Client Addons (CSM)
All this data is potentially out of date, and should be taken with a truckload of salt
- Raised by: mazzilliu
- Submission Date: 2009/06/21
- Issue ID: TBA
Summary of the Problem
EVE-Online is infamous for its difficult UI, and a large percentage of the complaints about the game are related to the UI's being sluggish, or counter intuitive, or eyestrain-inducing. The vast majority of the complaints are not currently heeded, for various reasons. Any actual UI changes that are implemented are always met with both opposition and support from different players.
Niche populations such as the handicapped, colorblind, and those with poor vision have specific needs that are generally never catered to, simply due to the fact that the rest of the population has to use the same UI as well.
There is also no current protection of the client from "illegal" client modifications such as punkbuster or gameguard. while allowing macros is not an issue this proposal is trying to touch, passing this proposal would definitely serve to decrease the gap between people following the EULA and those who aren't, when they use technically illegal client modifications to make their gameplay experience more enjoyable or profitable.(examples can be found all over the internet on shady sites, and other examples come with your keyboard hardware if it has macros)
The Proposed Solution
CCP should create a way for players to create addons for the game interface. It would end a lot of debate over specific UI issues and it would give players the tools to solve their own problems.
Here are some specifics I imagine CCP would likely use to implement the feature, with the disclaimer that i have nothing more then casual programming experience:
- CCP could create a scripting environment for players to create their own UIs from a list of approved functions they can use.
- The sources of information players can use will be limited as well as the functions they can use to perform actions. How limited should be a point of debate- players should be able to have the tools to sort by their items' meta level, but whether they can use the same tools to create a UI that warns when someone comes into local- there must be a line.
- security must be a top priority. All the tools must be checked to prevent misuse against the user of the player created UI. The actual scripts themselves must be open source for anybody to read. And(this may be a bit overboard, so let's debate that too), UI scripts can only be submitted by accounts who have paid with a real credit card, to deter more casual hackers in countries with laws that don't like that sort of thing.
- The method of sharing UIs should be through the EVE client or website, NOT through third party websites. additional features like being able to see how many times the mod was downloaded and how highly rated it is would be good, as well as player comments. That would increase usability and also safety as users can see if others have had problems with the script, and the download source is always known safe.
List of Pros and Cons
- "every" UI complaint gets solved, without additional work from CCP. everyone gets their wish.
- "bad interface" no longer is a common complaint repelling newbies from EVE
- an especially good player interface could be adopted by CCP and be made the default
- drastically increased ease of usage
- Technical issues- can it be made secure enough? will it work? how will it be maintained when new things come out?
- Balancing issues- how much functionality is acceptable? one button -> 3 actions perhaps. but one button -> entire mining operation, probably needs to be debated more.
- Equality issues- some people just want every UI to be the same, or dont want to be disadvantaged if they use a different UI or dont want to bother with it all
- This feature will probably create a lot of work in the short term for CCP, and it will have to be maintained through future patches and feature additions. despite resolving all UI issues on the player end I think this will cause a net increase in the work done on CCP's part, as the work being done is programming and not recoloring buttons.