MMO-Champion - Have Group, Will Travel Hotfix, Ask the Devs - Answers #3
Have Group, Will Travel Hotfix
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
The spell was originally able to be used within dungeons and raids, however overnight there was a stealth fix on the spell that prevented it from being casted in every instanced area and is now only able to be casted while outside.

It was hotfixed and that should be showing up in our hotfix tracking blog tonight or tomorrow.

Essentially it was being exploited to bring entire groups to the summoner, who would stealth past a few bosses, allowing the group to skip them. Guild perks should be just that, perks, and aren't intended to be game-changing mechanics. We would like to make it so that regardless of where the summoner is, the summonees are always summoned to the entrance of the dungeon, allowing this to still be very useful but avoiding that exploit-ability, but that will require further development.

We're also in the process of removing its use in Tol Barad while the battle is active.

Ask the Devs - Answers #3 "UI"
Long story short: you will be able to change the order of your characters on the Character Select screen in patch 4.2.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Q: Do the developers have any plans in regards to overhauling the Combat Log so that players can easier examine the results after a battle? – Jito (Europe [English])

A: The Combat Log needs some love for sure. It was originally designed with the intent of providing players with immediate feedback, sort of like an extension to scrolling combat text and the buff / debuff panel. It turns out to be much more useful after the fact, to figure out what was that thing that hit you so hard, or what caused that proc to go off. We would like to redesign the feature with more of a post-hoc analysis in mind. It can also be a resource hog if you have it up during combat and the filtering isn’t super intuitive. One thing we have done in the meantime is made it easy for the combat logs to be analyzed by third-party sites, which makes it easier to analyze results quickly.


Q: Some Addons are so powerful they simplified the game content to a degree (e.g., boss fights). Do you think that when the majority are using these Addons, the original reasoning behind the game design is violated? And isn’t it unfair for players who don’t use Addons? - 冷影幽光 (Taiwan)

A: This really deserves a long answer. It sounds like a good topic for a future developer blog. To tide you over until then, we can say that some addons do a great job of providing information we really should be providing (and have long-term plans to provide).This includes information like threat, the distance you are from other players , when you have a killer debuff on you and things like that. On the other hand, when addons are too helpful, they are playing the game for you and you’re just doing what the addon tells you to do. When the mod tells you so much information about the fight that you don’t even really need to pay attention to what is happening in the world at all, then we feel that crosses the line. I don’t know that we could put the djinn back in the bottle at this point though. It would feel really harsh to prevent addons from tracking some of that information, and in some cases we’re not even sure how we would prevent it.

We continue to try and come up with new mechanics that ask players to pay attention to the fight itself instead of just pushing whatever button the addon tells them to push. You might be alerted to when Atramedes emits a Sonar Pulse, but you don’t know where it is going to be. Sinestra’s Twilight Slicer requires you to look at the battle field and not just your UI. To be fair, we are also trying to do a better job of telegraphing to players when bosses will use predictable abilities. The Conclave of Wind and Nefarian for example do their special abilities at predictable intervals along their resource or health bar.

It is a fine line to decide when an addon becomes mandatory. Ideally you could raid without any addons, and some players do. Information is often power in complex raid encounters though, and we agree that in some cases we don’t provide enough information yet. Does that mean Blizzard needs to replicate some of the screenshots produced by players who install thirty mods and completely overhaul their UI? Probably not. Our raid UI is a good example of what we are going for. It provides enough information for many players (and we have plans to add more to it overtime). It’s not going to incorporate the favorite feature of every raider out there, and for them, a very customizable third-party addon is a perfectly reasonable solution.


Q: Will there be changes related to the bank and bags system? E.g. for set pieces (wardrobe), quest items, tabards... will the 16-slot-standard-bag be extended? - Yenaeia (Europe [German])

A: We think bags are about as big as we can make them. Imagine if you got rid of all of the folders or directories on your computer and just stuffed everything into one big directory. That feels like the direction we’ll head if we keep down the path we’re on. Instead, we think a better solution is to make it easier to find what you’re looking for and provide alternative storage for things you don’t use often. We do have plans to convert tabards into a manager similar to our Title UI on the character page. We also are exploring some ways to let players store old set pieces and the like that they don’t use often. We debate the quest item issue a lot. Our concern is that if quest items are squirreled away in some special UI that they feel less like items at all. Why require you to collect bear asses instead of just incrementing the bear asses counter? That might help solve your storage problems, but it makes quests feel even less like you are doing something in the real world.


Q: Previously, the character was not interfered by the nameplate because there was always some space between the character and nameplates. I don’t exactly remember when but suddenly the nameplate covered the top section of the characters making it hard to identify the character/NPC’s status. I’m just wondering it was changed to be like that. – 제임스카메론 (Korea)

A: [We’re assuming this question is referring to the V-nameplates. If not, this answer won’t make sense.] We changed the way nameplates work quite a bit in Cataclysm. One mistake we made was anchoring the nameplate to the top of the frame. This means that when you are zoomed in close to your character that the nameplate can obscure your face. In 4.1 we’re changing the anchor point to the bottom of the frame so that it will grow up as you zoom in instead of growing down.


Q: Milling and Prospecting are incredibly dull and very manual tasks at present, especially when you do them in bulk. Speaking as a scribe, the entire manufacturing process from herb to pigment to ink to glyph is both time-consuming, boring and sending me well on my way to repetitive stress wrist and index finger injuries. – Keb (North America/ANZ), googce (Taiwan)

A: Yes, we totally understand why this is a problem. The reason we can’t make it work just like other trade skills, is that we don’t know which herbs and ore you want to use. If you have some cheap ore and some very expensive ore, we don’t want to accidentally use the expensive ore. There are a few ways to fix this. One is we just redesign Milling and Prospecting. If they were recipe-based, then we would know exactly which material to use. It would also add a huge list of repetitive recipes to your Professions pages. We could also make some kind of new UI (think of something simple, like the Reforging UI) to let you drag and drop the materials you want to use. The advantage of the “box” solution is we could also use it for Disenchanting.


Q: Would you please implement a feature that allows players to change the order of their characters on the Character select screen? – 흑풍육손 (Korea), Fanahlia (North America/ANZ), Perle (Latin America)

A: Sure. Does 4.2 work for you?


Q: Are there any plans to implement further things into the standard UI that we currently rely on addons to provide? More specifically I mean things like Recount and Omen. - Bauertehpala (Europe [English]), Актинидия (Europe [Russian]), 柴德洛夫 (Taiwan), Terini (North America/ANZ)

A: We are experimenting with adding a threat meter to our new party and raid frames. Tracking DPS is a little trickier. We feel like it’s something we should offer but we’re still debating the right way to do it. It could be something that the combat log or the achievement statistics system (neither of which are anywhere as good as they could be) morphs into.


Q: Any plans to improve the Trade channel to allow buying and trading directly from chat? – Abolita (North America/ANZ)

A: Ultimately, if you want a centralized location where buyers and sellers could meet, we already provide that. If you’re trying to just circumvent the 10% Auction House cut, we don’t really want to encourage that. If you want to use chat channels to haggle, you can do that already. The one situation where we think the current systems don’t work well is for really expensive crafted armor and weapons. We understand that players may not want to waste the materials until they have a buyer. Nor do they want to pay the Auction House cut on a 20,000 gold item when the volume on these items moving through the market is always going to be low. We are exploring some ways to solve this problem.


Q: Internal Cooldowns are pretty hard to track currently (I'm thinking of Nature's Grace, since it's an important element of my gameplay as a Resto Druid). Do you plan to add a feature in order to make it easier to track Internal Cooldowns? - Anyä (Europe [English])

A: This is a difficult problem to solve without a lot of additional UI bloat. We could put a debuff on the player, which is the solution we sometimes take with long cooldowns like the 60 sec one of Nature’s Grace. We could also consider something like letting players put passive abilities on their action bar, and then provide an option to view cooldowns as numbers instead of the current ‘sonar wipe’. The way some of the third-party addons handle the issue is by just throwing up more UI in between the player and the character, which is the kind of thing we are very, very cautious about adding.


Q: Are there any plans to expand on the current mail system? It's rather cumbersome to have to withdraw, one-by-one, my mail when I have pages of it. – Patrïck (Latin America)

A: This sounds like it is really an Auction House problem. The mail system is intended to be a little throttled and slow to discourage spam and junk mail, and works just fine for “real” mail between friends, alts or guildies. The problem is the design choice we made to hitch the mail system to the Auction House. Players dealing with a high volume of commodities have no choice but to deal with tons and tons of mail (and this is particularly bad for diverse commodities with low margins, like glyphs). We are discussing different ways the Auction House can work, but we’re not convinced the right answer is just to make the mail system more automated.


Q: Before Cataclysm launch, you talked about maybe giving the chance to players of increasing their main bagpack number of slots. Are you still having that in mind or did you forget about that idea? It has been 6 long years with the same bagpack! – Proenix (Europe [Spanish])

A: Believe it or not, it’s just technically challenging. The original backpack just wasn’t coded with expandability in mind, and bumping it up now carries the risk of losing players gear, which of course would be catastrophic. It’s still on the list, but it’s not as simple as someone changing a 16 to a 24.


Q: Will the Defualt UI ever be moveable and re-arrangeable without the use of mods? – Ruind (North America/ANZ)

A: We are taking baby steps in that direction. We already allow you to move the focus target, and in the 4.1 patch we will let you move your player frame (your health and resource bar) and your target frame as well. We also allow quite a bit of customization of size and position with the party and raid frames. If you consider what the screen looks like with every possible UI element turned on at once (including things like the durability dummy and Arena team frames) there is almost no space left to actually see the world. If we allow players to start moving every element around, it would be very easy to stack elements on top of each other and obscure information. More hardcore players probably understand this risk and how to fix things if they break the UI for themselves. The challenge for us is making sure that players who really shouldn’t be messing with their UI don’t stumble into it. If you aren’t in the game industry (or maybe even the software industry at large) you might think it’s as simple as burying the check box deep in the options or adding a big, red “I screwed up! Please reset me!” button. But we can assure you that it’s not.


Q: What if there was a separated target system? For example, if I can set defensive and offensive target at same time then I don’t have to switch target to use heal or other emergency skills for our friend no matter what target I’m attacking. I think this feature is especially useful for some classes, such as Retribution Paladin and Shadow Priest. – Whitewnd (Korea)

A: We understand why that might be beneficial, and some games have gone that route, but we’re not huge fans of the idea for a couple of reasons. One, it just adds more complexity to the UI, which you can see from previous questions is something we’re trying to remain vigilant against. More importantly, we like players having to make the choice of who their target is. We don’t want to make the game so smart that harmful spells always seek out enemies and helpful spells always seek out allies. We do this in a few rare cases, like Discipline’s Atonement, but in general we want players to make the second-to-second choice about whether they are playing offensively or defensively.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Have Group, Will Travel Hotfix, Ask the Devs - Answers #3 "UI" started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 102 Comments
  1. Syenite's Avatar
    I miss skipping the corpse run with "Have group..." (or atleast the last 2 mins run inside the dungeon if someone happened to survive for some reason)
  1. ryyu's Avatar
    Was only really stonecore you could do that in, but still the few ruining it for the rest of us.
  1. Descense's Avatar
    Oh well last few days were good to skip crapy heroics with morons for points with my druid.
  1. Spammeister's Avatar
    Nice! Some questions that don't seem to be super obvious.

    I don't like the way some answers are the "we can't program our way out of wet paper bag" type, though. Maybe if Blizzard hired some actual programmers? Maybe take a course in thinking "outside the box may alleviate some of those problems.
  1. .viridis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Syenite View Post
    I miss skipping the corpse run with "Have group..." (or atleast the last 2 mins run inside the dungeon if someone happened to survive for some reason)
    Mass Rez
  1. phaned's Avatar
    Q: Would you please implement a feature that allows players to change the order of their characters on the Character select screen? – 흑풍육손 (Korea), Fanahlia (North America/ANZ), Perle (Latin America)

    A: Sure. Does 4.2 work for you?
    Really? Really???? Woooo!
  1. Pumps's Avatar
    Lol +5 for "bear asses"
  1. ComputerNerd's Avatar
    Unfortunatly there is no way to allow what is simply a convenience in reducing a corpse run and preventing abuse as described in avoiding bosses.
    It is sad that a minority who are so determined to avoid actually playing will ruin what was a useful tool.
    Nonetheless I will be pleased to see the end of it in Tol Barad as that has recently become an annoying and increasingly frequent event.

    This crafting UI for repetitive skills sounds promising so I look forward to see how that progresses.

    The character ordering has been hinted at for a long time, though this is the first mention of a deadline or real intent to actually implement it beyond agreement it was a good idea.

    I would hope to see an integrated OmniCC type counter on buttons, because as one user described you forget that it is not a default feature because it is such an obvious enhancement.

    Sounds promising regarding storage, though we have yet to see the strongly hinted at dedicated equipment manager storage I believe was brought up in a previous blizzcon.
  1. Gracin's Avatar
    Q: Would you please implement a feature that allows players to change the order of their characters on the Character select screen? – 흑풍육손 (Korea), Fanahlia (North America/ANZ), Perle (Latin America)

    A: Sure. Does 4.2 work for you?
    About fucking time...3-9 months from now x.x
  1. Higg's Avatar
    Did a blue post really say bear asses
  1. AetherMcLoud's Avatar
    Huh. Kinda funny how the first few Q&As (important ones about class design and pvp) didn't really have any meaty content while this one about UI is the first one that has informative answers...
  1. Higg's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ryyu View Post
    Was only really stonecore you could do that in, but still the few ruining it for the rest of us.
    you could skip the trash leading up to Halfus as well
  1. Tokas's Avatar
    god this q&a was so boring
  1. darklenne's Avatar
    Ability to rearrange your chars in 4.2? In the words of a Real Life Warlock, WINNING!!!
  1. isadorr's Avatar
    Wow, so many lazy people wanting the screen to scream at you for every cooldown. What has the game become? Casualcraft. There are so many add-ons you can set up, maybe if they make every spec like a arcane rotation then people might be happy but probably would still whine because they have to be awake to raid.
  1. mofi's Avatar
    We already allow you to move the focus target, and in the 4.1 patch we will let you move your player frame (your health and resource bar) and your target frame as well
    now that´s awesome
  1. Zehroh's Avatar
    I´m amazed Blizzard didn´t see summoning in TB coming. It´s already not working in BG´s so didn´t ring there a bell?
  1. Yetzirah's Avatar
    It remembers me when they disabled lock summon due to people using it "creatively" in ZA.
  1. Babycake's Avatar
    I actually liked the perk. Didn't need to run back from a wipe....
  1. Culexus's Avatar
    Hmm this way the perk isnt that useful anymore. Sad but understandable.

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