Apr 4 2009
Unlike most games, World of Warcraft allows users to make radical adjustments and additions to the game's graphical user interface (GUI). For the most part, the default interface is pretty good, but it offers nowhere near the range of options and flexibility of many of the addons (also called mods) made by the community. These are some of the most useful of the hundreds of addons available for World of Warcraft. I may add to this list in the future so feel free to suggest your favorite addon in a comment.
While you can get by with basic interface for the Auction House, it offers very little information about the market itself. Auctioneer provides you with a wealth of useful statistics including average prices, historical prices, and a record of your sales, which make pricing an item much easier. As well, it gives you all sorts of details on game items, such as whether they are needed for quests and recipes. It streamlines the auction interface tremendously, allowing you to see more listings and post multiple auctions with ease, among other things. Auctioneer integrates the Enchantrix addon very nicely, allowing you to see what reagents will result from disenchanting an item, and roughly what the reagents are worth.
If you're not big on searching around for quest objectives, this addon will tell you exactly where to go and what to do. It's a huge spoiler for people that enjoy figuring these things out for themselves, but it does speed up the leveling process dramatically. Quest Helper contains a large database of World of Warcraft quests, and even calculates the quickest route for completing the quests in your log.
One curious thing about WoW's map system is that, although you are given full maps of persistent zones, in dungeons you have to make do with just the minimap. Atlas solves this problem by giving you full maps of all the instances in the game. It lets you browse these maps, and Battleground maps, from anywhere in Azeroth, and it also shows you the location of bosses, dungeons, flight points, and other places of interest.
Like Auctioneer and Enchantrix, Gatherer is another one of Norganna's fine addons. For characters with a gathering profession (herbalism or mining), this addon will remember all the nodes you've harvested and display them on your world map. Gatherer takes most of the guesswork out of making a run for more materials, as you can plot an efficient route between nodes without having to rely on the standard tracker. Gatherer also notifies you of the closest node to your current location in the minimap.
Titan Panel is a handy addon that places a small control panel at the top and/or bottom of the screen with a variety of useful information on it, including coordinates for your location, a clock, a volume control, your ping, your available bag slots, your gold total, and more. It's simple and clean with some nice options, such as a setting that will make it autohide until you move your mouse to edge of the screen.
Some players like to tweak their spell rotation so that they're doing as much damage per second (DPS) or healing per second as they possibly can. A damage meter which records the damage output of your party or raid is the best way to find out how much damage and healing various members of your group are doing. Recount is one of the better damage meter addons for WoW, and it even shows you all the statistics in graphs for easy comparisons.
For players who do a lot of raiding, Deadly Boss Mods can make a big difference. This remarkable addon gives you a breakdown of boss fights, synchronized timers, and raid warnings specific to each boss. It provides timers for Battlegrounds, such as the time it will take to win or lose Arathi Basin based on current base control, and it also tracks various statistics pertaining to boss fights. It doesn't make raiding completely foolproof, but it comes close.
People who play classes with cleansing powers like abolish poison, remove curse, or cure disease will find the Decursive addon almost indispensable while in groups. Using "micro unit frames," a set of small boxes on the screen, Decursive informs you, with an optional sound effect, which of your group members are afflicted with something you can remove and how many times it has stacked on them. You can then cast your cleansing spell on them by clicking the frame, or by using a mouse/hotkey combination. It's a big improvement over trying to track infections in the default GUI.