Thursday, May 26, 2011

The power of the handy dandy addon....

If you have ever taken a moment to look over the addons on or, you have probably been a touch overwhelmed by all the addons that are out there that are supposed to make playing easier in one way or another. With all the addons out there, what are some of the better addons for tanking and all around playing? How do I pick an addon?  How will I know if it's any good?  These are all valid questions, questions that I hear from guildies all the time. I have taken a my current tanking UI and will break it down as to what I use and why.  Maybe this will inform you of an addon that you have been looking for.  Maybe you don't run addons and wanna know how they work.  This should make things a bit clearer. Here is a screenshot of my current tanking UI:

click image to see a bigger view

Ok, now lets break this down in to its parts.  Below is a key.

click image to see a bigger view

1) BasicChatMod: This is a nice little addon to clear up your chat window.  It's also nice if you are lazy like I am and hate having to constantly type /o to talk in officer chat.  Once you enter a chat channel, you stay there until you enter a new one.

2) Bartender4:  This is a very nice way to organize your buttons and make things smoother and easier to organize.  Place any number of action bars anywhere on your screen.  Also allows you to move around your bags, menu bar and everything else.

3) Skada:  This is a nice alternative to Recount.  It will show you any information about the fight from dps to threat to CC broken and so on. Can be set for current fight or over all.  Since 4.1 dropped, I had nothing but trouble with recount, since I switched to Skada, I've never been happier with a meter since I used DiamondThreatMeter back in BC.

4) SexyMap: This is a nice addon that allows you to move your minimap to anywhere you wish.  It also allows you to give it a nice custom look, far nicer then the standard minimap.

5) Raven: This is a buff/debuff display addon.  You can create and move bars that show buffs, debuffs, timers and lots of other things.  Very handy in helping to keep your UI clean.

6) TitanPanel:  This is a nice little bar that sits at the top of your screen, it allows you to display brokers (addons that show things like gold, durability, latency, ect.) and make things far more organized and easier to see at a seconds notice. On TitanPanel, I currently run:
  • Currency - This will let you list right on the panel all your currencies, from gold to tokens to points.  Also lets you see what you have on other toons by just hovering over it.
  • CPU - Let you see what addons are running and how much memory each one is using. This is a great tool, if you are having lag issues suddenly, you can hover over this and see what is going on. See if an addon pulling more then it should.
  • DurabilityInfo - The name says it all, lets you know your current gear durability.
  • Volumizer - This allows you to adjust the volume for everything ingame.  No more having to go in to the sound menu and changing stuff for you.

7) TomTom: This is a simple coordinate addon.  It does have nice features such as you can place a "pin" on the map anywhere and you will get an onscreen arrow that will point you the way and how far you are away.  Arrow also works for quests that you are tracking as well as trying to find your way back to your corpse. 

8) DeadlyBossMod (DBM, not pictured): This is a must have to anyone running anything.  It gives you a nice heads up when bosses or mobs are about to do something you should really avoid/interrupt.  Also gives you timers for such things as boss enrage timers, time to next cast from boss, even battleground timers.

9) Altoholic (not shown): This addon lets you see what is on your other toons.  Now not just what they are wearing, but in their bags, bank, AH and you can also use it to look at your alts professions and even link them in chat without even logging out of your current toon. This is a very handy addon to have.

10) Addon Control Panel: This I HIGHLY recommend. This allows you to look at a list of ALL your addons, on or off.  You can turn some on and turn others off, click "reload ui" and POW! no more logging out to turn on or off addons.

11) CBH Viewer: This is what gives me the black gap at the bottom of my screen where all my stuff is.  This doe snot just give you a black area, it actually zooms the screen out, giving it a true widescreen feel to it.  this also allows you to see more and makes tanking a bit easier.

As you can see, I find that a clean UI is a huge benefit for tanking.  The more that you can see, the more control you have on a situation.  You will be less likely to be surprised by a stay mob walking around or miss that fire pillar until it hits you.

I hope these help out a bit and do you as much good as they have done for me. Remember, keep up the good work bears! We gotta show them how it's done!

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