The display bar
I hereby dedicate this week to Data Broker, a wonderful data library that allows for some big addons in small packages. First, I'll recommend some data broker displays, those bars you usually see on the top and bottom of people's user interfaces, and then five broker addons that you can plug into those bars. Think of the broker display addon as the garden and the broker addons as the flowers you choose to plant.
LDB, or LibDataBroker to the addon aficionados out there, is the colloquial name for a set of addons that "plug in" to a Data Broker Display such as Bazooka or ChocolateBar (or the once-great FuBar). There are a few awesome broker displays out there, so let's recommend some!
My personal favorite data broker display addon that houses other broker addons is ChocolateBar. It was created to be a Titan Panel/Fubar replacement and does the job very well. Big daddy Titan Panel is still around, doing its job surprisingly well after all its years serving the WoW
community. Bazooka, another broker display, was recently recommended to me and I have only heard good things. Many players swear by Fortress, which takes a different approach to the bar model and gives plugins their own, separately configurable, free-floating places to live. Basically, what it really amounts to is that you have a choice in data broker displays. Since all of these addons accept the same kind of data broker plugins, you can swap around the displays to see which one gives you the type of experience you want.
Step one is to get a data broker display. If you're just starting out, I would say get the display that has the least amount of plugins already built in, as to not overwhelm yourself. Take your time. You can always switch displays.
Download ChocolateBar at [Curse
] or [WoWInterface
Download TitanPanel at [Curse
] or [WoWInterface
Download Bazooka at [Curse
] or [WoWInterface
Download Fortress at [Curse
] or [WoWInterface
Mourn Fubar in [the comments].
So now that you've got your display bar, it's time to plug in some plugins! Data Broker addon plugins can do anything and everything, from displaying your gold and making equipment shuffling easier, to show you memory usage and latency. Display bars and plugins can also greatly reduce the space that many addons take up on your screen, so tinker around with broker addons and you'll find some pretty interesting addons that are available.
It used to take three clicks to get to my list of instances that I had already run for the week. Three clicks! That's two too many. Why not load up SavedInstances, an awesome little addon that gives you the information you need in one click? SaveInstances is a great stand-alone addon, but it really shines because of its LibDataBroker support, easily sliding in on your display bar right next to your old favorites. Left-clicking on the addon itself opens up Blizzard's own raids menu, instead of going through the social menu. I enjoy it, and I'm sure you will, too.
Download SavedInstances at [Curse
Broker_Micromenu, or "You made my week, Krick"
Krick, over in the most recent Reader UI of the Week comments
, clued me in to my new favorite Broker plugin: MicroMenu. What does this simple broker plugin do, you may ask? The menu bar, the bane of my user interface existence, is moved off to a display bar. One click opens up a menu for the player to select the required function of the menu bar without it being anywhere to cause trouble. Thank you, Krick. You are the wings beneath my menu bar wings.
As an added bonus, Broker_Micomenu also displays your frame rate and latency! What a deal! Two great tastes that taste great together.
Download Broker_Micromenu at [Curse
Want to know how much gold you made this session? Today? Yesterday? All this week? Want to know how much cash all of your characters on the particular realm have? Your next stop is downloading Broker_Currency, a simple plugin for your data broker display bar. Other types of currency, such as badges, are also configurable. I really like this addon because of its utter simplicity, but remember, you need a LibDataBroker display panel to use it.
The addon even allows you to turn off silver and copper displays for those two worthless currencies. Yeah, you heard me, peons. I've got a date with my money hat. Actually, truth be told, I spent all my gold on stuff for my goblin. Anyone spare some copper?
Download Broker_Currency at [Curse
Broker_Equipment? I hardly knew her!
Many people use all sorts of addons for equipment management. For some reason, I never downloaded equipment manager addons. I was late to the game with dual specs and I never had roleplay sets of gear to show off in Orgrimmar, Ironforge or Goldshire. The Blizzard default equipment manager was always my little secret baby, the vice I never told anyone I used. "You're the addon guy! How can you use that piece of trash?" they questioned. Well, I did, and I still do. I don't recommend it. But I can help out my like-minded friends with a great broker addon called Broker_Equipment.
This plugin will allow you easy access to your Blizzard equipment manager sets, as well as easy macros for save, delete and equip sets. You can even queue a set during combat to switch to after combat. I use it. I like it. You might like it, too.
Download Broker_Equipment at [Curse
There are hundreds of LibDataBroker addons out there. I know you've got some pretty heated opinions, so off to the comments with you! Spread the word about your favorite broker plugins. I am definitely going to write about more broker stuff in the future, but for now, take this small taste. We have a lot to explore within this addon category. See you all next week!
Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. Last week, you chose the addons in Community Choice 2! How did it feel, being special for that one fleeting moment? Treasure it, mortals. 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.