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Vectivus

How much modding is necessary?

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Apologies if this has been dealt with previously, I couldn't find an active discussion on the subject.

I'm in the process of trying to improve the overall effectiveness of the raiding core of my guild. Several guild members have recommended enforcing 'mandatory' addons - requiring every single member of the raid to have a certain set of addons installed.

In fairness to the members in question, I have done this in the past, but I've generally found it to be a relatively ineffective way of improving overall raid performance.

My question, then, is this - how much modding is really necessary? Does it significantly improve the effectiveness of most players? Which classes benefit the most from having more addons installed?

Currently, my list of 'recommended' addons (available as downloads on the guild website) includes:

- Omen

- Recount

- Quartz

- PitBull

- Grid

- VisualHeal

Are there more things I should be encouraging people to use? Is 'forcing' people to use these addons a viable strategy?

(As an aside, for myself, I currently only run Omen, and it's hidden - it's only there so that I send data to everyone else in the raid. I have used fully customized UI's in the past, and found that they didn't improve my performance at all.)

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No mod'ing is necessary at all. The default UI from Blizzard is sufficient. However, since no two people are alike and Blizzard was kind enough to allow us to modify the UI many people take advantage of that and create some really cool looking and/or great working UIs.

I personally use a lot of addons to customize my WOW experience, but they're not necessary. I recommend the following addons to most people:

  • FuBar
  • Bartender3
  • Pitbull
  • Quartz
  • Grid and/or PerfectRaid
  • Omen
  • Atlast + AtlasLoot
  • some bag enhancement (vBagnon is my favorite)

This list is about 30% of the addons I'm using, but addon use an UI modification is a very personal endeavor. Usually, I just encourage people to play with the addons and see if they do in fact help.

As for required, the only addon any guild I've been a member of in the past has required is Guild Calendar for raid scheduling. You can check it out and download it from World of Warcraft Addons: GroupCalendar | World of Warcraft @ Curse

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Our raid leaders require us to have:

-Threat meter (In the process of migrating to Omen from KTM)

-A boss mod (Deadly Boss Mods, Big Wigs, etc. I run both, personall)

-CTRA or oRA

We highly recommend DPS classes use SW-Stats and I've been using Recount on the side for some time, as well as WWS. Beyond that there really isn't much that is required. Granted some classes have specific mods they would like everyone to use, but some people like the above minimum 3 and others have 50+ mods or more!

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Enforcing mandatory addon usage is typically more about two things:

Addons like Omen/Threat that require a player run the addon for *other* people to be able to use them.

Addons like BigWigs that remove the "I didn't know that was going to happen" excuse.

And yes, in these cases, making them mandatory is usually very helpful.

Are mods necessary? Technically? No. But have fun doing TBC raid content without them.

Are they helpful? Generally, yes.

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A threat meter is probably the most important part of any required mod list. Dont get me wrong I use a lot of mods. Most though do not make me a better player just make some things easier on the eyes and others maybe a little easier.

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A threat meter is probably the most important part of any required mod list. Dont get me wrong I use a lot of mods. Most though do not make me a better player just make some things easier on the eyes and others maybe a little easier.

I would be inclined do disagree. Threat Meters can be completely replaced with skill. If you're good you shouldn't need a meter to know how much threat you put out, it's just a little harder.

By far the most important thing to a raid addon-wise is some sort of management addon (oRA CTRaid etc.) Mainly because it provides functionality that is non-existent or lacking in blizzard's UI. Some would argue that bossmods are more important, and I would be inclined to agree on new content, but on farm content where you already know the fight they loose their real usefulness, while raid addons do not.

As far as recommended addons:

Grid (very nice compact raid frames)

oRA

BigWigs

Omen

SWStats (Recount is still very off at times, and is still kind of buggy)

That's all you really should 'have' to run. Everything else is really play style.

I do run a few other addons worth note:

Pitbull (VERY nice unitframes, very customizable)

fubar

bongos (or bartender3 or any of the bar mods, they're all just about the same).

ArcHUD (very nifty for melee dps, no need to take your eyes off the middle of the screen)

SCT and SCTD (same reason as above).

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I think you'd have much better luck if you broke it down by class. As a dps class you really don't need grid unless you're a puller. In that case, it can be replaced by XRS which is much smaller and still gives you the information you need, healer mana, # of people dead, etc. Classes who don't benefit from stopcasting macros, rogues/warriors not using slam, probably don't need quartz at all. Pitbull is something I use, but it's huge and does a lot. I think you should determine which parts of it you want required, and give people an option to getting others that perform the same function with less overhead. The only thing that really comes to mind right now is the focus target.

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I would be inclined do disagree. Threat Meters can be completely replaced with skill. If you're good you shouldn't need a meter to know how much threat you put out, it's just a little harder.

And I would be inclined to disagree with this view, as the number of threat sensitive encounters in the game has, if I'm not mistaken, gone up significantly. Rather than having to verbalize every crit or miss string dps/tanks might have, you have that info present to everyone simultaneously. People still need to speak up from time to time, but it keeps chatter down a bit.

Personally, as a raider and ocassional raid leader, I prefer if people at least have similar mods to those suggested;

KTM or Omen (my guild is also making this swap)

CTRA or ORA

A boss mod package (most of my crew run DBM or Bigwigs)

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We've transitioned fully to Omen, and it's been a good switch.

Personally, I disagree with the need for threat meters altogether, but it doesn't phase me - I run Omen hidden in the background, and everyone else can do what they so please with the data.

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Personally, I disagree with the need for threat meters altogether, but it doesn't phase me - I run Omen hidden in the background, and everyone else can do what they so please with the data.

Is that your stance as a GM or as the MT? As a MT, sure it's easy to say you don't need a threat meter as everyone needs to fall in line with your threat, but you can still use threat meters to measure your performance in generating threat (TPS) or perhaps yell at the mage creeping dangerously close to back off before he actually gets aggro.

For the rest of the raid... How about the fights where the OT needs to stay #2 and the DPS is expected to stay below the OT? fights where warlocks or hunters tank who have different aggro rates? or classes like fury warriors, enhancement shaman, or elemental shaman that are burst heavy and lack aggro dumps yet have to maximize their DPS to justify a raid spot? or adjusting your DPS depending on whether or not you have BoS and/or tranquil air (yes, sometimes you lose those buffs mid-fight)?

As for the 'required' mods you listed:

- Omen

- Recount

- Quartz

- PitBull

- Grid

- VisualHeal

The only mod I can see worth enforcing is Omen (or KTM) just so the raid can get accurate data.

VisualHeal is only helpful if the healers buy into it and make some use of it. I think we used a similar mod for learning Patchwerk, but have since discarded it.

Recount is a little to heavy to require. Some peoples machines can't handle it unless they have it set to clear the data immediately. Meters are helpful, but not everyone in the raid needs to run one.

As for Quartz/Pitbull/Grid, unless you have a specific use in mind for your guild for each mod, these mods are largely preferential. Any (even Blizz default) cast bar, player/target/focus/raid frames will do. (I do suggest that people use a unit frame that at least shows the focus target - something the default Blizzard UI doesn't do).

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We've transitioned fully to Omen, and it's been a good switch.

Personally, I disagree with the need for threat meters altogether, but it doesn't phase me - I run Omen hidden in the background, and everyone else can do what they so please with the data.

I'm going to guess that you're the tank =P

For dps, especially melee dps, a threat meter is a must-have. Sure you can get by with a gut-feeling, but with a threat meter you can push the envelope to the very edge of aggro. Omen is my meter of choice here. Our guild has made the shift to it and it works great.

For boss mods either BigWigs or Deadly, from what I understand Deadly is more complete as far as high-end encounters go, but then again I haven't used BigWigs and most of the population isn't on the very high-end stuff.

For healers I'd definitely say Grid. After it's all set up to be purdy it's amazingly efficient.

The rest of the mods really boil down to personal choice. Sure things will help, but nothing is make or break.

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As for the 'required' mods you listed:

The only mod I can see worth enforcing is Omen (or KTM) just so the raid can get accurate data.

VisualHeal is only helpful if the healers buy into it and make some use of it. I think we used a similar mod for learning Patchwerk, but have since discarded it.

Recount is a little to heavy to require. Some peoples machines can't handle it unless they have it set to clear the data immediately. Meters are helpful, but not everyone in the raid needs to run one.

As for Quartz/Pitbull/Grid, unless you have a specific use in mind for your guild for each mod, these mods are largely preferential. Any (even Blizz default) cast bar, player/target/focus/raid frames will do. (I do suggest that people use a unit frame that at least shows the focus target - something the default Blizzard UI doesn't do).

These mods are not 'required' - they're strong mods for people who choose to use them. I encourage people who choose to install addons to use ones that are well-developed, updated frequently, and preferably Ace'd.

As far as my stance on Omen (or KTM), it's just my opinion as a player. I don't force it on anyone - and, like I said, I run it hidden for anyone who desires access to that data.

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We require the following:

KTM (for DPSers and tanks) - Will be migrating to Omen

Deadly Boss Mods

CTRA/oRA2

Threat meters are new for our guild with TBC. And I can say that they have improved the performance of our DPS tremendously. It's invaluable to know how hard you can DPS without pulling aggro. Some people are good at knowing this inately, but others have trouble and the mod helps.

DBM is there because it's just sooo helpful on boss fights if people don't have to rely on the RL to tell them they are too close to someone or that they need to move because the boss is going to do X ability.

And finally, we like to spy on people. =P Seriously though, it's extremely useful for me (or the other leaders) to know which Druid has their crez up, or which pally has DI ready in a wipe scenario, etc. Just good info to have, so it's worth getting everyone to get one of those mods. Plus we can check resistances on tanks for certain fights and all that other cool stuff CTRA/oRA does.

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Speaking of class roles where I have some experience, it is *very* helpful for your

Tanks to have KTM/Omen to monitor threat output, Deadly Boss Mods/BigWigs to watch for environmental changes, and OmniCC or other cooldown moitor to manage threat and debuff cycles..

Mages to have KTM/Omen to watch threat output, DBM/BigWigs for environmental changes, and Quartz for increased dps.

Any of those mods can be replaced with a sufficient amount of player skill, knowledge, and godlike reflexes. I don't have adequate amounts of any, and they help me improve my effective skill level.

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These mods are not 'required' - they're strong mods for people who choose to use them. I encourage people who choose to install addons to use ones that are well-developed, updated frequently, and preferably Ace'd.

As far as my stance on Omen (or KTM), it's just my opinion as a player. I don't force it on anyone - and, like I said, I run it hidden for anyone who desires access to that data.

Not an offense to you at all, but looking at your guild site, you've only just finished karazhan. I agree, that in kara, threat meters are mostly silly. But if you dont have threat meters in gruul, and later encounters, you're gonna see your melee dps either "get destroyed", or "not be able to dps". You are just not going to be able to beat enrage timers with that sort of attitude. There is no way the dps team can know when you suddenly get a bunch of misses, it has nothing to do with skill.

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Not an offense to you at all, but looking at your guild site, you've only just finished karazhan. I agree, that in kara, threat meters are mostly silly. But if you dont have threat meters in gruul, and later encounters, you're gonna see your melee dps either "get destroyed", or "not be able to dps". You are just not going to be able to beat enrage timers with that sort of attitude. There is no way the dps team can know when you suddenly get a bunch of misses, it has nothing to do with skill.

I'm getting to a point where I'm repeating myself here, but I'll say it again:

I do not like threat meters. I do, however, use them. I have Omen installed and running. I choose to run it hidden.

Anyone who feels they are able to play better by using a threat meter as a tool should continue to do so. People who don't like them should use them, in fact - their usefulness is limited by whether or not data is being collected by all raid members. With that said, not everyone will elect to base their playstyle around what the threat meter tells them, and they should not be penalized for that decision.

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From a personal perspective, three types of mods pretty basic for raiding:

-Threat Meter

-Boss Mod/Timer

-Raid UI

All three of these addons are more or less useful to everyone in the raid. They serve the primary purpose of displaying and relaying the most basic, yet pertinent information. Anything else beyond those three is pretty much additional customization with an eye to individual user needs and class roles.

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-Boss Mod/Timer

This appears to be pretty much a point of consensus.

What boss mods are people using? Is DBM/La Vendetta performing better than BigWigs? I'd prefer to be on BigWigs (<3 Ace), but I'm looking for any insight/wisdom here.

(Apologies, we're getting a little off-topic here, aren't we?)

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DBM (was La Vendetta) and Big Wigs are pretty much the same, just Big Wigs is Aced and DBM is not.

I disagree that a raid interace like CTRA/oRA is necessary if you are not a healer/puller.

A Boss Mod addon should be required, however a threat meter isn't necessary for healers, they should not be close to getting aggro.

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Required:

DeadlyBossMods or BigWigs

Omen

Recommended:

Grid(for healers)

Recount/Violation/DamageMeters/SWStats(for DPS)

PallyPower(for Paladins)

Maybe a DoT Timer mod of any sort for Warlocks, Warriors, and Paladins

Those are all I consider the "must have" mods. Anything else is mostly cosmetic.

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I'd have to say that some MODs really are very helpful end-game. maybe not for everyone, but for those that are not as aware of the encounter it can greatly increase your raids success rate. DBM and those like it are great and make managing boss special abilities so much easier, necessary - no, helpfull - very.

As a healer I find the Blizzard UI very poor and clunky. Hell, even using MODS a healer UI is still going to be pretty messy in most cases, for me though, since I have to be able to view lots of information at once and like to have it as compact as possible I strongly suggest GRID. By compacting my Raid Unit Frams into grid and customizing it to show the info I want it frees up the rest of my screen so I can actually see whats going on.

Here is my current UI taken a few days ago, I'm running:

CT (Mail/Map/Viewport)

Perl Classic Unit Frames

GRID + GRIDSTATUS +HOTS

KTM

DBM

CTRaid

Bongos (best keybinding action bar mod I have found)

EnemyCastBar

CoolDown2

ps..before you check out the link, know that i have just about all my healing/damage spells keybound and hidden...not only am I not a "clicker" but I dont even keep my spells visable....good thing my guildmates trust me :-)

sswb7.th.jpg

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I'm getting to a point where I'm repeating myself here, but I'll say it again:

I do not like threat meters. I do, however, use them. I have Omen installed and running. I choose to run it hidden.

Anyone who feels they are able to play better by using a threat meter as a tool should continue to do so. People who don't like them should use them, in fact - their usefulness is limited by whether or not data is being collected by all raid members. With that said, not everyone will elect to base their playstyle around what the threat meter tells them, and they should not be penalized for that decision.

Im commenting on your disagreement for the need for threat meters at all in your first post. You are wrong about it, end game, they are very needed. And if you want to progress quicker(assuming from your statements that you are the raid leader) you should be enforcing them. And you yourself should have it up so you are aware of your own tps, and be ready for if/when people pull.

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I have a question: Several of you are mentioning raid assist addons (CTRA, ORA). What features do you regularly use from them?

Previously, they were a requirement in our guild due to the MT/MA windows, but we've been moving away from the since Blizzard has integrated many of the essental features into the default UI. Are there some other benefits that I've forgotten about that would push these mods back into the realm of "required"?

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I'm getting to a point where I'm repeating myself here, but I'll say it again:

I do not like threat meters. I do, however, use them. I have Omen installed and running. I choose to run it hidden.

Anyone who feels they are able to play better by using a threat meter as a tool should continue to do so. People who don't like them should use them, in fact - their usefulness is limited by whether or not data is being collected by all raid members. With that said, not everyone will elect to base their playstyle around what the threat meter tells them, and they should not be penalized for that decision.

Whether you personally like it or not isn't the point. People are penalized if they aren't using a threat meter by the inherent nature of Threat in this game. And as others have mentioned, it's not always just a minor penalty of a little less DPS. If your rogue is 2nd in threat behind the MT on Gruul, they just died and likely killed a few others off as well. If your mage pulls aggro, they just wiped the Raid.

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Information that not provided by default UI:

oRa2 (MT frames and targets, player targets, raid-wide durability checks, raid-wide reagent checks, rebirth/soulstone cooldowns, invite keyword, guild-invite, auto-promote, auto-loot-treshold, ressurection monitor)

BigWigs (boss timers and warnings)

KTM/Omen (threat information)

Information that is provided but in a badly readable and annoying way:

Grid / PerfectRaid

Gridstatus Missing Buffs

Quartz

A class-specific timer addon for your totems/DOTs/HOTs/whatever durations.

Stuff that is not really necessary but is nice to have:

Prat (because the default chat is awful)

ArkInventory (sorting my inventory is so 2005)

Postman (the default mailbox is awful, too)

Closetgnome/Outfitter/Itemrack (now where was that second healing ring again...?)

Pitbull/Nurfed/Xpearl/whatever unit frames (is it me or are the default ones _really_ tiny?)

Bartender3/Nurfed/whatever action bars (better range and cooldown display)

pDebufflist/Debufffilter (if you want to know if that curse of shadows is really on that boss)

Parrot/SCT/MSBT (the default SCT is pretty spammy when it involves shadow priests)

Everything else is extra. :)

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