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

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  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 1,988
    I haven't noticed any framerate issues, but to clarify, what I was talking about is a very noticeable lag spike, or a single long frame, every time the player picks up or swaps an equipable item in the inventory. It gets more noticeable and more distracting the more characters you have in your party, and especially so if you have multi-monitor setup, or are running other software that might be using the CPU at the same time.

    And I'm not sure if it's even an optimization issue at all, because those calculations the game needs to do whenever you pick up equipment might just be too much to handle for modern processors in the 60th of a second. It's one of those features that is too ambitious, is not worth the costs, and should just be removed through design iteration.

    ValamirCleaver
  • prairiechickenprairiechicken Member Posts: 149
    edited March 2016
    As long as I can still access breakdowns, the new version seems superior.

    They should add a hotkey to toggle all specifics, that would be great

  • RodrianRodrian Member Posts: 421
    @Franpa whaa? They have also deleted the *scrolls*? Oh, come on now! This new UI seems blank and bare just more and more.. I don't want to feel it this way :fearful:

  • FranpaFranpa Member Posts: 636

    They should add a hotkey to toggle all specifics, that would be great

    That's basically what a tabbed view would accomplish though I guess they could use a single toggle button instead of 2 tabs.

  • NatregNatreg Member Posts: 98
    Dee said:

    This is all excellent feedback, and I want to encourage you all to keep discussing things. Just to offer a little bit of insight:

    The scroll graphic that was used before had significant issues when it came to scaling with longer strings of text. The new "plain rectangle" allows us to make tooltips truly dynamic, sizing them exactly to fit the text they contain.

    That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, but I did want to emphasize that this wasn't a change just for change's sake.

    Carry on!


    Wouldn't it be possible to use several images (tiles) to recreate the scroll effect?That way the scroll could also be expanded dinamically depending on how much text there was and will provide the same effect the old one had.

  • FranpaFranpa Member Posts: 636
    Natreg said:

    Wouldn't it be possible to use several images (tiles) to recreate the scroll effect?That way the scroll could also be expanded dinamically depending on how much text there was and will provide the same effect the old one had.

    That's what I tried to say here https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/716662/#Comment_716662

  • NatregNatreg Member Posts: 98
    Franpa said:

    Natreg said:

    Wouldn't it be possible to use several images (tiles) to recreate the scroll effect?That way the scroll could also be expanded dinamically depending on how much text there was and will provide the same effect the old one had.

    That's what I tried to say here https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/716662/#Comment_716662
    Well, what I suggested is not having different scrolls with different sizes, but have just one scroll cut into pieces and use those pieces to create a scroll with the required size.

    Another way would be to just have one scroll, and scale the graphic depending of the text used.

    SethDavis
  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,762
    @AstroBryGuy
    But I like it that way. It's better than having to tab over each statistic. Less of a pain to mouse over the boxes and scroll the mouse wheel downward.

    ValamirCleaverXKal
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414
    edited March 2016
    Flashburn said:

    @AstroBryGuy
    But I like it that way. It's better than having to tab over each statistic. Less of a pain to mouse over the boxes and scroll the mouse wheel downward.

    For the combat stat info, you just mouse over. If the tooltip takes too long, adjust your tooltip delay in the settings.

    If you're talking about the character record screen's text blob, well, to each their own. But I don't think "dump it in the giant blob of text" is a good UI decision for character information.

  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,762
    edited March 2016
  • FranpaFranpa Member Posts: 636
    edited March 2016

    Franpa said:

    I agree that the lack of information break-down being available at a glance makes it difficult to get in to the whole DnD mind set. Hiding how things are calculated makes it hard to comprehend how things work the way that they do and I feel that what they've done has made the system notably less intuitive. Like I no longer feel like I'm playing a pen & paper game, instead it has a Pillars of Eternity/Torchlight/Diablo feel to it.

    But, they're not hiding the information. It's available if you move your mouse over it. Hiding it would be making it completely unavailable.
    I didn't say they removed access to the information, I said they have hidden it. Previously the information was there and now it is not there and there is no intuitive indication of where the information has gone until you mouse over an element and wait a while, it has effectively become hidden.

    I know having everything in small boxes that need scrolling and such can be hard to navigate, but the information is grouped fairly well such that you can become used to where stuff is in each list and how far to scroll to find what you want.

    I do have a pretty strong opinion that a hybrid system is the best approach.

  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 1,988
    edited March 2016
    @AstroBryGuy Part of the problem with the inventory is they've removed the stat breakdowns from sight. Sure, in the original you needed to scroll to access all the information. But at least you could tell the information was there in the first place. The new layout is oversimplified and it will not ever occur to new players that any of the tooltip information they could accidentally access by keeping the mouse for several seconds in a place where they don't ever need to put their mouse cursor in the first place is really good information that could actually help them learn the mechanics of the game.

    Instead, we see a single number representing complicated stats (and hidden scores like off-hand THAC0, off-hand damage, and APR) and a large empty space next to it that occasionally prints out numbers that we could just as easily access by swapping the equipment in the equip slots. This whole setup encourages players to disinvolve themselves from the game mechanics instead of encouraging learning about them.

    As for the record screen, I'm not against tabs, my problem with the new design is actually that they've exchanged a few scroll bars for a bunch of tabs plus even more scroll bars. To make matters worse, some of the tabs are poorly designed - it will not occur to anyone to look for reputation in "proficiencies". So not only do you need to scroll around in a list of poorly named tabs and click on each of them in order to find the one that has your info, but even if you manage to find the appropriate tab there's a good chance your information will still not be on screen and you'll need to scroll even more to get to it. You get scrolling stats within a bunch of tabs that are in a scrolling list. How is this an improvement again?

    TL;DR Newer is not automatically better, changes should have sense behind them.

    Post edited by Adul on
    RodrianValamirCleaverXKal
  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,762
    I'll be the first one to download it when you make it, @Pecca.

  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,970
    Of course, assuming it can be done.

    AdulAbel
  • TorinTorin Member Posts: 229

    Franpa said:

    I agree that the lack of information break-down being available at a glance makes it difficult to get in to the whole DnD mind set. Hiding how things are calculated makes it hard to comprehend how things work the way that they do and I feel that what they've done has made the system notably less intuitive. Like I no longer feel like I'm playing a pen & paper game, instead it has a Pillars of Eternity/Torchlight/Diablo feel to it.

    But, they're not hiding the information. It's available if you move your mouse over it. Hiding it would be making it completely unavailable.

    Looking at my current party in IWDEE, out of six characters, four had all 4 info boxes requiring scroll bars. The other two had 3 of the boxes requiring scroll bars. So, for none of the characters could I view all the information "at a glance", and out of 24 total info boxes, 22 required scrolling to see all the info. A mouse over to have a tool tip appear is less effort.

    image

    Then, there is the character record page, with its "wall of text" to sift through if you want to find saving throws, proficiencies, thief skills, etc. (i.e., something other than basic combat stats). Breaking this into easily navigable categories is a smart UI choice.

    image

    (Also notice that the damage info circle is too small for double-digit min and max damage.)
    Yes, new character screen is more usable for new players (us old ones are used to old one anyways) but its infinitely more ugly than old character screen. If they actually make it look like it fits into an IE game, I will not mind.

  • NatregNatreg Member Posts: 98
    @Adul that's exactly what I was suggesting.

    The best option is either use that or, scale a scroll image to the require size, but that would make it more inconsistent, specially the edges.

    What I would like to know is if it's possible to recreate inventory and character sheet using the new UI.
    Have anyone tried this on the Beta?

  • pointfiveopointfiveo Member Posts: 35
    edited March 2016
    Stoibs said:

    Yep, can't at all fathom what is going on with everything being dumbed down for the worse and ruined like this.

    Word. If it was just some changes in text fields' positions and fonts or the like, I could understand it. These changes, however, are not just cosmetic. They change the whole inner workings of the UI and it has already led to some ridiculous consequences. Here are just a few of them:

    Stores items gold price gets cut off by UI
    Trying to purchase an item which is too expensive leads to problems
    Gems cannot be removed from gem bags
    Cannot remove spells from spellbook above level 1
    Cannot Unassign Thief skill points on level up
    Menu music plays during movies
    Game crashes when playing movies after selecting a language
    Accessing World Map in Chateau Irenicus causes crash
    Options change on their own
    Empty space in UI at Inns & Taverns

    I need to stress that none of these problems existed before this "great idea".

    Post edited by pointfiveo on
    Flashburnthelovebat
  • StoibsStoibs Member Posts: 66
    edited March 2016
    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.

    GodKaiserHell
  • FranpaFranpa Member Posts: 636

    Stoibs said:

    Yep, can't at all fathom what is going on with everything being dumbed down for the worse and ruined like this.

    Word. If it was just some changes in text fields' positions and fonts or the like, I could understand it. These changes, however, are not just cosmetic. They change the whole inner workings of the UI and it has already lead to some ridiculous consequences. Here are just a few of them:

    Stores items gold price gets cut off by UI
    Trying to purchase an item which is too expensive leads to problems
    Gems cannot be removed from gem bags
    Cannot remove spells from spellbook above level 1
    Cannot Unassign Thief skill points on level up
    Menu music plays during movies
    Game crashes when playing movies after selecting a language
    Accessing World Map in Chateau Irenicus causes crash
    Options change on their own
    Empty space in UI at Inns & Taverns

    I need to stress that none of these problems existed before this "great idea".
    A lot of these issues are the result of rewriting a lot of the underlying code to make the UI more flexible for modders. The problems aren't exclusively because of their GUI redesign.

    cmk24IchigoRXC
  • DurenasDurenas Member Posts: 505
    Franpa said:

    Franpa said:

    I agree that the lack of information break-down being available at a glance makes it difficult to get in to the whole DnD mind set. Hiding how things are calculated makes it hard to comprehend how things work the way that they do and I feel that what they've done has made the system notably less intuitive. Like I no longer feel like I'm playing a pen & paper game, instead it has a Pillars of Eternity/Torchlight/Diablo feel to it.

    But, they're not hiding the information. It's available if you move your mouse over it. Hiding it would be making it completely unavailable.
    I didn't say they removed access to the information, I said they have hidden it. Previously the information was there and now it is not there and there is no intuitive indication of where the information has gone until you mouse over an element and wait a while, it has effectively become hidden.

    I know having everything in small boxes that need scrolling and such can be hard to navigate, but the information is grouped fairly well such that you can become used to where stuff is in each list and how far to scroll to find what you want.

    I do have a pretty strong opinion that a hybrid system is the best approach.
    What about if each box has a framing effect with a ? help symbol in the corner? That usually indicates to people that there is more information to be had.

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414
    Adul said:

    TL;DR Newer is not automatically better, changes should have sense behind them.

    I never said that newer is automatically better.

    I said that the Beamdog-added breakdown boxes* on the inventory screen are too small to show the volume of information they have to display without scrolling, especially on smaller tablet screens, and that the original BIoware "text blob" on the Record Sheet is a bad UI. So, there's the sense behind changing the UI.

    I'm not a big fan of the current inventory screen breakdown boxes. It's not information I need a lot, and it doesn't fit in the space provided. They are just UI clutter. If I need the information, I'm fine mousing over or even clicking on the AC/THAC0/etc. to make a tooltip pop up.

    I do agree that parts of the beta implementation need work. Lore and Reputation still being under Proficiencies is a bad decision (although not a new one - Bioware stuck Lore, Reputation, THAC0, and Thief skills under the "Proficiencies" heading in the Character Record text blob). And the Combat Stats tab could use the "Hide/Show Details" button like the Thief Skills and Proficiencies tabs. But, I think the tabbed concept is a better one that the giant text blob, and just because it is still rough around the edges is no reason to abandon the concept. Hopefully, they will do some reorganization of the tabs to fix the rough edges.

    * Note: The breakdown boxes weren't in the original BG1/BG2 Inventory screen UI (nor were THAC0 or damage). Complaints about changes to the classic 1998 UI that bemoan the loss of the THAC0 and damage breakdown info boxes are ironic.

    Kilivitzantimatter3009cmk24GreenWarlock
  • cmk24cmk24 Member Posts: 605
    If you want to see what the see one of the issues with the previous version of the inventory and character screen (v1.3) try turning the font size up to its max level and see how ridiculous it looks. It becomes very difficult to find anything inside of a "wall of text." With large monitors and UI scaling turned off it is quit common to bump the font size to make the UI readable (I usually keep it at size 3 or 4 on a 1920x1080 monitor), if the UI does not work with large fonts this becomes a problem.

    AstroBryGuy
  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 1,988
    @AstroBryGuy I could see the tabbed character record working after some heavy reimplementation. I can't say the same for the new inventory. The breakdowns weren't perfect, but they needed to be improved, not hidden from sight. The comparisons are a poor replacement, which are also implemented in a way that causes lag and brings down the entire experience. But, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree about the strategic value of these UI elements. Which brings up my next point:

    Why bring drastic change to something as contentious as the inventory, record screen, and spell book layouts are, and provide no option to use the originals? Even if it were just a matter of what players have been used to for the past 18 years, it would still be reason enough to give them the option to forgo the changes. But it's about more than that: a lot of these layout changes are arbitrary and arguably a step backwards. Making sure that the old layouts worked with the new UI system would have given everyone what they wanted. Instead, unless something miraculous happens and Beamdog manages to address all of these gripes and work out all the kinks in the remaining 3 weeks, this patch will leave a sour taste in a lot of BG fans' mouths.

    And by the way, I'm not saying that all the UI changes in v2.0 have been for the worse. We've plenty of new stuff to play with that I'm actually quite happy about. But the topic at hand is the inventory layout, where, as it happens, I have some grouchy things to say.

    GodKaiserHellValamirCleaver
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