Played for a few hours last night, not too seriously, just kinda goofing around and seeing what was different. Most of my UI nitpicks are held over from Dread Lords, not new problems in Dark Avatar.
Specifically, when the builds completed screen comes up at the end of each turn, (where it says "Factory completed on Earth, now building nothing"), after you go to a planet and select something for it to build, then go back to this screen, it does not update. It still says "now building nothing." Can be a pain when you have lots of panets and 15 things all finish at once, and you need to go to each planet and select a new build. Would be much easier if it updated after I select each new build.
I wish the selection highlight when you have a ship selected was more visible. Right now, I usually play zoomed out to the tactical level, so I can see what's going on more clearly. If there are a ton of ships, planets, and other things on the screen, it can be hard to tell which ship is selected, with that faint little blue circle around it. Sometimes autofocus doesn't center the ship exactly, and I'll find myslef scrolling way to the side, then hitting FIND just to get it to snapback and center on the ship so I can see which one is selected. Furthermore, the FIND button doesn't seem to center on the ship if you're scrolled off-center only slightly. So I have to scroll in one direction a good ways before the FIND button will center me. I must admit I spend a lot of time doing this trying to figure out which ship is selected.
Tooltips tooltips tooltips! Later versions of Dread Lords have added tons of new tooltips, but I want more! I feel like mousing over just about ANY number on ANY screen should give me a tooltip saying how that number is determined (esp. on the planet screen). I'm running an empire here; I need to know where these numbers come from!
Regarding research, the zoomable technology tree is probably the most obvious and helpful feature I've found in the new expansion. It solves like %90 of the problems I've had with the tech tree. I can't overemphasize how nice this feature is
My only problem now is that right clicking on a tech doesn't give me very much info at all. Sure it tells me what techs it will lead to, but I'm looking at the tech tree! I can see what techs it leads to already, I don't need that info when I right click. I want info like how much this tech costs. And if you're going to tell me what kind of buildings a tech lets you produce, then I need to be able to click on that to tell me what that building does. It's great to know that Fusion Factory Production lets me build fusion factories (or whatever), but what the heck does a fusion factory do? Right now it seems like I can only get building info AFTER I have the tech, then I can select it to build on the planet screen, and THERE it will tell me the effects of the building, cost, etc. I know it sounds like I'm asking for a Galactopedia, and I guess I kind of am
But it doesn't have to be that complicated; why not just a tooltip that po=s up when I hover over a building name that tells me the construction cost and the benefits that building brings.
In closing, can I just say that the addition of the ship graphics actually visibly orbiting the planet they are orbiting makes me irrationally happy
Thnaks for listening,
PS Is there any cheat or god mode in the beta? It seems like it would be very handy for bug spotting if we could choose to see exactly what the other civs were doing, building, etc.