I made a list of UI suggestions, most that should be easy to implement (most could probably be modded in; I don't know how to mod), and would improve the gameplay. I am NOT making any balance suggestions, or requesting any new spells, units, equipment, whatever. These are all very specific and generally very small changes. These are not lised in any order, however I have categorized them.
These were written when playing version 1.2.
- When selecting something to build, show the resource change next to the number of current resources instead of replacing it. Currently you have to select something else that doesn't provide that resource in order to see what it is now, and then select what you want to build in order to see what the change will be. For example: If I select an Inn and it would raise my growth from 2 to 3, currently it just shows "Growth 3", but it should show "Growth 2 > 3", with the "> 3" being green, and > being a proper triangle graphic.
- Option to automatically bring up each city that finishes its production queue, city by city, at the beginning of the turn, like it does in Civilization.
- I'd like to see an Unrest subtotal in the tooltip which will show a negative number (perhaps in the tooltip). This way I can judge if it's okay to remove Oppression or increase the tax rate. Currently it bottoms out at 0, so I have to do the math manually.
- (Modal Window) - Allow mouseover tooltips on the main map area when the city build/train menus are up. Currently when you bring up build or train, you can no longer get mouseover tooltips for things on the map, but sometimes you need those to make your decision, so you have to close the build/train menus, get the tooltip, then go back to the build/train menu.
- Speed up the death and knockdown animations, or allow the next turn in combat to proceed before the animation finishes. Some deaths take too long, and knockdown almost always takes too long (it's actually when they're getting back up, not getting knocked down, that takes so long). Shouldn't exceed 1 second of wait time.
- Have the game remember the last zoom level and camera angle used in combat, using that as the default for the next combat.
- Extend the action bar. Add more action buttons.
- Allow the removal of enchantments in the unit detail window. I know it can be done through the Ledger, but this would both add convenience and would be more intuitive for new players.
- Show the Current XP/Required XP numerically in the unit detail window. It's currently only displayed in the tooltip in the selection window when mousing over the Level bar.
- Larger font for the text on stat tooltips (both for units and cities). Really, never use that smaller font for anything useful. Smaller fonts are for flavor text.
- In Unit Details, put CurrentHP/MaxHP like it is in the selection window.
- The City Detail window should also show stationed units. Currently they're only displayed in the Selection Window, and that disappears when you open the detail window. Or just keep the selection window displayed when the detail window is up, which might be a better solution.
- (Modal Window) Allow the city details window to be brought up without disabling access to the build/train menus and other elements of the game.
- Show the equipment slot an item would occupy when mousing over it. For instance, a helmet should say "Head" in the tooltip somewhere when mousing over it. I don't think there's currently a way to tell what slot an item occupies short of personal judgment.
- In the City Detail window, add a mouse-over tooltip to Population that tells what it's for. It's the only stat in there that doesn't have a tooltip.
- In City Details, add a background for the enchantment icons instead of the transparency. Because the background is very dark (nearly black) there, and some parts of some icons are black (like the hammer in Enchanted Hammers), this causes the icon to become partially invisible. Adding a static background for each icon would remedy this problem.
- When cycling through units of an army in the detail view, and you have Equipment selected, keep it on "Equipment" view. Currently, if you cycle through a regular unit between champions, it switches to "Details" view, and you have to manually switch it back to "Equipment" view.
- In the Encumbrance tooltip, show the weight numbers for each level of encumbrance. For instance, a unit with a max Encumbrance of 50 would show Light as 0-19, Medium as 20-40, and Heavy as 41-50. Really you could just show Medium's, because with that info it's really easy to figure out the others. You'd only show Light and Heavy so people with OCD wouldn't freak out.
- In the Event List, when it tells you there are enemies in your territory, show the small portraits of each army that's in your territory with it. That makes it easier to see what's in your territory without clicking through it every turn. When one is added, make the ring around the portrait pulse glow. It would also be nice if the portraits of the enemies that leave faded out over 3 seconds at the beginning of the turn before disappearing (to make it more noticeable).
- When there are new enemies in your territory (enemies that weren't in your territory last turn), make the notification in the Event List pulse glow, or something different to make it noticeable that there are new enemies in your territory.
Sometimes there's one weak guy walking around your territory for a while, and you just don't have troops to go get him. He can't hurt you so you leave him. However, you'll get notified that he's there every turn. You start ignoring the notification for a while, then suddenly some random other monster's razing one of your towns. If only I'd have know, I could have done something about it. I'm not going to cycle through the enemies in my territory every turn. That's tedious.
- Have two columns. The left column would be for units that have already moved, and cities that still have something in the construction queue. The right column would be for units that still have movement left, and cities that are idle. I'm not particular about which column quests go into, although I suppose it would make sense for them to fall under the right column. These columns would be right next to each other.
- Highlight (or use some other indicator) the currently selected unit/city on the Empire Tree. When selecting a unit/city, if the Empire Tree has a scrollbar, scroll to that unit/city in the tree upon selection. Maybe have a little green triangle on the left side of whatever is selected, or the highlight box like when selecting a unit in tactical combat.
- The bar under each city icon in the Empire Tree should disappear when it's not producing anything, and then reappear when it is. Also, it should be darker so it stands out more when it's empty. Maybe not black, but darker.
- Increase the size of the zZZ, Produce Growth, Produce Research, and Produce Wealth icons in the Empire Tree. And/or make them opaque (except for zZZ which pulses between opaque and transparent). They are not obvious enough, especially when over a busy background.
- Any numbers that have decimal places should be shown with one decimal place everywhere (except in the Resource List at the top of the screen). It doesn't make sense when I select something to build and the affected stat number increases from 1 to 1 (I was using Growth as this example before, but that is no longer a valid example).
- In the loading screen's Mana tip, it should mention that mana is a shared resource. I say this because shared mana is counter-intuitive to most RPG players.
- Tab is missing from the list of hotkeys in the instruction manual. It does the same thing as U. U and Tab should be listed separately from Home and End. While both cycle through units, Home/End cycles through all units, while U/Tab only cycle through units that haven't moved and don't have destinations yet.
- The Sovereign's profession should be listed in their abilities, rather than as a category header. People don't think to mouseover the header to find out what it does.
- (TeeWeeHerman): When you have popup messages (like when a monster says something when it's standing next to you), add a "Go to event" button so I can actually see what is triggering this event.
- Quicksave should note that it saved the game when it's done.
- Modal Windows - Some windows that come up block access to information needed to make a decision, such as level-up windows. When a city or unit levels up (particularly city), you are blocked from accessing information outside of that window, information that you might need to make the choice in that window. These windows should either be changed from modal windows, or they should have an option to come back to them later.
Making choices about leveling up do not need to be made at that moment. They can be made at any point during the turn. Even if you end the turn without leveling that unit/city, it's still something you can do the next turn, and not making the decision right away isn't going to give you any advantage (although you won't gain the benefits of having leveld up). For those level ups that have been skipped, an indication of a pending level up should be made on the Empire Tree (similar to the Zzz for idle cities).
- Assign static positions to the level up choices of a city. There's no reason to keep rearranging them like that. For instance, Town, Conclave and Fortress should always be in that order (or another order, I don't care as long as it's the same order every time).
- If a city's garrison is full, and you have a unit selected, the mouse cursor should change to red letters "NO SPACE" when mousing over that city, so you know immediately why you can't move your unit there. The sound effect when you try to move a unit into the city is subtle, and generally unnoticeable when you're listening to heavy metal (I do keep my music volume down so I can hear the game sounds, but even then...).
- When someone is under attack, it should scroll to them. Currently, it scrolls to something else. I'm not sure what reasoning is behind what it does scroll to, but it seems like it's usually a city that just finished making something.
- Don't hide information on the screen when opening windows like the Govern window. For instance, I want to see the power graph in the upper-right when I open then Govern window. Currently it disappears when I open Govern.
- Have an option to set your default starting tax rate (I always change mine to None on turn 1).
- When sorting the Ledger, you should have the option to sort all the cities together, rather than just within their separate categories.
- Add columns for Materials, Population, and Food to the Ledger.
- Add buttons for Foreign Relations, Kingdom Report, and Ledger to the main view. You can have them go outside the minimap box. Keep the govern window the same, just add those buttons. This makes it more convenient to get into the view you want.
- Show the tooltip explaining the benefits of a treaty when mousing over it in the Foreign Relations window, and also in the window when another faction proposes a treaty. Currently you can only see the tooltip when you are proposing a treaty to someone, and only at the time of proposal.
- (TeeWeeHerman): Make a summary diplomacy page where all the treaties I'm involved in are shown. Currently, I have to go through all the remaining factions, to get this information. This could be added as a tab button to the Foreign Relations page (like Kingdom Report and Ledger have).
- Kingdom Report doesn't have enough room for 5 traits, only 4. Can't see the fifth. You can have up to 7 because of the two 0-point armor-related ones. Maybe just add a scrollbar if you have more than 4?
- Don't auto-play videos in the Hiergamenon. It's distracting. At least let me stop the audio for it without closing the Hiergamenon.
- Alphabetize the Game Concepts.
- Provide a full explanation of Spell of Making in the Hiergamenon, including the prequisite for casting it (you have to build the towers, something you would only know if you read the description for Forge of the Overlord, and I think you have to have one of each shard). Also explain how to win by casting it (I finished casting it but I haven't won yet, and I don't know what to do), and that the casting unit cannot move during casting.
- Provide an explanation of an Economic Treaty. It currently only has a very vague description, and I have no idea what it actually does. Also add it to the manual, as it seems to be missing from the list of treaties.
- Add a list of hotkeys. I know there's one in the manual, but having it in-game is much more convenient than opening a PDF.
- Expand information on improvements. The descriptions should at least contain the information that's in the mouseover tooltip, instead of the vague descriptions they currently have. Also include pre-requisites, as I don't recognize all of those improvements listed, and I'm sure some of them are quest-related.
- The Economy article should explain that the tax rate is the only way to get money from anything in a city. However much gildar they produce per season, you only get a percentage of that equal to your tax rate. That's not explained anywhere, and it's rather confusing for new players when they make a building that says it gives them 2 gildar per season, and their income doesn't increase by 2. It took me a while to figure out what was going on there.
- When a unit is moving in the strategical view, areas should be revealed as if I had moved that unit square-by-square. Currently, it only reveals at the location the unit stops moving.
- Area that is revealed as a unit passes through it should remain revealed until the end of turn. There is no reason to bring the fog back after you've passed by. Nothing's going to change until my turn is over unless I change it.
- (TeeWeeHerman): Allow square-by-square movement of the selected unit through use of the Numpad. This would be both convenient, and allow a workaround for a few movement-related shortcomings in the current interface (for instance, moving onto a tile that has only a caravan for another faction on it; you currently can only do it by selecting a destination beyond that tile and hoping your unit stops on the way).
- Add a way to effectively re-enter the current tile without moving. Currently, if you enter a tile without triggering whatever's in it, you have to move out of the tile and then back in to trigger it. You need something to trigger it without moving out and back in. Sometimes this situation is caused by a bug, but sometimes it's just caused by setting a destination beyond the tile in question, and your army just happened to run out of movement when passing through that square, and you noticed it before ending the next turn. If the bug where your army automatically moves into the tile for combat so it doesn't trigger whatever's in it (usually the goodie bag), then this probably won't be worth implementing anymore, as the other situation is fairly rare.
- When units leave a town either because they finished training, settled the first city, or because I hit the V key, the units should appear on top of a city square. This way I can choose which direction they leave the city from. If not this, then at least don't use one of their movement points when they leave the city, or allow me to set an exit tile. (Note: I'm not sure if it's supposed to do the latter already, and it's just bugged where it doesn't always work.)
- Do not tell me that only champions and sovereigns may visit points of interest when a unit spawns on one. That's confusing. I didn't send that unit there. It's also annoying because it will happen every time that city trains a new unit.
- In the Research selection window, color code the borders around the icons under each technology. For instance, red for units, green for buildings, yellow for equipment, blue for spells, black for passives (aside from black, my example colors fit with colors already used in-game).
- In the New Technology Researched window, add tooltips to when you mouse over items in the list of Unlocks. It currently does this for some things, but not all things.
- In the research selection window, the amount of research required for each technology should be displayed in the mouseover tooltip (the number of seasons is a better indicator to use, but sometimes it helps to know exactly how much research is needed).
- When settling a new city, a large area of resource yields disappear from the map, but it's hard to tell that area before it's too late. Show that area when mousing over the Settle button. This can be done either by drawing a box on the map, or by hiding the resource yields that will disappear (except for the one on the square you'd be settling).
- Option to show Food, Population (without mousing over the level), Unrest, and Mana in a city's Selection Window.
- Add options to show additional stats such as Initiative and Level when mousing-over a unit (in both Strategical and Tactical views), and also for the selection window in Tactical view.
- Add an icon to the Selection Window that shows unit type, so I don't have to go into the detail view of each unit to see what unit type it is.
- Add an option to automatically open the Build/Train menu when selecting a city.
- Add an option to have both Build and Train menus come up at the same time, side by side. Either button would bring up both, or you could replace them with a single button.
- When a resource improvement can be built, add the construction duration either to the selection window, or to the mouseover tooltip for the Build button.
- The build button on a Gold Deposit should give the mouseover tooltip for Gold Mine, so we'll know exactly what it does.
- Change the tooltips of the shard icons in the top-right of the screen to NOT say they produce shards per turn. It currently sounds like it's a collectible resource, like iron or crystal, which it's not.
- Have the selection window update every time something happens that would affect its numbers. For instance, when you have a city selected and you enchant it with Inspiration, you should see the research increase without having to reselect it. Or if you cast Destiny's Insight on the selected champion, you should see their experience bar increase without reselecting them.
- Have an option to keep the city HUDs on the cloth map. Currently when you zoom out to cloth map level, they disappear.
- Option to add information to the city HUDs, such as production, growth, unused food, stationed units, etc.
- In the cloth map, make resource yields appear over units. Currently you have to come out of the cloth map view to see the yields of the tile your Pioneer is currently on, because the Pioneer is blocking the icons for the yields.
- Have the game remember the last zoom level and camera angle used when saving the game, so when you load the game it has that same zoom level and camera angle.
- Put a small banner on each unit for the faction they belong to, like it is for cities only smaller. This will help identify which faction a unit belongs to. If they don't belong to a faction, then use that "Monsters and Ruffians" banner icon that you can see in the selection window.
- Make it so city HUDs don't cover up resource icons. Sometimes you don't even know there's iron in the tile next to your city until you accidentally zoom out into the cloth map (and if city HUDs get added to the cloth map, that might not help anymore), because the city HUD was covering it up. To fix it, you could program in the icons to shift position so they're not overlapping. That could actually be a lot of work to implement, so maybe some other method.
- Add an option to keep all HUD icons at all zoom levels.
- Option to keep tile yield icons the same size at all zoom levels, like the HUD icons.
- When selecting a resource you can build on, indicate which city would be building it. Basically, draw the dotted line before the first improvement is built on it. (This has since been improved to at least show which city is building it currently, even if it hasn't yet started production, so at least there is a way to determine it now; I just would like it without the extra step).
- There should be a visual representation of units stationed in a city on the city HUD. It doesn't have to represent the units that are stationed there, just that there are units stationed there. You would still need to click the city to see what's stationed there. I know there's a + on the Empire Tree, but I want something visible on the map.
- Swamps should be more obvious.
- Larger text for Trait descriptions. Make it the same as the text for Equipment.
- In Unit Design, show what level of encumbrance the unit is currently at (light/medium/heavy) so we can tell what their initiative penalty is and design accordingly. Also show their maximum encumbrance.