Saturday, August 7, 2010

A-o-R: AutoBar

Category - BarMod
Necessity Level - High
Class/Role - Any

Ready access to stuff in your bags is something everyone should have one way or the other. Having to search for potions when going low on mana or hp in combat is one of the most inefficient things you can do and in raids that is a sure wipe. When you really need something, you don't have the time or mental capacity to start rummaging through your bags, it's that simple. This need has always been there, and even though I haven't raided throughout my gaming time, I've been in tricky situations. Everyone ends up in tricky situations sooner or later in WoW, and you sure want your potions handy in that case.

My solution back in the days used to be to place items that I used often on my action bars. It's a simple solution that works well enough, it has some drawbacks however. First of all it uses up an action bar button and we all know there aint many enough of those in the first place. Secondly, action bar buttons don't update themselves. If you run out of say health potions, it will simply show that you have zero, instead of removing the item from the action bar. Also if you want several different items of the same kind, like different mana potions, you need one button for each one of them, which means it'll quickly take up alot of your action bar space. in the end, having to place your bags on your action bar isn't a good solution, but still one I ran with for a long time.

Autobar has been around since forever. It was around even back then when I used action bars instead. It didn't work the way I wanted it too then however, and I found that action bars worked better. Alot has happened since then though and Autobar is without a doubt one of my most favorite addons. Playing without it would be difficult. A lowbie alt might still manage with my half-ass action bar solution, but I really wouldn't raid without it. It's definitely a life and huge time saver.

So what does it do really?
It gives you a bar, placeable wherever you like and in whatever size you prefer. On this bar are buttons, buttons for different items, whichever items you choose. I for example have a button for health potions. This means any potion that gives me health will show up on this button. Whichever pot that gives me the most health first (also adjustable), and if I mouseover I get the other pots in a dropdown (or up, depending on where it lies on the screen) menu. This is the system it applies to any kind of item you like. Here are some more examples of what I have on this bar; elixirs, potions (mana in one, health in one, other potions in one), quest items, professions, hearthstones (teleports/portals for mage for example), food (water in one button, buff food in one, and buffless food in a third) and so on. These are just examples because you can really have a button for any kind of item.

Autobar also has a special bar for class specific buttons, like on my hunter I have all traps in one button, and all pet specific skills in one button. on my shaman I have my totems in different buttons. All fire in one, water in one and so on. I hope you realize by yourself the awesomeness in being able to collect several skills/items into one single button. But that's not all, Autobar will update itself automatically which means that if you run out of health potions, that button disappears from the list. And reappears when you acquire another health potion.

Autobar is extremely (read EXTREMELY) handy and I strongly recommend anyone of using it. There is only one slight drawback of Autobar today and that is that the menus not always disappear after a mouse over. This means that if you have a button which has a very long menu of items it could block a portion of your screen ocassionally, until you mouse over again. It is supposed to disappear when you remove the cursor, but it doesn't always do this. Also, for reasons that are Blizzards fault, Autobar can't update when in combat (no addons can). This is a minor issue however as long as you think about it (it means it might look like you still have that potion you just drank, but you really don't). There are also some items it doesn't know off (or that the addon author simply hasn't implemented into its library) and which therefore won't show up on the addon. These items are rather rare however, like Slippery Eel.

It hasn't been updated for some months now, but apart for above mentioned problems (which always have been there) the addons works perfectly.

Considering how beneficial the usage of Autobar is and how minor these issues are, Autobar is an awesome addon. And it can be found here.

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