UI/controls - enhancements

Talk about the mods or features you'd like to see in Daggerfall Unity. Give mod creators some ideas!
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DigitalMonk
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Re: UI/controls - enhancements

Post by DigitalMonk »

I kind of like having sneak and crouch separate, 'coz I tend to play sneaky thievey snipery type characters. I like to notice opponents before they notice me. And I'm not opposed to having a slow but constant improvement in my sneak skill, either. Which means I tend to "sneak" everywhere I go.

In modern games, that means I'm crouched all the time. Besides looking silly if I ever go 3rd person (which I rarely do), it makes my knees ache just thinking about it. It would be nice to think of my character as straining his ears more than his knees...

It is somewhat odd to me that modern games decided to use crouch for sneak, and then almost universally removed any reason to need to crouch except for sneaking... I could see taking that path if crouching was still useful for getting through certain places, but most games don't care. Or maybe for crouching behind a wall, but most games don't notice if you happen to go up behind a wall while crouched -- to get the benefit, you have to press some other "wall-hugging" key.

Regardless of which is present, or both, I am firmly of the opinion that they should be toggles, not constant-hold modifiers. I can see the argument that constant-hold is a reminder of the extra attention or strain that your character is using compared to normal walking, but from a "fun is better than realistic" standpoint, toggling definitely wins.

Lokkrin Zhataros
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Re: UI/controls - enhancements

Post by Lokkrin Zhataros »

DigitalMonk wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:39 pm I kind of like having sneak and crouch separate, 'coz I tend to play sneaky thievey snipery type characters. I like to notice opponents before they notice me. And I'm not opposed to having a slow but constant improvement in my sneak skill, either. Which means I tend to "sneak" everywhere I go.

In modern games, that means I'm crouched all the time. Besides looking silly if I ever go 3rd person (which I rarely do), it makes my knees ache just thinking about it. It would be nice to think of my character as straining his ears more than his knees...

It is somewhat odd to me that modern games decided to use crouch for sneak, and then almost universally removed any reason to need to crouch except for sneaking... I could see taking that path if crouching was still useful for getting through certain places, but most games don't care. Or maybe for crouching behind a wall, but most games don't notice if you happen to go up behind a wall while crouched -- to get the benefit, you have to press some other "wall-hugging" key.

Regardless of which is present, or both, I am firmly of the opinion that they should be toggles, not constant-hold modifiers. I can see the argument that constant-hold is a reminder of the extra attention or strain that your character is using compared to normal walking, but from a "fun is better than realistic" standpoint, toggling definitely wins.
I think the general reason for Crouch = Sneak 1) is to reduce the number of functions and keybinds. 2) they chose Crouch because it's more immersive/cinematic/semi-realistic and also sorta cliche thief mode. They decided that stealth + hiding are the same thing. In movies the sneaky bad guys are always crouched down, hiding somewhere ready to steal something or stab (or shoot) someone in the back.

I agree that crouching isn't always the best or most realistic stealth mode to be in, but apparently for the modern game developers, "It Just Works" :roll: - yes I just had to say that! :lol:

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mikeprichard
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Re: UI/controls - enhancements

Post by mikeprichard »

Ha, "it just works"... I'd also say that equating crouching with stealthy behavior is a somewhat sloppy instance of "streamlining" in later games (I just can't get away from these cliches), but it does have the advantages Banshee mentioned. I personally don't have a strong preference as to how this eventually gets implemented in terms of crouch vs. sneak being the trigger for the replacement to Steal Mode. But regarding a point of DigitalMonk's and as I partially addressed earlier, "crouch" is already a toggle by default in Daggerfall/DFU, while "sneak" will be made an optional toggle later in DFU alpha, so neither will have an advantage in terms of ease of play in that important respect.

Lokkrin Zhataros
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Re: UI/controls - enhancements

Post by Lokkrin Zhataros »

It's more about presentation than practicality in the case of modern gaming. The assumption is that players want a very visualized cue to tell them they are sneaking. Sneaking while standing up and walking around is not always realistic either. In those stealth games like Splinter Cell you are in all sorts of crazy Stealth mode positions to get around unseen. That's why I don't mind the Sneak and Crouch modes to be separate, yet Sneak mode can be toggled on/off during Crouch mode if you want. Each of the modes can both work together or individually whenever you want.

Frozen_Dervish
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Re: UI/controls - enhancements

Post by Frozen_Dervish »

Reading the idea on Sneaking vs Crouching imo should remain seperate.

What you could do for controller setups/touchscreen is set up a radial menu that can be applied to one button.

An example setup:

Hold R1: Brings up radial for stances
Hold L1: Brings up a miniature radial for spells that have been saved to favorites(Number of options of up to 6?)
R2: Attack
L2: Cast
Options: Menu
L3: Crouch
X: Jump
Square: Interact/Accept
O: Cancel

And so on depending on stance you are in change what each button does as maybe an extra addition.

Example:

Spellcasting:
R2: Casts readied Opponent targetted spell
L2: Casts Self Targetted
R1: Cycle through offensive
L1: Cycle through Self

these unique presses could then expand controller button usability while having an icon somewhere on screen indicating what stance you are currently in(This is missing in original DF unless you take notice of the crosshair which is fairly easy to miss)

For touchscreen you can have a singular button that can expand into a stance menu that you can quickly choose a stance to be in with the selected stance being the icon presented in the button.

Programming wise I am not sure if anyone would even want to attempt this, but imo would offer the most versatility and modernization in UI.

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DigitalMonk
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Re: UI/controls - enhancements

Post by DigitalMonk »

Lokkrin Zhataros wrote: Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:33 am It's more about presentation than practicality in the case of modern gaming. The assumption is that players want a very visualized cue to tell them they are sneaking. Sneaking while standing up and walking around is not always realistic either.
Up front, let me be clear that I agree. The following is purely for a morning giggle. I counter that sneak-walking could be made _VERY_ obvious. Elbows pretty much stuck to sides, forearms forward and horizontal, but most importantly, that overly exaggerated toe-to-heel walking style:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40YdqSIkm3A

Less ridiculously, and thinking about in-town walking, one could animate the hands-in-pockets, face down, shuffling walk of people who have watched too many movies and have no idea how to actually be inconspicuous (but I'm not sure how this would work without trenchcoats, fedoras, and sunglasses... I suppose a hooded cloak would be sufficient to allow this style)

Oh, now there's a fun thought! Apparel-modified stances... Khajiit suit means sneaking is toe-heel style, hooded robe gives you the urban shuffle, or go super-fly pimped out and hide in plain sight with swagger... Pointless in DFU unless we get a third person mod at some point, but kinda fun to imagine :D

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DigitalMonk
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Re: UI/controls - enhancements

Post by DigitalMonk »

Frozen_Dervish wrote: Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:51 am What you could do for controller setups/touchscreen is set up a radial menu that can be applied to one button.
I'm conflicted...

On the one hand, I like the idea of greater flexibility with fewer specialized controls, especially if the stance-based subactions can be organized into similar concepts and attached to controls accordingly (casting stance's offensive spell should be on the same button as melee stance's attack, and casting stance's self spell should be on the same button as melee stance's block, for instance). Not sure how consistent that could be made across stances, and a certain degree of specialization is fine, so long as "concept reuse" is used where possible.

On the other hand, I don't want to have to change stances constantly for trivial things. I'm thinking of Morrowind here. In particular, I'm thinking about the stupid lockpicking process in that game. If you're a mage, you have to switch stances. If you're a fighter, you have to change "weapons" to a lockpick. If you're mixing play styles (since pure mage is ridiculously hard in Morrowind), you probably have to change stances AND change weapons. I like DF's fight stance with quick spell casting. I like Skyrim's "they're your hands, do what you want with them" mixture. And I've previously come out against explicit mode switching vs context aware actions...

So. As I say, I'm conflicted. My current incredibly fuzzy thinking is:
  • Consider "stances" as "playstyles". In a TES game, that would give you somewhere between 3 and 7 playstyles: Primaries of Warrior, Mage, and Thief. Three secondaries by adding any two of those. Or Pilgrim it up by adding all three (I think that's the right class for the indecisive, but it's been a while). Playstyles provide nuances to the context-sensitive decision process in common situations, so that your character "just does" what makes sense for your playstyle. To be honest, as I re-read this post, I'm having trouble coming up with specific examples of an interaction that a playstyle would influence. Maybe that's because I'm not awake yet... But warriors still aren't going to stab everybody, thieves still aren't going to pickpocket everybody, and mages aren't going to blast everybody. Maybe "reaction to locked door" would be applicable: The first interaction just tells you it's locked. After that, if you try again, a warrior will bash, a thief will try to lockpick, and a mage will cast open. All without the player having to change modes or press modifiers or anything. Something like that is what I'm thinking...
  • Provide quick modifiers to interaction to override playstyles for single actions without having to menu swap your playstyle. These would be hold-while-acting modifiers to further clarify that they are purely temporary. Trying to think of examples is where most of my fuzziness comes from... I can imagine an "aggressive" modifier, a "sneaky" modifier, and a "charming" modifier. For instance, even a "warrior" playstyle probably doesn't stab average people as their default action -- but if you needed to stab someone in town, you could use the aggressive modifier. Likewise, even thieves probably don't try to pickpocket every person they come near (OK, I dunno, maybe they do), and the repercussions of failure are a bit extreme, so the sneaky modifier might be useful for a quick pickpocket attempt. Charm could use whichever dialogue/language/personality/beauty/etc skill in an attempt to affect the target (in an active skill check, thus with a risk of failure). An assassin might hold down aggression and sneaky to try a walk-by stabbing without being noticed. Or even a charming+sneaky+aggressive discussion to stab them while smiling and chatting and then help them to a nearby bench and wander off...
  • Design the game around this concept, providing systems that make these nuances meaningful and worthwhile. Herein lies the bugaboo...
  • Of course, now I just added three modifiers on top of the playstyle menu, so bleah.
This (among other reasons) is why I'm not a game designer... Lotsa thoughts, but they turn into mush when things get "real".

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mikeprichard
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Re: UI/controls - enhancements

Post by mikeprichard »

Quick update noting that a couple of the requests for optional UI/controls changes now have their own mods! I also updated the first post.

HUD enhancements
4) OPTIONAL SETTING: Display current/maximum enemy health/fatigue/spell point values* (now a mod!)

Character creation/leveling UI enhancements
2) OPTIONAL SETTING: Force maximum attribute/health bonus points at level-up (now a mod!)

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mikeprichard
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Re: UI/controls - enhancements

Post by mikeprichard »

Updated the first post to 1) remove a prior request to show the player's current regional bounty/crime data in the character UI, as it was previously confirmed that this would be practically impossible given Daggerfall's messy reputation tracking system, and 2) add the following requests, with links to earlier related discussions across the forums:

Character creation/leveling UI enhancements
1) Exit to main menu from character creation screens (topic)

Other UI enhancements
1) Don't automatically equip purchased items (topic)
2) Add spellbook tooltips indicating spell schools (topic; topic)

Changing DFU default behavior such that purchased items aren't automatically equipped already has some support.

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mikeprichard
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Re: UI/controls - enhancements

Post by mikeprichard »

Turns out this feature request was in fact something that was already in DFU until a recent regression (viewtopic.php?f=24&p=42951#p42951), so no need to request it again here - Interkarma will be fixing it back up soon! I've removed it from the first post.

Character creation/leveling UI enhancements
1) Exit to main menu from character creation screens (topic)

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