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Blizzard to break the AVR mod in Patch 3.3.5

Suffer, mortals, as your pathetic mod betrays you! Come patch 3.3.5, Blizzard is disabling the functionality of the ultra-useful Augmented Virtual Reality (AVR) addon. The popular mod allows three-dimensional images to be shared between party members in real time to aid in raid strategy and positioning. It is perhaps best known for making the Sindragosa encounter a snap during the ice blocking phase (and, of course, for sharing crudely drawn pictures of genitalia).

Blizzard poster Bashiok broke the news of AVR's impending demise, citing its invasive nature and the fact that it takes away from the need for on-the-spot decision making:

Bashiok -- AVR Mod Broken in 3.3.5
This is a notice that we're making changes in 3.3.5 in attempts to break the ability for the AVR (Augmented Virtual Reality) mod to continue functioning. For those unaware, this mod allows players to draw in the 3D space of the game world, which can then be shared with others who are also using the mod. In some cases this manifests itself through drawing/tagging/defacing the game world, but more popularly is used to give visual guides for dungeon and raid encounters.


The full announcement after the break.

Bashiok -- AVR Mod Broken in 3.3.5
This is a notice that we're making changes in 3.3.5 in attempts to break the ability for the AVR (Augmented Virtual Reality) mod to continue functioning. For those unaware, this mod allows players to draw in the 3D space of the game world, which can then be shared with others who are also using the mod. In some cases this manifests itself through drawing/tagging/defacing the game world, but more popularly is used to give visual guides for dungeon and raid encounters.

We're making this change for two reasons. The invasive nature of a mod altering and/or interacting with the game world (virtually or directly) is not intended and not something we will allow. World of Warcraft UI addons are never intended to interact with the game world itself. This is mirrored in our stance and restriction of model and texture alterations. The second reason is that it removes too much player reaction and decision-making while facing dungeon and raid encounters. While some other mods also work to this end, we find that AVR and the act of visualizing strategy within the game world simply goes beyond what we're willing to allow.

The change we're making in attempts to break the functionality is light in its touch and approach. When blocking any functionality we run the risk of affecting other mods, but we've targeted the changes as carefully as possible. If we find that the AVR mod (or any mod attempting to replicate its functions) are usable after 3.3.5 we will take further, more drastic steps.



Reaction to the news will surely be mixed -- there are plenty of purists who feel that AVR's very existence goes against what Warcraft is supposed to be about, and there are plenty of people who find AVR an invaluable tool that does little more than enhance their playing experience.

What's your reaction to the news? Did Blizzard go too far, or were they right in stamping out a blight on the World of Warcraft?

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Add-Ons

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