Since 2004, there have been countless attempts by players to make World of Warcraft easier to manage. I mean, let’s face it, though WoW’s base interface is great, it still isn’t the best. One would think that, by now, Blizzard would have taken a hint with all the mods and addons created that they’d streamline the game to make these things unnecessary, however, that isn’t really the case, as things haven’t changed much since WoW’s conception, bar a few things, of course. Beta tests suggest that mods will still play a big role in Warlords of Draenor, but there are a few things that will become obsolete due to those minor tweaks Blizzard makes for WoW from time to time. This little list we have are mods that have stood the test of time and are always basic necessities for every WoW player no matter what class they choose to play. In WoD, this list is highly unlikely to change. So, in no particular order, these are best WoW’s community has to offer for a better life in playing WoW.
1. Recount / Skada
These two are one of the most popular mods and we can see that their future looks just as bright as the present since Blizzard doesn’t seem to have an inkling of making an in-game damage parser anytime soon. First of all, most people would ask, “dps and healing meters are just for jerks who like jerkin off to big numbers”. Not true. Okay, true. You’d notice that most people tend to plug in the details from the last fight on raid chat just to show-off their 1337 damage and heroic warforged gear. Posting in LFR Throne of Thunder, seriously? What the hell do you hope to achieve by telling randoms who are apprarently new to end-game that their dps is pathetic or heals aren’t up to par with what you’re “used to”. No shit, sherlock, this isn’t the European championship grand finals of great dps in raiding LFR.
People have forgotten that both Recount and Skada were made to measure the effectiveness of players in order to improve themselves with the current gear that they have, or at least have an idea of where they stand as players. It’s meant to help them in being able to achieve the best they can with their class and spec have to offer, as well as point out the possible lacking in order to help their raid team further. For raid teams that want the perfection they can attain, measuring dps and healing is of utmost importance, especially more so when attempting Mythic raiding in WoD, and the numbers will definitely be much more manageable now due to the incoming stat squish.
2. Deadly Boss Mods (DBM)
This one. Oh, yeah, this one. Who doesn’t know about DBM? This is the raiding mod that should be an absolute necessity in raiding. During the time before its existence, fighting raid bosses was pretty much like taking on a monster in Monster Hunter; pay attention to the visual cues or the not-so-subtle warning signs that a boss was about to unleash a torrential pain upon the area your team is standing on and that the healers have to either heal the fuck out of everyone before and as it hits, or just hope that everyone has enough mental aptitude to get out of the incoming bad shit. The horrors of watching an idiot raid-mate die to some easily avoidable thing due to a lack of attention were almost completely washed away by this very addon.
But we all know too well that “almost” is an overstatement. There are still many fools out there, despite the great and grand red warnings yelled at them by DBM, they still sort of feign at the thought, and die to what was warned of them anyway. Still, DBM does alleviate what could be worse and it’s definitely not a bad thing to have in your arsenal. Though I missed the thrill of coordinating with your friends against the unknown, sometimes, it’s much better to take off a little bit of the edge. Though I do feel it makes the game way easier than it’s supposed to be, this mod will be a great welcome when a lot of us first reach the first few bosses of WoD’s end game raids, as I’m sure, without it, the couple of wipes we will be having would have been cut down from a hundred. DBM could also be used for PvP, though a recent update separated the PvE and PvP modules as the latter was a tad bit forced, and there are countless other PvP mods out there that do its job much better.
3. Bartender 4 (BT)
Vanilla skillbars getting you down? Trying to feed that OCD in arranging those skills? Then BT might be for you! With easy to understand interface, this mod lets you tackle and handle the way you want your bars to look like with the limitations being only your imagination. Being integrated into hundreds of other popular interface mods, BT treats you right in every way possible. Want to reduce a skill bar’s size to 5? No problem! Want to move it in the center of your screen? You got it! Annoyed by the stance bar? Customize it however you want! I swear, I can’t live without this mod, and with WoD introducing new skills for each class, this addon makes it easier to integrate them into what you had already fixed up. You don’t have to tank thos crazy sidebars that are sometimes so miniscule and hard to see by peripheral alone. Skills tied to stance should never be an issue again as BT is fully capable of automating separate skillbars for easy management.
4. Weak Auras (WA) / Power Auras (PA)
If it’s one thing that gets us down whether in PvP or PvE is simply trying to keep track off all the damnable buffs and debuffs that we cast or get cast on us. Procs are a big mainstay of the meta and it isn’t ever fun to miss that extra ember proc or third holy power proc due to the chaos that occurs often in WoW’s combat. Weak Auras and Power Auras are flexible frameworks that serve to help us customize certain events that occur on our characters through visible symbols, images, and sound cues. It is even capable of setting new meters and timers to indicate whether or not these events are about to expire. It might be a bit hard to wrap your head around your new to it, but once you get the basics down, there is a lot you can accomplish, making your quality of life in WoW far superior before it. Mannoroth knows that without it, I wouldn’t ever be able to keep track of my ember fragments, thus my dps wouldn’t be optimized, or certain debuffs obtained from the PvP environment are much more observable and I can react accordingly rather than skimming through the regular debuff bar for what was just applied to me.
5. Interface Mods
The title might be a tad bit misleading, considering that what I’m talking about isn’t at all just for looks. A lor of UI modifications like MayronUI, Elvui, and Lui offer some top notch streamlining. WoW’s vanilla interface is nice and it is good enough for some people, but others, like I, find it tacky, awkward, and lackluster. WoD is going to be no different, save for a few tweaks here and there in the inventory department. Most of these mods integrate their own original resources with pre-existing mods like BT or Shadowed Unit Frames in order to reduce clutter and pretty much organize one’s setup in a beautiful and unique look. What’s really great about these is that they come packaged with a slew of different other mods that make up its entirety, making the need for any player to download them manually become a thing of the past. From there, players can just pick and choose the modules they would like to work with and they may even discover less touted mods that turn out to be fantastic like ClassTimer. There really isn’t a single interface mod that anyone could ever suggest for a player because they all have their own strengths and specialties that cater to different tastes. They all should really be tried out just to see what’s really right for you. Though, personally, I choose them for how they look and how easily they’re customized, because I admit that I find aesthetics far more important than functionality.
There are far more mods and addons out there that should definitely make the list like Bagnon or Auctioneer, but these, as we believe, are the more pertinent and persistent ones that every WoW player should have and they, in the forseeable future at least, won’t become obsolete in WoD. While other mods might find use as of this present time, the expected changes in the combat and interface could very well render them all but useless, as with the thousands of other mods in the past like quest helpers and such, also other than the fact that these mods fill only a specific niche. With every expansion, there is always change, as one would expect, but for some reason, these little peripherals for our game never do and are always sorely needed, updated by great authors and tested by an eager community.
Should there be others that deserve better mention as mod necessities for WoD and beyond? Or are mods just for fools? Leave a comment and let us know.Related: Column, User Interface, World of Warcraft, WoW Wednesday