Posted on December 29, 2011, Ben Richardson 5 TOR Mods We Hope Get Made
Early this week, GameFront’s C.J. Miozzi raised the question: does SWTOR need player-made mods? There are strong feelings on both sides of this debate, many of them born out of experience with the many mods in World of Warcraft, a game which permitted modding starting on launch day.
Regardless, the debate about mods rages on. Personally, I can see both sides of the issue, but there are still moments when I’m playing SWTOR that I miss the ease and convenience offered by some of the better WoW mods. Below, I offer some ideas about 5 simple mods that could greatly improve the TOR user experience.
1. UI Customization
Some aspects of the TOR UI look great. Others leave a little to be desired, hiding useful information or confining it to tiny, illegible icons. A simple mod that enabled players to move and resize things like action bars and buff and debuff readouts would make playing the game a lot easier, especially for people who are used to having that kind of control in other MMO’s. Removing some of those blue frames would also help the gameworld shine out from underneath a little more.
2. Quantitative Tools
This is bound to be the most controversial category. Some will argue that things like DPS/Healing meters “ruined” WoW by making it more about hitting buttons in the hopes of reaching some arbitrary numerical target, rather than in engaging in epic fantasy combat. Others will argue that these mods are simply tools for dedicated players who are looking to improve their in-game performance. TOR’s lack of a Combat Log (a quantitative record of combat) makes creating such meters slightly more difficult, but it also increases people’s curiosity about the amount of damage and healing they’re dishing out.
People taking on the game’s hardest content will always be looking for any possible way to improve their performance, and it’s hard not to sympathize. Simple “target-of-target” utilities are invaluable in end-game situations when a loose boss can easily run amok and kill everybody if the main tank loses aggro for even a couple seconds. In an ideal world, people interested in this kind of elder game perfection would be able to use mods if they so choose; people who weren’t interested would be free to ignore them. Problems only arise when metering mods are used as an excuse to unfairly exclude players. Hopefully TOR won’t encounter this problem — with no mod support on the horizon, it might be a moot point.
3. Companion Helper
Companion characters are one of the most interesting, unique, and useful features of TOR. Nevertheless, they can sometimes be a total pain in the ass. I wouldn’t mind a Companion Mod that enabled you to find a dead companion on the game map, compare two pieces of companion gear in your inventory, and dispatch a companion on the most lucrative crafting mission available at the click of a button.
4. Inventory Sorter
Complicated inventories full of tiny icons are certainly nothing new in MMO’s. TOR, however, with its unfamiliar, sci-fi items, can certainly be daunting. A mod that enabled you to partition your inventory or even sort items by category (items, mods, crafting materials, consumables, vendor trash, etc.) would cut down on confusion and save players valuable time.
5. Social App
Making friends in TOR still exhibits some funny hiccups. You befriend characters, not accounts, for example — if you and your buddy are both playing alts, the game won’t alert you to his presence online, and vice versa. Moreover, players have to be actively online for you to add them to your friends list, at least in my experience. A mod that enables players to better keep track of their friends (and perhaps manage multiple whispered conversations at once) would be a worthy contribution to the game. MMO’s, after all, are supposed to be social.
Got a mod idea I missed? Put it in the comments!