In testing all the addons I've looked at so far, I've come to the conclusion that bag addons are all extremely similar, but most have some feature that helps them stand out from the rest. It's not a great surprise, after all, there are only so many ways that an addon can say "hey, look at all these things you have"! Today we're looking at two more bag addons, in addition to the three we looked at last week. I confess right now, one of these has almost persuaded me to move away from my beloved Adibags, not for certain just yet, but it has certainly been a very interesting couple of weeks.
I mentioned last week that the one bag option was so intuitive and logical that I didn't really see why Blizzard didn't make it standard. I should clarify, having ruffled some feathers by saying so, that I didn't mean to force all you separate bag lovers into having one big bag -- I am an advocate of adding options, not of removing them, and so, it seems, is Baud Bag.
Baud defaults to the all-your-bags-in-one-bag system from the out, and offers a good selection of skins for those bags. Having tried a lot of bag addons now, it's rare indeed that they offer any variety of skins, so that's a point in Baud's favor. Where Baud differs to the ones I've tried so far is that it adds an interface in the options menu that allows the user to decide how many, if any, of their five bags they would like to include in the one big bag.
You can see the interface to the right, and if you look at the check-boxes above the bags, you can see that I've selected the four embersilk bags to all appear as one bag, but want the backpack to pop up in its own window. This is a really useful feature, and a neat way to set it up so that, even in a system lacking the categories of Adibags or Arkinventory, separating new gear from sorted gear is relatively straightforward. I arranged the bulk of my stuff into groups in my four embersilk bags, and yes I did rather lament the lack of categories. I kept the things I want regularly like buff food, my hearthstone, and the like, in my backpack, ensuring there was some space for new things, which default to the backpack. That way, I could open up one small bag with all the things I needed regularly, rather than having to rifle through one giant bag to track down a Jeeves or that stack of intellect flasks.
Other than that, Baud doesn't offer anything particularly revolutionary. It does allow you to view the contents of your bank from anywhere, which is very convenient, and combines your free slots together into one easily read number, on any of your bags, separate or combined.
This bag addon, unlike its namesake, really is something completely different. It was recommended by a couple of commenters who were discussing how they desperately wanted a text-based bag, and that is exactly what Baud Manifest offers.
Categorizing the clutter
But a scrolling list of gear is not that great. One good thing about icons is that you can fit more in a smaller space in a more flexible layout than text. But Baud Manifest has a solution to the scrolling problem, and that solution is categories! It has exactly the same basic categories as Adibags, Arkinventory and the various other items, which appear to be the categories assigned to the items by Blizzard. There's a drop-down menu that you can just see to the left of the X in the screenshot above, which brings up your options.
I hit Categorize By Type, out of morbid curiosity more than anything, and was warned that this would sort everything in my bag into the default categories. While this is exactly what I wanted it to do, I appreciate the warning, as the option is right next to Create Category on the menu, and I can see myself clicking the wrong one by accident! This sorted my bags, and my bank on a separate drop-down, into categories, very similar to those on your profession recipe list in appearance. I was impressed! The categories are collapsible, so you can look at just the category you're after. And, of course, I had to try to create my own categories!
This works very similarly to Adibags, you create a category, and drag and drop items into it. Simple as that! If you want to delete a category, grab it and drag it off the Baud Manifest window, then drop it. This will bring up a "Do you want to delete this category" warning. The person who wrote this addon must know me personally! If you delete a category with something in it, the contents of the category are simply uncategorized and sit at the top of your category list. You can't right-click things and assign categories to them, like Arkinventory, but you don't really need to.
The other thing that Baud Manifest offers is the option to filter inbound items. If you check out the list to the left, these drop-down menus offer not only the standard categories but all your custom ones, and will automatically drop items into that area. So the standard set-up you see to the left will drop all new things into an uncategorized area, but that's up to you.
What I did was create a new category called Sell These Items, and get Baud Manifest to put new greys into there, as well as items that I couldn't disenchant and were of no use to me. I then created another category called New, and got Baud Manifest to put everything else into this category. I went and killed some mobs to get grey items, which dropped straight into my Sell These Items category, and I went to a vendor, and Baud Manifest automatically sold them, along with some other random stuff I'd popped into that category.
It's very impressive! My only complaint with the category system is that I couldn't figure out how to auto-hide empty categories, so when you have a category with nothing in it, it's still there. I have to say, though, that with this minor amendment this would be a pretty perfect category system!
And that's not all Baud Manifest can do. It also shows all your characters bags and banks across all characters, categorized or not, depending on that character's settings. It even applies their personal formatting! And all settings can be done character by character, or individually by character. No more accidental placing of items in the wrong category! And, if, for some reason, you need to glance at the traditional icon layout, Baud Manifest lets you do that too!
You can probably see from the amount of time I've dedicated to this addon that I'm very impressed indeed. As a result, I haven't had time to address the other recommended addons, so tune in next time for Combuctor, EngBags, and TBag-Shefki! And if there are other addons I should take a look at, do let me know.
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