Thursday, October 23, 2008
Can't rely on addons
Not having played World of Warcraft for a while, I used the opportunity of the patch 3.0.2 to clean up my addons. I deleted all the old addons, deleted the WTF directory with the saved variables as well, and then reinstalled some patch 3.0 compatible WoW addons manually. Finally I downloaded the Curse Client to help me keep my addons up to date in the future, because I don't want to repeat the same exercise next month. But I noticed that several addons I used to have either weren't supported any more, or had changed substantially.
The one I'm missing most is CTRaidAssist, which isn't supported any more. It was my main utility for raid healing. I tried to replace it with Ora2, but that one apparently doesn't display the health of all raid members, so I'll need another addon like healbot. I'm also annoyed about the new version of Auctioneer, which I used in the past mostly to post auctions 5% under the current price. That pricing model doesn't exist any more, there are several statistical models based on histograms and standard deviations and 95% confidence levels. I have a rough idea about that sort of math, but frankly it isn't of any help if you just want to shift your glyphs quickly. Statistical price models aren't any good in periods of rapid price shifts. You'd be a complete idiot to e.g. sell herbs right now based on historical prices.
As we interact with our games through a user interface, and addons change that user interface, we get very used to playing with specific addons. But you can't rely on addons, they aren't made by Blizzard. When a major patch makes old addons not work any more, there are always some that have been abandoned by their authors. Which isn't very surprising, because usually the authors didn't get paid anything, and didn't receive much recognition either. And of course the authors are usually players, and when they quit the game, they stop supporting their addons. Blizzard has a history of implementing the functionality of the most popular addons into their standard user interface. But that takes quite some time. And I don't think there are all that many people out there playing WoW without any addons at all. There being so many good addons programmed for free enables Blizzard to slack on improving the standard interface. I just wish Blizzard would stop modifying the LUA language of WoW, so old addons could be used indefinitely.