1. Hey Guest! If you're more than just a WildStar fan and want to keep up on the latest MMO news, reviews and opinion pieces then I'd like to suggest you visit our sister site MMO Central

Let's hear your thoughts on interface customization!

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by starspun, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. starspun

    starspun Well-Known Cupcake

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Likes Received:
    399
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I might have imagined or I might actually have read (I can't find the source at all, so I'm leaning towards the former option) that WildStar will feature a "fully customizable interface". True or not, such a quote could be interpreted in a few ways.

    a) Having the ability to move interface elements around as you wish. (Example: Rift, LotRO, EQ2)
    b) Having the ability to skin the interface. (Example: LotRO, EQ2)
    c) Having the ability to create interface modifications to help improve your gameplay experience in various ways. (Example: World of Warcraft, EQ2 (to an extent, see ProfitUI), Rift (soon, at least), Warhammer Online)
    d) Any combination of the above.

    Another option to consider is macros, which could be thought of as a part of interface customization (due to reducing hotbar clutter), but also as a different beast entirely (not technically interface). World of Warcraft is a good example of how to implement a macro system - it's not a requirement, but will help immensely in performing certain tasks. Rift is a bad example - reducing your entire ability lineup to anything from one to four buttons and being forced to use them if you want to be a top performer.

    Personally, I'd pick d) and go with all of the above. People have different ideas of how they'd like to have their interface set up, so the ability to put any part of the interface where I want it to be is perfect. Similarly, interface textures are not always to everyone's tastes, so being able to change them, too, is nice. I don't really think this will be much of an issue for me with WildStar, though - I like the UI we've seen through gameplay footage quite a bit, although I guess it is subject to change at this point.

    Then there's interface modifications. Whether it's letting me display certain stats on-screen without having to open a window that takes up half the screen, or something that will put me on a random mount or pull out a random companion pet when I press a keybinding, I'm good with that. Anything that flat out automates gameplay is a no go, however - the early version of Decursive from WoW springs to mind here, which allowed instant curing of any curable debuff without the player needing to take action at all. There's also grey areas, such as boss mods, which is an issue I'm torn on: on one hand, I find they are extremely useful in learning new encounters, but on the other they are far too often used as a replacement of a person's own ability to observe and react to a situation. This, obviously, is a Very Bad Thing.

    Now, if you got through that wall of text, let's hear your own opinions on this topic. Also, I know the addon/no addon debate can turn into a heated one, so let's try to keep this about your own personal preferences!
  2. Zap-Robo

    Zap-Robo Administrator • King Cupcake

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1,613
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Youngstown, OH
    I'm good with where City of Heroes is at right now for an interface - there's the ability to create /binds (binds to a key) and /macros (creates a hotbar button) and it can only activate one ability or one toggle at a time with no option for waiting periods (so no easy way to automate gameplay). Since it's free to play as of today, have a look :)

    I think that Warhammer was too much customisation - being able to create entire new sections of the interface, while cool, creates a have and have-not environment. In a game like WildStar where exploration will be a major part of the game, the last thing you want is a mod that can hand-hold you through the process as it removes all the fun, challenge and achievement out of it.
    Nonsensicles likes this.
  3. Frozenoak

    Frozenoak Founding Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    South Orange County CA
    I like the idea of having options as to what elements are available and where they lay in the window, including shape and size in some cases. In an options window you could find all the available elements and check the box. In the UI you could place each element you checked where ever you felt comfortable with it and re-size it as necessary. As a tank (or off tank) I like to know who's in my group and how much trouble there in but I don't care if they're buffed. I'd like to check the show group health and mana/power element but uncheck the show group buffs element. I'd also like to make their health and mana/power bar just large enough to see and tuck it away somewhere.

    I am ok with some limited macros and key binds but complex macros and key binds border on (and sometimes become outright) cheating.
  4. souper

    souper Founding Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    New Jersey
    For all the trouble that mods caused World of Warcraft and similar games I think they added a ton of value to the experience. Those mods added so much extra to the meta game in terms of allowing a person to fine tune their UI for themselves and not be stuck with the one-size-fits all default UI which are often kinda crappy. Not only that but those mods also served to bring large portions the community together as people discussed which ones were superior and best suited for their playstyle or a particular challenge. Anything a MMO developer can do to bring players together and interact with each other is something that developer should do.

    As far as Macros go those are something that have to be carefully planned out. I've played games with all sorts of macro capabilities from exploitative to useless. Rift, which you mentioned, was a game with a horrible macro system. It wasn't quite exploitative but it did dumb down the game a bit. I remember playing a shaman/druid in my brief time with the game and pretty much loading all my attack abilities in 2 or 3 macros. It was incredibly boring. However, that was primarily the fault of poor spell design really. If your spells required no thought as to when to use them than why not just macro them all up?

    Ultimately, I'd want WildStar to have as robust a UI editor as World of Warcraft if they are capable of doing that. Sure there is the argument that some mods may make the game too easy but developers can design around that. Designing a boss encounter with the knowledge that your players will be using mods to call out timed attacks or stuff is no different than designing that boss encounter knowing that players won't have those mods. For example, if the boss launches dodgeable meteors 3 seconds after using his axe-attack and players are capable of reacting with mods but not without mods than you can make it 4 or 5 seconds instead. And if mods will allow for greater variety from quest/dungeon/boss/PvP challenges as well than I'm all for it. Fact is, after all my years of MMOing I've learned that most MMO players suck at video games. I'm not one of those players :inlove: but leveling the playing field a tiny bit between sucky players and prodigies :inlove: like myself isn't a terrible thing as long as you don't eliminate the challenge for those looking to become better.
  5. SiegaPlays

    SiegaPlays "That" Cupcake

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Likes Received:
    454
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Denmark
    About addons, I like them. Addons like Atlasloot Enhanced made researching drops and making wish lists for an altoholic like me a lot easier. Fishing buddy was another favorite, maybe because I did it so much. Clique and grid was a third for my healers and cc on my hunter and mage.

    Atlasloot Enhanced is the type of addon I would like to see player made. Naturally it could be fun with an built in loot directory that opens up for more and more rare/epic loot as people get server firsts, but it is more likely to be a player made project if Wildstar allows addons.

    Clique and grid is multiple functionality in on.

    First the keybind to mouse was awesome. I had 13 different heals, cures, cc, hots and shields bound to my 5 mouse buttons (mod: ctrl/shift/alt) and that is how I like it, when I am healing. Being semi blind on one eye and partially inept at using my left hand I never really got a good feel for keyboards. I can't react fast to both target and reach an intended complex sequence of keys for a situation and still keep my eyes on the screen. With my mouse I used 13 different spell casts on WoW and was good on situational awarenes aware, but without the mouse binds I basically stick to 4-5 heals to keep that awareness.

    So I hope from the deepest of my heart, that WildStar will support mouse keybinds instead of having to wait for an addon or have to target and click a hotbar.

    Second. Grid gave a minimalistic movable presentation of everyones health and agro and who I had shields and hots on. I like my group and raid frames at the center bottom area of the screen and everything else pretty much free of <REDACTED> - I tend to get motion sick in 2 seconds flat if the screen is folding in on me (hence the reason why I never got into FPS'ers), so I keep the clutter at the bottom 20% - except for target, target's target, target's target's target and forcus target unit frames, which I somewhat center without destructing my view. I ran parts of the xperl modules in WoW for those specialized unit frames.

    Another thing I like is voice triggers. I do not have time to read every freaking line in the combat/chat log, when I have my eyes glued on the 25 unit frames I am healing and on whatever pops under my feet. It is far more challenging than smashing 3-4 buttons as a ubah dps.
    I'd prefer to add audio triggers for specific bosses, for tells, for the clock turning lunchtime that I may miss while I look at the more colorfull sections of my screen than chat. I really do not see much difference between an audio trigger and a visual red flag, and if those two was taken out and only left warnings to those reading chats fast enough - the text oriented people - ... it would be sad and missing a lot of totally normal people.

    Playstyle comes in many flavors and so does peoples perception. Some has good kinectic abilities, some are good with audio communication, some with texts and some with other senses, such as empathy or smell. So what is really so bad about an audio trigger system? A lot of people are kinetic or visually inclined, which may be why it seems many thinks audio (audio trigger, audio boss mods) and even empathy (buhuuu care bears, yadda yadda) is bad.

    slightly off topic and off my soap box, not sure where I was going with this :p
  6. Myrddin

    Myrddin Cupcake

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Germany
    The positive aspect of Addons in WoW was that the community was able to provide tools that Blizzard was unable to.
    You may find that weird, but I kind of liked some of the macro bots in Asheron's Call, found it very nice to have "Portal Bots" sitting around or doing other tasks for you that are sometimes annoying to find with Players. Try to find an enchanter int he middlle of the night that can do the job for you, etc ... I liked that ...
    I don't like fully automatic bots that run around kill & loot stuff ... like in wow, asheron's call, lineage II ... it kills gameplay of human players ... so it is hard to draw the line.
    The nice thing with fully customizable UI is that you can adjust the looks exactly as you like it, looking at a framework like rdx. Some people like default ui, others like it fully modded ... some like it informative and have blinking stuff, infos everywhere while others like it clean ... A fully customizbale UI can make both happy ...

    I prefer audio notifications for my abilities over flash "press skill xyz now!!!!" ... helps me to focus on the game instead of reading texts ... :D
  7. VooDoo

    VooDoo Cupcake-About-Town

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Likes Received:
    78
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I dont mind UI mods in games at all. I dont use many of them, but I can see how they can benefit gameplay. I can also see why a developer would want this as a part of their game. Take Blizzard for instance, look at all the native interface changes WoW has gone through from the ideas of modders. Granted they made numerous mods obsolete, but Id much rather have a great idea native to the game then to rely on a third party source to supply it to me.

    The one thing I dont like is if a game requires a mod such as Deadly Boss Mod to learn the mechanics of the game. I dont think we'll have to worry about that based on the demo's Ive seen of wildstar though, mechanics seem very intuitive and learning/exposing these appears to be part of the game.
  8. thtgynmdfsh

    thtgynmdfsh New Cupcake

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Ramona, CA
    I enjoy the ability to customize the UI in MMORPG's, so long as they aren't game changing. Like VooDoo said, I don't like how in a game such as World of Warcraft you are practically required to install DBM in order to be prepared for raiding. Things that streamline the UI for your playstyle are great, but if there is a mod that you can't play a specific aspect of the game without, or that gives you an advantage over those without the mod, it's a thumbs down from me.
    Nonsensicles likes this.
  9. SiegaPlays

    SiegaPlays "That" Cupcake

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Likes Received:
    454
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Denmark
    Got the short version of my post:

    UI mods that makes you able to use more than visual sense for warnings is fine by me.
  10. perty

    perty New Cupcake

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    If we're talking UI modifications, anything goes really. Moving, re-sizing, re-skinning and modifying the UI should be fair game. UI should be xml based anyway for easy modification.

    If we're talking added functionality, as in WoW addons, then it requires dedicated team members to follow up and keep an eye on various popular addons to find useful functionality which can be integrated into the base game. Otherwise you end up with a game like WoW that's entirely unbearable to play without at least 15 different addons.
    starspun likes this.
  11. Billy

    Billy New Cupcake

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I agree with this.
    Some of the addons made by fans are really, really good - not only within the WoW communtiy - and can make gaming more fun. Especially when you can design your very own UI for your own needs or in a way that you find it much more preferable over the default UI.
    Im a big fan of addons that let me see information - such as DPS, timers - visually with graphics instead of tiny, tiny numbers, as, for example, colored bars instead.
  12. Mister B

    Mister B New Cupcake

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I am in complete agreement with this. In addition to the robust bind system, you can create as many hotbars as you like, and put them where ever you choose, and you can pick and choose various informational boxes and drop them in there as well. For example, if I want to always know what my defense rating, move speed, damage buff, or whatever, I can have that permanently displayed.

    Good stuff.
  13. SiegaPlays

    SiegaPlays "That" Cupcake

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Likes Received:
    454
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Denmark
    I like the custom ui editor in Rift. Could move all windows to whereever you wanted at whatever size you prefered. Their raid frames was not bad either, did miss the mouse bind click feature, but they did develope their raid frames to be the prefered grouping also.
  14. Sivri

    Sivri New Cupcake

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Denmark
    I really, really, really like to be able to place a bit of the UI where I feel that it should be placed. After many years of mmorpg gaming I've developed habits, and every single time I play a new mmorpg they found some part that they put in some other place just because they want to be different. The ability for me to go "oh no you don't" is quite handy.
    Something I disliked about LoTRo's UI was that it was - even when enlarged - really small. There needs to be an alright balance between plenty of space and something you can see and crowdedness on the hotbars etc.
    As for macros and bindings, I think they should be there as long as they don't give leeway for cheating. I am in favor of being able to bind spells to a key (specially when it comes to healing), mouse over a name or a person on the screen and being able to just simply click a combination of for example alt+mousebutton1 = livesavingheal1 on person. It makes me able to respond faster, which tests my skills, and could be the difference between life and death of myself and/or several groupmembers.

    In short: Gamers are different. A large range of options to pick and choose from would be to favor over "have this, get used to it".
  15. Ixath

    Ixath New Cupcake

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Things I would like:
    -The ability to display currently available in-game information in different ways (different fonts, locations, etc.)
    -The ability to reskin the interface and retexture it.

    I really do not like how WOW allows complete customization and modification of its UI. I think Rift did it right originally. If addons are allowed and improve the ability to play your character, I will feel obligated to use them to compete. I'd rather play the game the way the developers intended it to be played.

    If a game requires a grid system to pay attention to buffs, debuffs, and health I think there is a problem with the game itself. This removes the character from actually playing and reacting to situations and makes him focus on a very boring aspect of the game: colored bars in one spot on the screen.
  16. Nonsensicles

    Nonsensicles Cupcake-About-Town

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Likes Received:
    80
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    This is a very good point. By handing off so much power to addon developers, the game development team are essentially putting interface optimisation in the too-hard basket. They're saying 'We're not going to listen to player feedback and refine the setup ourselves, we're just going to let you do it and may eventually make some major modifications by copying the most popular things you do. We're certainly not going to make minor refinements other than fixing bugs.'

    Or at least it can be perceived that way, which is as good as true for many players.

Share This Page