Content of the article: "Our Buff-Status HUD needs serious work"
While playing with Traveler's Chosen and a Charges of Light build, it became apparent just how much work is needed to streamline the buff tracking part of our HUD. Right now, it seems like it can show around 4 active buffs (name of the perk, stacks/time remaining, etc), but the amount of new mechanics has exploded to possibly be up to 10 or so to keep track of, just while solo.
I was running bottom tree gunslinger with traveler's chosen, the Surprise Attack armor mod that buffs sidearm shots based on consumed orbs of light, and mechaneer's tricksleeves. Overall, nothing extremely insane going on considering I'm a solo player just running around planets doing public events. These were just some of the buffs, all competing for space on my screen:
- Gathering Light x10 (from Travelers chosen)
- Charged with light x4 (from my charges of light mods)
- Charged Magazine x20 (from Surprise Attack charges of light mod)
- Practice Makes Perfect x5 (from bottom tree gunslinger crits)
- Knock Them Down 0:20 (from bottom gunslinger crit kills)
- Sheltered by the void: 0:15 (from the Protective Light mod)
- Ammo Finder (from my shotgun ammo finder mods)
- Tricksleeves (swapping to TC when low on health)
- Barrier rounds (on my auto rifle I swap to)
this is JUST from my own build. then add enemy-based statuses like burning, tethered, suppressed, many many raid mechanics, etc
and then ally buffs: weapons of light, empowered (from warlock melee), healing/empowering rift/rally barricade, tempered metal, heart of the pack, etc.
and the thing is, nearly ALL of these are worth keeping track of. of course I need to know how many stacks my gun has from traveler's chosen and charges of light. of course I need to know my subclass buffs. I definitely need to know when my exotic armor has activated since it's such a specific situation. I also need to know when I'm being supported by my team and how and for how long, and I definitely need raid mechanics.
I think the best course of action would be to take cue from other lootershooters and line the buffs based on icons along the bottom of the screen. make each icon distinguishable to know what it is, using colors and shapes to help guide players to know the source of them (weapon, exotic, subclass, ally support, raid mechanics, etc), similar to how charges of light mods are color coded if they create, use, or change how the charges work.
the bottom of the screen has significantly more real estate than the left of the screen, especially if using symbols with stacks/countdown rather than entire perk names. While unpopular to say, I think games like the Borderlands series do it fantastically and think that could definitely be looked at for inspiration
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