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Posts with tag mod

Encrypted Text: Rogue mechanics for the Cataclysm era

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any rogue questions you may have.

After writing Encrypted Text for over two years now, I have gotten into the groove of writing about rogue life at level 80. I've talked about all about armor penetration's various iterations (and eventual removal) and where to snag the best leather gear with your emblems justice points. We've discussed the trade skills that best suit the discriminating rogue and how to hide from our would-be assassins and their Turkey Shooters. However, all that is about to change.

Blizzard has implemented a ton of changes that affect the rogue class in serious ways. Cataclysm is by far its most ambitious expansion yet. With such a huge delta between what was and what is, the transition is going to be a bit rough as we cope with the post-Shattering world. Poisons have been streamlined (again), our Stealth was buffed significantly, and our talent trees were redesigned from the ground up to ensure that each spec provides a useful raid buff. I think it's safe to say that the rogue as we know it has evolved.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Blood Sport: Awesome arena addons and also ample alliteration

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Sport for arena enthusiasts and The Art of War(craft) for fans of battlegrounds and world PvP. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more.

Listening Music: Dead or Alive with "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)." Long live the '80s.

Today's column is about nifty arena addons. Changing up your PvP UI for the better is an awesome way to improve your awareness of what's going on. Having easy access to valuable information can often be the difference between a win and a loss. We'll be discussing the best addons to use for a variety of different aspects within the arena.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Add-Ons, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Lichborne: A guide to death knight spell alerts

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights.

One pretty cool change coming to Cataclysm is the advent of spell alerts, on-screen notifications that direct you to a button you really should be pushing when you get some sort of class-specific proc or buff. Of course, many high-level players have had this for a long time in the form of player-made UI mods, but now newbies, UI minimalists, and people who just get confused by UI mods get a chance to have them, too. This week in Lichborne, we'll discover what spell alerts death knights get and discuss how best to apply them in battle.

Generally, when a spell alert goes off, you'll hear a sound and see a certain graphic envelop your character on screen. If you have scrolling combat text turned on, you'll also see green or yellow text describing the buff. Finally, the button for the affected ability or abilities will light up on your action bar, telling you exactly what you need to push. Once you understand all this, it's pretty easy to anticipate the effects, but let's take a quick look at what you'll see so you know exactly what to expect and what to do.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Totem Talk: Addons for restoration, part 2

Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration will show you how, brought to you by Joe Perez, otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and the For The Lore podcast.

Not too long ago, we talked a bit about helpful macros and addons for the restoration-minded shaman. That post was full of great comments from the community and some great advice about macros and addons that you, the readers, use to great effect. Since then, I've had quite a few emails about various mods as well as some time to try out a good many of them myself. So today will be a part two to the addon and macro post, but without the macro part. Over the last few weeks, I've been playing around with various new mods and some old ones and thought I would take the time to share my findings with you.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Shock and Awe

Rich Maloy is currently working on a real life augmented reality app that will dynamically generate and display his most important priority to accomplish at that moment, as well as cooldowns remaining on important events such as birthdays and anniversaries. Friends and family invited to the private alpha test said the software, known as RichAndAwe, kept getting stuck at "buy more Guinness." Rich reports this is working as intended.

Of all the add-ons in all the mod sites in all the world there's one that stands out among the best for playing enhancement: ShockAndAwe. This mod developed by Pericles has a slew of features to keep enhancers on top of their game. While there are other ways to track information and max out damage output, ShockAndAwe is one mod that makes a big difference for beginners and experienced alike.

We'll cover most of the features here, two of which stand out among the rest: Timer bars and Priority frame. But first we'll start with the options.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

WoW Rookie: Basic add-ons

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

Last week, we talked about how add-ons add zing to your game, and we explained how to download and install them. We hope you spent time poking around some of the major mod sites and found some things that caught your eye -- but if not, we're back to fill you in on some of different types of mods along with some of the most popular add-ons that will streamline and enhance your game experience.

What are the major kinds of add-ons?

The bulk of what most players consider to be WoW's "must-have" add-ons falls into some half a dozen loose category types.

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Filed under: Tips, Add-Ons, Features, WoW Rookie

WoW Rookie: Add-ons for rookies

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit's WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

Want to add high-powered functionality and high-octane style to your interface and controls? Add-ons, dear readers. You need add-ons. Also known as mods, add-ons can be such powerful upgrades to your gaming experience that some players consider them mandatory beyond a certain level of play. You can get add-ons that show you how much threat you've built as a tank, add-ons that show how much DPS you're doing relative to other members of the raid, and add-ons that show you who needs Dispel Magic now. There are add-ons that let you reconfigure and move your hotbars anyplace on your screen, add-ons that show you how much gold you have on each of your other characters, and add-ons that point the way to the area where your quest objective awaits ... Sweet stuff, indeed.

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Filed under: How-tos, Features, WoW Rookie

Reader UI of the Week: Frogs of Korgath

World of Warcraft allows an unprecedented ability to modify the user interface to meet our needs. Each week WoW Insider will bring you a fresh look at reader submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send it to us, along with info on what mods you're using, to

After a couple of weeks /afk, Reader UI of the Week is back with a Druid UI on our hands from Frogs of Korgath. I'll let him explain his setup from here:

I'm a raiding resto druid, though I don't have much time for that as a full-time student. But I've been a UI fanatic ever since I was a wee young lowbie, years ago, and like to have a neat and well designed interface. Here's what I like in a UI: first of all, it must show all the information I need. Namely, I need a unit frame, cast bar, action bars, and chat, as well as the other less important things like damage text, minimap, and buffs. Secondly, it must not be cluttered: everything should have its place and that place should not be in front of a void zone. I like to have as much free space as I can manage. Thirdly, it must look nice. I like to look at my UI and see something to be proud of. So, how do I do it?

Hmm, I wonder! Full details from Frogs after the break.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Reader UI of the Week: Five Death Knight UIs

World of Warcraft allows all of us an unprecedented ability to modify our user interface to meet our needs. Each week WoW Insider will bring you a fresh and detailed look at reader submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send it, along with your character name and server, to

Last week we took a brief glance at three assorted UIs, but this week we're taking a look at five Death Knight specific UIs. (A closer look at four of them, though the fifth came without much background information. However, that fifth has a unique look that was worth showing off, and here's to hoping someone in the audience help identify some of the mods it's using.) I was curious what mods DKs might be using to keep an eye on their runes, and for those who don't want to read the whole thing to find out this crucial piece of information, the five UIs here include two users of Magic Runes, one user of X-Perl, one user of DKI Runes, and one unidentified rune interface.

For UI details -- and your comments! -- read on.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week, Death Knight

Compare gear easily with Pawn

Gear is one of the main ways characters in WoW get more powerful, and pretty much the only way once we reach the level cap. However, it can sometimes be difficult to decipher whether one item is better than another - as a rogue, will 10 hit rating help you more or less than 10 Agi, assuming you're not capped? (Less, according to most sources.)

Questions like these are why stat weighting scales were developed; they aim to answer questions like that by expressing how much each stat is worth in terms of "points," which quantify how much each stat helps your DPS/healing/tanking. For instance, Shadow Panther has calculated that if 1 Agi is worth 1 point, 1 hit rating is worth 0.85 points, 1 Str, 0.55 points, and so on. Many different rating scales for various classes and specs can be found around the internet.

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Filed under: Items, Add-Ons

The 10 people you need to know in WoW

One of my favorite people to read online is a fellow by the name of Pjammer on Livejournal. He's smart, funny, and a gifted writer, and if you are not sobbing by the end of "King of Masochists" then you are pretty much a terrible person. But another great entry is "The 16 Essential People In Your Life," which lists such valuable acquaintances as the Computer Security Guru, the Wolf, the Consigliere, and (most importantly) the Best Friend. Pjammer, quoting Harvey Mackay, correctly notes that 2 am is a bad time to make new friends. These are the kind of people you want in your life as early as possible, and to exercise a positive influence on its course.

My realm's seen a number of guild instability issues of late, which is something most of us have come to expect with an upcoming expansion. I've found reason to mull over how the virtual world differs from the real world with respect to friendship, backstabbing, greed, betrayal, honor, and how people choose to handle their problems. In my considered opinion it doesn't differ at all, and your experience ingame is largely determined by the network of players assembled around you, whether that alliance is a recognized one in the form of a guild or simply a more informal group of friends.

So, from my own experience and with a hat tip to Pjammer, these are the people you want in your posse for the best possible experience in the game:

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Expansions, Features, Guides, Death Knight

Patches, addons and drama in the forums

While surfing the forums this morning, I came across a little gem of a thread protesting against Blizzard for the following:
  1. Breaking "our" addons and mods.
  2. Incorporating features from popular addons into the default User Interface, and thus breaking addons and mods. There's also a sentiment that Blizzard is "stealing" these ideas rather than being innovators.
  3. Fixing "their" bugs which in turn breaks "our" addons and mods. The suggestion is that they don't care, or could take steps to prevent this.
As you can imagine, all sorts of responses cropped up, including the usual people who get into arguments with other posters, players in agreement, joking and sarcastic responses, and of course, an awesome string of blue responses.

Gallery: Patch drama

The post that started it allFirst blue responseThe InterfaceSolutionTerms of UseDictionary

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, Add-Ons, Humor, Forums

Addon Spotlight: QuestHelper

We love quests, but they can be excessively frustrating sometimes. Usually they annoy you most when they make you wander all over, back and forth, without seeming to accomplish things efficiently. The fastest levelers will tell you to try to "stack quests," or do all the quests in a small area first, then gradually move around the map to other areas. But often the best way to do this isn't clear -- you may not even know exactly which area a quest is asking you to go to.

Addons to the rescue! First, there was LightHeaded: an in-game database of comments from that could help you when you get confused. Now, there's QuestHelper: an in-game guide which can tell you which direction to go, what to do, and what order to do everything in, all before you even get confused in the first place. QuestHelper isn't always right -- you still have to use your own brain, for sure -- but using this addon you'll be much less likely to make silly mistakes in your questing that slow you down and waste your time.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Quests, AddOn Spotlight, Leveling, Guides

AddOn Spotlight: Ace

Last week on AddOn Spotlight, we discussed the damage meter (and more!) mod Recount -- and there was some commenting suggesting we should cover the Ace family of addons, so here you are. Ace isn't a specific addon, but instead a code library on which addons are built -- and you can get countless different mods in Ace format.

Ace was created because many different mods have to use the same types of basic functions. With ordinary mods, these basic functions would be written and included with each addon. With Ace, this basic functionality is packaged into a single library that all Ace mods use. What this means to non-programmers is that Ace mods use fewer system resources, because they all use a the standard Ace code, which is loaded once for all of the Ace mods you have. If you're using non-Ace mods, these basic functions are loaded seperately for each addon you have -- and the more addons you have, the more this adds up. (On the flip side of this, if you only use one Ace addon, you don't gain any benefits, but if you use all Ace addons, a little efficiency improvement in each can result in a big difference.) For the programmers in the audience, Ace means you can write your addon quickly, because you have immediate access to basic Ace functionality (you don't have to reinvent the wheel -- you only have to write code for what you want to do).

Want to get started with Ace? Read on for a list of some of the best Ace addons out there.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

AddOn Spotlight: Recount

Damage meters in World of Warcraft can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, they can give you detailed information about incoming and outgoing damage in order to help you decide on the best gear, the best talents, and the best spell or ability rotations to get the most out of your character. On the other hand, their list format can turn instance groups into a competitive game where the person at the top "wins" -- a dangerous thing when a DPS chart can't tell you anything about threat or deaths, nor utility abilities such as crowd control or dispels. However, I always like having Recount -- not only because it collects a metric ton of data about you and anyone you group with -- but because the information it tracks can help put DPS in the broader perspective.

To the right you see Recount's main window. Right now it only lists two items -- my Rogue alt and the elemental pet of someone I was grouped with before taking this shot -- but in a large group there will be a line item for every group member and pet, showing total damage, DPS, and what percentage of the group's overall damage they've done. If you mouse over anyone on the list, you will see the pop-up to the right, listing the top three attacks, top three attacked, and the damage done to each.

But Recount goes in to much more depth than this. Want to know the wealth of information that awaits you? Keep reading!

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

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