Tuesday, May 12, 2009

CC: Quest Tracking

Since I slept about 10 hours yesterday (boy was that needed) there was no post. Today however, I'm back with new energy!

Every Tuesday I will pick out one of the in game utilities that I will turn inside out, criticize and will even see how the Blizz developers could've done a better job. The Tuesday posts will from now on be baptized Constructive Criticism or CC. This first week I will talk about the in-game quest/achievement tracking.

CC: Constructive Criticism

One of my mods kept telling me that I should stop tracking quests before I could track any others, even though I was tracking no quests. It turned out to be Chinchilla, an addon that replaces my minimap, and apparently the Blizzard quest tracking didn’t enjoy my minimap being replaced.

And while I don’t care so much about quest tracking (monkey quest was doing just fine), I do like the achievement tracking every now and then…especially those built in timers are very handy when you’re trying to do the Blade’s Edge bombing achievement for example.

I would love to be able to play the game without mods, or at least as few as possible, so I disabled Chinchilla, disabled Monkey Quest, and figured I would give the in game tracker a serious try, maybe it had changed so much that I could keep the mods turned off.

I logged in and went to the interface menu to turn on all the funky options for quest tracking. The first mistake that is easily to make is that you can turn on a checkbox called 'Disable Mouseover' this means that you cannot use the options the quest tracking frame actually has to offer.

After this I figured I would do my normal questing round through the argent tournament dailies, while picking up some extras on the way. I started picking up quests and they started appearing on the right of my screen. By the time I was done picking up quests, I was tracking 10 quests of which 2 had quest items.

The quest tracking was now scrolling under my buttons, so I either had to stop tracking some quests, or I had to resize the window. I resized the window slightly, but to keep it readable I then had to make it wider.

Still the quest tracking was so big that it filled up most of my screen, and this was made worse by the fact that both quests with items were underneath each other and there was a huge gap in between those two. I sort of looked at it and frowned, not really pretty, but hey, getting errors that I couldn’t track anymore quests while I wasn’t tracking any wasn’t pretty either.

So I stuck with it for another while and set off to do my quests. I went to kill scourge and Valkyrie (the perfect combination since they count for both) and found out that while the progress was showing up in the middle of my screen, the quest tracker for this quest was at the bottom of the row, and hence disappeared off my screen. I couldn’t see my tracking at all. I completed this quest and went into my log to turn off tracking for the quests that were finished (already annoyed that it didn’t stop tracking completed quests automatically), and cleared up some space.

Next I did the wood-chopping, and I have to say, I really, really like not having to look through my bags for the quest item. So I was neatly chopping away, and remember thinking that it would be nice if the quest that I was actually working on would slide to the top of the tracker. I finished this quest and clicked on it to open up my log. Nothing happened. Turns out you have to click the title of the quest to make your log open, clicking anywhere else just doesn’t work.

Maybe I’m just too spoiled by monkey quest, but I was in the area of Dalaran now, and flew back there to turn on my monkey quest.

The negatives:
  • It’s just too big. On my screen it took up about a 5th of my screen. I have a 24” and still have enough screen space to look around it; if you have a 5th of a 17” taken away you don’t see the game anymore.
  • Extra gaps created every time a quest has a quest item.
  • No priority on tracking. The quests seem to be tracked in the order that you pick them up, instead of the one you working on being on top.
The wannahaves:
  • I would like an option that automatically takes completed quests off my tracking.
  • A command to bind to a key to collapse the entire quest tracking would be brilliant. That way it’s out of the way when I run into a pvp flagged hordie, or when I go raiding, and I don’t have to go through my entire log to turn on or off tracking one by one.
  • It would be lovely to have my quest turn-in points appear on my map. I often forget where so and so NPC is again, and can’t even count the times I had to look it up in wowhead or so where to turn in my quest again.
The positives:
  • The fact that they stick the quest item straight next to the quest does make it so that you don’t have to go through your bags to find the item back.
  • The extra tooltips they have introduced are nice, though sometimes a little too much information is given and it would’ve sufficed to just show which quest the mobs belonged to.
  • I like that I can open the log from the tracking, but it should really be opened from anywhere I click, not only from the title.
How about you? Do you have any tips to Blizzard on how to improve their quest/achievement tracking?

1 comment:

  1. I really like the updated Fubar QuestFU. It shows who gave the quest, what you need to do, likely locations of quest targets, and finally who to turn the quest in to.
    Blizzard's quest tracking is ok, and the clickable icon for quest items is a big improvement, but it still isn't as good as Questfu.