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Magdain's Avatar

01.04.2012 , 06:28 PM | #44
@op: You're drawing conclusions with data that does not support those conclusions.

Addons were crucial to raiding in WoW because the content was not intuitive. Spells had esoteric effects that you could only figure out by combing combat logs, videos, and datamined information. Many spells effects were auras and they did not have a clear graphic effect on your character (on top of there being more characters on the screen). There were many hidden timers that you needed to know.

To date in TOR, these things are not true (with few exceptions, like Bulwark). Graphics for auras on you are very clear (e.g. Annihilation Droid random target missile). Clear raid warnings are already present in the UI. The health bars, cast bars, and auras are centralized, rather than in far opposite corners of the screen. If the developers continue this trend (and especially after combat log implementation and improved data mining), then addons will not be "necessary" for raiding.

Furthermore, the interface developers will never be able to create a UI that is adequate for all players. Custom interface design isn't just about adding more things, in fact it's not even primarily about adding more things; It's about rearranging and reformatting available information. Individual people process information in distinctly different ways. Some people can more easily interpret text than bars. Everybody has a different focal point in their UI - that is the area where their vision is while neutral to outside information; This is the place where you want to display important information, and how the information is displayed changes based on the position.

There are dozens of popular replacements for core features (unit frames, action bars, chat) that basically do the same thing, but have different options and slightly different displays, yet they all still get used. If you looked at all of the WoW addons used with arbitrary criteria (say, more than 5,000 users or whatever number, and excluding boss mods) then you literally have thousands of development hours from hundreds of developers.

BioWare cannot fund that kind of production. No company can fund that cost. The fact is that Blizzard did not (and realistically could not) start making notable improvements to their UI until they outsourced the ideas (and in some cases, the code itself) to the community, working for free because they enjoy it.

To claim that BioWare is incapable of policing addon development means you're completely unfamiliar with addon development. Blizzard had some problems with addons doing too much, but they fixed their framework many years ago. BioWare now has Blizzard's lesson to learn from. In the WoW addon environment, it's extremely secure from addons that in any way play the game for you. A secure environment does not require constant policing, and BioWare is not treading new ground; They can literally look at the WoW UI environment code (as could you or I) and learn what needs to be restricted. Exploits in post-2.0 WoW addons are almost completely unheard of, and any that are found are usually reported discreetly directly to Blizzard before they can be abused.
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