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Addon Spotlight: Adding on to the Blizzard Raid Frames


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.

One of the great joys of writing Addon Spotlight is watching the evolution of addons and their relationship to World of Warcraft over time and how the effectiveness and usefulness of certain addons wanes and waxes like the phases of the moon. Blizzard's new raid frames have not replaced my own custom job, but they have been getting progressively closer to a complete package, as I discussed only a few weeks ago. But there are ways, friends, of adding on to even the Blizzard default raid frame setup to give them just a bit more substance.

Today, I've got three little additions to the default Blizzard raid frames that can help you with targets, marks, and debuffs. If you like options, these addons will add a ton of them to the Blizzard standard setup, making the entire package look a little more like Grid. So sit back, relax, and check out these new additions to the Blizzard default raid frames.


Let's start simple. One of the issues with the Blizzard raid frames (Grid-style, naturally) is that they do not display pertinent information as clearly as I and many others would like them to. Buffs and debuffs should be as prominent as possible, especially in dispel-heavy encounters such as Alysrazor or that awful trash before Majordomo Staghelm. Sure, the default setup has indicators, but what if you want bigger indicators?

Layover is a simple addon that displays large icons over the Blizzard frames (only the new compact, Grid-like version) according to the player's specified customizations. You can access Layover with /layover or /lo, and then use a series of text inputs to change around what you want the addon to look for while in combat. For instance, if you want the addon to show the Fieroblast debuff from the Alysrazor encounter, type /layover add Fieroblast, and the addon will begin tracking that debuff on the Blizzard default raid frames.

You've got commands to change the size of the icon and the transparency of the debuffs or buffs, plus wholesale commands for poisons, magic debuffs, or diseases. It's a nice little addon that has simple text commands and makes the Blizzard raid frames that much more manageable. So check out Layover. It's pretty neat.

Download Layover at [Curse].

Blizzard Raid Frame -- Raid Icons

The next two addons were created by szandros, who obviously knows that the Blizzard raid frames needed a bit of a pep in their step when it comes to buff trackings and information sharing. Blizzard Raid Frame -- Raid Icons is the simpler of the two addons, allowing those fun lucky charms to appear on the Blizzard raid frames. DBM and other raid mods will routinely mark players with one of these colorful symbols when something bad is about to happen to them or people need to get the heck away from them. It's a common occurrence!

Raid Icons allows you to set the icon size and position of where the marks appear. Now, much like Grid or Vuhdo, your Blizzard default frames will display marks on their face, not just over the head of the person with said mark. Invaluable for a fight like Chimaeron, group/raid marks are an awesome way to coordinate your merry band with healing targets or who to stack up on. Any way to get that information out there more prominently is good in my book.

Download Blizzard Raid Frame -- Raid Icons at [Curse].

Blizzard Raid Frame -- Indicators

Now here is the big daddy of addons for the Blizzard raid frames. Blizzard Raid Frame -- Indicators is a Grid-like buff and debuff management system for the default raid frames, allowing you to customize nine different regions of each player's box on the frames to show time left on debuffs, missing buffs, stack sizes, and everything in between.

One of the reasons Grid, Vuhdo, Healbot, and all of those healing systems work is because of efficient information gathering. Healers can't heal or buff unless they know what's going on with a glance. For instance, you could put a timer or symbol on the upper right corner of the raid frame to show when someone does not have a buff that you can cast on them. As a priest, you can watch for timers of your Weakened Soul debuff and display them prominently in the center of the raid frame, to watch for who to heal and who can get a shield again soon. If you're a druid healer, you can set the entire bottom row of the frame for timers on all of your HOTs currently on the target, especially the tank.

Setting up your raid frames to show all of these options is not the simplest task, but it also isn't the most demanding task you've ever been given. The possibilities and options make it worthwhile. Blizzard may not add in this type of robustness to the default frames any time soon because, let's be fair, this isn't the most encouraging thing to get bombarded with as a player when you first step inside the healing role. The Blizzard raid frames work fine for the simple stuff. Now, they can work fine for more.

Download Blizzard Raid Frame -- Indicators at [Curse].

Mailbag time?
Submitting a typical "check out my AddOn e-mail" ...

DidIt reports to chat the number of times each party member has killed the final boss in your current 5-player dungeon, taking into account whether it is on heroic difficulty or not. Regardless whether you are a tank, healer or DPS it helps to know how familiar your party members are with your current dungeon, particularly so for random Dungeon Finder groups.

To use, simply enter the slash command "/didit" once your party is in the instance and the report will come out a few seconds later in your default chat window. Or instead use "/didit party" to direct the report to party chat so everyone can benefit from the information. It can actually be kind of fun and an icebreaker in RDF PuGs, most of the time a few seconds after sending the report the player with the highest kills says "I win".

Thanks for the email, Parc. I like this. Didit sounds great and provides a nice piece of information for dungeon groups, especially. Nice job, man.

On a totally related note, if you want to get your addon mentioned on Addon Spotlight as either a featured addon or even here in the mailbag, do what Parc did -- email me. I read everything. Really. Painstakingly at times, but I do read every email that makes it past my eyes. Or at least I try. Anyway, emailing me and showing me your addon is a good way at getting that addon on Addon Spotlight. Who knew?

Download DidIt at [Curse].

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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