Millions of individuals have downloaded the Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft (WoW). Many, if not all, of these players have at least heard of WoW add-ons. These add-ons can enhance your in game experience, help keep track of quests, notify you when you gain aggro and so much more. Even the casual WoW player can benefit greatly from some of the thousands of add-ons that are available.
NPC Scan is an add-on that will notify you when a rare, elite Non Player Combatant (NPC) is within 100 yards of your character while in Outland or Northrend. These rare NPCs drop decent items, usually a bag of random things and gold. Some may drop an epic rare flying mount, or epic weapons and gear. There are four achievements to be gained from killing these rare elites. If you are looking for the achievement NPC Scan is a must.
Addon Control Panel (ACP)
With ACP, you do not have to log out of the game to turn your add-ons off and on when entering or leaving raid groups. After you download and enable ACP, to access your add-ons all you need to do is type into chat /acp. You may need to reload your user interface when toggling add-ons off and on, which takes much less time than logging to do the same task.
Atlas Loot is a priceless add-on. This add-on will add a button to the upper right hand corner map/clock. By clicking the button you will bring up a screen where you can choose the loot you want to view. You can look through all crafted items as well as the possible boss drops from dungeons and raids. In addition to viewing the items, finding out what boss may drop what your character needs, and deciding what gem your new gear may need, you can also view what materials (mats) you will need in order to have the item crafted.
Auctionator is a must have add-on for any World of Warcraft player that uses the Auction House often. This add-on allows you to simply drag the item you wish to sell to the sell tab and in return will set a buyout price and starting bid price for you. In addition it will display a summary of auctions currently listed for the item and sort them from lowest price per item to highest. The buy tab allows you to create a shopping list, keeping items you search for often in an easily accessible list. When you search for an item, Auctionator will automatically display all the results for the item, sorting them from lowest to highest buy out price per item. The list will tell you how many stacks appear for each item, the buyout price per each item and the buyout price per each stack. When you select a stack to purchase you will be offered the chance to tell the add-on how many stacks you want, based on how many are available at the currently selected buyout. In addition, when Auctionator has scanned the Auction House for an item previously, and you find yourself having more of the said item, scrolling over it in your bag will tell you what the last known going rate was for the item. (ie. world drops, Artic Fur, Frozen Orb, Primordial Saronite, etc.)
Bagnon is an add-on that will bring up all your bags at one time when you open any of your bags. In addition, it brings your bags up in a form as though it is one big bag. No more searching through five bags looking for the item you need. Simply click one of your bags and all of the items you are carrying will be at your fingertips. This add-on also works with your personal bank. Eliminate the need to search your entire bank for that PVP trinket. Bagnon will open your entire bank and it will appear as one big bag on the left hand side of your screen. (Personal bags will appear on the right hand side of your screen.)
For anyone who has ever heard ‘You can’t carry anymore’, this is the add-on for you. Bag Saver will ask you if you want to sell all the gray items in your bags each time you click on a vendor. Click yes to sell everything (only gray items), or no to choose what items you wish to sell.
Banzai Alert notifies you when you get aggro any time you are playing within a group. This may be while killing random mobs, or in dungeons and raids. This add-on comes into play mostly during raids. When it yells ‘aggro’ to you, you know to immediately back off of the NPC and let the tank regain his threat. In PVP, if a player clicks on you, it will also inform you with the same ‘aggro’ saying that someone is clicked on you. By default the program says ‘aggro’, however, you can change the sound that is played through the add-on interface.
Carbonite is an important quest helper as well as a map. Carbonite will track your quests and highlight the area in which you need to be in order to complete aspects of each quest. As with the regular map, a question mark will appear where NPCs are awaiting your return.The map allows you to change its size, placement on your screen, zoom in or out and is turned off or on by one click, allowing you to quickly hide your map when your Random Dungeon Que comes up, or quickly show your map when you are in Wintergrasp trying to find out which tower you need to get down.
Deadly Boss Mods
Deadly Boss Mods (DBM) is an essential add-on for anyone who intends to raid. DBM alerts you when you have boss spells and debuffs on you. In raids where proximity to other players is important, DBM will inform you of your range to other players as well as what players are within the set range. In addition, DBM will notify you when a boss is doing his trademark move, such as Mutating Injection and Temper Tantrum. This add-on also works for PVP as well as heroic instances.
Enchantrix is essential for nearly 100% of WoW players. This add-on shows what an item will disenchant (DE) into, what ore will prospect into and what herbs will mill into. In addition, it will show the various percentages (chance) a certain mat has to drop by disenchanting, milling or prospecting the item you have your pointer hovering over. Enchantrix is downloaded when you download the add-on Auctioneer. Not caring for Auctioneer personally, I use Auctionator, and have turned off Auctioneer while leaving Enchantrix turned on from the add-on menu. This allows me the benefits of Enchantrix, while not using an add-on that I do not care for. Enchantrix is not dependent on Auctioneer.
If you have a gathering profession, such as mining and herbing, Gatherer is an incredible addition to your game. (When Cataclysm is released, there is rumor that there will be a third gathering profession.) Gatherer will display areas in which you, a group member or guild member has gathered an herb or mine. (Only works for group members and guildies who also have Gatherer installed.) Gatherer will also mark the areas in which you or a group/guild member has previously found treasures, such as chests. After Gatherer has been installed and able to track for a period of time, you will essentially get a route of gathers displayed on your map that you can follow when farming.
Gear Score will show a player’s gear score simply by hovering your mouse pointer over their character. Serious raiders value this add-on, especially for the new, harder raids such as ICC and RS. There is a lot of in game dispute about this add-on, as some raiders firmly believe that skill outweighs Gear Score. While others will not take a character into a raid without a minimum Gear Score. (Leaving the skill to be proven later.)
Omen Threat Meter
Omen is another essential raid add-on. Omen is a multi target threat meter. Ideally your tank should be on the top of the Omen meter. If you find your characters name crawling up on the meter, you will know that it is time to slow down your DPS (damage per second), before you have too much threat and pull aggro from the tank.
Rating Buster is an incredible statistic breakdown. This add-on will compare the item you are hovering over to the item(s) you already have equipped in the same slot. It will compare not only the item gear score, but also show how your stats, such as strength and agility, will increase or decrease by equipping the new item.
Recount is a damage meter and so much more. This add-on will keep track of DPS, HPS (healing per second), damage overall, healing overall, CC breakers, interrupts and more. Any serious WoW player wants to know how they are stacking up compared to their raid teammates. This is the tool for that.
Sexy Map is not a must have, but it sure makes looking at the map a little easier. This add-on will add graphics around your map that appear to be moving. This map is a very nice add-on to spice up the old, boring looking minimap.
If you are serious about using add-ons, but are concerned with the time factor to download and install some of them manual, be sure to visit the Packs section of Curse. Most of the packs have all the ‘must have’ add-ons as well as some add-ons to help change your interface to better suit your needs and style. Personally, I use the Raid Frames pack. You can view each individual add-on in the pack before downloading, or even find add-ons in other packs you would like to add to your custom pack.
There are literally thousands of add-ons for World of Warcraft. Many more add-ons can be found on Curse, WoWInterface and WoWace. However, many are available on their own individual websites, such as Carbonite.
The serious add-on loving WoW player will appreciate WoWMatrix. WoWMatrix is a one stop shop for thousands of WoW add-ons. This program allows you to download add-ons without worrying about installing them incorrectly or to the wrong folder. WoWMatrix add-ons also include a description of what the add-on will do, saving you from downloading a wrong add-on.
Curse also now has a download client of its very own. Many Curse downloads can not be downloaded now without a Curse Client.