Now finally, probably the thorniest area here, Addons. This is one that we're still actually figuring out and we welcome discussion with the community and Addon authors. Way back in 2005-2006, Addons could do some things that they can't do today, some very powerful things like making intelligent decisions regarding spell casting, spell selection, targeting, and cancelling your casts if they weren't going to be effective. That functionality was removed in the Burning Crusade expansion.
Now using modern author knowledge and the overall sophistication of the community combined with that old toolset, you could pretty much write Addons or macros that could automate playing your class where you just push the same button over and over again, and it does your rotation perfectly, it picks the right targets, and so forth. That's something that we feel is antithetical to the Spirit of World of Warcraft, whether it was in 2005, or today. So, those functions will not be available in the modern UI.
On the other end of the spectrum, there's stuff that's been added to the UI API since then that allows for the creation of Addons that communicate with each other and can be used to create social networks within the game. We're actually kind of suspicious of these and skeptical about the possibility of Addons reproducing some of the functionality that we've deliberately removed from Classic that we feel could be harmful to the authentic experience and we know that once it's out there, saying just don't use it if you don't want it isn't good enough, because it will start to become part of the fabric. So, we may be restricting some of those new things, as well. We're likely going to find some middle ground, that combines the old and the new here, with a goal toward making sure that the vast majority of the Addons that people know and expect function with the goal of an authentic experience.
We’ve been closely following the community discussion around this add-on for WoW Classic, as well as analyzing it to make sure we understand how it works. After careful examination, we believe the nature of ClassicLFG is incompatible with our social design for Classic. Thus, in an upcoming patch (in the weeks following launch), we will be adding restrictions to the Classic add-on API that will significantly limit this add-on and others like it.
In line with what we shared at BlizzCon last year, we intend to be very careful about allowing add-on functionality that might undermine aspects of the social dynamics that are core to the Classic experience, even in cases like this where it’s clear that the addon author had no ill intent and was simply trying to provide a service to the Classic community. Ultimately, if a streamlined group-finding system was something we considered compatible with Classic, we would have kept the modern Premade Group Finder tool rather than choosing to remove it from the Classic client.
It’s difficult to articulate a clear-cut rule for exactly when an add-on crosses the line. However, when an add-on goes beyond presenting information or providing aesthetic customization, and attempts to create an interconnected social network that relies on other players also using that same add-on, we are likely to scrutinize it particularly closely.
World of Warcraft is a game built on community. There are hundreds of other players from around the world playing this game alongside you, and interacting with them is as much a part of the game as hunting monsters and finding treasure. You can talk to other players through chat or in-game mail. You can trade with other players through the trade channel or auction houses. You can also group with other players for help and company on quests. For more lasting relationships with the community, you can also form in-game friendships and join a guild.