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Addon Spotlight: Your addon questions


We haven't had an Addon Mailbag in a while, and the questions starting to mount up. The poor undead lady you see in the header is getting quite flustered about having such a full mailbox, so it seemed like a logical time to address the task at hand. If you have a question, do stick it in the comments or send me an email!

Let's get started with a very simple question that took me an inordinate amount of time to answer:

Chester writes:
I loved your article on getting started with weak auras. I have a question though, how do you make the box showing the graphic transparent? I followed your mindbender example but it showed the box as opaque. I would like to see only the graphic show up like in power auras classic. thanks for any help!
It took me a really, really long time to find this option, which was, quite frankly, rather annoying given that it's on the front page of the options screen.

What you're looking for is this drop-down menu, "Blend Mode", hidden in plain sight. Yours will look something like this (I use ElvUI so it reskins everything):
Addon Spotlight Your addon questions
And to remove the black background it's as simple as checking "Glow" rather than "Opaque". This will make the black background disappear. For some reason, Weak Auras seems to be set to this opaque background look by default, and while I am sure many folk like it it's a bit confusing to me. Surely pretty auras on clear backgrounds are better? Anyhow, that's how you do that!

Phil asks:
Back in the day during Vanilla and TBC, we used to be able to set incoming and outgoing whispers as different colours in the standard UI chat settings. But ever since WotLK it seems we can only set the one colour for both incoming and outgoing whispers.
I greatly miss this feature. I used to make my outgoing whispers a much darker shade of the default pink. This made keeping track of conversations much easier, being able to gloss over what i'd written to my chat partner and instantly glance to what they had said.

From my vague memory, when this feature was 1st removed, I found a workaround that involved editing the 0-255 RGB values of a certain string inside chat-cache.txt, but I cant remember which string it was now. I know it contained 'WHISPER', but they've all changed since I last looked into this.

Is there a way in MoP to differentiate the colours of incoming and outgoing whispers?
As soon as I saw Phil's email I thought "my goodness, that would be handy". And he spelled color with a "u" so I liked the question even more! This was a bit of a tricky one, and if any of our readers happen to know of an alternate solution to the ones I propose below, please do say so in the comments. As I always say, it's not possible for me to know about every addon ever created!

So, the first approach was to check out the big, well known chat addons, to see if any of them included this option. I looked at Prat, Chatter, Leatrix, and a couple of others, including the built-in ElvUI chat, and didn't really have any luck.

Addon Spotlight Your addon questionsChatter and Prat both offered the option, though, to change the channel tags, so the "To[Player]:" and "From [Player]:" bit. As an experiment, I changed them a bit to make it more obvious which was the incoming, as I do agree it's a little tricky to tell at a glance sometimes, particularly if you're, say, chatting while tanking. Not that anyone ever does that. Nope. But there are issues with this, of course I chose a rather long one, you don't have to, so it pushes the text over quite a bit. And it's still not that easy to differentiate. Not a satisfactory solution!

The next stop was a thread on the official forums that proposed a solution. It provides instructions to make a small addon, which allows you to set the two colors for incoming and outgoing whispers. And it works! It's relatively easy to do, but I always prefer to offer complete solutions that simply involve downloading an addon, rather than doing anything with code. I know what it's like, I've been there, and code can look very daunting. I remember when I was just getting into addons, and anything with code just caused me to give up immediately, even if it was pretty straightforward. And it turns out there is a little addon for this, pre-packaged, but it hasn't been updated since 2010. As it's a relatively simple function, I grabbed the addon anyway -- it's called WhisperColor -- and it works perfectly for me, no errors, minuscule memory usage. What's more, it also works with Chatter, Prat, Leatrix and ElvUI's chat.

What it does is provide another line in the chat color settings, as you can see below:
Addon Spotlight Your addon questions
To access these settings, right click your chat window's tab, it'll say something like "General" by default, and hit "Settings". This will bring up the window shown above, click on the little box to select the color, and you're all set.

Addon Spotlight Your addon questionsAnd here are the results! You will have to be a little patient with the color settings, the way it seems to work for me is that you need to change the main "Whisper" setting first, and then the "Whisper (outgoing)" setting. I'm guessing this has to do with how it's set up, but it's a small price to pay for custom colored whispers. Like I say, I haven't had any errors at all from this little addon, and it's defintely staying! Do please note that you will need to checl "Load out of date addons" in the login addon screen for this to work. I have switched around the colors so they're more similar, now, but the image illustrates the addon quite nicely. Success!

Addon Spotlight Your addon questionsChris P writes:

Currently, if you try to look at loot from a raid on a boss by boss basis, you have to deal with some horrible design decisions from Blizzard. You have to navigate back up to the raid overview level and switch from loot tab to boss tab so that you can select the next boss and then select the loot tab again. I've created a simple addon that adds two buttons, an up arrow and a down arrow, onto the side of the encounter journal to let users switch easily. Here's the link:

What a brilliant little addon! I love it when people fix problems like these, it's so simple, and yet so incredibly helpful. It does exactly what Chris says, adds up and down arrows allowing you to scroll through raid loot or tactics boss by boss. So, for example, you can go into the loot screen or the tactic screen for Mogu'shan Vaults, hit the arrows and scroll through the bosses. I love this addon, particularly, as Chris says, for looking at boss-by-boss loot drops with ease. Give it a go!

Nik W writes:

I have an addon that is extremely simple, but I wrote it because I couldn't find any existing addon that did what I wanted it to do, so maybe someone else will like it... It's called "Rested Alert" and it does pretty much what it says on the tin - when you start resting (such as at an Inn or a City), you get a popup message saying "Entering Rested State" that fades out after a few seconds, then when you stop resting, you get a popup saying "Leaving Rested XP".

Another very simple addon, that you might not really need, but might just help you stop being absent-minded with your logout locations while leveling. Of course you can gain rested XP anywhere, but you gain far more in cities, inns and the like. There is an in-game indicator, but it's not the most obvious, so Nik's addon might just appeal if you're trying to level efficiently!

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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