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Welcome to World War II online - Battleground Europe : Free community contributions to a new User Interface design

Oct. 2009

Please sit back, relax, throw some food to the fishes, and take a hour to discover the content of this blog.

The purpose of this input is to introduce new gameplay concepts that could contribute to a fix of persistent issues highlighted during the last couples of years, with a special focus on the User Interface (UI).
Though it will confuse established players, I believe it will be alot easier for new players to understand.

The blog (creative) layout has been designed to make the reading more comfortable (you can easily pause your reading thanks to feature #IDs) as to make search & discuss easier. Use the labels to select a single part, or use the tree on the right to find a specific feature back.
If you are in a hurry, you may just have an attentive look at the screenshots which should be intuitive to understand. The text is just pointing out drawn features or detailing the context.

All opinions and suggestions are welcome. Please, provide feedback (here) in the official forum . Remind that the whole content is a free gift to Playnet.

Since English isn't my main language, please apologize for the mistakes. I hope you will still enjoy the reading.

ZEB
-Un0fficial gameplay architect, advises concepts since 2002-

1.8. new organization tools

   Along with the UI and gameplay changes, some other UI tools could appear as well to further improve situational awareness.

#61. right click on target allows to displays a list of leaders (from platoons and squads) currently aiming at the selected target, ordered by brigades (in the screenshot bellow there's only the brigade name ID displayed, as an icon representing its specialization). The number of mission members is indicated into brackets next to the ML, which constitute the two most important informations to know.
Also consider the ability to send a private message to all of them. This feature should be available to anyone.

Feature #61 : list of leaders aiming for the selected target

#62. In the upper left corner of his screen, the OIC has a window displaying the list of missions linked to his brigade (forming up or deployed). It could just mention the platoon leader name and the amount of mission members in brackets, like done in feature  #61.
Eventually, allow platoons to notify their pending status, which would be automatically/manually communicated to the OIC throughout icons in this list  (see picture bellow). E.g. a little "pinned down" icon would appear next to a platoon reporting to be suppressed, or a flag icon when a member of that platoon is standing in any capture area, or a transport icon when ML is being transported (truck/plane/boat),  or icons calling for transport, support, etc. Though this wouldn't replace chat/vocal communications, it would allow the OIC to quickly get the message (or remind it) and to better manage the coordination. This would make the OIC job more meaningful and enjoyable.
The same concept could be given to the ML who would have a permanent list of his mission members.

#63. In order to improve his situational awareness, the OIC could be notified by chat when:
  • a platoon is being created (forming up) (feature #18);
  • a spawn signal has been issued by the ML for a forming up platoon (feature #48);
  • a mission has ended because there were no remaining members left;
  • A leadership change occurs; 
  • A target change occurs;
  • ...
  Features #62 (mission list) and #63 (chat notifications) for a brigade OIC

#64. Most of the information contained in the different new UI levels should also be made avalaible from ingame map tabs, both for players and leaders, especially if dynamic mission change is planned as upcoming feature.

  Feature #64 : Full UI can also be accessed from ingame map tabs

#65. Platoon leader (and members ?) get advanced emotes capabilities that can only be heard by close platoon members. The emote is displayed in the chat (with a notification sound), and eventually heard as a vocal order as well. Enemy is not notified, since we could suppose that platoon members are trained to perform silent gestual communications that can't be reproduced ingame.
The activation of an emote could be performed with such a system: open the emote menu by keeping a key pressed, hover the mouse above the wanted emote and then release the key to use it. No clicks nor complex combination keys.

Feature #65 : Platoon emotes menu

#66. OIC can right-click on map an drop brigade targets that leaders may then select as platoon objective (feature #50e)

Feature #66 : OIC right-clicking on a depot and setting it as a prior target for MLs to select (feature #50e)

#67.  Ingame visible waypoint marks. Located high in the air to not hinder visibility and to be visible from far away.  Can be toggled off together with player tags. Eventually, display this waypoint only if it's further then 1km away. Notice the little direction arrow that appears when you activated the waypoint (cf. current map feature), and that should disappear while aiming your weapon.
If the aspect is too gamey, then maybe consider giving it only to ranks lower then 4, to MLs and to OICs to improve their situational awareness.

Feature #67 : ingame visible waypoint indicator

#68.  Friendly radar radius is limited to 100m for platoon soldiers only (but not for ML), in order to improve subordination (dependency of members with regard to their leader), force team members to stick together, and discourage fake platoons. Current range settings are kept for the ML and waypoints display. Notice in the screenshot bellow that each platoon could get its own color to improve situational awareness. This does not apply to  mercenaries and squads.

Feature #68 : Radar radius limited to 100m for platoon soldiers (left), but not for the ML (right).

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