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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120

So as a new player there's really only one thing that really strikes me about the UI and that's the Buff/Debuff units which are in game. It has the potential to be more new user friendly (ie, provide more information for a new player at a glance.)

Buffs and Debuffs

Currently the way it works the debuffs and buffs on my ship all stack up above the ship read out as little tabs with a timer. You mouse over it and it tells you the name of the buff/debuff. There's no information as to whether it's a science, engineering, hazard debuff etc and I'm not sure how many are actually able to be displayed before they get pushed off.

What my suggestion is for, is to provide an option (so that veteran players and players who don't have a problem with the current system can keep the minimalistic buff/debuff setup) to expand buffs and debuffs into two seperate, individually moveable frames. Each buff/DB would then come up with its icon, a horizontal bar with the colour of the buff/DB (ie, the colour its little tab would normally be). Inside the bar would be the name of the ability and its timer in seconds. The bar would diminish towards one end in time with the timer. Mousing over the bar would provide what type of debuff it is (ie, science, engineering, hazard etc).

I realise a lot of people are probably going to groan and go 'urgh, sounds like some run of the mill fantasy MMO' but the fact is that in an MMO there's a lot of information that players have to take in - they all use differing systems and stats and interfaces etc and easing that transition from system to system is never a bad thing. More information is always helpful in learning the ropes of a game and in my opinion - as new as it is - the buff/debuff display could do with providing a bit more information. EVE had the same problem for quite a while, although I think their lack of an incoming debuff display for a long time stemmed more from wanting a clean UI.

I understand that for moderate to long term players that this probably isn't an issue as they know what each and every icon that pops up is and what the correct solution is, so take my opinion with a pinch of salt as it is, as I said, coming from a relatively new player to STO, but someone with a fair bit of MMO experience under his belt.

Ok, so that's my main idea out of the way, the next stuff is all just generalised little niggling things I've seen, none of which would have a huge effect on gameplay.

Clicking Log Out on the ESC menu brings up a dialog box asking 'Log this character out?' but it logs your account off, not just the character. Is it possible to get an option to return to the character screen? This is just a request from me which is more for the lazyman inside of me, so it's not really important.

Next, and I know its been discussed on the forum before in a thread a few pages back, but a Stack All option for inventories would be nice OR changing each of the rare particle traces icons slightly (even as little as something like sticking an M in the corner of Metreons, and a Ch for Chronometrics etc). Again, this is just an ease of use thing for those lazy times, but it would be nice.

Of course I may be asking things which are far more work than they seem, my knowledge of programming and scripting is rudimentary to say the least.

That's all I can think of at the moment! Finding everything else about the game great.

edit - attached a really rough mock up of the general idea. Mspaint and lack of sleep can only do so much, sorry haha.