QQ, Minstrel Boy

July 20, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Posted in General | 3 Comments
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Wotcha everyone,

Via Spinksville (thanks, Spinks), I find this lovely bit of information from Casual Stroll to Mordor.

Read it?  Well, that thumping sound you can hear is me applying my head to the desk repeatedly, *with force*.

I’m stopping now, because it’s interfering with my typing.  And I have head hurty.  Instead of attempting to mash the front of my head into the desk, I shall show my disappointment by crying Real Man Tears(tm) into my keyboard.

And I am disappointed.  It’s as if someone at Turbine has tapped into the Hawley brain-wave frequency, taken notes of all the really lovely things that I love about Lord of the Rings Online, and then decided to destroy them, one by one.

Mysterious Shadowy Turbine Employee: are you my Nemesis?

I may not like addons overmuch, but I use them in World of Warcraft.  As players we’re not stupid; if it gives an advantage, if it leads to a perceived increase in effectiveness (and/or enjoyment) we’ll use it (damage meters might be the sulphurus spunk of the devil, but they help dps classes by giving some form of measurable feedback about the amount of damage they’ve done).

But they can also turn playing games into a playing a decidedly colourful spreadsheet.  And I find that to be a real shame.  Use of a threat-meter, boss mods, and class-based addons can suck all the personal judgement out of a game.

I like to think of MMO gaming as an art, not a science.  It’s something that I’ve always thought, and it’s personal judgement that makes gaming an art.  Take away that capacity for judgement by installing an addon that makes a decision for you, or tells you when to use an ability, and you take away the player.

That’s a shame, it really is.

So Turbine’s refusal to allow addons made me happy.  All players were equal under the UI.  All our decisions were our own, and all of that meant that a success was down to our actions, our decisions, our gaming skill.

We didn’t have an addon warning us, coaching us, or bullying us through Middle Earth.

Well, until now.  QQ, minstrel boy.

Cheers,
Hawley.

3 Comments »

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  1. [...] ~ Hawley [...]

  2. Oh common, Hawley! Do you remember the WoW interface at the beginning? Do you know where some of the changes to the better in that interface came from? Yes there always is a danger that interface may turn into a coloured spreadsheet, if you let it. On the other hand if it allows me to customize my UI with one bag instead of 5, if it allows me to replace unit frames with something more simplistic even if it’s just one big green morale/health bar that changes hue/colour depending on the state of morale/health, if it allows me to better see the [de]buffs of fellow players and they stop jumping around and stay in certain places, if it allows me to customize my healing by allowing to assign different healing spells to ctrl/shift/alt+LMB/RMB I’ll be a very happy bunneh!

    And I could go on… LotRO UI has been stagnant/cumbersome/unwieldy for far too long (and I’m not even mentioning the problems of proper scaling on bigger and non-standard-sized screens) and it’s about time some improvements were made to it! And I have been saying for a long time now, if devs don’t have ideas or manpower or manhours to improve UI, they should open it up to scripting to players.

    I’ll take anything else that comes along with good changes and review it as it comes. We already have a DPS/damage/heal meter, we just couldn’t overlay it on the game window yet. Most people play with gaming keyboards and already were using LUA or something similar to modify their gameplay experience…

  3. [...] who are now facing the prospect of addons being introduced into their game for the first time. Hawley explains why he’s worried about what this means for [...]


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