Salutations, friends. Welcome to another exciting week on Addon Spotlight, where addons reign supreme amongst the pitiful, smelly masses of other crap you could talk about related to World of Warcraft. Addons encompass it all! We are champion.
This week, Addon Spotlight is heading into mount and pet territory, discussing a wonderful little addon called Equus Infinata. Equus not only caught my eye because of how simple and pretty the addon looks, but how it integrates straight into your already existing mount and pet interface pane. As a special treat, I asked Robert, the addon's author, a couple of questions about creating his first addon. Click for more!
Equus Infinata adds a beautiful interface to your mounts and pets frame in the character pane, directly over Blizzard's own. This allows the player to be free of a slash command or special button, which is always a plus for me. Equus scores major points, however, through its mount and pet color classification system.
Equus rearranges the way your mounts and pets are displayed in the character pane for the better, through a variation of filters, sorts and species. The simple to navigate interface makes pet and mount selection much more a breeze than the clunky, cluttered Blizzard frame.
I won't lie. I use a red hawkstrider when I'm in red gear. Color coordination is fun for me and for a handful of people I know. In fact, look at it the opposite way -- does anyone really want to ride around on that green skeletal warhorse? I thought not. By having each mount tagged with its primary colors, Equus allows players to search, sort and macro out only certain colors of mounts to be used in addition to type, speed, etc.
In a land before time, I would not have cared what color mount I was on. Only the coolest beast of burden could hold aloft my mighty frame. Then, there was Fasty, the greatest kodo of all time. Fasty didn't particularly match -- but hey, white goes with mostly anything. As time went on, I found myself changing my character's hair color and tabards to match the set armor. Sure, I kind of felt like a tool, but I was a sharp-looking tool. The sharpest-looking tool in the box, you might say. It seems like such a simple feature, but color sorting has changed my life.
Filtering is fun
This simple classification lends itself to Equus' true strength. Ease of macro use is a hard pill to swallow for a lot of people. Macros and text editing are not the simplest things to do for everyone. People like to fire and forget with a lot of addons. With just a few minutes of tinkering, you can create some pretty complex strings to summon mounts based on all of these variables. By filtering the types of mounts you want to summon, you can do some pretty cool stuff. Let's see how it works.
/ei pet calls a random pet from your collection, while /ei mount does the same for your mounts. This is where it gets fun. If you type in /ei mount kodo, you'll only summon kodo mounts. Each type that the mount corresponds to is listed along with its information in the addon's window. I would check out the Curse page for Equus Infinata for more examples of this type of filtering. Pop one of these babies into a macro and boom, new mount button.
Check this out
What? You don't want to write out a whole mount macro like that? You've also probably been wondering what those check boxes next to each mount or pet are. You can check off the mounts or pets you want to summon, and use the short string /ei mount checked to summon a random one of those mounts that you have checked. You can even augment that as well, by doing something like /ei mount checked fastfly for only those checked mounts that are 280% speed. I love it.
Download Equus Infinata at [Curse] or [WoWInterface].
I liked this addon so much that I wanted to ask its creator some questions, introduce you to him and encourage him to make some more awesome addons. This is his first, and I hope you enjoy.
Tell us a little about yourself in game, Robert.
My name's Robert, and I play Organics, a tauren druid on Nordrassil (EU). I'm a raid leader in <Simia Infinata>, a casual raiding guild pushing hard to kill the Lich King and Halion on 10-man. I've been playing on and off for almost five years now.
What made you want to put together Equus? Were you unhappy with the functionality that Blizzard provided or that other addons provided?
Well, I play a tauren. It makes a lot of mounts rather ... big. Doorways are an issue. Plus I've always been interested in the cosmetic aspect of MMOs and making my character stand out from the crowd. Rather than just using a single mount that's small and colorful, I wanted to be able to select from a group based on my preferences. I saw other addons that let you pick a list of mounts manually, but I wanted to filter all the mounts I own and just say "give me a brown wolf," or "give me something green with +60% ground speed" and have the addon work out what matched my criteria.
I love the filtering system for Equus -- it's really deep and specific. Do you have any specific filters that our readers could benefit from?
Definitely the color and species filters for people who like their mounts to match their gear. Then there's the the passenger filter for people who often help out lower-level characters, just saying, "Give me a mount that can carry my buddy, too." I mentioned size above; that's not a filter yet, but I'm hoping to add it at some point for all my fellow head-on-ceiling characters.
When did you start developing addons? Is Equus your first addon? Only addon?
It's my first and currently my only one. I started working on it in November '09 using an addon called Mountiful as a base (with permission from the authors, of course) and modifying it to do what I wanted. It also started as two separate addons, Equus for mounts and Lepus (rabbits) for pets, but I combined them to save time with updates and such.
Your brother originally sent me an email asking me to do a spotlight on Equus. Do you guys both play WoW? Do you play together?
We both play, but not together so much. I'm a big fan of raiding, but I don't really like alts. My bro plays more casually, and he's never really taken a character past level 30. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.
Any addon plans for the future? Will we see something as comprehensive as Equus for other aspects of the interface?
Well, I have a few ideas that I'm working on, around the equipment and achievement screens. I'd rather not give away too many details until I've got something working, though. Plus with Cataclysm just around the corner, a lot of the default UI is changing and addons are always the first casualties. I'll have to see what the expansion brings.
I ask everyone I interview this one: What aspect of the user interface could you not live with without an addon? Antiarc says chat addons are the most important, for example. Which type of addon is your favorite?
It's a tough choice, but I'd go for action bar mods. It takes a lot of buttons to kill an internet dragon.
Thank you very much, Robert, and I can't say many more things about Equus Infinata than I already have. Great work.
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