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Elder Scrolls Online Podcast: TESOCast – Ep 44 – Bare Essentials

Elder Scrolls Online Podcast: TESOCast – Ep 44 – Bare Essentials

In this Episode, we ask whether Add-Ons are really capable of ruining ESO, and who better to ask but one of the creators of the recently demonized UI Mods, Andrew of Tamriel Foundry! Listen in as Ethan attempts to mockingly Godwin, Road tries to understand the outrage, and Andrew defends his project. But that’s not all. At the closing of the show, we have plenty of shout outs to go around!

In the News:


Finally, I’d like to thank everyone for listening in over the course of the last year! Here’s to another great year, the launch of the game, and many more awesome conversations to come.


About Road

I am the Anonymous Talking Head of Twonk Hammer Entertainment with a lust for video games, and podcasting about them.

One comment

  1. You guys really should have gotten someone on who was able to talk about the problems with the current API and why people want the API changed. Warning, this will be a long read:

    You discussed the far end of the spectrum, people who want all add-ons banned. There are also people who are attacking the add-on creators. There are people who think addons like this something to do with botting. These people are not representative views of those majority who dislike what is currently possible within the API, and specifically what they have seen with FTC.

    Atropos is right that the functions of FTC are not more intrusive than the UI options of most MMOs out there. That is part of the problem though. That the add-on basically makes ESO play like World of Warcraft. The larger TES crowd wanted this game to play and act like a TES game, where instead of playing “let’s watch the UI” you were forced to watch enemy animations. There was a PCGamer interview where the devs have said their game would NOT have a castbar, that they were against it, that you would have to watch for animation cues. This appealed to people following the game. There are interviews where the devs have said they don’t want you basing combat around your screen of timers. The fact that these add-ons are allowed even in testing is worrisome to the people this game was designed to appeal to. We’ve played many MMOs, we want something that plays and looks different from them. ZOS did a good job there until they counteracted all their work and allowed the API to remain so open. Most of us are not mad at Atropos, we just want ZOS to slim their API.

    I’m not even against most of what FTC is allowed to display at the moment. I’ve played with it, used it in PvP. I like seeing buff/debuff indicators complete with text on screen for what is effecting my character. I want to know if I’m bleeding or poisoned, etc. I like seeing health totals. I like being able to see my debuffs hit a target and being able to track how long the debuff will be on the target so I know when I have to reapply. I like the DPS/HPS tracking, which is what is proving helpful in beta testing. But there is so much that this add-on allows beyond that.

    FTC allows you to see your enemy’s class at a glance, out of combat. It allows you to see when someone has the debuffs indicating they are a werewolf or vampire. Obviously most people don’t like seeing their target’s stamina and magicka, that one is proving controversial. It lets you see buffs/debuffs that you are not responsible for tracking/reapplying. The gameplay advantage is obvious, as Atropos admitted. When there is an obvious and admitted gameplay advantage to using a mod, saying “don’t use it if you don’t want it” to a competitive PvP crowd makes no sense. You are forced to use this add-on because it is that good. It fundamentally changes the design of the game because you see what class your enemy is out of combat and can hotswap abilities to counter them, and other addons let you do this with both gearsets and actionbars at the push of a button. You see that they are a werewolf and have time to switch to their fighters guild abilities before you attack.

    So then you might say: “everyone uses it to level the playing field. It isn’t unfair when everyone is using it,” but this issue is only half about fairness. They could throw the info in the base UI. I hate this option as well. The game will be dramatically different than the game that was advertised to us, it will be WoW with a TES setting. It already plays like that with the addon. It is a different game. It is the difference between playing a Trading Card Game knowing what is in your opponents deck, vs being forced to fight a random opponent and having to think on your feet as you see their cards form. It is like a round of Texas Hold’um where everyone plays with their hand up, showing off their cards. It takes all the mystery and surprise out of the combat.

    People call those of us wanting the information limited “bad players.” In reality, the lack of all the additional information raises the skill cap. It forces the player to learn cast animations and think about how much stamina-based abilities their enemy might be using like dodges and blocks. The lack of all this information requires the player to think on their feet when their enemy reveals their class or if they are a vampire/werewolf. There is just a greater learning curve when there is more for the player to learn. That raises the skill gap between new and veteran players. Essentially, a campaign without add-ons would be like playing the game on hardcore settings. All your little screen helpers are gone.

    When these addons are used because of their combat advantage, people start to require them of each-other in group play. New content is deemed trivial and game balance is based around people who have certain add-ons, which only reinforces the need for a player to download it. Warcraft experienced this problem of having to balance new raid content around the assumption raiders were using certain raid add-ons. It starts to make the add-on less an advantage and more a necessity. ZOS can avoid this problem at the start by having the balls to restrict the API now, before launch.

    Of course, I don’t want that. I love add-ons. I just want to play a TES game and not be at a disadvantage if I decide to not play WoW.

    No hard feelings towards Hitle…errrr Atropos. It isn’t his fault. It is up to ZOS to return to their original vision for this game. The game has changed a lot in the past year, but all the big changes have been about making this MMO play more like a TES game than the WoW-esk UI whack-a-mole the genre as a whole is now. The developers listen when we tell them here is too much MMO in ESO. Opening up the starting zones, adding first-person and collision detection, raiding focused around crowds rather than massive god-bosses, public dungeons, the lack of cooldowns and castbars, the lack of rotations. This game was made to be different than what other MMOs are doing. There are so many WoW-clones people could be playing if they want FTC that badly.


    I choose to take the recent ZOS response to the add-on discussion positively for now. People act like there is nothing of substance in their words, but there are a few things. They told us that the API was only as open as it is for testing purposes. They told us we can expect that to change before launch. I don’t see a way to read that other than ZOS planning to tighten up the API and remove some of TFC’s functionality.

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