Oftentimes when I have thought about going back to playing WoW (before Classic was announced), one of the main things that held me back was thinking about all the addons that I would need to install and get into shape before being able to play. The mere thought of going "naked" into retail barely even crossed my mind and that's even knowing that Blizzard had implemented a great deal of the addons I used to use into their own UI.
Fast forward a bit and Classic was announced and suddenly my brain goes all puritan - now I want to experience the game with as few addons as possible!
But that doesn't mean I don't need a couple though… Technically you don't need any addon to play the game of course, and I did play it completely addon free for several weeks before I caved in.
|Unrelated picture of me playing.|
There will always be some addons that I will never* install. A quest addon is one such addon. While I do occasionally google a quest here and there, having help with every one of them feels like it robs a bit of the fun out of the game. I enjoy reading the quest text and having to think for a bit for myself, at least for the most part. Some times the quest text is so damn vague I wonder if the whole idea was to actually go have me run all over Barrens to find that one dude hiding in a hovel somewhere. Probably. There are points to that as well - more experience as you fight your way through areas and a good way to discover places you maybe wouldn't go to otherwise.
It didn't take long before I realized that just as there are addons I really wouldn't want to use, there are addons I really wouldn't want to play without this time around as well. And it all comes down to one of three things. Either it's an addon that gives me information about something that I really think the game should already provide me with. Or it speeds up a process I often use. Or it's just for fun. And considering I used to use somewhere around 30-40 addons back in the day, the four I've settled on so far feel like nothing.
Let's get the "for fun" addon out of the way - Recount. Yeah, I like to see how much damage people do. It's not just about peen-measuring, I actually use it to test the efficiency of skills and rotations that I use. If I see someone doing good damage I like to pore over their stats to see if I can learn something from it. I try not to be that person who links damage meters in chat every two seconds and I think I've succeeded pretty well.
Now for the information ones - VendorPrice and ClassicAuras.
VendorPrice: Classic has a combination of facts that in themselves aren't a problem, but combined become quite the issue. At least for me. Firstly, you don't really have much bag space. And secondly, everything seems to drop a ton of crap. Every murloc has the possibility to drop Murloc Eye, Murloc Fin, Shiny Scales, Shells and other stuff. Kill a couple and your bag will very quickly be filled with loads of things that is everything from grey to green (and even blue if you're lucky!). You will have to prioritize, ie throw things out, unless you want to run back to some vendor and unload every fifteen minutes. But how do you know what to throw? Is a 5 stack of Murloc Eyes worth more than a 10 stack of Sharp Claws? I don't know! And after having played a couple of weeks not knowing I decided money was hard enough to come by as it is without me literally throwing it away. So I got an addon that does nothing but show me the vendor value of items. That also allows me to see if it's even worth putting that stack of Linen Cloth on the Auction House, when the going price is just coppers above what the vendor gives me for it anyway...
I don't want an addon that tells me how much things are going for on the Auction House though, which might seem odd. For some reason I don't mind having to find that out for myself, and besides, the prices can fluctuate so much there that in the end that's probably what I would have to do anyway.
|Spiders also drop a lot of crap.|
ClassicAuras: Classic also has a big problem in that it doesn't show you the time left on your debuffs on your target. The fact that it doesn't actually absolutely baffles me and feels like straight up bad design. You might think, as I am guessing the designers did, that there isn't more to it than just looking at your target and seeing when the debuff runs out. That quickly becomes completely impractical when you've got more than one target, or even worse, another class using the same debuffs as you. Partying with another warlock is a nightmare when I no longer can tell if that is my Immolate on the target or not! I shudder to think how this works in raids...
Then the one that speed up some things - Clique
Back in the day I used to pair Clique with Vuhdo for some easy healing, because the in-game raid frames are frankly just... not good. At least they weren't back then. Since I only do lowbie dungeons now I have settled with Clique, at least for now. It allows me to bind my spells to clicks with my mouse, so that shift-right click does a certain heal on my target for instance. The default way is to click a target and then choose one of your heals in your bar. Clique not only saves me time since I choose spell and target at the same time, but it also saves slots on the action bar since I don't need to have my spells on there (I usually do anyway though, just in case). It just makes healing so much more practical, which doesn't matter much when you do lowbie dungeons but it makes a ton of difference when you're raiding difficult bosses. So now I'm so used to it I really don't like doing it the original way. (Clique has an issue in Classic though in that it can't distinguish between different ranks of spells).
I have a big wish for an addon to add... on... to this list here though. That is AutoBar. It's an action bar that auto-updates with contents from my bag. For instance it would automatically update with a Healthstone if I have one in my bag, or automatically put up any food in my bag. What I have to do now is locate any food in my bag every time I want to eat, or swap it out on my action bars as I get new types. It's just a little handy thing that doesn't make you a better player or anything, just saves a lot of hassle.
And that's it. For now. I know for sure I will get more addons because that is just how these things go. You tell yourself that one addon won't hurt. Then there is another. And another. And suddenly you're sitting there with 40 addons and wondering how the heck that happened and still you couldn't get yourself to turn off a single one. But I think I am still some ways off that yet.
What addons are crucial to your gameplay?
*never say never though.