Improving Usability (Hotkeys, Alerts, and UI)

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by Xagar, August 21, 2014.

  1. Xagar

    Xagar Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Given the neat thing that happened when someone mentioned the adv.fabbers getting stuck thing the other day, I thought I'd give something a little visibility that hasn't been talked about for a while - usability issues. I find managing my units unnecessarily difficult at the moment. There have been some great systems in this vein proposed in some other threads in the last few days, but I won't address those here, instead trying to focus on simpler solutions. Also, the UI improvement threads that were hoppin' 6 months or so ago were great.

    1. Hotkeys
    • "Select All..." selects units on all planets as opposed to a single planet. Many commands fail, are pointless, or actively harmful when you select units on multiple planets. This was actually already mentioned in passing by Uber recently, but it's important enough to mention here.
    • Select All Fabbers doesn't exist.
    • Select All Idle Fabbers doesn't exist.
    • Select All Fabbers On Screen doesn't exist.
    • Ctrl-z for an entire planet doesn't exist.
    • Select All Factories Building Combat Units/Building Fabbers - It's quite common to designate a factory to build only fabbers, for ease of keeping them when you need them. The current hotkeys make giving all your other factories different orders difficult.
    2. Alerts
    • Many alerts are essentially useless, especially kill alerts that aren't for commanders and build alerts for mobile units. A deluge of those only serve to block more important alerts.
    • Extensive options in alert filtering would be ideal, as seen in the excellent mod of the same name, but I think a simple slider of how much you want to be notified a la TA would suffice.
    3. Utility Structure Build Bar Layout
    • I find it extremely disconcerting how 3 of the most basic and important utility structures are not on the bottom row, unlike the other blocks of units. This UI tells me metal storage, energy storage, and deepspace radar are more important than mexes, t1 energy, and t1 radar.
    4. Last Known Position Radar / Enemy Base Located
    • It's very difficult to keep track of enemy positions on multiple planets without having this feature, if only for structures.
    • Alternately, planets could have some sort of UI element where enemy presence could be shown. I think a simple colored "are there enemies? y/n" box would suffice.
    5. Default Factory Orders
    • I want to repeat build. Always. Unless I ctrl-click (which is an awesome hotkey!) Pls Uber.

    6. Better System View at High Zoom
    7. Music Volume during Login
    • Music volume options are loaded late enough to blast me with trumpets for a second every time I boot up the game. Could be my computer being slow, but it's annoying.

    Bonus Suggestions:
    8. Alert Map/Log
    • Having a toggleable graphical or text log of alerts would help immensely, especially when dealing with multiple planets and highly detailed alerts.
    9. Ignore Formations
    • In Supcom FA and 2, ctrl-clicking would make units not try to make formations, instead trying to stack as close together as possible, making precise movements possible with selections that cover large areas. To see the problems that exist currently, try to queue a few move orders with 200 aircraft selected on a smallish planet. However, this may just be a stopgap for actually fixing pathing.
    Last edited: August 21, 2014
    robintick likes this.

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