Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Addon Spotlight: GTFO revisited


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.

If you asked me back in 2009 if GTFO would become one of the most widely used, universally loved, and iconic addons in World of Warcraft's history, I would have laughed you out the door. You see, not standing in bad things was the ultimate test to see if you were ready for the big boy leagues. Sartharion and his three drakes brought a whole new meaning to the phrase "if you stand in the bad, you're losing DKP."

World of Warcraft made standing in stuff a staple game mechanic for boss fights and player spells and abilities. A common thread presents itself -- Blizzard took potentially clunky boss and game design and made it more accessible. Boss design used to be a mix of larger and stronger versions of regular mobs, like in the EverQuest planes, or unique mobs that would have some awesome new NPC abilities or even steal a player ability or two, like in the EverQuest planes. WoW might not have done it first, but the game sure did make it pretty and varied.

For every action, there is a reaction, and for every good thing to stand in, there are a hundred more bad things. Standing in bad things has become the joke of the era, culminating in Wrath of the Lich King with the ultimate send-off to positional and location-based mechanics -- heroic-mode Shadow Traps. GTFO's alarms and bells would echo down the sheer icy cliff walls of Arthas' monstrous fortress, the angry screams and painful sighs of adventurers falling to their deaths, the alarm not even finishing its full playback.

A history of standing in things

One of the first positional raid encounters that I remember actually having to move a great deal during was the original Ragnaros fight, mostly because of adds and not the environment itself. While Magmadar would put down fire patches that players would have to move out of, the positional aspects of random fire coming down was not something that really -- well, how do I put this? If you killed Lucifron and your guild (or collection of guilds) didn't instantly explode, moving out of the Magmadar flame patches was not going to be the weak link in the chain.

The same can be said for both the Gehennas and Baron Geddon fights. While movement was important, the reliance on one person to move during a crucial moment was never the real reason you wiped on Geddon. Living Bomb trolls were dealt with all the time, and Gehennas' Shadow Rains were negligible after the 900th time.

Basically, bosses usually had one big movement component throughout the early days. This quickly ramped up, so that some fights in the original Naxxramas were all about intense tank movement or positioning. It became a necessity to know where you were standing.

GTFO lets you know

While the name isn't very flattering -- or, frankly, polite -- sometimes a harsh kick in the rear is something a good soldier needs. You are a soldier, after all, fighting on the front lines for your respective faction. You can take a little F with your GTO, right, soldier?

GTFO provides audio cues and alerts when your character is standing somewhere they ought not to. There are four different alert types that can be played and configured, including High Alert for dungeon and raid AoEs and big damage; Low Alert for PvP and low-damage AoE abilities that won't immediately kill you; Fail Alert for AoE that you missed moving out of by that much, resulting in your death; and Friendly Fire Alert, which lets you know to move away from a player emitting some kind of bad damage.

Every expansion has been available in GTFO, so if you're leveling up and pushing through old dungeons and raids, GTFO is still valuable despite its powerful endgame uses. You can even turn off alerts for trivial content, as I do when I'm running Molten Core weekly, futilely, for the other half of my Thunderfury. The addon also has its own volume slider so you can prioritize GTFO's sounds over others.

Tanks have their own specific warnings with GTFO as well, allowing even the most novice tank to work around some hard-hitting abilities. Frankly, anything that makes tanking easier to the point of being neglible is OK in my book, and I'm a veteran tank.

Out of the box

The best addons work out of the box with minimal amounts of configuration needed to get them going. While it's not the only factor, ease of use is a big issue. GTFO works out of the box -- install it and go. Sure, you can tinker with settings like the multiple volumes and types of alerts, but when push comes to shove and you need this addon working right now, it can and will. I appreciate that.

There are lots of options for testing your alerts, as well. Varied types of configuration are definitely appreciated. Typing /gtfo brings up the main menu, and /gtfo and then test1, test2, test3, or test4 will simulate each of the addon's various alerts. You'll want to test out your sound just to make sure you can hear the alerts over your game's sounds and music, if you keep that stuff loud. In fact, you can even toggle an option in the configuration to not mute GTFO while still muting the rest of the game. Ingenious.

The "F" stands for Fonzi

You're a cool dude, right? Just like Fonzi? Well, cool dudes like Fonzi move out of bad AoEs, boss attacks, and other preventable damage. Get That Fonzi Out of there (GTFO) and be a cool dude. While you're at it, jump some sharks on a Mechano-Hog.

Save yourself a headache, save your fellow raiders a headache, and grab the single best alert addon, period. You know GTFO. It's iconic to the point of Pavlovian response. Have you ever been watching a WoW raiding stream with the sound on and heard all of those alarms going off? Remember while you hang in Ventrilo or Mumble and your raid leader is calling off what to do and you keep hearing GTFO going off in the background? It's been with you this whole time and you never knew it.

Iconic, helpful, and easy to use, GTFO is a solid addon for your collection, from beginning to end.

Download GTFO at [Curse] or [WoWInterface].

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

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr