New Player Tips is a recurring feature in which we ask World of Warcraft veterans to share their thoughts and advice for new adventurers on a variety of in-game topics.
This week's topic is: add-ons.
Add-ons, also sometimes called mods or UI (user interface) mods, are packages of code and graphics that can be installed to your World of Warcraft client for various purposes, including (but not limited to): altering the look and feel of your UI, reorganizing how information is displayed, or giving you alternate ways to interact with the game. Add-ons are written by players, just like you, to modify and enhance the experience of playing the game.
The most commonly used add-ons allow players to rearrange elements of the UI such as the unit frames, mini-map, and action bars, as well as collecting information such as damage or healing done in raid and dungeon encounters. The nature of add-ons as player-created modifications means that if you've ever wished you could change the UI in some way, there's probably a mod that does it. And if there isn't, you can try to make it yourself (with a little programming knowledge, of course).
While we go to great lengths to ensure that the default World of Warcraft UI offers everything necessary to play the game, some players find add-ons extremely useful. Many players enable at least a few add-ons, while others use dozens more!
So, here is where we turn to those of you who have long mined the depths of add-on usage. What say you, keepers of all add-on related knowledge, to those beginners who are about to take a first stab at changing their interfaces? What do you suggest players who have yet to install their first add-on do to make the most of their experience?
If you've never installed a World of Warcraft add-on before, we recommend you read the player-run FAQ for Installing & Troubleshooting AddOns in our own forums. Wowpedia also has a step-by-step guide to installing an add-on. You can discuss add-ons, learn how to make them, and ask other players for help in installing them in our UI and Macro forum. If you're interested in creating your own add-on, be sure to review the Blizzard UI Add-On Development Policy, too!
See what players had to say last week about macros.