As WoW Classic edges closer, the planning committee for the instance group continues its work.
Key items still to resolve include a time when we can all play together, which is proving trickier than I would have liked. Getting older, having different responsibilities, and moving to another continent are all in the mix on that front.
Another item that came up was Addons.
I am torn on the subject of Addons.
On the one hand, I have run Addons of some sort for the vast majority of my time in WoW. I think one of the first Addons I got was to speed up quest text, before Blizz put that option in the settings. There was a time way back in the day where I ran one of those big combo packs that lumped together a whole bunch of Addons into a single unified project.
I have also spent periods of time with a very minimalist set of Addons. That was especially true after support for the big combo pack I was using fell apart. Addons are often the efforts of individuals, some of whom stop playing WoW and move on.
There have been points during the life of the game where Addons have seemed essential. I remember a daily quest in Wrath of the Lich King where you had to run around a lab to find chemicals where the Addon that would highlight what you were looking for in the mess of the lab felt essential. And then there was the Masterplan Addon, without which managing followers and their missions during Warlords of Draenor was a dreadful chore. And then there are the Addons for pet battles, which make pet and team management possible without having to keep a spreadsheet open on a second monitor.
So I am hardly anti-Addon, though I do try to keep the number I use down to what I really need, if only to avoid conflicts, the pain of patch day incompatibilities, and the heartbreak that comes when support ends for one.
But, on the other hand, something about the spirit of WoW Classic, a sort of back to nature, seeing the game in a raw or primitive form, makes me feel like Addons might be a bit of a betrayal, a cheat, an option that would deprive myself of the full experience.
So I want to consider the whole Addon thing carefully. I have almost a week left before WoW Classic starts, so I might as well take some time to think about it. I’m not doing much else besides staring at that count down on the WoW Classic home page.
The Addon makers have been busy. If you go look at just what is available for WoW Classic over at Curse, they are already into the 13th page of Addons, which at 20 Addons per page, is starting to add up. And it was at page 11 when I started planning this post last week. So that is well past 200 Addons and growing.
Addon makers have the experience of nearly 15 years of the game to look back on to decide what works and how things can be done. And while WoW Classic won’t need Addons for things like pet battles or garrison missions, some things like Deadly Boss Mobs Addon have made the leap to WoW Classic. I also see HealBot, TomTom, and some gathering and market Addons that sound familiar.
My gut says to start small, if at all, with Addons. The only one I considered from the list immediately was one to auto-sell gray items at vendors, and even that one made me think twice. There will be a point during the early game when gray items might be the best in-slot item I have, and any gear is better than no gear!
At some point I will no doubt consider something to help with buying and selling on the market. Money will be a thing, especially if we plan to go through the full epic mount plan we did back in the day.
But some items I think I will avoid. There are several quest trackers and Addons to speed your trip to level 60 by optimizing your route and telling you where to head. But right now I am not worried about speeding through WoW Classic. There is nothing much at level cap, save for an epic mount. I won’t be raiding or anything like that, and there is no launch of The Burning Crusade in the offing. At least not that Blizzard has announced yet… though if they are not at least thinking about how to get there, then they are making a mistake.
Anyway, that is my plan at the moment, six days before launch. Keep it simple when it comes to Addons.
How about you? What Addons do you think are essential for this journey, if any?
Having spent an hour in beta, I know Carbonite will be a life saver for me. I don’t have the patience any more to tab out to WoWhead to look up where a guest objective is.
My natural inclination is to shun Add Ons. For Classic especially I think it would have been nice to have them banned completely on at least one server, although Blizzard seem unwilling to operate multiple ruleset servers.
In practice, though, I do use a few when I play WoW. Mostly just things that affect the UI and how the game looks. I particularly like the one that makes the whole game look like I’m playing GW2. I think that’s broken now, though.
I absolutely won’t use any trackers, quest helpers or similar. I far prefer to tab out and lookthings up on websites and wikis. To me that is a core part of the MMORPG experience, going all the way back to when I had EQAtlas and Allakhazam printed out in ring-binders. Having in-game access to the information removes the feeling that my character is doing research and makes the whole thing more on rails.
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I only started after TBC so a lot of utility was embedded in the game by then, I don’t think I’ll really know what I need until I start the classic client for the first time. Which is part of the appeal!
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My brief experience in beta, doing a starter quest, then scratching my head looking for where to turn it in, running back to where I got it, going past where I did it, finally filling someone that was killing the same things to figure it out. That was about 10 minutes of time I don’t have any more. When I was younger, well if 46 is younger, and first playing, I knew where most objectives and turn ins were because only my wife was playing. I was on a crappy laptop looking up the info on thotbot for her. So I will see what the interface looks like live, but I will use some kind of add on to assist in where I need to go.
The only thing I would have considered would have been a raid frames add-on, as the Vanilla default raid frames are truly dreadful. I tried to do some PvP with them as a healer and things like being unable to see whether people are even in range of your heals quickly drove me up the wall. However, since it looks like Classic will be using modern WoW’s default raid frames (which looked quite serviceable last time I used them several years ago) I think I’ll be OK without, unless something specific comes up later.
I wouldn’t Addon shame anybody, we all need to do what need to in order to enjoy the game. But part of me wants to get into a mental state of not being in a hurry for this. I am very goal oriented by nature. There is no such thing as a leisurely road trip with me. I want to get to the destination NOW! And quest Addons tend to drive that bit in me. Without it I am hoping I can stay a little more focused on the journey.
Also, I am interested to see how many of the quest locations I can find based on long dormant memories from back in the day. As I have said before, we’ll see if that holds when I am hanging about in STV.
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I’m, not surprisingly, of a similar mind. Patch day always revealed how reliant one became on an addon that may or may not have been updated. As a bit of a purist healer, I eschew things like healbot, but macros are really helpful (and part of the base game). Like Bhagpuss, I do tend to like some UI mods to be able to at least move party member frames around for more positive control being a mouse and keyboarder.
Addons like Gatherer and the like mostly mirror what once upon a time I did with pen and paper or simply committed to memory, so I tend to lump that in the OK bucket.
In my book, any of those quest helpers, DBM and even damage meters are just too toxic to the experience. I look forward to walking to school up hill both ways in the snow again…
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I got addons i used since vanilla – bartender for bars, xperl for frames management, something to make chat window less awkward, necrosis, onebag/onebank, titan bar.
Need auctioneer/enchantrix but they still not converted.
Don’t need questhelper and such, don’t need leveling helpers.
Maybe get recount at some point, I doubt will have time for instances or raids so don’t need DBM and aggrometers.
There are addons I can’t live without – mostly moving the unit frames to the bottom center and reducing the bar clutter – and then there’s everything else which I don’t really need.