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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] Elder Scrolls Online: ESO's Addon Conundrum

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93 posts found
  BillMurphy

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/28/06
Posts: 1702

 
OP  3/05/14 7:46:35 AM#1

Traditionally, at least for the MMO genre, the more information available to players via the game’s UI, the better. As a result, MMO UI designs often end up being deficient in some way, and depending on how much foresight the developers had, the UI is maligned and rigidly remains as is, or the UI is moddable and the player community releases a slew of mods to shore things up.

Read more of Michael Bitton's ESO's Addon Conundrum.

  Ides385

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/23/13
Posts: 42

3/05/14 3:41:23 PM#2

Very valid concerns. I don't see it as game breaking but it is an advantage to those "in the know'.

 

I my self enjoy creating mods and will enjoy diving into the API once my drive to play the game subsides a bit. I am happy they gave the option to mod, but the truth is mods in general will always make the game easier to play which in turn gives them an advantage.

 

For example I plan on making a hotkey mod. One function will be to hotkey all skills, even on the weapon switch. Letting you switch back and forth between weapon set skills with one button, only being restricted by the timing to switch weapons. All players will face this delay but is the ease to do this an advantage?

  Baikal

Tipster

Joined: 9/20/04
Posts: 1028

3/05/14 3:43:30 PM#3

Mike you are absolutely right.

They should add more to the default UI so it works just like an add-on. Then those of us who want the info, still have it, and those who don't...well....still have a level playing field.

Truth is, not sure how they could have appeased all the different crows, the minimalist TES fans, or the MMO fans who have become used to, so honestly, I think they made a pretty solid call. Minimalist, and let the add-on community have the info to cater to the MMO audience.

  SpottyGekko

Elite Member

Joined: 9/26/04
Posts: 2857

3/05/14 4:01:28 PM#4

Having put so much effort into developing and promoting the RvR play in ESO, I doubt that ZOS will have any option other than providing a full spectrum of combat data for the PVP enthusiasts.

 

To all intents and purposes, the "ES experience" will end when you step inside Cyrodiil.

That will be the domain of min/maxing and extensive and sophisticated add-ons. You can choose not to use the add-ons of course, but don't complain if you end up paying the price for your stubbornes.

  Spawnblade

Novice Member

Joined: 2/02/05
Posts: 196

3/05/14 4:03:38 PM#5
Originally posted by Ides385

Very valid concerns. I don't see it as game breaking but it is an advantage to those "in the know'.

 

I my self enjoy creating mods and will enjoy diving into the API once my drive to play the game subsides a bit. I am happy they gave the option to mod, but the truth is mods in general will always make the game easier to play which in turn gives them an advantage.

 

For example I plan on making a hotkey mod. One function will be to hotkey all skills, even on the weapon switch. Letting you switch back and forth between weapon set skills with one button, only being restricted by the timing to switch weapons. All players will face this delay but is the ease to do this an advantage?

So it isn't gamebreaking to be able to, at a glance, tell that my opponent is out of stamina so my stamina drain skill would be completely worthless?  Whereas if I didn't have that information, perhaps I'd waste a bunch of mana using it on my opponent only to discover my error.

  Lugors

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/06/12
Posts: 173

3/05/14 4:13:05 PM#6

The game design starts out with a very basic UI and allows you to build from there.  Pretty much everything you add to it will give you an advantage.  How much of an advantage is left to the developer to reign in. 

 

My one hope for the addons is that they will fix many of the current problems with the console centric nature of the interface.  Inventory, crafting, and banking are an absolute mess due to need to give the consoles menus to navigate.  There are far better ways to do it in other games, and I hope the mod authors can borrow some of those great ideas and use them here.

  Tygranir

Novice Member

Joined: 6/24/13
Posts: 765

3/05/14 4:15:22 PM#7
I feel the gamr should be playted as it is made. Any addons have to be considered with any contect and situation, and just complicates future content updates.

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  Wighty

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/10/08
Posts: 575

3/05/14 4:17:40 PM#8

With games like World of Warcraft, you end up playing the UI more than anything else, and this trend has been divisive, to say the least.

^^ This is the truth... I am not against mods, personally I like seeing my health number or how much XP to next level / realm rank either by hard number or soft percentage.

 

It is when the mods tell you exactly what and how to do something...

"BOSS ATTACK IN 3...2...1..."

"Enemy Evaded <followed by a big flashing icon for situational attack>"

"Enemy cast bars"

"Threat and DPS meters" <-- although I don't see this as such an issue in TESO

 

Mods like the above give players a distinct advantage, almost forcing those who don't have these tpyes of mods to need them... This holds true especially when the develops start having to develop content around the mods because the content would not be challenging if they didn't because the "learning curve" and "margin for error" have been eliminated because of said mods, again damn near forcing all players to have to install them if they want to access that content, or be competitive.

 

This was discussed ad nauseum here for 34 pages, where even staff chimed in:

http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/post/6196303#6196303

 

What are your other Hobbies?

Gaming is Dirt Cheap compared to this...

  mbrodie

Elite Member

Joined: 5/15/04
Posts: 781

3/05/14 5:02:30 PM#9
Just as a matter of point with access to so many different abilities I think it would be ridiculous to think that you know what ability your opponent will use based off how much magika. He has left.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5668

3/05/14 5:17:45 PM#10

I think once you open up the game to a modding API then you start playing the Mod/UI game again. You need to keep up with the latest mods or be disadvantaged.

There are a few things I hate about moddalbe UIs like WoW or EQ2. The biggest is you are reliant on the modder to keep supporting the code long after they move onto the next popular modding project. Then you have game patches which break your mods. Those two alone are enough to turn me off of this sort of thing for good.

I disagree that modders shouldn't be held responsible for what they code. The developer should be available to the modding community to help guide them, but modders shouldn't knowingly cross the line into botting or exploitation. If they think their code might be doing that they should be responsible to communicate that concern with the developer. There is a shared responsibility between the two.

So my question is, what good is a UI that puts you into playing the game, if mods are just going to put you back in the position of playing the UI/mods again?

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

  Randallt3mp

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 174

3/05/14 5:27:26 PM#11

My thoughts are pretty much in line with your article.  I'm completely fine with UI mods that make already available information easier to see.  Or even information like buffs and such which should be displayed by default.

Should one be able to see their enemy's health, stamina, and magicka with meter mods?

I definitely would prefer them to be "relatively" displayed in some form of animation, such as the character looking exhausted or beaten up as opposed to a graph or meter as to keep focus on the game instead of UI.  I guess people feel entitled to know this info one way or another so they will probably use a meter mod if the animation cues are absent.

I understand this, but personally the minimal default interface of ESO is one of its main draws for me.  It definitely strengthens immersion and makes it feel more like Elder Scrolls.  I really just hope the UI doesn't become as cluttered as WoW, Rift, etc...with mods that are "required" to be successful or have a distinct advantage in the PvE content or PvP.

MMOs Played: FFXI,Age of Conan, Aion, Rift, SWTOR, TERA, TSW, GW2

Playing:None

Waiting For: Wildstar, The Repopulation, Archeage, TESO, Warhammer 40K:EC, EQN

  Randallt3mp

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 174

3/05/14 5:30:44 PM#12
Originally posted by mbrodie
Just as a matter of point with access to so many different abilities I think it would be ridiculous to think that you know what ability your opponent will use based off how much magika. He has left.
 

Its not that you know what ability they are going to use, its that you know they have enough to use one at all or enough to use a big one.

MMOs Played: FFXI,Age of Conan, Aion, Rift, SWTOR, TERA, TSW, GW2

Playing:None

Waiting For: Wildstar, The Repopulation, Archeage, TESO, Warhammer 40K:EC, EQN

  Gestankfaust

Elite Member

Joined: 1/14/04
Posts: 1085

Very well. If you will not stop trolling threads, then I shall say.....NI!!

3/05/14 5:33:57 PM#13
Originally posted by Randallt3mp

My thoughts are pretty much in line with your article.  I'm completely fine with UI mods that make already available information easier to see.  Or even information like buffs and such which should be displayed by default.

Should one be able to see their enemy's health, stamina, and magicka with meter mods?

I definitely would prefer them to be "relatively" displayed in some form of animation, such as the character looking exhausted or beaten up as opposed to a graph or meter as to keep focus on the game instead of UI.  I guess people feel entitled to know this info one way or another so they will probably use a meter mod if the animation cues are absent.

I understand this, but personally the minimal default interface of ESO is one of its main draws for me.  It definitely strengthens immersion and makes it feel more like Elder Scrolls.  I really just hope the UI doesn't become as cluttered as WoW, Rift, etc...with mods that are "required" to be successful or have a distinct advantage in the PvE content or PvP.

Your post is spot on to me. Would be cool to see a visual and not a stat.

I'm all for players cluttering their screen with mods if they want. Just not into the ones that let them X-ray me.  I probably wont use any mods unless it's something that is really useful and not immersion breaking.

"This may hurt a little, but it's something you'll get used to. Relax....."

  Righteous_Rock

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/19/14
Posts: 316

3/05/14 5:39:12 PM#14
Get rid of them, they make games to easy, they create to much drama, see healbot, grid, debuff manager, proc managers, and the worst of all, recount.
  MikeB

MMORPG.com Community Manager

Joined: 5/27/09
Posts: 5427

3/05/14 5:43:21 PM#15
Updated with response from Zenimax!

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

  Azoth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/08/04
Posts: 486

3/05/14 5:51:58 PM#16
Originally posted by MikeB
Updated with response from Zenimax!

That made my day, thank you

  User Deleted
3/05/14 5:54:53 PM#17
Originally posted by MikeB
Updated with response from Zenimax!

Thank you so much for reaching out to them and getting an answer!!!!

Awesome!

  Ilaya

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/03/04
Posts: 359

3/05/14 6:08:28 PM#18
Originally posted by jdnyc
Originally posted by MikeB
Updated with response from Zenimax!

Thank you so much for reaching out to them and getting an answer!!!!

Awesome!

+1 here. It is great to see that they care. And when i'm reading that right between the lines, something will change for the good soon. No advantage anymore then. So cool.

  superconducting

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/21/13
Posts: 703

3/05/14 6:17:07 PM#19

"you can expect changes to the API before launch and will share that information as it becomes available."

Thank heavens.

Enjoy your advantage while you can modders.

  Ryowulf

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/28/05
Posts: 669

3/05/14 6:26:43 PM#20

What I like is choice, but Zenimax seems to feel its their way is best.  How about instead of telling us we can't have a mini-map, they just give us the option to turn it on or off.  You could even have a "check this box for a skyrim ui" or "check this box for an mmo ui".

I know Zenimax likes to play it down the middle, but I don't see who they win on this issue. They have a bare bones ui, if they take away the chances to mod it then some people will be pissed.  If they leave modding another group of people will be pissed.

The best choice is to put more info and options into their ui then let people turn it on or off.

What does "clear mechanical advantages"  mean? 

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