That doh moment (MMO UI edition)

The archetypal doh moment for me, specifically relating to MMORPG user interfaces, was from World of Warcraft. It was around the Cataclysm time I think, we’d been playing for years at that point and either my husband or I complained on voice chat with friends about the bag system. The complaint went along the lines that we were having to, yet again, empty a bag so we could then replace it with a new, larger one. The incredulous response was – just drag the new bag onto the old one and it gets replaced with all the contents still inside! Such a simple tip, one that we’ve never encountered in game, and that meant we had spent years juggling items into and out of bags each time any of our many alts got a bag upgrade.

Empty one of these bags item by item was needlessly painful …

A similar Doh moment occured only last week when I was playing Everquest 2. I was cursing my luck for having received yet more potions from an Overseer mission. I have a very large bag in my shared bank overflowing with the things, plus both characters have a small stock in their bags as well. There seems to be two variants of almost all of them with different prefixes (Shadowveil, Shadowpiercer) and several with very similar names. So I have been dutifully hovering over said bag to check if I already have some of a given type. Then in the open bag mousing over the potions of the right colour to find where to stack the newly acquired one. I did contemplate doing a bubble sort on the bag to put them into an alphabetical order, but I don’t have the inclination for that level of inventory micromanagement. I did also start looking at auto-sort options but that seemed to be inventory wide and rather complex (or should I see feature-rich?), so I carried on with the manual sorting. And then I was struck, at random, with the idea of dropping the item on the bag icon in my character’s bank or sheet. Low and behold it stacked the item for me if there were already some in the bag. I was dumbstruck for several moments at how obvious a thing that was, and at wondering why I never have tried that in any MMO that I play.

Drop potion on bag in bank

One of the reasons I so enjoy reading other people’s blogs, especially the gameplay diary style posts, is this very revelatory experience. There have been many moments where I’ve learned something about a game from someone else’s casual mention of one action or another aspect of their activities.

Do you have any particular ‘doh!’ moments from a MMORPG that stand out in your memory?

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2 Responses to That doh moment (MMO UI edition)

  1. Asmiroth says:

    Ultima Online taught me that you need to test every assumption, in private. Things like holding onto a MASSIVE amount of mined ore and drag/dropping it back home. Or in EQ just dropping items on the ground for twinks. I’ve beta tested enough games to build a habit of trying to break everything at least once – so I tend to find these things through normal gameplay I guess.

    Nowdays, I just search for a concept online if I cant get it to work myself after a couple tries. Most times the solutions are straightforward enough, or solved through a UI mod. Sometimes the devs try to do something clever and it just is more complex than it needs to be.

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