Blizzard’s new add-on policy.

Gee, thanks Blizzard.  Thanks so much.

Link to the new policy.

Why did you make this move?  Did you feel threatened by folks doing stuff for the mere joy of it?  Are you planning RMT add-ons of your own to generate more revenue?  And the add-on making community comes up with better stuff than your in-house crew?  What’s up with annoying a volunteer community?

Sure, some charge for “premium” versions.  So what.  Some have little reminders at log-on that they’d sure appreciate it if you’d look their way, send some kind of thanks, paypal link included.  So what.  Do you expect Ford Motor Corporation is going to prohibit Earl Scheib from painting your old Ford for $99.99?  No way.  What do they care who paints a care they’ve made?  They’ve made their money.  Let Earl Scheib make his.

I don’t pay a penny for any add-on I use.  I’ve made remarks about them here and there.  That’s about it.  I don’t think anyone should expect to make a living making WoW add-ons.  And if they do, great for them.

I, all of us who use add-ons, should give a HUGE shout-out to everyone out there making add-ons that make this game what it is.


Outfitter, RIP (unless you find it via Google).  I liked Outfitter.  It’s one of my more essential add-ons.  It’s probably the most important one actually.  Yeah, color me enraged when it not only got removed from WoWInterface, it actually got removed from my own system without me knowing it. I complained.  I found the file elsewhere.  So I’m good to go.

I appreciate the add-on authors position, and I can even understand the move he made.

And I bet the old Outfitter will still be superior to Blizzard’s ingame, with 3.1, equipment manager.

It’s just an odd move on Blizzard’s part.  And when folks start making odd moves, something’s usually afoot.


About Kinless

Gamer. Engineer. Lived lots of places.
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13 Responses to Blizzard’s new add-on policy.

  1. Jacob says:

    I don’t understand – is there some relation between your comments about an addon policy at the top of this post, and talking about Outfitter at the bottom?

    Glancing at the addon policy, it doesn’t look too bad. Blizzard is trying to give itself more structured rules around acceptable addons, which can be troublesome if there are addons that exist right near the line that Blizzard is trying to draw.

  2. Kinless says:

    Sorry, I couldn’t find a font size so I used Heading and it cut my post into two. Now it’s just back to an all caps THANKS.

    It’s one post. The author behind Outfitter withdraw it after Blizzard made a big fuss about folks asking for donations or charging for premium versions. As far as I remember this author did neither.

    Nobody was forced to use an add-on, or worse, forced to buy it, to play. Why did Blizzard, after four years of add-ons, implement this policy just now?

  3. Jacob says:

    Thanks for the clarification. “Outfitter has been withdrawn by its author” is the piece I was missing.

  4. John says:

    I added an explanation to Outfitter’s page on WoWI about the dummy download file and also included instructions for getting the current version. Sorry for the confusion, my intention was to remove the download from the site, not to cause it to be removed from existing user’s machines.

  5. Kinless says:

    I saw the long discussion on Outfitter’s WoWUI page. Makes sense how it all went down. I did manage to grab a current (not too current!) file via Google. I know you’re offering copies to folks who e-mail you, or you were. Have you otherwise stopped development now?

    I know my old Guild came to rely on Group Calendar as well. GEM was clunky, and Blizzard’s in-game calendar, wasn’t nearly as good as the add-on developers offerings like your GC.

    Both of your add-ons did add value to the game, making it far more user friendly to play. From guild management to gear management. They’ll be missed.

  6. John says:

    Developing software is my passion and I’ll continue to work on Outfitter, Group Calendar and my lesser addons until the day I stop playing WoW. My hope at this point is that Blizzard will have something positive/constructive to say when they return to work tomorrow and we can all go back to just having fun and waiting in anticipation of Ulduar. Otherwise, my plan is to modify my site to offer the downloads to friends and family. There are so many users (many of whom have made themselves known in the forums lately) who just use and abuse authors as though their work is trivial and worthless and I just can’t reconcile supporting players like that while Blizzard adopts policies which, in my mind, encourages that view.

    Outfitter 4.5 is completed and ready for release by the way. It augments the game’s item comparison tooltips to include gear from your other outfits — nice for classes that have multiple sets of gear for offspecs and such when deciding, for example, whether that cloak that dropped would be an upgrade for their healing set. It also fixes the longstanding bug with not finding crafted ammo reliably (Mammoth Cutters, etc.). Use the Contact link on wobbleworks to request a copy if you wish.

    I look forward to Blizzard resolving this and, if they won’t/can’t, I look forward to having more time to spend on other projects 😉

  7. MIster EDgAr says:

    “Sure, some charge for “premium” versions. So what. ”

    So what!? Seriously! You’re joking right!? I mean if you can’t even understand what is wrong here.. Are you living in some sort of socialist third world country or somethin?

    “I, all of us who use add-ons, should give a HUGE shout-out to everyone out there making add-ons that make this game what it is.”

    I do but mine don’t go out in paypal form and never will and if the only reason for you to make an addon is to get my money you can take a walk.

    “And when folks start making odd moves, something’s usually afoot.”

    Nah. That’s just a saying to end a post that as no basis or any proof to it.

    Kinless, “Nobody was forced to use an add-on”

    You forgot the part about nobody forcing the developers to upload the addon on a publicly accessible server.

    John, by ” look forward to Blizzard resolving this” you obviously mean them seeing things your way while you’re whinnying and kicking and absolutely not trying to understand why they did it. That’s what you mean right?!

    “Developing software is my passion”

    Unless you’re not getting $$ out of it, obviously!

    Congrats! You’ve just gain a lot of free time!

    Always makes me laugh when something change and the cheeple start to panic.

    You addon developers do know that a lot of large open source project are going on without them begging for money from their users?


  8. Kinless says:

    I think you contradicted yourself in your first thought Edgar. I’m not living in a socialist country, and that’s the point. Folks are free to charge, or not, and folks are free to buy, or not.

    Are folks not free to write Warcraft stories? But Blizzard owns the lore, no? So if you write a Warcraft story, and sell it, you’re making money off Blizzard property. Unless Blizzard gets a cut of the author’s sales. Like off Knaak’s Day of the Dragon. Is that the case? Perhaps. Blizzard’s free to charge, and folks are free to buy the right to use the lore. (Maybe Blizzard simply permits an author to use it’s lore, and then they’re free to charge. I’m not sure how the franchised novel industry works.)

    But what about fan fiction? Will Blizzard issue a “cease and desist” if someone publishes fan fiction? The difference lies in whether or not they sell it I suppose.

    If they treat stories like add-ons, then author’s could freely give their work away, but could never suggest a charge or cost to read the story.

    All that said, perhaps it is similar. Blizzard owns the rights to the lore, or the game engine, and anyone using it to earn money with it, must pay Blizzard a royalty, or at least get it’s permission. Or comply with conditions.

    Royalties off books is easy. Off virally distributed add-ons, I think I’m using that term right, would be much, much more difficult to control.

    Similarly, Warcraft Machina. You can probably give it away for free, but you’d not be able to charge for it.

    Now folks simply taking to turn around and sell something, and not paying for the right, or permitted, to do so, and here’s where I can see your point but disagree with your “socialist” designation, that would be kind of anarchic. The Chinese do it, like pirating movies and selling the CD’s for $2.00 at thousands of flea markets across the developing world, but that’s simply illegal, not socialist.

    So Blizzard allows fan fiction, machina, and add-ons, but only if you don’t charge for it.

    And there’s permissions, rights, and all that that could be given if Blizzard were asked and gave it.

    I can see that point now after giving it further thought.

  9. Game Dame says:

    I think Kinless means “machinima,” or machine cinema (movies made by gamers with a game’s animation engine). Although I think Edgar’s comment is inflammatory and self-impressed, I tend to agree that the new Blizzard policy doesn’t sound bad to me at all. None of their intellectual property should be used to make money for other parties. This policy is just like any other massive, fan-participatory brand: Disney, Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc. Pretty standard stuff. Having said all that in defense of what currently is the case, I will take on the “socialist” comment and smack it down. (BTW, why is “socialism” the new evil label? Most people don’t even understand what it means. Or how much US policies have been similar to some of these ideas for decades.) I will ask Edgar if he’s ever used YouTube or Flickr or listened to rap or enjoyed any other mashup-style art form? The day is coming (or has already passed) when we must look differently at intellectual property in the digital age. The music industry, as an example, is fighting it kicking and screaming — and flaming out as a result. We saw the same kind of upheaval when recordable videotape came out. The movie industry was all freaked out that people would be stealing movies by taping them off TV. With the advent of Tivo and DVRs, that idea seems kind of quaint, doesn’t it? In 10 years, this cry of “socialism” as it relates to intellectual property will also seem antiquated.

  10. Saylah says:

    I don’t think Blizzard should have done this to a community that has be very loyal to their game. Quite frankly, anyone who doesn’t want to be spammed for donations by an add-on SHOULD STOP USING THAT F’G ADD-ON. I don’t even play WOW anymore and excuse the caps.

    No one makes you use someone’s add-on. You’re free to make one for yer damn selves if someone is spamming you with ads in the one you use. And there are so MANY add-ons for WOW, that you could choose a substitute – aka find a different one. If that’ doesn’t work then guess what, use the game the way Blizzard shipped it why dontcha?

    There was a time when you had to use the auto-curse downloader for the add-ons on that site. I didn’t like that idea so guess what? I refused to download anything from Curse. I used another source. Now they offer and option and so I use them. It’s free right? It was their business to distribute the files however they freakin’ wanted to. I didn’t like “how” so I didn’t use them.

    It really is as simple as players not downloading or using mods that are doing things you don’t like. The fact that there is an issue, where people feel they must use add-ons that they might not particularly care for, for some reason or another, shows that there is A HUGE DEFICIENCY IN WOW’S CORE INTERFACE. ‘Nuf said. Is it because there are millions whining that it rises to the level of interfering with how people providing source code apps do business. i wonder what would happen if that community banded together and took all the add-ons down. yeah, i bet that would be fun. LOL

  11. Kinless says:

    “I wonder what would happen if that community banded together and took all the add-ons down. yeah, i bet that would be fun.”

    Noooooooooooo! 🙂

  12. justME says:

    You realy have no clue of what is going on do you? the now policy was made because addons like…

    QuestHelper: ENCRYPTS data that the author expects you to send back to him…. WTF is he encrypting for anyways???

    Carbonite: Has a so called flith detection built in. allowing you to find the other faction. it will even go as far to SHOW you where they are if both parties are useing the addon (PvP Killer)..

    as for donations. they should not show up ingame. just like gold spam.

  13. kraelen says:

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with these developers asking for donations. You aren’t required to give anything to access these addons. Blizzard isn’t getting proceeds from these addons and that is why they made this move. These addons do not infringe on property rights either. Do you think the guy that made the chip clip pays frito lay royalties? It is a simple matter of blizzard wanting to corner the addon market in the future. Nothing more, nothing less…

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