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Author Topic: UI is way too obtuse  (Read 16533 times)

TaLaR

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Re: Game is way too complex
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2014, 10:20:56 PM »

In general, I'm simplifying things here and there. The ship tooltip, for example, lost a couple of stats in the last update - iirc the CR loss/second value was standardized and so removed as a player-facing value. I've been thinking of culling a few other low bang-for-the-buck values like this as well. (shield/phase upkeep, perhaps? shield flux/damage could possibly be standardized as well, with notable differences expressed via built-in hullmods.)

While making stats more accessible is not a bad thing, there are actually some not displayed stats that i'd like to see:
- Ship acceleration and turn rate ( they were previously vaguely present as manoeuvrability).
For example it is possible to have about same speeds on slower frigates & Falcon with hullmods, but huge difference in these stats is not mentioned in tooltip and hard to measure in play.
- Ship system flux costs, durations, cooldowns, effect values (where applicable).
- Flux cost per shot for weapons (in addition to flux per second that is already present)
- Active vent rate (Not particulary important for vanilla, but many mods add hullmods that modify it)
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cp252

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Re: UI is way too obtuse
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2014, 11:07:26 PM »

Maybe an option for the old dots system might work. Simple/complex stat display, so the experienced players are happy and newbies aren't intimidated.
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JohnDoe

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Re: Game is way too complex
« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2014, 12:27:45 AM »

Remember a long time ago ship tooltips used to show a few basic stats (offense/defense/etc) on a 1-10 scale, using pips? There was a *lot* of feedback asking to see the actual numbers.

Maybe an option for the old dots system might work. Simple/complex stat display, so the experienced players are happy and newbies aren't intimidated.

Why not show both? In this case the pips are computed by comparing weapon/unit stats against the average weapon/unit stats in that category.

Spoiler

[close]
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cp252

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Re: Game is way too complex
« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2014, 04:06:38 AM »

Remember a long time ago ship tooltips used to show a few basic stats (offense/defense/etc) on a 1-10 scale, using pips? There was a *lot* of feedback asking to see the actual numbers.

Maybe an option for the old dots system might work. Simple/complex stat display, so the experienced players are happy and newbies aren't intimidated.

Why not show both? In this case the pips are computed by comparing weapon/unit stats against the average weapon/unit stats in that category.

Spoiler

[close]

YES! The Wargame series is a perfect example. Extremely deep and complex game with a huge number of stats but the coloured bars go a long way to helping- I can see at a glance which unit is good at once, and how they compare to other units.
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Histidine

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Re: UI is way too obtuse
« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2014, 05:21:09 AM »

Crude test version of one-line weapons guide. Not as good looking or useful as I'd imagined it would be.
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SCC

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Re: UI is way too obtuse
« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2014, 07:04:37 AM »

Crude test version of one-line weapons guide. Not as good looking or useful as I'd imagined it would be.
Damn, I was just about to do my own guide. I even started! And only started...

ahrenjb

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Re: UI is way too obtuse
« Reply #36 on: November 11, 2014, 08:28:05 AM »

Honestly, I don't fine the game OR the UI to be terribly complex or inaccessible. I picked this game up fairly quickly, and while there is nuance and detail to be learned, the core concepts of play come together pretty easily. I've not shown this game to someone that had true difficulty grasping it, and I personally find the complexity one of the attractive features of the game. It allows for a lot of variation, detail, and depth. Go play EVE sometime, or any other number of games equally or more complex than this game that are quite successful. Complex games just appeal to a different sort of playerbase than say, Minecraft or Candy Crush.
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Alex

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Re: Game is way too complex
« Reply #37 on: November 11, 2014, 03:59:34 PM »

In general, I'm simplifying things here and there. The ship tooltip, for example, lost a couple of stats in the last update - iirc the CR loss/second value was standardized and so removed as a player-facing value. I've been thinking of culling a few other low bang-for-the-buck values like this as well. (shield/phase upkeep, perhaps? shield flux/damage could possibly be standardized as well, with notable differences expressed via built-in hullmods.)

While making stats more accessible is not a bad thing, there are actually some not displayed stats that i'd like to see:
- Ship acceleration and turn rate ( they were previously vaguely present as manoeuvrability).
For example it is possible to have about same speeds on slower frigates & Falcon with hullmods, but huge difference in these stats is not mentioned in tooltip and hard to measure in play.
- Ship system flux costs, durations, cooldowns, effect values (where applicable).
- Flux cost per shot for weapons (in addition to flux per second that is already present)
- Active vent rate (Not particulary important for vanilla, but many mods add hullmods that modify it)

Acceleration and turn rate are, imo, things that are too difficult to compare or get a real sense for from looking at the numbers. You get more from 3 seconds in the simulator, and besides, they're somewhat correlated with ship size and top speed. All in all, just not worth the UI space/complexity imo. Showing too much information is a bad thing too, it lowers the usefulness of all the information you're showing. And considering there are *four* numbers here (accel/decel/turn rate/turn accel...

Active vent rate: if a hullmod is there to call out the change, imo that's quite enough. The issue is when the value is important, changes, and not called out anywhere.

System flux stats: Hmm. I think that since you're not going to be comparing ships on the basis of this, or picking which system to add to a ship, that it's not actually all that important to show.

Flux per shot/other: Maybe, yeah. It's another tough call as to whether to add an easily-calculated piece of derived info, i.e. whether it's worth the extra screen space or not. I'd love to take another look at the weapon tooltip at some point, and, as mentioned elsewhere, making it easier to compare weapons there could be a very good thing.


All in all, I'm not necessarily a fan of showing information that can be figured out through playing, but that can be a delicate balance.


Remember a long time ago ship tooltips used to show a few basic stats (offense/defense/etc) on a 1-10 scale, using pips? There was a *lot* of feedback asking to see the actual numbers.

Maybe an option for the old dots system might work. Simple/complex stat display, so the experienced players are happy and newbies aren't intimidated.

Why not show both? In this case the pips are computed by comparing weapon/unit stats against the average weapon/unit stats in that category.

Spoiler

[close]

YES! The Wargame series is a perfect example. Extremely deep and complex game with a huge number of stats but the coloured bars go a long way to helping- I can see at a glance which unit is good at once, and how they compare to other units.

I think David pointed me to this a while back :) It looks good, yeah! One of the issues is the vertical screen space; the ship stats panel would get about 2x taller with this approach. Another issue is picking the right scales for the bar. For example, for armor, would you show "armor within size class" or absolute? If you show "high armor (for frigates)", then it's useless for seeing how the armor of a frigate compares to a destroyer, and it's not always less. If you do absolute, then the nuances of frigate to frigate comparisons might get lost. Still, that's not that big a deal and the right way to approach that could probably get figured out. UI layout is the bigger issue.
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Megas

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Re: UI is way too obtuse
« Reply #38 on: November 11, 2014, 04:04:52 PM »

Quote
Flux per shot/other: Maybe, yeah. It's another tough call as to whether to add an easily-calculated piece of derived info, i.e. whether it's worth the extra screen space or not. I'd love to take another look at the weapon tooltip at some point, and, as mentioned elsewhere, making it easier to compare weapons there could be a very good thing.
This is useful for weapons with a very slow rate of fire, such as antimatter blaster or tachyon lance.
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Andy H.K.

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Re: Game is way too complex
« Reply #39 on: November 11, 2014, 08:34:05 PM »

I think David pointed me to this a while back :) It looks good, yeah! One of the issues is the vertical screen space; the ship stats panel would get about 2x taller with this approach. Another issue is picking the right scales for the bar. For example, for armor, would you show "armor within size class" or absolute? If you show "high armor (for frigates)", then it's useless for seeing how the armor of a frigate compares to a destroyer, and it's not always less. If you do absolute, then the nuances of frigate to frigate comparisons might get lost. Still, that's not that big a deal and the right way to approach that could probably get figured out. UI layout is the bigger issue.
Not to mention the whole thing falls apart when mods, which may not be balanced against vanilla ships, is concerned. A single overpowered ship is going to wreck the scale. if the scale is automatically calculated, every "balanced" ship is going to be pushed to the lower end of the scale. If the scale is manually assigned, that means double the work for ship designers, and a mod ships's "average" may still be way better than the vanilla scale, and comparison with such result is disastrously misleading.

Of course modded ship can always leave half a panel of ship data empty.... but that wouldn't look nice, would it?
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Gaizokubanou

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Re: UI is way too obtuse
« Reply #40 on: November 11, 2014, 10:49:32 PM »

One new interface that caught me off guard for a bit was the new store page.  After using it a bit having buy/sell, categories and open/military/blackmarket being 'tab-like' makes sense, but for the first few times it just felt very awkward to read and navigate.

I think the store front being more of a list than grid inventory (even if it's less space efficient, I'm just so dang used to viewing purchasing options in a list thanks to years of real web store usage) might make it look more natural as a store but that's whole new set of UI so it's probably not worth it this early.  But I do hope you would take it as a consideration Alex :)
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JohnDoe

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Re: Game is way too complex
« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2014, 01:07:58 AM »

A single overpowered ship is going to wreck the scale
There are various ways to deal with that problem; for starters the UI could instead show how many sigmas it's away from the trimmean.

the ship stats panel would get about 2x taller with this approach
It doesn't have to be pips or bars; simple color coding works too. Surely it conflicts with the current color coding of skill/hullmod bonuses (like 2200(+200) flux capacity will be shown in light green), and I reserve my opinion on whether overriding the default one is a good thing.

Another issue is picking the right scales for the bar. For example, for armor, would you show "armor within size class" or absolute? If you show "high armor (for frigates)", then it's useless for seeing how the armor of a frigate compares to a destroyer, and it's not always less. If you do absolute, then the nuances of frigate to frigate comparisons might get lost
Maybe show a frigate's armor value on a scale from average frigate armor value to average destroyer armor value, if it's above the frigate average but below the destroyer average, for instance.

I agree that UI layout would be a bigger issue.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 02:05:08 AM by JohnDoe »
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jupjupy

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Re: UI is way too obtuse
« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2014, 06:00:05 AM »

Just wanna put this out there while we're at it:

Any chance we could get a codex for ship systems? I think that at this point we've got enough different systems that I'd like to be able to read up the stats for each of them. I don't actually know the hard flux/sec generation of Fortress shield, how much hull the Terminator drone has, or how far the Phase Skimmer teleports me, for example. Sure, I could guess from in-combat scenarios, which is probably why its not important enough to put under the ship info, but I'd like to go through and compare stuff, not to mention read the fluff that I do so love about this game.

Also, a little irrelevant, but I've noticed that some fighter-specific weapons (those in mods, since I think all the vanilla fighters have proper ship-variants) seem to have fighter-specific weapons that I cant find in the codex.
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cardgame

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Re: UI is way too obtuse
« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2014, 12:42:30 PM »

The UI works fine for me, for the most part. One exception: the Logistics tab on the bottom left. 40/44 fleet points or whatever. OK, but there's abnsolutely nothing (to my knowledge) that describes that information as it correspods to actual fleet units. Grab a hound (3 deployment points), pop it in the fleet, 41/44 points. Grab a 12-point cruiser and it goes up by 8. Not much consistency that I can find and zero descriptive tooltips or info. Unless I'm just being obtuse myself and overlooking something simple.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 12:45:01 PM by cardgame »
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CopperCoyote

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Re: UI is way too obtuse
« Reply #44 on: November 12, 2014, 01:12:56 PM »

The UI works fine for me, for the most part. One exception: the Logistics tab on the bottom left. 40/44 fleet points or whatever. OK, but there's abnsolutely nothing (to my knowledge) that describes that information as it correspods to actual fleet units. Grab a hound (3 deployment points), pop it in the fleet, 41/44 points. Grab a 12-point cruiser and it goes up by 8. Not much consistency that I can find and zero descriptive tooltips or info. Unless I'm just being obtuse myself and overlooking something simple.

The blue bar on the top of the quick reference dealie shows you the Logistic Rating. Not the deployment cost. They were separated in the Combat Readiness update.

On the F1 info pop-up the CR cost is toward the top center. It's what's subtracted from your LR.

So a hound costs 1 supply per day and it removes 1 from your logistics rating. I think the cruiser you're talking about is the eagle and it costs 8 supplies per day, and that's why it goes up by 8. (the hound is actually 1.1 total because crew requires 1 LR per 100 personnel and eagle is actually 9? It's either 9 or 10 after crew is added)

I think this is described in the help tooltips, but i haven't had them on in a while.
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