Imx Fix in my experience
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April 5, 2004 3:24 AM

Splinter Cell: Pandora TomorrowI can't imagine there were conscious 'UI decisions' made (I assume that the disease of familiarity played a part) about the process that makes it necessary for me to go thru the following to see if any friend's games on Xbox Live are joinable in Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow...

Push the 'on' button on the Xbox, wait for Ubisoft logo to play IN FULL, then hit "start" which is the only button you can push to get past the first screen, then push "a" again to interrupt the movie already watched (why doesn't it remember that?!? I have 50,000+ sectors available on the HARD DRIVE), then wait for the movie I don't need to see again to be flushed from memory and then wait for more loading, then hit "left" on the D-pad for the multiplayer option, then "a" to select it, then "a" AGAIN to interrupt the multiplayer movie that is useless that I have also already watched, and then "a" to select the one and only profile, then "a" again to confirm that I want to use the one and only profile I have, then "a" AGAIN to start the login process (which could be happening in the background because the profile for the game is decoupled from the profile used for my Xbox Live login) and then wait for login to succeed, then D-pad "down" twice then "a" AGAIN! to select "Friends" from the menu, then scroll down thru the list of friends using the D-pad.

This last screen is where it gets a little smarter because there are two portions to the screen. The list of players name and status area giving me a range of options when I highlight a player name. I can infer from that status that "Join Game" means it's a join-able session and that a lack of that choice means the session is full. Now, there is a little bit of making me think in there, but it's WAY much less than the conscious effort I have to put forth to get to this screen (and use of this screen is typical of all users).

In Tribes1 and to a lesser extent in Tribes2 the amount of clicks to get into an online game was minimized and also lined up on one critical path. There was no moving thru menus to do what you would most likely do so you could just click like mad without thinking and that would eventually land you in a game. Also, if memory serves me correct, after you went thru the menus once, it remembered which option you selected last time expecting that your behavior would likely not deviate.

An underlying issue to all this all is that multiplayer gamers will replay the game more than solo gamers which puts the burden of menu navigating on the online players and multiplies the time spent in menu jail by the number of players multiplied by the typical amount of replay sessions.