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  #1  
Old 10-07-2008, 12:16 PM
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Soresha Soresha is offline
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Default MiniCards Diplomacy UI Mod


MiniCards Diplomacy UI Mod
(beta v0.1)


I have created a new diplomacy UI mod called "MiniCards". (Yes I know, the name isn't much more inspirational than "InfoMap" is it?) There is an initial beta version available for people to try out if they are interested. I would appreciate some feedback on this mod, particularly from high level diplomats, since I've only started diplomacy fairly recently myself.

I had two main objectives when making this mod:

1) To shrink the strategy window whilst still maintaining the look and feel of playing cards (as opposed to the minimal, more abstract list format available in CoreUI3 for example). Therefore the parley cards have been reduced to two-thirds their original size, whilst the font size of the numbers is the same. The appearance of the cards is close to that in the default UI, but some changes were necessary to fit everything on. The smaller cards mean less mouse movement is required during parleys to select the next card to play.

2) To focus the UI interaction for diplomacy cards around the strategy window instead of going through the abilities window. A free-floating button gives direct access to open (and close) the strategy window. This makes it very quick to check your deck before starting a parley. Then if you wish to change any cards, there is a button to open a card library above the strategy window. The library shows 30 cards on each page, in the same minature card format. It behaves just like the diplomacy tab in the abilities window, you simply drag the cards to the slots in the strategy window.

Other features are:

3) During parleys the Listen, Farewell and Complete buttons are duplicated on the strategy window. Placing all the controls required for parleys on one window again reduces the amount of mouse movement required and increases ease of use.

4) The strategy window can also be closed by right-clicking on the window handle (the stack of cards symbol on the left-hand side).

Something to note is that since the cards are smaller, the areas available to respond to drag and drop actions is also smaller. I recommend using the rectangular area with the picture and card name as the grabbing point when picking up cards, and likewise aim for this area when dropping cards into the strategy window.


Strategy window during a parley:



Strategy window with library window open:



Installation

You can download the beta version from here:
www.soresha.net/minicards/MiniCards_v0.1.zip

This is not a full UI mod, it is a collection of replacement files that can be added into the UI. As such some simple editing of the index files is required. The directory you choose to put the files into will vary depending on what existing UI mod you are using.

1) In index.xml, add 4 new files: DMCParleyCardStrat.xml, DMCParleyCardLib.xml, DMCLibraryPage.xml and DMCParleyStrategy.xml.

2) Also in index.xml, comment out the old strategy window, e.g. VGUIParleyStrategy.xml (Default UI) or CoreParleyStrategy.xml (CoreUI3).

3) In skininfo.xml, add the file DMCParts.xml.

4) Place the texture file DMCParts.tga in the same directory as the DMCParts.xml file.


Ultimately I made this mod for my own use, and there may well be elements of personal preference within it's design. However it may be of use to other players too, so let me know what you think. Techywarrior has also expressed an interest, so if enough people are interested it may be possible to add this as an option within CoreUI3 (which would avoid the need for manually editing the index files).

Soresha
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:15 PM
techywarrior techywarrior is offline
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Soresha,

Granted I am not a diplo by any stretch of the imagination but I have done it a few times before and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was going on in the parley window. You didn't post a screenshot of that portion so I couldn't tell if something simply didn't load or if you haven't designed that part yet.... or maybe I am just clueless as to how diplomacy is supposed to work.

So, from a basicly diplo noob perspective, uhm... I am lost

The influence on the cards seems to be off center (the numbers in the colored oval. ie 3-3). They seem to be shifted a little to the left.

Edit: Ok, I know why it made so little sense. You are using some of the default textures and they aren't loaded by CoreUI by default. So if you have CoreUI and you are testing/using the minicards mod make sure that you uncomment the line:
<AnimationDefinition filename="VgrdDiplomacy.xml" />

in the skinInfo.xml file.

Techywarrior

Last edited by techywarrior : 10-07-2008 at 10:01 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2008, 01:50 AM
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Soresha Soresha is offline
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Well don't worry, I was a diplo noob until recently too.

I didn't post pics of the parley window itself, because it's not changed by this mod. The normal Speak, Listen and Farewell buttons are still on the parley and dialogue windows, but they're now duplicated on the strategy window as well.

I might tweak the parley window at some point, but I generally find it ok to look at, whereas the default controls used to play the parleys drove me to create a mod.

Not sure why the influence doesn't look centered, it's centered to me. Although the seal is an irregular shape so it might be an effect from that?

And yes, I only made the textures that were necessary. Previously I had put the default strategy window back into Core (can that be made an option in the Customizer?), though I'm not sure how Core will work without the VgrdDiplomacy.xml file, since everything for the parley window is in there too?
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Old 10-08-2008, 05:41 AM
eugam eugam is offline
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Probably i am the only, but perosnaly i need to see the faces of the characters on the cards in the ability book/library.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:40 AM
techywarrior techywarrior is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soresha
And yes, I only made the textures that were necessary. Previously I had put the default strategy window back into Core (can that be made an option in the Customizer?), though I'm not sure how Core will work without the VgrdDiplomacy.xml file, since everything for the parley window is in there too?
I never tried diplomacy using the Core minimilist diplomacy setup but I would imagine someone would have mentioned if it was missing textures. I am adding the option for MiniCards and the game Default diplomacy styles to Core Customizer so people have more options.

My goal with Core Customizer is to allow people to have all kinds of options so that you can just click on a few buttons and have Core look the way you want without the need to know how to modify the XML.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soresha
Not sure why the influence doesn't look centered, it's centered to me. Although the seal is an irregular shape so it might be an effect from that?
I maybe should have been more specific. The influence when I play the card (when it is in the parley window) is not centered. If you haven't modified this part at all then maybe it is off center in the default as well. I haven't done diplomacy since.... oh... the first week of release but I swear influence didn't use to have a range. Maybe when they changed that it made it slightly off center.

(and don't anyone say that SOE wouldn't have made a UI change that didn't look correct. Has anyone noticed the really bad edge transparency on the new "loot"/"no loot" icons? OMG )

Last edited by techywarrior : 10-08-2008 at 07:55 AM.
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2008, 08:11 AM
Tanadas Tanadas is offline
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Would it be possible to change the strategy window to fit 10 cards in 1 row?

Just a question not really a request
But if you say, its not possible, i wont even bother with it.

Thanks
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:34 AM
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Soresha Soresha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanadas
Would it be possible to change the strategy window to fit 10 cards in 1 row?

Just a question not really a request
But if you say, its not possible, i wont even bother with it.

Thanks
The strategy window goes up to 16 cards when you're a level 45 diplomat, hence it's displayed as 2 rows of 8 (same as the default UI). However since I'm only a level 15 diplomat, what you see in the pics is the number of slots I have atm.

It is possible to recode the slots in any layout you want, but 2 rows of 8 is probably the best configuration anyway.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:43 PM
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Soresha Soresha is offline
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From feedback so far, I've got some adjustments to make.

- option to hide the free-floating button, for alts that don't do diplo.
- fix the library so it always closes when you close the strategy window (silly oversight that one).
- look into showing more of the card details when a card is disabled, refresh timer range was requested.

I'm also considering making the library a separate window (would need a handle adding like the strategy window has), rather than having it attached to the top of the strategy window. Feedback on this please... my personal preference was to attach it, but a guildmate wanted to put the library underneath the strategy window. Detaching it would mean people can arrange it wherever they want I guess.
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Old 10-11-2008, 05:02 AM
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Soresha Soresha is offline
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New version available... v0.2 (beta)
http://www.soresha.net/minicards/MiniCards_v0.2.zip

Added a little button on the strategy window to toggle the free-floating button, for alts not doing diplomacy. (Strategy window can still be accessed from the normal abilities window.)

Library window has been made into a separate window. Has a handle to move it easily, and right-clicking on the handle will also close the library window.

Fixed the problem with the library not closing when the strategy window is closed.





I rechecked the disabled components during a parley, but haven't made any changes to that.

Unless anyone has further feedback to offer, this will probably turn into v1.0 and be released properly some time soon.
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:57 AM
Shyressa Shyressa is offline
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Are you still working on this? And would there be a way to just use the images for the cards themselves in say Sarrene's DarkScrolls UI?? She has mini cards as well but I find it a tad on the confusing side at times cause some cards have varying influence but with her cards you only see the first number, ie a card has 1-3 influence, all you see on the card is 1. I know its a bit nitpicky lol.
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