First I would like to give credit to @SimonHarris for the good talk last night and this morning that prompted this blog post.
The discussion came around to Add On programs and the thinking that because the game has become harder, people have created Add On programs that take away a lot of the added difficulty, which means the game needs to become even harder, requiring even better add on programs. And the thought that any new to the game player will be at a very distinct disadvantage starting to play the game, because they are only using the default UI. No I am not getting into the programs that allow you to customize how you have your map placed, or action bars. But programs like Iskar Assist that place an interface on your screen so you can just click a nameplate and pass the eye, or ones that tell you where to go, when to do something, to ones that come up to the line of violating the Terms of Service and EULA that they give a distinct advantage to players using it, over those that do not. You broke the Barrels of Fun add on because it made the Kirin Tor quest so easy to do it required no thought.
You are pushing to get Warcraft into eSports, and I have to ask myself, are add on programs that manipulate the data in the game, a performance enhancing drug. Sure you can take the stand that they are not illegal, that they are available to everyone, that no ones says you have to use them. But in a world where you want to encourage younger people to watch your games being played, much like professional sports, and to aspire to be a great world class gamer someday, are you saying that it is ok to cheat the game with customized scripts if it means you win? We see in these past years the crack down on all sorts of barely legal “vitamins and supplements” that can get a professional football player banned or fined for using them because it gives an advantage.
Should you not also be looking at setting the bar for the future of eSports?