The new map/redeploy screen- Terrible! Here's a long post why.

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by NanoBitSplit, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. NanoBitSplit

    As of Game Update 04, the map and Redeploy screens have been effectively merged, which was a topic of discussion for quite some time. What was not expected, however, was the complete overhaul of the map screen, removing much user friendliness and hiding it behind menus, buttons and neon-colored blobby things. Even after a few days of playing, I am still finding reasons to shout phrases such as, "This is so stupid!" and sometimes, "Who in their right mind would even design something like this?!" There is a laundry list of problems with the new interface, and I intend to shine some light on it in a simple, condensed post.

    For reference in this post, I'm going to use a screenshot I took a little while ago, just a random image of the redeploy screen I took while playing. Some of you may recognize this as Waterson Indar. Those of you with more acute perceptive abilities will notice the font is different, which is correct. I play using the old PlanetSide2.ttf font, as I find it more visually appealing than the Arial-esque one it was replaced by. This has no effect on the HUD or map other than changing how words, phrases and hate messages look.

    Note the letters- they will come in handy.

    A. The hex outlines.
    "What hex outlines," you ask? Exactly. The dividing lines between hexes have been made invisible, with the only way to see where the borders are being if a base is flashing due to being under attack or manually moving your mouse cursor over the area. Now, I don't know about you, but I am not some sort of idiot savant who perfectly remembers the outline of every base and outpost. While somewhat of a pet peeve, this makes it irritating when trying to see the statistics for a hex and you have to wander your mouse around until you find the right area. They also provided an easy, quick view of which bases are the most important due to being the largest or bordering the most hexes, enemy or otherwise- which now takes longer to figure out. Not good.

    B. The activity indicators.
    Prior to GU04, when an area on the map had a noteworthy fight going on, colored, pulsating 'orbs' would appear on the map. These orbs were color-coded per empire, so you could instantly look at a fight and know who had the advantage and who was fighting who. As of GU04, these orbs are now generic, reddish-orange in color, regardless of who is actually fighting. Aside from looking quite ugly, this makes it much more risky to drop in on a three-way fight; numerous times I have discovered that what I thought was a three-way brawl was actually a two-way kerfuffle and landed in the middle of a crowd of angry TR and NC.

    (I didn't survive.)

    C. The side information boxes.
    What, exactly, was the purpose of combining these into one selectable menu? The infoboxes are perfectly sized to scale down the entire right side of the screen, giving the player a whole slew of useful information at the same time. Why should I have to switch menus to view something that worked perfectly fine before? This is one of my most irksome changes, as it really makes no sense whatsoever. Kind of like...

    D. Changing continent view.
    This really confuses me. Previously, there were three little icons in the top left of the menu that you would click and it would take you to the selected continent view. Apparently that's far too simple for players to handle, so now we have a dropdown menu that at first many people couldn't even find. I understand that it's a form of futureproofing- as more continents are added, the icons would grow more and more numerous and take up more of the screen- but there has to be a better way to convey this to the player. Additionally...

    E. Continent population.
    It's broken. If you change continents while viewing continent population in the sidebar, often the name, population graph or both will get 'stuck' and fail to update regardless of how many times you want to switch. This seems to happen more often if you have already died and the redeploy menu is on-screen.

    F. The spawn/deploy menu.
    It's the same menu as has always existed on the Redeploy screen, with the singular improvement being the bar is smaller as it no longer has empty space where the MAX icon originally was. SOE seems really fond of drop-down menus, don't they? The loadout selection method has always been something that seriously irked me, as it's quite easy to hit the wrong one by accident, especially when you're at a weapon terminal or Sunderer trying to get into the fight ASAP. Another thing is that the game never remembers your previous loadout, which is quite annoying. For example, I have three LA loadouts- Nova, VX6-7 and VX with suppressor. I switch to Heavy Assault for a few seconds to rocket a pesky ESF or tank buzzing around the spawn. Upon switching back to LA, I have to play menu Sudoku again.

    It should be noted that PlanetSide 1 had a system that worked fine- go up to a terminal, press the number key for the favorite loadout you want. Two steps forward, three steps back. If eighteen loadouts is too much for a keyboard with about a bajillion keys, Tribes: Ascend had a similar system that worked fine- press 1 through 9 for the class you want, then 1 through whatever for the loadout you want.

    On a side note, when redeploying, you will still often find hexes that you should be able to spawn at, but can't, or can appear at ones halfway across the map for no reason. I wrote a post about that here, for those interested.

    G. The new spawn icons.
    I'll be frank here. They're ugly. The little green ovals also lack some sort of distinct outline, meaning they often blend into the map if they're in the wrong color territory or blinking. The old dots were perfectly fine, and this "3/4 view FUTURISTIC CIRCLE THING" looks like crud in comparison. While it is nice that Sunderers now have their own icon, that is also quite ugly and tends to blend in.

    H. The Log Out button.
    It still works and it's in the same spot. It's quite possibly the most useful thing in that screenshot, actually, as I find myself using it to log out in disgust more often as time goes on.

    Do I know how to fix these issues? Hell no I don't. I'm no graphics/art major or user interface designer. I'm just someone who wants to play video games. Having an interface that presents information in a clean, usable way with minimal hoops to jump through should always take precedence over one that looks nice. As some other poster who I have unfortunately forgotten (sorry!) said, this new system feels almost like a beta version of the old one, with placeholder icons and menu bugs.

    tl;dr: The new map interface sucks. Fix it.
    • Up x 14
  2. Mob720

    Gotta admit, I agree with you on a lot of these things.
  3. HadesR

    I hate how the map auto zoom's when you pick a location from the Deployment list ..

    I don't wanna ******* zoom in .. If I did I'm quite capably of doing it myself ..

    :mad: If any way to turn it off plz let me know
    • Up x 1
  4. GSZenith

    only one i care about is A, i mean really WHO who in there right state of mind Thought it would be a good idea to make it HARDER to about we make the map only 1 colour next?
    • Up x 1
  5. Apis

    All the other changes are benign compared to this. The selectable menu makes it so I have to spend more time screwing with the map menu when they could've just listed the information on the right side of the screen. It's very annoying. Everything else I'll adjust to no big deal.
  6. Clonecenter-resident

    I hate it too. Mainly C.

    Please fix this soon.
  7. SgtSomeone

    I was excited when I heard they were merging the spawn and the map screens. Unfortunately, they overhauled it, not merged.

    OP: I logged in specifically to give you a thumbs up.
  8. Krayus_Korianis

    I agree with everything the VS scum stated.
  9. DarkestMan

    Another thing. COLORBLIND PEOPLE ARE SCREWED OVER. WIthout that bold outline between bases You can't see the difference between them!

    Either return the outline, or make it so that the empire color you chose actually replaces the map color as well (hot pink for VS for me) which will actually allow colorblind people a way to see the map. I actually thought one time after logging in that we (the NC) were going to cap indar because the TR had only two territory left. Then when i talk about it people tell me that the VS own about 60% of the map and I couldn't tell.
  10. Madmojo

    nice write up. I dont like the new map at all. deployment options was perfect in the bottom right. Hexes are getting revamped so prolly no fixing the lines you were used to.
  11. Whet

    wait how do you check out other continent statistics... i still haven't figured it out..

    And I pretty much agree with all you have said here.

    Oh and now it seems to take much longer to "load" my map when I try to open it..
  12. Raazer

    I posted about this before seeing this thread. Another annoyance is the squad spawn option. This new map spawns you automatically--on the squad leader I assume--without letting you zoom in on where exactly the squad leader is located, like you were able to do with the prior map. You have to cross your fingers and hope your squad leader is with the platoon and not off in the woods taking a leak somewhere.
    • Up x 1
  13. Laraso

    Am I the only one who actually likes the new spawn screen? It's certainly better than the old one.

    The devs said they moved everything on the right into tabbed boxes so they had room to add more information in the future when additional content is added. I think that's fair.

    The only thing I don't really like about it is that the explosions are now orange. I admit that they look cleaner than the colored ones, but I liked being able to tell which faction was dominating in an area.
    • Up x 4
  14. NanoBitSplit

    Can you explain how you believe it's "better" than the old one? Just wondering.

    The tiny little ▼ next to the Indar title.
  15. PsychoBat

    While there might be some small problems with the new implementation (as there always is with first versions), the overall change is nothing less then amazing. The new map screen looks and feels a lot sleeker then the previous ones and getting to put down waypoints from death screen is a godsend.

    That said, the thing that bugs me most right now are the weird stretched spawn point icons and sundy icons that aren't too visible (nice you separated them though!). That's a small problem though and other then that I'm loving it.
  16. Mefi

    Another problem: it's hard to see text about reviving.

    Oh, IIRC, with old map screen when you click the "Squad leader" button then map shows proper location and option to use deploy with a drop pod.
    Current version instantly starts countdown and it doesn't show where is a squad leader.
  17. Scorponok

    yea it annoys me ALOT that i cannot see wich empire is fighting were...i keep landing in fights were TR and VS are at it...and i get massecred since theres no NC there..and the hotdrop/instant action is really sad again...why fall back on a idea that never worked in the first place? i like having hotspots i could pick myself...OR being able to pod into bases wich were marked needs assistance...that system was acually told you wich base was under im just throwing a dart at the map praying i dont get run over by 2 enemy factions fighting while my empire is somewere else... or get dropped at a empty base lol.
    • Up x 1
  18. Cl1mh4224rd

    Except then there's no room for the region information popup.
  19. LordMondando

    A large portion of the reason several things have been merged, result in 'moar clicks for same info' is because they are clearing up space to put in new features. What exaclty I don't know but thats the stated reason.

    AS to the hex lines, can get the same information by hovering over the area with your mouse.

    And the disco lights that were empire coloured, were so innacurrate its very hard to miss them.
  20. ggallin

    ....confuses me too.... especially point C