Ok most beloved Supreme Commander, I'm going to give you honesty here because that gives me the best chance of getting anything changed and just being flattering benefits no one. I'm trusting you to be honest back and to not yell, scream, or call me names unless I really deserve it. IÔÇÖm going to start with the stuff I donÔÇÖt like because it takes longer. I have to explain why I donÔÇÖt like things because itÔÇÖs useless to just say ÔÇ£I donÔÇÖt like itÔÇØ. IÔÇÖll put the things I do like under the ones I don't. My intention is really not to insult anything, IÔÇÖm just expressing my opinions and youÔÇÖre free to ignore them. In fact IÔÇÖd rather be ignored than yelled at. I don't like the interface, I'm sorry, I know that's not what you wanted to hear from your fans. Here's why: The interface feels cartoon-ish. Too many bright colors, and the icons? I'm sorry, but yuck. I don't like the little pictures at all. I don't need pictures to tell me what I'm doing.
I figured the interface was something I wouldn't like just from the screenshots of it, but I reserved opinion for the demo. I was right, it feels silly and it takes away from the "serious" feeling I got from BC3k. I understand the need for simplicity to appeal to larger audience, but little pictures? On one side are the pictures of the ships and the missiles and if I want to see the status of those items individually I have to open little boxes next to them and those take up room. I much preferred the old colored text. The PTA readout on the interface is now one large readout as opposed to the separate smaller ones representing the charge of each individual turret. Now if this is because in these more futuristic ships all the PTA's draw power from one single source for their shots, that's fine with me, but if each cannon has it's own separate recharge time still I'd prefer a separate readout for each turret. Not only did it look ÔÇ£coolerÔÇØ, it was also much more informative when setting the PTA's to high power levels. I also understand there are many more then just three turrets on some of these ships now, but I stand by my belief that it would be better to have individual readouts. I also now have to move my mouse to see what my settings are! That's one of my biggest complaints about the interface in single player it's hard enough to find time to be fooling with trivial stuff, but when we hit multiplayer? Up against humans? Having your PTA's set too high for rapid fire could get you killed, having them to low could get you killed, and having to stop paying attention to the action to hover my mouse over the PTA readout to see the power setting? No thank you sir. I want my information at a glance and without having to stop paying attention to the important things. Sometimes a graphical interface isn't a good idea, in this case I believe that applies. Perhaps, if it's not an incredible amount of trouble, there could be an option for a more old style view. I would so love to be able to choose between the two. Keep it simple for the new guys, but give the vets something they're familiar with that is also more "at a glance" informative. I guess what it boils down to is that you've made the interface, in my most humble opinion, inferior to BC3kÔÇÖs. And less attractive. Big pretty colors, little pictures of everything, rounded corners. It doesn't look more advanced, or more "up to todayÔÇÖs standards" it just looks more childish and more geared toward letting the masses understand it than making it useful. Is it more intuitive? Not really. Is it more attractive? Not to me. Is it easier to learn? Probably so. But the sacrifice of the grit and feel of the game isn't worth making the interface a little easier for the masses to understand. Why am I spending so much time on the interface? Because it's taken something away from the game for me. I truly believe the all important feel of BattleCruiser has been lost with the bright colors, simplified readout, and icons. The cloaking effect is great, but when we cloak and decloak we lose the shadows on the ship, that takes away from the effect. I have been following you on VE and I have seen your, very credible, explanation for why jumping has been changed the way it has and I agree that some ships should be faster than others. But I have serious problems with not being able to jump to an object 600k away. It simply takes too long to get there. Downtime is not a good thing in a game, as much as I love BC3kÔÇÖs realism, I think you can justify jumps to anything more than 400k away and maybe less. Recharge times are fine, jump travel times are fine, but you yourself said that the areas are huge and not being able to jump 600k is just taking far far too long. A problem that plagues me in BC3k is now in BCM. Why does my engineer turn the power level on things down when we have plenty of power? I donÔÇÖt understand and I never really ask in BC3k so I may as well now. We have 60 energy units left and yet he has cut power to the engines in half. Even if we only have 10 energy units to spare I donÔÇÖt want my engine power cut! I donÔÇÖt think I understand this. The music is very good and I like it on itÔÇÖs own merits, but why am I getting slow guitar soloÔÇÖs during firefights? That takes the fight out of me, it actually makes me want to stop playing and just sit back and chill for a bit. I donÔÇÖt know if this will apply to all ships, or just to the ones in this demo, but the main gun no longer feels like a main gun to me. It just feels like several smaller guns firing together. I would much prefer a large, perhaps beam based, single shot with a longer reload time, at least on the larger ships. Maybe a more rapid fire pulse weapon on the smaller ones, but I really feel it should be no more than two beams at once to give the feel of a massive ÔÇ£main gunÔÇØ with only one or two barrels mounted on it. OK, thatÔÇÖs all my dislikes/complaints/observations. Now for what I do like The new models are fantastic! I love the shuttles and the fighters and the ships and the bases and everything is just awesome looking! The new turning speeds on the large ships are very cool! Beam weapons! Woot! The cloaking effect is awesome! The hyperspace effect is very cool. I was always under the impression the ship flew into the hole in space it created, but having the ship be enveloped into hyperspace before it even starts moving is a neat way to see it. Has the ability to jump been removed from the smaller ships? If so, I like it, if not thatÔÇÖs ok too, but I like the idea of it being gone. Could be a problem with fighters though, since it takes so long to prepare them to redeploy. I love the scale of things now, IÔÇÖm curious how planets will fit into the scale system. The model of you in space looks much better when you see it yourself than it does in the screenshots. I like. Wish I could shoot. I basically like everything youÔÇÖve done with the small exceptions listed at the top. CanÔÇÖt wait for the next demo! Edit: To remove a word I put in italics that I didn't mean to. [This message has been edited by Serrin (edited 03-18-2001).]