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UI Improvement Suggestions Thread



  • ShadowdemonShadowdemon Member Posts: 80

    I major issues with calling the spell book "iconic". When I think of BG, it never crosses my mind. It was very limited in the information it gave you, and was very limited by the engine and technology in what it can do. We have a chance to improve what was always a very underwhelming menu and people already want to cripple it, because changing a dated interface is apparently some kind of sin.

    Totally agree. One of my issues with the original game was the icon only spell book. I don't play these games often enough to have all the icons memorized. I absolutely hated assigning spells: hover over the icon...wait a few the pop up..move to the next one...repeat x times. This gets tedious fast. Pop ups are a very poor user feedback experience.

    I like the fact that the new version now has the descriptions VERY MUCH. The screen needs some work, but the descriptions need to stay IMHO.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,571
    Love that latest mock up.

  • DoubledimasDoubledimas Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,183
    @Pecca: how about an update of the first post?
    Is it perhaps also an idea to split of the last couple of posts on the spell book into a seperate thread?

  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,960
    I can update the OP with more links, but the rest of the OP is my own suggestions with which I wanted to start the discussions, so no need to update that.
    About the spellbook screen, it only makes sense to start a new thread if the discussion takes more than couple of posts, otherwise this is the thread to post ideas.

  • MeaninglessMeaningless Member Posts: 51
    edited October 2016

    Now when you open your spell book, instead of a book full of spell icons you are presented with what feels like a data base list. Clicking on an item in that list makes it light up with a bright red overlay.

    I miss right clicking a spell icon to get detailed information about that spell on a separate screen.

    My exact feelings, classic spellbook/priestscroll were so elegant in their 'simplicity', while Pecca layout is a HUGE improvement, I'm still gonna miss that cute little book with levels 1~9 selectable at page borders and right click entering into each spell unique desciption.

    Post edited by Meaningless on
  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,328
    What if the spellbook had an overview page? A page in addition to the regular pages, which would be the default page when first opening a spellbook?

    On the left page, it would list all the memorized spell slots, one row per spell level. A scroll bar may be required for high level casters.

    Single clicking a memorized spell slot would show the spell name and description on the right page. Perhaps there could be [VIEW] and [CLEAR] buttons at the bottom. The View button would take you to the correct spell level page, where all the known spells for that spell are visible. The Clear button would clear the spell slot.

    Double clicking a memorized spell slot would clear the spell slot.

    Single clicking a cleared spell slot would show the list of known spells of the appropriate level on the right page. This could either be icons or a vertical list, not sure.

    Double clicking a cleared spell slot would take you to the correct spell level page, where all the known spells for that spell are visible.

    The individual spell level pages could have a row of all the memorized spell slots at the top left, with the known spells underneath. Again, this could either be icons or a vertical list, not sure.

    Single clicking a memorized spell slot would show the spell name and description on the right page. Perhaps there could be [MEMORIZE] and [CLEAR] buttons at the bottom. The [MEMORIZE] button would only be available if there was at least one empty spell slot. The [CLEAR] button would only be available if there was at least one memorized spell slot containing the currently displayed spell.

    Double clicking a memorized spell slot would clear the spell slot.

    Clicking empty spell slots would not do anything (or maybe show some basic instructions on the right page).

    Single clicking a known spell would show the spell name and description on the right page, again with the [MEMORIZE] and [CLEAR] buttons at the bottom.

    Double clicking a known spell would memorize one such spell, if possible.

    The overview page wouldn't even need to be optional. People that don't like the overview page could just view a spell level and never go back to the overview page.

  • RatatoskrRatatoskr Member Posts: 359
    I admit, I'm with @Ravenslight on preferring each spell level on a different page. But that's less about the classic feel for me than just an overload of information.

    However, I admit, I used to spend a lot of time clicking on spell icons trying to find the one I wanted so having the names right there doesn't bother me. The thing I dislike most about the new spellbook is that the spells are alphabetical because that screws up things like Simulacrum.

  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 1,912
    I think I've played over 400 hours of BG:EE and BG2:EE since 2.0 dropped and I still struggle with using the new spellbook. There's a lack of coherent design as far as usability is concerned.

    Left click spell icon > Memorize
    Right click spell icon > Delete
    Left click spell label > Open spell description
    Right click spell label > Also open spell description

    There's a difference between behavior when you click the icon and the label, which makes the whole thing rather unintuitive for me, and I just can't get used to it.

    To make things worse, left and right click retain their original behavior in the inventory screen, which makes the spell screen behavior odd and unprecedented.

    Left click item icon > Select item
    Right click item icon > Open item description

    Compare that with the original spell book behavior, and marvel at how coherent and intuitive the behaviors were:

    Left click spell icon > Memorize
    Right click spell icon > Open spell description

    That made sense. This is another area of the UI where some surface-level changes run much deeper than I think the UI designers anticipated. Pick at one corner of a well-designed GUI, and watch the whole threadwork unravel.

  • RatatoskrRatatoskr Member Posts: 359
    edited December 2016
    Area Map Changes?? I'm not sure if any of these issues have been fixed, or if other people have similar complaints.

    I'm not fond of the new area map at all. Personally, I have issues with:
    1. The zoom out lagging,
    2. The gray fog making it way harder than it should be to find what I'm looking for. Especially when it's nighttime or there's weather (as a map, it's not that helpful)
    3. The map info covering the top part of the map,
    4. There are less map color options for custom notes than there used to be. Or at least, it's different colors that don't stand out as much and messed up the color-coding system that I'd been using for years.

    I also have some weird glitches where the journal notes and custom map notes periodically replace each other, but that seems to be specific to my game since no one else has replicated the issue so far.

  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 1,912
    One other thing I would add to the local map criticisms is that in smaller areas (e.g. Candlekeep Inn), it doesn't zoom out enough. On full HD resolution, the area map in these small areas often has the same zoom level as the default game view, making it behave less like a map and more like an alternative view of the area.

    To make it more map-like, I think the area map should be restricted below a maximum zoom level. For example, it should never be zoomed in to more than 50% zoom level.

  • RatatoskrRatatoskr Member Posts: 359
    I had another random thought. It is possible (at least as an option) to change the custom portrait selection back to the way it used to be?

    While having them all in the main selection screen is a nice idea, I have over 200 custom portraits so finding the one I want by clicking through them is pretty much impossible. Especially since it doesn't seem to differentiate between male and female in any way.

    (And yes, I know there are a couple mods to help with this. Those mods are the only reason I'm managing to keep using custom portraits at all.)

  • Vestan_PanceVestan_Pance Member Posts: 5
    edited February 2017
    On the Android / iOS version is there a way to increase the size of the item transfer box when using containers so it looks something like this?

    Also the ability to long-press an item in a container to view the item name as a tooltip would be great.

  • RatatoskrRatatoskr Member Posts: 359
    I know this thread seems largely dead, but I'd like to put in one more request to please fix custom portraits.

    Having them selectable in the main screen was all well and good, but the fact that this doesn't split them by gender or account for the smaller versions for the side-bar makes custom portraits largely unusable without some kind of mod. Every time I start a new game, I'm left banging my head against the table in frustration while scrolling through 300 images.

  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 1,912
    Honestly, I don't think selecting custom portraits one portrait at a time is feasible if you have a lot of portraits. The lack of file names shown also means it is harder to group together portraits by certain attributes (e.g. gender, race, class) for easier selection. For these reasons, the old method of portrait selection was by far superior to what's available right now, even without the buggy behavior that @Ratatoskr has pointed out.

    The new UI still leaves quite a lot to be desired, even when just compared to the original UI. I can't tell how much resources are dedicated to fixing it at this point, but I do have a very real worry that it will remain at a diminished usability level for the years and decades to come.

  • Jyk7Jyk7 Member Posts: 1
    Suggestion: Add text to the Race select descriptions to describe Class restrictions.

    Reason: In order to learn that I could not make an Elven Bard, I needed to refer to an external Wiki. I found the experience frustrating, and am concerned that it may be frustrating to other new players as well.

  • VitorVitor Member Posts: 286
    edited September 2018
    Why don't you make it possible for players to switch for the UI from 1.3?

    That design was much more faithful to UI of original Baldur's Gate. Sorry to say that, but my opinion is that original design is much more beautiful and essential than 2.5's...

    Also, I hope you never remove 1.3 from Steam. That would be disrespectful to the original developers of this anthologic game. Also, I prefer much more the 1.3 version.

    (I noticed you removed 1.3 for Icewind Dale, but you're keeping it for BG1 and BG2)

  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,328
    @Vitor The UI system has been totally overhauled in the background, and is now a lot better than before, as it's a lot less hardcoded. It's now way more open to modding.

    It's unfortunate that the actual UI they built upon this new system is a little too far out there, but the system itself is a major improvement.

    If you like something akin to the 1.x UIs, try the various LeUI mods:

    They have a look and feel based on the 1.x UIs with various improvements.

    Note that the 1.3 UI is quite different from the UI in the original games as well. In no way is the 1.3 version more respectful towards the original games than the 2.x versions.

  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 1,912
    edited September 2018
    The 2.0+ UI is kind of a hot topic (to the extent that any topic can be "hot" regarding a 20-year-old game) because people have different perceptions about its advantages and disadvantages, and also different sensibilities about how close to vanilla they want the experience to be.

    The new UI does diverge from vanilla to a significantly larger extent than the 1.3 one did, as it has changed the functionality of a lot of the screens, where most of the affected screens were almost identical to vanilla BG2 in functionality in the 1.3 version.

    The 2.0 UI has also introduced many new issues, most of which have not been fixed to date. A lot of these issues have a negative impact on usability, and they cause the UI to feel unpolished, although as I mentioned above, people seem to have varying opinions on whether or not the UI is an improvement overall.

    And it is true that the new UI system has opened the door to a lot of new UI modding possibilities that would have been impossible to do beforehand, but it's also true that a lot of the aforementioned issues are hardcoded, and cannot be fixed from the user side.

    Beamdog has not made any visible progress towards fixing the issues, although there were some signs a while back that suggest that behind the scenes they might be looking at the UI again. Unfortunately, their update cadence for the BG games is very slow, and at this point, it might take years for any change to happen, as they've just released a major update.

    Post edited by Adul on
  • carfax19carfax19 Member Posts: 18
    Can we have an XP progress bar in IWD too? There is even a space for it!

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