Some impressions from a first time player

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dubbeltje
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Some impressions from a first time player

#1 Post by dubbeltje » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:47 am

Hi all,

Recently came across this game, played it a bit; thought (hoped) you might be interested in some thoughts from a newbie... ;)
  • * The interface overall is super clear, and I love clickable links that direct me toward e.g. a planet or the encyclopedia
    * I dislike that left-clicking on nothing does not de-select the fleet I currently have selected
    * I understand the purpose of fuel and see it presented for a fleet. However, it is unclear to me how to interpret the number. Does remaining fuel of "2" mean the fleet has 2 jumps left?
    * I dislike the "objects" window that jumps into view when I go into sitrep. Can I disable that?
    * is there a button to instantly close all windows so I can see the map?
Don't take any of the above as criticism, I think you're doing great work! If more things come up I'll be sure to post them here.

Edit: I should've mentioned I'm using the latest version, which is .46 IIRC? Correct me if I'm wrong.
Last edited by dubbeltje on Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Vezzra
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Re: Some impressions from a first time player

#2 Post by Vezzra » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:22 pm

dubbeltje wrote:Recently came across this game, played it a bit; thought (hoped) you might be interested in some thoughts from a newbie... ;)
We always are 8)
Does remaining fuel of "2" mean the fleet has 2 jumps left?
Exactly.
I dislike the "objects" window that jumps into view when I go into sitrep. Can I disable that?
I don't know what you mean - does the object window pop up when you open the sitrep window? What do you mean by "go into sitrep"?
is there a button to instantly close all windows so I can see the map?
Not that I know of... anyone?

Morlic
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Re: Some impressions from a first time player

#3 Post by Morlic » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:30 pm

Vezzra wrote:
is there a button to instantly close all windows so I can see the map?
Not that I know of... anyone?
Well, you can press ESC multiple times.
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Vezzra
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Re: Some impressions from a first time player

#4 Post by Vezzra » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:10 pm

dubbeltje wrote:I'm using the latest version, which is .46 IIRC?
Correct.

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The Silent One
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Re: Some impressions from a first time player

#5 Post by The Silent One » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:42 pm

dubbeltje wrote:* I dislike that left-clicking on nothing does not de-select the fleet I currently have selected
I agree :). Proposal for a fix is here: https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/pull/1021
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EricF
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Re: Some impressions from a first time player

#6 Post by EricF » Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:40 am

The Silent One wrote:
dubbeltje wrote:* I dislike that left-clicking on nothing does not de-select the fleet I currently have selected
I agree :). Proposal for a fix is here: https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/pull/1021
I'd like that too.
I find myself doing it all the time (left clicking the map) to close the fleet, but then remembering that doesn't work.

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MatGB
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Re: Some impressions from a first time player

#7 Post by MatGB » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:33 am

I'm cautious about it, I tried turning on the right click option once and found I kept missing things I meant to click (yes, I'm a clutz) and rather than giving a move order I had to go refind the fleet I didn't mean to unselect.

Left clicking might be less prone to error but it ought to be turn-offable (ouch, see my proper English).
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EricF
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Re: Some impressions from a first time player

#8 Post by EricF » Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:57 pm

Well, now that I have enabled 'Quick-close windows' in the Options->UI, I don't really need the close with left click anymore.
Didn't know about that before.

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The Silent One
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Re: Some impressions from a first time player

#9 Post by The Silent One » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:49 pm

EricF wrote:Well, now that I have enabled 'Quick-close windows' in the Options->UI, I don't really need the close with left click anymore.
Didn't know about that before.
Me neither, but anyhow, playing a little with left-click closing, I think it feels very (very!) intuitive. I really recommend to try it out. If it finds general appeal, I'd suggest to replace the right-click method with the left-click one and have that enabled by default.
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Re: Some impressions from a first time player

#10 Post by dubbeltje » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:41 am

I hadn't seen that 'quick-close windows' option. That seems useful, although the right-click doesn't feel intuitive to me, because that used as a way to get context-sensitive menu's elsewhere (e.g. "move up in queue" or encyclopedia lookups). I now aways just spam ESC a couple of times when I want to clear the screen, which works but may not be the most elegant solution.

Some more comments/questions:
  • * Are there ever players who actually want to go to the next turn when research points or production will be wasted? I found the exclamation mark indicator after a couple of these mishaps, but I wonder if maybe a "You will be wasting RP/PP, are you sure you want to go to the next turn" popup would've been useful.
    * (how) can I what systems are affected by things like the 'molecular cloud' that somehow reduce shields?
    * The sprites for the stars sometimes show planets, but this does not correspond to the actual number of planets in the system.
    * I like the list view in the Science tab, but I would love the ability to sort the technologies by, for example, number of turns to complete
    * I like the speed at which research is done, there is (at least during the first 53 turns...) always a new one to select every couple of turns.
    * The way production is shared between planets is elegant. Would there be a way to visualize the directions in which production flows? Small brown moving dots for example?
    * The visual effect over planets you cannot see is really neat and clear
    * I made peace with one AI but not the others. Would it be possible to denote on the map which colours are enemy/friendly? For example a thin red outline around enemy ship icons?
    * The system for creating/splitting/merging fleets is really intuitive
    * What does the "200 uu" message on the top left mean?
Again, thanks for the game; it has been a lot of fun to play a coupe of turns during my train journeys.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Some impressions from a first time player

#11 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:59 am

dubbeltje wrote:The sprites for the stars sometimes show planets, but this does not correspond to the actual number of planets in the system.
Those aren't supposed to be planets; they're binary companion stars in the system, just for decoration.
* What does the "200 uu" message on the top left mean?
"uu" = universe units = measure of distance between systems. If any building or ship or similar has a range, it's measured in uu.

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MatGB
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Re: Some impressions from a first time player

#12 Post by MatGB » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:14 am

dubbeltje wrote:I hadn't seen that 'quick-close windows' option. That seems useful, although the right-click doesn't feel intuitive to me, because that used as a way to get context-sensitive menu's elsewhere (e.g. "move up in queue" or encyclopedia lookups). I now aways just spam ESC a couple of times when I want to clear the screen, which works but may not be the most elegant solution.

Some more comments/questions:
  • * Are there ever players who actually want to go to the next turn when research points or production will be wasted? I found the exclamation mark indicator after a couple of these mishaps, but I wonder if maybe a "You will be wasting RP/PP, are you sure you want to go to the next turn" popup would've been useful.
Yes, two reasons: in early to mid game you might have a planet out of supply that literally can't produce anything else: Trenchers are an obvious example of a conquered native species, supply will catch up but isn't there yet. The production of that supply group will be wasted. For research, rarely, no, but in the end game if I've forgotten to queue PsyDom early enough then there might be an excess before my "all production" focus change really kicks in and Transcendence isn't unlocked—this is less common but it does happen to me. Tech victories are for other players.
* (how) can I what systems are affected by things like the 'molecular cloud' that somehow reduce shields?
Ideally, see where it is, if you turn off gas fields in the options they become a lot more visible, but you do learn to look for them, they shrink or grow, and move, most turns.

I am planning a sitrep for ships affected by these but there is a tradeoff in the UI between making something obvious and obtrusive.
* The sprites for the stars sometimes show planets, but this does not correspond to the actual number of planets in the system.
That's not meant to be planets, it's meant to indicate binary systems and is purely aesthetic, the map view doesn't show system content and it's my understanding making it do so would slow things down massively.
* The way production is shared between planets is elegant. Would there be a way to visualize the directions in which production flows? Small brown moving dots for example?
What purpose would it serve? All supply connected worlds may or may not be using the PP, most of it will be heading towards your main shipyard and for the most part I'd end up with all dots heading to one place.

If you can see a reason to do it I suspect it could be done (backend code is beyond me), there used to be a UI thing using moving dots for, IIRC, fuel which was separate from other supply, but that was removed years ago. But I can't see the use.
* The visual effect over planets you cannot see is really neat and clear
Heh, unless it's an asteroid belt, I meant to open an issue about this a few days ago but forgot to get the screenshots.
* I made peace with one AI but not the others. Would it be possible to denote on the map which colours are enemy/friendly? For example a thin red outline around enemy ship icons?
Not currently, but the Empires window shows an icon for status before the empire name (what is this "peace" thing of which some players speak, is that when you lie to an AI about your intentions in order to finish another off first? ;-) )
* The system for creating/splitting/merging fleets is really intuitive
People keep adding extra bits to that and I always like it when someone comes up with a new tweak.
* What does the "200 uu" message on the top left mean?
[/list]
Distance.

Speed and similar in the game is measure in uu/turn, most starlanes max out at 120uu, Scanning Facilities boost a planets detection range by 75uu, etc. You're basically looking at the range measure, at that zoom level the line is 200uu long, zoom in or out and it'll change (and press alt+c with a system selected and you'll get a circle the same radius as the meter, if you have a ship selected then the zoom in/out will go to that ships speed if you zoom in the right way)

I snipped a few Qs, I can't answer backend stuff and never use the list view in research, someone else can/will.
Again, thanks for the game; it has been a lot of fun to play a coupe of turns during my train journeys.[/quote]
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

defaultuser
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Re: Some impressions from a first time player

#13 Post by defaultuser » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:43 pm

Sometimes late in a game you're just in a push to finish and don't need any more production or research. You can queue up 99 warships or something but sometimes I just ignore the situation and press on.

With research, late game might have a bunch of stuff queued and then hit some bottleneck item the prevents research on the rest of the queue, but which itself doesn't use all of the available points. Unless there's something else I want to add, I don't worry.

In the olden days (previous release) you could build shipyards and drydocks even with species like Trenchers. I would do that sometimes, because even if they can't build ships, the docks could be used for repairs. I lost that argument.

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EricF
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Re: Some impressions from a first time player

#14 Post by EricF » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:19 am

defaultuser wrote:You can queue up 99 warships or something but sometimes I just ignore the situation and press on.
Maybe offtopic, but this reminds me...
One feature I would like to see finished is the ability to use those multiples in the build queues.
You know where it says xnumber. I assume it means build x number of turns and x number of times.
Manually queuing up 40 Flux Heavy Troops to build an invasion fleet is a little tedious.

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MatGB
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Re: Some impressions from a first time player

#15 Post by MatGB » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:36 am

They work fine for me, have done for years, click them, select the number. First option is repeat times, second is how many per order.
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