Version: 0.76 (the version that I have played the most recently and took a bunch of notes against)
PREAMBLE: I consider this really low priority against other bugs, the care and work that it must take to build a great AI, and the amount of number crunching you all must have to do to tackle the deadly balance of the game to appease the masses. However, given that FE is such an aesthetically pleasing game and I can tell a lot of work has _also_ gone into the beautiful artwork and animations, I wanted to at least post something about my feelings of the wordings of bonuses and costs and penalties in the game. I think this comes from one of the Animondays I saw where... sorry, I forget the animator's name... but he mentioned about how when you do Animations right, no one notices them. But when you do them wrong... hence the reason for my post.
What's the best thing about Dungeons and Dragons v3 versus v2? Non-negative Armor Class! Really, that's it. I'd have been entirely happy with AD&D version 2 rules if it wasn't for the really awkward and annoying moments in the games that went something like this: "Okay, I just got +5 Plate Armor and that means I now have... wait for it... an AC of -2. YAY NEW MATH!" This always left me with a bit of WTF feeling when it came to game aesthetics, or what the developers thought about aesthetics and semantics, but more importantly it killed my feeling of immersion because it was something that was, to me, inherently broken and illogical in the presentation of the game.
I see this same thing potentially happening in FE in the display of game statistics. The new UI is much improved, but as with most things, there is always more that can be improved.
Below is an example image from a game where every time I would see this tooltip in the UI it would break my feeling of immersion in the game. In the image, I'm discussing the display of the "bonuses and penalties" of building a Blacksmith in one of my towns, and how the tooltip is disconcerting to my little essentially-still-paleolithic brain.
The tooltip states the following:
- That it costs me -10 metal. Yes, yes, I get it, but it's so jarring every time I see it and while I don't believe this should be given the bug fixing priority as the cool stuff like AI and game balance, I really hope this gets some attention. This isn't so bad by itself, but the following line states:
- That it also costs me +1 maintenance. This is what hurts my brain.
- Suggestions for display
- Change "Costs -10 Metal" to "Costs 10 Metal per season"
- Change "Costs +1 Maintenance" to "Costs 1 Gildar per season to maintain"
- The tooltip states that it provides +1 Materials. This is fine, although I'd prefer "Provides 1 Material [to the computational seasonal output of the city]"
- I don't have an example, but some of the "Provides" are not actually bonuses, but they are also penalties.
- Suggestion for display:
- Change the wording of "Provides" to "Output" and state more specifically the time scale of the output: "+1 Meterial per season" or the like.
I'm not suggesting a change to the underlying mechanics of the game, or how data is modeled. What I'd like is merely the display of bonuses and penalties to make logical, semantic sense when I see them.
And now for the picture that spawned my brain pain.