This is the forth in a series about things I would like to see in warlords when it comes out. You can see the previous parts here. Part 1 - Non raiding gearing options. Part 2 - Intelligent zone design. Part 3 - Profession updates.
What WoD Needs. Part 4 - Customization
Some people might put this high on their list of things they would like to see done while others might consider it a waste of development time and resources just like I consider the redesign of the old world for cataclysm a complete and total waste. This will, without a doubt, be something that could be a hot topic depending on how you feel about controlling what goes around in game.
First off you will notice that blizzard has a long track record of taking some great add on tools and adding them to the game. If something works, might as well add it. At least for many things that has been the approach of blizzard. While there are some mods they are adamant against adding such as something like deadly boss mods most things they would at least entertain the idea of adding to the game.
So with that in mind what type of in game customization would I like to see added as a part of the game and no longer require an add on, kind of like how quest finder used to be and is now in game. And, not to be forgotten, what customization would I like to see that is not offered by an add on or in game as it stands. Lets start there, fresh changes to customization I would really love to see.
I would love to see a way to adjust spell effects and their visuals. Perhaps a slide bar for how "visual" they are from ultra to standard to reduced to off and options for friendly offensive spell effects, friendly healing spell effects, friendly defensive spell effects, enemy offensive spell effects, enemy healing spell effects, enemy defensive spell effects, neutral offensive spell effects, neutral healing spell effects, neutral defensive spell effects. Things like that. The list could be broken down even better if need be, and need would be.
One of the main reasons I hate playing as a melee DPS is because all I see are flashes of light and graphics all over the place and sometimes the only way I can tell that the mob has moved is because I can no longer hit my abilities and need to chase after it and sometimes even at that I can not see it. Many times I had my back turned to it and didn't even notice for a second because I could not see what the hell was going on.
There are just to many visual effects going on there that I just see a giant mess of lights and graphics. All that and I keep my camera out a fair deal even as melee so it all melds together into one massive spell effect which can be anywhere from mildly distracting to amazingly annoying to completely unplayable.
Even when trying to do it with my camera closer, as I have tried, it does not help that there are just too many graphics there. I've tried playing with graphics at low setting trying to see if that made much of a difference only to say it doesn't. No wonder when healing I always find that melee need more healing than ranged. It is because they can not see the "bad" because there are a million and one flashing lights going on they might not even notice they are taking damage unless they are looking at their own health bar.
Some sort of customization for spell effects is needed. They keep adding more exciting visuals for spells to try to make them unique and interesting that is has become one giant mess. While there are some, maybe even many, players that have no issues what so ever with this collection of flashing lights and graphics, I for one would like to see a way to tone them down, or even remove the ones that mean nothing to me.
Now to name plates. I use an add on for my plates called tidy plates. I've been using it so long I forgot what the game looks like without them but as I recall, unless something changed that I do not know about, there is one set of name plates and it is boring and not very informative.
I would like to see options added in game for name plates and how they display and what is displayed on them. But that is not all. I want to see a few things I have not even seen in an add on when it comes to name plates. I want it so when you click on a plate it targets that target. Maybe I am doing something wrong but if I click on a plate I get something standing behind the plate, not what the plate is representing. One more thing about plates. I want to be able to position the plates where I want them. I would put them at the feet of the mobs, not at the head of the mobs. Putting them at the feet of the mobs just seems so much more user friendly, for me at least.
Now lets get to UI customization and something many of us do at some level or another. I use bartender personally. But the game needs something similar as default, we should not need an add on for it. We should have the ability to move anything anywhere we want and adjust how it displays and its size.
I have different templates for my hunters, my death knights, my priests, etc. Each class has its own set up with bartender. Some with centered bars. Some with right and left bars but nothing in the middle, like my healers where I keep the healing add on in the middle. Some, like my hunter, have a million bars, some like my rogue, have very few. But each and every one of them is designed to be comfortable for me to play with.
Why hasn't some UI customization been added do the game already? It seems as if it would be a simple conclusion that something like that is required of games of this type now. We should be able to move anything anywhere we want and choose how we interact with it.
Now to something already in game that would just need some updating. The in game raid frames are a nice little set up for healing. What? You never used it to heal? Well I have and it is not so bad, or should I say it would not be so bad if they added some customization to it.
I use all mouse over macros for everything when healing. Sure, I have a healing add on but having everything as a mouse over is just good game play and there is no reason you should not employ good game play tactics at any given point. One time I DCed on the pull, came right back in and found my healing add on was gone. I grabbed the in game raid frames and dragged it over to be in a more comfortable place and healed the entire fight with my mouse overs and the in game raid frames.
So why not just make those in game raid frames have more options such as a click on option where you can choose what spell is cast when you right click on it, left click on it, middle click on it, shift right click on it, oh, you get the idea. And please give it more sizing options because between me, you and the blog here, those in game raid frames are freaking huge and it would be nice to be able to make them smaller.
It would not be too much of a stretch to give those raid frames a little more use, and I would like to see them do that. Even if it was only a simple one click thing only. As in if you left click on someone it will cast a revive on them. When DPSing or tanking on my monk I do not have my healing add on up so I do not have a one click revive. So instead of clicking on the person than hitting my revive I could just click on the frame and revive. Or how about hunters, they can just click on the frame and misdirect or masters call. Or maybe a mage so they can one click take care of curses. Or so many others doing so many other little things, even if it is just something you can only assign one spell to.
They can do a lot more with the raid frames already in game so I would like to see them do something, anything, with them in warlords. Just to move further into a step in the right direction. Oh, and again, a sizing option would be really really really nice.
Now, last but not least, for now, another big dream of something I would love to see added. And if anyone knows of an add on that does that please tell me because I don't know of one.
A UI save option to save the set up for your character and where their abilities are. So say on my hunter I choose to "save" my set up and I call it Hunter-Survival and then go create a new hunter I can choose the hunter survival set up that will change my UI to the exact same set up I have and put all the abilities in the same exact place I have them with all the binds for the same things I have them for. If it is a new hunter then it would add the new abilities, as I get them of course, to their appropriate places with their appropriate binds.
More so, I want this for the fact I have different set ups and key binds for PvP and PvE. So say I have a set up for Hunter-Beast Mastery-PvE and Hunter-Beast Mastery-PvP and I want to pop into a battle ground I can just switch my UI set up and it will switch to my PvP set up with all my skills and abilities in the place where I have them for PvP with all the key binds I have set up for PvP. Lets face it, there are a fair deal of abilities a hunter has that I do not even consider binding in PvE that I have bound for PvP. I just hate switching back and forth.
And then there is the good old third spec, the one you are current not using. Say I want to play around with MM for PvP for a while and see what it is like now. I need to make a whole new set up with new key binds for it. With something like that I would just go to the choice of Hunter-Marksman-PvP and tada I am all ready to move into the battle ground 3 seconds later instead of an hour later after I dropped a spec, picked up a new one, and then set up the bars and binds the way I like them.
I would love if WoD would give us the ability to save set ups, and not just by spec and purpose. So if I wanted to have a second set up on my bear for kiting only I could switch to the UI set up I labeled Druid-Guardian-Kiting and then when we move to the next fight I could go back to my basic Druid-Guardian set up.
Oh yeah, I would really love this. It just seems like it would be a huge quality of life update for people like myself that have many characters and do many things that I change my bars and binds for. It would save me lots of time and as I often say, I am not a huge fan of wasting time.
I think warlords could use with a few quality of life updates to the customization of our game play and I would like to see that.