Posts tagged mods

In search of the perfect mount mod.

ETA: Added notes on GoGoMount, Pokedex, and Yay Mounts.

This week I tried out five eight mount randomizer mods in search of the perfect one. With the perfect mount mod, I press one button on all of my characters and the Right Thing(tm) happens. The right thing depends on where the character is and which class it is:

If in zone where flying is allowed, a flying mount is summoned.
If a druid in a flying zone, flight form is shifted to.
If in a zone where flying is not allowed but ground mounts are, a ground mount is summoned.
If swimming and in Vash’jir, the seahorse is summoned.
If swimming and a druid, water form is shifted to.
If swimming at the surface and not in Vash’jir, a flying mount is summoned.

I also wanted a mod with the following features:

Some control over mount randomization: the mod allows me to remove mounts from the random list or to prefer certain mounts.
The mod has been updated for patch 4.2 or recently enough that it’s clearly not an abandoned project.

There are lots and lots of mount mods out there. I picked the first ones I found that seemed popular and likely to meet my needs. Here are my notes on the five eight I tried.

Coconuts

  • Fails the Abyssal Seahorse test: It attempts to summon a seahorse when you’re swimming but not in Vash’jir.
  • Updates its button/databroker display to show next mount or action.
  • Allows you to set zone favorites & control mount frequency.
  • Can prefer druid flight form over summonable mounts.
  • Doesn’t handle druid seal form when swimming.
  • Triggers: Button, keybind.

GoGoMount

  • Partially fails the Abyssal Seahorse test: summons the seahorse in Vash’jir, but outside of Vash’jir summons only ground mounts when swimming.
  • Partially fails the druid water form test: does not summon flight form or flying mount when druid is at the water surface. Continues to shift to seal form.
  • Configured through slash commands.
  • Triggers: Macro.

GupPet

  • Fails the Abyssal Seahorse test: doesn’t summon the seahorse when in Vash’jir.
  • Summons random minipets as well.
  • Insane amount of configuration for mount/pet randomization.
  • Triggers: Macro, keybind, or button.

Livestock

  • Passes the Abyssal Seahorse test.
  • Passes the druid flight form & swimming form tests.
  • Summons random minipets as well.
  • Triggers: Macro, keybind, button.
  • Uses 1 macro slot per character by default, but this macro can be moved to your general macros.

Pokedex

  • Passes the Abyssal Seahorse test.
  • Auto-summons random minipets as well. Adds a chat log message for the chosen pet.
  • Randomizes titles as well.
  • Has a “hotness” concept for choosing favorite mounts or automatically making your newest mount the favorite.
  • Has insane amount of control over randomization (like GupPet).
  • Triggers: Macro, keybind.

Random Mount Continued

  • Fails the Abyssal Seahorse test: doesn’t summon the seahorse when in Vash’jir.
  • Passes the druid flight form & swimming form tests.
  • Can use patterns to filter out mounts from the randomization, but this left me puzzled trying to find a way to allow “Turbo-Charged Flying Machine” while filtering out “Flying Machine”. (Full regular expression support could have done it.)
  • Updates macro icon to show mount.
  • Configured through slash commands.
  • Triggers: Macro.

Sally Forth

  • Passes the Abyssal Seahorse test.
  • Uses the Blizzard mount display panel to toggle mounts on/off.
  • Can’t be set to always prefer flight form for druids, though it includes it as an option for the random list.
  • Doesn’t use druid swimming form automatically.
  • Triggers: Keybind only.

Yay Mounts

  • Passes the Abyssal Seahorse test.
  • Passes the druid flight form & swimming form tests.
  • Summons random minipets as well.
  • Selects mounts/pets with checkboxes.
  • Triggers: Macro, keybind.

Livestock, Pokedex, and YayMounts pass all my tests. The mod I chose to use was Livestock. It does the right thing with the seahorse and the right thing with druid forms. If you don’t have a druid to worry about, Sally Forth is an excellent and easy-to-configure mod. I like the clever way it uses the existing Blizzard interface to choose mounts, which was much easier to understand and use than all of the others.

Deus Vox Encounters is getting regular updates.

FYI. The insanely customizable boss mod that doesn’t hold your hand and tell you what to do is getting regular updates. I ran it on Leafie last week through our two new heroic boss kills, so it’s getting the job done. Not sure why KLE never amounted to anything. Too ambitious a project, perhaps.

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

The Mad Hatter hadn’t the slightest idea and neither do I. I do, however, have some excellent ideas why you should be using Raven as your buff mod.

How to heal with mouseover macros

It came to my attention earlier today that my guildmate & fellow healer, Gnochi, was laboring under some surprising misapprehensions about how mouseover macros work. He seemed to think you waved your mouse over people’s avatars in game and pressed buttons to heal. Which you can do, but is not in fact how mouseover healing works. You use unitframes, just like you do with click-casting.

Here’s how to do it.

Shown: a dragon sleeping on an elevator. When we engaged him, he trundled back to his original location without resetting, did some special or other, then resumed fighting normally. Very buggy.

Shown are my player & target frames with buff displays, out of combat. The buffs are subgrouped: no-duration buffs like auras, mounts, and tabards (hidden during combat), has-duration buffs from other sources, buffs from me. Debuffs, shown as timer bars, are similarly split into ones from me and ones from other sources. I’m not entirely happy with it yet, because it results in a big mess on bosses in the “debuffs from others” stack. But it does let me track debuffs on my tank targets when I’m healing. I’ll have to iterate on it some more.

The main event

Heroic Maloriak attempts last night. No kill, but I’d definitely call it progress. We were able to drive through to a second green phase with the DPS at the right pace. My mana was a little low to keep my healing pace up. I blew through a lot of it popping tree form and overhealing our two tanks to make sure they lived through the green. I’ll dial back a little next time.

The problem is that it’s RNG whether we get there.

Did Maloriak release aberrations before the first dark phase? If he did, we’re good. If RNG says he doesn’t, it’s probably a wipe.
Will server latency allow the Arcane Storm interrupt when our 2 interrupters hit it? Or will it continue casting for a full second before the server decides to stop the cast?
Will our tank’s interrupt miss at a moment when our DPS backup is off doing other things?
Our very best attempt was killed by both of the tank’s interrupts missing on a single cast. It was agonizing. Interrupting. God. Our hunter tamed a spore bat just for this fight, so we have the cast speed slow. Our DK is a machine at interrupts. No really, a total machine. He’s frustrated beyond words by this fight. The cast bar will appear, he’ll interrupt, the cast will continue for a second or so, then it’ll stop. All the combat logs indicate that he interrupted, not somebody else as a backup. And yet… Even a single tick can mean a wipe in this fight, depending on when it happens.

You can insert your own bitter joke about the Cataclysm triage healing model here.

We’ve got kiting mostly sorted, though not perfect. This fight puts a lot of stress on the add tank. If you have 9 aberrations out, you simply cannot let them catch you or it’s near-instant death. Any bad moves by the add tank result in a wipe.

Our guild has three raid tanks: bear (raid leader), paladin, and warrior. The paladin and warrior swap off. Well, they’re supposed to, anyway. The warrior’s been a little absent. The pally tank is the one who’s been working on this fight. Normally I’m overjoyed to be healing him in progression fights, because he’s been consistently easier to heal than the very fragile warrior. But the paladin class has some disadvantages compared to the warrior in this fight. The warrior’s all about the mobility. Charge, Intervene, Intercept, Heroic Leap: those mobs never catch you! In theory. Absent those advantages, our DPS has to help him out all they can with traps and slows.

Despite the whinging, it’s clear we’ll get this fight down with some more work.

Boss mod

Oh! I’ve been running KLE as my boss mod all week. As you know, I miss DXE keenly, and this looks and is configured exactly like DXE was. It’s really very nice to have my three warning types again (Move, Act, and Warn) with their three distinctive sounds. (That’s my setup for the mod, by the way, not the way it comes out of the box. Move for when I need to run, Act for when my healing choices need to change, and Warn for raid-wide problems/events.)

It doesn’t have full support for all encounters. For instance, there’s no “get this buff next” warning for the Elementium Monstrosity fight. I don’t need warnings like that any more, but people learning the fight do. So I would not yet recommend this mod for general use. It’s working just fine. Only the encounter data seems lacking at the moment.

Shown: a dragon sleeping on an elevator. When we engaged him, he trundled back to his original location without resetting, did some special or other, then resumed fighting normally. Very buggy.

Shown are my player & target frames with buff displays, out of combat. The buffs are subgrouped: no-duration buffs like auras, mounts, and tabards (hidden during combat), has-duration buffs from other sources, buffs from me. Debuffs, shown as timer bars, are similarly split into ones from me and ones from other sources. I’m not entirely happy with it yet, because it results in a big mess on bosses in the “debuffs from others” stack. But it does let me track debuffs on my tank targets when I’m healing. I’ll have to iterate on it some more.

The main event

Heroic Maloriak attempts last night. No kill, but I’d definitely call it progress. We were able to drive through to a second green phase with the DPS at the right pace. My mana was a little low to keep my healing pace up. I blew through a lot of it popping tree form and overhealing our two tanks to make sure they lived through the green. I’ll dial back a little next time.

The problem is that it’s RNG whether we get there.

  • Did Maloriak release aberrations before the first dark phase? If he did, we’re good. If RNG says he doesn’t, it’s probably a wipe.
  • Will server latency allow the Arcane Storm interrupt when our 2 interrupters hit it? Or will it continue casting for a full second before the server decides to stop the cast?
  • Will our tank’s interrupt miss at a moment when our DPS backup is off doing other things?

Our very best attempt was killed by both of the tank’s interrupts missing on a single cast. It was agonizing. Interrupting. God. Our hunter tamed a spore bat just for this fight, so we have the cast speed slow. Our DK is a machine at interrupts. No really, a total machine. He’s frustrated beyond words by this fight. The cast bar will appear, he’ll interrupt, the cast will continue for a second or so, then it’ll stop. All the combat logs indicate that he interrupted, not somebody else as a backup. And yet… Even a single tick can mean a wipe in this fight, depending on when it happens.

You can insert your own bitter joke about the Cataclysm triage healing model here.

We’ve got kiting mostly sorted, though not perfect. This fight puts a lot of stress on the add tank. If you have 9 aberrations out, you simply cannot let them catch you or it’s near-instant death. Any bad moves by the add tank result in a wipe.

Our guild has three raid tanks: bear (raid leader), paladin, and warrior. The paladin and warrior swap off. Well, they’re supposed to, anyway. The warrior’s been a little absent. The pally tank is the one who’s been working on this fight. Normally I’m overjoyed to be healing him in progression fights, because he’s been consistently easier to heal than the very fragile warrior. But the paladin class has some disadvantages compared to the warrior in this fight. The warrior’s all about the mobility. Charge, Intervene, Intercept, Heroic Leap: those mobs never catch you! In theory. Absent those advantages, our DPS has to help him out all they can with traps and slows.

Despite the whinging, it’s clear we’ll get this fight down with some more work.

Boss mod

Oh! I’ve been running KLE as my boss mod all week. As you know, I miss DXE keenly, and this looks and is configured exactly like DXE was. It’s really very nice to have my three warning types again (Move, Act, and Warn) with their three distinctive sounds. (That’s my setup for the mod, by the way, not the way it comes out of the box. Move for when I need to run, Act for when my healing choices need to change, and Warn for raid-wide problems/events.)

It doesn’t have full support for all encounters. For instance, there’s no “get this buff next” warning for the Elementium Monstrosity fight. I don’t need warnings like that any more, but people learning the fight do. So I would not yet recommend this mod for general use. It’s working just fine. Only the encounter data seems lacking at the moment.

State of the UI, March 2011, in combat. Depicted is the moment Fleetfoot got the Anhuur achievement. (We used the “gather up all the snakes first” approach because it makes life easier. This almost always results in the achievement.) The previous post shows the UI out of combat.

The core

RealUI - minimalist UI compilation. Provides the minimap, the menus across the bottom, the combo point/rune displays, and the IceHUD layout. Also provides the design aesthetic: hide what you don’t need to see right now.

RealUI uses a Pitbull layout for player & target frames and Grid for the rest. I replace both with my own Pitbull layout.

The mods

Key mods:

IceHUD - Castbars. Not visible in this shot.Pitbull4 - Unit frames.Pitbull4 AuraBar - Falling bar timers for buffs/hots. Indispensible. Far easier to parse in-combat than numeric timers.Raven - Buffs, debuffs, notifications.Tidy Plates - The nameplates mod used by tanks everywhere, mostly because of ThreatPlates.Omen - Threat meter.Bartender4 - Action bar mod used by people who don’t use Dominos.InlineAura - Active effects on self/target shown on action bar buttons.OmniCC - Cooldown counters on action bar buttons.MSBT - Scrolling battle text. GhostPulse3 - The big icon showing Revenge. Shows actions as they become usable.Skada - Damage/healing meters.

Cosmetics:

Kong - Can hide UI elements you want conditionally hidden. Useful for hiding certain windows in combat and other windows out of combat.Reflux - Switch all mods to a named profile all at once.MinimapButtonFrame - The required minimap button neatener.ButtonFacade - Pan-mod button styling.

Class-specific:

Ovale - Spell/action priority. Visible above the G13-shaped action buttons. Active on characters where I want to improve my DPS or learn a new spec.PugLax - Party CC options, the window on the left edge. Only active for my tanking characters.SRTI - Popup to assign raid icons.Clique - Click to cast on any unit frames.Decursive - The famous decursing mod.

Not shown:

Bagnon - All in one bags. View bank contents anywhere. Item data on tooltips across alts.BankStack - Sort bags, stack to & from bank.Skillet - Crafting mod.Reforgenator - Reforging calculator.
Lots of other little things, like the mod that plays “work complete” when I finish a quest.

Notes

GhostPulse3 can be replaced by Raven, maybe, but if I feel that urge I’ll just get rid of it entirely instead. I like the prewarning feature it has, where it flashes a muted version of the icon for something that’s going to come off cooldown soon. However, it’s too much information.

Raven is one of those mods that’s replacing a lot of other mods for me. It has already replaced both Satrina’s Buff Frames & WeakAuras. If you’re using TellMeWhen, Raven can do what that does as well. There are two missing features that make it not quite perfect: it can’t track Beacon of Light, and it can’t play sounds when notifications pop. However, it’s still pretty awesome and well worth considering for your buff & notification needs. I’ve set it up to do some nifty things with tracking tank cooldowns both as a tank and as a healer who’s got a tank targeted. My buff displays look very different in & out of combat, and different again from class to class and even spec to spec. It probably deserves a post all its own to show off what’s possible.

MSBT is showing too much data. I need to thin it out.

I keep wanting to get rid of Decursive. The one thing it does that I need is the sound played when somebody is afflicted with a condition I can cure. I use Clique to click-decurse on my unit frames.

I notice that my player & target frames got nudged out of alignment again. I keep accidentally leaving Pitbull unlocked.

My Kong setup keeps getting wiped for some reason. I keep hiding the minimap buttons in-combat over and over and over. Also PugLax, which is useless once combat has started.

I’m unhappy with my Pitbull party frames. They feel messy. I might want a different setup for when I’m tanking, for one thing, a more compact view.

State of the UI, March 2011, in combat. Depicted is the moment Fleetfoot got the Anhuur achievement. (We used the “gather up all the snakes first” approach because it makes life easier. This almost always results in the achievement.) The previous post shows the UI out of combat.

The core

RealUI - minimalist UI compilation. Provides the minimap, the menus across the bottom, the combo point/rune displays, and the IceHUD layout. Also provides the design aesthetic: hide what you don’t need to see right now.

RealUI uses a Pitbull layout for player & target frames and Grid for the rest. I replace both with my own Pitbull layout.

The mods

Key mods:

IceHUD - Castbars. Not visible in this shot.
Pitbull4 - Unit frames.
Pitbull4 AuraBar - Falling bar timers for buffs/hots. Indispensible. Far easier to parse in-combat than numeric timers.
Raven - Buffs, debuffs, notifications.
Tidy Plates - The nameplates mod used by tanks everywhere, mostly because of ThreatPlates.
Omen - Threat meter.
Bartender4 - Action bar mod used by people who don’t use Dominos.
InlineAura - Active effects on self/target shown on action bar buttons.
OmniCC - Cooldown counters on action bar buttons.
MSBT - Scrolling battle text.
GhostPulse3 - The big icon showing Revenge. Shows actions as they become usable.
Skada - Damage/healing meters.

Cosmetics:

Kong - Can hide UI elements you want conditionally hidden. Useful for hiding certain windows in combat and other windows out of combat.
Reflux - Switch all mods to a named profile all at once.
MinimapButtonFrame - The required minimap button neatener.
ButtonFacade - Pan-mod button styling.

Class-specific:

Ovale - Spell/action priority. Visible above the G13-shaped action buttons. Active on characters where I want to improve my DPS or learn a new spec.
PugLax - Party CC options, the window on the left edge. Only active for my tanking characters.
SRTI - Popup to assign raid icons.
Clique - Click to cast on any unit frames.
Decursive - The famous decursing mod.

Not shown:

Bagnon - All in one bags. View bank contents anywhere. Item data on tooltips across alts.
BankStack - Sort bags, stack to & from bank.
Skillet - Crafting mod.
Reforgenator - Reforging calculator.
Lots of other little things, like the mod that plays “work complete” when I finish a quest.

Notes

GhostPulse3 can be replaced by Raven, maybe, but if I feel that urge I’ll just get rid of it entirely instead. I like the prewarning feature it has, where it flashes a muted version of the icon for something that’s going to come off cooldown soon. However, it’s too much information.

Raven is one of those mods that’s replacing a lot of other mods for me. It has already replaced both Satrina’s Buff Frames & WeakAuras. If you’re using TellMeWhen, Raven can do what that does as well. There are two missing features that make it not quite perfect: it can’t track Beacon of Light, and it can’t play sounds when notifications pop. However, it’s still pretty awesome and well worth considering for your buff & notification needs. I’ve set it up to do some nifty things with tracking tank cooldowns both as a tank and as a healer who’s got a tank targeted. My buff displays look very different in & out of combat, and different again from class to class and even spec to spec. It probably deserves a post all its own to show off what’s possible.

MSBT is showing too much data. I need to thin it out.

I keep wanting to get rid of Decursive. The one thing it does that I need is the sound played when somebody is afflicted with a condition I can cure. I use Clique to click-decurse on my unit frames.

I notice that my player & target frames got nudged out of alignment again. I keep accidentally leaving Pitbull unlocked.

My Kong setup keeps getting wiped for some reason. I keep hiding the minimap buttons in-combat over and over and over. Also PugLax, which is useless once combat has started.

I’m unhappy with my Pitbull party frames. They feel messy. I might want a different setup for when I’m tanking, for one thing, a more compact view.

GTFO warnings mod

This one is very simple and works out of the box without needing to be touched. All it does is play warning sounds when you stand on pointy things. A big nasty NBA-style period buzzer for big pointy things, a little ping when you’re standing in less-pointy things like campfires or aoes in trivial content.

Yes, your boss mod can give you special warnings. Yes, this one is still worth it, because it keeps buzzing at you as long as you’re taking damage. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! GTFO.

Perfect for the healer who has a tunnel vision problem. And for fights where the crud on the ground might vanish under a blizzard of other special effects.

Rejoice! DXE is now KLE.

DXE, the boss mod I was a raving fan of through Wrath, has been forked! It lives! The fork’s name is KL Encounters. It doesn’t yet seem to be usable for raiding, judging from the open bug list, but at least there is now hope.

WeakAuras

WeakAuras is my new favorite addon. It’s like Power Auras meets TellMeWhen only with a sane configuration and some very nice grouping options.

Here’s an example of a paladin tank setup showing some of the ways you can use WeakAuras. You can do the icon-based thing that TellMeWhen does and the texture-centric thing that PowerAuras does for different kinds of data.

The neatest feature, from my point of view, is the dynamic display group. For Leafie, I made a dynamic group shown only in combat, and only for a druid character with an active resto spec. One display shows the Innervate icon & plays a sound when I should & can use Innervate. A second shows a mana potion icon when chugging a mana potion would be good. A third reminds me that Lifeblood is up and I can get a haste buff.

For my paladin, my setup is more complex than Leafie’s but not at the level of the tank linked above. I show reminders if my seal has dropped off, or if I’m in tank spec but don’t have Righteous Fury on. I also have a reminder icon to turn on Crusader aura when mounted and pick something else when not. When in combat, I show reminder icons (TellMeWhen style) when various tanking cooldowns are available to use.

I tested this in last night’s raid (our first attempts on the Omnotron Defense System) and was pleased. I also ran BigWigs for the first time in a long time. It was my mainstay while tanking instances through BC, but I switched to DXE in WotLK when I started raiding seriously, as many other raiders did. (Timer accuracy mattered to me.) I was pleasantly surprised by BigWigs. It doesn’t have the insane configurability DXE has, but it had the warnings I needed.

I took some transcripts of the encounter to try to help out the DXE project, though. I did a cruddy job of it because I kept forgetting to stop & restart the transcript between wipes. My attention was usually on analyzing the attempt to see what we needed to do to improve. E.g., why did my tank die there? Woes!

Also useful last night, if only for wipe forensics: BigBrother, with the interrupts option on.

PugLax cc assignment mod.

This mod scans your PUG group, identifies classes & specs, and lists out what crowd control abilities are available to you. It associates them with their traditional raid marks (e.g., polymorph is moon, trap is square) and, most importantly, with the player who can provide them. You can click a single button and it will give the party a nice personalized assignment description, with kill order and CC/mark associations. All you need do is mark up the mobs appropriately.

Tanks will be most interested in this, but anybody who’s willing to step up and lead a PUG instance run will find it useful. I’ve used it while tanking my friends & family guild runs and even there it’s been handy. Thumbs up!

Reforgenator

And since I’m linking to interesting mods this morning, here’s one that Gravity at pwnwear brought to my attention. Reforgenator helps you figure out the right way to reforge your gear to reach your hit and expertise rating caps if you need to, then go to town on mastery. See the mod page for the list of classes & specs supported. All the tanking specs are there. Reforging my prot pally’s gear was a snap thanks to this.