Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Pet-peeve List

Ok, I'm loving LOTRO, but there are some things about this game that drive me nuts. Things WoW, in truth, got right. So I'm putting together my Pet-Peeve List of things in LOTRO that I wish were more like WoW.

1) GIANT TOOL TIPS! My God, you mouse over a spell or ability and half your screen disappears as the interface tells you all the intricate details of what that ability does. You can't see the mob you were about to cast that spell on, since its behind the tool tip. Can't see yourself because you're behind the tooltip. And what's worse? You can't turn them off. You can make them mobile, in that they appear where your mouse pointer is, but so far, I've not found an off option or anything else that might make them smaller.

2) Color coding. I've figured most of this out, but it's still not a great way to do things. Grey = trivial. Green = weaker than you. blue/white = around your level. Orange = slightly above you. Red = a lot above you. Purple = death if you challenge me. But then, your kinsman are also blue. Summoned mobs also work off the same pattern when you see them running around. Never mind the whole silver ring icon for quests vs. the grey ring icon, the difference of which is substantial, but you can't tell until you're on top of the quest giver.

3) Buying and Selling. I hate that you cannot sell direct from your bags. Invariably, after a visit to a vendor, I've left some dealer trash behind that I somehow missed while scrolling through the list.

4) The Mail System. The last one is the biggest doozy of them all. No mechanism to send multiple items. No auto-delete of item mails after the item has been retrieved. No fill-in-the-blank name from your friends or kinship list. That one really gets me. I have a hard enough time with my own toon names. So I hope Shelwyn and Gwennyn enjoy the stuff I sent them (as opposed to Shelwin and Gwenynn, who they were meant for.)

Sometimes, when a game is this good, these missteps are all the more jarring. That's a bit how I feel here. Ok, Turbine, fix these things and your game will be about perfect.


Amaeva said...

1) Hrm, I don't know about giant, I guess it depends on what the tooltip is for. Probably this is resolution dependent - I'm running widescreen 1600x1024 and my tooltips take up very little screen space.

2) Color coding is so much better than WoW IMO. Here you are immediately clued in whether you've overstepped your bounds when suddenly all the mobs around you have purple and red names. I do agree about the problem distinguishing between a silver and grey ring. My advice for that is mouse over the person (works from any distance); if you see the pointer turn to a conversation icon then the ring must be grey (low level quest) as above level quest givers won't even have dialog for you.

3) The way I handle this problem is to lock everything I know I don't want to sell. Then when I go to the sell tab at a vendor I make sure the "show locked items" is not selected. Now you're only looking at the loot you just took in. Lock any items you don't want to sell, then click on "sell all."

4) I agree 100% with you on this, LotRO mail is very clunky. The only positive point is instant mail even between characters on different accounts.

Mardigilian said...

I think I'm running the same rez a you Amaeva and some tooptips are annoyingly big. Stealth is the biggest problem for me--if I park the mouse over it to be ready to "dive for cover", I can't see a fair chunk of what's in front of me (maybe 10 or 15% of what isn't covered by other UI items).

I haven't noted any real issues with the color coding, but it can be rather disconcerting to see red name flying toward you--even when it only turns out to be some other toon's standard bearer.

I'm feeling a little culture shock at the vendors too--although mine is with the different function of shift-click. Twice now I've bought stacks when I was only trying to buy a few. I also think it would make more sense if alt-click brought up a default number other than 100 and/or the cursor started out in the number field.

Full agreement on the mail, with the added observation that opening a piece of mail to find out what it actually is (tool tip the attachment) drops the retention time to 2 days. No more of WoWs copper/day extra bank slots. In LotRO's favor I will remind you it wasn't that long ago WoW implemented multi-item mail. I don't remember when it was, but I do remember it, so couldn't be more than two years at most. Also in LotRO you can have your friends or kin list open as the same time as your mailbox, something WoW wouldn't let you do (and made the auto-complete absolutely necessary).

Nord said...

I'll fully admit that some of these are simple adjustments to the new system; Things that I just need to get used to. But the mail system and tool tips are a real design flaw IMO.

I've got a fifth peeve, fyi.

5) Cursor doesn't jump. This is a simple thing, yet it's so annoying. You open a window to fill in a note (like your character note in the kinship window) and the cursor doesn't automatically go to the window. You start typing. Windows start popping open, your toon does this silly little dance, all because you didn't think you had to actually click on the open window to input your new information. Gee, it's not like every other game, website, and Windows is nice enough to do that for you.


Even with these nuisances, I am still enjoying the game. As I said, when a game is this good, these little things that are wrong stand out all the more.

Mardigilian said...

Add one more complaint about the mail system. There appears to be some limit on mail quantity. At least I'm assuming that's the case--I just had two piece instantly bounce from LRNs's scholar. (Wasn't looking to see if it refunded the postage.) I know we've all been sending scholar items his way, so we may have manage to fill up his mail box.