Archive for the “Addons” Category

Update 5/15/2012 - Well, I certainly hope we pulled last night’s attempt before anyone downloaded it and installed, it. If not, I do appologize for your empty addon directory. As has been said many times, backups are our friends. With any luck, the only install that was damaged was my own.

This build does not appear to have that problem. But still, be mindful and proceed with caution until you’re sure it won’t hurt anything.

If you have, like me, used The Undermine Journal for price research, you may have installed the addon that the author also makes available. There are two varieties; the generic one you will find on Curse and other similar sites1 and a custom one that you can download from TUJ itself.

The custom one can have up to four realms’ specific pricing data. The generic one uses an average of all realms.  I think you can see the advantage of the former – near real-time data specific to the realm you’re logged in to at the time.

The downside is that it is a little tedious to go and get the realm-specific build and install it every day or whatever schedule you follow.

Before the Crib was wiped out, we had this automated. Thanks to no good backups, this automation tool was lost forever.

Well, we’ve reengineered it, and we’ll share it with you.

What you will need:

  1. Python 2.7 or later installed. Do not install version 3 of any sort.  You can download Python here: http://www.python.org/download/releases/2.7.3/
  2. A text editor that won’t make a mess of things. While NotePad will work, Notepad++ is better. You can find it here: http://notepad-plus-plus.org/download/v6.1.2.html
  3. An account on The Undermine Journal. If you don’t have one, go here and do so. https://theunderminejournal.com/user.php It’s really nifty. You can use your Google or Facebook or Twitter account to authenticate. And who doesn’t have one of those?
  4. The technical acumen to create files, edit them, and move them around.
  5. The technical acumen to use a command line shell (‘cmd’ in Windows.)

Setting up TUJ

The first thing you should do is set up your account on The Undermine Journal.  Once you have done so, you need to set up which realm(s) you wish to obtain realm-specific pricing data for. Go to this page (https://theunderminejournal.com/user.php) and scroll down to see something like this.

TUJ-Realm-Addon-Control

Control-click each realm of interest, up to four.

Now, the link to the right will have a custom URL that you can use to get your realm data.

Keep that web page open somewhere so you can go back and get that URL when you need it.

Setting up a workspace

This program is a slob and needs its own home. All of our work is done in d:\grimmlabs\project_name, but you will have your preferences as to where you put this.  It should be a path that you can remember.  For example, C:\TUJ.  Do that by opening a shell and doing the following.

shell-1

Once you have the workspace, CD to that directory in your shell.

Creating the program

You can either download this file to your PC (It’s a zip file, you’ll have to unpack it.), or, if you’re the suspicious type2, copy the following and paste it into a file called, for example, C:\TUJ\UpdateTUJ.py.  (Clicky on the little magnifying glass to show the code. Hover over it to see a toolbar with a few interesting features.)

## UpdateTUJ.py
## (c) 2011-2012 by Jeff Grimmett
## Freely redistributable for all non-commericial uses
## including modification and improvement.
##
## Shine on you crazy diamond.
##

# See http://wowblog.grimmlabs.com/article-number for the full
# set of instructions involved to use this script.

# Note: this can only be used ten times a day. After that, it
# goes boom, but it won't do any damage when it does.

# Here are some variables you will need to change.

import  os
import  os.path
import  shutil
import  urllib2
import  zipfile

# The URL to retrieve; will be unique for your account
TUJURL      = 'https://theunderminejournal.com/TheUndermineJournal.zip'
# The location of your addon directory
TargetPath  = 'c:/program files/world of warcraft/interface/addons'

# These are some variables that you don't need to mess with
#
# ... and if you do, you better do it right or things will go "crunch".

# The name of the zip file, locally
LocalFile                      = 'TheUndermineJournal.ZIP'
# The final path of the addon
FinalDestination    = os.path.join(TargetPath, 'TheUndermineJournal')

print "Starting ..."
print "Opening %s" %TUJURL

# Open the URL and local file
u = urllib2.urlopen(TUJURL)
f = open(LocalFile, 'wb')
meta = u.info()
file_size = int(meta.getheaders("Content-Length")[0])
print "Downloading: %s Bytes: %s" % (LocalFile, file_size)

file_size_dl = 0
block_sz = 8192

# Proceed to download and update the display as it progresses.
while True:
    buffer = u.read(block_sz)
    if not buffer:
        # All done
        break

    file_size_dl += len(buffer)
    f.write(buffer)
    status = r"%10d  [%3.2f%%]" % (file_size_dl, file_size_dl * 100. / file_size)
    status = status + chr(8)*(len(status)+1)
    print status,

# Close local file
f.close()

# Make sure we have a place to unpack
if not os.path.exists('unpack'):
    print "Creating unpacking space"
    os.mkdir('unpack')
else:
    print "Cleaning up last session"
    shutil.rmtree('unpack', True)
    os.mkdir('unpack')

# Now that the file is downloaded, we unpack it.
print "Unpacking ...",
z = zipfile.ZipFile(LocalFile)
z.extractall('unpack')
z.close()
print "Done!"

# Now that the directory is unpacked, we delete the old TUJ addon
if os.path.exists(FinalDestination):
    print "Deleting old addon"
    print FinalDestination
    shutil.rmtree(FinalDestination, True)

# Now that the old TUJ is gone, this one is put in its place.
print "Installing updated version ...",
shutil.copytree('unpack/TheUndermineJournal', FinalDestination)

# All done!
print "All done!"

Everything between the quotes is the custom URL for your custom addon.  You will need to delete what is there3 between the quotes.

Go back to the Undermine Journal user page where your user account info is, and copy the URL for the link:

TUJ-Realm-URL-Location

Paste that link in between the quotes, and save the document.

(2) Set up your addon folder’s location

By default, addons are assumed to live in c:\program files\world of warcraft\interface\addons.  If your system follows that convention, then there is nothing else to do. If, on the other hand, you have WoW’s addons living elsewhere, you will need to edit the following line.

# The location of your addon directory
TargetPath = 'c:/program files/world of warcraft/interface/addons'

Note that this is the top level of the addons directory, not for TUJ itself.  The script will take care of that for you.

(3) Set up your environment

On Windows7, installation of the Python interpreter automatically registers the .py and .pyw extensions to the interpreter, so just running one from a shell will make it go.  On older systems, such as XP, you will need to add those extensions to the EXTPATH environmental variable.

You can also just include Python’s interpreter in your command path via the PATH variable and run it directly:

image showing python UpdateTUJ.py

… or use the full path.

shell-2

If you have the extension registered, then you can just drag an icon to the desktop once you know things are running smoothly. Up to you.

(4) … and that’s it!

If we’ve done our homework properly, you’re ready to give this thing a try.

Open a shell and give it a whirl!

shell-3

If you can’t figure out what’s going wrong from the error code, just drop me a line via the email link above or a comment below and we’ll sort it out.

Some Final Thoughts

  • This is in no way a bulletproof solution. The error handling is virtually nonexistent. I’m pretty sure it can’t do any real damage to your WoW install or OS, but if you have doubts, best to just move along.
  • TUJ only allows access to this custom addon ten times a day per account. You may hit that wall during installation and testing. My suggestion is to get a copy by hand first, so you can use it while you tweak the script. Or just be patient, the next day will be here tomorrow.
  • I intend to keep updating as I go along.  First priority is error handling. Next is a nice installer to make life easier. Next is a windows-only version that will run natively, no need for nasty interpreters.
  • This code should work on any platform that supports Python, including MacOS or whatever they call it today.
  • I’m sure I’ve overlooked a zillion things. Software projects generally involve a bit of beta testing which exposes these things. This app has received none.

  1. I dunno, did they kill all the other addon sites off? []
  2. To which I say, bully for you! []
  3. That’s just a total fake in the example. []

Comments 2 Comments »

If you have downloaded the program that was just recently posted, please don’t run it!  It has a flaw that can potentially delete all your installed addons!  We’re looking in to it.

Comments No Comments »

Since ElvUI has decided to go off the grid, as it were, I’m putting together a replacement UI that will follow the same general layout – which I liked – but consist of components I can replace more easily should someone else take his toys and go home.

The first step is to identify the work to be done. Here’s a summary.

With ElvUI

So after a couple of weeks’ work, here’s what I’ve got so far:

After ElvUI

  • Chatter – This is the same chat pane replacement that ElvUI used, and in fact if you didn’t kill the ElvUI chat settings, or if you copy them off, you can use them as-is with stand-alone Chatter.
  • Pitbull – Unit frame replacement. Pitbull gives me raid party target frames, which is incredibly useful. But it is a royal pain to configure, hasn’t been updated for over a year, and will probably die in MoP. I’m going with it for now, but with the understanding that if something better comes along, I’m history. I even looked at oUF, which is what the ElvUI unit frames are based on. I didn’t take it for the same reason I didn’t keep ElvUI: you have to hunt for updates. The biggest downside to PitBull is that it doesn’t support the boss frames.  I’m looking for something that will at least let me move them.
  • Dominos – Dominos is an action bar replacement that also replaces the cast bar, roll window, and even the objectives pane. It also supports skinning using Masque, formerly ButtonFacade.
  • Squeenix – This ancient yet simple and reliable mini-map replacement offers free placement, but I elected to leave the mini-map where it normally goes, just a little larger1.
  • Bison – This adds a few more types of things to track (such as weapon effects like poisons and raid-induced effects) and allows you to reposition all of them as you wish. It also accepts Masque skinning.
  • I haven’t installed any timer tools yet as I’m not sure I’ll need them. If I do, DoTimers will probably be the ones used.
  • Mapster along with TomTom2 lets you manipulate your map and add waypoints.
  • No nameplates, but if I did I’d use TidyPlates.
  • TipTac replaces the default nameplates. It brings two things to the party. 1) I can reposition the tooltip window now. 2) It shows the unit’s spec if it is a player.
  • The pretty panels that frame the action bars and unit frames is kgPanels. The nifty thing about the foreground panels is that they change color based on the class of the toon (the addon supports scripts to do things like this).  This is using a script attached to the OnLoad event. (I added the DK part myself. Delusions of adequacy, here I come!)

local _, class = UnitClass("player"); 
    if class == "WARRIOR" then 
        self.bg:SetVertexColor(0.95, 0.23, 0.23, self.bg:GetAlpha()) 
    elseif class == "DEATHKNIGHT" then 
        self.bg:SetVertexColor(1, 0, 0, self.bg:GetAlpha()) 
    elseif class == "PRIEST" then 
        self.bg:SetVertexColor(1, 0.96, 0.98, self.bg:GetAlpha()) 
    elseif class == "MAGE" then 
        self.bg:SetVertexColor(0.00, 1, 1, self.bg:GetAlpha()) 
    elseif class == "DRUID" then 
        self.bg:SetVertexColor(1, 0.49, 0.04, self.bg:GetAlpha()) 
    elseif class == "PALADIN" then 
        self.bg:SetVertexColor(0.92, 0.22, 0.46, self.bg:GetAlpha()) 
    elseif class == "HUNTER" then 
        self.bg:SetVertexColor(0.33, 0.86, 0.00, self.bg:GetAlpha()) 
    elseif class == "ROGUE" then 
        self.bg:SetVertexColor(1, 0.94, 0.16, self.bg:GetAlpha()) 
    elseif class == "SHAMAN" then 
        self.bg:SetVertexColor(0.13, 0.42, 1, self.bg:GetAlpha()) 
    elseif class == "WARLOCK" then 
        self.bg:SetVertexColor(0.36, 0.18, 1, self.bg:GetAlpha()) 
    end 

  • While not shown, a warning about BigWigs. If you use this boss mod, ElvUI "skins" it, and that doesn’t get removed when you uninstall ElvUI.  As a result, BigWigs throws errors all over the place.  If you like where all the stuff is with the ElvUI skins, note them down on paper, then uninstall both ElvUI AND BigWigs. Reinstall, then configure BigWigs so that it mimics the ElvUI settings.
  • Another tool I find very useful is eAlign. This sets up a grid that you can reference as you move things around. It goes away when you reload, or you can turn it off yourself.

Not needed:

  • ElvUI special sauce

  1. I looked at SexyMap, but great bouncing Bronzebeards, folks – that thing’s busier than Metzen’s inbox! []
  2. I tried TomTomLite but as it didn’t let me reposition the arrow, I determined it was TOO lite. []

Comments 2 Comments »

Update 4/21/2012

Someone is now posting a forked version of ElvUI called ElvUI-Repooc which is apparently accepted and more or less approved by Curse to distribute in the slot formerly used by the original ElvUI.  This is unprecedented if they did it without permission. For an example of what I mean, look back at our review of HUD addons a while back – and all the different versions of DHUD and the confusion that can cause.  Curse has never, to my knowledge, allowed someone other than the original account holder to post a fan update or whatever in place of the original so that it showed up in the updater as an upgrade.

I can only assume some bad blood exists and that Curse has decided it’s worth compromising whatever principles they have in order to thumb their noses at the TukUI/ElvUI team. Like I said, WE lose.

I am not installing the Repooc fork. I am replacing ElvUI completely. I am not saying that the Repooc fork might be malicious. I am saying that everything about this is unusual.  You be the judge as to what you install.

If anyone has more information – especially regarding the legitimacy of the Repooc fork – I’d love to hear about it.

After updating ElvUI tonight, the following greets us upon login.

elvui_calls_it_quits_with_curse

As Flora would say, what the HELLS is going on? And, a few seconds later, she’d start taking bets on the inevitable pissing contest that either immediately preceded, or will immediately follow this move by the ElvUI folks.

On the record: if you tie your UI to one of these “amalgamation” UIs (i.e. UIs consisting mostly of someone else’s work but with enough secret sauce to make it worthless without constant support), you lose. Plain and simple.

I don’t give three shits for any issues that the ElvUI folks have with Curs1. Likewise, I don’t care if Curse has applied their usual FUD filter to anything that ElvUI did. What I am saying is that where ElvUI and Curse are concerned, right now, you lose.

More to the point: where you become dependent on one huge UI addon (e.g. ElvUI, TukUI, Carbonite), you are vulnerable to mayhem. As so clearly documented right here and right now.

I had thought we’d make an attempt at elegance and elected ElvUI as our weapon of choice to make our UI consistent and less ugly than usual.

I was wrong to do so.

Seriously, if you want to optimize your UI, avoid things like this.

In the near future, I’ll document one example2 of how to do this sort of thing.

Lemons. Lemonade. Rum. Why’s the rum gone?


  1. I have many, myself. []
  2. Emphasis on EXAMPLE here. []

Comments 10 Comments »

While I haven’t really been inclined to get my wookie on and swing a lightsaber, I do follow some aspects of STWOR if for no other reason to have some inkling about what people are getting uptight about.  Usually I end up nodding and saying something like "Some things never change."

One recent controversy did raise my eyebrows, though. There was rumblings about enrage timers, but then a more interesting twist emerged: no damage meters, no combat log.  As so many experience DPSers will tell you, this is pretty stupid.  Here’s one now:

So I’ll come down in favor of DPS races and enrage timers, but only if there are combat logs (and the subsequent parsers and DPS meters) so you can actually FIX the problem if you’re not beating the content. The problem generally isn’t with DPS meters themselves, anyway; it’s with the way some players choose to use them to exclude their "inferiors" from participating in content, and the fact that they often broaden the definition of "inferior" well beyond the needs of the content.

If you think I’m shallow enough to link to this to say I-told-you-so, you’d be completely accurate.

The DPS role is dependent on its numbers, whether you take them subjectively or absolutely is irrelevant.  But of the two, an absolute reference is much better than a relative one. Numbers are absolute. You can feed them into spreadsheets, save them off, compare them to each other. You can make multiple passes and chart your progress or lack thereof. Your damage meter is your friend. If you were doing 20K last week on a particular boss, and only 18K this week, you have something to look in to before you’re the cause of an enrage-timer wipe in the future.

Smug mode: engage.

I’m sure Bioware or whoever will address this to everyone’s satisfaction at some point.  I’m not sure if WoW came with a working addon API out of the box, but given how late it was announced for STROW I’d venture that it was an afterthought and still has some work to go.  I’d advise patience, but that’s not particularly the hallmark of your average STWOR player1. So, good luck with that, I guess.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

That’s not actually what this article is about. Well, peripherally, it is, but only in that damage meters and combat logs are involved and it deals with DPS.  Namely, mine.

A couple of patches ago, we got changes to the Beast Master Hunter spec that promised near-parity with other specs. Then the guild got gutted of over half its overall raiding roster and it became more difficult to judge my performance against those of my fellows. Then there were more adjustments in the last patch, including some buffs to both SV and BM. Then we started inviting some people from another guild to raid with us regularly, which included a SV spec hunter.

I saw that BM wasn’t doing that great at all. He was topping the meters, I was bringing up the rear. My best choice at that point was to focus on utility. I’ve had to do this before, many times, as far back as Kara. Hoping that being useful (rather than deadly) would keep me in the rotation.

Or, I could change specs. Give it a go.

Looking at gear and gems and reforges and enchants, I realized I only had to change one enchant – agi to mastery – to optimize my armor for SV.  Stat-wise, there was virtually no difference.  So, I left myself geared for BM and greased into SV mode.

After looking at the meters, after looking at the combat logs, in all respects, my performance improved. On average, a 3K difference in output, and I’m not really used to the rotation yet.

So here we are at the end of the expansion and I’m having deja vu all over again.  Because this is exactly where I ended up as I started crawling the passageways of Icecrown in the final patch of WotLK. Survival.   BM was the red-headed stepchild of the team; people like me ran it if we had to, but otherwise we used one of the other specs because they delivered what our class is expected to: ranged damage, and lots of it.

So that’s the upshot of my weekend: I guess I’m shifting to SV and swapping my BM pets for a stock of SV. Alas. BM is, by far, my favorite hunter spec, because it’s so darned fun. But sometimes you gotta give up some funsies to get that boss down. And that’s a sad thing. Of all the issues about talents and specs, that is the greatest one of all – that one cannot just play the spec that one enjoys the most and still expect to perform the same as others.  Maybe you get lucky and it works out. Maybe you don’t.

In my case, not so much.


  1. i.e. "Blizzard doesn’t add content fast enough" impatient. []

Comments 4 Comments »

It is all the rage these days to disavow any regard whatsoever for damage meters. One is expected to denounce their use, purge them from one’s system, deny them access to your chat window, and make fun of those using them.

Well, I say, nuts to that!

care_meter If you are DPS, this is your instrument

Neil Armstrong did not land on the moon by looking out the window1, he used instruments – and Buzz Aldrin calling out other instrument readings.  Lindbergh didn’t even have a front window, he flew across the Atlantic on instruments. There are automobile races where the participants don’t even depart at the same time – they completely use instruments to determine who won.

In short, a reliable instrument is worth any number of other observations.

And a damage meter is the DPS role’s instrument of measurement.

You need to know if you are performing properly

The DPS role is dependent on its numbers, whether you take them subjectively or absolutely is irrelevant.  But of the two, an absolute reference is much better than a relative one. Numbers are absolute. You can feed them into spreadsheets, save them off, compare them to each other. You can make multiple passes and chart your progress or lack thereof. Your damage meter is your friend. If you were doing 20K last week on a particular boss, and only 18K this week, you have something to look in to before you’re the cause of an enrage-timer wipe in the future.

woodentargetdummy.png Target dummies are liars

"Well, fine", you say, "turn it on for your target dummies, I got no problem with that, but using them in a live encounter is bad!"  To which I say, pfah!  Target dummies give you a baseline, but they don’t take anything into account that you get from a live boss. You won’t see all the group buffs, or group procs, or even be able to use your execute abilities such as Kill Shot or Decimate. You might as well just sit there with autoshot, the approximation will have the same level of accuracy (and much less variability!).

No, a live boss (or live trash, if that is your interest) is the only way to truly gauge your performance in a raid setting. And since things vary depending on raid make-up, procs, and the like, you will need multiple samples.

Well, you don’t need to run it for everyone

Yes, you do.

You are not a single unit. You are part of a team. And how you perform relative to the rest of the team is important, if for no other reason than that of self-preservation.  For if you’re performing in line with the guys at Elitist Jerks, but behind that of your guild (what, you think that EJ is infallible? Lol.). You may be in danger of being sat without realizing it.  Because if you’re part of a serious raiding guild, I guarantee that your Raid Leader is watching your performance.

The more you know …

wol_feature-300x173 But that’s what World of Logs is for!

It is indeed, and in my opinion it is a far more accurate instrument than Omen or Skada, provided all members contribute logs (if it’s just you, then it’s on par with the other two, not better). But you probably won’t have WoL for all of your Heroics, trash runs, and so forth. You need all the things. Else your dataset is incomplete.

A damage meter is always there.

People use them badly!

They do indeed. Jerks spam chat with them all the time. But not you, right?

And the damage meters don’t do that automatically, so if yours does, it’s totally your fault. You are misusing the instrument. Stop it.

What idiots do with damage meters is not my concern, and it is not the fault of the damage meter. Get over it.

tyson_badass I don’t need a damage meter to know how well I’m doing

Yes you do. You will always do better with solid statistics than you will with a "gut feeling".

But if you just want to use the Force, have I got a game for you.

It might also be that you’re a PvPer and see no need. I contend that you don’t even belong in this conversation. Fire up All Healers Must Die and go do that honorable thing you do.

There are valid performance issues.

Yes, there are. But not for me, and not for most people that I know of. If, however, you are one of those people, and cannot afford a computer made after 2001, then by all means don’t run with one, because for certain it does suck CPU cycles.

You already have problems and damage meters are the least of them, but, whatever.2

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.

TromboneIn general, however, a damage meter is a valuable and useful tool for DPS self-improvement.  Feel free to sneer at the idiots spamming party chat, and feel free to kick people that get hung up over somebody else’s DPS in a PUG3.  But don’t blame the instrument for these things.

After all, both Tommy Dorsey and myself play the same musical instrument. But nobody has ever proposed that the Trombone be banned because of me.4

Your damage meter is your friend

If you’re serious about self-improvement in a raiding environment, you need to use your damage meter to its fullest to provide nice, juicy data from which you can draw useful conclusions, and then apply those conclusions in such a way as to improve your performance (or detect bad decisions of that sort).

This is my damage meter. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My damage meter is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

My damage meter, without me, is useless. Without my damage meter, I am ineffectual. I must use my damage meter wisely. I must DPS better than the boss that is trying to kill me. I must kill him before he kills me. I shall.

My damage meter and myself know that what counts in this raid is not the DPS we do, our meter dumps to raid chat, or the noise we make. We know that it is the overall damage that counts. We will do massive damage.

My damage meter is human, even as I, because it is our life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its range, its triggers, its filters and its scope. I will keep my damage meter prepped and ready, even as I am prepped and ready. We will become part of each other. We will.

Before the Light, I swear this creed. My damage meter and myself are the defenders of my world. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

So be it, until victory is ours and there is no enemy, but peace!


  1. He looked AT the window, which had guide markers on it! []
  2. I also recommend 800×600 resolution. []
  3. We did that last night, and when asked why, the reason given was "Insufficient Beardiness." The fact that the mage in question was so quickly votekicked speaks for itself, however. He was an insufferable bore. []
  4. Well, my neighbors. And maybe my mom. []

Comments 4 Comments »

GOOD NEWS, EVERONE!

The creator of the much beloved (by us, anyway) GUPPet addon has updated it to be current with 4.3 and even corrected a but or two. My past ramblings are therefore rendered moot. I haven’t tested to see if the sea mount bug is still there, yet, but my workaround still probably works.

At any rate, no need to hack, just download!  And if you’re super-cautious, like I am, back it up to a USB thumb drive first.1.

/cheer


  1. If you don’t know how to do that, STOP HACKING NAOW! []

Comments No Comments »

A quick technical note

If you’re unable to log in to a character, or know someone that is having this problem (i.e. you get to the loading screen and the bar stops around 1/4 the way across), there is a solution.  Apparently any addon using the lib-Tourist library will cause this. Just disable the addon. Currently this includes:

  • Cromulent
  • Fishing Buddy
  • Fubar (not here, but I’ve heard things).

I’ve also had problems with a couple of other programs throwing LUA errors on use or login, but that’s minor.

I’m really amazed that the WoW LUA interpreter lets an addon blow up the whole program like that.  I have two words: error checking. It’s hawt.

A new look

Thanks to the addon follies, and a side trip to the queue to watch The Big Lebowski, the crew really didn’t get moving until ten-ish; since they were right there, Jas, Illume, and Flora got right down to clearing the bank of old yet sentimental wardrobe items, and mogging current gear to their favorite ‘in town’ outfits. 

The biggest disappointment is that at some point I managed to lose Illume’s Abjurer’s Regalia (except the head piece, ick). So we’ll be looking to pick that back up. There is no outfit anywhere that screams "ice mage" quite as much as this set.

Myself, I’m still mulling over things. If mail it is, it’ll probably be bits of the DS3, a sentimental favorite1. There really is no other hunter gear that doesn’t look plain hideous to me, and I can’t really mog my current armor into my favorite in-town duds.  I want something that actually says "woodsman" when you see it. Like plain leathers and a viridian cloak. Research is required.  I’d love to find this in-game.

A somber mood

This patch day is somewhat more somber than past ones, though not as much as the 4.0.3 patch day when I was contemplating a server transfer. 

Now, after a fantastic year (or as close to a year as makes no difference) of raiding a camaraderie with Eff the Ineffable, it appears that is coming to an end. So many of our fundamental supports are leaving to go beat on Boba that we’re already marginal.  With our GM stepping down (she outed it on twitter), the future of the guild looks murky. I was already sad over the departures; this doesn’t help matters.

So while the new instances and the new raid look magnificent – truly, they do! – I find myself suddenly without any motivation to participate. I’ll probably get out of my funk before too long, at least enough to party with the posse a few more times, but it will be bittersweet, I think.

My blood, my cousins, my Calvary
Yeah a piece of them’s gone but still I feel them strong.


  1. Again, except for the helm. Really, Blizz, would it kill you to make something more attractive? []

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STOP RIGHT THERE! As of early December 2011, the author has begun updating the addon again.  The new version (2.020-ish) works properly.  See here for more details.

If you have been using the addon GupPet, you’ve no doubt noticed that (a) it has problems with swimming mounts in Vash’jir, and (b) it has problems with any of the new mounts from 4.0.6 onward. This is a shame since GupPet is otherwise one of the most sophisticated and well-featured random mount addons you are likely to encounter. Fortunately, all is not lost. I have some tips on how to fix both issues.

Easy one first – the swimming mount issue

In the most recent version, 2.018, the following appears in the release note.

Fixed the bug where a flying mount was selected while swimming if you only had a mount that can be used as ground and fly

This got me thinking: what if that broke something else? So, I downgraded to 2.017.  That fixed the problem!

New mounts!

This is a little harder to sort out, but isn’t that difficult if you’re familiar with using text editors to edit configuration files.

GupPet puts all of its mount data in a single file called Gup_MountData.lua. The trick is to find a mount similar to the one you want to add, copy it, paste it where needed, and then edit the new data to add your mount.

Here’s how.

  1. Find your Addons. On an XP box, it’s C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Interface\Addons, in Win7 and Vista it’s C:\Users\Public\Games\World of Warcraft\Addons. Inside that folder you will find a folder called GupPet .Find your addons
  2. Find the file to edit, and open it with a text editor. The file is called Gup_MountData.lua. You can use NotePad, but I recommend one of the free replacements such as NotePad++ (which will be used for this example).Edit this file
  3. Find a mount similar to the one you want to copy.  In this case, I want to add my new Subdued Seahorse mount, so I’m going to copy the seahorse mount that everyone gets in Vash’jir, as you can see.I'm on a seahorse!
  4. Copy that mount’s info, and paste it where it needs to go. In this case, it goes right at the end of the aquatic mounts section.Paste the copied mount info
  5. Edit the name of the mount. This is not required – the mod will work either way – but if you don’t edit the text on the far right (a programming comment), you may forget what’s what in your updated file. DO NOT REMOVE THE DOUBLE-MINUS AT THE START OF THE DESCRIPTION. The addon will break if you do.Edit the comment
  6. Find the mount on WoWHead. You need the ItemID of the mount. There are many ways to get that information, but this is the surest.Let me WowHead that for you
  7. Find the ItemID. The ItemID is the unique identifier of the mount (not it’s reigns or similar "item" that teaches you the mount). The ItemID will be the number at the end of the URL for that mount’s WoWHead page. Note the ID and write it down.Get the ItemID That's the ItemID
  8. In the LUA file, change the ItemID of the copied line to that of the mount itself.Change the ID
  9. Save the file and you’re done! If you are logged in to the game, you will need to exit the game and re-start it1.

 

And that is it!  You should now have the Subdued Seahorse as a usable mount in GupPet if you should ever catch Poseidus out on a stroll.

Here’s an example of adding a couple of flying mounts. In this case, the Flameward Hippogryph and the Winged Guardian.

Two flying mounts

Finally, at the top of the file is a guide to the flag logic that you can use when adding mounts of various types.

Mount Flags

When upgrading, don’t forget to copy this file off as a safeguard against being overwritten by one with incomplete information. You will need to manually inspect the upgrade file to ensure that all your mount data is preserved in the new one.  Now, I suspect that any upgrade that comes down the pike will be up to date with the latest mount data. But I also find it unlikely that we will see an upgrade since this one is close to eight months out of date (nine, if you don’t count the broken 2.018). Otherwise I’d not be writing this guide.

Hey, if you know of a maintained addon that has all the bells and whistles that this one has, please do drop a line in the comments.  And, if not, then at least we can extend the life of this lovely piece of software a bit more. Who knows, we might keep it running into 5.0!


  1. There are other ways, yes, but this is the most reliable way to get the right results. Hush. Do eet. []

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This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Framed!

So, I’ve covered the players and the various features, what I liked and what problems might have existed.

Memory consumption

I’ve mentioned in passing some memory footprint concerns, but now I’ll share the whole chart. Click on the image for the actual spreadsheet.

MemoryChart First, a word about the different colors. I wanted to express the modularity of most addons in a way that would give you a better sense of the size of the most-used components, or, ‘core’.

  1. Thus in the chart above I have one color for the ‘core’, or central addon. If the addon does not have modules, then that is the footprint of the whole addon itself.
  2. ‘Config’ is the footprint of the configuration module(s), if any.
  3. ‘Extras 1′ and ‘Extras 2′ represent additional non-config modules, such as Dog Tags.

Memory footprint of UF addons

Anyway, the overall biggest memory hog is Pitbull, by a long shot. And yet, there i a lot that can be mitigated by turning off components that you do not use. The core – and that includes the config code – is actually fairly compact, and even with most of the standard features turned on, it comes in under 2500 KiB, not too shabby. It’s only when Dog Tags is figured in to this that the addon takes on the gargantuan proportions that the chart reports – and let us not forget, the Pitbull team is flirting with LuaText now, and it’s smaller and more actively supported. So, plusses.

Vuhdo Comes in next, and what can we say, even without its config util, it’s huge. Don’t forget, however, that it’s packing a lot of features that most people will never use. It would be about perfect if the healy and non-healy features were split into a couple of LoD1 modules.

ag_ and Stuf really shine out as small-footprint champs, but remember that there have been a few difficulties, so weigh that against the footprint. If what you do gets around where the bugs or issues are, you may have a winner on your hands.

Grid’s medium footprint can be deceptive, since you have to add things to duplicate a lot of the features other unit frames have. On the other hand, that 1100ish KiB footprint has everything that isn’t a plugin.

Healium was a big surprise. It does just about everything a unit frame replacement should do, but does it in a minimalist fashion, and thus saves gobs of memory on things like portraits (or lack thereof). As a healing addon, I’d hesitate, but as a unit frame replacement, it has promise.

As I said in part 4, Deep’s tiny little footprint is most likely due to all the pieces not loading because of Lua errors. But, boy howdy, it would be amazing if it managed to pull off actually working in that amount of space!

Recommendations, Et Cetera

OK, down to brass tacks.

Despite all the trash I’ve talked about this addon, Pitbull is by far the most stable and feature-rich of the crowd. It is also one of the most obtuse and difficult addons to set up right out of the box. I know of other works from the same developers, and I have faith that they will at some point get around to looking at usability issues. Me, personally – I don’t have the patience, but if you do, and don’t care about the memory, this one is a winner.

I have been very happy with Shadowed Unit Frames up until 4.0 hit, and then it started giving me problems. The future of this addon is, to me, in doubt, so I no longer am as enthusiastic about recommending it. However, if  you can avoid the bugs I’ve hit, it’s well worth a look.

X-Perl is still Old Reliable, and as far as I’m concerned, you can’t really go wrong with this one within certain parameters. One of those parameters is “modern feature set”; there are a few new tricks it could learn that would make it even better. Until then, provided your needs are not overly sophisticated, this one will get you through a raid without any problems at all.

My most radical suggestion, though, is to give the new Blizzard frames a serious, unbiased, look. For most non-healy needs, they deliver on par with most other addons in this article. Healy types, of course, are going to have far more sophisticated needs. And in fact, as DPS, I’m not at all certain I can’t do without some missing features, either – but your raiding environment may be far different than mine.

A compromise that I am currently test-driving is using Vuhdo as my raid frames, showing each unit’s target next to the unit. This is extremely helpful when we are in focus-fire scenarios. So far I have been very happy with Vuhdo driving my raids, and the Blizzard frames for my non-group frames.

I really want to love ag_UnitFrames and Stuf, but both have a lot of rough edges that may make them difficult to live with. By all means, if you’re looking to slim down, have a look, but don’t bet the farm on them.

Grid and Healbot do the job for groups, but nothing for the other unit frames, and really are so specialized that I would only recommend Grid if desperate and Healbot if out of all other options. For healies, they’re great, but that’s not what we’re doing here.

Healium is really worth a look if you’re in a minimalist mood. You’ll have to do all the heavy lifting of setup yourself, including hiding the default frames, but the result is an extremely spare yet useable interface.

If in your travels you hear that Deep Unit Frames was revived, do two things. First, have a look!  And second, make sure I know!

Conclusion

While there were many fine specimens, there was also a higher incidence of just plain broken stuff, when compared to the HUD addons I looked at back in March. I think there are two factors to this. First, unit frame addons are somewhat more complex than HUD addons – you can really make up your own rules in the latter case, and get away with it. Second, Unit Frames are already part of the system, so you have to not only create better ones, but work within the framework that the original ones do. That isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Bit Rot aside, those that worked, worked well, and provide a wide gamut between austere and indulgent.  I truly think that the more elaborate addons offer maybe just a little bit too much information for one to digest, but they also have ways of mitigating – or eliminating – the clutter.

I find it extremely interesting that the default unit frames have become as viable as they have. The old clunkers of the past are gone. Blizzard learns, but it learns slowly, and sometimes it learns the wrong lessons, but in this case, I think they did a good job.

My takeaway is this: if you don’t need to replace them, unit frame addons are very, very optional. Two – maybe even one – years ago, that would not have been a valid statement. Now, if I didn’t raid, I’d probably have none at all.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little production. as always, if I’ve blown it in any significant way, please let me know.


  1. Load on Demand, now you know. []

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