[Dev] Sorting Inventory

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[Dev] Sorting Inventory
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By Kalila 2013-09-03 20:15:56
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08-30-2013 12:30 PM
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Camate
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Greetings,

Having item sort features for your inventory is definitely an important convenience, and to start out the development team is currently working on a feature that will allow you to sort items by item level. This feature is slated for implementation during patch 2.1.



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By Kalila 2013-09-03 20:38:20
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08-31-2013 12:20 PM
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Hiroshi Minagawa
Dev Team

Hello! UI lead, Hiroshi Minagawa here.
I’d like to follow-up on the post made by the community team the other day about the sort feature.

This is going to be quite the long post, but I’d like to take the time to talk in detail about the sort feature.

  • Two item sort commands that will be implemented

    There are two types of item sort features that we are working on implementing during patch 2.1.

    • The very simple and easy to use “Sort” feature.
    • A sort that can be used with a text command to organize your inventory more freely and specifically.

    We are in the process of readying the above two sort features to be implemented in patch 2.1. These features can be used to the below three windows:
    • Inventory
    • Armoury Chest
    • Retainer Inventory

  • Progress status

    Below is an image of the sort feature. (Apologies it is in Japanese.)


    This image was taken in the dev. environment this past Tuesday, and as you can see the sort feature is working nicely for the inventory.

    As I am sure you all can see, this is not only a sort by item level feature.

    With this feature, it’s possible to arrange all 100 spaces of your inventory at the same time, and it will arrange your gear in the below order. The portion in brackets is what you can indicate.

    1. Stacks numbers (Possible to select high to low, low to high)
    2. HQ/NQ
    3. Gear with and without materia (only equipment)
    4. Spiritbond (equipment only, high to low in order of percentage)
    5. Standard list order: organizes items with the same name
    6. Item level (equipment only, possible to select high to low or low to high)
    7. Equipment level (equipment only, possible to select high to low or low to high)
    8. Item category (possible to select high to low or low to high)
    9. Fill in empty spaces or divide major categories by tab

    With the above processes, I think this should give a sufficient sort result for 70-80% of players. (It’s possible to change the order setting for each of the above items.)
    *Please note that this is still in-development, there is a chance that parameters and ordering process change!

    Also, by looking at the above image, you can see that multiple stacks of similar items will not be combined. (This can be seen with the yellow potions in tab 2.)

    I apologize, but currently this will be difficult to address in patch 2.1, but this is something we plan to address. The reason why this will take longer is a somewhat complex story, so I’ve written it out at the end of this post separately. If you’re interested, by all means have a read.

  • Text command sort feature

    *From here on out the explanation might get a bit difficult to understand if FFXIV: ARR is your first MMO, so feel free to skip over this if you like. This is mainly for people who know about the item sort add-ons for other MMOs.

    The text command feature was built to fulfill the needs of high-level players that the above sort feature cannot satisfy.

    The sort feature is something that is extremely easy to understand and simple, but the text command feature allows a very degree of ordering freedom with sort keys for various parameters.
    *We plan on making a GUI for this in the future.

    If you’re familiar with the auto-filter and sort feature of Microsoft Excel, I think this should sound familiar, but we’ve prepared text commands to order individual parameters, and by sorting multiple times for different parameters you can achieve your desired objective.

    Combining this with macros, it’s possible to arrange multiple parameters at the same time, and you can build extremely specialized sort requirements.

    We are planning to take the internal processes for the sort feature that will be implemented in patch 2.1 and turn them into text commands for parameter arrangement. Following this, we will be expanding this feature by increasing the amount of text commands so it can have a variety of applications.

    We are also planning for these features to be used with user created add-ons and have built out the specs accordingly, and they will be implemented as a client-side process to avoid placing stress on the game servers.

  • Combining stack items

    At the current point in time, the sort feature will not address combining stacks of similar items. As I mentioned briefly in the text command portion above, the arrangement process will be something that takes place on the client-side, which is displayed for the player.

    If we were to implement a stack combining process only on the client-side, and you had the maximum amount of slots filled (server-side limitation), disparities would arise between what you see as remaining for space and what is actually there server-side. Due to this, we need to have this process take place on the server-side. As such, this cannot be accomplished with UI implementation only.

    Once the servers have become stable we will be addressing this, but we appreciate your patience in the meantime.

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By Ragnarok.Titox 2013-09-03 21:03:58
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+ All the Kalila's post!!! and Thanks again! <3
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By Kalila 2013-09-03 21:04:23
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09-03-2013 01:23 PM
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Hiroshi Minagawa
Dev Team

Item Name Display Modes

Why is it that the items in your inventory are only displayed as an icon?

There are two main reasons why we've made it so items in your inventory are displayed as an icon.
  • We want to maximize the display without taking up too much of the screen.

  • For ARR, displaying an icon uses way less memory than displaying a name.


Due to these reasons, we've adopted an icon display method for certain item display windows. We have a text-based method on our task list, but the timing for this is currently undecided.

For those of you who can't agree with this decision based only on this short explanation, please read the below in-depth explanation!

There are a lot of times where you'll have your inventory, or armoury chest, windows open along with shop windows as well as your character, trade, and other windows.

When running the game at the minimal resolution of 1280x720, even if we were to change the item icons to text and make it as small as possible, the text lines would still take up a large column width.

With a small icon on the left, the text of the item name, and additional information such as number of items in the stack, the window width would have to be 1.5x larger than the current inventory window.

In the case of the gear set confirmation window, looking at the Japanese version, there appears to be some room that can be eliminated from the right-side, but the reason for this is because the item names for French and German are extremely long.

*By the way, the longest item name in the game is over 60 characters long.

While there were comments mentioning that if the item name is too long, we can have an ellipsis to truncate it, but for other languages the end of a word often shows the grade or special characteristic and if we truncated it this would result in it looking like a list of the same item names.

Additionally, the larger issue at hand is the latter one involving memory. When it comes to UI, the bitmap images are used for both icons and text that are loaded by memory, but the number of elements to display a single item are far less when using an icon than using a string of text.

Unlike a typical offline RPG, it's necessary to have the proper structure to allow for multiple windows to be displayed at any given time or place in an MMO. If memory management and image asset management isn't set tighter than an offline RPG, it will become laggy and not function properly.

The amount of resources that can be utilized for game designs where they can avoid menus during battle screens and such is very different.

*For those of you who are interested, please try an press the b, c, p, j, m, i, u, y, h, and k keys in succession on the PC version to open up multiple windows. There will gradually be stress placed on the system, but there almost no RPGs that exist that are designed to allow you to play the game with windows displayed like this. Being able to do this – for example, when fighting a primal – is a special characteristic of an MMO.

Taking a holistic approach to the circumstances and limitations here, we made the decision that it would be best to display items in inventory and Armoury Chest with icons. With that said though, while it will be difficult to do for the PS3 version, it is possible to have a separate option for text display in the PC version.

If only 10 icons are displayed with text, then we could separate the tabs into categories and it just might be possible to do this for the PS3 as well.

Currently, we are in the midst of stress testing the final large component of the UI that is constantly displayed on the screen – the alliance display. Once we've finalized this we can start taking a look at display variations and customization for existing features, but until then I apologize for any inconveniences and appreciate your understanding.
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