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I do not like the simplification of character details in Inventory UI

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  • TorinTorin Member Posts: 229
    Stoibs said:

    Oh wow, when I just started up the Beta recently, saw my character screen and decided to see if anyone else hated the changes - I hadn't even played enough to reach or get to Xzar yet.

    After reading that issue about the spellbook and having got an actual spellcaster myself now, I can't believe how bad the Spellbook screens *also* look.
    Ugh..

    Just.. why? Did Beamdog just want to arbitrarily change things around and leave their mark on this once great classic with "Their" ideas and "Their" version of what they wanted these UI screens to be as some sort of trollish "We were here" last word and branding stamp?
    I just don't get it at all.

    Kudos and props to anyone skilled enough to Mod these back to their originals, assuming this isn't rectified and/or won't be a toggle option come the 31st.

    Tablets man, tablets. They sold more copies of EE games on tablets than on PC so they are now a priority.

    All these changes are a reason why I have not bought SoD yet and I will not buy it if this shit is not fixed (at release or in a patch afterwards). And by shit I mean new UI made better, bugs fixed or an option implemented to play with old Inventory and character sheet screens.

    [Deleted User]ValamirCleaver
  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 2,011
    I understand a lot of disapproving opinions here, but I personally "only mind when it can't be modded". In that respect, the biggest issue I have with the inventory screen is the clumsy item swapping. Portrait highlighting is also a perfect adept for a toggle off option (if not a complete removal).

    Adul
  • FranpaFranpa Member Posts: 637
    edited March 2016
    If the UI is moddable enough to imitate the previous designs than the only suggestion I have for Beamdog is to add a ? graphic or something to indicate additional information is accessible via hovering over the names of items.

    Someone here will mod in the original design and then we can move on to more important matters like bug fixes (Seriously, bug fixing is like an incredibly important thing but it's always half-assed in AAA publisher games. There's no point in playing a great game if half the things in it are broken horribly, performance is bad, the game crashes a lot and/or players progress is erased periodically). Aesthetics like UI design is nowhere near as important as making sure everything it can do actually works.

    cmk24
  • TorinTorin Member Posts: 229
    Pecca said:

    I understand a lot of disapproving opinions here, but I personally "only mind when it can't be modded". In that respect, the biggest issue I have with the inventory screen is the clumsy item swapping. Portrait highlighting is also a perfect adept for a toggle off option (if not a complete removal).

    If I wanted to bother with mods I would be playing BG1 with Tutu or BGW for less money than what Bg1EE cost me.

    RodrianValamirCleaverIthual
  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 2,011
    Torin said:

    Pecca said:

    I understand a lot of disapproving opinions here, but I personally "only mind when it can't be modded". In that respect, the biggest issue I have with the inventory screen is the clumsy item swapping. Portrait highlighting is also a perfect adept for a toggle off option (if not a complete removal).

    If I wanted to bother with mods I would be playing BG1 with Tutu or BGW for less money than what Bg1EE cost me.
    As I said I understand such opinion. I merely stated my own.

    Ithual
  • StoibsStoibs Member Posts: 66
    edited March 2016
    Torin said:


    Tablets man, tablets. They sold more copies of EE games on tablets than on PC so they are now a priority.

    All these changes are a reason why I have not bought SoD yet and I will not buy it if this shit is not fixed (at release or in a patch afterwards). And by shit I mean new UI made better, bugs fixed or an option implemented to play with old Inventory and character sheet screens.

    So they are seriously snubbing the PC version - that is, the platform and version that these games literally only ever existed on and obviously started off on since '98 - for the sake of *mobile* gaming?
    Dafuq?
    Reminds me of Konami's shameful and questionable fall from grace.
    Is this actually a serious enough of a market to explore for the sake of arbitrarily ruining an entire saga of games UI's?

    Absolutely mind boggling to me.
    Why couldn't they just make these changes for the mobile crowd then and leave the PC as is? Any particular reason, or are Beamdog just really this incompetent?
    Yeah I dunno, I was all set and excited for DragonSpear also, but now I'm having reservations about rewarding a company that treats their customers and the game itself like shit such as this.

    Especially after I read the FAQ here that basically said "Yeah nah, some modders might be able to put it back the way it was"
    Fucking what? Are these guys serious with this right now? Do they want our feedback here or not? We're being quite vocal and clear about these unwanted changes. Always frustrating when one of your most favourite games and franchises of all time gets butchered. Seen it happen far too often. SIGH.

  • TorinTorin Member Posts: 229
    Of course they didn't say this anywhere but it is only logical conclusion. Personally all I am interested in from SoD is new gameplay, story and new difficulty settings (I want to play on Insane but without hp/damage boosts to enemies). All the UI changes are not needed for me and I was willing to suffer them if they didn't make my life harder (and they will it seems due to reports and bugs I read).

  • DoubledimasDoubledimas Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,285
    Well, don't the inventory screen and character record go a bit hand in hand?

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    I'd also like to remind folks that while you don't have to like the changes, you do still have to follow the site rules when discussing them. Excessive profanity falls outside the site's PG-13 standards. Leave it at the door.

    AstroBryGuymlneveselolmer
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447

    Well, don't the inventory screen and character record go a bit hand in hand?

    A bit, perhaps, but they're different screens. This thread was started to talk about the Inventory UI.

  • JumbikJumbik Member Posts: 19
    Ok here are my thoughts about the new UI. It's the first thing that "old" players will notice so I will start with it.

    1. New character creation (1st and 2nd screenshots) is inconsistent in looks and I'm wondering why it was done so. I can get behind needed changes but why mix two different menu looks? The first one (the original from previous version) uses different logic and looks than the new one when player gets deeper in options.

    It's confusing and ugly in my opinion. The new part of the style where any borders of "buttons" are missing and selecting is showed by lazy coloring/shading effect feels out of place completely. If the change was done for some future improvement then ok but please make it look better. Replace the simple shading effect by "selected" border effect and it will look much better... for example golden box around the option. Giving the "buttons" some background would make a TON of difference too.

    2. Inventory screen (3rd screenshot), I can get used to this, but I would like to have an option to switch the upper right boxes to have smaller fonts in them with possibility to show more information. For example the tooltip box is the same size as the whole box that have only 1 word in it. The tooltip would fit in without problem....

    3. Character screen. Here I have only one "issue" and that's again the selection graphics again. Please replace the coloring/shading effect when clicking a menu option with nice box graphic or animation. This looks lazy and ugly at the same time.

    I hope it did not sound too harsh, I wanted to make this constructive.

    DurenasValamirCleaverlunar
  • StoibsStoibs Member Posts: 66
    Dee said:

    Whoa, there. Some big assumptions being made.

    The UI changes you see are not designed with tablets in mind. We have plans for how to improve these screens (some of which will come in this update, others will come later), but the changes you see are designed for desktop systems first.

    Again I have to ask you, why implement changes that were never asked for anyway? Been using the original screens for 17~18 years now absolutely fine. No changes were required or requested, hence the apprehension and utter confusion at this unwarranted and unneeded changes out of the blue like this.
    I'm a PC gamer first and foremost, your proposed changes were most certainly not designed with my interests in mind due to the very fact of me posting about it here and on the Steam forums, thus making that statement quite suspect without actually polling results.
    It's like I posted originally here - If it ain't broke, why fix it?
    Dee said:


    If the functionality is something you don't like, that's something we want to know about.

    Welcome to the entirety of this thread since the beginning.
    Here it is again for clarity:
    The new screens look like ass, and are completely unneeded, unwanted and in some cases even more unintuitive and harder to navigate than the classics by plenty of us original and older generation of fans. (You know, more likely than not your actual target audience and fanbase here)
    My theory is that the Boss brought their kid in one day and they posed these changes after their 4 yr old had become confused and annoyed at the grown-up's cRPG from the 90's. Not wanting to disappoint the head honcho, the coders put on their best fake 'retail smile' and got to work on the proposed bland, dumbing down UI changes of what had to be known to be an asinine and backward decision at the time, out of fear of repercussions and a termination of employment.
    I can't think of any other made up theoretical scenario that involves these arbitrary changes being done, and then someone standing up and looking back at their handiwork and announcing "Yep! That looks better than the Original! :blush: " with sincerity.
    There, is that 'PG' enough while at the same time getting my feelings and absolute bafflement regarding the changes across?

    Took me about 5 minutes of looking at different screens, checking out the actual options menu itself, scanning the inventory screen at a stretch and on a whim rather than my character sheet etc. etc. to find out where the hell my reputation was - compared to the mere seconds it would have taken me from the vanilla page, as one example.
    Who's idea was it to jam my social reputation score into my weapon proficiency category?!
    Dee said:


    It would also be most helpful if this thread could remain specific to the Inventory screen. The Character Record, Mage Book, and other screens are all worth talking about, but the discussion is a little unfocused right now.

    I personally don't have as much of an issue with the Inventory, and of the Spellbook/Character sheet it's the least of my concerns.
    But ok.
    Take everything that has been said about the other screens regarding the confusion about the changes in the first place, and apply it here.
    Truth be told I saw nothing wrong with the original '98 screen that we were all used to. That you then decided to change it up initially in the extended editions was.. certainly a thing. I have to be honest here though - I still found myself constantly opening up my character screens to search for relevant combat data because again, that's what everyone had muscle memory for and was used to doing for years at that point. That you've now yet again decided to change this up for a third time should be pretty obvious as to why people are getting a little sick and tired here. There's absolutely no need to constantly reinvent the wheel here for something that has been functionally sound for almost two decades.
    Work on Dragonspear, bug fixes, the Shaman (No seriously, work on the Shaman - the amount of times the Spirits bug out and get stuck on each other or decide to not attack at all or just randomly get unsummoned even though the dance is still being done is incredible) etc. To repeat myself for the umpteempth time, don't fix what ain't broken.
    bengoshi said:

    I think this thread is a window to the future - it can give a picture of what the reactions will be when the patches and SoD are released, but after that the amount of love/hate posts will increase substantially. So everyone should start to get used to the critique of the new UI system.

    This. ^

    See it all the time in Early Access/Beta titles that move for a full release. As someone who has backed about 300 things on Kickstarter, I certainly get to sample my fair share of pre-release and early builds. You wouldn't believe the amount of devs who think 'They know best' while handwaving feedback; and then as warned and prophesied just naturally begin to get inundated with complaints and queries post-launch pertaining to an issue or a changeup of something that shouldn't be there. Some of them act on it and concede the changes..
    Boggles the mind why devs ask feedback like this in the first place though, then don't care to actually act upon it when they are point-blank being presented with the findings of what they asked for.



    Again, I just have to ask why these devs thought it was a good idea to arbitrarily change up things that didn't need changing in the first place from 18 yrs ago, and why they've quite smugly and rudely in the FAQ thread here basically gave us all the finger and told us that modders would have to *FIX* it back to the proper screens because they certainly don't have any plans to do so?
    That hardly seems professional or behaviour becoming of a dev working on and operating around a cult classic that is obviously going to have a great deal of fans.

    Secondly, why not just implement my original idea in my first post about a UI Toggle option [Classic/New] if they are so ignorant to the criticisms, and are being adamant (or stubborn) about keeping the new designs? It wIll cease this debate and discussion in a heartbeat and make *everyone* happy. It's a Win-win that doesn't need compromises. Could even go ahead and have 'New' switched on as the default choice that would need manual switching back for all I care.
    Just seems like a no-brainer simplest solution to me.

    At the end of the day, as has been alluded to here by others; this isn't setting a good mindset or a good example of what I can expect from these devs who are seeking pre-orders and sales for the expansion. As someone who is completely unfamiliar with this BeamDog company outside of the work they have done on the Baldur's Gate/Icewind dale extended editions - I have no baseline to work off of here in what sort of quality I can expect from their own *original* creations and ideas, and at the moment it's certainly not looking good nor are they setting a good precedent or starting point from where I'm sitting..

    GodKaiserHellValamirCleaverlolmerlunar
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    If it sounded before like I was telling you not to provide your feedback, that was a miscommunication on my part. We definitely do want feedback. But in the case of this thread, it's more helpful if the discussion is focused on the Inventory screen. Please, start a thread to talk about the Character Record or the Mage Book or the Map screen, or start a separate thread to talk about the UI in general. All of that would be useful feedback.

    All I'm asking is that you try to stay on topic.

    Incidentally, we're about to formalize some of this. Hang tight.

    AdulillathidJuliusBorisovlolmer
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    Having kicked off with some criticism, let's try to focus my feedback into more constructive criticism - based only on screenshots, I am not in the beta program.

    First, I admire BeamDog's commitment to providing a more enjoyable, playable game. Cleaning up the UI, however controversial, is clearly a step in that direction. Rather than go back to the old, I would like to make suggestions for how to improve the new - hoping they will spark ideas within the BeamDog team to find the /right/ solution, rather than necessarily /my/ solution!

    First - for a games with the heritage of the BG series, flavor is everything. The new UI dials back all the flavor in terms of clarity, and that might be a great way to sell a new business app on the latest Johny Ive iTool, but skeuomorphisms (fancy word for flavor) really suit a more informal activity like gaming, where the act of playing IS the point.

    If we could find some way to create a vector-graphic scroll-work to hang off the edge of the pop-up boxes, that would be a great start - inspired by the old. Some kind of simple texture behind makes the bland flavorful, with little distraction is it is subtle enough.

    The problem with bland numbers vs. scrolling could be neatly handled with a pop-out box, that zooms the scroll-area into the full info like the pop-up hint, either on mouse-over or on a click (or a tap on tablets). My main concern is that a flyover-hint UI is actually going to convert badly to tablets, even though I don't play on one myself.

    Mostly, I see steps in a good direction towards clarity in the new UI, the trick is to restore enough flavor to retain the feel of a fantasy game, without losing that clarity.

    cmk24lolmerThacoBell
  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,459
    I don't mind the new inventory screen. The information boxes from previous builds were nice but I don't mind seeing them go since I can access the same information by holding TAB. So we didn't lose the functionality - just visual clutter.

    What really concerns me is the game lag/slowdown/however you may call it. I sincerely hope that's just a bug that can be fixed and not an unavoidable side effect of the new comparison system.

    I also think the table looks a bit too large for having fields that are going to show nothing but numbers. Maybe you could fit in the another field for attacks per round, which to be honest, is the only thing I would miss not seeing in a quick glance.

  • FranpaFranpa Member Posts: 637
    Kilivitz said:

    I don't mind the new inventory screen. The information boxes from previous builds were nice but I don't mind seeing them go since I can access the same information by holding TAB. So we didn't lose the functionality - just visual clutter.

    What really concerns me is the game lag/slowdown/however you may call it. I sincerely hope that's just a bug that can be fixed and not an unavoidable side effect of the new comparison system.

    I also think the table looks a bit too large for having fields that are going to show nothing but numbers. Maybe you could fit in the another field for attacks per round, which to be honest, is the only thing I would miss not seeing in a quick glance.

    I didn't know Tab did that, and the large boxes are likely to account for font size scaling (You can make the font pretty big).

  • FranpaFranpa Member Posts: 637
  • inethineth Member Posts: 623
    My first reaction was to agree with the top poster, but on second thought, @AstroBryGuy has a point:

    As illustrated by franpa's BG2:EE screenshot, there's usually so much information, it can't fit into the little windows

    Moving the mouse over it in order to see the tooltip, isn't really harder than moving the mouse there and scrolling the mouse wheel in order to see the remaining information.

    craymond727AstroBryGuy
  • agrisagris Member Posts: 571
    edited March 2016
    All, what do you think about this:

    I assume that the current implementation of item comparison is to place an item in a special slot, and then look at the UI for it to tell you if it's better or not. Why not keep that special slot, revert to the old EE inventory of showing how derived stats are calculated, and color code the numbers that the item changes, including the derived stat. Red is worse, green is better (or blue for the color blind).

    For example, a player is wearing leather armor, and wants to know if studded is better. In the above system, the studded is placed into the comparison slot. Now, because we're showing the stats used to calculate AC, we see that the the user's DEX is providing the same benefit, all other gear is providing the same benefit, but the armor's AC benefit (7 iirc) is now _green_, green being better. Also, now the derived AC stat is _green_. You keep both the original functionality, show new players that something is better AND you educate them as to how to determine what is better or not by showing them how AC is calculated.

    @Dee


    edit: I also really, really dislike the new inventory screen compared to the original EE releases, fwiw. I think the reduction of instantly-available information, and reducing it to tooltips, is a step backwards. Previous EEs had a superior inventory screen, bar none.

    I'm a bit baffled at the reasoning for this change- what segment of the playerbase expressed that the original EE implementation of clearly showing how skills, abilities and items result in a given derived combat stats is too confusing? And then wanted that info relegated to a tooltip and in the place of a clear presentation of information, add an instant comparison? The composition of the inventory screen is also unpleasant; there is too much unused space compared to the previous EE releases, right where the old information used to be.

    MythrantarAdulValamirCleaver
  • MythrantarMythrantar Member Posts: 6
    agris said:

    All, what do you think about this:



    @Dee


    edit: I also really, really dislike the new inventory screen compared to the original EE releases, fwiw. I think the reduction of instantly-available information, and reducing it to tooltips, is a step backwards. Previous EEs had a superior inventory screen, bar none.

    I'm a bit baffled at the reasoning for this change- what segment of the playerbase expressed that the original EE implementation of clearly showing how skills, abilities and items result in a given derived combat stats is too confusing? And then wanted that info relegated to a tooltip and in the place of a clear presentation of information, add an instant comparison? The composition of the inventory screen is also unpleasant; there is too much unused space compared to the previous EE releases, right where the old information used to be.

    This post completely describes how I, too, feel about the inventory changes.

    ValamirCleaver
  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 2,002
    I like those ideas, they're a nice middle ground. Also, make the comparisons optional, because they cause lag.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    edited March 2016
    agris said:

    All, what do you think about this:

    I assume that the current implementation of item comparison is to place an item in a special slot, and then look at the UI for it to tell you if it's better or not. Why not keep that special slot, revert to the old EE inventory of showing how derived stats are calculated, and color code the numbers that the item changes, including the derived stat. Red is worse, green is better (or blue for the color blind).

    For example, a player is wearing leather armor, and wants to know if studded is better. In the above system, the studded is placed into the comparison slot. Now, because we're showing the stats used to calculate AC, we see that the the user's DEX is providing the same benefit, all other gear is providing the same benefit, but the armor's AC benefit (7 iirc) is now _green_, green being better. Also, now the derived AC stat is _green_. You keep both the original functionality, show new players that something is better AND you educate them as to how to determine what is better or not by showing them how AC is calculated.

    Currently, the comparisons appear while you're dragging the item, not when you place it on a specific slot.

    I'm not sure I'm understanding the concept you describe in your second paragraph. Do you mean to say that rather than show the old stat and the new stat side by side, just show the new stat in green (or red) to show that it's improving or decreasing?

    That's an interesting idea. It doesn't solve the problem of the old blocks being too small to fit the necessary information, though. Currently the tooltip allows you to see the entire information block without the need to scroll, which is a positive thing (as several people have pointed out), even if its being a tooltip might not be the best solution (as several other people have also pointed out).

    Good discussion, though! Keep the ideas flowing.

  • agrisagris Member Posts: 571
    @Dee

    Ok, so imagine the 1.3 BG:EE inventory screen. We see a derived stat, AC, which is a combination of DEX and items, lets limit it to that for simplicity's sake. We see that a 16 DEX provides a -2 AC (or whatever), our armor provides a baseline AC of 8 (leather armor), and our magical ring +1 provides a -1. Our derived stat of AC (meaning after all the relevant parameters are taken into account), is 5. Base AC of 8 (leather armor), DEX bonus of -2, magic ring +1 bonus of -1.

    Now in the hybrid system I'm proposing, we see all the detail in the inventory screen of the v1.3 BG:EE. It has all of the above, plus more when relevant. In what I'm proposing, when you drag a _studded_ leather armor, the calculations that show the total AC of 5 would show a green 4, indicating that this armor is going to improve our AC. Furthermore, if a player looked at the individual contributions towards that AC calculation, they would see that the base AC is now a green 7 (vs. leather's 8).

    This way lets players see the comparative differences between gear, while keeping the community happy to see the details that lead to the derived stat (effective AC). It also educates the new player as to what exactly is changing, so that they're less reliant on this system in the future and actually understand how AC is tabulated.

    illathid
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Ah, I see. So you'd show the improved numbers both in the final stat and in the calculated numbers as well. That makes more sense now, I can see it in my head.

  • agrisagris Member Posts: 571
    Yep, and use color to indicate if it's better or not. So you can keep the section of the UI which shows how derived stats are calculated (what a lot of us want), but also use color to show what is changed in comparison and if it's better or not (which Beamdog wants).

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