Saturday, February 18, 2006

AddOns and Interfaces and Mods omg

What is an AddOn (or "Mod"):

  • It's extra game code: It's a small bit of code (sometimes not so small) that Blizzard didn't write. Usually it's written by clever gamers. You load that code with the game (it's easy, don't worry) and it does some small function to make life easier. For example, there is a mod that tells you how long the flight is from point A to point B within the game, it even puts up a timer while you're in flight.

  • Add-Ons make your life easier in that
    kind of way.

  • Not a way to cheat: Blizzard allows for add-ons as long as they are, among other things, within the terms of use. So, for example, you can't make/use an add-on that allows for you to "play" while afk. So you can't have a mod that will automatically reel in a fish. It can ding to tell you there's a bite, but it wouldn't be allowed to fish for you.

What does Blizzard (posters) say about AddOns (or Mods):

  • Can we really do this?: If you have questions you can check out Blizzard's Exploitation policy which says: "We definitely want people to create their own UIs utilizing custom menu configurations, graphics, and even sounds. Anything that can be coded to modify the style and the look of the UI is fair game, as long as the modifications are done to the sanctioned internal files of the game. However, anything done to the UI to gain any sort of an unfair advantage over other players is unacceptable."
  • Mods are Unsupported: "Just so everyone remembers, customizing the game's interface is COMPLETELY UNSUPPORTED. Blizzard may make changes to the API at any time without any regard to how they affect third party addons. Extending the game in new and interesting ways is a bonus, but Blizzard does NOT support any third party addons." (Source)
  • Beware of Viruses: "We wanted to take a moment and alert you to a Trojan virus which targets World of Warcraft players by attempting to steal account passwords. This particular Trojan can be attached to any 3rd party custom UI which contains an executable (which isn't necessary for a custom UI to function), so it's very important that players are mindful of the potential danger associated with downloading files over the internet from unknown or otherwise unreliable sources. For more information, please follow the link below." (Source)

More Links:

  • FAQ by a poster named Cairenn on the forums. It's worth reading through the different parts of the series. There's also a lot on troubleshooting if you find yourself having problems.
  • Wowinsider's AddOns for the Complete Noob January 2007 (Pre Burning Crusade)

Find Them:

Install the Mod:

Pretty simply - take the files you downloaded and put them in your World of Warcraft AddOns directory:

C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Interface\AddOns

such that you have sub folders under \AddOns\ for each different mod, e.g.:

C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Interface\AddOns\Gatherer\file, file, file
C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Interface\AddOns\Benecast\file, file, file

FAQs on Installation from and from

Keep them up to date:

Remember this quote from the top of the post?

Blizzard may make changes to the API at any time without
any regard to how they affect third party addons.

Ya. Sucks. /shrug

So keep going back to those mod websites to check for updates, especially right after you download a new patch and your otherwise okay mod suddenly stops working, giving you errors or messes up your gameplay.

Now go forth and download some mods.

And may all your interfaces run smoothly.

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