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Filed under: AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Macros, macros, macros

Macros. They're great. For certain classes and gameplay elements they're almost required, and for many others they're terribly useful. Macros can do things like create a keybind that fires your damage mitigation cooldowns and uses a healthstone. Perhaps you want to stop casting whenever you hit your interrupt? No problem. They can allow you to use modifiers to cast your abilities on your focus instead of your target, or to use all your damage increasing cooldowns at once. But the macro interface, as one of WoW's older ones, leaves a little to be desired.

Therefore, today, we're looking at addons that make macros easier, particularly those that generate more space for their use. As you can see from the above, you don't get much from the default system. So let's get started with one addon whose whole purpose is to give you a bit more room to play with.


BindPad

BindPad is an addon designed to give you space, both on your action bars and in your macro pane. What it does is really pretty simple, so I'm not going to allot it a ton of space for explanation. Downloading and installing it is really pretty much the only setup that you need, there are no real settings for this addon. Once you have it up and running, type /bindpad or /bp into the chat to open it up and you'll be presented with a window. As an aside, I couldn't get it to generate a button in the macro window, which might be a great addition.

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Filed under: AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Reforging and gear optimization addons

Addon Spotlight Reforging and gear optimization addons
You all know the score. Siege of Orgrimmar is here, the Timeless Isle has been up for a few weeks, and gear is dropping like rain. But getting that drop you need isn't the end of the road for gearing, no, far from it in fact. Your work is only just beginning. Once you've got your hands on that upgrade (and, of course, actually ascertained that it is an upgrade at all) you will need to enchant it, gem it, reforge it, and consider whether to upgrade it. With the reduced cost of upgrades now, it's a far less significant decision, but nonetheless it is one that you'll have to make.

But fear not, friends! There are tools out there that will make your lives considerably easier.

Ask Mr Robot

What? Olivia, you nincompoop, Ask Mr Robot isn't an addon, it's a website! Silly brits, always mixing everything up. But you're wrong, since January 10th, there has been a great little addon that tags along with the well-known and widely used website. And since 5.4 dropped, it's started bringing the site's robotic advice straight to your characters in-game! So how does it work? It's very, very easy. Head over to askmrrobot.com, and load up your character details. You'll need to choose a region, as well as a server, and type in your name. Pretty easy so far? You'll need to be logged out on the character in question and Mr Robot will pull down all your gear data from the armory. Since you asked so nicely.

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Filed under: AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Reviewing readers' secret addons

Addon Spotlight Reviewing readers' secret addons
A couple of weeks back, I asked, in a discussion topic, for readers to submit their secret addons. I wasn't after addons everyone had heard of, like DBM, Recount, or Bartender, nor indeed addons that most people would have heard of, such as Adibags or TellMeWhen. I was after obscure little addons, maybe addons that didn't do a great deal, but were a huge help, and which their users wouldn't be without. And you wonderful people gave me plenty to be going along with!

Side note, though, many of you mentioned that you actually wrote addons yourselves, and that's something I'd absolutely love to do -- feature readers' addons. No matter if they're not on Curse or similar, drop me a line on olivia@wowinsider.com and we'll sort something out. Let's get started!

OneClickEnchantScroll

Oh my. OCES, as we'll call it from now on, was one addon that immediately caught my eye. It is one of those addons that really does exactly what it says on the tin. I've wanted a way to do this forever, and it's really only a minor efficiency gain, as all it removes is a single click. But man, it's great to remove that one click!

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Filed under: AddOn Spotlight

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

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

Addon Spotlight: DoT trackers

Addon Spotlight DoT trackers
DoT trackers are addons which monitor your DoTs, or Damage over Time effects. If you're playing a class whose damage relies on DoTs, and there are plenty, you should definitely consider using one of these addons. What they do is provide an easy-to-read representation of what DoTs you have on a given target, be it your focus, your target, or any target in the area, depending on your choice of addon. This is important to ensure DoT classes are maximising their DPS, and yes, the Blizzard standard UI does represent them, but the time display is not that clear.

To maximise DoT damage, efficient re-casting is key. You should certainly check out guides for your specific class to ensure you're using the right method, whether that's clipping -- replacing a DoT before it's expired -- or allowing something like a mage Living Bomb to explode. It's often useful to be able to start the cast of a DoT to time it with its expiration, and of course, to maintain maximum DoT uptime for the minimum of GCDs and mana, and for all those reasons, you need to track your DoTs.

Tidy Plates

What the heck? Why am I starting with a nameplate addon? Well, dear reader, I understand your confusion, but for PvP purposes, Tidy Plates, or any similar addon such as the built-in ElvUI nameplates, is a pretty decent way to track your DoTs.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Your addon questions - chat, pet battles, mounts, Dinomancers

Addon Spotlight Your addon questions
Right, it's been quite some time since I last scoured the internet for obscure addons on behalf of the WoW Insider readership, and the mailbag has been filling up, so it's time for another edition of Your Addon Questions! As always, if you have questions, pop them in the comments or send me an email.

Wordgardener asked:
I'm using ElvUI, and every time I do a quest that awards honor or another currency, the gain isn't displayed in my logs. It used to show up where the XP and gold gain was. I couldn't find a setting today for it - any idea where this info is? How to turn it on/make it appear?
ElvUI is a sneaky devil with this. It seems to shift from window to window with every update, but there's a very simple way indeed to make sure it pops up where you need it, and what's more, it allows you to completely customize your chat panels.

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Filed under: AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Skada versus Recount

Addon Spotlight Skada versus Recount
It turns out that Addon Spotlight hasn't done an exploration of what must be among the top ten most used addons in World of Warcraft for many years. So, of course, we had to put that right. Yes, there are categorically other DPS addons available, such as TinyDPS, but I think it's fair to say that these two are the biggest. So we should examine them, it seems, and wonder why people prefer Skada to Recount and vice versa.

As you can see, I've been running with both addons active, in the interest of testing, and what's more, I've been combat logging and uploading the results to World of Logs, in the interest of having the output verified against an independent third party. And the results have been fairly interesting!

But let's start with a comparison of some of the elements of the addons that don't relate to their numerical output. First and foremost, before we get on to the heavy stuff, by far the most important question one can ask about any DPS meter, what visual customization does it offer?

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Your addon questions

Addon Spotlight Your addon questions
We haven't had an Addon Mailbag in a while, and the questions starting to mount up. The poor undead lady you see in the header is getting quite flustered about having such a full mailbox, so it seemed like a logical time to address the task at hand. If you have a question, do stick it in the comments or send me an email!

Let's get started with a very simple question that took me an inordinate amount of time to answer:

Chester writes:
I loved your article on getting started with weak auras. I have a question though, how do you make the box showing the graphic transparent? I followed your mindbender example but it showed the box as opaque. I would like to see only the graphic show up like in power auras classic. thanks for any help!
It took me a really, really long time to find this option, which was, quite frankly, rather annoying given that it's on the front page of the options screen.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Readers' bag addon recommendations

Addon Spotlight More bag addons
Thanks to everyone who responded to part one of this two-part series with their bag addon recommendations! If there are ones I still missed out, do let me know in the comments below, and as ever, links mean prizes! It should be noted that all prizes are imaginary.

In testing all the addons I've looked at so far, I've come to the conclusion that bag addons are all extremely similar, but most have some feature that helps them stand out from the rest. It's not a great surprise, after all, there are only so many ways that an addon can say "hey, look at all these things you have"! Today we're looking at two more bag addons, in addition to the three we looked at last week. I confess right now, one of these has almost persuaded me to move away from my beloved Adibags, not for certain just yet, but it has certainly been a very interesting couple of weeks.


Baud Bags

I mentioned last week that the one bag option was so intuitive and logical that I didn't really see why Blizzard didn't make it standard. I should clarify, having ruffled some feathers by saying so, that I didn't mean to force all you separate bag lovers into having one big bag -- I am an advocate of adding options, not of removing them, and so, it seems, is Baud Bag.

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Addon Spotlight: Bags and Banking

Addon Spotlight Bags and Banking
This is a really big topic, likely one that we'll be dealing with in several parts, rather than in one fell swoop. There are so, so many bag addons available in WoW right now, and so much of the assessment of them is simply down to personal preference. Addon Spotlight is going to attempt to cover just a few bag addons at a time, but please do be aware that we can't ever hope to get through them all in the one column!

As a result, I'm asking you not to be surprised or angry that your preferred bag addon isn't being covered, rather to let me know what it is and why you like it. I'm starting with my favorite today, and working through some others that I've either used in the past, or known of friends using. Let me know what you use, and next week, I'll take a look!

Adibags

I said I'd start with my favorite, and that is Adibags. I've used it for a while now, after giving it a go on a friend's recommendation, and I love it. Why do I love it? Well it's a very simple addon really, provides the user with a single bag, as opposed to several separate ones, which is such a straightforward and seemingly popular change that I don't know why Blizzard doesn't just make it standard.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Weak Auras, getting started and strings

Addon Spotlight Getting into Weak Auras
Weak Auras is a really incredibly powerful addon, enabling users to create custom alerts for pretty much anything they want to see. However, like many very powerful addons, it can be a little daunting, and there's an awful lot going on. Unlike several other very powerful addons, a user guide also exists, that walks you through the basic starting point of Weak Auras, creating your first display. But, it's missing a few bits. While I use it a lot, I am far from an advanced user, given some of the things I've seen people create with this addon, so I'm going to keep it basic, and I'm also going to hopefully, with your help, start a useful set of Weak Auras strings!

Weak Auras, when created, can be imported and exported as what are called strings. These, essentially, are huge text files full of mumbo jumbo that can be translated by Weak Auras into displays. When I first got started with Weak Auras, a while back, I found that the easiest way for me to learn to use it was to start with an existing aura and go from there.

We've collected some of our favorite Weak Auras strings, and published them for each class (and some general ones) on their own page:

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Readers' addons

Addon Spotlight Readers' addons
Along with the usual questions about addons to use for specific tasks, and the like, we receive a decent number of readers' own addons that they ask for us at WoW Insider to take a look at. So here, we have a compilation of reviews of addons created by our very own WoW Insider readership! All of these addons have been sent over to me by our readers, and if you want yours featured in a future round up, do email me on olivia@wowinsider.com!

I have to say, I'm really impressed with these addons I've featured today. I would love to have a go at creating an addon of my own, and it occurred to me that we could have an addon spotlight addon creation brainstorm, and go through the process as a sort of collaborative effort! What do you think, dear readers?

Anyhow, let's get started with the reader addons from programmers who actually know what they're talking about!

Claw

Claw, created by Jpapertowels, is described as an addon for cat and bear druids that simplifies gameplay and maximizes DPS by doing all the decision making for you. Claw uses an advanced priority list developed by the people over at the SimulationCraft project and improved by Jpapertowels for ease of use in actual gameplay.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Your addon questions answered

Addon Spotlight Your Questions Answered
Welcome to another addon question session! I was prompted to do one of these by the fact that a recent reader question has been answered by some updates on my curse client downloader. A while back I wrote a column about archaeology addons, in which I asserted that much-loved addon Archaeology Helper was all working perfectly, despite not being updated since 2011. Since then I've had a few people contact me to let me know that, actually, it isn't.

Apparently, it was all good in the old world, the only place I could test it as my toons don't have very high level Archaeology, but wasn't working in Pandaria. Prolific addon author Oscarucb has recently taken it over from Biasha, starting from mid-December, and since I wrote that last column back on November 1, has done a lot of updating. There's now a new release version for all you Archaeology fans out there, so do go and check out this fantastically useful archaeology addon.

Moving swiftly forward, let's tackle some more addon questions. If you have addon questions, or want to make us aware of an addon that we should be covering, do drop an email to olivia@wowinsider.com.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: PvP Addons

Addon Spotlight PvP Addons
You must have seen it coming, people. I'm the PvP columnist, and now the addon columnist, too. So, naturally, I had to eventually write a column about the addons I use for PvP. For clarity, I should state that the majority of PvP I do is in the arena. I am also on a couple of rated battleground teams, and do random battlegrounds to gear up my characters, but not once they're geared beyond honor gear, thanks to the changes to the conquest point cap. Now that that's out of the way, let's get started. I've got a lot of addons to talk to you about today.

SaySapped

When there's a rogue in your midst, particularly in random battlegrounds, and you're going about your merry way with a couple of cohorts nearby, they may not notice when you're suddenly sapped. SaySapped is a great little addon that does exactly what it says on the tin -- it makes your character say "Sapped". Simple as that! It's also very handy in rated battlegrounds, saves the use of the chat channel to announce such things, and allows your team to make a decision on whether to leave you as rogue-bait, or to stay and fight. Especially if there's two of you defending the flag or base, it's a boon.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

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