Content of the article: "Gate icons are pretty useless: Suggestions for improvement"
I like the idea of gate icons to display at a glance info about a system before you jump in, but as it stands right now, they don't feel that useful. Currently, they show the following information:
- Faction of target system (banner)
- Alliance logos of current and target systems
- Recent traffic and kills in target system
- Security status of target system (0.0-1.0)
- Extra statuses: F.W., Contested, Incursion, Invasion
- (The linked article also mentions traffic control, which I've never seen in my past year of playing, and faction banners for the current system, which also appear to have been removed.)
Recent traffic and kills icons are "reported recently" and "averaged over time and as such may only offer delayed information". I could not find any info on what timeframe this is and what the comparison is to (average for past hour relative average for past month, whether it's for that system only or if it's compared to other systems, etc.), which limits its utility.
The statuses are nice but also probably aren't that useful to most players in their day-to-day travels.
I believe the following changes will make the gate icons much more useful:
- Adding EDENCOM Minor Victory/Fortresses icons
- Adding an icon if pod killing recently occurred (also clarify when "recently" is?)
- Adding icons for Metalimital storms (could be storm specific or generic for all)
- For systems with a status that results in an influence/contested/control bar (FW, incursions, formerly Invasions), it could be mirrored in a line underneath the respective status icon
- Clarifying criteria for existing traffic/kill reports, maybe separate indicators for comparisons relative to other systems and history of that specific system (ie Jita is always very busy relative to other systems, but currently has fewer people than usual), secondary indicator could be line on the side of current icons
- Maybe displaying some icons (especially caution ones) in the Selected Item window so they're still useful if you jump on contact, if it's feasible
- Lesser system stats (not that useful but still might be nice to know about, can be smaller than others or maybe a line or text or something): Jove Observatory presence, NPC station(s) in system, sun type, DBS value, etc
- Adding the name of the target system above/below the icons, if lesser stats are text, they could go with the name (not really that necessary, I just think it would look cool)
All of these reflect options in autopilot settings and/or information that we can already get from the map, but displayed in a more concise and convenient manner.
Obviously, this still wouldn't be much more useful for route planning as you can only see gate icons one system in advance, but it would help more with unrouted roams by making it much easier to see if a system is potentially worth visiting and on less important trips (set desto and go, no planning) to see if a jump should be risked or if it would be better to look for a detour.
I'm sure I might've missed a few potential additions or reasons why something might not be such a good idea, so I'm open to feedback and constructive criticism.
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