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Addon Spotlight: ThinkTank sets you up for tanking fast


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.

Tanking in Cataclysm has simultaneously become the most reviled and most desired role players can choose. The random Dungeon Finder and Cataclysm's change in mechanics has created an odd world for tanks to live and thrive in, one of dependence and expectation. Blizzard's goal is to make more players into tanks, through the inclusion of tanking-specific heirlooms as well as rewards like the Call to Arms bag feature that launched with patch 4.1, providing extra rewards to players who chose to queue up as a much-desired tank. For the most part, Blizzard's efforts have been working well.

During deep contemplation, a state which I frequent a lot these days, it dawned on me that I would love to be able to give new and budding tanks a list of resources for user interface tips to make their tanking lives easier. What better way to introduce more tanks to the game than by taking some of the mystery of the tanking UI out from the shadows and make a recommendation for a tank UI? So I began to search the internet, looking for the right UI to recommend for players who want to make a tank alt or for new players interested in the vital tanking role. Let me introduce you to ThinkTank.

Think. Tank.

ThinkTank is a complete UI overhaul optimized for large widescreen resolutions, including plenty of addons and configuration settings that tanks could use or need. Your cast bar, chat, raid frames, and more will be replaced with a trendy, cool setup that emphasizes transparent addons, large viewing spaces, and small raid and group frames. One of the best parts about ThinkTank are its priorities.

Actually, priorities in terms of information needed is one of the biggest aspects of tanking late game in WoW. Letting a UI overhaul like ThinkTank take care of some of that can bring down some of the barrier to entry for tanking and ease in new tanks to the job. ThinkTank works for all tanking classes but is especially optimized (this is a phrase now) for paladin tanks, of which there are many.


For those of you out there with nice, big widescreen monitors, ThinkTank is optimized for 1680x1050 widescreen setups. Do not let this deter you, however. You can easily resize and rescale each addon down to the size you need or want it to be once you get things running. The default setup can be made to fit other resolutions as long as you are okay with a few personal tweaks here and there. Notice how there is plenty of empty space where pieces could be pulled together for smaller resolutions.

Potential updates

While ThinkTank's general setup is fine, some of the addons, including SatrinaBuffFrame, are not currently supported by the addon's creator. Other options exist, however, and any addons with similar functions will work perfectly. Raven, for instance, works much like Satrina and is my replacement of choice.

Addons come and go, so I would not discount the entire addon/UI package for just having one or two in there that might not be perfectly up to date. There is even a list of recommended addons and mods to go along with the general setup for players who want just a bit more functionality but don't know where to turn.

Setting up ThinkTank is easy. There is a handy quick installation guide on the WoWInterface page that even has pictures! I do love pictures.

Don't be afraid

Don't be afraid to tank. After my stint in Warhammer, tanking became my new love, and I would never turn my back on it. You're a crucial member of the team, gain lots of leadership experience as the first body in battle, and your queues are instant! What more could you ask for? Hopefully, those of you who have had trouble with tanking UIs in the past can move forward with a budding tank now with a little help from ThinkTank. Godspeed, young tanks. May you have a bright future blaming your healers.

ThinkTank is a total UI conversion addon compilation, and will change your setup from fonts to addons. Make a backup of the folders that ThinkTank changes so that you can go back to your old UI if ThinkTank isn't for you. Copy the WTF and Interface folders and put them somewhere else. You have been backing up, right?

Before you open up WoW, open up ThinkTank's file (at the top of the zip directory) and at the top, change the top entry to SET locale "usEN" for English. This should cure up the "swapping everything to German" issue some people were having.

Download the ThinkTank UI compilation for tanks at [WoWInterface].

Addon mailbag, you say? Alrighty.


I'm pretty happy with my UI, but as I'm now playing on my shaman more and more, I've found myself wanting an actual separate Big Red Button for Bloodlust.

A brief google search has shown there are several executive stress toys which are usb BRBs, but I'm not sure if they would be compatible or bindable with the wow UI.

I understand that there are a variety of UI helpers for people with diminished physical capacities, and I was wondering if I could adapt something to suit my (mildly nefarious) purposes.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


A lazy shaman.

Thanks for the email, Lazy Shaman. I would think that any USB big red button would be able to be mapped to a key, and then that key could be mapped to a Bloodlust/Heroism macro. Then you'd be able to smack that big red button for massive Bloodlusts. Hit the button harder for more harder Bloodlusts.

Look for a USB big red button that has key mapping or key selection as one of the features, and you should be set. Alternatively, you could do a USB foot pedal for foot-stomping Bloodlust action.
I often die and wonder what killed me. I look back in the "What happened to me" section in the chat box but i can never find out. Is there an add-on that will track this a little more clearly?
You are looking for Obituary (for raids) or Death Note (for personal use), both wonderful little addons that will tell you what killed you and how much it hurt you. They are charming little addons that provides great information and has some hilarious side effects in letting everyone in your raid know how badly you screwed up (with Obituary at least).

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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