QQ, Minstrel BoyJuly 20, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Posted in General | 3 Comments
Tags: addons, choice, disappointment, game design, lord of the rings online, World of Warcraft
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.