UI and Addons: Part II – Convenience and Aesthetics
Chatter and Prat are two well-known chat addons but the features they offered were just too extensive for me. The only thing I wanted to change about the default chat was to move the input box to the top of the pane, and gChat does just that. It also colors the border of the input box with the color of the channel you’re typing. I love simple, easy wins like this without unnecessary bloat.
Identity is an extremely simple addon that allows you to have a “main” name that will appear in parenthesis after your character name, in the channels you specify. I wish everyone in my guild used it – it really helps keep straight those 9 alts that each person has.
Fubar provides extensive support for plugins with other addons, giving you a quick way to access them. I have mine across the very top of my screen, but you can certainly put it elsewhere. From left to right are: MailFu, LocationFu, AuldLangSyneFu, DurabilityFu, AtlasLootFu, AtlasFu, BagFu, andClockFu.
I use AuldLangSyne to manage my friends lists. It syncs between characters, allows you to write notes about friends, and saves info about them such as guild and class. The Fubar plugin is also quite nice and displays a list of everyone on in your guild and friends list.
I currently use Mapster, which is a lightweight map addon. It functions well with the Blizzard Quest tracker, and most importantly it allows you tomove while the map is open. For my mini-map I am using SexyMap. I’ve heard complaints about it being bulky, ugly, etc but none of the other mini-map addons seemed as easy to configure. I made mine a simple black-bordered square and turned off most of the icons that tend to get in my way.
I am incredibly directionally challenged, and without the fantastic Northrend maps I am guaranteed to get lost in any instance. Atlas is a map browser for old instances that helps quite a bit. You still can’t see where you are in the instance, but at least you can see the whole thing and where the bosses are located. It also integrates with AtlastLoot.
ArkInventory is one of those addons that absolutely cannot live without. When it broke for a few days after patch 3.2, I didn’t even want to play. It is one of many addons that combines your bags into a single bag. You can easily organize it into subsections by assigning certain item types to go in specific sections, like a section for all potions, or one for mats, etc. You can also define custom categories such as main-spec and off-spec. You can organize your banks much the same way. Re-stacking is also a nice feature. In addition to managing your bag, it keeps track of items you have spread over all your alts, as well as items in your guild bank. Just hover over an item and you’ll see where you can find more of it. It even keeps track of money!
I use three addons to help me compare gear in game. The first is Pawn, which allows you to create “scales” and assign a value to each stat. Pawn is loaded with preset scales, but I would recommend search Elitest Jerks or other resources sites for a more updated one. If you’ve ever heard the term Equivalency Points thrown around, you can use Pawn with those to assign value to stats.
RatingBuster summarizes stats on items and converts them to base stats, including enchants and gems. MoncaiCompare allows you to compare gear with what you have equipped without holding down the Shift button.
I grabbed TinyTip, because the default tooltips were going to what would be the bottom right of my screen if those silly eagles had still been there, but now that space is free. I have the tooltip follow my cursor but turn off during combat.
I keep Auctioneer and AuctionLite on my banker toon only as they are quite memory-intensive. Auctioneer is massive and keeps track of market trends in several different statistical ways. I don’t use half of it’s features, but it is easy to use and I can’t auction without it. I have Auction Lite as well, mainly for its feature to buy multiple stacks of things at once. Be careful if you choose to disable Auctioneer for other characters that you disable all of its little parts including Informant and BeanCounter.
I’ve been using Postal for so long that I completely forgot what it actually does – I had to go look it up. The key feature is the “Open All” button. You can also selectively open types of mail such as AH Outbidded emails, or Mail with attachments. It also displays a summary of money from opening mail.
Ever forgotten to buy more poisons, ankhs, or other reagents? Well FreeRefills won’t make you remember, but it can automatically purchase a set number of reagents when you visit a vendor that sells them. SellJunk adds a button to your vendor windows that allows you to sell all greys in your bag. Its one of those things that really ought to be built into the default UI.
VendorBait highlights the quest reward that has the highest vendor price.
Advanced Trade Skill Window is… well… a replacement for the trade skill windows (hence it’s name!). Some of its features are: filtering your recipes, sorting recipes, a queue system, reagent buying, and quite a bit more. I absolutely love it and would have a hard time crafting anything without it.
It also has some nice options that allow you to see how many items you could produce if you had everything from your bank and other characters on you.
For anyone crazy enough to grind the cooking daily to receive the Chef’s Hat, Iron Chef is a simple addon that will automatically equip and de-equip it for you when engaging in any cooking task. I use Gatherer for my miners and herbers. I’ve never tried any of the other gathering addons, but this one does the job for me. I just have to make sure to disable the annoying GathererHUD.
Atlasloot contains a very complete, browsable list of items in the game. You can look at what shiny epic might drop from the next boss, or simply look up what mats the enchant you want requires. It also has a wishlist feature for you to save gear that you’re drooling over.
Mounts and Pets
GoGoMount is fantastic for those with mount collections, or just those that want a single button to click on rather that one for a land mount and another for a flying one. It randomly chooses a mount from your collection, taking into account things like whether flight is allowed, and what your preferences are. It also handles druid flight form quite well. Minipet is a similar addon for your pets. It can automatically summon a non-combat pet for you, or provides you with a button you can click to summon a random pet at your leisure. You can set the frequency of randomness on a per-pet basis. I know that GoGoPet is also out there, but I’ve always used Minipet.
Overachiever is a handy addon for achievement seekers. It adds a Search tab to the achievements window, and tooltip reminders for Achievements like “It’s Happy Hour Somewhere”, and “Pest Control”.