(Updated) DAoC 1.110 – UI / Experience

It’s been a while since I logged into DAoC excited about changes and Patch 1.110 brings the most the game has seen in years. With a new user experience which includes UI elements and quest flow improvements.

Looking around the client felt a bit more responsive as well as the text entering on the chat window, this may be my unfamiliarity with how it plays lately, or it could be based off the new changes.

Floating Target Frame

The first thing I check out is the floating target window, this was nice, but I felt it wasn’t a good enough window, I was hoping for more of a Warhammer unit frame feel to it, with a larger emphasis on the name, and other indicators following that, including level. Displaying buffs was a bit too much to ask for. Although the buttons for attack, stick, etc were nice.

Status / Command Bar

I really liked the bar at the bottom of the screen, with indicators for experience, money and lots of nice buttons.

Tooltips

The new tooltips for spells / styles are fantastic, and just the information we need to see, it’s a shame that these didn’t carry over to the effect tooltips for the spells.

Lesson Quests

Although these do cover the basics, and some of them you can watch NPC’s doing things, I feel they aren’t as good as they could have been. With voice, or better indication as to what was happening, walls of text just aren’t that fun.

Quest Pending

Pretty useful icon to have, shows at a glance which NPCs are involved in the quest.

Escape Menu

I liked this, enough options there to justify its existence.

Still Missing

How I would like the Quest Journal to be

Quest Journal

I was dissapointed there were no journal improvements, not even the ability to keep the window on top and shrink it down to fit on the right, and nothing for the help window apart from it was wider.

Ideally I would like to see the quest journal follow the pattern set by current MMO’s namely World of Warcraft and Warhammer Online.

I would like a minimap to be the top right of the screen with the quest journal underneath it, the quest level would be displayed with the quest title and the objectives would be listed in bullet points underneath them.

Hovering over the quests would bring up a tooltip with the quest summary with the option of seeing more detailed information.

Others

I would like to see the buff icons get a new line for their tooltip with the effect description, as well as items receiving a tooltip makeover, still manually having to delve isn’t pleasant.

I would also like to see a timer bar for quitting the game, as well as casting. As well as a widescreen loading screen / character select screen.

Sadly there isn’t many sounds to this new experience comparing it to the old tutorial with lots of voices.

Conclusion

Overall, these are positive changes, and I enjoyed playing the game for the past few hours, the quest hubs flow very well, and the quests are pretty interesting.

There is hope, from the notes there is the following quote.

 During this maintenance we will be implementing the first version of Patch 1.110

There is more? I hope so.

Update (30/09/2011)

After 3 1/2 hours of playing this new patch doing purely the new quest hubs I still really like it, quests are fast and easy, they give great rewards. They are given to you in manageable amounts so you can do a quest pair and then take a break.

Some of these quests are pretty awesome, my favourite so far is one in the Spriggarn Village where you take the form of a Spriggarn in order to turn them from attacking Albion and attack Hibernia instead.

Further thoughts as I was playing this session was that every half hour or so I was getting disconnected, I’m not sure if this was my wireless, the fact I was on Pendragon or the issues that others are reporting from the game at the moment.

One feature I liked the idea of was that each area has an epic encounter, and these can’t really be done solo, this encourages grouping in order to reap the best reward.

The layout of the tooltips for styles / spells / abilities I think they take up a lot of room. They include lots of unneeded text, like the titles of sections. Target: Enemy, well… the description of the spell covers that. It can be optimised.

Escape needs to close delve windows in my opinion, I keep trying to do this.

The old tutorial had zoomed in maps when you moved to a different town i.e. from Caer Stamford to Holtham, at the moment the quest icons on the minimap get quite cluttered in towns, and I would like to see zoomed in maps for each of the new quest hubs.

The new quest hubs are a great way to get a complete set of armor and accessories, but left behind are the weapons. Your trainer has free weapons, but you aren’t directed there at all. Since trainers are added to each quest hub, these trainers should also be able to give you class weapons.

Update (03/10/2011)

JohnT from BioWare Mythic has posted on my thread letting me know that I missed the options for weapons.

I did want to touch on the above quote from your write-up though. Each questing area has 1 quest that gives you access to a weapon store where you can purchase weapons (for free) that are appropriate to your level and fit in perfectly with the armor and accessories you receive from the other quests.

The Spriggarn quest from Prydwen Keep that you mentioned in your write-up is one such quest.

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