Archive for the 'dps' Category

Addon of the Week: Tidy Plates


I thought I was cured of my alt-o-holicalism (is that even a word?), but then I realized I’ve got another problem: severe addon dependency. I just found out I’ve got 199 subfolders in my addon directory. Eh what?? ..yeah.. 199.. I had a slight hope subfolders were counted too, but they weren’t.. This means, that minus the blizzard addons, I’ve got 175 3rd party addons folders. True, most addons consist out of multiple folders, luckily, but even if I don’t count those I end up with 72 individual addons…. I think that explains why I needed a faster processor in this already decent machine. It wasn’t blizzards resource hungry engine, it was my out of control addon-mania.

yeah.. I think I’ve got a problem… ๐Ÿ˜‰

I don’t want to delete any of them though, but perhaps if I think them over, I might learn which ones are useful and which ones aren’t.

I’ll start with my latest addition to the herd: Tidy Plates.

I saw this one a few times in a Tankspot video, and Lore even talked about it shortly once, but it only seemed like more screen clutter back then. Yesterday however, I got HoR as daily for the gazillionth time on my tank. It’s not that I hate the place or have real difficulty with it, but it does require more focus from my side compared to other dungeons. Mainly because I have a hard time seeing all the enemies in the fights. First, because they’reย  transparent. Now that should be easily fixed by turning their healthbars on…

Not for me though: I happen to be a little colorblind. I’ve got deuteranomaly, which basically means I have problems with the color red and all colors that are mixed with red. Example: epic or rare? both blue to me. The standard enemy healthbars show up entirely red. So, sure, I can turn ‘m on, but I still don’t see much, therefor I might not notice that angry rogue chasing the overzealous, but poor, lock immediately.

This is where Tidy Plates enters, lead by the sound of trumpets. It’s a replacement for the default plates. Don’t get me wrong here, this is useful for everyone, not just the visually impaired. And not just for tanks either. I actually feel like a bad tank for finding out about this so late.

Recommendation:

  • Healer: Nah
  • Dps: Yes
  • Tank: Hell Yes
  • PvP: Yes

I don’t fully see how a healer could benefit from more visual healthplates, unless (s)he could gain benifit from clicking people in the field perhaps. As shaman healer I.. hmm..ย  might consider it because that could make choosing between chainheal, or single target heals simpler. It could up efficiency by not wasting chainheals on people who were standing away from the group. I haven’t tried this yet, so I might just give it a shot once in a daily HC or some simple weekly raid where I can be crap without causing too much damage. For a priest, druid I see little benefit. For paladins none. Howver, the nameplates are very clear so it is easy to keep track of who’s where. If you’re a healer and raidleader, this could definitely be useful.

Could work...

But, the creators didn’t really seem think of healers also, because there isn’t a healer settings (e.g. I could imagine the display of debuffs on a name plate as an option). You can choose from DPS, Tank, or PvP mode.

For dpssing it’s better than I expected. Besides health, the plate also displays your current threat on your target. Theat normally can’t be calculated on non-targeted mobs, that’s how blizzards threat system works. Mouse-over, however, is considered enough “targeting”, so Tidy Plates can show your threat on any mob in the group while you continue nuking your current target, as soon you mouse-over their plate. That makes finding a new safer target a breeze. Rogues or Feral druids can make it show combo points instead if they want, but I doubt I would use it for that myself. Casting enemies are made extra visual also, which will make an interrupting job simpler (it’s easy to see what is cast). What’s probably the most important is that it’s just much easier to select targets apart from all the frills. It might finally stop you from tab-targeting *looks away and whistles*

DPS view. This screenshot doesn't do TP justice though. Getting a good shot of all options without being too careless wasn't as easy as I hoped.

I’m not much of a pvper, but I’m leveling a warrior in arms/prot spec, so I figured I could give it a shot. Man, I OWNED AB! *cough* ..Nah, not really ๐Ÿ™‚ But it was a lot more fun than I expected. The PvP mode of this addon shows your current target very clearly, and also draws a class icon on top. Not once did I accidentally charge an annoying frostmage instead of the disc priest. At a glance you can see what your up against, select the correct target, then hamstring and mortal strike his ass before they knows what happened. I’m not sure if a experienced PvPer would like this, but for me it was a great help. I was 2nd on damage (forgot to screenshot, yep, I’m a blogging noob) and I couldn’t have done it without.

Lock and priest didn't want to stand still for the picture

Where this addon shines is with AOE tanking. There’s simply no easier way to see on which mob you’ve got threat and which not. I used to have Diamond Threat Meter as my favorite AOE threat addon, because it had a great multi target display. Since that one basically died, I couldn’t find any decent replacement for it had to learn to do without. Tidy Plates however not just turned out to be a good replacement, I think it’s much better. Mostly because it’s simplicity (always a good thing). In tanking mode, it shows mob plates in 3 sizes: normal size is for mobs that are not in combat, small is for mobs that you’ve got aggro on, and finally large for the mobs you’ve lost threat on. If you ever lose aggro now, just taunt the biggest plate and continue facerolling. It’s almost too easy. Even in messy fights it takes no effort to see if there’s a mob on the loose.

For a tanking screenshot you can better see the Tidy Plates site. I failed to get a shot as good as theirs.

In the end, I actually found it causing less clutter than the original healthbars, simply because everything that’s not interesting fades. Also, if you don’t like the looks, there are lots of custom look extensions available, from neon glowing plates to Zelda like health displays with hearts (if you’re into that stuff). It’s even possible to make your own with the basic template plugin, but you’ll need to learn a little bit of lua (the wow addon programming language).

Verdict: if you’re a tank, get this. You’ll love it. If you’re not, you’ll probably like it anyway.