Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Features and User Interface Improvements - Final Fantasy XIV

The large-scale version update tentatively scheduled for November 25 will bring about a number of changes to the user interface (UI). Among these will be improvements to controls on various menus and screens, an item-sorting feature, and further improvements to targeting and chat systems. In addition to reworking numerous facets of the UI, we will also be implementing a number of new features. This Topics post will introduce and detail a portion of these planned.

Under the main menu, the Attributes & Gear option will be split into two options, Attributes and Gear. There will also be a Lootoption that will be displayed under the Interactions menu whenever an item occupies a player's loot list. Improvements to menu navigation when using a gamepad or keyboard will be made. And finally, the experience and skill point bars currently displayed in the upper left portion while the main menu is open will now be visible on the screen at all times in the same manner as the HP bar.

The general layout of the Attributes window is being redesigned.
Character information will be organized into General AttributesSkills, and Key Items tabs.

Selecting a slot will restrict the items displayed in the gear list to only those that may be equipped in that slot.
Mousing over an item will display that item's icon, statistics, and other information.

The number of items players and retainers may have in their inventory will be increased by twenty.
Currency and Loot tabs will be added.
The upper portion of the Inventory window will display a list of items in a player's possession. Highlighting an item will display its icon, statistics, and other information below.
* The Wear value for items can currently be viewed at the bottom of the Items tab by clicking on the arrow icon in the lower right, pressing left or right on the directional pad of a gamepad, or by pressing the left or right arrow keys on a keyboard. To eliminate this additional step, an item's Wear value will be incorporated into its details window in the December version update.
A sort feature will be added to player inventories.
* Enabling the sort feature will organize an inventory by item type. While disabled, items will be listed in the order in which they entered the inventory.
* Future version updates will bring additional sort options, both automated and manual.
Selecting an item will open a menu containing the Sell ItemPurchase ItemSeek RepairsRepairDiscard, and Toggle Sortoptions.
Sale prices will be displayed next to items in player and retainer bazaars.
Icons representing Unit PriceSet PricePurchase Item, and Seek Repairs will be added to player and retainer bazaars.

Area names will be displayed on the journal map screen.
A player's current location will be displayed on the journal map screen.
A history of completed quests will be added.

Simply selecting an item will move that item to a retainer's inventory.
It will become possible to easily exchange gil with retainers from the new Currency tab.

Zoom-in and zoom-out functionality will be added to the map screen.
Scrolling on the map screen will be possible by dragging the mouse.
The log will remain visible while the map screen is open.
A map menu will be added in the upper right of the map screen.
The location of party members will be displayed on the map screen in real-time.

A Chat-specific Keyboard setting will be added for players using gamepads. When enabled, this setting allows text to be entered directly without first pressing the spacebar to open the chat prompt.
* Key mapping will not be possible while the Chat-specific Keyboard setting is enabled.
It will be possible to create new chat log tabs with unique filter settings from the Chat Filters screen. Tab display will be locked regardless of whether the log is active or inactive.
Chat filter options will be added for synthesis- and gathering-related messages.
Font colors for different chat modes will become selectable.

Chat Feature
The input bar of the chat log will be displayed continuously.
Pressing Ctrl+R will open a /tell prompt addressed to the last player from whom a /tell was received.
Pressing Ctrl+S, Ctrl+T, Ctrl+H, Ctrl+P, and Ctrl+L will open /say, /tell, /shout, /party, and /linkshell chat prompts, respectively.
The text commands /s/t (/t ), /p, and /l will be usable to set the chat mode to /say, /tell, /party, and /linkshell modes, respectively.

Text Commands
The  command will be usable to display coordinates on the map.
The /equip and /item commands will accommodate high-quality items (i.e., items with names containing a +1, +2, etc.).
Simultaneously equipping multiple items of the same name to multiple slots with the /equip command will become possible.

While engaging multiple enemies, a player's cursor will automatically move to the next target when the current target is defeated.
Players with no target who are attacked by an enemy will automatically target that enemy.
It will be possible to open treasure chests by targeting and selecting them, rather than via the Interactions menu.

See original source here.

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