Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chatter: Text Alerts

I mentioned a while back that I’ve written a few WoW addons, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that I released one for WAR yesterday. I’m still considering it beta, but I’ve been using it for a couple of days and haven’t had any issues.

The addon is called Chatter: Text Alerts and it simple sends your incoming chat messages (Tells, Guild, Party) to the scrolling alert notification area. As with all addons I write, it starts for a selfish purpose: To make MY life easier.

One thing I am bad about is watching my chat box for party/guild/tell messages. I hate feeling like I am missed part of the conversation and constantly find myself scrolling back to see what the hell someone is talking about. Chatter basically makes these messages much more noticeable.

I actually wrote a very similar addon for WoW called ChatAlertsFu. There is another WAR addon going by the name ChatAlert, so I chose a different name for this project.

In fact, when I saw the ChatAlert addon for WAR, I was hopeful that it provided this type of functionality. If someone already has a mousetrap or builds a better one, I’ll happily use it. Unfortunately, all that one did is play different sound alerts for different messages.

My addon plays a sound, but it’s a short fairly unobtrusive sound (which can be turned off) rather than a different sound for each message. It’s possible to use both if you turned sound for mine off (/chatter sound off).

The thing I love about addon writing is that it allows you to make small game improvements like this one to improve your personal game experience. What I don’t like about writing addons is the tech support that is expected to come when you release something publically.

In WoW, there were some projects I never released simply because I never felt like supporting them. These things are free and there are a LOT of people who don’t appreciate that fact.

My biggest gripe about the WAR UI at the moment is the Auction House. It is horrible. I’m sorely tempted to write some improvements, but I have to think that Mythic knows how bad it is and is going to make some changes. I’d rather not spend the time improving the Auction UI only to have it broken in a week because Mythic implemented their own improvements.

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