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User Interface

Discussion in 'Project: Gorgon Discussion Hall' started by Luka Melehan, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. Luka Melehan

    Luka Melehan Certifiable
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    some talk started on another thread about skills bars so rather than highjack the thread I will post here. For the most part I am fine with short skill bars. However, it leaves me no room to hot key potions and food. If we decide to keep the stacked bars, how about bringing the misc bar down to the bottom right and add a potions row. This row could be programed to only hold things that are in our pack so we can't put skills or buffs in it. As it is now, I don't even loot potions cause when I need them I cant get to them.

    Now we have to issue of cluttering up the screen and taking away our playing view. For this discussion I offer this screen cap taken from Rift.

    [​IMG]

    I don't know how other games like to hotkey thier skills, I just know what works for me. I don't mind the short skill bars because I need to learn my skills a little at a time, then incorporate a simple strategy that works. You see here in the image that Rift allows you to stack three skill bars. The area boxed in gold is my fighting area. It coincides with my game pad visually, which this ol cow needs. The rest of the are of the stacked skill bars I have food, potions, buffs and some special abilities that I don't use all the time but I want to have available. At any rate, this set up allows me to play with mouse and game pad and not have to reach for the keyboard very often.

    Looking at the user interface as a whole, there is a lot going on there and I still have plenty of play viewing area. Is this a resolution issue? Anyone have any thoughts about the user interface?

    [​IMG]

    This screen cap is from Wurm Online. There is a tiny ribbon up top and from there you choose what items you want on your interface. Then you can choose where to place them and adjust thier size. In this pic they are big, since this person looks to be grooming his horse and not in battle.

    I mentioned the idea of community in another thread. The dynamics of Wurm online is that skills are so time intesive that its very hard to get started alone. The best way to play this game is to specialize and either work in trade or join an become an active member of a homestead or community. The last time I played there was two or three communities whose purpose was to take in new players and help them get started and give them time to get used to the play style and find a permanent community that fits their personality.


    [​IMG]

    This screen cap is from Ultima Online, in the newest client. What we have is resizable play window contained in a blank black screen. You can place your user interface items anywhere you want, in either the black area or the play area. So I have my paper doll in the black area because I am vain. My pack is directly under. The yellow bars you see all over are movable and sizable, as well as being able to flip them vertically. This results in a bigger play view.

    For the moment I am going to just throw all this out there for discussion. I will have more after I take some screenies of Gorgon.
     
  2. Luka Melehan

    Luka Melehan Certifiable
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    This what my screen looks like when I play on my macbook air.

    [​IMG]

    The skill bars are fixed and for the moment, stacked on the left side. I have arranged the skills for my gamepad putting the attacks on my stronger fingers. I move around with the mouse and have my other hand on the game pad so the side bar is pretty much useless to me if I am in combat.

    The resolution is high so the bars leave us some play area to work with.

    [​IMG]

    I discovered that the size of the skill bars is adjustable so I shrunk them just enough so that the top of the stacked bars is even with the middle status box. The chat box and the inventory are movable but you cannot resize them. If they were, I would snug the chat box in the lower left corner and size it even with the skill bars for a clean look. As I said, the side ability bar is useless to me in battle so I would move it to the right of the status box, mirroring the stacked kill bars on the left and add a second empty skill bar programed to only accept items from your inventory. So basically for potions, foods, flowers, etc. Then I would resize my inventory and snug it in the lower right corner so that everything on the bottom of the screen is even. Now thats just me. If other gamers configure thier hotkeys differently. Maybe movable skill bars would be better. They could still be programmed to only accept certain things. As the game progresses, we might need more item bars so being able to move them around we can keep our screen the way we like it, and the UI won't have to be redone to accommodate new needs.

    Any ideas?
     
  3. Luka Melehan

    Luka Melehan Certifiable
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    I was thinking about what I use sidebars for in other games and my son reminded me about transportation spells and crafting. Basically non-combat actions. If we had an icon for each individual recipe we could slot them into a recipe bar to cut down time looking for recipes we want to do. Like a favorites list: My fav food, snack, arrows and transportation, etc.
     
  4. Sinistralis

    Sinistralis Visitor

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    A couple UI issues I have come across during my short foray into Gorgon:

    Inventory should not have a scroll bar. If I can't view the entirety of my inventory with 1 button click, there is a problem. Inventory is one of the most accessed screens (if not the most) in an MMO. This is basic usability concerns. There should not be a scrollbar, there should not be bags to open/close, it should just be a simple grid of inventory. All of it.

    There is a huge lack of debuff tracking. There aren't really that many dot based skills that I would consider "crucial", but eventually there will be a dot based class added I assume. There needs to be better debuff tracking on mobs, at the very least an icon.

    Some type of low heath indicator would be nice. A sound, a visual affect. Something. Build that tension.

    Duration should be translated to a Hour/Minute/Second format. This one is arguable since this game isn't going to appeal to the crowd who can't figure out Duration is in seconds, but it's worth noting. Additionally, there should be a timer overlay on them that gives you a rough idea of how much time if left on them without having to hover over it. A flashing icon when sub 20~ seconds would be nice as well.

    Following up on the Duration topic, while I appreciate the use of neat icons like a Heart/Shield/Brain, this does not lend itself to a flowing UI style if you are going to be showing buff/debuff icons in the same window. That space is simply far too small. All you simply have to do is play as unarmed and meditate, and your buffs flow WAY off the space allocated. This would be less of an issue if you used bars rather than icons. (A seperate buff/debuff window would also solve this)

    Skills should have some type of overlay (transparent red maybe) for the following:
    -Stunned
    -Too far from target
    -Improper Implement Equipped
    -Lack of Power to use skill
    -Anything else that would disable a spell from being usable

    Menu Ribbon is way too big, IMO. All UI elements need to be re sizable and movable. It's 2013, there is no excuse (Aside from Alpha : p) for this not to be implemented.

    Would be nice if distance had a definition. Meters? Feet?

    ESC should only open the options screen when no more menu overlays are available. (There should be an option to disable this behavior for each window as well, as some people play with windows open) If there is a non-exempt window up, ESC should prioritize closing that window first.

    There should be a Party UI. This does not have to be any more functional other than showing that persons Health/Shield/Energy and perhaps a little arrow signifying their location.

    There needs to be another bar you can drag consumables to.

    Value needs to either show the value for the current stack, or append "per item" on to the end of it.

    The inventory screen should not be permanently trying to sort. I like sectioning out my items, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Having a button you can hit to auto-sort/auto-combine is fine, but doing it on any item enter/leave event is unwise.

    Having more options for the floating combat text would be nice. (Being able to show source of damage with abbreviates mainly) Another one would have it show when you get stunned/burned/poisoned and when it wears off.

    I should be able to "track" skills, that would spit out an XP bar so I can monitor what's going on with my XP distribution.


    All I can think of right now.
     
    #4 Sinistralis, Jul 2, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013