There are a quite a few pitfalls that can exist in any genre of gaming. Many times these problems overlap. There is however one area of gaming that seems to suffer the most from poor design, lack of planning and sometimes just terrible development choices in general. Multiplayer and online gaming is a tricky beast. While folks are more than willing to spend their hard earned money on well designed titles, it stings pretty badly when you find that the experience you’ve been promised and the one you got were completely different.
It takes years of design, redesign and balance to get online gaming right and sometimes even after all of that there are still problems that arise; problems that can easily make or break a game. While much of this is trial and error that has been discovered throughout the years, there are some choices that are downright sinful to implement and support.
There are plenty of online shooters and MMO’s that do this right, and why wouldn’t there be? There are plenty of instances out there where the user-interface has been done wonderfully. That’s what makes this sin all the more inexcusable though. It’s understandable why it might happen.
A developer wants to try something different and if they can’t streamline their design, they may keep the screen fairly free of clutter. Sometimes this can go horribly wrong though. At a look at The Secret World, for instance. Its UI is confusing and feels bloated. While it is explained in the game, it does leave a bit to be desired. The organization and display of information in this interface is woefully lacking and can become confusing, especially for new players.