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#1 Aug 20 2009 at 4:25 AM Rating: Good
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Keep it civil please, and don't derail

So now we've seen a small glimpse at what the FFXIV might resemble, although Dev's at Gamescon were quoted to mention that the partial Alpha version shown is outdated and the UI is much better on current Alpha builds.

I see a lot of discussion regarding comparison to mainly WoW's UI setup, as well as how numerous copy-cat MMO's have essentially copied the UI element from WoW to their own MMO's. From what's viewable on the viewed Alpha build from Gamescon is a fairly lightweight and streamlined UI compared to FFXI and much more like what we see with other MMO's these days. It looked to have a fairly unintrusive action bar of sorts in the bottom-center of the UI, as well as a typical Chat Window bottom-left and a compass/info panel on the bottom-right. It seems very minimalistic and not graphical at all, which is nice and something I prefer, personally.

From a coding perspective (and this is coming from a code-monkey and WoW addon author), I'm really hoping they restrict addon creation in their UI. This is not because I detest addons, but more that they create additional balance issues and heavy development monitoring on the side of the dev team for the game.

Balance Issues: Anyone who plays WoW, Vanguard, EQII, or any of the other current MMO's on the market that utilize 3rd party AddOns know that some things just cannot be done without. WoW players love their Omen, Grid, Clique, so on and so forth and at this point in time...the game almost becomes unplayable after big patches due to addon dev time and updating requirements. I'll repeat that...unplayable. If you've ever been an author, or even read the forums/comments at WoW addon sites on patch days, it's just a nightmare. The official forums, too...just endless scores of players complaining that they can't play because Blizzard broke an addon or an author didn't update their addon yet. It's hellish, and unfair. WoW has been a primary showcase at how fun, free AddOns created by authors in their free time becomes a staple requirement where authors and the game dev's become the scapegoat of players frustration due to the assumed necessity to have these tools in their hands.

One should also take notice that over the years, Blizzard has implimented into their standard UI engine a lot of practical and originally 3rd-party developed addons. Scrolling Combat Text, streamlined combat log, equipment manager, advanced quest tracking, multi-item mail...all ideas originating from 3rd party addon developers. Consider that if these features had already existed within the games UI, how "required" would 3rd party addons feel?

Monitoring: Really, personally, I'd rather the boys/girls/gods at SE spend their time monitoring the game, and focusing on game content than have to monitor adaptable source code from addon developers for legitimacy and safety. That's all I'm really going to say...nothing sucks more than losing dev time to monitoring and enforcing policy on addons.

What I'd like to see: LOTRO is a good example. You can modify game UI "skins" to customize the UI, along with element placement on screen (which we saw previewed at Gamescon). Allow the game developer to handle implimenting the "right" tools to get the job done. Alpha's and Beta's, and then released gameplay results in player suggestions that can result in additional elements being added in the future. In todays MMO market, SE is essentially forced to compete on that level. But let them compete...not the players and 3rd party addon developers.

I do not want to see a FFXIV where:
- I can't "play" unless I have the latest tools developed by people other than the game devs.
- I have to wait for updates from authors to be able to play.
- I have to rely on additional tools to play consistently.
- Players mob authors for updates.
- Authors charge for addons.

A functional and streamlined UI is required in todays market. But other games have shown that you don't need crazy addons to be able to function, either. I'd like to see what's going on with the current builds UI, and get some info from SE regarding it (man, info cannot come fast enough), but I truely do hope they stray away from the large addon market that WoW and other MMO's have become so attached to.
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#2 Aug 20 2009 at 4:33 AM Rating: Good
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I swore I read somewhere a statement by Square saying that this UI was from an old build of the game, and that it has been completely overhauled in the current build.

Which would make discussion of the UI in the Alpha demo meaningless, I would think.

My main comment on what you have to say is this...

Ryneguy wrote:
WoW players love their Grid and Clique

People wouldn't love their Grid and Clique if the game developers actually put half an effort into making a well designed raid UI, that actually has healers in mind.

I wish game developers would realize that the only people who have meaningful interactions with the raid UI are the healers. For the love of god, design it with healers in mind!

And seriously... While WoW's healer UI was bad... FFXI's healer UI was probably the worst in MMO history.

MMO developers need to stop treating the party and raid UI like an afterthought.

Edited, Aug 20th 2009 8:42am by Karelyn
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#3 Aug 20 2009 at 5:30 AM Rating: Good
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Karelyn wrote:
Which would make discussion of the UI in the Alpha demo meaningless, I would think.


No, because up until now we've seen absolutely "no" direction in SE's UI concepts...so now that we've seen that they seem to be following a more mainstream setup (isolated Chat Log, Action Bar of sorts, etc)...we can assume they aren't going hardcore menu-based/macro system like FFXI was. The UI shown, however brittle and early-stage...is a far departure from FFXI. That's what I'm discussing.

Karelyn wrote:
Ryneguy wrote:
WoW players love their Grid and Clique


People wouldn't love their Grid and Clique if the game developers actually put half an effort into making a well designed raid UI, that actually has healers in mind.


Agreed (you kind of quoted me out of context, though...I'm arguing the same point as you, it sounds as if I'm defending addons from this quote). The developers need to take queues from the reason 3rd party addons have been so heavily relied upon up until now and fix the problem in their base UI under their own dev control. This means Party & Raid interfaces need to be mainstream and adaptable as to be useful without intervention from 3rd party addons.
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#4 Aug 20 2009 at 6:08 AM Rating: Decent
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Ryneguy wrote:
Karelyn wrote:
Ryneguy wrote:
WoW players love their Grid and Clique


People wouldn't love their Grid and Clique if the game developers actually put half an effort into making a well designed raid UI, that actually has healers in mind.


Agreed (you kind of quoted me out of context, though...I'm arguing the same point as you, it sounds as if I'm defending addons from this quote). The developers need to take queues from the reason 3rd party addons have been so heavily relied upon up until now and fix the problem in their base UI under their own dev control. This means Party & Raid interfaces need to be mainstream and adaptable as to be useful without intervention from 3rd party addons.

Sorry, I didn't mean to take that out of context, and I wasn't taking it out of context myself, though I can see how it could be read wrong now.

My point was essentially that I'm accusing developers of producing lackluster UI elements.

If things like Scrolling Combat Text, or Grid, or Clique, or multiple action bars were in WoW from the beginning, even if they still allowed addons, do you think the UI modification community would be nearly as big as it is?

Personally, I don't think so.

The reason there are so many addons in WoW is a reflection that developers fundamentally do not seem to understand the importance of a well developed UI. I suspect this is a bit of an artifact of single player games... When you play a game for 20 hours, if the UI is lackluster, it generally doesn't feel like a big deal. But in an MMO, where you are expected to sink hundreds and hundreds of hours into the game, suddenly the poor design becomes incredibly grating over time, and people seek to fix it if given a chance.

As long as appropriate limitations are placed, I do not think UI modification is the real problem. The real problem is developers who barely put any thought into UI development.

Edited, Aug 20th 2009 10:13am by Karelyn
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#5 Aug 20 2009 at 6:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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Well Blizzards UI is a testament to a successful design...simply proven by the sheer number of games that have copied that mold. However, the 3rd party problem is where you allow users access to the API and a way to plug-in modified/additional portions of the UI. Simply stated...if the ability to do so is there, people are going to do it...regardless of necessity. It's only natural for players with additional abilities that can contribute in some way (myself included) to do so if releasing for other than ones self.

But it's a plague, nonetheless...and developers do need to take more control and put some more thought into the UI and just how functional it is. If all games had the common desires (ie. resizability, movement, etc) there would be less focus on a 3rd party addon community as a whole. This is what I hope SE does. I hope they develop a UI from baseline that has the essentials and things people have grown to desire over the years. Let them resize all the elements (not just the Chatlog). Move, modify, etc. But within the scope of the design from SE, not from addons.

As for other tools...quest helpers, threat meters, damage meters, etc. They have a place, but they're fodder and remarkably easy to label as "excess" when it comes to defining functionality. So I can understand these being "feasible" in terms of accessibility to create tools. But for information. A way to "read" the information provided by the game...not modify. A threat meter that simply reads threat, a quest tracker that simply stores & tracks the information.

When you get to a world where things like Decursive (single click decurse action...originally required no thought at all) and Quest Trackers that literally hold your hand every step of the way...you dumb down the game, as well as affect game balance. When a Healer isn't "as good a healer" because they don't have an addon that automates the task of decursing? Bad...and this is what needs to be avoided. It's not that the other healer is bad, they just don't use the same tools...and this is where it has to stop. Player balance needs to be based on skills & ability, not the amount of automating addons they have installed.
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#6 Aug 20 2009 at 6:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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I strongly feel that if a game is developed well, with the end user in mind, that UI add-ons are unnecessary. It's telling that you must have all of those things to even be able to play WoW. I'm not hating, just stating a fact.

So far, I'm loving what I'm seeing of the UI, even if it's just an outdated Alpha build. I don't want crap cluttering my screen, and I don't want to have to pay attention to 20 different modules in order to accurately gauge what's going on. LOTRO's UI is for me, one of the better UI's out there atm. It does exactly what it needs to do, and the customization options make it so that you can make it as unobtrusive or as ostentatious as you want it to be.

It can probably be said that the best UI is the UI you don't notice.

#7 Aug 20 2009 at 7:03 AM Rating: Excellent
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I think that when it comes to modern MMO UI design, specifically with regard to player-created addons, a closely monitored set of scripting functions should be allowed to players. This allows players to adapt the game, but allows developers to give a clear message as to what is allowed and what isn't. Bear with me, because I'm going to use the same two tired examples of MMOs that everyone else around here does - FFXI and WoW.

In FFXI, the UI is extremely rigid. It makes sense given that it was designed as a console game and very few console games have alterable UIs. However, in North America the most common platform for playing the game is the PC, and the UI is both insufficient for keyboard+mouse play and lacking in mutability and information people want.

The rigidity and overall lack of features/on-screen information has driven people to create their own addon system which is essentially unchained by SE. This means that people have the advances that they need, which is good, but it also means that people have advances that may or may not be in line with what the developers would consider fair play. There are many benign or mostly benign addons like the ability to add timestamps to the text log, view the recasts of spells and abilities, or increase the environmental draw distance beyond what the game settings normally allow for (just scenery, not mobs). However, there are also addons that change your equipment automatically for certain conditions or allow you to see enemies past walls and beneath floors. Since SE hasn't added anything or allowed for people to add anything to the UI under their rules, players have no real idea of what SE would deem cheating or fair play.

In WoW, the standard UI is still fairly rigid by MMO standards, as many other games allow you to move all elements freely. However, it also provides a system by which players can create their own addons, within the confines of what Blizzard allows them to, in order to better the UI overall or for the individual player. While the system could be a little better at accommodating addons following updates, it is mostly a good thing.

Instead of players having to create their own third-party applications to interface with the game and get it to run addons that could essentially be anything with enough cracking of the game, the system is provided for people. Basically, this results in people knowing exactly what they can do with addons and still be "legal." If you can't do it with the provided system, it's cheating, case closed. Monitoring of what players are doing with this is essential though; when something unexpected comes up that the developers don't like people doing, then they can disable the part of the scripting that makes it possible. When an addon called Decursive was allowing people to essentially bot at healing during raids, Blizzard came in and changed the system to disable that functionality.

Basically, a modern MMO needs to allow players to modify their UI to fit their needs, but the developers need to closely monitor these modifications in order to ensure people don't automate play. With a clear message from the devs, people will know what they should and shouldn't be doing with the game. It cuts down on people thinking they got banned for nothing, and creates less debate on forums about what is right and wrong.

Of course, FFXIV has some special concerns when it comes to UI modification due to being a cross-platform game. The best solution would be to create their own download center where addon authors can upload their work (think Winamp skins or Windows desktop gadgets) for people to download on either version of the game. Such a system for delivery could be made to allow addons to work on the PS3 despite a lack of direct control over HDD contents compared to a PC. Whether Square Enix wants to put this much effort into allowing players to change the UI of the game or not is the main problem with this, but it would be for the best all around.
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#8 Aug 20 2009 at 7:22 AM Rating: Good
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I personally love the fact that third party addons can be used in WoW simply because it's the only MMO (as far as I know) that lets you to totally customize your UI. It brings fresh perspective to the game and give the developers good ideas to work on later.

Also, there are only two addons that people need to use, Omen and DBM. To be honest you don't really need these but for a couple bosses but all raiding guilds require them anyway. They are updated before the patches go live so there's no issue with them being outdated.

I HATE, repeat, HATE the menu and macro system from FFXI. It's just way too clunky. It may look minimalistic but it's really just a smokescreen since the actual means of getting the job done is bulky and complicated (the pot is clean on the outside but dirty on the inside sort of thing). Remember, minimalism is form AND function.

With or without third party addons I want my UI to be completely customizable. If someone wants the menu's, go for it, but I want a more WoW styled UI and do what I did with wow...made everything invisible unless I put my mouse over it or pressed a hotkey.
#9 Aug 20 2009 at 7:32 AM Rating: Good
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In response to TheMoreYouKnow's comments, I feel as if his arguments thrust too much work into the hands of the developers. They have to create the API, monitor it on a month by month - or worse - a day by day basis, and last but not least, set up a distribution center for console users.

Far be it for me to say what SE can and can't do, but I would really much rather that time expenditure go into making it "good enough", then work on something else with the remaining days and months. Keep a finger on the pulse of public opinion, and add what needs to be added or taken away themselves. Given a few months to a year, and we'll have a nice well rounded UI that works... for the majority at least.

Personally, I have only one major complaint about the alpha UI (and several other minor ones that it's too early to really comment on anyway). I very much dislike the direction they took the Chat Window. It's small, translucent, and unobtrusive; all very good UI development concepts, and similar to most if not all mainstream MMOs other than FFXI. But it's one of the things I truly came to appreciate about FFXI's interface when I started playing WoW with a few friends. FFXI's social network is unchallenged, I cannot speak for others, but when I walked down the path in FFXI I could recall fond memories with 90% of it's inhabitants.

After playing WoW for a month or two, I came to a realization... I had not actually spoken to anyone except for my pre-existing friends for any real length of time. Oh sure, I joined a party to finish a particularly hard quest; but conversation was comparable to grunts and pointing of cavemen.

The conclusion I came to was that FFXI for all of it's unfriendly, massive opaque, interface, inspired players to actually converse. That huge Chat Window that stretched all the way across your screen and could be expanded to cover the entire screen really made you feel part of the world.

I tried expanding the chat window in WoW to emulate the FFXI one, but the feeling just wasn't there.

The Chat Window in FFXIV appears to have fallen to the same design. It's shoved off to the side, translucent and unnoticed, like an unwelcome guest. It just puts players in the wrong mindset.
#10 Aug 20 2009 at 7:53 AM Rating: Excellent
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I have to agree with Hulan on how the social system of FFXI is much better than most MMO's these days...in where communication was not only key to interacting with the world...but it was even something you "enjoyed" doing and taking part in conversation. Whether this is attributed to the chat log format or the world in large in how the game world presented itself to the players...I cannot say. I'm inclined to believe that it was less the UI format and more the world of Vana'diel and how the players interacted to the world. How they "perceived" the game.

Simply put, FFXI is/was srs biznis (I use past tense cause I don't personally play anymore). Your friends dictated your success...you could not go the journey alone. The community around you wasn't just fodder for social networking, it was a world you were required to interact with to succeed. This is not true of other MMO's where you primarily solo your way through level progression and only group when required or for end-game content with a Guild.

TheMoreYouKnow wrote:
However, it also provides a system by which players can create their own addons, within the confines of what Blizzard allows them to, in order to better the UI overall or for the individual player.


Bolded is open to interpretation. The system as it is now has required a ton of development attention from Blizzard. The API is just a ocean of functions to interact with the game engine. The amount of development time required to not only maintain, but modify this system is absurd in my opinion...and time that could be much better spent on game content.

What Blizzard allows addon authors to do is completely rebuild the interface from the ground up. While yes, fun...also it's dangerous. Players become to feel "entitled" to addons they use to make their gaming experience more customized and "easy". And yes, easy...because 90% of the AddOns out there are designed to make the amount of input and thought required for the game easier. This creates a fairly needy community, hanging game accessibility on an authors ability to update their UI. Anyone that plays or played WoW will know about MazzleUI, which was heralded as a one-stop-shop for a full UI overhaul. However, when the author stopped taking care of it...users cried aloud "We can't play WoW now!" because they couldn't use the broken UI.

These kinds of situations need to be avoided. Imagine, SE creating a UI with totally customizable elements. Resize and move any element of the UI. It has all the necessities. This isn't very demanding...since most elements already exist in most MMO's. But to be able to make it "your own" doesn't require addon authors. It requires the functionality from SE from the get go.
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#11 Aug 20 2009 at 8:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm inclined to believe that it was less the UI format and more the world of Vana'diel and how the players interacted to the world. How they "perceived" the game.


I grant your point, and you are probably correct to a degree; but I believe that the psychological impact of first starting the game and seeing the world, the health and magic point meters, and THE CHAT WINDOW, is more prevalent than you give it credit for.

Over all though, I really think the FFXIV UI is interesting, if not entirely original, and I really look forward to see what they do with it in the future. The recent Famitsu interview implied that the Action Command bar has received a massive overhaul. And I would not be surprised to see a reworking of the health/mp bars.

Edited, Aug 20th 2009 12:19pm by Hulan
#12 Aug 20 2009 at 8:09 AM Rating: Decent
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Hulan wrote:
The conclusion I came to was that FFXI for all of it's unfriendly, massive opaque, interface, inspired players to actually converse. That huge Chat Window that stretched all the way across your screen and could be expanded to cover the entire screen really made you feel part of the world.

I have to respectfully disagree.

I have a hard time perceiving a UI element that looks something like this on larger monitors, to be anything other than broken.

On my computer, it was impossible to type a chat message which would go even halfway across the screen before you hit the character cap. Even when having conversations in full paragraphs, you never filled the box.

Not to mention as a healer, trying to interact with tiny tiny health bars that are crammed away in the corner of the screen, far away from everything.
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#13 Aug 20 2009 at 8:16 AM Rating: Excellent
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Well Karelyn, I'm certainly not heralding the FFXI chat window is a gift from heaven. It's clunking, doesn't play nice with the limited character count, and seeing as it had to share real estate with the health bars, could be incredibly frustrating in large events. What I am saying is that the large, obvious chat window puts the players in a mindset from the start that conversing is important. Not just important, primary.

Is it too much to ask for a happy medium, something the stretches across the base of the screen, has a large enough character buffer to use the real estate, and put the health information elsewhere (like on top of the chat bar to the left or right)?
#14 Aug 20 2009 at 8:28 AM Rating: Decent
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Hulan wrote:
Well Karelyn, I'm certainly not heralding the FFXI chat window is a gift from heaven. It's clunking, doesn't play nice with the limited character count, and seeing as it had to share real estate with the health bars, could be incredibly frustrating in large events. What I am saying is that the large, obvious chat window puts the players in a mindset from the start that conversing is important. Not just important, primary.

Is it too much to ask for a happy medium, something the stretches across the base of the screen, has a large enough character buffer to use the real estate, and put the health information elsewhere (like on top of the chat bar to the left or right)?

What I think is the ultimately problem, is one of multiple mediums.

The UI, while horribly broken on PC, was quite appropriate for the low resolution that the PS2 supported. I honestly cannot think of a different way for them to have handled the UI.

The problem occurs, when trying to port the game to the PC, where you cannot even buy a monitor which carries that low of a resolution.

What character count limit is appropriate? On the PS2, the character limit was around 4 lines... a fairly reasonable and normal character limit. But when those same four lines are put on a computer, it can easily become only a single line.

Now personally...

I like large chat windows. But I like them to be large vertically, not horizontally. When regarding a high resolution PC, it is the most logical way to expand the chat window, at least I think so. I personally would throw a fit if I was forced to use a chat window that did not let me see at least 4-6 paragraphs at the same time. But I also like to see those paragraphs as actual paragraphs, instead of stretched into a single line.

...

I really hope FFXIV addresses this problem of scalability in a more efficient manner.
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#15 Aug 20 2009 at 7:45 PM Rating: Decent
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I say don't restrict it. With FFXI people still made add ons, like the windower and many other things. So they are going to make them anyways, so they dev team is going have to find ways to restrict them anyways. And then it becomes unfair to other players who don't use the 'illegal' add ons but have to play with other players who do. So I rather them offically support it to some degree so everyone can get into it without having to risk being the unlucky one and a thousand and get banned. This is what 'WoW' saw in making the Add ons available. People who really like a game are going to want to contribute to it and this is a great way to let them.
#16 Aug 20 2009 at 8:54 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
On my computer, it was impossible to type a chat message which would go even halfway across the screen before you hit the character cap. Even when having conversations in full paragraphs, you never filled the box.

Can't you adjust the 3D and overlay resolutions separately? So couldn't you just turn down the overlay res until it was big enough to read?

Not that I'm defending FFXI's interface. It was ridiculous on PC. I also don't think it had anything to do with fostering communication or community among players -- that happened because of the heavy interdependency of players and all the forced grouping. When you spend 90% of your productive time in a game grouped up with people, you're bound to exchange a few words.
#17 Aug 20 2009 at 11:16 PM Rating: Good
I don't see the UI in WoW being a reflection on Blizzard's design philosophy. They made a very savvy decision to allow a great deal of freedom to players to create their own UI mods, which means the ugly/clunky mods and the heinous UI setups you see are the result of the players and mod developers, not the game developers.

With that in mind, I still think FFXIV will exclude custom UI mods specifically because of the restrictions in porting and distributing player created mods to console players. SE would likely have to create a developer kit for mod developers so that they could port their creations for use on PS3. That's a fair bit more work to create and maintain on the developer end than a similar system for a PC-only game.

UI setup and customizations are a very personal thing. There was a time in WoW where my UI was a cluster of bleh that was neither particularly appealing to look at nor so beneficial from a functional standpoint that it justified having such a mess on my screen. My current UI setup is extremely spartan compared to previous incarnations, but if you were to look at it in a screenshot a lot of people would say it's hideous. When it comes down to its functionality during gameplay, I couldn't be happier. I don't have to move my eyes very at all to check the status of my vital cooldowns and buffs yet my screen has plenty of real estate available so that I can see what's happening on the battlefield instead of having so much obscured by frames and bars.

It sounds like SE is creating a UI this is far more customizable via stock options than what we saw in FFXI. In terms of my personal preference for a UI, all I really want is something where the information I need access to is readily available on screen and adjustable so that everything is laid out in the way that works best for me. Everything else is just fluff.
#18 Aug 21 2009 at 2:14 AM Rating: Default
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Sorry, you don't need necessarely refer to WoW for a good UI implementation.

EVE has a great, fully custom UI developed and expanded over the years by CCP itself. No need to extra/third party adds on.

If devs know what to do and listen to players base feedback, there is no need for "outside" code to potentially damage the source code.
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#19 Aug 21 2009 at 9:38 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
It sounds like SE is creating a UI this is far more customizable via stock options than what we saw in FFXI. In terms of my personal preference for a UI, all I really want is something where the information I need access to is readily available on screen and adjustable so that everything is laid out in the way that works best for me. Everything else is just fluff.

This is exactly what I am hoping for. A customizable UI that appeals to my playstyle or the job I'm using. A cookie cutter approach where everyone sees the same thing might not work as well as things that are geared to your position in a raid/party.
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#20 Aug 21 2009 at 12:48 PM Rating: Good
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I didn't play much WoW so I can't really say for sure, but don't add-ons use a fair amount of extra ram?

I would think that ram is going to be in short supply on the PS3 as it is. I'm not sure there would be much left for UI add-ons.
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#21 Aug 21 2009 at 12:51 PM Rating: Good
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From a coding perspective


*mouth falls open, eyes water, slowly holds down sign that says "I <3 Helvetica," and takes a seat*
#22 Aug 21 2009 at 1:15 PM Rating: Decent
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Pickins wrote:
I didn't play much WoW so I can't really say for sure, but don't add-ons use a fair amount of extra ram?

Naw, it was an utterly trivial amounts of memory and RAM, unless the addon was simply coded badly and had a memory leak or something.

Even though my UI uses well over 300 addons (You couldn't tell from the screenshots, most of the addons revolve around making sure my screen isn't a big @#%^ing mess), it doesn't even exceed 5% of the memory it takes to run WoW itself.

The games themselves are much heavily resource hogs than addons could ever hope to be.

Edited, Aug 21st 2009 5:16pm by Karelyn
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#23 Aug 22 2009 at 10:38 AM Rating: Good
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Karelyn wrote:
Pickins wrote:
I didn't play much WoW so I can't really say for sure, but don't add-ons use a fair amount of extra ram?

Naw, it was an utterly trivial amounts of memory and RAM, unless the addon was simply coded badly and had a memory leak or something.

Even though my UI uses well over 300 addons (You couldn't tell from the screenshots, most of the addons revolve around making sure my screen isn't a big @#%^ing mess), it doesn't even exceed 5% of the memory it takes to run WoW itself.

The games themselves are much heavily resource hogs than addons could ever hope to be.


This is the main problem. The games are resource hogs, but the PS3 has very limited RAM resources.

With 256MB of main system ram, I could see FFXIV grabbing every bit that it can, not even leaving 5% for add-ons. Now, this isn't a problem for the PC, but I don't think SE would let one platform hold a clear advantage like that.

The easier thing would be to leave an add-on API out of the game entirely.
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#24 Aug 22 2009 at 11:05 AM Rating: Good
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zuogehaomeng wrote:
I say don't restrict it. With FFXI people still made add ons, like the windower and many other things. So they are going to make them anyways, so they dev team is going have to find ways to restrict them anyways. And then it becomes unfair to other players who don't use the 'illegal' add ons but have to play with other players who do. So I rather them offically support it to some degree so everyone can get into it without having to risk being the unlucky one and a thousand and get banned. This is what 'WoW' saw in making the Add ons available. People who really like a game are going to want to contribute to it and this is a great way to let them.


People only made add-ons for FFXI because the UI was lacking basic fundamentals; seeing the alliance's MP for example.

LoTRO doesn't have any add-ons except for being able to change the skin. It comes with a built in quest tracker, scale every part of the UI, hide the parts you don't want to see, turn on/off raid members HP bars, etc
#25 Aug 22 2009 at 11:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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The reason there are so many addons in WoW is a reflection that developers fundamentally do not seem to understand the importance of a well developed UI.


I thought it was a great feature to be honest. No matter how hard you try, there will always be some people that do not like how you set up your UI. Giving people the option to customize it adds a layer of comfort and enjoyment to the experience.

Likewise, there are certain things that the developers gain by looking at the addons that are developed. Scrolling combat text is a good example. The new equipment manager is another one (though i have not tried it, i used to use wardrobe and such back in the day). They cannot predict the flow of the game or player trends and needs at every instance of the game. Having a community to view and communicate with aides them in making baseline features for their UI.

I remember hearing that they would not allow addons in ffxiv and to be honest i am alittle disapointed. I like the notion that my setup is generally unique and tailored to my playstyle.

Quote:

My point was essentially that I'm accusing developers of producing lackluster UI elements.

If things like Scrolling Combat Text, or Grid, or Clique, or multiple action bars were in WoW from the beginning, even if they still allowed addons, do you think the UI modification community would be nearly as big as it is?


Hind sight is 20-20.
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#26 Aug 22 2009 at 11:34 AM Rating: Good
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Pickins wrote:
This is the main problem. The games are resource hogs, but the PS3 has very limited RAM resources.

With 256MB of main system ram, I could see FFXIV grabbing every bit that it can, not even leaving 5% for add-ons. Now, this isn't a problem for the PC, but I don't think SE would let one platform hold a clear advantage like that.

The easier thing would be to leave an add-on API out of the game entirely.


This is what I've been thinking, because Im planning on playing on the PS3, and I would absolutely loathe the idea that PC users would get a huge advantage over me,

and in some cases, PS3 users might not be very welcomed in end-game events because of their lack of this 'so-and-so' add-on.
#27 Aug 22 2009 at 12:56 PM Rating: Decent
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Um, actually, WoW interface is much like Everquest 2's, and EQ2 came out before WoW. So I wouldn't go so far as to say Blizzard made the greatest UI ever. In fact, EQ2 has a much more customizable UI with amazingly flexibility. And I dont mean checking off a checkbox for a few more hotbars. You can change the size and place of an unlimited amount of hotbars, chat window, chat tabs, aggro meter, map, minimap, quest journal, etc.

And in an interview, to which i do not have a link, it stated that the UI seen in the demo was not the final UI at the moment.
#28 Aug 24 2009 at 8:19 AM Rating: Decent
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I hope they do decide to have a more customizable UI with XIV. Horizions while ending up being a bad game, did have a very nice UI which was completely customizable.
#29 Aug 24 2009 at 8:37 AM Rating: Good
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Curing wrote:
Um, actually, WoW interface is much like Everquest 2's, and EQ2 came out before WoW. So I wouldn't go so far as to say Blizzard made the greatest UI ever. In fact, EQ2 has a much more customizable UI with amazingly flexibility. And I dont mean checking off a checkbox for a few more hotbars. You can change the size and place of an unlimited amount of hotbars, chat window, chat tabs, aggro meter, map, minimap, quest journal, etc.


You say that as though SoE had a huge lead on Blizzard...there was a extremely small 15 day window between the two game(s) releases (EQII on November 8th, 2004...WoW on November 23rd, 2004). So for the most part, the games were developed at the same time and the amount of development time and design time put into the UI's had already been developed behind the scene's pre Alpha & Beta for both games.

You could say Blizzard copied elements from the original Everquest in that the original EQ had elements much like what is seen in EQII, only a little less glitzy and modern. It should come as no suprise, since Jeff Kaplan is part of Blizzard due to his status as GM's for the "Legacy of Steel" Guild in the original EQ, which he took over from Rob Pardo...both of which are the primary creators behind World of Warcraft. It only makes sense that the basic design ideas come from the original behemoth, Everquest.
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#30 Aug 24 2009 at 9:14 AM Rating: Default
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I think the UI is the least of my concerns. As long as i can see the screen clearly and play the game, i won't care.
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