One of my most favorite things about WoW has always been the ability to customize your UI by using addons. My Addon Corner was one of the categories I loved the most in my old WoW warrior blog. Over the years, I have found that MMOs that do not allow that extra flexibility lack that special bit of stickiness with me. Thankfully, this is different with Wildstar. Right from the get go, they are actually encouraging folks to develop LUA-based addons.
I have linked last week’s Nexus Report below, which is the weekly show Carbine does about Wildstar, and they talk about addons quite a bit, and their philosophy about it.
In fact, addons were what actually made me take note of this game because I hadn’t followed it at all until…January or so, well into the closed beta. My friend Packetdancer started developing addons for Wildstar a long time ago, and has worked with Bitwise, the Lead Client Engineer for Wildstar. In fact, there’s a great interview with both of them from last summer. Needless to say, Packet is very excited for this game, and made me curious about it, and also helped me getting into the closed beta before it was weekends only. I have to thank her for it again, you rock. She really is the kickass nerd girl you want at your side.
One of the projects she runs is Wildstar Nasa, the Nexus Addon Standards Association, where people interested in the API can find LUA guides, examples and standards to abide to. If they keep this up and educate people about LUA coding, this might make Bitwise’s vision come true, might it not?
— MIDlawsonDLE (@midlawsondle) May 21, 2014
How to install addons in Wildstar
So, Wildstar has addons. How to get those addons? Most importantly, how to install them once you have found them? There’s really two ways.
1) use the Curse Client and add Wildstar as game, then download and install automatically using the client
2) download the addons manually, either at Curse or the official forums. Unzip the addon into %APPDATA%NCSOFTWildStarAddons. Most likely, this will be C:Usersyour_windows_usernameAppDataRoamingNCSOFTWildStarAddons
There’s also a third option, using a tool called Mission Control to install the addons for you, but I don’t know if it will continue to be actively developed. I personally use the Curse Client, which has made it very easy to stay on top of addon updates during the beta. It’s exciting to see more and more addons out there. I have a feeling we will see as much quality work as there’s been for WoW.
Great addons to get you started
I realize how much of a teaser this is, because now we have to wait for headstart to actually play around with these addons. Nevertheless, I have played around quite a bit since February, and here are the addons that I will be using at launch.
- Steer – the mouselook addon. If you’ve played any FPS or 3rd person shooter, and want to be more mobile during the action combat that Wildstar uses, there are various options to use Wildstar’s native mouselook. If you are not a keyboard turner, you are probably used to moving around using the mouse. Spinning around requires pressing the right mouse button, and as you have to dodge a lot, you have to press the right mouse button a lot. There are several addons that enable you to turn around just by using the mouse, as if you were playing a shooter. There’s Combat Mode (which I haven’t tried because you need external software to use it), Deadlock Extended and Steer. I like the latter the best. It works quite easily. In my case, I have tied it to movement. As soon as I start moving around or in combat, mouselook is active. If I am just standing around, it isn’t. You can also set it to activate with a keybinding or by clicking the left mouse once. You can even bind forward movement to the left mousebutton. I enjoy it a lot, and it makes combat even cooler.
- BijiPlates – name plates. I love me good name plates. The default ones are okay, but not very configurable. Biji on the other hand you can configure a lot. It has threat alert for tanks, and cleanse alerts for healers. You can set size, type, display, what have you. You can even color the nameplates by class color. I like them a lot.
- IconLoot – I don’t like the default loot window. Items just zoom past, and I never know what I have picked up. IconLoot gives you a better notification, especially when you pick up rare quality items or items that start a quest.
- SpaceStash – bag addon. Wildstar already uses a one bag display, but SpaceStash greatly improves it. You can freely configure size, rows and columns. The last update added bag sorting, hallelujah! It also comes with automatic junk selling and repairs, if you so desire. Trust me, you do.
- NavMate – waypoints and mini-map improvements. Much like TomTom, this addon adds coordinates support and lets you set waypoints. Additionally, it improves the minimap by adding a square option, indicating taxis on the mini-map and showing icons for lore objects like datacubes and journals. I wouldn’t want to play a scientist without it!
- ProcsHUD – proc alerts. Many classes have abilities that are tied to certain conditions, mostly critical hits, like the Engineer’s Quick Burst or the Medic’s Atomize. It works out of the box, and provides you with big alerts when an ability has proc’d.
- Stalker Resource System – for stalkers only. My main is going to be a stalker, and I find the UI not ideal for it. The resource bar is too far away from where the action is. Here’s where SRS comes in. Freely configurable resource bar, many options to style it, changing size and placing it where you need it to be. Love it!
- AuraMastery – the Weak Auras of Wildstar. I have to admit I haven’t recently tested it, because in closed beta I just couldn’t make it work for me. But there have been many updates since, there are quick start guides, and AuraMastery definitely has the potential to be as powerful as Weak Auras.
- EzSocialBar – a bar that shows you how many of your friends and guildies and circle folks are online, with notification sounds. I haven’t actually used this, only seen it in a video over at Arkship, but I really liked the looks of it.
- WhisperAlert – various whisper alert sounds. Now if only Tzufit had used this during the closed beta, she might have responded to my hellos.
This is only the beginning. There are already many more addons available, and I am excited to see what future additions the active LUA folks out there will come up with. As always, thanks to all you developers out there, I love your addons. Keep up the great work.
Have you spotted other Wildstar addons you enjoy? Please share!