World of Warcraft ‘not looking to compete’ with Discord but might be breaking your favorite addon

World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas sat down with Forbes this week for a two-part interview about some of the big changes with this summer’s Battle for Azeroth expansion, such cross-realm mythic raiding and its new community tools.

Hazzikostas said that despite the common belief, Blizzard isn’t trying to compete against Discord with these tools: “I think they complement each other […] It’s more about lowering barriers and adding convenience. The one thing Discord can’t do is let you right click invite someone to your party from it. That sort of thing.”

Not all is happy in WoW land, however. There are some rumblings that useful WoW mods won’t be operational with the upcoming patch. “Just read that UI changes heavily impaired the automatic group finder add-ons,” said player Doug Hill on Twitter. “I am terribly confused. Most players used it. Clearly this is a sign of how players WANT to play moving forward. Are there plans to do something to replace this for non-elite quests?”

Source: Twitter, Forbes
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Ben Stone

I am guessing it’s just War Mode flagging that broke it. Honestly it just automates something you can do with the base UI, saving like 20 seconds. You can set up autoinvite groups in the base UI, this doesn’t change anything for world questing.

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Utakata

Sowing discord into Discord…

…and yeah, I went there. :(

Bannex
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Bannex

But the is a group finder tool for everything you can do in WoW in the main UI…

People are blowing this way out of proportion.

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Schmidt.Capela

It’s not seen as good enough by the players, though.

The same way WoW had LFG/LFD tools since release, but it took many years, and remaking the tools multiple times, to finally create one players liked enough to use.

borghive
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borghive

The LFG tool works very well, I have no idea were you are getting this idea that the player base hates the tool.

I see ton of groups listed in there for pretty much all the content, even Mythic raids. I’d say that is working out pretty well. What changes would you make to make it better?

whowutwhen
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whowutwhen

You do know that the add ons list groups in the base LFG tool, right? LOTS of what you see are groups formed from add ons.

borghive
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borghive

You do know that the add ons list groups in the base LFG tool, right? LOTS of what you see are groups formed from add ons.

Yeah, but the LFG tool requires a few more steps. Also, I can’t even pretend to know why Blizzard disabled these addons, but they must of have seen an issue with them, or maybe they are going to implement their own version.

borghive
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borghive

People abused it sort of though. The group finding addon they are talking about pretty much trivialized non-elite world questing. You hit one button, and bam you were in a group in less than a few secs. It was letting people blow through world quests pretty fast. At least now in the dev’s minds, manually forming groups might slow things down.

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Sorenthaz

Basically with the addon anytime you go to a World Quest area you can easily set up a Party Finder or join an existing one for the WQ that you’re on.

It’s insanely handy for getting stuff like the PvP WQs done as well as the bosses that require multiple folks to tackle. And of course it’s useful for other WQs as well if you don’t want to spend too much time doing them yourself.

All-in-all it’s a very nice addon that makes World Quests feel like less of a chore, and bypasses the need for going through the hassle of setting up a party finder/seraching through that.

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thirtymil

It reduced the quality of the game for me. I got fed up seeing another player fly in to the WQ site I was waiting at, only for them to teleport off to another server a moment later rather than do the quest with just two of us.

It got to the point where it felt like the addon was mandatory to play, and it was making the world feel a lot less seamless. Luckily Argus came along and the increased iLvl meant I could solo the elite WQs and not have play the teleport game just because everyone else was.

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Angel

I just don’t get why blizzard doesn’t offer more options for grouping so people don’t need addons. An optional open group feature similar to what rift offers would be great, especially if they are going to continue with World Quest type content. There is nothing wrong with offering more grouping options.

borghive
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borghive

Because it is not needed since they allow open and unlimited tagging like in Guild Wars 2.

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Angel

Allowing people to have the option to have an open group that anyone can join doesn’t go against unlimited tagging. It would just be an option for finding groups easier. It doesn’t have to be something you use, but giving people the option does not negate the tagging features.

borghive
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borghive

But why do you need it though if the content you are doing doesn’t require grouping? All the world content in WoW doesn’t require you to be grouped for any of it. If you are looking for a potential social interaction, the way WoW works currently for it’s open world content doesn’t lend itself very well to social interactions.

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Angel

You enter an area where there is an open world quest you get the option have an open group where you group with others doing the same quest. It makes things faster than having to sift through the group finder.

I don’t understand why you’re so against it. If it’s something you wouldn’t use then fine don’t use it, but there is nothing wrong with having more grouping options.

borghive
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borghive

I’m not against it at all. I just don’t see the point of it, since WoW doesn’t really require you to group for content anymore in the non instanced part of the game. If there are a bunch of people in an area doing the same quest as you now, there is no competition for quest mobs, in fact it goes just as fast as if you were in a group since you can tag anything in range it and it gets killed pretty fast.

Now if you are advocating for a open cross realm group finder, then I can see the merit in that, and this is what the addon in question was doing.

Anyway, I played Rift quite a bit, and I never really had a more enriching social experience using their open group finder. You would join up fast, play through the Rifts, and then leave promptly after it was completed. No one talked to each other, they might as well been all NPCs to me.

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Angel

You don’t see the point in it because you’re looking at it from the angle of a social experience, most people who would use this feature are looking for a way to quickly find groups to finish content.

borghive
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borghive

See, that is exactly what Blizzard is trying to curtail. Having the content take longer is exactly why they disabled the addon.

If your entire argument for a feature is to have that feature let you complete the content faster, it will fall on deaf ears with Blizzard.

whowutwhen
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whowutwhen

Blizzard has been sub contracting UI work to free coders since release.

Nick Martin
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Nick Martin

“Most players use it”

While I’m certain it’s useful, the most common mod setup in the game is likely no mods at all. Plenty of players have some, a few of us have a lot… but the majority of the large player base likely does nothing but play with the basic UI.

From a technical perspective, I get what Blizz is doing, and that’s catering to the larger player base in the game. They still work off subscriptions, and when you’re talking millions of players, making the game more accessible to them is the smart path (something Blizz isn’t known to take with their focus on raids over anything else). Rolling out more features that hit everyone will always break something, and it seems like more of a side-effect of that.

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Daniel Reasor

I’ve never heard of auto-grouping addons before, but if not having them is the reason why I was singled out and ganged up on in every PvP world quest in Legion, then those addons can burn in hell. Good riddance.

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Zora

Bof… can’t judge for myself but from what I hear from guildies who use discord regularly, their new voice chat’s interface is as close as it can get to a clone of discord’s own.

If that’s the case, they might not “aim” to compete but they sure as hell are at the top of their usual decade long game of letting other parties design important features the game needs and then integrating “their own version” of it, merrily skipping that part known as effort in design circles and creative environments of sort :P

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BDJ

If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it right? Its called working smart, not hard.

They not only take other ideas, but they do them better.

EQ… WoW.
MtG… Hearthstone
TF2… Overwatch

Im fine with it.

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Bruno Brito

“better” is a strong word. They make it more accessible.

Hearthstone isn’t in any way, shape or form, better than MtG. And i could make a point about TF2 and OW too, but these games were beaten to death already.

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Bryan Turner

I’m more annoyed Blizzard is releasing a Bull Shit Filler expansion no one asked for. Sure we stopped the apocalypse, again, stopped the most dangerous force in the universe only to realize they were holding intruders at bay from the antiverse.

But what ever let’s play cow boys and Indians again while sailing pirate ships if we don’t want to do faction conflict.

This reminds of that 2 year gap where WoW ran out of ideas and winged it between Cataclysm and Legion, when we got Pandyland and WoWs version of Fringe subbing Khadgar for Walter Bishop.

Count Oakland
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Count Oakland

Pandyland was one of the more popular expansions.

Cowboys and Indians is a ruse. We will be playing cowgirls and tentacles. :D

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Bryan Turner

I sure hope so, I’ll wait out the first year just to be sure.

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BDJ

Then don’t play the game?

Ive never understood this argument and mind set. “waaaaaaah they make somethingszzz not for me! Im gonna pway anyways!”

Its borderline childish.

I think the storyline is fine. In essence WoW is about Horde vs Alliance, period. Its the basis for the whole franchise. Im glad that BfA is what it is. The game needs to get back to its roots and quit going after every damned super saiyan extraterrestrial Thanos-like villian they can think of.

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Bryan Turner

I don’t plan on it, was it really that hard to draw that conclusion?

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Tim Johnson

Honestly depending on the person alot of people don’t grasp the “if you don’t like it don’t play it.” They identify themselves as “wow players” even though they have long ago done nothing but complain about the game. But most of them that go to the extreme tend to have issues seperating because so much of their social time is tied up in the game. I’ve taken 3 Major breaks(all of BC, 4.2-5.3, 6.1 to 7.0) from wow, and i think my love of the game was really enhanced by taking those breaks, but i’ve also completely lost touch w/ alot of the people i met from these times.. because I took these breaks. It stings, but i think i’m better off for it.

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Bruno Brito

MoP was a hell of a great expansion tho.

whowutwhen
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whowutwhen

Let me guess, MoP was bad because “the lame pandorz”? As far as content drip and story telling goes, pretty much the best Xpack to date.

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Sorenthaz

‘Bull shit filler expansion’

Actually this expansion does make sense and it’s not like Mists of Pandaria where we just sort of accidentally stumble into a hidden continent. Mists of Pandaria was also a really good expansion for what it was, story-wise especially. WoD… yeah that’s where things got weird even though the end result gave us a bridge into Legion.

The premise of Battle for Azeroth is that Sargeras almost was able to kill Azeroth and it’s showing because the planet is bleeding, and that blood happens to be an insanely powerful, magical substance that Sylvanas wants to use to build weapons of destruction that she can use to wipe out her enemies (and raise several new Forsaken) while Anduin and others wish to simply focus on healing the planet and prevent Sylvanas from getting out of control with it.

There’s also a lot of interesting stuff being built up in Before the Storm, the pre-expansion book, detailing the perspectives of both Anduin/Sylvanas and it likely explains how the hell things explode into all-out war.

We also get to tackle Azshara and will likely be turning focus onto N’Zoth by the end of this expansion, so I don’t really get how you can consider this a ‘bullshit filler’ expansion. If you actually pay attention to the lore and the story going on, it makes perfect sense and it offers a reason to care about stuff after defeating the biggest known archvillain in WoW history (until the Void Lords get addressed, at least).

We’ll also be able to get some time to explore various characters in further depth than we’ve been able to since they went through major changes, i.e. Jaina and Thrall. Conflicts and plots that have been bubbling and brewing through multiple expansions for upward of a decade are finally going to be addressed (i.e. Sylvanas’s shit has been brewing since WotLK).

Is this going to be a massive hit like Legion was? Likely not, but it doesn’t need to be. After such a major climax, people are going to wonder “what’s next?” and BfA is a necessary expansion for that purpose. We’re not going to just fly straight into space again and go tackle the Void Lords or immediately plunge into the Maelstrom to fight N’Zoth. After so much rising action and finally hitting that sweet climax, we need some time to build up again and stir the plot up.

Count Oakland
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Count Oakland

I suspect that Blizzard will rethink breaking World Quest Group Finder, when players just stop doing dailies, and instead start complaining that there is nothing to do.

borghive
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borghive

Maybe people will actually try to interact with people on their realm now. Those group quest addons remove a ton of social interaction.

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Schmidt.Capela

I can’t speak for others, but in my case that would never work. I never ask for help, and if I actually need help to do some content in a way that can’t be provided by some kind of automated LFG I simply won’t do the content.

It’s why the introduction of LFD, back in WotLK, increased the number of dungeon runs I did from maybe one per couple months to a couple dozen per week. I loved doing dungeon runs (and, more specifically, tanking them), but I would rather log off and uninstall than ever try to find a group through the chat channels ever again.

(Incidentally, it’s why I knew about every attempt by Blizzard at providing a workable LFG tool, something they had been trying since launch; I was always trying them, to see if one of them could supply me with groups for dungeons and other group content. WotLK’s version of LFD was the first one that was actually useful.)

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TomTurtle

I never realized there was a World Quest add-on for finding groups when I played, and yet I’m sad to know it’s going away. This just makes me think Blizzard wants to slow players down even more. It’s an inane removal of convenience.

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Chris Losen

Its great too. You never had to do world quests alone. There was always someone else doing the quest with you so it made WQ grinding much faster. The addon was really slick

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BDJ

It was shitty honestly. Click a button, get in group, kill X, leave group.

No social interaction. No thought behind it. Yea…. no.

When an addon becomes almost mandatory, it needs to be disabled.

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Schmidt.Capela

Or incorporated into the game, as Blizzard did many times in the past; many current WoW UI features started as addons.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

If it’s a mandatory mod, then it’s extremely useful. If it’s extremely useful developers should take notice and work on a similar system so others don’t have to create them or download them externally. If your game allows addons, players will find a way to make another version of it even if the current version gets disabled.

borghive
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borghive

The real issue is why do people have to use this addon in the first place?
They are using it because Blizzard won’t merge their stinking realms already. So many realms are low pop and they need addons like this because their realms are dead. They need to abandon that cross realm phasing tech all together, and just bite the bullet and merge their realms. So that players can more players on their realms to play with.

They really need to put the MMO back into their game. It is such a soulless experience now, there is hardly any reason to ever talk to anyone in their game anymore, outside maybe ranked PVP and high end raiding.

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Sorenthaz

That’s no different than doing group activities in other MMOs.

In FFXIV if you want to join a Hunt/big FATE you just shout out ‘inv’ and do it. If you want to join a group to quickly kill an outdated Primal for your Wondrous Tails entry, you just use party finder and don’t even need to talk.

In RIFT if you want to join a rift/etc. you just hit a button to join the public group around the area. No social interaction required.

The list goes on. This isn’t surprising and it’s basically adding in something that has been in other games for at least 7 years.