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Dev Discussion #36 - User Interface



  • KarpKarp Member
    daveywavey wrote: »
    Strangeape wrote: »
    I like my UI’s like i like my zombies: customizable.

    Customisable zombies...?

    "That hand goes there... This hand goes here... But WAIT, there are not enough hands!"
  • MarzzoMarzzo Member, Leader of Men, Alpha One
    Just make it customizable, dont even bother trying to make something that fits all.
  • ZettrexZettrex Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Being able to Split & anchor unit frames.
    Being able to customize content on unit frames
    Being able to change colors.
    Being able to have macro's to do advanced stuff wth abilitiy bars, like FFXIV.
    Being able to put buff trackers on ability bars.
    Being able to export and import loadouts of UI layouts.
    Being able to hover cast abilities on unitframes.
  • VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
    Penguuu wrote: »
    I dont like these 'this or that' questions. Why settle for either and cater for half the playerbase then ignore the other half?

    Hi - As I'm going through all of these comments, I wanted to let you know that when the questions are sometimes formed this way, we are trying to kick-off discourse and conversation on the specific topic. We don't want players to literally decide between two different things.

    Instead, we want those things to kick-off discussion for the overall topic (in this case, UI) and tell us what they would like to see! In the future, if you see a question that seems like "do you want x or x." try to think of it as an opener to a discussion on that topic, rather than quite literally between two different things. The key here is the topic of UI, rather than choosing between information overload or minimalism, if that makes sense!

    I hope this helps with future questions we ask. I'll do my best to be cognizant of how the questions are formed to avoid confusion :)

    Ty for the feedback!
  • Best UI I've seen (for my tastes) was FF14! You can actively hide or unhide anything on the UI screen so you can have as much, or little, as preferred :) you can also move the UI boxes around!
  • VhaeyneVhaeyne Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Do you prefer to set up your UI very minimally, cover your screen with as much information as you possibly can, or something in between? What UI information is absolutely essential to you?

    Everything can absolutely essential situationally. There needs to be an option to enable and disable everything individually.

    As a game developer, you do not decide what players consider essential. That is up to each player and their unique play styles and situations.

    At a minimum, the UI should be more customizable than FFXIV. Especially since you guys are so against client modding. Which I strongly urge you to reconsider.
  • Happymeal2415Happymeal2415 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Big fan of the more minimal the better but customizable for everyone's preference
  • T ElfT Elf Member, Braver of Worlds, Alpha One
    VERY customizable and toggle-able. Would like to be able to keep my quest journal up with the quests I choose to display.
    Formerly T-Elf

  • Vaknar wrote: »
    Do you prefer to set up your UI very minimally, cover your screen with as much information as you possibly can, or something in between? What UI information is absolutely essential to you?

    This seems like a false choice. I want the option to strip down the UI to almost nothing, scale it to exactly what dimensions I want, and snap or separate elements together. It’s all about context.

    If I’m exploring alone in a dark cave where I want to see as much of the environment as possible (and still know vital info) is a very different UI than healing a 40+ person raid with high boss damage output windows (where I want a Vuhdo view).

    So, here are the features:
    - ability to show or hide ANY UI element (there is nothing sacred here)
    - Ability to scale the size of ANY UI element
    - Ability to snap / separate UI elements
    - Ability to visualize real-time data (like cooldowns, inbound damage, healing output, for a single or multiple characters)
    - Ability to choose exactly what data is relevant for my context (don’t assume the data you want as a dev is important)
    - and for godsake - the chat window isn’t holy ground. There are plenty of times it’s annoying AF. Settings need to let me strip this banter down to minimum or go away completely.

    Thanks for always keep an ear on our feedback!

  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Marzzo wrote: »
    Just make it customizable, dont even bother trying to make something that fits all.

    @Vaknar you're gonna have to give us a little more than that

    The head of the UI team at my last position would have rolled his eyes at this answer. Customizable UI is hard, and hard leads to buggy, or weird interactions. If we'd asked a client this question, we'd have been wanting to know 'what is the lowest level of complexity we can get away with and you still be happy?'

    I'm fully willing to believe that Intrepid is willing to devote weeks to perfect customizable UI 'because the playerbase demands it' and 'you can't rush perfection', but if that's the case, the question is in fact completely moot.

    "Just make literally everything customizable, end of discussion."

    For those unfamiliar with the way these things are built, there's a big difference between:
    'This component can't move but can be shown or hidden'
    'This component can be put in different, set places, and it will cause other components to move or swap places with it'
    'This component can't move but can be resized'
    'This component can be put in different, set places, and also resized'
    'This component can be put anywhere on screen'

    in most systems. If Intrepid isn't using such a system and have easy, lossless customizability, they didn't need to ask this question, they just needed a LOT of QA, which doesn't have as much to do, with us. So even the answer of 'wanting to spark discussion' doesn't seem right. Discussion of what? It's like asking people to discuss 'what they prefer at a buffet'. The correct answer is always 'as many options as possible'. People 'discussing' whether or not any given 'food' should be there doesn't need to happen, the answer will always be 'just add it' unless you're running out of space.

    'Are you running out of space?'
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
  • It really ... depends.

    Ideally in a fantasy mmorpg with great grpahics I'd prefer a minimal UI. Just let me enjoy the scene plz.

    But in an open pvp world where I can literally die any second, I'd prefer a load of information about the surrounding area displayed so I can react quickly & properly to incoming threats.

    e.g. In Eve Online, one typically needs:
    - Local chat, to see who's in system with you and spot potentially dangerous players (known gankers, hostile corp members etc.)
    - "Overview" showing ships on grid with you, their pvp flags, identity (name/corp/alliance), ship type, distance speed direction etc. etc. etc...
    - A directional scan which you keep refreshing (why didn't ccp make that thing auto-refresh ...) to check on ships far away that could ambush you

    And Ashes is a hybrid of both. So I guess you'll have to make things highly-customizable and just let ppl setup their own.
    But since scanners & overview probably don't exist in Ashes, I wonder what kind of information would help ppl avoid potential gankers in this case ...
  • I know im late to this party, but i saw on the dev update this discussion and wanted to put in my 2 cents. one of the things i enjoy most about world of warcraft is designing my own ui!

    I dont want to stare at my hotbar looking for Proccs all day. i want to be looking at the game. Good clear indicators that show proccs like:
    -reset CD on an a core ability
    -extra damage on an ability
    -legendary and gear specific proccs

    most games dont include the last one in the ui. and it really rustles my jimmies. if a gear set proc changes gameplay, or the way i use my abilities, i dont want to be squinting and staring searching for a tiny little specific buff icon for it

    Weak auras is a great tool for UI customization in wow. though i personally think that with the scripting portion it can be taken too far for what ashes wants. I would love to have a customizable UI with the ability to add small but impactful things such as:

    - a swing timer
    - set up image pop ups for a specific buff showing up (so i can track buff stack falloffs, or proccs from gear/not base kit things) without having to stare at my hotbars
    - ability to move UI elements such as: ui screens (inventory, character stats, ect.), Hotbars, player & target frames, buff frames ect.

    thanks for taking the time to read this :) and thanks for taking the time to make a great game
  • As many already mentioned, customizable UI is a great solution to appease everyone. That said, having the ability to display more information is great, but oftentimes it is also important to have an option not to display much.

    For me it is important that I can disable every element of the UI separately from others:
    - I want to be able to switch UI elements off one by one, and be left with literally no HUD
    - I don't want someone to decide for me that I always have to see skills / map / my current level / mailbox status, or whatever else.
    - At the same time, I want to be able to decide that I want to only see, say, map, and nothing else at all (i.e. a "disable HUD" button is not what I want).
    Important part of that is also the ability to disable notifications:
    - Disable text notifications displayed on screen, preferably per type
    - Disable visual indicators such as "new mail" red dot
    - Disable announcements in chat windows
    - Disable any kind of pop-up windows
    - Disable audio notifications
    - Check notifications log at later point to see missed notifications

    Yes, sometimes when I play a computer game - I want to relax, and I don't want to be disturbed by blinking red dots, invasive announcements at the top of my screen, or worse - an actual pop-up window, every time I got a new ingame mail, a guild announcement got posted, or a new boss record was set; when I am done chilling - I want to be able to go to notifications log and check it all out, if I choose to do so.

    Regardless of the amount of data displayed, I personally prefer minimalistic look, therefore I'd love to be able to do things like:
    - Disable frames of UI elements
    - Disable backgrounds of UI elements
    - Disable particle effects (for skill icons and similar)
    - Switch to flat colours (flat colour HUD can be surprisingly easy on the eyes)

    Another important UI capability is key binds.
    The rule is simple:
    - If I can click on it - I want to be able to assign a key bind to it.
    - If I can assign a key bind to it - I want to be able to remove this element from the UI separately from others.
    - If it's a skill (or similar) - I want to also be able to disable "clickability" in the UI, but leave the icon showing for cooldown info (or similar).

    Basic UI customization features, including:
    - Resizing
    - Moving
    - Sticking / unsticking elements to each other

    Storing UI loadout as a plain text configuration file would be grand, both for precise editing and for easy share / transfer between players and computers.
    As well as a hotkey to switch between few favourite loadouts.
  • SkkiasSkkias Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I think Final Fantasy 14 had a perfect UI system, as you could open a UI editor and hide or unhide anything you wanted to see in the UI, whilst being able to freely move any element anywhere on your screen. You can also Scale each piece of the UI individually. It was an organized chaos player dream, or you could just turn everything off except for your emote hotbar if you wanted. Definitely recommend taking notes form Final Fantasy
  • I change my UI based on what type of class I am playing so flexibility in the ways I can organize and display the UI is important to me. I would really like to have access to a UI editor to allow me to move and play skill bars, hp bars, and buff / debuff bars where I want them. As an avid support / utility player, I really want the ability to build in more group targeting and friendly player targeting hotkeys. One of my biggest gripes is when I have to go through a scroll wheel just to be able to target an ability on an ally.
  • Karast wrote: »
    I change my UI based on what type of class I am playing so flexibility in the ways I can organize and display the UI is important to me.

    That's a very good point. I'd want my UI to be character-based, not account-based. Having to change it around every time I logged into a different character would absolutely do my nut in.
  • ChocopeasChocopeas Member, Founder
    For me user interface of most games has most of the time been a problem, they look bad or are bland.
    Even if UI is full of important things and you can customize their placement, they still are bad if they are just square boxes.
    Well fitting and stylized UI is important to have.
    Good example is Guild wars.
    I see many of us here likes FF14, it is good example of well customizable but little bit bland looking.
    Flexible UI and some added spice to it here and there is good, lets see what we will get.
  • I like a clean game screen....and a lot of info. Which never works. I would ask for the ability to move some stuff to a second monitor. Maybe have a small window that can be popped out and have stuff on it, like the chat, or abilities or whatever else. Not sure if it can be done, but having an empty game screen and all the other info on the second monitor would be bliss.
  • The most clean possible , like you are playing an console 3º person adventure game, this was maybe one of the only things that New world made great, and what made alot of people try, if someone watch someone playing WOW no one won´t to try that shit, when playing wow i felt that i was just watching skills , cooldowns , bosses cooldowns, buffs, addons, and wasn´t even looking to the game, just reading information...
  • HeartbeatHeartbeat Member, Founder
    The perfect UI is allowing it to be customizable, allow players to resize elements, add/hide elements that they would want or would rather do without.
  • LuthienstormLuthienstorm Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I like customization . I want to set up a lot of options.
  • GutzgoreGutzgore Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Generally I want:
    -Complete customization to display as much or little information you want for ALL elements provided (on/off)
    -Ability to adjust position of any window on the screen
    -Ability to condense any window in game (minimize I guess) into like a tab/arrow as needed on the fly or back to its icon.
    -Ability to change the shape of ability buttons/bars (can we get more than squares and rectangles?)
    -Presets (clean, in between or more to glean)
    -Reset to presets/default
    -Ability to save custom presets (maybe up to 3 initially in addition to presets)
    -Transparency percentage
    -With respect to text (combat damage taken/dealt, heals, crits, server messages, chat, etc) the ability to:
    -Change Font
    -Change Color
    -Change Size
    Specifically I want:
    -Chat box
    -Main Story quest line displayed
    -Side quests up to X showing (not sure what X would be really)
    -Simplified Party/Raid frames
    -Buffs/De-buffs bars
    -Bag icons and windows
    -Tool Tips (if I want it on)
    -Current target selected
    -HP/mana/threat/etc bars
    -Menu bar/icons
    -PVP enabled
    -Level/XP indicators

    There is a point that it can get too complex. I don't like having to spend hours figuring out how to set my UI up. I understand that there has to be a balance. I do however want good customization that is intuitive and makes sense.

    There is probably more I am missing/wanting but this already a lot and its getting late.

    2 cents.
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