SAOF

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korexus
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SAOF

Post by korexus » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:07 pm

A number of changes have been suggested for the SAOF. Some of these have already been implemented and Alan has made a stab at some of the others.

The email was:

[quote]
One more heave, if poss, then we can both sit back for a bit?

This one thing wd be great if you could poss do it asap, today. It wd help them and save ME a ton of hassle.

(I realise you might be otherwise busy today, or not even at your PC, but worth a try).

The queries and misunderstandings and mistakes of my twenty players are VERY revealing about what is not understood, and what is frustrating, and what gets a newb off to a bad start. It must be similarly frustrating for the casual newbs we get (who, as you know, don't usually join a clan for help, don't usually post queries on the boards, often go M-1 onT1, and often go away, right?!). I now know even more about the contributary causes ...

The urgent one:

It's the SAOF. I know you improved it hugely, way back, but it could do with some EASY tweaks by you:

4 of the first ten screwed up, and 2 mildly complained, about the misleading options-layout, viz:
Drat! It won't paste the section I copied, not properly :(

Ok, *sigh*, it's where it lists TYPE of unit to be moved, set out as one line. (I realise, from you in the past, that the line-break might come differently for different people). Typically it reads, over 2 lines:

1 Population 2 Workers 3 Armies 4 [line-break]
Missiles 5 Spies

Some chose 4 to try to move armies, as it was the number right next to (after) armies. The solution is then obvious, a separate line for each, no confusing linebreak.

Same where it says, for transforms,:
................
2 Population into armies (Max 3 orders) 3 Workers into

One pressed 3 for a Pop-Arm ... I remember I did that myself in my Duel against Trewqh! I spotted it and corrected it for him.

Same solution, a separate line for each option, no confusing linebreak.

In fact, I spotted most of them (but not those where somebody changed their orders late on, and I'd only checked their earlier ones, not knowing of a change ....**). But it took effort to check them; it took more effort to mail each and explain, for future orders, especially since it's hard to explain without pointing, and it takes ages to explain (as above to you!), and left them wondering why it had to be so confusing in the first place.

You might as well do the same for options on Trading tech points, choosing aim, and spy-ops as well. There are no confusing linebreaks on MY screen for them, but may be for others? Or for consistency and clarity.

Yep, I know it lengthens the vertical of the form, but people are scrolling down anyway!

Also on the SAOF, 2 out of ten ordered for attacks. I pointed it out, having to explain for future use ....
Hmm. I know it SAYS "3-7 attacks depending ...."
Here's a good idea:
Also insert one line of text between the 3rd and 4th attack order, saying "A fourth attack is only valid if you have 50 or more Tech points when you attack*."
And between the 4th and 5th: "A fifth attack is is only valid if you have 100 Tech points or more when you attack*."
Likewise between 5th and 6th (150+) and between 6th and 7th (200+).
Then just below the 7th box: " *These values can be changed by the GM, in which case his Houserules for that game should say so."

See? I anticipated at least one objection you might make!!! ;)

The reason for asking whether you could poss do it today and asap, is that today is the Sunday before my second lot's first turn, most likely trying to wrestle with the SAOF today. It would help save them confusion and frustration, and help save me the workload I went through on the first lot's first turn. and show the first lot that we listened and took their complaints on board, before their second turn. But mostly to save me all the hassle!

Even I can spot that these are easy for you: you are just adding text and changing line-breaks.

OR, possible problem #2, does that mean you would have to disable them from inputting orders while you change it?? On the very day they are inputting ... Hey, with your skill, I'm sure you could do it in 4 mins and they never notice ... ;)

** Longer term if need be (my ** high above). I check their orders and see whether they have all got orders in, and pause if they haven't, to ask them if more time would help. I do this by my GM box and View my online games and then call up orders for each of the ten to see if it's filled in at all (only half of them bother to press Ready, so that is not a good guide for the GM). Is there any way you could make the autogm send the GM a mail every time, eg "Zigzag has entered some orders", "Zigzag has pressed Ready", so that I can do a quick count that way instead of having to go through the above? If it notified EVERY time a player pressed Submit, even if they were just revising earlier orders, it would have helped me spot when a player had put in new orders, me having only checked their earlier orders and therefore crossed them off my list for checking orders ... which is how mistaken SAOF's crept in despite my efforts. That wd be far more useful to the GM than revising the GM-page, which you said you planned to improve but I don't see the need particularly.

Oh, and if you are revising the SAOF anyway:
1) It would be handy if you had a paragraph at the end, telling them that they CAN edit their orders after their put in their first orders, no problem, right up to when it runs, even if that is after the scheduled deadline, and even if you have pressed on Ready. (Ready says you are happy for it to run, you don't expect to need time for changes, but it doesn't "lock" your orders.
That would have saved me about 4 explanatory e-mails - perhaps another 4 on the second batch's first turn ...
[/quote[

New lines have been done. The one about number of attacks hasn't because all the other options in the SAOF display correctly for the game you are in, so it would be nice for that to do the same even though it is then less of a quick fix.

The mail shot also hasn't been done although I think this is a great idea. The orders should also be mailed to players for easy reference. - Apart from anything else, it would save so much hassle when people think their orders have been changed...

The final change (note about being able to change orders) was done by Alan, but revealed a larger misconception. Alan was under the impression that orders were not run unless the 'I am ready' button had been pressed, so maybe a larger re-working is in order here?

Chris.
With Great Power comes Great Irritability

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