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Addon Spotlight: Your addon questions answered


Welcome to another addon question session! I was prompted to do one of these by the fact that a recent reader question has been answered by some updates on my curse client downloader. A while back I wrote a column about archaeology addons, in which I asserted that much-loved addon Archaeology Helper was all working perfectly, despite not being updated since 2011. Since then I've had a few people contact me to let me know that, actually, it isn't.

Apparently, it was all good in the old world, the only place I could test it as my toons don't have very high level Archaeology, but wasn't working in Pandaria. Prolific addon author Oscarucb has recently taken it over from Biasha, starting from mid-December, and since I wrote that last column back on November 1, has done a lot of updating. There's now a new release version for all you Archaeology fans out there, so do go and check out this fantastically useful archaeology addon.

Moving swiftly forward, let's tackle some more addon questions. If you have addon questions, or want to make us aware of an addon that we should be covering, do drop an email to

Delphinae asked:

During the beginning of Cataclysm, I used Spellalerter to assist me in interrupting NPC abilities. I could enter a spell name and choose from 20ish sounds to play when that NPC spell was being cast. There is enough visible activity to process that I found a sound helped me better react to important interrupts. Sadly, it hasn't been updated in a while and I was wondering if you had a recommendation for a similar addon? I'm just looking for something to play a custom sound for selected spells and I don't mind typing them into settings if needed.

There are a couple of addons that will do this job for you, the most well-known of which is probably TellMeWhen. TellMeWhen is incredibly configurable, almost too configurable in some places, and will essentially display an icon, or text, or play a sound for all manner of alerts. TellMeWhen can track, to name but a few, cooldowns, buffs/debuffs, reactive abilities, multi-state abilities, temporary weapon enchants, totems/wild mushrooms/ghouls/lightwell, rune cooldowns, internal cooldowns, others' cooldowns, diminishing returns and spell casts.

All of these elements are based on icons. The setup isn't the easiest, simply because of how much this addon can do. But, rather like weakauras, a great way to get started is to head over to the addon's forums and import a class or NPC example into it with an import string. Once you've successfully done that, and it's not hard to do, the import/export section is in the main options as well as in the icon configuration screen.

Another interesting addon for this is OhSnap. It doesn't work for NPC abilities, but it does seem to work relatively well in PvP, and could be a decent replacement for SpellAlerter with some more modification. At the moment it requires coding to alter the spells it informs you of, but keep an eye on it!

Will asked:

I've mined over a thousand, maybe close to 2 thousand, ore and have received fewer than 10 gems. However, a friend of mine claims he is getting a gem about every 10 veins, which I think is about every 40 to 50 ore. That's a huge difference.

Here is where my addon question comes in. Do you know of an addon that will track the gem drop rate? I've thought about starting a spreadsheet to track this manually but dread all the alt-tabbing that would involve. I'm interested in him and I both tracking our results. I don't think the wowhead databases track this kind of data.

I do! Give Sifter a go. If any of our wonderful readers know of any addons that might help Will with his mission, other than sifter, do pop a link in the comments below!

Alex asked:

Do you know of an addon that can monitor the remaining absorb on Spirit Shell, and the casting period?

This is a really good question! I have been meaning to look into this myself for my own discipline priest. I felt like it should be possible with weakauras, and with some google-fu assistance from Addon Spotlight Your addon questions answeredour very own Dan Desmond along with my own tinkering, I've got a couple of weakauras strings that can be added to your weakauras. These show progress bars for both the casting phase of the spell, and for the absorb shield duration and amount. The limitation, so far, with limited tinkering, is that it only displays for a few units -- target, focus, player and pet. If you want displays for all four, you'll need to duplicate the second weakaura four times. There are more complex ways to go about this, and I will likely continue to work on it, but for now it's a start.

There is also an addon called DiscShieldsHelper, which displays all this information on a mouseover tooltip, or for your target, for all the discipline shields. There's also Bobble Absorb Bar, which shows absorbs on your own character for all relevant spells.

Wildwater of Kargath-EU wrote:

Regarding the issue of the DK, that wants to know if he's behind the boss, I have 2 suggestions:

1. There's an addon called droodfocus. It has a module or part that shows if you're behind the boss or not. Maybe this part of the addon can be used as requested. I once tried it out in wotlk, so it might be outdated by now. The addon has feral specific timers, so I didn't stick with it for my rogue.

2. MSBT: Since you cannot be dodged, when your behind the boss, you can set a sound file for dodged melee hits in the Triggers or Events. I used that for positioning on Ragnaros-heroic progression to squeeze the deeps as much as possible.

These are some really great suggestions, and thanks so much for the email! I really love the collaborative nature of these columns, not being a database myself I don't ever pretend to know about every addon in the world, so we do rely on your reader input. And are very grateful for it, for that matter!

I had a look at droodfocus, and while it does feature a warning for when you're not behind your target, it does so on a failed spell. While I don't play druids to a high level, I'm fairly sure there are druid spells which simply won't work, or will work differently, if you're not behind your target, just like rogues. I seem to recall platform fights such as Ultraxion being entertaining for these! I'm also relatively confident that DKs suffer no such restrictions. So, I'm not sure if droodfocus would work in this case, as I don't think the DK's spells would fail, therefore triggering the addon.

However, Mik Scrolling Battle Text's sound alerts are an inspired suggestion! While many use Mik's for the floating combat numbers, fewer use it for the audio warning features. And it's a shame, because they're great! Warning you whenever you get dodged, and are therefore likely not behind the boss, is a great way to ensure you're in position. If I remember correctly, parries wouldn't happen if you were behind either, so perhaps that's another one for the list.

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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