Fence Sitting is Rather Uncomfortable
There was a great hullabaloo about add-ons amongst the healing circle. As a big fan of both moarhps (Codi) and RighteousOrbs (Tam & Chas), I found the exchange particularly interesting, and instead of leaving the ginormous comment over at RighteousOrbs that I started, I figured I would turn it into a post.

The Problem With Add-Ons

I should preface this by stating that I use add-ons. I try to use as few as is necessary. Is it because I think it makes me a better player or person if I don’t use add-ons? Not at all. It is due almost entirely to the fact that add-ons have a tendency to go all wonky after a patch. And I get error messages. And thingies light up and go dingdingding and I get very bewildered. I’m not very good at customizing UIs, and I’m entirely too impatient to fix things that break on the technical end. I just click red x boxes in hopes that whatever the problem is will simply go away. I utilize this exact same methodology with my car, by the way.

I very much enjoyed Codi’s no add-on project for the very reason that she started it in the first place. Her computer broke, she had to use another computer on which she was not able to use add-ons, and she needed to heal a raid. Most of us have found ourselves in a similar situation many times. Codi’s writing on the topic helped me figure out how to fix things so that I could heal and raid well in the event that my add-ons went kablooey.

She also pointed out a lot of things that made me pay more attention – and in effect, made me a better healer, and an overall better player.

By making healing a simple matter of point and click, it removes the finesse of doing things like making macros or learning each of the unique debuffs so that you can spot them.

Now, I don’t think you have to stop using add-ons in order to learn the Great Art of Macro-Creation – Clique taught me how to use and create macros. I’m still not very good at it, and I’m certainly no expert, but through Clique I learned how to use different types of macros, and enabled myself to create macros outside of the add-on environment as well. Conceptually, I confess that I just could not grasp how to use and write macros before Clique.

In regards to the debuffs, I found her to be quite right. Before she pointed this out, I rarely bothered to actually read the name or effect of a debuff. I would just cleanse/dispel my way on through. The problem with that, is that you don’t really need to cleanse everything. In many cases, it is simply a waste of a global cooldown and mana to do so, especially when the tradeoff of a GCD and the effect of the debuff are too expensive. In addition to this, I have started noticing a lot more debuffs that need to be removed at a certain time (i.e. not immediately), and I have watched people cleanse them immediately and cause a lot of damage to the group.

Since Codi pointed out this particular issue, I started paying more attention to curses, debuffs, etc. Yes, I still use my add-ons. But I use them with more thought now – I pay more attention. And the game has become more interesting to me when I pay more attention to the specific details of debuffs.

Before Codi started her Zero Add-On Project, I was in the camp of someone who felt completely incapable of healing without my precious add-ons. But now, due to her efforts, I know what to do if I find myself raiding on my laptop (which can’t handle all my normal raiding add-ons) or on a patch day if everything explodes. I feel confident that I can still be a solid player.

I do not think that add-ons necessarily make the game easier. I find that they often add a layer of complexity that I absolutely hate – fiddling with a UI when I have about as much patience for such endeavors as I do for people who are rude and demanding. However, I find just as much, if not more, problems in trying to configure the default UI to work in a way that makes sense to me. Thankfully, Codi made the effort to explain to me how to do it properly.

As far as I’m concerned, this is a game, and therefore people should do what it takes to make the game as fun as possible for themselves, as long as it does not make the game less enjoyable for other players. Codi enjoys playing without add-ons, and she is a living testament against the people who insist that people who raid without add-ons should just be kicked from a raid by default. Along that same line, I’ve certainly never seen her championing a cause that stated that people who do like to use add-ons should also be kicked from a raid. Perhaps I was completely incorrect in my interpretation, but I read her words as championing the cause that people should learn how to heal without add-ons in order to better understand the game mechanics that add-ons may encourage people to gloss over, and to prepare oneself in the event that you are unable to use add-ons. I think it's a pretty good point.

Why should I learn to spell when I have a spellchecker built into every word-processing program? Because I might find myself in a situation where the word processor doesn’t work. Why should I learn my multiplication tables when I can just use a calculator? Because I lose things like calculators, and people get really irritated when you ask them, for the 19th time, what 6 times 7 is (screw you, multiplication tables). Why should I scrub the floor on my hands and knees instead of with a mop? Because with a mop, I don’t notice the clear sticky substance glued to the floor.


The Inherent Virtue of Suffering

I very much enjoyed reading all the relevant posts from all three authors (Codi, Tam, and Chas), but I think this section by Tam is quite possibly my favorite. As someone who does actually find some personal inherent value in suffering (I blame my mother), I felt very attached to Tam’s words on the topic. Specifically, this portion:

The thing is, I’m all for individual freedom. If you want to write, you can write, if you want to use the default UI you can use the default UI, if you want to eat your rice with a fork you can.

(well that’s good, actually, because I do eat rice with a fork, and I never understood why my mother thought that was strange – is it easier with a spoon? Maybe it is… /ponder)

But then I guess this section rather stung:

Unfortunately, the problem is that people who do choose to do things in a less-than-optimal manner can never seem to let it go. It’s not enough that we approach things differently: their way has to be the better way, the way that makes reflects their inherent inner virtues, like strength and determination and not expecting things to be easy all the time.


And it left me wondering… after my “I like it Hard” post, did my readers think I was insisting they ought to do things the hard way? I hope I did not alienate my readers and friends by leaving them with the thought that I considered myself superior simply because I found some personal value in increased and arguably unnecessary challenges. I absolutely do not. I also confess that I take some offense to the description of a less-traveled path as less-than-optimal. I recognize that my entire philosophy on life is annoyingly post-modern, but it does sting a bit to hear that the personal choices I make are, due to the very thing about them that makes them valuable to me, “less than optimal”. Mind you, I'm not suggesting Tam's words were directed at me. My favorite thing about Tam is his ability to take a potentially esoteric concept that applies to the real world and frame it in a gaming context, and vice versa.

So to each of you, I encourage you to find your own optimal path, and refrain from judging or casting condemnation down on others who choose a different path. Maybe that path will be the difficult, rocky, and less traveled path. Maybe it will be the cleaner, tidier, more established one. There are inherent virtues in both, depending on what you, as an individual, value most.

My path, though arguably more arduous and tedious and perhaps even filled with lots of giant pits and squiggly red lines, may not be the path for you. I only wished to share with you the joy I had experiencing it. I hope you got a kick out of it, and I am not offended if you tease me about it, as long as you don’t attempt to tell me my path is wrong, or that your path would be a superior choice for me.

Seriously, if having your night elf jump up and down naked on a mailbox all day brings you the most joy in this game, then go for it. It’s your money. What right does anyone else have to tell you that your way is not fun, and you’re “doing it wrong”? If, on the other hand, you like to spend your gametime attempting to solo every raid boss naked with the default UI on a holy priest with one hand tied behind your back… more power to you. It’s your money, and if that is fun for you, then that is what you ought to do.

Just because someone likes doing something in a way you perceive as more difficult does not mean they find it more difficult, nor does it make them (that ever-controversial adjective) elitist. My perception of an elitist is someone who insists their way is the only proper way, and then continues on to insist that anyone who does not do it their way is inferior. In contrast, just because someone chooses to do something in a way that seems far too simplistic to you does not mean they are lazy.

On a more personal note, I really do hope that none of the authors to whom I referred in this post are upset with me for writing this. I adore all of them, both as writers and as individuals. I hope that posting my thoughts on this whole subject does not lose me their friendships, because I have been blessed with the opportunity to get to know them on a personal level, and I'd really hate to lose that.
21 Responses
  1. Poneria Says:

    There is a bit of merit in telling someone they're doing it technically wrong (like misspellings or incorrect grammar, to use your first analogy), but yeah, definitely, eff off if someone ever tries to tell me I'm doing it wrong for purely subjective reasons. =P

    This debate also reminds me of my recent brush with keyboarding v. mouse-turning. I've since learned & use mouse-turning, but I don't look down on my former-fellow 'boarders. :)


  2. azerothapple Says:

    I was honestly a bit bothered by Codi's original post because it felt like she was lumping all of us add-on users in a group of "probably not that great". I know (and knew at the time) that she didn't MEAN that, or I hoped so, and I moved on.

    And I can understand how using addons might make people less likely to bother learning certain nuances of their class and how to heal on them, but... well, Tam commented on her most recent post with the following:

    "You state repeatedly in this post that “I do not believe using healing add-ons makes you a bad healer.” However, you also state repeatedly that add-ons create players with the following symptoms: “lower knowledge of specific game mechanics” and “a less pronounced internal perception of time, including how time relates to healing abilities.” Someone with a lower knowledge of game mechanics and a less pronounced internal perception of time is a WORSE healer than someone with those qualities ergo the implication of your entire two posts remains the same: using add-ons makes you a bad healer. It doesn’t matter that you never said the exact words “I believe add-ons makes you a bad healer” the tone and manner of your posts, and the meaning behind the words you have used amount to the same thing."

    And THAT is what I have a problem with. Maybe she just means "using addons can make these bad traits MORE COMMON", which I won't argue, I'm sure it's true, but that's not what she said, and until we get clarification that maybe she meant something else and worded it poorly, THAT IS HER STATED OPINION ON THE MATTER.

    I still like her blog, I can't say much for her as I don't KNOW her, but right now, I'm just... meh. :/ I'm disappointed that she seems to think I'm a poorer healer for using addons.

    (and for the record, I've never had that problem with you and your obsessive "DO IT THE HARD WAY ZOMG" mentality. XD You make it VERY clear that you only expect YOU to do it that way, and that you don't consider yourself better than other people who don't do it.)


  3. Rades Says:

    I think you've hit upon the true significance of healing without addons - learning and experiencing things from a different perspective. Just as a healer WILL learn new things if they try their hand at DPS (and indeed, just as anyone will learn new things by trying new roles), healing without addons would definitely force you to learn things such as understanding a debuff before you just click & remove it.

    There are also certainly valid reasons for regularly going addon-free. Maybe your computer can't handle the burden, or maybe you hate dealing with the updating process at patch time. Whatever, that's all fine and good.

    But waving around the fact that you are addon-free and thus, BETTER than those that use addons? That's completely stupid. I think many people assumed (incorrectly) that someone was saying this during the discussion, and of course things spiraled out of control from there.

    Honestly, this seems all too akin to real-life examples like choosing to be vegetarian, or following a specific religion. What you do is totally up to you. But0 your personal preference doesn't give you the right to look down on others whose choices don't match up with yours.

    Oh...and one other reason I'm strongly in the pro-addon group. I pugged ICC for a long time when it first came out, and much like gearscore, if I had a choice between two completely identical healers who I know NOTHING about, and one uses Healbot and one uses nothing...I'm going to go with the Healbot user, because it appears they've done some preparation and research to be ready. I don't know the no-addon healer is as prepared. Just food for thought.


  4. Jaedia Says:

    Spot on, to be honest. I get a bit tired of people telling me that my way is wrong, I noticed it a little in the blogosphere, but I tend to avoid the people who do it so, no worries there. The trouble is if I write a blog post explaining how I do something, and somebody comes along telling me how crap I am for doing it that way because it's wrong, I'm not gonna be too pleased. My blog posts are to help and entertain, nothing more. So all for the play the game however the feck you want, as long as you're enjoying yourself, and not hurting anyone else. Also, I eat my rice with a fork.
    Also, I do use addons. I kind of wish I didn't, but that's more of a memory issue than a good vs. bad player issue.


  5. Leah Says:

    "My perception of an elitist is someone who insists their way is the only proper way, and then continues on to insist that anyone who does not do it their way is inferior."

    this is precisely what I felt Codi is doing. its especially obvious when she made a comment on nonsquishyheals about playing Dragon age origins on easy mode is like losing a game.

    I'm a huge fan of addons. addons to me are like glasses to someone with weak vision. to continue with analogy with glasses - if your glasses break, do you forget the rules of the road? do you forget how to start your car, how to stop on red light and when to yield? no, but you still cannot drive in most conditions, becasue without your glasses, your vision is not good enough to notice things in time.

    I use addons. I use a fair bit of them. but I know the difference between a curse of torpor on LDW that needs to be removed immediately and the curse that Noth puts on people that gives you about 10 seconds to dispel it safely. I recognize icons on sight and I can visually tell if someone has legion flame or that link on queen lanathel (I'm bad with actual names, but I recognize both visual effects and icons that represent them on grid) and need to be healed

    Using addons doesn't stop me from making decisions. it simply allows me to make them quickly.

    Can I heal a raid naked? terribly, the same way that I could drive without glasses. I would be driving/healing much slower, I would have trouble seeing signs/debuffs until they are almost too close, I'd be a lot more likely to endanger other people on the road/my fellow raiders.

    people who are not using addons are just as likely to not notice mechanics of the fights as those who do. I'd give here a point if she were stating her opinion in the days of original decursive and healbot (back when they DID decide for you which spell to use), but nowadays, there are no addons to my knowledge that move your character for you, chose a spell for you and all you do is hit one buttons to cast it, etc. YOU are responsible for making a decision, for observing and reacting to an encounter, regardless of which tools you use. all they do is make that sign a little bigger and a little clearer.

    so..umm yeah, I agree with you and very much disagree with codi.


  6. I don't really think you came off in a bad way in the post you referenced about doing things the hard way. You seemed to have come to terms with respecting people for how they wanted to do things, and found your own level of satisfaction in doing things the way you felt you need to. There's nothing offensive about that.


  7. LarĂ­sa Says:

    I think people read in a lot more in the posts than you would imagine. I wrote the other day about why I think making achievement account-wide is a terrible idea. And this made my angry commenters think that I had accused them for being lazy (since they didn't want to get the achievement on yet another alt, they had already done that grind.) I never called them lazy. But they thought I did.

    I think that every time you write something like "I do it the hard way because I like it", it is a little bit provocative to others. There's something in it that can be perceived as you're telling the world how good you are - even if you abosolutely don't mean that way. But the very fact that you find it worth posting about it is a sort of statement. Look at me! I do it THIS way, MY way... and that provokes all sorts of weird reactions. People are projecting a lot of things, seeing things that actually aren't in the post, but only in their own minds.

    And that's why this kind of topics become so touchy to write about.


  8. Anonymous Says:

    if I had a choice between two completely identical healers who I know NOTHING about

    What about if you ran two successive pugs on with just the healers different and both performed exactly the same - except that after both runs you discover that one uses Healbot and the other doesn't.

    Would you feel that the 2nd healer was silly for not using an addon that improves their performance or would it not bother you at all?

    I have successfully healed my way through Normal and some Heroic modes of ICC and I don't use healbot/clique/grid etc.

    On the whole, I do not consider myself a brilliant healer. But discussing with other healers, none of them think I am by any means a poor healer.

    Mind you, I've never revealed to them that I don't use Healbot/clique/Grid for fear of their opinions changing.

    :/


  9. Tam Says:

    An interesting, thoughtful and balanced take on the matter, as ever :) I actually remembered - at the point of writing - your I Like It Hard (insert eyebrow raise here) post and hoped you wouldn't take it personally. I think the difference between your post and Codi's is basically the difference between calling the post I Like It Hard and I Am A Better Person Than You Because I Like It Hard.

    Although Codi insists she never said using add-ons makes people bad healers, she nevertheless repeatedly states that using add-ons *damages* things like encouter awareness and time-perception. So it amounts to the same thing. Sorry but if you have low encounter awareness and crappy time-perception, then you're a worse healer than someone who has good encounter awareness and decent time-perception.

    Implicit judgements are still judgements.

    As with any tool, I believe add-ons can be used in a self-aware and useful way, and they can be used, err, without those things in which, case, yes they are harmful. But you cannot interpret the way people interact with something as a reflection of the value of the thing itself. I mean, some people are silly enough to walk out onto zebra crossings without checking the traffic has slowed down. This doesn't mean that zebra crossings make people bad pedestrians.

    The fork thing was a specific reference to this:

    "I’ve heard healing with base UI is like “eating soup with a fork,” but I’ve come to see using Vuhdo or the like as “eating rice with a fork,” instead. (A fork and soy sauce! GASP!)"

    Implication: people who eat rice with a fork and soya sauce are ignorant/inferior because rice should be eaten with chopsticks. But actually the only reason to eat rice with chopstick is becuase you personally find it more helpful or becuase you *want to be the sort of person who is like totally au fait with other cultures man unlike those other fools who want to put soya sauce on it" Never mind that if you go to an Indian or Tawianese restaurant you'll eat plenty of rice with a fork.

    Again: there is no inherent virtue in eating rice with anything you goddamn choose.

    To be fair, I'm rather hoisted with my own petard in that I should have written:

    "unfortunately, the problem is that SOME people who do choose to do things in a less-than-optimal manner can never seem to let it go."

    ;)

    And you're right, "non-optimal" was a bad choice of words. I think why I used "non-optimal" rather than "better" or "easier" was I trying to avoid the very value judgement that I nevertheless accidentally communicated.

    I mean, if you get down your hands and knees and scrub the floor and it takes you an hour. And I do it with a squeegeee mop in five minutes and there's no recogniable difference in quality of cleanliness ... then my way is more efficient in basic terms. But if you get personal satisfaction from doing it your way and it gives you thinking time and, I don't know, upper arm exercise then ... that's entirely legitimate too.

    What I was trying to get at was the idea that even though your way was less efficient that doesn't inherently make it BETTER because mine was more efficient. And vice versa.

    Anyway epic Tam is epic.

    *shuts up*


  10. @Tam

    <3<3<3

    The most important thing that we've established here is that it is perfectly acceptable to eat one's rice with a fork.

    I also think it all comes down to context. The same argument applies with theorycrafting. The numbers used, in a perfect environment, are absolutely correct - assuming that you always act in the correct way that enable those numbers to be optimal.

    Even if you don't, the numbers are still useful. But trying to apply them as a blanket to all players and people is not actually the best way to do it. Thus, if I have a habit of overhealing, mana regen may be slightly more important to me than spellpower. And so forth.

    The way azerothapple reacted to her post is the same way I did, really.

    Also, the day you shut up is the day I stop reading WoW blogs and posting myself. So yeah, don't do that! :)


  11. Anonymous Says:

    I think the alternative to eating rice with a fork is eating rice with chopsticks, which Chinese food elitists will tell you is the Only Proper Way to get the flavor, and I think it's a better metaphor for addons/default UI.


  12. Fulguralis Says:

    Wow... apparently they unblocked you at work, my dear. This means you get public snark instead of just private gmail snark.

    1. I eat rice with chopsticks because I'm all about the experience. That seems to get lost in the whole analogy. We seem to judge eating solely on the merit of food getting to mouth efficiently. Tam even goes so far as to list two options for the type of person "you are". Things are rarely ever that black and white (and he knows this), but what about the valid third option "for the experience of eating?" I just happen to like using chopsticks because they are more fun for me. I eat 90% of my other food with spoons, forks, knives, and, yes, fingers (being American, you know). Chopsticks are something different, and different can be fun.

    That does not change the completely valid point you (and Tam) make of: "If you find it fun, then go for it."

    2. Being somewhat close to the author of this post, I can say that while her "I Like it Hard" mantra drives me, personally, batty sometimes, I can totally respect it for one reason and one reason only: She does not let it hinder our team.

    It bugs me when people get on the personal kick of "well it's fun for me", but then the team suffers because of it. In the case of addons, it would be the person who eschews the use of addons and yet does nothing to improve their abilities to make up for the lack of audible warnings and such (thus stands in the bad more, or is generally a "worse" healer by the simple definition of "people die more"). In the case of "liking it hard", even if we're not doing it via Jess's Preferred Method (TM), she will not abandon us because "hey, it's her $15". She will even go so far as to find a replacement (who has to be equal to or greater than her in skill in her opinion) if the choice is so completely ruinous of her fun.

    In other words, in no way do we suffer for her personal peculiar proclivities. It is in that that I have found a deep respect and fondness for Miss Medicina et al.


  13. Chastity Says:

    Hiya,

    Umm ... first off I wanted to say that I absolutely agree with everything you say here on the subject of playing the game your way, of enjoying the challenge, and finding your own way through the game.

    But I want to explain why I found Codi's original post not just stupid or annoying, but genuinely offensive.

    The key remark, for me, is this one:

    Most likely, I’ll never become a crusader for the viewpoint that everyone should give up their fancy UIs, simply because I don’t see it being possible. Humans are by nature creatures who want to do as little work as we can get away with.

    This directly and explicitly states that people who choose to customize their UIs are trying to do "as little work as they can get away with". This is, in fact, calling everybody who uses addons lazy.

    Which I wouldn't mind, but it's not the post itself, it's the mentality behind the post. The idea that if people make different choices to you, they are just being lazy. That is what she says, and she never retracts it.

    Some people (as comments on our blog highlight) actually use addons because they *genuinely* cannot play without them. For some people it's a matter of RSI, for others it's a matter of lag. At its most extreme, I would guess that Clique is a godsend to anybody who only has one arm.

    Codi heals without addons, and pats herself on the back for doing things "the hard way" when in fact all she's doing us using a system that she likes and is used to. The validation she draws from the activity comes from the fact that *other people* have difficulties with it *which she does not share*.

    When you apply this mentality to WoW addons, it's mildly annoying, but as a general principle (and it is clear from Codi's followup that she *does* consider it a general principle) it is deeply, deeply upsetting to me.

    This next bit gets personal, and I am sincerely sorry if you find any of it upsetting.

    You have said before, in posts which must have been extremely difficult for you to write, that you play WoW because it allows you to be yourself in a way which you can't in "real life" because of your depression.

    Now I don't need WoW for that. I can be myself just fine without using a video game. This is because I don't have your illness. Things that are easy for me are hard for you.

    If I were to say "Most likely, I’ll never become a crusader for the viewpoint that everyone should give up using WoW to deal with their real life problems, simply because I don’t see it being possible. Humans are by nature creatures who want to do as little work as we can get away with." that would be profoundly offensive.

    Perhaps I'm overanalysing, but that's the mentality I read into Codi's posts, the superior assumption that if people do things that you don't feel the need to that they are somehow *lesser*.


  14. Zelmaru Says:

    I'm glad you wrote such a balanced post, because seriously... this is not worth getting worked up about.

    We have differences of opinion. And that's ok.

    The fact is, bloggers are a subset of people who will ponder what is the best course of action FOR US (both for performance and personal style) and then do it after a lot of deliberation and testing. The general population, on the other hand, may make a choice (few addons, lotsa addons, or no addons) without such deliberation and often suffer for it - either because they would do better with a given addon or because they would do better without.

    If you make a well-informed choice, it is the best choice for you and you can't go wrong.


  15. Codi Says:

    The chopsticks and soy sauce thing was supposed to be a joke. A really poor one, I guess! Sorry about that. Maybe it fell too far into the "you had to be there" territory.

    re: the part Chas commented on - I am a lazy human! I AM INCLUDED! I'm too lazy to fight what I consider to be a fruitless battle. It was poorly worded, sure, but that's because it was just a small post that wasn't supposed to be about add-ons vs. no add-ons. :/

    If I had known this was such a damn hot-button issue, I would have avoided it. >_< I don't even -care- that much, I'm just finding myself having to defend myself.


  16. Chastity Says:

    I'm really sorry to drag this over here, but I do want to reply to Codi's last point.

    From my perspective, the fact that you include yourself in your generalization makes no difference.

    The point is not that you are saying that everybody has a tendency towards laziness - I'm sure that is in fact true - the point is that you identify a *specific* choice made by other people as being a result of their *personal* failure to resist that laziness.

    It's the fact that you take a *legitimate choice* people make and cast it as a *moral failure*.


  17. I have read a lot of the posts surrounding this issue and I have got to say that I am a little taken aback by the explosion of it all. I've not even commented anywhere else because of the extremities that seem to be taken.

    All the same, I have seen excellent healer from the no addon range to the whoahowdoesyourcomputerstillrun range. Did I mention excellent? Cause they are.

    I myself only run Grid and that isn't just on my healer. I have no plug ins for it and I really only have it to see the entire party in an aesthetically pleasing way. Even my hunter runs Grid.

    I think there are benefits to both addon use and no addon use. These vary somewhere along the lines of overall resource use on the computer, what can your computer really handle so you're not at 2fps -to- what helps me not lose my mind while trying to do my job?

    I think the raid UI in default is hideous and I always get lost when groups are switching, therefore Grid helps me keep my sanity AND isn't so much my computer cries.

    I am a strong believer in "Do what works for you" and always will be.

    In regards to the debuffs, I found her to be quite right. Before she pointed this out, I rarely bothered to actually read the name or effect of a debuff. I would just cleanse/dispel my way on through.

    I dispelled the Arcane Blast magey buff...but we won't talk about that.

    PS. I don't eat rice. 0:)


  18. I'm on the fence - I use Grid on my hpriest - because I was told that the raid group I had joined required me to. OTOH, I have not extensively modified my UI, and do not use quest addons for levelling. That makes it too easy for my personal enjoyment. And levelling is solo work, and no-one else minds how that goes, but me.

    I see Grid as a way for me to conquer difficult content, as part of a healing team. It is still my choice of what spell to use - and merely using a focus frame would not help me to select the optimal target for Guardian Spirit, for example.

    But that is my point of view - others' mileage may vary. Some like Vuhdu, some grid, some nothing at all. And if they heal competently, then that is all that matters.

    I chose the path that my raiding guild thought best, and learned to use it. And thought that conformity within the team was in itself a valuable thing (the incoming heal information showing, the weakened soul debuff) rather than some being on one page, and others being way behind or ahead.

    I would not run without a bossmod addon: I'm not taking the risk of being the one who wipes the raid on defile because I didn't notice it was on me - I am a raiding nub - I need help with stuff like that. Is that significantly different from using a healing addon, in terms of player skill?

    And there I slide right back down to apologising for using addons, because I am not good enough without them.

    Just a thought - the DPS stars who read your blog - do they suffer this kind of angst, or do they use every tool possible to achieve the best raid utility/DPS that they can?


  19. spinksville Says:

    "do they suffer this kind of angst, or do they use every tool possible to achieve the best raid utility/DPS that they can?"

    Our lot use every tool possible, but I have still heard people lament that it feels necessary to do so to stay competitive.

    I do have sympathy for people who think the game needed more skill without addons. They're right in many ways. It used to be that being good at estimating in game distances was a mark of a good raider, for example. I remember my first raid leader trying to drill us in that in AQ40. I'm not saying it's an especially exciting skill, you understand :)

    On the other hand, healing via the default raid frames just isn't FUN.

    I think Blizzard probably did go too far with what they allowed addons to do. But parts of their base UI are also shite and in desperate need of modding. But that's really more of a philosophical point. Addons can and do make the game easier, but they also can make the game less stressful and more fun.


  20. Hinenuitepo Says:

    Well, I do think it's important that Missy also said that she thinks it's important to do things her way as long as it doesn't negatively impact others.

    If her 10-man wants to run ICC-10 without addons or the buff, fine! Yay! Enjoy!

    As I said over at Tam/Chas' post, however, I think you're hard-pressed to suggest (as some have attempted) to argue that it makes you a better healer/dps/tank to do so.

    So, as long as those in your group are like-minded, then it's all good! Problems really start to crop up when there are disagreements of philosophy.

    This all reminded me of a firestorm a couple years ago in guild forums when one guildy in particular vehemently argued that they didn't watch videos or read strats because they wanted to experience strats for themselves...

    End result was that we didn't say she was a bad player, just that if she felt strongly about it, she should probably raid elsewhere since the expectation in our group was to show up prepared and knowing as much about the fights as possible on release date.


  21. Nymarie Says:

    The only argument I have is this. You can scream, spit, and argue all you want, but a healing addon like Healbot, Grid/Clique, or VuhDo will increase your hps. This doesn't mean you can't do it without it, but one of those will increase your effectiveness as a healer.

    Even as a dps, I find some addons increase my dps, and I would not be as high as I am without.

    I hate reading these arguments for the most part, because "such and such works for me" is the most irritating argument you can hear. However, I won't argue that you can't heal without addons. You can; you just won't be as effective.

    Of the addons I use, I only find about three of them necessary. The rest are there because I like my screen a lot prettier and simpler than the Blizzard UI.


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