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Key information is too small (many suggestions)

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  • Key information is too small (many suggestions)


    I'm a longtime dota player (5.84c was my first map in like 04 or something), and I've played in high skill leagues for much of my time (old ihl, ihcs2, nadl, tfl) as well as many mid skill (new ihl, tihl, thr t2-3, dc t2). I've literally played thousands of games of dota (just adding my dotacash and tda accounts gets me into the 1000s). I've been playing for about as long as Icefrog has been developing, and I tried making the switch to dota 2 when I got into the beta 2 months ago, but I have one major issue that's holding me back: Key pieces of information are just not displayed properly. I apologize upfront for not "using search" and if there are other posts on this, but since the UI hasn't changed in 2 months, I'll assume this is not the case.

    What do I mean by this? Take for example attack damage and armor. These values are displayed SUPER prominently in dota (perhaps too prominently, as armor/weapon type don't matter for dota). However, in dota 2, the damage and armor values are miniscule. I have 20/20 vision, I'm playing in 720p, and they're still not readily apparent. Yes, the information is there, but it's not displayed prominently enough for me to immediately learn everything I need to know.

    Also, on the whole I just feel like the screen real estate isn't being used efficiently. Pretty icons are too large, relevant information is too small. I realize this orients the game towards newer players, but dota is such a numerical game that it won't be long before new players demand the same information.

    My advice is predicated upon minimizing the time necessary to process all dynamic (eg capable of changing), relevant information. The key pieces of data that inform and shape a player's decisionmaking process should be front and center. Pieces of data that are easily memorizable (what level is my spell) should be sacrificed for the more relevant data.

    What I recommend:

    Regarding the spread of the bottom UI:
    1) The box between the minimap and the hero portrait is okay. The box between skills and items is not. It has to go - all this does is serve to take up valuable real estate, and more importantly, it separates your stats and items. In dota, you can look at your items and skills simultaneously. In dota 2, it takes two separate glances + registering the information. This makes a 0.1s process into a 0.3s process - which is huge when we have APM in the 120+ range. Gamers can make ~6 mental actions per second, which means you're wasting a decision simply by not concentrating the information.

    1) Get rid of the box they are in; it's unnecessary.
    2) Switch str/agi/int from horizontal to vertical (more space without the box) and have the values on the right side of the icons, and make them large. They should be the size of the current HP font.
    3) Switch the location of the icon and the value for dmg/armor. What I mean by this is put the value inside the little box (containing the sword and shield) with the sword and shield underneath. The icons don't need to be any larger; the text does. It should be the size of the HP font. The shield/sword icons can be very small, as people will immediately understand their meanings, and never really need to be told "this is damage and that is armor" again.

    HP and MP:
    1) To be honest, I don't believe bars are necessary. HP and MP could be centered above where the stat box is now. If that's not an option:
    2) The font size should be MUCH larger than it is (MP especially - it is WAY too small). You can raise the size of the bars to the height of the hero portrait without losing any aesthetics.
    3) The HP/MP regen is a FANTASTIC new feature! However, displaying this information even at full HP/MP would be even better.

    1) The spell level counter dots at the bottom, while visually appealing, are unnecessary and take up too much screen real estate. Anyone who's played more than 10 games of dota can tell you exactly what levels their spells are at any time. This information just really isn't relevant enough to justify the space it is given.
    2) The level-up dots should be replaced by mana costs. This is VITAL information (do I have enough mana to cast all my spells) and the font needs to be much larger. The dots could probably be overlaid on the spell icons, and if not, can be done away with and put on the mouseover text. I don't think anyone has ever been in battle and thought "What level is my spell?" Furthermore, that data just isn't relevant; you would rarely choose not to cast a certain spell (with some ultimate exceptions) because it is level 2 rather than 3.
    3) Cooldowns: I think this information should be moved from the mouseover to the main UI, possibly above the spells. This can be the font size of the current MP font; this information is fairly static and not relevant to the decision of actually casting the spell, it is just good to know.

    1) Gold is just too small. It needs to be bigger. Or maybe, the issue is just that it's gold text on gold background; this could easily be remedied by making the text black, or by getting rid of the "SHOP" text. Clicking gold-> shopping is intuitive.
    2) In the actual shop, there needs to be some shortcut to switch between "Basic" and "Upgrade." I'll admit I disliked the shop at first, but it's grown on me despite the fact that I hotkey hero to 1 and buy clarities.
    3) Not sure if this is a UI issue, but the shop shouldn't let you buy a second complete janggo if you already own one, it should default to recipe only.

    1) I think the minimap could be made larger, or at least have an option to extend it to the point of the hero portrait. This could be easily done with the default as is, with the option of enlarging it.

    Please let me know what critiques you have for me, as well as justifications for not using my suggestions. Of course, if you intend to release UI modding tools, this is moot, but I imagine that they are neither necessary nor advisable (Ally cooldown trackers, opponent cooldown trackers, etc).

  • #2
    i agree on 90% of the thing u mentioned


    • #3
      Hero level info in tooltip is also too small. I often play on Doom and it present some difficulties in comparison with Dota 1


      • #4
        Originally posted by VirJiL View Post
        Hero level info in tooltip is also too small. I often play on Doom and it present some difficulties in comparison with Dota 1
        Yes - I forgot to mention that. More importantly, like the gold/shop issue, it's a matter of two similar color shades being layered on top of each other. The number should be made more prominent, but the experience numbers themselves are largely irrelevant; the only relevance is seeing how close the bar is to the next level (I don't think anyone in dota calculates how many creeps til next level numerically, just visually).


        • #5
          I agree with everything.
          The hud is poorly done. It's too big and still relevant information is too small somehow.
          needs work.


          • #6
            Exactly how i feel. Many of the important information are too small and is not immediately obvious


            • #7
              Hero LVL tooltip is really very small, and hard to read. Please make them bigger, or simplier to recognize. I have not problems with size of any other informations in hud.


              • #8
                If combined current stat box and unused box between hero and minimap can provide enough space for stats, att, armor, ms, as... to avoid need to mouse over for all details

                HP and MP:More importantly the need to implement teammates hp/mp bars as that will largely improve team play.

                Spells/Abilities: Visibility of mana cost must be improved as they are way to small atm, also mana cost should be added to items, and as for the cds they can simply completely black out ability picture and put cd over it. I started teaching some of my friends recently and they thought that item abilities had no mana simply because they didn't have numbers on them like abilities, and they didn't notice the importance of orb effects and scepter upgrade from tool tips as they simply doesn't pop up. Those two must be colored differently (red for orb like in dota1 and blue or something else for scepter) in order to improve visibility.
                Another thing that would be nice is having teammates cd shown somewhere, not just ulti all of them should be visible. This is not much of a problem in team fights but in pub games it would be of much use.
                Work in progress, feedback appreciated


                • #9
                  Agreed for the most part, I feel that the biggest problem is that the font is too small. UI elements can be adjusted to allocate more space to the text instead of other stuff. Level, especially, could be bigger, maybe even the entire bar (after all, how much exp left to the next level is quite an important part of the game esp. during the laning phase)

                  Another thing is the overall font size in the entire game. I feel as if the game has been developed on giant 32 inch 1080p monitors. I'm playing on 1360x768 (which is just 1024x768 with more horizontal space to make it widescreen) and you can just make out the aliasing of the font due to the small size. Makes me feel bad for 800x600 or even 640x480 players. In the current MM window where you select the region, the text barely takes up 10% of the entire window. Certainly could be bigger there.

                  Something about the lvl up dots: I think they're semi useful, maybe very useful for doom if you have somehow forgotten how many levels of lvl? death you have taken. On rare occasions I "over-emulate" scenarios in my mind, and somehow I think I have already levelled it more than I have. It's also useful to check what skills your teammates have been levelling at a quick glance.

                  The skill buttons are also a little to big for my liking. They take up precious real estate that can be used for other information. As long as it's big enough to see the manacost & cooldown, and also look aestheticly pleasing, it doesn't need to fill up a very large space; after all, we know what skills we have.


                  • #10
                    One argument for the dots that I heard on another forum was that it lets you see your teammates skills. I'm torn now; I think that is a useful feature, but at the same time, at higher level play you'll no what skill build your teammate is doing regardless, so I'm still not certain that they're necessary.

                    Showing teammate CD would be pretty useful; I know in dota you can see their ultimate timer (although I'm not sure if that's in dota 2 - I haven't played that many games yet).

                    But I'm glad people agree on the whole - important information is displayed in far too small of a font.


                    • #11
                      The UI intentionally takes up a lot of space because it has the same size and shape as the one in Dota1.

                      As for font sizes, I think the only one that is really too small is mana costs, because it is hard to read even on a standard 1080p monitor. GIANT HONKING TEXT is not user friendly either.

                      I find the dots fairly useful if you intend to follow your own build and not just copy one (probably more of an issue in LoL while Dota has more standard builds). They are also very important in spectator mode.


                      • #12


                        • #13
                          I guess playing on a 32 inch TV at 1920x1080 resolution hides these issues for me pretty well. Must be what the developers are using, because I couldn't imagine it being very good on a much smaller screen.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Enai Siaion View Post
                            The UI intentionally takes up a lot of space because it has the same size and shape as the one in Dota1.
                            I don't think that's the intent; I think they actually went for a minimalist UI that was optimized for full screen. It seems like for both the top and bottom display elements, they sacrificed usability (eg, "What is my teammate's score? ulti cooldown?") in exchange for minimalism. Compare to dota, in which a dropdown can take up lots of screen real estate (when hidden, the impact is minimal and displays information similar to dota 2) but displays all relevant information. Knowing ally gold is really important to me, but I'll keep this thread focused on the hero UI and not the top part.

                            But I don't think the UI was designed to take up the same space as dota, I think they tried to maximize the game itself at the expense of the HUD, which is why I'm here on my soapbox.

                            As for font sizes, I think the only one that is really too small is mana costs, because it is hard to read even on a standard 1080p monitor. GIANT HONKING TEXT is not user friendly either.
                            It's not that they're too small to read - they're not - it's that either the foreground/background colors aren't different enough (shop+gold, hero level) it's that they're too small to read INSTANTLY. That's sort of what I'm getting at - ideally, all players have perfect information about everything that isn't fogged; because that's impossible, the goal should be to present all that information as quickly as possible. I'm sure the devs want a dota 2 fight to be "check opponent hero -> make decision" not "check->read stuff->decision." It negatively affects decisionmaking, which is the heart of dota.

                            I find the dots fairly useful if you intend to follow your own build and not just copy one (probably more of an issue in LoL while Dota has more standard builds). They are also very important in spectator mode.
                            I don't play LoL, but in dota, you usually have a "default" build that sometimes requires tweaking, but in every instance, you remember that you've made that decision. I think mana costs are something people don't easily remember, but EVERYONE knows 1) their level and 2) "If I'm a level 7 potm, I have level 4 starfall" and if ever you change your build, you'll remember you changed it.

                            At this point, I think all the arguments in favor of the dots over mana costs revolve around being able to see your teammates' spell levels.


                            • #15
                              I played on an old pc/monitor with lower settings and there are no boxes between minimap and hero and spells so they are just trying to adjust it for all i guess. There would be no room for the info we wanted to add.

                              Also i forgot to mention that new players don't see abilities that are available for leveling up on first glance, they just keep clicking the one they want.

                              also check this tread
                              Last edited by Panter_d17; 03-12-2012, 07:11 AM.
                              Work in progress, feedback appreciated