re: On Addons – Alternative Interpretation


My blog rather exploded do to my short post updating my non-use of add-ons.  It was like when WoW.com linked me, only replace the good vibes with many pissed off people!  This is my response to Tamarind/Chas’s reply to my post.  (Very circular, that.)

– First: Background –

A rather long time ago, my SO and I had a fight about add-ons, only at that time I was very much in the “pro” camp, saying many of things that people are saying to me now.  Kel was very much in the “anti” camp.  It made me really laugh today when that fact came to light!  How things have changed since then.

For the record, I have never in my memory -ever- told someone they were a bad healer for using add-ons.  I have never in my memory told someone they would be a better healer by not using add-ons.  I have spoken out against specific add-ons (ie. AVR, Clique for healers without a gaming mouse), but I have never in my memory completely railed against someone using add-ons in general to help them heal, even when asked.

I do not believe using healing add-ons makes you a bad healer.

There, I feel better now.  I have to laugh, as the original post was never meant to be anything but a small update as to why I hadn’t been writing anything about my Zero Add-on Project and a response to the several people who had been railing to/near me that “healing hardmodes without add-ons was impossible.”  If I had meant it to be some huge opinion post, it would have followed my usual format and would have been three times as long!  In fact, I had meant it to be the very last post ever on my not using add-ons because it really isn’t something important to me.  Of course, it had to tap into something that seems to have been brewing in the WoW blogger community.  I’ll never learn when to leave well enough alone, hrm?

– Second: The post itself –

This might get a little long.  Sorry about that!  Tam/Chas’s post is broken up quite nicely, so I’m going to answer it point by point.

Why This Bugs Me: I actually was saddened by the contrite nature some people have about this (and other things), too.  If you feel guilty doing something, then don’t do it.  If you want to do it and don’t feel guilty, then don’t apologize for it.  I’d much prefer that people stand up for their healing practices, even if myself or someone else doesn’t agree with them.  Be a proud keyboard turner, even if it makes me cringe!  If being a keyboard turner makes you feel like a terrible person, then stop being one.

On Tools and Limiting Factors: I understand what Chas is saying here and if every healer was as methodical about their choices, I’d probably have far less of a problem with healing UIs.  The problem, in my eyes, is that Grid goes in generally -before- a healer has taken the time to work through all their other issues.  I think of it as your brother getting himself a really high-tech keyboard with all the bells and whistles before he’s had a chance to learn to play Bach really well.  (Or whatever other composer he’s playing.)  Also, many people view using macros as cheating, but even copying macros from somewhere online has a higher chance of increasing your game knowledge than letting an add-on do it for you.  You’ll at the very least have to see that “target=mouseover” tag several times, which will probably lead the person to understand what that means.

Seatbelts and Safety Nets: Admittedly, I’ve never seen anything in an add-on that would have saved my raid from someone else’s screw up (akin to a seatbelt) if I had it.  I would argue that using a healing UI can make a person -less- methodical.  The base UI can be unforgiving, so healing with it can at times having to really dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s.”  This might be the case with some tanking/DPS add-ons; that is outside my experience, sadly.

A Dog Walking on Its Hind Legs: I can’t speak for anyone else who doesn’t use add-ons, but I am constantly considering ways to be a better healer than I am.  Parses are checked, patch notes are read, fight strats are gone over…  Dare I say that min/maxing my game play is almost a neurotic habit for me!  However, I want to be a better healer inside the bounds of the game and with my own will.  Maybe someday I’ll code my own add-ons that I’ll feel comfortable using, but until then I will have to settle for crunching my own numbers and squeezing every ounce of healing knowledge that I can into my brain.

The Inherent Value of Suffering: This is a very interesting point by Tam that I really had to sit and think about for a moment.  My major issue is that I -do- think there is value in suffering or, more specific to this situation, in doing things the hard way.  There truly is no better teacher out there than suffering.  A parent can tell his/her child over and over again not to touch a candle flame, but learning from this verbal command isn’t nearly as visceral as the child learning from having been burnt.  Perhaps this is a cultural difference, I don’t really know.  From my point of view, a person who has no choice but to internalize the timing on their Wild Growth is going to learn that timing in a far more visceral manner than someone who has a timer to tell him/her.

Skill, Where Lies That?: “Skill and knowledge.”  That has always been how I described the divide.  Knowledge is in knowing the “how, what, when, who and why” and skill is in the doing.  So, if Tam’s goddaughter had really great twitch reactions, she may in fact be really high on the “skill” meter.  However, without enough on the “knowledge” meter, none of that would matter.  The description he gives of dispelling a person is -exactly- what is on the skill side of things.  It is about my being able to get that Dispell off fast enough that my raider/arena partner doesn’t die.  The knowledge part would be my knowing if my partner has Unstable Affliction and not Dispelling if that is so.  In a more PvE example, skill is that immediate reaction to having Defile and getting to the proper drop zone in time.

The Death of the Game Designer: This is a rather… high brow concept, but I’ll try to be concise.  I do not quite see how a videogame based on numerical values is really an “interpretative space,” as Tam calls it, not as far as raiding goes at least.  When I’m roleplaying on my characters, absolutely!  But no matter how much I might wish it, my healing is going to be less on my Disc. priest if I stack haste than if I stack spellpower.  This is not like a purist railing against an interpretative performance of Die Zauberflöte. Nor, to use Tam’s example, is this related to how someone perceives Dumbledore’s sexuality.  Art is fluid, able to be seen from different points of view.  (I majored in English and I loved all my Comp. Lit. courses!)  Videogames are a series of 0s and 1s arranged to work in a specific fashion.  Is Healbot part of the World of Warcraft 0s and 1s?  It is not.  Is the Queen of the Night an example of the evils of giving women too much power?  Who’s to say?

– Third: Some Conclusions –

I’ve gone back and re-read my post many times and I have a hard time seeing where I was “pissing on everyone else’s” decisions nor where I say people are “too crap and lazy too [sic] listen.”  What I see are four small paragraphs on a subject that I have written about before.  I stated my conclusions on the matter as clearly as I could without it becoming, well, -this post- and moved on with life.  I was not nor am emotionally attached to this topic.  (Other than wanting people to stop with the “healing hardmodes without Vuhdo is impossible!” talk.)  I am, however, perturbed by the things that are being put in my mouth.  Heck, I feel the need to say it again, just in case someone didn’t see it the first time.

I do not believe using healing add-ons makes you a bad healer.

What I -do- believe is that healing add-ons in their current form create a dependence in players such as they feel they would be unable to heal without them.  This dependence is characterized in lower knowledge of specific game mechanics and in a less pronounced internal perception of time, including how time relates to healing abilities.  If people didn’t exhibit these symptoms of dependence, I’d have zero problems with add-ons.

I’m sorry if my other post wasn’t well thought-out or written.  It was never meant to be a point of discussion, really.  This will be my last post on the matter as I don’t really enjoy drawing such startling attention to myself.  I’ll get back to posting my theorycrafting numbers now!

P.S.  If people really want to see what kind of healer I am with the default UI, I’d be willing to email a parse or two from various characters.  All the insults to my skills in the comments gave me a chuckle.



  1. To be honest, I was a little put off by your original post as well. There wasn’t anything I recall as being actively insulting, but it came across (to me, anyway) as a bit… superior.

    I play on my laptop. Sometimes I lag. I have to keep graphics turned to their lowest settings to function in instances. I literally could not heal from the basic UI, especially in a very healing-intensive situation, even if I wanted to. I tried, not long after your post, and while I was doing all right at seeing health bars go down, the lag when I’d have to click on the various party members and THEN cast the heal was horrific. Not to mention it made it pretty much impossible for me to judge anything because the extra time it would take to click on one of the enemy health bars would probably drop someone’s health too low to make it worth it. It was an exercise in making me want to kick puppies, and I like puppies.

    With Vuhdo, I can target a mob for judgements and still heal, and I might still lag, but every click is doing something to help me keep my party alive.

    I don’t think it’s impossible for ANYONE to heal with the default UI, but it IS impossible for me from a sheer technological standpoint. I know you weren’t saying I was a lazy/bad/incompetent healer, but it FELT like you were, which made me (who relies on Vuhdo to keep my group from wiping due to my occasional EPIC LAG) feel like I was being considered less of a healer for it. Not PERSONALLY, but just lumped into a bunch of people who use addons who may or may not be crappy healers just because they learned to heal a different way than you did.

    …Yeah, basically, I don’t think you MEANT to come across as a healing snob, but that’s how it came across to me personally. I can’t really speak for anyone else who was upset by the post, that’s just what I took from it.

    • I’m told many times that my writing style comes off as holier-than-thou and shows off my snobby side more than when I communicate verbally. Part of it, I think, is that I’m borderline incoherent normally so I over compensate for it in my writing. It makes me sound cold and snobby, rather than silly and snobby like normal.

      It’s interesting that your computer runs faster when using add-ons. I’d have thought that the extra memory usage would put a bigger tax on your computer than just using the WoW program alone. I know that the crappy computer I had to use when mine went down (the original reason I started experimenting with healing in default UI) couldn’t run -anything- at the same time as WoW.

      • It’s not my computer so much as the WoW window itself and my horrible framerate. With addons it’s still bad, but there’s less clicking involved, so instead of having to manage a click-then-hit-a-key-that-might-not-register, I just have to click. *shrugs*

  2. So your messages are:

    1) that you’re back to healing without addons, and
    2) that healing hard modes without addons is possible?


    On the other stuff…

    Why This Bugs Me – agreed.

    On Tools and Limiting Factors – Not sure why I need to understand what “target=mouseover” means or why this would make me a better healer any more then I need to understand how a car engine works to find one a useful tool for getting around. Yes it would be an increase in knowledge but would it improve the end result? Unlikely.

    On Seatbelts and Safety Nets – Why do you think using a healing UI makes someone less methodical? What do you mean by less methodical? I gather you don’t mean a less effective healer given the rest of your post, which would be my first interpretation.

    The Inherent Value of Suffering – I agree this ‘suffering’ has some use. However kids don’t continually burn themselves. They learn and stop doing it. Isn’t moving on from the suffering of using default UI to using addons a similar progression?

    Anyway intersting posts and you got people excited enough to comment 😉

    Gobble gobble.

    • What I mean is that the default UI -forces- you to be more methodical. You absolutely have to know exactly what the debuffs are called and what their icons are because there’s nothing there to help you with them. You also have to make sure that you are absolutely paying attention to proc graphics and know how long they last, because there is no warnings when you get them. A paladin would have to manually check their Beacon and SShield, since there is no timer for them. That’s the sort of thing I mean by methodical. It doesn’t have to do with being a good or bad healer. There just isn’t any wiggle room so you have to be in control and aware at all times.

      • Ah fair enough.

  3. What is it about Clique and gaming mice? Do the Blizzard macros have a problem with the extra buttons or something?

    (But I will repeat myself: knowing how to write your own macros does *nothing* for you in terms of gameplay. Absolutely zero. I *know* what my Clique binds do even without having to write a macro from scratch. I can understand people wanting to write their own macros – I did a bit of programming in school and it was fun -, but doing that is no different from using an addon like Clique. Knowing that I need to type “/cast [target=mouseover] Rejuvenation” (or not, since the syntax changed afaik) is no different from knowing that if I click this mouse button, Clique will pop a Rejuv on the target I’m hovering over. Writing macros might help me understand the technical side of WoW better, but it won’t make me a better healer.)

    • Oh, sorry, I should have been more clear about the Clique thing. What I mean is that Clique can be useful for those who have gaming mice. Those who (like me) have a basic 2/3 button mouse would have to rely on keyboard turning if they used Clique. Thus, I argue against people without gaming mice using Clique.

      As for the the macro thing, I have to disagree. There are been several times when being able to whip up a quick macro has saved my tail. My macro on Dreamwalker makes maximizing my HPS on her really work well. My Shackle macro on my priest is so necessary that the first time I got to use it, I literally starting laughing so hard I nearly forgot to heal. One of my tank friends was able to whip up a timing macro to better announce her pulls so the DPS could pre-pot. On Festergut, my marking macro makes it so that if on the off chance I get targeted by Malleable Goo, I can put my mark back up with a single keybind without having to stop my stream of heals. These are all cases of my being able to put together macros helped my healing. 🙂

      • I don’t see how using Clique and having fewer mouse buttons prevents you from mousing off of your raid frames to use mouselook, for example. Keyboard turning is a totally avoidable way of playing, regardless of the peripherals and addons (or lack thereof) that you play with.

        And all of the examples you gave of macros helping you are just cases where addon functionality can be reproduced with macros and ingenuity. Whether you used an addon or macro to accomplish them, it was the task or action that was helpful to your healing, not the method with which you accomplished it.

      • Clique maps spells to your mouse buttons. If you only have two mouse buttons and you use Clique to map heals to those buttons, you cannot use your mouse to move. I think I’m wearing my Spaulders of Incoherence today. LOL That make a bit more sense about what I mean?

        Considering all those macros were typically made between pulls while buffing, I think it does matter a bit. I couldn’t do those things if I were still using my add-ons, because I would be lacking the knowledge to do so. I’d also have to wait for the authors of my add-ons to update before being able to raid when WoW patches, which hurts my ability to heal quite a bit.

      • Have you used Clique before? I’m not trying to be rude, it just seems like you have some confusion about how it works. When you assign spells to mouse clicks in Clique, they only work when you click *on* the unit/raid frames. If you move your mouse away from the raid frames so that you’re just clicking on the game world, the normal functionality is there, for things like mouselook. If you’re furiously casting, it may be awkward to fit in between spells and thus it may be easier to use your keyboard, but it’s by no means impossible.

        As for patch day addon woes, most patches don’t break all or even most of your addons. If you check the box to “Load Outdated Addons”, most of them will continue working on a new patch version quite happily. Some addons from mid-2009 still work today. The only time addons break altogether is when Blizzard changes the underlying functionality the addon depends on. An example of this is how many chat addons weren’t immediately usable when 3.3.5 introduced the RealID feature, because it altered how chat frames and chat messages work.

  4. I think to be honest it was the percieved superior attitude that got peoples backs up to be honest Codi and yes Tam and Chas being popular wowblog probably means more people who are seeing you for the first time are only seeing you in a negative light. Personally I couldn’t give a crap if you were healing people by rolling yourface on your keyboard *cough pallyhealer cough* :p

    Not that I think it would matter but I’d quite like to see a parse before I jump off the deep end and start making assumptions. Would you be able to put one up or even email me a link (echosnare at gmail dot com). As I say I think your main’s class perhaps is designed such that many healing addons wouldn’t matter as much. I myself still haven’t bothered to set up anything besides grid and gridstatusdebuff on my own Holypally because I’m lazy and that addons already setup as I raidlead and like to know where certain debuffs are. I manage fine for the content I do. Would using a poweraura to let me know when I should really use my first DP+DI combo make me a better healer twitch wise? Not massively but on fights where it would count I’d last longer.

    • Did you get my email? 🙂

      I secretly have one of those drinking birds positioned to hit my “2” key (my Holy Light keybind) so that I can leave my desk to make sandwiches. LOL

  5. […] I didn’t edit the text itself, but I wanted to point people to the follow-up post here. There are a lot of words being put into my mouth.  Thanks! Possibly related posts: (automatically […]

  6. […] at Moar HPS! posted about not using add-ons, which prompted a response from Chas and Tam at Righteous Orbs. I think they both make some valid […]

  7. Firstly, sorry to have inadvertently sent some angry comments your way – but traffic is traffic, right, and discussion helps us hone our thoughts.

    But mainly a few follow-up comments. I could respond to each of the points you’ve made in this post but I’ll stick the major ones:

    1. The words put in your mouth. You state repeatedly in this post that “I do not believe using healing add-ons makes you a bad healer.” However, you also state repeatedly that add-ons create players with the following symptoms: “lower knowledge of specific game mechanics” and “a less pronounced internal perception of time, including how time relates to healing abilities.” Someone with a lower knowledge of game mechanics and a less pronounced internal perception of time is a WORSE healer than someone with those qualities ergo the implication of your entire two posts remains the same: using add-ons makes you a bad healer. It doesn’t matter that you never said the exact words “I believe add-ons makes you a bad healer” the tone and manner of your posts, and the meaning behind the words you have used amount to the same thing.

    If I say I believe you can’t be a fully rounded human being unless you’ve read Finnegan’s Wake at least twice, I’m not *literally* saying that I think people who have not are bad human beings but ultimately the meaning is the same: in my distorted world view, people who have read Finnegan’s Wake are better than those who haven’t.

    So even though you haven’t literally said “using add-ons makes you a bad healer” if you also say “using add-ons creates these unfortunate traits in players” you *are* still saying that using add-ons makes you a bad healer, just in a mealy-mouthed, cowardly, passive-aggressive kind of way.

    Furthermore, in your previous post you said:

    “Most likely, I’ll never become a crusader for the viewpoint that everyone should give up their fancy UIs, simply because I don’t see it being possible…”

    One does not “crusade” something one does not consider harmful. And you go on to say that the specific reason you won’t become a crusader is that you believe you won’t be able to change anyone’s mind because we’re all inherently lazy and wedded to our conveniences: “Humans are by nature creatures who want to do as little work as we can get away with.” Again, the consequence of this sweeping generalization is to separate yourself (brave crusader you, doing it the hard way while the rest of the world sells out) from the rest of the lazy sheep.

    however, not to have found out.

    2. “My major issue is that I -do- think there is value in suffering or, more specific to this situation, in doing things the hard way. There truly is no better teacher out there than suffering. A parent can tell his/her child over and over again not to touch a candle flame, but learning from this verbal command isn’t nearly as visceral as the child learning from having been burnt.”

    Children are one thing; but we are adults. And I think one of the things that separates us from animals is that when someone says to me “Don’t pick up that pan, Tam, it’s hot” I don’t have to pick up the pan to prove to myself that picking it up was a bad idea. Equally I think valorizing the suffering of one’s self or others is quite frankly deeply unhealthy, especially if we go out of our way to choose a “harder” route and then claim it makes us better people for having done so. Often, I think we look back on something hard, difficult or just downright unpleasant and claim it made us stronger, or taught us independence or lead to something better – and, yes, I believe human beings are amazing creatures and can survive and thrive despite unimaginable setbacks and unspeakable hardships. But this does not make the process of working through setbacks and hardships inherently virtuous, or positive. Sometimes horrible things just happen; and they break us, and they make our life worse.

    Moreover pretending that hardship, pain and suffering are inherently virtuous is actually offensive to all those people out there who have had terrible things happen to them. I know people have suffered sexual abuse and severe illness – they are amazing people, and have come through it. But it would have been better if it hadn’t happened at all. The virtue in them that made them survive and flourish was in there all along – it was not somehow brought out of them through the nasty stuff that happened to them.

    3. “I do not quite see how a videogame based on numerical values is really an “interpretative space,” as Tam calls it, not as far as raiding goes at least.”

    Then you lack imagination and I honestly pity you.

    Are you chasing numbers or are you KILLING THEM INTERNET DRAGONS?

    “Videogames are a series of 0s and 1s arranged to work in a specific fashion.”

    And books are merely a series of letters arranged in specific sentences.

    • I’m going to copy swathes of text from previous replies I’ve written for clarity. 🙂

      1. “There is more to healing than “good” and “bad.” My old healadin partner used to whoop my butt in the skill department, having the most quick reflexes I’ve ever seen. At the same time, I would whoop him in the knowledge department, going through and analyzing how to squeeze just that little bit more out of myself/my fellow healers. Who is the good one? Who is the bad one? There are no healers out there than have absolutely nothing they can do to improve. It also isn’t a sliding scale with “good” on one side and “bad” on the other. It’s more akin to the D&D skill structure. Having boots of Striding and Springing (add-ons) means that you need to put fewer points into (work less on) your Balance skill (knowledge of some game mechanics and internal perceptions).” <– quoted from one of my other replies

      Was the word "crusade" a poor choice? Probably. I would point out that when I talk about the inherent laziness of humans that I include -myself- in that, being a human and all. I constantly struggle with my laziness! As for my reasons to not champion the cause of base UI… Well, I also don't like power windows in cars. Is it really so bad to say that I'm not going to stand outside car dealerships with big signs because it's pointless? Should I protest every time someone talks on their cellphone in a checkout line? That would also be fruitless. I absolutely believe that people have the right to use power windows/cellphones in queues/add-ons. But don't we all work to change people's minds about topics in which they don't agree, isn't that what makes for arguments? Avoiding bringing up the question of divine authority in a Catholic church, even if you have a strong opinion on it, it because the crazy arguments it would cause would be more trouble than it's worth.

      2. I suffered a severe illness and had to work through the hardship of relearning to walk. Comparing -that- to using the base UI is pretty much hilarious, in my mind. LOL I think of it more akin to keeping kosher eating habits. My sister is the only one in my family to keep a kosher kitchen year round (I only tend to go kosher over holidays) and it is a -pain in the butt.- But in the eyes of the Jewish culture, you do it in the name of being a virtuous person. Children go through the homework (a hardship in their eyes, just as base UI is a hardship in the eyes of many healers) because it facilitates learning. We're not discussing catastrophic suffering here. We're talking about learning by "doing it the hard way." When I taught myself to play guitar, my fingers HURT at first. I didn't have to do it, it was purely for self-enrichment. But I learned from it and I got through the icky part to where I can relax and enjoy. That's where people can get to with healing without add-ons, too. When I broke my dependence on smoking, it -sucked.- When I broke my dependence (against my will at first), it -sucked.- But I learned from it and have grown from it. 🙂

      3. Leaving aside the condescension of judging a person's imagination on one activity, I really am interested to know how raiding supports artistry to you. From what I can see, raiding involves beating scripted encounters by executing strategies. PvP really seems more of an art, since there isn't anything scripted. Even fights meant to resemble PvP encounters are mostly predictable when you understand some of the scripting involved. (Faction Champions, for example. My group developed a way for our tanks to "hold aggro" on them, by knowing the enemy script that causes them to converge on PCs at or below a certain percentage of health.) Encounters are won by delivering a set amount of damage. People remain alive when your healers are able to heal more damage than is put out. Tanks hold aggro by generating more TPS than the DPS do. Really, it's all about doing what must be done as efficiently as possible. I find it vastly different than D&D, where encounters are written to meet the needs of the players. In my current campaign, one of my players is a cleric who -will not heal.- From a min/max stand-point, it's pretty hilariously bad, but I'm able to sculpt things as a DM to compensate. There isn't that element in WoW. It's you and your friends against a computer. Lady Deathwhisper will never chain CC your raid's healers the way a person might in that encounter.

      • I think of it more akin to keeping kosher eating habits. My sister is the only one in my family to keep a kosher kitchen year round (I only tend to go kosher over holidays) and it is a -pain in the butt.- But in the eyes of the Jewish culture, you do it in the name of being a virtuous person.

        But not, unless my understanding of Judaism is highly inaccurate, in the name of being a better cook.

        Of course keeping a kosher kitchen might encourage you to manage your kitchen more effectively, but that’s a side effect, and it’s entirely possible to keep a kosher kitchen and never cook in it at all.

        Which I think is the main thrust of Tam’s point.

        Essentially you’re making the common mistake of confusing correlation and causation. There is often a *correlation* between boredom, frustration or discomfort and learning, but there is not a *causative* link between them. There is nothing you can learn from a painful experience that you cannot learn more effectively from a painless one. There is nothing you can learn from a boring experience you could not learn more effectively from an engaging one.

  8. Some replies:

    I do not believe using healing add-ons makes you a bad healer.

    Yes. You do.

    You say specifically that using addons makes you *worse at healing*. You say that using addons harms your understanding of the game mechanics, and stops you from developing skills which you, personally, considered to be important to healing. That means you are saying using addons makes you a bad healer. It is exactly what you are saying, and you are saying it directly and explicitly.

    The fact that you do not think you are saying it speaks of nothing but your lack of self-awareness. It is this staggering lack of self-awareness which I find so infuriating about your posts, and your manner (that and the bit where you told me how to do my real-life job, that was fun too).

    Now, where were we.

    I can’t speak for anyone else who doesn’t use add-ons, but I am constantly considering ways to be a better healer than I am.

    You can say that all you like, but if you really wanted to be a better healer, you’d use addons. Getting rid of addons doesn’t force you to be a better healer, it just lets you ignore your own failings.

    Turn off your cooldown trackers, and you don’t have to realize how bad you are at hitting your cooldowns. Stop tracking incoming heals, and you don’t have to worry about whether you’re heal-sniping other people. Turn off your buff timers, and you can tell yourself you never let them slip.

    Addons give you information. Turning them off just lets you hide your head in the sand and ignore real, immediate feedback about your performance.

    Admittedly, I’ve never seen anything in an add-on that would have saved my raid from someone else’s screw up (akin to a seatbelt) if I had it

    I’m not talking about other people’s screw-ups. I’m talking about yours. Yours, personally.

    Or do you never screw up? I suppose you don’t since if you did you’d know, because of all the serious self-scrutiny you do. Or is it that if you screw up in a way that an addon could have helped with, it doesn’t count? In which case you’re back to a dog walking on its hind legs.

    There truly is no better teacher out there than suffering. A parent can tell his/her child over and over again not to touch a candle flame, but learning from this verbal command isn’t nearly as visceral as the child learning from having been burnt.

    All this demonstrates is that you have a facile, oversimplistic understanding of “learning”.

    Yes, the easiest way to make a child “learn” not to do something is to inflict pain on them when they disobey you. In this way you can teach a child not to put their hand in the fire, not to talk back, not to think for themselves. This is also an excellent way to teach people to do tedious repetitive tasks like (say) multiplication, because all it relies upon is mindless drilling of rote concepts.

    On the other hand if you want to teach a child to – say – solve complex problems or perform a difficult task with skill, then the correct thing to do is to lead them through the task carefully making each step as painless as possible.

    Perhaps this is a cultural difference, I don’t really know.

    It’s not a cultural difference. It’s a difference in educational theory. You think pain is an effective way to educate a person. I think that you are wrong. I have a weight of evidence and professional experience on my side, you have aphorisms on yours.

    From my point of view, a person who has no choice but to internalize the timing on their Wild Growth is going to learn that timing in a far more visceral manner than someone who has a timer to tell him/her.

    I think you’re absolutely right.

    But I think learning something “more viscerally” means learning it “less well”.

    I have no doubt that turning off your HoT timers made you *really feel* like you had the timings down. I think the reason it made you feel that was that you no longer had a timer to tell you how well you were doing. You deliberately insulated yourself from feedback, and this allowed you to *feel* like you were doing a better job.

    By turning off your addons, you made yourself the final judge of your own performance. If you think you’re timing everything right, you are. If you think you’re doing everything right, you are. Because you don’t have anything telling you you’re not.

    Not using addons prevents you from developing the skills you need to play the game effectively, because it insulates you from the feedback which would tell you whether or not you were actually doing things right. It allows you to be dead weight on your team, to wipe your raids, to heal less well and less effectively and never even realize it.

    But just to be clear, I’m not saying it makes you a bad healer.

    • 1. There is more to healing than “good” and “bad.” My old healadin partner used to whoop my butt in the skill department, having the most quick reflexes I’ve ever seen. At the same time, I would whoop him in the knowledge department, going through and analyzing how to squeeze just that little bit more out of myself/my fellow healers. Who is the good one? Who is the bad one? There are no healers out there than have absolutely nothing they can do to improve. It also isn’t a sliding scale with “good” on one side and “bad” on the other. It’s more akin to the D&D skill structure. Having boots of Striding and Springing (add-ons) means that you need to put fewer points into (work less on) your Balance skill (knowledge of some game mechanics and internal perceptions).

      2. As I said, I am anal about checking my parses and my #1 feedback I get is from my other raiders. All that information add-ons give? It’s all right there in front of me, no bells and whistles needed. When I first started running without add-ons (due to computer issues, actually, and completely against my will), I thought the exact same things you’re saying. I started running with more healers, giving myself easier assignments and bugging my fellow raiders constantly for feedback on how terrible I was doing. It took a bit, but I realized that all that paranoia was unnecessary. I dropped back down to 5 healers and went back to keeping just myself on the tanks, realizing that I could deal with this. My dependence was broken and I realized that it isn’t the add-ons making us better healers; we all have the potential to be great healers -without- them, but we are kept from seeing that.

      3. We’re not talking about actual suffering here. Using one UI over another certainly cannot be seen as akin to physically punishing a child. What we are discussing might be better be described as “discomfort” or “hardship.” For example, learning to play the piano is maddeningly boring when you have to learn finger positions and scales. Practicing scales could be considered a “hardship.” It is through working through that hardship, pushing yourself to practice those finger positions that you learn and build the skills to play Mozart later. Even in your example, the learning of complex problems could be considered a “hardship” for that child. They don’t want to do it, it isn’t fun, but it is necessary for them to learn. Remember homework? What child -doesn’t- view that as a hardship? 🙂 But homework was part of the learning process. A child learns nothing if their parent does their homework for them. (Add-ons in are the parents in this example, of course.)

      4. If growing up in a culture where not being able to turn on lights or use any electrical devices one day a week -isn’t- about the value of hardship, I don’t know what is!

      5. See the above on what I said in regards to feedback. 🙂

      I do have to say, you’re very aggressive and like to make this personal, which makes having any sort of discussion on the matter difficult. I’m a “raiding snob” and I have admitted it all over my blog. I also have huge issues being coherent and have a difficulty dealing with subtly. (At least your aggressive sarcasm was blatant enough for me to catch it?) None of these will I ever deny. And it seems that you do have a general issue with me as a person. I can understand that. I harbor no such feelings towards you. As such, if you wish to continue this discussion, I invite you to email me at leontheyal AT gmail DOT com. Otherwise, I feel that I should not respond anymore, as it really seems to be boiling down to “Codi is a terrible person with a huge ego and no grasp on reality.”

      • I do have to say, you’re very aggressive and like to make this personal, which makes having any sort of discussion on the matter difficult.

        That’s alright, I’m not trying to have a discussion, I am trying to explain to you that you have insulted people.

        By attributing some people’s willingness to use addons to a desire “to do as little work as they can get away with” you have insulted people. By declaring that if people found your post upsetting, you think they should respond by changing their behaviour, you have insulted people. By telling people that their chosen playstyle harms their ability to play the game you have insulted people. By telling me you found it “sad” that I did not encourage my students to practice skills which in my professional opinion are educationally worthless you insulted me.

        I am making this personal because it is personal. I am being aggressive because you are being passive-aggressive. You have hurt and upset people, and your only response to this is to tell us that we are wrong to be hurt and upset by you.

        I’m a “raiding snob” and I have admitted it all over my blog.

        I fully accept that you are a raiding snob.

        Admitting that you possess a character flaw does not mean you cannot be criticized for possessing it. And although you say “I am a snob” you’re misusing the term. You seem to be using “I am a snob” to mean “I am a serious raider”. That is not what the word means.

        Being a “snob” means treating people badly because they are not part of the group you belong to. Treating people badly is wrong. It is not something you should be proud of. It is not something you can wave away by saying “oh I know I’m a snob”.

        If your personality flaws hurt somebody, admitting to the flaw does not undo the injury you cause. If you run somebody over, you cannot excuse it by saying “well I’ve never said I was a good driver”.

        I also have huge issues being coherent and have a difficulty dealing with subtly.

        The fact that you have issues with coherence and subtlety is manifestly obvious.

        And I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the way you respond to this difficulty is by doing – what was it – ah yes “the least amount of work you can get away with” and posting in a manner which is unclear, incoherent, and inarticulate.

        I hope that you are at least proud of your incoherence, even if it makes me cringe. Of course if you think that being incoherent makes you a bad writer, you should stop being incoherent.

        And it seems that you do have a general issue with me as a person. I can understand that. I harbor no such feelings towards you.

        I have no issues with you as a person, I have tremendous issues with your words and your actions.

        Your posts on this subject have been smug, condescending, patronizing, poorly expressed, passive aggressive, and insulting personally to me, and to a large number of other people, many of whom never the less seem to think of you highly.

        I am sure you are a very good person. I am sure you are a very good healer. But you express yourself in a manner which I find genuinely, personally offensive.

        As such, if you wish to continue this discussion, I invite you to email me at leontheyal AT gmail DOT com. Otherwise, I feel that I should not respond anymore, as it really seems to be boiling down to “Codi is a terrible person with a huge ego and no grasp on reality.”

        I don’t think you’re a terrible person, I think you’re a deeply ordinary person. And I don’t think you have a huge ego, I think you’re extremely insecure. I cannot speak for your grasp on reality, but I consider many of your beliefs, as you have expressed them to me, to be patently false.

        I’m sure you’re a very nice person. I’m sure you’re good at what you do. But you were condescending and insulting to a whole bunch of people, and to me personally. And I wasn’t going to let that slide.

    • Actually, the Brain and Cognitive Science department has a few things to say here. There is extensive studying in “reinforcement learning” that directly supports Codi’s argument, Chas. Skill memory and conditioning are both qualities of learning that can only be enforced by visceral interaction with the environment.

      The rate of learning is influenced greatly by the approach you employ. I could spend weeks reading music books, trying to understand the theory of rhythm and measures. And yet, what good would that reading do without physical application to an instrument or at least the tapping of my foot to music to reinforce the concept?

      That’s not to say that pain is necessary or better, and I don’t think Codi’s ever said that. What is relevant is the incorporation of physical interaction, or the best simulation of such (the whole game is virtual, after all). The more directly you can connect with the system you are trying to master, the better you will be able to learn about it.

      Does that mean that add-ons detract from your connection with the game? Generally, I don’t think so. Most add-ons that I use are helpful primarily for reducing on-screen clutter that I don’t want, and amplifying on-screen clutter that I do want; there’s very little information about tracking cooldowns, save “Weakened Soul” on my Grid.

      So, pain and suffering are not the only way to encourage learning. Reinforcement, in either a positive or negative manner, will encourage learning. If your raid environment puts enough pressure on you to learn everything you can, then good. If the only bar is “Did we live? OK, good, healers pass,” then I completely understand looking for additional ways to learn about how to heal more efficiently. Removing add-ons is likely one way to get closer to the game mechanics, so that you have to see and react to incoming information from the game environment, rather than the UI overlay. That doesn’t mean it’s the only way, or even the best way, but I imagine that it would work. To say that the default UI is somehow more painful than a modified UI is a stretch, though – I don’t think the comfort level caused by one or the other is at all relevant to its teaching efficacy.

      Now, I use add-ons (as previously stated). I healed all the way up to and through heroics at 70 on the vanilla UI, though. I didn’t even know I could mod the interface until guildies started explaining Grid to me. So, for me, I feel that I got a lot of the environmental learning about how healing works already – I get to put it into work with add-ons in current content, as I don’t have to look to the timers on cooldowns often (they’re largely there as confirmations or, if I’ve been distracted by something heinous in an encounter, reminders). I also know that I can disable my add-ons and still play respectably well, which is crucial on big patch days if add-on authors are slow to update.

      I’m sorry to read all of this negative feedback, Codi. I, for one add-on using healer, am not offended by your approach. I’m glad you’re looking for new ways to expand and improve your healing repertoire. There’s been a lot of discussion on these topics on blogs I read, which led me here, but I’m not sure I understand what offended them so greatly. Then there’s arguments using flawed learning policies that I don’t understand (no feedback? dead bodies from screwing up aren’t feedback? dropping health bars aren’t feedback? showing feedback in a different format doesn’t remove the feedback…). I won’t say I’m tossing my add-ons out anytime soon, and I don’t think that’s the only or best way to learn more about healing, but I do believe it’s viable.

      In short: Kudos to you for trying something different. I’ll always be in support of experimentation and exploration of different approaches to the game. Even if it’s not an approach I’m gonna follow, having someone learn about it is an enrichment opportunity for all of us (admittedly only in that secondary, latent learning manner). If other healers are so insecure in their use of their add-ons, then I think they really do need to re-evaluate what they gain from them; I’m confident in mine.

  9. It’s nice that you don’t think add-ons make people bad players, but you are still saying that players that use add-ons are less knowledgeable about the game.

    You also state that add-ons make healers less methodical. While I think there is certainly a method to healing and rhythms to get into, healing is also reactive. Sure, going down each group casting rejuv x5 and WG on the melee can make internalizing your HoT timers quite easy. However, besides that method of healing being extremely dull, it doesn’t allow you any room to react to the unexpected or even react to damage patterns that don’t fit with that rotation.

    Do add-ons create dependence in healers? Possibly, but is being dependant on having relevant information presented to you in a clear manner a bad thing? When you have access to more information, you make better decisions, it’s quite straightforward.

    I believe you when you say you’re a good healer, but I don’t think your chosen play style makes you more knowledgeable than me.

    • The problem with this dependence is that using healing add-ons makes you dependent on having thing delivered to you in a -specific- way. Even switching from one add-on to another shows this. Also, all the information add-ons give is readily available in the base UI.

      • Your last statement is incorrect. There is information that addons can give you, such as the lag in your cast bars, that the default UI does not offer. And that’s just one thing I am listing, there are plenty of others.

        I am of the opinion that cast-lag is a very important thing for a healer to be aware of, since it allows you to start casting your next heal as soon as possible (offering more HPS) and also lets you know when you’re heals will actually land in contrast to when you’ve finished casting. With the default UI, there is no way to do this without some sort of addon supplying the information.

  10. Oh, and to this:

    All the insults to my skills in the comments gave me a chuckle.

    This, more than anything else, makes me really seriously doubt your abilities.

    The sheer frequency with which you state, categorically that you are an awesome healer, the absolute manner in which you dismiss the merest *suggestion* that you might maybe be able to improve your performance in any way makes me sincerely doubt that you have any self-analysis skills whatsoever.

    Which, y’know, is fine. And I’m not saying having no self-analysis skills makes you a bad healer. Just that it makes me very unwilling to accept your own assessment of how good a healer you are.

    • I absolutely have ways to improve! Heck, I’ve written/said many times that my raiding groups other healadin (Number Two, as I used to call him) is a far better healer than me. I’ve also written/said on several occasions how bad my “panic resistance” is and how I’d improve far more as a healer if I’d just take the time to PvP more. I’ll link where I did so, if you want me to.

      Also, if you’d like I’m more than willing to send you parses. I’d prefer not to post them on the public web, since I don’t have permission from the other people listed on them, but you can shoot me an email at leontheyal AT gmail DOT com and I’ll send them along. 🙂 I can totally understand needing concrete proof and I think being skeptical until given proof is an excellent idea.

      • I’ve got no idea what a healing log parse would even look like, I’m a DPSer by trade.

  11. “From my point of view, a person who has no choice but to internalize the timing on their Wild Growth is going to learn that timing in a far more visceral manner than someone who has a timer to tell him/her.”

    There’s a real life lesson that goes along with comments like this.

    In real life, you’re judged on results.

    If you’re the most knowledgeable person in the world on a subject through a lifetime of intense derivation and study, and somebody else develops the same solution as you through 20 minutes of googling straight to the conclusion, that other guy still won.

    And better yet, since that other guy took the more efficient route, he’s better lined up to do the same thing when the next problem comes along, while you’re stuck letting your HoTs fall off because they changed the spell duration and cooldowns and you have to re-learn all over again.

    Adaptability is more important that “visceral learning”. Results are more important than methodology.

    If you enjoy your methodology, that’s fine. It’s a game. By all means, enjoy yourself. If other people prefer skipping the intensive study and skipping straight to the game part, and an add-on lets them do that in such a way that they produce equal or better results than you, more power to them, I say.

    • “If you’re the most knowledgeable person in the world on a subject through a lifetime of intense derivation and study, and somebody else develops the same solution as you through 20 minutes of googling straight to the conclusion, that other guy still won.”

      I 100% disagree with this. A scientist who takes the time to prove a theory through work is a rather more reputable source than some guy who googles for it. Easier does -not- always mean better and the ends rarely justify the means.

      • The means usually don’t need to be justified.

        There is a place in the world for the scientists. But few do well in the real world when judging by the stereotypical definitions of success. My statement that you quoted is true in more than 99.99% of the cases. The guy with the big ideas can feel smug about his methods, and the guy that delivered the result is laughing his way to the bank. It is just the way the world works.

        You can, of course, have more respect for those people who start from scratch with everything. But most people are just going to ignore you or tell you you’re an idiot. To the vast majority of everybody, either the raid wiped, or it didn’t. Either you can adapt to the fight and prevent the repeat wipe, or you can’t. And the faster you can adapt the better.

    • Ah, this sounds like the decline of our society in a nutshell. When people prefer to focus on results rather than the reasoning for the results, everyone loses. Experimentation drops down, innovation drops down, and we’re left with a watered-down system that provides “the best throughput possible. period.”

      It is, in fact, faster to learn new cooldown times when you’ve learned some cooldown times already. For instance, timing out the additional few seconds on Pain Suppression compared to glyphed/talented Shield Wall is easy for me, add-on or no. Similarly, someone that’s dependent upon the internet to answer questions for him will be horribly ill-prepared for any off-line test or interview, or any innovation or extension of an open problem he encounters.

      It’s not about having the tools, or the internet. It’s knowing how to use them. Do you really think the researcher in a lab would work for hours on a problem without thoroughly researching it first? Why do you think every academic paper has several-dozen sources attached to it? We know how to use those tools, just as the people in industry do. What truly defines success, however, is the nuance of independent thought – being able to operate effectively without those tools, and knowing when they are not going to be useful.

      Do results matter? Of course they do. But if you can’t provide ample reasoning for your answer to the interview question of, “About how much energy is stored in a 9V battery, in Joules?” you’ll have a very hard time getting into a valuable industry position. There’s more to getting those results than just knowing how to use a search engine, and any industry or academic lead knows that; they wouldn’t be hiring anyone if that’s all there was to it, ’cause they can do that themselves.

      I guess you could say that Add-ons are in the same boat. They’re tools, and you can employ them or not. They may help your performance, but if you don’t know how to perform in the first place, then they’re useless. Likewise, if you find that you can perform better without those tools (too clunky, getting in the way, building dependencies you don’t like, or whatever), then there’s no need for them.

      All these accusations of Codi’s performance are fairly ridiculous, honestly. I can’t imagine that someone as engaged in the raiding scene would realistically let her performance jeopardize the success of her raid.

      • We’re going to have to agree to disagree, ’cause I don’t think I’m going to change your mind, but I’ll try.

        Of course I think you’re completely wrong.

        There is a huge difference between knowing how to derive something from scratch and doing it every time. No good scientist or engineer starts from scratch in their research unless there is a reason to question the foundation of their work. They take the proven results of their predecessors for granted.

        Sure, if you’re in an elementary physics class, you’ll calculate the force due to gravity yourself, and derive ohm’s law. But even those experiments are about teaching you how to learn, and not about the results themselves.

        You claim that when you’re focused on results innovation drops down. I claim the opposite. Focus on results drives innovation. Dwelling on that which is already known stifles innovation.

        The same goes for playing World of Warcraft. Focusing on strategies and tactics for the encounter you’re in or preparing for is a much better use of your time than figuring out how much expertise that new ring that just dropped is going to give you when somebody wrote an add-on that does the math for you already.

      • Wait a second. I don’t follow. I think we’re more on the same page than you realize, if what you’ve stated now is your belief.

        It is all about how to learn. It is all about getting passed the trivial “look ’em up, duh” elements to focus on the open problems, such as novel strategies for boss fights. I never said anything about deriving knowledge every time you need the value, did I? I certainly didn’t mean to. I even said myself that scientists take given work to support their novel research.

        So then, I think the only difference is that you believe add-ons are inherently part of the “look ’em up” elements. Or that, perhaps, you can’t focus on strategies and tactics while using your mouse and keyboard to heal on a default UI. Or maybe it’s grayer, where your performance might dip, while not crash and burn, because you’re being less efficient somehow.

        And you know what? I’ll agree with that. I can definitely see a dip in performance if your default UI places unit frames farther from center-screen, when clicking on them is necessary. I can see a dip in performance if you remove boss mods and, because you’re distracted, miss the defile warning and spread black death more than necessary. That’s why I will still use mine, and be confident in using them.

        However, I can also see those same add-ons being a detriment to performance when improperly used. I can see healbot covering up half of the screen so that, sure, every health bar is big and obvious, but the BP fireball that’s screaming towards your head is greatly obscured and – whoops – you didn’t kite in time. I have experienced boss mods warning of Shadow Traps landing in multiple locations at the same time, causing wide-spread panic and unnecessary shifting that could have been avoided if the MT had simply been calling out target-of-target switches when the spell is cast.

        Again, it’s not simply about having the tools, but knowing how to use them effectively. It is also, perhaps, about knowing when they are getting in the way or providing less-than-optimal information. If there is another way to gain that information (removing UI add-ons and instead focusing more on the information from bare combat logs or game environment indicators), and that way turns out to out-perform the approach you were using before, then you would consider that a viable approach, correct? In most cases, add-ons are going to help, I think, because they are inherently designed to “add on” to our performance in the game. I can also see that some players may find those add-ons actually detract from the gaming experience, though, and if their alternative performs properly, then I support that approach.

        Aside on results to innovation: I think it’s a two-sided coin. If your result is dying to a boss, or creating a product that doesn’t sell, you’ll innovate new strats and new products. If, however, you’re beating the boss “well enough,” or making a profit from your product, I’d argue that there’s far less motivation for innovation. The gaming experience is more binary, but I think there’s definite worth in refining even successful strategies so that your group is better-prepared for the harder challenges ahead, or unexpected RNG that just happens to chain ice-tombs on healers or something. In the market, though, Higher profits are always higher profits, so the drop-off in innovation will be slower.

      • You need a basic understanding of things to even do a passable job at searching for information. Sure, anybody can load up Google, but you’re not going to get meaningful results unless you know what to search for.

        Similarly, you’re not going to know how to use an add-on like Power Auras unless you understand how the game works. But the whole premise here was that having something pop up in the middle of the screen to tell you that Penance is off cooldown makes you a lesser player than simply practicing your rotation so that you have “visceral knowledge” of when it’s off cooldown.

        In all actuality, the guy who can quote the cooldowns to you in his sleep and refuses to use add-ons isn’t any better off than the guy who can configure an add-on to remind him when it’s time to use an ability and can react to that reminder quickly. My argument, however, was that the latter person is actually better off! Since game mechanics change all the time, and since things like haste change the timers just by getting a gear upgrade, that first guy needs to re-learn everything he knew, and the player with the add-on can just continue on his merry way playing as well as ever.

        I don’t think many people would argue that you can just install add-ons and become a good player. You need fairly in-depth knowledge of the game to even know which add-ons to install for what you’re doing. At the same time, very few people would argue that refusing to use add-ons makes you a better player. That’s what Codi has done, and it’s just plain stupid. It’s especially stupid, since there are things that are important to the game that plain aren’t exposed though the default UI. Sure, this isn’t as bad as it used to be, what with threat meters, and enhanced chat/log windows… But there is still stuff missing that you shouldn’t be ignoring if you want to be the best you can be.

  12. I 100% disagree with this. A scientist who takes the time to prove a theory through work is a rather more reputable source than some guy who googles for it

    Umm… he really isn’t.

    If I want to know the value of – say – the value of G – the universal gravitational constant, I could either do an experiment to work it out, or I could look it up on the internet.

    Looking it up on the internet would take me thirty seconds (I’ve just done it in fact) and would return a value of 6.67300 x 10^-11 m^3kg^-1s^-2.

    Doing the experiment would not only take longer but it would also give me a *less accurate value*.

    Now will doing the experiment teach me more about science? Certainly. That’s why every course I’ve ever taught has a strong practical component (although we don’t do the Cavendish Experiment because it’s fiendishly difficult). But it will absolutely *not* give me a better value for G.

    In this context “the internet” is a substantially more reputable source than any given scientist, because the internet allows you to check and cross-check multiple sources in *seconds*.

    • “If I have been able to see further than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.” – Sir. Isaac Newton

    • So… if there are two healadins who want to know the MP5 gained from INT (myself and Joe in this example), I would “lose” because I work the numbers out for myself and Joe just googles it, despite my having more knowledge on the matter and being able to explain -why- it works out the way it does. That just seems utterly illogical.

      • By the time you’re done doing the math he already has the answer and moved on to other things. And the answer is all that mattered.

        Let’s go back to your original example of timing your wild growth, though. Are you saying that because you have a deep understanding of the mechanics you’re better than the guy who just downloaded quartz and DoTTimers?

        Guess what. You’re not. Because there’s nothing in the default UI that gives you up-to-the-moment latency information, and his timing is *always* better than yours.

      • It depends on what you’re after.

        If what you want is good, clear information, then Joe is correct.

        Unless you think that you’re a better theorycrafter than *the whole of the EJs Paladin forums put together* then it is likely that Joe’s information will be as good as yours, if not better. It will have had multiple people all working on the answer, and the result they get will be a consensus. The fact that he “just” looked it up on the internet makes no difference to the *quality of the information*.

        Now if what you want to do is *develop your skills as a theorycrafter* then your method is correct, but in that case the *answer* doesn’t matter. And that’s sort of the point.

        To bring it back to raid healing. If you and Joe are both healing the raid, and he’s using addons and you aren’t, and your healing assignments die and his don’t then he *is getting better results than you*. The fact that you’re doing things in a manner you have decided is “correct” is beside the point. Joe, in this hypothetical example is doing a better job than you.

        And if you’re both doing equally well, you’re doing equally well, and there is *no additional merit* in your playstyle over his.

  13. Let me edit something for good measure, because I think one of the folks at Self-Righteous Orbs may have wrote one of his sentences incorrectly.

    “That’s alright, I’m not trying to have a discussion, I am trying to explain to you that people feel you have insulted them.”

    Ah, much better!

    Now, I didn’t want to take the road that most girls do with their friends and immediately defend them against people that may be conflicting with them, simply because we are friends and it may feel obligatory to do so.

    But there have been a number of people who have chimed in on this debate in a clear, level headed and fact based manner and there have also been those that are conflicted, misrepresented and clearly biased. And I will name names, because I’m catty like that.

    If you choose to feel a certain way about a statement that is made, that is YOUR choice. Nowhere in her mention of add-ons did it directly or explicitly say that people were less than or not good enough, for believing in add-ons. Many of the critics who felt offended acknowledged they FELT offended, not that SHE OFFENDED them. They chose to read a comment a certain way and take a comment a certain way. There is only so much of that reaction that Codi is responsible for. Oh and kudos to Leah, with her “Um, Codi made me feel this way and I know she didn’t mean it… but I still hate her!” Go get ‘em, tiger.

    If someone makes a comment about me or insinuates something about me that I know isn’t true, it doesn’t bother me BECAUSE I KNOW IT ISN’T TRUE. Why would it bother me otherwise? Now before anyone leaps on me, I use add-ons and I go into damn near panic attacks when I don’t have my VuhDo tuned exactly the way I like it. So let’s not go there and say that I think people are sub-par without add-ons, because I don’t. I love ’em! Just clearing that up.

    I can see how some people would feel that her statements indicated that a certain style or manner of healing could come with certain drawbacks. I’m not denying anyone that right to take a sentence or a paragraph a certain way. But the way a normal communication would go is a party states they feel offended or took something a certain way and they seek clarification. If the person accused of being the offender replies that they had no intention of offending said person, they then apologize and with a little more explanation, it’s enough to go forward. The offender has done their part to quell any negative feelings that may have been brought up. But the offended person chooses to keep feeling that. How far is Codi expected to go to make people feel better? Some people seemed to have taken her words to such an extreme that she had no chance of changing their minds and that’s THEIR issue, not HERS. THEY chose to take it so far that it couldn’t be explained or justified. THEY were going to believe what they wanted to and read into it what they did.

    And as for Self-Righteous Orbs, what exactly do you guys DO? I’ve scanned through at least 4 pages of your website and I have yet to see any real proof that you actually play this game. I’ve Armoried toon names and guild names that have come up and I have not found a single profile that matches the endeavors you say you have been through. There are respectable blogs out there that have a paper trail of sorts, to show their creators have some clout. You can see Matticus and his achievements, you can see Medicina’s toons, you can find Restokin, etc. You guys – not so much. You’re funny, you use big words, you’re from a European server. What else? As far as I’m concerned, you guys are the blogging equivalent of Ryan Seacrest. You can’t sing, you can’t act, you can’t dance – and you’re judging others? That makes a world of sense.

    • Well I’m not certain if your biggest logical failure is the appeal to authority (no-name bloggers from Europe, how could they possibly have a worthwhile opinion?) or the appeal to ridicule of “Self-Righteous Orbs”, but it is notable that Matticus has posted on the relevant thread on Righteous Orbs stating his agreement with their position.

      The implication that using addons in some way makes you weak (which is clearly discernible in the original post) is worthy of response, as are some of the less than convincing arguments subsequently offered in defence of this position. However, I’ve seen nothing more than spirited debate and ideas being attacked in the ongoing conversation, which makes your attack based on nationality and vocabulary come across as puerile.

      As it happens, the hair-shirt idea that using non-optimal tools like the standard UI somehow improves play is the same brand of nonsense that suggests that living without technology makes you more morally “pure”. If a better tool exists for a job, I’m going to use it. And if someone rejects that tool on philosophical grounds and then states they are better for it (and by extension, all users of the tool are less good), it seems entirely reasonable that they should be prepared to defend that position.

      This is how ideas are debated.

      • Now see, you did exactly what others did, when they read into Codi’s post in a possibly inaccurate and exaggerated fashion! Thank you!

        You chose to focus on the nationality aspect, because that’s what YOU wanted to see and elaborate on. Anyone else would see that it was one piece of a larger puzzle and stating they are on a European server and going “Blech, Europe.” /spit are two different things.

        That’s like the statement of “Your handle is Silvermute.” That’s a fact. It happened. Versus going “OMG, your name is Silvermute! Lame!” Do you see the distinction? One thing really happened and one thing you WANTED to have happen.

        Oh and ideas are debated based on facts. The FACT remains that you have to yet to prove that it was CLEARLY DISCERNIBLE that she said people were bad healers.

        Basically, possibly, sort of, could be seen as, perhaps, subtly – yes. Exactly, directly, factually, realistically, boldly – no.

    • I just want to point out that the act of feeling offended by reading the article that Codi has written is, in fact, feeling offended by her. They’re her words that are doing the offending, after all.

      I also want to say—This is Codi’s blog. She can say whatever she wants here, and her readers can react and respond accordingly. Whether or not it is a negative or positive reaction is not Codi’s business to change or censor. You can’t please everyone.

      Codi: You have repeatedly stated that you don’t think healers who use addons are bad healers, however you respond to every comment with a counter-arguement about why your method is better. Having a method of healing that you consider superior to others does imply that you believe healers who use addons are not as good as you because they use addons. This point is especially noticible when you say that people become “less methodical” and “less knowledgable” about the game and their healing class because of the use of addons. A “less methodical” and “less knowledgable” healer sounds, to me, like an inferior healer.

      Oestrus: Tam & Chas are very intelligent bloggers and I’ve enjoyed reading their blog very much. I link to them from Divine Aegis, in the side bar. Tam is a priest healer, and Chas is a paladin tank/dps. They do, in fact, play the game. There are countless screenshots and addon guides in their blog that would prove so.

      • The act of feeling offended by something and the act of someone actively offending you are two different things.

        For example, you have a priest picture as your avatar. I could say “I feel like Lilith doesn’t think other classes are good enough to have as a Gravatar.” (I don’t, by the way) That’s my interpretation of something you have done. Did you really sit up all night and go through Gravatar photos, to choose that one, to make me feel that way? Of course not.

        I feel that Codi made enough of an attempt to try and state that she did not feel the way others felt about her words. I feel certain people went into this with their minds already made up and no amount of conversation or debate was going to change that. I feel certain people didn’t remotely approach the situation in a diplomatic fashion and instead went with guns blazing and charged into the situation in an ignorant and short-sighted fashion.

        I agree that you can’t please everyone. How much pause should we take in the things we do and say? No matter how much you prepare a statement or overanalyze something before you do it, someone is not going to like it. It’s how they go about seeking clarification or trying to remedy those feelings that I think determines the bigger outcome. I saw a lot of potential for a just as intense, but healthy discussion and instead it turned into something very personal, destructive and confusing and I don’t feel it really had to turn out that way.

      • It’s an argument of perception vs intention—it never matters what you intended to do, people’s perception of what you do is going to influence their reaction. Then whether or not they believe that your original intention was opposite of their perception or not is up to them.

        (Also I just realized I’ve been mistakenly posting as “Erica,” my bad. My character’s name is “Lilitharien.” :P)

      • For Erica, regarding Codi’s defenses: It’s worth noting that many of her responses are in defense of her choice. the last bits about being “less methodical or knowledgeable” from the original post are, indeed, easily interpreted as implying poorer performance. However, her response-comments are primarily focused on rebutting arguments about how her approach is, in fact, the inferior one.

        I don’t think the debate could ever be “these add-ons and vanilla UI are the same” versus “add-ons are better than vanilla UI,” as they clearly are different in some way. So, her arguing about the merits of vanilla UI are necessary for there to be any legitimate argument. My interpretation was simply that “you aren’t a bad person or player for using add-ons, but there’s something more to be gained from trying the game without them.” It isn’t that you’re inherently “less knowledgeable,” but rather that you “gain less potential knowledge” when you let the add-ons do the work for you.

        And that’s only if you’re letting the add-ons do the work for you, which I know many raiders don’t. Oh, what, Penance is off CD? But I already knew that; thanks for the reminder. I may never have learned how to time out Penances on single-target healing if I’d solely depended on an add-on to flash my screen, to which I build a conditioned response to hit the button. But by simply having a small flag come up, I can know that there’s a reminder for when I’m distracted while still having my internal clock track the time for me most of the time.

    • I know you’re kind of having a go at us here, but I just wanted to say that I thought “Self-Righteous Orbs” was kinda funny.

      • And hey, I enjoy your blog – lol

        As a whole, you’re not bad guys. I do feel that you write well written and lengthy posts that cover a wide variety of subjects and you obviously have some grasp of the game. Personally, I would love to see more of you guys, behind the scenes. I’d like to see the Armory profile, the achievements, etc. I would feel it would give you more of a voice or some more relateable ground, than what you have now. But that’s just me. That’s how I feel.

        I also feel that you guys may have initially handled something poorly and it could have gone in a very different direction, had certain courtesies been extended and I’m not afraid to say that I enjoy one side of your opinions and the way you carry yourselves and not necessarily another side.

        It doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” proposition. I don’t “hate” you guys or your blog, but I differ on one issue and that’s that.

  14. Perceptions and interpretations

    After reading the post on default UI healing I thought it was an interesting method for healing. Blizzard does gives us a default UI and (although I might be assuming incorrectly) I don’t believe the developers would have created the UI if it were not usable. Usable in the definition of it not hindering the players actions and the ability of the healer to effective heal a raid.

    I’ve been disappointed that several commentors seems to focus on stating the Codi believes people who use add-ons are bad healers. Seems more like a comment about the person than the game. Perhaps I’m a bit more thick-skinned that others, but I never came away from the post with sense that I was being reprimanded for using my addons. Nor was I left with the impression that I was a bad healer, being looked down upon, being condescended to, or thought of as a bad healer. I took away from the post that she personally has found not using add-ons to be a benefit to her personal healing style and was sharing the knowledge gained from this experience.

    Her posts have stated, clearly, that she does not believe this. “I do not believe using healing add-ons makes you a bad healer.” So, I really don’t think she believes add-ons make bad healers. (let me know if I’m putting to much of an artistic spin on your words Codi) Even if she did, what would it matter to those who think she does? I’ve not read rants from her on the blizz forums, not had any interruptions in my vent from zealot add-on haters, and no one knocking on my door in the middle of the raid to force me to turn my add-ons off. You already have your play style. If you’re so threatened by the post that you decide to tell a person you know what they believe inside their own mind….then perhaps you’re just scared of playing without your add-ons. I, for my part, will try using the default UI to heal. Who knows, I might learn something from the experience. 🙂

    Replace ‘suffering’ with ‘experience.’

    At least, that is how I interpreted the point of her comment. Perhaps the use of suffer was inexact (of course I’m putting words in your mouth here Codi, correct me if I’m wrong) but more experience is better than less. I don’t believe I know of guild (although there seem to be some pretty awesome healers out there) who has one-shot the Lich King on the first try. Smacking your virtual tush on that encounter will increase your skill level better than just watching the videos.

    Googling and Figuring

    If you want a quick answer and rely on outside sources for all your information. Google.
    If you want to try and better yourself, exercise your own mental muscles. Figure it out.
    There is a place and time for both.
    I’m biased toward figuring.

    Now for the real question, do add-ons make someone a better/worse player?

    I don’t know. But perhaps we can all agree (I’m hoping for a miracle here) that good players should have 1) Knowledge of their class and mechanics. 2) Knowledge of the encounter and its mechanics. 3) Ability to use the knowledge effectively during the encounter. If an add-on assists a person with one of the areas, I’d say it is helpful. If not, then no. Simplistic analysis, yes. (And I’m sure someone’s going rip this part up and type words with my fingers.) It comes back to the ambitions and goals of the individual. Do addons help or hinder? My penny’s worth of advice is to find out for yourself.

    And now for Superhero Dancers.

  15. I want to point out something that I don’t believe has been discussed much yet in this whole thing, and that’s the effect healing addons have on new healers.

    I remember my early raiding career quite well, and when I look back on it a lot of what I remember is feeling totally bewildered and panicked. At the time I played a mage in a Not Terribly Great 10man guild. It was earlyish Wrath and Naxx was hard for us, mainly because… well, a lot of the people there just didn’t know what they were doing that well. (Myself included.) But we read strats and kept going and eventually made it to Sapphiron, only to find that the only person capable of dispelling her curse was this horrible noob mage.

    I was really terrible at it at first. Unused to paying attention to the party frames, it would invariably take me a few seconds to hunt down the right person to decurse, and after a few failed decurses due to range issues, I began trying to run over to the person to make sure I was in range. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very good at telling who was who in the heat of battle so this mostly ended up with me running around like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off. Further problems were caused by the mouseover macro I’d dug up in preparation for the encounter – I wasn’t always hovering exactly on the target. Also, I had a really hard time seeing whether or not I’d successfully removed the curse after casting, so I spent a lot of unnecessary time spamming my dispel and hoping to god I’d got it right. Needless to say, the boss got healed a lot, and I did approximately crap for dps.

    The next raid night, after being yelled at by the raid leader, I was running Decursive, and the whole thing was a lot smoother. We got the kill, and I felt like we had accomplished something. The previous night I’d felt like a horrible baddie, the sole cause of several hours of wipes. Not to mention, I’d been terribly panicked the whole time on our first night, and panic doesn’t make for good performance. I had overcompensated a lot because I was so flustered, and couldn’t see the necessary information easily. Decursive let me see what I needed to see, respond to it more quickly, and then resume the pewpew. But more importantly, it made the task I’d been assigned a lot less frightening. ‘This isn’t so bad,’ I thought. ‘I can do this.’

    I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that an essential part of BECOMING a skilled raider is gaining confidence in your abilities. If it hadn’t been for Decursive, I might have hung up my raiding hat right there, but I didn’t – I stuck with it, continually building my skills as a player and improving my performance. It’s easy, I think, for experienced healers to forget what noob healing feels like, but healing a raid for the first time is scary. You go in not knowing what to expect, convinced you will suck, and just generally unfamiliar with how healing and incoming damage work in raid situations. No amount of healing 5-mans will prepare you for the frustration of trying to figure out how you’re supposed to heal with other healers in the group, and the ability to see incoming heals on players, who’s in range, and who has aggro really helps to make it more intuitive. You could argue that’s a crutch (I would disagree with you), but I feel the limitations of the default UI do more to discourage people from healing at all than they do to force people to improve. I personally know a healer who are perfectly good in a 5-man with the default UI, and furthermore is a thoughtful person who pays attention to what’s going on, but the first few raids she ran she panicked, and wrote raiding off entirely. She did not have an addon to tell her ‘This isn’t so bad, you can do this.’

    Anyway, great healers aren’t born, they’re bred, and the default UI doesn’t breed them well in my opinion. It’s fine to talk about forcing yourself to internalize everything when you’re experienced and confident, but that’s a hell of a lot to take in for scared newbies.

  16. In the spirit of all the anonymous hatred this thing has spawned:

    “You want… this… don’t you? The hate is swelling in you now. Take your Shadowmourne. Use it. I am unarmed. Strike me down with it. Give in to your anger. With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant.”

    A little levity is sorely needed here.

    • A little late to the game, but so be it.

      I’m with our author on this one. I have been playing for years and I run the following add-ons.

      Deadly Boss Mods

      I run default UI. Then and again I’m not a healer. Although I have healed (mostly on my disc priest, not my Paladin). I tank primarily. Running 969 as a paladin tank is easy and mostly muscle memory at this point.

      That doesn’t make my way right or wrong, but just different.

      I read the articals (both of them)- and found them interesting. I always believed that a healer could operate without add-ins. I’ve done it myself on a far easier playing field (10 man normal mode…tear). Our author did so in hard modes. I’m impressed.

      I’m also of the belief that there is a a higher level of skill required to play without add-ins. What do add-ins do? – they make things easier. By definition if you can put out the same amount of performance without tools that are designed to make things easier, I would indeed say you are more skilled. Or at least able to better demonstrate that skill. Sure, those that do use these tools may indeed be equally skilled if their personal UI was taken away. But the only way to measure that would be get them to stop using their UI or to break all current 3rd party UI’s and that isn’t in Blizzards interest.

      However, I believe what the author was getting at is that it simply takes a higher level of play to get equal performance without add-ins. And that is hard to argue.

      DBM makes boss fights easier. I use it. I’d love to play without it – but it has some timers and warnings that make things easier. Key word – easier. When I am raid lead its neccessary to know the status of the raid as well as do your job so I need DBM to let me know if I’m debuffed and did not notice it. But I am skilled enough to play without any other add-ins for my role.

      I just wanted to put in my two cents as it seemed like a few of the commenters were a bit sensitive about this topic and wanted to let the author know that she is not alone in her beliefs.

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