Here are the major differences, roughly in the order you will encounter them:
- The standings pages come up in a pop-up window when you click the map, rather than as a new page. That can be remedied by right clicking it and choosing to open the link in a new tab or window.
- There are no separate pages for each 'section' of a tree... a whole kingdom is in one page, no matter if it's got three people, or two thousand. (Try it- go to Avalon's page, open it up...)
- It's not laid out as a "tree" anymore, it's in an outline format. Each section on the outline can be collapsed or expanded.
- Each line has more information. Rank is a jewel, the title is given in gray, and icons after names indicate other things about that player.
- Doing a search from the main page gives you a trail that consists of hyperlinks for every person. Clicking on any of those names will pull up the standings page for that kingdom, go directly to that person, and show you where they are by flashing it in blue.
- As you move your mouse over names, the upline for each person is shown with a darker brown or tan background.
For reference, the icons that I have seen so far after names, and their meanings:
- Mounted Knight:
- has won 10 jousting matches
- has completed the Trader's locked book quest
- Sherrif's badge:
- has finished researching crime
- Stalk of wheat:
- has finished researching famine
- Red Cross:
- has finished researching disease
- Oval with 'GV':
- Grand Viceroy/Vicereine
- Oval with 'V':
The ranks are indicated by jewels, as follows:
- Light blue diamond
- Round purple amethyst
- Round blue sapphire
- Red heart Ruby
- Oval Green Emerald
- Square Orange (??)
- Square Yellow (Topaz?)
- Pink Heart (?)
Reaction has been, to say the least, mixed. Many have been very vocal in their dislike for it. I pointed out in chat that there was more information, and one reply was that it was just more lag (as if SL didn't have enough of that already, etc...) This made me go back and examine the pages more carefully, and consider what the true size of before and after might be. It's hard to do an accurate comparison, since the old pages are gone, but I can get close. I believe the pages are larger. The old large files (pictures) are gone, but each and every name is a picture! There is no text within the page. (So there's no use in using your browser's 'find' feature to jump to a specific person, etc...)
I suspect this was a deliberate design decision. It does result in significantly larger downloads, but it also means that automated scanning of the pages for information is basically useless, since there is no text to scan. (It's like those twisted pictures of letters that you have to squint at to prove that you're human... you have a chance of figuring it out, but the computer doesn't.)
And speaking of people deciphering information from pictures, this is the main complaint, I believe. "It's harder to see where everyone is at." In other words, it's easier to see who is under, over, or beside someone else when it is laid out in a two-dimensional chart. The outline is more compact, but the old straight vertical lines are now horizontal stairsteps. (and at first, not even the stairsteps were showing!)
To my mind, it is a better tool, and while I regret losing the old layout when it comes to quickly seeing who is where by shape- not by name- I'm sure I'll get used to it in time. I do love the new information. Oh, and since each name is a graphic, this means that you can save a kingdom's webpage to your computer, and check the number of pictures it has in it to get a count of how many people are in it. That won't be exact, of course, but it will be close. Just make sure you have a bit of room. Avalon's picture folder is 6.35 megabytes of pictures-- all two thousand, six hundred and seventy nine of them!