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Addon Spotlight: Achievements

I have to say; at first I was not a fan of the new Achievement system. Feathers in my cap didn't intersest me on Xbox Live, and even Warhammer Online's achievement system didn't do much for me during my short stint as a Marauder. I don't think I could attribute my newfound obsession to any genius on the part of Blizzard, but I do have to admit that I've fallen for achievements in World of Warcraft. Perhaps it has something to do with the massive amount of time played, or a sense of having been there and done that. Naturally this led me to start mixing my passion for achievements with my passion for addons. This week, we're going to take a look at a few addons specifically built to enhance or simply the new system.

Let's start with one bearing a name alluding to one of my favorite movies. Urban Achiever replaces the default Achievement UI. It adds a search feature, making it easy to find an achievement amongst the many available. It also replaces the tracking feature, while even automatically tracking time achievements when they begin. Players can track up to five achievements at a time. In the end, this one is really a matter of preference.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight, Guides, Achievements

Addon Spotlight: Atlasloot Enhanced updated for Wrath

That's right, Atlasloot Enhanced has been updated to include the Northrend instances and raid. Personally, I've been waiting to be able to browse and try-on the gear from the new dungeons and raids since the expansion launched.

Atlasloot Enhanced is absolutely one of my must-have addons, and I've watched it grow with loving admiration since the day I realized I could see what my toons looked liked wearing Sunken Temple loot.

For those of you not using this one, it's a wonderful way to spend your time while waiting for your groups to get situated, double check drop rates on certain items, or even link items from your wish list for typically uninterested group-mates. (Go ahead and take advantage of the captive audience.)

Although we've featured this one before, Atlasloot Enhanced has some great features for the curious player, and in light of all the new content, I thought we'd review some of the reasons to install and use this very useful mod.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Add-Ons, Instances, Raiding, AddOn Spotlight, Bosses, Factions

Addon Spotlight: Mac Dual-boxing

The new Recruit-A-Friend program has taken the World of Warcraft community by storm, perhaps more so in the dual- and multi-boxing circles. I'll admit that while I advocate enjoying the leveling process and experiencing the lore through quests and in-game events, once you've hit 70 a couple of times, the magic tends to wane. With the coming of Wrath of the Lich King, we've had some time to re-evaluate our WoW experience. For many of us, finishing up some alts has become a way to prepare for the expansion. I've had a number of alts since I started playing, but have only managed to ding two paladins and a rogue. Each time I play in a battleground I see a member of another class do something crazy cool and ponder rolling whatever class it is.

With the RAF program in full effect, I decided that dual-boxing with the 300% XP and Summon Friend ability would be the most efficient way to get my alts Wrath-ready. This How-To is specifically for players using Macs, but in essence many of the principles remain true for PC users.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Add-Ons, Features, AddOn Spotlight, Guides

Addon Spotlight: TwoBox Toolkit

Welcome to a special preview edition of Addon Spotlight. I've been playing around with dual-boxing and wanted to shared this addon with you all, as it adds some great features for anyone running two toons. Rather than succumb to expansion apathy, I've been attempting to level my alts via the ridiculous XP bonus given to players who have recruited a friend. Besides, who doesn't want a new Zhevra mount for their Belf-about-town? Regardless, some savvy developers have come up with some mods to help the aspiring dual-boxer.

This is the only in-game addon I use when I'm burning through the levels via the Recruit-a-Friend program. The developer has combined a lot of great little tools into the package. Once I started using TwoBoxToolkit I noticed a significant increase in efficiency when dual-boxing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Minimalist

Welcome to this week's Addon Spotlight, where I'm going to pay tribute to your feedback by giving an official thank-you to you all for turning me on to Minimalist. Basically, this addon does everything I've been using multiple addons to accomplish in one simple package, with a memory footprint even Tekkub would be proud of. (I think, he gets pretty fired up about wasted resources.)

Alright, back to Minimalist, the addon that makes a bunch of little adjustments, helping to clean up the some-times cluttered default UI. It provides a way to automate some simple commands and remove some unwanted knick-knacks. (Actionbar chickens, begone!) The good news is that this is an Ace addon and there is already a Wrath-compliant version for those of you in the Beta.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Features, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Spellcraft

As expansion apathy sets in, and my friends and guildmates begin to lose interest in raiding, I have joined the ranks of the many players who have transitioned to playing their alts. To that end, I've had an opportunity to explore some new addons designed for specific classes. Spellcraft stands out as simple and useful for the mage about town.

This addon handles a few mage functions via a simple graphic interface and a set of more subtle features. With automated reagent restocking, polymorph warnings, Evocation weapon-swapping and a simple teleport and portal menu, Spellcraft offers much while asking little. (The memory footprint is minimal)

Granted, there are addons that provide similar functionality, and I've profiled a few of them, but Spellcraft is tailor-made for mages and their unique abiities.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Features, AddOn Spotlight, Classes

Addon Spotlight: Mr. Plow

Welcome, my friends, to this week's late Addon Spotlight, where we'll be looking at a little tool to help manage your inventory. First of all, I would highly recommend reading through Matthew Porter's Big bag blowout series over at The Creamy GUI Center, it's not only a fantastic look at many inventory options, but builds a solid foundation for your inventory addon needs. Given all that good information, I thought I'd pipe in with a look at Mr. Plow, an inventory stacker I use in conjunction with Bagnon.

I never could get used to inventory addons that auto-sorted my bags into categories; I just wanted something to consolidate all of my bags into one window. That said, I am also somewhat obsessive about an orderly inventory, and had no problem taking time to organize my inventory so that items I got from grinding or quests were found at the top of the window, where I could easily sell and use them at my discretion.

Then came along Mr. Plow, the handy bag stacker that will organize and compress your bags for that neat and orderly look that former Army sergeants require of their inventory.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: GoGoMount

For this week's addon, I thought I would share one that is built around a macro that we've hinted at over at Macro Anatomy. This addon has been abandoned by the author, but there is a patch available that will update it to work with 2.4. (Although I am using the "unpatched" version just fine.)

GoGoMount will pick the most appropriate mount for you based on given conditions. If you can use a flying mount, it will summon your flyer, otherwise it will randomly select from your ground mounts. (This includes summoned mounts for Paladins and Warlocks.) If you have multiple flying mounts, it will randomly select one of these as well.

It supports Druid travel forms and Ghost Wolf for Shamans as well. So, in less words; this addon is your one-stop mounting shop.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Talented

Welcome to another installment of Addon Spotlight, the quiet home of mod enthusiasts amongst the whirlwind of breaking news that is WoW Insider. Reader Kyle "strongly" suggested that I profile Talented, an addon that replaces your talent interface and opens up some extended features for talent planning.

Considering the tone of his suggestion, I would venture to say that Kyle has grown frustrated by his fellow players' tendency to screw up their builds or they're taking too long to respec. This can, indeed, become an issue when one is respeccing for raiding, arenas and different roles for hybrids.

This is where Talented, and its companion Talented_Data, can save you time and a little money if you're prone to selecting the wrong talents when you're in a hurry. This addon allows you to build talent templates, which can be applied via one click after a talent wipe. I do this when I switch from a PvE Retribution spec to Holy for progression nights or arenas. I have to say, it helps reduce the risk of mistakes, which can leave me free to spend more time remembering to grab the correct gear out of the bank.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight, Talents

Addon Spotlight: TourGuide (UPDATED)

Amid the madness of yesterday's patch, there has been some desperate drama happening in the official UI & Macros Forums. It seems the massively popular leveling addon QuestHelper has encountered some troubles, with many users not able to use their beloved quest... helper.

As with many crossroads in life, this presents an opportunity to consider a change, or at least a reason to try something else out while the developer of QuestHelper figures out the disconnect. Some time ago, I stopped using the memory-hogging giant in favor of one of Tekkub's creations. TourGuide may very well be Tekkub's greatest mod to date. It serves much the same function as QuestHelper, but it takes a different approach, one that doesn't eat up nearly as much memory. To me, it was sort of like selling my huge truck for a fast, agile Subaru. (Which I did in RL, yay!)

I've been promising to profile this bad boy for a couple of months now, as I've yet to finish my own work on it, but I felt like you all needed an alternative. Besides, you may end up swearing by TourGuide like I do, it was more my style. (I've been working on a guide for TourGuide, but my day job has been bogging me down.)

TourGuide is more akin to a traditional leveling guide than the so-called smart system of QuestHelper. With the "helper", I felt like I wasn't doing quests in the right order, at the right level and that I was missing out on some great quest chains.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Add-Ons, Features, AddOn Spotlight, Leveling