Let's face it - if you've played any MMO for any significant amount of time, chances are you've made use of one mod or another during the course of your experience. Whether you picked it up to help you heal your raid, maximize your DPS, or to optimize your crafting efficiency, mods have always fallen into a sort of gray area as far as the terms of service are concerned, and have the subject of heated moral debate amongst players. After all, is it really fair to modify a game in such a way that gives you a decided advantage over the competition? We've always assumed this was the stance taken by most developers -- if it's not part of the game code, it's not sanctioned by the developers. That is, until we caught this bit on the blue tracker last week.
Drysc, a "blue" mod over on the World of Warcraft forums, came out in support of mods -- citing how they help demonstrate features that the player base feels are lacking in the retail code. He said that many of the features that WoW employs today were inspired in whole or in part by fan-created mods. He even punctuated one post on the subject with, "I <3 mods." Now, we know that Blizzard has at least acknowledged the usefulness of mods in the past, but they've taken some more contrary measures, like patching games in such a way as to fundamentally break certain mods. To hear a dev step outside of this tenuous acquiescence and throw full-on support for mods still threw us for a loop.