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, I double cop-out with a second top 5 list because the first one did so well. Who says I don't pander?!
There is no way I could have made a Top 5 addons list without these other 5 addons. Many of you had awesome Top 5 lists of your own, and the comments on my last Top 5 column was filled with awesome recommendations. Thank you all for the excellent conversation.
This list is my other Top 5, a collection of addons that didn't make the cut the first time, not because they aren't deserving of the top spots but because they probably weren't the first addons to come to mind. Then, after reading the comments and my own addon list, I felt bad and couldn't leave these out. So let's do my other Top 5 addons.
I can tell you the first time I used Grid, because I remember it vividly. I was late to the Grid party, despite being a healer for the entirety of vanilla WoW and The Burning Crusade. (My transition to tanking only happened during Wrath, when I had scratched the tank itch in Warhammer and it followed me to WoW.) The first time I installed Grid was in the beginning of The Burning Crusade, setting up the addon during my first run of Hellfire Ramparts. Why do I remember this so vividly? Because I spent my entire run setting up the addon and not healing anyone, resulting in a longer than needed Hellfire Ramparts run.
Grid feels timeless to me. Hell, I might have been using Grid earlier than The Burning Crusade, but this is the first memory that I think I have about it. Suffice to say, what Grid did for the party and raid interface in WoW was monumental. In fact, I think Grid changed the way people think about group and raid interfaces in MMOs in general. The customizable squares, easy-to-notice health levels and corner-driven interface, plus putting buffs/debuffs front and center, make Grid a powerhouse that exists in the perfect small space.
Nowadays, for healers who use Grid, I recommend Bati's Grid layouts, since they are awesome. And check out my Addon Spotlight on Clique, the best companion to Grid ever.
The functionality of the in-game mail system is, for lack of a better word, lacking. It's a simple system still very much of the old generation of MMOs that WoW was born in. For everything that Blizzard has been doing to update WoW and bring it into the new generation, the mail system hasn't seen much improvement. To be fair, it's not an end all, be all game feature, but it is a small, mailbox-sized monument to days gone by.
Postal fixes the mail system in WoW to give it added functionality and useability. Much like how, in the past, Chatter and Prat would turn the default chat box into a more complete feature, Postal has been doing this for the mail system for a long time. The auction house would be unusable without it. So, Postal, you get the other number 4 spot.
Download Postal at [Curse] or [WoWInterface] (but you probably already have it installed).
Relatively new to my list of favorites, GupPet is everything I've ever wanted in a companion pet and mount addon. Easy to configure, with a separate keybinding for random mounts depending on location and a super-configurable system for mount preference, GupPet pulls all of my favorite features into one slick-looking addon.
There's not much else to say about GupPet. It does a fantastic job with its intended features. Here are a few tips. First, put the slider all the way down on the randomness of the Bronze Drake -- nobody wants to see that. Second, put the slider way down on your Ashes of Al'ar, Primrose -- nobody wants to see your stupid bird. I'm jealous.
Check out my Addon Spotlight featuring GupPet.
Action bars are one of those areas of customization I could not live without, period. My UI setups have always concentrated on separate special utility action bars that flank the traditional double-bar setup at the bottom of the screen. My personal favorite action bar mod, Dominos, hits everything out of the park. Bartender is good too, of course, but I was always a Dominos man.
The first thing I did when I loaded up WoW was add every single extra bar to my user interface that the default options let me add. Configuring my actions bars didn't happen until late into vanilla, when my needs and wants finally trumped my fear of customization. Since then, life has never been the same.
With variable setups for blocks of action bars, customizable sizes and number of slots, and a host of options for hiding bars in and out of combat, action bar mods can transform a cluttered and crazy UI into a thing of minimalist beauty. Combined with addons like ButtonFacade, you have the perfect picture.
Action bar mods, you get other spot 2 in my list because of how you turned my user interface into my own creation and not just some options in a settings menu.
Download Bartender at [Curse] or [WoWInterface].
Download Dominos at [Curse] or [WoWInterface].
Remember when I said simplicity is key to a great addon? OmniCC is simply one of the greatest addons ever because of its simplicity and for giving users a feature they might never had known they ever wanted or needed.
What does OmniCC do, for the uninitiated? The addon layers a countdown timer in big, bold numbers on top of your action bar abilities that counts down until the ability is usable again. Most everything is customizable, of course. I like OmniCC's basic purpose tag line: It turns your analogue cooldown timer into a digital timer. Simple, easy to see, and incredibly useful for those of us who like big numbers.
Simplicity makes OmniCC my other favorite top pick of addon. Check out this awesome guide on OmniCC. And check out my Addon Spotlight where I say very few words about OmniCC.
And the award goes to...
I hope you guys and gals enjoyed my double Top 5 lists. People seemed to get a kick out of them, so many next time we'll do something fun like the Addon Spotlight Awards. What types of categories could we have? Best Newcomer? Best Functionality? Best Interface? Actually, this is a great idea, and I'm stream-of-consciousing into something big. Let's do it! Suggest categories in the comments, and I'll put together something fun.
See you guys next week.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.