Category: Addons


Familiar Story

We know that LFR players are a) tourists and b) idiots. So this is a familiar story, surprising to no one.

I have three addons that I enable especially and only for LFR: Who Pulled It; BadPet and LFRtools.

Who Pulled It

Notifies you of a group member pulling an enemy if everybody was previously out of combat.

BadPet

BadPet detects hunter and warlock pets who are taunting (growl, taunt, thunderstomp or suffering) in instances and raids, and also helps hunters and warlocks prevent their pets from taunting in the first place.

LFRtools

This addon scans automaticly the raid or party, and assigns roles based on their specialization. When you are not an officer or in LFR a warning message will be printed to the group.

Now these are simply reporting tools. They announce into chat “Who pulled then: Character name”; “BadPet Character name’s pet Pet name use Growl” (etc) and “LFRtools]: Character name-server (SPEC) is in ‘CURRENT SPEC’ specialization”. So, if as DPS you go too early and pull, the whole raid knows it was you. If your pet is using Growl or Suffering (WTF are you using a Voidwalker in a raid for?) the whole raid knows. If you queued as healer and now you’re in DPS gear and spec and not healing, the whole raid will know.

In ascending order of asshattery is: pulling all the time and not allowing the tank; letting you pet taunt off the boss giving tanks an unnecessary fight for aggro; and signing up for LFR as one spec (usually tank or healer) for a quick queue and then trying to get away with doing DPS. I would not be surprised that people like Danblizerian-Stormreaver (mage) would be unhappy at being called for pulling everything in Vale of Eternal Sorrows, but why do people who aren’t pulling, don’t have a pet and are in the correct spec annoyed by these tools?

If everyone in LFR was doing their job and not making other peoples jobs more difficult than they need to be I wouldn’t feel motivated to use these three. If you just object to being told that someone else in the raid is making life difficult don’t whine and complain. Chances are they’ll mess up so badly, sooner than later, and you’ll be looking at wipe and large repair bill. Then you’ll be glad you could identify exactly who it was.

…and another thing!

You may not remember, you may not have been around here then, but assembling a PUG used to be an active and extremely painful process. Three DPS trying to assemble a group to tackle Shadow Labyrinth or Slave Pens would find it a long, difficult and often frustrating process. Old low level dungeons? Well, you might as well forget it. It was difficult enough to find two DPS if you had a tank and healer.

All of this changed with the introduction of the Looking For Group Dungeon Finder tool. This is one best features that Blizzard introduced in the whole of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. We now have a situation where you can actually level an alt by doing almost nothing but PUG dungeons. If you are solo, assembling a group for an instance in the current new content it takes between ten and thirty minutes, depending on the time of day, if you are DPS . If you want to narrow your choice to a specific sub set of the current content it may take a little longer, up to the full thirty minutes, a random dungeon at peak times (5 PM to 8 PM ST) will hook you up with four team mates in, usually, no more that ten minutes.

Personally, remembering how things were, I don’t think thirty minutes is all that bad. It’s not Blizzard‘s fault that the demand for PUG instance dungeons is not great. Introducing a cross realm, automatic, group building tool has done everything Blizzard can to bring together five players who want to tackle a normal or heroic five man in the post-Wrath expansion game. Still there is enormous QQ from some players that they have wait for an instance. Often this QQ is met a little wearily with the admonition that if you want to get into instances quicker roll a tank.

When you’re waiting for a group for thirty minutes checking the dungeon finder tool will probably tell you that your party has four members and you are just waiting for a tank. On the very rare occasions that you aren’t waiting on a tank you will be waiting for a healer…and probably for a much shorter time that you can wait for tanks.

Blizzard have sadly responded to all this QQ about waiting (“as much as half an hour!! /wail”) for a PuG to form with a singularly short-sighted and counter productive solution. They have offered a reward to people who complete random five mans as a tank. On top of the ilvl requirements imposed by the Dungeon Finder (and the highlighting of problems this can cause) rewards tanks for actually entering PUG randoms has caused another problem that simply exacerbates the ‘long’ wait. When you get into an instance you frequently have a ‘green shield tank’ leading the line.

The main problem with these chancers’ is they degrade the fun and the quality of PUGs dramatically. The otherwise reasonable waiting time is being stretched and made to feel longer and more frustrating. When we finally get into groups and start instances the tanks are frequently so appalling that first pull results in a wipe and probably with half the people leaving. This often includes the tank, almost as if they are blaming the group, probably the healer for not being any good or being unable to keep them alive.

This is sometimes the case since being a ‘green shield tank‘ he probably has two or three pieces of dodge/parry gear and the rest hit/crit or even resilience. Or as I prefer to call them: DPS with a shield. Often they’re doing the highest DPS, not because there is anything wrong with the DPS in the party, but because they have the best DPS gear. As they have a couple of tanking pieces and mostly DPS gear the focus of the gear set is damage output rather than health and mitigation. I’m sick of hearing “It’s fine, it’s a normal!” Tell that to the healer as we wipe our way around and pay my repair bills if you think it’s OK. If things get bad the first person to call it a day and quit the group is ironically the cause of the problem: the DPS with the shield. If you decide the frustration and irritation of this group outweighs the rewards and quit yourself here is the punchline: a thirty minute dungeon deserters cooldown and then another thirty minute wait for another ‘green shield tank’ who won’t mark, use CC, or wait for the healer to mana up and /ragequits after the first wipe, just after the first pull.

After a couple of hours you’ll be smashing your head into the keyboard having completed no runs but having started three or four and grouped with more than twenty people. You will be /ragequitting from the group after the tank asks meekly what the tactics are here. Thanks Blizzard you have succeeded in making a minor problem, a thirty minutes delay in forming PUGs, into a staggeringly big problem of people who are not geared and cannot tank queuing as tanks for a thirty second dungeon queue and your stinking reward bag! Good idea!

Since the much whined about, by me (and to be fair many other Warlocks), changes to the Affliction rotation I’ve been looking for an addon to assist me with my casting choices. I’ve always been a fan of DoTimer because it works very well and is clear and uncluttered. DoTimer shows a bar illustrating which of my spells are afflicting the target at any one time. These timer bars count down (textually and graphically) the remaining time on each spell. It also reorders the bars in terms of remaining duration, so that the next DoT to fall off is at the bottom. That should help you gauge which spell to cast next.

Giving a duration remaining also allows you make decisions about when to begin recasting. Instant DoTs like Corruption are probably better just before, as, or (as in the case of Bane of Agony) factionally after they fall off. Longer casts (Haunt, Unstable Affliction or Soul Fire) can be started well before their buff or debuff wears off. For example, I ideally begin casting Soul Fire (SF) 2 seconds before the Improved Soul Fire (ISF) buff falls off, as SF is a 2.2 seconds cast. Equally if the next spell to expire is ISF in 3.5 seconds I will be casting another Shadow Bolt or two and casting SF ‘late’. DoTimer doesn’t make decisions for you it presents the information required to make decisions quickly in an easy to read and interpret format.
DoTimer
The only problem I now have with DoTimer (or it’s configuration) is that I can find no way to force the ISF buff onto the target’s set of timers. Casting Soul Fire gives the Warlock a 15% Haste buff so the ISF timer is with another set of buffs for the player. This doesn’t make decision making around when to reapply ISF. What I need is the cooldown on ISF to be shown and sorted with the DoTs and effects I have on the mob. Then I can see what will fall off next, for example Haunt or ISF. That information is currently only provided in two separate places with DoTimer, I want it in one.

So I’m currently questing for an alternative. My requirements are DoT timers for me debuff incorporating the ISF buff on me, it must be presented in a clear easy to read format (much the same as DoTimer) and be relatively easy to configure.

Raven: by merging the two ‘Bar Groups’, Buff and Target, I get all my buffs and my DoTs/effects on the target in one place, sorted by time remaining. This is useful because I can gauge, at a glance, if I’m properly self buffed – Fel Armour, pet out, Soul Link, Dark Intent on someone, potted Spellpower buff food. So far so good.

Currently this is a work in progress as all my buffs are shown…so I’m having to blacklist those I don’t want to see: Kings, Fortitude, MotW, Flametongue Totem…equally I don’t need to see procs of Hymn of Power and Hurricane. I wonder if it’s possible to keep the Dark Intent 30 minute timer and remove the Dark Intent proc? There is an interface to create a custom bar…which would be perfect. Instead of blacklisting all the things thrown up that I don’t want to see I could move all the things I do (much smaller subset) to a custom bar. However, the only timer I could actually get to work in a custom bar group was Fel Armour. I think that was because it’s all about me: cast by me, cast on me, action on me. I thought Bane of Agony, for one, would be equally easy: cast by me, cast on target, action on the target. This didn’t work and wouldn’t show up in the Custom Bar Group when it was ticking away on the Target Dummy. Needless to say ISF didn’t work, cast by me, cast on target, action on me. OK I have a timer it’s a pig to configure and is taking time to fine hone.

So I have a selection of others to try out and I keep going back to DoTimer now and then to see if I can bend it to my will. Recommendations of timers I can try most welcome.

WTF LOLIs there anyone who uses no addons? I mean no addons at all.

Addons are great. The ones I’ve used pretty much fall into three categories: Essential; Useful and Pretty. I love them but they eat precious game resources and will slowly erode the performance of the game. I recently reduced my addon usage from over 125 to 87. However, running WoW through Wine in Linux Ubuntu I’ve had to scale my addons right back to the real essentials. So here they are, all 15 that I currently have installed and just have to have.

Bartender4 – replacement action bar. There are others, but this is the one I’ve got used to. It handles paging (where a new set of action buttons, for spells etc, is loaded when changing stances/specs) as well as the Blizzard bars and takes up far less screen real estate.

AmpereAmpere – a tekkub addon designed to ease addon management. You can load, enable and disable addons without logging out. Perfect for none essential addons you may only need occasionally. See Altoholic below.

Healbot – I can’t Priest heal without this addon. Healbot offers a grid that shows raid/part member’s health. the clever part is that you can then configure how the grid responds to clicks. Left, middle and right click are configurable and so are key modifiers: Alt; Ctrl and Shift.

Auctioneer – I cannot sell on the auction house without this addon. If nothing else it lets you compare market prices (compiled and averaged over time) and set the bid and buy out prices for you goods.

Deadly Boss Modsmuch improved event indicator, invaluable in raids and some instances. Better warnings of what is about to happen and what the boss is currently/next casting. Serious kit.

Decursive – perfect accompaniment for Healbot (or Grid) tiny boxes that change colour if a party member is cursed or diseased. Right click to de-curse, left click to cure diseases…or is that the other way around?

FishingAce – what do you mean you don’t fish! I love teh fishin’! This is the little brother of the excellent FishingBuddy. If you want to save resources or you just don’t need FishingBuddy’s all singing all dancing approach FishingAce is the replacement for you. Detects if you have a rod equipped, enhanced sound and enables the double right click cast. Double right click cast is the business, seriously. Try it you’ll love it.

Gatherer – remembers and marks on the map/minimap where you found those herb and mineral nodes. That’s it. Makes it easy to plan a farming route around a zone. Simple and invaluable.

Outfitter – some argue that this addon is redundant as it just does what the built in Equipment Manager does. This, however, is not correct. You can create several different armour/equipment sets and easily switch between them, right clicking the Outfitter minimap icon. Where Outfitter shines is in automation: it will, for example, switch to your PvP set as you port into a battleground or equip your Carrot On A Stick when you you mount up. Open up the cooking pane and your Chef’s Hat is auto-equiped. If you have a fishing set equip all your fishing gear and even bring out you fishing pet – well fancy that.

DoTimerDoTimer – Times DoTs on mobs, it’s that simple. It gives you clear information about when a DoT is about to expire so you can decide what you had better cast next. The genius is that it re-orders the timers so the first to expire appears at the bottom before, like the  DoT itself, it drops off.Quartz – improved cast timers. With a red section at the end to illustrates the effect of lag and helps you begin casting before your last spell is away. Essential for squeezing out maximum DPS in all situations. Has others function, but this is it’s core.

Recount – probably the best DPS metre (see Skada also). Will show everything (pretty much) from DPS and Damage Done or the healing and Over Healing during a instance or individual boss/mob encounter. Not for penis waving but for evaluating and improving your performance and rotations.

WIM – This addon becomes essential when more than one person starts whispering you or you are trying to chat in guild/party/raid and get a whisper. It opens up an Instant Messenger like window in the game a isolates the whisper. Great if you go for coffee, the new box on screen is the first thing you’ll see when you come back and the whisper doesn’t scroll out of sight.

I also use the following addons. I’m not sure I’d actually put them into the ‘essential’ category, but I find WoW too awkward without them.

FriendsWithBenefits – synchronises friends list between characters. I find this very useful with 8 alts.

Tourguide – quite simply an in game, event responsive, power-leveling guide. Beats addons like QuestHelper by recommending quests to take/leave and when to actually do them and it will not zig-zag you across a zone map or into other zones. It groups your grind sites and recommends things like: Kill Stuff and gives you a list of mobs to kill and items to collect for later as you travel around the zone.

Altoholic – this is the most controversial inclusion in essentials. Actually I have it installed and use Ampere to enable/disable it, so I only commit resources to it when I really need it. It’s a convenience app really and I mainly use it to search through my chars to find who actually has the item I need and know I have on one of them. Also list know recipes by all your chars so you can search those too. Cuts out allt he time you waste logging multiple alts to find single items and link profession to people. Invaluable? Perhaps not. A real time saver? Oh, no question.

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