Here is some feedback to the latest patch.
I feel there are some design decisions that are counter intuitive and go against what gamers are used to.
The first and most important issue I have is that it isn’t immediatly clear what is equiped on the ship!
It is also not clear where which particular item is located on the ship.
The gear column on he right is very cluttered and I imagine it will only get worse once more is added.
For example what are the numbers next to the checkboxes that are displayed on the ship?
Is this the tech level? It isn’t really clear to me.
The orange counters (“2/2”, “0/0”), I thought those were max slot indicators, for example it is very unintuitive to me that the max number changes, once more gear slots are freed, usually these kind of counters don’t change the max number and are there to only indicate the max number of gear items on this type of gear.
The slot boxes also become very overwhelming on larger ships:
It is also tedious to select the boxes to equip items. And then again having to check it all again to make sure nothing is wrong.
My recommendation is to change the way gear is equiped.
- all available gear slots are displayed on the right column
- hovering with the cursor on a slot field highlights its position on the ship
- remove the filtering on top in this view because it becomes redundant now
- to change or clear a gear-slot, simply click on the gear-slot field
- next the columns content changes to this:
- here you select the item you want to equip on the slot
- all available items for this slot are listed, the filter function remains in this view to enable filtering
- the currently equipped item is highlighted
- the first field is a clear button to clear the slot (select nothing for the slot)
- clicking the desired item equips it to the slot, preferably play a confirmation sound and a 0.3 second animation that it was selected and then the user is redirected to the previous column content
IMO this is a better solution because it functions like that in most other games. Also the amount of available items is prefiltered, because only items that can be equipped on the selected slot are displayed in the equipping screen. The whole select dots on a 3d ship thing is pretty much removed. Also it shows at a glance the items that are currently equipped.
Another thing I would change is the color coding of the slots/gear items.
I would suggest to color code all slots by the type of equipment they can hold.
One other thing I would suggest is instead of displaying checkboxes on the ship, instead to display the icon of the item that is attached to the slot. For that there needs to be a secons set of icons for each weapon item, a iconset that is reduced to the point that distinguishing features of the weapon are visible with only a few lines and at a tiny scale. These second icons could be displayed next to the name of the item in the right column for reference (for example “MISSILE LAUNCHER ”).