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Archon Announces Massive Improvements After Community Disappointment Since Subcreation

Since Subcreation has been acquired by Archon, many players have offered their frustration about the new website. The developers of Archon have now given a lengthy post about their upcoming improvements and how they adapt to the communitie’s feedback.
Home » Dragonflight » Archon Announces Massive Improvements After Community Disappointment Since Subcreation

Archon Announces Massive Improvements After Community Disappointment Since Subcreation

Since Subcreation has been acquired by Archon, many players have offered their frustration about the new website. The developers of Archon have now given a lengthy post about their upcoming improvements and how they adapt to the communitie’s feedback.

Archon, made by the developers of Warcraftlogs, is a tool for players to track statistics about player’s choices regarding gear, talents and more. Since the acquisition of Subcreation, a website that delivered exactly that, in just a very convoluted but simple to find way, players have been frustrated by the design and the missing data that was not offered by Archon upon acquisition. 

The developers have now delivered upon players feedback, and posted a lengthy post on reddit about their changes. 

Upcoming Improvements to Archon

Hi all! We read a ton of discussions and received a lot of feedback after the Subcreation update, and we’re here to update on the progress we’ve made so far and the road forward for Archon.

It’s now been 2 months since the initial beta launch of Archon Meta Builds & Tier Lists, and when Alcaras reached out to us about Subcreation a few weeks after the release, we were happily surprised. He had been running out of time to maintain the project and would need to do a complete rewrite to keep it running. The platform Subcreation was running on was reaching end-of-life at the end of January so we had to work quickly to do as many improvements as we could before then.

Since Subcreation reached end-of-life and started pointing users over to Archon.gg, the level of response was overwhelming. While we worked hard with Alcaras to implement many of Subcreation’s algorithms and features into Archon, we came up short in many ways. That doesn’t sit well with us. So, over the past weeks, our team has worked hard to make the first round of improvements based on your impassioned feedback.

This post will try to summarize the main improvements and the road ahead. Thank you so much for all the constructive feedback, both through discussions on our Discord, tweets to us, and emails sent to [email protected] – Keep it coming!

 

Navigation Improvements

One point of feedback that we heard loud and clear was that users were finding it difficult to quickly get to the information they were looking for. Some users weren’t even aware that certain bits of data were available because they were hard to find.

The main improvement we made here is to make our category navigation “sticky” so that it stays with you as you scroll the page and you can always easily navigate to a different category. We also extended this navigation to include buttons that let you instantly jump to different sections on the same page. Short video to show what we mean below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgsvpv1kYWU

Similarly, we improved our top breadcrumb navigation as this is the other UI control that is always available to you. We added more of the page filters to this bar so that you can quickly swap between things like specs or Mythic+ vs Raid wherever you are on the page.

r/CompetitiveWoW - Breadcrumb navigation at the top of the page
Breadcrumb navigation at the top of the page

One thing we noticed while doing this work is that our thin purple loading bar that appears at the top of the page whenever you navigate is redundant a lot of the time. Its purpose is to give some feedback that “something is happening” on the rare occasions that a slow page is hit. However, Archon is designed and engineered to have near-instant navigation, so showing this bar every time makes the site feel clunkier than it is. We updated the behavior of this to only show on page loads that take longer than 300ms.

We’ve also been keeping an eye on our analytics. Previously the split between Mythic+ and Raid views was fairly even. Now, Mythic+ has taken a definite lead. We’ve decided to make Mythic+ the default content type everywhere, which results in 1 less click for most users.

r/CompetitiveWoW - Mythic+ as the new default
Mythic+ as the new default

And, speaking of Mythic+, one thing that certainly wasn’t clear was that our “Levels” filter lets you filter to a range of keystone levels, not just a single keystone level. We’ve updated the labels on this control to make this clearer:

– “20+” is now “+20 to +32”

– “26+” is now “+26 to +32”

r/CompetitiveWoW - Clearer labels on the range of keystone levels
Clearer labels on the range of keystone levels

Lastly, it seemed like some users were getting stuck on the default Overview build page. This page aims to serve as a quick overview of the most popular build for users who want to get in and out and back into the game. However, it can also give the impression that Archon doesn’t show all the alternative options. We’re hoping some of the other changes we’ve made will help to fix this, but we’ve also added links from the talent build to the alternative talents section and from the gear overview to the gear tables section to make this a little clearer.

r/CompetitiveWoW - Added 'View Alternative Builds' links
Added ‘View Alternative Builds’ links
r/CompetitiveWoW - Added 'View All Gear Options' link
Added ‘View All Gear Options’ link

Layout & UI Improvements

Another theme of feedback was that the layout itself could be tidied up more to make it easier to focus on the data. The first thing we did here was to remove the large “ARCHON” title at the top of the page. To keep the branding, we stylized the root breadcrumb on the navigation bar instead. Much more compact!

r/CompetitiveWoW - Smaller branding on the breadcrumb instead of the main layout
Smaller branding on the breadcrumb instead of the main layout

We also received feedback about wanting a more minimal UI. This is harder for us to build quickly, but, in the meantime, we have added a “Remove Descriptive Text” option at the bottom of the page. Your preference will persist so you don’t have to enable it every time you visit. This option simply removes most paragraphs of text from all pages, giving more space to the actual data. We’re still hoping to make further improvements in this area. Short video to show what we mean below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrbBEPvt0cY

We also re-arranged the Gear & Tier Set category so that the Gear Tables section is now at the top. Initially, this page was arranged in descending order of its information hierarchy (overview first, details last). However, it feels like clicking into this category is a signal that the user is looking to get more detailed, so we moved the “per slot” breakdowns to the top and the overview to the bottom.

Users also told us that the design itself can feel quite busy. One initial step we’ve taken to help this is to reduce the number of colors we use for our UI controls. We’ve removed the “green gradient” that tabs used and the “blue” that dropdowns/toggles used and started using a purple color (which already exists on the page as part of our logo and title).

r/CompetitiveWoW - More consistent color use
More consistent color use

Besides this, we’ve been making some minor tweaks here and there to do our best to improve the feel of the site. For example, we updated the breadcrumb menus to only open after hovering for 100ms to help prevent opening them by accident.

Data Improvements

One mistake we’d let happen is that our formula for high keys tier lists was off for very low sample sizes (i.e. at the start of a new reset). We were looking at the 75th percentile of Mythic+ score achieved for runs within the keystone range of +26 to +32. However, this can have a strange effect and was overly scoring less popular specs such as Holy Paladin and Preservation Evoker if they had a few high keys done. We’ve swapped this formula to now use the 95th percentile of Mythic+ score which has proven to be a much more reliable indicator of performance. Thanks for pointing this out!

r/CompetitiveWoW - Archon Improvements Based On Feedback

Something else that was pointed out was that our “Quick Stats” center tile was showing DPS/HPS when Mythic+ was selected, even though those metrics are quite meaningless when compared to score. We’ve fixed this to now correctly show the 95th percentile score that the spec achieves.

r/CompetitiveWoW - Archon Improvements Based On Feedback

Finally, we saw a perception that Archon was missing data as some gear tables would only show one item for a slot. This is because we were excluding items with less than 1% popularity to help avoid making misleading suggestions (and also to avoid including incorrect items from bugged logs). However, this had the unintended side-effect that, this late on in the season, some slots are simply dominated by their tier set piece and would show nothing else. We’ve since changed this threshold to 0.1% so that more options show up and to avoid this confusion.

r/CompetitiveWoW - Archon Improvements Based On Feedback

It’s worth noting that there’s a minor bug in gear tables for Mythic+ causing them to not add up to 100% even after this change – we’re currently investigating this.

 

What’s Next?

We’ve been doing our best to rapidly iterate on these changes, but there’s only so fast we can work! There were a lot of good suggestions, including features that were already on our list that we hadn’t gotten around to yet. The following are the major features that we’re committed to delivering next:

– Links to logs for every aspect of a build

– A crafted gear section

– An embellishments section

– More information about secondary stats, such as the average amount seen and the distribution

– Ensure data for the current Mythic+ reset is available sooner

 
But What About…?

If there are features that you think would work well on Archon, please let us know! As the makers of Warcraft Logs, we’re in the fortunate position of having access to all of the data with very few limits (only how long it takes to develop something)! Some of the current candidates for upcoming features are:

– Improvements to our alternative talent builds UI

– A breakdown of which compositions are popular

– Making more changes towards a minimal “compact mode”

– An easy way to see what talent tree changes are made per-boss or per-dungeon

– Being able to compare how builds or tier lists have changed over time

– Having item pages that let you see the popularity and metrics of that one item across all specs

– Showing damage/healing ability breakdowns or damage breakdowns by target for each spec

– Showing what openers people are using

– Separating specs into sub-specs where appropriate (for example, 2h vs dual-wield Frost DK)

– Importing a log or a SimC string to compare your current build with what’s popular

 
Thank You

The WoW community has been the foundation for Archon and Warcraft Logs for over 10 years now. We love what we do and we’ll always do our best to improve our products (we’re in the fun position of using all of them every day outside of work). Thank you for all the feedback – we’re looking forward to seeing just how good Archon can be!

 

We’re here to answer questions and the door is also always open for more feedback. You can also reach us by emailing [email protected] or by joining our Discord.

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