Hotbar and Selection Overhaul (Updated July 25/16)

Discussion in 'Mechanics' started by Shaadaris, Nov 30, 2015.

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Do you agree with the suggestion? Would you like to see these changes implemented?

  1. Yes

    93.3%
  2. No (Please specify why - I'm curious since these seem to be overall improvments to me)

    6.7%
  1. Shaadaris

    Shaadaris Giant Laser Beams

    NOTIFICATION: AS OF STARBOUND 1.0, THIS SUGGESTION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED DEAD.
    The new hotbar is here to stay, unfortunately, but the devs are open to improving it, so we can always hope it'll be made more acceptable. This is also dead as a mod concept, as the hotbar is not moddable due to being hardcoded into the game for reasons that are beyond me. Unless there's some way to get around that, maybe by modding in a whole new hotbar and somehow hiding or painting it over the default one. If there is, it hasn't been discovered at the time of posting.



    The Hotbar is, obviously, widely used, and I think it's in need of an overhaul. There are definitely a few selection mechanics that could be improved as well. I plan to cover all of this together in the one suggestion!
    Here's the Old Hotbar:
    [​IMG]

    Here's my Hotbar:
    [​IMG]
    The hotbar in its most basic form, before you unlock anything.

    Those extra slots on the bottom are right hand slots. Every slot now has right and left options, so you can quickly switch between R/L sets. Pressing a button will now separate or merge the cursors, either allowing for quick selection or manually changing both with Shift like previous versions.

    [​IMG]
    Two handed weapons still take up both slots, and they function just like the middle L/R slots in the current UI do when you try to place them in a slot pair that already contains one or more items.

    The L/R slots themselves are gone, since now every slot behaves like them (unless you switch modes to individual selection, whereas they function similar to the current normal slot selection)

    [​IMG]
    This is what I meant by quick selection. If you have the cursors in merged mode, you can simply press 1-0 or scroll to select both the Left and corresponding Right slot at once. This should make dual wielding/shield gameplay much simpler, although I reiterate that if the old system is preferred, you can deconnect the cursors and still manually change either hand while retaining the selection of the other.

    [​IMG]
    Split cursor mode, when both cursors are on the same object.

    [​IMG]
    Likewise, but with each cursor on a different item by the usual method of Scroll/Number=Left and Shift+Scroll/Number=Right.

    [​IMG]
    It also makes it much easier to play a right-handed character for roleplay or preference, as you can use your right-hand slots as your "main" slots more easily. Not pictured: Two-handed weapons can also be placed in the right slot in order to switch the hand they are held in when idle.

    [​IMG]
    Or left. You can still use single, one handed items fine. I should note that if there is no item in one of the slots, only the slot with something in it will be shown as active when in Merged Cursor mode.

    [​IMG]
    There is also an invisible "sheathed" slot pair between 0 and 1, which serves as a way to easily remove all items from your hands even if the whole hotbar is full.

    [​IMG]
    The Matter Manipulator is the same as always. Nothing new here, asides from making the icons look more like part of the UI, in my opinion.

    TL;DR version:
    -New hotbar with new appearance
    -Every slot is a pairing of Left and Right
    -Both cursors are moved at once, allowing selection of the pair at once
    -A button can be pressed to separate the cursors and move both individually like in current versions
    -There is an invisible empty slot at the beginning/end of the hotbar so you can have empty hands with a full hotbar
    -The L/R slots are removed due to redundancy and to give room for the Matter Manipulator icons, so the UI is still around the same size.


    EDIT JUNE 16 2016:
    This needs love now more than ever! Chucklefish has tried to pass off this monstrosity for the new hotbar in the latest dev blog!
    [​IMG]
    Pros (It does have some over the old system):
    -Every slot is a set of two
    -Items can be placed in multiple slots
    -24 slots total on two switchable hotbars, for 12 on each
    -"Unequip Hands" pseudo-slot that allows empty hands with a full hotbar
    Cons:
    -Can't manually select left/right anymore
    -Unequip Hands slot cannot be selected by scroll-wheel
    -Hotbars need to be switched to access all items
    -Hotbar slots no longer physically contain items, it seems, and are instead "shortcuts". They are kept in your inventory, taking up space, instead
    -Looks frankly horrendous (in my opinion)
    -Annoying to switch items on the hotbar, especially if they're in multiple slots on both bars

    My hotbar:
    Pros:
    -Every slot is a set of two
    -20 slots total, split over left and right. No hotbar switching nessessary
    -Slots are all fully interchangeable with eachother and can be combined on the fly
    -Able to use old system of manually selecting both slots, or new system of L/R Sets, toggleable on the fly
    -Retains the look of the old hotbar we all know and love/hate
    -Isn't needlessly complicated
    -Free-hand pseudo-slot that allows you to not hold anything, even with a full hotbar. Selectable with ~ or by scrolling
    Cons:
    -No second hotbar (arguable whether this is a con since with mine, the extra bar isn't nessessary)
    -4 less slots total (once again not nessessary due to the ability to mix and match on the go)
    *Also may add - and + slots to even out the number of slots with the new official hotbar, negating this
    -Might look a bit bulky compared to the old one (only an issue on very VERY low resolutions)

    ADDENDUM: Alternate style: Long
    DEFAULT (Top/Bottom) :
    [​IMG]
    LONG (Left/Right) :
    [​IMG]
    Left bar is left hand, right bar is right hand, instead of the previous top/bottom.
    This would be an option, of course, not mandatory. It would be more similar to the current nightly hotbar's shape, but longer, due to not being split between two bars.

    Comparison shots of old hotbar and my hotbar (default style) courtesy of @Lazer
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
    Khioni, Flake13, STCW262 and 13 others like this.
  2. Comito

    Comito Pangalactic Porcupine

    This is a wonderful suggestion. It would make things way more convenient.
     
  3. Shaadaris

    Shaadaris Giant Laser Beams

    Almost 7 months later and the latest blog post has a new hotbar! Huzza--oh it's horrendous.
    Welp.

    So I've updated my suggestion a little, spurred by seeing that overcomplicated monstrosity they call a hotbar.
    Changelog:
    -Added comparison of old hotbar at top
    -Added Pro/Con lists for my hotbar compared to the nightly hotbar (may be a little inaccurate - I'm going on what others have said about it so far, and my terrible deductive skills)
    -Added a few more proposed changes at the bottom
    -Added tags to the thread
    -Edited title slightly
    -Made changelog
    -Wrote "Made changelog" in changelog
    -Necro'd thread with this post, though since it's my own thread and it's trying to respark discussion about the suggestion I guess it's fine?


    Also, friendly reminder that if you actually like the new Nightly Hotbar, please don't come here just to say that. It's counterproductive, and what are you doing on this thread anyway if you like the one that's been added already?
     
  4. khazhyk

    khazhyk Space Hobo

    I really like the L/R and manually being able to choose L/R items. Anything with pre-chosen L/R pairs seems really clunky to me. With 10 slots and an L/R system you have 90 possible combinations (+ the L/R default slots), with this you have much less. The lack of a default L/R is also icky. I often play w/ one handed weapons, so I'd put the one handed on a default slot, then I can use health, whatever, while fighting. The new system, as well as your proposed system, gets rid of that and it's really limiting.

    Or well, I guess I misread your description of chucklefish's system and your proposed system.
     
  5. Shaadaris

    Shaadaris Giant Laser Beams

    With the new CF system, the way I understand it, you are limited to pre-chosen L/R pairs. With my system, you could toggle this functionality with a press of a key.

    In "Merged" mode, the top and bottom bars are synced, so if you select slot 1, the items in both top and bottom 1 slots will be selected at once. This is like the new system. It is good for quickly selecting a sword/shield combo in battle, for example. Like this, it's essentially the same as having 10 (L/R) slots to choose from.

    In "Split" mode, it functions like the old hotbar, where you can manually move the cursor on each bar, allowing you any top/bottom combination. While taking slightly longer to switch to the combination you want, it is far more customizable. Like this, it's like having 20 slots to choose from. Much like in the current game, you can use Shift+Number/Scroll to select a right item from the bottom, and Numbers/Scroll to select a left from the top, and use any combo you want.

    The old middle L/R slots are unnessessary, since you can quickly toggle any slot to act like them or not, and in my system, since both Left and Right have their own bars, the amount of space is technically doubled, since with the old system both Left and Right shared a single bar. If you want to keep one item in one of your hands while selecting the other freely, all you have to do is have it in Split mode and not move one of the cursors.
    With CF, you're seemingly always limited to the set pairs, and cannot keep one item in your hand while selecting others unless you put that one item in multiple slots.
     
    MrChow likes this.
  6. King Kitteh

    King Kitteh Starship Captain

    Only thing I really want is that when you quick select your manipulator with 'R' and then deselect afterwards again with 'R'. It should go to your last used tool, not the middle L+R slots.
     
  7. Ludovic

    Ludovic Giant Laser Beams

    I actually need to try that out with the new hotbar in the nightly because the old middle "LR" slot is basically gone under the new system they implemented. I know the X key is used to switch between layers of the new hotbar, likely for familiarity's sake, but I have yet to really pay attention to what pressing only the R key does when pressing it to "deselect" the manipulator.

    For what I know, it might do exactly what you are asking for and immediately bring you to your last used tool but like I said I haven't paid enough attention to notices.

    (I may have been taken a bit too much by my realization of "oh my god I have gone full castlevania" when I equipped a whip and throwing axe in one of the new slots because nightly actually deleted all of my old weapons when changing the hotbar to the new one, forcing me to make by with what I do and.... yeah "OMG, I'm a Castlevania character now" realization, like said ^^; )
     
  8. Shaadaris

    Shaadaris Giant Laser Beams

    This is how it should have worked in the first place, and my hotbar would be made to work like that.
    I'm unsure if this is how the new hotbar works too, but considering neither has the middle L/R slots, I imagine it is.
     
  9. Ludovic

    Ludovic Giant Laser Beams

    Having tested... pressing R again seem to have no effect and you're just still holding the matter manipulator.
    Granted, this is the nightly so it might be prone to change.

    On the other end, it means that pressing R again accidentely won't switch you unwittingly to an item set you might not desire to wield at the time being. But it does mean(currently) having to press the associate hotkey of a given item if it is the one wishes to go back to.

    We'll see how things go and your preferrence might always make a good suggestion for the devs I bet!
     
  10. TakasuRyuji

    TakasuRyuji Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    This is exactly how I wished the hotbar would work, I simply cannot see a situation where this UI isn't optimal in both ease of use and flexibility. It offers a wealth of combinable slots that are constantly visible, easy to manipulate, and don't require multiple inputs to reach spur of the moment.

    It also makes identifying left and right hand selections much more clear than the current stable hotbar by seperating them on the top and bottom row. The colors for left & right selection are easy to recognize, as well as the indicator of whether you are in merged or split cursor mode.

    On top of all this it remains visually pleasing, adding more variation without breaking the flow of gameplay or disrupting the view of your scene.
    Bravo!

    On a side-note, this format would even work with controller users, not that it was designed for them. But as stated by Supernorn:
    The devs have seemingly no intention of using the hotbar they've been working with for their console release, so the sole focus of the hotbar design for our PC playerbase should be on keyboard & mouse.

    Suggestions:

    It would be great to have a symbol light up when "sheathed", and for this to be a bindable key. I've always wanted a sheath key for while I'm in towns. It would make sheathing more convenient, and be less confusing than having nothing light up while sheathed.

    It would also be a good idea to include an option between "toggle" and "hold" for split mode scrolling/selecting, placed in the options menu. I prefer to hold down the key while split scrolling and would likely accidentally leave it on split mode if toggling was mandatory.

    [​IMG]

    Here's to hoping this hotbar reaches the devs, brilliant work Shaadaris!
     
  11. Avarwen

    Avarwen Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Love this idea keep the look of the old bar but gives you dual wield now why couldn't CF think of this. One suggestion though if you aren't using the bottom bar I'd love to toggle to be able to hide it till I need it.
     
  12. Shaadaris

    Shaadaris Giant Laser Beams

    I suppose that could be a thing? Not sure how well it would work, given that that's the entire right hand you lose access to, but it could probably be done. I do understand that my hotbar is significantly taller than both CF bars, but I don't think it'd be that bad.
     
  13. Avarwen

    Avarwen Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    I like it don't get me wrong it just looks a little bulky to me guess I'm just too use to the old style. Also I mostly use two handed weapons so it wouldn't bother me too much.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  14. Akre

    Akre Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    I like your idea much more than the official new toolbar. :nod:

    I'd just make one tweak: add an ability to hide lower part of the toolbar for those players that don't dualwield. A toggle button for show/hide lower toolbar shouldn't be to hard to implement.
     
  15. Shaadaris

    Shaadaris Giant Laser Beams

    Um... You... You do realize that exact thing was suggested three posts above yours, yes?

    Ah, anyway, I guess that would be a thing that could happen when this is inevitably not added to the game and I mod it in if it's even possible to mod in. (Because if it's possible, I WILL mod it in. And let's face it - no matter how much support this or any other hotbar suggestion gets, we won't trump the number of people who are either apathetic or enthusiastic about the new bar, and as such, CF will probably keep theirs.)
    At the moment, I am far too lazy to work on making more/updating the bar sprites and the post for these suggestions. Your suggestions are noted and appreciated, though! (Will likely do that though... within the week. No guarentees. It'll give time for more suggestions to roll in so I don't have to keep re-uploading the bar sprites every time something is suggested that I like.)
     
  16. Akre

    Akre Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Relax. You wanted a feedback, so I gave it, cause I like the concept of your toolbar. I don't have to read the whole discussion to comment on your idea. If someone else has the same suggestions as me, all the better. No need to get grumpy.

    Anyway, good luck on the mod, it might become one of my favorite, cause you have some good idea of taking best of both toolbars.
     
  17. Lazer

    Lazer Existential Complex

    Chucklefish, if you're going to move forward with the idea of a hotbar full of left-hand/right-hand pairs, please consider using vertical pairing like this that minimizes visual change to the hud, and where you can just drag and drop like normal.
     
    Azidoazide Azide likes this.
  18. Shaadaris

    Shaadaris Giant Laser Beams

    Stuff from another thread where it was disussed, on the topic of my hotbar's biggest flaw: it's size.
    I am going to mess around a little and see if I can get a few images made which detail exactly what I mean here for the different possibilities.
    May take a while - I'm not the fastest spriter by any stretch of the imagination.
     
  19. Lazer

    Lazer Existential Complex

    Let me clarify 'cause I think my words were a little harsher than I intended. What I meant was that taking up a little more hud space was the one and only downside here. I don't think it's much space, and I think it's absolutely worth it compared to the nightly's new hotbar.
     
  20. Shaadaris

    Shaadaris Giant Laser Beams

    No no, it's fine. People have suggested ways to make the hotbar smaller anyway, so I was bound to do mockups eventually.

    So anyway, here's a concept for one of the "collapsed" modes:
    DEFAULT :
    [​IMG]
    COLLAPSED :
    [​IMG]
    CHUCKLEFISH CURRENT (for reference) :
    [​IMG]
    Doesn't save a huge amount of space, but it's better than nothing, and still lets you see both hands.

    And here's a mockup for the alternative "long" style (centered for better length comparison):
    DEFAULT (Top/Bottom) :
    [​IMG]
    LONG (Left/Right) :
    [​IMG]
    Left bar is left hand, right bar is right hand, instead of the previous top/bottom.
     

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