June 6, 2005

Legal radar for WoW?

Legal radar for World of Warcraft or UI mod over the edge? That is the focus of this morning’s talking points memo. Sorry, I am a Bill O’Reilly watcher.

Now, I do not condone the use of hacks or cheats in any games I play. Also, I do not support any links to such materials. However, this is the grey area between UI mod and cheat that WoW gamers are quickly becoming unsure of.

The UI mod in question, which cycles through all targets around a player and then populates their mini-map with dots that, is firmly in this grey area. If an enemy is within targeting range, then they can be displayed and tracked on a player's mini-map. Is this considered a legal form of radar? For the moment, it seems that it is.

I do not have much programming talent, or knowledge on the inner workings of this mod, but I only see two possible reactions (fixes) from Blizzard.

1. Remove the ability for a UI mod to track distance and direction between a player and their target. Distance is a core tool in many UI mods. It lets players know when a target is in range for any number of abilities. I don’t see how this could be removed without causing more problems than it is worth.

2. Remove the ability for a UI mod to display self-updating dots on the mini-map. This would not hurt many useful UI mods that display information on the mini map, but would have a negative effect on this "legal radar". However, what effect would it have on hunters?

I hope that I am completely wrong about the fixes, but I will leave it in Blizzard’s capable hands. I say capable assuming that they can and will stop this mod from working.

And that’s the memo.

Update: 4 Nov, 2007 - Edited post and applied labels.
NOTE: I've long since given up watching Mr. O'Reilly. Cable news sucks.