Please improve the parts-buying interface.
Repairing damaged ship modules is an important part of the game. Buying replacement components is an important part of that. The current interface for doing that is just … well let’s say, sub-optimal.
If you lot had infinite time, it would be fun to replace the current screen-based interface with a real “parts counter” – like what you find today at the back of an auto parts store? – staffed by a crusty NPC willing to dicker. Via your PDA you might have an interchange like,
Whatta ya need?
I got one. 45 credits. Take it?
Don’t have one. Got a Xenon Shp1-2, almost as good. 35cr.
I’ll go 30cr.
Anything else for that tub?
Failing a complete re-do along such lines, please please please! improve the existing UI in the following areas.
(1) when I buy a component, DO NOT!! reset the list to the top! I already clicked down-arrow 10, 15 or more times, to get to a component I want to buy. I KNOW there are no components I need higher in the list. But when I click “BUY”, you reset the list to the top! That makes me scroll 10, 15, or more times past the same components I already know I don’t want, to find another I do. Very annoying!
(2) Sort the list of available parts! What store in the 'verse displays its wares in random sequence? Whether you sort by type number (HN-4, CM-9 etc) or by slot type, get some organization to this display. I should not have to scroll the entire list in order to learn that this station does not have a certain part.
(3) Regarding “my stuff”, the components in my engineering inventory, please tell the same story wherever a part is displayed. If I am in my Engineering screen, and click an inventory item, I see its efficiency. Perhaps an item there is at 50% or less – I removed it and want to replace it. But when I go to the parts buying terminal in the station, and click on the same component in “my stuff”, all it says is “undamaged”. That’s not helpful. Say I have two, and one is usable (80%) and the other is junk (35%). I’d like to sell the latter. But which is it? They both just show as “undamaged”.
(4) Make it more clear what parts are plug-compatible, and what the trade-offs are. Right now the graphics suggest compatibility, but if there is no HN-4 available, is it safe to use something that has roughly the same icon but different colors? Will a plug-compatible fail sooner (or later)? Is price a guide to relative performance? (Note that sorting the list by slot type, point (2), could help clarify this.)
(5) In all component lists (Engineering inventory, my stuff, their stuff) respect the up- and down-arrow keys. (See also the topic “Module Repair is too tedious” for more on this) It would be much faster to move through these lists with up/down arrow keys than by clicking on a scroll-down arrow button. And/or supply a genuine scroll “thumb” to allow drag-scrolling.