Saturday, May 15, 2010

GUIs: EVE vs. WoW

[This is a modified comment I made on Tobolds blog]

Comparing WoW and EVE, the two asymmetric cornerstones of MMO business today, we can come up with some ideas, I think.

Let's look at inventory. Both games have an inventory. In EVE you have three ways to make it look. These buttons, which change how the inventory is displayed, are located right next to the items. They take up unnecessary space and should be in some 'settings'. This would save some space and make it look less confusing to the new player.

Next, the name of the item is always displayed and you also have a tooltip, just like in WoW. This tooltip, however is just one line that contains the name of the item. Since the name of an item is already shown, I wonder what's the purpose?

Next, the icons are far apart. A lot of space is wasted this way. Actually, I think the icon itself is even bigger than the WoW icons, which makes you wonder ;)

A lot of items in EVE have cryptic names. For example:
"Small 'Vehemence' I Shockwave Charge". Don't know about you, but I do not instantly see that this is a smart bomb.

Therefore, I usually use the display setting that shows just text. But since long names in EVE are the norm, you end up needing a lot of space. Also due to the font that has a very, very small height and thus makes you set the spaces between the characters extra large.

My 'bag' in EVE ends up much bigger than in Wow.

Now, you could argue that that is because it contains more information. But all you actually get in EVE are name of the item and quantity. For anything else you need to right-click and 'show info'. If you display in text-only form, you also get the group the item belongs to (smart bombs) and the slot it fits into.

Let's have a look at WoW:
In contrast to EVE, there's just one way to make the inventory look: Icons. Just like in EVE, the quantity is shown. The icon is smaller than the EVE icon (if icon setting is used), and the space between icons is much smaller.

All the other information about the item is contained in a tooltip.

And here we go: The tooltip.
Tooltips are everywhere in WoW. EVERYWHERE! You want to know something about something: Hover your mouse over it.

One big difference between WoW and EVE GUI are tooltips! EVE has them, but doesn't use them wisely or at all. The tooltip you get if you hover over an item is just the name of the item. Useless. An information that is already shown - even in 'big item' display setting.

The original bag in WoW can contain 16 items. Try to display 16 items in EVE: Look at the space the entire inventory windows needs. No matter which of the three display settings you use: The EVE windows covers much more space on your screen.

And since they have bad tooltips there is even much less immediately accessible information!

The way EVE displays the inventory is worse in EVERY regard.

1 comment:

  1. Ses, I agree. But Eve is still the better, more mature, game of the two.