Josh Drescher clarifies UI Mods for me

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In response to my desperate plea on his blog as to why they would allow mods to improve utility along with appearance:

Keen: “UI mods for not only appearance but utility… Why Josh? Why?”

Josh: “There really ISN’T anything we can say that WON’T trigger panic from someone. There’s nothing functionally that you can add via a mod that isn’t available in the standard, out of the box UI.

You’re right about that. I panic when a broad term like “utility” is used in hand with “mods”. Nightmares. Horrible… vivid.. nightmares. No need for panic anymore though. I can sleep easy at night knowing that there will be no additional functionality added to Warhammer Online through the use of UI Mods that isn’t already available via the standard out of the box UI. The out of the box UI will be the peak of functionality. I am functionally sound and secure!

Now to find something else to panic about!

Update: Added a link back to Josh’s blog.

  • I normally enjoy what you say, but your blatant hatred for UI modifications seems to be based upon some ignorance of what they do, the purpose the serve and the reason(s) they exist.

    You seem to think that teams which use UI modifications have a distinct and pointed advantage over folks who do not use these modifications. However, you fail to achknowledge that everyone can use these mods as they are almost always open source and freely distributed.

    What if you hate the basic UI? Someone who likes it has a distinct and pointed advantage over you.

    What if you have a small monitor and can’t fit everything that someone with a 21″ screen can, you should obviously be provided with an adequate monitor for free so you don’t have a disadvantage, right?

    What if you are a slow typer, they should provide a courtroom typist to take your dication so someone doesn’t have an advantage.

    What if you’re simply completely retarded? Should you be allowed to have a “simplified” interface with one big “Kill” button that you smash with both hands, cheering and drooling on your shirt?

    Your completely unjustified dislike of UI modifications boggles my mind. I agree the game should not be modifiable to the extent that you can have BOTs, but why not allow people to have it “their way”. Even Burger King allows that, but you want the next big corporate juggernaut of the MMO world to say “nah, we know best… fuck all of you modders… fuck you right in the ass.”

  • Heh, let’s hope they do allow for mods like Flexbar. Ninety-nine extra hotbar hooks I can place anywhere in my UI? YES PLS! 😀

    I’m happy they won’t be supporting things like Decursive, but I hope they are somewhat “flexible” with some of the other addons. I also would LOVE for them to allow XML tracking so sites like Thottbot and WoWhead start popping up. I am one of those RPG-gamer-by-the-book types. I don’t mind giving something a shot but as soon as it takes more time than I want it to, I want to be able to research the proper way.

    Map coordinates was the best thing that happened to WoW IMO! 😀

  • @Adam: Saying that my dislike for UI mods is unjustified or based on ignorance is completely out of left field Adam. You’re also conveniently mixing what I like and what I do not like to create a “big picture” effect. It’s not like that.

    Type of mods I don’t like: The ones that give an advantage so much so that without them you can not compete with those that have them. Decursive for example. The mod instantly removes any negative effects from anyone in your group/raid without you even having to know what effect or who it was on. You don’t have to target them. You don’t even have to pay attention. Just mash that button.

    Someone without Decursive would have to know to look for the effect. Target the person. Find the spell to use. Use it.

    The advantage is to someone with Decursive.

    The argument that “Everyone can use these mods” and using that to justify their existence is blind. What makes more sense? Allow a mod so unbalanced that EVERYONE has to use it dictate how a game will be played or disallowing that mod so that the only required mod is the basic UI? To me that’s a no brainer.

    It took Blizzard over a year to remove Decursive. They acknowledged that this mod was broken for the same reasons I have stated. Back when I quit WoW there were still several gameplay corrupting mods like Decursive still in-play. The fear that these type of mods could exist in future mmos is justified.

    Mods I DO like: I love mods that change the LOOK of the UI and allow for more comfortable gameplay. Placing hotbars wherever I want them in any shape I want them, chat mods for ease of reading, map mods, scaling mods, xml feeds for info sites, all those are great.

    Mythic has already responded that they will not be allowing these mods that change functionality (like Decursive). I thus have no basis for any hatred towards the WAR UI.

  • Keen,
    Like I said before, I agree that Decursive was broken, and allowing that level of control borders on botting, which I’m firmly against. That said, simply allowing people to move boxes around and resize / shape things really limits what you can do to improve your experience.

    There are few select things which wow has changed to bring addons more in-line with what you want, without removing any fun or functionality which most users really enjoy.

    The ability to programatically cast spells and use abilities was removed. A user can still do this via macros, but macros can not be programatically created while in combat. This prevents the user from having a single button to do all of his actions, and prevents numerous other exploits. It also allows cool things like proximo, an arena targeting assistant – if you target your enemy before you enter combat it puts their bar into a little box. You can click on this box to target them instead of tabbing around or clicking on the person. This gives an advantage to the user, but it’s not really unfair, or something you can’t work around. I know numerous teams >2200 that don’t use proximo or anything like it.

    In the end, allowing for a flexible and dynamic API to be introduced for modifying a games UI is a very good thing which leads to growth – not just within that game itself, but also within the industry as a whole. Can you imagine going back to EQ1 with it’s horrible UI and archaic MOD system? I couldn’t imagine it.

    Oh and sorry for my strong language above, I really do love your blog!