Ammorack

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WoWs Q & A 23. 3. 2016

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New sights with 20 “sections” (ticks) will be added in 0.5.4.1 (not in 0.5.4).

Soon, we will release a new post-battle screen. Moreover, before we release our customization system, we will add several different sights to choose from. With the new customization system, this feature will of course be further improved.

Our current version of post-battle statistics looks like this:

We will of course try to fix all the bugs and anomalies.

Overall, the thought process behind the interface development is to model it on what the users want. Naturally, there are those who “want submarines” or “want to play another game”, but the majority of players see the same problems as we do, with some rare exceptions (as you probably know, the changes we’re talking about were not planned in the past few days; by the way, this is a good opportunity for us to think about changing our way of informing players about what we do). Things don’t go always as smoothly and quickly as we and the players would like, but the interface is fully part of the development of the game. The team in charge of interface development doesn’t and can’t have any priorities, except conceptual ones.

Your post (the one the dev is answering to) was a useful read. I will try to give a detailed response and I’ll start with your assessment of our work. It’s rather strange to hear that we “do nothing” and that we’ve done only 4 improvements in 15 months.

Time flies by players often forget,take for granted, or don’t notice certain things, it has been and always be so.

For instance, “elements needed to be added with the release of new game modes” is considered by many as taken for granted, as if we don’t need to spend time working on it. It is not true. The support for new game modes (Ranked, Team battles) can hardly be categorized as what we call “support”; in fact, the interface team fully developed these game modes hand in hand with the other teams. Here is the list of things we added since the beginning of the beta test (in no particular order):

  • Chat and contact list
  • Events, missions, challenges and their reward system (incidentally, the mission “banner” was significantly improved in the last update)
  • Port selection
  • Ship carousel filters (we will soon release an improved version)
  • Second version of the captain feature, including a captain carousel (as well as: the possibility to display captains from other nations, which many players whined about; the option to cancel the dismissal of a captain; an improved process for transferring captains; the ability to retrain captains)
  • Reports and compliments
  • First version of the karma system
  • Two versions of system messages
  • Cammos
  • Flags
  • Signals
  • Reworked profile summary (ranked season stats were improved in the last update)
  • Ranked battles
  • Consumables
  • Auto-resupply feature
  • Team battles
  • Personal offers system
  • “Educational” messages for new players (they don’t show for experienced players)
  • Arpeggio mod
  • Armor x-ray (not released yet)
  • Support for the “Zone” mode (yes it also required UI work since it differed from the old “Standard battle” mode)
  • Support for the new “Standard battle” mode
  • Tutorial mission

It’s also important to remember that even basic features, such as the report and compliment system, don’t make themselves (unfortunately), as some people seem to think. I must emphasize that, with this list, I’m not making any excuses for the things we didn’t do. But as we have decided to put the matter on the table, I wanted everyone to understand the amount of work we’re talking about.

Moreover, during all that time, we carried out several optimization cycles regarding the interface (freezes occur less often) and added several improvements “under the hood”, which will give us more room for development and allow us to implement new decisions faster.

In addition to all of those features (of great and medium importance), every update brings many minor improvements (about 20-30 minor visual or functional features). For instance, the capitalization of ship names (which was a heated subject of discussion). Yes, it wasn’t very successful when introduced – we didn’t inform players about what it was and why it was added. It’s a natural reaction when something people were accustomed to is changed. We fixed it, we explained – the anger subsided, many players understood our decision and are now fine using it. In general, there isn’t a single solution; take for instance word capitalization, many other games use caps in their whole interface. We added a practical component to that decision (as we always try to do).

Naturally, all of the work we’ve done doesn’t mean there aren’t any problems with the interface and doesn’t negate the fact it needs some improvements. I will comment on the list you’ve made:

Sights

We increased the crosshair width. In update 0.5.4.1, it will have 20 “sections” (ticks)

Torpedo indicator

To track your torpedoes, you can switch to the tracking camera (Z). In earlier versions, we had binoculars for torpedo armaments but decided to remove them. To aim torpedoes, you had to switch to binoculars and take aim, which wasn’t very efficient since the ship you were aiming at was often outside of the binoculars view.

Reload indicator

The problem of the reload bar not filling up linearly is an error. We’ll make sure to fix it.

(As you can see, the reload on the icon is not even half done whereas it’s more than half completed on the line indicator)

Cannot see incapacitated torpedo armaments in gun mode (and vice versa)

Our primary goal is not simply to show information on the screen but to bring it to the player. Someone posted  a screenshot of a World of Warcraft player’s interface (with a bunch of add-ons) that illustrates well what would happen if we implemented every suggestion players made. In such a case, it would become impossible for new players to apprehend the game. The idea of “it will solve itself” is important since it led us to the concept of allowing the playerbase to customize their interface.

Full interface customization is a very important aspect for us but, unfortunately, it will not be implemented in the near future. The technology we use is not appropriate to implement the customization we would deem suitable yet. For now, customizing one’s interface as one would like is only possible through mods.

Ship “model”

In a near future, you’ll be able to see your AA/secondary guns composition in battle

Minimap

At about the same time, we will significantly improve the minimap. In addition to being able to display various radii, you’ll be able to enable or disable several parameters directly in battle. I think that everyone will find his groove.

Messages regarding ship kills

(Player suggests adding something like : Vasya_Pupkin [Kongo] destroyed Alex_nagibator_666 [NewMexico])

We plan to modify it, it’s on our list.

“Players panel”

I will be frank, we won’t add players panel soon. As you know, there are other problems regarding the interface which are more important than players panel. For those who want more information than what the current battle interface offers, I suggest you download legal mods.

Mods

Generally speaking, we treat mods not only as an opportunity to experiment various features (as you probably know, there are several mods made by WG employees), but also to understand what the playerbase wants, what we should do first (and what we should not do); it’s also a good opportunity for players to put their ideas in practice.

Post battle interface

The post-battle screen doesn’t suit anybody, us included. We’ve already said we’re working on improving it. The new version is nearing release and will be implemented in one of the next updates.

I must add that all the values shown in the post-battle screen don’t come from nowhere. All the values the player sees come from various data collected server and client side. If something doesn’t appear on the stats screen, it often means that data simply isn’t collected. Thus, the game interface is only the tip of the iceberg, a little part of a more complex system which all of the dev team are working on.

Arrows in drop-down menus

I agree that this feature is not obvious, but it works simply enough that players can understand how it works after the first time. Once a player learns how the arrows work and what they mean, he doesn’t have further problems with them. Will we change it? We will, but in order to do that, we need to change all of the port interface first.

Upgrades on ships

If you want to change one upgrade for another, you can simply click on the new one and the game will ask you what you want to do with the previous upgrade. There are help bubbles everywhere in case you need help. And if you think that it’s not enough for some elements, do not hesitate to report it to us.

Post-battles messages (messages that appear  in the port on the right after a battle)

The current interface already works a bit differently than how it’s shown in your screenshot. The next step is to add specific messages depending on what tab the player is on in the port.

Pressing Esc in the captain skills or the ship modules/upgrades window doesn’t send the player back to the port

We will fix this issue. Our current architecture doesn’t allow us to quickly fix this issue.

Closing the game by pressing Alt + F4 or clicking on the X in the upper right corner in windowed mode

It works as follows: every command for closing the client will ask for a confirmation. It’s not only to prevent accidentally closing the game by clicking on the cross in windowed mode or pressing Alt+F4 but also to prevent inexperienced users to fall in the “Press Alt+F4 to…” trap.

Closing thoughts

We appreciate any feedback the players provide us. Moreover, the interface is created solely from players’ feedback. Constructive feedback is, however, taken more seriously. But, as I have already said, it’s impossible to please everyone of you without making another person unhappy. This does not apply to one person specifically. Yes, it’s always worth it for you to give us your point of view and your ideas. But remember, that the implementation of a suggestion is not always as simple as you think it is, whether it be from a technical or game design standpoint.

Source: http://thearmoredpatrol.com/2016/03/22/wows-qa-22th-march-2016-2/

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