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Reader Comments (31)

Posted: Jul 22nd 2010 6:45PM Minofan said

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I have 100% complete mod-a-phobia; I'm absolutely incapable of trusting the security of anything 3rd party relating to an MMO - won't download, won't install.

I cannot deny core UIs aren't always fit for all purposes - especially when it comes to playing a healer - but I have a reasonable philosophy; I'm not a demanding UI user, so if it's not designed to even my standards then 9 times out of 10 the rest of the game isn't either. ^_^

Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 9:50AM (Unverified) said

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The problem in general is that wow's ui overall is not good enough for the serious gamer.

I don't know how anyone can play without:

A better hot bar (especially druids cause we need 2 bars to auto page)

A better chat frame (that font is terrible)

Some sort of damage meter (always wished blizz would make a real one that would hide during combat, recount is important if you want to be good but lots of people get tunnel vision very easily

A better target frame with more useful info, default doesn't even tell you what your targeting, just friendly or not, is it a beast, a shaman, a rogue?

Some sort of buff/cool down tracker, not everyone can spam 2 buttons like a mage, if I want to do good dps, I need to keep track of 2 buffs, combo points, energy, 3 dots, 2 cool downs, where im standing, number of mobs in the pull and still try to retain some situational awareness and try to maximize global cool downs.

Some sort of raid frames that track health %, aggro, mana, debuff types, custom (boss specific) debuffs, and buffs/hots.

Some sort of inventory mod, looking through 5 bags is very annoying especially when i go to the bank and it become 11 bags, instead of 2. Not to mention needing to know if I have 3 of X left in the bank or 4.

Some sort of boss fight mod most fights are easy enough to learn, but the boss screaming, burn in vile fire, is not noticeable enough over all the other sounds, and if devs think people are watching chat for boss emotes during boss fights thats madness, I am still surprised dbm or better yet, Deus Vox Encounters hasn't been implemented into game.

And for anyone starting out, with low GS having problems getting into raids, just DL underachiever, and link fake achievements. Just make sure you know what your doing so you don't ruin people's good time!
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Posted: Jul 22nd 2010 6:46PM Tovrin said

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Some mods do make people lazy. That's true.

However anything that will clean up the cluttered UI of LotRO HAS to be a good thing. The vast majority of that interface could be cleaned up and made quite sexy and minimalist (that is if minimalism is your thing).

For example ...

* Portraits on Unit Frames? Why do we need them? Give is the ability to see clean unit frames with simple percentages.

* A buff bar? One of things in LotRO is that if you want to know what buffs you have on you have to squint to see the tiny icons underneath your unit frame. Even the "new mail" and latency indicators are bugger than the list of buffs your character has. Hello? Improvements can be made.

I see this as a positive move for LotRO. Basic interface design principles dictate that a UI should provide the user with the best experience for their needs. The moment you begin to stuggle with it, it's failed. The community has a lot of creative people out there who can do infinately better than Turbine has managed in the last three years ... and to be fait, I'd rather Turbine concentrate on making a better game and leave making a bettter interface to the community.

Posted: Jul 22nd 2010 7:13PM (Unverified) said

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It's true that some mods are great for making things cleaner and prettier. But there is a huge difference between a mod that simply cleans up a UI, and a mod that tells you what button to push in what order for every mob, if you have to even push a button at all.

Vanity mods are fun. Instructional mods that take away the necessity of thinking things through for yourself or even paying attention are an entirely different ballgame.
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Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 7:28PM drunkenpandaren said

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Turbine doesn't need to make a better game, they already made AC.
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Posted: Jul 22nd 2010 7:00PM Graill440 said

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Whether its to make an interface have more common sense or to correct the common mistakes of devs to make a decent ui is a moot point, it should have been thought of in pre trials and the devs should have thought of "it" while developing the game, when third parties or simply passionate folks create things better than what devs are capable of that tells you something.

That said i do not use third party apps unless its a mod to a single player game i really like and i have researched the particular mod and it changes the look, not actions or help actions.

In MMO's mods/apps tend to make dumb games even dumber albeit easier and more convienient in some eyes. Some third party apps go to far, take WOW for instance, they turn a simple game of rote action into one button rote action with timers and alarms. Why play the game after it has been dumbed down to the point of you watching television or performing another action while playing?

There are quite a few camps and varied opinions on third party apps/mods i have mine, others have theirs.

A final observation is the security issue when using third party mods, some think they are the shit when it comes to security (hell, even i do) but even the best will get snagged from time to time, it simply takes the right combination of outside influence. Be careful, know the the site, wait till others have used the mods and have no bad reports and better yet, wait for the game maker to give it its seal of approval, or take your chances.

The best bet to remain MMO pure is not use third party apps at all unless approved or implemented by the manufacturer themselves. Heck, you might even get one of these third party super folks a job in the industry, change is good.

Posted: Jul 22nd 2010 9:19PM (Unverified) said

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Spot on this article is.
Seriously its why I left WOW: Quest helper ruined the story for me,
Deadly boss mods ruined instances and raids for me, and I wont even mention gearscore...
Seriously alot of WOW players complained when raiding went mainstream but it wasnt Blizzards decision it was mostly because of mods like Deadly boss mods, you see it made raiding a no brainer you didnt have to practice or be smart or anything just read what it says and move when it screams and thats how raiding became mainstream.

Posted: Jul 22nd 2010 8:14PM (Unverified) said

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I have a couple issues with your article. Before I get into them, I certainly agree that being able to skin or manipulate the UI is very important, as you said, you can't account for what people may or may not like.

As for quest helpers. You say the person was just a "directions following idiot" but how were you any different? Your directions just happened to be more correct than his. For those of us who love alts and have done the quests numerous times before, but maybe just have a bad memory, use aids like this to speed up leveling. Or, to be quite honest, sometimes could care less about the actual quest and just want to level up.

As for gearscore, nothing works me up more than people that hate it. Run a raid, I mean LEAD the raid, form it, and do it, successfully. More specifically, PUG one. I agree that gear is no substitute for skill, but if your pugging a raid, how can you possibly tell someones skill? Look at their armory and see # of boss kills? Well that doesn't necessarily mean they knew wtf was going on or contributed to it in any way. You just can't tell their personal skill, so whats the next best thing, rate them on their gear. There are 2 important factors to a boss kill, skill and gear. You need both. Especially with the enrage mechanics in WotLK. You can know the fight inside and out, but if your gear is poop, your not going to be able to contribute the necessary numbers to get the job done, its just simple math.

If people have problems getting in raids they by all rights can do, find another guild just accept that the people running the PUG want a speedy clean run, and again, the only info they can really go off of is your gear, not take your word for 1337 skillz.

Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 4:59AM mattwo said

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LOLPUGraids
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Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 3:31PM LuxAurumque said

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I totally agree that when you are leveling an alt or speed leveling to cap for that matter a quest program is a must. Though I will admit that since Bliz redid their map interface to show where your objective is that it is less necessary. Seraphina I think that you are looking at questing through rose colored glasses, I can remember many quests that I had to get help from the internet to have any hope of completing. Some times the quest text is so hard to interpret that the quest is uncompletable without help.

As for gearscore I think many of the detractors forget that in the past before it became popular people still got kicked from groups for not having good enough gear. It just used to take more study to know about that person level of gear. People knew at a glance (helm and shoulders) relative gear level and were just as fast to kick people thought under geared.

As for deadlyboss mods? If it makes bosses unthinkingly easy WOW is mostly full of braindead idiots that couldn't drool properly with spoken instructions. I have seen plenty of raids wipe and have trouble even with that mod. No deadly boss mods may make things easier in some ways, but bliz has taken that into account making the encounters.
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Posted: Jul 22nd 2010 9:01PM (Unverified) said

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i don't understand the big deal. if someone use a mod to make the game easier for them so be it. why get involved, it's not your play style and it's not your life and your not pay for their sub. and if you were paying for their sub than who's the idiot now?

that's like the people who comment on other people for smoking cigarettes. I can't count the times i had a person make a comment at the price of them or a comment to the me to stop smoking or that it's not healthy or it'll kill me. I'm aware of the risk and choose to smoke because i want to. it's not your life who are you to tell someone else what to do. If i go into a store, or play an mmo and buy a pack of smokes or install a mod that tells me where to go why does that concern you.

it the vast majority of mmos i have played it seems that all the people who play them seem to know the right and wrong ways to play the game. just mind your business and keep playing. you don't use mods, great. does that make you better than the person who uses them, no. does it mean u have more skill, no. does it mean that person is a "idiot" no. ON top of that you have WoW. 11 million blah blah blah. the person using the quest helper could have been a little kid for all we know.

On the topic of mods like gearscore, it may be elitist but let's face it in a gear dependent game such as WoW, when was the last time you said wow that was skillful of me when fighting another player. I can and have be level cap. I knew my skills and I knew what to do when certain classes came up to me or what skills to use on a boss. But the person who had better gear than me, killed me. damn wish i was more skillful.... or when i look at the dps charts a see that because i don't have all the 1337 epics this guy has, i can't do the same amount of dps. in a game such as WoW and other games that are so heavily gear dependent skill isn't involved. it's all about the items.

whens the last time you were in a raid and said thank god we have all these skilled players with blues and green or we'd never get this boss down.

Posted: Jul 22nd 2010 10:08PM (Unverified) said

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June really hit the nail on the head, wow IS a gear dependent game.

Tempes, what on earth are you saying about the "in crowd"? Yes, people that use gearscore just for their e-peen are childish and stupid. The vast majority don't. If a group tells to your GS isn't high enough, its not a personal jab at you, its just a matter of fact and requirements for that raid. In the wrong hands, gearscore is just a stupid tool to show you've spent more time playing or have good luck. Keep this in mind, you wouldn't bring a level 70 to a level 80 raid, correct? What seperates a level 80 from any other? Gear. The game is setup to stop at 80, you then continue to progress through harder and harder content by acquiring the gear to allow you to do so. You don't start with Tier 9 then skip to tier 14, it doesn't work that way, you need to be mostly in 9 to get 10, and 10 to get 11, and so on and so forth. GS is just an easy way to get an idea of what your potential gear level is, since at 80 its really the only difference.

Also, I am not sure why your bringing botting/automation into the mix. Blizzard trys very hard to disallow any systems that do that, in fact it's completely against the TOS/EULA.

Now, I will agree with you, the current design in MMOs, or specifically WoW, in my opinion, is flawed. Being heavily item dependent is bad design.
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Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 1:23AM (Unverified) said

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"I brought botting into it because mods that tell you where to go and what to do are the natural first step towards letting the program move you and do what it wants you to do rather than telling you to do it."

here where i think your making a huge jump where it doesn't exist. your the only one making this claim. A mod that tells you where to go and what to do doens't seem like a natural step towards anything except a fun mod. The quest text is still there. like when you track a quest it just say 1. go here 2. kill this for item that 3. use it here. this isn't cutting out the quests. you can read it if you want it just gives a checklist on what the quest wants you to do. Not everyone plays for lore. to be honest towards my last 5 levels of wow every time is was raised i didn't even read or do quests i just ran dungeons. it even gives you a path on your map to give you the quickest route to go about doing multiple quests to level up quicker. to move along in the fun quicker. it even allows you to make notes on your map. this doesn't seem anywhere near as game breaking as letting you walk away from your computer.

a good example of where this is true is in the f2p sword of the new world, i think it's now known as sword 2. This game lets you control up to three characters. the odd thing is you can set all the three toons up in a way to where you CAN walk away and not ever have to play the game until raid time. I mean even games like eve reward you with improvements and levels in skills by not playing if you wanted to. This games have clearly set themselves up for botting programs.

I have also never seen a single mod for any p2p triple A mmo on curse.com or wowinterface.com in which there are mods to allow you to walk or even cut out any part of the game. or anything that would lead you to believe that it is steps away from walking for you and playing. except for that wowglider which isn't a mod but actually a botting program. which is supposedly hard to use cause apparently they look for it. I've had guilds where people were banned for using it and others who used it all the time for alts and never got caught
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Posted: Jul 24th 2010 9:24AM (Unverified) said

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here i am having a healthy debate. and there are plenty other things quest helper can help you with but i see you didn't bother to read any of that, just the parts your could argue. Your going to ignore what ever i say now because you feel threaten by debate. My eyes are open and for you to say they are blind is in fact your blind judgment.

You than go on to talk about how your point still stands but you don't validate that with anything. Also before you going judging what i consider a triple A mmo and start giving out shameless plugs for the game you like, stop and think that games like WoW and EQ where popular cause they were fun games.

WoWs quest do tell you where to go and what to do. Again like i said many people don't play for lore. and even if they did the lore is still there waiting to be read.

So, I am done with you. You have a stubborn mind and wont bear to see the other sides point, because your right and all who use mods are wrong. LIke in my first original post and second post. every game seem to have the people who think they know the right and wrong way to play.

But if it makes you happy. I'll just say you won, so +1 to your e-peen!
.... but than again said your were going to ignore it.....

oh i measure triple A by quality. not by subscribers or content which your so quick to say i do without knowing anything, but than again i'm in favor of mod use. and i play the game wrong than.

It seems you have a personal gripe you need to work out, because from the tone of your last post, you gunna give yourself a heart attack. And might i add that your last post seem almost troll-ish due to the continuous cheap shots cleverly disguised as questions for me, only to call me blind and ignore me.

I'd love to see the next debate on T.V. when the candidate is arguing his point I would love to see the other guy put his fingers in his ears and say

"Argue all you want. I"m not gunna listen..LALALALALALALA"

I except that some don't use mods, but i don't accept the amount of sh*t they take just for having quest helper, or having a threat meter, or having a new UI. Or for someone to mod their windows and download tank points. or hell! even gearscore. For you to call me blind and than tell me basically I"m right your wrong you can argue i'm just going to ignore it, seems pretty troll, and childish.
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Posted: Jul 22nd 2010 9:25PM (Unverified) said

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Tera. A game were it (theoreticaly) be about numbers or UI and all about player skill and watching the clues tha mobs give before performing certin attacks

Posted: Jul 22nd 2010 10:47PM Xanija said

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Sera, could you do me a great favour, please?

Get the f*** out of my head, stealing my thoughts and writing them down in your column! Thanks! ;)

I couldn't have said it any better.

Posted: Jul 22nd 2010 11:44PM Zeeth said

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Gear-score is one of the worst things to happen to WoW. Glad I quit before it took root.

Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 12:33AM Anatidae said

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I have a mod that reads the Massively articles for me. So I can't comment. Really, I can't. My opinion mod is broken and needs to be patched.

Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 4:59AM mattwo said

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questhelper tends to point you all over the freaking place and not where you're supposed to go for me. Maybe it's just for the alliance (cuz no one seems to like em enough)?

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