Incorrect UI Graphics and Possible Fixes

General discussion regarding the Tau Empire beta.
ARCThunder
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Incorrect UI Graphics and Possible Fixes

Postby ARCThunder » 23 September 2016, 16:12

As a Tau player on the tabletop, I had to point out some issues with the UI and the icons, symbols, and images used for different abilities. Some icons seem chosen at random with little thought to their meaning, while others are patently wrong and depict something different than it should.

As an aside, I realize that this feedback may be a bit late, but this was the soonest I could complete this post. I hope it isn't repetitive to what people had posted before, and that it makes it to the right ears.

Warfare: Mont'ka and Kauyon
  • Mont'ka: the icon is the Vior'la sept.
  • Kauyon: the icon is the Tash'var sept.

Ordnance: Bombers and Fighters
  • Mantas: the icon is a picture of an actual Barracuda.
  • Barracudas: the icon is a picture of an Orca transport.
  • I have also heard that the Barracuda's in-game model may also be that of an Orca, but I haven't verified this myself.

Here is an edited screenshot to illustrate and highlight my issues:
Image

I have some suggestions to fix these issues, and I hope that none of them are too difficult to implement or out of place.

I'll say that the Ordnance is easiest to fix. Simply creating UI icons (and models? Again, I'm not sure they're incorrect) for the proper craft is fairly straight forward. An added gameplay feature (I'm certainly late for this), may be to have one of the upgrades for ships with ordnance to have an upgradeable Barracuda from the old model (presumably AX-5) to the new AX-5-2 model; I know some folks were complaining about the seeker missile upgrade to point defenses, maybe replacing it with the AX-5-2 Barracuda to allow the fighter screen to damage enemy ships means that only ships with Ordnance have the option for it. This way it has a cooldown and more limited uses?

Next are the warfare style images. This is a bit more difficult to fix. I recognize that the symbols chosen were a byproduct of what Relic did when creating Dawn of War: Dark Crusade; they used the same symbols for the Mont'ka and Kauyon Command Centers. The issue here is that both Mont'ka and Kauyon lack any official symbol or character in the tau language, so it isn't as easy as picking a caste or sept. And, they are fairly abstract concepts and don't lend themselves to creating a simple symbol like seeker missiles or micro-warp jumps. With this in mind, I have a few solutions.

First, as far a sept symbols go Vior'la representing Mont'ka is actually pretty sensible. Vior'la is regarded as one of the most aggressive and militaristic septs, and Commander Farsight—the ultimate champion of the Mont'ka style of warfare—comes from there. A good foil to this would be to simply use the T'au sept symbol for Kauyon. Commander Shadowsun is the counterpart to Farsight and is a master of the Kauyon style of war, and the soldiers from T'au are considered wise and experienced—thematically good traits to fit the "Patient Hunter" style. Despite older depictions, and popular belief, the T'au sept symbol is no longer the default one we see on the codex—that is exclusively the symbol for the Fire Caste. As of 6th edition, the symbol for T'au is this:
Image

Second, because both styles of warfare have concrete mechanics for the purposes of the game, we can actually create meaningful UI graphics to represent them. Mont'ka specifically states that the "extensive" use of battlesuits affects boarding values of the enemies. Conveniently, on the tabletop Mont'ka is generally represented by the use battlesuits as well. Specifically, the XV8. With this, we could create an icon that is simply an XV8 (or it's iconic head, whatever) to represent Mont'ka. Kauyon's mechanic, allows ships that have remained undetected the ability to fire more accurately. This gives us a few ideas to work with: images of targets, lock-ons, and stealthed ships all come to mind. Even using an image of one of the Tau's iconic railguns is a possibility.

Anyways, these were the things that stuck out to me. I know none of them are particularly crunchy, and have almost nothing to do with game mechanics, but I'm a big fan of the Tau and their lore (and frankly not terribly experienced with BFG:A to make judgment calls on mechanics). Again, I know this is a rather late post for this material, but I sincerely hope the developers see this and can make the appropriate changes if they haven't already been notified or done so already.

Tau'va, o7
—ARC

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