Tag Archives: Addons

Addons and WoW Classic

As WoW Classic edges closer, the planning committee for the instance group continues its work.

Classic is as Classic does

Key items still to resolve include a time when we can all play together, which is proving trickier than I would have liked.  Getting older, having different responsibilities, and moving to another continent are all in the mix on that front.

Another item that came up was Addons.

I am torn on the subject of Addons.

On the one hand, I have run Addons of some sort for the vast majority of my time in WoW.  I think one of the first Addons I got was to speed up quest text, before Blizz put that option in the settings.  There was a time way back in the day where I ran one of those big combo packs that lumped together a whole bunch of Addons into a single unified project.

I have also spent periods of time with a very minimalist set of Addons.  That was especially true after support for the big combo pack I was using fell apart.  Addons are often the efforts of individuals, some of whom stop playing WoW and move on.

There have been points during the life of the game where Addons have seemed essential.  I remember a daily quest in Wrath of the Lich King where you had to run around a lab to find chemicals where the Addon that would highlight what you were looking for in the mess of the lab felt essential.  And then there was the Masterplan Addon, without which managing followers and their missions during Warlords of Draenor was a dreadful chore.  And then there are the Addons for pet battles, which make pet and team management possible without having to keep a spreadsheet open on a second monitor.

So I am hardly anti-Addon, though I do try to keep the number I use down to what I really need, if only to avoid conflicts, the pain of patch day incompatibilities, and the heartbreak that comes when support ends for one.

But, on the other hand, something about the spirit of WoW Classic, a sort of back to nature, seeing the game in a raw or primitive form, makes me feel like Addons might be a bit of a betrayal, a cheat, an option that would deprive myself of the full experience.

So I want to consider the whole Addon thing carefully.  I have almost a week left before WoW Classic starts, so I might as well take some time to think about it.  I’m not doing much else besides staring at that count down on the WoW Classic home page.

The Addon makers have been busy.  If you go look at just what is available for WoW Classic over at Curse, they are already into the 13th page of Addons, which at 20 Addons per page, is starting to add up.  And it was at page 11 when I started planning this post last week.  So that is well past 200 Addons and growing.

Addon makers have the experience of nearly 15 years of the game to look back on to decide what works and how things can be done.  And while WoW Classic won’t need Addons for things like pet battles or garrison missions, some things like Deadly Boss Mobs Addon have made the leap to WoW Classic.  I also see HealBot, TomTom, and some gathering and market Addons that sound familiar.

My gut says to start small, if at all, with Addons.  The only one I considered from the list immediately was one to auto-sell gray items at vendors, and even that one made me think twice.  There will be a point during the early game when gray items might be the best in-slot item I have, and any gear is better than no gear!

At some point I will no doubt consider something to help with buying and selling on the market.  Money will be a thing, especially if we plan to go through the full epic mount plan we did back in the day.

But some items I think I will avoid.  There are several quest trackers and Addons to speed your trip to level 60 by optimizing your route and telling you where to head.  But right now I am not worried about speeding through WoW Classic.  There is nothing much at level cap, save for an epic mount.  I won’t be raiding or anything like that, and there is no launch of The Burning Crusade in the offing.  At least not that Blizzard has announced yet… though if they are not at least thinking about how to get there, then they are making a mistake.

Anyway, that is my plan at the moment, six days before launch.  Keep it simple when it comes to Addons.

How about you?  What Addons do you think are essential for this journey, if any?

My WoW Addon Overview

Back when I first really got into World of Warcraft, I dove into the who addon thing pretty heavily.  The UI at the time was even less flexible than it is now (though I am sure that isn’t saying much for some) and there were so many options and things to be improved and so on.  I filled my plate to overflowing at the addon smorgasbord.  I even had addons for things like WoW Census to help them get play counts.  You can go hog wild with addons and end up with a very different looking version of the game.

Not the stock UI

Hey, I know where that is!

(screen shot of the Ultimate Raid & Leveling UI pack)

And then the reality of addons began to hit.  Some of them were buggy or leaked memory or conflicted with other addons.  There was the usual nightmare of patch day when everybody needed to update their addons, whether or not they broke due to some change.  Finally, long term support for addons has always been a bit dodgy.   Somebody who was enthusiastic addon developer one day was likely just to walk away from their projects the moment they stopped playing WoW.

Addons became a pain, which wasn’t helped when Blizzard made it clear that you couldn’t charge for addons or solicit donations for them in-game.

Around the time of that big quest tracker addon I changed my tune on the whole addon thing.  I was going to be an addon minimalist.  By that point Blizzard had improved the game enough, often by incorporating the functionality of some popular addons directly into the game (to the annoyance of some) that I did not feel like I needed as many addons.

I cut my addon count down to the bare minimum.  I think at one point I only ran Auctioneer, because knowing the market value of things is too useful, and one damage meter or another, just to keep myself aware of how I was doing.  In addition, I limited the potential pool of addons to those supported by Curse, since they make updating easy.

Over the years since then, my addon count has crept up slowly.  I have added and remove some, but the really useful ones persist.  So my count as of today is 8 addons.  They are:

Auctioneer – This is my market tracking addon of choice, and probably my one absolutely essential addon.  There are other options in this category, but I have stuck with this one out of habit as much as anything else.

GTFO – I picked this up when I did the LFR’s in Pandaria to ensure that I wouldn’t be “that guy” standing in the fire or what not.  It basically plays audio alerts when you are standing in the fire, ooze, or other zone of impact so you know to get out.  Very helpful as a melee DPS player where your view of the world is often restricted when standing next to a giant boss.  Probably less necessary when ranged, but still nice.  Several people in our weekly group run this, including Earl who runs the sound through his speakers and Skype through his headset, so I can hear when he is standing in the fire during a fight.

Master Plan – Makes garrison missions more manageable, lets you assign the optimum followers on your team to a given mission, lets you complete all outstanding missions with a single click.  Not absolutely indispensable, but I would want to try and run five garrisons without it.

PetBattle Teams – Suggested by several people and mentioned in my post last week about pet battles, this really helps to overcome the limitations of the pet battle interface.  I am not sure I could really be serious about pet battles in any way without running this addon.

Pet Tracker – I may have mentioned this in passing last week as well, this fills addon in a few more of the blanks when it comes to pet battles.  It lets me know in a battle if any of the pets I am facing would be an upgrade over what I have already caught, including if I do not yet have a given pet.  It also gives a readout in each zone of available pets, which ones I have left to catch, the quality break down of those pets in my collection, and where any uncaught pets might be found in the zone.  This is all stuff I could look up on the web, so not indispensable, but still very nice to have.

My Rare Finder – Also just Rare Finder, I picked this one up one night when we were out hunting rares as a group.  It just puts them on your map so you know where to look for them.  Great if you are obsessing about rares, but I feel like I could remove this one.

Recount – What looks to be the most popular damage meter on Curse.  Certainly, at 64 million downloads, a lot of people have tried it.  Mostly used to just see how I am doing.  I never throw numbers around these days.

Tiffy’s Junk Seller – This isn’t even up on Curse anymore, so I might need a replacement some day.  This was somebody’s addon test project, and it basically sells all of the gray quality items in your bags when you open up the vendor interface, listing out what it sold and how much it totaled up to in the chat window.  Almost essential in WoW, where bag space is at a premium on any character I play regularly.

And that is my list.  It is probably a very short list compared to some, and no doubt extravagant compared to others.  I have had other addons around at times.  I used to run Gatherer until Warlords of Draenor put all my gathering needs in my garrisons.  When I play as a healer I run Healium, though I haven’t done the healing thing for a while.  I also was running an addon that would show the X,Y coordinates of positions on the map, but it broke with 6.0 and I haven’t really needed it in Draenor, so I haven’t bothered replacing it.

What is your view on addons?  The minimalist approach like mine, where I am always trying to pare them down?  Do you go full bore in changing things up?  Or do you ignore them altogether?

Pet Battle Enthusiasm Unleashed

I often find that there is a threshold of knowledge that, once passed, really enables me to get into something.  One moment I am tentative and uncertain.  Then I hit that critical mass of information and suddenly everything accelerates and I feel like I am, for lack of a better phrase, “really into” whatever that is.

That can be quite a transition.  I remember clearly hitting that transition with Civilization II, which is probably part of the reason that it remains my favorite game in the franchise.

Anyway, I am pretty sure I experienced a similar transition when it came to pet battles last week.  Before my last post on the topic, battle pets were something I did a little with every day, but it was really a secondary activity where I had little focus.  After that post, thanks to just a few bits of information that flowed my way via comments and Twitter, it was almost ALL I did i Azeroth.

So a big thanks to the people who left suggestions.  I think the biggest one was the PetBattle Teams addon, which made managing regular sets of pets… well, I was going to say easier, but since the standard UI does so little for you in that regard, I am going to go with “possible.”

PetBattle Teams on the right side...

PetBattle Teams on the right side…

With that I was able to organize some regular sets.

I also found that spot in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, over by where the Golden Lotus daily quests are, that a couple of people mentioned.  The many pet groups that spawn over there… enough to keep three very active players leveling pets up going non-stop it seems… are mostly aquatic types and, as it turns out, I have quite a few pets good against aquatic at this point.

Fighting a multiple blue spawn in the Vale

Fighting a multiple blue spawn in the Vale

While crows were suggested as a pet, I found that the pair of my level 25 Waterfly and my level 25 Sandy Petrel were good enough to keep me going during the 8 minute cool down on pet heals.  I boosted quite a few pets over the course of the week.  In that area, if your level 1 pet can survive that first round and get swapped out, it jumps to level 5, after which it can generally survive a round even if it takes a hit.  From there the pattern seems to be two levels per fight up to level 11 or so, then one level per fight up to 15, and then two levels per fight up to about 20, at which point I am generally ready to let them face the world for the last few levels.  20 levels in less than 20 fights isn’t bad.

Of course, the area has its oddities.  I am not sure what is going on with that lake in the middle, but it seems to have two surfaces.  That makes the spawns there a bit problematic.

Under one surface, but over another

Under one surface, but over another

And when that spot got over crowded a couple of times, I was able to fly down to the river along the southern border of the Valley of the Four Winds where another host of aquatic encounters are available.  Lots of turtles and otters.

Amongst the first pets I raised up were Rascal Bot and a Shimmering Wyrmling, both of which are strong versus flying type pets.  I needed those because the first couple of battle pet masters I met after Ashlei were heavy on flying types.  Once those were available, I was able to add two more masters to my daily list of fights, and then a third once I leveled up a mechanical type.  You can see I have teams set up to battling them with their names, Vesharr, Taralune, and Cymre.

And with those opened up for daily farming, the suddenly I have 16 pet charms coming in each day, and for fifteen I can buy a Marked Flawless Battle-stone, since I have levels covered from another direction now, which upgrades any pet to rare quality.  So a lot of those poor quality pets I picked up along the way can suddenly become viable team members.

With all of this activity my rogue, who was just shy of level 96 when I posted last week, rather suddenly found himself hitting level 99 based on little more than pet battles.

Pet battle experience, it is a thing

Pet battle experience, it is a thing

Pet battles are something I need to spread out amongst alts it seems.

And, of course, with all that activity on the pet battle front, I rolled up a few achievements.

Yes, all those pet battle achievements in a row...

Yes, all those pet battle achievements in a row…

The most important on that list was probably Draenic Pet Battler, which unlocks the level 3 pet menagerie building in your garrison.  Well, it does if you are level 100 and such, but it is account wide, so Vikund was able to benefit from all this work by alts.

Another building to level 3

Another building to level 3

On the list of achievements, I do find it amusing that I got the one for raising 30 pets to level 25 before I got the one for raising 15 pets to level 10.  If you catch them above level 10, as I have on many occasion, they do not count as being raised to level 10.  You have to actually level them through that point.

So while the score of my profile over at Warcraft Pets has not changed dramatically, it is poised to improve if I keep up on this path.

score up from 1352

score up from 1352

On my list of things to do now is to work on the remaining battle pet masters in Draenor and find some more pets to fill out areas in which I am weak.  I am not well stocked against undead, I need a couple more mechanical types up to 25, and I have to find a few more flying type pets.