If you really enjoy inspecting people in World of Warcraft, it usually means one of two things: you’re either a dirty, filthy voyeur or you have a fetish for Gearscores. Though Blizzard staunchly states the rampant reliance of the latter isn’t one of their primary reasons for doing so, it will no doubt suffer from collateral damage when they implement their latest measure — “throttling” inspect requests.
The end goal of this new rule is to ease the impact on the servers, which have becoming increasingly busy due to people scanning said Gearscores (usually for the purposes of e-peen comparison or potential invitation to a PuG raid), many using special add-ons to do so. Essentially, every time that add-on is retrieving information on a character’s equipment, it has to make a call to the server, and some do this frequently, behind-the-scenes, without the user even noticing.
Here’s what Nethaera had to say about it:
It’s important to understand that the throttling that is being done isn’t intended to break any functionality of add-ons, but merely to control the amount of queries that are being sent to the server at any given time. (Thus throttling the queries.) The queries will still occur, it just won’t happen as quickly as they currently seem to. You can read the statements that WoW Ace and WoW Interface have up for a bit more information on these changes. We wanted to give mod authors a heads-up prior to making the change so that they could make any adjustments they needed to on their mods.
I just wanted to reiterate that the original information on this change was meant to help add-on authors more than anything so that they could adjust accordingly. Unless the add-ons you use are requesting a lot of data, there isn’t going to be any particular change in regard to the amount of latency you might be experiencing in the game.
I hope to Yogg-Saron this does mean an actual decrease in Gearscore dependence, but whether Blizzard wants to make that stand or not (and despite their protesting, I think they are doing so quietly), the implementation of throttling will probably mess with your mods in the near future. So make sure to keep an eye on how they function, and your favorite add-on site for updates. Chances are mod authors are going to have to do a little re-writing to make their programs work correctly again, but as we’ve seen with (even major) patches in the past, this is a surprisingly quick and painless process.