Star Wars: The Old Republic Map Interface

Star Wars: The Old Republic Basic Controls Video

Previous Video:Part 1: Character Creation

Episode II: Basic Controls, Abilities, and Interface

In Episode II, seen above, I take a look at the basic movement controls, how to customize your user interface, how to use the map, how to read the mission log, and how to interact with Non-Player Characters (NPCs).

Basic Controls

The basic controls in Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) are very similar to other Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs). Use the “W”, “A”, “S”, and “D” keys (WASD Controls) to move about. A note on these controls, the “A” and “D” rotate the character, not make them move side to side. An easy way to navigate is to hold down the right mouse button and hold “W” and the character will move in the direction the camera is pointing as you look around with the mouse.

Interface Customization

A new feature since the launch of SWTOR is interface customization. You can now load several preset interfaces or completely customize and save a user interface (UI) layout. To get to the customization screen, press “ESC” on the keyboard, and click on Interface Editor. There are a few selectable presets that available in a dropdown box and loaded with the button next to the dropdown. For my purposes I use the preset “Extended Quickbars”.

Star Wars:  The Old Republic Map Interface

The Map

Using the map is crucial in SWTOR. If you are ever lost in the game, open the map and it should generally point you in the direction you need to go with helpful green icons. I’ll be going into more details on the search features of the map in future episodes.

Mission Log

The mission log holds all the missions assigned to you. It keeps track of active missions and current tasks for each mission. Once you fulfill all tasks of a mission it is complete and you can claim rewards. In this video I show how to use the mission log in conjunction with the map to carry out basic quest tasks. The next video will expound on the mission log.


In MMO lingo, NPCs are characters in the game that the computer, or in this case the server, controls, not other players. In this video our example is the taxi droid. To interact with an NPC, move the mouse cursor over the NPC and move close enough for the cursor to fill in and turn yellow. Then right-click on the NPC to interact.

Feature Rating

The basic controls are very intuitive for most PC gamers. The map system is excellent and its interaction with the quest system makes it very helpful. The quest log is feature rich as we’ll see in future videos. The only feature covered in this video that I have a problem with is Interface Editor. It seems a little clunky to me, but it is nice to have all the options for customizing the UI in one screen. Improving the screen could be as simple as removing the need to press the button to load the preset UI. I give these features a 5 out of 5 each with the exception of UI customization. It’s close, but not quite excellent, but immensely improved from launch day. It earns a 4 out of 5.

Playing SWTOR

SWTOR is a subscription based MMO. It will be Free-to-Play later this year, but still allow people to subscribe for extra perks. If you would like a 14 day free trial, message me with your email address and I’ll send you an invite code.

Bieran - Level 50 Jedi Shadow

Star Wars: The Old Republic Character Creation Video

This is my first attempt at a YouTube video! It’s been an interesting experiencing and I’ve learned a lot. Researching video recording software to capture gameplay, researching video editing tools, developing a quick intro and outro, and discovering exactly how much hard drive space is required to create 1080p quality videos were all very interesting experiences.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

This game, abbreviated SWTOR, is a relatively recent addition to the cloud of MMORPGs(Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games for the un-initiated). It was thought by many that the game that could finally dethrone World of Warcraft as the king of MMORPGs. While it never accomplished that goal it has created a huge following and continues to add features and players.
My playing history with SWTOR started a few weeks before the game’s launch date in December of 2011. I played during the beta test and early release time and have remained an active player ever since. At the time of this writing I have one main character, a level 50 Jedi Shadow on the Jedi Covenant server and dozens of alternates spread across servers.
Bieran - Level 50 Jedi Shadow

Character Creation

Character creation in SWTOR is fairly rewarding. The diversity of characters pumped out by the system is not to the level of City of Heroes/Villains, but certainly higher than most other MMORPGs. The customization options allow for characters of various heights and widths and a diverse array of facial, hair, and body options.
There are few important choices in character creation. The first big choice is whether to support the Galactic Republic or the Sith Empire in the galaxy-spanning battle for control. The Jedi Order protects the Galactic Republic while the Sith Empire is ruled by the Emperor and his Sith. As a side note, this game takes place about 3,000 years before the events of the Star Wars movies. Choosing Republic or Empire does not reflect a choice of Light or Dark side. Players of either faction can make Dark and light choices. Each faction has 4 classes to choose from. For the Republic the choices are Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, and Trooper. For the Sith Empire you can create a Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Imperial Agent, or Bounty Hunter. Each class has a distinct story so it’s worth it to play every class to experience the whole story of The Old Republic. Each class has a set of species that a player can choose from. Leveling a character to level 50 unlocks that character’s species for every other class. That can influence what species you choose. Another consideration is that you get another special bonus for leveling a Human character to level 50 (since all classes can already be human). Each species also has a special “social” ability that doesn’t lend much in terms of gameplay, but adds a bit of flavor.

Feature Rating

Overall I’d give character creation in Star Wars a 4 out of 5. It’s excellent, but it lacks the depth of customization of games that truly set standards in character creation like City of Heroes/Villains.

Playing SWTOR

SWTOR is a subscription based MMO. It will be Free-to-Play later this year, but still allow people to subscribe for extra perks. If you would like a 14 day free trial, message me with your email address and I’ll send you an invite code.


CSS: Web Technologies From the Beginning

CSS Overview -

In this series I’m going to offer a few resources to help anybody who’s interested learn how to create basic web sites using HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and jQuery.  I’m not going to write tutorials since there are hundreds out there, I’ll just point you to what I feel are the most effective tutorials and let you go from there.  Part 1 covers HTML, the basic language of the web.  Part 2 covers JavaScript, the language that adds dynamic content on web pages.  Check those posts for some great resources and then come back here to expand your knowledge.


HTML creates pretty dull pages by itself.  The tags can be tweaked with attributes and organized with tables to achieve some impressive results, but to get really great layouts using strictly HTML, you’re generally stuck having to use a lot of images to create that perfect look.  JavaScript can also fiddle with the HTML elements and do special effects with positioning, but the real piece that’s missing here is a language to describe the desired layout to the browser.  That’s where Cascading Style Sheets come in.  CSS is another text-based language, like HTML or JavaScript,  that describes how elements on a web page are supposed to be laid out.  CSS is incredibly powerful and can create nearly any sort of layout and look that you can imagine, especially when combined with JavaScript.  JavaScript can be used to dynamically change the style of HTML elements.  CSS 3 is the latest standard.  This version of the language standard is very exciting since it adds support for things such as rounded corners, shadows, and gradients to the language itself.  The implementation on browsers is still somewhat sketchy, but it is coming together.


Code Academy has a tutorial that takes you through HTML, JavaScript and CSS.  You have to complete their basic track first, but it’s still an excellent way to learn.   A great reference, as usual, is W3Schools’ CSS Tutorial.  Another very useful reference site is EchoEcho.  Below are links to a few more great resources and tools.


In the next part I’ll discuss jQuery and then I’ll share some of my experiences with these languages.