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Combat UI Lack of Clarity: Specter Shroud, Harbinger Shroud, and Aura Icons

Za Shaloc.3908

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Not really sure where to post this topic so I'll just put it in the Professions subforum since it has to do with them.


One of the most important aspects of a healthy competitive gamemode is visual clarity. Guild Wars 2 has quite a bit of visual clutter, and unfortunately that issue is also present in the UI. There are 3 issues that I have specially with the combat UI that I would like to see looked into.


2 of the issues are essentially shared: Specter and Harbinger Shroud "Healthbars". Neither of these specs follow the pattern of Core Necro and Reaper. For Harbinger Shroud, the bar set up is misleading as Shroud does not actually protect health but is still prioritized on the UI while in shroud, giving a false illusion that the Necro is safer than it actually is and that it has a second healthbar to fall back onto.

For Specter Shroud it is even worse as both bars are red., making it difficult to distinguish one from the other. The UI should be a source of 100% reliable and clear information in order to properly inform the player of what is occurring, but this is not the case for either of these issues. I would honestly hope this is a bug but as far as I know, there has been no mention of it by any devs. 


The other point I want to talk about is aura icons. Some time ago, aura icons were homogenized to the default "buff" blue icon for what I assume to be the purpose of consistency. At the same time, the auras themselves were changed back to being much more noticeable on the player. Unfortunately, in large-scale combat, it can be incredibly hard to decipher which aura(s) a player has, and if you can't immediately tell, you can't make the split-second decision-making that allows for good and intentional gameplay. This is compounded by the fact that auras can stack and become even more difficult to differentiate, not to mention being sharable. 

As a couple examples, it is important to know exactly when to stop shooting projectiles at an enemy with magnetic aura up (or conversely when it is okay), or when to stow a melee attack against an enemy with shocking aura up (or conversely when to resume). The current icons do not help this as they lack the immediate distinction of having unique color palettes; while they are technically all different icons, their differences are much more subtle. I don't see this brought up much but for someone who really cares about their gameplay and split-second decision-making, this sort of thing is really important to me. The icons don't necessarily need to be reverted, but at the very least I would like the option to use the old ones. With Catalyst having a heavy uptime on auras just like Tempest, I'm hoping this can be looked into.


@Fire Attunement.9835 hope you don't mind me tagging you here to pass along word. 

Edited by Za Shaloc.3908
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