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Filed under: The Creamy GUI Center

The Creamy GUI Center: CTMod

CTViewPort courtesy of WoWInterface.com

Each week Matthew Porter contributes The
Creamy GUI Center, a column aimed at helping you enhance your WoW experience by offering an in depth guide to addons, macros and other tools we use to play WoW, along with commentary on issues that affect how we all play.

Collecting and updating addons can be a time consuming hassle. Wouldn't it be great if you could install a collection of addons that's all packaged together to eliminate the hunting and updating of each addon individually? Well there is an answer to this problem, addon compilations. What are they? What are the pros and cons of using a compilation? What options do I have when looking for a compilation that's right for me? This week I'll answer all of these questions and more as we begin a multi-part series on addon compilations. Over the course of the next few weeks we'll be taking a look at CTMod, Cosmos, MazzleUI, and Mirage UI (formerly Insomniax Recompilation). Let's get started!

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Features, The Creamy GUI Center

The Creamy GUI Center: Macro Mania

Creating Macros

Each week Matthew Porter contributes The Creamy GUI Center, a column aimed at helping you enhance your WoW experience by offering an in depth guide to addons, macros and other tools we use to play WoW, along with commentary on issues that affect how we all play.

Welcome addon-aholics to this week's The Creamy GUI Center. I appologize for being a day later than usual, but this week's topic was quite the under taking. I wanted to do a little something different this week. I've been giving a lot of attention to addons as they are the main focus of my column, but they aren't the only focus. Inspired by this week's Big Red Kitty, let's take a look at macros. We'll learn how to write them, their limitations, and how they make your WoW career easier.

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Filed under: How-tos, Features, Guides, The Creamy GUI Center

The Creamy GUI Center: Addon basics

WoW Addon Basics for Noobs

Each week Matthew Porter contributes The Creamy GUI Center, a column aimed at helping you enhance your WoW experience by offering an in depth guide to addons, macros and other tools we use to play WoW, along with commentary on issues that affect how we all play.

Howdy folks and welcome to this week's edition of The Creamy GUI Center. I know last week I mentioned I was going to write about addon compilations; however some advice from my editors and comments left by readers got my attention. So instead, this week I'm going to take a step back and cover the basics of WoW interface customization and addons. I believe I should have covered this topic sooner and I appreciate my editors and readers for pointing it out to me. Much like the eager party member who pulls that group of mobs without warning, I dived into addon reviews and interface mumbo jumbo without covering the basics. Let's remedy that with a breakdown of WoW interface terminology as well as how to safely find, download, and install addons.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Features, Guides, The Creamy GUI Center

The Creamy GUI Center: Group Buttons

The Original Group Buttons

Each week Matthew Porter contributes The Creamy GUI Center, a column aimed at helping you enhance your WoW experience by offering an in depth guide to addons, macros and other tools we use to play WoW, along with commentary on issues that affect how we all play.

To finish my series on action bars and buttons, this week I'm looking at "Group Button" style addons. Group Buttons was an addon made by the venerable Lozareth of Discord Mods fame. Group Buttons attached action bars directly to an unit frame, making the frame the default target for the action or spell placed in the bar. A look at the original addon can be seen in this Addon Spotlight. Unfortunately Lozareth hasn't updated the addon for WoW 2.0 compatibility. However multiple other authors have stepped in with their own take on a group buttons style addon which has provided the community with several options ranging in complexity. Let's find out which suits your needs!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Features, The Creamy GUI Center

The Creamy GUI Center: Click casting

A clean UI taking advantage of action bar alternatives
Each week Matthew Porter contributes The Creamy GUI Center, a column aimed at helping you enhance your WoW experience by offering an in depth guide to addons, macros and other tools we use to play WoW, along with commentary on issues that affect how we all play.

First off thank you for the feedback and encouragement I received from last week's column, I really appreciate it. I wanted to take a minute to discuss my background and the scope of The Creamy GUI Center so that people know what to expect. I'm a player of WoW just like you who happens to have a great interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs, pronounced "gooey"), particularly when it comes to games. I was born with a disfiguring disability and my curiosity in UIs grew as I became more adept at computers and gaming. I found that a customizable interface like the one found in WoW goes a long way in allowing everyone the ability to play through a tailor made experience, within the guidelines setup by Blizzard of course. While our individual challenges and goals may be different, it is my hope through this column to share the tools and addons that helped me so that your WoW experience is the best possible. While the main focus of my column is addons, I intend to cover macros, and other tools ranging from Team Speak to game pads; as well as commentary on topics affecting how we play such as the decursive nerf. However I am hardly perfect and I am just one guy, so if I left something out or miss communicated (sorry Ace guys, I now know it's not an acronym) please send me feedback. (Or if you think I'm doing a good job too!) I hope this helps you get a better understand on what to expect. I thank you for reading and WoW Insider's editors for taking a chance on me. Without further to-do let's get to today's topic, click casting!

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Filed under: The Creamy GUI Center

The Creamy GUI Center: Action bar break down

Action bars bonanza! Addons Shown: Bartender3 and cyCircled

Each week Matthew Porter contributes The Creamy GUI Center, a column aimed at helping you enhance your WoW experience by offering an in depth guide to addons, macros and other tools we use to play WoW, along with commentary on issues that affect how we all play.


As my first column, I wanted to start out with a review of action bar addons. WoW's default UI (User Interface) is built around the action bar and for many is the cornerstone for their interactions within WoW. Comparatively speaking, Blizzard's default UI is elegant and user friendly when contrasted against many other MMOs on the market. In fact WoW's two newest competitors, Vanguard and Lord of the Rings Online, both mimic Blizzard's design to varying degrees. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all. Blizzard's UI doesn't overwhelm the user with information or complexity, which can be a barrier of entry to new players. Its information is displayed cleanly, however its faults lie in the fact it's rather inefficient, and nothing about it can be moved or resized. The action bars are a decent size and buttons are easy to click using your mouse, but it's rather sprawled out taking a lot of screen space including the unnecessary art. For those content with the default layout or who prefer using key bindings, Blizzard's action bars get the job done.

For a lot of users, this isn't enough. There's always room for improvement. Blizzard being the smarties that they are, gave us the freedom to add usability that they never even thought of through the use of addons. (Sometimes to unwanted effects, hello decursive nerf.). You may crave a customized playing field, or a clean and efficient layout, or maybe you just want to express yourself by creating your own UI for that personal touch. To accomplish this let's take a look at three addons that offer different ways to do the same thing: create and manage action bars.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Features, The Creamy GUI Center

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