December 17, 2005

ESO2's Poor Design

Skizzler gives some good points about the poor ESO2 design on his website. I thought I'd give a few gripes also about what I think is stupid.

Filter Password. Who actually uses it?

I mean, does anyone actually look to filter games with passwords? Of all those games, there will only be one game you'll be able to join. Besides, why would a Host need to give you a password to search and join his game using a filter when he could just send an invite? Get some useful filters, like ping, full games, City Levels, etc.

My biggest gripe comes in the form of Custom Games. Do they really need to have Viewable Stats? I mean, it is useful when you host a "2vs2 Experts Only" game and some fella with a 12% win ratio joins and immediately ready's up. You know you can immediately boot him. However, when people see your win ratio at 89%, they pretty much want to be on your team, or leave. It makes for a long wait, especially when a lot of people online can't seem to read, or understand the differences between words like:
  1. Be Good
  2. No Noob
  3. TvB
  4. Experts Only
  5. 50% or higher

Viewable Stats. It doesn't help anybody wanting to get a game going.

What they should have done was add another option for Hosting a game. It would be similar to "City Levels", where if you chose to put "Levels 0-5", no one but those with Home City Levels between 0-5 could join. The added function would be called, "Win/Loss Ratio", so only people with a Win/Loss Ratio you specify could join.
  1. W/L Ratio 0% - 25%.
  2. W/L Ratio 25% - 50%.
  3. W/L Ratio 50% - 70%.
  4. W/L Ratio 60% - 80%.
  5. W/L Ratio 70% - 90%.
  6. W/L Ratio 80% - 100%.
If they had a rating system, they could use a rating level instead... but oh well.

Hosting Options. A lot of time is wasted sorting out players who join your game. Adding a few more functional options can prevent that for those looking for a good, fair game.

Remember the good old days when all you needed was just one more player to join your game? Well, the same shit happens. Someone eventually joins, then leaves (probably because they want a game with their friend, but I'll get to that later), or some noob you don't want in your game keeps joining even though you keep booting him. The worst part is, there was a way around this in pretty much all RTS games. If you host a 6-player game, you make your game allow 8-players. That way, when someone wants to get in, they can... and that noob doesn't prevent him from doing so. Not only that, if 8 players join your game, you can boot the two that are either too good or too bad. Problem solved. Except... if you do this in ESO2, like in the picture below... if there's no one in slot 2, and you change it from 6-players to 4-players, you end up BOOTING slot 5 and slot 6! WHAT THE FUCK!

Expanded Slots. Changing from a higher player slot to a lower one shouldn't boot anyone. Any Open slots should also be able to be Closed, and the game should be allowed to start.

Another thing that gets to me is that you can't invite a friend to join a game if you're not the Host. If the Host doesn't want you or your friend in the game, then he can just boot your ass. Don't they know long it takes to join a 2vs2 game with a friend the way it's set up? They should enable any player to invite another player to a custom game, not just the Host.

Inviting Options. Does the Host have to do everything? Allow players to invite their own friends to a custom game, so the Host doesn't have to. As a Host, it's annoying to have to ask the name of the person you need to invite, add them to your Friend's list, Invite them, then Remove them from your Friend's list.

There's about 3000 players online. Do you know how many are playing Team Quick Search games? Neither do I. I have tried 2vs2 Quick Search games many, many times since release... do you know how many 2vs2 Quick Search games I've actually played? Zero. All they have to do to solve this is let people know how many people are searching for a 2vs2, 3vs3, or 4vs4 Quick Search game. They can also have an update that gives data to the people online that is helpful:
There are currently 6 players waiting for a 2vs2 Quick Search game. In the last 5 minutes, 26 2vs2 Quick Search games have started.
You see how that information helps? That means I know people are getting matched up in 2vs2 Quick Search games. There are also 6 players waiting, meaning they must have different HC levels that restrict each other from matching.
Team Quick Search. Nothing about Team Quick Search is quick. We don't know if anyone else is, or has been trying, so why should we?

Well, that's it. There's actually tons more I can point out, but if they want my further opinion, they should pay me. Oh, well, there is one last thing... Coming out of a game, I usually right-click on each of my online friends and click"Whisper" to see if they messaged me while I was in-game.
  1. There should be notification's that I received messages while in-game when I'm back in the lobby.
  2. There should be an indication on the "Friend's List" (like a yellow circle, instead of green) whether a friend is playing in a game.
Okay, that's enough. I'll let Skizzler do the rest, he seems to know what's up.


Blogger Tascan said...

I'm really disappointed by the design of ESO2. Expected a whole lot more.

If you just take the filter options, for example. I mean, of all options I can imagine public/private games is the least useful. You can discern private games easily anyway, and there are never that many of them that you will be unable to find your normal public games. Settings that would be way more useful would be supremacy/DM, player numbers, and HC level.

Also, it is really really annoying that you see no clan tags in the quick game-info in the lobby or in the staging room.

Most annoying though is being unable to see whether someone is currently playing or waiting in lobby, as you already pointed out.

Good observations, both from you and skizzler.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Tascan said...

Oh, another thing I found particularly amusing is that there is a "refresh clan" button in the clan tab, but no way to refresh the game browser. Talk about usefulness. ^^

3:24 PM  
Blogger Beertender said...

To put it simple the design is just fucked up...

1:53 AM  
Blogger vAN- said...

I just checked out ESO2 for the first time and I was baffled. Good god it's no Bnet. Anyway how do you play a ladder game? Or are all games considered ladder games? I played a three minute game where my opponent quit out, but I didn't get a win. Is that intended functionality?

12:02 PM  

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