Tim “Raskolnikov” Lang has a new dev diary out today about the changes they are making to the character panel. I don’t know about you but I really enjoy Tim’s dev diaries. They seem to really include how they came to the conclusion that they did and all the plans (even ones that didn’t work).
The goal of the character panel revamp is really simplify the look so it didn’t look so busy and pretty daunting for new players. In the current character panel everything from equipment, to skills, to mounts and housing is all lumped together in one screen. I suppose that’s very handy if you know where everything is but pretty nuts if you’re trying to figure things out.
Tim shares some early mock-ups of their designs and why some worked and some didn’t.
We really liked the idea of being able to link players to specific Cosmetic Clothing. However, we were also acutely aware of players’ complaints about some of our Store offerings being too in-your-face. So we went through a few more revisions:
When the design was shown to players on Palantir they found that the largest was the removal of so many of the options that used to be there.
Players still wanted to be able to access all of the information from the Character panel they could access previously (ie; Reputation, Housing, The War, etc).
What they developed is currently available to see on Bullroarer so I hopped on to give you some views of my little burglar. All images can be seen larger if you click on them.
A much cleaner view in my opinion. Your character is the star with the stats on the side. You can expand to show all the stats.
The stats on the old Character panel were very daunting, and we knew we didn’t want to intimidate new players by immediately flooding them with information. We decided to only show the most relevant stats based on the player’s Class.
The big button in the lower right corner is called “Enhance Character” and is where links to store items are stored such as renaming your character, stat tomes, xp boosts, etc. Still easily accessible but not slapping you in the face at every turn.
On top there’s a tab for cosmetics which gives a similar large character view and easy to click big buttons to sort through your five (yes FIVE total) cosmetic outfit options.
There are now three additional Cosmetic Outfits available for purchase (the purchase is applied to your account, not per character). And the “Buy Cosmetic Clothing” button keeps the UI looking clean while giving players easier access to Cosmetic items they might be interested in.
A big thing missing that I’m sure many used the character panel for is our currency. This has been moved to the wallet. There is a button for this on the new character panel but the shortcut for this is the “B” key or click the Wallet icon on your mini-map (used to be for destiny points). This is also where your barter items are held.
My character on bullroarer doesn’t own a home and doesn’t have any hobbies but from the screenshot in the dev diary it looks like it’s all available from the character panel buttons at the bottom.
This is a pretty big change but overall I like them. I can just see them taking some time to get used to after using the old for so many years. I am happy that they are listening and trying to be more subtle but still helpful with links to the LOTRO Store. I am of course over the moon with happiness with the additional outfit slots we are getting!