One of the worst UI implementations in a promising MMO

    • One of the worst UI implementations in a promising MMO

      Hello fellas and devs (if you read that great, it's mainly aimed for you)!

      My topic says strong words for what looks like a wonderful MMO sandbox project. The truth is Albion is a wonderful project minus the user interface! I've been playing MMOs starting back from the late 90s (Ultima Online) and throughout those years I've seen numerous great ideas and failures. Albion brings a lot of features I love and I would love to see more in the gaming industry but makes me speechless how they came up with such a primitive UI system. I will break it into sections so you can refer to the different aspects where I feel they need to redesign or add functionality.
      This thread will be continuously updated with new points where I feel necessary as well as examples and imagery so stay tuned!

      • Maps and navigation
      The moment I started the game in Steppe Cross town I realised something is wrong with the maps. I was wandering around looking for either a repair station or a tool shop. The shops themselves unless you make sense of what they visualise had very poor signboard and no labelling. In fact it's a visual mess - everywhere! What I mean by this there's virtually no labelling shown on the minimap so you can only guess what's in your surroundings and where you should go. That applies to both city areas and outside world. Of course one can argue that you can press 'N' for city/town map but that makes it terrible in the long run especially when you are in a big city full of stations looking for a particular shop. Instead you should make adjustable minimap that can then be both resized and filtered to show different NPCs or Stations on demand so you can move around and see the surroundings at the same time. Another way to approach this is using a full sized transparent map on the background similar to Diablo II or Path of Exile.
      *Even though I play on 32" monitor which is a rarity many people play on their desktops that have 20"+ monitors which is enough screensize to have adjustable minimap. It is an essential tool (ex. World of Tanks minimap system)

      Party member/Friend location - another issue is the player location. There is a microscopic yellow rectangular supposed to show your friend/party member live location yet as soon as he jumps neighbouring territory he cannot be tracked on the big map or seen when you zoom in.
      • Market menu
      By far one of the most infuriating UIs I had to experience! I will make direct reference with EVE Online as those 2 games seems to be the most popular in terms of player-driven economy. The most critical problem is how they display goods and filter them. The whole menu is literally filled with either a mixed list or filtered one with a single product where you can see 7-8 listed sales/buy requests. Having to do a sell or buy order is separated in different section where you lose the sight of the current market and have to select the product from pre-filtered menu and click (every time) on the market details to show the latest sales and market history. The reason for that poor system is the lack of contextual menu system and spredsheets. For the reference in EVE Online you have 1 main window where you can see all the categories on the left navigation panel and all the results for sells and buys on the spreadsheets on the right. Using context menus you can easily right click on any item in your inventory and put it for sell or create buy order. If you already have active sells/buys there is separate window that displays that so you can keep track of them and check them to see if someone put a lower price mark. On the following screen I give example with 1 item I have an active sell I need to change the pricing by right clicking -> Modify order.
      *For all intents and purposes my images will be within spoiler drop-down menus to make my thread less polluted by the screenshots.

      (Click on spoiler to see the image)

      • Wallet menu
      Or the lack of one! I bet some people will hate me already knowing I will relate to EVE again but it's not me trying to advertise EVE rather than showcasing how poor are things in Albion. Rants aside, we are talking about the lack of any active tracking of all your market transactions that occur while you do your thing in-game or you come back after a night. Majority of the players who have progressed in the game already have hundreds of sale and buy orders and I cannot imagine the excruciating pain a player has to feel when sees those chunks of mail notifications. For that reasons in EVE they have designed their own digital wallet (like any online banking so it's not really news here, aye?!) so you can keep track and know what's been sold, what you've bought and how much broker fee and sales taxes you've paid along the way. Since there is nothing to compare with I will just give an example with my EVE account so you know how it looks after a night of sells. There is no reason to explain that there is no place for mail notifications for market if you have a wallet so they can be removed from there.

      (Click on spoiler to see the image)
      • Mail system
      Another real bummer! It is in fact mainly related to the lack of any sort of normal functionality with market notifications which I included in the upper section as well as system/game related notifications and player to player mails. The simple fact that it clutters them in a single list is abysmal! Who on Earth will take the time to read hundreds of notifications for every single sale that happened throughout the night?! If anything else, mails should be solely focused on system notifications and player messages and that filter is completely unnecessary. Every normal real world mail service has a navigation panel where you can have a folder for system messages and private messages (a.k.a guild/player messages). So you can see them sorted right away.

      • Guild system
      As soon as I had my first day in Albion I already contacted some guys from my own country and wanted to join their guild so I can get going and move in their place. Well guess what? You don't have a search bar to look for guilds! Like why would you limit people from searching for a particular guild but randomly showcasing guilds they have no clue about?! Where is the common sense? I leave the conclusions for you to make.
      You need to have a search bar so you can type their name and join your buddies or whoever you had communications with. It's a common sense, no further explanations needed.

      • Travelling between safe zones
      Why on Earth if you travel between SAFE ZONES you would have to hold your left mouse button and watch the screen for whatever time it takes you (especially if you are heavily loaded with resources) to get to your bank or market? Sometimes I have to do this between 3 or more jumps that are tier II - tier IV just holding my left mouse button and watching my ox speeding with 2 km/h. How bad it will be if you just can set to autowalk to the desired destination? (We are talking zone to zone, not a particular sight or dungeon). So you can choose this even in PvP zones, at your own risk of course, if you feel you are at those early hours of the day and you don't have so much precious loot with you. I mean for safe zones anything but having autopilot is a time waster and EVE Online has dealt with it long time ago. I welcome anyone to change my mind on that.

      So far I've managed to have a more bold look on these but I've already had my anger moments on many more bits and pieces so keep checking on the thread. I will keep it updated with new stuff! Don't get me wrong, I love Albion but it hurts me to see these bad implementations so it's in mine own and if fact all the community's interest to ask for improvements.
      "Humanity is dust, within humility's splendor." - Lustmord

      The post was edited 15 times, last by I-Drakan-I ().

    • I agree that guild search menu it is really bad. Show inactive guilds in the first page. Doesnt let tou search by name. Searching by language it is limited to just 10 you need to increase that number.

      I am ok with other part of UI. Feels simple and intuitive. If tou ever play mmorpg before you shall be ok. There button for autorun. It is life saver right now :-).

      just need some to get familar with things, but i dont wanna get smashed by fancy arrows and autorun from point a to point b.

      Keep it simple, but add better guild search engine.

      in addrion guilds need more options like role to mute players in guild chat only. This will reduce toxicity alot.

      My advice is improve guild search menu and keep other UI simple like it is now.

      cheers !
    • I-Drakan-I wrote:

      Travelling between safe zonesWhy on Earth if you travel between SAFE ZONES you would have to hold your left mouse button and watch the screen for whatever time it takes you (especially if you are heavily loaded with resources) to get to your bank or market? Sometimes I have to do this between 3 or more jumps that are tier II - tier IV just holding my left mouse button and watching my ox speeding with 2 km/h. How bad it will be if you just can set to autowalk to the desired destination? (We are talking zone to zone, not a particular sight or dungeon). So you can choose this even in PvP zones, at your own risk of course, if you feel you are at those early hours of the day and you don't have so much precious loot with you. I mean for safe zones anything but having autopilot is a time waster and EVE Online has dealt with it long time ago. I welcome anyone to change my mind on that.

      So far I've managed to have a more bold look on these but I've already had my anger moments on many more bits and pieces so keep checking on the thread. I will keep it updated with new stuff! Don't get me wrong, I love Albion but it hurts me to see these bad implementations so it's in mine own and if fact all the community's interest to ask for improvements.
      Wat? you are basically asking for a bot 8o 8o 8o 8o

      Sir, you don't have to hold your left mouse button to move, the game has auto run already, go to Key Bindings and search for Auto Run, transport is a big part of Albion economy, a fully automated transport would hurt the economy, Merchants and their mammoths are already swimming in gold and they don't need a bot to make their life easier.


      Also, if your ox is too slow eat a better pie or respect the weight limits but good suggestions for the market system. ;)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Jean_Helius ().

    • The game design is lacking in a lot of places, one area is the scalability of certain designs:

      1. There is no need to load the entire tree of all weapons, armors, and crafts. Rarely does anyone open the destiny board to look at all weapons, rather they open the destiny board to look at a specific subtrees, so why have us drag around the destiny board looking for it when it can be compacted and alphabetized into an expandable list or table of some sort. The tree UI makes sense for skills and stats that have more complicated progressions where the pathing actually matters, e.g., Path of Exile Destiny board, but the tree and paths in the Albion Online destiny board serve no purpose. It just looks flashy, but no substance. E.g., knowing that the location of nature staff tree is on the left serves no purpose. You can just pick up a nature staff and start using it without knowing its path on the destiny board. The design is also not scalable because they add a node each time a new weapon introduced, making the board larger and larger, and the player having to drag around more.

      2. Skin design should not be consumable. It should be equippable with a second equipment tab. They already have an equipment system. Current consumable system is not scalable like the issue above. You have to browse through a list of all skins to find the ones you have, instead of opening a chest to find all the skins you own and can equip.

      The post was edited 4 times, last by DookieCookie ().

    • Jean_Helius wrote:

      Wat? you are basically asking for a bot

      Sir, you don't have to hold your left mouse button to move, the game has auto run already, go to Key Bindings and search for Auto Run, transport is a big part of Albion economy, a fully automated transport would hurt the economy, Merchants and their mammoths are already swimming in gold and they don't need a bot to make their life easier.


      Also, if your ox is too slow eat a better pie or respect the weight limits but good suggestions for the market system.
      There is a difference between automating a certain action and having a bot. EVE Online has autopilot (autowalk) and I can imagine the rage of the community if they remove it and make it manual only. A bot is usually a way more complex system of actions that 99% of the cases is aimed to passively farm for you exp/income/resources. It surely gives unfair advantage and unless it's build in the game (like for example MU Online bot) it's considered a type of cheat and against the rules. What I am talking about is just autowalk that gets you from A to B without you staring at the d*mn screen for 5 mins or whatever time you need to reach the market area - in no way this will boost your progress. Also it's an optional thing. If you are one of those geeks who enjoy looking at a particular map for over 100 times then it's in your right to do so! And yes...I found out about pressing 'Num Lock' key but it still doesn't change the fact you need to be manually navigating yourself between the areas.

      Let me give you a real life example. You are driving on a particularly frustrating route to work. Not the kind of route where you can do some cool stuff and do it for the fun of it. Every day, full of traffic, traffic lights at every corner and only reasons to be upset. You have enough money to afford a Tesla S model so you can drive it manual and swear at the traffic or some other incompetent driver, or you have the option to press autopilot and play a favourite show on your screen and enjoy your time while your Tesla's autopilot drives you to your workplace. Which one do you prefer? Same for this thing - I can watch an interesting guide about Albion or answer an e-mail while my character is getting back to the market.
      "Humanity is dust, within humility's splendor." - Lustmord

      The post was edited 16 times, last by I-Drakan-I ().

    • I find your car analogy fun! Since I do enjoy driving a manual car I'll even add on it it, it'll be fun!

      I for one don't ever want to have a vehicle self drive me from point A to point B simply because I don't trust the other drivers on the road. They're fucking idiots, and it takes away from the feeling of driving a car which I myself enjoy unlike most people my age group. What you want is to alt tab out of the game so you can go watch your porn or whatever? Yeah well guess what people in this game imitate life more than I think you realize. What they'll start doing is making group gank parties, even in safe zones, to simply take you down with all of your gear. Now as you sit there alt-tabbed watching your porn or weekly church sermons (or whatever people do that don't actually want to PLAY THE FUCKING GAME) you will lose durability. You come back to realize after those important business emails of yours that oh, my yak is useless, but it's ok I still have auto pilot on.


      Now you have 20 dudes on the same path with a slow yak moving at the speed of a tesla that didn't realize soccer moms don't check their side mirrors and fucking crashed. When you do finally reach your city only to find out the market crashed for anything gathering related because now people don't have to play the game anymore once they reach 10 stacks of whatever material


      Jesus man why do you even install games if you don't wanna play them lmao
    • rottencheese wrote:

      I find your car analogy fun! Since I do enjoy driving a manual car I'll even add on it it, it'll be fun!

      I for one don't ever want to have a vehicle self drive me from point A to point B simply because I don't trust the other drivers on the road. They're fucking idiots, and it takes away from the feeling of driving a car which I myself enjoy unlike most people my age group. What you want is to alt tab out of the game so you can go watch your porn or whatever? Yeah well guess what people in this game imitate life more than I think you realize. What they'll start doing is making group gank parties, even in safe zones, to simply take you down with all of your gear. Now as you sit there alt-tabbed watching your porn or weekly church sermons (or whatever people do that don't actually want to PLAY THE FUCKING GAME) you will lose durability. You come back to realize after those important business emails of yours that oh, my yak is useless, but it's ok I still have auto pilot on.


      Now you have 20 dudes on the same path with a slow yak moving at the speed of a tesla that didn't realize soccer moms don't check their side mirrors and fucking crashed. When you do finally reach your city only to find out the market crashed for anything gathering related because now people don't have to play the game anymore once they reach 10 stacks of whatever material


      Jesus man why do you even install games if you don't wanna play them lmao
      I, myself own a car with manual gearbox and I enjoy driving it. It seems you prefer to go to the Moon rather than seeing my point. It's not about your driving experience. What I did there is called analogy, find it in the Oxford dictionary. It's about the freedom to choose and it's about convenience! Nobody forces you to use it so why forcing your playstyle if others are willing to spend their time in way that's more meaningful to them, in it? Are you sure you understand the game mechanics? There is no way anybody can attack you in a safe zone. Listen buddy... I've been playing games for over 23 years. The only way a MMO develops is through the community's feedback. The creators of Albion were heavily influenced by EVE Online when they worked on this game. EVE, being the pioneer and the most popular player-driven economy based MMO adopted autowalk in secure zones long time ago and over 300 thousand active players today find it useful. There is a good d*mn reason why I give it as a suggestion.

      P.S: I didn't get why the word porn excites you so much...? I guess it's that particular age.
      "Humanity is dust, within humility's splendor." - Lustmord

      The post was edited 23 times, last by I-Drakan-I ().

    • Your freedom of choice is choosing not to play the game unlike how its been designed and been played for the past couple of years. What you want is an easy mode button like so many people that get into mmos now a days want. Make it easier, easier to make money, easier to farm fame, easier to get the best equipment as fast as possible. Do people like you actually know what an mmo is? I don't really understand what you're asking, the core principle of any mmo is grinding, spending the time to do even the mundane stuff like going from point A to point B as slow or as fast as the game designed it.

      And you know what the main point of your analogy is right? It's an easy mode button in life to not drive to not pay attention, to totally isolate yourself from having any kind of experience or burden such as driving. So that's what you want here ya? You wanna watch your sick flicks while your character does all the work right?

      Why stop there though? Maybe for $50 you could buy a "I should be playing another game right now" starter pack and have your character gather the materials by going in a circle around a region eventually leading back to the entrance. Go back to town, have you go to a shop to craft, even list the item on the market and so on and so fourth. All you have to do is pay that entrance fee and rack in the silver!

      Also good job for taking an obvious joke and turning it into an insult about my age it's usually what people go to when they don't have a real counter argument. Tell me how auto pilot won't break the games economy, seriously tell me instead of insulting my age. You know why the yak is slow in lower tiers and why it takes so long to move back to any town with one? Answer me that question and you'll understand how basic economics of supply and demand work, let alone the work players before you needed to do to get those supplies to any market, and leveling up their entire character to be able to buy higher tier faster mounts. Anyone recommending this shit should just go find an easier mmo to be honest as gathering in this game does not require much effort on your part, and if it is, wow.
    • Hellements wrote:

      Hey there.

      I compiled these ideas and sent them to devs. We agree that there's definitely ways to improve the UI in different locations.



      - Hellements
      I am really happy that you had the time to check out my feedback! I strongly believe I am not the only person looking for improvements in the aforementioned areas. I will update my thread if I find new things that I missed. Good luck and I hope we see it coming the following months. :)
      "Humanity is dust, within humility's splendor." - Lustmord

      The post was edited 1 time, last by I-Drakan-I ().