Addons and UI Alterations, or a modification-free interface?
Planetside 2 recently announced that they would not be permitting any modifications to their standard UI, an attitude that is echoed by Guild Wars 2. World of Warcraft, conversely, has always had a far more permissive attitude towards UI modifications.
But which is the better approach? Standardized interfaces certainly make for more stable gameplay, the developers have designed the interface around the game, its changes and capabilities, while a third party, although likely very competent, will never have quite the level of information available to an in-house team. As regular players of World of Warcraft will no doubt recall, patches or expansions navigated with addons can cause huge problems with gameplay.
What’s more, given that addon authors are often, though not always, creating and maintaining their addons for no profit, other parts of their life can get in the way of regular updates. What’s more, addon authors can sometimes lose interest in the game altogether. It’s a dangerous game indeed to rely too heavily on one addon, such as many players did on addons such as WoW’s Carbonite.
But on the plus side, isn’t it a good thing for players to be able to play the way they want to? If you’re a regular player of Guild Wars 2, or of Planetside 2, do you wish you could modify your interface? What would you change?
Do you think it’s best to allow addons, or for developers to keep control of a game’s interface?