World of Warcraft breaks a popular add-on for world quests to fix performance issues

The current flow of clearing World Quests in World of Warcraft is pretty straightforward. You see that there’s a world quest out there offering a reward you want, you head for it, you’ve got an hour left. You reach the location, then you find other people killing everything around you and not letting you get a hit in. Well, unless you were using World Quest Group Finder, which allowed you to auto-form and auto-join ongoing groups, ensuring that you were always in the right group to take on group or solo quests as you arrived.

You know where this is going. The addon’s functionality has been prevented with the latest update by Blizzard.

Lest you think this was a purely malicious act, the official rationale is that the addon was causing serious performance issues affecting everyone in the game, and by forcing manual prompts rather than automatically forming groups players will enjoy a smoother play experience. At the same time, it was a popular addon which shored up a major weakness in the world quest structure, so players are quite unhappy that it’s not working. The most recent update to the addon alters its functionality to still provide utility despite the changes, but it’s still going to require more work than just showing up and teaming up from here on out.

Source: Official Forums, Addon Page; thanks to Sally for the tip!
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33 Comments on "World of Warcraft breaks a popular add-on for world quests to fix performance issues"

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Giannis Papadopoulos

For a moment, imagine legion before the lfg tools and cross realm zones…

You login, leave a shout in your guild or in lfg chat “anyone up for world quests?”.

You find a group and you go and do all the world quests you want, chatting in between the quests.

After that, someone asks “are you up for a dungeon?” 3 say yes, the 2 politely decline. “Wait i ll ask in my guild”… “i will ask too said the other guy”

You find replacement and you go and do the dungeon.

Would you prefer this game session instead of running alone, auto group in each and every quest with people you wont even talk and then do a dungeon with another bunch of randoms?

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rawhunger .

Ahhh… the good old days.

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Emiliano Lozada

There’s a built-in group finder with world quests. I believe there’s a little eye beside the quest that you can click and it’ll pair you up with a group.

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Sally Bowls

To correct some misunderstandings below:

Wow already has open tagging for same faction for non-elites and even cross-faction for elites.
No addons or grouping required.

If WoW were still using 2005 realm tech, this would not be a big issue. But, for better and ill, WoW now uses virtual CRZs (cross-realm-zone) instances. Instances are per zone and combine one or more realms and are dynamic.

Yesterday, if I rolled up on Maude the Murloc, it would automatically find me an instance where there was a group on that quest. I might find myself with four other people from four separate and not usually connected realms.

This isn’t about me on realm#197 waiting for mob#462 to respawn and get some people to kill it. This was about being able to go through all the virtual CRZs, find me one with a Kill Maude group in it, and put me in it, and get me phased to that instance, all without having to press a button.

P.S.: in the real world, this is called geofencing. When my iPhone leaves the house, the thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature without me pressing a button. When my iPhone returns, the thermostat automatically adjusts back to the at-home profile. If you walk up to a new car, it will unlock or crank, based upon the proximity of your fob, no manual key interaction is required.

Line
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Line

It’s not like they can’t set everything to personal tag, seems like a mess for no reason.
And if there are issues with low mob HP or respawn rates… just scale it. Again, this is not exactly new territory…

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Ben Stone

Tagging mobs and finding clickies isnt an issue for pretty much any of the world quests. This is just people being lazy, you would autofind a group, contribute 0 to 2 updates and already finish the quest due to team mates doing your work for you.

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Jeff Risu Dailey

Wait a min. People (forced) grouping in an MMO was causing performance issues.

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Lethality

No. The way the add-on constantly polled was causing the issue.

Once again, players prove to the problem: not playing the game as intended and instead wanting all of the reward with none of the effort, and then not even able to understand why they’re bored.

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Giannis Papadopoulos

The correct phrase is “people want to finish MMO chores as fast as possible so they can then focus on what they actually find fun to do in game”

Now why players accept the situation and “support” it by actually participate in MMO chores for the “reward” is another case…

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Lethality

That’s exactly right… Then why do the chores at all? If they find questing a “chore”, then the game is piss-poorly designed or they are — as I stated above — part of the problem.

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Jeremy Barnes

uhh…what? i think you’re trying too hard to rope this into some personal crusade against MMO players

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BDJ

Uh no. I actually agree with Lethality for once. People were using it to just afk and get credit for WQs. They would just go afk above after joining.

The instant gratification or bust crowd in MMOs has made the genre horrible now.

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Sally Bowls

What was your experience with AFKs?

I certainly did not notice them. I usually saw dots around me. TBH, I did not pay attention. I did the quest. If other people helped, great. If not I kept on keeping on. If a small % of the time, there were people in the group AFK, it did not slow me down (it in no way made my experience “horrible”) and would not even make my list of top 100 MMO injustices I would want addressed.

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Greaterdivinity

They should really take a queue from Rift on this one, Trion did a fantastic job of resolving this issue years ago.

Allow folks to flag themselves for open grouping and add a UI element onto player portraits that allows you to group up with them if they’re flagged for it. It works fantastically in Rift (or did in the early years, I haven’t used it lately) for easy grouping for events and the like and made engaging in those activities far more enjoyable as a result.

I actually miss the days when Blizzard stole good ideas from other games and made them better, they don’t seem to really be doing that much nowadays : /

miol
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miol

In Warhammer, Wildstar, GW2,… you didn’t/don’t even need a flag!

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Bullwraith

Open Grouping is on by default in Rift. You can toggle it off if you wish.

miol
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miol

You need forced grouping for that? o.O

I thought they’ve introduced with Legion non-forced grouping! Or was that only for the pre-launch events?

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Sally Bowls

This was that on steroids. Non-elites are only faction tapped and elites can even have both factions get credit.

But you would have to wait 20-50 seconds for the mobs to respond or there might not be anyone around in your virtual instance.

The addons allow you to find and group you with people doing the quest in another virtual instance.

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Iain B

Way to completely blow all of this out or proportion. It’s one click on a confirmation box. One. “more work”? Oh, you mean clicking on a prompt. Ugh, soooooo much work….

I can only imagine how taxing it is on Blizzard’s servers to have an addon, that’s used by 1,000s of people, constantly creating/updating/deleting 1,000s of player groups every few minutes. Not even including the amount of stress all those 1,000s of constant searches being run when creating, listing/de-lising parties causes.

EDIT: And yes, I’ve been using World Quest Group Finder since it came out.

EDIT2: Removed the portion about click-bait, I maybe jumped the gun a bit.

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BalsBigBrother

Which part?

Has the autogroup functionality not been removed by Blizzard? Do you not have to take an extra step now? Are there not people upset about the change?

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Iain B

No, it hasn’t. The addon still automatically finds a group for you.

Yes, a single click of your mouse. The author claims that’s “more work” which, while technically true, is hardly burdensome in a game that has quite a bit of mouse clicking already.

I’m sure there are because this is the internet and people always find insignificant things to be upset about.

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Schmidt.Capela

If that is the only change, then why the heck was the previous implementation causing lag issues?

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BalsBigBrother

but its doesn’t auto group you as it did before hence auto grouper it is now not, auto group finder it now is. While I agree it isn’t a massive change in the great scheme of things it is still a change.

That to me is all that was reported by the article and all I took from it. /shrugs o7

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Tobasco da Gama

So, what used to be automatic now requires manual intervention. So the article isn’t misleading at all and you’re just being a jerk for no reason?

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Greaterdivinity

Erm…they’re reporting on what Blizzard said yo. Why are you getting mad at Massively for literally writing a story about Blizzards reasoning for killing the addon?

Do you even know what the fuck clickbait is, bro?

Beyond that, it depends on what the addon is doing in terms of client/server communication. It’s absolutely possible and reasonable that with enough people using the addon (adding additional loads on both ends beyond the normal loads players caused) were causing problems for the servers. This is pretty routine stuff for games that support addons with pretty open API’s, sometimes the mods can have negative impacts on performance. Remember the charts Niantic showed about their server loads that resulted from normal use vs. the server loads that resulted from the few sites that were used to track/map Pokemon Go spawns? Think similar to that.

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Iain B

Blizzard didn’t kill the addon so if that’s what you took from this article then I stand by my point.

Killing the addon would constitute making API changes that made the addon impossible to ever work again, like they did with the addons that literally let you orchestrate your raid movements. That’s not what happened here.

Icy-Veins’ article doesn’t come across as slanted negatively:
https://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/30410-group-finder-addon-functionality-changes/

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Sally Bowls

What I took from the BlizzardWatch article

This includes the overwhelmingly popular addon World Quest Group Finder — and according to the addon author on Reddit, the addon will unfortunately not be making a return.

means that I currently am personally comfortable with saying “Blizzard killed it.” Maybe someone will come up with another addon that does as much as it now possible with the new restrictions, but current diagnosis seem to be:

Monty-Python-Dead-Parrot-Ceased-To-Be-T-Shirt-sq.jpg
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Iain B

Posted 2 hours ago: https://github.com/robinbrisa/worldquestgroupfinder

“Hey guys, I had several requests from authors wanting to rebuild a working version of WQGF. I won’t be able to work on WQGF for the next 2 weeks as I’m leaving for vacation. However I’ll keep an eye here and will be able to push an update to Curse if necessary. Thanks!”

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Sally Bowls

There may be a replacement addon, someday, but IMO “Blizzard didn’t kill the addon ” is not accurate.

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Iain B

Yea, it’s so dead that it’s been updated 4 times since this was posted.

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Aldristavan
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Aldristavan

They didn’t kill the addon. They added confirmation dialogue:

https://eu.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/17615473506

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BalsBigBrother

STRIKE! STRIKE!

(hehe as if that would work in WoW :p )

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Bullwraith

LOL, good one :)

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