Addon rules change

Whoa, it seems blizzard has taken notice of people making money off addons and has taken offence. They've announced a change in the addon policy / rules.


World of Warcraft User Interface Add-On Development Policy
With the continuing popularity of World of Warcraft user interface add-ons (referred to hereafter as "add-ons") created by the community of players, Blizzard Entertainment has formalized design and distribution guidelines for add-ons. These guidelines have been put in place to ensure the integrity of World of Warcraft and to help promote an enjoyable gaming environment for all of our players - failure to abide by them may result in measures up to and including taking formal legal action.

1) Add-ons must be free of charge.
All add-ons must be distributed free of charge. Developers may not create "premium" versions of add-ons with additional for-pay features, charge money to download an add-on, charge for services related to the add-on, or otherwise require some form of monetary compensation to download or access an add-on.

2) Add-on code must be completely visible.
The programming code of an add-on must in no way be hidden or obfuscated, and must be freely accessible to and viewable by the general public.

3) Add-ons must not negatively impact World of Warcraft realms or other players.
Add-ons will perform no function which, in Blizzard Entertainment's sole discretion, negatively impacts the performance of the World of Warcraft realms or otherwise negatively affects the game for other players. For example, this includes but is not limited to excessive use of the chat system, unnecessary loading from the hard disk, and slow frame rates.

4) Add-ons may not include advertisements.
Add-ons may not be used to advertise any goods or services.

5) Add-ons may not solicit donations.
Add-ons may not include requests for donations. We recognize the immense amount of effort and resources that go into developing an add-on; however, such requests should be limited to the add-on website or distribution site and should not appear in the game.

6) Add-ons must not contain offensive or objectionable material.
World of Warcraft has been given a "T" by the ESRB, and similar ratings from other ratings boards around the world. Blizzard Entertainment requires that add-ons not include any material that would not be allowed under these ratings.

7) Add-ons must abide by World of Warcraft ToU and EULA.
All add-ons must follow the World of Warcraft Terms of Use and the World of Warcraft End User License Agreement.

8) Blizzard Entertainment has the right to disable add-on functionality as it sees fit.
To maintain the integrity World of Warcraft and ensure the best possible gaming experience for our players, Blizzard Entertainment reserves the right to disable any add-on functionality within World of Warcraft at its sole discretion. For more information...

What does that mean?

1: Carbonite will no longer be allowed to sell itself as a "premium" version. All functionality must be available to all users. Similarly WoW Matrix should not be affected, but the dreaded Curse Client will no longer be allowed to charge you any money to unlock the full feature downloader. Which is, quite simply good news!

2: All addons must be fully open source, which allows blizzard to steal your code and claim it as their own. I guess... Mind, that's not a bad thing, as they'd have to end up supporting the feature trough all updates of the game, instead of having us worry whether the addon will still work after a new patch, or get abandoned by a bored mod developer.

3: This is a bit more difficult to "rate", as most addons will in some way negatively affect your game play. Even in small numbers. There are some that stand out though, like DotTimer or excessive recount syncing addons. There's also some weird addon that's showing up in my AddonSpamFu registered as: "Crb". I have no idea what Crb is, but it's causing some people who have it installed to send messages across the entire server... Some outside the guild, in a whole different instance. It'd definitely need looking into.

4: Addon's may not advertise, this is obviously aimed at addons like Questhelper and others which were spamming the user with donation requests and other spam.

5: See 4. Obviously I don't see whether blizzard would have a problem with an addon having a "donate" button in the addon menu, but popups or chat messages are a big no-no.

6: Nudity patch or other stuff likely. Though I don't believe that was an actual "addon" so much as a game alteration of the player models. Either way, it's been disallowed and marked as illegal to use from the first day it was released.

7: Obviously everyone has to follow the EULA and Terms of Use.

8: If an addon has a heavy impact on the game, then it's creator needs to learn2program. No more taking shortcuts for the sake of convenience with bad programming as a result. Addons should be efficient, and disabled if not.


  1. Curse client is not an addon, so no it should not be affected.

  2. " or otherwise require some form of monetary compensation to download or access an add-on. "

    It's vague, but probably related.

  3. charge for services related to the add-on

    Curse client is a service related to an add on and they are charging for it.

  4. CRB and three or four numbers is the channel Carbonite uses to communicate. The paid version in particular uses a channel to communicate, and doesn't always properly leave the channel if you log off

  5. Ah interesting.
    I don't see why it would send messages to people outside the guild, or even instance though.

  6. Unless instructed otherwise, it will pass information to other Carbonite users within the same zone. You will be able to see these people as Grey dots (not related), Green dots (guild members) or Blue dots (party/raid members). Additionally a red cross hair will appear over any carbonite-equipped player who is in combat.

    This is what the channel is essentially used for; co-ordinate passing to other users within the zone.

  7. Hey Zurgat,

    Check your emails, i sent you a message. Also feel free to delete that comment once you saw it. :)

  8. Mail received, linking later.

    Any idea how to leave the channel whisperwolf?
    Neither myself, nor the people I'm receiving those background addon messages can see any channels other than the default ones. It's been an interesting puzzle so far.

  9. I don't understand how you call the Curse Client dreaded, but seem okay with WoWMatrix. WowMatrix doesn't host any addons whatsoever and simply leeches bandwidth of all the major addon sites that actually host. In the same vein, all ad revenue goes to WoWMatrix instead of the sites that really pay for all our addon pleasures, including WowInterface, Curse, WowUI.

    Addon authors generally do not care for or even hate WowMatrix, but support the Curse Client.

    I use neither, I download my addons manually and use the update notification mails at WowInterface.

  10. Quite simple, end user experience.
    Most regular users who don't create addons don't really care how or where their addons come from, or who benefits from it, as long as it works and offers the functionality that we seek.

    Curse's client, first of all requires an extensive installer, and a user account, and then comes up with a bunch more stuff.

    Wowmatrix simply works, no hassle.
    Sure speed isn't always great but it's within acceptable parameters. And doesn't complain about offering any paid service for downloading.

  11. Leaving the channel is easy. Just go through the channels one at a time (typing /5 /6 /7 etc) to see where there's a CRB one, then /leave # where # is the number.

    That said, making sure it doesn't rejoin the channels again... that's the tricky bit. Also, if you don't /quit or /logout, but instead hit Alt-F4 or click on close if you're in windowed mode, then it doesn't close the channels it was using, which will eventually fill up your allocation since it will likely join other CRB channels the next time you login.

    Maybe when Carbonite is forced to change by the "no encryption" rule, it will be easier to debug that.

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