Nov 27, 2011

Posted by in Wild Space | 4 Comments

Wild Space: Weather, History, and Quick Tips

It’s a big galaxy our there, and Wild Space can be a dangerous place. Worry not, explorer – each week we’ll navigate you safely through the lost hyperspace routes of the Deep Core and track down the great articles and entertainment from around the SW:TOR fan community, all in less than 12 parsecs, of course!

If you have been following SW:TOR for a while, you know that there are no random weather effects in the game. Sure, there are localized weather effects depending on your location on a planet that are constantly active, but nothing that occurs randomly. Only scripted weather in SW:TOR.

An article by our friends on TORWars tries to convince BioWare to turn on some more weather effects. Author Anthony Sproson argues that the literary device “pathetic fallacy” could be utilized much more by BioWare to enhance the SW:TOR story via the weather. For example, when something sad happens BioWare could cue some rain or storms; when something good happens, BioWare could stop the rain, throw up some sunshine, and add a rainbow.

By having the weather mirror your character’s emotions, BioWare could really augment the story and make it even more immersive. It’s a really interesting concept for a video game (it has been used in books and movies forever) and I would recommend that you all check out the full article over on TORWars.

History in general is very interesting to me and I have always been excited to learn more about the history of video games ever since I read “Masters of Doom” way back when. Darth Hater released an editorial this week which gave a brief history of the MMORPG genre.

Starting from MUDs (multi-user dungeons), progressing through the 2D (Ultima) and 3D (Everquest) MMORPGs of the recent past, and ending up with the World of Warcrafts and Rifts of today, author Raiden goes to great lengths to explain where MMORPG video games came from. It’s not entirely about SW:TOR, but it’s really cool to learn about where the genre came from and where it is going. Definitely check out the full article over on Darth Hater.

Georg Zoeller pointed this next fan creation out on Google+ and I think that it’s worth reposting here. YouTube channel TOR Hangout has (so far) posted two Quick Tip videos to show you how to manipulate the SW:TOR user interface.

The first was about using the focus target feature in to cast healing spells or buffs on a single target that you “focus” on. For those unfamiliar with focus target, you designate a player and they get their own special unit frame and key modifier that you can use to cast spells on them. The second video was about enabling and configuring healing frames for when you are in a Flashpoint or Operation.

Both videos are really well done so I would encourage you all to check them out. Lets hope we get more tips like this in the near future!

  1. I would personally argue that if it began to rain whenever something sad happened even if five seconds ago the skies were still clear, that it’d just come across as a bit too damn convenient, and even horribly clichéd. I think the weather is fine as is.

  2. The problem with using the weather in this manner is you never quite know how the player decides to feel about a situation. On Korriban you meet a cast away creature that was once a pet, and your sith-to-be can either feel sorry for the wretch, or gleefully experiment with it.

    The plot has to be much more tight for this to not be simply jarring.

  3. The weather really isn’t much of a problem. It’s there when it’s there and it looks good.

  4. Kayla McCaskey says:

    The term ‘pathetic fallacy’ is not used correctly in this. I’m looking everywhere for the real term meaning weather that mirrors the character’s emotions. Pathetic fallacy is like personification. It is defined as “the presentation of inanimate objects in nature as possessing human feelings” by ‘Angry clouds’ or ‘a cruel wind’ are true examples of pathetic fallacy.

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