EQ2U Reborn: A New Look-and-Feel for a New Expansion

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2 Data & EQ2U

eq2ureborn_welcome

A New Design

It is 21 months to the day since we launched our EQ2U Character, Item, and Guild armory site. In that time, a staggering 840,000 characters in 30,000 guilds have been looked up. We have over 8,500 registered users, and we’ve generated over 8.5 million forum signatures. In that time, Dethdlr and I have never forgotten how we got here, and why so many players call EQ2U their home for keeping track of their characters, researching upgrades, and learning lessons from others.

Believe it or not, when we launched EQ2U, the original style of the site was only ever intended as a placeholder, to be replaced within just a few months. Yet whenever time has come available to work on the site, Dethdlr and I have focused on adding new features and functionality rather than tweaking the look-and-feel. But in the past few months, the time finally came for us to get serious about a restyle.

After watching the misguided redesigns of Gmail and iOS 7, I gone out of my way to make sure that none of our changes impact usability or user experience. I wanted to stick with what works, while giving the entire site a unified theme that I could be proud of; a design that I could build upon with new data (Quests, Recipes, Collections, Treasure) as it becomes available.

Before I touched one single line of code, I went through several mockups of the pages I felt needed the most work. Once we had most of the redesign up and running, we launched a beta on October 7th and received some great feedback and bug reports. After concluding the beta process, we officially launched our new EQ2U site today with approximately 3 minutes of downtime, and we hope you like it!

Giving You More Options

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In addition to restyling nearly every page on the site, I was able to add some much-requested Settings for registered users. Both of them affect how characters are displayed on your Home page.

First up, you can now override the default color settings for Groups. Previously, the My Characters, Friends, and Home groups had predefined colors, and then all Custom groups had a 4th color. Now, we offer 8 custom colors which you can mix and match as desired. If you want another color option, please feel free to ask in the Comments!

Second, and something people have asked for since day one, the ability to change which data points are displayed about each character on the Home page. There are now 48 different stats you can choose to show in any of the 8 text fields shown for each character.

Item Search Results

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The page I most wanted to redo on EQ2U is our Item Search Results page. We’ve always just shown the item name and icon and nothing else. I wanted to show the item type and level at-a-glance, display the items in a 2-column setup, and also dramatically improve the Search Parameters box. I hope you’ll agree that we’ve done that.

Guild Details

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Players work hard to build up their Guilds, and so we wanted to have an extra special page that showcases guilds and their recruiting info.

Why Should You Register?

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While there is no obligation to Register an account on EQ2U, you may not be aware of functionality you’re missing by not doing so. First up, you can add your favorite characters, as well as those of friends, guildies, test characters, characters on different accounts, etc. Second, you can access your main characters from anywhere on the site from the My Characters dropdown menu. And third, when viewing any item, you can quickly mouseover and compare your characters’ equipped items in the same slot, as seen above.

The Future

Tomorrow, we we’ll be back with an article about EQ2U and Tears of Veeshan. At this point, we’re crossing our fingers that everything will be in place for us to support the expansion, especially the new Gems which can be used to upgrade items. On November 5th, 1955 2013, we took a snapshot of every character ever looked up on EQ2U, including your equipment as it looked on November 5th as well as Reforging information.

Why? Because with the expansion, the stats on some of your equipment will change, and more importantly, Reforging is being completely reset. You can head to EQ2U right now and go Back to the Future by clicking the “Pre-ToV” tab on your character details page.

Your Feedback

EQ2U would not exist without the players, and we value your feedback. Some of the best things we’ve added to the site were due to player requests. If you have any comments or feedback about the new style, or have a request for a new feature, please feel free to post a Comment, or contact us directly!

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Comments (12)

  • Barx

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    I have a pretty simple suggestion (well, suggestions maybe). Maybe it’s just me, but the plurality (and likely the majority) of the time I go to the EQ2U homepage I’m looking to search for an item, not a character. Could the item search tab be the first tab, rather than the third? More importantly, a significant portion of the time I want to look for items of a specific rarity when searching not by name, so could the Tier search field be added to the main page search as well, rather than just being on the advanced search page?

    A second suggestion related to item searching is to be able to give limit values for statistics. For example, search hats with STA > 500, or primaries with CC > 150. I’ve always found it odd that you can search for the presence of a stat type, but not use it to refine the search. Speaking as a raider, it’s hard to find good info on things these days; the item upgrade feature helps, but only works for simple higher values which may not always be the case (especially this expansion for jewelery, perhaps).

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Could the item search tab be the first tab, rather than the third?

      I will look at making this a Setting.

      could the Tier search field be added to the main page search as well, rather than just being on the advanced search page?

      Done.

      A second suggestion related to item searching is to be able to give limit values for statistics. For example, search hats with STA > 500, or primaries with CC > 150.

      I’ve been wanting to add this. I’ll say it’s on the list. ;)

      Reply

      • Barx Atthemoon

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        Excellent. Thanks again for the rapid response (and for continuing to work with SOE to get their feed working/expanding).

        Reply

  • Twisty

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    Many thanx and much love for your wonderful work, Feldon

    Since we’re on subject of improving search…

    - oldy, but oh-so-goody, in time for the xpac especially: ability to filter “Recently Discovered Items”. a simple new checkbox on the current Advanced-search page that says “Recently Discovered”. i only really care to see newly-disco’d fabled items, for example.

    - under Advanced-search page -> “Effect” field: if you could throw in another option in drop-down, called “Clicky”. I’d imagine its implementation would be same as current “Fear” option. You just need to parse the effect description for the word “Applies”. This would give you a list of all items that can be clicked to put whatever effect on you.
    ex:
    http://u.eq2wire.com/item/index/2895842902
    http://u.eq2wire.com/item/index/429146157

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      a simple new checkbox on the current Advanced-search page that says “Recently Discovered”

      Instead of a checkbox, I added a menu with 2, 5, 7, 14, 21, and 30 day options.

      - under Advanced-search page -> “Effect” field: if you could throw in another option in drop-down, called “Clicky”. I’d imagine its implementation would be same as current “Fear” option. You just need to parse the effect description for the word “Applies”.

      Done.

      Reply

  • Whilhelmina

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    Hey, I won’t use it (ok, I did reset my lists yesterday to show crafting level first with actual usele… hum.. adventuring class on the side) but it does look awesome. Congrats to both of you.
    Crossing fingers for the data feeds *still grumbles about the Hand of the Maker which never made it in the feed*

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      I submitted a huge list of crafted items which are missing, and I got word back that the code that was preventing these from being published has been fixed and that the fix will go through Today. We’ll see if the Hand of the Maker finally goes through!

      Reply

  • striinger

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    @Feldon
    To ensure everyone can filter “their way”, perhaps it’s time for twisters users to get “FilterBrix(tm)”? *lol*

    It’s a strange morning. :-)

    Reply

  • striinger

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    Twisters users?! Htf did autocorrect get that out of registered?

    registered … twisted? Hrmmm. Lol

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    I just figured you’d had a few pints!

    Reply

  • Avianna

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    Well Feldon I just wanted to pipe in here and say what a great new look it is, the colors, the style everything about it looks really great. thank you.

    Reply

  • Moriah

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    Just noticed multiple language descriptions showing up on the Character Achievement pages (Dungeon Maker, General and Tradeskills for sure). For example, in General Achievements, “Globetrotter” shows Inconnu, Unknown and Неизвестно; “Hall of Famer II” has Unbekannt and Unknown; and “Mercenary Mouth to Mouth” has “Be resurrected by a mercneary” in 5 languages. The Tradeskill Achievement “Craftkeeper Completionist” has 28 items in 4 languages, and every “#th Ranked Artisan” except the first has the description in 5 languages.

    I am not logged in, and it is happening on every character page I visit, if those details help.

    Reply

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