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Addon Spotlight: ArenaLive makes spectating easy, more Addon Mailbag


Writing the PvP column Blood Sport here at WoW Insider, I am a little biased, but PvP is one of the two best parts of the game for me, specifically arena. So when an addon like ArenaLive comes along, which makes a tournament-style UI available to everyone, I have to let our readers know.

Opinions vary on whether WoW is a game that's suitable for e-sports. I know some may disagree with me, but I really, really enjoy watching arena matches. I sat in a hall in Cologne for 5 hours watching the European Invitationals unfold, loving every minute of it. But one of WoW's problems as an e-sport is the absence of a spectator mode. Tournaments have to create their own UIs, and the possibility for casual streamed spectator arenas was previously pretty much nil. Until now, with the launch of ArenaLive!

For a recent tournament, run by addon site Curse, ArenaLive got its first outing, allowing the author, Vadrak, to iron out any bugs, and it performed fantastically. Nilheniel built this addon from the ground up, rather than adapting existing frames, as he recognized the need for an independent UI for tournaments which didn't simply adapt Blizzard's unit frames.

So ArenaLive was born. How do you use it? Installation is easy, it can be done via the Curse Client, or downloaded directly and copied over to your Addons folder. Vadrak includes comprehensive instructions in a readme file with the addon for setting up your matches, but the long and short of it is that you need to enter a 5v5 wargame, and have everyone who isn't playing die. This has the obvious restriction that you can't use it for 5v5, but for 2v2, 3v3, or simply for duelling, this is brilliant.

The UI offers everything viewers would need to understand the match, frames for each player, including castbar, health and power bar, buffs and debuffs, cooldowns, instant casts, everything!

Addon Spotlight Arena Live makes spectator mode easy, more mailbag!
By far the most exciting thing for me is that this makes the technology to create spectator-friendly matches available to everyone. People streaming arenas can, with a little work, create tournament matches with friends, and imagine the possibilities for those who are good enough to create tutorials!

I asked Vadrak whether this could be used for players who are participating in standard arenas rather than wargames, and he said that "the addon is designed for spectating wargames only, but since a lot of people asked for it, I'll probably create an everyday arena version of the addon, that will include party and arena frames." He also added that he is very, very busy at the moment, so don't expect it tomorrow!

Addon Mailbag

Chaitealatte asked :

I found a great addon for you, called WoWVid, which creates a pane in your UI that you can watch VLC player videos on while you're doing boring but necessary things like farming and dailies. I thought your readers might like it, and wondered if there were any similar addons out there?

I can't, of course, present you with any addon without testing it, and WoWVid is especially true as it hasn't been updated for quite some time -- over a year in fact. But, I followed the steps on the curseforge download site to the letter, and it works perfectly! VLC, my player of choice, did crash several times when I was launching WoW in non-windowed mode with VLC in DirectX Direct Draw. Don't worry, it still works once you've got windowed mode on! I'm not tech-savvy enough to know quite why it was crashing.

WoWVid seems to create a hole in your windowed WoW screen, that allows you to look through the game at video. The only confusing part of the instructions was the part where it tells you to move the WoWVid window over your video window. What I suggest you do is grab your video window, resize it to approximately the size you want, put it where you want it over your WoW screen, and pop the WoWVid window in that spot. You'll likely need to do a bit of to-ing and fro-ing to get the two windows perfectly lined up but it's worth it!
Addon Spotlight Arena Live makes spectator mode easy, more mailbag!
I apologise for the poor quality of the screenshot, screengrabs didn't seem to want to include overlays, so I had to take a photograph of my screen. But, you can see my panda and I both watching some CSI in a little window in the game.

As far as other addons that might provide an in-game diversion while you're waiting for things to happen, like raids or arena queues, if you're in a party then TriviaBot is a fun little addon. It generates trivia questions based on the databases you download, which have to be obtained separately from the game, but are linked within the main addon page.

Addon Spotlight Arena Live makes spectator mode easy, more mailbag!You can use TriviaBot in party chat, guild chat, and custom channels, but also in public chats like General and Say. Extreme caution is advised with general channels, as TriviaBot itself points out when it's loaded into a public channel. On several of my servers, short TriviaBot quizzes are welcomed and participated in every now and then, but if they're too long or overdone the people using it will inevitably be reported for spamming. Enough reports, and you'll be banned. So be very careful! It's probably best to stick with using TriviaBot in private channels, and you can even play it with yourself, as you can see in the screengrab to the left -- TriviaBot doesn't tell the quizmaster the answers to the questions. For that, do use a custom channel!

A while back there were addons which allowed you to play games like Bejeweled in WoW, but alas they are no longer updated.

Myrli asked:

I am a casual player who enjoys achievement hunting. Are there any addons that suggest possible next ones to tackle based on criteria like ease, solo achievable, 5 player, 10 player, pvp, etc... but mostly difficulty? I have one that has a suggest feature but it does not appear to work. There also used to be a website but it seems to have stopped working long ago.

Why yes! Overachiever is a fantastic addon. Funny enough, it shares a name (almost) with WoW Insider's very own achievement hunting column, The Overachiever. You should definitely check out Allison's column on WoW's 18 easiest achievements if ease is what you're after.

Overachiever is the only achievement addon I've ever used, so do post alternatives in the comments if you know of them, but I would be really surprised if there were any that were quite as comprehensive as Overachiever. It has what I consider to be a really good suggestions feature, that bases its suggestions not on ease, but on your current progress, and your current or chosen area.

Say you're in Deepholm, and you're looking for some achievements to do. Start up Overachiever by opening your achievements pane, and head over to the Suggestions tab at the bottom. It will lead with what appears to be the achievements you're closest to completing, so for my mage, who had done some questing in Deepholm but not much, the top one was Deep into Deepholm, of which her progression was 32/110, as you can see below.
Addon Spotlight ArenaLive makes spectating easy, more mailbag! DNP just yet
Beyond that, it seems to favor achievements that have relatively light requirements, such as Fungalophobia in Deepholm. However, the problem is that easiness is very subjective indeed. Something that Myrli finds easy, I might find really difficult. And, naturally, something that I find easy might be more of a challenge for Myrli! This makes it very hard for addons to prioritize achievements, but Overachiever definitely has a really good stab at it in my opinion.

And that's far from all it does! Overachiever has features like a watch list, allowing you to Alt+click any achievement you want to monitor and add it to the list. It also offers enhanced tooltips for all achievements, telling you your progress in aspects which are usually hidden, showing if the achievement is part of a series, and if it is, what you've done and yet to do.

It even adds to the tooltips of critters that you need to /love for all the achievements for doing so, as well as all the other criteria listed below:
  • "Pest Control": Have I exterminated this critter?
  • "Well Read", "Higher Learning": Have I read this book?
  • "The Scavenger," "Outland Angler," "Northrend Angler": Have I fished this type of node?
  • "It's Happy Hour Somewhere", "Tastes Like Chicken": Have I consumed this food or drink?
  • Holiday Achievements:
  • "Let It Snow": Do I need to use a Handful of Snowflakes on this player?
  • "Fistful of Love": Do I need to use a Handful of Rose Petals on this player?
  • "Shake Your Bunny-Maker": Do I need to use Spring Flowers on this player?
And there's a whole lot more. It's a really amazing addon!

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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