Thursday, November 1, 2007

Addon... addoff...

I remember hearing about of lots of different mods during my Diablo II days. They were a violation of the terms of service, so Blizzard was threatening to remove accounts that ran even a single addon. "Even Maphack?" people would say. Yes, even Maphack, said Blizzard. I was never tempted to download any of these things (even Maphack) afraid that I would inadvertantly pick up a virus, or something that would cause my computer to go up in flames the next time I killed Baal.

So, I waited a long time before running any addons with WoW. I guess I assumed they would be a violation of the ToS for this game, too, but evidently they're not. I'm sure there are some that Blizzard frowns upon (and I've read about creators that have retired addons after such frowning, as with BottomFeeder), but there are tons of useful, legitimate addons out there. I know there are some that view using any addons as cheating, but if Blizzard thinks it's ok, then I'm okay with it, too.

I got a little crazy with the addons at first, and downloaded all kinds of stuff that I've long since abandoned. I used Koordinator to show my in-game coordinates, but scrapped it once I picked up Titan Panel. Also abandoned were Cartographer (maybe this is weird, but I like having the terrain slowly revealed to me as I explore), and DamageMeters. You know, I actually really want DamageMeters, but when I installed it, the little module thing appeared in the middle of my screen, so I clicked on it with the gloved pointer to move it. Then, I somehow could not let go of it. No amount of clicking (with shifting, alting, or anything else I could think of) would allow me to get it off my glove (get it off meh!), nor could I even use the pointer any more to exit the game. I had to alt-tab out and end the game through the Task Manager. That sucked. Any insight into this one is welcome.

Initially, I picked up KLHThreatmeter, because it seemed like the most popular threatmeter at (one site my brother-in-law told me it should be perfectly safe to download stuff from). I liked it fine, but heard from several (usually with a bit of superiority in their tone) that Omen was better. Sometime after the most recent patch, KTM started behaving strangely, appearing in random spots on my screen when I logged in, often just off the edge of my screen, offering barely a sliver for me to grab it and move it to a better position. (Sometimes I'd never be able to grab it, so I'd just have to give up and keep it hidden for the session, since I didn't know how to reposition it.) So, I got rid of it and have Omen now, and yes, it is lovely.

I also run Auctioneer, though I still don't think I've scanned the auction house enough times to truly benefit from this mod. I don't use the automatic pricing features, but I do use it to give me a ballpark idea of what things are going for. I have certainly made more money since I picked up this addon, but I also spend more time in the AH these days anyway.

Another one of my favorites is Lightheaded, which is like having wowhead right in the game. This is very convenient for me, because if I alt-tab out for a quest hint and open my browser, my computer sometimes makes a funny grinding sound, and the game is sluggish when I return. No matter where I am, I'm doomed to lag like I'm in front of the bank in Orgrimmar until the next computer restart.

For consolidating my bags, I'm currently using Bagnon. It broke after the recent patch, but it was updated and seems to be fine now. The only thing I don't like is that I can never see what keys I have. When I click on the key icon, it just opens my inventory. I may switch to something else when seeing these keys becomes more important.

Two recent additions (courtesy of BRK's addon list) are Autoprofit and Bartender3, and both are quite handy. Autoprofit is a bit dangerous when you have low level characters that might be carrying around gray items that they actually intend to use. My poor little paladin accidently sold her shield without noticing it when I clicked autoprofit. When she decided to put away the 2H weapon and level up the sword, well... turned out to be too late to get it back in the buyback. Heh...

I'm sure I'll collect more addons as I advance in the game, particularly as I start running higher level instances. I imagine cooldown timers and things like that can really improve one's efficiency.

What's the addon you couldn't play without?


Kestrel said...

Way too many people think add-ons are the work of the devil (or worse); glad to see you have an enlightened viewpoint. I wrote a little rant about this very thing very early on in my blog.

I tend to prefer Ace2-based add-ons to non-Ace alternatives, all other things being equal, and I've written about Ace as well. A couple "can't live without" add-ons would be ClearFont2 and Prat (both are Ace).

I'm a bit of a modaholic, so I probably have way more than I need. You might consider some kind of cooldown timer as well, especially as you have more difficult encounters.

Finally, I thought Cartographer has an option to turn off unseen parts of the map; if it doesn't, check out MetaMap, which definitely does.

Sherri said...

Ahhh, add-ons. The quest for the perfect ones is always fun.

I recently switched off Titan Panel due to conflicts and errors, and went to ACE2 mods and FuBar. It has tons of plug ins and everything is managed in one neat place. Plus there is more flexability with it. I am still learning on this one.

As for a good damage meter, my husband had asked for one, and I found Violation. It can be re-sized and moved around with ease, and has TONS of stats that can be posted into different chat channels. Try it out.

I recently tried Tourguide, which is supposed to help you with questing...but so far, I am not sure I like it. I also have a few class specific mods too.

I am weary about changing the interface too much, but I would like to try something simple, anyone have any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Damage Meters was never a good damage meter but while leveling it typically was the one most commonly used. Recap, SWStats, Recount, Violation are all better and are all ACE-2 mods. Try them out and take which ever you prefer. I run Recap and SWStats both, since each has features I like. Stick with ACE-2 mods when possible.Makes updating much easier, I use WowAceUpdater to update all my mods at onetime (other than Auctioneer which nothing compares to). You heard right Omen is vastly superior to KTM. Second Sherri's comment dump Titan Bar and pickup Fubar.

Kestrel said...

Sherri: I started a rather lengthy reply to your question...but decided it deserves an article all by itself. So feel free to take a look here. Hope the info is helpful!

Ess said...


I just found the post you mentioned -- we're definitely on the same page on this topic. Thanks so much for your latest article, too! I can't wait to get home and try some of these new mods... :)

It's possible that I gave up on Cartographer too quickly. I'm impatient sometimes, so if it's not immediately obvious how to make the addon do what I want it to do, I scrap it without much experimentation. I will check out MetaMap, in any case.


Thanks for the recommendation of Violation -- I'll definitely check that one out.


FuBar it shall be! The updater sounds really handy, too, so I'll look into replacing my other mods with WowAce stuff. Updating all the mods individually is getting to be a bit of a pain, as I'm adding more of them. Thanks!

Kestrel said...

A big reason I use Cartographer now (well, one of two) is the way it integrates with Gatherer. The other is that it's an Ace add-on. :)

Ess said...

Gatherer! I knew I was forgetting something. I do have that one, and it is very handy. If it meshes the best with Cartographer, then I shall have to get Cartographer a second try. :)

Nibuca said...

See also: Cartographer-Herbalism and Cartographer-Routes.

Herbalism allows you to download nodes from a central file and then shows them on you map.

Routes allows you to draw lines between resources on your maps. IE, I have a line drawn to all Felweed/Dreamfoil in Nagrand. This line shows up on the map -and- the minimap. This makes it a breeze to do a full circuit of the map picking all the weeds.


Ess said...

Ooh, thanks! That does sound really handy. I still can't figure out how to make Cartographer turn off the unseen parts of the map, however. Any ideas?

(I will play with it a bit more tonight, but I may be switching to MetaMap after all...)

Nibuca said...

AFAIK Cartographer-Foglight is the mod that shows the map to you. Fiddle with that if you don't want to see what you haven't explored.

Ess said...

Foglight was the function I needed -- I can now use Cartographer with the unexplored parts of the map hidden. Thank you so much, Nibuca! :)