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The problem with BG3's UI is that it takes way too much place on the screen compared to many other games.

The area without any UI is extremely small especially in combats. Hotbar does not help at all even if it's not the only issue...

Last edited by Maximuuus; 17/10/21 08:26 PM.
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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
It gets messy only if you let it. -_-
Its not fault of tool, that you dont use it properly. :-/


Here I'll speak in defense of an idealized large 'hotbar' scheme for a moment, just so you don't feel too demoralized Rag. This is what I'd need from it, like if Larian is unwilling to provide organization to the grid and I have to use it to effectively build my own UI. Or else just what I think a really cool D&D game might try to pull off at some point hehe.

First, things first...

1. I need to be able to save my Hotbar preferences via my profile. Call it custom hotbar settings or whatever you like, but the point is this... If I have to put in a ton of work into organizing things myself, and actually creating the structure of the hotbar layout, then I want to save that work so it can be used across multiple characters. I'm talking here about the structure, not the contents of the bar. If its modular and the grid can be moved around say or expanded to different sizes, we need to be able to save that out for later use.

2. For the structure of the bar I'd need to be able to divide or add some form of sectionality to the main giant hotbar, such that it's not really 1 single bar, but multiple bars or connected bars if you will.

3. For simplicity lets just say its Alpha-Numeric labelling, so I can have Hotbar A, and Hotbar B, C, D etc and also creating Rows of 1-10 for numpad or bind functions if desired within each bar. This would allow for rapid cycling not just on a keyboard, but also a controller. Anyone who makes use of keybinds for their gaming mouse or uses a padmapper to play a game like SWTOR will instantly understand the benefit of this to simplify a bunch of keys down to a switcher. It allows for a single button to be bound to the cycling function and then rotate between the bars. I'm not going to play this way, I use a regular mouse point and click from the heads up, but if they're going through the effort of making a modular UI, then accommodating convenient binds to the super mouse or controller too is optimal.

4. Ideally we'd be able to rotate our bars, so they could be columns rather than rows, if for some reason the player wishes that instead. Allow the player to free up screen real estate by going vertical if they like. Orientation left or right side etc.

5. Critically, allow individual sections/bars to be collapsed or expanded on the fly. Say I want one section for spells, one for potions, one for quick weapons, or whatever would be most useful given my Class choice. I might have one called Fighter 1, or Wizard 2, so I could say use the first for Lae'zel and another for Gale, whatever makes sense. But I don't need to see everything at once. Each bar should be collapsible into a single square, and expanded into a full row/column with ease. I'm perfectly fine for example, if the spellcasting interface takes the form of a hotbar that is micromanagable, but again only if I have a way to open/close to retrieve stuff from this hotbar at my discretion.

6. Allow us to stick all the other UI functions (the stuff that's not bars) anywhere we wish on the screen. At this point we're already using a grid system around the edges, so you might as well go the extra mile and let me change portrait locations, or reorient the mini map somewhere else etc, if for some reason that makes more sense for my layout loves.

7. Simply having 10 rows of 10, or 10 empty squares, where only 2 of these rows are visible at a time at the bottom with cycling is probably insufficient. Let me bring X number of rows up at a time if I wish, whatever is needed to get my quick read. If I have to page over constantly from a tiny tiny key, then it becomes even more inefficient than casting directly from a dedicated spellbook or using items directly from the inventory. At the same time if I can't reduce it to still see enough of my screen, that is a main issue. So we not only need to have a way to open and close the bars which are used less frequently or only at certain times, but also to set their dimensions.

8. For the icons which expand the squares into the rows, let us use icons similar to what we saw in the older BG games, just so it can have the sort of nostalgia call back perk. They don't have to be identical, but just some options that indicate general Arcane Spells, Divine Spells, Scrolls, Weapons etc. The ones already in use for inventory organization could be enlarged say and brought into something that can be dropped into a shortcut for the expandable square.

9. Allow us to assign all the various Auto-Add toggles which are currently Yes/No fields in the interface settings to individual hotbars instead. For example, Auto Add spells to Hotbar (A or B or C etc or 'None' meaning don't auto add them anywhere). I think if they actually put in the work on this, the actual goal would be to create Bars that are particularly well suited to particular characters or playstyles. So I'm not opposed to building or toolset type approach to the UI. It's just that I haven't seen it moving that direction at all. I think I may really be more in your camp than you realize. I can delight, but only if its creative and rewarding, thus...

0. Aesthetics! Most of the things I've described are the kind of generic transparency grids that we've seen in use for the UIs of other games for some time now, but that's not quite cool enough for Baldur's Gate! Or at least I don't think so, we should do better lol. Perhaps consider giving these grid bars the sort of flair you have right now. You know with the little baroque or nouveau flourishes on the boundaries that make it look extra Dungeons and Dragons, but add some more. Perhaps the design here could be modular as well, something more gargoyle stone in one set, or polished metallic, or nautiloidish for another, glass for yet another etc. Then have the bars themselves show different tints colors or patterns along their border. One might be reddish another more blue, that sort of thing. It's already in use on the current Hotbar, but I'm talking about giving the player some fun choices for that stuff. Basically the goal is to get some style points going for a custom UI. Just so it doesn't look so boring like the modular UIs of most MMOs. If it's meant to be gameful and more engaging, I think that is how to achieve such an aim. Get the player invested in the process, if they are expected to prune and maintain it. Make them love it the way Rags does, by having this be an expressive part of the game. Essentially like Character Creation, but instead call it "Dungeon Display." Everyone has their own style they love, perhaps I want it more pen and papery flair, with the chroma knocked back, someone else might want the interplanar vibe with that punched up. Maybe have one that looks more evil, one more good, or naturalistic vs urban city, with a bit of spread. So it can have a character all it's own.

There, that was the best I could do to express what I think a hotbar customization ideal might look like. 10 binds for fun UI ideas to play off I guess lol. I don't know that it's realistic really to expect Larian to go all gung ho with a UI hotbar deep dive. But if they did, I'd respect it. Not sure if you like any of those ideas, or if it's just taking the concept too extreme. But I think if the player is enticed rather than commanded out of necessity to build out their UI, then that would probably have more promise. It would be more gameful. If its your garden then you'll want to take care of it more. Right now it feels like pulling weeds up for the landlord though hehe. At least for me. I want it better

Best Elk

Last edited by Black_Elk; 18/10/21 12:16 AM.
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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Originally Posted by robertthebard
I can assign the more commonly used spells/potions/scrolls/weapon abilities to page 1, and go nuts from there on the other pages. I didn't check, but there's probably a hotkey to change the pages, but even if not, there's a click button on the hot bar itself to do that. In the options menu, under UI, you can turn on and off adding and removing spells, and other items, to/from the hot bar. So once you sort the bars to your liking, you will have to manually add them to the hot bar, in the location of your choice.

Yes, that means that some organizing will be required, but that's part of gameplay in most cRPGs, right along with the dreaded inventory management, a staple of most RPGs. So I'm left wondering "why add more UI elements to the screen if they're not strictly needed". I'm betting at level 10 I'd have empty pages, let alone slots per page under the current system.
No, not having good UI is not a staple of an RPG. UI has been better or worse, but as far as I played (and played most of them) this is exceptionally bad. In any other RPG I can start playing without tedious management. Any kind of management in other RPGs is conveniece, not mandatory downtime. Also unlike inventory, hotbar is not a mechanic. It's an interface for interacting with mechanics. And it should be as slick and convenient as possible.

If nothing changes, I will have to use system like you describe. But it's still shit. Shortcuts are there, but didn't manage to make them work. Even if they will work - WTF? That's supposed be more convenient then traditional UI? You can't even go straight to page 7 or 8, without scrolling through other pages. How is that supposed to save you amount of clicks? Buttons on the far right side are tiny, and in the part of the screen you have no reason to have your mouse around. It's bad UI. It's BAAAAD.

I guess good/bad UI is very subjective. I have seen UIs that consume a lot more space than this one does, and UI that consumes less. So there's nothing "exceptionally bad" about this one, especially if you have seen better or worse. In so far as "convenient" goes, this is pretty convenient. Hit the appropriate checkboxes in the UI section of Options, and then organize your bars to the way you want them. Then it won't change, unless you change it. As it is right now, despite your claim to the contrary, I can already start playing w/out a ton of management, because there's just not that much I need to manage starting out. Even my inventory is almost completely empty. Assuming the checkboxes aren't per save file, this would mean that it's "one and done", and I can start adding to my bars as I accumulate stuff that needs to be added, like skills/spells/items.

It's more than a bit ironic that you're starting a thread asking to reduce real estate used on the screen, and then complaining about minimally sized UI elements, isn't it?

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Originally Posted by robertthebard
In so far as "convenient" goes, this is pretty convenient. Hit the appropriate checkboxes in the UI section of Options, and then organize your bars to the way you want them. Then it won't change, unless you change it. As it is right now, despite your claim to the contrary, I can already start playing w/out a ton of management, because there's just not that much I need to manage starting out.
The bar won't change if you don't do anything, sure. But a big part of 5e/BG3 is learning and preparing different spells, getting abilities from items, and consumables. So unless you never level up, never prepare different spells, never equip items with abilities, and don't plan on using any consumables, your hotbar will change and require further management. Whereas, for example, a dedicated pop-up spellbook would automatically keep track of any changes in prepared/known spells. Similarly, dedicated "consumable item" and "character abilities" (e.g., battlemaster maneuvers) mini windows would also be great.

That latter sentence is not a good argument because we're only seeing levels 1-4 right now. Level 8+ characters will have 2-3 times as many options as level 4 characters. What (arguably) works for EA doesn't necessarily scale to the full game.

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I'm taking Recuding as new coinage rather than a typo hehe. I mean let's Recud this thing!

Honestly I'm not opposed to giving the player a lot of flexibility, obviously the developers have some, since we can see these minor changes appearing. But we don't have anything like the tools they do. One can hope for mods to mod, but native support would be cooler for sure.

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Originally Posted by robertthebard
[quote=Wormerine][quote=robertthebard]
It's more than a bit ironic that you're starting a thread asking to reduce real estate used on the screen, and then complaining about minimally sized UI elements, isn't it?
I suppose it would be, but I made a thread complaining that hotbar on which we are suppose to organize weapon skills, cantrips, 1&2 level spells, potions, arrows, skills from items got even shorter.


Originally Posted by robertthebard
In so far as "convenient" goes, this is pretty convenient. Hit the appropriate checkboxes in the UI section of Options, and then organize your bars to the way you want them. Then it won't change, unless you change it. As it is right now, despite your claim to the contrary, I can already start playing w/out a ton of management, because there's just not that much I need to manage starting out. Even my inventory is almost completely empty. Assuming the checkboxes aren't per save file, this would mean that it's "one and done", and I can start adding to my bars as I accumulate stuff that needs to be added, like skills/spells/items.
I don't how you are playing the game, but my hotbar requires maintanence after:
1) every level up,
2) after every long rest after which I change spell repertoire,
3) after I pick up item that gives me skill,
4) after I accidently make the hotbar shorter and everything will be messe up becasuse for some reason tiny buttons to make the hotbar shorter/long are on the left side of it near stuff you are likely to click on, and switching between hotbars are at the end of it, just ot make things extra inconvienient
5) after I use reusable skill (speak with dead, witchbold, hex) I am left with additional button just to spite me
6) if I want to use items (which I gave up on) constantly when looking, with extreme maintenance if I actually want to be able to tell what I have in my inventory (put container on the hotbar - put potions/scrolls/arrows in it)

And sure, things are much better know when I actually know the system and spells, not bother with items, and avoid changing my spells. I also wouldn't have issues with the UI if I didn't play the game entirely. But that's hardly the point. Interface should make mechanics clear and encourage use of it's various mechanics, not make it incredibly tedious if you try to do so.

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Cleaned up version. With spell submenus for 9 levels... with backpack and scrollcase and cantrips.
Of course this is just a edited if they did it from scratch, sky is the limit!

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Last edited by Lastman; 18/10/21 12:28 PM.
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Originally Posted by Lastman
The option to expand to this would be wonderful.

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A good UI will help people unfamiliar w/ 5e to learn the system. I think Solasta deserves credit in this way.

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Just discovered that they auto shrunk the hotbar for some characters, and I had to hit the plus sign to increase the maximum slots available. I spent forever reworking my hotbar for all 3 characters to reorganize everything so it made sense. Locked it for each. Turned off auto drop everything so nothing should automatically drop on my hotbar.

Leveled up to level 3 five minutes later. Had new stuff still auto popup on my hotbar. Had to rework everything again.

It sucks. Still one of the worst elements of the game.

That said, I'm very much enjoying Patch 6. I just think they really need to focus now on UI and Item Management.

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> I like those rules, and would probably use more than half of them myself. laugh
The only problem i see here is it would be a lot of additional work. O_O

Originally Posted by Lastman
Cleaned up version.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
Not quite sure what is so cleaned about this ...
Honestly i dont like that, especialy that part Where half of precious space for spells is taken by combat log. :-/


Short coment on my English. smile

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Black_Elk
> I like those rules, and would probably use more than half of them myself. laugh
The only problem i see here is it would be a lot of additional work. O_O

Originally Posted by Lastman
Cleaned up version.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
Not quite sure what is so cleaned about this ...
Honestly i dont like that, especialy that part Where half of precious space for spells is taken by combat log. :-/
ALl the spells space is already used. No extra space is needed because the spells would automatically be added into the submenu for appropriate level 1-9.
Those submenus would get auto-dumped on the bar or you can drag and drop them around from Spellbook window if you deleted them for whatever reason.

They need to give us the option to move the log around anyway. That way you could extend the bar if you so wanted on both sides, left and right...

If you have a favorite spell you could still add those to all the extra space you would get by moving the log up.

Upcasting would be faster as well. You just click the spell you want in the submenu and the spell level buttons would glow for all the available levels. You just click the level you want, if you don't you cast it at default level.

Last edited by Lastman; 18/10/21 12:53 PM.
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Honestly, even if auto-dump organized the hotbar more like what you see on the K screen, that would be huge. So, for magic users, cantrips, then Level 1, then 2, etc. For fighters, Second wind then Action Surge then Menacing Attack. Just put them in some sensible order so with Rogue I'm not clicking the next menu down to find offhand attack because spell scrolls, potions, etc. got auto dumped on the list taking up the first 12 slots on the hotbar.

If you're going to auto dump, at least have it make sense.

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I'm just going to add my +1 to this discussion. Current UI is not really all that good and I seriously hope it gets a update before the final game is released. There are several good suggestions listed here any of which would be an improvement.

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You know, the UI wouldn't need that much tweaking really. Party pics bottom left, then navigation action buttons like jump, group chain/unchain button, stealth button (if group chained, all stealth together, and if unchained only those chained stealth), a turn-based/pause button, then three menu buttons.

The first menu button is for weapon actions/bonus actions. This hotbar menu could be accessed via a single hotkey (default is Left Shift key). 12 slots in total auto-arranged for you but completely customizable if you want to. So, standard melee and ranged attacks, plus any special melee ranged attack actions would be listed here including Sneak Attack, Off Hand Attack, Menacing Attack, etc. And here's an idea, why a separate button for Melee Menacing Attack versus Ranged? Why not a single Menacing Attack button, and if you have your melee weapon out, it works with that, and if you have your ranged out, it works with that. Same with Sneak Attack. This cuts down on the number of buttons needed on the hotbar. Finally, an option to expand the hotbar beyond 12 without hotkeys. So, first twelve slots are all hotkeys so a player could hit the Shift key to pull open the menu and then use 1-0 and - and = to activate any of the 12 slots for quick menu popup and slot activation. However, if you really need more than 12 slots, for later levels, you have the ability to expand.

The second menu button is for special abilities like spells, lay on of hands, turn undead, sorcerer points, etc. Same as with weapon menu except hotkey by default is Left Control key. Totally customizable, but auto-arranged with Cantrips first, then prepared Level 1 spells, prepared Level 2 spells, etc. 12 slots with the ability to expand here as well. So, quick access the menu by hitting Left Control and then numbers 1-0, - and = keys. Reactions could also be managed here.

The third menu would be for items with same functionality except hotkey by default is Left Alt Key. Items are auto-arranged based on most commonly used like healing potions, potions of speed, etc., to scrolls and so forth again with the ability to customize it however you want.

Three easy buttons to pull open three separate menus for better organization would make it more user friendly and less of a cluttered, confusing mess. Hotkeys assigned to the three menus would cut down on the need to point and click on everything. A better auto-arrange system would make it so players don't standardly have to spend tons of time organizing things.

And shoot! You could even have a 100% user customized hotbar, similar to what they've given us now, that isn't auto-arranged at all based on using the number keys without shift or control or alt, and the player could put whatever they want, their most used actions, etc. on that single, 12 slot hotbar for a total of 48 hotbar slots; 12 for weapons, 12 for spells and abilities, 12 for items, and 12 for whatever you feel like.

So, like I said, it wouldn't have to be tweaked much. They'd just need to maybe do a few things to organize actions better so I don't play as a rogue with scrolls being dumped into my hotbar randomly because I had my rogue pick them up and then my off hand strike and Sneak Attack are on a whole separate hotbar list so I need to click on the down arrow to access them and so forth.

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Originally Posted by Lastman
No extra space is needed because the spells would automatically be added into the submenu for appropriate level 1-9.
IM aware ...
And that is exactly what i hate about it. frown

I dont see much difference between have spells in popup window sorted by level ...
Or levels in popup window sorted by spells ...

Both is bad for my intentions. :-/
I know im a little compulsive, but that is how it is ... i just like things sorted the way i want it. laugh


Short coment on my English. smile

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by Lastman
No extra space is needed because the spells would automatically be added into the submenu for appropriate level 1-9.
IM aware ...
And that is exactly what i hate about it. frown

I dont see much difference between have spells in popup window sorted by level ...
Or levels in popup window sorted by spells ...

Both is bad for my intentions. :-/
I know im a little compulsive, but that is how it is ... i just like things sorted the way i want it. laugh
No it's fine! That what i'm talking about. You or others like youself could just throw away the submenus and move the log. Extand the hotbar on one side or both and get 60-70+ slots like it was in the first pictures i posted.
Enjoying space for whatever!
I think now we are at max 20 slots frown

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Originally Posted by Lastman
Cleaned up version. With spell submenus for 9 levels... with backpack and scrollcase and cantrips.
Of course this is just a edited if they did it from scratch, sky is the limit!

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Much stronger! Thanks again for taking the time. It's just much simpler to have a conversation with visuals to help support and frame out what we're actually talking about.

It's hard to parse these things in language. I can see the logic already there. The key point being what can be moved/collapsed/expanded to provide more than a single option set in stone. But where they both can work. Or something else even, like putting the submenus somewhere else on the screen. Say left side or vertical. Still have the massive general hotbar along the whole bottom of the screen like the other pic, with both up. It's just a matter of how much view screen the player wants to give up in favor of the UI, or where they want put it, close or expand.

We might each have different aesthetic preferences for how things should look (I wish they'd give us something more there in terms of a customizable UI Dungeon Display) or what should be a default, but I can see how the one bridges into the other vice versa, if its more modular that is. I like the idea. Certainly better than the current

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Something like this would be great for playing a spellcaster. I would prefer to have my spells listed multiple times on different rows by level rather than having to remember to use the tiny popup we currently have. Some spells are rarely or never going to be upcast and I would just like to use them without extra clicking.
https://ibb.co/BcZjF09

The basic hotbar would be smaller and have expandable parts but those of us who want to see everything at once could expand. I didn't resize anything but the option for this would be nice.

Once we hit higher levels, the current system is going to be awful with all the spells.

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Very nice as well! It would certainly make playing casters more engaging. So many things one might try if they go the extra mile.

For example they could eliminate the redundant portrait and just have the end turn hourglass timer icon float above above the existing portraits, changing position based on whoever is selected currently. Or have the same display just to the right, if the Portraits are aligned vertically instead of horizontally for yet more room that way.

Flag the bars along either side of the screen to extend vertically in columns basically, whereas in the middle area they expand vertically but in horizontal rows just above along the next open line. Depending on where you position the anchoring icons, they could either expand by going up one square, or like 10 or a dozen. seems pretty simple and elegant. For players who like to keep their portrait display more in the middle the same scheme could work fanning out on either side, or boustrophedon expanding out and then back towards the middle again. Lots of ways they could try it. I just think it would if we had something to play around with on this score.

Last edited by Black_Elk; 19/10/21 06:12 AM.
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