Let me start by saying that, in general, the new UI for PI is quite good, and I’m generally happy with it. That said, there’s a few things about the way the UI works that could use some improvement. For background, I have five PI alts each running the max six planets, all doing straight P1 production, and one character doing a P3 chain with five planets. I know there are players out there with many more alts than that, so I suspect that the issues I’ve run across would be magnified for them.
With that, here’s some things I’ve found in the last week that I hope will get another look:
New HOTT Extreeme Close-Up Action
I’m glad the UI zooms in faster; it saves a bit of time flipping through all the planets. however, the zoom-in is far too close, meaning I have to zoom back out before any of the extractors are back in the screen. The most interaction I do with my installations in repositioning one or two extractor heads every couple days, much more rarely moving the entire extractor controller (usually about one or two of those per week across all my alts). Can the zoom instead be set to stop when all of an installation is still on the screen? Relatedly:
The zoom-in animation often spirals in to the installation, but it seems there’s a line on the planet that the animated camera won’t cross. This leads to weird, time-wasting planet-spinning. Say my installation is at 5° from this line, and the camera starts at 355°. Rather than spin the 10° to the right, instead the camera spins the entire other way around the planet to get to the installation. Why does it do this? Across all my alts (so, 35 planets total) this happens on at least a dozen of them, and I either have to grab the planet quickly and spin it back the right way, or sit there waiting.
The Cards are too Big
I’m glad the planetary installations are listed with a bit more information, but can we please have a compact view of this? Right now, if I expand that window to show all six planets, it takes up almost the entire height of the screen, and at least 10% of the width. That’s a whole lot of real-estate for a listing that used to take up less space than a chat window.
Too many interactable Items
Relatedly: when I go to each planet to collect the materials, I try to launch all my stuff during the first warp. Problem is, there’s too much space on each card taken up by icons that are interactable, so if I accidentally right-click on them instead of the unallocated space on the card, I get a pop-up menu relevant to that material, rather than the right-click menu for the planet. This wastes time.
Launching re-sets the List
Likewise, launching from an installation through the POCO interface causes the list of planets to re-scroll back up to its top position, so if I don’t want to expand the list to take up a good chunk of my screen (see above) I have to spend time scrolling back down to the next planet. This, too, wastes time, and I often forget which planet I was on.
Can’t re-sort the List
The old UI let you sort your planets by any of is columns. This one does not appear to allow any kind of sorting, instead always being numerical by planet.
The Build/Scan Buttons
I like that all the build options are in one list now, but moving the Build/Scan buttons did a couple things. First, in the old UI clicking the “Submit” button re-collapsed the list, and my mouse ended up almost always back in the build list, floating over one of the options. Now, I have to move the mouse to click “Submit”, then move it back up to switch between the “Build” and “Scan” lists, and then move it back down to select from the lists. Again, these are extra movements that weren’t needed before.
The “Scan” button is now directly under the “Submit” button. My most usual change is re-setting my extractors, and then moving from roughly the middle of the screen to the “Submit” button, taking the cursor across the “Scan” button. If I linger for even just a little bit, a tooltip pops up listing relevant skills to scan that covers up the “Submit” button, and if I don’t catch myself and accidentally click where the submit button was but now a skill tooltip, I get an info window popping up showing whatever skill I accidentally clicked. I do this at least once a day, and it’s super-annoying. Can you please move the tool-tip so it doesn’t cover other buttons in the UI (and certainly not the button that is arguably the most important one overall for managing your extractors), increase the delay before it pops up, and whatever other steps to avoid this?
This is a minor issue, but the slider in the scroll-bar for setting the extraction cycle duration used to be a nice minimal rectangle that fit with the overall flat design of the UI. This has been replaced with a shaded circle that is 1) too big, and 2) looks like something from the UI of a decade ago. That slider was and is too clumsy, with the difference of a single pixel-width changing cycle times by anywhere from 5-12 hours. That … could use some work.
Like I said, I generally think the UI has been substantially improved, but there’s a lot about the new version that has made my interaction with my production facilities more time-consuming and more frustrating (though requiring marginally fewer clicks to get done). I hope you can give these another look sometime.
OK, that’s everything. Thanks for listening to my TED Talk.