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Addon Spotlight: A very mailbag episode

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

Oh, hi. There have been so many mailbag questions lately that it might be a good idea to just, you know, get them all out of the way in one shot. You guys love sending me in questions! If you've got a question for Addon Spotlight, send it on over to mat@wowinsider.com and hopefully I can get to your question. There will be addon recommendations. There will be heartbreak and sadness. There will be reunions and jubilation. So many emotions are running through me right now.

A mighty burden
Hey Mat,

I know you dislike Carbonite, and it took me a long time to understand why, but I get it now. It's huge and slows down my computer, and they don't make their code easy for other addon authors to use. I've decided to not use it anymore, but there are a few things I really, really miss about it! Top on the list is the infinite scroll and sizing of the map and its google earth type layer. I also really liked being able to right click the map to place a "go to" waypoint. Finally, I miss the "Punks" feature that alerts me when an enemy player is nearby and also puts a dot on the minimap with the player's approximate location and time last seen. Everything else it does that I like I've found replacement addons to use, and I like that I'm using less memory than with Carbonite. I'm also having a lot fewer conflicts with my other mods. Are there any addons out there that can give me back the three features outlined above? Thanks for any help you can give me!

Ann
Thanks for the email, Ann. Carbonite is one of those addons that has its heart in the right place but overstays its welcome very quickly, like relatives in your living room or that raider who holds down his push-to-talk button constantly. The bloat you feel with Carbonite is heavy, it's true. All of the features that you describe, like the map scaling and that Google Earth layer, are the ones causing you the bloat and slowness. That's the problem.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

A new blogger survey, this time for DPS

Last weekend we spotlighted the big healer survey that went around the blogosphere a little while back -- it was chock full of information straight from healers about their classes and abilities and what they thought of them. Now, Death Goddess is aiming to do the same thing for DPS classes. She's only got a few blogs who've answered so far, but they run a good range, from hunter to warlock to mage, and maybe getting the word out like this will encourage a few more DPS-style bloggers to put their answers in the pot.

As long as we're going to keep encouraging this meme (or non-meme, as they may be saying), I'd love to see some of this stuff quantified a little bit more. It'd be interesting to put into numbers which kinds of classes like their roles best, or which situations each role likes to play more (do healers prefer raiding over 5-mans, or do DPS prefer to play solo rather than PvP?). The healer survey was a treasure trove of raw anecdotal information, but it'd be good to see this put into a spreadsheet or graph, and maybe give us a more quantified look at what people think of their class. We'll keep an eye on the DPS data and maybe try hashing it out once the list of those surveyed becomes pretty substantial.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Raiding, Classes

EpicAdvice.com lets you ask and answer Warcraft questions


Reader Jesta sent us a note about his new website. He's a big fan of Stack Overflow, which is a big Q&A/advice site for programmers -- you show up, ask your question, and then other folks who might or might not be working on the same problem post their answers, in moderated and organized threads for everyone to read. Jesta decided this same type of thing could work for our little game, so he put together EpicAdvice.com -- the idea is that you go there, leave a question about anything in the game, and then wait for your answer from other people browsing the site.

Stack Overflow actually has a little "badge" system where answerers can earn reputation points for answering questions correctly, and Jesta says that they're working on doing something similar for Epic Advice (though they'll probably have Achievements, as that's more Warcraft-y). But as of this writing, the site definitely needs more questions and answers, so if there's something bugging you about WoW (that our own Queue hasn't answered yet), or you consider yourself an expert and want to clear some things up, head over and give the site a look.

Filed under: Tips, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Quests, Classes, Forums, Fan art

Faction Changes Q&A


Perhaps the biggest news in the past week -- aside from 'Cataclysm', that is -- hasn't been Patch 3.2 itself but a service Blizzard has apparently been working on for some time. Paid faction changes. We received quite a number of tips about it and even saw our story make a cameo on Attack of the Show. Players have been asking for something like this for a while, and there have been incidents of entire guilds rerolling from scratch to defect.

Of course, with the shocking news comes a lot of questions, so Nethaera hops on over to the forums and answered a few concerns that players had. The biggest bummer for me was that I couldn't change race within my own faction! So... let me get this straight... I can change faction and become a totally different race but I can't swap my Blood Elf Death Knight into an Orc? Blasphemy! Unfortunately Blizzard doesn't think choice of race isn't something you can regret unlike faction choice. Anyway, more answers after the jump...

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Forums

Ulduar will be 64 harder

Pushed by players to answer just how hard Ulduar really is, EU CM Wyrxian has an answer: 64. Apparently, the instance will be 64 harder than the current Wrath instances. In other news, the recent patch 3.1 changes will make playing the game about 75 more fun, and the ammunition change alone will put Hunters 23 higher than they've been in the past. More news as we get it.

Joking aside, obviously Wryxian says Ulduar will be harder, but it's not easy to put a number on difficulty. He says "it has to be experienced to understand." Blizzard has already said that they want to change things like mana regeneration to be less frantic and more strategic, so it'll be interesting to see just what kinds of mechanics appear in Ulduar -- odds are the difficulty probably won't be of the "Bosses that hit really, really hard" variety, but rather that we'll see more situations where the raid's attention is divided x number of ways. Maybe 64?

At any rate, the PTR should be up soon, if not tonight considering all of the reveals Blizzard has done this week, and then we'll have a better idea of what the next raid has in store for us.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Forums

YouPlayorWePay under "reconstruction"


This could be the end of the strange story of YouPlayorWePay.com -- or a new beginning. We posted about the site when it first appeared, and even interviewed the founders, but apparently they've decided to make some major adjustments to the site, as it's now down for "reconstruction." A forum post by George Tung says that they are not only redesigning the site, but "re-doing our whole concept." One of our tipsters suggests that Blizzard legal may have gotten involved, but that seems unlikely -- Tung also posts that "when we are done, there will not be any more concerns about our service not being worth or if what we are doing is legal."

So there you have it. We'll have to see what they've got in store for us (though, of course, there's a chance the site may not return at all). Lots of people have had questions and concerns about the concept behind this site from the beginning, and we remain curious to see how this "reconstruction" will answer them.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Making money

BlizzCon 2008 Breakfast Topic: We need your questions

Today's the day! BlizzCon 2008 is underway in Anaheim, and WoW Insider is of course here -- stay tuned all day today for news from the panels going on all morning and afternoon. We're going to see Blizzard, talk to Blizzard, listen to Blizzard, and if we can get close enough, we may even smell Blizzard, too (Bornakk probably has a musky Old Spice kind of odor, right? Chris Metzen probably smells like bourbon and granite).

And we need your help -- let us know what you want us to ask Blizzard. Is there a class question you need an answer to, or something that's been bugging you since launch? Want to know something about Wrath of the Lich King that we haven't heard yet?

And let us know if there's anyone else you'd like us to talk to -- FigurePrints, Upper Deck, and DC Comics are all here, and we'll be talking to the folks from The Guild later today, so let us know what you want to know and we'll make sure you get to know it. Thanks, and enjoy the show -- we definitely will.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, BlizzCon

Scattered Shots: Hunter problems and predictions

Scattered Shots is for hunters. 'Nuff said on that topic. The Freezing Trap David was stuck in last week also wore off a little bit, thanks to Daniel, permitting him to write once more without his fingers snapping off from the cold.

In the wake of the recent confusion regarding Scare Beast, once again some hunters have gotten to complaining a lot about the state of their class. While on one hand, there are certainly problematic issues hunters are having, it's really not fair to say that the class is broken. It isn't -- being a hunter is more fun than its ever been, and it looks like this class will only get better in the future.

Nonetheless, looking at the problems we do have might give us a clearer sense of where we're going in the future. With more and more information coming out about Wrath of the Lich King, and especially since Blizzard started asking for feedback from hunters, it's worthwhile to have a look at what holes do exist for our class, and how future changes might seek to plug them up.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

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