Thursday, March 16, 2017

CCP Its Time - Structure Changes for the Overview

I really really like a lot of things about the new structures (i.e. Citadels and Engineering Complexes).

I feel that these items have opened up space customization and player housing in a way that Player Owned Stations and Outposts failed to do adequately. The latter came closer for sure, but the limitations (only certain null sec, only one per system) put them out of range of a large portion of the playerbase, and the former, while available to all areas of space, are just awkward to own, utilize, and share.

Upwell structures combine the best of both worlds: something you can dock in, live in, deploy anywhere (even more so than POSes), and easily share with anyone. They have quickly become ubiquitous across space giving small groups to massive alliances a place to call home.

However, there is a dark side to this propagation: Overview Glut.

Look at the image above. Prior to Citadels, there were two dockable celestials on my overview. Upwell structures appear on the overview if you have permission to dock at them OR you are on the same space grid with them. But in both cases they look on the same on the overview so you can get into the situation where two structures are on the overview and one you can dock at and one you can't and you need to look at the name and know which is which or you need to warp to each one and see what happens.

On top of that, even if every structure on the overview are ones you have access to, there is no easy way to distinguish at a glace or with a tab preset any of them of the same size in any manner except reading the names. For example, look again at the image above and find the Astrahus owned by my corporation Aideron Robotics. While its easy to distinguish the Azbel and Fortizar from the Raitaru and Astrahuses, one needs to scan every one of the former and know the name to find the Kirith's Grand Emproium Astrahus. And to complicate matters every structure automatically gets the system name pre-pended so you can't even scan the column's first letter/word easily. There has to be a better way.

I have several proposals.

1. Apply corporate standings tags to structures just like we do to pilots in the overview. This would quickly distinguish corporate structures from alliance structure from friendly structures from neutral and hostile ones. Yes, this does not mean you have access to docking at that structure but it would simply looking at a glance on the overview. And besides, someone blue on the overview doesn't mean that they won't shoot you either.

2. Indicate accessibility in a new column. Either a new overlay icon on the regular icon (like a tiny green check mark) or a new column (with check mark). This would be an optional column and could be placed anywhere is the column order.

3. Grey out structures not accessible when on grid with them. Yes, you can see them and everything, but some sort of indication that they are not accessible would simplify life immensely.

4. Provide option to see ALL structures in overview. Right now you jump into a system there is a second you see all structures before the ones you don't have access too and are not on grid get greyed out and removed from overview. It would be nice for scouting purposes (and home defense) to be able to bring them up.

CCP its time - make the overview great again!

1 comment:

  1. Let me get in with the default response question that comes to mind: was the overview ever great in the first place?
    But good suggestions. So presumably with the patch after the next one some of these suggestiosn will be implemented by a dev with 5 minutes of spare time.