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.