By now many players have gotten used to the way Guild Wars 2 handles combat, dynamic events, and other big ticket features. But through talking to some guildmates and other random players, I’ve been seeing an interesting pattern that really isn’t all that surprising; people don’t know everything about some of the game’s most useful menu and UI options. Being the ever helpful player I am, I want to do my best to inform people of these little gems whenever possible.
So without a further adieu, here’s a list of helpful UI tricks for those not in the know!
• Mini Map Options and Controls
The Mini Map is a rather helpful tool for many players in the game. It’s a quick and easy way to see what the immediate surrounding area has to offer in terms of terrain, NPCs, and gathering nodes. Though, not many know about some of the useful features that are available for the Mini Map.
1. In-Game Clock: By going into the General Options tab of the Options menu, you can see where to enable it under User Interface. This digital clock can be set for either your current Local Time, or the game’s Server Time. Once enabled, it will appear on the bottom left-hand corner of the Mini Map. This little extra tool can help players keep track of the time while they hack and slash through Tyria!
2. Drawing and Marking: While playing in a party, or even on your own, players have the ability to coordinate with their fellow party members via drawing and dropping a red ping on the Mini Map. To do so is actually pretty simple. All you have to do is hold down shift and right click on the map in order for a red ping to appear. Alternatively, if you hold down shift and hold and drag the right mouse button, you can draw on the Mini Map. With these simple trick coordinating in dungeons and WvW raids with party member on the fly can be simple!
3. Personal Waypoints: Personal Waypoints aren’t exactly what you may be thinking. They aren’t Waypoints people can make and use to teleport to anywhere on the map, but they do allow people to know where they’re going. They are persistent markers that players can set by holding down the left Alt button and right clicking on the Mini Map. These markers allow a way for players to mark a specific point on the map they wish to travel to, or a way to show their party a specific location they want the group to travel to.
What’s more interesting is that drawing on the Mini Map and setting Personal Waypoints is not by any means exclusive to the Mini Map; both of these features can be done on the World Map as well!
• Trading Post Filters and Options
The Black Lion Trading Company gives players access to the Gem Store, the Currency Exchange, and the Trading Post. Each allow players the ability of buying and selling items from ArenaNet or other players. Though many features are rather straightforward, some in the Trading Post can be easily missed.
1. Custom Offers: While this is something that players can easily figure out on their own, it can still be missed by speedy buyers. There is a way to set a buy price on an item you wish to purchase on the Trading Post, if you feel the price that players are selling it for is too steep. It is a small yellow link right next to the Place Order button found on the desired item’s purchase page. Though please keep in mind, when you set your own buy-price, that amount is immediately deducted from your funds — that way, if someone fulfills your order they are paid instantly and you won’t have to worry about not having the cash available.
2. My Transaction Filters: You can use a filter in the My Transactions tab to see what custom offers you have set and to see you purchase and vending history. The filters are in a drop down menu next to the tab’s title. These tabs are a useful tool to see if any custom offers you’ve made have been filled, and to keep track of your spending.
• Contact Features
Making friends in an MMO may seem a bit arbitrary when you have guilds that can help you keep track of others in-game, but they can indeed help in organizing your contacts, and even help you identify who some of these people even are! Heck, they can even help players find other players to group with.
1. Nicknames: Got a friend on the forums who goes by a different name in-game? Not too happy with your brother’s username being PWNLEETSKILLZ.1234? You can right-click on their names in your Contacts menu and select Set Nickname to change their username to your liking! This even changes the message that pops up when they sign in and out of the game! Please note that the system is still a bit buggy, and Nicknames can often be reset without warning.
2. Followers Tab: This tool is an interesting one. The Followers tab allows players to see who has added them to their own list of contacts, but hasn’t been added by the player him or herself. It’s an easy tool that players should look at every once in a while to see if they’ve neglected to add someone they do actually know.
3. LFG Tab: One of the more hidden gems the game has to offer, and one hardly anyone knows actually exists. Guild Wars 2 does indeed have a LFG system in place, it’s just been added to the Contacts menu. It works rather basic as well; all the player has to do is change their Player Status, which can be changed in the Contacts menu, to “Looking For Group,” and you’ll be added to the list with anyone else who does know about the system. The tab itself is just a means of seeing who in the area is also using this status.
• Mailing Tips
Mail in Guild Wars 2 might be the closest thing players have to person-to-person trading in this game, but it is also an excellent way of communicating with friends who aren’t always online at the same time as you. Even being a popular little tool, there are small little things that can go unnoticed by players.
1. NPC Mail: NPC mail doesn’t take up a storage space, only player mail. Meaning that you can have 20 messages from random Heart NPCs, but still have room for player mail. Remember though, the amount of mail you can receive from another player s still limited. That current limit is still set to 9 messages total.
2. Account-Based Mail: All player to player mail ail is account based, so you can send messages to any player’s character, and they can see it on another. This means that you won’t have to deal with remembering a person’s character’s name, as you can just send it to a character you do remember. Better still, you can send to mail to a player using their username.
3. Sending Mail: You can right click a character’s name to send them mail in almost every menu where you are shown a player’s character’s name, including chat. This mean that if you are speaking to a player, and you wish to send them something, you don’t need to write out their name in the Mail menu.
• Inventory Organization Tools
Inventory space is everything to an MMO player. Everything. Whether or not one thinks about it, your inventory window will be viewed quite possibly more than any other window during your time in a game. Whether it’s to double check what loot you got after killing a bunch of mobs, or making sure you’ve gotten the right consumables before you head into a dungeon, checking and organizing your loot is something we’ve all done quite often. Luckily for us, ArenaNet has added some nice features to Inventory organization that’ll help any sort of neat freak out.
1. Sending Collectibles to the Bank: In your Inventory window, there is a gear on the top right corner. Clicking on that gear gives the option of sending all collectibles straight to your bank. This includes Crafting Materials, Fine Crafting Materials, and Mini Pets. Also keep in mind that an Invisible Bag negates this, meaning that a collectible placed in one does not get sent to your bank if you use this feature. Helpful if you want to hold on to some gems for upgrading!
2. Crafting Storage: During the course of the game’s launch, Arena Net made it possible for you to craft at any appropriate station without having to withdraw crafting materials from the bank, thus saving you valuable bag space! However, all products you make will be placed in your bags; so keep that in mind!
In addition, you can access your bank contents at any crafting station and withdraw and deposit as usual!
3. Splitting Stacks: Holding down Alt while click and dragging a stack of items from one space to an empty one allows you to split a stack of items. By default it will split it 50% (rounded down) but you can change the number to your leisure on a small window that pops up in the process.
Special Thanks: To the members of TWIT guild for inspiring this article!
To the readers: These are only some of the interesting tidbits we’ve discovered while playing the game, though if you’ve found something else about the UI you want to share, feel free to leave a comment and tell us!
About the author: TriggerSad was introduced to Guild Wars through a close relative, and although he was very casual about playing it, he never could love another video game the same. His admiration to ArenaNet grew tenfold after discovering how passionate and open they were with their fans during the development of their second MMO Guild Wars 2.He’s even gone so far as to pursue a career in the video game industry because of this!