July 15, 2008

Addon Simplification Craze

Posted in Interface at 10:23 am by clearchus

This last Sunday, my guild did some retro-raiding in Molten Core, and later I did a bunch of questing in Terokkar (mostly around Auchindoun) and noticed myself having a lot of sluggishness, with really ghastly frame rates. Being me, I immediately overreacted. 🙂 Well, no, not really. But I’d been thinking about lightening my addon load for a while, and went to simplifying.

On the discard list:

Auctioneer. I play on well-populated servers; I can usually see what prevailing prices are, or work it out from the raw data of what vendors will pay, and in cases where that’s not true, I can look it up on Wow Econ or Wowhead or wherever. That’s the single best chunk of memory freed.

Trinity. I’d been playing around with action bar replacements, and I like Trinity, but it doesn’t degrade as gracefully as the default UI. AG Unit Frames went for the same reason.

Mob Info, in favor of just Mob Health. That’s the thing I most want to know – how much health does this thing I’m fighting now have? The rest I can look up on the occasions I need, and I’m pretty good at remembering which mobs run. (That is, to my taste, possibly the single most useful datum Mob Info remembers.)

For the moment, I’m keeping mostly the addons that provide immediately useful help to me (like Action Button Colors) or help save me from potentially annoying and expensive mistakes (like Talented). But I’d like to maybe plane down some more.

In the long run – the next couple of seasons – I’m hoping to get down to a very minimal style and get comfortable with it, so that when the expansion does finally arrive, I won’t still be dependent on a lot of addons that immediately all break. I was, um, not that well prepared in this regard at the launch of Burning Crusade, and it wasn’t much fun for a while. That’s one nuisance I hope to avoid.


July 14, 2008

Addon Happiness: LanguageCycle

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:01 am by clearchus

One of the first addons I really fell in love with was LanguageCycle, which simply let you cycle through the languages available to your character with the click of a button or repeated typings of “/lc”. What made it handy was that you could specify whether to speak Common in guild and party chat. That let you carry on with roleplaying, without speaking gibberish to guild/partymates of other races. Alas, it gradually fell more and more out of date…

But it’s back! It’s available at WoWUI, and works fine for me as of this very evening. I won’t use it for all my characters, but I’m very glad to have it back.

July 8, 2008

I Saw It in Shattrah

Posted in Randomness at 5:21 am by clearchus

Every so often even a jaded veteran like myself gets to see something they’ve never seen before. Tonight it was a rather remarkable feat of pulling…

Fel Reaver in Shattrah City

Fel Reaver in Shattrah City

July 6, 2008

Recovery and pet experiments

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:12 pm by clearchus

My illness, not Clearchus’s. I spent a week laid up with a whole-body rash, having discovered I’m allergic to a particular brand of soap after using it for a really thorough scrubbing. Ow. For several days I couldn’t type or sit at the desk, and then only in short spurts, and I used the remaining days of the Midsummer Fire Festival to advance my paladin. But now I’m back doing stuff with Clearchus too.

I haven’t ditched Mazzranache (he’s safely stabled for the moment), but I got the urge to try out something else for a pet, too. I went after a springpaw lynx and kept with my antiquities theme by naming him Peltast. (For those playing along at home: Clearchus was the Spartan commander of a mercenary force that was part of Cyrus’s effort to seize the Persian throne. Xenophon’s account of the attempt, its disastrous disruption, and the ensuing struggle for survival in the Anabasis is, among other things, the inspiration for the movie The Warriors. No, seriously. Anyway, the peltast was a type of Greek infantry, more lightly armored and swifter striking than the norm for the time. Seemed good for a critter that can eventually get Dash and has such decent dps.)

Here’s the critter and his master at level 14:

June 20, 2008

Interface, 20 June 2008

Posted in Interface at 5:07 pm by clearchus

I’ve mostly been playing my paladin this week – my guild is short on tanks (is there any guild ever reliably not short of tanks and healers?), and I’ve been kind of blah and slow, so that a protection paladin is lots easier to handle than a rogue. But today I took Clearchus and Mazz out for a couple levels’ spin. And I was reminded that I had thought it’d be fun to keep a record of what I do as far as add-ons and all go. So….

User Interface, level 13

I have bouts of complexity and customization, but I play on a MacBook not-a-Pro, and there are limits to what my system can handle. So these days I’m back in a keep-it-simple sort of mood. I use the UI scaling to shrink down the stock elements a bit. I have this sneaking feeling that I’m going to go on another binge this summer and try out a bunch of UI replacement options, only to throw most of them out. I’ve been here before. 🙂

In the meantime…

  • ActionButtonColors, modifying the action buttons – red (as with WingClip, in this shot) for out of range, blue for out of mana or energy; part of the Cosmos UI package but available for separate download
  • Cirk’s Chat Manager (the circle over by the text window, lower right), one of the lesser-known but very handy addons – it lets you permanently reorder channels, assign channel text color by channel name regardless of current or future ordering, and show your friend list and guild user notes when someone you have a note for joins a channel (which I find altogether invaluable for learning to keep track of others’ alts)
  • Deadly Boss Mods, which I find more useful for battleground and boss fight timing and event notification than BigWigs at the moment
  • FloAspectBar (bottom right, above right action bar) for easy switching of hunter aspects
  • MapCoords (right below my character pic, upper left) for coordinates
  • Omen (bottom right, above right action bar) for threat metering
  • OmniCC, putting the very large cooldown numbers (like Mazz’s growl and Clearchus’ arcane shot, in this shot)
  • Outfitter, for that necessity of roleplaying, instant access to town gear, oh, yeah, and also for tuned outfits of actual combat gear for different situations

Not visible in this particular shot…

  • Auctioneer, for ze making of ze money
  • Cartographer, for the tracking of resource nodes and such
  • Chronometer, for cooldown timing
  • Clique, for my characters that do healing and buffing
  • DoubleWide, which puts a second pane alongside the quest list, letting you see a lot more quest text at a glance
  • Fizzwidget’s Feed-O-Matic for easy and fun pet feeding, Hunter’s Helper for handling pet skills, and Levelator for just showing quest level in the quest log
  • LightHeaded, which gathers up Wowhead quest info and comments and puts them in a pane next to the quest log, and how I love this thing for saving me Cmd-Tab action
  • RepairBot, to automate gear repair, since I keep forgetting it at just the worst moments
  • Talented, to save me embarrassing mistakes assigning talent points and help with re-speccing

June 16, 2008

Pictures: The hero and his companion, level 11

Posted in Clearchus at 6:09 pm by clearchus

Here’s Clearchus and his conquered tallstrider back among the sensible glories of Silvermoon City, after sampling the mysteries and dangers of Kalimdor.

Clearchus and Mazz, level 11, front view Clearchus and Mazz, level 11, back view

Some basic decisions: pet and place (10-20)

Posted in Clearchus at 5:54 pm by clearchus

After a bit of dithering and trying out three or four possible pets, I settled on everyone’s favorite lawn ornament, Mazzranache to be my long-term companion for the Azerothian anabasis. I like the tallstrider idle animations, and I’m curious to see how much it’s true that the current state of pet talents smooths out most performance differences as the levels go by.

If he really, really doesn’t suit, then I’ll go with a cat or a wolf. I don’t feel obliged to keep doing anything with Clearchus that I don’t enjoy doing. But I’m hoping this’ll work out.

After leveling up in Eversong Woods, I went wandering, partly for pets and partly just to see where I felt like questing in the 10-20 bracket. I’d been thinking I’d likely do so in the Barrens – good for hunters – but as I went along, I got to feeling like Ghostlands this time instead. Partly it’s a matter of getting a better sense of Clearchus’ personality. He’s eager to see the world(s), yes. But he is also aware on some level that he’s not yet completely fit to be the perfect globe-striding hero, and willing in particular to do things that let the Farstriders train him some more. So Ghostlands it is, and as I do that I’ll be thinking about the 20-30 range.

June 14, 2008

A hunter, his pet, and two worlds

Posted in Clearchus at 4:01 am by clearchus

Hello, world!

This is the record of an experiment I’ve been wanting to perform for a while now. How far can I get with a hunter who makes his way purely soloing, except for PVP? Will I get tired of it and give up before 70? Will I fold him into the loving arms of my excellent Hordeside guild and advance him more conventionally? Will I keep one primary pet throughout, or swap around as I go?

Only one way to find out, I guess…