Tobold's Blog
Monday, January 25, 2010
The addons I use

Ashlandur asked me two things by e-mail: 1) What my policy on post requests was, and 2) what World of Warcraft addons I was personally using. My policy on post requests is that since I abandoned the Open Sunday Threads, you can request posts from me by e-mail. And as Ashlandur had just done that, here are the addons I use in WoW, in alphabetical order:

AckisRecipeList: Tells me for each of my profession whether I have all the recipes, and if not, where I can get the missing ones.

AdvancedTradeSkillWindow: Only using that because the "Glypher" subrouting of Auctioneer requires it.

AllPlayed: To count my virtual gold, which is distributed over many characters, on two different servers. Also tells me that I'm playing too much WoW. :)

Auctioneer: The standard auction house interface of World of Warcraft is too limited if you want to start any sort of business. Auctioneer allows you to post many auctions at once, allows you to undercut the lowest price by a fixed amount or percentage, and stores prices to give you an idea of the average value of goods, among other things.

Deadly Boss Mobs: The "You Idiot, you are standing in the fire, get a move on!" addon, which replaces whatever situational awareness skill I would otherwise have needed to play in dungeons and raids. ;)

Decursive: Another dungeon/raid addon, to quickly dispel magic or cure diseases with my priest.

FishingBuddy: Reduces the amount of clicking to fish in WoW.

GatherMate: Marks herb and ore nodes you found on your mini-map for future farming.

GearScore: Reduces a person to a single number, to be laughed about.

Healbot: A click-to-heal addon without which healing in raids would be a lot harder.

Telo's Info Bar: Shows some interesting information like fps, bag space, gold, lag, and coordinates on top of your screen.

LilSparky's Workshop: This is supposed to list the cost to make and market price of items in your tradeskill window, but unfortunately is extremely unreliable on the cost column, for example by taking extremely high pigment costs for glyphs instead of counting the much lower and more direct ink costs.

Omen: A threat meter.

ORA2: A raid organization addon.

PallyPower: Manages paladin buffs.

Postal: Your 1,000 auctions of glyphs expired. Use this to empty your mailbox, or get carpal tunnel syndrome trying to do it manually.

QuestGuru: Alternative quest journal, giving you added information like level of quest, as well as a list of which quests in each zone you already did, and which you didn't.

Recount: See Gearscore, but only works for dps classes after having grouped with them. A damage meter.

Scrolling Combat Text: If you like numbers for damage and healing in the middle of your screen instead of in your combat log.

TauntMaster: The Healbot for tanks. Shows who in your group has aggro, and allows you to taunt the mob of your group mates with a single click. Note that standard configuration for protection tanks is badly done, and there is no in-game menu to do better, but you can edit the lua file to fix that.

And that is it. Already quite a long list, and it reflects my main activities in the game: crafting and playing in groups. Bad jokes about reducing people to numbers apart, I'm using Gearscore and Recount to improve my own gear and performance, not to judge the gear or performance of others.
DBM- Bossmod
Recount- Epeen meter
Gearscore- See above
Omen- Threat meter
Bartender 4- Action bar replacement
Spellbinder- Because I don't want to use an action bar to bind EVERY abiliy
Pitbull- Unit frames
Grid- Raid frames
Grid mana bars- self-explanatory
Sexymap- Minimap addon
Baudmark- Quick target marking mod
Eavesdrop- Combat log mod
Satrina Buff Frames- The best buff and debuff addon in the world.
Satrina's digits- Numeric Head's up display of health and energy for a unit
Prat- Chat addon
ForteXorcist- CDs and taunt resists

Love to link you a screenshot of my UI in a raid, it's newly updated and pretty clean looking. Tonight I'll try and get something on photobucket. =)
Interesting you don't have a Bar or Unitframe mod listed like Bartender or Pitbull.

When you asked the question about could you live without addons, believe it or not -- these were what I thought about first.

I can catch the visual clues for when I need to do something in a boss fight. But it's the arrangement of my buttons and unit frames that I would find hard to live without.
Quite a long list? Wow Tobold, I must be an add-on junkie because my addons list is at least 3 times the size of yours lol. I wish I could get it shorter!
I wish I could be so sparse with my addons, I got bascially my whole UI redone compared to the standard one.

Just goes to show though that my suspicion that most people aren't addonwhores is right.
I think if we got rid of the addons that people rely on such as the ones that tell or pick the move to use. Then it would weed out the people that use addons as a crutch for their abilities lacking.
I have had auctioneer for ages, plus I loaded dbm ages ago but didn't go raiding for ages, so when patch time disabled it I didn't bother reinstalling it.

I installed recount last week, for much the same reasons as you Tobold, and I will shortly be installing tauntmaster (or whatever it's called).

Maybe that's why I suck as a tank?
I suppose you could tell a lot from what adds on ppl use.
i have

bunny's questlevel
deadly boss mods
rogue powerbars
titan panel
I firmly believe that the worst 'crutch' addon is Auctioneer. It allows people to make a business off the AH without having any of the rights skills that the AH is meant to be all about. With Auctioneer the bad traders do not have to memorize the prices for dozens (or hundreds) of items and do not have to calculate in their heads what the average prices over a month were. Heck, the batch posting features makes making money on the AH a 'faceroll' that any idiot can do.
Maybe I'm out of the loop, not being a WoW player, but why play a game that requires you to bot it to have fun?

I've always seen rampant botting as a sign of some sort of flaw in the game. Either the game is so boring as to be unenjoyable (e.g. click-to-combine crafting systems) or players are effectively cheating (e.g. using chess engines to play chess online).

To use an example from your list, if everyone uses a "standing in the fire" add-on, perhaps fire avoidance isn't a very good game mechanic?
Replace Healbot with Vuhdo. I even use it on my dps (quick retarget, misdirect and such) and tanks (taunt from players with aggro). TidePlates (and ThreatPlates) for tanks and dps (can switch from tank- to dps-mode) - as a tank all nameplates you don't have solid aggro on become big, as a dps all the nameplates you are about to pull aggro get smaller while those that are safe to dps on become bigger.
Recount is not an epeen-meter, it tells me when I (the pally-tank with a 30sec cd) interrupted jaraxxus 100% while that rogue and that dd-dk never did it once ... it also tells me that I outdamaged them ... it tells how often that stupid mage didn't decurse on the the champions.
I have BigWigs AND DBM and I need them both because whenever I disable one of them some messages/signals are missing.

@Nielas: Maybe thats because making virtual gold isn't realy the purpose of WoW? Hm, just checked, there is no single achievement for using the AH and the only gold-related one is for LOOTING gold.
I've finally caved and installed two add-ons now.

Questhelper to make finding actual Quest goals a tad faster.

Recount: To keep track of whether I'm actually advancing as I level up (and try to find errors in how I play).

Levelling a DPS warrior is more fun than I expected as well, it got interesting to play this character in the thirties and has been ever since.
@Tolthir: DBM, that "standing in the fire"-addon is no bot. To be a bot it would need the ability to automatically move your character out of the fire, which it doesn't have. All it does is telling you - in pretty big letters - that your feet are getting roasted and that it might be a good idea to change your location. But you still have to do it yourself and there are plenty of people who manage to oversee those big letters, which isn't surprising when they need an addon to notice that they are no longer standing on a dark ground but in bright flames instead.
Botting is having a program play for you, such as one that would play your character and farm...addons are not botting. They made the UI customizable so players can get creative and adjust their interface to their playstyle, they also take cues from the playerbase on how to improve the default UI.
In WoW addons used in combat can't really automate much. Any combat action must be accompanied by an actual keypress or mouseclick. Auction house posting and mail retrieval addons are the most sophisticated automation you can get in the game.

'Standing in the fire' mechanic has the problem of being unrealistic. In RL if I am standing in a fire I will know it very fast and in a spectacularly painful way. In a game that same thing will be expressed with a colored bar to the side of the screen decreasing and maybe a debuff icon popping up on the other side. having an addon announce it on the screen in big letters actually feels more 'right'.
"LilSparky's Workshop" - if it's no good, why do you use it?

Recount: See Gearscore, but only works for dps classes after having grouped with them. A damage meter." - Recount records damage, true. It also records healing done, dispels, damage taken, interrupts, deaths (especially useful for on the spot raid wipe analysis) and many other things. It's not a "damage meter only" addon.
having an addon announce it on the screen in big letters actually feels more 'right'

Ah, okay, that answers my question. What I was curious about was whether the add-ons are intended to compensate for problems with the game design (inadequate visual cues in this case, it sounds like), or whether people are trying to mechanize what are supposed to be tests of skill. The latter is a problem because it tends to "optimize the fun out" of the game.
I prefer Auctionator over Auctioneer because I can drag-and-drop to see a list of the same item organized by price-per-item, can choose the starting bid % of buyout, and the numbers are rounded nicely. I know Auctioneer has the Appraisal tab, which is useful, but I like knowing where things are in my bag (Bagnon), and I find Auctioneer more clunky. Also, Auctionator's shopping list is invaluable. I'd rather learn average prices of the items I most often buy (Auctionator does not keep nearly the amount of data that Auctioneer does) than try to remember all of the items that I most often buy.

I used to use Altoholic to tell me how many items and on what alts I had in the mail, bags, and AH, but DataStore kept interfering with Postal.

I don't use Omen or QuestHelper now that the standard UI has these features (albeit not quite as helpful as the addons), but I do use Recount and Gearscore for my own improvement. My 80 is a Tauren hunter specced Survival and as much as I like tons of stamina for soloing I am realizing that I just don't need it for random groups (most of my time is spent doing randoms, enchanting scrolls, and playing my nook in the AH).

Occasionally I disable all addons to see what the UI feels like, but for normal play they are invaluable.
TauntMaster: The Healbot for tanks.

Could you go into detail about what changes you made to the lua file? I'm interested in trying out this add-on with my prot warrior.
Could you go into detail about what changes you made to the lua file?

That depends a bit on which version of Tauntmaster you use. Basically what you are trying to do is to understand which line says "Mocking Blow on right click" and which line says "Intervene on shift-right click", and then move the parts around so you get Intervene on simple right click.

The version I was using when I wrote this post was a bit simpler, meanwhile there was an update which makes the code look a bit more complicated, but making this change is still possible. I contacted the author, who admitted he didn't know you couldn't use Mocking Blow in Defense Stance, and who said that he was working on a customizable version, where you can use an in-game menu to decide which button does which ability.
ORA3 is out, which is an improved rewrite of ORA2. ORA3 is configurable through your /raidinfo menu, instead of through that nest of cascading menus.

Healbot is very versatile, and can also be used for decursing, with much the same end results as Decursive with the notification sounds and keybinds that you had before. While I have not used Tauntmaster, with the use of [@targettarget] macros, you can use Healbot to see who has aggro and taunt off the person's attacker.
In regards to TauntMaster, what should be edited in the lua file to make the prot warriors function better? You hint about it but don't tell us more.. tsk tsk ;-)
The new version of TauntMaster has a menu where you can change what mouse click causes what taunt, no more need to edit the lua file.
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