I found myself with a little downtime between writing my NaNoWriMo novel.. well.. I call it a novel.. It is basically a pile of stinking crap right now but that’s the point isn’t it? Get the words down, form the story and some kind of world, and characters, relationships and so on (mostly words), and then you can re-draft, edit, tear it to shreds and start over. The point is, reach the wordcount, and aside from the forcing myself to reach some kind of daily wordcount and going a little more insane every time I try, it is kind of fun, especially since I discovered word sprints! However, KissMyAlas, the bossy boots that she is, has asked me a question, and I must answer it. And please excuse if the wordcount widget dies, the server it’s hosted on is under a lot of strain at the moment.

You have, like, a meeeelion alts. When it comes to major game changes, whether that’s expansions or big patches like 4.0, what is your strategy for getting the game back in working order as far as addons goes? Do you perfect things on one character before duplicating your work elsewhere? Are there any addons you can’t live without?

I do have, like, a meeeelion alts, don’t I? In fact, I think I’m constantly plotting what to create and level next. However! I am being a good girl. I decided a few months back that I have enough alts around that need to be pushed upto 80 and so creating new alts is all fine and dandy, but I wouldn’t be playing anything new until the world changes. I’m going to want to see those quests and explore a fair bit, and that’s going to require another bunch of alts! I am a bit of an altoholic, I find it nice to be able to keep a main for all of the big things like achievement farming, collecting mounts and pets, and raiding, and to be able to switch to a completely different class on a whim to farm a few heroics or do a few quests, it makes a nice change and keeps the game fresh. Anyway, I’m straying away from the question a bit.

When it comes to major game changes, generally speaking, I will log onto my main first. Here I will sort out any mods that have decided to take a little nap during the changes, run around giddily looking at all the new shinies, spec if necessary, because I do love my main, and I want to see everything first through her eyes, not random alt #3’s.

Admittedly, for the big 4.0.3 patch, I decided to nuke my mods. I haven’t cleared the folder yet, but I disabled everything. This way, I was able to log in and see what it was that I really felt like I needed to keep, and which I could live without. I don’t really know, I’m a bit strange see, previously, I couldn’t use the default UI, but since the patch I have been.

Click to embiggen

I know everything looks a little bit huge, but that’s about as small as I can get it before I start to mourn my minimap and wonder what the heck everything even says. I think at some point I might get myself an action bar mod again, tidy up the place, and perhaps some portrait frames, but for now, I’m keeping default.

The thing is, I can’t live without:

  • NPC Scan & Overlay – These 2 together have made Bloody Rare and Frostbitten a frickin’ cake walk! I still need 2 for Frostbitten, and a few rares for my Hunter to tame, plus, if I’m flying around on an alt and my screen flashes up, it’s around 20g, some cloth and maybe some crystallized something or other. That’s not bad just for running a mod. PLUS the Zul’drak Sentinel drops a pair of legs that have sold for around 200g in the past. I have to turn it off during raids, sure, but that brings me to the next mod I couldn’t live without.
  • Addon Control Panel – This brings up a new button when you press escape (you know, video options, log out, keybindings, etc.) which allows you to tick on and off certain mods and turn off anything you might not need to keep switched on with just a game reload. I have found this not only a little bit handy, but when I was pugging a lot of raids, I had the peace of mind that I wasn’t going to be kicked from the group for relogging for a couple of minutes to switch off some mods.
  • AtlasLoot – I’ve grown so accustomed over the years to being able to just open up the loot tables ingame and check what so and so drops, and what I would look like as a Blood Elf Warrior and other such things that honestly I couldn’t live without AtlasLoot. I like to know what drops where without having to alt tab, and I have burned a heck of a lot of time looking at this thing.. How do you think I’ve basically memorised the loot tables? >.> Perhaps a bit sad, but just a little addiction of mine.
  • BadBoy & CCleaner – My server is so utterly full of gold sellers, trade spammers, and the like that I need a blocker. I used to use SpamMeNot but at one point it broke and I stopped using it. Now I use these 2 and they do the job. Very often, people on my server will spam their “LFM BT NOTHING RESERVED” macros and the like, literally, spam so that it fills up the chat window pretty swiftly, and I’ve found this tool invaluable for things like that. Mind, I’m pretty sure that’s now inbuilt, but hey ho.
  • Bagnon – I can’t function without my all-in-one bag view! This also tells me how much of an item I have on alts on that server, so long as they aren’t in the guild bank, and it’s the bag mod I have been using since TBC. I think I tried another bag mod sometime in early Wrath and I didn’t like it as much. Sometimes, you just grow attached to things.. and I’ve grown attached to Bagnon.
  • Clique & Grid – Though I haven’t updated them yet because I haven’t been raiding or instancing very much. I have tried the new default raid frames but they don’t do it for me, to shrink them to the size I like, I’d have to resort to teeny weeny text, and a minimap I can hardly use. No thanks. Clique I’ve always found useful to quickly dispel if I’m needed to, I don’t tend to dispel otherwise unless I’m healing. I have heard that Grid won’t be updated anymore, though, and I guess I’m a little in denial at the moment. Stupid raid frames.
  • ForteXorcist – MY GOD. I cannot play without this bloody brilliant tool! I’m a Shadow Priest, this DoT timer is very easily configurable, it looks good, and it works amazingly well for any class, really. I like to be able to see there’s only 1.6 seconds left until Vampiric Touch expires, I’ve found it makes DPSing much, much easier, and I loves it. Especially when I was testing the different Warlock specs.. It’s invaluable for every single one.
  • Fubar – And a few attachments. I tell you what, when I first started playing WoW, I was told to install Titan Panel so that I would have access to co-ords, so I did, and for a while I loved that silly little bar. Sometime in TBC, I can’t remember when now, I decided to try out Fubar. This was basically Titan Panel, except you could customise it yourself! My God! And yeah, I’m a little attached to it. Leave me alone, I like it.
  • GupPet – Yeah, this is probably a slightly weird one, after all, how big a necessity can a random mount/pet button be? Well, for starters, it means I don’t have to fiddle around with macros, or extra bar space. It lets me randomise all of my pets, or a select few, which a macro wouldn’t be able to do, you just can’t fit that many pets and mounts in .. 2 or 3 macros. It can also show you which mounts you are missing from your collection which the other day proved invaluable when it came to my attention that I only needed 4 mounts to reach 100, and I didn’t own the Ochre Horse, Black Horse, Black Wolf, or White Kodo.
  • Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text – I’ve tried, I really, really have, but the default battle text doesn’t make any sense to me! This actually lets me know that my 20k crit was from Shadow Word: Death and not, as I suspected, Mind Blast. It separates pet and player damage much better, and it’s really nice when grinding, to tell you how much of something is in your bags. Also, I love that it tells me when something has come off cooldown.
  • OmniCC – Another one I feel like I have used forever. Used it back in the day (ha) in TBC to watch my cooldowns as a Shadow Priest, and I like to be able to see those numbers on my action bars.
  • Postal – I’m a packrat and an auctioneer – I couldn’t live without Postal. Some days I’ll stand there opening 1,000 mails, and there is not a chance I’m going to do that without Postal.
  • Prat – I don’t really know why either, but my entire game looks empty to me unless I have Prat. Something to do with class colours, copy and pasting texting.. I don’t really know.
  • Quartz – See: I’m a Shadow Priest. Quartz has proved invaluable to me for timing my next cast, particularly when using Mind Flay and Mind Sear. Love that latency bar and the lines that show when things have ticked – makes it easier to not clip anything.
  • Rating Buster – When trying to make a snap decision over whether something is an upgrade or not, I really like to have the stats laid out in front of me. This mod lets me compare an item with the item I’m wearing, to compare the stats, very useful in raids if something not on your wishlist drops.
  • Skada – I like to see where my damage is at, all right? Good. As long as we’re clear. The best thing about being a DPS is reaching the big numbers. You can’t reach them if you don’t know how high or low they are, after all. Don’t worry, I’m not a damage whore. I do stay out of the fire, stop DPS, and all that, I just like to do well while I’m keeping alive – doing all of those things at once is the fun of being a DPS.
  • Deadly Boss Mods – Pretty self explanatory. I’ve tried BigWigs, I’ve tried DXE, neither have really done it for me. I’m a DBM girl.
  • Zero Auctions – One of the offspring of QuickAuctions3 when it broke in the patch. This one was created by a member of the JMTC forums, it does the same thing as QA3, but it has molded itself around the confirmation boxes, so if you put up 800 glyphs, you have to press accept 800 times. Honestly? It’s still a pretty huge time saver when you’re doing a lot of auctions.

Some of these I might not use on my alts, for example, Zero Auctions I only need on my bank alt, so I will only keep it ticked on her and none of my other characters. NPC Scan is unecessary on pre-60 alts, I can’t be bothered to input any new id’s, it’s a little pointless, so I just don’t use it. I like to check that all of these are in working order, and once I’ve played around on my Priest, I might pop onto other alts. Usually Soupdragon, my Death Knight, on Terenas, and my Rogue on Argent Dawn, just to make sure everything’s tidy and ready to go. Very often, however, I forget to load out of date addons and spend most of the day relogging. I think 9 times out of 10, I’ll sort everything out on Seithir, and then tidy up my alts as and when I decide to play them. That’s much less tedious, because at the end of the day, I’d rather PvP than sort out my UI – I find it quite a boring part of the game, which is why I love guides that tell you how to set everything up so much.

What about you guys? Are there any mods you couldn’t live without?

Happy blogaversary, Alas, hope you keep going for a few more! <3