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Found 1 result

  1. For the time I've been visiting the forums frequently, I haven't seen many opinions on the Combat Log being stated, but those I've seen have always been negative. I myself also find the Combat Log difficult to read, and thought I should look into what makes it inferior to the one used in Baldur's Gate II, which is my usual point of reference. So, like I did with the item description window, let's see both versions side by side (attached pictures). To keep this post as short as possible (it still got very long in the end), just assume that everything I've written in a declarative way is an opinion, so where it says "you should do that" read "I think you this would result in better experience for the majority of players". This includes my notes on colors - I am aware color preferences are a proverbially subjective thing. Just take these as my opinions on the question, and see how you feel about it yourself in case you hadn't given it thought by now. I'll try to offer motivation for most of my suggestions. 1. Padding for the whole box should be decreased. Text should start a little more to the left and top, and the rows should reach the bottom. Shaded edges at the top and bottom of the log window should be removed. Motivation: More optimal use of screen space. 2. Line height and font size should both be reduced by a couple of pixels. Motivation: More optimal use of screen space. 3. Characters' names' colors should move to a more pastel gamma instead of directly copying the color values of "major clothing", which I think is the source currently. Colors which are too close to the Combat Log's background color should be overridden in the Combat Log, and lighter versions should be used in the Combat Log. The color for hit/miss/graze messages can remain the light green which it is currently, but again, it should move to a more lighter, "pastel" gamma. Motivation: Currently the contrast is either too sharp or barely existing. The best example is the row "Conan hits Wood Beetle...", where you have dark color which barely contrasts against the background, immediately followed by a light and saturated green. This causes eyestrain and gives the player "the worst of both worlds": the dark-red/brown seems too dark, and the green seems like it drills into your eyes. Additionally, check out how the most colorful part in BGII's combat log are the characters' names. This is done for a reason: makes it easier for the viewer's eyes to jump from action to action. This is why I think the green in PoE whould have to become more muted if it even is to stay green. How about something like #d2ded2 if you want to keep the green? In any case, I think the main body of text (which is the hit/graze/miss information) shouldn't be more prominent by the characters' names, and this should be achieved by toning down the color of this text, which consists the majority of text in the Combat Log, and certainly not by additional "spicing up" of the characters' names' colors. 4. Players should be given an option to display detailed information about To Hit rolls inside the Combat Log, not just as a tooltip. Motivation: First, I consider the tooltip approach inconvenient for many reasons, the two most prominent being: 1) it covers other rows of the combat log; 2) It requires the player to move his mouse, aim and point at a row, which is an additional action required by the user in order to be able to see information which he/she considers important. If this remains the only means to access this information, it is slowly discouraging the user from using the function. Before you ask - yes, people are that lazy , and this is why we have UI designers, to provide for lazy people and predict where a lazy person would expect elements to be, and how elements would function. Otherwise we would have the software engineers do the UI designs. Second, the former being said, I'm all for players who have disabled the option of seeing To Hit rolls in their log still have access to the tooltips, so please don't remove the tooltips... ...(Third) but the option to display To Hit rolls within the feed of the Combat Log must be included, not only because it's less effort for a player who is interested in every To Hit roll, but also because of a side-effect it has. This side-effect is that this option arranges the typography graphically on the screen, making it much easier for the player to reach the line he/she needs and then stay on that line. Notice how I've enabled the showing of To Hit rolls in the BGII screenshot and how every "row" is actually two rows: one is the To Hit roll, and another for the effect. For the brain this is the same as having a thicker line which contains two thinner lines within itself. I think it's the work of genius. Notice how the words "Hit" and "Miss" are easy to discern because they are in the end of lines, and they stick out because of the colon surrounded by spaces? Hell, just by looking at this I think "they really did make better games back in the day!". This leads me to suggestion 5. 5. Economize horizontal space by revising the length of strings outputted in the Combat Log. The Combat Log should be a log, a feed, not a narrative. What I mean: compare the lines "BB Wizard grazes Wood Beetle for 2 piercing damage" with "Kagain did 9 damage to Ogre Mage". Not only is the latter shorter, but I find it's also syntactically easier to comprehend, a simpler sentence, to put it simply Do use as simple sentences as possible in the Combat Log. If you want to attach the information about the graze/hit, you are either already doing this in the tooltip (for players who have "Show To Hit rolls" disabled), or you have already shown it on the previous line (for those who have that option enabled). If you want to give the information for the type of damage (shock, pierce, slash, crush), you can give it with the first letter in brackets after the number. So this example would look something like this for me: "BB Wizard- Attack Roll 26 + (36 - 31 = 5) = 31 : Graze" "BB Wizard did 2(p) damage to Wood Beetle" Potentially after "Wood Beetle" you could the calculation for that 2 damage in such a way: : (10.8 - 3.5) - 9% = 6.7(p) If you need any more arguments about why this is the better approach, look again at the two compared screenshots: notice how there is a relatively straight line between character names and their actions in the BGII example, and how jagged the same lines is in the PoE example. I don't know if the designer who made the Combat Log has ever played IE games, but take it from me: jagged vertical lines in combat logs are a bad thing And I haven't selected these examples manipulatively, PoE's combat log will always look more disorganized than BGII's, for the reasons I pointed out, and also because the strings "grazes", "interrupted", "hits", "critically hits" have wildly varying lengths between them, and they are what follows immediately after the characters' names, preceding and messing up other strings which are mostly of uniform length. Remove those words from the log, or put them at the back, and the log immediately becomes easier to read. 6. Another advantage - by using this method, you should be able to reduce the instances in which Combat Log actions wrap to a second line. This happens too often for my liking right now, and the result is that it makes text harder to follow. 7. Please take some time to experiment with a different and more suitable font for the Combat Log. Take a lesson from BGII again: see how their font has less serifs, is thicker (that's important), and how the size of small letters is closer to the size of big letters. This is also part of what makes it more readable. Take a look at my example in 5. I made it bold for the same reason. 8. I don't think indentation is needed in the Message Log or in the Combat Log when a long message wraps to a new line. It only makes it more complicated for me, and contributes to even more wrapping to new lines because every line after the first is additionally shorter, in the already too short (by default) combat log. This is all I can think of for now. I'm very happy to know that QA people from Obsidian are scanning the forum, thank you for this, it motivates me, and I hope others to contribute and generally attempt to help you make a better game, which is really the point of the whole backer beta.
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