WoW UI Add-Ins

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]

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9 Responses to WoW UI Add-Ins

  1. Steve CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Well, you can change what “action bars” are available in the non-modded WoW GUI – I have four bars…two on the right hand side of my screen going vertically, and two at the bottom (with a third there tucked under the first – for things that are done while NOT in battle). So, not sure if you need Bartender.

    Later on, once you start raiding in a guild, you should get things like CTRaidAssist, Omen Threatmeter, and Recount. The first allows you to easily see everyone in your raid, the second calculates the relative threat level you are at (which is really, really important for heavy DPS classes like Warlocks…once we get threat, if we don’t get rid of it, we are usually dead), and the last gives you an overview of how much damage you are doing relative to your raid (it also can show healing done, damage taken, DPS, etc.)

    I also use something called KAOS which allows me to configure my addons without constantly trying to remember what the command line is.

    Titan is great, I use that…never tried Quest Helper….

    There are also class-specific addons (like Necrosis and Lylock for Warlocks).

    Other good ones: Atlas and Atlasloot enhanced (the first gives you maps of the dungeons/instances, the latter the kind of drops the mobs will give in those instances), DeadlyBossMods (really important in instances), and Gatherer (if you are an Herbalist or Miner – really cool addon that remembers where you mined/picked something and can show a HUD of where those items were so you can repick them :) )

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  2. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Any class specific stuff for the Huntard? ;)

    I will check Omen out. It sounds useful, even for solo stuff – maybe I can see when I’m about to aggro monsters off my pet onto me.

    Quest Helper is incredibly useful if you are easily annoyed by vague quest directions and aimlessly wandering around a lot.

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  3. Steve CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Well, not sure about huntard specific addons, but you can check out http://www.curse.com…this site has a pile of addons and usually the latest. Also, I heard that QuestHelper might have been pooched last maintenance (yesterday) and I know that the Titan bar is (now there’s a bar at the top of my screen that says I have an in-game ticket open with them…and I don’t. I did create a ticket and they said the problem was with Titan. Their solution: remove the addon by deleting it from the Interface directory, then REBOOT MY PC :) too funny.

    Um…I think I can just disable the addon from my login screen…no? No need to reboot. Lol…some support, eh?

    If QuestHelper is indeed screwed, you can always go to http://www.thottbot.com…you can find info on quests there.

    Do you use Cartographer for the coordinates? That’s a good idea, since Thottbot uses them to indicate quest locations, etc. If not, you can create a simple macro:

    /script px,py=GetPlayerMapPosition(“player”)
    /script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage(format(“[ %s ] %i , %i”,GetZoneText(),px*100,py*100));

    Drag the macro icon to one of your bars and voila…click it and you will see the coords…easy :) No addon required.

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  4. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    Yeah, Quest Helper got broken same day as I posted this. Too funny.

    Fortunately the author posted an update on curse.com at some point late last night which was very nice. It is working again as we speak. :)

    As for Titan, yeah I got the same thing. I did not consider contacting Blizzard about this because:

    1. It is a 3rd party add-in and thus unsupported
    2. Their support kinda sucks anyway

    I’ll be checking Titan page for an update. It is likely they will patch it.

    I also noticed that they added a real-time clock just below the mini map, and a feature to track your bag space. So it seems they do sometimes incorporate features from the most popular adons into their product. :)

    Also, good tip about the coordinates. This is sort of what I used to do in Morrowind. :) Still, the Quest Helper “arrow” is so much more convenient.

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  5. Tummblr UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Check out TourGuide, TomTom and LightHeaded instead of the notoriously bloated QuestHelper.
    EDIT: I tried to link to all these addons, but your blog said I was spamming. Awesome. Go search for them on wowinterface.com.

    Also consider FuBar to replace Titan.

    For useful and generally well-written AddOns of all sorts, you might want to check out the WowAce forums and wiki. You’ll also find a lot of programmer types hanging around there (as well as the typical clueless users).

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  6. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    Heh… It must be that new WPSpamFree plugin or something. I will look these up, but how are they better than QuestHelper? I mean in general?

    Fubar looks interesting especially since Titan seems to be b0rken now. :)

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  7. Tummblr UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Here’s a review of TourGuide, just posted today coincidentally.
    http://www.wowinsider.com/2008/07/16/addon-spotlight-tourguide/

    AFAIK, QuestHelper is borked now? Also, it just gives you waypoints of quests you picked up, but it doesn’t actually give you any guidance on what sequence of quests you should do. TourGuide gives you the waypoints, but also has human-crafted questing guides to save you time and effort when questing. Also, full disclosure, I’m a huge fanboy of Tekkub’s minimalistic mods. http://www.tekkub.net/

    LightHeaded displays comments posted on Wowhead in your quest log, so you can find tips, coordinates, etc. in-game without tabbing out and loading your browser.

    TomTom handles coodinates and waypoints. You can doubleclick on coordinates in LightHeaded and have them show up as a big arrow on your screen.

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  8. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Yeah, it broke but got fixed the same day. There were like 3 lines in the code that were crashing the damn thing. Someone figured it out in the forums, I commented them out and it was all good.

    Later that night I noticed a new “alpha” release on he Quest Helper site. I downloaded it, did a diff with my current folder and they were identical. The author apparently just commented the same 3 lines. :P

    Thanks for the tips. I will definitely check these out. I really haven’t noticed the memory usage of Quest Helper but a leaner solution sounds good. :)

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  9. strudel BELGIUM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Dude how do you dare comparing a crapgame like WoW with a cool game like TES:Morrowind

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