Improve NPC dialogue formatting when balloons disabled
issueid=5004 09-16-2017 07:25 AM
Ancient Member
Number of reported issues by Laukku: 56
Improve NPC dialogue formatting when balloons disabled
It used to be so that (more) prompts divided sentences nicely

I have set Hide_Speech_Bubbles = true. For long stretches of NPC dialogue, quest givers especially, it used to be that each line was nicely formatted so that the NPC would say one sentence that fit in the two-line message buffer. You would press space for more, and another complete sentence said by the NPC would be printed on the screen. Now it's just a continuous stream of text, with sentences often broken between (more) prompts, and it's a lot harder to read. Furthermore, there are a lot of redundant "Character says:" texts in non-balloon mode (and which weren't there earlier), which furthers the problem.

I'd really appreciate if behaviour resembling more closely 1.1.1 would be brought back for Hide_Speech_Bubbles = true.

This might be a wider issue with forced (more) prompts being absent, but that would require more testing/research.
Issue Details
Issue Number 5004
Issue Type Feature
Project ADOM (Ancient Domains Of Mystery)
Category MS-DOS
Status Implemented
Priority 7
Suggested Version ADOM 2.3.0 (r73)
Implemented Version ADOM 2.3.1
Milestone (none)
Votes for this feature 0
Votes against this feature 0
Assigned Users (none)
Tags (none)

09-16-2017 08:47 AM
The Creator
It will be impossible to revert to the old behaviour. There were more than a thousand places changed to include the new system and I believe it is much better than the old one.

Actually my preferred solution would be to remove the "Hide_Speech_Bubbles" configuration option if it causes trouble. Because I personally do not see _any_ reason to not use the speech bubbles. The one concern raised when I initially showed them on the blog was "I don't like their looks". If there aren't any better reasons (please discuss!) I'll probably remove the option because it feels like a huge waste of time spending dozens of hours on formatting texts that IMHO look great in the bubbles.

09-16-2017 12:08 PM
Junior Member
I'm inclined to agree. The option to disable text-bubbles should probably go.

The practicalities of code-maintenance has to take presidence over legacy options sometimes.

09-16-2017 08:00 PM
Ancient Member
Issues I have with the speech bubbles:
  1. It doesn't seem to be possible to suppress them with adom.msg. Getting an unavoidable speech bubble (and extra keypress) every time you pick up an item in a shop is annoying.
  2. It isn't possible to skip entire dialogs with the Enter key. For long dialogs such as the portal quest, it takes several keypresses to get through - I have seen these enough that I no longer want/need to read them.
  3. Many things take more keypresses. Buying from ratling merchant with dialog bubbles: Space y <number> Enter Space. Buying from ratling merchant without dialog bubbles: y <number> Enter.
  4. Fast_More doesn't affect speech bubbles, making it clunkier to get through them. Biggest offender so far: shopkeeper dialog when dropping items - if you want to abort your drop, you need to press Space Space n repeatedly, instead of just holding down n.

09-16-2017 09:25 PM
Qui Qui is offline
Senior Member
Yes, shopping is much more annoying now. I hope there will be a way to do away with Z each time.

09-17-2017 02:55 AM
The Creator
Now we are getting more to the point: So the question is how to optimize shop keeper stuff. I agree on that part.

I'm thinking about it and good suggestions are welcome.

09-17-2017 05:49 AM
Ancient Member
Shop suggestions:
  • Only have the shopkeeper bark at you the first time they notice you pick up an item in their shop. Combined with them barring the door, this is enough to get the point across.
  • If possible, combine y/N prompts with some dialog bubbles. For instance, with the message "I'd offer 45 gold for yer iron ration.", include an "Accept? [Y/n]" prompt instead of "[Z] Exit". The initial ratling trader dialog ("Ye wanna buy...") is another good candidate for this.
  • Move the "Then take yer stuff with ye!" message to the message buffer. This would make dropping multiple items much smoother.

General suggestions:
  • If Fast_More is enabled, allow any key to substitute for "[Z] Exit" prompts.
  • Allow Enter to act on dialog bubbles as it would for a long sequence of more prompts: skip through everything until the player needs to be prompted about something important.

09-17-2017 04:26 PM
The Creator
- An individual shopkeeper speaks but once to you via a speech bubble when picking something up - all further comments will be to the message buffer since they mostly are for color anyways.
- "Then take yer stuff with ye!" again is message-buffer only.

09-17-2017 05:39 PM
The Creator
Fast_More and Ctrl-k now affect both (more) and speech bubble handling (basically as you suggested).

Sadly combining prompts with offers currently is not possible. But it could be worthwhile to collect the particular bothersome situations (like you started above) in a new ticket and I will address this in a later version (not 2.3.1, because it's too complex).

Marking this ticket as implemented for now.

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