A recent interview with Jongchan Jee, lead developer of the upcoming MMO Aion, brought up the possibility of U.I. mods coming into the game at some point in the near future and is causing an uproar in the Aion community. Arguments raging across the Aion Source forums show that the Aion community is massively divided on the possible inclusion of mods, with many arguing that this addition will cause more problems than it’s worth.
World of Warcraft was, perhaps, the first MMO to make U.I. mods a near necessity for success. Mods like Deadly Boss Mods, Proximo and Quest Helper not only make the game easier to play but are a requirement to get into many guilds in the game. However, detractors of these mods argue that the mods “dumb-down” the game and simplify encounters and PvP that should rely on pure player skill, rather than mods, to determine the victor.
So, how do I feel about this? I am torn. On one hand, I love mods like WAR’s Squared mod, which truly makes healing easier and allows you to concentrate less on the U.I. and more on actually playing the game. I am also in favor of any mods that will allow the U.I. to be moved around, bars resized or made invisible and similar. I tend to be a minimalist when it comes to the user interface, the less clutter the better and mods certainly help to achieve that.
On the other hand, I really am not a fan of mods like the aforementioned Deadly Boss Mods, as I think it takes the fun and much of the skill out of playing the game. Same goes for PvP mods, such as Proximo. In fact, I tend to dislike all mods that can be made requirements to get into a guild or PvP group. I know most guilds require Deadly Boss Mods or an equivalent and, to me, that’s just ridiculous.
Furthermore, I think mods like DPS meters and the like actually make most player worse at the game instead of better. I can think of countless times when a group mate was so concerned with the DPS meters that he would pull aggro or miss a CC. In contributes to false elitism as well, as guilds choose who goes on raids by who does the most DPS on the DPS meters. Having raided in WoW and killed Ragnaros, had BWL on farm, AQ40 locked down and much of Naxx before Burning Crusades came out, I can tell you that high DPS is not the only requirement for successful raiding by a DPS character.
To sum up, I am in favor of mods IF they are used to customize the look of the U.I. and that’s it. I do not want to see mods become a requirement to raid, PvP or group, nor do I want to see them dumb down the game with visible boss warnings telling me when to use and ability or when to get out of line of sight. Let me move around the U.I., resize bars and I am a happy camper. Any more than that and Aion will start to go down the road WoW has and I don’t like it.