Without resupply, I think the mortars would have sucked – they’re going to be imprecise, which means you should expect to fire a bunch of rounds to hit even a stationery target. But with resupply, I can see a few more people loading inf up on to trucks. Two mortars and an LMG riding a truck are going to make a nice little offensive or defensive group. Those guys who pull ATGs and AAAs out with their second account are going to have a field day.
Gophur tried to slip it into this Friday’s production notes quietly:
Trucks and pullers can now act as resupply points for infantry and vehicles in the game. When you are in range of a resupply point you will begin to be resupplied as long as you are not moving or firing your weapon. Vehicles will get one round and or magazine for each of their weapons per resupply action. Infantry will get resupplied in a similar fashion.
Resupply points can also be established by despawning a vehicle and having it be left in the world as an MSP.
We also touched on some discussion of UI feedback on things – I was talking about how it annoys me that Mobile Spawns get chat-spam feedback (“You are now in range, blah blah”).
Well Ramp, of neccessity, had to clean up the ammo displays in the HUD. And for resupply he put a new icon into the HUD over the healthbar/etc, which shows you when you are in range of a resupply vehicle (its currently the mobile spawn icon from the mission lists), it blinks to show you when you are being resupplied.
While we were discussing that, I asked him if it might be possible to put some other icons on there and instead of icons, use buttons – or something that is clearly something the mouse can interact with, specifically “deploy weapon” (lmg, mortar), “fit grenade cup”, “reload weapon”, “resupply”, “deploy mobile spawn”.
Now clicking on these buttons isn’t the best way to manipulate them – but that’s not the point. If they look like buttons, you’ll know you can mouse-over them. Doing so should tell you what the hot key is to perform the action.
But most importantly – it would tell you that the action is there to be performed – and a lot of people find it very hard to work out how to use the advanced weapons like the ATR and the RifleGrenade. Stuff like deploying a truck – I mean who the hell would think of that?
Ramp’s counter was that if they don’t know how to do stuff like that, they probably won’t know how to use the mouse while spawned (you have to press alt).
I don’t think its an even trade. I think you should tell people how to get to the mouse the first time they spawn – a little one-time dialog that says “Press the ALT key to use the mouse, or M to bring up the Map interface”. There – you’ve solved a whole bunch of newbie issues, and now you can safely put clickable things on screen in the knowledge that newbies know how to access the mouse.
Stuff that has so far been obfuscated can now be introduced via icons. Obviously, you don’t go overboard — several of the functions I described above correspond to a single icon position.
Ramp’s actually built a nice little “guided tour” system for giving you introductory help to each UI screen — it means a lot of localized content generation tho, and I don’t know where he got to with it.