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Patch 4.3: Addon survival guide

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley 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.

Every patch is coupled with potential problems for all of our favorite addons and utilities we've added to our game throughout the years. With a few simple precautions, you can be relatively free of addon issues on patch day. Here's a quick checklist that you should follow in order to be ready for patch 4.3 with as few problems as possible.
  • Back up your interface folders. Copy your interface and WTF folder in the WoW directory somewhere safe outside of the WoW directory itself. Just make a folder somewhere on your hard drive called WoW Interface Backups and copy and paste in your interface and WTF folders. Don't move anything -- just copy. Backups are always good to have.
  • Update your addons to alpha or beta versions. Many addons allow you to download alpha or beta versions that aren't release versions but have had work done on the PTR to make them patch-ready. If you use an addon updater like the Curse client, right-click on an addon to select the release you prefer. I prefer alpha or beta releases, since they're the most up to date. They are potentially unstable, however. For patch days, you'll want the newest versions. Upgrade to those alpha or beta versions, but be sure to have a backup!
  • Did I mention backing up your interface folder? Do it.
  • On patch day, remember to hit "Load out-of-date addons." Loading out-of-date addons is a big deal. While some of your outdated addons will need updating, some of them might still work. If one of your addons hasn't been updated on Curse or WoW Interface, it might not have needed an update at all.
With a little preventive maintenance on your end, you can experience a relatively painless patch transition and be ready to group and raid on Tuesday.

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, Cataclysm

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