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.