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

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  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 2,002
    @Dee You're right, and I wasn't even talking about the inventory, I was just going off on one of my typical bird-eye-view tangents, as usual. Honestly, I wasn't even aware of which topic I was arguing in this time. :tongue: I apologize for the off-topic.

    GreenWarlock
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Totally understandable. And you're not in trouble, I just want to make sure the conversation stays productive.

  • BelegCuthalionBelegCuthalion Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 451
    Of course when planning to do an enhancement of a game, it's hard to define the limits of such an attempt.
    First EE 1.0 was terrible and rushed with too little resources people and money wise, and too much cleaning up the mess found to do before really enhancing anything at all.
    1.2 was far better, 1.3 was really okay - if they abandoned the games in that state, I would not have cried out loud as a player who started 1998. So stop there now, calling it finished enhancement wise, do buvfixing only? Maybe.

    But here comes SoD, being new, not enhanced ... It's retro of course, but it's a game released 2016 and some mediocre things can't be justified with "because it was that way when we took over". So further improvements and ideas get in, best where the old was mediocre or really bad, not destroying the rest.
    I hope that 2.0 will be okay, 2.1 improved, and with 2.3 I would not cry anymore if they leave it be by then.

    illathid
  • BelegCuthalionBelegCuthalion Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 451
    Sorry for off topic too, I was ninjad multiple times with my last posting

  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 2,002
    I agree with a lot of that, I also thought v1.3 was probably the best version of the game yet. It's also very true that SoD is a new game that should bring with it new themes and a new experience. I think the awkward part is the 2.0 patch, that takes a lot of these new changes back to the original games, some of which don't quite seem to fit in there that well. (Though a lot of them surprisingly do.)

    I guess my overall opinion is that when a change is very ambitious and could go farther than what a lot of players would be OK with, Beamdog should take the extra effort necessary to make that change optional. Maybe this way things would be progressing a bit slower, but most of the negative impact would be eliminated.

    JuliusBorisov
  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,836
    @Dee
    Of course I know that, I loved the new inventory UI when it was patched in because it added to what was already there (which was pretty barebones, lets be honest) instead of subtracting from it.

  • agrisagris Member Posts: 571
    I think it bears repeating that a good middle-ground option would be to revert to the v1.3 inventory UI, and when moving items color code the derived stats (damage, AC, THAC0) that change and modifier (dex, item AC, item damage) red/green to show if the item being moved is a net improvement or not, and how. That way we keep the upgraded inventory UI that the EEs add, and new users get the easy comparison that beamdog wants. More importantly, imo, it also educates them since the modifiers involved in calculating the stats are color coded, so they can easily see _why_ the item is better or worse.

    Teaching users to fish vs giving it to them.

  • FranpaFranpa Member Posts: 637
    edited March 2016
    I kinda didn't realize that the good UI was actually introduced in the first release of the Enhanced Edition and remained present up until v2.0 beta. Can someone provide a screenshot of the original vanilla Inventory UI?

    I've updated the original post to clarify that the comparisons are between the v1.3 EE and v2.0 beta EE.

  • XendhaiusXendhaius Member Posts: 11
    Franpa said:

    I kinda didn't realize that the good UI was actually introduced in the first release of the Enhanced Edition and remained present up until v2.0 beta. Can someone provide a screenshot of the original vanilla Inventory UI?

    I've updated the original post to clarify that the comparisons are between the v1.3 EE and v2.0 beta EE.

    This is the original Baldur's Gate UI:
    http://oi47.tinypic.com/345fpr5.jpg

    XKal
  • FranpaFranpa Member Posts: 637
    edited March 2016
    Wow, okay, yeah v1.3 Enhanced Edition drastically improved it. Also I've kinda got sucked in to Ice Wind Dale (First time playing it) >.>" so uh, expect less feedback from me? I will say though that re-experiencing the BG EE v1.3 Inventory and Record Sheet UI's in Ice Wind Dale EE v1.4 is only reinforcing my preference for BG EE v1.3's UI.

  • cmk24cmk24 Member Posts: 605
    agris said:

    I think it bears repeating that a good middle-ground option would be to revert to the v1.3 inventory UI, and when moving items color code the derived stats (damage, AC, THAC0) that change and modifier (dex, item AC, item damage) red/green to show if the item being moved is a net improvement or not, and how. That way we keep the upgraded inventory UI that the EEs add, and new users get the easy comparison that beamdog wants. More importantly, imo, it also educates them since the modifiers involved in calculating the stats are color coded, so they can easily see _why_ the item is better or worse.

    Teaching users to fish vs giving it to them.

    Forgive me if I am not understanding your middle-ground, but this would not solve the issue of small boxes with too much info hidden behind a scroll bar. This design would not help since there would be comparison information behind a scroll bar, and since you have already clicked on and item you can't scroll that box down to see what changed. Unless you mean to say show only the stats that change, and leave the stats that are the same in the tooltip popover, that might work. Although it would have to be tested at larger font sizes to make sure no info is behind a scroll bar.

    illathid
  • agrisagris Member Posts: 571
    edited March 2016
    cmk24 said:

    agris said:

    I think it bears repeating that a good middle-ground option would be to revert to the v1.3 inventory UI, and when moving items color code the derived stats (damage, AC, THAC0) that change and modifier (dex, item AC, item damage) red/green to show if the item being moved is a net improvement or not, and how. That way we keep the upgraded inventory UI that the EEs add, and new users get the easy comparison that beamdog wants. More importantly, imo, it also educates them since the modifiers involved in calculating the stats are color coded, so they can easily see _why_ the item is better or worse.

    Teaching users to fish vs giving it to them.

    Forgive me if I am not understanding your middle-ground, but this would not solve the issue of small boxes with too much info hidden behind a scroll bar. This design would not help since there would be comparison information behind a scroll bar, and since you have already clicked on and item you can't scroll that box down to see what changed. Unless you mean to say show only the stats that change, and leave the stats that are the same in the tooltip popover, that might work. Although it would have to be tested at larger font sizes to make sure no info is behind a scroll bar.
    Why is info behind a scrollbar worse than info behind a tool-tip? I can tell you why scrollbars are better than tooltips though: the _majority_ of the modifiers used to generate derived stats, or all of it depending on the number of modifiers, is immediately visible in the pre-beta UI. In the new UI, _none_ of it is, and you have to hover the mouse to generate a tooltip to see a fraction of the information that was available pre-beta.

    GreenWarlockAdul
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    I am seeing hints that the need to remove scroll bars is related to better font support, to better handle the wide variety of screens a modern game will be subject to - so I'll BeamDog that slack.

    I fundamentally agree though, that seeing a reasonable level of information without a tool-tip is invaluable, and I really notice it is missing in the screenshots here (even if I got used to it only after upgrading to the EEs, it is now an essential part of the game for me!)

    I can imagine exploring a variety of ways to hint at and expose that there is more information than will fit in the space available, when characters are fully decked out, but I would really appreciate being able to see many of the basic modifiers without requiring extra magic from the UI - there is no obvious reason to hit it, unless you are appealing for a Johny Ive minimalism (which is very overrated, however much it sells).

    AdulXKal
  • luskanluskan Member Posts: 269
    Dee said:

    We have some ideas on how to improve the screen, both from where it is now and where it was before. Those ideas might not see fruition before this update goes "live", but we intend to continue working on it after v2.0 ships.

    But don't take that as a perfect sign from the dice gods; keep the feedback coming and the discussion going. Everything is helpful.

    I'm okay with this, as long as the next patch isn't another 16 month wait... :neutral:

    GreenWarlockJuliusBorisov
  • cmk24cmk24 Member Posts: 605
    agris said:

    cmk24 said:

    agris said:

    I think it bears repeating that a good middle-ground option would be to revert to the v1.3 inventory UI, and when moving items color code the derived stats (damage, AC, THAC0) that change and modifier (dex, item AC, item damage) red/green to show if the item being moved is a net improvement or not, and how. That way we keep the upgraded inventory UI that the EEs add, and new users get the easy comparison that beamdog wants. More importantly, imo, it also educates them since the modifiers involved in calculating the stats are color coded, so they can easily see _why_ the item is better or worse.

    Teaching users to fish vs giving it to them.

    Forgive me if I am not understanding your middle-ground, but this would not solve the issue of small boxes with too much info hidden behind a scroll bar. This design would not help since there would be comparison information behind a scroll bar, and since you have already clicked on and item you can't scroll that box down to see what changed. Unless you mean to say show only the stats that change, and leave the stats that are the same in the tooltip popover, that might work. Although it would have to be tested at larger font sizes to make sure no info is behind a scroll bar.
    Why is info behind a scrollbar worse than info behind a tool-tip? I can tell you why scrollbars are better than tooltips though: the _majority_ of the modifiers used to generate derived stats, or all of it depending on the number of modifiers, is immediately visible in the pre-beta UI. In the new UI, _none_ of it is, and you have to hover the mouse to generate a tooltip to see a fraction of the information that was available pre-beta.
    The issue is there is no way to scroll the box when the mouse is in use comparing an item, so you would never see all the changes at once anyways.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,908
    Dee said:

    We have some ideas on how to improve the screen, both from where it is now and where it was before. Those ideas might not see fruition before this update goes "live", but we intend to continue working on it after v2.0 ships.

    But don't take that as a perfect sign from the dice gods; keep the feedback coming and the discussion going. Everything is helpful.

    Dee, does it mean that for these further updates you'll look into other UI things, not only related to the Inventory UI?

    I'm afraid reports like "XP bar not working properly for multiclasses - http://redmine.beamdog.com/issues/20192#change-118979" that got an answer "Will Not Fix" - The Class tab already has two bars as suggested will be overlooked and forgotten, although the post by @gnaumiec here - https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/718273/#Comment_718273 and subsequent posts by other forumites clearly show something is not working as it should.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    The Record screen will also see some improvements, yes, though not necessarily before this update is released.

    JuliusBorisov
  • BelegCuthalionBelegCuthalion Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 451
    edited March 2016
    @Dee is there a chance for adjusted styling from beta to final 2.0? There are some out-of-context elements like the red tab highlight backgrounds (make them brown or golden or silver in bg2?) and the level up bars with odd colors (make them gold for bg1 and silver for bg2?) ... It would be rather easy to fix that without causing new bugs, pleasing the eye and taking some wind off the sails of the back-in-my-days!-armada, as it would not be new look and new features at the same time ...

    Paladin
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Given the short timeframe, we might not be able to adjust the art on these screens before the update goes live. But we do plan to gussy them up.

    JuliusBorisov00zim00
  • PaladinPaladin Member Posts: 335
    Thanks @Dee. I agree with BelegCuthalion and others that those designs need some love. They don't have the Baldur's Gate "feel". Particularly the red highlighting. And all of the tabs. I hope some work goes into this. Love your games though.

    AdulXKalJuliusBorisov
  • agrisagris Member Posts: 571
    edited March 2016
    cmk24 said:

    agris said:

    cmk24 said:

    agris said:

    I think it bears repeating that a good middle-ground option would be to revert to the v1.3 inventory UI, and when moving items color code the derived stats (damage, AC, THAC0) that change and modifier (dex, item AC, item damage) red/green to show if the item being moved is a net improvement or not, and how. That way we keep the upgraded inventory UI that the EEs add, and new users get the easy comparison that beamdog wants. More importantly, imo, it also educates them since the modifiers involved in calculating the stats are color coded, so they can easily see _why_ the item is better or worse.

    Teaching users to fish vs giving it to them.

    Forgive me if I am not understanding your middle-ground, but this would not solve the issue of small boxes with too much info hidden behind a scroll bar. This design would not help since there would be comparison information behind a scroll bar, and since you have already clicked on and item you can't scroll that box down to see what changed. Unless you mean to say show only the stats that change, and leave the stats that are the same in the tooltip popover, that might work. Although it would have to be tested at larger font sizes to make sure no info is behind a scroll bar.
    Why is info behind a scrollbar worse than info behind a tool-tip? I can tell you why scrollbars are better than tooltips though: the _majority_ of the modifiers used to generate derived stats, or all of it depending on the number of modifiers, is immediately visible in the pre-beta UI. In the new UI, _none_ of it is, and you have to hover the mouse to generate a tooltip to see a fraction of the information that was available pre-beta.
    The issue is there is no way to scroll the box when the mouse is in use comparing an item, so you would never see all the changes at once anyways.
    This is true, but there is also no way to scroll through modifier information which isn't rendered without a mouse-over. In the method you're advocating, seeing such info would require taking the mouse, which is now holding an item, and hovering it over the respective statistics area to see how a given stat is calculated and hopefully remembering what the different numerical modifier values are. If you're lucky, you've memorized the various modifiers so you know why one item is better than another. Yes, the derived stat is color-coded to know if it's better or not, but the player is non the wiser as to why without the kind of information coding that I'm suggesting.

    A simple solution to your question, in the system I propose, is for the modifiers that are being changed by the item held by the cursor to be written first in the modifier box, highlighted based on color like I suggested, so that users can easily see what is changing to make it a better or worse option.

    I just don't see how the current beta inventory UI is an improvement. Your posts seek to poke holes in my suggestions, without offering a better alternative. Offer an alternative that renders my suggestions moot and I'll be happy, but arguing for the sake of coming out on top does the IE games no benefit.

  • cmk24cmk24 Member Posts: 605
    agris said:

    cmk24 said:

    agris said:

    cmk24 said:

    agris said:

    I think it bears repeating that a good middle-ground option would be to revert to the v1.3 inventory UI, and when moving items color code the derived stats (damage, AC, THAC0) that change and modifier (dex, item AC, item damage) red/green to show if the item being moved is a net improvement or not, and how. That way we keep the upgraded inventory UI that the EEs add, and new users get the easy comparison that beamdog wants. More importantly, imo, it also educates them since the modifiers involved in calculating the stats are color coded, so they can easily see _why_ the item is better or worse.

    Teaching users to fish vs giving it to them.

    Forgive me if I am not understanding your middle-ground, but this would not solve the issue of small boxes with too much info hidden behind a scroll bar. This design would not help since there would be comparison information behind a scroll bar, and since you have already clicked on and item you can't scroll that box down to see what changed. Unless you mean to say show only the stats that change, and leave the stats that are the same in the tooltip popover, that might work. Although it would have to be tested at larger font sizes to make sure no info is behind a scroll bar.
    Why is info behind a scrollbar worse than info behind a tool-tip? I can tell you why scrollbars are better than tooltips though: the _majority_ of the modifiers used to generate derived stats, or all of it depending on the number of modifiers, is immediately visible in the pre-beta UI. In the new UI, _none_ of it is, and you have to hover the mouse to generate a tooltip to see a fraction of the information that was available pre-beta.
    The issue is there is no way to scroll the box when the mouse is in use comparing an item, so you would never see all the changes at once anyways.
    This is true, but there is also no way to scroll through modifier information which isn't rendered without a mouse-over. In the method you're advocating, seeing such info would require taking the mouse, which is now holding an item, and hovering it over the respective statistics area to see how a given stat is calculated and hopefully remembering what the different numerical modifier values are. If you're lucky, you've memorized the various modifiers so you know why one item is better than another. Yes, the derived stat is color-coded to know if it's better or not, but the player is non the wiser as to why without the kind of information coding that I'm suggesting.

    A simple solution to your question, in the system I propose, is for the modifiers that are being changed by the item held by the cursor to be written first in the modifier box, highlighted based on color like I suggested, so that users can easily see what is changing to make it a better or worse option.

    I just don't see how the current beta inventory UI is an improvement. Your posts seek to poke holes in my suggestions, without offering a better alternative. Offer an alternative that renders my suggestions moot and I'll be happy, but arguing for the sake of coming out on top does the IE games no benefit.

    Sorry if my posts seemed too much on the "devil's advocate" side, it was just the first thing that came to mind so I thought I would bring it up, didn't mean any offense.

    I really like the idea of color coding the stats breakdowns, the trick is finding a way to make that information visible. Sorting the list helps, but once you get past 2 or 3 modifiers changing how to you pick what one goes on top and what ones overflow the box? One possible (but not perfect) way to make sure all the information is shown would be to use the color coding inside the popovers and show the full side-by-side comparisons. The tab key could also be programed to 'show all popovers' so you could pick up a new weapon, hold tab (or the magnifying glass button on tablets), and see the full comparison.

  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,376
    Honestly, are people constantly looking at how their final stats are build up? Ain't it the final stats that matter.

    Though I fully agree that Number of Attacks should receive it's own line. Unlike the other information that is included in the boxes, which is only detailing how you get to the final number, the Number of Attacks is an important value on it's own, and should not be hidden behind either a tooltip or a scrollbar.

    I also agree that the current 2.0 boxes look a bit amateurish, though I'm not entirely sure how to improve it without removing most of the associated functionality.

    Though I have to ask, since there is so much focus on new tooltips, rather than reserving a lot of UI space towards item comparison, wouldn't it be much nicer if this information was moved into tooltips. For example, say you have a Leather Armor equipped, and have a Studded Leather Armor in your backpack. When you view the Tooltip of the Studded Leather Armor, it would be nice if, at the bottom of that tooltip, it would list that it would improve the current Armor by 1.

  • antimatter3009antimatter3009 Member Posts: 24
    Thels said:

    Honestly, are people constantly looking at how their final stats are build up? Ain't it the final stats that matter.

    This is my big question. I understand wanting that info to be available because it's nice to be able to see, especially for AD&D nerds (i.e. most of us here), but I don't see why it has to be glanceable. Not that it ever really was with the scroll bars anyway. I'm perfectly ok with the breakdown being hidden in a tooltip.

    My only functional complaint, which has been raised by others as well, is the lack of APR at the top level. That's a really important number that deserves to be glanceable but is not currently. Besides that it's just flavor, which I'm getting the impression will be a focus in 2.1. Not ideal for a release to be this bland IMO, but x.0 releases are very rarely fully baked in any area of software development. They don't have the manpower to do everything in the next 2 weeks, and flavor clearly and rightly belongs below things like bug fixing and new content on the priority list.

  • CaradocCaradoc Member Posts: 92
    edited March 2016
    1) Well i don't really like that they've "hidden" those intresting details. I prefer the current UI with the details visible. Its much more informative that way. I want to see how the armor class for instance is calculated without having to hover my mouse over my character. Imho this change is not making the game better.

    2) And a more philosphical question: Why do you feel it is better to hide information from the player when understanding how the rules work is an essential part of baldur's gate experience? I mean sure it can be "confusing" first time, but showing that information is crucial for the learning experience.

    I understand that there can be too much information (and then player suffers from an information overflow :smile: ), but current ui does not have such problem. Maybe it could use some tweaking here and there to make it more clearer, but now you're taking it too far.

    3) Because you've "cleaned" the ui, there is plenty of empty space. It does not make the ui look sharper or more intresting. Just my personal opinion.

    4) Nothing is perfect. I've really grown to like the current ui. It is such an huge improvment to the orginal bg 1 and bg 2 interfaces. By god those old game uis look outdated if you place them beside current EE ui screens. And these changes has made playing these wonderfull classics more fun to a modern user. :smile:

    However 2.0 ui doesn't feel like a big improvement to me. I really hate to be negative when clearly there are intresting ideas behind this change. I just think it needs more work. And I hope, you're not just doing it because of the mobiles.

  • illathidillathid Member Posts: 320
    Caradoc said:

    1) Well i don't really like that they've "hidden" those intresting details. I prefer the current UI with the details visible. Its much more informative that way. I want to see how the armor class for instance is calculated without having to hover my mouse over my character. Imho this change is not making the game better.

    2) And a more philosphical question: Why do you feel it is better to hide information from the player when understanding how the rules work is an essential part of baldur's gate experience? I mean sure it can be "confusing" first time, but showing that information is crucial for the learning experience.

    I understand that there can be too much information (and then player suffers from an information overflow :smile: ), but current ui does not have such problem. Maybe it could use some tweaking here and there to make it more clearer, but now you're taking it too far.

    3) Because you've "cleaned" the ui, there is plenty of empty space. It does not make the ui look sharper or more intresting. Just my personal opinion.

    4) Nothing is perfect. I've really grown to like the current ui. It is such an huge improvment to the orginal bg 1 and bg 2 interfaces. By god those old game uis look outdated if you place them beside current EE ui screens. And these changes has made playing these wonderfull classics more fun to a modern user. :smile:

    However 2.0 ui doesn't feel like a big improvement to me. I really hate to be negative when clearly there are intresting ideas behind this change. I just think it needs more work. And I hope, you're not just doing it because of the mobiles.

    I don't believe the intention was to "hide" the information. I believe the changes were made in response to wanting to display all the information at once without scrolling, regardless of resolution/font size. Is the solution perfect? No. But I can see why they did it.

    cmk24
  • Rover_27Rover_27 Member Posts: 10
    I actually like the look of the new UI, but I don't see THACO for offhand weapons

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,908
    edited March 2016
    @Rover_27 THAC0 for off-hand is shown right after THAC0 for main-hand on the Combat Stats screen:

    image

    In the inventory UI, though, it isn't shown. I've reported it.

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