"You may not use your own or any third-party software, macros or other stored rapid keystrokes or other patterns of play that facilitate acquisition of items, currency, objects, character attributes, rank or status at an accelerated rate when compared with ordinary Game play. You may not rewrite or modify the user interface or otherwise manipulate data in any way to acquire items, currency, objects, character attributes or beneficial actions not actually acquired or achieved in the Game."Okay, that's the official written policy. Over the years, some exceptions were made for industrial use, but in general, if someone is beating me 1 vs 1 in EVE, I know it's my own lack of skill and knowledge about how to play the game, not because the other person is running better macros.1 But that's not the case in most of the games I've played.
In my first MMORPG, World of Warcraft, I used to run around Alterac Valley on my paladin using an add-on called Decursive.2 The add-on allowed me to remove negative affects from my team just by spamming buttons. I didn't need to target anyone. Just spam. I found the add-on useful because it allowed me to influence events before I could reach the scene of the action and participate in the fight directly.
Near the end of my time in WoW, though, I soured on the use of add-ons like Decursive. The incident that still sticks out in my mind is running into someone in Silithus who complemented me on how good I was. But that wasn't me, that was a bit of code that I found and imported into the game. At that point I felt like a fraud.
Just because I had the bad experience in WoW didn't put me off from writing macros. Everquest 2 has a macro system and I created some macros. The most complicated one involved switching between my combat gear and my crafting gear. But I never did download add-ons for EQ2. I'd like to say for philosophical reasons, but the biggest thing that turned me away at first was SOE's monthly deployment schedule. Did I really want to wait a day after every patch for an add-on dev to patch his add-on? During that time, a player gets exposed for relying on outside software. Why have that happen when I could just learn how to play the game the way the devs intended? I think three years of that mindset really prepared me for playing a game without macros/add-ons like EVE.
So now I'm playing a game, Wildstar, that allows add-ons. I Googled "Wildstar addons" and found a site called Curse. Apparently the site is a clearing house for add-ons for many games. On the front page for Wildstar I found this passage from a description for an add-on called Ayth_Quest:
"The purpose of Ayth_Quest is to show you the closest objectives for your quests, quest givers, harvesting/farming nodes, and path objectives. The inclusion of path objectives and harvesting/farming nodes is rather new to Ayth_Quest so they may not work 100% as intended. I know my settler doesn't get any lines drawn at all for it's objectives, but Aytherine is constantly updating this addon and I'm sure it'll get all paths working soon. As you can see in the image below, Ayth_Quest shows you which objectives are the closest by overlaying dotted lines that point you right where you need to go with the distance also thrown in for good measure."Basically what the add-on does is give you the same functionality that is built into Neverwinter. That is, a path opens up to the mob a player needs to kill or a resource a player needs to gather. No looking around required. Some might even say the add-on dumbs the game down. Perfect for those looking to reach the Elder game (what Carbine called end game), but designed to make me unsub from the game quickly. For me, if the choice is raiding or quit, I usually quit.
But is that really the way the devs designed the game? Feels like cheating to me. But ... it's not. In fact, players will mark down games if the game developer does not allow player-created add-ons. At one point, I found the situation humorous when WoW players who never played with the Blizzard UI extolled the virtues of the Blizzard UI. In their minds, using a player-designed user interface meant that Blizzard did something right, not that Blizzard failed at UI design.
In Wildstar, I most likely will play with the macro system. I think having a macro to wave to someone fits in with playing an Exile. Unlike those stuck up Dominion types, we're friendly.3 But I really don't want to download any add-ons. Carbine is planning a monthly patch and I don't want to get locked out of playing because any of my add-ons need updating. I'd rather learn to play without relying on the add-ons. Waiting for a patch to download is bad enough, I don't want to wait any longer than that. I'm impatient that way.
1. Yes, I know about ISBoxer. I also believe that this is one of the reasons people don't like the use of ISBoxer. Who likes getting beat by software? Especially when that software technically violates the EULA.
2. This was back in Vanilla WoW, so I may mis-remember the name, but the functionality was the same.
3. Not to say that the Dominion can't use emote macros. People playing Chuas probably need at least 5.