The other evening while the tank and I were discussing things in Star Wars the Old Republic and the information revealed from the recent Guild Summit, we came upon the topic of add-ons.
Currently in SWTOR there are no add-ons available for the game. Personally I love that there are none, however I can see why some folks would want some if they wanted to use them.
Is it You or is it Me?
When I first started playing MMOs I had no clue what add-ons were or even what a “gaming” mouse was. By the time I reached end game content I still didn’t have any add-ons. I was healing (and the tank was tanking) with no add-ons other than one that warned us of abilities the boss was doing at the time.
We tanked and healed a lot before we were introduced to some add-ons that could help us tank and heal “better”, and then when we found mouse over macros we were in heaven. We added more and more customized stuff to better focus on our roles in the game so that we could perform to our “best ability”.
But sometimes, looking back on things I wonder if those add-ons were really necessary. I wonder if they made me a better healer or if I was always a good healer and gave the glory to the add-ons.
Going back and asking my raid leader if I was a better healer before or after the add-ons I know she would only say that the difference would be my confidence, which only comes from experience in healing, in running content that you focus on and in working with your team mates.
I know by the time I stopped playing my previous MMO, I had a lot of add-ons that I depended on for all my healers and my alts. This added more resource drain to my computer, and more dependability on outside sources. I know that when a patch came out all of my add-ons were usually broken until the creators updated them. So for this period of time, I had to resort back to the basics sometimes. I personally felt awkward during those moments because I stumbled in my healing, since I was so used to these outside resources assisting me in my role.
This is what is great about SWTOR and not having any add-ons at the moment, I don’t depend on outside resources, I always know what my UI is going to look like and my confidence level on my healers is where it hasn’t been before. I’m having to learn how to pay attention to buffs, debuffs, and timers all on my own. I feel this is making me a more self-aware player and a better addition to any groups I might join up with.
Yes, Possibly Maybe
Now as a former raider, I can also speak as to why add-ons are helpful. There were plenty of nights while we were raiding that thanks to add-ons that could track damage done or healing done we knew that that evening’s team just didn’t have what it took to down the boss.
Being able to track things can allow you to improve upon your role, and can show you what you are doing wrong at the same time. Before one of my former characters was a healer, I attempted to be a damage dealer. Thanks to a great friend and co-raid leader I found out through the use of an add-on that tracked my abilities and damage I was making a huge mistake that once corrected increase my damage outcome. In the end knowing this and correcting it helped my raiding team, as well as others I encountered in other content in the game. This did make me a better player and allowed myself to do the best I could.
I feel it’s very important for those that are doing more end game content to have access to some add-ons that can really help them progress, but I don’t think they are necessary to get things accomplished. I know from experience you can still progress, and be competitive without add-ons. They are a helpful resource, but they are not a need in the game, if they were the game would come with them already, in my opinion.
Not Missing You At All
Overall, my thoughts on add-ons are they are nice, but I don’t think they are required for someone to play the game to the best of their ability. I think that add-ons can become a crutch for some, and an excuse for others. They can make certain aspects easier to do, but being easy isn’t always the best or the most fun. I know I’ve enjoyed going back to the basics in SWTOR at this point and I have to say it’s the most fun I’ve had healing in a while. It is a challenge and let’s face it, if any game gets too easy, it loses it’s fun factor fast.
So, what do you guys think about add-ons? Do you want them for SWTOR? Do you like add-ons? Do you feel they add to the game play?