What are Addons and why do I want them?
Well, in short, Addons can help you customize your game experience. You can make things look how you like, provide you information you want on your screen, and/or just make your life in game a little easier.
Awesome, so where or how do I get these great Addons?
By far the simplest way to install and use Addons is by installing a client to do most of the work for you. I am going to talk about Curse specifically, because it is the one I know and use myself. The Curse Client allows you to choose and easily install most Addons in WoW, and keep them up to date. You can download the client here. Simply download and run the installer and you now have your Addon client installed. Note: You DO need to create an account, but you DON NOT need to upgrade or purchase anything.
Once you have the client installed, click the tab that says “Get More Addons” and locate and install anything you want/need right from the client.
Great, now what Addons do I actually need?
Technically speaking, you don’t NEED anything. You can play the game and get by just fine using the default UI provided by Blizzard. But if you find yourself thinking something could be better, you’re in luck because it probably can be! So in truth, what you need depends on what information you feel is missing in the base UI. The internet is full of opinions on Addons, which ones are the best, which ones suck, etc. All I can do is tell you what I know and you can decide for yourself.
There is one Addon that I highly recommend (as in the same way I highly recommend not using a hairdryer in the shower), and that is Deadly Boss Mods. This is your dungeon/raid/world boss bread and butter. You can eat dry toast without butter, but why would you? Some folks prefer Big Wigs Boss Mods, but whatever. Use something. I use DBM.
So here is the list of basic Addons that I use regularly:
Deadly Boss Mods (DBM) – Provides on screen spell timers, visual/audio alerts, and range radar for boss encounters. Works great right out of the box with no configuration needed, although you can if you like. I haven’t. It is broken down into multiple mods for each of the various expansions. Because of Timewalking events, it really is best to have them all.
- Deadly Boss Mods
- Deadly Boss Mods – Burning Crusade and Vanilla
- Deadly Boss Mods – Wrath of the Lich King
- Deadly Boss Mods – Cataclysm
- Deadly Boss Mods – Mists of Pandaria
HandyNotes_DraenorTreasures – Shows all the Rare mobs and Treasures in Draenor on both the map and mini map for easy locating and looting. This mod requires the parent Addon called HandyNotes and will not work without it. Also worth noting, HN_DT applies specifically to the current expansion and will become unnecessary when Legion launches. There is a Legion version in development called Handynotes_LegionRares&Treasures.
Garrison Mission Manager – Assists with managing Garrison mission table and Shipyard missions. Automatically assembles the best teams and shows success percentages and bonuses. Dramatically reduces the time required to put together successful mission teams and get them sent out. As with the one above, this is specific to the current expansion and will become obsolete with Legion’s launch. There is no Garrison in Legion, but there are Class Hall missions, which have similar functionality. No word yet on the Legion replacement for this.
Skada Damage Meter – Tracks statistics for encounters, such as dps, healing, interrupts, crowd control, etc. I hesitate to list this one because it can have such negative connotations. I DO NOT use it so that I can post the meter in chat to brag about how much better I am than everyone else (not that that’s true anyway) or berate others for not being as good as someone else. Those are BAD reasons to use a meter. I run this so I can see how my stat allocations are working, how often I’m using certain abilities, etc. I use it for my own personal growth as a player. That is the only reason to run a meter. Joking around is fine and fun to some extent, but please don’t use a meter to be an elitist jerk.
TomTom – Displays map coordinates, set waypoints and get on screen directional arrows. Functions like an in-game GPS.
Really that’s it? That’s all you use?
Well, no. That’s the basic list. There are a few others that I use for more specific purposes, like for a particular class or activity, like archaeology. I’ll cover them in a separate post. I also use an awesome Addon that is a complete UI replacement, but it is far from basic and will definitely need its own post(s) to go over.
Wait, I downloaded some Addons but they aren’t showing up?!
If the game was running when you downloaded your Addons, they probably won’t show up. Exit the game completely, then relaunch the game.
Ack! Now I got some kind of error message popping up! Now what?
You might get a message pop up about your Addons asking if you want to enable or disable them. This is most likely due to something you installed being out of date technically due to patching.Go ahead and tell it to enable them. On the character select screen in the bottom left corner, there is a button labeled Addons. Clicking the button brings up all the Addons you have installed, along with check boxes. This lets you manage what actually loads when you run the game and tells you if something is “out-of-date” There is an option to “Load Out of Date Addons” you can select to make the error message go away. This is ok to check as long as you know the Addon is functional. (Any of the ones listed above are functional at this time even if it may show out-of-date).
Additionally, you can set up different Addon “profiles” for each character is this screen. For example, I have a hunter specific Addon that only needs to load for that one character. So I turn it off for everyone, then select my hunter from the drop down menu and turn it on just for her.
If you have any additional questions, ask in our GroupMe or catch myself or your fellow guild members in-game. Happy gaming!