The "new" client and me - a curated list of "actionable Feedback"

  • There's a word limit, right? I'm sure there's a word limit. This is gonna be a painstaking thing to post.


    There seems to be varying perceptions of how much "actionable Feedback" the "legacy players" have provided towards the improvement of the new client. This thread serves to order the "actionable" feedback that has been given since its initial release and along the years in some sort of format.

    Not all of these points were initially raised by me, far from it. These are all points that I subscribe to but if other points are raised that are deemed important in the context of this work, I shall expand the list.

    I tried to refrain from inserting items that are mainly taste-related. Not because I find them unimportant or too hard to quantify, but because experience has shown that the company will dismiss these points immediately based on the "matter of taste" argument and it took enough time to type all of this out already that I don't need to waste more of it.

    I am not doing this to berate anyone. I am doing this in the understanding that it is a common goal between both the players and Bytro that Supremacy as a product should be as good as it can be. From this is where I draw the conclusion that a loss in functionality would not be intended but rather an oversight in the development processes. I understand that the visuals are a major factor in "marketability", but this is not a painting. It is a thing that is actively interacted with by players and the way this interaction is accomodated is a part of the "marketable" experience.

    Yes, this list will bank on comparisons to the Legacy client at some points. This is not because I'm so in love with Legacy and want to keep it around. I have made it explicitly clear in the past that I was never opposed to giving it at least a spit-shine, even modernizing the whole display.

    It is just the most sensible thing to compare the new UI to because it's literally the same game. The good things that it offered are achievable within Supremacy1914 and my proof of them shall be the fact that they existed in Legacy. And then why shouldn't the new UI strive to include them as well? I do not point out things that were better in Legacy because me and Legacy need to get a room, I do it because those things have been implemented better in the same game before. It serves as proof of feasibility and it simply appears to be the most logically reasonable item to compare to for demonstrative reasons.

    I would not be opposed to improvements to the UI that would also have been improvements to Legacy.

    The only way to compile this I could commit to was a category format of sorts. It's not very possible to assign an order of severity to these issues that could be held up as anything near objective, so I refrained from doing so. An item being lower down in a chapter does not indicate anything about its percieved importance to me. And even still, this is not a perfect format. Some of these could easily tick multiple chapter's criteria.


    These are issues I percieve as obvious to any observer, in the sense that it is clear that they are at least "not ideal". They are mainly concerned with visuals and contain cases where the visual representation of the game is severely tarnished to a point where it just doesn't "look good".

    1.1 - The big one

    Everything about 3D-Sprites overlapping. They somtimes do this to absolutely extreme effects:


    This seems simply chaotic and completely unresolved by the display engine. It appears as though no care was given at all to the way situations like this are displayed to the user.

    It is obvious to even the most casual of observers that this is in no way a crafty or appealing visualization of the game mechanics. It appears make-shift. Note that this is just one of countless examples.

    1.2 - Everything overlaps everything everywhere

    There seems to be no logic whatsoever that dictates which items overlap which items on the map view. The hierarchy, if there is any, appears to have just fallen into place in the order the items were added during the development process. Unit sprites overlapping the country's flag and leader names on the capital city are irritating, sometimes making both of them entirely impossible to see. The large amount of space that these sprites occupy without delivering any informative value to the player within that space exacerbates this problem. This is a large contrast to the "at a glance informative value" that you have attributed yourselves to the Legacy client and it looks chaotic and unorganized. The reasonable observer might find the choice to have informational content hidden behind unneccessary decor somewhat unusual.

    Decide on an organized hierarchy of display order, if clashes cannot be resolved without overlapping, which would be the ideal first solution. Prioritize items by amount and importance and relevance of gameplay information they deliver.


    Here, informative value gets lost from the map view. I have to select each unit individually to gain access to their numbers. The client does not even try to accommodate me here, and this is only three units. The Legacy client used to move the unit icons around if it had to and drew clear and distinct, sharp black lines from the icon to its location on the map if neccessary to be able to show both the full stack icons to give all the information on unit types and numbers as well as the precise location on the map. It quite literally went out of its way to be able to give all of these informations at a glance all the time. This functionality was essential to the informative value of the map display and is lost completely. Like, not even remnants are to be found. Everything overlaps everything everywhere all the time like it doesn't matter one single bit. I do not believe an argument of this being favourable to "marketability" can be made.

    1.3 - Other general sillyness

    It is objectively nonsensical to display the sprite of any kind of ship or submarine offset from its location in such a way that it is displayed "swimming on land":


    There is no reasonable justification to this. It appears lazy and unfinished. Yes, that's where the sprite goes relative to the unit's location for all units all the time. But it objectively should not. This way of displaying naval units was not handed upon us by God above. It looks bad, it is disorienting on the map (see 2.1), it heavily gives off the impression of bad craftsmanship on the development of this display.

    Re-design unit icons in a way that makes it possible to implement the functionality that was possible in the past, where they will avoid overlapping while maintaining the pointing lines to indicate precise location on the map. It is also undesirable to have unit icons cover such large parts of the map, because the map is an essential part of gameplay, too. They should be changed in such a way as to deliver information more precisely while being less intrusive to other information. This is one of the hallmarks of the Legacy client. Its unit icons could have been preserved and polished up, improving their appearance while maintaining their functional values, if no new design could fullfill the same standard. Since this was not done, a design that leans on these principles very heavily seems like an appropriate suggestion to make.


    I was proficient in the old design by ten years of practice. Obviously, any switch to a new UI is going to take adjustment on my part. These are issues, however, where I feel like functionality was simply scrapped without replacement or changed in ways that appear objectively unneccessary and, importantly, where functionality has been lost that was integral to the gameplay of someone playing the game at an advanced level.

    2.1 - The map view is disorienting

    It is absolutely not unusual for new players to take a long time to understand the concept of a unit's location on the map. The large sprite, which does not offer that information in itself because it is offset from the actual location, naturally draws attention to itself. This is even reinforced with the unit's "tag" pointing right at those sprites. It is unintuitive that these two vastly most prominent features of a unit's display do not correlate with where it is on the map. I am not a "new player", I am aware that the unit's actual location is the tiny red dot on the map. But even so, when looking across a country from a little bit of a distance, this sort of display is simply disorienting because my brain has to correct for the misleading information that the two features it percieves strongest provide.

    The Legacy client in contrast provided all of the information on a unit or stack of units bundled in the exact location on the map whenever possible and had active provision in place to still make it easy to read at a glance (see 1.2) whenever the simple solution could not be used. It makes more sense to the neutral observer that the location that a game piece would be displayed most prominently is in its actual location on the game board of the game it is a part of and the new client fails to do this while the previous one was especially good at it.

    Re-design unit icons in a way that emphasizes the informative contents of them: Unit types, unit numbers and unit locations. Aspects which are qualified to distract from these three informative values of a unit icon are to be avoided as this robs clarity across the entire UI during almost the entire playing time. See chapter one.

    2.2 - The resource bar

    In the top bar, the resource and money stocks are now rounded and shortened. This is one of these where the change seems incredibly unneccessary to the overall appearance of the game but hurts "advanced" gameplay for no apparent benefit.

    It is annoying enough on it's own that I have to mouse-over to see the precise amounts instead of having the "at a glance informative value" anymore, especially if I want to know the exact stock amounts on several resources, having to mouse-over every single one of them individually.

    What makes this especially irritating however is how that mouse-over does not work when there's a tab open. It often happens that I want to know the precise stock amounts that I have of something when I'm hustling on the market to maximize efficiency or the exact time a stockpile will last when I'm fiddling with the sliders. To do this now I have to 1.) close out of the market tab and 2.) mouse-over the resource, 3.) memorize that amount like an animal or something and then 4.) re-open the market tab, 5.) repeat for next resource or to see how long the stock will now last and then readjust. In the previous client, it went 1.) glance upwards and maybe 2.) mouse-over to see how long the stock will last if in critical area.

    This can objectively be called a major loss of playability for a minor difference in appearance.

    Thankfully, the fix is simple: Return to the full numbers in the top bar instead of the "x.xK" format. And might as well have that mouse-over work while tabs are open like it gracefully did in the previous client for extra credit.


    I use this quote a lot here, since it's the verbatim description Bytro gave for the Legacy client's advantages. It's really nice, I think, because it really perfectly pins down the main characteristic of that client.

    This chapter deals with places where that value is lacking in the new client and could be recollected. It's understandable that long-time players and hired designers and developers have different understandings of what information is valuable. This is why an actual exchange of ideas would have been of great benefit in the development of this new client. I want this game to be successful just as much as Bytro does. I have no more interest in making it unappealing to new players than you do. And the "at-a-glance informative value" is something that helps make a UI appealing and I want to help you bring this game back to providing that.

    3.1 - Resource Icons

    Thanks to their edgy, dark, grey-ish color scheme with heavy shading, the resource barely stand out from the background at the size they are at and mange to, despite their obvious differences, look very similar on the map and in the menues. The more schematic icons of Legacy served their purpose better and where very easy to spot from far out. This seems like a case where it was simply missed how important it was for players to be able to spot resources on the map at a glance. They can surely look better and more modern than Legacy's icons but still maintain the ease of visibility on the map, especially a cluttered one. It is important information, especially to newer players, who sometimes have a hard time making the connection between resources and provinces because they don't really notice the resource icons on the map. It seems hard to find a reason why it would look worse to seek a more visible implementation.

    Simplify the color scheme and/or outline these icons and increase their size so they are more apparent on the map.

    3.2 - Building Icons

    Conversely, building icons on the map are extremely hard to spot. When I first transitioned to the new client I thought for a few days they had just been removed entirely apart from fortresses, which also looked way more impressive in the previous client and could do with like a 400% boost in size. Those puny, tiny little chimney stacks at those weird brownish colors blend into the background of the map so perfectly in so many cases, I literally didn't notice them until I saw someone on the forums ask what that weird icon is.

    Both of those problems are also massively exacerbated by the "everything overlaps everything" issue. The disparity to the "at a glance informative value" of Legacy is massive to someone who is looking at the map.

    Simplify the color scheme and/or outline these icons and increase their size if neccessary so they are more visible on the map and cannot blend into the background so easily.

    3.3 - Alliance Flags

    Alliance flags used to be displayed under a nation's flag and underneath their flag on the unit icons. This was a very convenient way to know other people's affiliations and also show your own.

    Display coalition flags on capitals and units in the map, subordinate to the country's flag.

    3.4 - Forced March being represented on the map

    There used to be a different color scheme for a unit's path when it was on forced march. It would turn the stripey stuff to red and orange. Please do not point out how the stripey animation moves faster on forced march, I am aware. I am also not a radar gun.

    Bring back seperate color schemes for force marching units for more at a glance information.

    3.5 - Activity Status Icons

    It could be very easily implemented again to show the activity status of a player when a province is selected. The information bar at the bottom could easily show different symbols for active or inactive players. This would be much more convenient and reliable than the options that are currently available, including its accessibility to new players.

    3.6 - Zooming out

    Join a 500p game and grab a country in northern siberia.

    Now try to zoom out to a point where you can see the entire country and also the province borders and detailed unit tags (with types and numbers) are visible.

    Such a point is not available.


    The province borders bail on you first, then it's basically everything else. Oh okay, there's some troops there, but that's about it. Yes, I could select them and scroll through them, but that's not "at a glance informative value". The province borders not being displayed so early on in the zooming out is an especially unnerving bummer. I actually do enjoy the clean look you get when you go all the way out, but I need much more detail in the zooms before that in order to be able to run a large country.

    Displaying the province borders way longer seems like a very minor impact to thoughts like "marketability" and general appearance but adds back information that was needlessly removed from first glance access. In a similar fashion, unit icons should be displayed from much higher up with much more informative detail.

    3.7 - Buildings times mouse-over

    When mouse-overing a construction in the province administration tab, the remaining construction time could be shown.

    3.8 - Revolts

    The thin, pellucid stack of smoke coming from a revolting province on the map is laughably hard to notice. It even hides behind unit sprites:


    Change this so that revolting provinces are much more apparent from the map view. This was possible in the old client, it should not massively impact "marketability" to do it again. It used to be possible to glance over a whole bunch of provinces and immediately see the ones below 35% morale. Now this is not possible because of how small this tiny little visual hint is and requires one to have the luck needed to have nothing else obscure the visual hint completely.

    3.9 - Selected units

    This is a point where Legacy also wasn't spectacular. One of these units is actively selected right now:


    And I think it should be much clearer to tell which one it is by looking at the map. If not for orientation, then for visual satisfaction. The monitor you're using might have a large impact in this, I reckon, at your color settings it might look more visually separated. I have tried this on three different screens though and always found the way the selection is represented far too subtle.

    It would be easy to implement a color palette option here, or maybe invert the colors of the unit tag, any number of creative ideas could quickly make the difference between selected and unselected units more dramatic and add effect, also help especially new players navigate the map when making battle plans and whatnot.

    3.10 - Province borders disappearing completely

    Check this out:


    Province borders are completely invisible here thanks to the country's color on the map. Not even selecting a province helps at all:


    This is just nasty on the eye within all the context. It's a repuslive outlier that breaks the rules of the rest of the design, because province borders are not visible here.

    Redesign province borders in such a way that the color of the country cannot obscure them.


    I feel like there's not much to add to the title of this one.

    4.1 - Multitabbing

    In order to have access to multiple games simultaneously in several browser tabs, the following steps are apparently now neccessary: 1.) Open the Homepage 2.) Select a game 3.)Open a new tab 4.) Go to the Homepage 5.) Select a game

    I do not think having to go the detour via the homepage and loading every game once again each time you want to check on it is acceptable given the fact it was possible to enable players to accomplish opening several games with one single click per game. In case it was entirely unknown that there are players who play the game like that, now it no longer is.

    4.2 - Why do you force this clutter upon me

    I dislike quite strongly that a unit's movement path is always displayed even when that unit is not selected (or mouse-overed, as was the extremely convenient implementation of this in the Legacy client). This not only clutters the map with moving stripes that are unneccessarily distracting the eyes but also becomes next to meaningless as soon as several units are taking the same paths since they all show as one path. This is a part where the game now technically gives more information at a glance, but it's not helpful to constantly be shown every single path of every single unit on your map. In the late game this simply illuminates all of your paths all the time with move orders going through them.

    Make it so that a unit's path only shows on the map when mouse-overed or selected again. This prioritizes more relevant information and emphasizes the player's own ability to organize his military movements. It might also help alleviate performance issues on weaker devices.

    4.3 - How can you make even THIS chat more intrusive to my life

    The chat window cannot be placed in the extreme corners of the screen. On the left, it is always in between the tab bar and the action, on the right it just won't snap to the extreme edges just because it doesn't want to? Or something. No, "inactive mode" is not a solution to this.

    Being able to place it in the extreme outer corners of the screen and possibly adding a resizing option would be solutions to this.

    4.4 - At the edge of the world

    Quite old is the notion that it is inconvenient that you cannot completely outfocus the map anymore as you could in Legacy, e.g. scroll past the edge of it to maneuver around. The player is now forced to zoom because he bumps into the frame and cannot scroll past the edges anymore.

    4.5 - Keyboard navigation

    I get it, mobile gamers are your core audience now because they hemmorage money like the royal family does its blood. I would still love to see more keyboard functionality in there for PC users, most importantly arrow keys. The new map design with the way it scrolls basically SCREAMS arrow key-scrolling to me. In ten years of supremacy I haven't used the arrow key to scroll things and even still I find myself going for them intuitively now, even though they still do nothing.

    Implementing keyboard scrolling would also help alleviate some of the quirks introduced to mouse scrolling with the smoothing business going on.


    I am not a programmer or a graphic designer, I am writing this from a long-time player's perspective who considers himself fairly proficient in how the game works and is operated by players. I can't tell you how to make it so that unit icons will go out of the way of one another like they did, or how to make it so that multi-tabbing several games is more available again. I can only tell you that these things are issues from my perspective and point to how they were possible for programmers in the past to accomplish. Right here.

    There are many more things about the new UI which I personally find grotesque, but I have tried to limit this list to the more objective and more general issues that can be explained more or less argumentatively rather than by taste and also the ones that are primary concerns to me.

    These concerns have also been voiced by indisputably top-level players of the game. Some of the quite literally and measurably best players in the world, the people who are the best on this planet at operating this game engine, dislike the new client to a point where some find it "unplayable". This hurts marketability. I cannot demand the company to see this as a grave concern the way I do, I can only emphasize my very strong opinion that it is, and that I consider it phlegmatic business practice to not take into account the opinions of the people who are the quantifiably best and most proficient at using the company's product.

    We all want this game to be successful and good. For all we know, it's successful already. But for the points mentioned here, it can be better as a game.

    I just leave this here. Make of it what you will. I will very likely continue to try and claw my way back into enjoying my experience with this game. I'm still not sure whether I will make it or not, but whether I do or don't, here are my suggestions. Thank you for your time.

  • CapnBlaze

    Approved the thread.

    Why not, right? It's my feedback thread so I felt like also throwing in the little things that I feel aren't ideal or whatever. Maybe someone agrees and maybe someone agrees with them then and maybe, one day, someone in Hamburg agrees as well. It doesn't feel like much longer of a shot than the other stuff above, even though here's where some highly taste-related items are probably going to show up.

    6.1 - Flags are not round

    They are rectangular. I disagree with this Eurovision Song Contest-looking decision to the fullest extent. Please make them rectangular again, like, you know, a flag.

    6.2 - "Declare war and start fighting"

    I venture the guess that even someone well below the age requirement of the ToS has enough of a concept of what a war is to not need the super redundant "and start fighting" bit at the end of that. It happens in the popup that asks you to confirm a war when changing your diplomacy setting to declare one. If it said this in response to an actual attack command I'd give you the benefit. But not right there.

    6.3 - Snapping to orders

    Unless my memory of it is already so tarnished, Legacy also didn't do this. Letting you snap a new move order to the target of an existing move order when it's not in a city or at a fork, but just at open path. I realize the same effect can be accomplished by selecting both stacks or units you wish to give the order to and then just give one order, but I've always wished for the convenience of not having to do that and instead having the target of the other order provide snapping. Now that the target is always displayed in the form of that huge arrowhead I feel like it's almost too apparent not to have it that way.

    6.4 - Middle mouse button

    As far as I can tell the "middle" mouse button, a.k.a. scrollwheel click, works exactly the same way as a left click. Unless this is an accessibility thing that I am too confined to see, I don't understand why this would be a benefit to anyone. It gets odd sometimes when scrolling around violently and accidentally selecting stuff. I'd say get rid of that and if you have no other way to utilize that button, just leave it out.

    6.5 - "X Provinces selected"

    I could swear there used to be a hint somewhere on the screen when you selected multiple provinces that said how many you had currently selected. This is very convenient when selecting them to issue multiple build orders so that doing the math is easier - now I gotta manually count how many I have selected like a caveman. And yes, this is an issue sometimes, because sometimes, you're doing this with upwards of a dozen provinces.

    Please add a line that says how many provinces I have currently selected when selecting multiple. Just put it anywhere, I don't even care. I just need it.

    Oh, or here, here would be just perfect:


    Right where it says "Multi-selection" - yeah, thanks, I know that, I was hoping the computer could provide me with a number instead of a mere description of a circumstance. Just drop (x5) for example, right behind that line, boom.

  • As a player who has been away since 2017 and has considered returning I am very interested in the feedback to the above posts by Lost Realist. These and other posts have left me wondering if this game will be as fun as it was before college made such long-term strategy games impractical for me to participate in.