my whole friends list. At the moment, any act of communication is a hassle; I either have to navigate through my friends list (which could be a lot more accessible too, by the way) to message people; I have to clumsily navigate through menus to send messages to other folks (or add them to my list); I even have to click through menus to ignore or report people.
Everything could be so much easier with a decent chat interface, yet we seem to be stuck with the farce of a system we currently have.
Clan support (+clan channels). This rocked in WC3. You had a place to meet with friends and clan mates, and you could even moderate your channels. You actually had a sense of community while online.
Automated tournaments. Where are they? Why was such a great feature removed? Despite losing quickly in most of them, I often played them in WC3. You got to meet new people, had a competition that wasn't ladder, and had an incentive to play for the portraits.
Simply playing the game can be hard at times.
A working custom game system. Despite the chaotic first impression, WC3's system worked. All the SC2 popularity system does is kill any incentive to play maps that aren't on the first two pages. Also, Blizzard's attitude of blocking development instead of encouraging it have led to a custom scene that's pretty much dead. The vocal criticism of the ridiculous limits on map developer freedom have died down because most developers have stopped developing and caring.
I had hoped to see countless maps by now, exploring the boundaries of the map editor and creativity, but all we have are some DotA clones, some TD maps and nothing too exciting else.
AT vs. RT issues in team games. While team games are looked down upon by many, they nontheless enjoy a large following. The strict separation of AT and RT from WC3 was scrapped for SC2 in favor of short queue times, but despite having a matchmaking system implemented, it's still prone to abuse and frustration. Things like 2/3man ATs signing up for 3/4man RTs is just one example of many. Currently, the team ladders are a sick joke and the results / ratings and the general activity reflect the utter neglect with which this issue has been treated.
Analyzing is overly hard as well.
Shared replay watching. It was such a great feature in SC/BW. Requested since beta, and we'll probably never see it.
Statistics. Where are they? Why can't I see my race-specific %, or my odds on certain maps? And why are lower league players belittled by having their losses hidden, even when everyone knows that those people still here after two years must have realized that it's a competetive game and losing is part of the deal?
The whole league system. Sure, we all know how and why the MMR works right now. But why scrap the system that worked so great in WC3? Right now, we can't compare anyone (regardless of whether you think ladder matters or not). Grandmaster league helped, but only if you're looking at pros. I can't even judge whether I'm better than my buddy or not, because we're both in meaningless divisions of pointless leagues, and our MMR is invisible.
Edited by Shockk on 07/02/12 13:17 (GMT)
Things went wrong when Blizzard decided to develop the new B.Net from scratch, and to employ a casual game / console developer for the job. I have nothing personal against Greg Canessa, but I feel it shows that he developed for PopCap and Xbox Live before. That by itself needn't have been a bad thing, but why for the love of all that is holy did everything that worked well in previous games have to be removed? Hell, the better part of Blizzard's fame came from releasing games with fantastic interfaces and great functions, yet SC2 is a step back (or several) compared to 2003's WC3 or even 1998's SC.
And why all this? Well, of course because it works for Blizzard. Enough people were happy with what they got, not enough people cared. The folks who just bought the game for the campaign obviously didn't bother with the menu much, and the competetive 1vs1 crowd basically just needs a working matchmaking system (which is great, btw, and the only redeeming feature). But there's a huge number of players interested in socializing, custom maps and analyzing their play. Those that haven't left have grown complacent or jaded with Blizzard's ignorance.
The adding of chat and the scrapped forum real-ID feature have shown what players can achieve when the voice concerns; the complete lack of development in the meantimes is a great sign of how little will suffice for the majority to accept their fate.
This game could be so much better.
*How Battle.Net 2.0 could look like, credit to Goblinoid: http://goblinoid.imgur.com/starcraft_2_ui_concepts#0
*Goblinoid's thread on TL: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=204977
Tools & Misc
*Starcraft Map Analysis: StarGraphed: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=309211
*The Battle.Net project on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/starcraft/comments/pb2i5/the_battlenet_project/
*MoreGG.sc - 1vs1 and custom game finder: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=309006
*This thread on TeamLiquid: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=308482
*This thread on the official US forums (english): http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/3988232669
*This thread on the official polish forums: http://eu.battle.net/sc2/pl/forum/topic/3313064659
*This thread on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/starcraft/comments/p9c9h/ui_still_subpar_2_years_later_why_dont_we_care/
*This thread on the official EU forums (german): http://eu.battle.net/sc2/de/forum/topic/3269838492#1
*Inconsistencies in SC2's UI, as pointed out by paralleluniverse on TL: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=298406
*Comparison of work force and developer shift, by OneTwoSC on sc2mapster: http://www.sc2mapster.com/forums/general/general-chat/32002-bnet-0-2-owned-by-husky/?page=2#p26)
*MichaelJLowell's blog on Battle.Net 2.0's development: http://www.teamliquid.net/blogs/viewblog.php?id=245508
Blueposts on Battle.Net
Bashiok on chat in Diablo 3: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4015163779#20
Videos and Images
*Differences between B.Net 1.0 and 2.0., summarized in one (large) picture.: http://i.imgur.com/jEzkT.png
*Husky: The State of Battle.Net 2.0 (05/2010): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-r_uCaFxg8
*Husky's video on Warcraft 3's Battle.Net UI (02/2012): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOkywsDvL2w&feature=player_embedded
*IdrA and Tasteless on Battle.Net 2.0 (06/2010) Pt. 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3W4CPucxr4
*IdrA and Tasteless on Battle.Net 2.0 (06/2010) Pt. 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYm4p3lB3UY&feature=related
*Smix' musical parody / criticism on Battle.Net 2.0: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xyd6zdvxV6E
*SC2 won't have LAN - comedy/parody video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UFA1ieWA8s&feature=related
*Great t-shirt criticism: http://imgur.com/k0nrW.jpg
Thank you so much for this Shockk! You are telling excactly what I feel as well!
I just hope Blizzard can learn from their mistakes and tell their fans "Sorry, we will fix all of these issues. They will be fixed at the release of HOTS."
I wholeheartedly agree with this post. I hope Blizzard reads this and works on improving the UI.
Considering how much the custom game / UMS scene contributed to the longevity of WC3, it's a shame seeing talented mapmakers turn their back on SC2 because of the horrendous custom game interface.
Edited by DocLovin on 03/02/12 11:21 (GMT)
I agree with pretty much everything in that thread. Especially concerning the match making system and other forms of competitive play / in-game tournament system and clan support.
I feel that everything in the new battle.net is dumbed down and unnecessary complicated or too shallow to be of any use. The interface feels like it was purposely deigned to isolate you from the community. Communication is next to impossible and there is no encouragement to do so. The menus are impossible to navigate and all most every click you make leads to one of those frustrating loading circles making you want to choke the guy who decided that ever page should have as little information as humanly possible.
The whole system feels like a soul-less gutter that lacks personality. The only communication that is encouraged is "Press Find Match to receive one or more random raging retards" - its like when designing it the primary focus was to make it as useless as possible so that they don't have to actually hire people do moderate and do work with the community.
The funny thing is though, that the core-stuff works really well. Its really easy to find a good 1v1, 2v2 and so on - or join popular custom map and play it with either random people or friends. Its just a shame that it blizzard decided that "well, they are going to be forced to use our system anyway" was a good enough excuse to stop working on improving it.
Edited by SupraSonic on 03/02/12 11:04 (GMT)
I own 2 sc2 accounts, 1 WoW account and have played more WC3 FZ LAN than I care to remember. I grew up with blizz games, even now when I'm adult and everything! And I completely...agree with this thread.
I find it shocking that blizz doesnt do anything to improve something that should have been improved upon years ago. The UI and tha chat is like stepping back into the stone age. Sure it looks pretty, but it doesn't work at all. I am starting to wonder why Bnet 2.0 was created in the first place? To make lots of rules and regulations and combat piracy OR to improve gaming experience? It seems these days companies want to combat piracy / hacking. And that's fine, I have always bought blizz games legally so I think that's a good intiative. I understand you have to make money and combat piracy etc. Or maybe it's not about that? I'm just so confused as to why a company such as your would have such a lazy approach to this?
One thing I do wanna say is...have you (blizz) forgotten the REAL improvements you were supposed to make? I mean, can it really take 2+ years to change a chat interface, improve and develope Bnet? Why is it taking so long?
Do we really have to wait 2+ years until HotS comes out, or perhaps the next patch can show us the way and pick up where WC3 and BW left off?
I admit it's a very well put together article, and with most of the points i also agree. I gave it a thumbs up, altho even if blizzard sees this, the chance they will do changes to these, is very small. They are practically hanging tight to a "classic&working" style.....even if they could improve it...or they move extremely slowly intentionally to have content on the next expansions.
They have to explain the high prices for them in some way right?
All in all thread is one of the more intelligent ones made...altho considering these forums i don't think this will ever beat the top positions hold by Protoss/Zerg/Terran is OP/UP
As I said on the original thread on TL I totally agree with this. Even more I can say that I'm part of the 1v1 competitive crowd and I'm slowly but surely playing less and less. Mainly cause I think the game design have some issues but also cause I just feel lonely on bnet : no fun at all logging in and feeling this emptyness. I just cant understand this new bnet is missing some features it predecessor had, and we dont have some new "community" features.
"REQUEST STICKY" top right corner green button. I believe that blizzard is reading this and nodding theyr heads in "OK" sence. Im not programmer I dont know if its easy to add these fatures or improvements, but Im sure what must be done will be done.
Edited by Tnud on 03/02/12 14:37 (GMT)
If bnet 0.2 doesn't get a BIG update with HotS (coming soon) I will be VERY disappointed and will probably not buy it. These points are all very valid. Please take them into consideration!
If blizzard doesn't know: The ENTIRE (TeamLiquid, bnet, anyone) community has basically lost all faith in you regarding this issue. Please redeem yourselves!
Shokk described the issues with bnet 0.2 really well, I completely agree with him.
Battle.net as found in Warcraft 3 was/is the best RTS online gaming platform I've ever seen, it's not perfect but it has way more useful features and is overall a much more enjoyable experience than bnet 0.2, which seems to me like some online portal from an xbox game, it's just subpar for a pc platform.
Edited by Rebound on 03/02/12 15:41 (GMT)
Shokk described the issues with bnet 0.2 really well, I completely agree with him.
It seems like that because it was made by someone that worked on XBox platforms...blizzard stated it several times + the fact that they are trying to make D3 for consoles tells alot. They made Bnet console-friendly/looking because on the long run they aim to launch games on consoles. Don't take me wrong, i don't like it either..it's lacking alot, and what it already has is mediocre by far.
Blizzard can continue stating that Bnet 2.0 is better then what they had BUT as long as everyone who knew the old bnet (normal ppl, professional players, almost everyone) say that it's lacking...then even if it's the best Bnet u made..u have to make some changes so it suits a vast majority of ppl who are expecting something else. Even after 1 year a lot of ppl complain about the same problems over and over again..and till now i haven't seen a clear statement from Blizz on why they think bnet 2.0 is better....all questions were answered by evading the question itself (very unclear answers, or reasons that don't even matter to anyone-absurd)