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Addon Spotlight: AdvancedIconSelector adds cool features to macro creation

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.

I don't know about you, but I make decent use of macros. No, I'm not King Macro of Macropolis, but there are choice macros I keep at the ready in case of turmoil or danger. Most notable is a Start Attack macro for most of my heavy DPS abilities so that I'm not missing a second of precious swing time. Macros are a powerful tool in World of Warcraft, with many DPS specializations especially able to string together code and script to swap stances, time abilities, and maximize number output.

It's a beautiful thing. The macro interface in WoW, however, isn't.

Unlike most of WoW's interface, the macro UI is lacking. Cataclysm brought an updated macro UI that fixed a portion of the problems but not the real issues at hand. Learning macros is hard, and naming and selecting images for macros is clunky. I almost have a hard time making that argument because, frankly, I thought everyone just used the #showtooltip command in their macros to pick whichever ability they wanted to use, but then I quickly scolded myself. "Mathew, shame on you," I said. "Macros are not only used for combat abilities. Macros are used for everything! Look at all of those icons." You were right, me. I've got to give credit where credit is due.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

WoW Rookie: Stay on target with raid icons


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. For links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's, visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide.

In your group of regulars, who's the nipple and who's the thong? Raid target icons can take a new player by surprise. Baddies look that much more terrifying with a skull icon floating over their heads -- yet all in all, it seems like a logical mechanic that you didn't happen to notice whenever it kicked in. But what about that mob over there, with something that looks like an orange nipple? And why does the party leader keep saying to hit the "thong" next?

Talk about a blast from the past ... With the death of crowd control, target icons don't get much of a workout any more. They were a staple of play, however, back in the days of huge pulls that needed to be controlled and taken down in a specific order. Icons are still used today on a limited basis in raiding and a few notoriously twitchy instance pulls, and they can make it easier to spot players or NPCs who must be protected or escorted in a crowd. Still, it's fairly likely that you can run all the way up to 80 and through the Dungeon Finder system without ever seeing more than the occasional skull or three -- and that's no good for building savvy players.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Horde scarf and a Carrot-on-a-Stick keychain


It's just starting to get a little chilly here in Chicago, so the timing on this Horde Scarf is just perfect for me -- it looks really comfy, and wrapped around your neck, it's just Warcraft enough to get noticed by people in the know, but is still classy enough that it looks like a cool design if you don't happen to recognize the Horde symbol. I like the look of black and red (would go great with my black overcoat), but amlowi, the seller over on Etsy, will do it up in any colors you like.

And speaking of doing things by request, this Carrot-on-a-Stick keychain is awesome, and the artist who makes it (she paints in acrylic and then coats it in enamel) will make it out of any icon you like. Carrot-on-a-Stick seems perfect for a set of car keys, but it's not going to be in the game forever, so if you want to put a class or faction logo on there, she says she can do any icon in the game.

Always astounding to see what these industrious WoW crafters are up to. If you've seen a cool DIY WoW-related item, let us know.

Filed under: Horde, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Classes, Fan art

WoW up your iPhone

Here's another user-made iPhone theme featuring the icons from World of Warcraft, made and sent to us by Nasum of Garithos, Hordeside. We covered one of these almost a year ago when the iPhone first came out, but this one is apparently made from scratch, and features the new iTunes store as well as an icon for the Installer.app (man, today is just a Mac gear day on WoW Insider, isn't it? I feel like I'm blogging for TUAW).

Hopefully, when the official iPhone app store drops in June, we'll see some non-jailbreak uses of this stuff -- right now, to use either one of these themes on the phone, you have to hack into the firmware and go places Apple doesn't officially want you to go. But those WoW icons definitely work great for all kinds of things: even Blizzard officially put them to OS use in a downloadable theme for XP. There are so many WoW icons floating around that they're a natural (if not exactly legal) fit for almost any use -- here's hoping that in June, Apple's SDK will turn out at least one theming program, and we'll be able to do this stuff without hacking away at the iPhone.

Update: Nasum (whose name we spelled wrong originally, sorry about that) says the theme is now in Installer.app, if you'd like to install it yourself.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Fan art

Samwise Didier on Blizzard's art and games


Eurogamer has interviewed Samwise Didier, Warcraft artist and icon, and the man who's pretty much defined the look and feel of Blizzard since even the early days. There's a lot of great stuff for Blizzard fans in this one -- I had no idea that an early build of The Lost Vikings had about 20 Vikings in it instead of the three we know -- and Samwise talks about his influences, including the way that Blizzard makes twists on standard genre conventions.

But the guy still stays incredibly humble, and acknowledges that as great as Blizzard's art is, the thing that really brings people back to these games is the fun factor. It's the humor and the enjoyment that Blizzard fans love, and Samwise's (and all of the other Blizzard artists') art make it that much better.

[Via WorldofWar]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Interviews

New icons for commenters!


In honor of our new comment system here at WoW Insider, I've made some icons for our readers to use! Now instead of the mystery man in the little box next to your comment, you can use one of these neat icons. Don't know how? No problem! It's very easy.

First, browse the gallery of new icons below, and find one you like, then click on it. After the picture has loaded, right click it, and choose "Save As" (or "Save Image As" if you're using Firefox), and then save the picture to your desktop.

Next, find one of your comments and click on your name. This should take you to your Profile page. After signing in with your password, click on "Edit picture," then hit the "Browse" button. Navigate to the desktop (or wherever you saved the image from earlier), select the image, and click "Open."

Finally, hit the "Upload" button to upload your new icon to your profile. Now all of your comments will be accompanied by the image you've selected, instead of the mystery man in the gray box!


Filed under: How-tos, WoW Insider Business, Walkthroughs, Galleries

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