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Addon Spotlight: QuestHubber is awesome for the next few months

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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.

I've been looking for an addon as simple and straightforward as QuestHubber for years. A combination of Lightheaded and Everyquest was the go-to staple of your average Loremaster, deftly conveying the necessary information to make these questing achievements a breeze. Add Questhubber to your Loremaster toolbox, because it's pretty damn dynamo.

Well, until Mists of Pandaria comes out, anyway. You see, QuestHubber has the both fortunate and unfortunate destiny of being such a good idea that Blizzard put the thing into the game. Yep, you can now see quest hubs on your map to better facilitate your questing experience. Don't get me wrong, I adore this feature. I just can't help but feel sad for little QuestHubber, which could potentially have more options than its official counterpart.

Like all good things in the column, a reader wanted me to talk about QuestHubber, truly one of my favorites already.

Reader Christina writes in:
I've recently been working my way through loremaster in the lull between now and when Mists comes out. While most of the 1-60 zones have been re-tweaked, many of the 60-80 zones have not. Occasionally completing the necessary quests to reach the quest count is still difficult in some zones {I am looking at you, Netherstorm}. In the past the only add-on that I was ever told to use was EveryQuest and while this add-on is great, it didn't provide a lot of extra/or necessary information. Such as, where are the quest givers you need to complete a quest for located? What about if a quest starts from a drop quest, where do you go to get this item?

Enter, Quest Hubber. What Quest Hubber does essentially is place ! marks on your map which show you the location of quests you have yet to complete, including, and perhaps most importantly, places where you need to go to kill a mob, to obtain an item which starts a quest. It does what EveryQuest does, but better in that it shows you where to go, or what to kill to get the few quests you have yet to complete finished off. It's a relatively simple add-on just seems to work right out of the box.
Thanks for the email, Christina. You're 100% correct -- QuestHubber is an invaluable addon for aspiring Loremasters. There is nothing wrong with getting help on these achievements, in my opinion, that allows you to experience a smoother story experience without worrying about game design and gameplay issues at the same time. I probably would have played Mass Effect 3's story mode if I had not been playing the game on Insanity. I'm not that soft yet, kids.

QuestHubber is good

There really isn't much to say other than the fact that QuestHubber is good -- too good, in fact. It's in the Mists of Pandaria beta. However, I'm not entirely sure if the feature is going to be available outside of the continent of Pandaria. While on the beta this morning testing out this very thing, I did not notice any hubs or future hubs showing up. It's beta, obviously, and things will change and the feature could not be implemented completely. Until then, QuestHubber is working for all hubs, perfect for your pre-MoP Loremaster excursion.

In terms of options, QuestHubber isn't going to blow your pants off. It doesn't have to. It has to do its job, which is putting place markers on your map for where you need to go and what you still need to complete. Frankly, the direct approach works for me with utilities such as this. You can filter out daily and non-level-appropriate hubs. There's an experimental feature to hide optional quests and future accessible quests, which seems to be getting updated in the future.

Download QuestHubber at [Curse].

The light at the end of the tunnel

QuestHubber was a damn good idea, one that never would have crossed the minds of MMO players years ago, when the idea of a finding a quest on a map was sacrilege and discovery was king. Now, experience is king, and while the sense of exploration is harder to come by in games, we have experiences that fit into the new time constraints of our lives. A trade-off, to be sure. Nonetheless, good ideas are good ideas.

WoW was the first MMO to really emphasize questing as a way to level your character versus the typical-at-the-time modus operandi grindfest that most games of the genre were. You killed mobs for experience. That's pretty much it. Even vanilla WoW didn't emphasize questing enough, as the first leveling guides eschewed questing all together. Eventually, the game erred on the side of convenience and, in a real coup to the genre, created narrative questing experiences in The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King that were almost impossible to counterfeit in terms of gameplay experience.

I miss the days of the discoverable quests, like most of you. I miss the days of finding, ironically, Chen's Empty Keg and doing that wacky, out-of-the-way task. Blizzard will bring these back at some point; I can feel it. It just has to make them optional. Lore achievements in Mists of Pandaria are being tracked by quest and storyline now, much like how the Molten Front tracked your progress, so alternative and optional storylines could be built that do not interfere with achievements.

Loremaster and QuestHubber, by association, are less about the need to advance my character through experience but through story. Showing me where quests on the map are or places that I need to go has been around for ages in the games industry. It could have happened at our tabletop session last night.

Addons that get added

WoW's interface evolves constantly with huge help from the addon community built up around Blizzard's tweakable UI. Ideas flow freely, and people build on those collaborations. The pandaren would be proud of all this zen working together of a community. Figures.

That leads into an excellent Addon Mailbag question or two.

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Hi Mat,

What addons do you think or UI upgrades do you think there will be wehn MoP comes out? I'm really hoping finally for a type of damage meter in game so Recount won't slow things so much. Thanks for the columns!

Cass
Thanks for the email, Cass. What other addons do I think Blizzard is on the verge of bringing into the game? Well, something like QuestHubber, for one. As for a built-in damage meter, Blizzard has repeatedly said that it's not something that it wants to do because the devs haven't fit it into the UI the way they wanted to, and frankly, it might not be something Blizzard wants to promote in the basic setup. I agree. Play the game for fun, raid, and prepare yourself with the added time and effort.

As for other addons Blizzard could include, I think that you'll see tweaks very quickly to the Pet Battle interface based on what the community wants. Blizzard's first attempts are usually great attempts, but there are pieces to every new feature rollout that just don't jibe with the players as anticipated. Little tweaks like that are my best guess for the inclusion of addons into Mists of Pandaria in the near future and after the expansion launches.

Finally, before I go, I wanted to remind all of you Boston-bound PAX East folks that you should swing by the Wyvern Theater on Saturday, April 7 for a live edition of the WoW Insider Show podcast! Myself, Mike Sacco, Alex Ziebart, and Fox Van Allen are going to be giving away prizes, taking questions, talking WoW news, and all that fun stuff. So come and say hello to us all weekend at PAX East. I'm really excited.

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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