At the end of last week's Addon Spotlight, I put out the call to readers to let me know what addon, category, or type they would like to see revisited or discussed on this week's edition of the column. Emails, comments, and more came through, and the two biggest contenders were OPie and the various raid frame alternatives. (Also, commenters seem to have an affinity for GTFO, so we'll get ourselves reacquainted with that lovely addon in a few weeks.)
OPie strikes a personal chord with me, not only because of its functionality and ability to remove a ton of clutter from your interface, but also because of the association with a radial menu not unlike Secret of Mana, one of the best SNES games of all time. I loved Secret of Mana more than I can tell you, and OPie brings the memories back in full force.
Why revisit addons? There are a couple of reasons. The first is that WoW is unique in the MMO-universe as it consistently sheds players but adds on new batches and resubs throughout the history of the game, keeping it in the 10-million-player window. With new players comes an empty mind ready to engage, educate, and bring into the discussion. Revisiting our favorite addons lets those players get caught up to speed.
The second reason to revisit addons is that a new expansion is on the horizon. With new expansions come new UI elements, addons, and staples. New addons will rise as the next best thing, unexpected things will develop, the Reapers will return in 50,000 years, and the cycle will continue. By showcasing these great addons, we inspire a new generation of addon creators to continue the wonderful work of the WoW addon community. Let's put an addon on the moon by 1970.
The world is round
OPie's signature feature is a hidden radial menu of buttons that appear when a selected button is pressed or held down. Radial menus are cool because of the interaction they have with the positioning of the mouse. By moving the mouse in certain directions, you spin the middle cursor to select an item, ability, or macro from the radial action bar setup. This type of ability selection allows you to put less-used things on a hidden bar that becomes unhidden on command.
Could you do all of this with an action bar and something like Kongs or just the built-in action bar options? Sure. But it's definitely not as cool. Use cases for OPie involve everything from housing all of your professions on one wheel for quick crafting. Mages love OPie because you can have separate wheels for portals, teleports, and conjures, among other things like buffs that don't need to be on your screen at all times. Some players use OPie for gear sets, big cooldowns, shapeshift forms, and more. The possibilities are endless, and the configuration is pretty darn simple.
Each class comes equipped with default OPie rings that are totally customizable but set up from the get-go for no-hassle installation. Death knights, for instance, come with a Presences ring and a Combat Utility ring with cooldowns and key abilities. Paladins come with an aura ring. Every class has immediate access to trinket rings, trade skills, raid markers, quest items from your bag, and a tracking selector.
You can create brand new OPie rings that fit your personal specialization and use any abilities and such that you choose. Type /rk or open OPie's customization window, click Create New Ring, and you're off to the races.
Rings are bound to keys and appear on screen when they are pressed. If you're the type of player who uses something like a Razer Nostromo, OPie is one of those addons tailor made for you. Access to tons and tons of abilities and macros, far more than can ever fit on that keyboard, are now available to you in miraculous, wonderful ways. OPie is truly a dynamo.
Share your creations
OPie features a built-in sharing system that allows you to send your custom ring setups with other players with the addon. You can easily share your rings by going into the options, select Custom Rings, enter your friend's name or the guy you want to share with, and hit Share. Tada! OPie will let your buddy know that you want to share and offer to pass it along.
See? Not only is OPie awesome, but it's promoting friendship, caring, and helpfulness.
Nothing like it
Is there anything else like OPie out there? It's always been one of those addons, in my mind at least, that had no equal. OPie was OPie. You could do what OPie did with other addons, but this was the go-to package. I think that it's a worthy revisit, especially for the new player who do not understand its power. Check out OPie. You'll think it's cool, at the very least.
Download OPie at [WoWInterface], [Curse], or the OPie website.
Mail bag? Mail bag.
Hi Mat;Thanks for the email, Paleblade. I love your question because I have an answer to it. Oh boy, do I. You need to download oGlow! oGlow lights up your items with a border that denotes their quality. Common items and above get their distinct color, from green to orange.
I always find great addons in your columns that I never would have thought of using before, but now I'm looking for something specific. I want an addon that makes the in-game character screen look like the mobile one, with each inventory piece highlighted with a square of its quality.
For example, when I load my DK on my mobile armory, I can easily see his helm is green, his gloves are blue, etc by the outline of the equipped gear's square, but the in-game screen doesn't do anything like that unless I mouse over the piece.
It seems like a really simple idea, but I have yet to find what I'm looking for.
Thanks for your help
Paleblade, Earthen Ring US
Items in your bank, bags, void storage, mail, and pretty much everything in between will glow with their quality. oGlow is a great little utility that probably should have already been added to the default user interface, if it already hasn't been released. Has it? I've just been using addons to make the glow for so long ...
There are a lot of bag addons that will make the glow, but the effect is usually restricted to the bag addon itself.
Download oGlow at [WoWInterface].
If you've got a question for Addon Spotlight, send me an email at email@example.com, and I'll do my best to help you out.
Next week and beyond
Next week, we'll talk about raid frame alternatives, including Grid, Vuhdo, the default frames, and more. Which is your favorite raid frame? Do you have any awesome stories of changing your raid frames in some profound way that changed the game?
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.