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Finding the Right Addon
There are a million Addons out there. Where do you start? The first thing to do is identify your needs. What do you do with WoW? Do you quest? Do you level grind? Do you gold farm? Do you instance? Do you raid? Narrowing down what you need will help you determine what Addons would be helpful.
Once you’ve figured out what you plan to do, take a look at the classes you play. There are thousands of Addons that are class-specific. If you play Rogues a lot, check out the Rogue Addons. Chances are high you will find something and think “that would be really helpful.” Each Addon comes with a description of what it does. Taking a few moments to skim through these will give you a very good idea of whether the Addon will be helpful for you.
There are a few Addons out there which are considered to be universally helpful. While these will of course vary by preference, most of the WoW community considers the Auctioneer, Cartographer, Atlasloot Enhanced and X-Perl Unit Frames to be some of the best. Here’s why.
Auctioneer tells you a wealth of information, not the least of which is how much your items are worth. No more guessing about how much that stack of Copper Bars is worth. Auctioneer tells you how much, on average, it will sell for, how many have been seen on the Auction Hall recently as well as a trove of other helpful information. If you get only one Addon, get Auctioneer.
Cartographer is a map Addon that allows you to place notes on the map, brings the map into a window and can track where you find certain resources. This allows you to find patterns in gatherable resources to make your searches easier. Want to know where all the Thorium Veins spawn in Un’Goro Crater? Cartographer will tell you.
Atlasloot Enhanced is very useful for planning the gear you want to get. It has a database of nearly every item that drops off of every boss in the game, as well as all the items that can be bought from Reputation Vendors and PvP Gear Vendors. If you need to plan your gear, Atlasloot is the easiest way to do it.
X-Perl is an interface Addon that makes partying and raiding much easier. It redistributes player/target portraits, displays buffs and debuffs and a host of other information that is important to know quickly when raiding or instancing. If you are going to raid, X-Perl will make your life a whole lot easier.
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The Two Big Sites
When it comes to WoW Addons, there are only two names you need to know. Curse and WoWUI. Both are superb sources for finding Addons of all kinds, for all purposes. Questing, PvP, raiding, instancing, class Addons, profession Addons…it can all be found on these two sites.
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Curse.com is good for not only WoW Addons, but Addons and mods for a whole host of games. It just so happens they have an extremely large WoW database because WoW is, let’s face it, the biggest game out there.
They maintain a constantly updated list of WoW Addons and oftentimes, Curse has updates before anyone else does. Curse also has a client that can auto-install Addons for you. Curse maintains an archive of all Addons, in case a new version of your favorite Addon turns out buggy and you need to revert to an older version.
Bottom line: Curse is a household name in WoW Addons. There’s a reason everyone goes to Curse. The site has recently seen a revamp which has made it easier to navigate than ever before. They keep lists of the most highly-rated and frequently-downloaded mods so in case you want what everyone else has, it’s easy to find.
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Like curse.com, WoWUI maintains a gigantic database of Addons only instead of Addons for multiple games, WoWUI focuses solely on WoW. They also maintain a database of macros which are extremely useful and in many cases, practically essential.
WoWUI also sports a list of the most recently updated Addons and the most popular Addons. Their site is easy to navigate and if Curse is missing an Addon, chances are good that WoWUI will have it.
Bottom line: If for whatever reason you don’t like Curse or can’t find what you need there, go to WoWUI. If you need a macro, go to WoWUI first. Like Curse, WoWUI is practically a household name. People go here because it has the Addons quickly, easily and simply.