Haven't seen any specific suggestions re UI changes, so thought I'd kick things off with some thoughts re the galaxy map.Let me see the info I need
One thing I love about AI War is how it makes taking a planet a true strategic decision. It's not just 'expand everywhere' - the player actually needs to evaluate cost/benefit when deciding where to go next.
Unfortunately, the current galaxy map does not make this delicious decision-making process easy.
Currently mousing over a target planet presents a high level overview of the planet's 'contents' (assuming you have scouting). The problem is that I often want to know what each of those ships/structures does eg what does a 'Backup' do?
To find out I need to click through to the planet screen and:
(a) hover over the unit in the unit list (best case), OR
(b) mouse over most of the units in the unit list until I find the one I want (typical case), OR
(c) scroll around the entire planet area dutifully hovering over every unit in the hope I find the right one (worst case, when you have no units on a previously scouted planet).Why can't I just do this from the galaxy map?
Which brings me to my main suggestion. Rather than have a left-click take the user to the planet screen, instead have it pop-up some sort of contextual planetary overview (displayed/expanded around the planet itself, rather than in the corner of the screen). Initially it would give core information (unit counts of different 'types', key structures, etc) but hovering over various elements would display further tooltips (eg hovering over a particular structure like you would on the planet screen). Double left-clicking (or a single click in the centre of the popped up overview) would take the user to the planet screen.
I'm sure the existing galaxy map could be made both 'prettier' and offer the user more information at their finger tips. Not the greatest of examples, but I'm thinking along the lines of Endless Space:
or Stellaris:Finding and moving units
The galaxy map should also serve a strategic purpose in identifying where key units are and moving them to where they need to go. If I have an incoming wave to planet 'X' and I need all my fighters to converge on that planet ASAP, it should be a relatively straightforward task to do this from the galaxy map.
The broad search option sort of achieves this, though it would be better if hitting the broad search keybind automatically gave keyboard focus to the search field and, as you type and search results were presented, you could quickly tap the up arrow a couple of times to select the desired result. Ideally the planets where the units are located would stand out a bit more ie big icons with a count number in them.
The actual selection and movement of the located units is the tricky part. I don't believe there's any option currently other than going to the planet screen, selecting the units, then ordering them via the galaxy map...for every planet which has those units present. It may be technically challenging, but simply clicking on the aforementioned icons on the galaxy map (and perhaps being prompted for 'just this planet' or 'all planets this ship type is on' and right clicking the destination planet would be...well...it'd be fantastic! The P1 - P9 'tags'
Could these be customisable? As much as I've read recommendations on how to use these (eg P9 for ARS, P1 for Danger!, etc), I think allowing a two or three letter custom tag would be far more intuitive and flexible. I don't recall right-clicking one of these buttons doing anything - perhaps that could pop out an edit window where such things could be customised?Galaxy Map Layout
Custom galaxy layouts were an awesome addition. Is it possible to set the game to auto-load them when loading a saved game?
A bit of a jumble of ideas, but just throwing them out there for consideration. Be keen to hear everyone else's thoughts!