Welcome to the 54th Edition of Reloading...

“All this has happened before and all this will happen again.” – Battlestar Galactica (Originally from Peter Pan)


Everyone can use a feel good moment to start the day.   Let’s go with this…


Ok, enough jumping and twirling.  

Look here.

There is a saying that goes something like, “You can make some of the people happy some of the time…”  This little nugget of truth holds its value when it comes to posting daily opinions in a gaming column; I know from experience.  

Now think back to your favourite column and smile.

And back here.

I often receive email about a column that I might have written days or sometimes weeks earlier.   The Interwebz is funny like that, once it’s out there; people keep coming and reading even if the timeliness is lost.   Yesterday, (who knows what day that will be by the time the content time machine posts this?) I received an email and it took me a second to figure out which column it was referring to.  

“You sir have lost all credibility. While I accept that you must bump the useless mod that your company bought, to insist that it or any mods be required on raiding accounts is laughable. My guild does progression raiding, and we do it without any mods. As a point of pride. There was raiding before mods, there were games before wow that had raiding, (and frankly harder mechanics). Mods are a crutch. When did actually knowing how to play go out of style? Now you don't need to know anything you've got the computer playing for you. Might as well be a bot rocking healbot, dbm, omen, recount, etc.” – Nick

Smile to yourself.

And back here.

I wrote Nick back straight-away, but I thought his point was important enough that I should touch upon it here in the column with everyone.

First, I didn’t know that I had credibility to lose, so I’ll take that first sentence as a compliment.  It’s kind of like when my wife says, “I can’t believe that you just did that!”  Somewhere in her social compass, she still believes after 19 years, that I won’t embarrass her when all historical data points in a completely different direction.

I’m smiling.  Other husbands are smiling.

Look down.

But back to Nick…  The “mod” he is referring to is PlayerScore, which I personally use, not because the company that writes my checks owns it, but rather because at a glance I can see exactly what gear choices I need to work on.  It keeps me on top of things, especially when I have to logout late at night having just won the uber chest of uberness and haven’t enchanted or gemmed it.  

It also gives me a way to determine if the tank, healer, and other DPS types are geared for the content that we are running.   It’s especially useful as a healer, because so many tanks are cheating their way into ZA and ZG with bags full of cloth gear.  I like to know up front that the ride will be bumpy and plan my heals accordingly.  On my tank I like to know if the healer is undergeared, so that I can be even more diligent with my cool downs.

Nod. Nod.

And down.

If you don’t use PlayerScore or haven’t tried it in a while then here is the scoop on what it is currently.  It barely resembles the original mod and has so many good sides that I’m still a bit unnerved that people don’t like the “GearScore” aspect.   I understand that being denied entry to a PUG based on a number is a pain, but iLvL from Blizzard is a far worse solution and that’s the alternative, besides, that GearScore number is such a small part of the information given that it is like throwing out the baby with the bath water.  Give it a look.  Here is the PlayerScore FAQ.

Reading… reading…

And back here.

Yes, there were games before World of Warcraft, and although the readership of this fine column is the upper crust of upper crustiness, the majority of MMO players never played EverQuest or watched Lord British die in Ultima Online.

Ah the memories.

To them, MMOGs are World of Warcraft or Runescape or EverQuest 2 or perhaps now, even Rift.   They never raided without mods or Ventrilo.  They never sat in groups of 70+ for hours stuck to the wall of a zone waiting for their monk to pull one stinking mob at a time out of 10,000 to them so they could fight it for 90 seconds and do it all over again 9,999 times to get to the real boss.   We didn’t have encounters back then.  We had marathons.  

Wipe your tears.

And back.

Those players never waited it out like a stalker in a tiny room for one mob to appear, having already spent over an hour skulking their way through a dungeon to get to said spot.   If you think games are tough today. Check out this post from 2000 explaining how to kill one mob that one tiny part of a quest to get an epic weapon.   

Beat your chest if you did this quest.  I did!

In some ways, Nick is right.  Mods have changed the game, but developers aren’t working in a vacuum.  They know that mods are out there and they are designing the encounters to take that into consideration.   It’s not like the first guild to take on a new boss runs him over and the devs go, “Holy flying feces batman! They are using something called Deadly Boss Mods!  Has anybody in the office heard of it?”

I applaud the guilds like Nick’s that take on the content in the fashion that they feel is appropriate.   I also applaud guilds like my own that use every possible tool in existence and still occasionally wipe on trash because they are distracted by the jokes in guild chat or vent.  

What are your thoughts on Mods, vent and the addons that change the game?

Super special bonus offer for Reloading… readers.  Get over to the PlayerScore Forums and post a feature that you would like to see in PlayerScore.   If our tech team loves the idea and we can use it, I’ll get you a custom title within the PlayerScore addon, that other PlayerScore users will see when they mouse over your character.  

Second special bonus: Leo Laporte explains the Old Spice commercials with the guys who made them.


As always, you can contact me a number of ways:

  • Email
  • Twitter
  • Website
  • Telepathy (Just make sure it’s during business hours.  I hate to be woken by this stuff)

Until we meet again,

John “Boomjack” Hoskin

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Hoskin 0
Dissecting and distilling the game industry since 1994. Lover of family time, youth hockey, eSports, and the game industry in general.