UI, Controls, QoL : Part 1
, Part 2
, Part 3
, Part 4
, Part 5
Roleplay, Story, Immersion : Part 1
, Part 2
, Part 3
Mechanisms : Part 1
, Part 2
, Part 3
, Part 4
MANAGING SPELLS, CLASS ABILITIES, ITEMS, ETC The hotbar.
This hotbar is a hot mess. It is not built in a robust way and it will not stand spell casters reaching level 9. Improvements are also needed for the standard actions bar. I want to believe that this UI was quickly build, in order to allow the testing of other things. So, hopefully, a better interface will be designed before the end. Please separate spells, class abilities, and items.
They are different things, costing different resources. Please don't throw everything into one big dump area. When a spell can be recast for free (Hex, etc), simply update the spell icon.
Please, do not add a new icon ! Instead, dynamically update the cost of the spell.
Even with a maximally extended hotbar, the added icon too often ends up on the second page. It forces me to click the tiny down-arrow button to access the spell. This results in a ton of absolutely unnecessary clicks.
And even if the final UI doesn't suffer as much from the number of icons, it's just poor design. It is way more intuitive to look at the same place when I want to cast the same spell. Do not use a new a spell icon for each higher level spell slot I can cast a spell with.
If you really want to use this 5E rule, perhaps create a required secondary choice of which spell slot to consume (a bit like for Hex ... though Hex as it is is cumbersome already, so I'm really not asking for more of this system). Or perhaps a hover system which makes the secondary choice not required. Because I would say that 80% of the time, spells will be cast at their lowest level.
If you could streamline that TT rule though, it would be great. After all, it's not as if you can still claim to closely follow the 5E rulebook, so ... in for a penny, in for a pound. Maybe use fixed modifiers that improve with the caster's level, like the proficiency bonus. If really that cannot be done, then try to come up with a UI for spell casting that only requires one click, at least most of the time, yet does not requires so much space as the current one. When I remove the hotkeys for a position in the hotbar, it should display nothing.
And in particular, it should not display "unknown" ! I wanted to avoid confusing the number of potions with the hotkey number, and have just the number of potions displayed. My goal was to remove clutter information ... it should not have made the situation worse ! Please allow the allocation of hotkeys for all basic actions (Jump, Dash, Shove, Help, etc).
This is neither a Platformer nor a Stealth game. And yet we are using Jump and Hide often enough that Jump really needs its hotkey too. There is no reason why it should only be Hide. In fact, it should be possible to allocate hotkeys for all the standard actions. Moving items in the hotbar.
When moving icons in the hotbar, or to the hotbar, sometimes the mouse and the icon I am dragging are no longer superposed. They are off. Which means I don't land the icon where I wanted to land it. Given how much of a pain that hotbar is already, this doesn't help. In a sense, this is really not a big deal though : the current hotbar solution is so bad that a new interface will hopefully be developed, and so there is no need to repair this issue with the current one. In the hotbar, I have not found how to move icons between the first page (rows 1-2) and the second page (rows 3-4).
Again, not a big deal, since the hotbar in its current form will hopefully receive so much rework that the icon-sorting and the icon-searching mini-game will be a distant memory for those dinosaurs who've been playing BG3 since the Early Access. Spell icons in the spellbook and the level-up screen. When I level-up, the spells I can learn should be separated in sections of similar spell levels.
Currently they are all dumped in a single big list. But obviously, when I reach character level 3, I'll want to survey my level 2 spell options in priority, and not have level 1 spells polluting the picture.
With separate sections, like in the spellbook, it would be much clearer to focus on a given level of spells. Do not use a new a spell icon for each higher level spell slot I can cast a spell with.
The level N section of the spellbook should only contain level N spells. If I want to memorise a level 2 spell, the current spellbook makes it harder to search for these, since the level 2 section contain a lot of junk (namely, the level 1 spells). This is one more system that will definitely not stand spell casters reaching level 9. Whenever a spell benefits from a higher level spell slots, this should described in the tooltip of that spell.
It should not be described somewhere else. In particular, not in the higher-level icon of that spell, since that icon really should not even exist (not in the hotbar, not in the spellbook, nowhere).
It should be described. This is not always the case. For example, Create Water creates a larger surface with a level 2 spell slot, but this is not written in the tooltip of Create Water. The characters' management screens (inventory, equipment, etc). In the management screens, what determines the order of the characters ?
It doesn't seem to be the always same order as the order in the grouping of portraits to the bottom left of the main screen. Worse : the order is also not necessarily the same in the inventory screen and the character panels screen ! It would be a lot more practical and easy-to-use if that order was the same in every management screen. Equipment screen. Dual-wielding : don't remove my off-hand weapon each time I change the main hand !
If I replace a light weapon by another light weapon in my main hand, the light weapon in my off-hand should stay in my off-hand. After I have equipped a new item, should you not close the window of options ?
I would presume that, in most cases, the next equipment update will take place in a different slot than the one just updated. As a result, it is perhaps more useful to close the window of options as soon as I have selected one of the options. Item management. Reading books is extremely tedious !
When closing a book, please bring us back to where we were. If I read a book from the main screen, I should be back to the main screen (currently happening). If I was in the inventory, bring me back to the inventory (unfortunately not happening, so I have to go to inventory again). At the moment you're making it very annoying to read several books in a row, from the inventory. Which is sad since you have invested quite some work in writing them, and some of them are important to read.
Also, why starting on the right-hand page ? If starting on the left-hand page, all books with an even number of pages would require on less click to read, while books with an odd number of pages would require the same number of clicks. That sounds like an economy of uninteresting clicks. The items are too hard to grab and move in the menus (inventory, character sheet, bartering/trade, etc).
Too often, I grab-and-drag an item, only to realise that the grab did not happen. It is as if the grab system is not sensitive enough, and I have to go slowly, firmly grab the item and make sure it's grabbed before moving it around. This is obviously very annoying. Other games manage to make grabbing items something a player would not even think about. Sometimes I drop an item and it comes back to where it was initially.
I hope we won't have to target the destination cell with precision when moving items from the inventory of someone to the inventory of someone else ... It should just go to the nearest cell. I have not understood what "send to ware" does.
Is it just flagging items we want to sell ? Why does it say "send to wares" and not "mark/label as wares" ... it doesn't send the items anywhere. This is one of many instances where I feel the game does not do a good job of teaching me how to play it. I hope this improves by the time of the full release (not the wares, the ways the game teaches me its rules). When items are sent to camp, it would be great if they could be sorted in different containers.
One container for armours, one for weapons, one for potions, one for scrolls, one for lore books, etc. Given that there is already an auto-sort button in the inventory, I'm sure this is programmable. And given the huge load of items that we can find in the game, we really need proper solutions for organising it. How do I put items in containers ?
At the moment, it seems that I should first open the container, and then go to inventory. But having the container window not close itself automatically when I go to the inventory screen is a somewhat awkward feeling. Item tooltips : teaching us about mechanisms. How much does each food item heal us ?
I like that you created all these different food items. We have various types of meat, including roasted dwarf leg ! And as suggested in the forums, we should have more cheese too. Anyway. It's immersive. But I don't want to learn by repetition how much I should expect from this fruit, that fruit, this meat, that meat, and whether or not all fruits are the same, all meat at the same, etc. Tell us how your game works ! What happens if I fail to disarm a trap ?
The tooltips say that thieves tool are destroyed in the manipulation if a lock-picking fails. I assume they are not if it succeeds. Nothing is said of disarm trap kits. I would expect from this that they are never destroyed. Tell us how it works ! Trading. Is there really a need for both Trade and Barter ?
I didn't understand the fundamental difference. Given that in Barter you can always balance things out with money, Barter can do everything Trade can do. (And Trade can do what Barter does, but it doesn't feel as convenient to use.) Why implementing two solutions for the same functionality ? When using Barter, could we move the items to the table in one click ?
Instead of having to double-click. Or using the grab-and-drag which isn't very smooth. Use the Charisma of the most charismatic party-member when I'm dealing with a merchant.
Using each character's charisma is a very bad idea.
If I want to trade at the best price, I can transfer everything I want to sell to the inventory of the most charismatic character in my party. Who will also do all the buying. It's realistic, as the most charismatic party member would be the one doing the negotiation. It's very easy to do. And it's tedious as Avernus. I fail to see how this makes the game interesting in the slightest way.
(Note : one could think of using only the charisma of the person who initiated the conversation with the merchant. This will lead us to always initiate the conversation with the party's most charismatic character. However, I discuss elsewhere that we probably should initiate all conversations with our PC, for roleplay reasons, and trading would become a breach to that rule. Using the Charisma of the most charismatic party member is a better solution.)