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DRONE UI revamp (mock-up image)

Author
Donnachadh
United Allegiance of Undesirables
#21 - 2015-01-31 19:04:36 UTC
+1

A couple of suggestions for minor changes.
Why bother with starting to the left of the hud simply start them lined up like they are in the center image.
These would need to be stack able like most other weapons systems icon that way those that want to control a full flight can do so using a single icon.

Thank you for the time and effort to put this all together it is appreciated.
Burhtun
Burhtun Shipyards
#22 - 2015-01-31 22:27:15 UTC  |  Edited by: Burhtun
I did not expect so many people to suggest grouping drones into stacks, this is interesting. Are most people who want to do this thinking about piloting capital ships with 10 drones? Because with 5 drones I personally don't see the need. I can hit 'F' to make them all attack a single target, or juggle drones across multiple targets with F1-F5... I'm not sure I would personally have much use for say... one stack of 3 drones and one stack of 2 drones. Though I guess pressing F1 on a target 1 and F2 on target 2 is a little bit easier compared to pressing F1-F3 on target 1, and F4-F5 on target 2.

But yeah as I said earlier I don't see why it wouldn't work just like guns - stacking same drone types together. CCP would just have to deal with the health of stacked drones somehow. Calvyr Travonis' suggestion of adding all their bars on top of the icon would work I suppose, but I think it wouldn't look very attractive. And my previous idea of only showing the health of the most damaged drone of the group isn't ideal. Perhaps grouped drones could get a combined health pool? So if one drone in a group of 3 drones receives an attack worth 30 damage then it gets split among all 3 drones - 10 damage per drone. Thus only one health bar is needed. No... this would be pretty bad now that I think about it. Gilas would group their 2 drones together and all of a sudden it would take twice as long to kill one of their already super-tough drones. lol. Not sure if that would be game breaking or not. It would be harder to cut a Gila's DPS in half, but easier to make them recall both drones I guess.

Adrie Atticus wrote:
1) UI doesn't support 10 buttons there

You mean 10 top-slots right? F1-F10? Yeah, it stops at F8. So there is a problem for capital ships. I guess CCP could add 2 more slots, but then they would need to remap F9 and F10 shortcuts to something else. F10 currently opens the map. F9 isn't used for anything at the moment I think. Just CTRL-F9 to toggle UI. So just F10 to remap. Maybe not so bad. Or rework capitals so that they can not control so many drones individually. Maybe after 5 drones, they start becoming groups. So you end up with 5 groups of 2 to control individually.

Adrie Atticus wrote:
2) Where's the actual launch / management UI?

You mouse over any empty drone slot icon to have the drones list pop up. Then they could have you click and drag into space as normal, but personally I'd prefer to just click on a group/drone to launch. Holding the mouse button down and dragging is just unnecessary strain.

Foxicity wrote:
I'd like to be able to group all my drones into a single stack. I'm not always flying a drone-centric boat and separating my drones' dps is not as important to me as minimizing time spent managing drones.

Yeah, that's why I gave the mouse-over controls for a single drone the ability to recall all drones. So if you're not drone centric and don't want to micromanage, you use 'F' key to attack a target with all drones. And if you don't want to use the complicated shortcuts to Return&Orbit or ReturnToBay, then you can mouse over any drone icon and give a return command to all drones (the icon with the 3 dots). No need to recall each drone individually. Non-drone centric players/ships would also probably leave the drone slots to the left of the ship controls rather than eat up their F1-F8 slots with them.

Arthur Aihaken wrote:

Right clicking a drone group brings up the drone settings menu.

I like this idea. Then the options button can be removed or replaced with something else...

Like a disconnect button. I forgot about the need to disconnect from drones sometimes. Oh geeze. And usually you'd want to disconnect all launched drones not just one, so there would need to be 2 disconnect buttons. Ugh. Maybe we can use the right click function on the menu buttons as well? So there is only one recall to bay button, one recall and orbit button, and one disconnect button. Left-click to issue command to that specific drone, right-click to issue that command to all drones in space...

Arthur Aihaken wrote:

when recalling to bay or returning to orbit, the new dotted grey timer bar could be used as an approximate ETA for that drone group (based on the drone furthest from the player ship).


I like this idea too, since a drone returning to bay is basically its version of a reload timer.
Burhtun
Burhtun Shipyards
#23 - 2015-01-31 22:31:36 UTC  |  Edited by: Burhtun
Donnachadh wrote:

Why bother with starting to the left of the hud simply start them lined up like they are in the center image.
.


Because a lot of ships have drones as a secondary weapon and will have their turrets/missiles in the F1-F8 slots. Those players probably will not want to micromanage drones, and won't want the interface in the way of their modules. So I started the drone interface off on the left for their sake.

Donnachadh wrote:

These would need to be stack able like most other weapons systems icon that way those that want to control a full flight can do so using a single icon.


I designed this concept with the ability to control all drones even without stacking them. The mouse-over pop-up menu on a single drone also contains the commands to recall all drones to bay or to return all drones to orbit your ship. It doesn't have a button to tell all drones to attack at the moment, because I figured people would just press the 'F' key for that. But I suppose it would be more consistent to allow players to perform all commands via graphical interface...

If I rework the mock-up with the idea of being able to:
- left-click a menu button to assign the command to the individual drone/group
- right-click the same button to assign the command to all drones in space
Then perhaps that would be more intuitive and open up space for an attack button since I will no longer need 2 Recall buttons and 2 Return buttons.

So there would still be 4 mouse-over buttons, and they would now be:
- Return & Orbit
- Return to Bay
- Attack
- Disconnect

And with these buttons you could control a single drone/drone group (left-click) or all launched drones (right-click)

Then the drone menu where you set passive/aggressive and whatnot would be accessed by right-clicking on the drone module itself as Arthur Aihaken suggested.

Left-clicking on a drone slot would be the same as it is now - attack... which is a little weird since I would be adding an attack button to the pop-up menu as well. So you could attack with an individual drone by clicking the module, or clicking the attack button in the pop-up menu. A little redundant but I guess that would be OK. Then you could attack with all drones in space by right-clicking the attack button in the pop-up menu. If you don't like using the keyboard shortcut.
Tusker Crazinski
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#24 - 2015-01-31 22:51:29 UTC
+1 but seriously **** drones >:(
Arthur Aihaken
CODE.d
#25 - 2015-02-01 01:00:50 UTC  |  Edited by: Arthur Aihaken
Burhtun wrote:
I like this idea. Then the options button can be removed or replaced with something else...

No problem - consider it (and the others) yours. Lol

Quote:
Like a disconnect button. I forgot about the need to disconnect from drones sometimes.

Yeah, I completely forgot about this one too. Option-click disconnects the drone group?

Tusker Crazinski wrote:
but seriously **** drones >:(

I'm sure we all feel that way to some degree... but since they're destined to remain, we might as well have a decent drone interface.

I am currently away, traveling through time and will be returning last week.

Donnachadh
United Allegiance of Undesirables
#26 - 2015-02-01 01:28:32 UTC
Burhtun

Thank you for the explanation of starting them to the left of the hud. I see your point and I will amend my suggestion.
I still think starting them on the right side is better and would suggest a 4th row to accommodate the drones. From top to bottom I would suggest guns/missiles, then drones, then the remainder as they are in the 3rd and 4th rows.

So this is clear I am basing this next part on my experiences with PvE and make no attempt to determine how drones are best used for PvP. Generally in PvE it is best to use all drones on a single target as the increased killing speed of the combined fire allows you to kill and move on more quickly than independent targets. This is especially true for the BS and BC class rats.

The health display of the drones.
With them un-stacked I like your proposal from the OP.
When they are stacked I think and average would best, if the pilot wants to see individual drones condition there is always the drones window. this is less than optimal but given the restrictions of space it may be the best we can get.

I am not for the spreading damage between all of the drones in a group. While it would be a huge help to PvE pilots I think it would be a bad thing for the PvP crowd as you suggest.
Adrie Atticus
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#27 - 2015-02-01 08:58:27 UTC  |  Edited by: Adrie Atticus
Burhtun wrote:

Adrie Atticus wrote:
1) UI doesn't support 10 buttons there

You mean 10 top-slots right? F1-F10? Yeah, it stops at F8. So there is a problem for capital ships. I guess CCP could add 2 more slots, but then they would need to remap F9 and F10 shortcuts to something else. F10 currently opens the map. F9 isn't used for anything at the moment I think. Just CTRL-F9 to toggle UI. So just F10 to remap. Maybe not so bad. Or rework capitals so that they can not control so many drones individually. Maybe after 5 drones, they start becoming groups. So you end up with 5 groups of 2 to control individually.

Adrie Atticus wrote:
2) Where's the actual launch / management UI?

You mouse over any empty drone slot icon to have the drones list pop up. Then they could have you click and drag into space as normal, but personally I'd prefer to just click on a group/drone to launch. Holding the mouse button down and dragging is just unnecessary strain.


I get the idea, but how would you handle, let's say, 15 light drones in a dominix of all same type (let's say Hobgoblin II's), but only 8 have taken damage. From those 15 you want to launch undamaged ones instead of the heavily damaged ones. How can I choose which ones plop down to the drone UI and which ones don't if I can't use a list to see quickly which ones to launch manually?

I get what you mean on how to select the drones, but having to hold a button down 5 times in a row just to pick the drones I want to launch instead of either:
1) Ctrl+click to select the individual drones
2) Drag them out of the bay one by one
3) Move damaged drones to their own folder and use undamaged ot launch a full flight
will be a massive strain fast. You clearly want to make the drone management against multiple targets way easier, which is understandable, but managing drones before they are launcher is as important as flight controls.
Burhtun
Burhtun Shipyards
#28 - 2015-02-02 05:26:31 UTC  |  Edited by: Burhtun
But you can see which drones are damaged, and release only ones that are not damaged. You mouse over the grey launcher icon thing, you get the drone list to pop up, and as long as your cursor is over the list of drones it is not going to go away. So you can take all the time you want opening groups, left clicking on drones to assign to groups, and launching whatever drones/groups you want. It is the exact same list with the same functionality, it just tucks away when it isn't needed. Sort of like the notifications widget. If you click on a group of drones to launch, they fill up all the empty gray launcher icons. You don't need to load each launcher individually.

However, if left-clicking on a drone launches it like I want, then yes, you would not be able to click and drag drones into different groups as you can now. Oops.

Several possible solutions.

1. Add launch buttons to the right side of the drones list, for each drone/group. So launching drones can still be a simple left-click and not a click+drag or right-click+left-click. All other functionality with regards to moving drones and setting them up in groups is the same as the current drone list.

2. Make the window function and look exactly the same as it does currently in-game, in all regards, and add a close-delay of a few seconds to give you time to drag out multiple drones/groups, before it tucks back into the launcher icon. (Just like the notifications widget)

3. Trash the whole gray drone launcher button and pop-up drones list idea, and retain the drones window exactly as it is now. Just add a button/option on it to convert the in-space portion of the list into the graphical buttons. Personally I think the drones list is ugly and I'm not fond of it always being open. EVE has too many windows/lists eating up screen space already.
Adrie Atticus
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#29 - 2015-02-02 09:15:00 UTC
The drone window, in all it's ugliness, is the most efficient window in the whole UI. It does exactly the thing you need with minimal padding. Your proposition of how to control the drones is excellent, but it's excellent just for controlling; management has to have a separate window.

Could it be that we have a form over function suggestion here on the management window?
Samillian
Angry Mustellid
Lost Obsession
#30 - 2015-02-02 09:22:56 UTC
On the whole I like this, I assume you would form drone groups much as you group weapons which would be interesting.

NBSI shall be the whole of the Law

Burhtun
Burhtun Shipyards
#31 - 2015-02-02 10:07:07 UTC  |  Edited by: Burhtun
Adrie Atticus wrote:
The drone window, in all it's ugliness, is the most efficient window in the whole UI. It does exactly the thing you need with minimal padding. Your proposition of how to control the drones is excellent, but it's excellent just for controlling; management has to have a separate window.

Could it be that we have a form over function suggestion here on the management window?


Yeah, I keep waffling back in fourth over it in my head. It IS very efficient at what it does. It is also very ugly.

Overall I think I don't see it as much of a loss of function to have it minimize itself into an icon. Currently with the drone list window if you double click on the header it will collapse. Imagine if it did that automatically when you move your mouse away from it (after a delay), and in order to maximize it all you had to do was mouse over the header, instead of double clicking. Would that be so terrible?

Hmmmm. Arg. Maybe you're right. Maybe it is just impossible to reduce the spreadsheet nature of EVE in this area.

I'd almost like for there to be no drone groups at all. Treat drones exactly the same as ammo for guns. Right-click on a drone control module to launch a drone. If there is a stack of 5 grouped drone control modules it launches 5 drones of the selected type. It always launches drones with the most hitpoints remaining. It would kill the ability to have groups of different drones launch together in one swift motion. I'm not sure I ever do that though. Even when I launch 2 geckos, 2 hammerheads, and 1 hobgoblin from my Ishtar like in the mock-up image... it still takes me 2 launch commands since they are kept in 2 different groups. Gecko group and THERM group. If I were doing missions and only needed to do THERM damage I suppose I would put them in a single group though. Actually if I was doing missions with THERM damage needed I'd just use 5 Gardes.

Hmmm. Maybe it can work both ways. Give the drone management window a button/option to dump the 5 drone-control "modules" onto your F1 slots. Can load drones into them via right-click like previously described, ammo-style. Depending on the ship/situation I would just minimize the drone management window and control everything from the modules.
Arya Regnar
Darwins Right Hand
#32 - 2015-02-02 12:09:55 UTC
Just came to say that it looks like OP tried his best and came up with a result that is impressive.

Supported.

EvE-Mail me if you need anything.

Desudes
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#33 - 2015-02-02 13:11:55 UTC
Hnnnng.

+1111111

Excuse me, but what the f*ck are you desu?

Burhtun
Burhtun Shipyards
#34 - 2015-02-02 17:40:37 UTC  |  Edited by: Burhtun
Edited OP with new revision of the mockup, bringing in some of the suggestions and some new ideas I've come up with.
TheMercenaryKing
Ultimatum.
#35 - 2015-02-02 17:43:56 UTC
I'll allow it. +1
IHaveTenFingers
Lethal Dosage.
Violent Society
#36 - 2015-02-03 08:20:15 UTC
This mock-up looks utterly fantastic and it keeps getting better. If anything is in need of an overhaul, it's the drone UI. I have a few notes. (sorry if redundant, I'm the lazy)

* Based on the current layout of the in-flight UI, we'd probably need another hotkey group to actually allow this since some of the larger drone boats will simply be out of space. Fortunately, there's plenty of room to the left of the UI - even on the lowest resolution, - where you could throw passive modules or stuff that you really don't need hotkeyed.

* This looks a little complicated and might go against CCP's trend of streamlining things. I rather like what you've done, since it's all very clean and compact. Having to learn a little added complexity will almost certainly be worth it in the long run, and I hope others would agree.

* Radial menus for module slots paves the way for a lot of really neat features and optimizations, not just for drones, but other modules as well. Not having to navigate a textual menu to reload/overheat/showinfo would be swell.

I'll be watching this thread like a hawk :D

+1
Izuru Hishido
Lethal Dosage.
Violent Society
#37 - 2015-02-03 09:14:04 UTC
I like this, but the way it is, its kinda a mess for ships with multiple drone types. If I want to use this with my carrier, I don't really need any function key to launch my drones for me, but engaging can be quite nice with it.
Raven644
Gallente Volunteer Defense Forces
#38 - 2015-02-03 15:31:29 UTC
Many +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

very nice idea, i really would like to group and use drones like weapons.

The avarage damage for damaged drones is a good solution and if you go with mouse over it (with a adjustable time delay) can displays them solo or something.
The drone menu and controll feels like 10 years ago. To change it I would like to add some things:

- more modes then just aggressive and passive, maybe normal for if u are attacked that the drones do strike back and agressive that they are like pittbulls on crack and just shoot on everythink in lockrange

- to orbit a target (without engaging) in a ajustable orbit

- send drone/drones in a directon (i guess for pvp with cloacked that would be nice and realistic to send drones wherever you want. even there is not many useful situations, but why shouldnt my drones fly with me in a phalanx Big smile

- to make it possible to activate manually the mwd of the drones
Serendipity Lost
Repo Industries
#39 - 2015-02-03 15:58:01 UTC
Using "I want to make my sentry ishtar more efficient" is probably a bad way to start. There are like a zillion nerf the ishtar threads all over the internet. (my wife found a NERF ISHTAR thread in her body painting forum - it's that bad)

The general concensus is the ishtar doesn't need to be better in any way.

That being said, the function should have a use/don't use toggle. As a pvp gal - I really don't want to be forced to look past a drone micromanagement U/I and I don't want to have to push 5 buttons to get my drones to agree that the falcon over there is the right thing to attack.

Seems like a neat feature, but deffo not desired in all cases, so give it a toggle.
Sh00ter McGavin
Barr None
#40 - 2015-02-03 19:24:55 UTC
Absolutely brilliant. +1
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