Extra Life

Extra Life
The Burnt-out Crusade

Greg Tito | 1 May 2007 12:02
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The commandeering of another author's mods is a common practice in the community. If the original author burns out, it's likely another will pick up the code and start squashing bugs. For example, there was huge fallout after WoW 2.0. "I have picked up two add-ons that were abandoned by other authors. Specifically, I think it was the 2.0 API changes that really pushed them to the edge," Shirik, co-author of RDX.cid, said.

Most authors allow and even expect other writers to review their code for memory leaks or inefficiency. The Ace community grew specifically with this purpose in mind. Ace is a common set of libraries a large group of mods share in order to conserve memory resources. Since so many mods rely on it to function, the people working with Ace have become a tight-knit network.

Having such a community has helped burnt out authors get back to coding. Nymbia wrote a very popular mod called, imaginatively, Nymbia's Perl Unitframes, but the notorious commenters on Curse.com soon overwhelmed him. "The feature requests and bug reports piled up too high when I had too much real life stuff on my hands, I stopped writing publicly-released addons for a solid year," he said. "Things have been much more easy to handle this time around, in large part thanks to [the Ace] community."

In the past, Lozareth wouldn't allow anyone else to modify his code, but recently his thick candy shell has begun to crack. He has become more of a presence on his forums, creating a tiered moderator system and posting joke threads entitled "I suck. Discuss." He has offered links to .zips of his code on the forum, both for transparency and evidence that he is in fact working on it. He sees others as resources and inspiration instead of as threats.

As of press time, though, Lozareth still hasn't released his new meta-mod, Discord UI Builder. But it's possible opening up a bit and getting involved with his community will help Lozareth get interested in modding again, to reinvest himself into making the game he loves more enjoyable for the hundreds of thousands of people who depended on him.

Greg Tito is a playwright and standup comic residing in Brooklyn, NY. He is currently splitting time between World of Warcraft, a new D&D 3rd edition campaign and finishing one of his many uncompleted writing projects. He also blogs semi-regularly at http://onlyzuul.blogspot.com/.

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