New Expansion, New UI

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Oh, the addons you can't even see

I’ll freely admit: I love addons. I use a shit ton of addons. Even for things you can’t see in the picture above. Being on a computer where I don’t have my addons is like playing a wholly unfamiliar game. (Some of that is probably due to not having my n52te, which is the source of my weird actionbar layout, but I digress.) Yet in the Mists beta, I haven’t been playing with any addons, despite them being enabled for a few builds now. It would be easy to toss my entire addon directory into the beta folder, point the Curse Client at it, and hit update, but I haven’t yet.

Why? Because I’m an addon hoarder. I took a step back and realized that a lot of the things I have addons for, I really don’t even use half their strengths, and could probably do without. The funny part is, I consider myself a minimalist - most of the time, most of my UI shouldn’t even be in my face - I only want something if it needs my attention or I’ve purposely called it up front. As a result, and because of some new tricks the Mists default UI is capable of doing, I’m really thinking about dropping a bunch of addons and going with the bare minimum.

Addons I absolutely need to keep

  • Auctioneer/Auctionator - I’m not 100% sure I need both of them, but I need at least something, and I’ve found Auctioneer to be better at accumulating data but Auctionator to have the better UI. I don’t even know which, I like both. The good part is, I don’t really need these on all my alts, just my banker.

  • Recount - Especially if, as looks likely, my primary role in raiding in Mists will be good ol’ DPS. I know a lot of people prefer Skada, but I’ve never been able to use it quite as well as Recount. Better the devil you know, et cetera.

  • WIM - The default chat UI is shit, period. Right now I’m using WIM and the WIM_FlatPanel skin. I see no reason to stop using the former, but if the latter hasn’t been updated since December 2010 and if it doesn’t get any updates I could see it going the way of the dodo. I hope not, though.

  • WeakAuras - I don’t use it as much as I used to, but I replaced PowerAuras with WeakAuras and, despite weird bugs like occasional auras that either refuse to go away or refuse to trigger, it’s still my preferred visual notification system.

  • DBM - A requirement for raiding. Plus I like it for its other features - I freely admit I use the Darkmoon Faire module to land the Blastenheimer Bullseye every time and spot Hogger spawns.

  • Omen - Not a requirement, but I do like being able to keep an eye on my exact threat numbers, especially during tank swaps and whatnot.

  • Altoholic - I have only recently discovered it and have been making joyous noises every time I discover a new future. Mostly I got it because I kept losing things in my alts’ inventories, but I’ve also been like: “you mean this thing will alert me when other alts’ cooldowns are available?!” It’s pretty great.

  • Clique - One of the major components of me actually being able to play a healer, the other being massive amounts of mouseover macros.

  • Quartz - I live in a building with old-ass wiring, and sometimes lag just happens. Quartz’ ability to show lag in my castbar, so I know when I can usually start casting again, is invaluable.

  • Addon Control Panel - For turning addons on and off, it’s the best at what it does. Useful if something starts acting up.

  • Bagnon - Why the default interface still insists on showing individual bags, I will never know. GIVE ME ONE GIANT BAG OR GIVE ME DEATH. I do occasionally fantasize about replacing Bagnon with Baud Manifest, but I’m not sure I could use a textual list quite as efficiently.

  • CombustionHelper - Because I suck at Fire without it.

  • Mapster - Cartographer2 is dead, long live Cartographer2. The default map only has two settings: ‘block the entire screen’ and ‘squint so hard my eyes explode.’ This fixes that.

  • TomTom - I don’t use the big arrow quite as much as I used to, but it’s great for when I die and my immediate first thought is “okay, now where the hell is the entrance?” And, you know, pointing at quest objectives and stuff.

  • _NPCScan + _NPCScan.Overlay - Handy for hunting rares. I don’t do it often, but it’s nice to be alerted when they’re around.

  • Opie - I use this to, of all things, get the most out of my mouse. Mouse button #5 is always transportation stuff, with the default action being a mount/dismount macro with location awareness. Click the button, mount up. Alt-MB5 is tradeskills. I love Opie.

  • Postal See comment on WIM in re: chat system, then mentally replace ‘chat’ with ‘mail’.

  • Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text - See comment on WIM in re: chat system, then mentally replace ‘chat’ with ‘floating battle text’.

  • TidyPlates - The default nameplates are big and gaudy, no two ways around it. TidyPlates does more than just make them not-big and not-gaudy: it also presents visual alerts (or what I like to call ‘panic mode’) so that if I’m tanking, I know which mobs are not paying attention to me, and vice versa if DPSing.

Addons I’m waffling on, or could replace

  • Prat - I’ll be honest, I don’t know 90% of what Prat does outside of “make the chatbox controls not suck” and “add class color names to chat.” See previous comment about chat UI/controls mostly being shit.

  • Raid frames - My raid frames situation is where most people go “okay, Stop needs help.” For almost all of my characters - DPS and tank specs, especially - I use Grid. I use Grid with a lot of plugins that I don’t use. For healing, I use VuhDo. It’s in a different position and looks totally different. Here’s the thing: I don’t use any of VuhDo’s functionality. At all. I heal with mouseover macros and Clique bindings. I really need to rid myself of one or the other of my raid frames. Or maybe both? I hear the default raid frames are okay now.

  • Goblinventory - This was fun once, but I haven’t been doing it lately. It’s mostly useful for me for searching for parts for transmog, as I can never quite keep track of what I have and its categorical breakdown is really nice. The hardest part for me, though, is remembering to use it.

  • QuestHubber - I haven’t really gotten much use out of this, but I know if I decide to go for Loremaster someday I’ll miss it.

  • RatingBuster - I know WoW has a default feature that takes care of this, but it doesn’t seem like it works quite as well, from what I’ve seen…

  • Dominos - Probably a surprise, given how nice it makes my interface, but I’m not 100% tied to Dominos. I haven’t found anything I like as well, though, including Bartender. The thing is, though, I like my bars in a very specific place and setup, and we’re not yet allowed to move them with the default UI. I’m sure it’ll be here… but it might not be until 6.0. Even if I got rid of Dominos, though, I’d get something to eliminate those frigging griffons. The amount of space taken by unnecessary cruft makes my inner minimalist develop an eye twitch.

  • OmniCC - It’s just… there. It does its thing. I guess I’ll keep it. I’m not attached to it but I do like the nice visual readout on cooldown times.

Addons I can probably get rid of entirely

  • Archy - Archy was great at the time it came out, but a lot of its functionality is in the default Archaeology window now. I also don’t do a lot of archaeology. Mists might change that, but… eh.

  • Shadowed Unit Frames - Here’s what I use SUF for: putting my unit frame and my target’s close to my character, faded when out of combat. Here’s what the Mists UI lets me do: put my unit frame and my target’s close to my character. You see my point.

  • IceHUD - I don’t know why this is still installed. I don’t use it.

  • SexyMap - Terrifically underutilized; I’m pretty sure I could remove this right now and not notice the difference. I don’t even bother changing the skin on it 90% of the time.

  • Skillet - Is Skillet even supported? Probably, but I’m not getting much use out of it other than being a different-looking interface for crafting.

How about you?

What addons are you keeping/using/getting rid of in Mists? Are you taking the opportunity for a “clean sweep” with the new expansion, or are you going to be clinging to a pile of addons as well? (My required list got longer the more I typed… that’s probably not a good thing.) Do you have some addon or addon compilation I should check out? Hit me with it!


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