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Default Skyrim - PC Interface Frustration @ GamaSutra

November 13th, 2011, 23:11
I've got about 5 hours into Skyrim now. I'm really at a loss as to why the UI is so hated. It isn't perfect and it's not at all pretty to look at, but functionally it works well for me and is quick to use. Took a bit of time for my eyes to get used to where they need to look, but it gets the job done.

That isn't to say I wouldn't have preferred a prettier interface… and one that looks less like a UI that you might see in a space or future-based rpg.

A couple of things admittedly make me biased. The fact that I have recently completed Gothic and I'm now in the last 25% of Gothic 2… i'm currently very comfortable using a keyboard-heavy UI.

Going even further back, I've been through the 80s and 90s where there was essntially no standardized controls or even ways to alter controls for PC games. And every PC game interfaced differently.

Perhaps these experiences provide me with more patience and open-mindedness over contemporary gamers.

Bottom line, the interface isn't pretty, and though the UI prefers to be controlled via keyboard, it gets the job done pretty well - especially after your eyes learn where they need to be looking.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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November 14th, 2011, 00:33
A great UI shouldn't be about filling up your screen with boxes, it should be seemless and quick. This is the right direction I think…I love how you can see detailed models of the items in your inventory as well. It doesn't feel like morrowind/oblivion with thousands of small pictures of things in yyour back pack…

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November 14th, 2011, 01:52
I definitely don't love the UI, but I can deal with it. Unlike the UI in witcher 2, it's not so bad that it significantly interferes with my enjoyment of the game. So I think it's reasonable to criticize it, but I can also see how a lot of people wouldn't care that much.
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November 14th, 2011, 02:08
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Well, I never need to read anything written by Eric Schwartz again. The interface certainly isn't perfect but that ridiculous hyperbole deserves ridicule.
This. Sounds like a wannabe critic bashing the glitches from a faulty crack.

Only bug I've run into reassigning the favorites button is that the menus still display "F" as being the favorites key, but it's functional.

Only complaint I have about the interface is that a morrowind style icon-browsing interface would be better suited to the use of a mouse than this list system(although I'd keep the favorites list too). But it's more of a "this is good but could've been excellent" complaint.
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November 14th, 2011, 02:15
Originally Posted by KapitanUnterhosen View Post
This. Wannabe critic bashing the glitches from a faulty crack.

Only interface bug I've run into after the zero-day patch is that despite the favorites key reassignment being functional, the menus still display "F" as being the favorites key.

Only complaint I have about the interface is that a morrowind style icon-browsing interface would be better suited to the use of a mouse than this list system(although I'd keep the favorites list too). But it's more of a "this is good but could've been excellent" complaint.
I am so glad the didn't go with the morrowind windows of death for UI…god I hated those.

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November 14th, 2011, 02:29
Originally Posted by KapitanUnterhosen View Post
This. Sounds like a wannabe critic bashing the glitches
He's from the Codex.
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November 14th, 2011, 02:53
Originally Posted by Grimlorn View Post
He's from the Codex.
Yeah his pic gave that away…it's not even a real article, more a hate peice.

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November 14th, 2011, 03:36
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
I meant from a purely technical view, Skyrim blows Gothic away. I don't mean graphically, that's to be expected, but this time they really seem to have pulled off the NPC schedules and banter. There is no nonsense talk between towns folk any more and they have actual conversations about the current state of the world. I'm not sure if that's all scripted, but even if it's party Radiant AI, that's pretty impressive.

The world is huge and less focussed than Gothic, and the setting is different. These things are mostly subjective. I think I like Gothic's setting better, too.
Well seeing as how Gothic was released more than 10 years ago, I would sincerely hope that Skyrim is superior from a technical view.

One thing I'm a tad disappointed with though is the soundtrack. Granted there's a lot I haven't heard yet, but it's a little too "Morrowindish" to me. Don't get me wrong, I loved that style in Morrowind, but I thought Skyrim would be a little more…unique?
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November 14th, 2011, 03:59
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
One thing I'm a tad disappointed with though is the soundtrack. Granted there's a lot I haven't heard yet, but it's a little too "Morrowindish" to me. Don't get me wrong, I loved that style in Morrowind, but I thought Skyrim would be a little more…unique?
It actually directly uses Morrowind tracks at times. Not even remixes, just straight Morrowind songs. What is new sounds pretty Morrowind-ish too, you're right. More drums though, which makes sense.
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November 14th, 2011, 04:17
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
It actually directly uses Morrowind tracks at times. Not even remixes, just straight Morrowind songs. What is new sounds pretty Morrowind-ish too, you're right. More drums though, which makes sense.
Yeah, I already knew about the Morrowind tracks from preview videos, so that wasn't a surprise or anything. I just expected more new sound material in general. It's not bad, I just wouldn't consider it one of Skyrim's stronger aspects.
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November 14th, 2011, 05:00
my main problem with the ui is that when I press the left button it uses my right hand and the right button does my left. I keep using the wrong hand and it's very hard to get used to. any way to switch that.
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November 14th, 2011, 05:33
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
my main problem with the ui is that when I press the left button it uses my right hand and the right button does my left. I keep using the wrong hand and it's very hard to get used to. any way to switch that.
Yeah, just rebind the keys. Welcome to 1985.
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November 14th, 2011, 06:54
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
Yeah, just rebind the keys. Welcome to 1985.
Thanks not sure how I missed that.
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November 14th, 2011, 11:13
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Well seeing as how Gothic was released more than 10 years ago, I would sincerely hope that Skyrim is superior from a technical view.
Yeah, that's my point. Technically it should awe me and it just doesn't. It's really cool and everything, but exploring the worlds in Gothic, Morrowind, etc. carried with it a lot more excitement somehow, probably because that style of open world gameplay was relatively new. There's only one first time for everything…
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November 14th, 2011, 11:43
Something in the graphics seem to be extremely hungry and cause my 3.9(oc)Ghz 480GTX(SLI) to be a bit jumpy. I may have to tweak.
-edit- Lol, it was the mousesmoothing… Now the game works fine!

Very early on I had experienced quite a few issues.
* During character creation the mouse or the keyboard stopped to respond. Sometimes I could no longer change a feature until I moved to another feature-category and then back again (to change nose width in Face I had to change to Body then back to Face then back to nose width).
* Once I skipped the "Character Menu" and assigned keys directly to each of Inventory/Map/Character/Spells made the game feel a lot more sense.

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Last edited by JemyM; November 14th, 2011 at 13:00.
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Default The MAP!!!!

November 14th, 2011, 15:05
So the UI is not completely great.
The inventory lighting up on mouse-hover - I hated that in W2 and still hate it here. Esc to close menus would be more in intuitive (why would I want to open the save menu when I'm in the middle of the inventory?) but you can get used to it, eventually.

But the MAP - yuk. Is all that cloud there so they don't have to put in something that looks like settlements/towns? Instead they have these obscure icon things.
I'd like to be able to put my custom marker anywhere not just on what they think I need to get to. Like my current quest for instance. (cf the compass has lots of the same icon for different quests how does that help?)
Dragging the map would seem to be a natural thing to have but no they have this (slow) scroll to the edge thing.
Update:
OK http://www.bethblog.com/index.php/20…pping-mapping/ that's me told so why can't I zoom into this detail?
Skills - navigation hell.

Nothing broken just frustrating.
Last edited by simonheffer; November 14th, 2011 at 16:02. Reason: more info
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November 14th, 2011, 15:17
I was lost in the interface at first but now I really like it. It is definitely set up for left hand on the keyboard and right hand driving the mouse without having to move the left hand much.
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November 14th, 2011, 18:57
Something in this key configuration I read here tells me that this game was mainly played by shooter players. Or at least by people who are used to play shooters.

All of these main keys I read about in this discussion are reachable with the left hand alone.

… WASD - Tab - F …

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November 14th, 2011, 20:05
Have to say, interface and controls are fine for me. Only been playing an hour or so, but as soon as I unticked the X360 controller in options it was all hunky dory (before then I had this strange X/Y axis disparity, but I guess that was attempting to use the mouse as a gamepad or something. Since unticking the movement is normal).
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November 14th, 2011, 22:04
* During character creation the mouse or the keyboard stopped to respond. Sometimes I could no longer change a feature until I moved to another feature-category and then back again (to change nose width in Face I had to change to Body then back to Face then back to nose width).
This happened for me too. It appears as if the 'list box' on the left side of the screen 'loses focus' when you use the mouse to rotate your character's face more than once! Note that this doesn't work when you rotate the face once, but if you rotate it twice, the list loses focus and does not function. This is a very curious bug.

* Once I skipped the "Character Menu" and assigned keys directly to each of Inventory/Map/Character/Spells made the game feel a lot more sense.
This doesn't work, because many keys like TAB or ENTER have functions that can not be mapped. ENTER annoys me the most. Because when a box appears, I can't click the close/confirm button!!! I have to confirm or close the box using ENTER, I should raise my right hand from the mouse, bring it to the middle of the keyboard and press ENTER. Very uncomfortable and annoying.

There are other problems as well. The mouse scrolls do not work anymore and you can't move while you are talking to someone (you can do this if you are using a gamepad).

I understand that some people aren't as frustrated with the UI as I am, but for me, this is the worst UI I have seen in a modern game. Suddenly I have the feeling that I have jumped back in time, it's 1990 and I am playing a poorly made DOS game.
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