Fitting UI: functional filtering of modules

Summary

The fitting UI can be designed for a much more streamlined user experience if modules can be filtered based on specific end results on the ship. In the current ship fitting UI, finding the desired modules is unintuitive because they are not organised based on what the player wants to do. Players think of ship fits in terms of what the ship will do, while modules are organised based on thematic categories.

Example

Imagine a player wants to fit an insta-warp frigate, align time less than 2 seconds. How to find all the modules that affect align time, if you don’t already know what they are?

In the current fitting UI:

  • Typing “align” into the search bar does nothing, it only searches for names, not functions. Clicking on the align time stat does nothing. You start browsing through the folders.
  • The Propulsion folder sounds promising. You go into Propulsion Upgrades and find Inertial Stabilizers. Great! But…
  • Hull & Armor, Hull Upgrades, Nanofiber Internal Structures also affect align time. One sub-folder hidden among many.
  • Rigs, Astronautic Rigs, the Higgs Anchor, Low Friction Nozzle Joints, and Polycarbon Engine Housing, affect align time, but not the other astronautic rigs.
  • None of the Engineering Equipment, Armor Rigs, or Engineering Rigs affect align time, but how would you know if you didn’t check?
  • By this time, you’ve spent something like 20 minutes rummaging through folders, before you even start experimenting with the modules.

Imagine a better UI:

  • Right click on the align time stat, select “filter modules by this stat”.
  • All modules that don’t affect align time are automatically hidden, leaving a small, targeted list of folders with the modules that do exactly what you want. Of course, some are better than others, but you go straight into experimenting and skip the scavenger hunt.

Edit:
Or don’t imagine, and look at this quick prototype I put together in a spreadsheet:


Discussion

The problem is that, for whatever specific function a player wants to fit a ship for, often the relevant modules are scattered across three or more different folders. Consider shield tanking. Yes, there’s the Shield folder, obviously. But there’s also the Damage Controls under Hull & Armor(!), the Power Diagnostic Systems under Engineering Equipment, and Shield Rigs. Wouldn’t it be great if they were all gathered into one place for you?

Most players want to fit a ship and go blow each other up, and browsing through folders is an obstacle to fun. Imagine just clicking on your shield stats, and the modules list is automatically filtered down to just the modules that affect your shields, but includes all the relevant modules that are not explicitly in the Shield folder. Modules should be intuitively arranged based on what you want your ship to do. The harder it is for players to find the modules they want, the more likely it is they’ll just copy someone else’s fit.

This idea of arranging modules based on function is not new (consider http://schildwall.phbv3.de/basics/ ), but guides or tools for finding modules don’t make much sense unless it is integrated into the in-game fitting UI or external fitting tools like pyfa.

Functional categories

I propose the following list of functions by which modules can be filtered. Each module may belong to more than one category. To come up with this list, I’m just looking through the stats in the fitting UI, then looking through the modules folders to see what they do. Feel free to suggest other categories if I have omitted any.

  • CPU
  • Powergrid
  • Cargo hold
  • Capacitor
    • Capacitor capacity
    • Capacitor recharge
  • Energy weapons
    • Energy weapons damage
    • Energy weapons application
  • Hybrid weapons
    • Hybrid weapons damage
    • Hybrid weapons application
  • Missile weapons
    • Missile weapons damage
    • Missile weapons application
  • Precursor weapons
    • Precursor weapons damage
    • Precursor weapons application
  • Projectile weapons
    • Projectile weapons damage
    • Projectile weapons application
  • Superweapons
  • Vorton weapons
    • Vorton weapons damage
    • Vorton weapons application
  • Bombs
  • Smartbombs
  • Drones
    • Drones damage
    • Drones application
  • Shield
    • Shield EHP
    • Shield active boost
    • Shield passive regen
  • Armor
    • Armor EHP
    • Armor repair
  • Hull
    • Hull EHP
    • Hull repair
  • Targeting
    • Lock time
    • Targeting range
  • Navigation
    • Velocity
    • Agility
    • Warp speed
  • Electronic Warfare
    • Sensor disruption
    • Stasis
    • Warp disruption
    • Weapon disruption
  • Cloaking
  • Jumping
  • Mining
    • Asteroid mining
    • Gas mining
    • Ice mining
  • Salvaging
  • Scanners
  • Exploration
  • Logistics

You may notice that these categories look very similar to the folders by which the current in-game UI organises modules. There’s nothing conceptually wrong with those folders, it’s just that a lot of modules aren’t where you would intuitively expect to find them. My point is, if you click on Energy Weapons, for example, you should not only find your pulses and beams, but also your heat sinks, energy weapon rigs, tracking modules, perhaps even stasis and target painters - basically everything relevant to doing damage with energy weapons, not just the weapons themselves.

Conclusion

Just imagine a UI that shows you what you want, instead of asking you to trawl through dozens of folders. This alternative UI isn’t arranged based on the filing system the game designers use, but it responds dynamically to whatever it is you want to do. Want to fit a mining barge? Just click “mining” and “shield”, and about 95% of irrelevant clutter is removed for your convenience. Want an armor tanked hybrid brawler? Go ahead and click on “hybrid” and “armor”, maybe also “velocity” and “grapple” and “warp disruption”, perhaps even “smartbombs” for a bit of spice. The UI shows you only what you want your ship to do. Ship fitting will be a lot easier and more efficient, and the less time players spend rummaging through folders, the more time they spend actually experimenting and innovating.

2 Likes

This is actually a pretty good idea, and seems well thought out. Certainly worth asking CCP to look into it at least.

The only thing I could see would be a problem is that everyone would need to get used to this entirely new system of module grouping, and I really doubt CCP would dare make such a drastic change without setting the forums on fire over people complaining that they can’t find their modules anymore.

Also, obviously it’s going to be quite a bit of work for CCP, they’d have to look through pretty much every single module and decide where it goes.

What I’ve described is not a replacement for the current UI, but a complement. It merely hides or shows modules depending on which particular stat or function you select. It doesn’t rearrange the groups.

I think this is an excellent idea.

The only issue would be how much time CCP would have to allocate to implement it. I’ve no idea if it would be a little or a lot of work; but, none the less, this is a quality idea.

Thumbs up!

I’ve cobbled together a quick prototype in spreadsheet form. It doesn’t quite include all the modules or filter categories, and it ain’t pretty, but it does show how I imagine it’ll work.

As I was making the spreadsheet, I got the impression that my suggested list of filter categories could probably be improved. Mostly, it’s the parts of the game that I’m not familiar with where I’m not sure how other people would like to fit their ships - stuff I’ve personally never done before like wormholes or capitals.

1 Like

This is a good idea. It’d be more valuable to have it in pyfa than in-game, though. Obviously CCP doesn’t write pyfa, so I just hope the pyfa guys jump on this.

@Sable_Blitzmann @Kadesh_Priestess what are your thoughts on this? This is basically the inverse of your “affected by” tabs