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Addon Spotlight: Better PUGs with RobBossMods

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, RobBossMods helps new players get the dungeon information that they need.

Rob Boss Mods was brought to my attention during a quick PUG run of Zul'Aman that I wanted to get out of the way on then-main, now-alt paladin. I've had notoriously bad luck with items dropping in ZA for my paladin, but with the new changes, healing the place has not been too bad. However, there are still players out there who have not fully completed runs of the place, and I've seen tanks, healers, and even DPSers drop group when someone expresses the simple notion that they might not have been to this particular dungeon before.

Enter RobBossMods. Think of this addon as reporting Recount to your group, except with boss strategies. Hopefully, the proliferation of addons such as RobBossMods will rip the stigma away from being new to instances and facilitate easier grouping. In my opinion, anything that makes players feel more comfortable in the content is a good thing.

RobBossMods

In a nutshell, RobBossMods is an addon that links general boss strategies and abilities to players in guild, party, say, or whispers. For players new to instances such as Zul'Gurub or Zul'Aman or even to the previous tier dungeons/heroics, it is worth having a comprehensive explanation tool at the ready in case someone doesn't full know the fights. If someone is clueless about what to do on an encounter, just post the information for the boss you're currently ready to engage, and people are on the same page.

RobBossMods is also reactive. If a player types !boss into chat, the addons will recognize it and send that player, through whispers, information about the boss fight currently selected. Hopefully, if enough people have this addon or a similar setup, typing !boss will become a well-known and accepted way for players to get boss information, at least until the dungeon journal comes out.

You can set different announcement messages for the beginning of dungeons or alerts to let players know that you have the mod installed and if they need boss information, they should type out !boss. Letting a new player know right at the beginning of a dungeon that it is okay to ask questions or request information quickly removes the stigma of doing so and, in my experience, turns even the hardest heart into someone willing to give a quick explanation. RobBossMods lets you do this ice-breaking automatically.

Dungeon journal?

With patch 4.2, Blizzard will be introducing the dungeon journal, a new UI element showing players boss abilities and boss loot tables straight from the game itself. Many people call this feature the death knell of addons like Atlas and even something like RobBossMods, because of the seemingly overlapping and redundant feature sets. Addons have historically replicated Blizzard functionality but with a twist and a robustness that rival the relatively simple features of the default game. Sure, you could have more action bars with the default UI, but with addons, you could have many more and shape them in any configuration.

Will RobBossMods be obsolete when patch 4.2 hits? Probably not. The addon is still about the strategy and the abilities, and I do not think that the dungeon journal will be telling anyone how to beat bosses. Rather, RobBossMods and its ilk will continue to provide a service to players inside the game that they otherwise would have gone outside to find.

The "reporting" concern

My only issue with RobBossMods is not a problem with the addon itself but with its nature. I hate reporting addons. I hate addons that players can use to spam my screen with information they didn't ask for, especially DPS data from a level 15 instance (this happened). It is up to players to use addons that "report" correctly and succinctly, which is why I like RobBossMods' ability to announce at the beginning that you have the addon and are running it, so that people can request information with !boss. Stick to that, and don't spam my party or guild windows, and we'll be solid.

All in all, I think RobBossMods is a great tool, especially for you dungeoneering puggers out there. Hopefully, tools like this can create a more patient and more forgiving user base. If you're the giving and caring type, install RobBossMods and make sure that new players have an extra outlet to learn these encounters, new and old. The playerbase will thank you.

Check out a video of RobBossMods and a description by its creator on YouTube.

Download RobBossMods at [Curse] or [WoWInterface].

The mailbag was full of questions this week. Answer them, we shall.

Hey Mat,

Something that has always bugged me about my UI is the boss frames, like the extra ones that appear per boss. I can move it around with Sexymap, but is there anyone to mod it like regular unit frames? Make it blend better with the rest of my frame?

~ Vqsharix
Thanks for the email, Vq. Personally, I use Shadowed Unit Frames, which lets me mod the boss frame as if it were any other frame in the set. MoveAnything will get rid of the default frame if you want, but I am pretty sure most unit frame addons will let you manipulate the boss frame to your heart's content. I keep mine off to the side and quickly glance at it to gauge how devastating or how successful things are going to be in the last few heated moments of a fight.
Hello,

Like a lot of players I have a bunch of alts and also a bunch of addons. Usually I have my main's UI set up just right with all my addons set the way I want them in the same place with the same amount, etc. Yet, what annoys me is if i go to one of my under used alts I have to spend thirty minutes or so setting that alt's UI to the way I want it and the same thing if I create a new character. Is there an addon that could solve this problem? As in, I set up my main's UI with all the addon settings and such and then save it as a profile or something. Then all I would need to do is log into one of my alts or a new character, load the profile and everything is set just the way i like it and I can immediately start question, etc?

Thanks,
Jonathan
Thanks for the email, Jonathan. Here's my dumb little secret for keeping all my addons and general interface the same across all of my characters. First, on the "main" interface character, I save their profiles as something like "Main-Default." Second, I copy the WTF folder for the default character and rename that copy the character I am transferring the interface over to. Third, I load up the new character, set the profiles to "Main-Default" in the addons that require it, and boom. It works. Does it work with every addon? No. Does it work enough that it requires less work than building it from scratch each time? Yes.

As for whether there is an addon that can do all of that, I'm not sure. That will be the commenter question this week: Do you guys have any suggestions for an addon profiler addon? Swap interfaces quickly?

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 mat@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Reader Comments (Page 3 of 3)

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