A couple of new reviews have gone up:
- Rails Recipes by Chad Fowler
- Agile Web Development with Rails: Second Edition by Dave Thomas and David Heinemeier Hansson with Leon Breedt, Mike Clark, James Duncan Davidson, Justin Gehtland, and Andreas Schwarz
- The Man Within, Feline Breeds 2 by Lora Leigh
I know I’ve talked about some of my favorite Warcraft UI mods before, but it’s been a while, and mods change frequently. So, here we go, another foray into a few of my favorites; most of these can be found at Curse Gaming.
Atlas: If you enjoy doing instances, Atlas is a huge boon–especially if you have a horrid sense of direction, like I do. It lacks a little when the dungeons get three-dimensional (Sunken Temple comes to mind here), but it handily marks things like boss locations and such, making it much easier to avoid going in circles.
AtlasQuest: If you plan on doing quests in dungeons, AtlasQuest can help you figure out whether you have all of your quests yet, whether there are prereqs you need to accomplish, and how you go about completing your quests. You need Atlas in order to use AtlasQuest.
Auctioneer: It’s quite possible that Norganna’s Auctioneer has become the most ubiquitous addon to date. If you plan on doing any serious amount of buying and/or selling at the auction house and want to have some idea of what a fair market value for an item is, auctioneer is invaluable. I use it daily. I recommend getting the full pack auctioneer, which includes items such as Enchantrix, which tells you what an item will likely disenchant into (I picked up enchanting for my auction house alt so he could disenchant items and sell the mats.)
Bhaldie’s Recommended Level: I constantly hear people asking what level they should be to head to thus-and-such area, or what area would be good for a character of their level. If they picked up Recommended Level they wouldn’t need to ask–it lists all the zones compatible with your level, as well as instances and battlegrounds. I prefer to use it in conjunction with Titan Bar (see below), as I don’t particularly like the floating window version of it.
Book of Crafts: If you’re an altaholic and have multiple characters with different tradeskills, the Book of Crafts can be a small yet handy thing. If you come across a recipe, you’ll instantly know whether any characters with that tradeskill already know that recipe or could learn it, right in the tooltip. Particularly handy in conjunction with Auctioneer–if you tend to use your auction house alt to buy cheap recipes for your tradeskills, now you’ll know which ones you can use.
CT Mailmod: Most people are familiar with CTMod due to CTRaid. Since I don’t raid, I don’t use that. However, I LOVE their mailmod, which is usable independently. It allows me to open all of my mail at once (or check off which items I want opened), and it allows me to mass-mail items to toons. I find this invaluable, particularly in conjunction with my use of an auction house alt. I can mass-mail items to be auctioned to that alt with ease.
FactionGrinder: I’ve really enjoyed using FactionGrinder, which can be used to keep track of various item collection turnins and faction progress. Unfortunately it hasn’t (yet?) been updated to include most Outland faction grinds. I hope the maintainer plans to do so, because this mod would be even more invaluable there than it is in Azeroth.
FishingBuddy: Ahh, fishing. Now that Outland includes recipes that make fishing/cooking even more useful (easy buffs!), Fishing Buddy is more useful than ever. The simplest and most useful function is the ability to define a “fishing outfit” to switch to with a click of a button. However, it includes a lot more than that. For instance, it keeps track of which fish you pick up where, and tracks percentages, so if you need something specific you know where to get it. It includes TitanPanel support and the ability to automatically add a lure to your fishing pole. It can also be set to mute environmental sounds while fishing so you can more easily hear the lure noise when you hook a fish.
Gatherer: The Gatherer addon is another awesome Norganna special. It keeps track of where you pick up treasures, mining nodes, herbs, and so on so that you can easily find them again. The latest version has added some wonderful new features, such as a tooltip on mouseover that tells you what you’ve found in similar nodes in the past (for instance, if you mouse over a felweed node on your minimap, it’ll list out how many instances of unidentified plant parts, fel blossoms, fel lotus, and motes of life you might have found).
ItemRack: I’ll tentatively endorse ItemRack, a mod made for switching outfits at the click of a button or on pre-set events. It’s widely used, particularly by folks who raid and have resistance gear sets. I only just started using it and have yet to take full advantage of it.
MonkeyQuest: I’ve tried a wide variety of quest panes, trackers, and so on, including the latest Warcraft-included version. None of them hold a candle to MonkeyQuest for what I want to do, particularly when used in conjunction with MonkeyBuddy to help you set all of the options. MonkeyQuest is an exceedingly customizable quest tracker that makes as many quests as you want, as well as their goals, visible at a glance. It includes quest levels and can be set to code quest title colors by difficulty. It does not limit you to tracking five quests at a time, and the shape and size of the frame and lettering are so customizable that you’re bound to be able to find a way to fit it into your screen that you can live with.
PoisonPouch: Between abilities, trinkets, usable items, potions, engineering gizmos, and so on, I have a real problem fitting everything on my ability bars. So, while Poison Pouch is a very simple mod, I find it very handy. It provides a minimap button menu that allows you to apply any weapon enhancement (such as poisons, sharpening/grinding stones, or wizard/mana oils) at the click of a button. Now those don’t have to take up action bar slots and screen space!
QuestRepeat: I have tendonitis in my hands. It’s a real pain–literally–when turning in multiple-turnin quests (such as faction turnins) to have to mouse back and forth and click repeatedly. QuestRepeat allows me to fill in the number of turnins I want to complete and then just click once on the NPC for each one rather than mousing back and forth and clicking on a variety of things. Without this I’m not sure my hands would allow me to do much faction grinding–and in Outland that would be a real problem.
QuickLoot: Telo’s QuickLoot is another hand-saver. It opens the loot window right under my cursor, which saves me from unnecessary mousing. This is particularly useful when fishing.
TitanPanel: The one “all-in-one” set I’ve ended up using is TitanPanel. It organizes a lot of information in one place, again reducing the need to mouse-and-click for me, which, again, is a hand-saver. The default includes the following information, although many other plugins have Titan support available: bag slots open; clock; coordinates; loot type; money total; performance stats (framerate, memory used, latency); XP (gained, needed, estimated time to level); item bonuses (easy listing of total bonuses to your stats from items); repair (shows total or individual durability of items in percentage form); honor plus (detailed honor analysis); rider (switches riding trinkets in and out when you mount and dismount); stancesets (allows you to switch equipment automatically when you switch stances); ammo available.
TitanFactions: The TitanFactions mod just gives you a nice, quick pull-down listing of your faction scores from the Titan panel.
TitanGuild: The TitanGuild mod provides a drop-down list of logged-on guildies, configurable to include such things as guild rank, class, level, and even guild note (particularly handy when you have guildies with lots of alts who note their main’s identity in their guild note).
Scrolling Combat Text: I’ve tried Warcraft’s official implementation of this feature, but I immediately went back to sct. It’s just very well designed and detailed, and includes highly configurable settings, audio warnings of low health and mana, and more.
TrainerSkills: I haven’t used this one in a while because it had gone out of date and didn’t work any more, but I just discovered an updated TrainerSkills this morning. It tells you when you’re ready to learn new skills (as long as you’ve visited the relevant trainers before), so you never have to wonder again whether you’ve skilled up enough to learn your next potion or pattern. It also stores trainer listings so you can view them at your leisure.
Many people either go with a minimalist set of mods or use a preconfigured set. I prefer to roll my own. I need many of these mods to reduce mousing and clicking as much as possible, otherwise I wouldn’t really be able to play thanks to my tendonitis, so going minimalist isn’t an option for me. And I have fairly particular needs and desires, so I prefer to pick my own rather than letting someone else do it for me. Hopefully you’ll find some of this information useful.