Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
 
World of Warcraft addon turmoil

While talking about the PvP changes in the WoW 2.0 patch, I totally forgot to talk about the most immediate impact that this patch will have on every player: All your addons will stop working. Or as the official forums say in techspeak: "WoW 2.0 represents a major change in the UI code, and as such ALL AddOns will need to be updated before they will work, if for no other reason than the Lua 5.0 to Lua 5.1 changes. Some AddOns will be more seriously affected, and a few will have to be redesigned." I already experienced that in the beta, if you copy your current addons in the directory of the beta client, they will all show up as "incompatible" on the addon window (you know, the one you get to from the character select screen).

This affect every existing addon, even if it's very simple and doesn't use any of the disabled old functions. I don't know much about the WoW scripting language, but I'd guess that updating the simpler addons will be relatively easy, I've seen discussion about writing a small piece of software that does it. But most people will just download the new 2.0 versions of their favorite addons from places like Curse Gaming or WoWInterface. Of course these sites will be break down under the load next week, so you might have to wait a while before you can download the 2.0 addons.

Some addons won't be immediately available, because they aren't that easy to update to 2.0 and their authors might have abandoned them. You'd either need to switch to another addon doing something similar, or wait until somebody else updates the abandoned addon.

Other addons simply won't exist any more, because their functionality is not supported any more. Basically any addon that made an intelligent decision based on some condition won't work any more. Prime example is Decursive, which was able to look up who is cursed and automatically dispelled the curse on the push of a single button. I don't know if it will be called that, but "Decursive 2.0" won't be able to do that this way. The best thing that it can do in 2.0 is show you a list of everybody who has a curse on him, and you will need to click on their name in that list to dispell the curse.

Bigger addons with lots of functionality will probably have to be rewritten completely. They will have to remove those parts that did any sort of decision, and maybe add some new functions based on the new script commands. For example I use CTRaidAssist, which has a decursing function, which will have to be rewritten.

Generally we can expect a lot of addon chaos next week, but it will calm down after a couple of days, and people will quickly get used to a new set of addons. But if you are an addon junkie, with dozens of them installed, prepare for some major turmoil.
Comments:
"show you a list of everybody who has a curse on him"

cant do that either in combat, you have to list everyone and highlight the ones that need help
 
how strange...we had just been discussing an addon to use for guild & the effect the patch & BC would have on it...nice post am linking it to guild forum.
 
Yes even dynamic list of targets with simple variables in mind, are a no-no soon.

It will boil down to one gigantic template as they call it now, wich will contain huge masses of data. The upcoming WoW 2.0 addons then simply will be able to filter that data.

The "bring back decursive 1.0" uproar will be way more loud soon than it already was and let's say those changes won´t lighten up the lack of healing/support classes anytime soon.
 
I'm an addon developer and can tell you that the turmoil will be very real. The addon sites will be useless next week post patch. Many addons you have come to depend on to simply play the game, will no longer work.

ui.worldofwar.net is tagging mods that have been updated to work with TBC thus WoW2.0. It's a short list, but I would expect most of the major mods such as CTMod, Auctioneer, Gatherer will be updated, but may take more time than most due to their complexity.

Blizzard releases an Addon Developer kit for addon makers like myself. It's a joke. Essentially it's a simplisitc "Hello World" type examples and some unzipped .xml and .lue files. What's needed is a Blizzard supplied set of API documentation. Instead, it's a grass-roots effort from the forums and WoWWiki. Instead of putting up isoteric web pages on the top crafted items, how about a set of HTML pages for mod developers?

What I suggest to mod users, is to take a good hard look at the mods you have installed. Which ones could you live without? Take the time now to get them out of your addon folder and tuck them away for safe keeping. Heck, turn them all off and play with the vanilla game for a bit. Things like Scrolling Combat Text have been integrated. You might find yourself able to "cope" without your precious addons.

WoW2.0 is going to be a rude awaking for people that have been raiding with their action button #1 key bound to Decursive. Start retraining yourself now.
 
Decursive problems won't be quite as bad for advanced raiders in Naxx. Only Noth uses an AoE curse that will be a bear to remove without the old Decursive.

Molten core will probably see an early retirement next week for newer raiders though.
 
I'm really worried about the future of my add-ons. I probably have 20 loaded right now. No offense to Blizzard but their basic UI stinks. A raid healer already has a lot to pay attention to in a boss fight without having to manually select everyone with a disease, curse, etc in order to decurse them. Blizzard just doesn't give enough information or ability via the normal UI to perform this job in a timely manner.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
If you use a mod right now, I would suggest hitting up WoWInterface.com now, since they have some mods from tBC Closed Beta, which should work with 2.0. Test it out with the PTR, if you want to, but I suggest hitting them up now while they aren't flooded with people trying to get mods that actually work. I know I'm going to have the Closed Beta version of CTMod in a zip file on my computer so that when the patch comes I can at least have some semblance of sanity on my UI.
 
I'm just going to avoid the problem and play another game for a while. The add-on developers are great people and I expect many to step up and rewrite their mods. The basic UI is missing quite a few things. It just wouldn't be the same game without the cool add-ons on which I've come to rely.
 
Prime example is Decursive, which was able to look up who is cursed and automatically dispelled the curse on the push of a single button. I don't know if it will be called that, but "Decursive 2.0" won't be able to do that this way. The best thing that it can do in 2.0 is show you a list of everybody who has a curse on him, and you will need to click on their name in that list to dispell the curse.

The way you describe Decursive 2.0 is the way I use it now. I do not have a hotkey bound to a macro with /decursive or whatever in it.

I'm a mouse clicker. I don't like to bind things to my keyboard that often. So...

I type /dcrshow and keep the little "bar" thing open. As people get "cursed", the UI populates a list under that bar with an icon for the curse. I then click that icon to dispel the afflicted person.

From what I'm understanding from the comments here, even that functionality can't be brought back in the 2.0 version. If dispel/decurseing becomes an activity that requires I keep all the player windows open and constantly watch for debuffs on those little windows, my Priest will see a VERY quick retirement. I'm cool with playing Whack-a-mole but I'm not going to go blind trying to find the mole.

As far as the other addons, it will be interesting to see what happens. I use Flexbar for my Rogue. However, I only use a fraction of it's functionality. I hope that the small part I use will be able to pass the "2.0 Test". For the most part, I simply want to place the buttons on the screen in groups/patterns that are logical to me. The 5 rows of 12 buttons that the Bliz UI and CTmod give you leave me searching for buttons way to often.
 
Except for decursive, all the mods I have are informational, and will hopefully be updated. FuBar, Discord Buttons, that kind of thing.

I'm really hoping the guild MC post patch are called. I can't see those going well at all.
 
I just want to jump in here and say a big THANK YOU to all you mod developers out there that have made my Warlock top damage meters and wtfpwn pvp. You are really the ones that make wow worth playing. cheers!
 
My guild has had MC on farm status for over over 6 months now. We usually only have 1 wipe or less a month. Last night we had 5. This v2 pathc has really changed the game and not for the better.

I hope Vanguard does not suffer from this deficiency.

-some rogue from Warsong-Horde
 
I think the 2.0 could be a seminal business error on blizzards part, the addons improved the game 50% for me and made it possible to continue playing, when the repetition was ridicilous most of my interface addons basically removed uneccessary button clicking and selecting things within the interface, decursive sounds like a classic example of that an addon which stops people doing very repetetive and boring task in the game saving the from possible RSI if they are a heavy player, from my look so far warcraft 2.0 looks like a stealth nerf dressed up as lots of improvements which arent really there. the honor system seems to be a nerf to me. they always seem to nerf the game to counter a small percentage of players who go to ridiculous levels to beat the game, but in so doing they push the game to a stupid time input level for the ordinary player as blizzard continue to nerf it. For me 2-3 essential addons that are old and i have used for a long time, intellicurse, discord action bar, scaled life tap mean playing my warlock is just to repetive, intellicurse and scaled life tap i doubt will ever be updated discord possibly in january. Also you have no choice in the 2.0 update, i would have preferred to stay in the previous version of the game had i been given a choice. Now i have a game called warcraft sitting on my machine that might just play mid january if dab gets updated. meantime theyre still charging my monthly, they have less server load, since i wont be playing till i cant get my setup working, the logical thing for me to do and the only thing that will affect blizzards arrogant thinking will be to suspend the subscription. I think either a million subscriber will go dormant because of this update if not more, or they lose upto that number in actual subscriptions. Now it seems to me the 2.o is just one more reason to drop the game, and wait for something bigger and better, as ive always thought blizzards attitude towards its user was terrible this is just one further demonstration of it.
 
oh and as for BC they'll have a harder time selling that than they think, a few new classes a bit more landscape and plot to play its not exactly a revolution this time round. When companys have a good product and great success theyre rarely realise how important it is to really think innovatively, rather than just extend the formula in the same direction. I guess blizzards only saving grace financially will be to sell the game into more places further away that havent yet played the game. try and get lots of subsciber from other untapped markets, though im not sure how much room is in that outlook. after all how many people are still playing everquest ? with all its myriad versions and endless extensions, the formula eventally gets played and then you need to think again as radically as the first time and come up with something new.
 
"decursive sounds like a classic example of that an addon which stops people doing very repetetive and boring task in the game saving the from possible RSI if they are a heavy player,"

Decursive in particular is *way* too much automation (and some of the auto-heal mods as well). I'm all for not making raiding simply a game of whack-a-mole for healers/dispellers... but you should *not* be able to push ONE BUTTON, with no other user input, and do sophisticated processing and target/spell selection. It makes many PvE encounters too easy. From what I've seen, you should be able to get almost any of the information that older mods provided; mostly what they nerfed were mods that could arbitrarily change targets and cast spells with no direct user input.

Decursive also hoses some classes in PvP pretty hard. If there's a Paladin using Decursive on the opposing team... DoTs are pretty much worthless, since they get dispelled within seconds.

I do wish they hadn't blanket disabled *all* addons, however. It would be nice to at least have the option to run ones that don't need any updates, just like they did with earlier point releases (using the "Load Out of Date Addons" option).
 
Is Blizz still using the 7 million subscriber claim? heheh
 
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