You have 1 expansion and 2 patches left, then I'm out

By on December 15, 2015 2:03:45 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

eviator

Join Date 08/2014
+61

This is a rant. Been with you since beta 1 offering feedback. You released with a bunch of missing gameplay features and have been playing catchup. You are catching up, I will give you that. But you are catching up to pre-release promises. Still no star base governors. Still requesting the most expensive constructor. Still no invasion visualization. Meanwhile you are working hard on DLC and expansions, i.e. the cha-ching, while neglecting some core UI issues.

For example:

Why can we not change focus on the Colonies grid like we could in GalCiv 2? Why can't we do it from the planet list on the main screen, for that matter?

Why are there no sorts and filters in the shipyard? Why is there no multi-select for the obsoleting mechanic?

What happened with the ship designer overhaul?

Why does it take 7 clicks to set a new rally point for a shipyard?

Why can't we declutter the main screen, with all the clouds and resources and starbases that turn into a jumble of icons?

Why do I have to change the govern settings to meet my preference for EVERY planet I colonize or conquer? Why no global setting?

Why do I have to "manage" a planet just to see how close it is to population cap?

Why can't I see which production bonuses are at the tile, planet, race, or galaxy level?

Why can't I see if I'm about to get a mutually exclusive tech in the trade window, which would prevent me from researching one of the alternatives?

How am I supposed to know that the "+1 food" tech aplies to each planet, not each farm?

How am I supposed to know Precursor Nanites is a civilization-wide bonus, not just a planet bonus?

These are just a few of the UI weaknesses that make the game tedious. The only reason there are as many people playing this game as there are is that they've resigned to just dealing with it in hopes that it will get better. I'm tired of waiting patiently.

I strongly recommend a complete overhaul of the game UI. Get some experts in there, take the time, spend the money, and make it happen. Every window, list, button, action, tooltip, no sacred cows, use a hatchet if you have to. The longer you put this off, the more you are going to drive players away. As for me, you have the next expansion and two post-expansion patches to make this happen. After that, I'm out.

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December 15, 2015 2:12:39 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Not one expansion brad promised 2-3 while Paul promised 3-4 I won't let it go without at least three expansions even if four comes out unless they give me four for free because I paid for  at least three expansions.

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December 15, 2015 2:31:55 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

I'm pretty sure you did not read the post. Changing the title would help, I guess.

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December 15, 2015 2:44:41 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting ,

Why can we not change focus on the Colonies grid like we could in GalCiv 2? Why can't we do it from the planet list on the main screen, for that matter?

I think that would clutter the list too much.

What happened with the ship designer overhaul?

If they ever mentioned one they never gave a date. Also there are bigger fish to fry.

Why does it take 7 clicks to tell ships spawning from a shipyard to go to a new destination?

Be more specific, I can do it in 2.

Why can't we declutter the main screen, with all the clouds and resources and starbases that turn into a jumble of icons?

Agreed, I'm having a hard time finding anomalies and uncolonized planets.

Why do I have to change the govern settings to meet my preference for EVERY planet I colonize or conquer? Why no global setting?

You mean like set all planets to use Governor X? They could add something in the Commands tab.

Why do I have to "manage" a planet just to see how close it is to population cap

Hover the mouse over the colony's pop icon in the planet list. Perhaps they could have the pop number change color when it reaches the limit and add the pop limit to the Colonies tab.

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December 15, 2015 3:06:55 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I think you meant to post this in the Gal Civ 3 forum, not the Ashes forum.

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December 15, 2015 3:11:42 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Rhonin, too difficult to cut and paste and edit the quotes on my iPad, so I'll respond without doing so.

- Focus option on main planet list: that list already shows manufacturing, research, and wealth numbers. To focus, just click on one of those and it highlights, applies the focus, and updates the numbers. No more space needed. This isn't a deal breaker for me. Just seems ultimately logical, intuitive, and beneficial.

- I don't really design ships much, so not a big deal to me. Many have asked for it, the devs keep pushing it off, and there's a limit to one's tolerance of that.

- Click the "Rally point" tab, click "Create new rally point", click the location, click the shipyard, click "Rally point", find and select the rally point, click "done". Look how it's done in RTSs: click the base, right click the destination.

- Govern settings: Specifically I'm talking about the "Auto-upgrade" option, but it applies to all the settings. I end up having to change it for very colonization and successful invasion. Sometimes I forget and I have to correct it. It should remember my preferences.

- I am so over having to hover over stuff in order to see basic information (overflow, as another example). A color system would suffice (yellow at 85%, red at 100%). If there is concern the colors would be confusing to players, put a color legend in the hover tip. Hover once, then you know and don't have to hover again.

In any case, I'm not here to offer amateur solutions to UI design. That is how we got here in the first place. During the beta phase Paul repeatedly said the UI dev from Sorcery King was going to switch over to GalCiv3. Apparently that didn't happen because the UI didn't see any major improvements, but the news was quietly dropped and forgotten. That was a mistake.

Quoting Avatar137,

I think you meant to post this in the Gal Civ 3 forum, not the Ashes forum.

I did. Holy moly, the page is telling me this is in the GalCiv forums, but the main page says Ashes. I think I corrected it.

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December 15, 2015 3:39:01 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting ,

This is a rant. 

 

It certainly is. Feel any better for it?

 

You're right on all counts (though I'm not going to be setting a time limit til I walk away). The UI needs some heavy work, both in allowing us better control and in relaying relevant information quickly and cleanly without forcing me to dig for it.

In particular, I hate the totally underutilized bulk-order list, which as been implemented in a way that's practically useless for anything other than mass-upgrades (and even then, you can't see how much it'll cost or how much money you have, making it a terrifying game of fiscal roulette). A 'Mass scrap' option here would've been nice, so I can kill off whole models of tiny ship that are now 500 turns out of date. The ability to use this list to change planet focuses would also have struck me as the best possible reason to switch to using focuses. As it stands, I desperately need something that enables bulk orders... but more or less none of the ones which I have the option of doing.

 

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December 15, 2015 3:51:27 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Minus all the drama and emotion, as a long time fan with two bad carpal tunnels, I have to agree with the UI analysis.  At this point, I would prefer that this be the primary focus over any other gameplay function or feature.  If there are not ergonomics focused people on the utilities side of the house, then please do a full ergonomic consulting and then do a workover on the UI.  This covers visual aspects, mouse movement, click-count, and the whole list of human interaction with software issues out there, the things that make it actually inconvenient and painful for this old gamer and these wretchedly over-gamed wrists. 

(So much for no drama and emotion...)

Please, make me love the game even more by making the game love me and my hands.  Make it show it cares by making everything as easy and minimalist as it can be.   Hurt me with invasions all you want, but please don't hurt me with the game itself.

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December 15, 2015 4:52:40 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I agree entirely, and your UI makes my hands hurt.

 

Funny, Gal Civ 1 was my go-to game for when my hands hurt so badly I couldn't play anything else.

 

Gal Civ 3 makes my hands burn, with particular emphasis on the middle of the right, between the carpals, from the *constant* mousewheel.

 

I hate the mousewheel.  Why are the lists so tiny, the fonts so small, and the bottom of the list essentially unclickable?

 

This UI has splinters.

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December 15, 2015 9:53:36 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I don't think there is anything wrong with UI, what u gotta use a "hatchet". While i agree, it could use some additional love, some of the info is very hard to understand or find... but it not a serious issue, as far as i see it. Government and elections, or rather lack of them, as they where in Gal Civ 2, is the only thing i seem to be really missing from Gal Civ2. I dont design ships, so i cant speak much about that... I only wish where was more base ships to choose from. 

Invasion didn't bothered me ether... i always go for tech or influence victory, and I usually avoid most wars. 

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December 15, 2015 10:20:01 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Same as what they did with Elemental, no other franchise seems to play 'whack a mole' quite to the same extent as Stardock.

 

What do i mean by 'whack a mole'?

 

Ok you have a game, it has various good points and various bad points, but collectively they are all 'moles' sticking up out of the ground. Stardock seems unable to comprehend very well which are the good moles and which are the bad moles, so they wack away at them with their patches and updates, expansions and sequels.

Then of course, as per the principle of how the game 'whack a mole' works, all the new moles good and bad keep popping up every time.

 

If you want to really enjoy all the great ideas that have popped up and disappeared again in Stardock games,,, i suggest you learn how to be a very good modder, because that is the only way its going to happen.

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December 15, 2015 10:32:49 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I suppose it comes down, to what we expect of a game. I simply expect a nice sci-fi civ builder in space. It doesn't have to be a movie or some kind of VI.... If i wanted this to be more then a game, or a game of something else, i too, probably would think its horrible. However, i do not. As far as, Gal Civ III being a good 4x strategy game, im fairly satisfied.

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December 15, 2015 10:49:20 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting MastahJ,

I suppose it comes down, to what we expect of a game. I simply expect a nice sci-fi civ builder in space. It doesn't have to be a movie or some kind of VI.... If i wanted this to be more then a game, or a game of something else, i too, probably would think its horrible. However, i do not. As far as, Gal Civ III being a good 4x strategy game, im fairly satisfied.

 

I have been playing this game since galciv1, and there are few games i rate more highly.

 

Of course Alpha Centauri is still my number one game that no one has yet bothered to top even after all these years! Geez, If you made the AI smarter in SMAC and that was all you changed, it would be 'the' perfect game, full stop (in my opinion).

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December 16, 2015 1:55:02 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

The whack-a-mole analogy is a good one. That is exactly what is happening here. The UI was designed in bits and pieces by coders, not UI designers, and it shows. There isn't a cohesive UI design. Need a new capability? Add a new window, some hover tool tips, and a button. If they designed the UI from scratch, with the help of UI design experts, they could truly make the game shine. But they really can't do that because the game still doesn't have all the gameplay elements they wanted at release. 

This just dawned on me. GalCiv3 is like Star Wars Episode 1. It's okay because it's Star Wars, but you kinda cringe because there are so many bad parts.

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December 16, 2015 11:50:03 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I appreciate a good rant, so I won’t take this too personally You have a lot of good ideas, some of which I have been known to rant about myself. The rest we plan on, or are currently addressing. I can’t do a point by point breakdown of everything we want to do, but I will try and address your concerns.

Some of these concerns are simple UI tweaks, which we will try and address. Like the Precursor nanites, and the +1 Food. These are simply the results of those tool tips being data driven. Most of the time this works out well. But in some instances, like this, the scope of the modifier is not accounted for in the description. So it can be confusing. We tend to miss these types of things in-house because we know what they mean. I will look into addressing these two in particular.

You concerns with the colony focus are understandable. Because the focuses came in a patch, they were not accounted for in some of the 1.0 screens. We will be adding the ability to change them in the Commands screen and the Planet list, soon. We should be able to do this in 1.6.

The existing rally point system was designed to allow players to assign the rally point, which could be a rally point, a shipyard, starbase, or planet, and tends to error on the side of assuming you are sending your ships to an existing target. We don’t want to lose this functionality. Defaulting to creating one, or making the player move around the map looking for the starbase or planet they wanted to send to. I think a good solution will be to add a second command under rally point that is “Set destination” and have it do the existing behavior. And allow rally point to function more like what you suggest.

Filters, to “Grey out” or hide icons on the strategic map is a good idea, and I would like to add them. The only real question is how to display it in the UI, and make it easy to do and undo without having to go to the options window.

“Why do I have to change the govern settings to meet my preference for EVERY planet I colonize or conquer? Why no global setting?”

This an example of trying not to annoy the player. There is currently no Global version of the planet options, since players want to be able to set them on a per-planet setting. So we error on the side of letting the player decide, which means when you take a planet, you get to decide how you want it to behave. However we can probably find a way to let you set the default setting. I will look into it.

There are tons of other tweaks planned, and we will be making mutually exclusive techs in the trade screen different colors, and adding a tool tip so the player will know what they will be blocking. We are currently making new production tool tips to make production breakdowns more clear to the player.

I know this does not address all the concerns in this thread but I hope it helps. There are always improvements to be made, especially in a game as data-intensive as this. If your concerns have not been addressed, it is not because we are not listening.

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December 16, 2015 12:03:55 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Emm, how many clicks does it take to find which rally point the ships are sent to from a given shipyard?

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December 16, 2015 12:22:13 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Mormegil that does help, thanks. I'm looking forward to the progress you all can make on this. And if I am still around when this comes to fruition I guess I'll write up another long list of UI moles for you to whack, since that seems how this is going to go.

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December 16, 2015 3:59:46 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

As an elite founder it pains me to say that the rants in this thread are valid. I had hopes that this game, by now would've approached its potential to be even better than the great GalCiv2 TOA is, but sadly there's a long way to go. The UI in this game needs to be lots better and TOA's UI clearly is better. I could write all day about things to improve this game but will try to keep this post from being too long.

I will note that it is ambitious and difficult to try to balance a game of this magnitude that can be played on map that basically are tiny or enormous and can be played with just a few planets or hundreds.

Game improvement here can start with UI improvement. It takes too many clicks to do most things. We can learn from some UI things in RTS games. Hmmm...Stardock does make some RTS games.

I should be able to click on a shipyard and then right click on the map and have my newly built ships go to that spot... PERIOD and just like in most RTS! This will also compensate for the fact that unlike in TOA one cannot specify what side of the shipyard the ship comes out of unless a RP is set.

What about hotkeys, why aren't there hotkeys to build basic buildings? How nice it would to take my mouse and click on a tile and then use my left hand to push one letter on my keyboard and insert a building into the queue. This would save several clicks.  etc etc.

More later .. neilkaz ..

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December 16, 2015 5:14:40 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Yea i noticed the problem with setting the exit point from a planet.

 

I guess they wanted to stop the cheese in Galciv2 of being able to 'boost' your moves with a planet? But in my opinion it was never cheese because in reality the gravity of a planet can be used for the 'slingshot' effect.

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December 16, 2015 7:35:16 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I'm just going to put this out there.

 

I've been pretty happy with GC3.  SD has generally produced evolving products and this is what I expected.  GC3 has generally met all of my expectations and has been a blast to plug around with.  There are definitely elements that can be both refined and expanded upon - but the degree of either of these really isn't expectation-breaking for me.  I've probably logged just under 100h on GC3 (most of which was in the past 3 weeks when I finally had a chance to sit down with it), I think the only other games that I've logged more hours this year were League of Legends, Pillars of Eternity and possibly Wasteland 2 - so GC3 is in good company in this respect.  There have been many valid points about GC3 edges that need to be smoothed out, but none of them have really been experience-breaking for me...

 

Just saying...

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December 16, 2015 8:22:23 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Re: GC2 vs GC3. I didn't play GC2 until TOA and any final patches had been out for a while. GC2 is a well polished and complete game and I read the many threads about it here so I could tell that it took quite a while and took lots of feedback to get it to be that good.

I have the same hopes for GC3, but am not expecting as much as I'd hoped for based on what I've seen so far.

One disappointment (yes this is a rant) was the last DLC. (Precursor stuff). Honestly, I was so stoked to try that DLC, but when I did, as we all experienced, I found that my precursor planets often need to be filled with many farms due to too much penalty so these worlds often aren't anything special.

More importantly, the Precursor anomalies are really OP. At the least they should give you half the stuff they do. AI's need to be able to also go after them. These anomalies should be defended by ships with a variety of weapons so players just can't use shields to block their beams. 

I've been around a lot of games in my day, and I fear that what I sense here is inadequate beta testing, both for the Precursor DLC and for some other things. 

So am I happy to have spent $100 for this game and all of it to follow? Yes I am! But I'd like to be really happy. 

To really improve the finished product here, I think Stardock needs to assign a couple more employees to this project. 

There needs to be considerably more beta testing. Oh wait..we the community are your beta testers it seems. I am not upset to have spent $100 to get this game and to be effectively a beta tester! However, Stardock decision makers need to come here and strongly consider suggestions made by experienced players. 

I'll close in again stressing that I find it hard to believe that the last DLC would have been released like that if properly beta tested to realize how OP new anomalies are and that due to penalties the new planets often aren't anything special.

Thx for your consideration .. neilkaz ..

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December 16, 2015 9:35:41 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting mormegil,

Some of these concerns are simple UI tweaks, which we will try and address.

Problem is you haven't addressed these issues and the fact that many of them are simple is why so many people are frustrated.  I used to think it was because there wasn't enough people working on the game, just one man and his dog, but we're 5 patches and over 7 months down the line and it's more than that.  It's as if Stardock just doesn't get that a good UI is integral to peoples enjoyment of a game like this, it's not been a priority at all when it should have been a key focus.

Anyone who watched or participated in Fridays stream would have picked up on UI issues being a common theme of shared frustration with the game... except perhaps Paul and there it would seem lies the problem.

If Gal Civ 3 was a house Stardock's response to it having termites has been modernizing the kitchen and buying patio furniture, you need to sort out the big issues or people will move elsewhere.

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December 16, 2015 9:44:52 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

It sounds to me, using comparisons to GC2, that you folks are cool with the idea that the game may continue to have many UI moles until we've gone through a few expansion cycles, which means years. Is that so? Sure I guess I can wait until 2018 to enjoy playing a 2015 game.

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December 16, 2015 9:48:27 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Just to add my 2 cents here.

While I largely agree with the OP I do want to point out that people can look at the change logs since release and see that massive amounts of non-bug fix type features have been added to the game since release. And this is a game that has received very good reviews and is pretty well liked overall.

I only mention that because sometimes I feel like we spend all this time making pretty significant, free new features into the game and only days after release it's just "Yea, but why didn't you do X?"

And the answer is simple: What bothers one person a lot may not bother another person much at all.  For example, the  ship design system not having pieces take a % of the hull size bothers me a lot.  But I rarely see people posting about that so I haven't pushed it.  Only recently have others seem to notice that not having that system leads to really exploitive ships (infinite sensor range and insane movement).  In other words, what is a big deal to one person is not a big deal to another.

I also resent someone suggesting they're a "Beta tester" or that the game is like a house with termites. I don't expect people to be thanking us after every update. You're our customers and we enjoy supporting and improving our games.  But don't think for a minute that I"ll tolerate being shit on either (I'm not directing that at Eviator, I love his feedback and asked Paul to respond specifically because I think Eviator makes a lot of good point).

In short: I agree with Eviator, the UI stuff should be addressed faster imo, but some of you need an attitude adjustment. GalCiv III is already an excellent game. Today. Over the past 6 months the game has received a tremendous about of free support in the form of major updates based on player feedback.  We will continue to improve and enhance the game as well.  Posts like Eviator's are helpful (I didn't find it ranty) because it provides clear, actionable, feedback on areas that would objectively make the game better.

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December 16, 2015 10:13:53 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I do miss a couple of things from two like right clicking my ship build on planet. Now instead of ship it would be a building. We could change production, and sponsors by right clicking shipyards. Maybe on planet it would give you a choice between bovernor, or build que. 

Are you going to fix where you auto build constructure for starbases where you can decide what kind ofconstructure, and what starbase builds it. 

The reason for global settings like governors is it would be easier to set all settings the way you want, and then change the occasionalsettings on planets.

I miss being able to change the graphs to compare against other players.

I miss a record of my colonization events. 

Sliders are easier than the wheel.

I miss taxes.

I miss being able to upgrade buildings.

It would be nice to double click on a building instead of hitting cancel

It would be nice to have a separate list of old and new buildings.

Or double clicking a planet to go to it.

Why not use the function keys. 

The mouse isclunky. If you try to move around the screen things on the screen such as the menu. The solution is hold down the mouse button which is not good. There are two ways to solve this. One is letting you right click stuff to move off the screen, instead of clicking each item just remove all items to move around requiring you to right clicking to restore items or having two screens which you can right click between. One screen is like what you have now, while the other is the map you move around. 

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December 16, 2015 11:03:55 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Frogboy I appreciate the response. I hope I have made it clear that the UI concerns in my OP are just the tip top of the iceberg, just the things that I remembered from my most recent game. To me these things hint at a larger UI design issue that I personally don't think can be patched here and there to fix. The UI was built in pieces as new gameplay mechanics were added, and it feels like patchwork in many places. I'm recommending a complete overhaul, which would hopefully address all of the inconsistencies and annoyances by making the UI designed around the gameplay mechanics and ergonomics.

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