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FFXIV UI Failure ListFollow

#1 Oct 04 2010 at 12:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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If FFXIV's User Interface design was submitted in Introductry to GUIs course at a community college the students would fail miserably. I can understand to a point some bugs. I can almost understand what SE was at least hoping for with the retainer system and lack of an AH (even though I could have told you it wouldn't work like they were wanting). But, I can not defend such horrible User Interface decisions. I would guess that 95% of people pulled off the street could draw up better interface designs than the biggest developers at one of gaming's biggest companies working for a multi-million dollar project for their flagship series.

Like other threads that listed current bugs, lets discuss and list the UI decisions that are drastically hindering the game.

- Crafting has 3 times as many popup dialogs than what is necessary. It uses three different dialogs to select your recipe item instead of listing all the information in one.

- Damaged gear is not indicated. To determine what gear is causing your damage effect you must manually check each one and compare a fraction. Or manually equip/unequip each piece of gear until the effect goes way.

- The obvious place to check gear wear is in the equipment screen. You can not do this. Instead you must find the equipment item in the main Inventory screen amongs all your moko grass, mole meat and other junk.

- No icon informing the player when they have entered fatigued status.

- When equipping gear for a specific slot (for example, head) all gear is listed instead of the just gear that could possibly be equipped in that slot.

- No quick method to scroll through large lists such as inventory using a controller, causing controller users to need to pull out the mouse at certain occasions. (FFXI for example would "page down" when pressing right on the control pad).

- After crafting an item, no option to redo the previous synth, requiring the user to go through all the painful steps to redo the craft.

- When fighting multiple monsters the target does not move to another mob after killing the current target. Instead the open ability menu must be closed in order to be able to attempt to target the next monster currently attacking you.
#2 Oct 04 2010 at 12:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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Chatting while crafting causes the chat bar to close after each animation is completed.

I understand that it makes some sense that your character is focusing on what it's doing, but at the same time, it's quite frustrating.
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#3 Oct 04 2010 at 12:21 PM Rating: Good
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Catt wrote:
Chatting while crafting causes the chat bar to close after each animation is completed.


Chatting while having ANY window that updates causes the chat bar to close when it updates. Try chatting while you're browsing a bazaar, which automatically updates every ten seconds.

When you're choosing a market ward to teleport to, you get a window with eight wards in it and buttons at the bottom to go "forward" and "back", instead of just getting a window with all twenty wards and a scroll bar. Many people, including the person who wrote this site's retainers guide, have not realized that there are more than eight wards.

I would blame the fact that after you choose to teleport at the market wards, you get a dialog box that offers you the choice of teleporting to the market wards or...well, no, that's the only choice you get, except you can decide that you really didn't want to go to the market wards after all (and you get that choice again at the dialog where you choose which ward, so it doesn't even have value as an "are you sure" measure). However, I'm expecting more choices than the market wards are going to get added to the dialog box (specifically, player housing wards).
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#4 Oct 04 2010 at 12:22 PM Rating: Good
true.. but remember they want use to trade and sell with each other.. doesn't it make more sence to be able to talk to the other crafters while you and they are crafting to do your buying and selling, or answer questions others in the area have as its supposed to be a social game... i think they just messed up something on this one, and i hope they fix that and all the other ui stuff.

i still like playing the game though, this is just an annoyance to me.
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#5 Oct 04 2010 at 12:27 PM Rating: Decent
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Agreeing with the OP. As an UI designer for another game, I see the problems with the FFXIV UI. The skills menu is not intuitive at all and the character gear menu could be designed better. I didn't like the extra menus that pop up when equipping gear. It would be so much easier if it was just drag and drop into your armor slots.
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#6 Oct 04 2010 at 12:31 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
I would blame the fact that after you choose to teleport at the market wards, you get a dialog box that offers you the choice of teleporting to the market wards or...well, no, that's the only choice you get, except you can decide that you really didn't want to go to the market wards after all (and you get that choice again at the dialog where you choose which ward, so it doesn't even have value as an "are you sure" measure). However, I'm expecting more choices than the market wards are going to get added to the dialog box (specifically, player housing wards).

Does it still work this way? If so, that's another complaint. Why do we have to manually teleport into the market wards anyway? Why not pop up the selection menu when you reach the zone line instead of the completely useless message it gives now?

Quote:
When fighting multiple monsters the target does not move to another mob after killing the current target. Instead the open ability menu must be closed in order to be able to attempt to target the next monster currently attacking you.

Let's expand that to the targeting system in general. The thing that you want to target 90% of the time--ie the thing that's right in front of you--is nearly impossible to target using tab/shift+tab (or L/R on the controller).
#7 Oct 04 2010 at 12:42 PM Rating: Good
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Agree with everything else.

+ General UI lag.

Not really related to UI (or maybe it is) but /checking and /checking bazzars while auto following causes me to stop following, while the other person whom I was checking runs away, hence exiting out of the bazzar.

Also, maybe not GUI related but there are a lot of /commands, that were left out from FFXI. Like /check, <pos>, and the like.

The whole ! to open the menu and access things is very unintuitive, but tolerable with a controller set-up.

It's like they wanted to work everything from the ground up, while ignoring FFXI and every other MMO on the market.


#8 Oct 04 2010 at 12:53 PM Rating: Decent
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It seems SE first asked themselves, "How do we want to control the UI?" To which they answered, "With the D-pad." They then built some ridiculous UI upon the flawed notion that the D-pad was a good way to navigate. The server confirmations for every single action is also something really rather aggravating.

The only thing I miss from WoW is the extensible UI. Blizzard's vanilla UI sucks the fat one but nobody really cares since you aren't stuck with it.

I think half the reason the UI sucks is because SE refuses to do things that might give one platform some kind of advantage. They could make a mouse-centric UI with drag and drop and right click and all sorts of simple fixes. But they won't. Everyone has to suffer the PS3's limitations.

And FFS they should have had a FFXIV mouse and keyboard set for the PS3 not a FFXIV controller for the PC!
#9 Oct 04 2010 at 1:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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I don't know if all of this belongs in the list but here goes.

1. Latency between talking to a NPC when trying to buy or sell. Latency in general for the majority of the things that you do in-game.

2. Black screen on initial loading of the game after logging in and pressing "start". The only way to fix this, is to restart your PC.

3. If you try to go too fast when switching items with your retainer, sometimes the wrong item is placed into your inventory, or the item never makes it into your inventory.

4. You can't summon your retainer at the adventurer's guild if she is deployed in the market ward. Why do I have to run all the way into the market ward and wade through everything?

5. Lack of instructions anywhere throughout the entire UI. You can be in just about any layer of the UI and have little idea what you are supposed to do, unless you start trying things out. Normally in games if you hover your mouse above a menu option, it will describe what the function is all about.

6. Lack of hotkeys. Normally you would be able to press the letter "I" for inventory in most games, enabling you to faster navigate to what you needed.

7. When you are auto-running, you cannot strafe, you are only able to turn left or right.

8. When you are fishing or doing other related jobs, you cannot cancel out of the action, until the actions made by your character are completely finished.

9. You cannot zoom in or out on the minimap. The full map you are unable to scroll around and look at things. And the fullmap does not display party members or mobs etc. Waypoints like crystals, take a while to load on the fullmap.

10. Chat menus... I won't go into detail with this one, I am sure this and most of what I have said already are redundant. You can only type a limited number of characters before it cuts you o__. Can I have a "F" Pat?

11. The repair system: I have read how bad it is, so I just let stuff break, and I really don't care if it isn't working.

12. When I run into people, it is just like FFXI, in that you pause for a bit and then run through them. Make up your mind, either let me run through everyone without pausing, or make it so that I have to go completely around their real estate of a toon. This adds nothing to the game.







#10 Oct 04 2010 at 1:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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HolyCannoli wrote:
Agreeing with the OP. As an UI designer for another game, I see the problems with the FFXIV UI. The skills menu is not intuitive at all and the character gear menu could be designed better. I didn't like the extra menus that pop up when equipping gear. It would be so much easier if it was just drag and drop into your armor slots.


Yes it would, but...the game is primarily aimed at console users, not us schmucks still using those damned pc's. /sarcasm off
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#11 Oct 04 2010 at 1:29 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
When fighting multiple monsters the target does not move to another mob after killing the current target. Instead the open ability menu must be closed in order to be able to attempt to target the next monster currently attacking you.

Let's expand that to the targeting system in general. The thing that you want to target 90% of the time--ie the thing that's right in front of you--is nearly impossible to target using tab/shift+tab (or L/R on the controller).[/quote]

+1 for me as well. The way the current next target options work using a game pad are also horrible. It cycles to the next visable target in the general direction you pressed using your character as the center. IRRELEVANT of distance. So you can kill one mob in a set of 2 or 3, hit next target on the right or left and end up targeting a mob that is at the end of your visual range, worse yet target another mob that's part of a separate social group and aggro that one as well.

For the moment i'm using mouse targeting as it's a slightly less glitchy bust still annoying.
Parsalyn wrote:
I don't know if all of this belongs in the list but here goes.

1. Latency between talking to a NPC when trying to buy or sell. Latency in general for the majority of the things that you do in-game.

Any lag in the NPC interaction menu should go. this goes for NPC repair, levequests etc. Especially love the crafting leves were you request materials from the npc to be stopped where a 5 second video plays of them appearing to hand you something. Love the video, but should be skippable.

Parsalyn wrote:

5. Lack of instructions anywhere throughout the entire UI. You can be in just about any layer of the UI and have little idea what you are supposed to do, unless you start trying things out. Normally in games if you hover your mouse above a menu option, it will describe what the function is all about.

Not a huge game breaking issue, but should be addressed. Some form of feedback on options etc, would be nice.

Parsalyn wrote:

6. Lack of hot-keys. Normally you would be able to press the letter "I" for inventory in most games, enabling you to faster navigate to what you needed.

7. When you are auto-running, you cannot strafe, you are only able to turn left or right.

8. When you are fishing or doing other related jobs, you cannot cancel out of the action, until the actions made by your character are completely finished.

9. You cannot zoom in or out on the minimap. The full map you are unable to scroll around and look at things. And the fullmap does not display party members or mobs etc. Waypoints like crystals, take a while to load on the fullmap.


9 isn't necessarily a UI issue but yes yes yes. Especially being able to zoom out slightly in the mini-map. That's the only way to see mobs as you are walking trough areas since they can take 5-10 seconds to actually show sometimes in the world.

Parsalyn wrote:

10. Chat menus... I won't go into detail with this one, I am sure this and most of what I have said already are redundant. You can only type a limited number of characters before it cuts you o__. Can I have a "F" Pat?


Twitter anyone? try giving explanations or directions in the 84 character limit... yikes.

Parsalyn wrote:

11. The repair system: I have read how bad it is, so I just let stuff break, and I really don't care if it isn't working.


I actually like the repair system. I hate the interface for repairing your own equipment. Unequip, select Item, repair, insert random repair item... cancel/cancel/cancel since you equipped the wrong repair tools, yay!!

I do however LOVE the remote repair concept, they just need to make repair requests not count towards the total bazaar item count and figure a icon indication that you are seeking repairs.

Parsalyn wrote:

12. When I run into people, it is just like FFXI, in that you pause for a bit and then run through them. Make up your mind, either let me run through everyone without pausing, or make it so that I have to go completely around their real estate of a toon. This adds nothing to the game.


So true.. and in busy areas you are constantly being stopped by invisible characters. Yay!!!


Add to that everything the OP stated. The UI needs some love big time!!

I'd love to be able to annotate the map This is HUGE for me, but we'll see


Add the general unintuitive flow of menu to another menu to another menu without an actual use for them intermediary menues except to display some pretty graphic. Leve selection and crafting screens come to mind. selecting Leves to replace for instance can be really confusing.



Edited, Oct 4th 2010 3:31pm by Vladislaus

Edited, Oct 4th 2010 3:34pm by Vladislaus
#12 Oct 04 2010 at 1:38 PM Rating: Decent
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Kierk wrote:

It's like they wanted to work everything from the ground up, while ignoring FFXI and every other MMO on the market.


That statment is the exact reason for 99% of threads popping up on general discussion and 100% of the reason why theres so much wrong with this paid beta
#13 Oct 04 2010 at 2:35 PM Rating: Good
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Parsalyn wrote:
The full map you are unable to scroll around and look at things. And the fullmap does not display party members or mobs etc. Waypoints like crystals, take a while to load on the fullmap.



While I have not figured out if you can or cannot zoom (I am assuming you cannot), you are able to scroll around the map using the IJKL keys (Same keys as the camera control). I never saw any keyboard layout guides mention scrolling on the map, but I have seen a few random posts in this forum pointing it out.
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#14 Oct 04 2010 at 3:06 PM Rating: Decent
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Levequest Screens

For some reason the levequest windows are truncated - they only show about 2/3 of the card when there is more than enough space to display the entire thing. In addition, the most important pieces of information regarding the leve - the location and recommended levels - are hidden offscreen so it is ALWAYS necessary to scroll down to see if you meet the requirements; In contrast, the largely irrelevant 'flavor' text description is easily displayed at the top of the window. With a slightly longer window, all this information could be viewed simply at a glance.

I encourage anyone with the inclination to do so to submit these types of reports to the Square Enix Support Center. Even if nobody ever reads them at least we made our concerns known.
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#15 Oct 04 2010 at 3:13 PM Rating: Decent
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Vladislaus wrote:
Parsalyn wrote:
12. When I run into people, it is just like FFXI, in that you pause for a bit and then run through them. Make up your mind, either let me run through everyone without pausing, or make it so that I have to go completely around their real estate of a toon. This adds nothing to the game.
So true.. and in busy areas you are constantly being stopped by invisible characters. Yay!!!
That was my 2nd favorite 3rd party app for FFXI behind Windower. All it did was give you the LGM flag, which essentially meant that you didn't get stuck for that one second when trying to get through a crowd. Amazing how much more playable it makes the game.
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#16 Oct 04 2010 at 3:20 PM Rating: Good
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Catt wrote:
Chatting while crafting causes the chat bar to close after each animation is completed.

I understand that it makes some sense that your character is focusing on what it's doing, but at the same time, it's quite frustrating.

Let me get this straight, you want to be able to walk AND chew your gum at the same time? Ridiculous! What is with people these days? The next thing you'll be asking to be able to step over that 4" step in your way instead of going around it like any normal person would do.

/sarcasm off
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#17 Oct 04 2010 at 3:44 PM Rating: Good
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The UI is actually going to make me stop playing this game in the end. I fully expected there to be issues the first month. All MMORPGs go through this. So while the server lag bothers me I'm prepared to deal with it. I can run the game with my system and I've narrowed my problem down to the server and not my system. The more full the server is the worse it games for me. So I strongly feel I'm not a fault here.

What I'm not forgiving of though is this User Interface. Granted the design is better then the one FFXI however it's completely unresponsive at times. At the least the FFXI wasn't. Why and how the game was allowed to shipped with it in this state makes no sense. It's the thing players will interact with the most. It should be the most polished thing in the game or at the very least extremely responsive. Even if one has the graphics and resolution turned down the lowest possible it still isn't good.

For those in the beta was the interface like this?
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