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  1. #61
    Community Rep Camate's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    630
    Greetings, everyone!

    Hiroshi Minagawa has another very informative post about the reasoning behind using icons for inventory items as opposed to text, as there has been some feedback stating that it's difficult to tell what's what by only looking at icons and would like to see it styled more like shops with text.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiroshi_Minagawa View Post
    Item Name Display Modes

    Why is it that the items in your inventory are only displayed as an icon?

    There are two main reasons why we've made it so items in your inventory are displayed as an icon.
    • We want to maximize the display without taking up too much of the screen.
    • For ARR, displaying an icon uses way less memory than displaying a name.

    Due to these reasons, we've adopted an icon display method for certain item display windows. We have a text-based method on our task list, but the timing for this is currently undecided.

    For those of you who can't agree with this decision based only on this short explanation, please read the below in-depth explanation!

    There are a lot of times where you'll have your inventory, or armoury chest, windows open along with shop windows as well as your character, trade, and other windows.

    When running the game at the minimal resolution of 1280x720, even if we were to change the item icons to text and make it as small as possible, the text lines would still take up a large column width.

    With a small icon on the left, the text of the item name, and additional information such as number of items in the stack, the window width would have to be 1.5x larger than the current inventory window.

    In the case of the gear set confirmation window, looking at the Japanese version, there appears to be some room that can be eliminated from the right-side, but the reason for this is because the item names for French and German are extremely long.

    *By the way, the longest item name in the game is over 60 characters long.

    While there were comments mentioning that if the item name is too long, we can have an ellipsis to truncate it, but for other languages the end of a word often shows the grade or special characteristic and if we truncated it this would result in it looking like a list of the same item names.

    Additionally, the larger issue at hand is the latter one involving memory. When it comes to UI, the bitmap images are used for both icons and text that are loaded by memory, but the number of elements to display a single item are far less when using an icon than using a string of text.

    Unlike a typical offline RPG, it's necessary to have the proper structure to allow for multiple windows to be displayed at any given time or place in an MMO. If memory management and image asset management isn't set tighter than an offline RPG, it will become laggy and not function properly.

    The amount of resources that can be utilized for game designs where they can avoid menus during battle screens and such is very different.

    *For those of you who are interested, please try an press the b, c, p, j, m, i, u, y, h, and k keys in succession on the PC version to open up multiple windows. There will gradually be stress placed on the system, but there almost no RPGs that exist that are designed to allow you to play the game with windows displayed like this. Being able to do this – for example, when fighting a primal – is a special characteristic of an MMO.

    Taking a holistic approach to the circumstances and limitations here, we made the decision that it would be best to display items in inventory and Armoury Chest with icons. With that said though, while it will be difficult to do for the PS3 version, it is possible to have a separate option for text display in the PC version.

    If only 10 icons are displayed with text, then we could separate the tabs into categories and it just might be possible to do this for the PS3 as well.

    Currently, we are in the midst of stress testing the final large component of the UI that is constantly displayed on the screen – the alliance display. Once we've finalized this we can start taking a look at display variations and customization for existing features, but until then I apologize for any inconveniences and appreciate your understanding.
    (95)
    Devin "Camate" Casadey - Community Team

  2. #62
    Player
    Zezlar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,618
    Character
    Athalia Hartfell
    World
    Excalibur
    Main Class
    Lancer Lv 70
    At least the text display is in the list of tasks. That's all I care about to be honest. The reasoning behind having the picture based system at launch is fine, but it still doesn't make it any better of a system. It takes longer to do basic tasks.
    (14)

  3. #63
    Player
    IveraIvalice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Gridania
    Posts
    595
    Character
    Ivera Ivalice
    World
    Sargatanas
    Main Class
    White Mage Lv 70
    I read this and I'm stuck on how it's possible that text somehow uses way more memory then a picture. No matter how much I read, I can't understand how that's possible
    (10)

  4. #64
    Player
    KariArisu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    174
    Character
    Kari Arisu
    World
    Siren
    Main Class
    Samurai Lv 70
    Quote Originally Posted by IveraIvalice View Post
    I read this and I'm stuck on how it's possible that text somehow uses way more memory then a picture. No matter how much I read, I can't understand how that's possible
    Same here.

    FFXI had a working inventory where a mini-icon was displayed along with a short-hand version of the item name. How is it even remotely taxing for FFXIV to do the same thing, when FFXI is running on an archaic engine limited by the PS2?

    I see the dev team throwing around "memory issues" for a lot of things, but they aren't explaining why. Not to mention, the game has memory issues in many other places that seem to be ignored, while useful functions are denied for this reason.
    (3)

  5. #65
    Player
    Quesse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Gridania
    Posts
    1,176
    Character
    Quesse Mithril
    World
    Sargatanas
    Main Class
    Miner Lv 70
    Inventory icons is one of my biggest frustrations in this game. As a gatherer I can end up with an entire bag of ore that all looks the same. HQ/NQ and I have no idea what I'm looking at. This is even worse on my retainer where I store it all.

    I WASTE so much time looking for stuff.

    To be perfectly honest I really don't care about memory issues, or text size, blah, blah, blah. All I know is that the current icon system sucks and needs to be improved.

    A suggestion: WAY more granular sorting. Using my ore example. If I could sort ore by level and by HQ/NQ, my problem would be solved. But sort would have to be intuitively easy. No crazy menu with tons of options. I don't know how to make this happen, I'm just saying it would solve my issue without needing text.

    But barring any drastic sorting improvements, icon inventory is going to be a thorn, no a sword, in my side. ARGH!
    (7)

  6. #66
    Player
    Discordia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Limsa Lominsa
    Posts
    138
    Character
    Mio Kuromi
    World
    Siren
    Main Class
    Marauder Lv 62
    Quote Originally Posted by IveraIvalice View Post
    I read this and I'm stuck on how it's possible that text somehow uses way more memory then a picture. No matter how much I read, I can't understand how that's possible
    Are you a programmer? If not, then it's not easy to see the obvious. I fully understood his explanation. You may not agree with this, but if you look at the trend in MMO games, this is exactly what they've done.
    (18)

  7. #67
    Player
    Na6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    6
    Character
    Hexan Natrios
    World
    Cactuar
    Main Class
    Conjurer Lv 15
    "When it comes to UI, the bitmap images are used for both icons and text that are loaded by memory, but the number of elements to display a single item are far less when using an icon than using a string of text. "

    Is each letter in a text its own bitmap image or something?

    I personally enjoy having just icons. More work on uniqueness for them would be good though.
    (2)
    Last edited by Na6; 09-04-2013 at 09:26 AM.

  8. #68
    Player
    ErBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    248
    Character
    Elu Zaltana
    World
    Sargatanas
    Main Class
    Archer Lv 50
    I just want one big list.... ; ; with auto sort.
    (13)

  9. #69
    Player
    Merton9999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Limsa Lominsa
    Posts
    14
    Character
    Drew Morgano
    World
    Midgardsormr
    Main Class
    Pugilist Lv 50
    I appreciate the detailed explanation from the developer. Nevertheless I'm happy text display is on the list of future enhancements. I would vastly prefer this. As others mentioned, too many icons are the same and cannot be distinguished by a glance. I spend way too much time looking for items.
    (2)

  10. #70
    Player
    ForteXX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    792
    Character
    Fhorte Dakwhil
    World
    Cactuar
    Main Class
    Thaumaturge Lv 50
    I dont think Ive ever seen a game that used text for inventories, so not sure what to think of this.
    (2)

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