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Zellin Offline OP
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Here it becomes interesting since I'm working on creating some types of UI myself and some rules are universal.
A few things I'm writing (and showing) in this post are coming with the assumption that all my previous suggestions regarding gameplay and some other popular ones are implemented.
There are some illustrations at the end of the post, you can avoid all long reading by going straight to them.

1. Party controls.
1.1. Remove dragging group portraits as part of the control system.
It's more clunky and takes more space for controls than it could with the same functions being provided by simple clicks. And I'm sure that for a gamepad it could be certain buttons.
1.2. Place the “Group / Ungroup” button right on portraits instead of right-click menu. Rename it on the tooltip as “Follow / Don't follow”. Use the image on the button as an indicator if the character follows the one we are controlling at the moment.
Less clicks and the new name is more suitable to how it actually works.
Also would be great if it would disappear in the battle mode, since it won't work anyway.
1.3. Add a version of the same button for the chosen character to make all the rest stop / start following that character.
At the moment right click on the chosen character's portrait does nothing, so to ungroup the character to do something only with him we need to switch to another, ungroup and switch back (or drag, but look at 1.1). It's obviously too many needless clicks.
1.4. Add keybinding for “Follow / Don't follow” that will work with the left click on the character model.
For example press Ctrl+left click.
1.5. Add a major “Group / Ungroup” button that will break or restore grouping for the whole team, similar to how we enter or exit battle mode.
It's solely for the cases, when we know that we would like to move each character in his own spot.
Same as with 1.2 it would be great if it would disappear in the battle mode.
1.6. Expand the distance at which we can group characters.
At the moment we need to get characters really close to group them back. That's really inconvenient and 4 times more inconvenient when we have all characters at some distance from each other.
1.7. Make all following characters use stealth, active search and attack destroyable objects, when we do it on the leading character.
1.8. Create a party management interface with such functions: send companions to the camp without personal dialog, summon companions from the camp, edit march formation, edit battle formation.
A travel to the camp and talking personally to each companion to change the group is just loss of time for the sake of nothing.
It would be a cool bonus to immersion if after using that interface to replace a companion you'd add some suitable small cutscene or "barks" exchange, considering if we use it in the field or camp.
1.9. Make sure that our companions, who are not in the group, benefit from long rest as well.
It was "a little bit" frustrating to find out that after the whole night of sleeping Gale didn't restore a single spell slot and didn't get his special tadpole powers, because he wasn't in the group.

2. Camera controls.
At the moment the camera treats obstacles pretty randomly and allows us to see “insides” of the environment way too often. It both breaks the illusion of palpability of the world and makes controls clunky.
2.1. Improve the default camera collision logic.
A) Cliffs, walls, floors, ceilings and roofs are obstacles and the camera shouldn't move through them on it's own or via zoom.
B) Trees, bushes, furniture, statues, characters, rocks and containers aren't obstacles and the camera should move through them freely.
C) When the camera moves through the object, the object should turn transparent as it works with trees now.
D) When the camera doesn't move through the object the object should stay opaque.
E) Rotation of the camera shouldn't override the default logic and should keep on treating obstacles as normal, changing zoom distance instead of going through an obstacle.
F) WASD should override the default logic for medium or big but thin obstacles like walls, floors, small cliffs. It generally works as it expected already aside from occasional camera moves inside of whole mountains.
2.2. Add a way to move the camera straight by Y-axis.
Probably by Shift+W for up and Shift+S for down by default. This way of moving the camera should also override default collision logic for floors, ceilings and roofs allowing us to go from one floor to another by moving the camera through the floor and clicking on the new one we see.
2.3. Please, add the photo mode with free camera movement and hidden UI.

3. Main UI elements. Group and queue portraits.
3.1. Move group portraits to the top border of the viewport and change to vertical positioning, with summoned creatures being added to the right side.
This is to give the quickbars all the space they may need and take a narrower line from the viewport. I will return to the problem with switching characters on “Character sheet” in later posts.
3.2. Place status effects icons (concentration, buff, debuff) on the group portraits vertically and reserve some space for them.
Just one more effect in a battle turns a portrait into a pile of icons. There are too many, they are hard to “read” on a colorful background and they often end up right on the character's eyes.
3.3. Remove the “in battle” and “turn-based” status icon.
With 1.3 from here implemented we won't ever need any kind of additional indication if one of our characters is in the battle or not. Everyone is in a battle and it can be told from the perspective of any character by the change in UI appearance for turn-based mode.
3.4. Remove the additional “hidden” status effect icon.
It's enough to have the “sun” icon to understand if our character is hidden.
3.5. Add a "Dipped / coated weapon" indicator among other status indicators (buffs, debuffs e.t.c.).
3.6. Use only red overlay (better) or HP-bar on group portraits to show the amount of HP.
Two indicators showing the same thing in the same viewport area are redundant. Plus red overlay as an option turns the bar in nothing more than a waste of space.
3.7. Use overlays and vignettes instead of icons for all related to HP status indicators.
A) Drops of blood around the border in addition to red overlay for downed.
B) Fade in black for dead.
C) Blue-green glow vignette for temporary HP similar to the effect on character models.
The goal is reduction of the amount of icons of course.
3.8. Add some clothes (that endless nude-party on portraits, ugh) and facial expressions to portraits of our team.
Also can be a fun feature if you'd tie the clothes to the background and facial expression of our character to our choices in the game. So the darker we act the more evil look our portrait gets and the lighter we act the more enlightened it looks.
3.9. Move turn-queue to the center-top of the screen, make it show only one line with buttons for scrolling if there are more participants than can be shown in one line (1 line should be able to contain at least 8 portraits as if 2 unfriendly parties have met each other).
The turn-queue is an important part of the battle interface. Showing it somewhere on the side is not a good idea. I'm finding myself staring on the left each fight. Plus in 3.1. we moved the group right where the queue is now.
Showing too many lines only takes too much from the viewport even if it's on the side of the viewport.
3.10. Make it possible to choose targets by a click on group or turn-queue portraits.
You had this feature in the previous game, you know it's useful for avoiding misclicks.

4. Main UI elements. Quickbars and resources.
4.1. Remove the character portrait from the quickbar.
We can tell which character we are controlling by the highlight on the group portrait and skills on the bar. Having once again the same portrait just smaller only wastes space.
4.2. Place the action and bonus action points in one line with the quickbar. Make the quickbar always stick to the bottom of the screen.
A quickbar that sticks out in some distance from the border takes away more from the viewport and useful space in the battle more than it should.
4.3. Add a reaction point as a shown resource for reactions, so we would be able to make sure if the character spent his reaction on the current turn.
4.4. Show additional reaction, action, bonus action points as some kind of a change (number for example) in the original point icon, instead of showing one more icon.
So the points will always take the same amount of space on the UI.
4.5. Leave only those attacks which can be done with the current weapon on the quickbar with weapon attacks.
Changing the weapon should change the list of attacks as well.
4.6. Move all weapon-based attacks on the quickbar with attacks, adding there automatically.
Sneak attacks, superiority attacks, the offhand attack, shove with current weapon - all should be there.
4.7. Make weapon toggles more noticeable (brighter, taller) and move them to the center (where is the portrait now).
At the moment they are so narrow and dim it's hard to notice and use them. Moving them to the center should both draw some attention to them and the fact of spending bonus points on switching, and help against any interference with change of quickbar slots.
4.8. Make sure it is always possible to change the choice of action / spell / attack by a click on another action / spell / attack with no need to do the right click.
At the moment the “Throw” action totally blocks the quickbar for example.
4.9. Replace pop-ups for throw and variants of spells with options shown roughly in the center of the screen. Make that new options menu disappear or change if we choose another option from quickbar.
Pop-up window as a part of the quickbar makes it all look cluttered and interrupts attempts to use something else if we changed our mind.
4.10. Create the second step for throw action with options: Environment (creatures, nearby rocks e.t.c.), Inventory (heavy things from inventory, excluding grenades and flasks), Grenades (grenades and flasks only).
At the moment there are sometimes too many things at once in the pop-up window and we can't even sort them, so some automated sorting is needed. Plus we don't need that window when we are going to throw something not from inventory.
4.11. Create a special spellcasting quickbar with spell levels being the first step of choice.
We should be able to turn it off in the game options. For a gamepad it can be turned into a part of the radial menu.
Even if this quickbar turned on, it should be shown only for characters that have at least 1st level spells, not only cantrips.
We shouldn't be able to edit this quickbar directly.
This quickbar should contain slots with numbers from 1 to the highest spell level available for our character.
After a click on a number we should get the list of prepared spells of that level. Scalable spells should have a small separate button on or near their icon, that will lead to their upscaled version. Click on the icon itself should initiate the cast of the spell with its original level.
4.12. Create the special “Quiver” quickbar and make the arrows toggleable on all quickbars for use with skills.
We should be able to turn off the quickbar in the game options.
Even if this quickbar turned on, it should be shown only if the character has some arrows in inventory. Even better if you'd also consider if the character uses a suitable ranged weapon or not.
Perfect if it will automatically get / lose new slots depending on the amount of types of arrows in the inventory. If there are too many they can be hidden behind a button.
4.13. Make a shape-like indication for icons of actions (square so that square forms prevail), bonus actions (triangle) and reactions (circle).
For example we have the triangle for bonus action points, so we have triangle-shaped icons for bonus actions.
For such spells as Hail of thorns, which use both action and bonus action, it should be the triangle inscribed in a square.
4.14. Allow us to keybind every quickbar.
4.15. The minimum amount of slots for one page of the main quickbar should be 6 (based on the length of the movement bar).
At the moment we have a strange situation with minimum 14 slots for the custom quickbar, while some classes don't have too many things to put there, unless they find all possible consumables and put them all on the quickbar. At the same time we can have more than 14 slots, when it's really hard to come up with safe and simple keybindings for more than 12 per 1 quickbar.
4.16. Do not create a separate icon for repeating spells like “Hunter's mark”, “Talk with dead”, e.t.c.
4.17. Spell slots near the movement bar need narrower appearance.
While at the moment they look like a perfect fit in symmetry with status effects, later on higher levels they will stick out further than the movement bar.

5. Main UI elements. Map.
5.1. Allow us to hide the minimap or turn it into a small compass.
Basically it's better when you allow to hide or minimise every separate piece of the UI. But for such huge and not always useful objects as the minimap it's the must have feature.
5.2. Reserve space for the North marker path on the minimap so it won't go out of screen and overlap other elements. Make the marker itself more compact. Instead of rotating around the map it can be shown as the compass attached to the map always.
5.3. Place zoom buttons so they won't overlap the minimap itself.
Better if you'd also give them a more subtle appearance similar to the buttons of the chat.
5.4. Turn portraits with arrows for characters which are out of the field of minimap, in just arrows.
Sometimes in small areas, they overlay nearly everything.

6. Main UI elements. Details.
6.1. Keep the line with buttons (inventory, character list, journal…) always in the same center-top place and make it stick to the viewport border.
The more you move around some recurring elements of the interface the more problems your user gets with remembering where is what and finding elements specific to certain interfaces.
You may hide it in a battle, since we shouldn't be able or need to use more than a half of those buttons in a battle.
6.2. Remove the fast travel button.
It sends us to the general map anyway, so we have two buttons that lead to the exact same interface.
6.3. Move “Long rest” and “Short rest” buttons to the same line with other buttons.
So we would have only those buttons which control the minimap on the minimap.
6.4. Tooltips should always be near the cursor.
At the moment when we hover our cursor over some surface the tooltip appears on the left a bit above the group portraits, which is counterintuitive.
6.5. Replace chance percentages to hit with the target AC vs dice roll.
It's not just a question of seeing “sacred” dice more, it's a question of system consistency and comprehension. We have flat numbers and dice rolls in our character lists, equipment stats and enemy examination interface, but after that we have sudden percentages and we can't connect them to those characteristics without doing some math.
Here some ideas how to visualise the advantage/disadvantage dice differently:
A) Write “x2” near the dice to tell us that it will be rolled twice.
B) Simply write “advantage/disadvantage” in between the AC and the dice.
C) Use color coding: green dice for advantage, red dice for disadvantage.
D) Use some appearance alteration: normal dice for advantage, cracked dice for disadvantage.
6.6. Don't exclude modifiers from the DC, add them to the dice rolls and show near the dice.
It will be both more familiar for old D&D players and a more transparent way to show the new players how their abilities and skills affect their results. Our character progress and difference between builts will be more obvious if we will see the modifier change right near the dice instead of DC change with need to hover over it to get to know that it was affected by the modifier.
Plus I can presume that it will allow you to optimise the code a bit. Since the DC can't be lower than 1, your code at the moment should have that considered for any original DC lower than our modifier. With adding the modifier to the roll, you won't need that.
6.7. Write only once for what we are doing the check in dialogs.
It's redundant when it's both “Athletics”/“Strength check” and totally ridiculous when it's “Strength”/“Strength check”.


As a summary here are some a bit schematic illustrations of how I expect the UI to start looking:
New main UI in a battle with new quickbars turned on and new pop-up.
New main UI out of a battle in the turn-based mode.
New main UI out of a battle with optional quickbars turned off and minimap turned into compass.
New dice roll in a dialog.
New party formation interface.

Joined: Oct 2020
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There’s a LOT to process here but at first glance, I’m in favour with most if not all of these suggestions. Especially showing the dice with modifiers rather than targets and percentages.

Well done!

Joined: Nov 2020
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Very good! I love these suggestions!

Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Liberec
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There is some good ideas to be sure ... also some that are absolutely horrible. :-/
But most of it looks like fine work, or concepts for moding comunity!
Especialy that UI changes ...
(BTW your second link is not working curently, not sure why.)

Now few notes:
- Personaly i kinda like that non-spell casters have abilities in hotbar, just as spell casters have ... otherwise they would be awfully empty for fighters. :-/

- I kinda like that spellcasting option ... but cant shake the feeling that trying to hit small arrow is not best way to get to adwanced spell levels. :-/
I still believe that current version would be perfectly useable, when combined with option to give both spells with certain levels (Mage armor lvl1, click and cast) to your bar, aswell as spells containing all levels in popup menu. :-/

- That "following" concept is interesting, as long as you play with protagonist only ... but it seem potentialy chaotic if you change your characters ...
If you want to create 3 groups, where Gale is allone, Tav is allone, and Shadow with Laezel is together ... how would you do that? It seem to me that Shadow would follow Laezel just until you change your character, then she abandon her post, just bcs she now start to follow someone else. :-/ Also managing who is suppose to follow who with every character in particular, dont seem like smoothest solution.

- Im not quite sure how do you want to implement that battle formation, concidering how battles are started now ... but i like that March formation, wich could be also used imo.

- That dialogue dice is awesome, make them two for rolls with adwantage and i would be the happiest warlock around the sword coast. laugh

- And about those UI buttons concepts you posted, they are looking good ... maybe a little overwhelming at first, but that idea of buttons using certain resources having certain shape, so you can tell at first sight what you need ... awesome, i love it!

- HoMaM-like queue, also awesome ... loving it. :3
Im just affraid this and your party positioning is once aggain "too DoS" for many people to accept. laugh


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
Joined: Oct 2020
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Originally Posted by Zellin
Here it becomes interesting since I'm working on creating some types of UI myself and some rules are universal.
A few things I'm writing (and showing) in this post are coming with the assumption that all my previous suggestions regarding gameplay and some other popular ones are implemented.
There are some illustrations at the end of the post, you can avoid all long reading by going straight to them.

1. Party controls.
1.1. Remove dragging group portraits as part of the control system.
It's more clunky and takes more space for controls than it could with the same functions being provided by simple clicks. And I'm sure that for a gamepad it could be certain buttons.
1.2. Place the “Group / Ungroup” button right on portraits instead of right-click menu. Rename it on the tooltip as “Follow / Don't follow”. Use the image on the button as an indicator if the character follows the one we are controlling at the moment.
Less clicks and the new name is more suitable to how it actually works.
Also would be great if it would disappear in the battle mode, since it won't work anyway.
1.3. Add a version of the same button for the chosen character to make all the rest stop / start following that character.
At the moment right click on the chosen character's portrait does nothing, so to ungroup the character to do something only with him we need to switch to another, ungroup and switch back (or drag, but look at 1.1). It's obviously too many needless clicks.
1.4. Add keybinding for “Follow / Don't follow” that will work with the left click on the character model.
For example press Ctrl+left click.
1.5. Add a major “Group / Ungroup” button that will break or restore grouping for the whole team, similar to how we enter or exit battle mode.
It's solely for the cases, when we know that we would like to move each character in his own spot.
Same as with 1.2 it would be great if it would disappear in the battle mode.
1.6. Expand the distance at which we can group characters.
At the moment we need to get characters really close to group them back. That's really inconvenient and 4 times more inconvenient when we have all characters at some distance from each other.
1.7. Make all following characters use stealth, active search and attack destroyable objects, when we do it on the leading character.
1.8. Create a party management interface with such functions: send companions to the camp without personal dialog, summon companions from the camp, edit march formation, edit battle formation.
A travel to the camp and talking personally to each companion to change the group is just loss of time for the sake of nothing.
It would be a cool bonus to immersion if after using that interface to replace a companion you'd add some suitable small cutscene or "barks" exchange, considering if we use it in the field or camp.
1.9. Make sure that our companions, who are not in the group, benefit from long rest as well.
It was "a little bit" frustrating to find out that after the whole night of sleeping Gale didn't restore a single spell slot and didn't get his special tadpole powers, because he wasn't in the group.

2. Camera controls.
At the moment the camera treats obstacles pretty randomly and allows us to see “insides” of the environment way too often. It both breaks the illusion of palpability of the world and makes controls clunky.
2.1. Improve the default camera collision logic.
A) Cliffs, walls, floors, ceilings and roofs are obstacles and the camera shouldn't move through them on it's own or via zoom.
B) Trees, bushes, furniture, statues, characters, rocks and containers aren't obstacles and the camera should move through them freely.
C) When the camera moves through the object, the object should turn transparent as it works with trees now.
D) When the camera doesn't move through the object the object should stay opaque.
E) Rotation of the camera shouldn't override the default logic and should keep on treating obstacles as normal, changing zoom distance instead of going through an obstacle.
F) WASD should override the default logic for medium or big but thin obstacles like walls, floors, small cliffs. It generally works as it expected already aside from occasional camera moves inside of whole mountains.
2.2. Add a way to move the camera straight by Y-axis.
Probably by Shift+W for up and Shift+S for down by default. This way of moving the camera should also override default collision logic for floors, ceilings and roofs allowing us to go from one floor to another by moving the camera through the floor and clicking on the new one we see.
2.3. Please, add the photo mode with free camera movement and hidden UI.

3. Main UI elements. Group and queue portraits.
3.1. Move group portraits to the top border of the viewport and change to vertical positioning, with summoned creatures being added to the right side.
This is to give the quickbars all the space they may need and take a narrower line from the viewport. I will return to the problem with switching characters on “Character sheet” in later posts.
3.2. Place status effects icons (concentration, buff, debuff) on the group portraits vertically and reserve some space for them.
Just one more effect in a battle turns a portrait into a pile of icons. There are too many, they are hard to “read” on a colorful background and they often end up right on the character's eyes.
3.3. Remove the “in battle” and “turn-based” status icon.
With 1.3 from here implemented we won't ever need any kind of additional indication if one of our characters is in the battle or not. Everyone is in a battle and it can be told from the perspective of any character by the change in UI appearance for turn-based mode.
3.4. Remove the additional “hidden” status effect icon.
It's enough to have the “sun” icon to understand if our character is hidden.
3.5. Add a "Dipped / coated weapon" indicator among other status indicators (buffs, debuffs e.t.c.).
3.6. Use only red overlay (better) or HP-bar on group portraits to show the amount of HP.
Two indicators showing the same thing in the same viewport area are redundant. Plus red overlay as an option turns the bar in nothing more than a waste of space.
3.7. Use overlays and vignettes instead of icons for all related to HP status indicators.
A) Drops of blood around the border in addition to red overlay for downed.
B) Fade in black for dead.
C) Blue-green glow vignette for temporary HP similar to the effect on character models.
The goal is reduction of the amount of icons of course.
3.8. Add some clothes (that endless nude-party on portraits, ugh) and facial expressions to portraits of our team.
Also can be a fun feature if you'd tie the clothes to the background and facial expression of our character to our choices in the game. So the darker we act the more evil look our portrait gets and the lighter we act the more enlightened it looks.
3.9. Move turn-queue to the center-top of the screen, make it show only one line with buttons for scrolling if there are more participants than can be shown in one line (1 line should be able to contain at least 8 portraits as if 2 unfriendly parties have met each other).
The turn-queue is an important part of the battle interface. Showing it somewhere on the side is not a good idea. I'm finding myself staring on the left each fight. Plus in 3.1. we moved the group right where the queue is now.
Showing too many lines only takes too much from the viewport even if it's on the side of the viewport.
3.10. Make it possible to choose targets by a click on group or turn-queue portraits.
You had this feature in the previous game, you know it's useful for avoiding misclicks.

4. Main UI elements. Quickbars and resources.
4.1. Remove the character portrait from the quickbar.
We can tell which character we are controlling by the highlight on the group portrait and skills on the bar. Having once again the same portrait just smaller only wastes space.
4.2. Place the action and bonus action points in one line with the quickbar. Make the quickbar always stick to the bottom of the screen.
A quickbar that sticks out in some distance from the border takes away more from the viewport and useful space in the battle more than it should.
4.3. Add a reaction point as a shown resource for reactions, so we would be able to make sure if the character spent his reaction on the current turn.
4.4. Show additional reaction, action, bonus action points as some kind of a change (number for example) in the original point icon, instead of showing one more icon.
So the points will always take the same amount of space on the UI.
4.5. Leave only those attacks which can be done with the current weapon on the quickbar with weapon attacks.
Changing the weapon should change the list of attacks as well.
4.6. Move all weapon-based attacks on the quickbar with attacks, adding there automatically.
Sneak attacks, superiority attacks, the offhand attack, shove with current weapon - all should be there.
4.7. Make weapon toggles more noticeable (brighter, taller) and move them to the center (where is the portrait now).
At the moment they are so narrow and dim it's hard to notice and use them. Moving them to the center should both draw some attention to them and the fact of spending bonus points on switching, and help against any interference with change of quickbar slots.
4.8. Make sure it is always possible to change the choice of action / spell / attack by a click on another action / spell / attack with no need to do the right click.
At the moment the “Throw” action totally blocks the quickbar for example.
4.9. Replace pop-ups for throw and variants of spells with options shown roughly in the center of the screen. Make that new options menu disappear or change if we choose another option from quickbar.
Pop-up window as a part of the quickbar makes it all look cluttered and interrupts attempts to use something else if we changed our mind.
4.10. Create the second step for throw action with options: Environment (creatures, nearby rocks e.t.c.), Inventory (heavy things from inventory, excluding grenades and flasks), Grenades (grenades and flasks only).
At the moment there are sometimes too many things at once in the pop-up window and we can't even sort them, so some automated sorting is needed. Plus we don't need that window when we are going to throw something not from inventory.
4.11. Create a special spellcasting quickbar with spell levels being the first step of choice.
We should be able to turn it off in the game options. For a gamepad it can be turned into a part of the radial menu.
Even if this quickbar turned on, it should be shown only for characters that have at least 1st level spells, not only cantrips.
We shouldn't be able to edit this quickbar directly.
This quickbar should contain slots with numbers from 1 to the highest spell level available for our character.
After a click on a number we should get the list of prepared spells of that level. Scalable spells should have a small separate button on or near their icon, that will lead to their upscaled version. Click on the icon itself should initiate the cast of the spell with its original level.
4.12. Create the special “Quiver” quickbar and make the arrows toggleable on all quickbars for use with skills.
We should be able to turn off the quickbar in the game options.
Even if this quickbar turned on, it should be shown only if the character has some arrows in inventory. Even better if you'd also consider if the character uses a suitable ranged weapon or not.
Perfect if it will automatically get / lose new slots depending on the amount of types of arrows in the inventory. If there are too many they can be hidden behind a button.
4.13. Make a shape-like indication for icons of actions (square so that square forms prevail), bonus actions (triangle) and reactions (circle).
For example we have the triangle for bonus action points, so we have triangle-shaped icons for bonus actions.
For such spells as Hail of thorns, which use both action and bonus action, it should be the triangle inscribed in a square.
4.14. Allow us to keybind every quickbar.
4.15. The minimum amount of slots for one page of the main quickbar should be 6 (based on the length of the movement bar).
At the moment we have a strange situation with minimum 14 slots for the custom quickbar, while some classes don't have too many things to put there, unless they find all possible consumables and put them all on the quickbar. At the same time we can have more than 14 slots, when it's really hard to come up with safe and simple keybindings for more than 12 per 1 quickbar.
4.16. Do not create a separate icon for repeating spells like “Hunter's mark”, “Talk with dead”, e.t.c.
4.17. Spell slots near the movement bar need narrower appearance.
While at the moment they look like a perfect fit in symmetry with status effects, later on higher levels they will stick out further than the movement bar.

5. Main UI elements. Map.
5.1. Allow us to hide the minimap or turn it into a small compass.
Basically it's better when you allow to hide or minimise every separate piece of the UI. But for such huge and not always useful objects as the minimap it's the must have feature.
5.2. Reserve space for the North marker path on the minimap so it won't go out of screen and overlap other elements. Make the marker itself more compact. Instead of rotating around the map it can be shown as the compass attached to the map always.
5.3. Place zoom buttons so they won't overlap the minimap itself.
Better if you'd also give them a more subtle appearance similar to the buttons of the chat.
5.4. Turn portraits with arrows for characters which are out of the field of minimap, in just arrows.
Sometimes in small areas, they overlay nearly everything.

6. Main UI elements. Details.
6.1. Keep the line with buttons (inventory, character list, journal…) always in the same center-top place and make it stick to the viewport border.
The more you move around some recurring elements of the interface the more problems your user gets with remembering where is what and finding elements specific to certain interfaces.
You may hide it in a battle, since we shouldn't be able or need to use more than a half of those buttons in a battle.
6.2. Remove the fast travel button.
It sends us to the general map anyway, so we have two buttons that lead to the exact same interface.
6.3. Move “Long rest” and “Short rest” buttons to the same line with other buttons.
So we would have only those buttons which control the minimap on the minimap.
6.4. Tooltips should always be near the cursor.
At the moment when we hover our cursor over some surface the tooltip appears on the left a bit above the group portraits, which is counterintuitive.
6.5. Replace chance percentages to hit with the target AC vs dice roll.
It's not just a question of seeing “sacred” dice more, it's a question of system consistency and comprehension. We have flat numbers and dice rolls in our character lists, equipment stats and enemy examination interface, but after that we have sudden percentages and we can't connect them to those characteristics without doing some math.
Here some ideas how to visualise the advantage/disadvantage dice differently:
A) Write “x2” near the dice to tell us that it will be rolled twice.
B) Simply write “advantage/disadvantage” in between the AC and the dice.
C) Use color coding: green dice for advantage, red dice for disadvantage.
D) Use some appearance alteration: normal dice for advantage, cracked dice for disadvantage.
6.6. Don't exclude modifiers from the DC, add them to the dice rolls and show near the dice.
It will be both more familiar for old D&D players and a more transparent way to show the new players how their abilities and skills affect their results. Our character progress and difference between builts will be more obvious if we will see the modifier change right near the dice instead of DC change with need to hover over it to get to know that it was affected by the modifier.
Plus I can presume that it will allow you to optimise the code a bit. Since the DC can't be lower than 1, your code at the moment should have that considered for any original DC lower than our modifier. With adding the modifier to the roll, you won't need that.
6.7. Write only once for what we are doing the check in dialogs.
It's redundant when it's both “Athletics”/“Strength check” and totally ridiculous when it's “Strength”/“Strength check”.


As a summary here are some a bit schematic illustrations of how I expect the UI to start looking:
New main UI in a battle with new quickbars turned on and new pop-up.
New main UI out of a battle in the turn-based mode.
New main UI out of a battle with optional quickbars turned off and minimap turned into compass.
New dice roll in a dialog.
New party formation interface.


Great stuff!

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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
There is some good ideas to be sure ... also some that are absolutely horrible. :-/
But most of it looks like fine work, or concepts for moding comunity!
Especialy that UI changes ...
(BTW your second link is not working curently, not sure why.)

Now few notes:
- Personaly i kinda like that non-spell casters have abilities in hotbar, just as spell casters have ... otherwise they would be awfully empty for fighters. :-/

- I kinda like that spellcasting option ... but cant shake the feeling that trying to hit small arrow is not best way to get to adwanced spell levels. :-/
I still believe that current version would be perfectly useable, when combined with option to give both spells with certain levels (Mage armor lvl1, click and cast) to your bar, aswell as spells containing all levels in popup menu. :-/

- That "following" concept is interesting, as long as you play with protagonist only ... but it seem potentialy chaotic if you change your characters ...
If you want to create 3 groups, where Gale is allone, Tav is allone, and Shadow with Laezel is together ... how would you do that? It seem to me that Shadow would follow Laezel just until you change your character, then she abandon her post, just bcs she now start to follow someone else. :-/ Also managing who is suppose to follow who with every character in particular, dont seem like smoothest solution.

- Im not quite sure how do you want to implement that battle formation, concidering how battles are started now ... but i like that March formation, wich could be also used imo.

- That dialogue dice is awesome, make them two for rolls with adwantage and i would be the happiest warlock around the sword coast. laugh

- And about those UI buttons concepts you posted, they are looking good ... maybe a little overwhelming at first, but that idea of buttons using certain resources having certain shape, so you can tell at first sight what you need ... awesome, i love it!

- HoMaM-like queue, also awesome ... loving it. :3
Im just affraid this and your party positioning is once aggain "too DoS" for many people to accept. laugh
Saying that some ideas are "horrible", but not pointing which ones is a "great" approach in making the feedback work better for Larian wink
The link works fine for me at the moment (I'm not logged in Steam).

- The quickbar is not supposed to be empty for fighters anyway. They have additional abilities which are not related to weapon, consumables, spells from equipment...
- The arrow can be bigger, the arrow can be placed nearby. The main idea is to leave that separate from the spell in it's original level to do 1-2 clicks for the original level instead of 2-3 all the time. I'm planing to return to the question of what we can place on the bar, when I'll start with the spellbook, but generally it would suggest that we should be able to put whatever version of the spell we want on our main custom quickbar.
- It should work perfectly as it already does with no post abandoning. You're mistaking different "buttons" with different "functions".
At the moment when you're on Tav you would see: Tav not chained with anyone, Gale not chained with anyone, Lae'zel chained with SH. In my version being on Tav in the same situation you would see everyone marked as "Doesn't follow", but if you would switch to Shadowheart or Lae'zel you would see Shadowheart and Lae'zel marked as "Following". Now if you would like to make Gale follow this 2 characters as well, you would need to drag his portrait to their portrait. In my version you would need to click on the button on his portrait, while being on Shadowheart or Lae'zel .
- I want to implement battle formation because when we are starting a fight from dialog at the moment our diplomat is forced to start right under the opponents noses. While I played diplomat characters in table-top sessions most of the time and I can tell that always before saying to an NPC "Ok, now we are killing you, bastards!" I would say to DM and the party that I'm moving away from the NPC while talking and making signals to my team that they should prepare for the fight.
- I showed how advantage/disadvantage is supposed to look on the first picture. Yes, for a dialog it may be 2 dices shown side by side, but I don't see any reasons for creating a lot of ways to show the exact same thing.
- They are rough concepts. I can't make perfectly suitable designs without some source graphics for already existing interface, I carefully cut out and redraw what I could, but that's it for now.
- Good.
And no, original BG had similar vertical positioning and some people already asked for it from that perspective.

Last edited by Zellin; 11/01/21 03:06 PM.
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This is by far the most important thing they could spend the zots on, to indicate to us that the game will be getting substantially "better" over time. I don't know what they are prioritizing right how, but it should be the UI.

UI frustration is the main impediment to my enjoyment of basically everything else that's going on in this game.

Also just in case people aren't clicking through, these layouts definitely include some excellent ideas... Certainly better than what we have currently in-game.
I couldn't get the steam attachments to imbed, so I saved to ibb just so people could see them more easily here. I'm a big fan of anything that allows us to customize and alter the layout of the various UI elements. We could nitpick some stuff I'm sure, and people may have different preferences, but I'm just struck with how much cleaner those layouts feel to me at a glance, and also closer to feel of the BG1/2 or UI's in other games that I'm more familiar with than Larian's, despite obviously having a lot more going on. Anyhow, again great ideas, nice work!

New main UI in a battle with new quickbars turned on and new pop-up.
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

New main UI out of a battle in the turn-based mode.
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

New main UI out of a battle with optional quickbars turned off and minimap turned into compass.
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Dialog dice idea is cool
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]


I also really dig the party formation layout
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

I agree with pretty much all of the ideas outlined in the OP's sections above. I did a playthrough right after the last patch dropped, but UI and control gripes just make it not a particularly enjoyable experience for me. I've spent more time replaying BG2 since Christmas than I have playing BG3, which is a bummer. I wish they'd patch in some better Camera controls, and character selection tools. Something to deal with the body block for party movement, get the hotbar and spellcasting interface dialed etc. I much prefer the layouts above for ease of accessing quick information via icons on Portraits, and just the arrangement Portraits and alignment of related info on the screen. A compass and option to move or hide the mini map is also something I'd love to see. Everything related to party management, and also way the character/equipment/inventory tabs are organized to remove redundancies and make doing stuff more efficient. Definitely prefer the quiver and organization of the attack/action UI here, and also how that is distinct from spell bars and hotbars

Last edited by Black_Elk; 12/01/21 04:15 AM.
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Thank you for embedded images, Black_Elk.
I had some trouble with finding a decent image-host for that last time and gave up after that.

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Yeah it took me like 3 months of posting here, till someone clued me in on how to embed from ibb lol. I wish we could attach savegames and image files and stuff like that on these forums

I just appreciate the energy and effort put into layouts, since its helpful to have a visual. I've seen a couple others floating around, but I like the general thrust of this one for something more flexible and coherent at a glance.

I agree with pretty much all of the ideas outlined in the sections in the OP above. I hope they take some of those ideas and run with them.

My last playthrough was right after the last patch 3 dropped, but UI and control gripes just make it not a particularly enjoyable experience for me, so I've spent more time replaying BG2 since Christmas than I have playing BG3, which is a bummer.

I wish they'd patch in some better camera controls, and character selection tools. Something to deal with the body block for party movement, get the hotbar and spellcasting interface dialed etc. I much prefer the layouts above for ease of accessing quick information via icons on portraits and such, and just the general arrangement portraits and alignment of related info on the screen. A compass and option to move or hide the mini map is also something I'd love to see. Everything related to party management, and also way the character/equipment/inventory tabs are organized to remove redundancies and make doing stuff more efficient. Definitely prefer the quiver and organization of the attack/action UI here, and also how that is distinct from spell bars and hotbars.

Also a lot of great feedback in that thread point by point
https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=697104

Oh also one last idea, but I really think the character icons showing the PC locations on the minimap should be arrows instead of a rounded/planchet shape, so its very clear to see which direction the character is facing in relation to the minimap/compass.

Λ

An arrow is just easier to read at a smaller scale. I like the shape you used for the "character outside of the minimap" display for that purpose because it is larger and arrowed at the back and riding the edge of the mini-map cicrle of view, so easy to distinguish that there is a character "that way" beyond the field of view. For minimap functionality, I wish we could toggle a larger triangular icon showing the camera itself at the center, to show which direction it is facing in relation to N on the compass. BG1/2 didn't have a minimap, it was just a very zoomed-out view of the actual area itself. But the BG3 minimap uses its own kind of terrain abstraction and visual key for stuff like walls or doors, that is not always the easiest to parse. Clearer visuals for the Camera and PC "facing" orientation via triangles would help I think. Especially if the player is using the "rotate mini map" option in their settings, which was way too haywire for me to tango with the way they have the camera and minimap set up right now.

Another idea while thinking about the mini-map in relation to leadership or party formation would be to use color to tell who's who on the mini map. Right now they use White for the selected character (which I think de-emphises it actually) and blue for the party on the mini map. A different option might be to use colors for party positions on the PC's mini map arrow.

So maybe the party leader (position F1) has a number 1 color white. Second position F2 a number 2 and color blue, and so on, stuff that actually displays on the mini map. So you can tell at a glance who's who on the mini map, whether its Shadowheart or Gale or whoever, based on their position in the party leadership hierarchy. Who's on top of who in the portrait layout to the left of the screen in the main UI. My hope would be F1-F6 (since I still hold out hope for a larger party). Perhaps summons showing with a smaller triangle F7-F12? A visual would be helpful. For most people its easier to distinguish variation in shape than color.

I think Enemies should display as Red arrows, so you can also tell which direction they are facing Λ

Friendlies or Neutral NPCs outside of combat could display as simple circles or squares (since their orientation matters much less from the player's perspective). Or maybe normal NPCs are circles, and Merchant NPCs are squares, or using a different color or shape so they jump out more once you know that they are merchants? ♢ ❖ ☆

Right now for mini map/portrait colors they use white (selected PC) blue (all other Party members) green (friendlies) yellow (neutrals) and red (hostiles), but they could do more with the colors within the party if they wanted. Cyan, Magenta and Orange, aren't really used right now, maybe a few of those could work along with Blue or White for the party itself? Then summons could also show with the same color for whatever associated player position. So for example maybe the the PCs use a larger open arrow/lambda shape, and the summons uses a smaller one of the same color...
Λ Λ Λ Λ


That would be an easy way to separate friends from foes, or to navigate the minimap when it becomes very crowded.

Also I really think using White for the selected character (party-leader) portrait/position is a terrible color choice.

Green for the Party leader would be much better, and fits more with the BG color tradition. Stands out more and is more intuitive and less bland than White.

Blue would be a better color for friendlies, and keeps with the whole "Blue Team vs Red Team" opposition, which is traditional going back to early days and familiar from wargames.

With a party of 4 it could look like this maybe...

Hostiles Λ
Friendlies Λ
Neutrals Λ
Party Leader 1: Λ
Party Position 2: Λ
Party Position 3: Λ
Party Position 4: Λ

For the colorblind or people who struggle with tiny icons there might also be options to enlarge the minimap as well as fonts and things like map symbols/icons. With a larger icon they could use an arrow with an alpha-numeric inside that just says F1 or F4, for the quick selection key binds. Little stuff, but it makes a difference for ease of use and for parsing the map at a glance.

Last edited by Black_Elk; 11/01/21 10:20 PM.
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Originally Posted by Black_Elk
Oh also one last idea, but I really think the character icons showing the PC locations on the minimap should be arrows instead of a rounded/planchet shape, so its very clear to see which direction the character is facing in relation to the minimap/compass.

Λ

An arrow is just easier to read at a smaller scale. I like the shape you used for the "character outside of the minimap" display for that purpose because it is larger and arrowed at the back and riding the edge of the mini-map cicrle of view, so easy to distinguish that there is a character "that way" beyond the field of view. For minimap functionality, I wish we could toggle a larger triangular icon showing the camera itself at the center, to show which direction it is facing in relation to N on the compass. BG1/2 didn't have a minimap, it was just a very zoomed-out view of the actual area itself. But the BG3 minimap uses its own kind of terrain abstraction and visual key for stuff like walls or doors, that is not always the easiest to parse. Clearer visuals for the Camera and PC "facing" orientation via triangles would help I think. Especially if the player is using the "rotate mini map" option in their settings, which was way too haywire for me to tango with the way they have the camera and minimap set up right now.

Another idea while thinking about the mini-map in relation to leadership or party formation would be to use color to tell who's who on the mini map. Right now they use White for the selected character (which I think de-emphises it actually) and blue for the party on the mini map. A different option might be to use colors for party positions on the PC's mini map arrow.

So maybe the party leader (position F1) has a number 1 color white. Second position F2 a number 2 and color blue, and so on, stuff that actually displays on the mini map. So you can tell at a glance who's who on the mini map, whether its Shadowheart or Gale or whoever, based on their position in the party leadership hierarchy. Who's on top of who in the portrait layout to the left of the screen in the main UI. My hope would be F1-F6 (since I still hold out hope for a larger party). Perhaps summons showing with a smaller triangle F7-F12? A visual would be helpful. For most people its easier to distinguish variation in shape than color.

I think Enemies should display as Red arrows, so you can also tell which direction they are facing Λ

Friendlies or Neutral NPCs outside of combat could display as simple circles or squares (since their orientation matters much less from the player's perspective). Or maybe normal NPCs are circles, and Merchant NPCs are squares, or using a different color or shape so they jump out more once you know that they are merchants? ♢ ❖ ☆

Right now for mini map/portrait colors they use white (selected PC) blue (all other Party members) green (friendlies) yellow (neutrals) and red (hostiles), but they could do more with the colors within the party if they wanted. Magenta, Cyan, Orange, and Violet aren't really used right now, maybe a few of those could work along with Blue or White for the party itself? Then summons could also show with the same color for whatever associated player position. So for example maybe the the PCs use a larger open arrow/lambda shape, and the summons uses a smaller one of the same color...
Λ Λ Λ Λ


That would be an easy way to separate friends from foes, or to navigate the minimap when it becomes very crowded.

Also I really think using White for the selected character (party-leader) portrait/position is a terrible color choice.

Green for the Party leader would be much better, and fits more with the BG color tradition. Stands out more and is more intuitive and less bland than White.

Blue would be better color for friendlies, and keeps with the whole Blue Team vs Red Team opposition, which is traditional going back to early days and familiar from wargames.

With a party of 4 it could look like this maybe...

Hostiles Λ
Friendlies Λ
Neutrals Λ

Party Leader 1: Λ
Party Position 2: Λ
Party Position 3: Λ
Party Position 4: Λ

For the colorblind or people who struggle with tiny icons there might also be options to enlarge the minimap as well as fonts and things like map symbols/icons. With a larger icon they could use an arrow with an alpha-numeric inside that just says F1 or F4, whatever. Little stuff, but it makes a difference for ease of use and for parsing the map at a glance.
Good thinking. I will try to process and use at least some of it, when I'll try to see what can be done for the map in general. There is that global map using the same markers and landscape appearance. So I'll probably go into more details with it.

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Right on, I had fun just text editing some quick symbols and font colors to see what looked decent at the tiniest of possible scales.

I think a lot of this stuff is pretty conventional by now, and there are certainly limits to color stuff, say the number of colors that even a non colorblind person can differentiate at a glance.

I think its a definite mistake though to use White as the color for the Main/Selected Character. White allows what should be the most important information being displayed to drift into the background. If anything White should be used for neutrals rather than Yellow, since color should be used to convey the most impactful and critical information. But even if they keep Yellow for neutrals, Red for hostiles, there are still enough off colors in the rainbow for a full party of 6. Just as an example

Party Leader 1: Λ
Party Position 2: Λ
Party Position 3: Λ
Party Position 4: Λ
Party Position 5: Λ
Party Position 6: Λ

Party Λ
Hostiles Λ
Friendlies Λ
Neutrals Λ

Yellow is a strong color that seems a bit wasted on Neutrals. They could easily be white to save yellow for something else, but at least its a quick read for now.

Or maybe they could actually do this in such a way that the player could edit some of this UI color stuff? Since, again, not everyone perceives color in the same way, and some people might find certain color combinations or pairings of colors much easier to read than others. Thinking esp of the colorblind.

They could also use pattern or texture to enhance the effect. Since their graphics peeps aren't limited to simple text or emojis or whatever like we are here on the forums. Instead of an open arrow they could use an elongated triangle or different arrow designs. Just about anything would be better than the current planchette design where the direction point is so tiny. Right now the mini map PC planchette uses white and black as the bordering color. Maybe using 2 colors for the PC arrows could work, where the outside border is always green and the secondary color corresponds to the characters party/leader position? That might be a cool way to include related color customization on the paper doll and in the UI. The PC might even use red, yellow or blue as identifiers for PC position in that case, provided the map icon/arrow for party members was sufficiently different from the other markers for hostile monsters or neutral/friendly PCs. Which would give a much nicer rainbow effect option for the controlled PCs, if we ever did get a party of 6, or just for people who just don't want to stare at too much magenta and cyan and such all the time hehe.

I find many of BG3s color convention choices kind of odd, since they don't follow the conventions of the earlier BG games. I wonder are these just another UI hold over from DOS2?

In BG1/2 Party members under your control were always Green. Yellow meant that someone was horrified or panicked or berserk and out of control. Red meant Hostile. Neutrals didn't show a colored circle below their avatar, but just a flashing white or blue one if they were speaking/barking or if you were interacting with them directly.

I think I would actually prefer if the party was all Green like the old BG games and they just use numbered player positions if desired, saving the other colors for other useful information that might be displayed on the mini or portrait. But since they already split between White (selected PC) and Blue (followers) I'd prefer they carry the concept all the way, so I can at least tell which of the followers is which from the mini map at a glance, (whiteout having to cursor over, or double click or things of that sort) but yeah, I wish the main colors for the PCs were not White and Blue, because those aren't sufficiently vibrant to pop.

Having Green as the color for Friendlies in BG3 just bugs me, since the previous BG games have me trained to think that green always means the party or the characters/summons that we have full control over. So I didn't like that change at all, like why mix that up in BG3? This is one of those minor areas where a little bit of UI continuity with the earlier BG games might help.

Green is the color for the PCs in Baldur's Gate games, and of lucky M&Ms! not for some blowhard like Aradin and his crew lol.
They should change that back right away.

If they opt not to use color for Party position differentiation, then I'd at least like the selected PC to always display as Green (not White), with a green circle on the Avatar, and then carry that through to the portrait displays as well, so its crystal clear who's selected. I know its different in other places, but in traffic control here Green means safe go, Yellow means caution, Red means danger stop, and those colors all jump out. It would be nice if the game used the same thing for traffic control on the mini map, or in TB combat. White is subdued and doesn't convey much at all. Blue can work well, but it depends on the Blue and vibrancy/saturation. It can either jump way out at you like modern LED Christmas lights (to the point where its the only thing you see), or slip totally into the background which is how the current 'follower blue' reads to me right now.

Sorry, not to ramble endlessly on the color thing, since there are many subjects in this thread already worth highlighting, but I just think their color choices in BG3 for UI Party/Mini-Map/NPC-Reaction etc were not the best, and there is still time to change that stuff.

I also wish more effective use of color would be made with the ghost paths when issuing movement commands or performing actions like jump. So using jump as an example, a scheme where Green means likely success, Yellow means some check/caution, Orange means likely injury or falling prone, and Red means a high risk of damage or possible death. Indicated in the ghost path preview before committing to the action. The same could be used for other types of pathing while moving in combat, like where an attack of opportunity is likely to be incurred. Just so that players can get more information quickly from their screen. That's different than like mini-map or portrait colors for factions or player position, but could also be improved if some of those path/ghost preview type UI elements had simple color gradients to convey simple information.

Arrows could be used not just on the mini-map, but in TB combat they could display on character circle in the main action screen (and for enemies the same). This could be done in Iso, or from whatever camera angle, at the character's feet. Since the game has made "facing" and "getting behind" something such an important part of the gameplay, the game needs to show us clearly who's facing where. So we can see how best to get behind them, and do that without incurring an attack along the way. Sometimes the animation isn't the clearest, so it would be helpful to have the shapes on the ground, with the arrow's actually coming off the Avatar's circle (at their feet) to show the facing direction, and what counts as the rear/flanks as opposed to face on.

Right now the game has a lot of kinks in the previewing of stuff before actually acting/moving, I'd like to see them lean into the ghost animation a lot more, and introduce colors and information on a preview screen. Like showing what can be reached or targeted or what's in range, without actually performing the action or the attack, or anything that requires you to commit to doing the thing before finding out whether it has any chance of working, just based on how well you can eyeball stuff and parse the animations and environments. Not that we need a full grid or hexes on the ground, but some kind of info lattice that could be toggled on via a ghost preview with color coding would certainly be cool.

Last edited by Black_Elk; 12/01/21 07:52 AM.
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Disclosure : did not read it all, but the points I did read are good and rather popular requests/suggestions.

There is one I want to quickly react to : showing "percentage to hit" versus showing "roll/AC" could be a preference (setting) if added.

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Originally Posted by Zellin
Saying that some ideas are "horrible", but not pointing which ones is a "great" approach in making the feedback work better for Larian wink
Concidering how much time we (i mean i wasnt alone) wasted trying to persuate Larian to not cancel old spellcasting system when implementing new (current one) ... Im not sure if my reaction even could make any difference. :-/
But its a long post ... maybe i try to mark them later, just in case.

Originally Posted by Zellin
- The quickbar is not supposed to be empty for fighters anyway. They have additional abilities which are not related to weapon, consumables, spells from equipment...
I presume its a matter of taste ...
To me, simmilar as Wizzard is preparing his spells on hotbar, Fighter is preparing his moves on hotbar ... i dont see much difference, or reason for that difference to be honest.

I mean sure, you can fill the place with all sorts of mess ... it just not feels the same. :-/
And since in some interview i think i heard Swen talking about dealing with "empty hotbars for fighters or rogues" in their own way ... i presume this is the case. smile

This is just one of things, i hope Larian keeps for Moders, so everyone could be happy.

Originally Posted by Zellin
generally it would suggest that we should be able to put whatever version of the spell we want on our main custom quickbar.
Thats something I have been lobbying for for a some time by now. smile

Adding spell level indicator to every single spell icon ... so we can allways see at first sight what spellslots we have at disposal and what spells will we use.
And allowing people to put both popup-menu spell with all levels included and specific spell levels on hotbar.

If Larian give me that, i would once aggain be the happiest caster around. laugh

Originally Posted by Zellin
- It should work perfectly as it already does with no post abandoning. You're mistaking different "buttons" with different "functions".
At the moment when you're on Tav you would see: Tav not chained with anyone, Gale not chained with anyone, Lae'zel chained with SH. In my version being on Tav in the same situation you would see everyone marked as "Doesn't follow", but if you would switch to Shadowheart or Lae'zel you would see Shadowheart and Lae'zel marked as "Following". Now if you would like to make Gale follow this 2 characters as well, you would need to drag his portrait to their portrait. In my version you would need to click on the button on his portrait, while being on Shadowheart or Lae'zel .
That much i presumed, it was in my second part of coment, maybe i choosed bad words. :-/

If i would like to just check who is following who, without changing anything, i would need to check them all individually.
Its not gamebreaking, it just feels like you are switching one anoyance for another. But i guess there is no way of getting rid of them all. :-/

I think i readed somewhere on this forum another idea ...
Basicaly it was exactly same system as we have now, just with that change that instead of draging character portraits, and breaking some imaginary chain ... you simply click on some "button" in between portraits ... it seem a bit like on middle between curent and your systems.
Ofcourse, if you want Char2 to follow Char4, you would still need to switch Char2 with Char3 ... :-/

Originally Posted by Zellin
- I want to implement battle formation because when we are starting a fight from dialog at the moment our diplomat is forced to start right under the opponents noses. While I played diplomat characters in table-top sessions most of the time and I can tell that always before saying to an NPC "Ok, now we are killing you, bastards!" I would say to DM and the party that I'm moving away from the NPC while talking and making signals to my team that they should prepare for the fight.
Well ... true.
On the other hand, if they actualy implement "surprise" effect when you start a fight out of dialog, they get same, or at least simmilar effect ... with much less effort.

Originally Posted by Zellin
- I showed how advantage/disadvantage is supposed to look on the first picture. Yes, for a dialog it may be 2 dices shown side by side, but I don't see any reasons for creating a lot of ways to show the exact same thing.
You mean that "x2" next to the dice?

I mean its a possibility ...
But since description of advantage litteraly tells us "throw two dices and pick the highest number" (or lower for disadvantage) i just think it would be better both esteticaly and practicaly to do litteraly that.

Also, its not like in that dialogue screen is not enough place for second dice. laugh
And last but certainly not least, it was requested few times around here. smile

Originally Posted by Zellin
- They are rough concepts. I can't make perfectly suitable designs without some source graphics for already existing interface, I carefully cut out and redraw what I could, but that's it for now.
Oh i didnt mean any critique by that ...
I really like it, its just that there is a lot of things, like some spells is using this, and some spells is using that ... its certainly good thing to have them sorted somehow so you dont need to see tooltip of every ability every round to plan resources for your next move.
Just at first sight there is a lot of different things to check ... for starting player it may seem like lot of rules they need to learn to orient in them effectively ... but that is certainly not on you, its more like on Larian, and even more like on WOTC.
And its not necesarily bad thing, its just ... well DnD is complex game, and that complexity can scare new players, that is kinda what i wanted to say. laugh

Originally Posted by Zellin
- Good.
And no, original BG had similar vertical positioning and some people already asked for it from that perspective.
Even better. smile


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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These suggestions for the UI look really, really great! Love it!

+1

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Superb work.
I am very doubtful Larian will rework the UI that much...It feels it was designed for consoles in mind.

Last edited by mr_planescapist; 12/01/21 01:46 PM.
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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
That much i presumed, it was in my second part of coment, maybe i choosed bad words. :-/

If i would like to just check who is following who, without changing anything, i would need to check them all individually.
Its not gamebreaking, it just feels like you are switching one anoyance for another. But i guess there is no way of getting rid of them all. :-/
You're falling in the logical trap here, which I presume Larian fell in the first place, when implemented their "chaining". If you're Interested if Char4 follows Char3 it means that eventually you're going to switch to one of them to do something with one or both of them. Otherwise "why are you interested?". So think: what the real difference if you're allowed to chain/unchain both before and after switching or only after? Just order of actions you can take!
I'm trading 2 annoyances for that 1 so small: chaining is clunky and characters position in slots is unstable.
And no, you don't need to check them all. If Char1 is followed by Char2 but not Char3 and Char4, you can tell for sure that Char2 is followed by Char1 but not Char3 and Char4. So you'll need to check only 2 out of 4 each time.

Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Well ... true.
On the other hand, if they actualy implement "surprise" effect when you start a fight out of dialog, they get same, or at least simmilar effect ... with much less effort.
And then hardcore DnD fans will bring up that "surprise" doesn't work like that. It will look especially funny with that ambush in the village: they ambushed us, but they are surprised.

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Originally Posted by mr_planescapist
Superb work.
I am very doubtful Larian will rework the UI that much...It feels it was designed for consoles in mind.
I saw they already have very different UI mostly based on radial menu for gamepads, so no, their current UI isn't meant for consoles.

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Originally Posted by Zellin
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Well ... true.
On the other hand, if they actualy implement "surprise" effect when you start a fight out of dialog, they get same, or at least simmilar effect ... with much less effort.
And then hardcore DnD fans will bring up that "surprise" doesn't work like that. It will look especially funny with that ambush in the village: they ambushed us, but they are surprised.
Maybe not it every dialog ... but at least in those where you have options like "strike first".
Yet, even them didnt expect us to fight back, so they can be surprised. laugh


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

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You have some very strong suggestions. I hope they'll be taken in consideration.

Since my thread will most probably be removed, I'll copy my original thoughts here :

So far, I've loved this Baldur's Gate III experience. And I have to say, I'm impressed by this last Patch 4.

However, if I had to point out one thing that, for me, requires a huge revamp, it's the UI !
The UI is quite messy when it comes to spell, consumables (potions etc...), ability, actions, bonus actions, special ability, items, special items... I've written all those on the same line on purpose to give the same feeling as the UI ;-)
Those are all mixed together and it's extremely unintuitive. I've come to realised that several times when I had friends over who tried the game. They all were struggling with that.

I don't think it requires a huge revamp, but I think that there should be spreaded categories for at least the following :

- Spells / Special abilities
- Potions / consumables
- Items (special use)

This would greatly improve the game experience and knowing myself what it requires as a work quantity, it might not take that long.

I doubt that I'm the only one to have that feeling ^^

Let your voice be heard people !

Have a nice day

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Originally Posted by Zellin
Here it becomes interesting since I'm working on creating some types of UI myself and some rules are universal.
A few things I'm writing (and showing) in this post are coming with the assumption that all my previous suggestions regarding gameplay and some other popular ones are implemented.
There are some illustrations at the end of the post, you can avoid all long reading by going straight to them.

1. Party controls.
1.1. Remove dragging group portraits as part of the control system.
It's more clunky and takes more space for controls than it could with the same functions being provided by simple clicks. And I'm sure that for a gamepad it could be certain buttons.
1.2. Place the “Group / Ungroup” button right on portraits instead of right-click menu. Rename it on the tooltip as “Follow / Don't follow”. Use the image on the button as an indicator if the character follows the one we are controlling at the moment.
Less clicks and the new name is more suitable to how it actually works.
Also would be great if it would disappear in the battle mode, since it won't work anyway.
1.3. Add a version of the same button for the chosen character to make all the rest stop / start following that character.
At the moment right click on the chosen character's portrait does nothing, so to ungroup the character to do something only with him we need to switch to another, ungroup and switch back (or drag, but look at 1.1). It's obviously too many needless clicks.
1.4. Add keybinding for “Follow / Don't follow” that will work with the left click on the character model.
For example press Ctrl+left click.
1.5. Add a major “Group / Ungroup” button that will break or restore grouping for the whole team, similar to how we enter or exit battle mode.
It's solely for the cases, when we know that we would like to move each character in his own spot.
Same as with 1.2 it would be great if it would disappear in the battle mode.
1.6. Expand the distance at which we can group characters.
At the moment we need to get characters really close to group them back. That's really inconvenient and 4 times more inconvenient when we have all characters at some distance from each other.
1.7. Make all following characters use stealth, active search and attack destroyable objects, when we do it on the leading character.
1.8. Create a party management interface with such functions: send companions to the camp without personal dialog, summon companions from the camp, edit march formation, edit battle formation.
A travel to the camp and talking personally to each companion to change the group is just loss of time for the sake of nothing.
It would be a cool bonus to immersion if after using that interface to replace a companion you'd add some suitable small cutscene or "barks" exchange, considering if we use it in the field or camp.
1.9. Make sure that our companions, who are not in the group, benefit from long rest as well.
It was "a little bit" frustrating to find out that after the whole night of sleeping Gale didn't restore a single spell slot and didn't get his special tadpole powers, because he wasn't in the group.

2. Camera controls.
At the moment the camera treats obstacles pretty randomly and allows us to see “insides” of the environment way too often. It both breaks the illusion of palpability of the world and makes controls clunky.
2.1. Improve the default camera collision logic.
A) Cliffs, walls, floors, ceilings and roofs are obstacles and the camera shouldn't move through them on it's own or via zoom.
B) Trees, bushes, furniture, statues, characters, rocks and containers aren't obstacles and the camera should move through them freely.
C) When the camera moves through the object, the object should turn transparent as it works with trees now.
D) When the camera doesn't move through the object the object should stay opaque.
E) Rotation of the camera shouldn't override the default logic and should keep on treating obstacles as normal, changing zoom distance instead of going through an obstacle.
F) WASD should override the default logic for medium or big but thin obstacles like walls, floors, small cliffs. It generally works as it expected already aside from occasional camera moves inside of whole mountains.
2.2. Add a way to move the camera straight by Y-axis.
Probably by Shift+W for up and Shift+S for down by default. This way of moving the camera should also override default collision logic for floors, ceilings and roofs allowing us to go from one floor to another by moving the camera through the floor and clicking on the new one we see.
2.3. Please, add the photo mode with free camera movement and hidden UI.

3. Main UI elements. Group and queue portraits.
3.1. Move group portraits to the top border of the viewport and change to vertical positioning, with summoned creatures being added to the right side.
This is to give the quickbars all the space they may need and take a narrower line from the viewport. I will return to the problem with switching characters on “Character sheet” in later posts.
3.2. Place status effects icons (concentration, buff, debuff) on the group portraits vertically and reserve some space for them.
Just one more effect in a battle turns a portrait into a pile of icons. There are too many, they are hard to “read” on a colorful background and they often end up right on the character's eyes.
3.3. Remove the “in battle” and “turn-based” status icon.
With 1.3 from here implemented we won't ever need any kind of additional indication if one of our characters is in the battle or not. Everyone is in a battle and it can be told from the perspective of any character by the change in UI appearance for turn-based mode.
3.4. Remove the additional “hidden” status effect icon.
It's enough to have the “sun” icon to understand if our character is hidden.
3.5. Add a "Dipped / coated weapon" indicator among other status indicators (buffs, debuffs e.t.c.).
3.6. Use only red overlay (better) or HP-bar on group portraits to show the amount of HP.
Two indicators showing the same thing in the same viewport area are redundant. Plus red overlay as an option turns the bar in nothing more than a waste of space.
3.7. Use overlays and vignettes instead of icons for all related to HP status indicators.
A) Drops of blood around the border in addition to red overlay for downed.
B) Fade in black for dead.
C) Blue-green glow vignette for temporary HP similar to the effect on character models.
The goal is reduction of the amount of icons of course.
3.8. Add some clothes (that endless nude-party on portraits, ugh) and facial expressions to portraits of our team.
Also can be a fun feature if you'd tie the clothes to the background and facial expression of our character to our choices in the game. So the darker we act the more evil look our portrait gets and the lighter we act the more enlightened it looks.
3.9. Move turn-queue to the center-top of the screen, make it show only one line with buttons for scrolling if there are more participants than can be shown in one line (1 line should be able to contain at least 8 portraits as if 2 unfriendly parties have met each other).
The turn-queue is an important part of the battle interface. Showing it somewhere on the side is not a good idea. I'm finding myself staring on the left each fight. Plus in 3.1. we moved the group right where the queue is now.
Showing too many lines only takes too much from the viewport even if it's on the side of the viewport.
3.10. Make it possible to choose targets by a click on group or turn-queue portraits.
You had this feature in the previous game, you know it's useful for avoiding misclicks.

4. Main UI elements. Quickbars and resources.
4.1. Remove the character portrait from the quickbar.
We can tell which character we are controlling by the highlight on the group portrait and skills on the bar. Having once again the same portrait just smaller only wastes space.
4.2. Place the action and bonus action points in one line with the quickbar. Make the quickbar always stick to the bottom of the screen.
A quickbar that sticks out in some distance from the border takes away more from the viewport and useful space in the battle more than it should.
4.3. Add a reaction point as a shown resource for reactions, so we would be able to make sure if the character spent his reaction on the current turn.
4.4. Show additional reaction, action, bonus action points as some kind of a change (number for example) in the original point icon, instead of showing one more icon.
So the points will always take the same amount of space on the UI.
4.5. Leave only those attacks which can be done with the current weapon on the quickbar with weapon attacks.
Changing the weapon should change the list of attacks as well.
4.6. Move all weapon-based attacks on the quickbar with attacks, adding there automatically.
Sneak attacks, superiority attacks, the offhand attack, shove with current weapon - all should be there.
4.7. Make weapon toggles more noticeable (brighter, taller) and move them to the center (where is the portrait now).
At the moment they are so narrow and dim it's hard to notice and use them. Moving them to the center should both draw some attention to them and the fact of spending bonus points on switching, and help against any interference with change of quickbar slots.
4.8. Make sure it is always possible to change the choice of action / spell / attack by a click on another action / spell / attack with no need to do the right click.
At the moment the “Throw” action totally blocks the quickbar for example.
4.9. Replace pop-ups for throw and variants of spells with options shown roughly in the center of the screen. Make that new options menu disappear or change if we choose another option from quickbar.
Pop-up window as a part of the quickbar makes it all look cluttered and interrupts attempts to use something else if we changed our mind.
4.10. Create the second step for throw action with options: Environment (creatures, nearby rocks e.t.c.), Inventory (heavy things from inventory, excluding grenades and flasks), Grenades (grenades and flasks only).
At the moment there are sometimes too many things at once in the pop-up window and we can't even sort them, so some automated sorting is needed. Plus we don't need that window when we are going to throw something not from inventory.
4.11. Create a special spellcasting quickbar with spell levels being the first step of choice.
We should be able to turn it off in the game options. For a gamepad it can be turned into a part of the radial menu.
Even if this quickbar turned on, it should be shown only for characters that have at least 1st level spells, not only cantrips.
We shouldn't be able to edit this quickbar directly.
This quickbar should contain slots with numbers from 1 to the highest spell level available for our character.
After a click on a number we should get the list of prepared spells of that level. Scalable spells should have a small separate button on or near their icon, that will lead to their upscaled version. Click on the icon itself should initiate the cast of the spell with its original level.
4.12. Create the special “Quiver” quickbar and make the arrows toggleable on all quickbars for use with skills.
We should be able to turn off the quickbar in the game options.
Even if this quickbar turned on, it should be shown only if the character has some arrows in inventory. Even better if you'd also consider if the character uses a suitable ranged weapon or not.
Perfect if it will automatically get / lose new slots depending on the amount of types of arrows in the inventory. If there are too many they can be hidden behind a button.
4.13. Make a shape-like indication for icons of actions (square so that square forms prevail), bonus actions (triangle) and reactions (circle).
For example we have the triangle for bonus action points, so we have triangle-shaped icons for bonus actions.
For such spells as Hail of thorns, which use both action and bonus action, it should be the triangle inscribed in a square.
4.14. Allow us to keybind every quickbar.
4.15. The minimum amount of slots for one page of the main quickbar should be 6 (based on the length of the movement bar).
At the moment we have a strange situation with minimum 14 slots for the custom quickbar, while some classes don't have too many things to put there, unless they find all possible consumables and put them all on the quickbar. At the same time we can have more than 14 slots, when it's really hard to come up with safe and simple keybindings for more than 12 per 1 quickbar.
4.16. Do not create a separate icon for repeating spells like “Hunter's mark”, “Talk with dead”, e.t.c.
4.17. Spell slots near the movement bar need narrower appearance.
While at the moment they look like a perfect fit in symmetry with status effects, later on higher levels they will stick out further than the movement bar.

5. Main UI elements. Map.
5.1. Allow us to hide the minimap or turn it into a small compass.
Basically it's better when you allow to hide or minimise every separate piece of the UI. But for such huge and not always useful objects as the minimap it's the must have feature.
5.2. Reserve space for the North marker path on the minimap so it won't go out of screen and overlap other elements. Make the marker itself more compact. Instead of rotating around the map it can be shown as the compass attached to the map always.
5.3. Place zoom buttons so they won't overlap the minimap itself.
Better if you'd also give them a more subtle appearance similar to the buttons of the chat.
5.4. Turn portraits with arrows for characters which are out of the field of minimap, in just arrows.
Sometimes in small areas, they overlay nearly everything.

6. Main UI elements. Details.
6.1. Keep the line with buttons (inventory, character list, journal…) always in the same center-top place and make it stick to the viewport border.
The more you move around some recurring elements of the interface the more problems your user gets with remembering where is what and finding elements specific to certain interfaces.
You may hide it in a battle, since we shouldn't be able or need to use more than a half of those buttons in a battle.
6.2. Remove the fast travel button.
It sends us to the general map anyway, so we have two buttons that lead to the exact same interface.
6.3. Move “Long rest” and “Short rest” buttons to the same line with other buttons.
So we would have only those buttons which control the minimap on the minimap.
6.4. Tooltips should always be near the cursor.
At the moment when we hover our cursor over some surface the tooltip appears on the left a bit above the group portraits, which is counterintuitive.
6.5. Replace chance percentages to hit with the target AC vs dice roll.
It's not just a question of seeing “sacred” dice more, it's a question of system consistency and comprehension. We have flat numbers and dice rolls in our character lists, equipment stats and enemy examination interface, but after that we have sudden percentages and we can't connect them to those characteristics without doing some math.
Here some ideas how to visualise the advantage/disadvantage dice differently:
A) Write “x2” near the dice to tell us that it will be rolled twice.
B) Simply write “advantage/disadvantage” in between the AC and the dice.
C) Use color coding: green dice for advantage, red dice for disadvantage.
D) Use some appearance alteration: normal dice for advantage, cracked dice for disadvantage.
6.6. Don't exclude modifiers from the DC, add them to the dice rolls and show near the dice.
It will be both more familiar for old D&D players and a more transparent way to show the new players how their abilities and skills affect their results. Our character progress and difference between builts will be more obvious if we will see the modifier change right near the dice instead of DC change with need to hover over it to get to know that it was affected by the modifier.
Plus I can presume that it will allow you to optimise the code a bit. Since the DC can't be lower than 1, your code at the moment should have that considered for any original DC lower than our modifier. With adding the modifier to the roll, you won't need that.
6.7. Write only once for what we are doing the check in dialogs.
It's redundant when it's both “Athletics”/“Strength check” and totally ridiculous when it's “Strength”/“Strength check”.


As a summary here are some a bit schematic illustrations of how I expect the UI to start looking:
New main UI in a battle with new quickbars turned on and new pop-up.
New main UI out of a battle in the turn-based mode.
New main UI out of a battle with optional quickbars turned off and minimap turned into compass.
New dice roll in a dialog.
New party formation interface.


Good stuff!!! =)

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