I have to say, I'm really impressed with these addons I've featured today. I would love to have a go at creating an addon of my own, and it occurred to me that we could have an addon spotlight addon creation brainstorm, and go through the process as a sort of collaborative effort! What do you think, dear readers?
Anyhow, let's get started with the reader addons from programmers who actually know what they're talking about!
Claw, created by Jpapertowels, is described as an addon for cat and bear druids that simplifies gameplay and maximizes DPS by doing all the decision making for you. Claw uses an advanced priority list developed by the people over at the SimulationCraft project and improved by Jpapertowels for ease of use in actual gameplay. My feral druid is rather deliberately low level, so that I can sneak around battlegrounds giggling to myself, so the recommendations were a bit skewed thanks to my not having access to all the spells it would normally choose from to recommend, but from the very first moment I loaded Claw up, I thought it was a great little addon!
Claw provides a small, simple head-up display that shows various important aspects of feral druid combat, as well as guardian druid tanking. You can see the HUD to the right, and it shows, in the icons, from left to right, the ability that you last used, the ability that you should use now (the big icon in the middle) and, on the right-hand side, a cooldown recommendation which shows when you should use an ability that is off the global cooldown or has a long cooldown.
As you can see, it also shows your energy bar as both a numerical display and a bar display, as well as your combo points on your current target. If you switch targets, your combo points are still displayed accurately for your new target.
My only criticism of Claw is the configuration. It's not complicated by any means, but I, and no doubt others, always prefer configuration that can be carried out via an options menu with checkboxes and the like, rather than via slash commands in the chat pane.
Please don't judge the addon by the abilities displayed, as I mentioned, my feral druid is only level 34, so it's missing a lot of key abilities that Claw is no doubt trying to find! I will certainly be using this for feral and guardian druid play, as a noob druid it's very useful to me as a learning tool, and, given that it works via SimulationCraft, might even teach experienced druids a thing or two!
Silver Dragon, created by Kemayo, is a lightweight addon that uses the game's cache to locate rare spawns and alert you of them. It has an individual approach to this, in that its default setting is to only locate rares which you have "found". So, it will scan the cache for rares, but you have to see them in game before it will warn you of their presence. Kind of an unusual way for an addon to be set up, but Kemayo, despite his personal preference for minimalism, has also set up a database for those of us who want all the information from day one.
Silver Dragon also permits the user to add their own mobs, by mob ID, which is found on wowhead pages -- it's the numbers in the URL and on the page. Once you've got the mob ID of the mob you're after, Silver Dragon will alert you when it gets in your range with a popup and a sound. Of course, if you would prefer another alert method, Silver Dragon has those available as well, all this can be altered in the configuration menu. I really like the sound, it's less startling than the ones used by other rare trackers, but gets your attention nicely.
Kemayo also explains why players could use Silver Dragon as opposed to NPC Scan, saying the following:
Having installed Silver Dragon on my max level characters, and a couple of leveling ones, I love it! I like the popup and the sound, and it seems to work better than NPCScan, for me at least. Your mileage may vary!
NPCScan is all about scanning the cache. If a mob winds up already in your cache, it'll do nothing at all to help you. SilverDragon tries to fall back on more things, to give you the best chance of finding rares.
If you want to run across rares while leveling, SilverDragon helps with that. NPCScan is solely a max-level tool.
If you're hunting a rare in a group, SilverDragon can automatically tell other people in your group when you see the rare, so you can all converge quickly.
Farmhand, created by JCinDE, who is also Bull from this week's Reader UI of the Week, is, as the name would suggest, a farming addon. It's such a great idea, and I'm glad to see people jumping in to farming as a viable gameplay area for addon creation. Farmhand pops up a special set of additional action buttons whenever you're in Sunsong Ranch. These are smart buttons, allowing you to use tools -- the plow, shovel, watering can, bug spray -- plant seeds, see what you have, even to sell seeds without having to open your bags. It also does tasks which other addons carry out, such as automatically abandoning your tools, if you want to, when you leave Sunsong.
Farmhand also adds a crop scanner tool, which alerts you to problematic crops. This is a boon if you're one of the players who struggles to pick out smothered or runty plants! The author has also inserted tooltips that show vegetable quantities on hand and in your bank when you mouse over seeds at vendors. It's highly customizable via an in-game configuration menu, no slash commands here! You can choose whether you want rid of the tools when you leave, whether you want chat messages, sounds, portal shard buttons, and whether the interface auto-hides during combat.
Best of all, JCinDE is very responsive on the comments section of the addon's page, responding to user queries and providing fixes to problems they encounter.
Tune in next time for more reader addons, and, as ever, if you have addon questions or addons you think we should look at, drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org!
Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. If you're new to mods, Addons 101 will walk you through the basics; see what other players are doing at Reader UI of the Week. If there's a mod you think Addon Spotlight should take a look at, email email@example.com.