World of Warcraft is a fantastic video game. Mostly because it attracts so many wonderful people. I have spent so many hours and days with this game and made a lot of friends.
When Legion was released I got the urge to delve back into the game and use it as a recreational activity after work. I played for a few months, and now after a break, I decided to give the game yet another try.
There is one thing with World of Warcraft that in my opinion has got too much focus over the years: Addons. – Allow me to discuss a few aspects and give my view on this “game within the game”.
When Legion launched I promised myself to keep everything simple, and don’t use any customisation at all. Time is limited and I When Legion launched I promised myself to keep everything simple and don’t use any customization at all. Time is limited and I wanted to give complete focus on gameplay, the adventure this time around. (SPOILER ALERT) I have tried a few different add-ons since I started playing in August, but I have worked hard to limit myself.
I have spent so many hours configuring the UI in the past. Once I start installing addons I open the flood gates and every single detail needs to be perfect. As long as you can stick to a UI suite everything is mostly fine because someone else has customized everything to match fonts and textures. But once you want a damage meter, boss mods or the ever so popular WeakAuras things get complicated.
The game has evolved over the years and is quite good these days. The interface has improved so much since the game was first released. The action bars have timers, and the built-in raid frames actually should essential debuffs, and temp buffs like renew and shields for healers. There is a button for sorting stuff in your bags. The essentials are there…
Quality of Life
I I am not a big part of the economy. I don’t spend a lot of money on the auction house, and I don’t make any money on the AH. I buy the bare minimum of stuff I need to keep my character up to date.
See above where I write about my focus. Ideally, I would like to spend all of my time logged doing proper gameplay. I guess that this makes me a bad WoW-player, but thankfully it is almost possible to only focus on dungeons and raids in the later expansions.
So what about my performance? Is the lack of addons making me do lower DPS, or getting people killed? This is, of course, hard to tell. And it will depend on the encounter, some raid bosses have complex mechanics that require a lot of attention. When you go in to combat with a brand new install of either Deadly Boss Mods or Big Wigs the timers and bars are all over the place and my brain tends to overload. Sorting and disabling a few things helps! Worth noting is that I won’t be raid leading anytime soon.
The idea with my approach is that my minimal interface will allow me to keep the focus on the environment. Also, the most crucial skills cast by the boss is announced in the middle of the screen by default.
Currently, I play a Beast Mastery Hunter. This is probably key to why I may even consider playing without any addons. While I enjoy this way of playing, not have too much mechanics to take care of, I can understand that people call BM hunters “face-roll”. I have a hard time seeing some classes, like Shadow Priest being competitive without a DOT-tracker amongst other add-ons.
Also, I think it should be added that I play on a laptop with a 15,6″ inch screen. With a current resolution in-game of 1280×800 I can have a complete vision of my action bar, environment, and debuffs without losing focus. I love it!
One last argument would be that if Blizzard themselves banned any Boss Mods, the race for world firsts would probably be longer. And just maybe skill would play an even bigger factor, when you cannot rely on all the information from PTR and guides online during the specifik pull. This is probably my biggest issue with WoW currently, the fact that Boss Mods make encounters to easy… (More on this at another time)
What about computer performance? Because I use a laptop, I play with low graphical settings. It was a while ago since I did my homework on how addons use the CPU and memory to execute its function, but I have always felt especially the action bars to be more responsive with fewer addons active. Also, the load times when you zone into another area in wow get a lot longer as soon as the addons start to pile up.
I was an early adopter of Tukui, and I have spent many hours making it the most ultimate cockpit possible. Still to this day I would rank Tukui minimalistic looks the best one yet for wow. While I have chosen to use the default interface, I am not a fan of the golden dragons and the messy textures.
Back in Naxxramas 40 (picture above) I was a total noob and had no idea how to manage stuff. And to be fair, the options for making a good looking interface back then was limited.