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Addon Spotlight: Gear levels at a glance with iLvLr

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.

One of the best ways for addon developers or fans of addon developers to get their addon some attention is to have it featured here on Addon Spotlight. If you're a developer who wants to see your addon in the spotlight or you're a friend of a developer looking to do your buddy a solid because of that thing you did in Cabo three years ago with the guy's on-again, off-again love interest, send me an email at mat@wowinsider.com and tell me to feature the addon. I try to read all my email, and you'll most likely have the experience JerichoHM did.

Some time ago, I covered Skill Helper, an addon that was sent to me by its creator, JerichoHM, that made missing a skill point because of forgetting to train a thing of the past. Now, Jericho sends me another email discussing his newest addon called iLvLr, which adds new information about an item's ilevel and durability percentage to the character pane. Addons that add to the already existing user interface are some of my favorites, since I don't have to clutter up the screen with new pictures, boxes, and other crud.

Let's start off with the email from Jericho, discussing his newest addon iLvLr:
Mat,

A while back you covered my first add on Skill Helper. I loved the article and had such a huge and positive response from it I couldn't help but contact you again about my newest development. I had released an add on called Durability Helper that I have since abandoned due to major issues I simply could not identify! Skill Helper has gone through some MAJOR face lifts since you last covered it which my fan base (46 followers @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/190240457669378/ plus thousands of downloaders on curse and wow interface) has had a lot of input on with its growth.

As a result of my guild collapsing, joining a new raid guild, and being a part-time officer instead of guild leader, I've been able to crack down and level my alts. My last of my 10 characters hit 85 recently and I'm on a gear push now so I made a new add on. It had to make identifying what gear I desperately need to replace easy. I also wanted a replacement for the abandoned Durability Helper add on. From this mess of needs came for a tidy little add on called iLvLr.

iLvLr currently has three purposes/features:
  • To show the iLvL of each piece of gear simultaneously without having to mouse over for the tool tip
  • To show the item quality of each piece of gear simultaneously without having to mouse over for the tool tip
  • To show the durability of each item remaining, with alert status colors, without needing to mouse over for tool tip or wait for the armor guy to show up
I have fulfilled these three needs in a very compact and clean addon that doesn't clutter the UI. It is already growing rapidly like Skill Helper was doing and I am now asking if there is a chance of giving a review of iLvLr and an updated nudge of Skill Helper in the Addon Spotlight? I'd also like to note that I am working on the next feature add to iLvLr where it will have a missing gem and enchantment indicator. There are a few other things that I am currently looking into doing, but they are hush hush right now because I don't know if I will be able to actually do them or not.

Thanks a million Mat for reading my email and Happy Holidays to you.

Jericho
Thanks for the email and the heads up, Jericho. I think we can throw some love your way for the new iLvLr and the updated Skill Helper.

All of the information

I like information. I like information a lot. If I can help it, I like having my information displayed in a neat, easily understood fashion. iLvLr is great for showing me my durability per armor piece for those select times when I want to spend the last drop of my guild repair money for a night of raiding rather than waiting until I lost the right amount of durability. See? It's economical.

To be completely serious, one of the most frequent questions I get from my friends about gearing up their warriors is "what should I get first with my valor points?" At this stage of the game, with Raid Finder loot being so accessible and valor point gear filling almost every slot, my advice is to upgrade what needs upgrading the most first and work toward the four-piece set bonus. With iLvLr, my friends can have a quick, at-a-glance look at their ilevels and their armor and easily pick and choose which pieces of gear need the most attention.

With new features coming that provide quick looks at missing gem slots and enchantments, iLvLr could become one of the best teaching tools and reference addons for new players getting into the gearing up scene. Making sure that you're all good to go on high ilevels, repaired, and that you're all decked out with gems and enchants will make anyone a little bit better at the game. Hopefully iLvLr can promote some good behavior amongst all the new raiders hitting Dragon Soul with Raid Finder.

Not having to mouse over items for comparison for ilevels as well as seeing durability at a glance is pretty great. You all should check out iLvLr.

Download iLvLr at [Curse].

Updated Skill Helper

I praised Skill Helper the last time I discussed it for being a great little addon to have around to not miss skill-ups when you haven't trained up to the next level of trade skill yet. Well, it has helped me greatly in that regard; however, the interface was always a bit large.

The new and improved Skill Helper is a much more streamlined graphical interface, resembling more of an Xloot rolling window instead of the old-school raid frames from the Blizzard UI. The new setup is perfect -- smaller, quick action buttons for trade skills and plenty of customization. Jericho has made excellent improvements to Skill Helper, and I hope people keep up the enthusiasm for Jericho's addons.

Download Skill Helper at [Curse].

Addon Mailbag time!
Hey Mat,

I just recently started getting into the lore of Warcraft so I have been getting some of the novels and playing through the old RTS games. I was wondering if there were any addons out there that are made for lore lovers. Prehaps an addon that is linked to wowwiki or a stand alone addon. There are so many characters in all of the books and games that is it very hard to keep track of them all. I see someone in WoW and I can't remember if they are important or not. I mean, after 6+ years of playing I start to forget characters from classic WoW let alone all the ones in these novels. I would like an addon that will remind me of who an NPC is, and what I (should) know about them at that point.

It seems like a lot of work for someone to create that addon but it would be great if there was one.

Thanks,

Ignorant - Silvermoon - US
I agree completely, Ignorant. An in-game lore addon would be pretty great, potentially using the same type of coding as Lightheaded to pull information from Wowpedia or something. Maybe a searchable database that you could just pop in a name of a creature or lore figure and get the whole entry right there in game.

Sadly, that type of addon is resource-heavy and limiting. In-game lore addons are one of those categories of addons I have not seen a lot of, or they've just been so hidden that I never noticed them. If someone out there were to write a Lightheaded-esque addon for lore in the game, I would feature it in a heartbeat, since WoW's lore is one of those aspects of the game I do get very excited about.

At this point, I'd just say the best WoW lore addon you have at your disposal is Wowpedia itself. To open this addon, press Alt+tab while playing WoW, open up your web browser, and type in Wowpedia's address. Until the day we get an in-game lore addon, this will be the recommended procedure.

I've always wanted Blizzard to make the lore more accessible, and that did start to happen with the Dungeon Journal and the community site short stories. However, I would love just a little + or information toggle I could hit to give me a little more explanation of the world around me. I think it might be pretty cool, especially with the added exploration coming in Mists of Pandaria and a focus on the unknown again. Sounds like a good time to me.

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

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