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Thought on UI, post 1.2


Evenprimes

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First off, this is meant to start where the UI updates in 1.2 leave off. I've checked out the PTS and really like where BW is headed.

 

In particular, how easy it is to completely reset large portions of the UI. It seems like it will be very easy to have a tank ui, healer ui, etc and switch to the right option for the task at hand. Bravo!

 

One theme I'd like BW to continue to explore is that of profiles. I'm surprised at how much I like the way they work in 1.2 and I have high expectations that you will continue to develop using those concepts.

 

Keybinds

I admit, at first I wanted them associated with the UI however after thinking about it more, I want keybinds as a DIFFERENT UI profile. Just because I happen to like how <random player> setup their UI doesn't mean that I will like their keybinds, or vice versa. However, I do want a way to backup/store/share my keybinds.

 

Also, we need more. For instance, space combat needs to have keybinds unique from the regular UI. I don't have left/right turning on keybinds, so now I can't strafe in space.

 

Raid markers. Those really, really need to be keybindable. While we're at it, the cute symbols are nice. Can we also just have big numbers like in Rift? Especially in a pug, it's far easier for everyone to agree that "1" means first kill!

 

UI options

The current (as of 1.2) UI options are a HUGE step forward. Nothing is perfect and plenty of good feedback exists in the PTS forum.

 

I'm torn on 3rd party mods, even "look only" mods since that inherently impacts balance. If I have better/more relevant information that's easier to get to, I have an advantage over people with poorer access to information. OTOH, that's the same with the default UI for people who's cognitive model works well with the default versus people who's cognitive model is very different than the default.

 

One (of many!) major areas is on buffs/debuffs/procs. I'd suggest that the BW devs go look at something like PowerAuras from the WoW mod community. (I think there was an even more ambitious take on the idea called WeakAuras, but I never used it.) Basically, PA was a "simple" framework that allowed the user to create micro-mods on a variety of conditions. Then "bundle" and even share those micro-mods.

 

An ingame version for SWTOR could help meet the customization needs for many (not all) players while also allowing BW to control how complex those mods could be.

 

I'd also suggest you check out the "proc" system that Aion uses. It's not directly usable in SWTOR since the combat systems are different, but I thought it was an interesting way to address the issue and keep hotbars from getting too cluttered.

 

Macros

I understand that BW is hesitant to allow game play automation. With that in mind, here's what I would find I really want in macros.

 

  1. Target awareness. When I'm on my Merc, I want to heal allies and hurt enemies. Being able to have a macro that casts a heal if the target is friendly, or damage ability if enemy, seems reasonable. It saves me slots AND means I can have the same keybinds no matter where I am.
     
  2. Area awareness. When I'm in a warzone, use my pvp health pack, when in an op use my blue healthpack, otherwise use the white vendor healthpack.
     
  3. Let me have a LOT of macro slots so I don't get crammed.
  4. Export/sharing options would be full of win here too!

 

That's all I can think of for now. Keep going BW!

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