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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Starship Selection Screen Starship Name Badly Truncated

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On Holodeck the name is Truncated to U.S.S. Eight characters or so....
On Tribble I get U.S.S. One Letter/Character....Rarely Two letter/character....

I have 28 ship slots and only eight of the names give me more than a one letter/character ship name. Only one...the U.S.S. Paris exposes the entire name because, I presume, it is a short name.....the rest are virtually anonymous behind a single initial. I have to click several before I get the ship class and variant I want because <U.S.S. G....> doesn't give me enough information to make a quick and meaningful selection.

For those of us with extremely large fleets (Err...Cryptic's best customers), this is a dreadful and unnecessary inconvenience. Even if you could expose the entire ship name it would only make it slightly easier to select the ship from the selection screen....I would have to remember the type, specialization, class, tier and ship variant of each name to make a meaningful selection...

Some simple suggestions to upgrade this important UI component:

1) Make the ship name column wider or make it scalable so that the user can expose enough of the ship name to make an intelligible choice. Yes. I know the entire window is scalable but the ship name column doesn't reveal more information when you expand the window. The names are still truncated.
2) Make the ship name font smaller....as it is on Holodeck. This will still truncate longer shipnames, but give more information than U.S.S. <Monogram Initial>
3) Remove the generic Constitution Class Icon from the already crowded Ship name column. It is the same for every ship name and thus adds no meaningful information to the ship selection process other than "You are selecting a ship" well....Duh. Even a raw newbie rookie ensign out of the academy would know that. Alternatively, you might substitute this with more descriptive and specific icons that indicate what class or tier a ship is.
4) Replace the generic Constitution icon with meaningful ship data....a color coded department badge....Red for tactical, Gold for Engineering, Blue for Science ships.
5) Remove the U.S.S. Prefix from the shipnames. It adds no useful information and takes up what I presume is scarce and valuable name space.
6) Add a tier Number column so we can tell at a glance the rank and level of the ship we are selecting..."Plus One" ships could also be designated in this way....
7) Add a class designator column. Luna Class, Galaxy Class, Prometheus....or Naval Type designators SCA (Star Cruiser) FF (Frigate) CVA (Attack Carrier) BB (Battleship-Dreadnought) etc.
8) Allow us to sort the name column in different ways....by class, tier, ship specialization or name, date of acquisition, registry number...etc.

As it is now, the ship selector is difficult for even experienced users...I can only wonder what will happen when newbie F2Pers start buying large fleets with their cash and dilithium....they're going to need a paper cheat sheet. That fact indicates a serious design failure in this part of the UI.

I'm just saying....