There’s a raid addon called RDX (for “Raid Data Exchange”) made by some warlock in a super-elite guild… and he charges for it. This makes me angry.

People leaked the code for “RDX 5” and apparently there’s a version out there from the website “Conquest” with additions made by other people, so the addon-author “lessened the security checks” (I don’t know waht this means–there’s probably a Microsoft-style online check for authenticity/paid-ness and it disables itself if you haven’t paid?). He claims that he “lessened the security” to give access to RDX 5 to the general public because RDX 6 is about to come out anyway. (I think a more likely story is that people got their hands on the code and un-securified it.) Now, you can pay to download the RDX 6 alpha, which doesn’t work with a raid group yet.

I can’t believe how elitist people are. Yes, I believe that he works hard on this addon. Yes, I believe that he is some kind of good coder. No, I don’t think he should “restrict” his addon to world-first guilds who pay him. The whole point of a coding community is … to have a community, right? Of course all the addons I’ve ever seen in the entire world were all free. Yeah, because of this you get a lot of shitty addons, but there is the occasional outstanding one, and those rise to the surface.

But he’s charging for it because he knows his addon is good and “all the world-first guilds use it.” He doesn’t need it to be free to be widely used and he doesn’t even want to offer it for public consumption because we’re not good enough for him. I can’t believe that he was able to pull this off. It makes sense though, because there’s a small community of “world-first” guilds that are way above everyone else (we have no world-first guilds on Dragonmaw–far from it), and they use this as another way to make themselves feel better than the rest of us. Another badge of elitism–“we pay for RDX.” It’s just really strange. Even saying so reeks of some sort of crying on my part, “wahh those guilds are better than us and I’m just trying to think of something bad to say about them,” but it’s how I feel.

If I knew more about the politics of free software, I would say a lot more. I want to tell Lawrence Lessig about this or something. I just can’t believe that requiring online “security checks” to use software (a la Microsoft) has found its way into the world of WoW addons.

See for yourself: http://www.rdx-raid.com
Someone in his guild has a blog: http://furryhealing.blogspot.com/
People elsewhere flame him: http://www.wowinterface.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5780 and in the thread about the world first 4 horsemen kill: http://www.curse-gaming.com/de/wow/news-318-1-four-horsemen-killed-by-deathtaxes.html …etc. Google.

Very strange.

17 thoughts on “

  1. I think it’s totally fine for him to do that if he pleases (and it’s totally fine for people to break his security checks and use it themselves). Some people choose to spend their time & work to break the security rather than pay. I mean, would you donate money for his time & work if he gave you the option?

    This reminds me strongly of SecondLife, where just about everything that can be done in-game can be set up as proprietary. It’s built into the interface.

    You can still have a community in which items/scripts/what-have-you must be bought rather than shared. The obvious alternative, just as in real life, is to build your own (and share it)! Luckily, it’s far easier to “build your own” in the virtual world.

    1. I think people have been asking the community to build raid windows that look like that.

      I think it’s strange because nobody’s done it before (to which one may answer, “change is hard, judy, but deal”) and because it violates the sense of community, of “working together to create awesome stuff” since he wants it to be so exclusive. That’s why I’m bothered so. Also I’m a goddamn socialist.

      Also, it’s not even ORIGINAL. The widely-used CT addons ( http://www.ctmod.net ) were the first to create raid windows, MT windows, special player-target windows, boss alerts tailored for every boss in the game, raid-leader warnings, ready checks, polls, the ability to check how many people in the raid have a certain thing in their inventory… many things which were so good, so useful, that blizzard eventually put it into the default UI (after CT had been doing it 2 years).

      As far as I can tell, RDX uses “prettier” default raid windows, but really, if you worked a little you could customize your CT windows to be prettier (and I do, I custom-shrink mine and turn them a different color). RDX also apparently has additional features tailored for every boss fight to show, for example, the exact people who get encased by webbing during the Maessina encounter

      I’ve heard of SecondLife before–that’s the one where you’re SUPPOSED to make RL money off of the game, right? Blizzard, on the other hand, has a strong stance against making money off of the game. I don’t even know the legality of “copyrighting” an addon to this game. I assume the code that WoW-employees wrote to enable addon functionality (and to uh, run WoW itself) is proprietary…

      I would donate money to the CTraid people. That’s a good point. But not to RDX because they’re arrogant fucks. It’s about the attitude. That’s all it comes down to–I’m really bothered by the arrogance. I guess it’s kind of like if one person decided they wanted to charge for dashboard widgets or something–widgets, like WoW addons, are generally thought of as free. Actually do people charge for dashboard widgets?

      1. The Sword Cuts Both Ways

        I’ve no idea about whether people charge for widgets, but I know I wouldn’t pay for them. Further, trying to force me to pay would remove any impulse in me to donate towards their development/maintenance.

        If they want to be arrogant fucks, let ’em. Also, let ’em see how far the community supports them if they get lazy. This sort of thing is self-regulating, Judy, and I’m sure the majority reaction will be similar to yours.

        The coolest part of the reaction will be when someone smarter and/or more dedicated to the game than these guys builds something better for free, and then innocently offers them the source so they can improve their own code. Oh, but sorry, they’ll have to adapt it and rewrite their code themselves. Cause it’s proprietary. Suckers.

        I’m not sure about the legality of charging for scripts you’ve written to alter another company’s game’s GUI either.. but I suspect it’s borderline aboveboard. None of the content is WoW’s, right? It’s just a user-created body of code that calls WoW’s GUI API. Would it be illegal if more companies/games used WoW’s GUI API, and it could be applied to multiple games?

  2. I say

    If people are willing to pay him for his product, more power to him. A piece of software, like anything else, is worth exactly what the market is willing to pay for it.

    That’s just the free-market-capitalist-devil-on-my-shoulder speaking, but really, why shouldn’t he charge for it? It’s not about exclusivity, just about preventing people from freeloading on his hard work.

    1. Re: I say

      That’s what Ryan’s response was, too.

      Basically, it’s RUDE. That’s the problem I have with it. The argument that it is rude holds no water in a capitalistic society, of course, so I lose. I lose, I lose, I lose. Unless it can be demonstrated that it is somehow illegal, of which I am slightly doubtful but nevertheless hopeful.

      However, people who pay for it are fools, since CTRA will have all that functionality in the near future, and it’s been around forever, and CT are not arrogant asshats.

  3. You are aware that all the people responding to your blog are people whose livelihood and income depend upon people paying for software, right? 🙂 (It’s safe to assume that is a programmer or is involved in the tech field somehow because he works at Apple, right?)

    And for the record, I’m in the “let em charge for it, some one else is gonna come out with a free one anyways” camp too. My only beef with it would be if the writer would not sell to specific guilds or people. As long as anyone can pay for it to get it, it’s okay by me. He just better make sure that he can keep up with new features that other competitors like CTRaid don’t have, otherwise he won’t be getting any more money.

    1. Surprisingly, I am aware that people pay for software, and that some people make their living off of writing software for people to buy. “The general software-making population,” however, is completely irrelevant to the matter at hand.

      1. I dunno if that comment was taken the wrong way (I sense a bitter sarcasm in the response, hard to tell given lack of smilies). It was just an observation that I found it funny that it was a bunch of engineers responding.

  4. Some corrections

    Hi, I found this article from a technorati search because it links to my blog (http://furryhealing.blogspot.com). Seeing as you seemed pretty irritating by the whole thing I wanted to explain a little bit.

    First, I’m not a member of his guild (Scions of Destiny I think), in fact I don’t even know him except to know he writes some pretty nice code.

    Second, I’m not even in one of these ‘elite guilds’ you mention. My guild isn’t competing for world firsts, in fact for the most part we aren’t even competing for server firsts (seconds maybe).

    Third, RDX is most certainly not CTRA with some new bells and whistles. Personally I have not looked at the LUA code of CTRA particularly closely but I will tell you with certainty that RDX is far and away the superior raiding tool.

    Fourthly, this is nit picking but since I probably sound like a prick anyway.. CTRA wasn’t really the first raid windows either, it was just the most widely distributed.

    Since I’m not in a guild competing for world firsts which requires use of this add on you may (or may not) be curious about why I chose to pay the money to get it. Its pretty simple really, curiousity. I was curious to see what the code for such an elaborate add on looked like (I’m a programmer/developer by trade), even more so I was curious to see if he could really deliver on all the things he’s claimed RDX will be able to do.

    To contrast, my experience with CTRA is that it is an addon of basic windows with some nice extra information available to raid leaders. However, it is extremely static, and has remarkably little customizability. RDX by contrast provides incredible oppurtunities to change raid windows in a way which makes them more useful to the user.

    As far as paying for the mod, I actually understand where the irritation fueling those feelings comes from. The simple solution is of course if its not worth it for you, don’t get it.

    Thanks for the different point of view none-the-less, most of the things I read about RDX are about how great it is.

    1. Re: Some corrections

      Hail, druid!

      I don’t know if you’ll ever see this, but thank you for your corrections. I’ll be a little more careful about things I fire off–I use this personal livejournal as a form of adolescent complaining-about-my-life rather than a serious blog-about-issues. I’d never refer to a post as an “article” (they’re far too silly!) and I’m not careful about grammar, much less making any sort of real sense. I also wouldn’t have posted this in a public forum (like curse-gaming, or a WoW guild website) with the intent of broadcasting my opinions to others who are actually part of the “wow addons coding community” because I realize that my opinions are baseless. (I assume that only my RL friends read my journal–my WoW guildies don’t know about this, so it wasn’t written with them as the audience in mind either.) I don’t know lua and (quite obviously) I am unqualified to make any real assertions about the quality or organization of the code. Furthermore, I have never tried RDX, so it is true that I wouldn’t know if RDX was a superior raiding tool. I believe you when you say that it is. =)

      I’m not sure why my feelings about paying for an addon were so intense. It reads like some kind of personal attack on the addon author, so I feel pretty foolish.

      Also, thank you for piquing my interest in finding more about it, anyway.

      1. Re: Some corrections

        Furryhealing here again. 🙂

        I replied to the comments you left on my blog, but I had to read what was said here too. I completely understand your post (rather than article? :)) was ranty in nature, but I’ve seen reactions similar to your post a couple of times but this was the first time I really had time to create an intelligable response to them.

        Like I said in my first comment I found this post because its a blog which links to mine (neat little thing Technorati) so I wanted to see how they were related. I’m glad I did.

        I didn’t think what you wrote sounded like an attack on the author, more like an attack on the perceived attitude shared by people who raid at such a high level. Its been my experience they are not really elitist, many of them are actually quite helpful to people attempting to learn encounters they have beaten, unless its something which was just defeated unlocking the next boss (such as Four Horsemen and Sapphiron). For an example of this you can look at http://forums.elitistjerks.com

        Funny I just said they aren’t elitist and then point at forums called elitist jerks, however its the name of their guild and I’ve found most of their members to be quite nice people. There are multiple posts there helping up and coming guilds learn encounters which they have been farming for years with no condescension or mocking attitude.

        Best of luck in learning more about RDX, if you have any questions you know where to find me. 😉

        1. Re: Some corrections

          Yah, I have guildies who regularly visit the EJ forum =) I’m not a regular browser, but I’ve perused their articles (haha) on combat mechanics and stuff.

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