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Help: I need to figure out the compass


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Perhaps the overriding decision was that it would be best to make the arrow rotate in the same direction as the mouse. I think a lot of the confusion comes from how the arrow does not line up with the direction of view; in this sense, it looks to act like a compass but does not read like one.

If I recall correctly, if you could just reverse the rotation direction of the 'arrow', you could mod the arrow into a ring with the cardinal points on it and it would work as a compass with the direction you are looking in lining up with the appropriate cardinal point at the top of the ring. I had tried making a mod like this (as had someone else I think) but to get it to work correctly you had to swap the east and west points on the ring, which was also a bit confusing.

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Battlefront have been strangely defensive of this baffling non-compass. But then "let's make it counter-intuitive" seems to have been their CMX2 UI mission statement.

The arrow points in the direction the camera is pointing in the 3D environment. When playing one is looking in the direction the camera is pointing. I don't see what is so counter - intutive. It sounds simple, and straight forward to me.

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Well, the confusion is that it's called a "compass". Most magnetic compasses use a needle which "seeks" magnetic north. The needle on this compass disdains such limitations and rotates with the player, not the earth's magnetic field. So, if you're well trained in compassing, the needle provides extremely disorienting misinformation.

Having the needle enclosed within a compass card reinforces the mislabeling of it as a "compass". Marco Bergman's mod does a wonderful job of cutting the associations of the game-aid with its being a compass.

I've spent my adult life quite literally betting my life on my ability to read a compass without any hesitation. (Yes, "literally".) Having a non-compass labelled as a compass and looking like a compass is disorienting to me. I don't think about what I see when I have a compass in my peripheral vision. I incorporate it into my situational awareness. The game-aid "pushes" against my life-long skill-set, and loses. Unless I stare at the friggin' thing and consciously interpret it, I frequently screw up.

Making it an eye-ball/camera graphic accurately shows what it is portraying.

Shrug.

Ken

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The arrow points in the direction the camera is pointing in the 3D environment. When playing one is looking in the direction the camera is pointing. I don't see what is so counter - intutive. It sounds simple, and straight forward to me.

And this is the heart of the problem. As a UI designer if you use something in the UI that looks like a real world object it needs to behave like that real world object. When it does not the UI breaks down and does not work. The fact that a large number of people do not know how to use a real compass and think the thing that looks like a compass is intuitive does not relieve designers from their mistake. In fact it means they should not be using a compass analogy because too many people do not know how a compass works.

Having the needle enclosed within a compass card reinforces the mislabeling of it as a "compass".

Ken is spot on. I have been ignoring that thing since the first time I tried to make heads or tails of it.

Marco Bergman's mod does a wonderful job of cutting the associations of the game-aid with its being a compass.

I agree. I am using his mod now and right away it was useful - thank you. It clearly shows what direction the camera is looking towards.

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The arrow points in the direction the camera is pointing in the 3D environment. When playing one is looking in the direction the camera is pointing. I don't see what is so counter - intutive. It sounds simple, and straight forward to me.

Even simpler and more straightforward - so much so that we wouldn't even be having this discussion - is if it actually WAS a compass.

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Well, the confusion is that it's called a "compass". Most magnetic compasses use a needle which "seeks" magnetic north. The needle on this compass disdains such limitations and rotates with the player, not the earth's magnetic field. So, if you're well trained

I have been trained in compass reading, but I guess it has been such a long time since using one I have been able to adapt to the game one without confusion. I think the key to it in game terms is what Ken said, which is it is a "compass", or in proper military terms it would be a “devise, camera, pointing”, and not a compass literally. The good thing is there are mods out there for it that seem to be helping people adapt to it.

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