+5 votes
in Suggestion by (2.2k points)
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This suggestion is Feedback based on the Experimental April Update, a repost of a comment I made in another Post/Question taken/considered from other Beacon related posts on this website.


The compass display of beacons has improved.
[+1] That you can distinguish the primary POI (Base, Lift) from normal beacons
[+1] That symbols have different icons based on what it is
[+1] That symbols have sometimes even different shapes (Base, Lift)
[+1] That only the centered beacon/poi is displayed with a name/label not everything even on the sides
[-1] The compass is still cluttered especially when a lot of beacons are placed and having the new map now encourages us to place more beacons which increases the problem see below for suggestion
[+1] That you can specify any color for a beacon and the symbol on the compass is displayed accordingly
[-1] That you have to enter specific values for the color and/or have different colors if you just aim roughly see below for suggestion


Problem 1: Compass cluttering

The main issue everyone still have is the amount of icons on the compass and the new map functionality is worsening the issue. The fact that we can now color the icons as well. It turns into a colored mess.

People suggesting grouping beacons and having the ability to show/hide different groups. I would not use this for this problem but still have this feature see below. The better solution for that would be two possible ways the range is also suggested by others and in my other post.

Suggestion 1a) Range setting

Beacons getting another input value or a button-selection which denotes how far the beacon appears on the compass in relation to the players position. It would probably enough and faster to just have 3 or 4 presettings/buttons just to click on like "Short" , "Medium", "Large"-Range and "Endless". Having an input textbox to enter the exact distance would allow more flexibility but it takes longer and people don't really know what large values are or what short value are so I would just use preset buttons.

Symbols appear on the compass only when the player to beacon distance is lower than the range setting or the value that is bound to the preset.

That way people can decide if they want to see it always (Endless) or only when in the local region. Example: An Oil Field with 7 different sources players can set one to "Medium" or "High" and the others to "Short" because at longer distances you don't need to see every single icon one is enough. And you don't really need to it always (Endless) like it is now.

I would add "Off" as well to disable the icon on the compass but not having to delete it. So that the symbol still appears on the map but see below for more on this one.

Suggestion 1b) Auto-Grouping on angle on compass

The more sophisticated solution to this would be and intelligent dynamic grouping based on the angle/distance they appear on the compass. Let's take the Oil Field example from above. You have placed beacons on all 7 Oil sources. Same name and color. At longer ranges all icon have only slightly diffent angles and basically appear as one. So the compass groups them together when then angle between them is let say less than 5 or 10 degress and displays only one icon and label, maybe with a (x7) behind it or something like that.

This solution would also work great if two beacons with the same label/type/color are angle-wise very close together (= in the same direction) but in reality one is very close and another far away. On the compass they appear as one or close together, but the player needs only a direction anyway so it's okay if the compass combines them and displays "x2" behind it. When the player gets closer and/or the angle between one and the player is large enough the compass seperate them again as two but the purpose is served - a direction.

Problem 2) Flexible but complicated color setting

Having the possibility to color the icon is good and you can choose any color you wish which is also nice but if you want to make sure the same types have the same appearance you need to enter the eaxct hue values you want all the time, which is cumbersome and you probably need to note the values you choosen somewhere. Why not make it a little simpler to use

Suggestion 2a) Quick-Select / Color History

If someone decides on a color, the value is added to a color history palette, so that it can be choosen the next time with a simple click and applied the same values.

Suggestion 2b) Preset Color Palette

Often we don't need this much flexibility with color, just a simple color palette with a set of well choosen colors (and harmoning with the rest of the ui) with idk 16 would be more than enough. Players are not designers they will probaly choose the worst color combination you can imagine close to giving eye cancer. So why not help them out and give them red, green, blue and so on but good colors and always the same, not 5 different variations of red depending on the aiming of the player on the hue slider.

I would let the exact color select stay, for players who really want to select their own colors, but I would combine it with Suggestion 2a.

Problem 3: Grouping / Show/Hide/Disabling of POI and more

The issue is primarily suggested due to the compass cluttering issue see above for it. But having options to group/typ poi's and show/hide certain beacons is now more important than ever because the map show the beacons very good and encourages players to place more of them.

Suggestion 3a: Options for Beacons

Sometimes beacons should not be display on the compass but still on the map or players want to disable a beacon on compass and map, but don't want to remove the beacon in the world, maybe for usage later on. So I would add just some checkboxes in the beacon settings screen to handle this.

[X] Show on Compass
[X] Show on Map
[X] Enabled

All true by default. Normally I would prefer using "false" as default which is programming wise better because bools have false/0 as default so maybe invert that and keep all values false by default.

[ ] Hide on Compass
[ ] Hide on Map
[ ] Disabled

Suggestion 3b: Grouping for Beacons by Tagging

The idea behind it is probably to group POI by type or usage/action, e.g. Mining Spots or Lovely views or "Wreckage here" or "Build here" or "continue to explore here" or build this or that there and so on.

This feature makes only sense, when the groups can be set to Show/Hide and because we have map and compass now, it would need to have a setting for both.

Now to assign groups I would not implement a group management for that there are always issue like "oh this poi is actually both" and so on and the selection process is often no good for usability (Multi-Checkbox list and such things). I would just add a simple textbox to beacons, where tags can be entered by the player with comma like here on this website and the distinct tags than appears are groups on the Filter-Screen and can be enabled/disabled to the players choosing.

Problem 3: Real-World display of beacons / lighting / HUD-display

There is another wish/suggestion out there which lead to the last usage for beacons and you can often read it in suggestion "I need to see the beacon in the real world" or "I want to mark the road" or "I need to see the beacon lighted / in the night" and than following "I want to see the beacon even through Shrubbery, Rocks and possible even through mountains". Sometimes people want this for building and designing purposes, e.g. "in which direction need I place the foundation for the street or the walkway or Conveyor.

The simple 2D direction of the compass is sometimes not enough because you can't see if the poi is above or below you nor can you really see how far it is.

Solving this is a little more tricky. Some people suggested simple lighting the beacon with the colors of their choosing and used as simple road-markers in caves or for the dark this would be okay, but not for building purposes where you need to see the direction even through obstacles.

Maybe there should be a dedicated road-marker, which is in fact only a light on the ground, so that people don't use beacons for that. For the designer/building issue I would consider adding it as another option to the options above.

[ ] Show as HUD-icon
[ ] Show in World

And than displayed as a point or triangle or rectangle in the choosen color. To be honest I'm not really sure how this should be displayed I only know it should not be displayed like that by default only on explicit activation.

Suggestion 4: Making Beacons showing directions as well

Currently beacons are a round staff in the ground which is okay for the most part, but sometimes you want to add a little information to a beacon, a direction display, e.g. "go there from here", e.g. a way-marker on a junction or a "go here to return home" marker. Especially useful on rough terrain and in caves or areas which tend to be a maze.

Adding this would be really easy. We already can rotate things on placement and beacons as well, but the shape of the beacons makes it hard to see the direction later and on placement. So maybe shape the head as a triangle or something, anything so that you can see from a vehicle close by in which direction the beacon points.

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