Bartender4 – very easy to use actionbar replacement. Fully customizable and has ButtonFacade support.
Shadowed Unit Frames – A fantastic, configurable, and simple to use unit frame. You can easily position each type of unit by simply dragging them. The configuration options are very extensive, but it works quite well out of the box. The combo points automatically display as little yellow blocks at the bottom of your target frame. Shaman totems similarly show up as four colored blocks on the bottom of your player frame that grow smaller as their time runs out.
Quartz – a configurable cast bar that can show latency, and the global cooldown. The global cooldown is fantastic — by default a little white blip that crosses your screen. You can customize cast bars for targets and focus targets as well as yourself.
Class Timers – addon that creates timer bars for buffs and debuffs. I put them between my player and target frame, for a much easier way to see this important info.
Power Auras Classic – provides visual cues triggered by events in-game. Incredibly powerful but also very fiddly – it does require some time to get used to and understand.
Weak Auras – provides visual cues triggered by events in game. Incredibly powerful, and IMHO better than Power Auras
Damage Meters/ Threat Meters
Skada – a very lightweight addon, that provides any meter you would need, and is quite easy to use. I have mine set to show threat meters while I’m in combat, and DPS or Healing at the end of the fight. It’s aesthetically pleasing, and captures all the data I need in an accurate way. I find it easier in Skada than in Recount to flip around from looking at DPS to Damage Taken to Healing, etc. It is a great, minimalistic tool for analyzing what’s going on in a raid.
Deadly Boss Mods (DBM) – an addon that I cannot live without. Unless you’re passionate about making things pure and hardcore, I can’t see why anyone would want to raid without this addon (or its alternatives such as BigWigs or Deus Vox).
GTFO – an audible alert when you are standing in bad
I use Grid in combination with Clique for healing. It’s very configureable and allows you to see debuffs, buffs, incoming heals, threat, etc. I also found it useful when tanking to quickly target a DPS who has threat problems and taunt off them. It’s a little bit of work to set up, but none of the other healing addons I’ve tried work out of the box well either. I really prefer the aesthetics of it to Vuhdo or Healbot.
I also use a few addons to enhance Grid:
Parrot – pretty combat text that scrolls across your screen in a nice arc. It is nice confirmation that things are working properly — I know I’m hitting the mob or healing my target. I can also see easily things like how much my shaman’s Lava Burst crits for without rummaging through the combat log. Plus… it just makes me happy. I know that minimalists would consider it distracting, but I love it.
Totem Timers – a Shaman addon that is a nice replacement to the default totem bar. It allows you to hotkey practicaly everything. Currently I hotkey SHIFT-a, SHIFT-f, SHIFT-e, and SHIFT-w to open up the air, fire, earth and water menus respectively, and then each totem has it’s own number. So if i want to cast my fire elemental while I’m in combat I just hit SHIFT-f, then 1. It also has built-in Power Auras for Lava Surge and Fulmination.
ArkInventory – one of my favorite addons ever. It combines your bags, and allows you to setup “bars” or areas with certain categories to automatically organize your bag. It keeps track of what is on all your alts and in your guild bank, adding the count of items you have to tooltips, or allows you to search for an item among your alts. Gold is also kept track of.
gChat – 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. Note that you will also need gLib and gMedia
Identity – 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.
Bazooka – a Data Broker display similar to FuBar, that allows you to put bars on the borders of your screen with bits of useful information. Any DataBroker plugin can work with it, and you’d be surprised by how many addons have that feature already (Archy, and Skada to name a few) . Basically anything that would show up as a mini-map button can be used with Bazooka, giving you less clutter. Here are the plugins I use with it:
- Aanye XP – shows XP or Rep tracking by percentage or points
- Broker uClock – a clock
- Broker DungeonFinder – Shows the dungeon finder queue status
- Broker_DurabilityInfo – Shows the percent durability of your gear and can automatically repair for you
- Broker_Location – Location info
- Broker_Mail – Mail info
- Broker_Tracking – shows and allows you to select what you are tracking (herbs, class trainers, etc)
- picoGuild – hovering over this shows you who is on, guild rep info, guild xp and more
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 use three addons to help me compare gear in game.
Pawn – allows you to create “scales” and assign a value to each stat. Pawn is loaded with preset scales, but I would recommend search Elitist 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. Pawn’s latest iteration will even show you percent upgrades on gear, including in the quest pane (and will recommend the highest vendor price item if none of the quest items are an upgrade). With good scales, this is a fantastic way to quickly see if that item dropped in a dungeon is an upgrade. It can also help you reforge your gear with its recommendations. Obviously it can’t do everything for you (such as balancing around hit or expertise). In the case of hit I usually create two scales, one with the hit value pre-cap, and one with it’s value post-cap.
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.
Crossdresser – it may have an amusing name, but it is lightweight and can switch gear sets for you upon switching spec
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.
Skillet – a trade skill replacement window with queuing, shopping lists, etc.
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.
Archy – your all-in-one archaeology assistant. It provides a list of dig sites on your current continent, tracks nodes, shows the items you are solving in a quick pane, shows boundaries on the mini-map, sound triggers when you can solve, and… the list goes on. Basically if you want an addon for archaeology this is the only one you will ever need.
Gatherer – keeps track of herb, mining, and treasure node locations, including syncing with guild or party members. GatherMate is another alternative, and I really have no preference between the two.
Atlasloot Enhanced – 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
GupPet – randomly selects mounts and pets for you. Has full support for druid forms and even Ghost Wolf.
Overachiever – 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”.
Quest Hubber – missing quests from a zone for an achievement? Having trouble finding where the heck the quest givers are? This is especially a problem in Cataclysm, but Quest Hubber solves it by showing on the world map the location of all the quests you’ve missed
MoveAnything – enables you to hide, move, scale, and adjust the transparency of just about any Blizzard UI element. I used it to reposition my buff frames just a tad.
NPCScan – scans for rare NPCs by proximity (if they aren’t already in your cache).
Mogit – 3d models and a full catalog of gear for transmogrification delight
Last updated January 16, 2012