This has come up again and again and I’ve finally decided to sit down and address it once and for all in it’s own blog post. The topic at hand? Why I, Fussypants, do not use (many) addons in World of Warcraft.
First things first, what do I mean when I say that I don’t use many addons? Depending on who you talk to, that could range from a hundred addons to zero. In my case, I have a grand total of five addons installed. Skada, DBM, oRA3, Iskar Assist, and XRP. Of those five, I currently have just one of them enabled, which is Skada. All of the rest I have used at some point in Warlords of Draenor but as they became less useful to me, I slowly began to disable them. Right now, DBM, oRA3, Iskar Assist, and XRP exist in the disabled void. So when I say I don’t use many addons, I really mean it.
Alright I think we’ve pretty clearly illustrated my lack of addon usage so here’s going to come the ringer. A lot of times when I tell folks how few addons I use, they assume I don’t have many because I must harbor some deep seated loathing of any and all addon. I won’t download Master Plan or Vudho or Altoholic because I despise them with all of my soul. And that’s simply not true.
I do not hate addons.
I just don’t find them very useful in my particular situation.
Again, I’m going to pause right here and reiterate, all of this applies only to me. These are my feelings and thoughts about my gameplay and I, in no way, assume they apply to anyone else. If they do, great, we have something in common! But let it be known, I am writing this completely and solely about myself (what a narcissist!).
Ok, back to the subject at hand.
I only use an addon if it does something that I absolutely need in order to play. I have Skada so I can gauge my performance and see if I am where I need to be. I had oRA3 to keep track of several pieces of information that I needed for raid leading, chief among them battle resurrection timers and flask and food buff checks. I had Iskar Assist for the Iskar encounter in Hellfire Citadel (but in reality, I rarely thought to use the addon and instead clicked the new action button almost every time). I had XRP to facilitate roleplaying, the one time a friend and I rolled characters on an RP server. And I had DBM to inform me ahead of time when certain encounter abilities and phases were incoming. Each of my addons fills a specific roles that I need and otherwise would not have.
If I find I need to be able to do something and the default in game UI is not clear enough or I can’t keep track of it on my own, that’s when I start looking into an addon to fill that gap. That’s how I ended up getting Skada; I needed a way to quantitatively test my specs and see how I was performing. When I encounter something in game and I can’t play happily the way it is, I start searching Curse for a tool to do the job.
This also means that once I no longer need the addon, I’ll get rid of it. With Hellfire Citadel soon becoming obsolete, I will be uninstalling the Iskar Assist addon. I am not currently raid leading so I will probably dump oRA3. And I know all of the boss fights in HFC well enough that, for the time being, I’ve disabled that too. Addons are only useful if they are doing things I can’t do by myself.
I am well aware that with certain addons, I could most likely be just a tiny faster, better, more successful, whatever you have it. But that has never been my goal in game. I don’t play to be the best, I play to have fun. Sure, a lot of times being good at what I do is fun enough on it’s own but I’ve never felt the urge to eke out that very last percentage of uberness. Call me lazy, call me casual, both are probably correct and neither really bother me.
So why fix something that isn’t broken? Why would I install an addon to be just a little bit more productive if I’m already perfectly content where I am?
Let’s use an example. My most favorite thing to do in game is fill the healing role in raids. I have one of every single healer and I spend 85% of my times in raids healing. However, I do not, and will not get the addon Vudho (or any of the alternatives). People have asked me, and even told me to get a healing addon but at the current, I don’t see any reason to.
As it is, I heal just fine. I might not be the best, I might not be the worst (at least I hope not!) but I genuinely enjoy the act of healing. Of clicking in the raid frames and then hitting or clicking a button to heal. To me, it’s fun! It’s how I relax. It’s how I challenge myself. It’s how I game.
If I someday got to the point where I couldn’t respond fast enough, perhaps then I would download a healing addon to help with that. I won’t rule out that possibility. But right now, I seem to be doing pretty good. I don’t really need it and so I don’t plan to download it.
This is not to say I begrudge the folks who have hundreds of addons. Play the game how you’d like, I’m not going to judge you! If you use Vudho or Healbot or Grid or Clique to heal, power to you! If you’ve modded your UI into a completely different form, go for it! If you have a tracker and timer for every spell effect, go hog wild!
But also, to those folks who play with the basic UI, have a blast! To those folks who use the basic raid frames and in game timer, you do you! The way you play is not in any way worse. As much as we’d like to joke about it, there’s really no wrong way to play World of Warcraft. Make your own fun your own way.
And stop telling me to download Vudho! 😛