Addons, a blessing and a Curse

Once upon a time I was a clueless nub.

Actually some would argue that I still am, but that’s not the point.

When I first started playing Wow I distinctly remember thinking how great the user interface was compared to other things I had played in the past. How everything was a keystroke away, it was great.

I was still working my way through the Barrens (one of my favorite zones) on my young Tauren Druid when the first major content patch I was there for hit. The thing I remember most about it was how it effected the friends that had already been playing for a while.

Their Wow broke, and other than chatting for a few minutes here and there they really didn’t play for a couple of days. They spent all their time doing something called “rebuilding a UI”. My Wow worked just fine. Other than taking a while to download and install the patch I just kept right on trucking.


A server move and reroll later I found out about these wonderful things called addons. It was said that they would make my game easier, faster, and more efficent. After reading up on it I downloaded and installed two.

Auctioneer, which I still use for all my auction house needs.

Meta Map, which did two wonderful things for me. It gave me the option to fill in unknown zones on my map and it put coordinates where my clock is now.  Meta Map my old friend, it was your coordinates and the notes I found online that helped me find Mankirk’s wife for the very first time.

I kept the two of these updated using the borked method. That is, I used them till they broke for some reason. Once they were borked I would go find an update.


That was then, this is now. The last few days have really driven home for me just how dependant I had become on addons. I have gone from two fairly non intrusive ones in my early days to eleven now.

Auctioneer, As I said it still does the job for all my auction house activities.

Cartographer, More versatile than Meta Map was, it also plays nicely with my other addons.

Questhelper, I can’t imagine leveling without all the way points anymore. The notebook full of chicken scratch is long gone.

Identity, lets folks know which alt is mine in chat. A good thing when you have a ton of alts like me.

Possessions with it’s plug in Whohas allows me to check the inventory of each one of my toons without swapping over. Remember what I said about alts? Well finding who has a stack of something in their bank got really easy with this one.

Lightheaded, looking up a quest on Wowhead without tabbing out? Sweet, sign me up.

Deadly Boss Mods, instances seem to be designed with everyone using this in mind. Required by every raiding guild I have ever been in.

Omen threat meter is another one that I cant even picture raiding without. I am looking forward to Blizzard making this available in game, if only so every one will always have the same version.

Decursive is actually in there because one of my raiding guilds required it. I don’t recall the last time my hunter was on decursing duty, but whatever…..

X-pearl unit frames is probably the most visible of my addons. I only use a fraction of what it can do, but what I use I have a lot of trouble getting by without anymore. I certainly don’t want to try healing without it, I use it’s raid frames for that.

Last but not least is Recount. For the most part I keep it turned off, but it’s nice to be able to spot check my Dps on a given fight. I have yet to ever post it in chat though, even when I am top Dos. I hate it when folks do that.


Nowadays I am a little more organised with my updating as well. I use the Curse client to keep track of them all and update them when new versions become available. It’s so much easier than the borked method. 

Once upon a time I just logged in and played on patch day like nothing ever happened. Not so much any more. Like my friends years ago I am now so used to running with addons that I can hardly function without them.

Well, I guess it was finally my turn to spend a couple days tinkering just to get the game playable again.


Shifting gears for a moment, It doesn’t help that I spent nearly a full days playtime just getting my video to work again. I would rate Dell’s tech support as somewhere between “I want to reach through the phone and pimp slap them” and “Someone actually gets paid to be this ignorant”. Suffice it to say I was not pleased.

Basically they told me that their site carrying two year old drivers instead of the ones Intel had updated was my problem. Thank goodness for the Blizzard support tech that walked me through the manual update, even showing me how to bypass the “it’s not a Dell brand driver”  problem and go straight to Intel.

If by chance you are having similar video problems with swirls appearing, buttons not being visible, and/or parts of the login screen being all out of whack try the solutions listed HERE. Blizzard has posted a list of the solutions that have worked on their tech support forums.


Note: I am not linking all the addons here because the links will likely lead you to something out of date. Even if the link is good now then in days to come it won’t be. I have had good luck going to and using their free client to manage my addons. Your milage may vary.