Third Party Apps: Bane or Boon?

I’m sure all of you know what it’s like every time a patch or an expansion rolls around and you have to wait for third party app developers to rewrite the code in order to make it compatible with the newest version. I’m sure a lot of you also know that this can bring guilds to a stand-still in terms of raiding. This just doesn’t seem right to me. If you can’t run a raid without the help of additional sofware alongside you, that should tell you that something is fundamentally wrong with the way the system has been built. Of course, once players get experienced enough at running certain instances, they can compensate and know what is going on anyways, but learning how to do it correctly with third party programs just seems like “hacks” to me. There are tons of applications out there that are simply convenient and don’t affect your ultimate success in a game, but what about those that do? I remember plenty of times after patches when my guild that could normally clear MC to Rag would lose our apps, and we couldn’t hardly kill Lucy. Pallies and mages couldn’t get people decursed fast enough and no one could manage threat effectively. Of course there were far more skilled guilds out there, but I don’t think that the difference between having and not having these programs should be this great.

This leads me to wonder whether third party applications are ultimately good for the game or whether they take out an aspect of the difficulty that should be there. Don’t get me wrong, instances are still mighty difficult with these applications, but does that mean they should be adjusted so that they are more doable without them? Are the developers simply relying on the players to create these since they didn’t have enough time or money to build them? My guess is the latter since a lot of these features were eventually built into WoW, but this could also be due to the fact that they didn’t think of them before the players and after seeing their effectiveness, built them in. Are third party applications going to continue in popularity or is UI going to up the stakes and be more prepared with what the players want and need? Difficult to know, but one thing is for sure… They will always be around.



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