Jul 072009

So…they did it. One of my guildies made the mistake of asking me “so…what addons do you use anyway?” That’s….not a short answer. Depending on how you count them, I’ve run anywhere from 30 to 200 over my time with WoW. In order to help my fellow guildies, however, I figured I’d write up a series of posts on addons I find essential, and the design of my user interface (or UI.) I’ve included a screenshot of my current UI below- click for fullsize.

Admin Note: I’m not going to link every addon I mention- if you want them, go to Curse (or use the Curse client) which is where 95% of my addons are hosted. WoWInterface for the rest.

  Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of discussing individual addons, let’s look at the broader picture for a moment. Why do we use addons, or customize the UI? What’s wrong with the Blizzard default? Every player will have a dfferent answer to that question; however, I use them for three primary reasons.

(1) Addons allow me to process information more quickly or make decisions faster. Take for example healing addons such as Healbot, Vuhdo, (Clique,) etc. The default UI makes healing a two-click (or two-press) process for raid healers…select the target, press (or click) the appropriate button. Addons, however, allow the healer to simply click on the member in need of healing. This gives the healer much greater flexibility.

(2) Addons allow me to control the  postioning and display of information on my screen. I think the default Blizzard UI is horrible at this, personally. (Why they didn’t take more of a cue from Diablo is beyond me.) With my setup, I attempt to minimize the positioning of elements to the left and right of the screen, in order to maximize my situational awareness. I’ve still got a little more work to do on this before I’m happy, I still have the Blizzard default party frames displayed, for example, even though I never use them, and I can condense my buttons quite a bit more then they are currently.

(3) Addons allow me to automate in-game processes, saving time. As a Druid who specializes in filling multiple roles, I NEED this to manage 2 specs and 3.5 sets of gear. Not only that, trivial tasks, such as working with mail, or dealing with questions, can be made much smoother with the proper addon.

I’ll wrap this post up here…in Part 2, I’ll begin discussing the specific addons I use.

(Shout out to Nibuca at Mystic Chicanery for the idea and post title. Hope you don’t mind me stealing it. Thanks!)

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