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Are Modern Addons too Strong for Classic WoW?
11/06/2019 à 23:01
As Classic gets closer, more discussions emerge about the modern game API, present in the Beta, and what will addons be able to do for Classic, how could they possibly even break the whole Classic experience for players. Knowing this, a number of players has requested Blizzard that Classic should use the 1.12 in-game API, to restrict addons to what they were capable of doing back in Vanilla and not what they can do in BFA.
In order to clear the air, Omegal, also known as MysticalOS, Tech Forums MVP, and author of
Deadly Boss Mods
, replied to a
thread in the official forums
explaining the situation, addressing common misconceptions and outright false statements about the state of the API in Vanilla and in Classic.
The Vanilla, or 1.12 API, in fact, is less restrictive than the one we have for modern WoW. This comes from the simple fact that, besides additions to explicit the game API, like Threat, UI elements, and others, the Vanilla API had fewer restrictions than the modern Legion/BFA one. The reason behind it is 15 years of fighting back against exploits, unintended uses or fixing bugs from the API.
Why are Modern Addons so Robust?
Time. The main reason you see such advanced addons today compared to Vanilla mostly because there was a 15-year window of development ever since. This development time made authors learn more about the limits of the API, create better libraries, better code, and so much more. Back in Vanilla, everything was fresh, people didn't know much about how to manipulate the API, there were few if any libraries available for authors, everything was harder to do.
Powerful addons like
, or its predecessor, Power Auras, could've existed during Vanilla to some degree, nothing in the Vanilla API limited its existence. There are even robust addons, developed originally over the years exclusively in the 1.12 API, like
, that show the full strength of the Vanilla API.
Search for Classic Addons on
Below you can read in detail the full post, where MysticalOS go over details about the information above and goes further in other issues.
"Game should use 1.12 api because that’s what was available in classic and the current api brings new features to classic that give addons more power."
Here are the facts, 1.12 classic api was not weak. if anything, it had far more potential for abuse than 8.x api. Even ion admit this in interviews. One of core reasons they went with 8.x api over 1.12 is because the things you could do with that old api, were really broken. 8.x api is actually full of restrictions and blocks that blizzard has spent 15 years developing to counter addon authors over the years as we got better. There are a few new features too, but for most part they are minor and most of the stuff you see addons in classic doing now, isn’t because of 8.x api vs 1.x api. Blizz has done a good job removing apis classic didn’t have and will probably find a few more they missed over course of beta. They even went out of way to remove classic apis such as threat, cast bars, and mob health even though addons existed for ALL THREE of those in classic. They could have left apis in so at least addons could replicate what they did in classic while using less cpu, but they wanted to be genuine and have addons for those 3 functions be just as inefficient and ugly as they were in vanilla, because that’s true to the experience. TL/DR here, it comes down to much bigger major factors than the API, which I’ll cover next.
"So if it’s not the api that’s OP, what’s changed?"
Time. In vanilla wow, WoW was new, the api was new, and many of authors were new to coding. Authors were also starting from scratch. So you ask what’s different now? 15 years is the difference. Years of experience with wow api. Years of experience in coding. Years of actual time put into our addons. Regardless of api, you cannot erase time. Addons like Weak Auras, DBM, etc that are appearing in classic already, the power of these addons has to do with fact that YEARS of development time is already present in the code. Written by authors with years of experience making wow addons. If you still think it’s api though and want to pretend time isn’t the actual factor, look at how addons evolved in private server scene on 1.12. People today talk about quest helpers for example and how advanced they’ve gotten and classic you had to read quest text and explore. Now if you skipped private server scene you might be unaware of questie. A quest helper that did evolve over years even on top of 1.12 api, because it wasn’t the api holding it back as much as sheer amount of time a large project takes. Here we are though, 15 years later. Now, we’ve had that time and addons are advanced.
"So, if addons are super amazing now because of time, maybe blizzard should just ban them all together. I don’t want my classic ruined by addons"
You could ban addons and force vanilla UI across board for entirety of classic wow and it would make so little difference. the very thing that made addons more advanced affects EVERYTHING. You cannot single out addons and ignore everything else. We have 15 years of classic wow videos. 15 years of wowhead/thotbot comments. 15 years of technology evolution (internet, cpus, gpus, monitors/resolution, etc). 15 years of wow skill (macroing, keybinding, mouse turning, reaction time, etc). 15 years of guides (BIs lists, min max leveling routes, dungeons, raids, class, etc). Even the very nature of community has evolved so much in 15 years. Twitch, twitter, reddit, etc. All of this adds up to one simple truth. You cannot erase the last 15 years…
So to summarize. I think classic is going to be amazing and fun for a lot of us. The very core identity of it is present and that is what spells it’s success. Sense of community and cooperation. The core values of an MMO that spell it’s success. Reliving classic for those of us that understand this as classics core will be the ones that enjoy it most. Those of you stuck on things like addons and other nonsense will ruin your own experience. Those of you expecting to relive your mystery and think molten core is going to be same as it was 15 years ago when we didn’t know anything, are going to be sorely disappointing. I’m telling you right now that a boss in a 40 man raid that puts a bomb on one target is just not going to be scary by todays standards. Naxx 40 is another story, but even that isn’t going to be as hard as any of you remember it. Not with 15 years of time going into it.
So stop focusing on the silly details and focus on what matters here. For first time in a long time a lot of players are excited about sense of community again. Enjoy it, and make new friends. Create new connections that you haven’t in a long time because LFG and CRZ have turned wow into an antisocial quick fix experience that has completely removed the social aspect from every part of game except for the highest level of endgame experienced by a fraction of wow population.
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