Vahn details a simpler, experimental Blackout user interface for looting

Jeffrey Mizrahi

Treyarch is unhappy with the current Blackout user interface and has plans to revamp it.

On December 4, Treyarch Studio Design Director, David Vonderhaar, expressed his frustration with the Blackout user experience, also known as UX, over on Reddit. Replying to a video posted by user ‘SGT-ISA’, Vonderhaar writes “Quite honestly, the STASH UX aggravates me as well.”

SGT-ISA’s video showed him having trouble looting a death stash. Whenever he would pick up an item, the user interface, also known as UI, would show either a blank spot in the pop-up menu or disappear completely as if he walked away from it.

While a quick patch went out a little after this video was posted that fixed the blank spaces from appearing in death stashes, the issuing causing the pop-up menu to disappear even while the player is stationary is still present in the game.

After sharing similar aggravation, Vonderhaar goes on to talk about a replacement user experience that is currently being tested and worked on at Treyarch.

This new system they are testing, which is not final, would be a column layout, with each item type segmented to its own “container”.

Vonderhaar writes that this layout would also be “anchored to the bottom of the screen.” And that players will have “No more of the menu bouncing around on the screen on you in an unpredictable way.”

He goes on to explain that performing any combat actions like shooting or aiming down the sights would make the looting UI go away, but changing your stance and strafing around the loot will not.

Vonderhaar then ends off his post condensing it all and writing “In summary, it’s super aggravating. We know it. We are doing something about it.”

His whole post detailing the experimental system can be read here:

I hear and feel your aggravation. Quite honestly, the STASH UX aggravates me as well.

I’ve seen the replacement version. It’s a grid with tabs (when it needs them) but is no bigger than it needs to be while also staying the same size for everyone. It doesn’t “auto re-size” or you’d have the same problem as the current Stash.

It’s anchored to the bottom of the screen. No more of the menu bouncing around on the screen on you in an unpredictable way.

No more having a new item sliding into the place when a teammate is also using the menu. For example, picking up a gun on accident. That’s the worse. Every item has its own container. If the Item disappears when you have it selected, it’s very clear what happened. Someone took it. The grid block will be blank.

*knock on wood* Items of the same named type will stack up even if they don’t stack in the Inventory. Eg., if you down a guy with 2 weapons, each with a Suppressor, that will use 1 grid block and not 2. This reduces the overall size requirement, while still allowing you to see “a lot” of the contents of a Stash at once without using a ton of screen real-estate.

This one I have not seen working yet -but it’s on the plans. That’s why I am knocking on wood. It may not work out for reasons I can not currently predict. Nothing is ever really done until it is, no matter how good the plan is. It still needs user testing and extensive playtesting.

If you do any combat action (ADS and shoot) or back away from it, you will close the menu -but you can still change stance and straff around (as long as you don’t move too far away). You can not Heal or use Equipment when it is open because R1/RB and L1/LB are used to tab to other pages.

I wish I could just show you it, instead of trying to explain it. I can not. However, several of us are working on getting the necessary folks comfortable with the idea of showing you things that are in development. At least for the “top 5” level stuff like this one.

In summary, it’s super aggravating. We know it. We are doing something about it.


How’s the looting user interface working for you? Love it, hate it? Let us know in the comments down below!