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Originally Posted by Gustavo R
Solata:
- Everything is too big. The interface takes up a very large part of the screen and the buttons are huge.
- Not all buttons need to be named if the icons are self-explanatory.
- The graphic design does not convey the idea of ​​fantasy adventure, it is too modern. In this case, BG3, Pathfinder, PoE, or even Tyranny are better.
So Solasta's UI isn't... pretty. Like everything in it, it could benefit greatly of bigger budget. The point is that it's well designed from perspective of functionality, for the most part. And while I do think PoEs set the bar the highest, they are not tackling unique problems of 5e.

I don't BG3 needs to copy anything from Solasta - while spliting main, bonus and reaction completely is effective, it is a bit clunky visually. They just need to design something, anything, that won't require that much maintenance.

Originally Posted by Gustavo R
Just like in BG3, Solasta repeats the character's portrait and hit points (why?).
Because health-bars are visually effective, but vague, and numbers don't communicate you that easy the overall state of the PC, but provide precise information. BG1&2 had something of that sort as well, no? Portraits filling red with damange, and hitpoint on top of it.

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Quick comment back, but I don't want to engage too far into this, since we're discussing BG3's UI...

Originally Posted by Gustavo R
Solata:
- Everything is too big. The interface takes up a very large part of the screen and the buttons are huge.
- Just like in BG3, Solasta repeats the character's portrait and hit points (why?).
- Not all buttons need to be named if the icons are self-explanatory.
- The graphic design does not convey the idea of ​​fantasy adventure, it is too modern. In this case, BG3, Pathfinder, PoE, or even Tyranny are better.

Okay, so... this may be an issue of screen size, perhaps, because on my screen, the size of the UI and the amount of screen it takes up compared to the play space is not oversized or intrusive at all.

Another poster already mentioned why it is generally conventional ideal to have both a visual display and a direct number display equally available; this isn't a criticism - it's how it should be.

Strong, Strong disagree on removing labels from buttons. I'm sick to death of the ever increasing trend in the past two or three years to reduce, and reduce and reduce things based on the assumption that everyone will just know what your icon means. Sorry, that doesn't always track, and in fact it often doesn't. An icon that makes perfect intuitive sense in one person's mind will bee unintelligible without explanation to a different person, who thinks or reasons differently. Icons are nice, but they are not a replacement substitute for having a marked label as well, in my personal opinion.

The graphic design is for a UI: It's already on OUR side of the 4th wall. It's NOT a part of the fantasy adventure - it's our personal interface for interacting with the fantasy adventure. It's most idea situation is to be unnoticeable and practically invisible to our subconscious as we use it. A clear, clear but otherwise nondescript UI is one (not the only, but one) way of achieving that invisibility. But regardless, this is an aesthetic complaint.

==

I think it would be neat if Solasta offered us a couple of different UI layout styles to choose form ,since they don't allow direct customisation. I'm not going to disagree there - that would be great. Failingthat, however, the one that they do provide is functionally ideal for playing a D&D game - aesthetics aside if you don't like them, it's practically perfect, with only a few minor quibbles.


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Divinity Original Sin 2:
- The bar occupying the entire bottom of the screen is much less intrusive (same as the first UI made for BG3 before its released).

It's frightfully awful. It's one bar for literally everything, autofills with whatever it damn well feels like, requires clunky bar switching, because, again, literality everything you can do all has to get crammed onto it, no matter whether it's a skill, a special spell, a unique ability or a consumable item.... all with no ordering except the ordering you give it - which is tedious and annoying to DO, and a timesink, especially when you may be changing your abilities around, acquiring new ones or trading them out for others on the regular. Managing that abominable thing was one of the things I detested most about that game (along with their approach to inventory and gear management in general). It's the number one poster child of what not to do, ever.

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Originally Posted by Niara
Okay, so... this may be an issue of screen size, perhaps, because on my screen, the size of the UI and the amount of screen it takes up compared to the play space is not oversized or intrusive at all.
Could be, but lack of proper scaling is a problem in itself. I found Kingmaker's UI horrificly easy to miscick, as I found hotbar too tedious to mantain for all the companions, and for rarely used characters defaulted to expandable list thingy. Then I switched to 1440p/27 inch screen, and it became much better (not perfect, I still think some UI elements like switching between spell levels, and expandable spell UI are to small and create an unnecessary danger of misclicking).

Originally Posted by Niara
Strong, Strong disagree on removing labels from buttons.
I think it is nice to not have descriptions (you could have tooltips with a delay), but yeah, designing tooltip which will be intuitive for all/most will take a lot of testing. I read recently an interesting bit about Total War game, where end turn button used an hourglass symbol - clear to long time turn-based players, but a decent number of new people got stuck and couldn't find the "END TURN" button.

Originally Posted by Niara
The graphic design is for a UI: It's already on OUR side of the 4th wall. It's NOT a part of the fantasy adventure - it's our personal interface for interacting with the fantasy adventure. It's most idea situation is to be unnoticeable and practically invisible to our subconscious as we use it. A clear, clear but otherwise nondescript UI is one (not the only, but one) way of achieving that invisibility. But regardless, this is an aesthetic complaint.
Let's be honest though - Solasta's UI doesn't look pretty, it sticks out like a sore thumb, and draws attention to itself in the all worst ways possible. It is aesthetic complaint - all it needs is an artist to spend a decent amount of time to make it look good, and buttons nice to click. Not problem with design, but budget spent on it.

I have no problem with how BG3 UI looks - just what funcionality it offers.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Originally Posted by Niara
The graphic design is for a UI: It's already on OUR side of the 4th wall. It's NOT a part of the fantasy adventure - it's our personal interface for interacting with the fantasy adventure. It's most idea situation is to be unnoticeable and practically invisible to our subconscious as we use it. A clear, clear but otherwise nondescript UI is one (not the only, but one) way of achieving that invisibility. But regardless, this is an aesthetic complaint.
Let's be honest though - Solasta's UI doesn't look pretty, it sticks out like a sore thumb, and draws attention to itself in the all worst ways possible. It is aesthetic complaint - all it needs is an artist to spend a decent amount of time to make it look good, and buttons nice to click. Not problem with design, but budget spent on it.

I have no problem with how BG3 UI looks - just what funcionality it offers.

Honestly I like the way Solasta's UI looks. It never bothered me when I played the game. Is it pretty? Does it stick out in my mind? Is it memorable? No. But If you asked me about the UI of any game I've played in the last month or two, I couldn't describe anything meaningful about any of them. It does what it needs to do and does is simply and I don't think about it when I'm playing. That's good enough for me. I do understand that people have different wants and needs of course. If they have an artist go through and change the look of it, they're free to. I'm sure I'll have forgotten about the change after about an hour.

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Just want to quickly throw in a little bit of praise. We can at least toggle off auto-filling the hotbar in BG3. By default all the junk you pick up gets added, but if you deselect those settings in options then the hotbars get molested a lot less. It does mean you will have to configure them yourself, but a little micro beats never having a clue where various abilities are going to be.

But rather than having a gargantuan bar of everything, I think a slightly better option is having dedicated spaces for weapon configs, potions, spell and spell like hotkeys, and then a proper casting interface for better access to all the stuff that isn't in the quickbar.

The big problem with quickbars that contain everything is that they stop being quick. It's the difference between pulling something out of your pocket and pulling something out of a stuffed backpack. Unless you know *exactly* where your things are packed, it just isn't very easy to find what you're looking for in the backpack. But you'll only have one or two things in your pocket, so that process is always easy, precisely because it isn't cluttered all to hell and gone.

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All the different inventory and equipment ect... needs to be combined as it was Div 2. Seperating it as is seems wonky at best. For me clicking on items and dragging them about 25% of the time miss-clicks.

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Originally Posted by ArvGuy
Just want to quickly throw in a little bit of praise. We can at least toggle off auto-filling the hotbar in BG3.


It would be nice if it actually worked.

Currently, it doesn't work properly. Sure, some of the toggle-offs might work right, and you don't end up with junk items sticking to your bar... but spells and abilities absolutely auto-add themselves, and continue to do so, if you've moved them off or elsewhere, no matter what your options are. There are a whole mess of things that the game will automatically re-add to your bar whether you want them there or not, and it will do that every game load, and every time you deliberately add something else to the bar.

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I don't know why they would wait to do the UI until last. Its only like the most important feature of the game, you'd think they'd want to get that dialed first.

I was really surprised at how little of the iconography and design elements from BG1 and BG2 were used to develop the look of the BG3 UI. Not that those UI's were interstellar by any stretch, but they really didn't use any of it for BG3. The 9 main menu icons for BG1/2 where all easily recognizable, and simple to parse. Same with all the generic action buttons, and most of the spells icons as well.

Reinventing the wheel and then reinventing the spindle just seems like an oddball choice. One of the major advantages of making a game within an existing franchise is to make use of that stuff, especially if it works well. They shouldn't be looking to Solasta's UI, they should make plays off BG1/2 for their icons and organizational flair.

I mean we don't even have the Skull button? You know the button that collapses the menus from the heads up?
Its kinda embarrassing hehe


Maybe they don't have the rights to whatever Beamdog owns, but the basic symbols and themes, they're so generic and familiar, why not just pay a designer to mimic and put a new spin on the classics?

In 2021 I expect a AAA game to either allow the player to organize their own heads up display or to treat the GUI like it's a legit project of fine art. This one feels like a mish-mash placeholder. It takes the concept of a hotbar (which should just be for what's hot) and expands it out to look like an MMO cooldown menu or something, you know where everything has to have a flashy colorful icon and be on display at all times. I think they'd be better off creating menus that look like books and scroll cases and whatnot, with popdown menus or click to select radial or just about anything other than One Bar to rule them all lol

I mean it needs to have some kind of organization such that all the skills and spells and abilities are accessible from somewhere other than the giant hotbar itself, even if we can control what does or doesn't go into that massive hotbar.

Last edited by Black_Elk; 03/08/21 12:40 AM.
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They would need to get done with all features to make the final version of the UI. Simple as that.

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Originally Posted by <Redacted>
<Redacted>


Well yes, but just because the UI is finished last it doesnt have to mean it's a bad UI. And as stated above, it's hard to completely finalize a UI when the rest of the game and all its features isn't completed yet. And lets to forget that stuff can be removed from the game as well before final release, not just added.

Though this whole approach to UI design changes a bit when you release a game for early access and you need to present a more functional UI to the public early on in development. But most of it still holds true.

Last edited by Raze; 16/03/22 08:33 AM. Reason: deleted forum account
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I will say that I would like it clearer to know what skills each character is proficient in. I can kinda do that by selecting the Character Tab, clicking the arrow next to the ability score. I almost was about to offer this suggestion:
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UI Suggestion: On the Character Sheet tab, there should be an little arrow widget by the Proficiency Bonus tab like the one beside the ability scores, and if you click it, it expands and shows the list of skills that character is proficient in. That would be especially helpful when trying to find out which character would be best for a task.

...but then I realized that it if you're looking for a specific skill, it probably wouldn't really save any clicks at all, compared to clicking the arrow beside the ability score.

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Solasta UI is fantastic, the only issues I'm seeing people complain about on it in this thread are basically that it's (1) too big, and (2) looks "too modern". So literally make something similar so we have a button for actions, bonus actions, action spells, bonus action spells, slim it down a bit and give it a fantasy makeover. One thing that I feel Solasta handles much better than BG3 is reactions. It literally pops up and asks me if I want to spend my reaction on attacking this creature or not, while currently BG3 just forces me to either have my character automatically use their reaction on whatever enemy moves out of my area first, or toggle it off so they don't use it at all. And reaction spells aren't even cast as reaction spells because you have to cast them ahead of time, wtf is that? At least in Solasta if I wanted to cast a spell like, say, burning hands. I click the spells button, I find burning hands which is very easy as it's listed in the area for 1st level spells and has an icon that sets it apart from other fire based spells nicely, and I target where I want it to go. Plus, it shows me the area it effects in a 3D cone shape, so I can see who it will hit and can properly target enemies that are higher up as well.

Currently, if I wanted to do this in BG3, I would have to sit there clicking the arrows to scroll through my hot bar and searching through several pages of spells, abilities, potions, scrolls, etc. until I found it, then select it, and then instead of the proper cone shape it displays some weird area of effect thing on the ground in front of me which I can't really target properly and which doesn't seem able to hit enemies at higher/lower elevations. Considering how much verticality is in this game, making it so my spells can actually target people higher than me like they're supposed to would be nice.

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