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Posts with tag mods

Breakfast Topic: What mods could you not live without?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Some people love their mods, downloading every single new thing that comes across the pages of Curse or any of the other addon sites. Others are very minimalist, using only what they need to function for raiding or PvP. And yet still others try and completely avoid mods altogether. The last group is clearly the minority; the mod community is a huge part of WoW, and mods have become such a common part of the game that some people forget what the default UI looks like.

Throughout the game, Blizzard has seemingly had a love/hate relationship with the mod community. Some of the mods it felt were so functional and helpful that it absorbed some of their functionality into the default UI; the raid frames are now similar to Grid, your map lights up with objectives and arrows like Quest Helper. Others Blizzard felt were overpowered and changed the game in order to break them, such as the original, one-button Decursive from vanilla WoW, and recently, AVR.

When I was in the recent beta, Blizzard turned off the option for any mods for a while, and the game was a flood of QQ from people who basically claimed they couldn't play with the default UI and without their necessary mods. Personally always running mod-light, I adapted quickly to the mod-free play, and it even led me to dropping a few things from live, such as my damage meter and chat mod. I have found the game functions fairly well without mods, but I do still require my raid warnings, threat meter, and my guild's loot mod.

What mods can you not function without? Has Blizzard ever changed the game to make a mod you felt like you needed no longer work? How long did it take you to adapt to playing without the mod again? Or are you one of the few who refuses to use mods at all?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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

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

Patch 3.3 PTR: Consolidate buffs and debuffs in the default UI

Elkano's buff bars

One of the big UI changes coming in patch 3.3 is an option to Consolidate Buffs. It appears that when the feature is enabled, specific short term buffs like Replenishment and longer duration buffs like Gift of the Wild or Arcane Brilliance will be tucked aside and hidden in a buff box. When you mouse over it, the box will expand and display the buffs within. In other words, we can get more real estate back!

On the other hand, certain important buffs that may be critical to the operation of your class will always be displayed. For example, Art of War procs on my retribution paladin will always show up so I know when to slam Exorcism. (Don't hate on me because I have ret paladin now!) Heroism (or Bloodlust) and other similar cooldowns will be shown as well as range limited buffs like totems and paladin auras.

From the debuff side of things, there's another option called Castable Debuffs. When it's enabled, all it will do is show debuffs that you apply. My elemental shaman will throw Flame Shocks and that's all that will appear. I won't see a shadow priest's Misery or a rogue's Rupture. It's an interesting way to cut down on screen clutter.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas.'s Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: 6 essential Mage add-ons for PvE

Welcome to another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that celebrates everything Mageworthy and thinks Warlocks smell funny.

I have a buddy who doesn't use addons.

I know, I know. And before you ask: yes, he is a moron. It's a flaw I've learned to overlook during the years we've known each other. His rationale for not using addons seems to be a combination of mistrust for anything that isn't part of the game right out of the box and a misguided belief that addons somehow equate to a form of cheating.

Now, I'll never convince him he's wrong--even though he clearly is--but I chalk that up to the fact that he is a moron. We both know and accept the fact of his moronitude, acknowledge that after 20 years of friendship, he probably isn't going to become any less infuriating, and move on to other topics.

You see, addons are awesome. I frequently assert to anyone who cares to listen (earning me more than a few strange looks, believe you me) that believing addons are cheats simply because Blizzard didn't program them into the default UI is pretty much the same thing as considering indoor plumbing a cheat because God didn't program it into the Earth when he originally created it. Addons are the community's way of grafting functionality into the game that Blizzard should have included from the start, and that's simply how it is. And yes, I am indirectly rebuking deity for not providing mankind with toilets from the beginning. I mean, how does it make sense that we had to go thousands of years without the option of peeing indoors? That's just poor design. I fully expect to be struck down at any moment as an example to smart-asses everywhere.

Disclaimer: I am in no way asserting that not using addons makes you a moron. I'm certain there are a great many of you out there who prefer not to use addons, and I'm sure you're by and large wonderful, fully functioning human beings. All I'm saying is that my buddy isn't one of those people. Also addons are awesome. That's all I'm saying.


The last time we discussed Mage addons, we focused on the PvP side of things. This week: PvE.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Features, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

The Queue: Guest introduction

Welcome back to The Queue,'s daily Q&A column where the team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

On the last edition of The Queue, I requested that readers write me an intro for this thing, and I would pick my favorite of the bunch to use to introduce the column. So here we go, an intro from Teregwynn:

"Each end every day, except those days when he doesn't, Alex Ziebart takes time out of his busy schedule to sift through your annoying, and often repetitive, questions to find those worthy of answers. Once selected, he conjures answers for these questions which baffle the minds of mere mortals, endowing them with a level of insight which they could not, but for having read earlier editions of this very column, have ever imagined."

Search asked...

"I have recently started on getting Loremaster and find it quite frustrating that I don't know how many quests I have accomplished in each area. Is there any way to see how much I have already done in an area and how much left still to do? Maybe some sort of clever addon that has eluded my search."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, The Queue

Addon Spotlight: Essential addons for raid leaders

Addon Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your Addons folder, we'll cover it here.

A reader wrote in a few days ago with the question "What add ons would you consider helpful/essential for a new raid leader?", and as a raid leader myself, I thought it was such a good question that I'm devoting this Addon Spotlight to it.

Deadly Boss Mods

Boss mods are very helpful for all raiders, of course, but particularly crucial for raid leaders, who need to call out when raiders need to do things. If you're not familiar with boss mods, they basically aim to tell you any information about boss abilities that you might need to know during a fight. For instance, on XT-002, boss mods will tell you if anyone has a bomb debuff, when XT is about to throw a Tantrum, how long the heart has left, and so on.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Raiding, AddOn Spotlight

Reader UI of the Week: Kraayliis of Azuremyst

Reader UI of the Week is back! Each week will bring you a fresh look at reader submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send your screenshots, along with info on what mods you're using, to

After a bit of a break, Reader UI returns with a nice set-up from Kraayliis, a Death Knight on Azuremyst-US (view large). Here's what he had to say:

I've just been working on setting up a clean UI that still retains the look and feel of a full UI while still minimizing the amount of clutter on-screen. I'm currently running WoW @ 1920x1080 resolution. This is my first shot at designing a UI so I just wanted to toss this out there to see what people would think.

I started using Btex for the background a few weeks ago and couldn't find what I wanted so I decided to draw my own.

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

Addon Spotlight: I Have Macro Lol!

Addon Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your Addons folder, we'll cover it here.

We covered another Ackis mod, Ackis Recipe List, just last Sunday. This one is (in my opinion) even cooler, and will be of interest to a wider audience than recipe completists. I Have Macro Lol!, or IHML for short, generates a dynamic macro (like Mounted) for you to use in various situations, like dailies and boss fights. You can use just one slot on your action bar, and the macro will adapt itself to whatever situation you happen to be in.

From the configuration interface (/ihml), you can set up what macro you want to use in any given boss encounter or zone. The macro is generated upon entering a zone or loading BigWigs boss modules for a boss fight (no support for Deadly Boss Mods, as far as I know). You can also set up default macros for parties, raids, PvP, etc.

The real value here is dailies. There are several different daily zones in Wrath, all of which have different items that need to be used. Back in BC, I could get by with just my Isle of Quel'Danas macro; nowadays, if I was still bothering with dailies, I would need about six different macros to swap out if it wasn't for something like IHML. The boss functionality is just icing. Thanks again, Ackis, for another solid mod to fill a gap.

Download I Have Macro Lol! at WoWInterface or Curse

Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. Let Power Auras Classic show you what you need to know with pretty glowing pictures. Check out another Ackis mod: Ackis Recipe List. And remember, Addon Spotlight is fueled by viewers like you, so if you have a mod you think we should take a look at, drop us a line.

Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Ackis Recipe List

Addon Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your Addons folder, we'll cover it here.

Just a short one today, but an addon that I know will please a small number of very passionate folks out there. It's easy to see what recipes you know: just look at your tradeskill window. But what if you want to see a list of recipes you don't know? Ackis Recipe List. Completists rejoice.

This mod is dedicated to listing all recipes in your tradeskills that you have not yet learned. But it doesn't stop there. It also tells you where to find them, even putting waypoints on your world map and minimap for vendors if you want it to. ARL also supports sophisticated filtering of recipes, so if I want to see all the Death Knight glyphs of skill level less than 400 that drop from mobs (although I don't think there are any), I can do that.

The interface is also pretty nice, given the amount of complexity it contains. There's a button to scan your tradeskills on your tradeskill window, which also allows access to the ARL frame once you've scanned. /arl will bring up more, including in-game documentation, which I especially appreciate - I haven't seen that in many mods before.

Overall, this mod does a great job at what it sets out to do. Highly recommended if you want to see what recipes you don't have. Thanks, Ackis!

Download Ackis Recipe List at WoWInterface

Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. Let Power Auras Classic show you what you need to know with pretty glowing pictures. Buff smart with SmartBuff. And remember, Addon Spotlight is fueled by viewers like you, so if you have a mod you think we should take a look at, drop us a line.

Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

MMOUI Minion beta released

We saw a preview of it a little while ago, and now it's here in beta form: MMOUI Minion, the addon updater from the people behind WoWInterface. It's written in Java, and runs on Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows, provided you have an up-to-date Java runtime installed. For Mac OS X users, the web site might warn you about your Java version, but if you've been keeping up with software updates, you should be fine.

As this is a beta, I won't be too hard on it, but I wouldn't recommend using it in its current state. It does show promise, especially with its extensibility (other sites can write plugins to allow Minion to download content from them). I ran into all kinds of problems, from the installer making it difficult to specify a path to the updater maxing out my CPU while idle to it detecting almost all my addons as out-of-date, even ones that aren't, but again, it's beta. The whole reason for a beta phase is to get the software out into the wild for wider debugging, so bugs are to be expected.

Overall, I'd say this could develop into something nice, but isn't quite ready yet. The icon, on the other hand, is totally adorable. If you do want to try it out, you would do well to follow their suggestion of backing up your Interface and WTF folders. I am excited to see what it will look like with more polish.

Filed under: Add-Ons

Addon Spotlight: Power Auras Classic

Addon Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your Addons folder, we'll cover it here.

Power Auras Classic is, as the name might suggest, a powerful mod. It does something that you may not know you had a need for: displaying visuals on your screen based on various conditions. For instance, on my rogue, I have it set to display a big red blood drop in the left-center of the screen whenever I don't have Hunger for Blood up.

It's incredibly flexible, and as is the case with most very flexible mods, it takes some work to get the most out of it. For each aura, you can set the position, size, color, and alpha of the texture you want displayed, what conditions you want it displayed under, how you want it to fade in and out, and probably more options I haven't gotten to playing around with yet.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

How to configure Grid

If you're a raiding healer, chances are you use or at least have heard of Grid, the popular raid frame mod. It makes the essential task of staring at health bars significantly easier. However, Grid is a darn complicated mod. So complicated, in fact, that Llyra over at Healing Way has written a blog post all about how to configure it.

I've been using Grid for years, ever since Molten Core (in fact, one of my first posts on WoW Insider was about Grid), and I still learned things from this article. The way Grid composites information onto its little squares is not intuitively obvious, so it's probably worth taking a look just for that. There is also a video on how to configure the mod, which might give you a hint just how complex it can get. The post ends with a list of some useful plug-ins for Grid; I fully agree with the author that GridStatusThreat, which shows which raid members have aggro, is a must-have (although I can't find a working link to it at the moment – is it included with Grid these days?).

Filed under: How-tos, Add-Ons, Raiding

Addon Spotlight: SmartBuff

Addon Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your Addons folder, we'll cover it here.

Buff smart: use SmartBuff. This addon is pretty comprehensive and crazy configurable, and is designed to facilitate and partially automate the buffing process. Here's how it works:

  • Check off which buffs you want to keep up, on what classes, main hand/off hand (if applicable), and when you want it to remind you (in combat, out of combat, 10 seconds remaining, etc).
  • Under the specified conditions, SmartBuff will put a reminder up on your screen (also configurable, of course) telling you who needs what buffs.
  • Now simply click the SmartBuff button, or scroll your scroll wheel (if you have that option set), and the necessary buffs will magically be applied for you!

It doesn't get much easier than that. SB also supports setting up profiles, for PvP vs. raids vs. parties, for instance.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight, Buffs

The Queue: Mercenaries

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today's edition of The Queue is nice and lengthy again, after a spree of shorty-shorts. See, good things happen when people actually ask questions! Although since it's being posted so late in the day, I bet Adam will have trouble again tomorrow. Do him (and yourselves) a favor: Ask Adam a bunch of completely absurd questions so he has something to write for all of you tomorrow!

Airleagan asked...

"In the Ulduar Cinematic, the Horde and the Alliance both reject the idea of going into Ulduar, yet the players go into Ulduar and are on the Factions of the Horde and the Alliance, Why do we not Listen to our leaders or do they even matter because it seams the Horde just does whatever they want no matter what Thrall says?"

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Filed under: The Queue

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