Suggestion: An Inbox!
Each user needs a mailbox, just like in an email interface. The mailbox would include:
(1) an inbox folder for incoming private messages
(2) a sent items folder saving all messages sent to others
(3) a draft folder for incomplete messages or messages to be sent at a later time
(4) diplomacy message folders for each game containing all diplomacy messages, sortable by order received, turn number, or sender
(5) a means for composing game diplomacy messages while not inside the Echo Cluster.
Here are some reasons for these suggestions based on my own experience:
--I have made some friends on Nu with whom I have sent some extensive strategic suggestions back and forth in private messages (from the profile page) without realizing I'd never again have access to the messages I had sent, and now I wish I had a copy of what I wrote for my own records, or perhaps to share with others later.
--In receiving private messages, you can only read them in your email, but nowhere on the site.
--Diplomacy messages in-game are a very difficult way to communicate for several reasons. Because of the interface, if I need to check something related to what I'm writing, I've learned first to press ⌘A and ⌘X first, and then when returning to the message window pressing ⌘V to get it back. If I forget to cut and paste, or if, God forbid, I hit ⌘V instead of ⌘X before leaving the screen, then I lose the whole message. It's such a pain!!
--My diplomacy messages are often long and detailed and I'd like a way to work on them parallel to the game and outside the Echo Cluster interface (in another window).
--Finally, I'd like to be able to use non-ascii characters (as allowed in the forums) in diplomacy and private messages. I like to use the endash and emdash in prose writing [ – and — respectively ]; moreover sometimes I write and receive diplomacy messages in foreign languages. All characters with diacritical marks, and characters like ß and — and ≥ appear simply as "?" within the client, and all are useful, at least to some players.
Many Nu players are now often resorting to traditional email to communicate due to the shortcomings of Nu's online message system. For instance, I switch to email when I need for an ally to receive tactical diagrams and specific map markups. I also often send word files or use google docs so that plans that an alliance makes can be edited and discussed inline. I also use big excel spreadsheets to keep track of the layout of the sector, for resource management, for the queue and the PBP totals, and the relevant formulas; obviously this kind of information can only be shared by email or from the cloud. As games become more and more complicated and the spreadsheets and/or diagrams get updated every turn, the in-game diplomacy messages are absolutely no longer an option, so the collaboration devolves into email exclusively.
After the game is over, it would be terrific for other players in a game to see the tactical diagrams and the spreadsheets that I share with allies. That way others can learn from them and even critique them if they see a better way to do things that we are doing. If nothing else, allowing messages to include images and spreadsheets and later making them public could inspire others to spend more time focusing on the details of their own turns if they see that some of the serious players go to such lengths.
First of all all those badges hurt the game I believe as some players are more badge than focused on the specific game. All those notices are very annoying.
I agree with this and I just voted.
i second this motion.
The community at planets.nu is great. its helpful and eloquent. there is hardly ever any "flaming" and questions are answered quick, good and complete. (no read the manual! or such stuff)
right now i find it only hard to communicate effectively with other players in game or outside. the feed is nice IMHO, but its not very helpful for a private communication. I evade to mail, ICQ and IRC.
therefor a light messaging system with private and or group chats would be nice.
I approve of the idea. I'd mention only that it may be data-intensive and therefore cost us money in increased subscription fees. Technically, right now we can get by using freemail accounts to ape these functions -- less well, I'll grant, but still, free is free.
... and it would really be nice to
1) allow copy/paste to the message window area
2) allow clickable URLs to be pasted in the message window area
3) allow images pasted into the message area (as long as they aren't huge)