WoW Insider Best of 2006: Addon and Player

Mike Schramm
M. Schramm|12.21.06

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WoW Insider Best of 2006: Addon and Player
This is the second-to-last entry in our end of the year awards here at WoW Insider. Last week, we asked your opinion on ten different categories throughout all of Azeroth, and over the weekend, the WoW Insider staff rounded up what we thought represented the Best (and in one case, Worst) of this year.

Earlier this week, we gave away the awards for Server, Guild, and Class of the Year, and yesterday we picked a Friend, Enemy, and Instance of the Year. Today, we've got one easy choice, and one hard one. Addons were all over the place this year (thanks to a late year "addon meltdown" courtesy of the Blizzard devs), but we've chosen one that we think represents the best of what an addon can do. And since there are eight million players throughout the World of Warcraft, it was very hard to pick just one-- so we decided to go ahead and pick four. Click the link below to read our choices for Addon and Player of the Year.

And that leaves just two more categories: tomorrow we'll announce Blizzard's Best and Worst Moves of the Year, so check back then as well.

Addon of the Year: Auctioneer

To be fair, the most-talked about addon this year was probably Decursive. Some players loved it for making casting buffs and debuffs much, much easier (it automatically chose a target for you in raids when casting a decurse or cleanse spell). Unfortunately, a few players (and the Blizzard devs) felt that made the game too easy, and so in the 2.0.1 patch, addons everywhere had to update their programming-- no more choosing of targets, and no more Decursive.

But while Decursive was a good Addon, the best Addon of the year was Auctioneer. If you've used it, you know what we mean-- with a few minutes' scan of an auction house every day, you automatically had access to in-game prices for every item you wanted to sell. In addition, Auctioneer has come bundled with a few other extremely useful addons for a while-- Enchantrix will keep a record of what disenchants into what for you, and Informant kept players up-to-date on what all those white items in their bags were actually used for. But the real quality of Auctioneer is simply how seamlessly it works-- install it, and without any configuring, everything shows up in exactly the right place, and delivers you information when you need it. It could be the perfect addon, too, because part of its benefit is that not everyone has it-- if it were somehow folded into the standard Blizzard UI, things might be too confusing for new players, and everything on the AH would probably end up being the same price all the time.

But we have a secondary goal in giving Auctioneer this award-- we need an update! Since 2.0.1, Auctioneer's authors haven't updated, claiming schoolwork (well, OK, decent excuse) is honing in on their addon time. The good news is, a new version is just around the corner. We love you, Auctioneer. You're the Addon of the Year-- now please come back!

Player(s) of the Year: Stan, Kenny, Cartman, and Kyle

It was so hard to choose just one player in WoW this year that we couldn't do it-- instead, we chose four (and yes, they all happen to be fictional). Lots of players did great things in the game this year-- we especially liked the Naked Troll Guy, Xzin and his minions, and, of course, Dives, the screaming raidleader. But while they were all strange in their own way, no one embodied the best (and worst) of WoW players like the four South Park kids.
Not only did the episode break new ground and lots of exposure for machinima, it brought World of Warcraft out even further into the world as a whole, and reached new audiences that had never heard of Azeroth before. People who had no idea what the Hungering Cold was suddenly knew it as the Sword of a Thousand Truths. Even now, when I tell people I write on a site about World of Warcraft, they say, "Oh, the South Park thing!"

And even though they played Alliance, these four made a big splash in the game as well. "How can you kill that which has no life?" and "Mooooom!" have both found their way into the chat channels, and the Sword of a Thousand Truths (and its creator, Salzman from Accounting) have both reportedly appeared in Outland already. Yes, these four kids, fictional or not, have left a huge mark on the world.... of Warcraft, and that's why they're our Players of the Year.

Previously: Server, Class, and Guild. Friend, Enemy, and Instance.
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