(See part 1 here.)
For part 2 of my feedback, I’ll be discussing the menus and navigability of the game.
Some parts of the menu navigation are great. I really like how easy it is to swap heroes, and the way that it’s done (with the portrait list for quick access and then the dynamic portrait on a click for more detail and coolness).
I also like the existence of the wallet, and the way it displays the resources in categories with their icon and a number, making it easy to identify them and see how many you have of them at a glance. Its location as a small icon in the top right and it being a dropdown menu rather than a separate screen makes it easily accessible from anywhere, which is extremely helpful. It’s also a nice size on the screen.
The existence of the gear set bonus menu is great. It looks nice and provides a lot of helpful information at a glance. The vertical tabs that show each category of gear are very useful. Equipment upgrade materials are dependent on which of the 3 categories a piece of gear is, so it’s nice to see what gear is in which category and compare what you have equipped in that category at a glance.
Gear and spells being separate tabs in the same menu makes it easy to switch back and forth between them quickly when making or modifying sets, which is nice.
The existence of loadouts and ability to edit the name of them is phenomenally helpful.
The ability to see story progress right on the hub and have a quick way to start the next battle is very nice.
I currently find the game rather hard to navigate overall, so I was very glad to hear in the July community update that all of the menus are being changed to improve this issue. The new hub, new “Battles” tab, and gear menu improvements sound like they will fix a lot of the major issues I have. There are a couple of additional issues I’d like to bring up, some of which the team are hopefully already addressing with this update and some that likely haven’t been considered yet.
Stages just feel not-so-great to navigate between. The snap-to-location menu is nice, as it makes navigation easy, but it also feels very restrictive. The map that exists in the game is really nice, and even has a trail between locations showing the route you take as you’re journeying. This provides an immersive feel. However, you actually can’t look at the map because you’re forced into menus that take up so much of the screen and can’t scroll around separately from them.
I seem to remember that at one time, you had a map that you swiped around on to get to stages. I really miss it. It made it feel more like a world that you were journeying through, rather than just a series of linear battles. Bringing this back would be a major improvement in the feel of navigation. Perhaps the menu could show up when you tap on a stage, with the arrows to go to each map location like how it is now, but then when you swipe, the menu disappears and you can move freely around the map. That would strike a nice balance between ease of navigation and the free exploration and feel of a world map.
For the Story, it only shows your stage progression. If there are multiple battles in a stage, or if the stage involves a conversation, it doesn’t show that you need to complete multiple things to complete that stage. After a fight, it just puts you back to the main hub with the story part number unchanged. This lack of feedback makes it feel like a bug when it does this, rather than something intended, and also makes it hard to track progress. The side quests have that nice progress bar showing conversations and battles. It would be a big improvement if each stage in a chapter could have one of those as well.
Also in regards to the story, it would be nice to have a confirmation button for the story battle menu in the main hub. I can’t count the number of times I’ve accidentally clicked on it when I haven’t meant to.
I mentioned before how nice the existence of the wallet is. One slightly annoying thing about it though is the need to scroll quite a long way down to check the items at the bottom. Perhaps the wallet could be the same size and have the same look as now, but have tabs for different categories. For example, the main tab could have all the resources currently displayed at the top of the wallet, keys, and marks, the second tab could have all the shards, the third tab could have evolution materials (scrolls, runes, and glyphs), the fourth tab could have follower crystals, and the fifth tab could have relics. That would make the wallet even easier to navigate and use.
I rather like how the gear menu is already, but hopefully the upcoming changes improve it even more. Here are some additional improvements that could be made.
On the gear set bonuses page, it would be nice if it had a number showing how many pieces of that set you have equipped (because sometimes you have an odd number of set items equipped, and there’s no way to see that currently, as it just tells you what sets are active).
When you tap a piece of gear, it gives flavor text about that item, which is cool but not helpful. It would be much more useful if it displayed what effect that piece of gear has.
Also, I like having the stats there, but they seem very large in comparison to the actual gear slots, which is what you’re going to be using and referencing most of the time. They also take up the right-hand side and force gear to be on the left. It’s a principle of good design to have the thing accessed the most to be on the right-hand side of the screen, as the majority of people are right-handed. The way things are set up now, most people have to reach across to the other side of the screen to access the gear. It would be nice if the stats section was smaller in exchange for the gear section being larger, and if the stats and gear sections were swapped so that the gear section can be on the right-hand side of the screen.
I think the minion menu could use a total rework, as right now it isn’t very easy to use. It doesn’t show very many minions at once, or show stats, making it hard to compare monsters. Each monster’s listing also has an ‘i’ icon which is useless, as it should give more information when tapped, but instead does nothing. I think the best route would be to make the minion list into rows of boxes with the minion’s picture instead. I made an example in Photoshop of what this could look like (note that I did forget to leave space the resting info but the box could be extended slightly and the info placed above or below the stats):
This would allow many more minions to fit on the screen and the information to be displayed in a better format. The boxes could either go horizontally across the upper part of the screen, leaving the extra information when tapped to appear in the lower part of the screen, or in a few columns on the right side of the screen, leaving the extra information to appear on the left side of the screen, where it is currently. Here’s an example of the latter way:
Hopefully something similar could be done, as it would be a big improvement.
The menu for the Followers is pretty good. There’s just one small but pretty annoying issue with it: the ‘collect all’ button is hidden when you tap on a character for more info. Seeing how many hours a character has until their generation hits full capacity requires tapping on that character to bring up the more detailed menu, but the ‘collect all’ button isn’t accessible from that menu. This necessitates a lot of extra taps to check things then collect all of them, negating the ease of use that the ‘collect all’ button is supposed to provide. This could be fixed by simply having a ‘collect all’ in the bar that appears at the top.
It would also be very nice to have a list of side quests and when each one is unlocked visible for each character, as it’s very hard to determine that information currently. Perhaps when the side quest is tapped on, instead of the character box on the left side of the screen staying the same, it could be replaced with the list of quests.
(continued in next post…)