Thursday, September 18, 2008

Review of some WAR addons

So I had a chance to download and test several Warhammer addons last night. I thought I would write a quick review of the ones I tested.

Recommended Addons
These are addons that I am currently using and finding stable enough to use without issues. They all serve a useful purpose.

Vertigo: An action bar addon which allows you to modify the shape of the action bars. You can hide the little background frame, the up/down page scroll, set # of buttons, and most importantly force the bars to a specific number of columns. If you have wanted to make a bar 3x4 instead of the default 1x12, this is the addon to use. You will want to enable the action bar view that shows (4) bars. Then by use this addon to set the desired shape and look of the bar. And then finally, use the Layout Editor to move/resize it. I found that I could make the bars do almost anything. The only frustrating thing is that it currently only functions by /slash commands. Also requires LibSlash (a common library for /slash commands several addons are using).

ActionBarColor: The default UI will change the text (usually a number) within a button to RED when it is unusable due to range or LOS for the selected target. This addon simply makes the entire button tint RED instead of just the text. Visually, this makes it really obvious that you can’t cast.

AutoLoot: A very simple addon that simply clicks the LOOT ALL button whenever the loot window becomes visible. I have no clue why Mythic doesn’t have something like this in the default UI.

Vanity Addons
Only one addon in this category, but I intend to write additional reviews following a similar format in the future. Vanity addons are ones that I consider neat or fun, but not something that actually improves the quality of play.

Killing Blow: This addon has no purpose other than to add a nice little notification when you deliver the killing blow on a target. It’s well done and very much in the style of the many of the default announcements you get while playing. My only complaint is that the text shows up as RED and being colorblind it makes it a bit difficult to read. When I get time, I’ll look into changing this to a blue or something.

Addons not Ready, But Worth Watching
These addons are damn good ideas, I just found the revision I tested to be buggy or difficult to use.

zBuffBars: This style of addon is pretty common in Warcraft. The basic idea being that a horizontal timer bar provides a visual display of the buffs / debuffs on your friendly target, self and hostile target. Relative position of these bars is adjustable in the Layout Editor and the font, size and so forth can be changed by using /slash commands. These are typically much more useful than trying to monitor the buff icons under the unit frames. The issue I had with this addon is that I encountered several bugs and the update felt sluggish when I switched targets. The types of bugs I encountered were things like bars not going away and duplicate bars for the same buff/debuff. Once the kinks get worked out, this will be a useful addon.

ISMoCasts: If you are like me, you have been a bit annoyed that the default UI doesn’t allow casting on a Mouseover target. This addon is intended to provide that functionality by automatically switching your target to whatever you are mousing over when you press the action button. Right now, this only works with Friendly players but the author intends to add support for Hostile players as well. The issue is that it’s not a true mouseover target – what it does is SWITCH your target to what you are mousing over when you press the action button. This part of the addon works fine. What doesn’t work that well is the part where it is supposed to remember the previous target. This glitch was horrible in RvR last night as I found that I couldn’t permanently switch targets. I could cast if I moused over a unit – and that was it. Not good. Still, this is one to watch and gives me hope for mouseover casting.

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