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View Full Version : Dear Ubisoft: Please kill uPlay



Jhikar
01-04-2017, 08:16 AM
I despise it and it's always in my way. It doesn't even have a good interface. Any attempt to use it feels like I'm missing important buttons or features. But it's worst sin is that anything that ends up being purchased with a uPlay key, doesn't play well with Steam, if at all.

Steam won. You're too late, and frankly, I'm only tolerant of Steam because of the advantage of not maintaining a physical library. It also has the advantage of allowing me to sort, organize, and launch my games from one place. I don't need more meta-launch platforms. It does not improve my user experience at all. It's a negative value add. You should be paying me money every time I launch it as reparations.

The only reason I have uPlay at all is because it's still stuck underneath my Steam purchase Ubisoft games. But even there, it's a bloody nuisance. Getting games to launch on the correct monitor (I have other headaches from running multiple displays with differing resolutions so I can play games on a 4k TV) with Steam was already a nuisance, but with uPlay underneath, it's occasionally a nightmare.

But even if everything went smoothly: I don't want your platform. It's not convenient. It adds nothing. If anything, it takes away. These meta overlays somehow manage to anger me before I can even get into the game. I've lost track of the times I sat down, eager to play an Ubi game I already own, but then that uPlay pops up and suddenly, I don't want to play anymore. I just want to punch some people in the face for making uPlay in the first place. It's a very visceral reaction. To be honest, I feel the same way about Office 365.

It's strange, because now that we have people who have years of education in interface design making these things, somehow, everything is getting worse all the time. UI peaked around the mid to late 2000's, and now it's like everyone is scalping their UI designers from the team that keeps mangling facebook's privacy settings.

But I digress. Even if uPlay was as appealing as LISP (it falls far far short in every dimension) it's still not something I need or want or have any use for. I play games offline, solo. The games I play are even clearly intended for solo offline play, like most every NES game ever. I'm not getting more functionality, I'm just getting garbage, spying, and new vulnerabilities.

Just, stop! Rethink what you're doing, and start fighting for the user.

Ubi-Kay
01-04-2017, 06:24 PM
H Jhikar and thanks for your feedback, though I'm not entirely sure what you dislike and why you feel this way.

What do you dislike about the interface? Since the redesign in September 2015 (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1262762-Uplay-PC-%E2%80%93-September-Update-(New-UI-and-QoL-Improvements)), the interface is a lot more slick and streamlined and we've seen many users share their approval of the UI. Not only that, but we've been very receptive to feedback, making changes when players share their ideas for improvement. If you feel like the UI or features could be improved somehow, don't hesitate to let us know! :)

You say Steam won as if Uplay was competing with Steam, this was never our intention as shown by Ubisoft games appearing on Steam. We exist along side and recent updates have further streamlined the process of launching a Steam owned game, with Uplay remaining invisible if you so choose. You can now also import your Steam friends into your Uplay friends list.

The idea of having one centralized platform to launch and control every game is certainly a novel idea but not something I and many others would agree with and to be honest a bit late in the day to be requesting with Battle.Net, Origin, GoG Galaxy, Itch.io, Uplay, Steam, Epic Games Launcher, Windows Store, Bethesda Launcher, if you are hoping for a more centralized experience you may be more at home on a games console with the system controlled by the platform holder as more and more seem to be doing their own thing on PC. Either way, couldn't the same thing be achieved by simply creating desktop shortcuts and throwing them in a folder?

While it's true that you cannot set Uplay PC to launch a game on a specific monitor, for our most recent titles this is handled by the game options menu. While this may seem like a hassle to do for every game, it means that you can set it up for specific games. I personally play Watch_Dogs 2 on my TV with a controller, but wouldn't consider doing the same for Rainbow Six Siege, if I had to change an option in Uplay PC every time I switched from one game to the other that would be a hassle. Not sure how you have it set up but I simply use Steam Big Picture mode and set the "Target Monitor" to my TV when I want to play a Steam game from the couch.

As I said previously, we hope to keep launching a game through Uplay, whether owned on Steam or Uplay as streamlined as possible but provide features in Uplay PC to feel beneficial and rewarding if you want to partake.

Jhikar
01-05-2017, 07:24 AM
H Jhikar and thanks for your feedback, though I'm not entirely sure what you dislike and why you feel this way.What do you dislike about the interface? Since the redesign in September 2015 (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1262762-Uplay-PC-–-September-Update-(New-UI-and-QoL-Improvements)), the interface is a lot more slick and streamlined and we've seen many users share their approval of the UI. Not only that, but we've been very receptive to feedback, making changes when players share their ideas for improvement. If you feel like the UI or features could be improved somehow, don't hesitate to let us know! :)

First, there is very little useful information on the games I have. As an example, with Steam I can immediately go from selecting a game to seeing it's store page, or to a community forum dedicated to that particular title. From the main library page there is no indication as to which games are installed and which need downloading. Nor is it easy to tell at a glance what DLC (if any) is owned or installed. While looking at a game's details from the drop down menu will allow me to see what is installed and give me a link if for some reason I want to go looking for more, getting to that page takes me away from my library. It's a very inefficient means to inspect my library.

I have over 300 software titles in my steam library and have no trouble managing them. Between the the simple clickable text list and the ability to create my own categories and even assign multiple categories to the same title, I've been able to maintain a neatly cross referenced list of my games sorted into their various genres and interest level. I have games indexed as favorites, worth studying, and even a category for unredeemable garbage. While uPlay has a list mode, it appears to fail to be either alphabetical or chronological judging by the placement of AC: Unity before Rogue, and Liberation before Unity. Otherwise, I give a "meh" to "The Crew" coming after "Far Cry", as alphabetical order on title with "The" in them seems to be something only public libraries consistently get right.

I don't have even a tenth of that number of title on uPlay, and yet I find it becoming cumbersome to find the titles I want to play. I also find it incredibly annoying that three or four of those titles are acquired by linking from Steam, but all the others, primarily purchased via the current Humble Bundle, have thus far resisted all efffort to cross-load them into Steam--not that I'm thrilled by having uPlay running in the background of my Steam titles. I can spare the RAM; it's the interfering side effects (I'll get to them later) and the complete lack of any desirable feature.

Another feature sorely lacking is any sort of "couch mode". Ironically, the interface of Steam's "Big Picture" mode loses some of the cleanness, I've just lauded--there are plenty of things about the way this is handled that I'm not thrilled by--but the convenience of being able to browse, launch, and play titles on my TV from my couch using my controller soothes over a lot of dumb and the ugly--right up until some additional software layer like uPlay surfaces to kick the wheels off my bus.

You know that feeling you have when you've just gotten settled at the end of a long day, you're comfy and ready to spend an evening enjoying some gaming, and just at the moment when you start to feel good because the work of the day is done, something comes up and you have to get off your butt to do something? You know that reflexive annoyance? Well, uPlay has done that to me over an over.

Some of it I can see pinning on Microsoft. Windows really doesn't handle what I want to do well, even though what I want to do doesn't seem like much. It doesn't hold multi-monitor settings well when on of those monitors gets used between multiple sources. While it ostensibly supports multiple UI scaling so that you can have a usable desktop across monitors of different resolutions, that breaks a lot. Consequently, I have considerably less patience when other things interfere, and that patience is further lessened when the interference is from a piece of software I don't even want, and would never use if I didn't have to because it offers me nothing I want, and because of that, by extension, when that software does anything visible, it's an intrusion, and therefore irritating.


You say Steam won as if Uplay was competing with Steam, this was never our intention as shown by Ubisoft games appearing on Steam. We exist along side and recent updates have further streamlined the process of launching a Steam owned game, with Uplay remaining invisible if you so choose. You can now also import your Steam friends into your Uplay friends list.

I've had uPlay end up screwing up my launches from Steam. Fortunately not recently, but it's happened, and every time it comes up, I remember. I have negative interest in the "social" aspects of any of these platforms. Adding that detritus detracts from my experience.


The idea of having one centralized platform to launch and control every game is certainly a novel idea but not something I and many others would agree with and to be honest a bit late in the day to be requesting with Battle.Net, Origin, GoG Galaxy, Itch.io, Uplay, Steam, Epic Games Launcher, Windows Store, Bethesda Launcher, if you are hoping for a more centralized experience you may be more at home on a games console with the system controlled by the platform holder as more and more seem to be doing their own thing on PC. Either way, couldn't the same thing be achieved by simply creating desktop shortcuts and throwing them in a folder?

It's not novel. It's been around awhile. Valve proved it could work. Unfortunately, success always breeds imitation, even when it is unwarranted--though I am not unsympathetic to monopolistic concerns, I prefer that to be resolved by option, not by mandate. Presently, it can only be loosely treated as by option, and at least Ubisoft has had the decency to continue to allow your games to be purchased on Steam, but what I find irksome, is that you have chosen to make adding it as a non-Steam game difficult when not impossible.

I have games in my Steam library that weren't purchased via Steam, but that I was able to sideload by using my CD key from the game. Ubisoft has software keys, but they are not compatible. The only games that sideload are those where the launch executable is clearly findable and labeled--I can even launch Minecraft from Steam, but thus far I can't add any of the new titles I've just acquired, nevermind they're close relationship with some of the other Ubisoft titles I have in my Steam library.

Yes, desktop shortcuts in a folder would work, but it wouldn't offer me the same utility--and it's considerably more work on my part, to recover utility I already have elsewhere but am now denied because I'm forced to use uPlay.

For the record: I don't use Battle.Net; Origin; GoG Galaxy (I DL via direct link and sideload into Steam); Itch.io (don't even know what it is, nor do I care to); Epic Games Launcher; Windows Store (and I detest that I cannot expunge it from Windows 10 almost as much as I detest the downgrade from W7 but that's a rant for elsewhere); and this is the first I've even heard of Bethesda taking that next step to the Darkside--I will never buy another Bethesda game again, so thanks for the heads up. The only thing on that list is uPlay, and I'm only using that under protest.

I've been playing PC games since the Atari 800 (it ran VisiCalc), and from there to an Apple IIe and so on and so forth gradually migrating to Windows as Apple became more and more odious--so please, stuff that "buy a Playstation" argument into an oubliette where it belongs. Thank you. Consoles have their place, but I prefer having better hardware and maximizing control over my machine. That has long been a part of the PC gaming ideology. I consider these sorts of meta layers to largely be at least as much an invasive weed from console and mobile platforms as they are an imitation of Steam. The proof is in the interface. The uPlay interface is very very consolesque, to it's detriment.

This may seem a contradiction given my earlier mention of satisfaction with "Big Picture" mode, but keep in mind it isn't the interface I'm most pleased with there, but the functionality: the ability to use my controller to navigate and play games at high end PC quality on my TV. It should be simple. There's no reason for it to mutate into a headache. So every time it does and that headache comes from something I never wanted in the first place standing between me and what I did want, my reaction is not congenial.

The most consistent blockade to my gaming joy in this regard, has been uPlay. It's by no means the only offender (believe me, I've got nearly as big a bucket of grief for Rockstar's Social Club--again, an interfering platform to do things I don't want to do that have nothing to do with the game I expected to receive) but thus far it has been the most consistently infuriating piece of the puzzle beyond the occasional fight with Windows, so you get the bulk of my remaining ire.

Basically, if uPlay were not, I wouldn't have half the frustrations I run into. While most of my other games have played well with my setup, correctly following my Steam settings for launching, because uPlay is it's own separate layer that actually launches the title, most of the time, it launches to the wrong screen first, and then I have reload it.Can you understand why this might be agitating?

While it's true that you cannot set Uplay PC to launch a game on a specific monitor, for our most recent titles this is handled by the game options menu. While this may seem like a hassle to do for every game, it means that you can set it up for specific games. I personally play Watch_Dogs 2 on my TV with a controller, but wouldn't consider doing the same for Rainbow Six Siege, if I had to change an option in Uplay PC every time I switched from one game to the other that would be a hassle. Not sure how you have it set up but I simply use Steam Big Picture mode and set the "Target Monitor" to my TV when I want to play a Steam game from the couch.As I said previously, we hope to keep launching a game through Uplay, whether owned on Steam or Uplay as streamlined as possible but provide features in Uplay PC to feel beneficial and rewarding if you want to partake.
Discussed above--but yeah, that's more or less what I'm trying to do. What I'm saying is, the functionality you are describing is the functionality I desire but am not consistently getting. Blame is distributed across multiple vectors (Even Big Picture sometimes requires retraining--and of course labels both "Generic PnP", and the only consistency about which is which is that the first one I choose when trying to get it to load to the right monitor again is never the correct monitor: 100% repro, mentioned for completeness so you can better understand why I'm agitated--I've got another missive to put together for Valve to write in the near future), but if uPlay didn't exist, I'd have one less layer of intermittent problems--and again, it's less than redundant to me, so it's a stone in my shoe.

Jhikar
01-05-2017, 07:41 AM
Different issue, not sure where it should go, but I just spent a few minutes editting the above because the forum ate my whitespace lines and made the above two large blocks of dense text. Figured someone might want to know.

Victori91
01-05-2017, 01:13 PM
H Jhikar and thanks for your feedback, though I'm not entirely sure what you dislike and why you feel this way.

What do you dislike about the interface? Since the redesign in September 2015 (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1262762-Uplay-PC-%E2%80%93-September-Update-(New-UI-and-QoL-Improvements)), the interface is a lot more slick and streamlined and we've seen many users share their approval of the UI. Not only that, but we've been very receptive to feedback, making changes when players share their ideas for improvement. If you feel like the UI or features could be improved somehow, don't hesitate to let us know! :)

You say Steam won as if Uplay was competing with Steam, this was never our intention as shown by Ubisoft games appearing on Steam. We exist along side and recent updates have further streamlined the process of launching a Steam owned game, with Uplay remaining invisible if you so choose. You can now also import your Steam friends into your Uplay friends list.

The idea of having one centralized platform to launch and control every game is certainly a novel idea but not something I and many others would agree with and to be honest a bit late in the day to be requesting with Battle.Net, Origin, GoG Galaxy, Itch.io, Uplay, Steam, Epic Games Launcher, Windows Store, Bethesda Launcher, if you are hoping for a more centralized experience you may be more at home on a games console with the system controlled by the platform holder as more and more seem to be doing their own thing on PC. Either way, couldn't the same thing be achieved by simply creating desktop shortcuts and throwing them in a folder?

While it's true that you cannot set Uplay PC to launch a game on a specific monitor, for our most recent titles this is handled by the game options menu. While this may seem like a hassle to do for every game, it means that you can set it up for specific games. I personally play Watch_Dogs 2 on my TV with a controller, but wouldn't consider doing the same for Rainbow Six Siege, if I had to change an option in Uplay PC every time I switched from one game to the other that would be a hassle. Not sure how you have it set up but I simply use Steam Big Picture mode and set the "Target Monitor" to my TV when I want to play a Steam game from the couch.

As I said previously, we hope to keep launching a game through Uplay, whether owned on Steam or Uplay as streamlined as possible but provide features in Uplay PC to feel beneficial and rewarding if you want to partake.


I understand the frustration of having another platform installed in order to play a game BUT Jhikar you forget it is Ubisoft's right to do that as I invite you to play to World of Warcraft or any blizzard game without their platform. My point is this, their UI is fine, more than fine, I personally like it. However what i dont like is the fact that the CORE has a problem. E.g. - People like me who order games for the first time on Uplay and dont receive them, that ruins the ENTIRE experience of Uplay for me. I remember the good old days of just going to my local game store and picking up a Prince of Persia game or Rayman game. :rolleyes: Those were the days. I couldnt wait to get home and play them, I had this feeling for Rayman 2. Fun times. Now in my case, I had to go through Uni and get a job and work hard, after years of not buying games, I saw the offer by Ubisoft, I have never played the Assassins Creed series so you can imagine how lucky I felt, here is the offer of a lifetime, ALL the AC games in one bundle.Nevertheless it turned slowly into a nightmare. Now i have been reading peoples posts for the problem, the 2-factor seems to be one of the greatest problems for Uplay, I cant imagin why since I had no problem with mine, it took me barely two minutes. :confused: Nevertheless I give Ubisoft credit where it's due, it has released some amazing games e.g. Child of Light (a one of a kind game), however If they release a platform, at least have it performing well and at least implement a Backup and Restore feature, yes Steam was the first to do it but so what, it's such a handy feature, it just compresses and decompresses data, nothing more.

Ubi-Kay
01-05-2017, 08:20 PM
Thank you Jhikar, this insightful post is exactly what I was hoping for. I can tell you that Uplay PC isn’t going anywhere, so posts describing why users dislike it are really helpful for future planning. I’ve took out some of the major points of your post with a few comments.

Store page – Most of the bigger games now also include a shop tab showing all available and owned DLC, with non-owned DLC often displayed on the specific Game Overview page, clicking which will take you to a specific store page showing all available content. (Note, if you are launching Uplay from a Steam game you will not see this or the Shop tab at the top of the page, nor will you see this for Steam games)

Community Forum – Embedded forums in the client have been requested previously and would be a very beneficial addition to the feature list I agree. It’s currently on the roadmap for a future addition, but for now we simply link here from the Game Support section.

View DLC – It only takes one click (on the game tile) to see what DLC you have for that title, the only difference with this and Steam (which you still need one click on the game title) is that with Steam you can still see the rest of your library. I made a quick mock up below of what I believe you would like to see. Some might argue that this looks a bit cluttered but thanks for the suggestion.


http://static3.cdn.ubi.com/orbit/uplaynews/others/forum/client.jpg

Library Management – Currently the only way to organize your library is by marking some as favourites and viewing them in the “Favourites” and “Installed” tab. Maybe this could be looked at when game libraries start to get a bit larger, but for the moment this seems to be enough for most users.

Steam Big Picture Mode – Uplay does not have native couch mode but it should not interfere with Steam BPM, after launching a title from Steam, Uplay should log in automatically with the linked account and start up your game. Even non-Steam games can be added and launched this way by pointing to the .exe file and setting the game to launch on a different monitor in the options menu. I’ve recently set it up for Watch_Dogs 2 and had no issues whatsoever with either Uplay or Steam working together.

Itch.io is a place for indie developers to upload and sell their creations or offer it for free. If you have an interest in indie games it’s worth checking out as a lot of the content is not available on Steam. Bethesda Launcher I believe is only used for Fallout Shelter and the Creation Kits right now, not their AAA titles.

I must say that I disagree that the Uplay UI feels similar to a console and it is not a common point I’ve seen with any regularity. Yes it’s focused on being simple and streamlined, but I wouldn’t attribute that to being consolesque, just good, user friendly design.

Ubi-Kay
01-05-2017, 08:26 PM
Thanks Victori91 and sorry to hear you experienced a problem with the Ubisoft Store, I see you have already created a ticket. The team will be in touch soon.

joridiculous
01-19-2017, 05:34 AM
H Jhikar and thanks for your feedback, though I'm not entirely sure what you dislike and why you feel this way.

What do you dislike about the interface? Since the redesign in September 2015 (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1262762-Uplay-PC-%E2%80%93-September-Update-(New-UI-and-QoL-Improvements)), the interface is a lot more slick and streamlined and we've seen many users share their approval of the UI. Not only that, but we've been very receptive to feedback, making changes when players share their ideas for improvement. If you feel like the UI or features could be improved somehow, don't hesitate to let us know! :)


This is one big problem with uPlay(besides for being redundant and lacking in features compared to Steam): https://i.imgur.com/zaav86U.jpg It is TINY
Steam, a perfectly fine client does not have this problem.

Ubi-Kay
01-25-2017, 01:05 PM
Thank you for the feedback. It is something we are looking into.

mongo_klanton
01-31-2017, 09:16 PM
When playing games with my friends over Uplay i have been very frustrated by the buggy and clunky feel of Uplay. Its overlay and social aspects are very lacking and only make it harder to play with your fiends or even alone. The horrible experience of Uplay has made me boycott all games that requires Uplay. If only Uplay was optional I would happily buy many Ubisoft games but I just feel such a strong hatred towards Uplay. Just thinking about launching Uplay makes me irritated and tired.

Please at least make Uplay optional.

Commando-68
02-09-2017, 04:01 PM
Why do I have a grey bar at bottom of screen in R6S saying "There is a problem connecting to a uPlay service ..." cos there is nothing wrong with uplay when I Shift+F2 and the grey bar is distracting!!!!

BroBlackwolf
02-09-2017, 05:12 PM
I don't know why everyone thinks your new overlay is ****. I really wanna say that I think you made a step foward to a much more userfriendly Interface. I like the look and I like how it's not too big or small. Much easier to chat with friends and the invite/notification pop-ups are way better.
Good Job and I hope you won't disappoint me with Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon : Wildlands :p