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Two things I want to change about FFxiFollow

#1 Sep 08 2016 at 4:57 PM Rating: Default
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I know that FFxi is far from perfect, but far as I'm concerned, its actually has substance that modern MMOs do not. There are two things that I want to discuss which frustrate me about the game to no end. The massive number of QoL NPCs, and the UI controls.

By QoL NPCs I mean the sparks and accolade NPCs, voidwatch, the various moogles, etc. It great we have all these features and I'm not complaining about them. What irks me is that for every NPC that's added to the towns, the more cluttered up the world becomes. Some NPCs have been added organically like the ones that bundle arrows and ninja tools in the circus tent that appears in the nation highest in conquest. But most of them, just stand out like a sore thumb... I see Voidwatch NPCs everywhere, moogles, moogles, and more moogles (don't get me wrong, I like moogles), the sparkle NPCs are right in the way, and everything associated with it has you deal with a clunky menu. It would be best if we consolidated all the NPCs in one area, that functions a lot like an the inns in FF14, so they don't constantly break the immersion. We can have a place like the chocobo arena and call it Moogle World and it can have a tutorial area and everything.


The second thing I'd change and it's a big one. The controls. Here's what I mean: the ALT and CNTL macro palate sometime takes more than 2 seconds to come up, when I click attack it takes five seconds to draw a weapon, when I TAB/F8 it won't are target a mob in front of me it will target something/someone like a mob in the distance, or a trust NPC I cannot have meaningful interactions with, etc. etc. all of this means when I want to target something and use an ability I want to go BANG, it takes forever. Also, who's idea was it to remove the ability to target F1-F6 your party member while auto-attacking? I want to use the <t> function to heal people which works instantly, not use <stpc> which requires an extra step.
#2 Sep 08 2016 at 5:32 PM Rating: Good
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On the first point, it's unlikely to happen simply due to how XI has been coded. When you start lumping giant heaps of data onto singular NPCs, it's going to need to be accessed every single time someone clicks on them even if specific parts of that code are never executed for weeks at a time. The end result is simply a lot of inefficient overhead. Meanwhile, clumping everything together into a single zone (presumably removing the other versions) risks creating lag through a mix of use of the NPCs and data relative to having so many PCs around. Remember the days Valkurm and the like would slow the moment 90+ people entered the zone? It'd be like that.

The second is a fair critique about the ctrl/alt delay. You can get around that by using Windower or ******* as well as expanding your possible macro button choices. As for the F-button, targeting anything else while engaged has always required some sort of sub-target arrow. The various flavors of <st> just helped specify which based on what you wanted to use. Some versions further came about to counter the ills of gear-swapping, while everyone should obviously be using lockstyle nowadays to kill that problem completely. Simply hitting an F-button while engaged otherwise never changed target, as the game would likely forcefully disengage you if the result was a player. Not doing so would further lead to the likelihood of mistakenly attacking them if in melee range or even keeping your weapons out permanently if you never switch back to a mob to kill/disengage.

So, yeah, either don't engage (which I understand you need to do even as a healer with trusts), learn to quickly manipulate the sub-targets (including putting likely needed heals higher on the list), or even use the specific <p#> <a#> <b#> equivalent. Though the last one needs multiple macros for the same ability if you vehemently refuse to <st>.

Other possible UI tweaks likely fall into the "game is too old or poorly coded" category, with the likely follow-up of requesting an HD remake being more difficult than some realize if going beyond graphic skins and sound quality.
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#3 Sep 08 2016 at 11:30 PM Rating: Good
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My biggest gripe with the UI is the lack of consistency. There's literally no unified UI design going on here. Every single system, no matter how similar looking, is interacted with in a slightly different way and it makes the designer in me twitch every time.

A good example of this if you want to see it is the conquest and sparks NPCs. They're generally mere feet away from each other and their menu systems are very different for no discernible reason. I mean I get it, the sparks NPCs came around a lot later, but having those two things right next to each other and not functioning the same way is just ridiculous from a design point of view.
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