[Suggestion] Make player mail more personalized. Optional postcard system. — Guild Wars 2 Forums

[Suggestion] Make player mail more personalized. Optional postcard system.

JustTrogdor.7892JustTrogdor.7892 Member ✭✭✭✭
edited August 19, 2019 in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

This is just an idea I have been thinking about so I thought I would throw it out there. While the mail system is handy for communicating with others, sending items and such, I feel it is kind of bland the way it is presented currently. I think a more personalized option would improve the mail system.

My idea is for Anet to implement a system that would add some flavor to player to player mails. What I think would be interesting would be an optional postcard system of sorts. I'm going to present two separate versions. The first is more complex and probably not very likely due to that but I think it would be the neatest way to implement it. The second version is less complex and would still allow a more personal touch to be added to player mail. I'll present the two ideas with benefits and potential problems I can think of.

Version 1: The more complex version, a postcard with a player selected screenshot ("selfie").

This would allow players to take a screenshot in game that is "printed" on a postcard with a personalized message. When the recipient opens the mail a postcard will appear on screen with the message and any items and coin attached (like normal mail). I created an example and included it below. The benefit is this allows the sender to make the mail sent more personal and visually interesting. Adding images to the postcard from the player's travels and adventures would be fun in my opinion.

However, I imagine this would be difficult for Anet to implement as they would have to design a system that would allow the player to take a selfie within specific dimensions. It would probably have to be a rather complex UI that allows the player to preview the selfie, crop, and reposition the image within the defined space. Additionally to avoid players adding thousands of screenshot "selfie" images to Anet servers there would have to be a limit or maybe even only one at a time where the image is overwritten should the player want to change it. This limit could be problematic as to what happens to the custom image in mails sent prior to changing it. I imagine it would have to change as well to again avoid Anet storing countless custom mail images on their server. Players may not find this limitation favorable.

Example of a postcard as it would appear on the screen:

Anet could sell a "selfie stick" for players to include custom in game screenshots on their postcard. Note only in game screenshots directly uploaded from within the game could be added to the postcard and no images uploaded from the player's computer. This would avoid players adding images that are against TOS.

Version 2: Premade postcards created by Anet.

In this version the postcard works as above as in it displays on the screen when the mail is opened but images would be limited to what Anet provides. With this the player could select from a group of postcards they have obtained. This would be like a skin for your mail. They would appear similar to the example above but with an image created by Anet instead of a player screenshot. The benefit of this version is that players could still add flavor to the mails they send but there would be no need for a more complex "selfie" system. So for example Anet could sell themed sets of postcards the player could choose from when sending mail. There could be seasonal sets, sets based on living story, etc. There could even be postcards you earn that pay tribute to certain achievements. As for problems, as with version 1, Anet would have to make changes to the mail UI for this to work and I don't know if that is possible.

Additionally with both versions there would probably have to be a stricter character limit for text in the postcard mails. This is due to the image(s) taking more space. In this case there would need to be an option to send a normal mail, as is currently in game, or the postcard mail limited to less characters. Again this would make the necessary changes to the mail UI more complex.

Conclusion:

In a game where customization and imagery is so significant I find the current mail system rather bland and impersonal. I would like to see this changed to something more interesting and fun for the players. I feel some version of the above suggestion would be a benefit to players and Anet. Of course it could be monetized like mount skins, outfits, etc.

Pros: More colorful and and customizable appearance of mail as selected by the player. Something Anet could monetize.
Cons: Work from Anet to alter the mail UI to accommodate the postcard system. This could be a significant amount of effort and may not even be possible with the current structure of the existing game code. A potential more significant limit to the amount of text players could include when sending the postcard version of a mail.

Lastly, I am aware that Anet has a lot of more important things to work on than what in game mail looks like. I don't even know if many players send enough mail to be interested in a more customizable appearance of the mail they send. But in my opinion it is a fun concept that some day could be added to the game if possible.

Note: To the best of my knowledge there is no actual player with the display name of Every GW2 Player.1234 Also no quaggans were harmed while making the postcard stamp. :)

Comments

  • What a great idea! :+1:

  • Looks fun. I'd spend some gems and coin for postage if this were available.


    On the face of it, adding optional customization to the display of email seems like an easy win. It's mostly "just" changing style sheets and limited artwork. It's even less intrusive than mail carriers.

    On the other hand, UI has never been one of ANet's strengths. The game has fun mail carriers and finishers and yet there's no warning that three emails in a minute is considered spam... not until you're suppressed. And they have trouble manage a system that tracks 10 player emails, so don't know that the system can handle "weightier" mail. In other words, I'm not optimistic.

    (I'd call those "obstacles," rather than cons.)

    Hype is the path to the dark side. Hype leads to unfulfilled expectations. Disappointment leads to anger. Anger leads to disgust. Disgust leads to "oh, new shinies! I'm back!"

  • Jevati.4328Jevati.4328 Member ✭✭✭

    This is so cool. I like the second one just because I like the idea of collecting themed sets of postcards, and also because it would limit abuse of the system. (As a person who plays a lot of sPvP, my first thought was, "Oh, now someone is going to take a screenshot of wasting someone else in PvP and mail it to them to harass them.")

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I like this idea. :)

    I'm not sure the 'selfie' UI would need to be all that complicated either. It could just put a square on the screen to show what will be included and then it's up to the player to use the existing camera controls to make sure what they want is included in that square, rather than taking a screenshot and then cropping and resizing it. When I'm taking screenshots I generally find it easier to do things that way than using a photo editing program to cut out the stuff I didn't want. (Especially now it's possible to go into first person to entirely hide your character if you want to.)

    Although I like the idea of pre-made postcards too, because then it could use concept art as well as screenshots.

    Danielle Aurorel - Desolation EU. Mini Collector.

    "Vengence is her art, oaths and victories taken, Soulkeeper's Vigil remains unshaken!"

  • Illconceived Was Na.9781Illconceived Was Na.9781 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 19, 2019

    @Danikat.8537 said:
    Although I like the idea of pre-made postcards too, because then it could use concept art as well as screenshots.

    that would be very cool for a lot of people

    Hype is the path to the dark side. Hype leads to unfulfilled expectations. Disappointment leads to anger. Anger leads to disgust. Disgust leads to "oh, new shinies! I'm back!"

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 19, 2019

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:

    @Danikat.8537 said:
    Although I like the idea of pre-made postcards too, because then it could use concept art as well as screenshots.

    that would be very cool for a lot of people
    (Not me personally; I'm not that big a fan of concept art as a thing in and of itself -- I just notice that a ton of posters are super enthusiastic about any|all concept art, and they seem like the sort of people that would pay gems for it.)

    That would be me, I have an entire screenshot folder for concept art/loading screens. Some I like because they're pretty, some because they give me an insight into how an idea developed. But in this case I just thought it could be a cool alternative to screenshots if you just want a nice or thematically appropriate picture to send your friend.

    Danielle Aurorel - Desolation EU. Mini Collector.

    "Vengence is her art, oaths and victories taken, Soulkeeper's Vigil remains unshaken!"

  • Trise.2865Trise.2865 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I don't use mail enough for this to be worth it to me, but it's a cool idea.

    If we want ANet to step up their game, then we must step up ours.

  • Aaralyna.3104Aaralyna.3104 Member ✭✭✭

    This has gotta be one of the best idea's I have seen last year. Especially if you can choose which image to use (from screenshot library or so). This would make mailing so much more personal (think of birthdays, guild celebrations where you could put in a nice image of a screenshot with all members in guild, etc). Only con for community pictures would be the fact it could be abused if you upload images from a file on your pc as I guess you can put any jpg in those files even if they have nothing to do with the game.

  • JustTrogdor.7892JustTrogdor.7892 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 20, 2019

    Thanks to those that have posted feedback so far. I won't pretend that I know anything about coding a game but perhaps the issues I stated as a con as far as the UI should be seen as a challenge or obstacle instead. :)

    As for the "selfie" version the first thing I did when I spent more time on the idea was to think about how it could be abused and how to avoid that. As I don't play much PvP I didn't consider it being used to rub salt in a wound. That would not really bother me if someone sent a postcard like that to me but perhaps if the concern is significant enough the selfie feature could be disabled in competitive game modes. Of course that would limit the full range of the idea since I think people that play PvP and WvW would still like to use the feature.

    The other area of possible abuse I discussed a bit in my OP. It would have to be set up so players could not upload images from their computer to add to their postcard. Instead the image would have to be taken in game and saved in game without going back and forth between the game client, Anet's servers and the player's computer. I also considered the possibility of someone making a naughty design with guild hall decorations and trying to use that on their postcard. I'm not sure how to avoid that but could be minimized to some degree by limiting the selfie camera option. For example it would be a true selfie facing the character and of course any players that wanted to join in as the only field of view. These safeguards probably make the idea even more complex to design but again I don't know anything about programing such things.

    I didn't think about people that wanted to make a group photo for their postcard. I suppose in that case there would have to be an option between landscape and portrait style postcards. Again I think this adds some complexity to creating something like that.

    Overall I find the premade version more viable and think it would still be fun to use. But I have seen Anet do some pretty cool things so maybe the full scope of my suggestion isn't impossible for them to do. Of course that certainly depends on if Anet thinks the idea is good and also worth the time and resources to create something like that. Hopefully they at least see the suggestion and give some version of it consideration. :)

    Again I appreciate the feedback and thoughts on the idea.

  • Raknar.4735Raknar.4735 Member ✭✭✭

    I actually love this idea

  • Nice idea. 👍🏻

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    ANet might give it to you.

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  • Etria.3642Etria.3642 Member ✭✭✭✭

    For once I agree with everyone else. This is a cool idea. What a neat way to send news of a guild event, instead of just a line in news. Or friends who aren't in guild. Very nifty.

  • Rasimir.6239Rasimir.6239 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Oh, that postcard idea has the collector in me all excited. Besides gemstore-bought motives, you could attach them to achievements and collections, motives from different vista around the world that you unlock by watching that vista, from meta events unlockable by doing those events ... ok, ok, I admit that's a ton of development needed for fluff, but for once it would be something I'd really love to get into :) .

  • hugo.4705hugo.4705 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I approve, nice idea ;D

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  • JustTrogdor.7892JustTrogdor.7892 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 20, 2019

    Thanks again for those that have provided feedback and support for the suggestion.

    While thinking a bit more on the topic I thought of another way the postcard system could benefit Anet. When they send mails to players to announce something Anet could have their own unique postcard that would appear on the screen. I think this would draw even more attention to the topic they are trying to get people to notice. Imagine a postcard appears on screen when opening the mail announcing a new event or something similar with cool artwork dedicated to that. I think that would grab more attention than what we see now.

    So we could have postcards we can choose from with artwork or even a selfie (if possible) and Anet having their own to use to make mail more personalized and interesting.

    Example of an Anet postcard to promote things and bring attention to new stuff :)

    Disclaimer: In the above example "JustTrogdor.7892 is amazing" was included by me for fun and is in no way a statement on behalf of ArenaNet or ArenaNet staff members.

  • Luthan.5236Luthan.5236 Member ✭✭✭

    Sure why not. If they can make money with it. (Which serves to keep the game alive - also for people that are not paying that much and are happy when others pay a lot instead.) I bet it would cost not a too cheap amount of gems for which people could buy this feature or unlock things in it.

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