In the past I blogged about the excellent mods for Morrowind. It would be amiss, if I neglected to do the same for WoW which is also modable. Well, sort of.
When you buy Morrowind or Oblivion you get Betsheda’s construction kit which I believe was at least in part internally used to create the immense game worlds of both games. So you essentially get the same tool that someone working for Bethsheda would have and you are free to do anything they could do – including designing brand new creatures and/or playable races. Go to popular Morrowind/Oblivion mod sites and check out all the crazy Anime inspired custom races. It’s almost sickening. :lol:
Blizzard is much more protective of their content and they won’t let you touch their meshes, textures and you won’t be able to modify the game world in any way. Which sort of makes sense (in an online game, you want to be consistent in how things look for everyone).What they do however is let you modify the interface – the toolbars, the minimap, the world map, and all that stuff – and add some nifty HUD effects that may do all sorts of helpful things.
Below are the Add-Ins that I currently use. Feel free to add suggestions here. Note that since I mostly solo so far I haven’t listed some nifty tools that really help in team based instances and raids.
Bartender 3 – The first thing you notice when you start playing WoW is that your action bar is highly inefficient. By the time you hit level 10 or 12 you have way more skills than you can fit in the 12 slot space on the bottom of your screen. Bartender 3 solves that issue by replacing the action bar with 12 custom bars which can be positioned anywhere on the screen. They can be made vertical, horizontal and even transparent. You can disable the bars you won’t use and keep only 4 or 5 of them and enable new ones as you learn more skills. This is the plugin you see in all the videos where people have rows upon rows of icons all over their screen.
Quest Helper – there is one thing I despise in games like Morrowind and WoW. It’s getting lost, or spending hours looking for your objective. Some people may enjoy taking the scenic routes and wandering around until they discover their target. For me the that sort of thing is endlessly frustrating. Quest Helper solves that problem for me – it marks my quest goals on my map, as well as mini map, calculates distances and proposes the quickest routes for each of them. It lets me plan my excursions, pick quests that are close to each other and do them all in a single run. It even gives me a helpful arrow that is hovering above my character’s head which points me in the right direction and tells me how far away is the target (in yards). Some people find it annoying but you can disable it or move it into any point on the screen so that it doesn’t obstruct your view. Personally I just love this little arrow. Sometimes it gets confused when it comes to missions such as “Fetch X of item Y which is dropped by this kind of animal which can be found just about anywhere”. Sometimes it will try to send you to some distant point of the map, when the critters you need to kill live just outside of the town. But if you have a single targed that doesn’t move around, Quest Helper is usually spot on!
Auctioneer – Auctioneer is the one add-in that I haven’t even begun to use in it’s totality. It is a very comprehensive suite of tools to help you make money auctioning items, and save money when you bit. It has tons of advanced features, but the one I like the best so far are the advanced tooltips on all the items. They tell you exactly how much the item is worth and whether it is worth trying to auction it. It is not always right, as I successfully auctioned items it deemed worthless but it is helpful!
Titan Panel – One thing that always pisses me of about video games is that I need another clock on my desk to know the real world time. Screw immersion – sometimes I want to know just how long I have been playing the damn game. Titan Panel adds a small panel strip on top of your screen which acts sort of like your toolbar. It has a real world clock and bunch of other really nifty features. For example it tells you how much money you have at a glance (no need to open the backpack), how many empty slots you have left in your bags, how much experience you gained this session, how much damage per second you are dishing out and etc. It really has tons of statistics you can track, some of which didn’t really interest me. The gold tracking, bag tracking and the clock were most important for me.
Cartographer – the world map in WoW is kinda sucky full screen thing with few options. Cartographer makes it scalable, with adjustable transparency, marks it up with important locations and lets you add custom notes. Not a must-have as bartender or quest helper, but nice, and quite useful.
That’s it. That’s all I use for now. Once I get more into instance play and team based stuff I might post an update about some useful add-ins I omitted this time around. Feel free to post suggestions, and pimp your favorite add-in in the comments though.
[tags]wow, wow add-ins, cartographer, quest helper, bartender 3, titan panel[/tags]