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Accessibility Suggestions


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It would help to have combat noises in their own Sound channel. I have a type of hearing disability where sharp sounds are painful and disorienting, so I have to have the sound effects down VERY low, but that means I miss out on some of the really great sound work that isn't explosions, lasers, etc.
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Bloom Slider - Especially for lightsaber. Iam a big fan of Vanilla Lightsabers becouse Cartel Market (Temped "aka Luke", Valor, PvP Lightsabers, well every new lightsaber in cartel market) got very slim lightsaber blade. Hilts are great but iam not a fan of toothpicks.


Green Color Crystal - Would be great to change default one, but probably impossible. Add Green that was in swtor beta


Someone tried to recreate it https://i.imgur.com/3v4xy5W.jpg

For me and many players its very important. I know we got many green crystals like Desert Green but they're not even close to this one. Waited for great green crystal since 2013 when i started to play.


Weapon Designer option


Bubble chat - For people with low PC spec it could be disabled and work only normal chat like now.




One of most important things... engine upgrade if its even possible. Low PvP frames is normal thing becouse limit of this 32 bit client.


Nike of these have to do with accessibility. The thread is asking for ideas for things to make the game more appealing to those with impairment ls such as visual, physical or audio. Maybe those have limited or bad usage in one hand, reducing effects for those who suffer from seizures, etc.


I would.make a separate thread in all this and not try to derail the purpose of what the thread is trying to get suggestions for.

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SWTOR was named the 2011 Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year by AbleGamers back in the day. I'm very happy, another player has been able to use the web archive to find the original article and review!


One of the "issues" that was never fixed from that original review was text size / readability, and the captions sometimes moving too fast.


One big issue that WAS fixed is the Interface Editor (moving things around).


One of the things that has changed since 2011 is greater knowledge of sensory disabilities and autistic players' needs.


News Post


Every year there are two or three highly anticipated games released with massive hype and record-setting expectations. Most times these games fall completely flat when it comes to game accessibility, but this year one game set itself apart by including a fair amount of accessibility at launch while still meeting the public's expectations for an amazing game.


AbleGamers is proud to announce the 2011 Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year goes to Star Wars: The Old Republic. With over 1 million subscriptions sold before the paint even dried on the collector’s edition boxes, SWTOR quickly became one of the most popular MMO RPGs on the market today.


This game performed strongly against most of our accessibility tests while still maintaining a fun environment for those who enjoy solo or group play. Perhaps one of the most unintentionally accessibility features turned out to be the addition of companions. These NPC characters which accompany the player through most of the game provide support to those who need it without forcing them to request help from other players. Companions are an integral part of the crafting game as all crafting and some resource gathering is actually done by the companions themselves allowing those who wish to be more social and less lethal to still participate in this cutting into game.


swtor1SWTOR also features many accessibility options such as full subtitles, queue-able actions, multiple action bars, area looting, auto looting, and built-in mouse sensitivity. Other built-in features such as automatically turning to face the monster you are killing, mini map colors being colorblind friendly, full subtitles, and the ability to control the entire game from the keyboard or with the mouse, only increase the reasons to herald this game as a success for game accessibility.


The developers do have room for improvement by adding features such as click to move, close captioning, and the inclusion of mods to allow things like UI movement, text size changes, and small changes deemed necessary by the player base. However, with Star Wars enabling the ability to use on-screen keyboards, voice activation software, and mouse sensitivity settings, the game can be forgiven for a few shortcomings while hitting the major targets.


What makes this game so special is that the developers took the time to include so many accessibility options while up against tight deadlines in such a highly anticipated title. The AbleGamers Foundation is proud to present BioWare and LucasArts with the 2011 Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year Award. Congratulations to all the developers who helped shape the accessibility of this wonderful game.


And the actual review by Steve Spohn


Billed as the most anticipated MMO to launch this year (and maybe the last few years), Star Wars: The Old Republic, is an MMORPG based on LucasArts’ famous intellectual property combined with BioWare’s signature gaming style.


As you would expect, the level of interaction between you and the NPCs is brought to life by the same mechanism used in Dragon Age and Mass Effect. You are given three choices of responses to every question posed to you when speaking to an NPC, making this the most interactive MMO to date, and that's just my personal favorite aspect.


SWTOR is an immersive and graphically beautiful game that draws you in with its compelling stories and fast-paced adventuring. With an intricate crafting system, PVP, 16 classes, 6 professions, and the light side/dark side system, this game has it all.


The accessibility is surprisingly well developed. As many of you know, Bioware has swung wildly between receiving nearly perfect accessibility scores and communicating daily with AbleGamers on how to improve accessibility (Warhammer Online), and receiving the lowest scores we've ever given for completely locking out segments of the disabled community and ignoring our requests for comment (Mass Effect 2).


So without further ado, let's break it down:




The game can be controlled by using only the mouse, on-screen keyboards, most assistive technology and conventional keyboard/mouse combinations. In order to move your character, you can use the typical WASD keys or both mouse buttons held down at the same time. Unfortunately, right-click to move has not been implemented.


There are multiple options in the preferences area that can be enabled to improve accessibility. Under the control tab, there are three key options: auto looting - which enables you to take everything off of a body by right clicking, area looting - which enables looting only one corpse when multiple bodies are present, and auto targeting - which enables you to click on a spell/ability and the game will automatically target the nearest enemy.


In addition, you can change the maximum distance of your camera and the speed at which it circulates your character (sometimes referred to as mouse sensitivity). Therefore, those with low dexterity and decreased precision will both be able to set the game to a level that is comfortable for them.


One-handed gamers who can use the keyboard or mouse will be able to play the game with relative ease. There is only one section of the game, item modification, which requires holding down a key while right clicking. This can be alleviated by using an on-screen keyboard.


It is worth noting that there are three display modes available: full-screen, full-screen window, and windowed mode. In the beta of SWTOR, on-screen keyboards were accessible in both full-screen window and windowed mode. However, since launch most on-screen keyboards only work in windowed mode. This is unfortunate, but does not affect the overall gameplay.


With only a few more abilities, I would've given the mobility of SWTOR a perfect 10, something I rarely do. However, a few public battles over options have stalled the implementation of these options. Unfortunately, there are many opponents to the implementation of customizable UIs and click to move - the naysayers argue that increased customizable options present the danger of inviting “bots” to damage the game as most of them rely on the ability to click to move. This is, of course, completely false. There are already said bots in-game and eliminating the ability to click to move puts undue burden on those with strength issues. Those with illnesses such as muscular dystrophy and others that affect stamina can find it potentially tiring to continually hold down both mouse buttons repeatedly as the game requires you to do so quite a bit. Hopefully, in time, the developers will realize that this feature is valuable to the disabled community.


There are currently no mods and the developers have no plans to allow mods at the current time. You will be unable to move any of the graphical elements around the screen. There are some small options such as enabling more action bars, but for the majority of things, you will have to work with what the developers give you.



There are relatively no situations where colorblind players should be at a disadvantage. The only possible exception is when targeting enemies and friendlies. However, the target reticle changes to a thicker circle when hovering over enemies. In addition, you can tell if the enemy is an elite by how much shading is in the star on the right-hand side of the nameplate.


Text is displayed it is sometimes quite difficult to read in a small 8 point font against certain backgrounds, and it often moves quickly. The options to choose which answer are often clearly labeled with what choice or alignment you will be taking. Therefore, you should not have much difficulty reading the text, but you should be aware that there is no way to change the font or font size.




There are full subtitles available for all conversations with NPCs. There are no close captions for ambient sound. As stated above, the text is sometimes difficult to read, and moves very quickly.


At a glance




Mobility impaired gamers should be okay (but may only be able to play for a limited time depending on strength/stamina)

One-handed gamers should be okay

You can adjust mouse sensitivity

You can adjust camera speed and distance

You can play with only the mouse

You can play by using the keyboard almost exclusively

The user interface cannot be moved (-1)

There is no click to move option (-1)


Recommended score 8 out of 10




Colorblind gamers should be okay

Font and font size could not be changed (-0.5)

Text sometimes moves quickly and there is no option to slow it down (-0.5)


Recommended score 9 out of 10




Deaf gamers should be okay

The game is fully subtitled

Ambient noise is not close captioned (-0.5)

Text sometimes moves quickly and there is no option to slow it down (-0.5)


Recommended score 9 out of 10


Additional notes


Some users are reporting using auto hot keys as a valuable tool to increase the accessibility of SWTOR. Please check our forums for more information on the program and any issues you might face.


Forum member HeadbanGER has listed his VAC profile for SWTOR, which you can download here: http://www.ablegamers.com/558-pcmac-wait-you-can-game-on-a-mac/4156-vac-profiles.html#6256


It annoys me that we cannot play Wookies.


*happy wookiee noises*

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LadyAdmiral, the article by Steve Spohn and several other posts have excellent points.


However, I do miss a few that bother me personally:


  1. High intensity lighting
    To give examples;
    • a. I didn't play my jedi sage for years because the Force Armor spell changed into something very bright and into your face at some point and it's disorienting and headache inducing.
    • b. Due to the same intensity, but of spells 'n stuff I hardly do any group content, as all spells flying give me migraines, and some weapons and more specifically weapon tunings are terrifying in the intensity-department.
    • Please give us options to turn this off or down.

Please, for the love of the Force, do not make the mistake to add high contrast to everything. You help a part of your player base, while adding more difficulties to another part of your player base. We really do need both these options!

Simply turning off 'Bloom' does help a little, but not nearly enough.



I don't know why, but this game is the only game I can't simply turn them off. The majority of people with motion sickness, which is a very common issue*, would thank you for including the option. I most certainly would.


* "Roughly one-third of people are highly susceptible to motion sickness, and most of the rest get motion sick under extreme conditions." (from the wikipedia)

Edited by tigrina
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I got glasses myself and reading through the feedbacks:

Maybe adding an option to make the regular chatbox bigger without having to change your UI to grandma modes?


Also I heard complaints before that the ability phantomstide (got this feedback ages ago in my stream) used to make someone getting headaches and disoriented because of the animation.


Further maybe being able to costumize colours of your panels could be an idea? Or pre selected colours as there are many types of colourblindnesses.

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SWTOR was named the 2011 Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year by AbleGamers back in the day. I'm very happy, another player has been able to use the web archive to find the original article and review!


You're welcome. ;)


The text sizing option from the article is an obvious one I overlooked. I've long wished they would fix in this day of high resolution monitors and me with my bad eyesight and bifocals.

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First of all, it is awesome to see, that there is a willingness to make accessibility changes in SWTOR! It will mean a lot to the players who really need it.


I came across a player on Answer HQ, talking about the newly added Purple Sparkle Powder and how it can cause seizures. That is a very real problem for some gamers unfortunately.


An EA Live QV Team Member has replied to the thread thankfully, but it can't hurt to confirm it and make sure it is seen: https://answers.ea.com/t5/Game-Information-Discussion/Login-Rewards-Feedback-Please-reconsider-one-of-them/m-p/9937106/highlight/true#M1533

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My lords,


Vengeaful slam and the guardian's mirror ability are too flashy. I can go back and find couple dozen threads about this from years ago. The animation is very nice and all but with BLOOM on it's too flashy too agressive and I'm not the only one, albeit minority, to have problem with it.

If you turn bloom off, it helps, but also makes the whole game much more flat. Some sort of slider for bloom intensity - if possible - could solve this, or perhaps change to the ability itself, but that might not be liked my the majority who don't have problem with it.

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I am posting this for my fiance Brandon Cole ( @Superblindman on twitter ) . He is a totally blind accessibility advocate and he has loved SWTOR since I started playing it as a founding character. He is super excited about this thread and I am too.




I am about to tell you how to make The Old Republic totally accessible to a blind person.


1: Full UI narration. Every element needs to be narrated, and activating the narration option should be easy to do. Perhaps a key command that activates it would work best for this game, as blind players would need to be able to use it for every single thing from server selection, to settings configuration, to character creation and so on. Even optional things like the Codex should support this, as the blind deserve access to all parts of the game. The recommended method of narration for a game of this size and scope is Text to Speech narration, which can be achieved either by creating your own solution, by utilizing the Windows Narrator API’s, or by utilizing existing screen reader API’s to support the existing screen readers of blind users. All of these methods would be acceptable, though the first would of course be the most difficult.


2: Full keyboard navigation. While it is true that movement already works this way, keyboard navigation would absolutely need to extend to, say, picking up items, selecting things in every menu, and so on. The blind typically do not use the mouse as cursor navigation is quite difficult when you can’t see a cursor, we would need keyboard/controller navigation applied to absolutely everything. This includes things like scanning with the macrobinoculars, although I will speak more on those shortly.


3: Audio cues. We will need positional audio cues for certain things, such as collectable loot, intractable objects and people, nearby enemies, and so on. However, audio cues would also need to be applied to some puzzle elements, such as once again, macrobinocular scan areas. We will need to know when it is viable to press the appropriate buttons in order to activate them. This is where I will also bring up the idea of concessions. If it is too difficult to translate moving the mouse to the proper area to look at the correct thing into keyboard movement, or if a solution works for keyboard movement but contains no audio cue to give us any hint of which way to move, there may need to be an optional key to simply automatically scan the thing we’re supposed to scan. I try to make as few concessions as possible in my consulting work, but this is an area where one may be required. Back to audio cues though, there may also need to be audio cues to indicate quest area boundaries. If we are to hunt a particular enemy in a quest circle to collect particular drops, we must know when we’re both entering and leaving that area so we can ensure we’re staying where we need to be long enough to finish the task.


4: Additional commands. While we do need everything narrated, we don’t need EVERYTHING narrated all the time. For example, I don’t need to know what my health is every second. I do, however, need a command that allows me to, by my own choice, check my health status, as well as any status effects that might be hindering or helping me. We would also need commands to quickly check on the statuses of our allies if we were, say, playing a support role in a group. Additional commands to repeat quest objectives, check distance to quest objective, and so on, may also be helpful.


5: Additional systems. By far the most complicated bit, we would need certain additional systems. First, an interactive map which, instead of being formatted as a map we’d have to move around, a situation in which we might still miss things, is formatted as a sortable list. This list contains essentially text versions of all the icons the sighted user would see on their map. Ideally we could then sort these by active quests, merchants, and so on. Selecting one of these from our keyboard-browsable list would allow us to read a description if one existed, and/or set a waypoint to that destination. Once a waypoint was set, we’d move into the next system we would need, which is something to help with movement. These systems need to work together in order for us to reach our objective. We need to be able to move toward a waypoint we’ve set, and there are a couple of ways to handle this. First, a key that basically turns us to face our objective. Something we just press now and again to reorient on it. This is workable, but will also require additional coding for things like jumping. We’ll need to know when we need to jump, or potentially be automatically made to jump when it is required. As tremendous as I understand the artists did with the environments, we still cannot see them, and so they must be worked around. Furthermore, I know there are complex platform puzzles that exist in the game, and unless the devs were willing to do very specific and precise coding of audio cues for those puzzles, auto platforming may be the best way to approach those. Of course, another option is that we press a key, and we are automatically moved toward our objective in every sense. Believe it or not, this option is fine with the blind as long as we can also stop it in the middle in cases where we might hear something interesting off to one side and wish to go investigate. So yes, in a giant MMO, you absolutely can take our movement controls away and autowalk us completely, as long as we can stop. The point to consider here, and the reason we would accept this option, is because it’s either that, or we don’t get there at all. We’d rather play with a liiiittle less control than not play.


I haven’t listed absolutely everything we would need here, but everything I haven’t listed is derivative of everything else I’ve said. 2 more quick examples would be keyboard targeting of enemies and allies for attacking and healing, (additional controls), and audio cues and targeting assist for space combat segments, (audio cues and additional systems). I also completely understand the extreme unlikelihood of any of this actually being implemented, as it would probably require the re-coding of several in-game systems. However, this is the best opportunity I’ve seen to make people on the TOR team, and hopefully people within Bioware as a whole, to think about blind accessibility. And so, even if none of this comes to pass, I hope the ideas presented here are, at the very least, considered for future projects. Thank you.

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Posting on behalf of another player:


I actually just thought today about hopping back into SWTOR but my 1 big issue with all these different MMOs I enjoy like SWTOR, WoW, GW2 ect. No official controller support. Mouse and KB on even short sessions is a real joy killer thanks to the pain


It's what I love so much about FFXIV. Yes it still has it's issues as u can't remap controller binds, but being able to lay in bed on a bad day and still hang out with my friends is the escape I need. Especially with current world events

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  • Ability to turn off other people's animations (make them muted) - helps those who have issues with things being too bright, or seeing mechanics through 10 AoE's, etc
  • Adding shapes to colors for color-based mechanics - i.e. Op 9 fight; terminals and orbs could just gain an aditional geometric marker (circle, square, triangle, star)
  • color-blind toggle which alters visuals and/or adds other aids for situations where colors are part of the fight/scenario
  • allowing more of the UI elements to be turned off, so they don't cover other (more important) elements - for those with vision problems/small monitors
  • allowing controller support, which opens the door for using adaptive controllers - I know some people do this now, but AFAIK it's technically against ToS
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A few people have already brought it up, but Flashpoints are a big accessibility problem, especially when they're required to continue the story. Even while medicated my ADHD can make it difficult to stay focused for the amount of time needed to complete the Flashpoint, as well as having stomach issues that can flare up randomly and have forced me to leave mid-Flashpoint in the past, completely resetting progress. I dread doing them and the ones from the last few years have often soured my view of the story as a whole, even when I had been thoroughly enjoying it/the idea of it before the Flashpoint came up.

As much as Flashpoints can be a pain for me I can only imagine how frustrating they must get for people with much more severe disabilities than I, and I think it would be helpful to either offer easier/quicker modes to get through Flashpoints, or steer away from making them required parts of the main story, at least.

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To gather suggestions from the ones playing the game is a great idea. Listening to your player base is the number one thing that needs to be done. As one who deals with physical limitations in my daily life and my video games, anytime someone is willing to listen to help to bring change is appreciated.


That said, there are some great suggestions in this thread. The ability to change keybindings is one of SWTOR UI’s greatest assets. The only thing to improve the ability to keybind, would be an in-game tutorial that would better explain all of the capabilities. Explaining how players can setup different keybinds for utilizing special abilities in story chapters, like when piloting the Walker on Voss or special abilities for other gameplay formats, warzones, galactic star-fighter etc., would serve to improve to make it more user friendly to everyone.


Ability to change keybindings is just one example of accessibility that SWTOR has embraced. There are many members of the community that have written about this in the new thread. There are ones making suggestions concerning colorblindness, adjustments for lighting that might cause some issues with their eyes, audio cues for various hazards and boundaries and many more.


Another way to help with creating ways to help with accessibility would be to embrace another part of the gaming community. I am referring to those players in many gaming communities that create mods for games. Some tend to think of mods as tools to improve gameplay, and while that is true. Many of the mods in various games have helped me personally. I am not talking about helping to improve my gameplay, but in many cases, allowing me to play on a relatively level playing field with those not having my specific limitations.


There are many way is which game developers can help to improve the Quality of Life in their games, but the ones that allow people to become gamers when otherwise they might not have that opportunity, is something worth striving to do. By showing how to make every aspect of SWTOR more accessible, you will welcome more players to other gameplays and invite new players to this game.


JT - All Access Gaming

old guy who use to podcast....Back in my day, we didn't have Legacy :rak_03:

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Posting on behalf of another gamer:


As an accessibility consultant and gamer without sight (no sight whatsoever) I'd be happy to assist with this if I can. Would be great to see just how much could be achieved with a game like this even with retrofitting.


@sightlessKombat on Twitter

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Posting on behalf of another player:


Have the subscriptions vary by country, as dollar pricing is rather price and expensive in many countries, especially those were the average income is lower than the average US citizen income. EG I have to pay 300 for the cheapest sub, where my salary after deductions (tax etc)

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Posting on behalf of another player:


Add controller support. I know it's easier said than done but the lack of controller support is the main reason I stopped playing the game. Using a physical keyboard and mouse is very hard for me.


Controller support would be nice, hitting keys I am having trouble seeing is "fun", though that means taking the hundreds of moves per character down.

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Hello and thank you for this post.


Currently the chat window size is incredibly difficult to use, especially at larger font sizes. It would really be an accessibility and communications boon to be able to expand the window in a much better way.


I have made this suggestion before and it dissolved into a 'click the triangle' discussion for pages and pages without anyone actually showing anything. So I am providing pictures this time.


Here is the current maximum chat window size: https://i.imgur.com/GCIUcsg.png


Here is what is needed for both accessibility and ease of use for a variety of communities: https://i.imgur.com/w6IiapX.png


I would really like to see the ability to expand the chat window to a much larger area added to the accessibility options. Chat buffer size does not need to change, only the size of the window in the interface, it currently has a limit that is stifling. Thank you.

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+1 to bigger chat window size would be great!!!




Posting on behalf of another player:


it would be nice to have a way to accommodate for ppl that is color blind so that they can do bosses like Mono / Sisters / Op 9 with less issues and not have to rely on others

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Thank you for this thread. I have vision and joint issues that I see some of my fellow players have mentioned already so I won't comment further on that, but there is something that I'd like to add and it's a need I suppose I didn't realize I had up until reading this thread. I now realize it's something other players with disabilities may share. The need is fellowship.


There are no doubt swtor players with unique disabilities and challenges that might make them feel isolated. It never occurred to me, honestly, that there'd be other low vision players or players with arthritis. Disabilities can make people feel self conscious. Consider the stigma of mental illness in our society. We probably have a great number of players who live with all manner of physical and emotional challenges. I think careful community building in game could be a boon for such players. So far, all we can do is form guilds, but I don't know that everyone would feel comfortable joining a guild geared towards a disability community, and people with disabilities have other social needs as well that could be adequately met by a guild.


Could you please do something about in-game chat groups? Our current chat group system is really bad. Most of the commands don't work. A chat group system where we could form chat communities, view who is in them, and moderate them would be fantastic for community building. Our guilds might be warm and welcoming environment, but it's not the same as having a separate chat community you could join where people understand exactly how you feel! They'd be like in-game grassroots support groups where you can share what's going on with you that day. You might want to talk about things that your guildies may not understand. Just feeling like you're not alone can be a huge help for anyone with a disability or struggle.

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