Addon Reliance

Been a bit lazy lately with blogging. I ran out of steam and saved up articles and then let it slide. I don’t want to do that and so I’m going to try my best to blog regularly.

I challenge to you name one warcraft player who doesn’t have at least one addon. If you can name one I’ll be surprised, and I’ll also call whoever you named an idiot. A lot of addons are quality of life improvements, some are essential and it’s surprising how quickly you integrate the use of them, and how much you miss them when suddenly they aren’t there.

I nearly tacked this onto the end of my first post about the Mists beta, but I think that would have done the topic a disservice. I don’t just miss the addons in beta, I miss them in swtor too.

Damage/Healing Meter
This gets bad rep as it’s used by immature players as a device to bully other players. However, nearly all tools can be abused and this is a very valuable analytic tool. At the end of the day it’s a numbers game and contributions can be measured by percentage. In swtor, on the last occasion I tried a group activity, one member of the group bashed the rest of us for ‘low dps’ and gave out a lot of abuse. They might have been right, they might have been wrong, I have no way of knowing. On the beta right now I’ve got a feeling that certain abilities on the paladin are underpowered. Finding out whether that’s true or not is possible without a meter but it’s certainly a lot more difficult.

UI Customization
I haven’t had cause to test this in swtor yet, as I know that this was just added in the the last patch. However, in warcraft there is very little inbuilt ui customization as it’s handled by addons. On my paladin I have quite a heavily modified ui which includes a lot of quality of life improvements. What I am missing the most on beta though is HolyTrinity which puts an alternative holy power bar in the middle of the screen. I’m looking at the middle of the screen where the action is, and I’m missing when I have three holy power by continuing to build it, thus wasting charges. Aside from that holy power bar, my eyes don’t need to look towards the top left of the screen at all, and they shouldn’t have to for that. I also miss OmniCC something fierce as, with just a glance, it makes managing spell cd’s so much easier. TidyThreatPlates is also something I miss, particularly at the moment when I’m getting to grips with the new paladin rotation, and having trouble with threat. This makes the default nameplates so better by giving them purpose. HolyTrinity is a paladin specific addon and so doesn’t cross to swtor. However, OmniCC and TidyThreatPlates would both be welcome additions on my bounty hunter.

This is why everyone should have at least one addon. Every player on at least one character runs dungeons occasionally, and without this addon you are letting down the group. Warcraft have added some native warnings to some encounters but running without DBM or equivalent would be like running without armor or weapon. I know players need to use their eyes and see that they’re standing in bad, or that the boss has started the spray attack and they need to hide, or something. However, a reminder never hurt anyone. There is a lot to keep on top of in an encounter and it’s easy to focus on one thing and miss another. Addons like this turn low percentage wipes into kills. It has it’s problems of course, DBM has caused a number of wipes, on Ultraxion for example, with getting the timer wrong for pressing the Hour of Twilight button. Despite these occasional mishaps this is still an essential addon.

Addons aren’t necessary and when playing the beta or other games which don’t have the capability for them you realise this. However, it does feel a bit like playing naked. Addons give the players choice in a way that a game developer could never provide as it would cost too much and take too much time. Your playing experience is literally in your hands when it comes to addons. I think that they are one of blizz’s strokes of genius and they add so much to the game. Best part of all it doesn’t cost the game company any money which means they can put those resources into making more of the game.