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Unread 09-23-12, 04:00 PM   #1
lerb
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Addons for money

I haven't read up on any of this, I've only partially watched and read about Carbonite (never used it) and if I'm correct, you're no longer allowed to charge people to use your addon. You can accept donations, but not force people to pay to use them. Am I correct this far?

If I am, I have been thinking about addons like Zygor. Zygors Guides is an addon you have to pay for (if you want latest version from their website..), I know this because I myself was thinking of buying it since I'm going to level a monk in about 12 hours and I'd like to do it fast between 1-85. But then I realized, If I do so, am I breaking Blizzards rules? Are they breaking the rules? Why do they charge for their addon when it's not allowed?

We also have the Dugi Questing Essential hosted here on the site that is developed by Dugi Guides, or Ultimate WoW Guides. They have free trials but also charge for the full version of their addons. Just the Leveling part of the addon for Alliance and Horde is priced at 60 bucks.

So.. Am I missing something? Is this allowed?

Confused Lerb
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Unread 09-23-12, 04:06 PM   #2
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I think they get off in grey zone technicalities by providing the addon free of charge, while charging you for the guide that actually gets loaded by the addon. I doubt you'd be in breach of ToU by buying, but they'd possibly be in breach by selling. So long as the addon doesn't disrupt the game, you will most likely not be actioned. Remember, Blizzard always reserves the right to block any and all addons they do not like.
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Unread 09-23-12, 04:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lerb View Post
I haven't read up on any of this, I've only partially watched and read about Carbonite (never used it) and if I'm correct, you're no longer allowed to charge people to use your addon. You can accept donations, but not force people to pay to use them. Am I correct this far?
Yup, you are correct.

Originally Posted by lerb View Post
If I am, I have been thinking about addons like Zygor. Zygors Guides is an addon you have to pay for (if you want latest version from their website..), I know this because I myself was thinking of buying it since I'm going to level a monk in about 12 hours and I'd like to do it fast between 1-85. But then I realized, If I do so, am I breaking Blizzards rules? Are they breaking the rules? Why do they charge for their addon when it's not allowed?
The way they are getting around it is because they aren't charging for the addon they are charging for the access to their database and guides, as you suspected.

Originally Posted by lerb View Post
We also have the Dugi Questing Essential hosted here on the site that is developed by Dugi Guides, or Ultimate WoW Guides. They have free trials but also charge for the full version of their addons. Just the Leveling part of the addon for Alliance and Horde is priced at 60 bucks.

So.. Am I missing something? Is this allowed?

Confused Lerb
It's the same deal again as with Zygor. They aren't charging you for the addon itself, they are charging for their database and guides.
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Unread 09-23-12, 04:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for clearing this up for me guys

I don't like grey zones
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Unread 09-23-12, 04:35 PM   #5
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Yep, it can be annoying.
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Unread 09-24-12, 07:46 AM   #6
myrroddin
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The part I find most annoying is their guides, written in Lua, are a database that requires their addon. That's like getting GatherMate2 for free, but getting charged for GatherMate2_Data. Thankfully, that is not the case with those two, but that is very shady business.

I would totally understand if they gave you the addon, full database for free, and charged for the physical book, perhaps having the inevitable errata be accessible on their website only for people who bought the book. But I feel both the addon and the DB should both be freely available. That, of course, is just me.

About paid addons and their timeframe, The policy was put in place for patch 3.1, updated May 2009, and again November 2010. Here is the US official forum link.

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1021053914
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Unread 09-24-12, 08:00 AM   #7
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number two.
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Unread 09-24-12, 09:56 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by tinyu View Post
number two.
I'd think it would be more of #1, but to a lesser extent, I guess #2 would apply too just for the specific reason the data isn't available until you pay for it. I would technically say the data sold separately would fall under a "premium version" and still be able to be taken action against by Blizzard. It would also count as a "charge for related services" Has Blizzard been contacted about this issue?

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.
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Unread 09-24-12, 10:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SDPhantom View Post
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.
*cough*Carbonite*cough*
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Unread 09-24-12, 03:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by myrroddin View Post
The part I find most annoying is their guides, written in Lua, are a database that requires their addon.
I don't understand the fuss about paid guides in this day and age. Questing now is so easy, so linear, and so self-explanatory that there's simply no need for a guide. Every quest leads you right to the next one, and you generally get quests in the same order you should do them. The default map shows you exactly where to go for each quest, and you can use TomTomLite or TomTom+QuestPointer or something to show a giant neon arrow on your screen pointing you right to the nearest quest objective.

I've just been leveling a new character in the last week or so, and questing is so ridiculously easy that I'm not even finishing half the quests in each area before they're all turning green and I'm getting the breadcrumb quests to take me to the next area. I can't imagine having to read a guide would do anyting but slow me down.

If you're trying to set some record while leveling, you've probably already leveled up a few characters and are familiar with the quests, and don't need a guide because you already know what to do. If you're leveling your first character, you're not going to set any records, and don't need a guide because Blizzard has made the process so simple.
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Unread 09-25-12, 02:08 AM   #11
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That is mean our designers can charge their RDX themes?

RDX is the main framework addon, full free, full opensource
RDX manage a database that working like a filesystem with packages and objects

If you look to our OOBE themes, it is just a big table that contains the descriptor about how to generate the theme and all the windows by the framework. The descriptor is loaded into the database.

We also have the tool to export/import the data like a oracle database

Addon free
Database not free?

Is it good?
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Unread 09-25-12, 02:22 AM   #12
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You might be smart to run it past Blizz before going there ...
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Unread 09-25-12, 07:15 AM   #13
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Phanx, FYI, I don't use Zygor, because I agree with you about leveling; I was just using Zygor and GatherMate2 as examples, or points of reference.
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Unread 09-25-12, 07:26 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by tinyu View Post
*cough*Carbonite*cough*
Just so you know, Carbonite's code does not violate the addon policy. It used to, before there was a policy to violate, but now you can read the code in any text editor –– you just have to be able to read run-on sentences (or code).

Now that the policy exists, the Carbonite devs made their code readable, and the addon free.
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Unread 09-25-12, 08:39 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by myrroddin View Post
Just so you know, Carbonite's code does not violate the addon policy. It used to, before there was a policy to violate, but now you can read the code in any text editor –– you just have to be able to read run-on sentences (or code).

Now that the policy exists, the Carbonite devs made their code readable, and the addon free.
You are just wrong on this one.
They just changed the level of the obfuscation and as has been pointed out there's parts that are still encrypted.
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Unread 09-25-12, 09:05 AM   #16
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To clarify on the meaning of obfuscate as it applies to code. Mainly, it's to change the names of functions and variables in such a way to hide the meaning of them and confuse anyone that tries to read the code. The following is an example of obfuscated code.

Code:
local a,b=10,0;
function c(d,e)
	b=b+e;
	if b>=a then f(); end
end
Note the template to make this was an OnUpdate script running a function on a 10 sec timer. This is what obfuscated code is like, and when you have 1000+ lines of code that look like that, it's very difficult to figure out what the code is supposed to do. Hence the reason for Blizzard's policy.
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Unread 09-26-12, 01:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by myrroddin View Post
Just so you know, Carbonite's code does not violate the addon policy. It used to, before there was a policy to violate, but now you can read the code in any text editor –– you just have to be able to read run-on sentences (or code).

Now that the policy exists, the Carbonite devs made their code readable, and the addon free.
When you need to use an external program to generate strings, then copy/paste those strings into the source code.. that is not "read the code in any text editor"

guess what some changes to carbonite require me to do inorder to match what they have...however blizzard ok's the addons so the policy is obviously not set in stone and very flexible.

(even blizzards own UI can't display half the characters for me to copy/paste so writing my own was needed).

Last edited by Rythal : 09-26-12 at 01:31 PM.
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Unread 09-29-12, 02:24 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Phanx View Post
I don't understand the fuss about paid guides in this day and age. Questing now is so easy, so linear, and so self-explanatory that there's simply no need for a guide. Every quest leads you right to the next one, and you generally get quests in the same order you should do them. The default map shows you exactly where to go for each quest, and you can use TomTomLite or TomTom+QuestPointer or something to show a giant neon arrow on your screen pointing you right to the nearest quest objective.

I've just been leveling a new character in the last week or so, and questing is so ridiculously easy that I'm not even finishing half the quests in each area before they're all turning green and I'm getting the breadcrumb quests to take me to the next area. I can't imagine having to read a guide would do anything but slow me down.

If you're trying to set some record while leveling, you've probably already leveled up a few characters and are familiar with the quests, and don't need a guide because you already know what to do. If you're leveling your first character, you're not going to set any records, and don't need a guide because Blizzard has made the process so simple.
I've been using Zygor since Wrath of the Lich King and I love the addon. It has really streamline the leveling process for me to where its really not much "reading the Guide" at all. You are right, however, about how Blizzard has made leveling a very linear and easy thing to do. But the addon from Zygor goes the extra mile. For me, its well worth the money I've to get a quality product that is WELL supported. I could explain line by line all the extra stuff it does but I think I do it a disservice if I did so. They have videos on their website explaining all the features... they have a free trial as well.

http://www.zygorguides.com

As far as money for addons go, I'm more of an entrepreneur mind set (also a software developer) and I personaly don't see anything wrong in how Zygor and Dugi are "skating" around Blizzard rule about charging money for addons. Both author spends a lot of time in not only making a viewer for their guides but a lot of time in building a database of "quest analysis" to stream line the leveling process to make every minute spent in leveling efficient and effective.

However, I can also understand why blizzard made a policy about keeping addons free. They didn't want a whole industry / market being created where any changes that they make in their game could effect how profits are made which in turn could lead to a law suit. By keeping addons free, its makes it safe for blizzard to allow 3rd parties (you, me, Zygor, Dugi, etc) to write addons for their game without having the liability involved for the changes made. I'm sure there are a lot more reasons and legaleeze into supporting their policy and I could be wrong in my understanding but this at least makes sense to me.

In the end, if Zygor and / or Dugi had violated any of Blizzard's poilicies, Blizzard would have ban their addons from being used by now. I'd say, go try out the trial... you'll be really impressed with it.

Good Luck Leveling and mostly have fun!

Last edited by Tymesink : 09-29-12 at 02:56 AM.
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