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3 (easy?!) UI Upgrades to Improve Experience - Concise !!


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There are many other posts criticizing the User Interface (UI), so the purpose of this thread is to provide a constructive discussion and comprehensive list of the communities desired UI improvements. I have outlined the 3 major changes and have attempted to keep this post a quick, yet a defended and constructive read .


I applaud the attempt at creating a game that does not require mods. However, that philosophy also requires a UI that is flexible and functional enough for the varied player base.


I know developers have said they're addressing quick fixes first. Consequently there are many UI improvements that would improve toon control and none were implemented with patch 1.1. I don't know how easy these suggestions are, but any of them would have an actual effect on gameplay via improved character control and competitive capacity; and attenuating frustration and "my character looks like my action bar syndrome (MCLABS)". I have also listed some secondary improvements that I expect to see (unless well opposed) in a game trying to overcome the influence of user-generated content (maybe this is not their philosophy... doesn't matter).


Ordered in highest priority:


1) Undockable UI Frames/Bars


-Allow each UI piece to be undocked, moved around, and relocked as currently possible with the Operation Frames.

Examples of "parts":

hotbars, target frames (target of target), focus, companion frame resource and health bar, party members individually, buffs and debuffs, map, quest log, inventory, etc.


Reasoning: Currently the hotbars are stuck almost as far apart as possible on the screen. This demands unnecessary eye movement (especially on larger monitors). The target frames and especially the resource frames require frequent monitoring for many classes and this results in the player staring at his or her resource bar, hotbars to reactivate short cooldowns, and the target's health before finally being able to watch the more entertaining animations (MCLABS).


-Allow opacity fading and size adjustments for the above mentioned UI parts individually.


Reasoning: Many UI parts can still be interpreted without blocking out the background. The UI parts can then be moved closer to the player's consistently central position so the gamer doesn't have to waste as much time looking around the screen and can instead see the toon more often. Shrinking or expanding UI parts also grants more customization and one can prioritize visualization of parts. This would also allow a user to hide unnecessary information (such as current level, mail, anything desired).


2) More Functional Nameplates


-Add a buffs, debuffs, and a resource bar beneath the health bar on the current nameplates. Also display percentages and/or digits on the bars as done currently with the resource and health bars.


Reasoning: As with the first suggestion, this is an effort to improve visibility of the actual environment. If we can monitor our character's resources, buffs, and debuffs (along with the existing health and cast bar) then we would only look away to watch cooldowns. I can only imagine this is omitted due to lengthy programming?


-Allow toon targeting by clicking on Nameplates


Reasoning: Currently toon hitboxes are relatively small and noticeably more difficult to click. If this is an intentional effort to reward FPS gameplay than at least I understand the implementation. But it's personally frustrating for accurate, quick pve or pvp targeting. Nameplates are much easier to click - simple solution.


-Customizable size and opacity of Nameplates


Reasoning: Similar logic to above.


3) Increased Functionality of Hotbars


-Numbers counting down the duration of the cooldown remaining on hotkeys that are unavailable due to cooldown. Note: As for most suggestions, I'm assuming individual customization of these upgrades. For example, being able to select which hotkeys display numbers as well as number opacity/size.


Reasoning: As mentioned before, gamers look away from their characters to stare at target frames, resource frames, and hotkeys for cooldowns. With numerical overlays the gamer only needs to briefly glance at the hotkeys to interpret the cooldown duration of multiple moves. Without, at least in my experience, it's difficult to discern an accurate cooldown duration unless the "emptying box" (descending bar) is less than half full. This current model limits the number of cooldowns that can be acquired in a single glance.


An even better solution would be a customizable cooldown dropdown menu that vertically (or horizontally) lists the moves currently on cooldown in descending order. This would display the cooldown durations with even less eye movement than showing numbers over the dispersed hotkeys.


-Increase number of hotkeys.


Reasoning: With the companion bar eclipsing an entire hotbar there is currently not enough keys to bind all moves, consumables, vehicles, and manage your companion. This discourages and punishes companion micro-management which lowers the skill-cap and converts challenges into frustrations. Possible (easy?) solutions:


a) Add more hotbars. Note: More is Better! If not:


b) Allow companion keys to be unlocked. The companion auto-attack is viable for most moves, excluding taunts, ccs, and heals. If the companion keys are unlockable then the 4th hotbar doesn't need to be eclipsed by all of the companion keys that are on auto-attack.

c) Add the additional hotbars as a scrollable hotbar off one of the visible bars. This still allows for keybinding.


-Previously mentioned customizability: being able to move around the hotbars, break individual keys away from the bar, change opacity and size of individual keys.




These are secondary suggestions that would also improve character control or status acquisition


-Create a bind for targeting your focus (there is currently only "set focus" and "focus modifier"

-Target of Target; Target of Target of Target

-Larger animation displaying current target (with spell animations or red ground color the current target icon is sometimes very difficult to see beneath a toon's feet)

-Allowing binding of CAPS Lock (one of the most accessible keys is unbindable)

-Implement a companion movement move that displays the cursor as an aoe-target at the location of the companions destination. Currently you cant move them out of aoes.

-Persisting auto-attack preference for companion moves. Currently you must deactivate taunt/cc/etc. each time your companion reappears.

-Armor costume presets so that you can quickly change between sets of gear for varying situations



New suggestions introduced in this thread's responses:


-Improve tab-targeting (maybe make it more consistent) (pixxpixx)

-More distinct, noticable mouse-over art (slightlycampana)

-Allow CTRL and ALT to be bindable to mouse buttons (slightlycampana)

-Prevent companion mission completion from closing all other windows (Rayaleith)

-A winner: make an animation or popup display when conditions are met for dependent moves (UKAzzer)

-Increased customization of chat window and text (UKAzzer)

-Easier estimation of range from between toons (Eranus)






This post is entirely unrelated to the topics of damage meters and/or user-generated mods.


I welcome discussion on the value of a functional, customizable UI. These changes would have dulled the grind of constant killing (as I wouldn't be staring at the edges of my screen) and yet seem to be quickly fixable. Maybe these improvements are being undervalued - how much does the UI impact your experience?


If you post a new suggestion I will add it to the previous list. Hopefully the developers will be able to decide between the best additions.

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b) Allow companion keys to be unlocked. The companion auto-attack is viable for most moves, excluding taunts, ccs, and heals. If the companion keys are unlockable then the 4th hotbar doesn't need to be eclipsed by all of the companion keys that are on auto-attack.


Even better than unlocking them, would be just to let us drag companion abilities to our own quickbars.


There's no need for a separate companion quickbar at all, really.


EDIT: Maybe that's what you were saying, after all.

Edited by Daemonjax
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