The topic at hand is the use of logout macros in PoE.
First, let me say that GGG is fine with logout macros.
Alright. So word of god says that it’s fine. For many people, that’s enough. Still though, what are some common (negative) things people have to say about the use of logout macros?
- It’s not fair to people who don’t use them.
- It’s not intuitive.
- Logout macros make the game too easy.
- Why even play hardcore if you’re just going to logout?
- It’s not right to use 3rd party software to gain an advantage in the game.
Let’s go through this list one at a time
1. How? Logout macros are simple to set up and easy to use. Anyone capable of playing PoE seriously enough to consider using one should be competent enough to follow directions and set one up, even if they aren’t capable of coding one themselves. Any advantage gained by using a logout macro is available to any average player playing the game.
2. “Intuitive,” with regard to gameplay, is not a specific or broad enough standard to really be enforceable. In fact, in PoE, there are hundreds of pieces of errata that people find incredibly unintuitive but also function as adding depth and variety to the game — just browse the wiki or the forums and you’ll see some incredibly subtle (unintuitive) interactions between skills, item modifiers, and basic game mechanics.
There is also a way of framing it to make it more intuitive. Logging is quite similar in nature to using a TP scroll to jump out of combat when things get hairy. The use of a disconnect macro to execute the action is entirely within GGG’s established rules – if there was a hotkey to use a portal scroll, I’d happily use that as well.
3. Disconnect macros do provide players with a way of quickly getting out of dodge when things get hairy. And nearly every top player uses one. But it’s very hard to say what “too easy” means — does a logout macro make the game easier than trading, or using a good build? What’s the standard? Is there one? Like those other things, it’s merely an option for play optimization. Choosing to use or not use this option is up to the player. It may be said, however, that while many deaths are avoided by the use of a logout macro, humans are far from infallible, and it’s entirely possible to die while using one — as many high-profile ladder deaths have shown.
4. The fittingly flippant answer for such a flippant question is “why play hardcore if you’re just going to use potions?” Why use rare items? Why use T1 uniques on your ssf character? As said above — this is merely an option for play optimization. It is sanctioned by the developers, as are all other legitimate options. To play “hardcore” is merely to choose a different set of rules, which generally means you play according to a different paradigm. Nothing about these rules or this paradigm means you can’t use every option at your disposal to avoid death.
Further, the use of alt+f4, logging, or anything in that vein is not limited to HC players. Dying at 90+ on your temp league SC character is incredibly frustrating and annoying — enough so that I log on those characters, too.
5. As a general rule, I would agree — this is my limit. But PoE is a different beast. Whether it’s trade indexers, or price trackers, or forum ladders, PoE was designed to integrate external software and programs into the gameplay. As long as GGG says this particular type of software or gameplay strategy is legit, I defer to them, and I’m not going to handicap myself on principle for no logical reason.