Addon Spotlight: Work harder with GnomeWorks

Mathew McCurley
M. McCurley|04.21.11

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Addon Spotlight: Work harder with GnomeWorks
Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same. This week, GnomeWorks is to trade skills what fire was to cavemen.

These past few weeks have been very good in the old email box for suggestions for addons to be featured on Addon Spotlight, so keep those recommendations coming. In the next few weeks, I've got a recommendation spotlight planned as well as a grab bag. Also, there is an idea kicking around in my head about a "my first addon" spotlight, where new addon developers pitch their addon and we talk about it constructively. What do you guys think?

Today's Addon Spotlight is one of those "long time coming" pieces; people were utterly shocked over the fact that I had not talked about GnomeWorks before. Well, there is a good reason for that -- GnomeWorks is still in its alpha development stage. As far as profession windows go, prior to Cataclysm, an addon of this type was almost required. The sorting features and customization options on the default profession window was lackluster at best.

Addon developer Lilsparky is responsible for some pretty excellent additions to World of Warcraft, and GnomeWorks is one of those addons that is going to really pioneer trade skill interface changes, in my mind. That's why, even in its alpha stage, I want to spotlight the addon. The more people using it means more bug reports and feedback, which means some pretty top-notch features getting the love they deserve. Basically, I love this addon and want to share it no matter what. So, do me this favor -- if you use GnomeWorks, discuss GnomeWorks.

Advanced Tradeskill Window was my best buddy for a while, but after Cataclysm's upgrades to the profession interface, I found myself using the default setup despite very much missing the queue features. It was good enough, added the sorting and searching options I wanted, and was generally a great upgrade from a system lacking in features. However, there is still a way to go, and GnomeWorks is one of those addons that shows you a future that is bright.

Never trust gnomes (except maybe this time)

GnomeWorks is less of an addon and more of a replacement for the trade skill interface. You're basically uprooting the trade skill system and replacing it with something designed from the ground up to give more information and options than the traditional default profession interface. Want to choose which profession window you're looking at inside the crafting interface? GnomeWorks can do it. Want to queue up lots of different items across multiple professions, then click the queue to craft them? GnomeWorks has this feature.

There isn't too much wrong with the default trade skill window other than the fact that I don't get to customize it as much as I would like to. On the other hand, I don't spend as much time in the trade skill window as others, especially mega-crafters and auction house mavens who pump out wares to corner markets and play the AH game. However, as someone who watches these things happen on a daily basis and has a cadre of readers who appreciate the finer points of auctioneering, I do my best to keep up with addons that can help in that regard. I think GnomeWorks' queue feature is right up that alley.

A queue that Adam doesn't get to touch

Queueing up items for trade skill creation is one of those features I didn't think I needed or wanted until I had it in my hands. Have you ever been creating something complex, like blacksmithing items or engineering items, that require lots of smaller, craftable pieces? Instead of searching through all of the trade skill recipes and creating each piece, queue them all up and make the final product at the end of the queue.

For instance, to make Reinforced Bio-Optic Killshades, an engineer must combine six Handfuls of Obsidium Bolts, six Electrified Ethers, and other materials together. As an engineer, you can queue up the number of bolts and ethers needed and begin to run through the queue. For glyph makers, you can create a queue of glyphs and run down the list, crafting your stock for posting on the auction house.

Sort it out

If you can think of a way to sort your trade skill items and recipes, GnomeWorks can probably do it. Not only do you get to control the size of the windows and width of the columns, but you get to change the order in which recipes are displayed in many ways, such as by skill ups, category of recipe, or alphabetical order. Sorting is one of those features that makes or breaks addons for me, and GnomeWorks has it in spades.


One of the real magic features of GnomeWorks is how many other addons it can draw values from to give the player even more information. Auction house data and other numbers from addons such as LilSparky's Workshop, as well as in-game data from crafting material prices, give an estimated cost-to-produce for each trade skill item. Other addon incorporation is something tough to do seamlessly, but GnomeWorks makes it simple.

Alpha stage

GnomeWorks is still suffering from a few bugs because of the nature of the alpha stage and all that, but nothing that has stopped my game short or was too noticeable. Pretty great for an alpha, I have to say. The best way to report bugs is to leave a support or feature ticket at GnomeWorks' WowAce page. The search bar was acting a bit wonky for me at times but was easily fixed by reopening the addon.

Want to completely change the way you look at the WoW trade skilling interface? Just once in your life, trust a gnome. You won't regret it.

Download the GnomeWorks alpha at [WowAce] and check out Lilsparky's other addons.

How about one quick mailbag question, and then I run for the hills?

Dear Mat,

I am a big fan of your column's Addon Spotlight and Reader UI of the week. I have a question though, I am for the most part happy w/ my UI except for one thing. I have been unable to find a chat mod that I like. I have tried out Prat and Chatter, but don't give me the simple thing I need which is to simply move the text box in the bottom of the chat pane to the top so I can move the chat pane as close to the bottom as possible. I don't need the rest of the features either provide. Personally, the rest of the features don't seem important enough for me to know, so they would go to waste and more than likely annoy me. So, I was wondering if you know of any addon that would allow me to move the text box from the bottom of the chat pane to the top. I have also tried Move Anything and a few others none have done this one simple thing I want.

Raina on Haomarush (US)
Thanks for the email, Raina. Both Chatter and Prat have this option, it just isn't called what you think it's called. Look for an option set called "edit box" or "input box." In Chatter, I know that it's called the edit box. You can set the edit box to be on top or on the bottom of the chat window or, my personal favorite, be a free-floating input box that can go anywhere on your screen. It was right under your nose all along!

See you guys next week.
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
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