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  Click here to go to the first Rift Team post in this thread.   Thread: Will a Nameplates Addon EVER be supported?

  1. #1
    Ascendant
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    Default Will a Nameplates Addon EVER be supported?

    would be nice to know, if this is a stratetic decision development wise, or just didnt have a high priority the last year?

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    Champion of Telara daphat79's Avatar
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    I miss Clickable health bars over heads.. and the current one seems kinda crappy IMO. At least make it nicer looking. Maybe show level. and class based on color.

    With such a polished MMO this seems like a feature that was overlooked.
    Last edited by daphat79; 02-28-2012 at 08:06 AM.

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    Champion Lorandii's Avatar
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    Zorba answered this for us on page 14 of the changelog discussion thread.

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    Ascendant Galibier's Avatar
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    What I want is for the damn portraits to go away. Don't need em or want them. They take up too much space on the screen. Also it would be nice if they made an option to make your bar, your target and your target's target etc. "click through" enabled. I don't need to target myself with the mouse this is what my escape key is for. What I might need to do however is target a mob rapidly that is behind one of these overly large portraits because the unuseable area is actually larger that the visible graphic.
    Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorandii View Post
    Zorba answered this for us on page 14 of the changelog discussion thread.
    not the answer i was looking for thank you. How you could exploit nameplates is way out of my imagination ... wondering why ANY other mmo has them without any problems lol.

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    RIFT Community Ambassador the_real_seebs's Avatar
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    I'm not sure they have them "without problems". But yeah, I'm curious too.

    If I were gonna try to implement such a feature, I'd do it probably by making available a list of native frames, each of which basically holds the mob name text fields, and with some way to look up the things pointed to.

    I'd point out that, if you didn't mind not having the facing right, you could currently do a little 3D map with a fixed north and angle of elevation which shows the player and all known nearby units.
    You can play WoW in any MMO. You don't have to play WoW in RIFT. Oh, and no, RIFT is not a WoW clone. Not having fun any more? Learn to play, noob! I don't speak for Riftui, but I moderate stuff there. Just came back? Welcome back! Here's what's changed. (Updated for 2.5!)

  7.   Click here to go to the next Rift Team post in this thread.   #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigonos View Post
    not the answer i was looking for thank you. How you could exploit nameplates is way out of my imagination ... wondering why ANY other mmo has them without any problems lol.
    Note that we're talking about addon support for nameplates, not nameplates themselves. Every MMO I know that supports addon nameplates either has a very restricted API, or has given up on the whole "prevent automation" thing.

    A quick example of an exploit: Let's say there's a boss where everyone has to target a specific add at a specific time and burn it down quickly. With a clever nameplate addon, you just make that add's nameplate ENORMOUS at that time, letting the player trivially click it. Or, even worse, you can set up this addon to work for healers - just make the nameplate of the ideal next heal target enormous. Addon-controlled autotargeting is a bad thing.

    Another issue is that, if the API can figure out the exact camera position and angle, then the API can effectively draw things in 3d space. Now, I'll admit this is totally awesome-looking, but it also plays havoc with any sort of challenge in boss battles. Since nameplates are attached to 3d objects, it suddenly becomes . . . well, I'm not going to say trivial, but possible to calculate that information. Again, all the MMOs I know with addon support have either avoided this issue, stopped this issue when it showed up, or just given up on the whole "addon automation" topic.

    If we do introduce nameplates, it'll end up being through a very specific custom-built API. Right now there are things I can accomplish with far less effort that will be a lot more useful.

  8. #8
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    I guess the only safe way to do it is let some part of the API tell the game how to draw name plates for each category of targets (the ones we have in options to change the text color of their names) without ever giving access to what units the nameplates are drawed on top of.

    But as you say, everything in due time, it really seems like you guys have a lot more work planned than the manpower to get it done ;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZorbaTHut View Post
    Note that we're talking about addon support for nameplates, not nameplates themselves.
    Glad that you opened with this line, otherwise I might have posted something else entirely

    However, can you please pass along to which ever developer(s) might be in a position to actually add nameplates to the default UI that players want this feature so badly right now! Like seriously, I see so many new players disappointed that it isn't there, and as a veteran player miss it all of the time. It seems to be a massive oversight in an otherwise awesome default UI.


    Quote Originally Posted by ZorbaTHut View Post
    Every MMO I know that supports addon nameplates either has a very restricted API, or has given up on the whole "prevent automation" thing.

    A quick example of an exploit: Let's say there's a boss where everyone has to target a specific add at a specific time and burn it down quickly. With a clever nameplate addon, you just make that add's nameplate ENORMOUS at that time, letting the player trivially click it. Or, even worse, you can set up this addon to work for healers - just make the nameplate of the ideal next heal target enormous. Addon-controlled autotargeting is a bad thing.

    Another issue is that, if the API can figure out the exact camera position and angle, then the API can effectively draw things in 3d space. Now, I'll admit this is totally awesome-looking, but it also plays havoc with any sort of challenge in boss battles. Since nameplates are attached to 3d objects, it suddenly becomes . . . well, I'm not going to say trivial, but possible to calculate that information. Again, all the MMOs I know with addon support have either avoided this issue, stopped this issue when it showed up, or just given up on the whole "addon automation" topic.
    I have to say that as someone who has been raiding for about eight years now, and had about 200MB of addons in WoW (that's memory use, god only knows how much install space) I never saw nor used nor wanted to use any addon that raids for me, nor did I see anyone else using addons that autoselect targets or change targets nameplate size or anything like that. Not that I am saying people wouldn't or couldn't, I just don't think it's that big of a concern.

    Also, you realise that an addon like Wire's NPSee already lists all currently targetted targets in a raid and you can quickly select any target from that when you have to switch?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZorbaTHut View Post
    If we do introduce nameplates, it'll end up being through a very specific custom-built API. Right now there are things I can accomplish with far less effort that will be a lot more useful.
    Any chance of a list of things you are or could be working on in the next few months? It would be interesting and useful for everyone, addon developers and addon consumers, if we could see what we might be getting in future. Maybe we could even help pick out which ones we'd like to see first?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarien View Post
    I have to say that as someone who has been raiding for about eight years now, and had about 200MB of addons in WoW (that's memory use, god only knows how much install space) I never saw nor used nor wanted to use any addon that raids for me, nor did I see anyone else using addons that autoselect targets or change targets nameplate size or anything like that. Not that I am saying people wouldn't or couldn't, I just don't think it's that big of a concern.
    And that is because WoW spent a lot of effort ensuring behavior of that sort wasn't possible. If it was possible it would have been done years ago. That's the same sort of effort we'd have to spend to open the same segment of the API.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarien View Post
    Also, you realise that an addon like Wire's NPSee already lists all currently targetted targets in a raid and you can quickly select any target from that when you have to switch?
    I'm pretty sure you can't actually select targets from that addon. There's a major difference between listing information and making decisions for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarien View Post
    Any chance of a list of things you are or could be working on in the next few months? It would be interesting and useful for everyone, addon developers and addon consumers, if we could see what we might be getting in future. Maybe we could even help pick out which ones we'd like to see first?
    Nope. :V

    There's good reason for this - things get reprioritized extremely often. There's a feature I've bumped back two entire patches now, and each time it was because sometimes more important and useful took its place. I've also had one or two cases where a feature turned out to be dramatically more complicated than I'd expected and I put it on the back burner (one of these has been hanging around in my todo list since 1.4 - thought it would take two days or so, plowed a week into it with essentially zero progress, worry about it later.)

    I really don't want to get people's hopes up about things that get pushed back, and I don't want to end up locked into plans I made before I really understood the problem domain. You'll find out when it hits the PTS

    As for "help pick out which ones we'd like to see first", I pay a lot of attention to feature requests and issues people are having with the API. If there's something you need, I highly recommend posting about it. It's not a guarantee that it will happen, of course, but I'd say well over half of my reprioritizations have been sparked by people's posts on this very forum.

    tl;dr: watch the PTS, post in the suggestions thread.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZorbaTHut View Post
    I'm pretty sure you can't actually select targets from that addon. There's a major difference between listing information and making decisions for you.
    You are right, just checked the addon description more closely. I don't actually use this addon, I'd just read it's description and assumed

    Quote Originally Posted by ZorbaTHut View Post
    tl;dr: watch the PTS, post in the suggestions thread.
    No Dev post is ever tl;dr ;)

    If you could pass along though that players are asking for nameplates features though, that would be ace. Really do want.

  12. #12
    RIFT Guide Writer Noshei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarien View Post
    If you could pass along though that players are asking for nameplates features though, that would be ace. Really do want.
    From my understanding, you are talking to the guy who has a pretty high say in what he works on. Of course that's not to say there are others above him, but I get the feeling that Zorba is either a one man team here for the addon API or the head of a very short list of others working on it.

  13. #13
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    First of all: The open comunication of trion devs, and you in particular zorba, is outstanding in 20 years of my mmo experience. Congrats to that and its MUCH apreciated.

    On the topic: Nameplates IMHO are the MOST anticipated and wanted Feature in Rift i can think of. Back in Beta anyone i talked to was STUNNED that it isnt in the game. Now after a year my hopes fall they will ever make it in

    I can reproduce the concerns you have add-on wise, and of course the api should be as much restricted as possible to avoid exploits no doubt. But i think the end will by far justify the means. If PvE/NPC/Encounters is your concerns regarding automation, how about making it possible at least for player nameplates? (for the beginning).

    Easiest solution of course will be to integrate it in the standard UI, but as it didnt happen in one year of developement, the according developer doesnt work anymore on rift, or he is really really really convinved of his special solution to nameplates (which obviously the players and any other mmo developer arent). ...

    So if i interpret you right, nameplates for addons are not off the table but it needs time to do it right, but still you are thinking of it? (I guess its not your decision anyway but from Lead Design, Scott or Gersh).

  14. #14
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    I've used TidyPlates and ThreatPlates extensively in WoW, but can understand the need for limitations on any nameplate system, to keep addons from making decisions for you, and to keep from providing more information than is necessary to addons.


    This is the kind of system I'd use to implement nameplates:

    Nameplates would exist as game created and handled objects, parallel to the current addon created contexts, which would have a frame created for them by default, which would have a limited number of API accessable methods, and to which addon created frames could be attatched.

    The additions needed would be:

    Inspect.Nameplates
    • Parameters - none.
    • Returns a list of the currently visible, game created nameplate frames, and the unitIDs of the players or NPCs that they represent.
    • Return value:
    Code:
    nameplates = {
    	frame01_identifier = unitID,
    	frame02_identifier = unitID,
    	...
    }
    The nameplate frames would have the following methods accessable through the addon API:
    • GetWidth() and GetHeight()
    • SetWidth() and SetHeight() - restricted within maximum and minimum values, which would be a percentage of the game window size.
    • ClearWidth() and ClearHeight()
    • GetNPBackgroundColor() and SetNPBackgroundColor() - Uninheritable. Similar to the values for the existing 'Frame' frame type, except these functions would not have any alpha value available, meaning nameplates would always have to be visible for applicable units, when enabled.
    • GetRadius(), SetRadius(), ClearRadius() - Cosmetic. Functions used to set rounding of the corners of the nameplates, so that even though they're required to always be visible, they don't need to be exactly rectangular.

    All events for them would be handled by the game, with none available through the addon API.


    There would be 2 new frame types, which could be set as child objects of these frames:

    NameplateText - with methods inherited from the parent, plus:
    • GetBackgroundColor() - these with an alpha setting available
    • SetBackgroundColor()
    • SetPoint() - position as an offset from the parent frame.
    • SetAllPoints()
    • GetFont()
    • GetFontColor()
    • GetFontSize()
    • GetFullHeight()
    • GetFullWidth()
    • GetText()
    • GetWordwrap()
    • ResizeToText()
    • SetFont()
    • SetFontColor()
    • SetFontSize()
    • SetText()
    • SetWordwrap()


    NameplateTexture
    - with methods inherited from the parent, plus:
    • GetBackgroundColor() - these with an alpha setting available
    • SetBackgroundColor()
    • SetPoint() - position as an offset from the parent frame.
    • SetAllPoints()
    • GetTexture()
    • GetTextureHeight()
    • GetTextureWidth()
    • ResizeToTexture()
    • SetTexture()


    While content of any size could be placed within these 2 frame types, only that which fitted within the constraints of the parent frame would be visible.

    The have no events associated with them.

    The parent nameplate's visibility and mouse action handling would be entirely handled by the game, with the following being added to the game's options:

    Visibility:
    • Disabled - No nameplates will be visible.
    • Tank or DPS mode - All potential targets within targetting range or all targets in targetting range, that are targetting you or members of your party.
    • Healing mode - All party members that are in targetting range or all party members and friendly NPCs that are within targetting range (to cover encounters that require healing NPCs).

    (targetting range could be the same as with tab targetting, so slightly longer than spell casting range)

    Click response:
    • None.
    • Targetting only.
    • Targetting and casting of queued abilities.

    Spreading:
    • No Spreading - The nameplates stack on top of each other should they overlap, with your current target on top.
    • Spreading - If nameplates were to overlap, they will instead of being fixed over the heads of the units they represent, be spread out so that they all show, away from the one for your current target.



    Using this system, addons would not be able to modify the visibility of nameplates, except by setting more noticable colors to some than others, or by modifying their dimensions within highly constrained limits. The position of nameplates could not be read, because as far as the addon API is concerned, they may as well be stationary items.

    They could be used as places to display information that is already available, but not as sources of any extra information.

    They would not provide anything that could be interracted with, that would give any advantage over what existing addons can already provide (in fact their motion would make them harder to interract with than a unit frames addon).




    I too would like to say what a breath of fresh air it is coming to RIFT from WoW. I'm finding that even though the addon API is far more limited, I'm not having half the amount of issues I did working with WoW's API.
    Last edited by Edwinavanhelgen; 04-29-2012 at 02:34 AM.

  15. #15
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    nameplates are now on the pts and they rock. Thanks for listening!

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