Friday, July 6, 2007

Favorite Add-Ons: July 2007

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One of my favorite aspects of World of Warcraft is the customizability of the interface. In my opinion, it is one of the most revolutionary implementations of the concept. Sure, some games in the past allowed for some customization of some graphics, allowed you to add a few unit types, or even AI, but with the ability for scripting and changing major aspects of the interface, World of Warcraft has taken this to a new level. I find myself playing any type of game now and wishing I could download something that would replace the default UI or add some management to the game like WoW allows.

Without any further ado, here are my favorites:

ACE2 and FuBar are the infrastructure that most of these add-ons use and I recommend installing both to make the management of your add-ons easier. Also, Niagra is another useful mod that allows you to see graphically the configuration options of many mods.

Addons with the ! are essential!

Links may lead to a page where you'll have to find the add-on from the listed downloads. I did this rather than link to the most current download as it may not be available in the future.

Graphical Modification

These mods are simply here because they make the game more fun to look at. You could probably skip these if you wanted, without sacrificing any ease of play or functionality:

  • AG_UnitFrames: allows you change the way your unitframes appear. What is a unit frame? Well, the area in the corner that has your character name, character portrait, health and mana/energy/rage. It's also your target, target of target, party and raid displays. AG_UnitFrames allows you to change the entire appearance of these unit frames, their placement, the way health and mana is displayed and even allows you to use 3D models for the portraits. While I could play without this mod, I'll stop using it when you pry it out of my cold dead fingers.
  • CloseUp: allows you to zoom and move your character model in the dressing room and your character screen.
  • moveFrames: allows you to move all the default UI windows by dragging them by their title bar and remembers where you moved them when reopended.
  • simpleMiniMap: allows you to move your minimap and change its shape and size.
  • InFlight: shows you how the minutes and seconds remaining on your flight between flight points.
  • SW Stats: a damage/healing/skill use meter that allows for quick setup and swapping of meters.
  • Deadly Boss Mods: thee add-on for warnings on boss abilities.
  • SCT: scrolling combat text. While WoW now includes one, this one is configurable in ways the built-in functionality doesn’t even come close to.
  • AtlasLoot: Along with Atlas, allows you to see maps of instances and lists all the drops that you can get from specific bosses.
  • nQuestLog: replaces the quest tracking of the built-in interface. The best feature is the additional quest information, usually including map coordinates for NPCs and drops, that you can get by pressing Alt over the quests in the tracking window.
  • Cartographer: Tracks mining/herb and other respawns on maps.
  • eCastingBar: Replaces the player casting bar, target casting bars, etc.
  • ! Natur's Enemy Castbar: Completely different from eCastingBar, this tracks the buffs and debuffs used on specific mobs, as well as your own abilities’ respawn times and even instance respawns of mobs.
  • ! Ratingbuster: Breaks down all stats on gear into all appropriate bonuses and compares them against your current gear. I’ll be detailing this soon in another post.

Added Functionality

  • BuyEmAll: changes the shift-buy interface to allow for more flexibility in purchasing items from vendors.
  • FreeRefills: automatically buy essential consumables like water, reagents, etc.
  • ! ItemRack: equipment swapping management. Group sets of equipment together and with the click of a button switch to another set you’ve set up.
  • WIM: an IM-like interface for whispers along with a chat history.


  • Bartender3: a replacement for all the buttons and button bars.
  • AutoBar: a bar that organizes all your consumables into one bar.
  • ! Arkinventory: There’s a reason why I saved this for last. This mod is undeniably my favorite. ArkInventory is a mod that replaces your inventory interface with one window with all of your inventory grouped together in groups you specify. With the recent replacement of the categories with rules, it has come to the next level, one that I haven’t even tapped into its full potential. I’m not going to go too far in-depth on this one. Look for one of my next posts which will detail this essential.

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