Why I Do Not Use (many) Addons

(Pretend LootCouncil_Lite isn't there, that seems to be a graphical error because it is well and truly uninstalled)

The lonely few addons I use!  (pretend LootCouncil_Lite isn’t there; that seems to be a graphical error because it is fully and truly uninstalled)

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?

My healing set up

My healing set up

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! 😛

The Numbers Update

Fussypants:  As per you, the readers, and my own decision, I decided to get a meter.  After a bit of research, I settled on Skada.  It took some trouble shooting and forum perusing, but I got my first addon installed with little problem!

Oh man, is that thing gonna be addicting.  Already, I constantly glance at the numbers I’m doing as compared to the others in my group.  I’m gonna take commenter Jack’s advice, and hide it for raids.

I’m at 11/20 Secrets on my paladin, and burning out fast.  That may be pushed back to a later date, as I am loving my mage.

Oh also, it seems we have hit 1000 views.  Yay!

1000 views

Yotaan:  So, some numbers, heh?   Well, Yotaan is 3 out of 12 Titan Runestones – a bit of progress on the legendary.  I have played since BC, 7 years of WoW.  Absolutely do I refuse to tell you my /played on Yotaan – that number would be frightening!

Fussypants:  Uh, numbers, lets see.  I’ve been playing for 6 years, since BC as well.  Um, there are 10 letters in the name Fussypants, and 6 in the name Yotaan.  I’ve seen my dad’s /played (*shudders*), and mine is less than a fifth of that.  Oh! The sum of all the dragonflights divided by the number of aspects that have gone crazy is… 2.5!

Conundrums

Comic from the Dark Legacy Comics!

Comic from the Dark Legacy Comics!

So, I have a conundrum.  And it has to do with addons.

I don’t use them.   I don’t have a single one installed.  I raid without DMB, use the basic UI, and use the basic auction house layout.

But the problem is, is that I want to get an addon.  A damage/healing meter.  I’m always curious to see how well I perform compared to my fellow players (and I also love being at the top 😛 )

But this would be my first addon ever.  This brings me to my conundrum.

Should I download a meter and feed my vanity, or remain pure and not download one?

The reasons why I would are simple; I would know how good my deeps/heals are compared to others, and find ways to improve myself.  I would have that knowledge, satisfying my curiosity regarding my output.

There are many reasons, however, why I should not download one.  For starters, this would be my first addon.  I would go from being ‘pure’ to relying on addons to play the game.  I have a sense of pride for being able to play as well as I can without addons (other people who don’t use addons may feel the same way).  And I would essentially lose that specialness.

The more important reason is that I would probably become one of those people who can’t get their eyes off of the meter.  I would be so worried about getting to the top that I wouldn’t move for bad, or worry about aggro.  I think the comic at the top from Dark Legacy Comics perfectly describes me.

So, I’m asking you guys, meter or no?