Quantcast WoW UI AddOn Development Policy discussion thread - WoWInterface
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03-19-09, 10:40 PM   #1
Cairenn
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WoW UI AddOn Development Policy discussion thread

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We realize that this may be a highly contentious subject. However we expect people to behave in accordance with the rules. Failure to comply with the site rules may result in you taking a forced vacation from the site. With that stated, here is a repeat post of the new 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…

If you are an add-on developer and have any questions about this User Interface Add-On Development Policy and how it pertains to the add-on that you’ve developed, please don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected].

The official announcement is here.

Last edited by Cairenn : 03-20-09 at 02:56 PM.
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03-20-09, 02:56 PM   #2
THUNDER_CHILD
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Good Job Blizzard.
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03-20-09, 03:11 PM   #3
Maul
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Very interesting move on Blizzard's part, which is wholly understandable.
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03-20-09, 03:12 PM   #4
Tekkub
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"Add-ons must not contain offensive or objectionable material"
Sorry, but seeing as the user chooses to install the addon, just as the user chooses to disable the language filter, this one's kinda bupkiss. But I'm sure they have to for legal reasons and ****.

I'm glad to see an official declaration that you can't charge, nor can you obfuscate code. I can only hope that Blizzy enforces this one. Obfuscated code gives nothing back to the community, but still takes from it. It's like using bittorrent and never seeding.
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03-20-09, 03:14 PM   #5
ckknight
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I agree with most of the points except for

'5) Add-ons may not solicit donations.'

I have absolutely no intention to remove my donation buttons in my addons. I consider my buttons non-obtrusive and non-annoying.

Also, how do they really expect to enforce this? They could theoretically ban individual addons, but I really doubt they would.

Also, as someone who approves and denies addons on CurseForge and WowAce, how can we really enforce this on our end without opening up every single lua file?
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03-20-09, 03:29 PM   #6
Petrah
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ckknight,

I don't think you have anything to worry about. It states that your addons cannot visibly request for donations in game. You are permitted to ask for donations from your addons distribution site(s).

I had to go back and re read that hehe.
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Last edited by Petrah : 03-20-09 at 03:38 PM.
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03-20-09, 03:37 PM   #7
FrankN
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Now all add-ons which do not comply to this guideline have to be removed from WoWI?
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03-20-09, 03:41 PM   #8
ckknight
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Originally Posted by Silenia View Post
ckknight,

I don't think you have anything to worry about. It states that your addons cannot visibly request for donations in game. You are permitted to ask for donations from your addons distribution site(s).

I had to go back and re read that hehe.
I have donation buttons in-game.

If you open the config menu, it'll have a "Donate" button. You click it, it pops up a frame that provides a copyable link that you can put into your browser.

I don't bother the user ever outside of the main settings, but it is in-game.
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03-20-09, 03:42 PM   #9
THUNDER_CHILD
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Originally Posted by Silenia View Post
ckknight,

I don't think you have anything to worry about. It states that your addons cannot visibly request for donations in game. You are permitted to ask for donations from your addons distribution site(s).

I had to go back and re read that hehe.
His point is that he has said buttons in game. However, I agree with him, they are non-intrusive.
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03-20-09, 03:44 PM   #10
Cairenn
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Originally Posted by FrankN View Post
Now all add-ons which do not comply to this guideline have to be removed from WoWI?
I have a request in to Blizzard to find out if they are (one would presume) allowing a "grace period" for authors to comply. We'll see.
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03-20-09, 03:45 PM   #11
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Pretty normal stuff here, though I don't know how I feel about the free only addons (not that I can remember a whole lot of pay addons). I have a feeling this is ass covering from the Glider lawsuit and to be able better protect themselfs in the future.
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03-20-09, 03:51 PM   #12
ckknight
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Originally Posted by Stormrage View Post
Pretty normal stuff here, though I don't know how I feel about the free only addons (not that I can remember a whole lot of pay addons). I have a feeling this is ass covering from the Glider lawsuit and to be able better protect themselfs in the future.
I definitely agree, but I also think this is compounded by a knee-jerk reaction to Carbonite's new ad-supported version.

I think they're just trying to cover themselves legally, say "we don't allow that", but not really bother to do anything about it unless it becomes something high-profile (as Carbonite has become in the past two weeks).
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03-20-09, 03:53 PM   #13
FrankN
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Originally Posted by Cairenn View Post
...
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.
...
Originally Posted by Stormrage View Post
Pretty normal stuff here, though I don't know how I feel about the free only addons (not that I can remember a whole lot of pay addons). I have a feeling this is ass covering from the Glider lawsuit and to be able better protect themselfs in the future.
This would hit nUI as well.
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03-20-09, 04:02 PM   #14
Petrah
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Originally Posted by FrankN View Post
This would hit nUI as well.
I've not seen any in game buttons for donation with nUI. Did i miss this button inside the game?
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03-20-09, 04:03 PM   #15
Stormrage
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I won't lie, I have no clue what carbonite or nUI are.
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03-20-09, 04:08 PM   #16
Petrah
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Originally Posted by THUNDER_CHILD View Post
His point is that he has said buttons in game. However, I agree with him, they are non-intrusive.
Yes, I know

My point was that the buttons in game can be removed, and he can still get donations from the pages where he distributes his addons. Essentially, they are not removing an addon authors right to get donations. They just don't want to have those donation requests visible in game. I can understand this.
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03-20-09, 04:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Silenia View Post
Yes, I know

My point was that the buttons in game can be removed, and he can still get donations from the pages where he distributes his addons. Essentially, they are not removing an addon authors right to get donations. They just don't want to have those donation requests visible in game. I can understand this.
Problem there is wowmatrix. But then, those users are less likely to be donating anyway.
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03-20-09, 05:11 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Silenia View Post
I've not seen any in game buttons for donation with nUI. Did i miss this button inside the game?
nUI has a "Premium" version for the people who donate, which has raid frames and stuff that the free version doesn't. But its basically a thank you for the people who donate.

Scott has more info in his forums.
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03-20-09, 05:13 PM   #19
Evolution85
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I for one support this!

GJ Blizz!!
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03-20-09, 05:30 PM   #20
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Nice to see they've stepped in an ended the incessant debate about whether paid premium addons are OK... I've gotten a bit bored of people endlessly arguing about that here and in the [email protected] shoutbox.

As for the ban on donation buttons, that seems a little harsh on hard-working authors, but they're probably trying to prevent people using that as a loophole to sneak in premium content in addons.
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