One of the things I love about Guild Wars 2 is there is never a shortage of things for me to work on. Whether it’s crafting Legendary gear, finishing collections for skins, exploration, or working on map completion there’s never a shortage of things to do. However, this is also the biggest issue I have in GW2… I have so many projects I’m working on I sometimes forget what I’m working on! Some of this is my issue because I can’t just focus on one project at a time, but some of this is an issue with how the UI in GW2 works.
The collections system is a good system for easily seeing many of the things I could be working on. It also works to help keep track of how far I have progressed in each task. Except I often have trouble remembering where each collection I’m interested in is located. The Legendary Weapons, Backpacks, Armor, Trinkets, and Black Lion Collections are all straight forward and obvious in what you can find there. The problem comes when you start looking at the Basic and Rare Collections.
The delineation between what’s basic and what is rare seems almost random and nonsensical at first glance. For example, I would have thought the Luminescent Armor collections would be in the rare category because there’s a lot of things which need to be done (rather than just looting items) to unlock them which should, in theory, make them rarer for players to have. However, they are listed in the Basic Collections. The Rare Regalia collection, which says “unlock all 18 crafted rare armor skins in your wardrobe”, is also in the Basic Collections. It’s just needlessly confusing and makes the whole system less usable. The fact which further complicates all of this is each section has a lot of different collections, and since there’s no search function, you have to scroll through everything to find one thing you want.
Once you do find what you want to track there is a handy track button which will add the collection to a list in the upper right hand of the screen. This list even shows the percent complete, what tier of completion you are on, and when clicked on will open the collection so you can view more information about what needs to be done. This is fantastic. However, to prevent there being a massive list of tracked things on the right side of the screen, there is a limit of six collections (or achievements). Clicking the more bar opens the menu which will show every collection or achievement tracked. As systems go this is mostly a good system, and my only issue with it is the need to find the collection in the first place to add it, which as I mentioned previously can be a real pain.
Lastly, there’s also the issue of things which you work on over some time and for which there is no collection. I recently was working on the Howler collections because I always wanted it but have terrible luck getting precursors outside of the collections. For the longest time, I thought I had stalled out on it during the third collection. It was only a few weeks ago where I figured I’d logon and see what I still needed to do when I discovered I had finished the third collection and needed to work on collecting everything for the actual Legendary. But there’s no collection for the last step. So, I forgot.
Now, I’m not saying there needs to be a collection for everything, one of the best things about GW2 is the thrill of discovery is still intact. There are still things to discover, and you can’t just look at a menu to see everything you haven’t done. It does, however, create an issue for me because I am not good at focusing on one thing at a time. With all of this in mind, I came up with a solution which works for me. I made a notebook where I write down my GW2 projects and everything I need to complete them. I’ve always loved notebooks, and I use them for everything. This system also has the bonus of I can sit down and thumb through my projects and decide what I want to work on before I login.
For me, this was an elegant, if time-consuming, solution to my issue and I recognize it isn’t for everyone. It did, however, get me wondering how everyone else keeps track of their projects in GW2. So please leave a comment telling me about what you’re working on in GW2 and how you keep track of what you’re doing.