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Filed under: Add-Ons

Master Plan addon makes Garrison mission management a breeze

Garrisons are an integral part of the leveling game in Warlords of Draenor, but they're also part of the endgame, too -- collecting various followers and sending them on the appropriate missions will net you rewards like gear, gold, resources, and more. But although I love the garrison game, when you've got 20 followers, trying to keep track of who does what is almost a logistical nightmare. Sure, there's only a handful of threats that your follower's abilities need to counter, but remembering which follower does what is something that I still haven't mastered.

Beyond that, the mission interface itself is decent and fairly intuitive, but it's not quite as user-friendly as it could be. So it was with great anticipation that I awaited the inevitable addons that would take missions and follower management to the next level -- because if there's one thing I've learned in 10 years of gameplay, it's that addon authors are ridiculously talented when it comes to redesigning UI functions into elegant masterpieces of design. And the addon Master Plan by Foxlit has done exactly that with the missions and follower interface.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Warlords of Draenor

Use your toys more often with these Toy Box addons

I think the toy box feature is glorious. It's something I was pining for even before it was announced at BlizzCon 2013. Having access to toys at any time -- and especially on all my characters -- has been a lot of fun. As of today, I'm up to 90 toys with plenty more in the pipeline.

I suppose the only thing I've struggled with is the tediousness of going into my toy box, searching for the item I want, then using it from there. Yes, I could throw some favorites on action bars but that would get cluttered fast. Pinning favorites helps, but with 90 toys you can imagine I have a lot of favorites.

I did some digging and came up with 3 addons that make using your toys a whole lot easier. If you're a toy collector who wants an easier way to use your favorite toys, then keep reading. The first addon we're looking at isn't aimed specifically at the toy box, but the author has recently added support and it works like a charm.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Warlords of Draenor

How to stop clicking

Before we get started, let's make one thing very clear. I'm not saying there's anything inherently wrong with clicking. If you want to click, that's just fine, this article isn't for you. If you're someone who clicks and is perfectly happy about it, then skip over all this and tell me about it in the comments. But, if you are a clicker who wants to change, then read on. As an aside, now's a great time to make the switch, we've got a while without new content...

So what is a clicker?

Without this key piece of information, the above won't be that relevant. A clicker is a term for someone who uses mouse-clicks to hit their abilities rather than keybinding them. There is an assumption made that people who are clicking their abilities are also using their keyboard to move. Their mouse is tied up with moving around the screen to hit abilities, and therefore only occasionally has the time to move their character. It's not necessarily true, but it seems a reasonable position.

Why does clicking get a bad reputation? Well, a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's slower. It is slower to move your mouse across your screen and hit different abilities than it is to move your hand across a keyboard. If you don't believe me, here's an experiment: head over to this keyboard site, and type a simple sentence by clicking the keys. Now try it with your keyboard. Unless there's something else at play, the latter should be faster. What's more, turn a full circle on the spot with your keyboard, and do the same with your mouse. One's a lot faster than the other.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, WoW Rookie

WRUP: Just a little haiku

guild-bank-pun
Some say that haiku is done. That as an internet art form, the haiku has been beaten to death and left on the roadside. But we few, we happy few, we band of bloggers, say that there is yet a little life one can drag free from the beaten style and left to your enjoyment.

So this weekend, we've offered you not only the games that we will be playing. We also offer a bit of our souls in the form of a few poems. Make sure you don't miss out on Rossi's epic lyrics, in particular. I think they'll please even the most hardened prose addict.

But what about you, dear reader? What will you be playing this weekend? We'd like to know. Leave a comment below so that we may know a little more about your deepest, darkest soul. We're curious, and we promise not to tell your family.

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Filed under: Add-Ons

Patch 5.4.7: oQueue's current issues to be resolved by Blizzard hotfix

WoW Insider heard from oQueue's creator, Tiny, regarding the issues the incredibly popular addon is facing with the arrival of patch 5.4.7. Essentially, various things changed in the API, the resource Blizzard creates for addon authors, that caused issues for oQueue. There was a change to Battle.net messaging frequency, which is how oQueue runs its "mesh", meaning oQueue had to move communications to a newly created channel.

This was fine, and Tiny was able to work around it, changing the channels through which oQueue operates. Then a change was introduced to remove notes from battle.net invitations -- an attempt to remove a way for spammers to advertise their gold and other services. However, this completely broke oQueue's capacity to let people join groups.

Fortunately, Tiny tells me, a hotfix is in the works to repair this latest issue. The hotfix also makes another API change which Tiny will release a new version to work around. This hotfix was scheduled for this week, so hopefully our favorite in-game group-finder will be up and running again soon. Keep an eye on oQueue's host site for the latest updates.

Update: The hotfix is now live and Tiny is preparing the latest version of oQueue for download. The latest version is available at solidice.com

Filed under: News items, Add-Ons

New addon Explore the World offers trivia, exploration fun

Sometimes, in the rush to get to level 90 and reach the ever-alluring temptations of endgame in WoW, players forgo all the really cool stuff there is to see while going about the process of getting there. It was with this in mind that Symphonym came up with a new addon called Explore the World -- an addon deliberately crafted to pique player's interest in the world around them. The addon is currently in the beta stages, but can be downloaded and tested via Curse for those interested in a lively bout of exploration and fun.

Explore the World is a game within a game -- a trivia game based around what you see and find while out and about in Azeroth. But there's a twist to the game: you have to actually travel and be in the relevant location in order to answer the questions. There are four categories to choose from -- Tracking, which requires you to track down and target an NPC based on clues and 3D models, Investigation, which requires you to locate an area and answer questions based on its surroundings, and Exploration, which involves locating a particular sub zone in the game. The fourth is called Group Questions, which appropriately enough simply requires 2-5 players to be in a party to answer the questions as a group.

This is a really cool idea, and something that sounds like a really engaging, fun way to get people out there and actively looking at the world around them while playing. An interactive virtual trivia game that involves actually running around and participating in a virtual world. At the moment there are only 50 or so questions to answer -- Symphonym is using this initial release to test the addon and its features, as well as judge the general demand for the addon itself. If this sounds like something that is right up your alley, I'd suggest downloading the addon and giving it a spin -- it's definitely a far more creative take on the usual trivia minigames, and sounds incredibly fun.

Filed under: News items, Add-Ons

Safeguard yourself against WeakAuras gold exploit

The incredibly versatile and popular addon WeakAuras has been subject to a completely bizarre exploit lately, as Blizzard Customer Support Representative Vrakthris posted on the forums. The exploit was done by allowing malicious code to run, hiding itself as a helpful link from other ill-intentioned players.

The good news is that this is really easily fixed. The author of WeakAuras stepped in within hours of hearing about this with a modification to the code. Before performing either of these steps it's worth creating a backup copy of your Interface and WTF folders so that if something does go wrong you don't lose all your auras.

If you use the Curse client, all you need to do is uninstall WeakAuras, and install WeakAuras 2. Ensure that when you uninstall WeakAuras you uncheck the box that removes your in-game variables, and you're done. If you want to do it manually, head over to the download page, download it and merge the folders.

Simply log into the game and load up WeakAuras with the same commands as before, and you're done. Also, while this is fixed, a good general rule for WoW and the rest of the internet is this: don't click links from strangers.

Filed under: Add-Ons, Account Security

What are the addons that you can't live without?

Without a doubt, World of Warcraft's default interface has gotten a lot better over the years -- but that doesn't mean we've stopped using addons to improve our game experience. This hit me, suddenly, when I installed WoW onto a new computer and certain parts of my game experience were missing in action, which resulted in a rush to the nearest addon site to load up on must-haves, like Auctionator. I don't play the auction house much, but an auction addon is what makes the difference between me playing the auction house occasionally and not bothering at all.

This got me thinking, readers -- do you have any must-have addons? What are they and why can't you live without them?

Filed under: Add-Ons

Getting out of your comfort zone

Have you left your comfort zone yet
Have you been to the proving grounds yet to try a role you normally don't play? Trial Master Rotun seems awfully lonely in his little corner of the Temple of the White Tiger with everyone so busy collecting Timeless Coins or sieging Orgrimmar. What about flexible raiding? Have you tried taking the step up from raid finder?

Blizzard has sent a clear message with patch 5.4: they really want you to get out of your comfort zone.

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Filed under: Add-Ons

oQueue how-to for Flex raiding on demand

oQueue HowTo
So you want to do Flex raiding instead of LFR? Or as well as LFR, you crazy cats? But you don't have a guild or any friends or the time to sit in trade chat forlornly spamming "520 afflock LF Flex /w" for hours on end? You want to be out in the world doing Timeless Isle things rather than stuck in cities? If only there was another way to PuG Flex raids. Well fear not, my friends, oQueue is here to save your bacon. Or any other pork product.

Before I get into the oQueue how-to, I am just going to dedicate a moment to openraid. If you're organised enough to be able to say "Yes! I can raid on Monday at 7pm!" then openraid.us or openraid.eu depending on your region should be your weapon of choice. This allows you to sign up for pre-arranged raids, or indeed to set up your own. But if you want to log in, and immediately hop into a queue for a flex raid, without the need for organization or flexibility, oQueue's the way to go. So let's get started.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Raiding

How to use TradeSkillMaster 2

WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make gold on the Auction House. Check out Basil's gold making podcast, Call To Auction, and email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

TradeSkillMaster is the only addon you need to make millions of gold, and it's the only way to do that without expending an unreasonable amount of energy crafting and auctioning the items you sell. It's just been completely overhauled for version 2, and you should know that:
  • Version 1 is never being updated again. When it stops working, probably on 5.4 patch day, it's never going to get fixed.
  • Version 2 forces you to completely redo all your settings. There are no imports of your old groups or anything else.
Basically, you have no choice: if you want to use TSM (and no other addon comes within spitting distance of being as useful as it for gold-making), you have to upgrade to 2, and you're going to have to redo everything. If you're really unlucky, an addon updater might have already overwritten your old version with the new one and taken all your setup with it.

Version 2 took me a few days to get to the point I'm at now where I can do almost everything I did with my version 1 settings. In fact, I found all my experience with TSM 1 caused this process to take longer than it would have if I was completely new to the addon. Some concepts (like groups) are now very simple and intuitive, but it took me a while to get over my experience using TSM 1 groups.

That said, once I made the jump, I found that things are faster now and I expect I'll be able to make my gold with less effort. There are some things that are gone (or moved) but once I decided to try going without them, I realized I didn't miss them as much as I thought I would. There's plenty of help, but diving right in, here's what you need to know to get started with TSM 2:

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Filed under: Economy, Add-Ons, Gold Capped, Mists of Pandaria

Tell me about your secret addons

Breakfast Topic Tell me about your secret addons
I put the call out on twitter the other day, asking people to tell me about little known addons that they couldn't be without. When you talk about addons you always want to have loaded, everyone thinks of things like DBM or Grid or other very well-known and popular addons, but they're not the ones I have in mind.

Instead I want to know about the addons you rely on that not everyone has heard of, that aren't common knowledge, the ones that you happened upon or had recommended to you by friends, and now can't be without. The secret addons that you will always use, now, regardless of what others might say.

Me, personally? I love a couple of little addons, one called GoGoMount, which allows you to use Blizzard's keybind menu, the one in the menu that pops up if you hit escape, to bind both a random flying mount and a random ground mount. I like getting random mounts, and it doesn't take up space on my (packed) bars. Another one I love is Steal, Purge and Dispel. It makes a "bong" noise and pops up a little window whenever your target or focus has something that could be removed via Spellsteal, Purge, or Dispel Magic. While there are other ways to do this, it's great to have that little reminder sometimes, particularly on my mage where I have a habit of getting distracted by Pyroblasting everything in the face.

So what are your secret addons?

Filed under: Add-Ons

Addon Spotlight: Buffs and the removal thereof

Last time on Addon Spotlight, we took a look at the use of powerful addon Weak Auras to track buffs on yourself, and as promised, we're back with a few other recommendations for you to have a look at. As we mentioned before, but it bears repeating, tracking your buffs is rather important for effective DPS, and for maximising your efficiency as just about every class. There's almost always something to be keeping an eye on, and there are several addons out there to help you with it! We're also going to take a look at something a little different, for your delectation, and that's an addon to help you with stealing other people's buffs! While more class-specific, only really useful for classes with an offensive dispel, it's definitely handy to have in mind.

Quoth the Raven

We're going to start with my current favorite tracker, outside Weak Auras, and that's Raven. You can see it in action in the video in the header image, on my mage, and I'm showing off both the buff tracker and the debuff tracker. The debuff tracker is the section that stacks up to the right hand side, while the buff trackers sit over to the left of the mage. As you can likely see, there are several different buff tracking elements visible.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

What is too much for an addon?

What is too much for an addon
Over the weekend, Blizzard's ever-loquacious Lead Systems Designer, Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, responded to a question about raid group reshuffling. As you may well be aware, it is not currently possible for players to change around their raid groups while in combat. The player asking the question wondered why, and Ghostcrawler responded as follows:

So it seems that the main reason to prevent reshuffles is the potential for mods that make the game too easy. As WoW Insider's addon writer, this is something that I consider a lot -- at what point is an addon adding to much? What crosses the line from helpful augmentation into necessary, and what from there into almost-cheating?

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Filed under: Add-Ons

Addon Spotlight: Buff monitoring with Weak Auras

Why PvP balance is a big problem
Way, way back in the last Addon Spotlight, we talked about addons to monitor your debuffs on your target, and after a lengthy hiatus, we're back to look at buffs. Why is buff monitoring a good idea? Well, think of DoT classes. The way the game works is that when you cast a DoT, it will take a snapshot of your current situation, so, if you have a buff up that increases your intellect for a few seconds, such as a weapon enchant, then that intellect increase will be applied to your DoT. If you refresh that DoT without the intellect proc active, the second DoT will be weaker than the first. The same applies to healing, to general damage, to so many things, so monitoring your buffs is really important. Regardless of what class you play, there will be buffs you want to look out for to make the best of what you're doing.

So how do you watch them? With addons, that's how! We're going to take a look at several addons that monitor buffs, and we're going to start with the one I prefer, which is the oddly named Weak Auras. Weak Auras was originally created as an alternative to Power Auras, which, alas, has rather fallen by the wayside of late. Weak Auras is, therefore, the one to look out for. We've talked about it before here at Addon Spotlight, but Weak Auras is just so good at tracking buffs we thought it was worth dedicating an article to that specific role. Setting up Weak Auras seems daunting at first, but I promise you that this is really, really easy. You just need someone to tell you how to do it.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

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