That's some really good ideas, thank you tremendously for the thoughtful analysis. I've been thinking about possible interface enhancements to streamline the process like you describe.
The reason the map uses the base SC2 interface right now is because the first priority has been gameplay: get the control point system fully up and running, all heroes completed, implementing your flying battle group idea, and so on. I just finished the final base capture system this week. A progress bar displays over a destroyed base, and team strength in the base's vicinity advances the bar towards the stronger team until the base captures. There's a finite amount of time to learn the editor and implement ideas, and I haven't had time to sit down and experiment with the interface tools much yet. The second phase of beta is coming soon and I'm trying to get all the core gameplay finished by then.
However, you're right that it's difficult for newcomers to learn the mechanics right now, and thorough gameplay doesn't matter if people get frustrated trying to learn it. I'll focus on improving the interface this week.
The upgrades button is a good idea, I'll see what I can do.
Otherwise, have it so your UI allows you to click on a hero/swarm to spawn, and you click on the "allowed" spots near the bases to where you want to spawn.
This is a good idea. Another enhancement would be a button to set a global rally point for trained units.
Another major element that I have planned is a concept from World in Conflict called "tactical aid," or TA. The portals in the current version of the map are the first of these. TA's are something else that can be on a game menu. There will be several types:
- Teleporters (nydus/portal transport)
- Orbital bombardment (targeted AOE)
- Summon specialist unit
- Field base (structure allowing training of units)
Each of these will require minerals to use, which provides a tradeoff with upgrades, and a use for excess minerals in late game.
Even better, when the game starts, it should show a UI tutorial to players maybe
One thing I'm planning is to have tutorial information at the loading screen. Loading will only take a few seconds once people have up-to-date computers, but for the moment it usually takes a minute or two to load most matches, which provides an excellent opportunity to get players up to speed. The loading image could be a screenshot overview of the interface and major gameplay elements with highlighted portions and captions... I do like having an artistic load screen, but you're right about teaching players the basics. It seems a tutorial would be more useful, and shouldn't take me more than a day to do in photoshop.