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Opinion: SWTOR user interface

On May 2, 2011 by Aaron Meehan

On Friday, Michael Voigt who is the Lead UI artist for Star Wars The Old Republic talked about the progression of the user interface and what it is like at the moment.

Personally I feel this is a good discussion to start the “my opinion” articles which talks about my opinion on different video game related things.

Here is what the User interface is looking like on SWTOR at present:

Star Wars The Old Republic User Interface
Right away you can see some differences over what we have over a standard mmo user interface. I think it is time to look at each part of the user interface and I think it is best to start at the top left.

Chat Box:

swtor chat box

The chat box is in the top left which is a very interesting place, most traditional mmos put the chat box in the bottom left corner of the UI so you can easily read it because I’m sure as people have noticed as you play any mmo you feel your eyes drop down towards the bottom left of the screen and your eyes then seem to focus onto the chat box. It is an interesting idea to have it on the top left and it seems like they don’t want the chat box to be something so prominent as maybe they feel it could distract players from the combat and personally it may actually work, I find myself getting distracted by my chat in important raids or dungeons and end up being killed. The chat box apart from its location seems standard (no need to try reinvent the chat box) you can resize the box, move up and move down the box to read what was said earlier in the game.

In all the chat box is in a very interesting place replacing where you would normally have your player health and energy (mana, rage, etc). The location will certainly take some getting used and will likely annoy a lot of players at first but over time people will get used to it.

Game Systems:

swtor game system

The game systems dominate the top middle as a long slender bar. The Game systems is there to bring up other screens like character info, quests, crafting skills etc. The set up of this bar seems to be in a good location as it doesn’t not seem to be in the way of any other functions on the UI and isn’t to big to annoy the player and take him out of the immersion of the game. Having the system bar on the top left isn’t something new and a few mmos before SWTOR have used it the first one that comes to mind is the free to play space shooter Black Prophecy.

In all the game systems bar is in a perfect location. It is easy to spot but it doesn’t appear to be in a location which would distract a player when he/she is in combat or doing anything else important.

Author: Aaron Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.

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