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One of the most amazing features of World of Warcraft is the ability to modify the interface and layout to suit your personal preferences. While the default layouts and gameplay interface are certainly among the best in the industry, there are a few addons that can really improve your time in Azeroth.
From streamlining your way through all those quests to helping you figure out how to squeeze that extra DPS out of your character, these essential PvE addons are among the most useful available. Don’t leave the starting zone without them.
One quick word about where to find addons. The best site I’ve found for “one stop" shopping is Curse.com. They have an extremely well-organized library as well as a downloadable client that takes most of the hassle out of downloading, installing, and updating your addons and mods. All of the recommendations here can be found at Curse.com.
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Auctioneer is simply a must-have for anyone who spends time in the auction house. With this addon, players scan the auction house periodically and essentially carry a price list with them wherever they travel.
Curious to see how much that green drop might sell for on the AH? Simply mouse over it with Auctioneer running and it will give you a recommended sale price, as well as an estimated amount of gold you could earn by simply disenchanting the item and selling the results.
Auctioneer is more than an automated price checker, though. It also automatically fills in recommended sale prices when you’re posting auctions (a huge time saver), helps you find bargain items on the AH that can be quickly resold for a profit, and gives detailed item information for just about every drop in the game.
The downside to Auctioneer is the amount of resources it consumes. I find that once you’ve got a good-sized database going, it can really slow down your experience on anything but a top of the line computer. I personally only use it on my bank/auction character and simply send him all the drops I wish to sell.
I highly recommend Auctioneer for anyone who likes to earn gold (and who doesn’t?)
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Probably my absolute favorite addon for solo play, Quest Helper can minimize the amount of time you spend searching for that elusive quest item, and maximize the experience you can gain.
This addon automatically lists the quests in your quest tracker by proximity and provides waypoints for quest NPCS, mobs, and objectives on both the minimap and in-game map. Quest helper will prioritize your quests and map out the best route for completing them all as quickly as possible.
Those players who are fond of reading each and every quest description may not enjoy Quest Helper as much, but for impatient gamers, it doesn’t get better than this. For many quests, you won’t even have to read the description. Simply accept the quest and head in the direction Quest Helper points you.
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As explained by Aquagem in her excellent article on WoW PvP Addons, X-Perl is an invaluable tool for raiders. It completely replaces Blizzard’s default unit frames, providing a customizable interface that provides information on which raid members are out of range, who is in combat, and which members of the raid are afflicted with debilitating debuffs.
Especially useful for healers, X-Perl is an essential tool for anyone interested in becoming a serious raider in World of Warcraft.
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Maximizing DPS upon reaching level 80 is essential for taking down difficult bosses quickly. Those who cannot keep up are usually left behind. The key to ensuring your character is performing at maximum efficiency is the ability to monitor your DPS and figuring out the most effective rotation of spells and abilities. Recount is an addon that will help you do exactly that.
Recount will track total damage done as well as DPS for the entire group or raid. You can choose to display the information in several different graphs or simply report the raw numbers to the entire group, guild, or raid automatically.
For those more interested in healing than DPS, Recount will also track healing and overhealing to allow you to figure out which spells are most efficient.
These four essential addons have been favorites of mine as long as they’ve been available. Players who make skillful use of all they have to offer will find themselves rich, powerful, and doing max DPS in no time.
For more on the most useful WoW addons, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to World of Warcraft Addons.