The SWTOR Helper
As many of you who read my blog might know, I am an ardent player of SWTOR. I am also a software engineer/software developer/computer programmer or anything else that has to do with making bespoke software. For ages I have been looking into ways to help the SWTOR community, more often myself get better use out of the game. I have come up with, an idea for a helper.
Now, SWTOR doesn’t enable extensions to the game, they have done this possibly for the reason of preventing exploits. When you open up your API for others to use, they will not always use it for purposes of good. Which is OK, there is much that I am sure many people would like to do, but we are restricted.
That said, I feel that we can have a helper which I will be working on. One such helper application is the SWTOR Unleashed (exca, 2012)application, this enables the moving of some files into a RAM Disk to help increase the performance of loading some areas. It works BUT has consequences when updating the files on patches. So, I have decided, so sometimes to think of a way. But I have had mixed success as it seems to stick out.
Upon looking into WPF the other way, I have found a way to help make this look like it is part of the in game experience but it is not. This is my initial test, I will be adding more into it to make things better, I will put down information I will be planning on expanding on as well.
Well this is it for now. What is the purpose of it. Well right now it is very much a test for me to add more and more things. It shows the current server time (this is based on the last played server, which while playing will be the current server). It will also have a latest news link to the SWTOR site, which updates to the latest item on the news feed.
Well this doesn’t sound like much of a helper, and I guess in the current context it isn’t, but it has enabled me to look at the timers and use in WPF, knowing that the UI and application components are on different threads in some contexts. It got me reading URLs to read some data and then also learning WPF which is the most important aspect of it.
So what are my plans?
I want this to be a helper. Sure the latest news is handy but I want to monitor the SWTOR twitter feed to get updates there, especially around the maintenance patches. I want to show the server status of your last server, which will get this from the SWTOR site.
Include a timer/alarm which can notify players, who are grouped (which I need to look at as well, similar to the way the parsers work with raids). But it can enable the setting of a guild alarm, E.g. Raid at 2pm Server Time, or UTC. Have the clock convert between all server times, East, West, England, West Europe and UTC. This way it will prevent the constant questions, “is there a raid tonight?”
Number of Kills. This is just informative. Throughout all of your characters, how many have you killed? Well I will include that, and the idea is to have that Tally as a scoreboard, see who has killed the most and even break it down into All, Elite, Champion, Boss and so on.
Links to the tips. This means I am going to link to walkthroughs and videos of the major fights, World Bosses, Ops Bosses, Flashpoints and so on.
Guilds this is something that will get there, I am wanting to eventually put down a list of all guilds, link them in for their sites or Facebook pages and/or twitter accounts. Provide people with in game contacts based on the server you are on, including the recruitment restrictions and so on.
Short cuts to DirectX Diagnostic Tool, Trace Route application, things that might be handy when having issues with the game. But these will also include some checks to make sure you have the right versions of DirectX and provide a link to install them
The idea behind all of this is a genuine helper. Since we can’t hook into the game, make it so there is more than enough reason to have people want to use, avoid the need to search for these tips or information only to be bombarded with all manner of information of which much of it might be useless. Or have people in general chat tell you see Dulfy’s site, unsure why, since as thorough as this information is, it is still not that helpful, why should I stack this over this, rotations, why, do I just step 1, 2, 3, 4 and repeat in the fight. There might be other tips that can help, I will hopefully be able to find all I need to and link it in.
But I will be adding in a few more elements and I will provide updates on it too. But this is a work in progress and it is something I am hoping people will use or find useful. But the first element I want to include is that scheduling, since in my guild, we are often seeing people ask, do we have a raid, when are the ops. So, stay tuned.
exca. (2012, 07 09). SWTOR Unleashed (game files in RAM to improve performance). Retrieved 05 05, 2014, from http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=529567