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For anyone interested in an opinion on the combat log that i've been stewing on (Probably covered on forums already),

Im making this post just to find out if im the only one who thinks the madness that is reading the combat log couldn't be resolved by simply fixing the colour scheming and format of the text itself. I have seen quite a few posts talk about its right hand position (Valid - although a minor annoyance for myself) and the flood of information it provides but i myself dont have a problem with forcing myself to adapt to the position or the abundance of information.


I LOVE the mouse over feature of the log allowing me to see roll breakdowns but i struggle to read important information on the fly or even while paused. I accept the criticism that now we can read numerical feedback from the floating combat log above characters but in cases of larger battles with many moving parts and or DoT damage it can be difficult to follow. Especially on top of the health bar/stamina bar clutter from party members / creeps. My solution is a colouring and format change covered in 1 and 2 below.


1) Proposed Solution (Combat Log Colour Scheme):


The information in the log i believe would be more easily understood even in its dense form if it used BG2 text conventions. I'm sure forum goers and developers are sick of that feedback but using colouring on names to diffierentiate enemies/enemy types and using bold or colour to denote numbers (hit/graz/crit) would also be helpful. The human eye is attracted to variation. If you put something in bold or in colour then that will be notice more easily in the stream.


Rebuttal (Colour Scheme)


But they already have a colouring coded system in place...


Counter Argument (Colour Scheme)


Yes they do which is a good start but the colouring is for the whole sentence or line! This tells the reader subsciously not only is this all enemy feedback but that the whole red or yellow sentence is important. This makes it difficult to pick out the most important details such as NPC/CREEP Name - Action/Spell - Damage/Result on the fly or at a glance. Colouring only the MOST important information would help for speed reading of the combat log and help your brain to quickly at a glance take in what occured and to whom. i believe that BG2 did a decent job of this style of combat log colouring and don't see why the designers couldn't have worked something similar out. The formatting of the text would be much like simplistically listed above but see section 2 for more information:

- Attached an albeit random screenshot curtesy of Google showing colouring in BG2-



2) Proposed Solution (Combat Log Text Format)




"Wood Beetle grazes BB Figther for 2 piercing damage"




"Wood Beetle - Grazes BB Fighter - 2 piercing damage"

I would find reading the log with the - or : breaking up NPC/CREEP names and or RESULT / DAMAGE would help the quick reading along with instituting a colouring scheme for enemies and NPCs and if you wanted (optional) damage/numerals.


Note: Bold and Italics can represent any combination of bold and or colour use it doesn't matter at this point as long as the naming protocol is consistent. Patterns breed efficient absorption and recognition.


Rebuttal (Combat Log Text Format)


That is pretty much what they have now but with - and :


Counter Argument (Combat Log Text Format)


No its not. Yes it contains all the same information but it reads with clear dilineation between each participant and results. There are multitude of different ways you could change this format this is just one. I feel the seperation of who and to whom and result is important for making details easily picked up.




I was bored at work so i wrote this up. Just my opinion but i feel like it makes sense. I may not think the current log is effective or enjoyable to look at but i know eventually i will get used to it or just not use it. I'd be interested to hear any criticism or reasonable flames regarding or limitations of these suggestions.




Edited by Fen(rir)tastic
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