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#1 dr_AllCOM3

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 03:02 PM

I'm trying to optimize my nameplate design and this forum full of good players (or players who pretend to be) seems to be the best place for some feedback :).


The first thing you have to have in mind when talking about nameplates is the hitbox. It can't be changed in combat and represents the clickable area.
Here is a reference picture for the following suggestions:
Posted Image


My ideas so far:
Posted Image
1. Two thin bars for threat and health with the name between them on a dark background. Buffs and debuffs are attached on the sides.
2. One large bars for health and the name on top of it. The threat is a round icon that fills counterclockwise.
3. A square bar for health and the name on top of it. The shape of the bar (like a star or a triangle) can be changed to help differentiating targets. The threat is a round icon that fills counterclockwise.


I'll add my own comments later, I don't want to influence your opinions ;). It can be pretty much anything that fits in the hitbox.
Thank you very much!

#2 Viridiz

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 07:15 PM

What are you optimizing this for? Tanking? PvP?
Personally as a tank I just have the health bar with the name above, and use the colour of the health bar to indicate threat.

#3 f1reburn

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 07:23 PM

I like #1 and #3. The most important thing about custom nameplates for me is that they are small (and low CPU usage), so I can actually see the mob underneath and its actions.

I can see the use for a threat bar, but I think that space could be saved by threat coloring of the health bar or background. To make up for the information lost, there could be a higher variation of threat colors, say 5. I don't think health or threat numbers are necessary either. Ideally I'd have #3 with the suggestions given, but it would require play testing really see if it's viable.

#4 ttyl

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 10:10 PM

I'm very picky when it comes to information displayed. For nameplates:

- Name: on/off toggle (keybind-able? /command in a macro would work)
- HP %: Unnecessary most of the time. Just need to now when the HP bar is below/above a configurable % for executes, etc. Maybe a vertical line overlaid on the hp bar?
- Threat: 3 colors or resizing seems like enough info.
- Buff/Debuffs: Has some uses, I like.
- Elite icon and level: waste

#5 Asphyxialol

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 07:55 AM

Posted Image

The yellow bars can be cast bars or threat bars. They can be colored based on threat %, or a bar that fills. Alternatively you could make it a 2px border and do border colored threat.

#6 dr_AllCOM3

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 05:26 PM

What are you optimizing thing for? Tanking? PvP?

Everything. I can make different layouts for any given situation.


I think a threat colored healthbar and maybe a I-have/I-don't-have aggro glow is sufficient for PvE. A threatbar would be another element I'll have to find a place for and the space is very limited. You really don't need to know your exact threat value.
Buffs take a huge amount of space, but they can be very useful. I think I'll move them from the sides to the top, because the nameplate is already very wide.

#7 Agata

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 01:28 PM

First, I love your Addon until now, great job.
Second, I don't know the possibilities of coding nameplates and maybe I suggest impossible things.
Third, the wishes:

- [damagedealer/tanks] The hitbox is indeed a problem - if a boss is too big and the room ist to small for a good zoom, the nameplate isn't visible. This is the reason, why many use other tracking mods like Auracle, sfilter or filger. It would be great to reposition the nameplate to a relative position on screen still visible. If you include combo points it's also getting more important.

- [healer/raidleader] It would be nice to have an module for raid debuffs oder buffs. Like GridStatusRaidDebuff you can see important facts faster - you already have important debuffs like sheep, hex implemented. It would be nice if friendly nameplates just get active when one of these selected debuffs occurs. For multiple target raidhealer (chainheal, circle of healing), this would be just great. Who's got Divine Hymn or the or Proc? Then hide the friendly nameplate.

- [healer/raidleader] Otherwise, if a player gets damage - show the icon of the last source from which he took damage above his head.

- [damagedealer] On Halion you have to watch the animation of the Invocers or a focus target to interrupt their Flame Wave. It would be nice to see castbars on every registered mob - like the addon Overpower for arena.

- [damagedealer] If you don't implement the above - please don't stretch the nameplate in vertical direction, so the player can observe the spellcasts of the mobs. Horizontal is still ok (buffs/debuffs). Stretching your nameplates in height and having more than 5 enemies, it's just nameplates you see.

- The name is completely useless. Alright, if you are in a random group and have to teach to kill the Skirmisher guys first, you could also read the name in the tooltip. The name begins to be important in cities using your LFG option. Don't use a big font size for the name.

- [melee] As a melee you try to avoid standing in front of cleaving mobs and always stand at the back to avoid parries. Is there a possibility to mark the current target if you stand at the front/back? It is hard to recognize your position with a beehive of melees and npcs standing at one point. Maybe give the player itself a little nameplate (for example with the blizzard option to see your own name, but bigger and with debuffs, too)

Thank you for your interest and good luck.

#8 dr_AllCOM3

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 04:12 PM

Right now I'm experimenting with a single texture and the name. Having many elements and texture layers on the nameplate creates problems with overlapping. You just can't see anything anymore.
I'm trying to accomplish everything with just the size, shape and color.
Posted Image
The bigger part under the name extends with more aggro (it's at 100% aka alert in the picture).


1. - [damagedealer/tanks] The hitbox is indeed a problem - if a boss is too big and the room ist to small for a good zoom, the nameplate isn't visible.
2. - [healer/raidleader] It would be nice to have an module for raid debuffs oder buffs.
3. - [healer/raidleader] Otherwise, if a player gets damage - show the icon of the last source from which he took damage above his head.
4. - [damagedealer] On Halion you have to watch the animation of the Invocers or a focus target to interrupt their Flame Wave. It would be nice to see castbars on every registered mob - like the addon Overpower for arena.
5. - [damagedealer] If you don't implement the above - please don't stretch the nameplate in vertical direction, so the player can observe the spellcasts of the mobs. Horizontal is still ok (buffs/debuffs). Stretching your nameplates in height and having more than 5 enemies, it's just nameplates you see.
6. - The name is completely useless. Alright, if you are in a random group and have to teach to kill the Skirmisher guys first, you could also read the name in the tooltip. The name begins to be important in cities using your LFG option. Don't use a big font size for the name.
7. - [melee] As a melee you try to avoid standing in front of cleaving mobs and always stand at the back to avoid parries.

You can wish whatever you want :).

1. The nameplate position and size is fixed by Blizzard. The debug mode in my addon shows you the box that can't be modified (in combat). The only solution would be a fake nameplate for bosses somewhere on the screen :).
2. I kinda have that already, but ICC was trivial at that point and there was no interesting debuff in RS to display.
3. Interesting, but is it really neccessary?
4. That should kinda work and castbars for the arena are implemented, too.
5. I know. Large nameplates suck.
6. Sometimes it's useful, like when questing or generally when you're ooc. Maybe I can use an icon like the ones I have for healers already or I could give each kind of mob it's own nameplate shape (per combat).
7. I've never seen such a function to check if you're behind a unit. World of Warcraft API - WoWWiki - Your guide to the World of Warcraft

#9 Agata

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 04:25 PM

3. Interesting, but is it really neccessary?
6. Sometimes it's useful, like when questing or generally when you're ooc. Maybe I can use an icon like the ones I have for healers already or I could give each kind of mob it's own nameplate shape (per combat).
7. I've never seen such a function to check if you're behind a unit. World of Warcraft API - WoWWiki - Your guide to the World of Warcraft


3. No, you also can lookup death reports or whole logs AFTER the fight - but having such an indicator in GRID makes healers a lot more helpful "x dont trigger ghosts; y dont stand in the cleave, z you are getting a tail lash" - seeing it somewhere else and not on unitframes, damagedealers could profit from it, too.
6. That sounds very interesting and supports your idea of showing information just by shape.
7. Yes, I haven't ever seen anything like this before, but would make a melee's life much easier. Maybe this is a case for a fightlog parser addon who looks if you get parries/glancings/frontattacks or if a mob gains parryhaste through one of your attacks. It was mentionworth and the prettiest to have this information as a nameplate. Sorry for wasting time.

I like the transparency on the name of your picture so you can still see what is happening behind.

#10 Duilliath

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 09:46 PM

From what I can tell, 7. is just not possible and not even feasible in your added explanation. A huge number of bosses turn (as Feral, I run into them more than I'd like to, as Shred will point that out to you quite fast). Rotface, Festergut, Bloodqueen and even Saurfang all turn during the fight to name but a few examples. In your possible combatlog check, the parries would then show up even though the players are in actuality behind the Boss and it only just turned for a split second.

--

I can't say I'm fan of the expanding nameplate for Threat. Especially in trash situations that'll become real ugly real fast. If you do want to show it, just use a border around the nameplate itself or a threatbar similar to the various castbars.

I think the Mages in particular will be following your development closely, as I have seen quite some talk about trying to track Living Bomb through nameplates over in the Mage UI thread. They seemed to reach the conclusion that this was not viable/possible, though I can't remember why offhand. It might be worthwhile to read through the last couple of pages of that thread..
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#11 dr_AllCOM3

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 01:26 PM

Posted Image
This is what I'm testing right now. It's not polished in any way ;). The color indicates the threat.
A healthbar isn't really needed (an optional one is always possible). The name and the threat are more important things to display. A number is surprisingly lightweight and clear. I tried nameplates without names, but that doesn't work. It's hard to target the caster or healer that way.


I think the Mages in particular will be following your development closely, as I have seen quite some talk about trying to track Living Bomb through nameplates over in the Mage UI thread. They seemed to reach the conclusion that this was not viable/possible, though I can't remember why offhand. It might be worthwhile to read through the last couple of pages of that thread..

Living Bomb is like my diseases and the only practical way to track them is through the nameplates. That's the reason why I created this addon :D.

#12 ttyl

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 03:01 PM

The % sign seems wasteful. The level does also, but it mostly bugs my eyes because it's just floating.

I'm not convinced HP % on nameplates is necessary information most of the time. Although, I do like the simplicity of just a number. Hmm... Maybe only showing the tens digit (until below a configurable % for executes and burst knowledge) would accomplish the same thing easier? 100, 90, 80, ..., 25, 24, 23, 22, ..., 3, 2, 1. Even something like 100, 80, 50, 25, 15, 5 would accomplish the same thing most of the time, especially in PVE. I am trying to keep in mind the purpose of nameplates is target selection and reaction. Any information that doesn't contribute to that at all times is a waste and can be found in other places on the UI when needed.

I like the threat coloring for PVE (assuming it's chunks instead of gradated) and it's also easily replaced by class colors in PVP, which is the easiest/quickest information to react to.

I still think names are situational. Yeah, sometimes you need them. But that doesn't mean you should force yourself to ignore them when they aren't contributing. Perfect scenario for a keybind-able toggle.

(I feel like this might not be coming through in my posts so I'll just state it: I'm excited to contribute and absolutely mean no disrespect. I am just trying to encourage critical thinking.)

#13 dr_AllCOM3

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 04:56 PM

The % sign seems wasteful. The level does also, but it mostly bugs my eyes because it's just floating.

I've already removed the "%" sign. The level is automatically set. It shows up for attackable mobs when you're not in an instance.
Not showing the exact health number is a good idea, except for bosses.


Edit: I just raided ICC & RS with these nameplates and they're quite nice.
Posted Image
The target highlight will also be a range check.

#14 Bloodhawker

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 09:35 AM

1 - The hitbox is indeed a problem - if a boss is too big and the room ist to small for a good zoom, the nameplate isn't visible.

I think it would be possible to associate the vertical offset of the nameplate with the creature's name. E.g. Lich King, Lana'thel and Putricide shouldn't even be on the list, so that they use the standard position, but Festergut and Rotface should be listed as -50% (or whatever measurement you are using).

#15 dr_AllCOM3

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 12:03 PM

I think it would be possible to associate the vertical offset of the nameplate with the creature's name. E.g. Lich King, Lana'thel and Putricide shouldn't even be on the list, so that they use the standard position, but Festergut and Rotface should be listed as -50% (or whatever measurement you are using).


You can't offset the nameplate if it isn't visible.

I have fixed a lot of errors and a beta version should be available soon.

#16 zork

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 09:32 AM

Why would you add so much functionality to your nameplates if you could have your targetframe in the center of your screen?

It made sense back in the days where castbars were visible for every nameplate unit. But Blizzard removed that, so adding a castbar to the nameplate would give you dual castbars on nameplate and targetframe. Same goes for buffs and debuffs. Having double the information on screen is not what you may want to achieve.

What I would add to nameplates is based on the enviroment, thus different for PvE and PvP.

For PvP you want the class and role information, the life and the mana values and maybe a name.
For PvE you want the threat status aswell as the name of the mob and the life value.

I'm not even sure if it's necessary to see the actual mana value. I think just displaying it visually is enough.

My recommendation for PvP would be to display a name aswell as a selfmade class icon that indicates the role aswell. Next to that would be the life value in ShortVal-format. No percentage but the life value will change it's color based on health percentage. Everything above 75% could be green, yellow until 25% and from that on red or sth. like that. Under the life value I would display a small power statusbar show the power value as a thin textured statusbar.

PvP examples:
Posted Image Posted Image
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#17 p3lim

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 10:42 AM

Good concept rothar, though having casting bars for every unit is a very nice thing to have.
I'd like to see an interface based solely around nameplates, limiting and/or replacing the whole target frame if possible.

#18 Duilliath

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 12:49 PM

My recommendation for PvP would be to display a name aswell as a selfmade class icon that indicates the role aswell. Next to that would be the life value in ShortVal-format. No percentage but the life value will change it's color based on health percentage. Everything above 75% could be green, yellow until 25% and from that on red or sth. like that. Under the life value I would display a small power statusbar show the power value as a thin textured statusbar.


20% change then as that's when a number of special abilities kick in. Then again, you could easily go with 4 colours (yellow from 75-50, orange from 50-20).
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#19 dr_AllCOM3

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 12:23 PM

Why would you add so much functionality to your nameplates if you could have your targetframe in the center of your screen?
[...]
What I would add to nameplates is based on the enviroment, thus different for PvE and PvP.

For PvP you want the class and role information, the life and the mana values and maybe a name.
For PvE you want the threat status aswell as the name of the mob and the life value.

I'm not even sure if it's necessary to see the actual mana value. I think just displaying it visually is enough.

My recommendation for PvP would be to display a name aswell as a selfmade class icon that indicates the role aswell. Next to that would be the life value in ShortVal-format. No percentage but the life value will change it's color based on health percentage. Everything above 75% could be green, yellow until 25% and from that on red or sth. like that. Under the life value I would display a small power statusbar show the power value as a thin textured statusbar.

It would'nt make sense to exclude the target nameplate.
A simple percent number as the mana value should be enough, I reserve statusbars for important information.
I already have role icons I could use. Is there an easy way to find out the role? I'd also like to be able to detect tanks for PvE.
Right now the health color is based on the team, but I can make it be everything else.
How do you make that nice thin outline?


Good concept rothar, though having casting bars for every unit is a very nice thing to have.
I'd like to see an interface based solely around nameplates, limiting and/or replacing the whole target frame if possible.

Me too, but it's not very useful. You don't always see the nameplate of your target. It could be too far away or off your screen (bosses). I could make a fake target nameplate, but it would jump around a lot.


My PvP nameplates look like this:
Posted Image

#20 sp00n

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 10:06 PM

I'd also like to be able to detect tanks for PvE.

What about Blizzard's main tank list?

Specifically, this is one of the major features I'd like to see when I'm tanking: to be able to see which (trash) mob is NOT being tanked by one of us tanks. Havinge an indicator that you hold aggro is nice and all, but it isn't perferct if one of those 5 mobs that you're currently not tanking is happily slashing away a melee.

I've installed the beta version of Threat Plates which seems to offer a target indicator, but haven't been able to test it yet.


Overall, as a DPS I don't have much desire for functionality on name plates. My main concern is that they should be good looking, the rest is done via my target frame. As a tank however, what I expect of name plates is the following:

  • aggro indicator to see if I'm holding aggro
  • extended aggro indicator to see if any of my fellow tanks is holding aggro instead
  • clear indicator which mob is currently targeted
  • very visible but not too clumsy design for ease of targeting

Now Threat Plates seems to offer a lot of these requirements, but not 100% in way I'd like it to and not everything as customizable as I'd wish. I find it especially hard to target the correct mob within the crowd more often than not.

Your addon looks interesting, I might give it a shot, there are some examples of rather minimalistic design approaches.
Can you provide screenshots of how they'd look in a raid situation?

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