Feedback on the "HotS UI Update"

General Discussion
Note; posted this in beta feedback first but its nearly off the front page and not a single reply -- about the same thing that happens to any battle.net related article I post there. So I thought I'd see if anyone here has something to say about it.

Now that we've highlighted some of the changes we’re making, we want to hear what you think. We appreciate how passionate the StarCraft II community is, and always look forward to your feedback.

It just happens to be that I like giving feedback on Battle.net. =)

It struck me as very work-in-progress (not to mention the features not yet shown) I don't know how true that is or how close this is to the final version, so I am only going to comment on what is shown. I can’t wait to actually get my hands on it to give even better feedback.

MENUS

I love the clean new look of the UI, particularly the revised toolbar at the bottom – but there is still more work to be done. Players have complained about the chat channel system since the beta, and rebuilding the UI (along with adding clan support) is the perfect opportunity to fix it.

What needs to change in regards to chat channels? First; you have to understand it has never been just about size.

Firstly, it’s about the chat channels being built into the interface. Even when you resize SC2 chat channels to be as big as you want, they cover up other important UI functions because Battle.net 2.0 is not designed around having them that large. In Warcraft 3 and older Blizzard games, the entire layout was designed with chat channels being the centerpiece in mind.

Furthermore, even when you resize SC2 chat channels the text, player list\portraits, and everything else do not scale -- they remain at a size fit for the typical small channel size.

It’s not just that; though: A lot of people liked them better "built in" from an aesthetic point of view. Simply; they liked the way it looked better when they were built in "rooms" rather than these "flimsy little chat box thingies" (As I've heard some players phrase it)

But moving on from that, another big factor was other social and practical features of Chat Channels. The ability to Designate, Kick, and Ban people from chat rooms was not only used practically (for obvious uses) but also for entertainment. People getting banned or designated created social drama and people would sometimes be kicked as part of a joke – all in good fun.
Yes, you’d typically think of moderator powers as relying on Clans - but before clans existed, if you joined a channel called "OP TheSkunk” then the channel would make TheSkunk the channel operator – providing a moderated channel for when you needed it.

Other features like /emote (or /me) did this as well. Despite being seemingly pointless, I can remember 5+ people getting in what we called "emote wars" (on this line of thinking, the magic 8-ball function that bots had was funny as well) It was also used to take tallies -- "If you vote in favor of playing Footmen Frenzy, type /me!"

Of course, Chat Channels rely on having an underlying social structure like Clan Support. Now that feature is coming as well. I really feel that Chat Channels should be built into the new Battle.net UI as a central feature, and have all players be automatically entered into their Clan Channel upon logging in.

Without an overhaul of the Chat Channel system I really feel that Clan Support will fall short of what I hope and expect it to be -- which is an excellent competitive AND social feature.

A final note: The option to save chat logs would be great. I still have tons of old WC3 chat logs generated by Stealthbot. It was useful feature then, and I appreciate it now as I go back and read them.

STATS

All I can say is: More! I was really hoping there would be a lot more new stats then this, and a lot more detailed.

I'm presuming that they don't plan to stop here, though – but I really hope they go all-out with this feature.

I'd also love to see more charts, graphs, and visual representations - not just "data tables" like these. I like looking at data in a more visual way.

PARTIES

Bigger parties? YES! ABOUT TIME! :D

I would be curious in knowing exactly what the new max party size is, though.

A final change that must occur to parties: Allow parties to host maps that cannot support as many players as are in the party, and simply make the extra players spectators if the map allows it.

Right now, you have to KICK all of your party members, and invite them separately. It feels incredibly frustrating and backwards.

CUSTOM GAMES

The Arcade patch was a great step forward that I feel was under appreciated by many people.

However, as nice as map info, screenshots, and patch notes are -- and as useful as reviews are -- the thing that really matters is the basic usability: How easy it is for players to find a map they want to play and play it, how easy it is for a player to host a map and have it be seen.

That being said, I think THE most important and significant feature of the 1.5 patch was actually the open games list -- because that’s the only feature that addressed this, and it’s what the entire playerbase has been crying out for since game release.

Sadly, it is also most hidden away. At first I was confused when I was heard a lot of people complain about the Arcade in the latest drama, essentially asking for a feature like the Open Games list to be added. Evidently, this feature simply went unnoticed to the majority of the people.

I really feel like the Open Games List should appear on the main spotlight page of the arcade (taking the place of the "Up and Coming" list which could cycle with the "Top Played" and "Top Rated" lists at the side) with a button to bring the player to the full Open Games List page. It should also be moved above the "browse highly rated\played" button on the list.

You should also be able to sort the Open Games list by Genre, Rating, and so on.

Finally (but not least important): Right now, if a map doesn't fill quickly it will sink to the bottom of the list and very few people will see it or join it. Popular maps fill quickly, disappear off the list, and come up again -- therefore maintaining a top position. Either make maps that have been opened the longest appear at the top (to make sure every lobby is filled as quickly as possible) or add a way to refresh the position of your map on the list if it gets stuck at the bottom.

CONCLUSION

There are obviously a lot of features left to go - Clan Support, Automated Tournaments, Shared replays - that have not yet been shown in detail. The article stated, however, this is not all that you guys have planned and you'll be showing us new stuff each week -- so I'll wait to comment on those features until then.

If you want to know what I think about other features not shown in this UI preview, see my post here: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/6572970624

A finial request: Allow us to create groups on our friends list to help sort them. It would be so useful and helpful. It’s difficult to find the people I want to find on my current friends list.

Sorry for how poorly written\structured this post is -- I wrote it out in one sitting off the top of my head. I hope it is helpful to the developers, and I look forward to seeing what else you guys have to show us in the coming weeks!

There are obviously a lot of features left to go - Clan Support, Automated Tournaments, Shared replays


One can only hope these features actually make it into the game.
10/24/2012 04:07 PMPosted by TheSkunk
all players be automatically entered into their Clan Channel upon logging in.


i love you skunk ♥

But moving on from that, another big factor was other social and practical features of Chat Channels. The ability to Designate, Kick, and Ban people from chat rooms was not only used practically (for obvious uses) but also for entertainment. People getting banned or designated created social drama and people would sometimes be kicked as part of a joke – all in good fun.
Yes, you’d typically think of moderator powers as relying on Clans - but before clans existed, if you joined a channel called "OP TheSkunk” then the channel would make TheSkunk the channel operator – providing a moderated channel for when you needed it.

Other features like /emote (or /me) did this as well. Despite being seemingly pointless, I can remember 5+ people getting in what we called "emote wars" (on this line of thinking, the magic 8-ball function that bots had was funny as well) It was also used to take tallies -- "If you vote in favor of playing Footmen Frenzy, type /me!"

Of course, Chat Channels rely on having an underlying social structure like Clan Support. Now that feature is coming as well. I really feel that Chat Channels should be built into the new Battle.net UI as a central feature, and have all players be automatically entered into their Clan Channel upon logging in.

Without an overhaul of the Chat Channel system I really feel that Clan Support will fall short of what I hope and expect it to be -- which is an excellent competitive AND social feature.
PARTIES

Bigger parties? YES! ABOUT TIME! :D

I would be curious in knowing exactly what the new max party size is, though.

A final change that must occur to parties: Allow parties to host maps that cannot support as many players as are in the party, and simply make the extra players spectators if the map allows it.

Right now, you have to KICK all of your party members, and invite them separately. It feels incredibly frustrating and backwards.


This is the most important thing with making the game more social imo.
So many good points here. You are absolutely right about the chat channels. They need to put some meat on those bones! They're small, insignificant, and don't feel like an important, central part of the UI, and the community interaction IS supposed to be a core part.

Also, as far as the party function goes, they need to go big. All the way big. We need more functionality, booting mechanics, ease of entry and exits that doesn't involve so much right clicking. We need Starcraft II UI to be the definition of user friendly. Good step in the right direction, but we need about three or four more steps like it.
I never knew you could use Feedback on the UI! *Zap*

Oh...
Thanks for the comments, everyone.

I never knew you could use Feedback on the UI! *Zap*

Oh...

You can, though. If you keep casting it on the Battle.net icon, eventually the defenses go down and you break through into the cow level.

For a second i thought they had released the patch with no update info lol.

But yes, but i wont know if its good until i test it.

Yeah. I really do want to get to use it personally before I review it too thoroughly. But it can't hurt.
I want them to implement the UI changes now. The current one is so much worse by comparison
Great thread, nice points.

+1
Great thread, nice points.

+1
10/25/2012 04:37 AMPosted by TheSkunk
cow level

There is no cow level.

(Instawin cheat from SC1)

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