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Denubis
10-30-2007, 02:57 PM
Here are some random observations about the game from an HCI perspective:
1) It would be nice to have about 25% as much clutter in most dungeons. Since NPCs block pathing, a dungeon is usually annoyingly frustrating to play in.

2) LMB should be mappable to spells

3) Hitting an attacking spell hotkey should auto-target the closest person in range if you don't have anything targeted.

4) Spell hot keys should be "lockable" so you don't have to mash the keys.

5) in the diplomacy screen, when menus are up, the buttons on the main dip screen are selectable.

6) It would be nice to be able to demand money and items.

7) All covenant NPCs should get XP when quests are completed.

8) Players should have slightly more control over NPC skills.

9) The flashing "unused skill points icon" is *really* irritating after 4 hours of staring at it because you're waiting for more skill points. Instead of an animation, can you just change it and the "quest complete" icons to indicate when you have points to spend?

10) You should be able to map the function keys. It would be nice to hit f1 to cast cure on an ally. It would be even better to hit f1 to cast cure on the lowest friendly HP character.

11) While there are some balance issues, it would be nice to change the zoom on the mini-map.

12) Plate seems to drop far too often, considering that only one type of character with a specific upgrade can use it.

13) It would be nice to find some use for all the non-torso armor I come across. Is there any way to get full equipping screens on NPCs?

More as I think about it. On the other hand, I'm still happy I paid for the game, so that says something.

AnalogKid
10-30-2007, 10:10 PM
Good post, I'll add 2 UI things I've noticed...

- When you have knapsacks(those with 14 spots) in inventory and in a stash, then when you open everything, some of them are completely off screen. You can get around this by closing some bags, but it's annoying.

- When you mouse over things to see what they are, depending on their location the info window can open up off-screen so you can't read what you wanted to read. This happens generally when the original item is pretty far left on the screen as far as the inventory grids are concerned.

Shadow
10-31-2007, 11:00 AM
Lots of good points. Keep them coming.

Btw, welcome to the forums Denubis. Out of curiosity where does the name Denubis come from?

Denubis
10-31-2007, 01:28 PM
The name denny, at root, is from the Dragonlance Legends series. I, however, was given the name when I was nine years old and a friend suggested it as a handle on one of the pre-net MMOs of the time.

Thanks for your response. Part of my master's is in HCI, so I'd love to help out there.

Shadow
10-31-2007, 02:56 PM
I was wondering if it had any ties to Dragonlance. :) At one point in time I had 3 ferrets named Tas, Flint, and Fizban.

Denubis
10-31-2007, 04:18 PM
Playing a rogue now, and I'm very much wanting greater control over my allies' skills. Perhaps a "retrainer" in town that will cause them to randomly roll their skills and then allow the player to dump points in. (I'd also like to fiddle with their stats, since it's silly to have priests dumping in strength when they never melee) but that's another discussion.

Also, the rogue confirms an intuition I have. Right now, it seems like the best strategy is to choose exactly 2 cheap, spammable skills, and just up those until they're maxed. With my priest, I've tried many configurations and frankly, holy bolt and lesser heal are the best ones easily. (There's nothing like healing allies during a raid, or during a long boss fight, or just 'cause.)

Some thoughts: some attention should be paid to the more expensive skills so that they are competitive with the cheaper ones. For example: Greater heal *sounds* nice, until you realize that a properly built priest will *never* run out of faith in anything except a 10 minute raid fight. And that a 2.5 second cast is completely inacceptable when you're in a combat situation and they need healing *now now now*.

I really like the talent trees, but perhaps it's possible to abstract them slightly? I.e. you can buy "healing" and then buy a "casting time decrease" or a "healing increase" or a "target increase". And then, in your quickbar, you can build certain useful combinations thereof.

Example:
Healing. Every rank adds +5% health healed. (Proportions scale better.) Cost: 1 point.
Healing boost: Additional target: chain. Cost: 2 points. (health in excess of the first target will spill over into an ally, n times. Each jump in the chain also heals n% of the prior jump, before carryover.) +casting time
Healing boost: Additional target: burst. Cost: 6 points. Everyone within n feet who's friendly is healed. +casting time
Healing boost: Quick casting: -.25 seconds casting time. Cost: 2 points.

This way, players can design the healing that they want, and there's no obvious local optima for every situation.

On the other hand, this would be tricky to implement with the NPC situation you have now, but not that bad.

Also, in a dungeon, I can't get to the next floor because the path is blocked. At this point, I'm incredibly anti-dungeon.

Denubis
10-31-2007, 04:43 PM
More: Skill durations! It would be lovely to see just how much time I've got left on that toughness.

Recasting a skill should refresh its timer. Right now the priest lets the timer run out on toughness before recasting it, which is pretty much worthless when it comes to lifestone buffing.

Edit: Random gifts should have an option to auto-accept. I don't need to say no to $foo sending me 5 crystals. You should also be able to bargain down their requests.

Also, the monetary entry screen is incredibly inefficient. When I'm covenant vendoring (amazing that, you can get a trifle above retail if you brute force it with a large enough inventory.) I find myself hitting tab too often. One option would be to choose the default value that you enter units in as a clicky and then just have one field. The other would be to have all prices entered be in silver and take decimal entering.

Edit 2: There should be an option for NPCs to autoconsume water (at the very least) from your inventory. I can actually deal with them autoconsuming health pots as well.