Eric Musco, Star Wars The Old Republic’s Community Manager, came onto the forums in December (2017) and offered clarification from Senior Character Artist, Dustin, about ongoing character Eye Colour issues. Here is what he had to say.
A while back a change was made to our game engine that affected how reflections work on a global scale. As you’re likely aware, this caused eyes to accept too much reflection, creating a glass look (sparkly eyes). This was not a simple fix for the eyes as it wasn’t actually the art of the eyes themselves causing the issue. To adjust how the reflections looked I had to re-author all of their textures. Since I had to spend time fixing the eyes anyway I saw an opportunity to improve our system to allow for a larger variety of colors moving forward. These changes give us a lot more flexibility in creating more unique looking eyes such as closely achieving eyes with more depth and color variation similar to Vaylin’s or Arcann’s.
We fully understand the attachment to a characters eyes! There is a lot of thought put into our characters and the last thing we would want is for anyone to feel like we have taken something from them.
Now, regarding the dark brown eyes, we matched the colors to what we had as reference for pre-5.6. However, I recognize that some colors appeared darker than they actually were due to the amount of reflection that was in the eyes (the more reflection there is, the darker the colors become as it overwrites color information with environment reflection). We will choose one of the browns to darken to more closely match the dark brown option players had previously. In addition, we are double checking colors to make sure there aren’t any that are too far off from their original hue, if we find any that still need a slight hue tweak I will be making those adjustments. Though at this point they should be subtle, i.e., if something feels slightly too green or is not glowy / bright enough.
I would appreciate feedback on which brown should be darkened to help inform that decision. I would also like to invite your input on what new colors you would like to see in game. We will draw from your suggestions and see what we can do to make more options available.
TLDR, changes were made to how reflections work throughout the whole game and this had the unexpected effect of making our character’s eyes look more glassy then intended. Dustin had to go and rework all the Eye Colour textures to try and fix the issue. He also took the opportunity to improve the system so that going forward, they could add more Eye Colours.
He discussed in detail the issues pertaining to Brown Eye colours in particular and asks for further feedback.
He is also looking for feedback on new eye colours.
What are your thoughts on the ongoing eye colour issues? Have your characters been affected?