There have been a few dev responses for other posts where people list suggestions/improvements to the game, but I've never seen any response regarding the many, many UI issues in the game. But this is the one area that I personally feel is the biggest problem with the game. A clean, polished, simple-to-understand UI can really improve a player's experience even if all the other problems in the game stay the same, while a poor UI (which STO has) can really bring out lots of issues that people otherwise wouldn't care about.
I'm hoping that by trying to maintain a simple, easy-to-read list of UI problems, it'll give the devs something to respond to, so we know we're not just being ignored. If people respond, I'll try to update it to include everyone's comments. This is for UI issues only, no suggestions about changing the gameplay.
1. Character creator woefully short on certain options. Not enough base head options (there are only 2 right now). Not enough hair options (esp. long hair options for female characters). There are like 10 different Denobulan ears, but only one kind of human ear. People would also want options like characters with tails, or maybe eyeglasses, etc.
2. Unable to name different ships we own with the same name. Requires renaming the old one, then the new one. With only one free rename, it ends up costing money to rename your new ship with the same name as your old one.
3. Uniform pips don't change correctly on promotion.
4. Klingons only seem to have one uniform option (last I checked). They need more.
1. Bridge Officer UI on ground missions needs work. You can't seem to keybind their abilities (or any other method of having precise control of those abilities).
2. Bridge officers aren't shown as common/uncommon/rare/etc once they join your crew.
3. It's still unclear how bridge officer skill sharing works, when the new BO has a higher-tier ability in a lower slot.
1. No way to have multiple chat windows.
2. Chat font is terrible. At large text sizes, the chat goes off-screen too quickly, but making the text size smaller makes it too hard to read. We need a thinner (non-bolded) font.
1. Skill point descriptions are often ambiguous, don't explain things well enough. There aren't always numerical values to the descriptions, and even when there are, it's not evident how they actually affect which abilities. This applies to both skill points and things like deflector dish/console attribute enhancers.
2. Hotkey display only goes from 1-10, when keyboards are generally 12 to a row.
1. Not being able to see NPC names except by mouseover. It's so hard to find NPCs when you have to mouseover every single one, many of which you try to mouseover several times since not all characters that you see on the screen can be interacted with.
2. HUD options apparently allow you to Show Your Own Name, but it doesn't work. You can't see your own name regardless of how you set those options.
3. Can't split a stack of items into multiple stacks.
4. No way to always show health/shield numbers on the HUD.
5. /target should be able to target characters using partial names, not just by having to type the entire full name.
6. When you mouseover your inventory, the popup comparing the item with your currently equipped item doesn't indicate well enough which one is equipped and which one is in your inventory.
1. No way to see Mission rewards after accepting the mission.
2. The Mission Level has something listed for "LC 0", even though you don't hit Lt. Cmdr until level 11. It should read "Lt. 10" or something like that.
1. Exchange needs lots of sorting options, especially sort-by-price.
2. Log Out should go back to character select screen, not log you out completely.
Display HUD #3 - You CAN split a stack (Conrtol+ Left Click I believe or Right maybe then drag to another empty inventory slot).
If you're saying it could use improvement - I can't disagree with that. Currently you can only take a number off of the stacks, not split the stack and it doesn't remember the last split quantity performed (nice when creating multiple stacks of a certain quantity).
Would need to add a Stack # field to the popup window or something like that changes it from a Pull-Off stack operations to a split stack operation or something to expand its usefulness.
I don't know if this is a universal bug or just me, but it seems that every time I log in my skilltray is collapsed back down to just one row, regardless of how it was set on my last logout. I usually have it at two. And sometimes I don't notice it until combat, at which point I have to hurriedly expand my powers tray, leading into my second bug problem...
...clicking on some of the UI deselects your current target. If you click on the expander button for the tray, then click selection 2 (for instance), when you click on that number it deselects your current target as if you had just clicked somewhere on an empty patch of the screen. There are a few other places that still do this as well. Heckuva bug to run into when you were trying to focus fire on one enemy and then still have to use the last UI glitch I'll mention...
...the targeting system. Still getting problems when trying to click on a specific target when there are a lot of them about. You click on one thing, and it suddenly jumps to targeting something completely different. Sometimes it'll choose something behind you. This problem has been around since CB, although it was much worse back then than it is now. The less objects that are within about 20km of you, the more likely you are to actually get what you're attempting to click on. If there are a ton of them, whether friendly or not, good luck getting what you actually wanted to shoot at or help.
Here's my main issue with the action bar on the main UI.
I like having the small bar, I can remember what I put on control and alt combos. What I can't stand is it only shows actions 1 through 8. What I can't understand is who made the UI decision to only show 8? Can we maybe, go two more?
Here are a few more UI tweaks that should be fairly simple and extremely helpful....
*** The Player Exchange
- Search needs to be broadly widened. There should be more sub categories and pull downs for the marks.
i.e. mk I, mk II, mk III, etc. I know you can type it in, but if you do mk VI, then you get 6, 7 and 8.
- You should be able to request stats. Pull down selections for your items.
i.e. You want a deflector. So you should be able to say show me all the deflectors that have + delfectors, +deflector dish and + sensor arrays. I think limiting it to 3 sub categories would make it specific enough.
*** Bridge Officer Trainers
- Skill lists should be broken up more.
i.e.Currently it is broken up by officer rank. It should be broken up further by placing all the arch-types together... So all tactical officer skills should be together. Furthermore it should be broken up by space skills and ground skill. Most are somewhat obvious, but for quick reference or new players it would make things a lot more simple.
- Better organization of equipment. I personally would rather see all the mark IV ship parts together on one merchant, than to have engine parts and shields on one merchant and guns on another merchant. If I'm buying mark IV items... I probably want to see them all and it's really annoying running from merchant to merchant just to see them.
- Linking of items from merchants and the Exchange. Stats in this game are confusing enough as it is. Partly because the game is new, but also due to simplistic or nonexistent explanations. It's even worse when you are trying to ask your friends if something is an upgrade from a merchant and you can't link the new item because it's not in your inventory.
*** Hotbar and Bridge Officer Space Combat Bar
- When you get a new ship, the game automatically pushes stuff off your hotbar off to make room for the new weapon slots. On a lt cruiser you start with 2 forward and one aft weapon. Your hotbar has 1-3 set as weapon hotkeys. When you move up to a standard cruiser, you gain a 4th weapon that goes on your aft. Whatever button you had saved to the 4th hotkey is overwritten by the new weapon. This needs to stop... I don't like redoing my hotbar every time I go up a rank.
- Officers Skills while in space. These automatically set themselves to alt+1, alt+2 etc.. However each time you get a new ship upgrade that changes the amount of skills you can have via officers, the hot keys change. So my jam sensors skill used to be alt+3 and now it's alt+4..... There needs to be a system so that this doesn't change every time you update your ship to a newer model.
- Autofiring weapons... This has to be the most annoying thing I've had to deal with so far. Space combat has a lot of stuff going on. I just got my heavy cruiser today and find out that I can only have ONE weapon on fore and ONE weapon one aft set to auto fire.... I never noticed this before because I kept torpedo bays one in the front and one in the rear, which I like to keep on manual fire. Now I have 2 phaser beam arrays in the front and rear and one of each is auto fire but the other one I have to mash a button every 4 seconds to get it to fire which is extremely irritating. When you consider that by that point in the game you probably have 10 or more other buttons that you have to keep pressing, such as officer skills, shield harmonics... your character's abilities and turning the ship... you don't need an extra button to hit every 4 seconds.
At the very least, you should be able to have all of the same type of weapon fire automatically... So if you have all phasers beams/dual phasser beams, then you should be able to set all those types to auto fire. If you want to have 6 different types of weapons on your ship then maybe you should make it more difficult to maintain their firing.
These are just a few complaints on top of the endless amount of bugs in the game. I do not understand why this game was released as early as it was. It is unfinished and needed at least a few more months of beta to work out some of the most simplistic of bugs.
The UI and game play should be smooth and not excessively demanding on the player. The amount of buttons that you have to keep up with and mash in this game to make stuff work is rather crazy. When you consider a game like WoW or EQ1/2 which have a lot less going on in their combat systems use at the most maybe 12 buttons all through out combat with most of the time each class using only 3 or 4 buttons. There is a lot more going on in STO combat. Your "character" is basically in constant motion.. You have to maintain firing arcs for your weapons and you have probably 20+ buttons you have to mash pretty regularly by the time you are an admiral. This is way too much going on for playing to find enjoyable for long.
The above being said... I think STO is potentially a fun game, and I hope that Cryptic can manage to work out some of the bugs before too many people get tired of the game and leave. A lot of effort and resources have been put into building the server up to handle all the people playing in lieu of much needed bug fixes. It would be a shame for most people to grow tired of all the other problems and leave the game. Then you have a huge server farm that you don't need and still have all the bugs.
Rather than being stuck with the sub-standard UI I would like to create my own. I'd also like to include a proper heads up display which list timers etc instead of having to watch the hot bars constantly. I'd like to be able to create a 3D radar map for better situational awareness. I'd like to be able to parse damage/healing for metering.
Lastly, I'd like freakin sharks with lasers on their heads.
I don't like to be overly negative, but I hate the UI. I enjoy the combat and the missions and the graphics and the story, but I hate the UI. Things in my toolbar are constantly getting rearranged or removed, it's klunky to use, and was incredibly difficult to figure out. For example.....
I wanted to drag something from my inventory to the toolbar. It wasn't behaving as I expected. I had to open up my character sheet, go to Status (it keeps defaulting to Skills), and drag the items to the four action boxes there. From there, I had to then drag them to the positions on the toolbar that I wanted. Because dragging is almost universally done by holding down the primary button, I keep doing that out of habit. What happens though is that I wind up activating the item instead and wind up using things out of combat that I didn't want to use.
That's just a couple examples. I find the whole interface to be clumsy. It's definitely not friendly to a new player. The "Scan" button looks for all the world like an arrow, for example. Makes no sense.
In ground combat mostly but also in space, I will click an action button and the action will not activate. Quite often there is a delay between time I pushed the button and the time the skill activates, which can be a full second I think. Consequently the UI feels very unresponsive.
Still haven't figured out how to get things off of my toolbar other than replacing them with another item. Kinda weird.
Several times I will try to put an item into a slot and it wont go the first or second time.
I don't recall having similar UI problems in Champions Online. Didn't they just copy and paste?