I’ve been going through the EverQuest Next website looking for all of the tasty tidbits of information I can find. Â While doing so, I realized I haven’t been doing my due-diligence! Â The beloved Round Table poses so many different questions, and I haven’t been properly responding to any of them. Â These are the types of questions I’ve written about for years — questions I am very passionate about.
The most recent question is a doozy.
What are your thoughts on a mod-able UI?
MMO user interfaces have been destroyed over the years because developers have given players too much or too little control over their customization. Â I’m not a fan of UI customization that adds functionality. Â If the players have to (or can) make a UI mod that in some way changes how they interact with the actual gameplay mechanics then that has gone way too far. Â World of Warcraft is a perfect example of UI mods gone too far. Â Even something as simple as Grid — the healing mod — makes healing “easier” by giving shortcuts to dispells, hover to cast, and priority healing. Â That right there, the “easier” aspect, is what I’m talking about. Â If something can be made easier with a UI mod then it should be done by the devs and built into the UI.
UI mods should definitely allow players to make their interface look the way they want. Â If someone wants a transparent UI then I think that’s absolutely fine. Â I know a lot of people who really want a minimalistic UI because they have a problem with their screen feeling cluttered. Â I think they should be allowed to condense as much of their UI as possible.
Taking a look at the poll and the feedback from the devs, I think I’m in the very small minority here.
I voted for “I want to have customization options in the SOE UI, but I don’t usually use third party creations.”
Again, I think it goes back to the difference between customization and modding. Â Notice how the last question is very different from the second, and the first question is really compounded to the point where it creates a bias. Â Technically, the poll itself may be flawed because I find my position represented in multiple choices.
In the end, I want my character and how I utilize his abilities to determine the output. Â I don’t want a UI mod to stand between me and game mechanics, even if that mod is designed to supposedly make things easier. Â I’m a purist when it comes to MMO UIs, and I feel that the true experience is the one designed around the interface options given by the developers, not the players.