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Question - Plugin vs Lua (1 Viewer)

Mar 13, 2023
During a previous discussion, someone asked me why I did not use an existing plugin for solving an issue rather than writing the code in Lua myself, upon which I replied that I like to learn and figure out problems myself, and that there are probably plugins that do 95% of the stuff I do in my own code. In the end I used the plugin instead. :P But I started to wonder about plugins. There is a "plugins are better than macroscript" type information in the documentation, but when comparing Lua scripts vs plugins - which are the benefits of using plugins? First of all, are there thingsplugins can do that Lua cannot? Do plugins execute faster and/or more precise than Lua scripts? I think you get what I am asking.
the plugins are faster than Lua/macro/whatever is old - and had a lot more (everything) to do with how they were written (the things being compared) than anything else.

Lua is much easier to go from zero - > hero than c++ is

if you don't know either -> use Lua
if you know Lua -> use Lua
if you know c++ -> you'll have an easy time with Lua, should probably use Lua too
So, if I know Lua, dont bother about plugins unless I find an existing one that does what I want. And make a plugin only if I really need it? (or if I am a sucker for punishment and really want to struggle with C++, which I know very little of)
Plugins have more direct access to the information but far few helpers in regards to accessing the information. An example would be TLOs. TLOs are built inline with their respective switch cases and are not individual functions that you can call in most cases. Which means you'd likely need to create a function for each one you'd want to access the information for. With that being said, regarding direct access, there are some things that there is no TLO for. It's not common that you'll need access to the information that there isn't a TLO for, but it is possible and in those situations it is nice to be able to access information that isn't available in TLO format.

If you know C++ and you're just interested in honing your skills or you just want to make a plugin then there is no reason I can think of to choose a Lua over a plugin. With that said, plugins need to be compiled for every change to the code. Lua does not need to be compiled and the effort required to get a resource written in Lua into redguides as a resource is far less than the requirements for a plugin. Things written in Lua can be modified by the users that receive them, allowing them to make minor adjustments to suit their own need without the need to compile a completely separate copy of it.

Before Lua macros had limitations, such as only being able to run a single macro at a time, and in that regard having the option of a plugin made sense because you couldn't have an automation macro and an XP tracker macro, and a kill tracker macro, and a DPS macro and... etc. You had to make a plugin for utilities that would need to be on all the time and then use the single macro for the other thing you wanted. With Lua that isn't the case as you can run several Lua at the same time, essentially making that no longer a requirement in regards to needing plugins to handle other tasks.

At the end of the day I'd say it's probably best to give Lua a go. You'll find there are plenty of reference Luas and very few limitations to using it compared to olden times when macros was the way to go short of making a plugin.
Question - Plugin vs Lua

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