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Reader Comments (22)

Posted: Jun 4th 2011 10:48AM Carolina said

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I will be playing APB: Reloaded and EQ2.

APB... I didn't expect to have this much fun in it. With that said... keep coming, F2P tittles!

Posted: Jun 4th 2011 11:11AM Tristaniuss said

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The problem isn't with addons that help with boss fights, it's with addons that cheapen the game to where you're nothing but a gearscore number. People who are complaining about this are definitely not complaining about the wrong thing.

Posted: Jun 4th 2011 11:43AM Equal Opportunity Dork said

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@Tristaniuss Thats a community problem, not an addon problem. Addons make it easier for idiots to pre-judge you, but they can still do it with a simple inspect.
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Posted: Jun 4th 2011 11:48AM RavenCries said

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@Tristaniuss
People seem to be complaining about all addons and not making a distinction of particular addons that cause problems (e.g. boss mobs or gearscore). So basically they are complaining about the wrong thing. I don't think downloading mods every patch is really a problem either.

Far as the actual topic of the article, there are probably too many of the same game on the market. I can't see it being sustainable. FTP or PTP I don't think really factors into it. Games that evolve MMOs don't seem that abundant.

I'm not a big fan of FTP model though as I don't see any direct link between me as a player and the responsibilities of the developer. P2P I'm paying for a service, which somewhat entails that they will continue to provide and develop that service. FTP I'm paying for cash shop items, developers responsibility ends when I get the item that was advertised.
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Posted: Jun 4th 2011 12:37PM Skyydragonn said

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@Tristaniuss
Couldn't agree with you more on this.
Coming form a 5 Yr WoW background Gearscore made me die on the inside. instead of getting raid slots based on my ability as a player i was getting bumped due to gearscore for subpar tanks who expected the healers to work extradimensional miracles to keep them alive. Was my gear worse than theres? possibly by a bit, were they a better player than me? not by a goddamned longshot. That was what ultimately made me quit WoW for good.
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Posted: Jun 4th 2011 11:48AM JuliusSeizure said

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Been trialling RIFT, mainly so I can say I have. It's nice and all, but I still don't think it's what I'm looking for. Installing Hellgate right now, which I'm even more certain isn't what I'm looking for, but at least this one's indefinitely free.

Posted: Jun 4th 2011 11:50AM Equal Opportunity Dork said

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@JuliusSeizure Yeesh. I tried Hellgate back when it was new and thought it was just awful. And gray. SOOOO much gray. WTB Color.
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Posted: Jun 4th 2011 12:26PM JuliusSeizure said

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@Equal Opportunity Dork

Yeah, my hopes aren't too high, but it's worth the price of admission.
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Posted: Jun 4th 2011 11:49AM Equal Opportunity Dork said

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@Tempes Magus in a game where you have 3 or 4 pre-defined skills / buttons, sure, a UI is not necessary. In a game where you have upwards of a dozen skills at the ready, a UI is mandatory.

I have no issue with pure UI mods. Not every player likes his information communicated in the same way. While I find Rift's default UI to be far superior to WoW's, it is quite inferior to my modded UI setup, as it relates to how I like to play.

As for addons that tell you not to stand in the poo or who needs healing? I dont use them. Never have and probably never will. I'd happy if Rift's Mod system was limited to mods that only affect the UI and the information given to all players by default. Having a bag or bar mod does not give me an advantage over another player.

Posted: Jun 4th 2011 11:58AM Mynsc said

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@Tempes Magus

Addons = freedom of choice.

In a game without addons, the utopian stuff you're describing is not possible. In one WITH addons, it is. Just check some of the minimalist / artistic UIs for WoW and you'll see what I mean.

In a game without addons you're stuck with the UI the developers thought of. Some might like it, some wont... but nobody will ever be trully happy with it because the classic UI is a compromise between tons of things.

You dont need a gearscore addon to realize that someone has no freakin clue how to gem / enchant / whatever their gear or to see that a freshly dinged max level with questing gear wants to come and kill the final endgame boss. :P Gearscore just makes it easier and makes the slackers and the ones that like to be boosted mad.

As a final thought, picture a typical WoW raid environment:
Most of the fights are as you say very very visual. You dont need addons to understand the general ideea of what's going on.

BUT... while you're trying to dodge the killer abilities of the boss you also need to use your abilities as best as possible. You also need to cooperate with your team. And you might also have to be in charge of activating / following other special mechanics, like coordinate healing or establishing CC order etc. Right about now an addon that yells in your face that a giant wall of fire is coming from behind is a pretty neat feature, without making the game bad or you lazy. :)

Posted: Jun 4th 2011 12:22PM FrostPaw said

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@Mynsc

"addons = freedom of choice"

Some would argue addons remove the choice. Sometimes, when being assesed for a group invite or a raid or a guild I've often been asked "do you have X mod?" to which I reply no. Then the answer is usualy the same.

Without mods, EVERYONE has to play the game with the tools provided by the developer. You have to process the information given and use your own judgement. You cannot do or see anything that anybody else using the default ui and game client can. Thats where individual skill is defined.

A simple mod that flashes player names when they are debuffed and you can cure them might seem a great tool but it removes the time needed to look at your group and pay attention to the icons, you automaticaly press the cure button and that there frees up time to do other things. It makes you more efficient which makes you a better player, but without the mod you are less efficient, it is unlikely even if you are good you can automaticaly select the right players that need curing and cure them as quickly because you are also processing other information.

That is an example of a mod that is not optional if you want to be competitive and efficient. Just like threat meters tell you when to stop where as without them you used your experience and judgement which used to be a skill. A good dps player used to be someone who could not draw aggro while maintaining good damage through sheer guesswork, there was an element of risk, how long do you push vs when to back off. The risk was always there but experience good players knew when to gamble and when not to. Nobody assesses risk or uses judgement whe theres a meter telling them they can push to HERE and no further on every enemy.

The really good players can do without them but they make average players ignorant of the finer points of gameplay or just simply lacking in processing speed in their head the ability to be good. Then put the same tools in the really good players hands and you make them superior to really good players. My issue isn't that it makes bad players better, my issue is that it makes good players better.

mods are an "arms race" you have to have them if you want every advantage, you can choose to play without them and you may do perfectly ok but you will never be competitive with someone who is decent and uses them and nobody respects you for playing without mods because they don't see the real skill they just see a player that handicaps themselves to what is available.

The real eye opener for me was on patch day of wow battlegrounds pre expansions, every patch day mods would get broken and I would slaughter players in PvP for a couple of hours while the modders altered their mods and uploaded them to the players that needed them. Then normal gameplay was resumed and I would be back struggling for victories.

A bad player with a mod may still be beatable by a good player without one but a good player with a mod will never get beaten by a good player without one.

Posted: Jun 4th 2011 12:27PM DevilSei said

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@Equal Opportunity Dork

Aye, outside of visual alterations for cosmetic things, I hate addons.

I used to raid in WoW, I never used Pallypower, I never used Boss Mods, or threat meters, and I still cleared through Naxxramas, Ulduar, and the arena raid just fine, with good dps and rarely drawing aggro to myself.

I did end up getting pallypower and boss mods, but not out of choice. Was pretty much either "get them and raid" or "f&%$ you". I didn't last too long though, the addons, especially Boss Mods, felt like too much for me. Too much info, too much clutter... and eventually I just stopped playing WoW.

Posted: Jun 4th 2011 12:30PM Apakal said

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Well, I never had many addon troubles in WoW from patch to patch because WoWInterface was amazing at getting its addon authors into new betas and/or setup on the PTR with all the help and support they needed to get their updates in place. There were always a few hiccups, but waiting an extra day was fine by me and usually solved most of the problems. A week without an update was rare from the authors that made the addons I used.

MMOUI Minion and Curse Client made updating a breeze too.

Posted: Jun 4th 2011 12:40PM Wisdomandlore said

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The problems people have with add-ons are symptomatic of the game's design. Whether it's loot driven gameplay, whack-a-mole healing/curing, or DDR-style boss fights. Add-ons are created to reduce the frustration of game the cheap systems designers create.

The same problem already exists with Rift's macro system. Some classes can use the macros to reasonably, but then some classes can create ONE macro that does 90% of the work for them.

The best example is the Druid soul. I resisted creating the one-button macro on my Druid for a long time. Then I finally got fed up with the skill bar clutter and made one. Not only did it clear up my skill bar (from 5 to 1), it increased my DPS by 100%. Is it the macro's fault? No. It's the fault of a class overreliant on long CDs and reaction skills, and a game design WAY too reliant on strict, cookie-cutter skill rotations to maximize efficacy.

Posted: Jun 4th 2011 12:55PM Rialle said

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@Mynsc

Addons are absolutely not freedom of choice when they create an inherent advantage. This is especially true when Blizzard designs some encounters with the assumption that players will be running DBM.

I doubt you will find any semi-serious raid guild in WoW that will even consider allowing people who don't use DBM into their runs. Many also require that you have Omen, Recount, and possibly other addons depending on your role in the group. (I know of very few healers in progression guilds who don't use some sort of addon to aid them.)

The fact that RIFT is now going the same route is pretty disappointing to me.

Posted: Jun 4th 2011 12:57PM JuliusSeizure said

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@FrostPaw

You didn't give a rationale for why you don't use them yourself. Hating them irrationally is not a good enough answer. If you're better than a player when they're not using a mod and they're better when they are, then your failure to use it as well means you're wilfully avoiding a tool at your disposal to be a better player.

You sound like you have a Hell of a lot of pride in not using addons, which just rams my point home harder. Playing with a cumbersome default UI doesn't make you a better person because it's harder, and playing with a highly functional one doesn't make anyone bad. When they fumble and have issues when forced to use the default, that's not because they secretly sucked all along, it's because they have to relearn everything. Nothing's where they liked it, everything looks weird, instead of the cues they set up in a personalised way to alert them to situations they have to rely on subtler, unreliable cues if any. Give them time with it and they can get pretty good, but why would they when they can get even better by going back to their full toolset? They're not applying less skill to their game, rather they use a different skillset that matches up with their superior tools.

The confidence of having a UI you've assembled to your personal style is infinitely more valuable than the pride of making things harder for yourself.

Also, in terms of required addons, only a handful are ever considered that important. Those that are usually provide some sort of group-coordination benefit which mainly allows the less skilled members of a group to not drag down the rest, and there's almost always multiple addons in that category available. They tend to be incompatible with competitors, which is why guilds typically insist on using one, but if you really prefer a different one for logical reasons, it's certainly possible to convert an entire guild with a well-reasoned argument.

The vast majority of addons, though? Completely your own decision which to use and how to set them up. A guild might have a recommended list, but that's nothing more than a suggestion guide of things other players found really useful or fun.

Posted: Jun 4th 2011 2:48PM Daemodand said

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Addons are a security risk. If you must use them, make sure they don't have an executable or batch file.

Posted: Jun 4th 2011 4:15PM Apakal said

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@Daemodand

Stupidity is a security risk. Addons are not.
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Posted: Jun 4th 2011 2:59PM Seffrid said

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One of the advantages of being a soloer 99% of the time is that I don't have to give a damn what addons other players are using and whether they gain an advantage by doing so. The only addon I use is a custom UI in AoC because the default one is so crap.

As for this weekend, I've been dabbling a bit in LoTRO to check out my migration from Codemasters to Turbine, but I'm mainly playing Rift and enjoying it greatly. I'm also trying to fit in some time on Witcher 2 and Fallen Earth.

Also, my congrats to Jef for hitting the nail very squarely on the head when he said "I think there are too many MMOs period, not just F2P. I'd rather see a smaller number of games with a larger number of diverse features (and higher quality workmanship) instead of a bunch of titles that are largely the same save for a couple of tweaks and a coat of paint."

Choice is a good thing, but to be effective the choice has to be between different options and that isn't usually the case at the moment especially where the pure F2P games are concerned.

Posted: Jun 4th 2011 6:34PM (Unverified) said

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EQ2! As someone who completely forgot about the game until I saw the 45-day returning vet email from SOE, my accidental love has been rekindled :D

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