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UI design, will SE follow like the rest of the sheep?Follow

#1 Jun 18 2009 at 7:19 AM Rating: Decent
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With new MMO's coming out left right and center, I think, why bother they're all just after a WoW like clone. But one of the things that strikes me, is how all of them (and this includes WoW) shamelessly copy each others interfaces and layout design.

So I went and put this together;
Comparisson of User interfaces.

I tried to get a good mixture in there, but the list of things doesn't just stop there. Things like exp bars, chat logs, compasses and much much more follow this same old style, and frankly it's just dull and repetitive.

You compare that to FFXI, and you see a much more cleaned up, original UI that doesn't look half bad.

I understand some may argue here Function > Good looks, but this UI is suited for one type of play style, which is also being copied, with midless clicking and hardly any strategies.

So well my point is, if SE stupidly followed this herd, although I'm sure it's not likely, would you still be interested in FF14, because I know I wont.
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#2 Jun 18 2009 at 7:22 AM Rating: Good
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I copied Diablo 3's UI design.

DOH

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You compare that to FFXI, and you see a much more cleaned up, original UI that doesn't look half bad.

It's terrible if your computer has a high resolution. I hope Square learns to scale UI elements more intelligently in FFXIV

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 11:23am by Karelyn
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#3 Jun 18 2009 at 7:34 AM Rating: Decent
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The FFXI UI isn't cleaned up or original...it's lacking severely and is the same UI FF games have been using since the dawn of time.

What FFXIV needs is a UI that lets the player choose what he/she wants. I personally would choose something similar to the common WoW UI as it is simple and easy to use. Why ignore something that works simply because everyone uses it? Might as well throw away your computer.
#4 Jun 18 2009 at 7:37 AM Rating: Good
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Will the normal WoW UI be viable for pad to use too? I think they'll have to keep that in mind when making it, so it won't be exact copy at least
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#5 Jun 18 2009 at 7:43 AM Rating: Good
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i'd love to see all that stuff be customizable, like in WoW. not through mods, but just be able to show/hide certain things, choose settings and filters for chat/combat logs, map buttons to certain areas of the screen, choose how to display yours and your party's hp/mp/etc.

Also, a party-shared drawing tablet would be great. kthx.
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#6 Jun 18 2009 at 7:44 AM Rating: Good
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Hyanmen wrote:
Will the normal WoW UI be viable for pad to use too?

It most definitely would not be viable.

...

One thing I wish developers would learn from, is how to make a raid UI that is not a wall of bars that blocks half the screen. One that remembers that a raid/party UI should be designed while keeping in mind that one type of player, and one alone interacts with it in an important way... The Healer.

Stop being a jackass to the healers who play your game by making an almost non-functional raid healthbar UI. It's not like healers are not rare enough, without discouraging them via a frustrating UI.

...

Learn from Grid. Best Raid UI I've ever seen in any game. Designed by healers with healers in mind.
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#7 Jun 18 2009 at 7:48 AM Rating: Good
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omg a dynamic ui that changes based on your class/party role/weapon? 2 soon?

edit: in all seriousness, how great would that be? even if you could just customize it so that it auto-changes your settings based on what weapon you have on that day. how's THAT for user friendly?

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 11:49am by Kharmageddon
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#8 Jun 18 2009 at 7:53 AM Rating: Good
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Kharmageddon wrote:
omg a dynamic ui that changes based on your class/party role/weapon? 2 soon?

edit: in all seriousness, how great would that be? even if you could just customize it so that it auto-changes your settings based on what weapon you have on that day. how's THAT for user friendly?

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 11:49am by Kharmageddon

It would be great, but I'm not sure it is really needed. The key thing is to keep in mind what parts of the UI are used by which player roles.

Tanks, Healers, and Damage Dealers all interact with different aspects of the UI in different ways.

Every Raid UI I've ever seen (with the exception of Grid) seem to be designed with Damage Dealers (And maybe the tank) in mind. Which is utterly nonsensical. Damage Dealers do not interact with the health bars in a Raid UI. Healers do. Make a Raid UI that is easy to use to heal players with.

Don't make healing a battle against the UI.
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#9 Jun 18 2009 at 7:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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u gota remember that SE designed the UI based on the main input of a ps2 controller.

WoW is based on the main input of a keyboard and mouse.

all depends on what ur using the controller the game. using a keyboard and mouse layout on a controller sucks. imagine controlling WoW's cursor with a thumbstick and buttons. it just doesn't make sense.
#10 Jun 18 2009 at 7:59 AM Rating: Decent
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Karelyn wrote:
Hyanmen wrote:
Will the normal WoW UI be viable for pad to use too?

It most definitely would not be viable.

...

One thing I wish developers would learn from, is how to make a raid UI that is not a wall of bars that blocks half the screen. One that remembers that a raid/party UI should be designed while keeping in mind that one type of player, and one alone interacts with it in an important way... The Healer.

Stop being a jackass to the healers who play your game by making an almost non-functional raid healthbar UI. It's not like healers are not rare enough, without discouraging them via a frustrating UI.

...

Learn from Grid. Best Raid UI I've ever seen in any game. Designed by healers with healers in mind.


About two sentences into your post I thought of the addon Grid then smiled when I saw you mention it at the end of your post. I agree it is an amazing raid UI.

I think SE should allow addons that let you customize your UI. The addon developers have added so much to WoW. The addons Clique and Grid alone revolutionized healing.

The idea I'm trying to get across is that if you allow addons you promote creativity. Addon developers come up with solutions (like Grid and Clique) that SE can spin off of resulting in a better game experience for everyone.

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 10:59am by NeithanTheWronged
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#11 Jun 18 2009 at 8:02 AM Rating: Default
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Customization and everything like is part of the GUI, not the UI.
Changing colours themes and all that is a completely different aspect.

As a console game, a point and click play style wouldnt work for obvious reasons, but if they wanted they could still clone features on the UI that wouldn't even be necessary.
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#12 Jun 18 2009 at 8:05 AM Rating: Good
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I see MMO UIs to be similar to a cars dashboard. You don't go to a car dealership and go "Why do all these cars have round speedometers, red warning lights, and a big open space to look out the window." At least I don't. MMOs have adapted the easiest to use UI layout because of just that, it's been the easiest to use for the most people.

That being said I don't condemn a company for trying something new with the UI. After all maybe they'll get something right and it will be even easier to use. Something I'd like to see UI wise for FFXIV is dual screen support. The way I envision it is you would have your screen of choice as your play area and the second a blank slate where you can drag windows, maps, hotkeys, health/mana bars, chat windows, and etc. As UIs are now its like sticking the speedometer and red warning lights on your big open space to look out of to use the same example from above.
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#13 Jun 18 2009 at 8:06 AM Rating: Excellent
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PS3 controller limitations. lol.
I don't know, I like the UI/Macro system. If they add a bunch of JAs and stuff though, I don't know how they'll work it in to the current system.
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#14 Jun 18 2009 at 8:08 AM Rating: Good
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As UIs are now its like sticking the speedometer and red warning lights on your big open space to look out of to use the same example from above.


Corvette tried that once, if I'm not mistaken (50th anniversary model). It's true; that idea crashes and burns - pun intended.

I'd love to see dual screen support. In fact, I'd buy a second monitor if they had what you mentioned.
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#15 Jun 18 2009 at 8:10 AM Rating: Good
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NeithanTheWronged wrote:
I think SE should allow addons that let you customize your UI. The addon developers have added so much to WoW. The addons Clique and Grid alone revolutionized healing.

The idea I'm trying to get across is that if you allow addons you promote creativity. Addon developers come up with solutions (like Grid and Clique) that SE can spin off of resulting in a better game experience for everyone.

Clique would obviously be nonsensical for FFXIV, since the controls will be based around a controler, not a mouse. But Grid will still work great. Selecting your healing target from Grid would be easier than picking the healing target from a long list.

Also, yes. WoW has stolen the ideas and code from a very large number of addons. In fact, I'm under the impression that the original reason Blizzard allowed addons in the game, was so that they could get ideas on how to improve their game's UI.

Hotbars.
Scrolling Combat Text.
Aggro Indicators on Health Bars.
Movable Chat Frame.
Chat and Combat Text Filters.
Raid UI (alibiet a ****** one).
Outfit manager.
Looking for Group tool.
Colored Borders on Buffs and Debuffs.
Maps for Instances/Raids.
Quest Trackers.

All of those, and more were UI elements ideas that Blizzard took from popular addons. Now I'm not saying all of these UI elements were the best things in the world to impliment. But the point is, addons help encourage creativity that the MMO's creators can take advantage of.

(I'm not sure Square would need to allow addons, as long as they look at addons created for other MMOs for ideas, they could likely come up with a very well done UI.)
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#16 Jun 18 2009 at 8:18 AM Rating: Good
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VidOmnipotent wrote:
I see MMO UIs to be similar to a cars dashboard.
...
As UIs are now its like sticking the speedometer and red warning lights on your big open space to look out of to use the same example from above.

While you bring up a good point, one of the primary issues with dashboard designed UIs, is if you simply dont' need that much space. What if you only need about half of the space along the bottom of the screen (or less)?

This was my complaint about FFXI when played on larger monitor resolutions. The chat box along the bottom started getting ludicrusly long. And while I don't have a screenshot on me ATM, my monitor's resolution was even longer! Imagine that chatbox, twice the length it already is.

That's absurd! It was impossible to type a sentence long enough for the text to word wrap without hitting the character limit. I ended up playing on a lower monitor resolution, but I shouldn't have to reduce my computer's resolution that much in order to play a game.

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 12:18pm by Karelyn
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#17 Jun 18 2009 at 8:25 AM Rating: Excellent
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Karelyn wrote:


This was my complaint about FFXI when played on larger monitor resolutions. The chat box along the bottom started getting ludicrusly long. And while I don't have a screenshot on me ATM, my monitor's resolution was even longer! Imagine that chatbox, twice the length it already is.

That's absurd! It was impossible to type a sentence long enough for the text to word wrap without hitting the character limit. I ended up playing on a lower monitor resolution, but I shouldn't have to reduce my computer's resolution that much in order to play a game.

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 12:18pm by Karelyn

My reply and complaint to that would be that in other games when the chat box is a lot smaller I feel taken away from the communication aspects of the game. With the larger chat box I feel as though it is easy to communicate and I don't miss tells and conversations as I do with other MMOs.

Also I would rather have my UI not cluttered with 50 powers/spells like in others MMOs
#18 Jun 18 2009 at 8:30 AM Rating: Good
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Parade wrote:
My reply and complaint to that would be that in other games when the chat box is a lot smaller I feel taken away from the communication aspects of the game. With the larger chat box I feel as though it is easy to communicate and I don't miss tells and conversations as I do with other MMOs.

My reply would be that it makes more sense to take advantage of my larger resolution by making the chat box taller instead of wider.

Tis nice to be able to see around 8-15 paragraphs of conversation at one time, instead of only 3-4 lines.
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#19 Jun 18 2009 at 8:36 AM Rating: Good
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Parade wrote:
My reply and complaint to that would be that in other games when the chat box is a lot smaller I feel taken away from the communication aspects of the game. With the larger chat box I feel as though it is easy to communicate and I don't miss tells and conversations as I do with other MMOs.

Also I would rather have my UI not cluttered with 50 powers/spells like in others MMOs


And I would rather not scroll through endless spells to find the right one or have to create and manage dozens of macros. How wonderful that we disagree! All the more reason to create a completely customizable UI that lets us choose exactly what we want.
#20 Jun 18 2009 at 9:02 AM Rating: Decent
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I must respectfully disagree with the OP.

FFXI's UI is terrible on almost every level. It's one of the areas that definitely needs an overhaul.

I don't expect to see a WoW-like interface for FFXIV, since it is a console game and a lot of the PC/mouse centric elements wouldn't make sense, but if it's similar to/the same as FFXI I will cry.
#21 Jun 18 2009 at 9:05 AM Rating: Decent
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These UIs look very similar to the ones in Perfect World and Aion as well...and to be honest I don't really like them.

From what I remember of FFXI's UI, was that I liked it. I especially loved the macro system, which made everything extremely easy for me.

In other games I am always trying to make the UI smaller and in some, like Mabinogi, even using 3rd party software to improve it because it was so terrible.

I certainly hope that SE does not follow the examples of other MMORPGs when it comes to designing a UI for FFXIV.
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#22 Jun 18 2009 at 9:30 AM Rating: Good
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You can defiantly improve the UI that FFXI have today, but you also need to take into account that this MMO will be released for consoles as well, and thus needs to be useful and function well on a ps3 pad and in the future an xbox360 pad as well.
#23 Jun 18 2009 at 9:37 AM Rating: Decent
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I didn't once say FFXIs UI was useful, or perfected fyi.

Saying why fix what isn't broken is plain idiotic. If everyone had this mind set we'd all probably be playing on SNES's right now, and we certainly wouldn't have MMOs.
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#24 Jun 18 2009 at 9:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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I really liked FFXI's UI, but I'm fine with them moving away from it as long as one thing stays. The emphasis on the chat portion of the game is really important to the experience.
#25 Jun 18 2009 at 10:25 AM Rating: Decent
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I really liked FFXI's UI, but I'm fine with them moving away from it as long as one thing stays. The emphasis on the chat portion of the game is really important to the experience.

Agree, which is why I'd like you to be able to seperate combat and regular chat into seperate chat boxes, so stuff doesn't get lost or missed because it's scrolling too much. Especially important if they speed things up a bit and add more abilties like I hope they do.
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#26 Jun 18 2009 at 10:34 AM Rating: Good
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Not going to lie, I actually liked XI's UI.

Sure, it's clunky as ****, but it's also functional and doesn't fill up your screen with 80 buttons, which is just **** ugly.

I hope they refine XI's UI and make it more useful instead of going the cluttered as **** 'visible hotkey for everything' WoW route. Since the Devs have explicitly stated that the last thing they want to do is create a WoW clone in any way, I doubt we have to worry much.
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#27 Jun 18 2009 at 11:55 AM Rating: Good
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I'm probably wrong, but I would almost bet that FFXIV won't have a circular mini-map thingy like those in the op's pic.

I don't know why... I'll just call it a sinking suspicion.
#28 Jun 18 2009 at 12:18 PM Rating: Decent
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Gee I hope they don't follow like the rest of the sheep. The ui in ffxi is the best of any mmo imo. The ui's in wow, lineage, etc. Are all so clunky and unoriginal. I'm even fine if they just make the current ui better without making it ugly like all the other mmo ui's have.

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 5:59pm by EpedemicOptikz
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#29 Jun 18 2009 at 12:39 PM Rating: Decent
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I need a minimap, a area map, a region map and a world map. I would also need a short cut to healing abilities, black magic and melee abilities. Different chat windows that I can customize, being these, party, say, guild and shout.

A clock would be a neat addition indeed. Different backgrounds to choose from.

A bigger health/MP bar would be nice.

I want to be able to make the letters bigger if I need. I'm kinda blind.

What about different configurations depending on the system? PC users could use WoW system, whereas the PS3 players could use a menu, since they will be playing with the controller most of the time.
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#30 Jun 18 2009 at 12:41 PM Rating: Decent
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ditx wrote:
With new MMO's coming out left right and center, I think, why bother they're all just after a WoW like clone. But one of the things that strikes me, is how all of them (and this includes WoW) shamelessly copy each others interfaces and layout design.

So I went and put this together;
Comparisson of User interfaces.

I tried to get a good mixture in there, but the list of things doesn't just stop there. Things like exp bars, chat logs, compasses and much much more follow this same old style, and frankly it's just dull and repetitive.

You compare that to FFXI, and you see a much more cleaned up, original UI that doesn't look half bad.

I understand some may argue here Function > Good looks, but this UI is suited for one type of play style, which is also being copied, with midless clicking and hardly any strategies.

So well my point is, if SE stupidly followed this herd, although I'm sure it's not likely, would you still be interested in FF14, because I know I wont.


Are you trolling, or are you really that daft? People copy these UI elements for their games because they're good ideas, not because they're following some herd mentality. The very idea that you'd rather have a unique-looking UI over a functional UI makes me feel ill.

Also, your comparison is ****; pick your sample of 4-5 games and then stick with it. Don't go pull a sample from another game because it helps your point better. You should also include FFXI's interface as well, since it uses its own variations of the same UI elements.
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#31 Jun 18 2009 at 12:43 PM Rating: Decent
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The only issue I had with XI was a lack of macro space & TP gauge, I'd love it if they just recycled the system and added small things like that. On the other hand, I hate everything about WoW's UI.
#32 Jun 18 2009 at 12:44 PM Rating: Good
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Let me preface this by saying that WoW's UI is inelegant and ugly. Mods are nearly a requirement in that game.

FFXI tree directories and macro system are elegant but do not transfer well to mouse and keyboard nearly as well as it should. Mouse integration was god awful.

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 2:44pm by baelnic
#33 Jun 18 2009 at 12:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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From a visual design perspective, FFXI had a wonderful design. It was minimalist, not colorful, unintrusive, focused on the right things at the right times, (except alliance targeting for healers) and felt just like a simple interface rather than some kind of overly graphical cluster@#%^ that most MMOs have.

I've always thought blizzard and a lot of western PC game developers are just completely stupid about UI design. A UI is just a simple mechanism through which the player interacts with the game. Just as a mouse/keyboard/controller is how a user interacts with a computer/console. The UI doesn't need to have any graphical connection to the game world, just as I don't need a mouse made of stone when playing a medieval-style game. Just give me a nice, streamlined way to play the game.

That said, from a PC gaming perspective, SE could do a lot more to stick to their visual design philosophy but make the game play better on a PC than FFXI did. What we got with FFXI was a lazy port of a UI designed to be navigated through menus and directional buttons, when PC gamers are much more used to thier mouse setups.

(I always played FFXI with the numpad and loved it, but my whiny friends couldn't get into FFXI because they hated the PC controls and having to navigate menus and write macros for everything. I hate western gaming sensibilities sometimes..)

EDIT: gonna add one more thing. Who decided it was good design to have a completely useless little box/circle with a view of the character's head in it next to th elife/mana bar? I can see my character right there in the middle of my screen. It's gaudy and makes no sense.

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 3:55pm by Shiinpu
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#34 Jun 18 2009 at 12:58 PM Rating: Decent
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I just have no idea why the PC version uses the numbers for default movement control via keyboard. In the end you were better off not using the mouse than using a mouse it seemed to me. That's pretty bad UI design in my mind.
#35 Jun 18 2009 at 12:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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I like rarely ever having to use the mouse, not sure if anyone else likes that besides me.

As said I imagine that it will be similar to FFXI because of the controllers limitations :P
#36 Jun 18 2009 at 1:06 PM Rating: Good
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When I play games I pretty much hope to never have to use the mouse, except for the occasional RTS or FPS.

Mouses are dumb and unattractive to use. <.<
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#37 Jun 18 2009 at 1:18 PM Rating: Good
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In terms of UI, I'd want something like the FFVII user interface.

Clicky.

Obviously the UI there is far too large and clunky obviously but what I would like to see CurrentHP/MaxHP for all party members as well as their "Limit"/FFXIV's version TP Representation in the corner.

The current UI in FFXI, while well designed for its time, it makes some people go to third-party tools in order to see the TP of alliance members as well as other mechanics. I'd like to have XIV built in with these aspects.
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#38 Jun 18 2009 at 1:28 PM Rating: Good
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I just want the UI to be customizable. If I get that I will be happy with SE.

If it's not, I hope the .dat modders will be fast @ work @ providing us with a better one.
#39 Jun 18 2009 at 1:29 PM Rating: Decent
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Sorry to be a downer, but lets be realistic.

This game has been in development for a very long time and is down to somewhere between 6 and 18 months left to finish. The GUI has been long finished and nailed down. The only thing the DEVs are likely working on for this game at this point are story elements and minor engine tweaks.
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#40 Jun 18 2009 at 1:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
This game has been in development for a very long time and is down to somewhere between 6 and 18 months left to finish. The GUI has been long finished and nailed down. The only thing the DEVs are likely working on for this game at this point are story elements and minor engine tweaks.


Not at all. The UI will go under lots of changes especially during the final closed beta especially if large number of testers are used.
#41 Jun 18 2009 at 1:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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I liked how the chatbox was set up. When I played WoW I couldn't even be bothered to look at the chat boxes because they were so out of the way and annoying. I missed conversations constantly.

I also, for the most part, liked ffxi's UI. If stuff didn't disappear when I opened up other menus it would have been perfect.

Basically.. I want the games UI to be only slightly tweaked compared to ffxi. Something like if there were some minor modifications so that I could have multiple windows open at once and like what everything looked like and worked like when using ffxi assist.
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#42 Jun 18 2009 at 11:12 PM Rating: Good
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I...hope they change the UI. A bunch. It didn't really feel accessible or natural to me at any point.

But, hey, whatever they do with that, the one thing I'm really asking for is simply options. Even if the default UI is still the same as FFXI, if I can move things around, mess with some settings, and get more mileage out of my mouse, I won't mind so much.

Edited, Jun 19th 2009 3:24am by PrinnyFlute
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#43 Jun 18 2009 at 11:24 PM Rating: Decent
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Looks to me like we're all pretty much even split
So I think I pretty much proved my point to those who judge.
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#44 Jun 18 2009 at 11:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think the reason why action bars as a component of an MMOs UI are implemented in a lot of games for the only reason that matters: it works.

In FFXI, a "short" cooldown is 30 seconds. A "medium" cooldown is 2-5 minutes. When I played, prior to the mainstream use of the windower and related plugins, most players had a macro that would display time remaining on cooldowns for their most commonly used abilities.

Compare that to more recent MMOs where a short cooldown is < 10 seconds. A "medium" cooldown is 20-60 seconds. Pretty much anything else qualifies as an ******* button that isn't "intended" to be used more than once in most encounters. As well, most MMOs grant all of the different classes a wider variety of abilities that they would make use of on a regular basis. In those cases, action bars aren't just the thing mediocre players click with their mouse; they're a reminder of your bindings for less commonly used abilities and a visual indicator of cooldown progress.

That's not to say that you couldn't accomplish the same thing (most important of which being at-a-glance cooldown status) with something other than action bars. If we're talking about a combat system in FFXIV that's closer to "real-time", the FFXI interface just wouldn't cut it. Real-time means that you'd likely need access to more information than the stock FFXI UI allowed for.

If you dislike action bars, that's cool. I'm not going to say you should because it's a subjective sort of thing where personal preference is the key factor in deciding what a person may or may not like. I do think, however, that UIs that make use of action bars do so for a purpose beyond a particular aesthetic, and a UI that offers little/no customizability in conjunction with extremely limited on-screen information would be a disappointment in FFXIV.
#45 Jun 19 2009 at 4:52 AM Rating: Good
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ditx wrote:
Looks to me like we're all pretty much even split
So I think I pretty much proved my point to those who judge.

It's probably split mostly along the lines of PC players and PS2 players (And to a lesser extent, healers vs everyone else). The UI was great for the PS2 on a Television. On a computer, especially one with a with a high resolution monitor? The flaws in the UI quickly become very apparent. And for a healer on the PC? Well let's just make healing so much more a masochistic job than it already is.

Television was quite a bit different from on the Computer

THAT is what FFXI looks like on my computer. Try and tell me that the UI isn't broken on computers. ESPECIALLY as a healer who has to interact with THOSE health bars. I played a WHM in FFXI on the computer. There is no which way shape or form the UI could have been described as anything other than broken.

Edited, Jun 19th 2009 8:53am by Karelyn

Edited, Jun 19th 2009 9:00am by Karelyn
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#46 Jun 19 2009 at 5:06 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
When I play games I pretty much hope to never have to use the mouse, except for the occasional RTS or FPS.

Mouses are dumb and unattractive to use. <.<


I'm the exact opposite. I have a 4 button mouse (6 with left/right click) and I love using mostly the mouse except to talk. I use the mouse to move and for my 4 most basic/primary macros. Everything else is hot-keyed. I like a healthy combination of mouse and keyboard.
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#47 Jun 19 2009 at 5:37 AM Rating: Good
6 posts
The UI clearly will not be like any PC based MMO. It has to be functional for console players obviously.

I would speculate it will be similar to FFXI UI, hopefully with more options and a sleeker look.
#48 Jun 19 2009 at 6:39 AM Rating: Decent
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I also prefer the FFXI UI style.
WoW with all these buttons and pictures and more buttons and windows and even more buttons...wth?!
Why do I need a button on my screen for every button, err ability.

The menu system was taken from the single player games where the game paused while you chose what to do.
While some might say this is too slow to play I got to say that with the battle speed of FFXI I never had a problem using the menu to select things.
Using shortkeys to open the right menu was even faster.
And with macros you could do almost everything you needed considering the PS2 limitations.

Don't expect FFXIV to have an interface like WoW. Maybe WoWs interface is nice and many like it because they can put 100 buttons here and 15 bars there and a big raid interface that takes up 50% of the whole screen on the left side and lot's of casting bars in the middle of their screen...
WoW is no RPG. It's a click adventure.

Also don't forget that WoW and all these interfaces are made for the PC with the use of a mouse while FFXIV got to be playable with a controller too.
None of the mentioned MMOs are cross platform games.

Why would you need a picture of your char next to your health and mana bar when it's right in front of you the whole time?
I think the FFXI status bar does exactly what it should.

Why do you need a radar?
I found the concept of collecting maps good and entertaining.
Just make it possible to blend them in so you can look at them while moving.

Why do you need a bar for casts or abilities?
If mobs are going to use special attacks or abilities you will notice it (because you can still see the mob instead of alot of buttons) and have enough time for proper actions.

Bags and Inventory are fine in both games.

Spells and abilities...well, I guess you already noticed that I can't stand all the buttons of WoW which you NEED because there is no other fast way to activate anything.
If FF would get more macro lines per hotkey and more hotkeys per macro set (and I bet it will) so you could put in every ability or spell you need, that would be perfect for me.
It's fast and configurable and doesn't take up any space.


I agree with the OP. I hope SE won't copy these interfaces because in my eyes he games that use the same interface as WoW just don't have the will or any ideas to improve or create their own UI.
How creative can a game be if the developers can't even think of an unique interface?

But knowing SE and their way of doing things their own way I think we can expect something new and well designed.
Maybe it's just me but I'd like to play an RPG and experience a great story and not a flight simulator like hack and slay game.
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#49 Jun 19 2009 at 7:35 AM Rating: Good
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RidingBean wrote:
The menu system was taken from the single player games where the game paused while you chose what to do.
While some might say this is too slow to play I got to say that with the battle speed of FFXI I never had a problem using the menu to select things.


Absolutely. Speed up the pace of combat and give players more abilities on shorter cooldowns and the FFXI UI would probably not be able to handle it.

Quote:
Don't expect FFXIV to have an interface like WoW. Maybe WoWs interface is nice and many like it because they can put 100 buttons here and 15 bars there and a big raid interface that takes up 50% of the whole screen on the left side and lot's of casting bars in the middle of their screen...
WoW is no RPG. It's a click adventure.


It's not just WoW that uses action bars. Most MMOs to be released since FFXI use them in one form or another. The stock WoW UI is almost as spartan as the FFXI UI

Quote:
Also don't forget that WoW and all these interfaces are made for the PC with the use of a mouse while FFXIV got to be playable with a controller too.
None of the mentioned MMOs are cross platform games.


Well, I would expect that the FFXIV interface will be designed with a gamepad in mind, but let's not go so far as to say it "has" to be designed for use with a controller. You need a keyboard to play an MMO so that you can communicate with other people. There's no reason it can't be part of the control scheme for the game as well.

Quote:
Why would you need a picture of your char next to your health and mana bar when it's right in front of you the whole time?


Flavor. You can disable the portraits if you don't want them there.

Quote:
Why do you need a radar?


It's handy for locating party members and the variety of tracking features (different kinds of mobs, gathering nodes, etc.) There are a great many things that can make having a small on-screen map a very handy thing to have.

Quote:
I found the concept of collecting maps good and entertaining.
Just make it possible to blend them in so you can look at them while moving.


Six of one, half dozen of the other. I'd rather have a persistent mini-map off in the corner where it doesn't block my field of view than to have to toggle a map for local reference.

Quote:
Why do you need a bar for casts or abilities?
If mobs are going to use special attacks or abilities you will notice it (because you can still see the mob instead of alot of buttons) and have enough time for proper actions.


Not true...you can't always tell what a mob (or other player, for that matter) is about to cast just by the animation. Being able to toggle target cast bars means that if, for example, you're fighting a mob that casts three spells at random and one or two of those need to be interrupted, you can save your interrupt cooldowns for when they're actually needed and not simply spam them when you see a cast animation.

Quote:
Spells and abilities...well, I guess you already noticed that I can't stand all the buttons of WoW which you NEED because there is no other fast way to activate anything.


You can access action bar buttons with whatever keys you bound them to while having the action bar hidden. It's absolutely no different form the macro bar in FFXI in that regard. If you think of action bars as an expanded macro bar with the option to have them remain on-screen to monitor cooldowns (or click with the mouse *shudder*), you realize that they're not all that different. Instead of pulling up a list of spells and selecting one from the list to cast, you bind it to an action bar and activate it with the appropriate key. Action bars are a lot faster and easier that way...and more intuitive than bringing up a menu/list in-combat.

Quote:
If FF would get more macro lines per hotkey and more hotkeys per macro set (and I bet it will) so you could put in every ability or spell you need, that would be perfect for me.
It's fast and configurable and doesn't take up any space.


If FFXIV allows that, the only real difference between FFXIV and action bars in other MMOs is that players have the option to have their action bars visible in other games. Functionally they'd be identical.


Quote:
How creative can a game be if the developers can't even think of an unique interface?


Maybe FFXIV will be unique with the interface. Maybe SE will decide to focus their attention on other gameplay aspects without re-inventing the wheel when it comes to the UI.
#50 Jun 19 2009 at 7:45 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
How creative can a game be if the developers can't even think of an unique interface?


Sorry, this quote baffles me... I think cars have come a long way, but no one has revolutionized the steering wheel. I think computers have gone a long way, but the mouse/keyboard has hardly changed. I don't see what a GUI has to do with content and creativity in the slightest. At all.
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#51 Jun 19 2009 at 7:46 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
When I play games I pretty much hope to never have to use the mouse, except for the occasional RTS or FPS.

Mouses are dumb and unattractive to use. <.<


I'm a big fan of mouse 'n keyboard myself. Feels good to have one analog-feeling, variable control input that moves with you, and one that's more rigid. Honestly, playing most any 3D game without the mouse just feels wrong to me; there's no way to move and control things smoothly, it's all just binary keypresses in what should be a 3D world.

Like playing a 3D platformer with a d-pad and not an analog stick...well, it feels like that for me, even though the actions are admittedly completely different.

Quote:
How creative can a game be if the developers can't even think of an unique interface?


Well, for one, most developers think of the current UI standard in terms of "If it ain't broke." But even still, the UI designer is just one or two people on a team of what can be a hundred or more. Just because the UI isn't very original doesn't necessarily mean much about the rest of the game.
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