Thursday can only mean one thing -- addons. Earlier in the week, Excellence's UI from Reader UI of the Week made prominent use of Geist, an incredibly useful addon that begged to be in the spotlight. Action bars are an important staple to the World of Warcraft user interface, and most addons in this category are all about changing the attributes of mostly static bars. Geist takes a different approach to action bars, potentially being a full action bar replacement or an augmentation onto existing action bar setups. Click now!
I am sorry that I lied again. Power Auras advanced sessions will be done soon. Honest. The good news is that I get to introduce you -- or in many people's cases, reintroduce you -- to Geist. Geist is a simple but ingenious addon that creates a 25-button action bar underneath your mouse cursor whenever a user-selected button is pressed. Action bars appear where your cursor is! Amazing! In its simplicity, Geist presents the user with tons of options and use cases for all types of classes and roles.
Geist reminds me most of oPie, another excellent addon, but with button clicks instead of directional selection. Having the ability to call a large block of buttons under your mouse cursor is an awesome convenience, and since the buttons act like action bars, they can be filled with literally anything, from macros to abilities.
Let's talk use cases. Tanks routinely macro abilities like Shield Wall, Divine Protection and other defensive cooldowns to buttons or an easily accessible action bar for quick use. Geist can be used as a defensive cooldown one-stop shop. Press the button to make Geist appear and select your defensive cooldown. Since the bar appears where the cursor is, access is instant. If you aren't a key binder, Geist might be the solution for you.
Mages! Who doesn't love mages? Stalwart, brilliant and squishy like a marshmallow, mages provide the world with DPS, portals and food. Let's talk portals. Geist could be used as a portal and teleport repository, appearing on command with a single button press. Not only does this free up space on action bars, but you never have to open your spellbook to find a specific portal spell. Geist might be the helpful addon for you, mages!
Trade skills! Keeping your trade skills off on a separate menu of action bars seems to be the thing to do, especially when you're working your interface for maximum screen real estate. Geist can help! Just set a trade skill button, pop open the Geist window and all of your trade skill abilities are ready to roll.
Did I mention that Geist works with ButtonFacade, potentially my favorite addon ever? I didn't?! Geist works with ButtonFacade by installing an extra plugin found on WoWInterface here.
Give Geist a try. Addons with a simple and straightforward approach and function are usually the most deceptive in terms of how much they will surprise you. Geist is versatile and helpful in its simplicity. Use the comments to sound off with your own ideas and use cases for this helpful addon.
Download Geist at [Curse] or [WoWInterface].
Download Geist - ButtonFacade (ButtonFacade support for Geist) at [WoWInterface].
How about a mailbag or two to wind us down for the week?
I currently use Healbot and it works just fine for me so far. I have heard some people that use Grid for healing and swear by it. I was wondering what the difference is between the two. I find Healbot to be a godsend when healing. I know at least two people in my guild that don't use a heal UI at all and just drag out raid frames to do it. I find this to be ridiculously difficult to heal that way myself.
Thanks for the email, Dave. Healbot and Grid are completely different approaches to the raid frame genre of addons. It's funny, because Healbot is a healing addon first and a raid frames addon second, whereas Grid is the opposite. Here's a quick rundown on the differences between healing with Healbot versus Grid.
Healbot is a self-contained healing package, for the most part, that allows you to set different spells to mouse clicks and various conditional mouse clicks (Shift Click, etc). For a druid, for instance, click could be your main healing spell, like Regrowth, and the next clicks down the line are for other spells. This allows healers to have instant access to all of their arsenal of spells with just mere clicks, as opposed to button presses, action buttons and targeting. Healers have all of the targeting they need just by hovering the mouse over an injured player's raid frame.
Grid is a raid frames replacement, at its core. What makes Grid stand out are its built-in raid notification system, small footprint and customizable nature. Grid gives you a lot more than healing information at your fingertips, like who in the raid has aggro. Plug-ins can enhance Grid's effectiveness, and when paired with powerful addons like Clique, Grid can provide all of the functionality of an addon like Healbot but in a different style and package. Personally, I would try out both sets and style of addon and choose for yourself. At the end of the day, your skill as a healer will trump any addon, but addons are definitely a huge boon to the healer community.
Thanks for the email, Jay. Of course I take email suggestions. I pour over lots of emails every day from addon suggestions and comments to Reader UI of the Week submissions. Please, send me any and all of your suggestions. Addons are a very unique brand of "product" since the entirety of the addon's success is created by user feedback, word of mouth and a solid product. Advertising is a very small part of an addon's lifestyle. Word of mouth is how I find most of the addons I spotlight, and word of mouth was how I chose my first addons to use. The more emails that I receive, the better the column is, frankly.Mat-
I have a suggestion for Addon Spotlight. Do you take suggestions for spotlight columns?
Thank you all for reading! Stay tuned for next week. There might be more Power Auras! Who knows? Not me. Also, if you love all things me, I am a regular guest on the WoW Insider show with Sacco and Rossi.
Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. How are you guys enjoying HudMap? It's totally awesome, right? It takes a little getting used to, but you'll get it. Be ready for AVR's destruction! And remember, Addon Spotlight is fueled by viewers like you, so if you have a mod you think we should take a look at, email Mat at email@example.com.