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Any hope for fixing rotation clunkiness and UI QoL fixes?

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First time I've posted here in a long time, maybe ever, but some of the new updates that GW2 has been seeing has me tentatively optimistic. I think one of the big sins of development so far has been developing features, then dropping and leaving them unsupported, ultimately wasting development time (Dungeons, Raids, and up until recently, Fracs and WvW).

The fact that fractals are seeing development again, that WvW is getting revisited, and that builds are getting looked at - all of that makes me hopeful that we'll see some QoL fixes in other aspects of the game. While the current state of the game doesn't particularly bother me, it does bother my friends - they're much less casual than I am. I asked them why they weren't eager to play GW2 instead of other MMO's. I've collated their feedback and I'll present it here for the developers. I'm also curious whether players who follow the game more closely than me think it's likely they'll be addressed.

There were a few gripes, like the amount of content which was "zergable," and performance issues. But a big one was how unoptimized DPS rotations were, coupled with big issues with the UI. Here are some quotes.


Guild Wars' rotations feel like afterthoughts. They're things that the players math out after the spec has been out for a month, and when the specs were designed, they never had more than cursory math into them.
I can only really speak generally about the various states that Mesmer has been in over the years, I dunno what it's like now, but for example;
At one point in time, one of the best DPS specs available to mesmer involved spawning a ton of phantasms and keeping them up as long as possible. On its own, that wasn't so bad. It's a bit clunky because pushing certain buttons on your other weapon always had higher priority than finishing with your cooldowns on your current weapon, and there's no good way to track that, but manageable.
Where it got bad is that this playstyle feels beyond awful to play in the open world. Nothing lives long enough for you to ramp your damage up, and because your DPS is backloaded, you're hamstrung for the purposes of 95% of the content in the game, which means you need a completely different build for open world stuff (which necessitates different gear).
My current build when I do play my Mesmer is the inverse. Poor sustained DPS, but tons of frontloaded burst, because world content rarely requires you kill more than a dozen tightly packed mobs, unless you're intent on soloing elites or something.

So, having builds with completely different rotations, and different gear (nbd to me but it bothered one particular friend), and the inability to track CD's on weapons not being held - those were all problems. Coupled with this were some complaints about the general flow of rotations. Having to wait 10 seconds to swap weapons to use the ability which actually matters isn't fun, and it interrupts the flow of things.


Often times weapons are like [Utility] [Damage] for an offhand.
But the utility isn't useful, and you'd never want to use it in PvE.
Except that the damage portion of it is massively overtuned.
So it outcompetes an offhand that would feel much better to use.

So basically, in order to get maximum DPS, they feel forced to engage with the game in a way that isn't fun, exchanging fun and flavorful offhands for offhands that had a single ability which provides higher DPS. And in a context like raiding and especially in PVP, if you want to win, you have to do your best - even if best practices feel clunky and unenjoyable. If utility of offhands were buffed in a PVE context, or if their damage was lowered - if they were flattened out somehow - there wouldn't be this incentive to weapon swap and interrupt your rotation. It would feel much less clunky and feel like a more fluid experience.

The last big complaint, and this was a huge complaint, was related to buffs, synergies, and the UI.


Everything to do with synergies and buffs feels very unpleasant because you're fighting the UI.
After having gotten used to weakauras and WoW's adjustable UI, even just needing to stare at the bottom of my screen to track cooldowns is an immense usability problem, and general chore.
Whereas in WoW, I move the bars that contain the information I need, to the middle of the screen, so I don't want to die while playing.
In WoW, a M+ build and a World build will play fairly similarly, just with varying amounts of utility and some priority changes in terms of rotation.

Something else that was mentioned verbally is how the icons for different buffs, debuffs, and other stuff are all color coded and sort of samey looking. From an artistic perspective, that's pretty cool. But from a UI perspective, that's not super usable. When you're doing PVP, you need to quickly identify buffs and debuffs. Making them too similar makes it harder to make those split second decisions which make a difference. Giving us the option to move buff/debuff bars to where we're comfortable looking would be great, or at least providing a centralized HUD option.


While I understand that the game design philosophy of GW2 exists in no small part to try and prevent elitism, by obfuscating DPS outputs and preventing the use of addons (the latter I mostly agree with - I'd love an RP addon), I think that making it easier to optimize builds, giving players the ability to adjust their UI to their needs, and giving more consideration to the fluidity of rotations, these would all actually make GW2 more accessible. These changes would make it easier to capture new players because the systems are less arcane and clunky, and more streamlined and intuitive, and it would make skills developed in other MMO's transfer better (making the transition less painful).

I'd really like to play with my friends, but I just can't persuade them to play with rotations and the UI as it is now. I hope this post puts these issues on the radar of the devs. I'm also curious if anybody else has had friends drop the game over these problems, or even finds these things to be problems. Given how many systems are being revisited, are you optimistic that we'll see any improvemnts in these areas? Please let me know below.

Full disclosure: I'm an FPS kiddie. I don't really care for tab targeting games, and I don't have much of an opinion about them. I'm indifferent. I play them because my friends do. GW2 is nice because it's very casual, and I've never felt like I'm wasting my time on content that will be outdated or unusable. I love GW2's economy and crafting design and its approach to evergreeen content. I just wish that my friends liked the core gameplay.

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