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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Runescape New Interface System Coming Soon

If you play Runescape, then by now you've probably heard about Runescape 3 and the New Interface System, if not actively tried it out.  Jagex finally announced the official release date, which is July 22, 2013.  If you go to the main Runescape website, there's a countdown timer that shows exactly how many days, hours, minutes and seconds are left.

It's been a while since I've tried the RS3 Beta.  Had too many issues getting logged in the first time.  What was there, seemed nice but very slow.  I guess that's been fixed by now, or they wouldn't be announcing a release date... would they?

RS3 aside, I did spend a couple of evenings playing with the NIS this week.  It looks like a lot of fun.  I probably spent 5 hours straight just opening random menus and moving things around.  I can't speak much to the technical side of things.  What I experienced was stable, responsive, and looked good.  The bank was unavailable the first couple of times, and some of the features were still locked.  Last night the bank was working again, which was nice.  Looks like the 'equip from bank' screen is gone, though.

What is available, is pretty cool.  There's been plenty of times I wished for something very similar.  Especially the mini-map.  That's always been too small.  So the first thing to do was drag it out larger.  Now I can stand at the Grand Exchange and one-click on the Fairy Ring west of the wall.  I know, we could very nearly one-click it already.  But not quite, and it's one of my little pet peeves.

There are plenty of other places where that extra mini-map space makes a difference, but that was my 'measuring stick'.  I also like things to be squared off and neat.  So I shrunk the primary control bar and put it next to the mini-map.  (Kept it vertical.)

I've never liked the chat window at the bottom left, so it was the next subject.  Anywhere on the bottom just wasn't in my 'attention zone'.  After trying different places, it wound up on the right hand wall, about midway up.  Just under the mini-map, and above the Inventory management window... which gives away the next phase.

The bottom window contains the inventory, equipped items, prayers, and all the action bar abilities.  I may swap the chat and mini-map, we'll have to see.  All of these are squared off to take up a solid section on the right-hand side of the screen.
Lastly, the action bar.  It just didn't want to blend in smoothly.  One of the two bars with only limited resizability, it just wouldn't fit in cleanly.  The best fit was rotated vertically and sized tall.  Didn't like that... it just didn't look right.  So it's stretched out horizontally at the bottom of the screen.  Right next to the inventory window.  Doesn't exactly fit with all the rest, but it's easy to get to, and not in the way.
It took some thought to blend the prayer tabs and action bar tabs into the inventory window.  Would have been nice to break them out into their own space, but that just took up too much room on the screen.  Since it's very easy to drag them apart and put them back together, I may just tweak the screen on an as-needed basis.  Nothing says it has to be locked in, though locking the items in place is certainly optional.  :^)

I made the windows about halfway transparent.  It gives a feel of more screen area.  The Dungeoneering skill counters on the right, near the top of the chat window, can be turned off.  But every time I logged back in, they returned.  So I quit paying attention to them.  Hopefully that will be fixed in the official release.  The window titles (Minimap, Backpack, All Chat, etc...) can be removed.  But like the skill counters, they keep reappearing every time I log in.  Small details that I expect will be taken care of before the 22nd.

And that's my NIS setup.  So far.  It'll probably change a lot over time.  Or maybe not.  Maybe this is my perfect screen... Nah.   :^)

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