U.I. Mods? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ U.I. Mods!

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.

Many UI mods make for beautiful user interface!

Many UI mods make for a beautiful user interface!

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.

Some, however, are just BAD...

Some, however, are just BAD...

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.


13 Responses

  1. I’d have to agree with you on these points. I’m in full favor of UI customization mods to allow for personalization and the ability for each player to have their UI cater to their preferences. Besides, a bad UI has bigger effects than players notice. Something feeling off or not preforming correctly can put people off, whether they realize it or not.

    The only kinds of mods that make things even a little bit easier are aggro trackers like Omen. I feel that, without them, a lot of endeavors would end in failure due to how hard it is to keep track of without a visual representation. Now, admittedly, I haven’t attempted any sort of raid without using one (and it’s probably not going to be nearly as useful in a game like Aion anyway), but it seems like that’s the one thing I’ve used that balances out how much easier it makes it by how much less stressful it is to no longer unwittingly pull aggro.

  2. Yep, I’m with you. UI mods is one thing, but mods that are only there to dumb down the game or increase your e-peen should not be allowed.

  3. i have to say that whilst i feel the same, i believe allowing mods will only cause more problems sooner or later.

    Instead, i would rather keep things the way they are and have NCsoft add more customisation to there UI.

    I am also a minimalist with my UI, first thing i do is scale it down to open up the game screen. I can also be very picky about my UI… In WAR i had to use a few mods to get things to look/feel good but i wonder if the only reason i needed to was because i could…

    In Aion, the UI is actually pretty good and aside from a resize and a few little things, I dont need to change anything about it that isnt in the existing options.

    I enjoy knowing that everyone else has the same UI as me and that the game all comes down to skill etc. The last thing I ever want to see are mods that help you play your character, whether it be AgroMeter, HealGrids, AuraTwisters or simmilar.

    If i had to vote, I would vote for no change in the current mod policy as I feel anything else will eventualy lead to a negative impact on the game.

  4. Im torn too, on one hand I really like being able to tweak the asthetics of a UI, little things like damage fonts and cleaner actionbars and status frames.

    Like you though i loath dps meters -.-, I was always someone who never had a problem being a “good player” but they were used just to stroke epeens and punish people who struggled a little than being anything more constructive.

    And finally just to support WoW back in the day, blizzard took mods like DBM into account when developing instances as far back as AQ, when they saw people used mods like this they tweaked instances to make sure having them was too bigger advantage to turn down.

    Ofc since the expansion packs instances have been getting easier and easier so less of a requirement these days but old habits die hard…

  5. UI Mods: Yes!
    Deadly Boss Mod? Proxymo? Omen? tbh i never used any of those (i only played pre-bc… aq40 clear, though)

    There are other mods id like to see, like an automatic DKP system… etc…

  6. That they are even considering the addition of mods shows they are serious about adding depth to the PVE side of their PVPVE equation. Mods are really not needed for PVP and can even be problematic in that regard.

  7. I completely agree. Where I think a UI mod such a squared would be a benefit I am not sure I would like to see any type of mod used in the game. I think that is opens you up to all sorts of things such as Warbuddy from WAR if you allow the use of 3rd party mods. I think one thing that would help would be for Aion to have a simple command such as ctrl + \ that allowed you to move certain things of the already very clean UI we have.

    Truthfully until you have the double targeting (an offensive and defensive target) then you wouldnt really need a mod like Squared. Just dont be like me and solely concentrate on what you are killing and forget to heal 🙂

  8. As someone who used mods extensively in WoW, I do not want them in Aion. I like the fact that in a PvP game I know exactly what mods you have and you know what mods I have–none.

    When a game comes down to mods and not skill, that’s when I don’t want to play it anymore.

  9. I’m not a big fan of UI mods at all. Why can’t Aion incorporate the ability to change your UI like DAoC? In DAoC every part of your UI is moveable by you and can be positioned however you like. If they can do that then there should be no need for UI Mods.

    Personally I think UI mods are one of the worst things that WoW brought to the genre. The whole MMORPG experience is about how you would deal with things and how much you pay attention to the game. I didn’t use UI Mods in UO, AC, EQ, DAoC or SB. Their only purpose is to make the game easier for people and IMO we don’t need easier MMORPGs as WoW has cornered that market.

  10. Are we talking third party mods or NCSoft mods? There’s a big difference and I assume we’re all thinking of third party mods.

    There’s always the option that NCSoft just makes their own mods for those who want it and thus tightly control what is “allowed” and not. Along this line, I think I’d like to see some more customization in layout and size (but done by the company, not by a third party). I think I’d rather they not do things like DBM or omen for the reasons mentioned in the article.

  11. I’d prefer no external mods. I’d like the UI to allow rearranging the location of certain windows and other minor adjustments, but I want a level playing field in a PvP game like this one as far as the UI is concerned.

  12. If you give them an inch, they will take a mile. One UI Mod can spoil them all.

    Just say NO to UI Mods released by anyone but the devs themselves. Play the game how it was meant to be played.

    • I have to flat out agree with you.
      I’ve never been one to like mods, or the inclusion of them as a necessity when it comes to raiding.

      A UI mod is okay, that I could probably handle even though I’m quite happy with what they have now, but the rest of mod types? I can definitely live without those

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