Sep 142011
 

Update 11 changes the way Vitals (HP, SP, Ki) display and allows several display choices. By default, your character will still have a standalone single Vitals bar (Figure 1) showing his/her energy levels. But now the bar is fancier, framed, and includes a portrait of your character.

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Figure 1: Pretty! But does not
show PushToTalk

One downside to this display is that it does not change color when holding down Push To Talk.

Your party Vitals display is different now too, as you can see in figure 2. Note that your character does not show in the party display anymore, although we can change that.

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Figure 2: you are not
in the party
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Click for full-sized image
Figure 3: Settings page
Click for full-size image
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Figure 4: Portraitless
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Figure 5: Back in the party
Showing PushtoTalk too!
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You can customize your display using settings available in the Options window, under UI Settings as shown in figure 3. The highlighted settings are new to the window and control your Vitals bar displays.

When Show Vitals Bar Value is checked, the character HP, SP and Ki totals will appear in the Vitals bar as numbers.

When Show Vitals Bar Percentage Values is checked, the character HP, SP and Ki totals will appear in the Vitals bar as a percentage remaining. The display starts at 100% and goes down as your energy level drops.

Note that it is possible to have both Show Value and Show Percentage Value checked, and if so, the Vitals bars will show the current total and the current remaining percentage. But the string of characters was too long to completely display when I tried it. Also, I can’t imagine why anyone would get use out of having both enabled.

Show Portrait on Vitals bar controls whether or not your face appears with the Vitals bar. In figure 1 the value is checked and Knicker’s face displays. In figure 4, the setting is unchecked and no face appears.

Finally (and most importantly, IMHO), Show Large Vitals Bar toggles the visibility of your standalone bar. When this is unchecked, your individual Vitals bar goes way and instead appears in the party Vitals bars, as shown in figure 5, more closely mirroring the way the Vitals bars worked previously.

Note that when your Vitals are displaying with the party, your name DOES change color when you mash Push To Talk.

I really like the new UI because the Vitals bars are so much smaller, freeing up a lot of screen real estate. My girlfriend, on the other hand, plays a cleric and hates the new UI. It makes it very difficult for her to do her job effectively:

  • Smaller bars
  • Bars are spread across more of the screen making it harder to watch them all at once
  • Bars used to have thick border that provided contrast with the Vitals bar, new thin borders do not provide contrast
  • Selecting a character give the bar a white sheen that further obfuscates the current HP value

She became very frustrated trying to heal a group through Rainbow in the Dark*. It was a decent group going through an easy quest that we all know well, I think it is a bit ominous that she had so much difficulty under what should have been pretty ideal conditions.

* So frustrated that she is considering parking her clerics until the UI changes. This would be bad, most of her characters (and all of her favorites) are clerics.

Hopefully this is just a matter of getting used to the new form, because there are no changes coming anytime soon. I like the change and the increase I get in playing area visibility. I’ll just kind of keep quiet about that around the GF!

🙂 😀 🙂

  4 Responses to “How To: Managing your Vitals bars”

Comments (4)
  1. I’m not sure why anyone would need to see their own mugshot in their vitals bar all the time. Especially when it’s round and extends beyond the borders of the bar, making it “not fit so nice” – I have “dead air” between it and the chat window, unless I move it down so part of the portrait is obscured, covering the “current level” indicator. Besides, if I want to see me, all I’ve got to do is hit F1.
    😉

    And what possible reason was there for removing the “auto-attack” toggle button from the vitals bar? I had *just* found the thing. And don’t tell me “you can drag the ‘attack’ feat to the hotbar and toggle auto-attack by clicking it there” because that is a poor ‘solution’ to a problem that shouldn’t exist. For one thing I don’t *want* it to take up one of my hotbar slots for that. (OK, getting off of my soapbox…for now.)
    😉

  2. ty for this post, I had no idea we can change that

  3. It is indeed not nice for healing unless you turn the values off which is the one change I really like. Perhaps in the future there will be a “classic vitals display” checkbox in the UI settings.

  4. You can also try the info blue UI skin, it helps a bit with the transparency issue

What do you think?

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