Addon Spotlight: Customizing PlayerPowerBarAlt

Mathew McCurley
M. McCurley|08.25.11

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Addon Spotlight: Customizing PlayerPowerBarAlt
Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley 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.

With the Raid Finder coming in patch 4.3, many new players will be storming their way through the halls of Blackwing Descent, the Bastion of Twilight, and the fiery plains of Ragnaros' domain. Cataclysm raid encounters have bestowed upon players a new mechanic that will show up during some of the encounters, most notably Atramedes' sound bar, Cho'gall's corruption bar, feathers on Alysrazor, Rhyolith's turning bar, and the concentration bar on the heroic Majordomo Staghelm fight. This new interface element can function in many different ways based on the fight it is being used, but all fall under the same category: PlayerPowerBarAlt.

PlayerPowerBarAlt has been a thorn in many player's sides, especially since the default settings for this raid-centric UI element falls squarely in the wrong place -- usually underneath your action bars, unit frames, or whatever you've put right above the default action bar location. Players have been asking me since Cataclysm's launch how to move and manipulate that bar, so here's a dedicated column to just that topic.

Reader Zin is but one of the many faithful readers who want to know what the heck is going on with PlayerPowerBarAlt:

Looking for a simple addon to move something. Trick is, is that i don't exactly know what it's called! I need to move that little popup bar that happens during Cho'gall and Atramedes. The blood and sound bars. Where they are by default covers up other aspects of my ui. I use CT and Perl Classic and i don't see that they have a way of moving this. Help is appreciated, even if it's just the name of that bar.

Fear not, Zin. Here are a bunch of ways to move that very UI element around your screen.

MoveAnything, literally

MoveAnything is one of those addons that I can't live without because it holds the key to the proverbial castle in terms of stock Blizzard UI options and customization. The aim of the addon is simple -- move anything Blizzard has created on the UI, from the quest window to the action bar art. There are a lot of options and customization tools with MoveAnything, including the "/unmove last" command that will undo the last change you made, in case you moved something you did not intend to. /Framestack is built in as well (as the FS button), so you're never going to miss what layer of the user interface is doing what.

Using MoveAnything to change the PlayerPowerBarAlt graphic is easy. Open up MoveAnything with /move or from the ESC menu, which now has an option for MoveAnything at the very bottom, and type "PlayerPowerBarAlt" into the search field to find the tools to move it. For me, I've needed to have the UI element up and running when this was happening and, since this was the first addon I thought of that you use to move the graphic, I needed to find someplace to have the boss bar up in order to move it. Instead, I went down into the Maw of Madness in the Twilight Highlands. The graphic you get for the event down in Iso'rath uses the same PlayerPowerBarAlt graphic, so you can move it from down there. Fun times: Addon customization while being driven insane by a servant of the Old Gods.

Download MoveAnything at [Curse] or [WoWInterface].


So then I began to think that someone out there has to have made a stand-alone PlayerPowerBarAlt mover for just this purpose, considering the feature is a thorn in so many people's sides. RaidMechanicMove is a simple addon with one simple purpose: moving PlayerPowerBarAlt. The best part is that you get a frame to drag around instead of having to be in combat or hanging out in the Maw of Madness to figure it all out. I'm sure you could do the same with MoveAnything, but for some reason, it just wasn't doing it for me. I consider myself an intelligent person except when it comes to finding the obvious.

To use RaidMechanicMove, just type /rmm, /mechanicmove, or /raidmechanicmove after downloading and installing the addon and you're good to go. Easy, simple, and not a lumbering mess of an addon -- just the way I like it.

Download RaidMechanicMove at [WoWInterface].


We like options here at the Addon Spotlight Emporium of Addons and Bad Quips, so here's another capable option for moving just your PlayerPowerBarAlt and even giving you an extra option or two. See how each addon gets a little more detailed and interesting? Interesting. BetterPowerBarAlt is a no-configuration, easily-dealt-with addon that, again, just moves and scales your PlayerPowerBarAlt. This time, BetterPowerBarAlt can show you the value of whatever your power bar is at, like percent madness in Cho'gall or sound on Atramedes, in convenient numeric format. When the addon is unlocked, your scroll wheel will set its scale.

The one downside is that you will need to head over to the Maw of Madness again to move it around. Old Gods are corrupting us through our addon configuration. I knew it!

Download BetterPowerBarAlt at [Curse].

Mind games

So now that you're fully corrupted by the Old Gods and happily serving your new masters of madness, you'll be pleased to know that you probably had an addon that already showed you the values of PlayerPowerBarAlt, and you didn't even know it. Addons like Shadowed Unit Frames, Pitbull, and other unit frame addons have options now that can include the PlayerPowerBarAlt on your unit frame as a bar or numerical value. I personally have my Shadowed Unit Frames showing my Cho'gall madness, Atramedes sound, etc., right there under my rage bar. You can set the specific options for it in your unit frames options menu, usually under the "Enable Alt Power Bar" checkbox.

So there you have it -- four ways to move the elusive PlayerPowerBarAlt. Here's a big tip to remember: Some addons, like Pitbull, oUF, and others actually disable Blizzard's PlayerPowerBarAlt by default, so you'll need to check out your addon options in case you cannot see the bar. If you're not looking to see the bar and you are already getting this information, good for you! You're way ahead of the rest of the class. For the rest of us, the options are almost limitless. As for me, I've got to go bring N'zoth his breakfast, as I have been down in the Maw of Madness for so long tinkering with my UI that I've been driven insane. All hail the Hour of Twilight! N'zoth is great! Something about Deathwing! Arkham Horror, etc.

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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