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Sensuki's Suggestions #005: Item Descriptions and Contextual UI Rant


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 And yeah, I do miss the item sketches from BG and really wish I had the time to bang them out, but we have to pick our battles given the time and man power available to us.

 

Maybe the sketches could be outsourced?

I think different drawing styles would benefit the game in this department if the sketches will comply with a high degree of quality needed for this game :)

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  After my realization that White March has the same XP reward problem, I don't even have the drive to launch game anymore because I hated so much reaching Twin Elms with a level cap in vanilla PoE that I don't wish to relive that experience.

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2D Item sketches are a luxury item. I think we can skimp on the luxury items and focus on getting the important sh1t right so that it's a good game and PE:2 happens (which we then get item sketches).

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I wouldn't hold up BG/BG2 item descriptions as the pinnacle of perfection. They're just text dumps with a graphic. In fact, I hate game UIs that don't tell you how an item is good for you and how an item is bad for you. I want the UI to hold my hand. I don't want to get out a calculator, a spreadsheet, and a rulebook to figure out whether I should equip an item. I should know immediately whether equipping an item would be an overall improvement or not.

 

Recent Example:

 

1338256591.png

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You're definitely right about stuff like stat changes, however I think those should not be displayed when you right click the item, but when you click the item / mouse over it.

 

Games like Grim Dawn, Diablo 3 etc compare items against what you're wearing. That would be a nice feature to have.

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You're definitely right about stuff like stat changes, however I think those should not be displayed when you right click the item, but when you click the item / mouse over it.

 

Uhh... are you saying that the separate window that you open with right-clicking should not contain detailed stats about the item? Did I misunderstand this somehow? :huh:

 

Didn't hovering over an item in IE just basically give you the item's name?

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I wouldn't hold up BG/BG2 item descriptions as the pinnacle of perfection. They're just text dumps with a graphic. In fact, I hate game UIs that don't tell you how an item is good for you and how an item is bad for you. I want the UI to hold my hand. I don't want to get out a calculator, a spreadsheet, and a rulebook to figure out whether I should equip an item. I should know immediately whether equipping an item would be an overall improvement or not.

 

Recent Example:

 

1338256591.png

 

I disagree. If this game was an action RPG or MMORPG where stats are everything; then yes. Abstraction of the numbers is important for immersion while showing the numbers is important for competetive play and "item whoring". For a game like PoA abstraction is more valueable, because the game is based around roleplay, story and adventure like Baldur's Gate. This kind of game should not be based around having the most optimized character possible. 

Edited by AdaMusic
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I disagree. If this game was an action RPG or MMORPG where stats are everything; then yes. Abstraction of the numbers is important for immersion while showing the numbers is important for competetive play and "item whoring". For a game like PoA abstraction is more valueable, because the game is based around roleplay, story and adventure like Baldur's Gate. This kind of game should not be based around having the most optimized character possible. 

 

 

So, what you're saying is that the way you play RPGs should be the way everyone plays RPGs? Hey, that's cool. I wish everyone would think like me, too.

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  • Bigger window
  • Nice, contrasting border
  • 'Done' button.

These three things would make me very happy. Nothing needs to be scrapped, just tweak what is already in the game.

 

Tool-tip item comparisons in the shop window and inventory windows would also be very much appreciated!

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Great post again, Sensuki.  You are a machine lol.  I agree with a lot of your points.

 

On the note of the inventory screen and functionality (since it seems our individual characters inventory went from 16 slots to 8 ) I would shrink the PC/NPC portraits and move all party members up toward the top to give space at the bottom for the stash.  That way you can avoid a stash button and you can gray out items in the stash to show that you cannot access them at the moment.  You can still allow right clicking and hovering on grayed out stash items to allow for figuring out what you have down there, but keep players from pulling items out of it.  You could still have a small scroll in order to see the entire stash if you have a megaton of items in it. 

 

This could also be used in the merchant window which would decrease the need to scroll to access the entire party's individual inventories, and the scroll could be added to access the stash without necessitating a button.  This IMHO would streamline things a great deal. 

Edited by Ganrich
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I dont like the Item Window either.

Their is no point in displaying the same Weaponicon again, we already know it. Why not these super cool pictures like in BG? The whole point of the UI in BG was to give the player the feeling that he is actually THERE reading a scroll/book/note. It always looked like the Text you are currently reading is in fact the original physical thing. This made me feel like I am actually living the adventure.

 

in PE: nopes, just some obvios Computer Item-text.

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And yeah, I do miss the item sketches from BG and really wish I had the time to bang them out, but we have to pick our battles given the time and man power available to us.

 

;(

"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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All the UI Windows could stand to be bigger. Inventory, weapon descriptions, etc. I'm not doing anything in the game window when I'm in a menu anyway - I don't need to see it and you can use the space for something else.

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The should all be re-sizable and modular. Want your portraits on the right side of the screen? Just move them there. Get some nice borders and an expandable background(For solid UI), and you're good to go.

"You're a fool if you believe I would trust your benevolence. Step aside and you and your lackeys will be unhurt."


 


 


Baldur's Gate portraits for Pillars of Eternity   IXI   Icewind Dale portraits for Pillars of Eternity   IXI   Icewind Dale 2 portraits for Pillars of Eternity


 


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All the UI Windows could stand to be bigger. Inventory, weapon descriptions, etc. I'm not doing anything in the game window when I'm in a menu anyway - I don't need to see it and you can use the space for something else.

 

Make it an option, I personaly really dont want a bigger UI. I really like that you can still see the game and theirs alot of free space to breath. The other problem is if you make it any bigger it would force me to move further away from my monitior because on my 28" widescreen 1080p monitor the menus are already QUITE BIG.

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The should all be re-sizable and modular. Want your portraits on the right side of the screen? Just move them there. Get some nice borders and an expandable background(For solid UI), and you're good to go.

Being able to move and re-size the item windows and having them stay that way would be extremely good. It would let people play with the ui they are more confortable with.

 

I personally am fine with the size of the "tiny" windows. The problem I have with them is how finicky it is to access them (have to press right-mouse button to access them, have to press left-mouse button away from them to make them go away), that it ocupies the middle of the screen and that you have to do it with every item. This becomes a bit of a tedious task when browsing merchants.

 

Being able to scroll through your inventory items while in the "item detail/description" window would be good for the stash, inventory items, and the store. I would even go as far to say that being able to sort by type while scrolling in the item detail window would be great though may run the risk of being too crowded with buttons (especially if you also add "by character" sorting options).

Im not sure how far up ahead the priority list is "more fluid item browsing" though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

A slight suggestion that is probably too late: there was and is no end of trouble in BG modding with items descriptions, because although the actual weapon values and effects could be modified in a composite way, thanks to weidu, the actual descriptions numbers (such as backstab multiplier) were simple text duplicates and werent picked up from the actual game files.

 

Which made it certain that as soon as multiple mods affected items (which can happen because of weidu) the descriptions are *always* wrong.

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In a somewhat related vein I noticed the last BB build removed the "stats" from the food offerings descriptions (what benefits they provided for how long) - I'm hoping this is because they are working on changing them and not because they are not going to tell us what they do any more :no:  

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Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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 And yeah, I do miss the item sketches from BG and really wish I had the time to bang them out, but we have to pick our battles given the time and man power available to us.

 

Maybe the sketches could be outsourced?

I think different drawing styles would benefit the game in this department if the sketches will comply with a high degree of quality needed for this game :)

 

How cool would it be if sketches were made by community artists that love the game?

I can't properly draw a stick man even if my life depended on it, but i'm sure there must be some of us that are artsy enough. 

What if the community delivered PoE a set of 2D weapon drawings for them to copy-paste into the game?

I'm sure it is a lot more complicated that what i'm thinking of and a couple of issues already come to mind (art consistency, organization, etc) but hey, a man can dream right?

Edited by Roarkkk
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