1. #1

    Do addons automate decision-making/computations and calculations for the player?

    Relevant thread that brought up this question:

    Quote Originally Posted by Viratan View Post
    "Plays the game for you"
    I'm arguing that addons like weak auras, dbm, hekili, etc. "play the game for you", so to speak. The other user is arguing that addons only advise you what to do, not tell you what to do.

    However, it depends on the nature of the addon. Addons are on a spectrum. Some addons just provide information in a clearer way. Other addons do some automated scripting/computation in the background to solve something and make a decision for you.

    For example, Hekili is an addon that tells you what button to press next that is the most optimal in your dps rotation. It takes into account if you are near other enemies, so that it can tell you the AOE dps buttons to push. It tells you when to use defensive cooldowns, interrupts, offensive cooldowns, cleanse, remove curse, purge, etc.

    WeakAuras can be so complicated that they can easily solve complicated raid boss mechanics. Some of these did too much, that blizzard banned them.

    DBM straight up give you instructions like, "run this way" on boss fights.

    All these addons take away from the decision making. Even though you still have to make a few decisions here and there, the addon is carrying most of the decision making for you.

    A common rebuttal is, "But I am still pushing buttons". You are, and if you weren't you'd be botting, but the point is the addons tell you what to do in a lot of cases.

    So, rather than figuring out and making their own decisions, they wait for the addon to tell them what to do.

  2. #2
    DBM is a necessity because of how complex and unintuitive the mechanics of WoW bosses are and the steep penalty of failing those mechanics on short notice (usually you won't just die, but you will also kill other people and possibly cause a wipe, getting other people mad at you and possibly getting kicked, and if it's a mythic+ then you might brick the keyholder's key). Each boss has 4 to 5 mechanics, there are 40+ bosses per season (4 dungeon bosses x 8 dungeons, + 8 or 9 raid bosses) and it's unreasonable to memorize those 200 mechanics every season.

  3. #3
    Blizzard must do something about it for sure.

    They can't keep designing punishing encounters around add-on usage. Even HC has HK mechanics everywhere nowadays, something that a while ago (Legion) was mainly found in Mythic Raiding, and very high M+ is becoming mainstream.

    Meanwhile, as the "main" game version shrinks further, and the Classic version has all the highlights, Blizzard says they can't do anything about it, and I've heard the same sh*t in BFA/SL... it's hopeless.

  4. #4
    there are very famous examples in wow of addons almost playing the game for you. mythic archimonde from wod had a mechanic where a beam would start on one player, hit another player (it may have been random, i don't remember the fight that clearly since i never did mythic archimonde), and then the player that was hit would be the origin of the next beam attack. guilds had addon devs make things like auras in weakauras while on a payroll. these addons/auras didn't play the game for the player but it told the person where to stand. as long as the player followed the instructions, the only thing they had to do was dps. which also had addons and auras helping people maximize dps by telling them what spell or ability would be best in the moment. say you get a proc 0.5 seconds prior to the GCD coming off, the addon would swap the displayed icon to show what you should use.

    so technically no, addons have never played the game for you. but in terms of honesty and the spirit of playing a game, yes they did. i'm not an active player anymore so i couldn't give current examples but i heard that the jailer in shadowlands had something similar happen with jumping into holes. there are two main reasons why i believe this is bad for any game, not just wow.

    first, the devs will have to find cheaper and cheaper methods of making the game hard for people who want hard mechanics. it is a never ending arms race of a team of a few hundred people against an amount of people that could start their own country. literally impossible for any company to win this scenario without banning combat addons.

    second, the addons made by those payrolled addon devs end up getting released to the general playerbase and it becomes the normal method to defeat bosses. it would still be bad if these addons and auras were kept just for those world first guilds, but the fact these tools get in the hands of the average player makes the floor for combat even higher. if you don't use these addons, then you're wasting everyones time unless it was agreed ahead of time not to.
    Last edited by aceperson; 2023-12-03 at 06:30 AM.

  5. #5
    It's ultimately up to the game developers how much of that they allow. We've seen WoW addons hit that border and Blizzard's like "nope, no further" a few times but it's generally very lax and they mostly focus on "how do we try to integrate some of these ideas into the game?" Like DBM's alerts when you do a mechanic wrong and much more visible alerts for standing in fire are in-game right now. Heck, M+ score was and I believe still is an addon that "makes decisions for you" in a sense, and that's in-game now too.

    I definitely think it can go too far and is an important discussion to have. OSRS is another game I play that has been struggling with where to draw that line, genuinely being even more lax with it than wow as long as the addon isn't doing multiple inputs out per input from the player and starts being botting.



    In my experience WoW raiding has not required addons at all for LFR, not really for Normal as long as you know the fights and use a voice chat but it can help ,but definitely starts being basically mandatory for anything above that. I honestly think that's fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Val the Moofia Boss View Post
    DBM is a necessity because of how complex and unintuitive the mechanics of WoW bosses are
    Are they though? I've noticed a trend relatively recently that they've been making a lot more bosses have consistent design mechanics. For example there's a very specific animation difference between "stand here to split the damage" and "DON'T stand here" and never the two shall cross. I think they've done a lot better with that in recent expansions.

    My only real reason for using DBM isn't so much "the game fails to telegraph this mechanic" as "there are a lot of things happening at once, and I need something more obvious than the in-game telegraph." A sensation that fades with familiarity akin to how I got overwhelmed a lot when learning to drive in a place I hadn't been before, having to take EVERYTHING in.
    Last edited by Powerogue; 2023-12-04 at 09:30 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aucald View Post
    Having the authority to do a thing doesn't make it just, moral, or even correct.

  6. #6

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