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Addon Spotlight: DrDamage

Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same. This week, the doctor is in.

Welcome to the first Addon Spotlight post-Cataclysm edition! With the release of Cataclysm and the subsequent changing of environments, instances, raid and dungeon progress, and everything in between, certain addons that we've come to rely on continue to thrive or slowly die out as the world's needs change. Little forgotten addons, we salute you and hope that you find a way back into our hearts.

This week, your HMO better cover out-of-system doctors, because we're going to the best. Occasionally called "Doctor TMI" among my friends, DrDamage is a beefy little addon that adds a completely new level of understanding and information to your damage and healing abilities. Sometimes you learn a little too much about your skills. Nonetheless, DrDamage is a unique addon that can help you feel your way through Cataclysm's new skills and abilities, making you a heroic king again in no time.

What is DrDamage?

Addon Spotlight talked about DrDamage way back in 2008 (dinosaur times), and the conclusion was thus: DrDamage is a great way for the non-number-cruncher to get into the number-crunching scene for the added benefits that number-crunching bestows upon said cruncher of numbers. I hold this crunchy belief today.

You're not going to get Elitist Jerks-quality NASA graphs charting the quantum fuel consumption ratios of using Slice and Dice over a twin ion engine strapped to the back of your rogue, but you get data based on your own buffs and talents that helps you better understand your abilities' ... abilities. Think about it -- even if you don't particularly care about the process, the end result is a powerful piece of information, namely that some abilities are situationally better than others. And who doesn't want to improve their DPS or healing, eh?

Numbers are very important in WoW. The stalwart folks at EJ and other sites made this game playable for us, when items had wacky stats and the game never told us what our hit rating percentages were. DrDamage is the non-number-cruncher's way of paying that math some respect.

But what does it do?


After installing DrDamage, you get to do a little bit of setup, telling it what talents you are currently using and modifying your persistent buffs and target debuffs to calculate out some information handily available on your ability tooltips.

After you set up the buffs/debuffs and talents modifiers, you can set up what is actually calculated and displayed on your tooltips. You can tell DrDamage to calculate everything with your current stats or use your own custom stats to see what happens to your abilities when you get more hit, for example. It's a wonderful tool for learning a little bit more about the ins and outs of your abilities and what numbers affect what skills in different ways.

You can keep all of the information calculated on the tooltip or opt for a more compact version. Some people might be overwhelmed at the sheer craziness of so many numbers, so putting things into a more compact mode makes transitioning to this addon easier.

Displaying damage and healing

Another unique feature of DrDamage is that you can have the calculated damage or healing of your spells added to the action bar icon of your abilities. Doing this allows you to quickly see what abilities, based on the debuffs and buffs available to you at the time, will be perfect to cast. DrDamage supports most action bar mods, including the default bars, Bartender 4, Dominos, Macaroon, and much more.

Testimonials

DrDamage has accolades coming in from all over the world (via Twitter and Mumble), spreading the good word about the doctor's orders:

"DrDamage is great for learning a new class, because you don't know what is what. Even transitioning into a new spec, you would be doing yourself a favor using DrDamage as a learning tool."
Primrose, second best discipline priest ever

"DrDamage helped me compare specs!"

Eradris, new person

"Stupid Landro's gift box, giving me stupid Sandbox Tigers. What the hell, Landro?!"
Alex Ziebart

Conclusion

DrDamage is a great way to number-crunch with just a little bit of effort, and it might even make you into a die-hard numbers fan. With Cataclysm finally here and instances and dungeons ramping up in difficulty, something like DrDamage could be a powerful tool in your arsenal as you gear up and get ready for the challenges ahead. So give it a shot -- numbers won't hurt you, honest.

Download DrDamage at [Curse].

Dr. Damage seems like a really great DJ name, doesn't it? There probably already is a DJ named Dr. Damage. If there isn't, go for it, and remember your good buddy Mathew for giving you the idea.

For next week

Next week, I'd like to do another community addon suggestion dealie, so send in your favorite addons updated for Cataclysm, and we can share the love. Tell us your favorite addon and a quick little testimonial! People really seem to enjoy the community recommendations. Send you suggestions to mat@wow.com.

Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. If you're new to mods, Addons 101 will walk you through the basics; see what other players are doing at Reader UI of the Week. If there's a mod you think Addon Spotlight should take a look at, email mat@wow.com.

Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

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