Thursday, 21 July 2011

I came back to build something

I have renewed my subscription to WoW, and got myself some Cataclysm. This was quite unexpected, and although I’m pretty much done with raiding still, and even moreso with guild dramas, I had an Idea, and that Idea nagged at me until I gave in.

Watching my girlfriend farm herbs, it seemed to me there was a gap in the addon market for such activities. Gatherer is nice, but it’s kinda primitive in the way it represents nodes, even using the HUD: there’s no indication of how far you can ‘see’ herbs, the only way you can know a herb is nearby is by constantly looking to the minimap. The HUD is helpful, but limited, and awkward to set up.

So, being the programmery type I am, I’ve got it in my head to make something better. The plan is to create ‘radar-style’ HUD showing a basic wireframe terrain map, something like these:

Radar display

Radar display

Later on I’ll create a better mockup that better matches what I have in mind.

I want it to have the following features:

  • Node markers (obviously), with optional distance and time-to display.

  • Integration with Gatherer node data (very important).

  • Clear differentiation between ‘historical’ nodes and ‘detected’ nodes.

  • Coastlines/riverbanks, caves and possibly major terrain features like waterfalls or cliffs.

  • Optional display of enemy mobs and their aggro ranges.

  • A ‘detection range’ circle, ideally using the current lag figure to improve accuracy.

  • Custom node icons, following the theme of the radar style – simplified wireframe shape (or just text), possibly coloured to match the associated herb.

  • Various readouts such as player altitude, speed, radar display range, view direction,

  • Possibly a waypoints system.

  • Military HUD style ‘targetting’, i.e. overlaying a highlight box on nodes in the world (may be frowned upon by Blizzard).

I have no idea how feasible any of this is, and I know for sure that the actual wireframe terrain map is going to be either a lot of work, or just not possible, but I am eager to give it a go. I’ll be happy if I can even have the display without the terrain outlines.

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