World of Warcraft Addons

World of Warcraft is a fantastic video game. Mostly because it attracts so many wonderful people. I have spend 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 focu over the years: Addons. – Allow me to discuss a few aspects and give my view on this “game within the game”.

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Current interface in Legion

Focus

When Legion launched I promised myself to keep everything simple, and don’t use any customisation 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 addons since I started playing in August, but I have work 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 details needs to be absolutely perfect. As long as you can stick to a UI suite everything is mostly fine because someone else has customised everything to match fonts and textures. But once you want a damage meter, boss mods or the ever so popular WeakAuras things gets complicated.

The game has evolved over the years and is actually 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…

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Early version of Tukui with lackluster utility

Quality of Life

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.

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Probably my best looking interface ever

Performance

So what about my performance? Is the lack of addons making me do lower DPS, or getting people killed? This is of course really hard to tell. And it will depend on the encounter, some raidbosses have really 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 for me to keep focus on the environment. Also, 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 to much mechanics to take care of, I can understand that people call BM hunters “faceroll”. I have a hard time seeing some classes, like Shadow Priest being competitive without a DOT-tracker amongst other addons.

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 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 of the fact that 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 actions bars to be more responsive with less addons active. Also the load times when you zone into another area in wow get’s alot longer as soon as the addons starts to pile up.

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Messy UI during Naxx 40 back in Vanilla

Esthetics

I was an early adopter of Tukui, and I have spend 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.

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