Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Late to the MacroParty

Back when I originally played WoW, I was a UI purist. I believed that anybody who was adding anything in to the default Blizzard User Interface was either lazy or looking for a cheat.

I've matured since then.

I've come to realize just how inadequate the basic interface is, especially considering some of the addons out there. But the problem is, as the title says, I'm late to the party. I missed out on the "Golden Age" of the addon.

There were addons for everything. Addons that kept track of who needed to be buffed in your 40 person raid. Who needed healing. Buttons for automatically healing who needed healing worst, and with the most level- and speed-appropriate healing spell from your book based upon the urgency of his need and the state of your mana supply. Addons that dynamically changed a button you would hit over and over again to be the most advantageous attack for the moment based on your position/energy level/number of combo points. And on and on.

But somewhere around version 2.0.0, Blizzard decided that these Macros and UI enhancements were doing too much of the playing FOR the player. So they told every single addon maker that they were changing everything about how the UI addons would work, and specifically that during combat, no addon or macro would be able to make an intelligent decision for the player.

Frankly, I'm surprised a lot of people didn't quit over it. Well, I suppose it is WoW... so maybe I shouldn't have expected anybody to quit playing. However, a number of modders did seem to throw in the towel.

But anyway, for me, the last few nights have been an excercise in raised and dashed hopes as I got Addon after Addon promising to make my experience so much smoother and more efficient... only to find they went obsolete with 2.0.0.

I guess I can see why Blizzard decided to do it, and the vestiges of the UI-Puritan left in me from back a year or two ago is huffing at me in disdain that of course people shouldn't have these wonderful labor-saving devices that basically reduced the playing of any given class to pressing one key over and over again.

But I still feel like I showed up to the party after all the fun was already had.

And that's the word from bandit camp.

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