A Plea Against Mods/Addons in Guild Wars 2

Today, again, someone asked if Guild Wars 2 will have addons. Honestly, I wish there isn’t.

I’ll take my history with WoW addons as a base for my argument, so there may be disagreements about it if you pick different sets of addons.

There are addons that help improve the game HUD. Honestly, I prefer the cleaner, current HUD: The skill cooldowns are very visible, the health bar is a huge indicator and there is no need to check mana. The only thing that needs improvement are the mesmer mantras, as there is very little difference between an uncharged mantra and a charged one.

And there were the addons to manage mail. This was due the fact that all auction house results went through mail: You sold something, you’d get the money through mail; you lost a bid, you’d get the money back through mail; an auction expired, you’d get the item back… through mail! Guild Wars 2 actually do that all through your bank: You sell, you get outbidded, you win a bid, you get your expired auctions all back to your bank. And, if you really need the gold/item straight away, you can teleport to the city and then back (or use one of the mobile banks).

And there were the addons to improve chat. Honestly, their functionalities were slowly merged back to the official chat — and that’s a good thing. Surely, Guild Wars 1 could use a good addon to help improve some colors, but one can live with the way things work right now.

And then there was… Recount. Oh yeah, the loved bane of that game. Sure, everyone says “I want to improve my rotation” but really, what 99% of everyone who use it, use it only to have some satisfaction with their own e-peen. I load it because it doesn’t check the situation: Your DPS was low? Did it check that you had to move out of reach ’cause the tank didn’t move the boss to the proper place? Does Recount show that? Does you HPS was low? Does your Recount shows that your team was organized enough to stay out of fire and use their damage reducing abilities? Does Recount show that?

There are too many variables for Recount to be useful. There are too many situation for Recount to give a good answer for anything. And now you have a game with no defined roles. You could be “tanking” at some point and then go healing. And how would an addon manage all that?

Anecdote time (you guys know I love those, right?): Late in the middle part of Wrath of the Lich King (in the Trial of the Crusader), I decided to roll another alt — if my memory doesn’t fail, that’s when I decided to roll my shaman in the alliance, to see “Battle for Undercity” from the other side. Being a tank, I had almost instant queue. At some point, I joined a group for Halls of Lightning. After the Volkhan, the healer posted the Recount stats, showing that I was second in DPS. Before any of the two DPS could say anything, I replied “I saw that” (I was constantly the second DPS since the very start of the run, but those two DPSes were not far and the top DPS was waaay ahead of me) “but I really don’t care.” My motives? I did want the heirloom, but if I could help some guy who just rolled another alt or was trying to gear up his first character, even better. So the healer didn’t want to prove his e-peen, he was trying to shorten other people’s e-peen — which is way more douchy.

And this kind of attitude needs to die. Not only a Recount-like addon would be a stupid thing in Guild Wars 2, it would have the power to undermine the community by giving assholes tools to piss on everyone else.

So you have most functionatlities merged in the game already and some addons that doesn’t deserve to be in the game. There is no reason, at this point, to have an addon/mod system.

PS: Sorry about the double-post: I actually wanted to save as draft and pressed the “publish” button half-way through the text. Freaking out, I deleted the first and added a new post instead — which was just as stupid as pressing the wrong button.