Comment Spotlight

Jezebeau comments on WoW add-ons:

If raid encounters are entirely blown through because someone acquired the unnatural ability from beyond time and space to point at a spot on the floor, maybe their design philosophy needs more work than they’re willing to admit.

: Zubon

4 thoughts on “Comment Spotlight”

  1. Not to mention the real question: do WoW players want something more than Mario + Simon Says? WoW encounter history strongly suggests ‘no’.

  2. It isn’t quite that simple.

    All encounters in all MMOs only consist of a handful of mechanics you must overcome.

    1) Preparation – Your tank must have enough survivability, your DPS must do enough damage, and your healers have to keep everyone alive. This includes things like gear, spec, rotation, buffs, potions, food, etc, anything you have to bring into the dungeon prior to starting it.

    2) Timing – Most encounters revolve around using one or two abilities are the correct time. However, players tend to complain about this mechanic if they have any sort of lag so it is typically used minimally or you are given opportunities to recover from bad timing.

    3) Positioning – Again, typically once you find the handful of magic spots in which you can stand and maximize your output, the encounter becomes increasing less challenging. This is true in almost all encounters from the first dungeon you enter in the game to the final boss of end-game, and in almost every MMO. This works hand-in-hand with timing, when the encounter requires movement to a new magic location at a very precise time.

    4) Luck – Most good encounter designers try to avoid having an element of luck to beating a boss. Mainly because this is extremely frustrating, especially at end-game. Luck means that you can have perfect preparation, timing, and positioning and there’s still a chance you can fail – by design. Something like; a volcano erupts below a random player and it happens to the same healer 5 times in row and there’s nothing he can do about it and dies and you wipe. That’s just an example, but I think you get the idea.

    There are already WoW addons that assist in preparation, letting you know what gear you need, what spec you should take (it will even literally pick your talents for you), what rotation you should use (literally popping up the next spell you should use), streamline sharing buffs, cooldowns, and even auto-dispell and auto-heal with one-click of the mouse. So, preparation has moved away from requiring any actual thought and more into just doing whatever the add-on tells you to do. (GearScore, PallyPower, TotemTimers, ClassTimer, EasyRotation, etc, etc.)

    Similarly, there are addons that tell you exactly when a “timing” event is coming up and exactly what that event is so you are ready for it. (Deadly Boss Mods)

    And now there is an addon that literally draws bright illuminated circles on the ground to let everyone know exactly where they should stand and where they should move to and when. This effectively removed the last remaining challenge of running Pick-Up-Group Raids. Most players already had been using mods to reduce Preparation and Timing. However, those idiots would still stand in the god damn fire every freaking time.

    So, no, it isn’t a problem with the encounter design. Mainly because, if it is, then it’s a problem in literally every MMO because they all use the same three difficulty barriers. It’s a problem that they allow too much UI and addon customization that you can write macros and addons that are now basically playing the game for you. And that’s why content was being blown through with the slew of new addons. Because it made it so you didn’t have to actually think, you could just follow what the addons told you to do and succeed easily.

  3. Unless you actually prefer knowing what to do yourself over using an addon til it breaks then waiting for it to be updated so that it works again. Unless you prefer to (mostly) know what to do yourself rather than bogging down your computer (which runs WoW and Firefox at the same time well but the more addons I get the slower WoW goes).

    I don’t care if useless people use addons to get themselves up to par. I do care if it becomes expected of me to use 20 addons just to play with other people.

Comments are closed.