With Stormblood coming up fast and us about to have a job gauge to figure out room for, I needed to try and figure out how to fit that in. In addition, as new abilities get dropped into the first available slot in hotbar 1 and I was making a custom 3×4 layout using four hotbars, I wanted to use the new ability to set the hotbars to 3×4 so it’ll work a little better, maybe, given we’ll be getting some new abilities 61-70 as well as all-new abilities on new jobs (though I’ll typically do a lot of relayout anyway, so it’s more the automatic abilities earned through leveling up that get to be the annoyance).
I had done a lot of looking up layouts online, trying to find something that seemed promising. There’s a lot of people with screenshots of layouts various places, but most look very weird to me, like people have just crammed a bunch of things together vs. being “designed”. I did find one that looked promising, but trying something like it really didn’t work out (most things went to the bottom half of the screen and it made it harder for me in practice because I want to look “out” during runs).
In the end I reverted back to the layout I’d been running with and slowly made a few very minor tweaks that I think help me some. And for some reason I wanted to write something up on the changes I’d made, even though it seems like most other people like vastly different layouts from me. But maybe it’ll be useful to someone in the future and it’ll have been good I did this. ^^
For reference, this is the default layout that most people surely don’t use (at least doing minor hotbar tweaks):
Overall it’s a pretty decent default, given that I haven’t strayed too terribly far from it.
While my previous layout has changed a little, growing over the years in reaction to things like wanting an easier way to change classes, most of the basics have been there a long time and I’ve been fairly comfortable with them:
Note that this picture was taken with my ability layout that was updated for using 3×4 hotbars (I wanted to get new screenshots comparing the HUD layouts in the exact same setting). How my hotbars used to look was each hotbar’s 1-3, 5-7, and 9-11 slots were filled, and I had four hotbars stacked on top of each other so it’d look like the 3×4 mouse button layout I have:
The main changes from the start were:
- moving the focus target to the left side of the main target element instead of the right (too hard to look over to the far right), which lets me see more easily when I’m concentration on the target’s HP/statuses
- moving the alliance elements next to the party list (as they’re party members as well, and the default location is rather obtrusive)
- compacting the hotbars on top of each other (as especially with four you’ll have them getting in the way of the view)
Later on I added the small hotbars for potions (done with PotD since potions were plentiful and more likely to be needed vs. normal content), changing jobs (on the far right so it’s out of the way), and some mount options (could normally be hidden but it seems to work nicely between the inventory and menu elements).
Finally we come to the new layout, which may get tweaked further once I have access to job gauges and find out how I prefer to place those:
The main changes from the old layout are:
- hotbars set to 3×4 and shrunk to 90% (including the pet hotbar, which used to just sit on top of hotbar 4)
- new vertical hotbar to sit next to potions for food items (though I could’ve also made 9 a 2×6)
- HP/MP/TP bar and XP bar moved above hotbars (so they’re a little closer to the action)
- party shrunk to 90% and alliances shrunk to 80%, moved right to all still be close to the target/focus elements (originally party was moved to fit the enemy list to its left, but I didn’t end up liking that)
- enemy list shrunk to 80%, set underneath the alliances (so it’s easier to see the enemy list and notice aggro vs. the old placement on the left edge)
Not shown in any of these shots is the map, which is directly above the chat (same width) and goes up to the bottom of the party element (so in a full party situation if I have the map it won’t be covering anything anymore). The map used to be in the same area as the enemy list, which would make clicking on enemies harder depending on what element was “on top”. And in PotD, I have the character UI over there which had certain poms awkward to use if we had hate on mobs.
For now, my assumption on the job gauges is that they’ll go on the right somewhere, either up near the right side of the target element or down toward the gap between hotbars and menu. But it’ll really depend on how much info they have, what size I like them at, and how easy they are to glance at. But at least from a functional point of view, being near status effects or abilities seems logical as I’ll be looking at both of those during fights (for different reasons) and it’s just a matter of which works best. (And maybe both spots get used, depending on specific job.)