Raiding Research Online

Exploring and mapping the MMO raiding culture
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Archive for the ‘addons’

The waiting game and Gnome chefs!

November 29, 2011 By: Ladan Category: addons, patch day

One thing that kill videos and slick ads by Blizzard don’t tell the unfamiliar is just how much waiting we seem to do while raiding in World of Warcraft. It’s a classic manifestation of the hurry up and wait syndrome that seems to happen a lot on things like airplanes and queues in the supermarket. It’s not surprising. Often trying to get 10 or 25 raiders back into the right spot in the raid instance and all ready to go on time can sometimes feel worse than herding cats and can probably be blamed for causing the mental breakdown of many a raid leader. During progression time we may wipe dozens of times. In fact, one night I was observing a raid group and I noted that during a 72 minute period of raiding, about 10 attempts/wipes took place equalling 28 minutes, while 44 minutes were spent recovering from being dead, flying back into the instance, gathering at the right spot, taking a short break, waiting on people to come back from disconnects or sudden “afks”, making sure everyone was ready to go, and then beginning again. I realise we don’t always spend the majority of our time waiting to start up again, but this can be a distinctive element of a raid and sometimes it’s nice to make the best of our time raiding, even if we’re just waiting around.

So in the spirit of fun and to help you get through those wait times with a little amusement, I thought I’d share this addon that was written especially by addon creator Olog. Olog has designed some other addons that are used by his own guild and has written others that have been more widely used by the gaming community at large. When I approached him with my idea, he found it quite an amusing concept and agreed to create something which he whipped out in an hour or two. This addon is called Gnome Chef Roulette and the idea is that you have a way to create esquisite gourmet dishes inspired by the “produce” available in the game itself! It’s a game of roulette as you’re going to have to trust your little Gnome chef pal to concoct something appropriate for the occasion. So get cooking and amaze your fellow raiders!

GnomeChefRoulette

Instructions: Just load it like any other addon and type /chef to open the window. It’s quite self-explanatory but people can either whisper to you or say !food and your chef will automatically produce something fabulous! (You can also just say !food yourself and you’ll broadcast what you’ve cooked as well.)

Enjoy and happy Patch 4.3!

New poll up: UI modification

November 12, 2010 By: Ladan Category: addons, Uncategorized, user interface

Dear all,

While we’re all still considering, completing, and posting the personality test, I’d like to draw your attention to a new poll that I’ve put up, about our user interfaces (UIs). We’ve discussed this before and goodness knows everyone loves to talk about it (all of our favourite sites have a ‘post your UI!’ forum thread), but I think it’s such a prevalent issue amongst raiders that it bears revisiting. So please add your vote to the poll!

Do we like to modify our UIs? How often do we do it? Does it correlate to raiding performance? What addons do we use when we modify our UIs? Do we get addicted to tweaking it or do we only change when we have to? And, if you do modify your UI, how do you feel if your UI breaks down (especially if it happens 12 minutes before raid start time)?

I have empirical evidence of a lot of variation in answers to those questions. Some of us are almost crippled if our UI is not set up as we’re accustomed (imagine playing on someone else’s computer–egads!); some of us have an add-on addiction (with some having 50+ addons in use at any given time); and some of us take pride in playing with as little ‘help’ as possible. Yes, some of us feel like modifying the UI and using more than the absolute essential addons (boss mod, threat metres) makes the raiding experience less ‘genuine’. As a raider, I say, to each his/her own, as long as it doesn’t screw up the quality of your raiding. As a researcher, I believe, our varied approach to our UIs might be saying a lot about how we like to raid and what we value in the raiding culture.

So if we do modify our UIs, how do we tend to do it?

I  have found a veritable cornucopia of UI variation. In fact, in conferences where I’m sharing my research with academics (keeping mind they tend to have no idea about raiders or WoW), it’s one of the first things I like to show them–as a representation of our adaptability and flexibility. We are not just playing a game, we are creating a unique player-determined visual experience. By modifying the view, experience, and usefulness of the game we make it our own, we want to control the outcome better by modifying the process by which we achieve that outcome.

Some recent video footage from guilds of various fights can give us a nice palette of variation:

And that’s just the start. For every raider there seems to be a different UI.

So why do we like to modify? What makes this seem to integral to the raiding experience? Feel free to comment and vote in the poll!

When a new boss encounter addon came into my life…

November 18, 2009 By: Ladan Category: addons, raiding, user interface, World of Warcraft

So I wrote in my last post that I had decided to try out Deus Vox Encounters in replacement of Deadly Boss Mods. This has been a big change for me. I’ve used DBM for all of my quirky and checkered life as a raider since late 2006. It’s really one of the only addons (in addition to a threat metre and cooldown timer) I’ve used consistently since then.

So how has it been? Some things I love about it and some things take some getting used to. It has some very new-agey sounds that I can’t figure out yet. I was so used to the trumpet blare warning sound that DBM make that I hadn’t realised how accustomed I had come to responding the instant it blared up! This way with DXE I’ve had to pay more attention and try hard to respond. So far not too bad, although last night I did find myself doing a few stupid things during a TOC-10 man because I was too focused on the addon and not paying attention to where I was standing. Shame on me, really.

What I do love are these arrows! And the fancier proximity screen! They look like the arrows on questhelper but much bigger and they help you. For example, if you get paralytic toxin in heroic beasts and need to find someone with burning bile, the arrow tells you where they are and how far away. I like that.

So my personal experiment into “how to get used to a new addon once you’ve used another one for years” is going well so far. I’ll see how I feel in a week or so when I have to decide if I’m going back to DBM or staying with the new one.

Ladan