Addons are one of those things that many say is crucial in PvE to perform well. I kind of agree. PvE is more focused on doing max DPS and killing bosses. It’s almost impossible to do max DPS without addons because the standard Blizzard UI doesn’t provide you with the information you need.
People use addons for a lot of different things and there are different opinions of what addons should and should not do. I do not think addons should play the game for you. I absolutely believe that addons such as Ovale should not be used. They are basically telling you what spell you should use at any given time. That is pushing it too far in my opinion.
I will go through good addons one can use in PvE. Do note that this is intended for all classes so I am going to try to stay away from mentioning very class specific addons. I will also give you some tips on where I believe you should position your addons.
Tukui is an extreme light-weight user interface for World of Warcraft dedicated to replace Blizzard default UI. A single addon, complete package, minimalistic look, pixel perfect, fit automatically to your resolution and uses approx 1 mb memory according to your settings.
Tukui is a great addon. It uses very little memory and looks nice. I would not recommend this package to people who aren’t knowledgable with lua or other programming languages because a lot of things are changed directly in the addon files instead of in-game.
This is a complete user interface replacement. It’s minimalistic, highly configurable, and fully featured.
ElvUI is an extremely popular UI replacement addon, probably the most popular out there. ElvUI used to be an edit to Tukui but is now a standalone UI package. What makes ElvUI so popular is that it has the same feel and look of Tukui while being user friendly and customizable. Unlike Tukui, you can change most of ElvUI’s appearance in-game.
Unlike Tukui and ElvUI, Pitbull just reskins your unit frames. It comes with thousands of options and is highly customizable. But with this comes slightly more memory usage but it shouldn’t be a problem for any computer that can run WoW.
VuhDo is a raid monitor similar to CTRaidAssist or Blizzards built-in raid frames. Basically this is about displaying the health of raid members in form of clearly arranged bars. VuhDo is primarily directed to healing classes, but will make use to almost any other class. Moreover several healing spells or other actions can be asserted to mouse clicks on those bars (Click-Heal).
Highly customizable. It is a bit tough getting the frames exactly like you want but if you spend time configuring it, Vuhdo is the best. It is faster, has most functionality and doesn’t take much resources.
Grid is a party/raid unit frame addon. The compact grid of units lets you select a group member quickly, while retaining a good overview of the whole group. Its aim is to display as much information as possible without overloading the user. It allows you to customize what information you see, and how that information is displayed.
Grid is a perfectly fine addon. It is probably the most popular among healers.
The new frames provided by Blizzard are perfectly fine. If you want to use as few addons as possible, I recommend using this. It provides all the information you need when in a raid. Many people hate on Blizzard’s frames but I do not understand why.
ForteXorcist is a powerful AddOn for Raiders. Mainly targeted at Warlocks.
Tracks your all your information in the form of progress bars. It is mainly targeted to DoT classes such as Warlocks, Boomkins and Shadow Priests but can be used by any class. It comes with a plethora of options and modules. The options menu can be a bit tricky to figure out but overall it is a nice addon if you have the time to set it up.
This addon was created to provide visual cues (auras) when you gain buffs, debuffs and many more. Very useful for shorts buffs or debuffs, it allows you to draw in the center of the screen, or around your character, very customizable visual effects, rather than having to look at or mouseover buff/debuff icons/actionbars.
Power Auras is very useful in raids and it provides you a nice way to track your buffs, debuff and cooldowns. The great thing about Power Auras is that you get to decide how you want your buffs, debuffs and cooldowns to show. Whether that be in form of icons, bars or self-made textures.
WeakAuras is a powerful and flexible framework that allows you to display highly customizable graphics on your screen to indicate buffs, debuffs, and a whole host of similar types of information.
Best in Slot. This is Power Auras on steoroids. This addon is so good. You can track any buff/debuff/cooldown in the entire game. You can also track ICDs if you want to and you can create timers which listen to combat log events. This addon does everything Power Auras does and more. On top of that, it does it faster.
I personally use WeakAuras to track my DoTs on target and focus, my cooldowns and important raid debuffs, such as Hagara’s Frostflake or Ultraxion’s Fading Light.
Gnosis is a highly configurable castbar and single timer addon. Gnosis can show ticks of channeled spells, detect unintentional clipping while channeling and combine data of channeled spells to combat text addons (MSBT, SCT, Parrot). It also allows to create buff, debuff, and cooldown (spell, rune, item) timers with a similar set of options castbars have.
The only cast bar I can recommend for Shadow Priests. If you are serious about your play, get it. Quartz pales in comparison. I used to be against Gnosis because of its fade out time delay when a cast ended. It took like 0.3 sec before the cast bar faded out but the author has fixed that now. The only negative about Gnosis now is that it isn’t very customizable when it comes to appearance but this is the best cast bar addon you can get for now.
Quartz is a modular approach to a casting bar addon
Quartz is decent if you are just starting out. But once you can keep your DoTs up and can Mind Blast on cooldown you will want to clip Mind Flay properly. You can not do this with Quartz.
That’s it. There are definitely more addons out there which I have not mentioned but if you pick out one addon out of all categories I have listed you will be doing fine in raids.
Having good addons doesn’t do much for you if you don’t know how to position them. The standard Blizzard UI is quite horrible when it comes to positioning. It forces you to look at the top left corner to track health of your target, its buff and debuffs while you have to look at the bottom middle to track your own cooldowns and on top of that, the top right corner to track your own buffs and debuffs.
This can be made much easier. I recommend putting most of the things you want to track in the middle lower screen, a bit under your character. This allows you to track everything you want and still keep track of what is happening around you and by doing this you can dodge fire (the only thing you have to do in PvE).
Here is an example:
Notice how everything I track is right under my character. By doing this you can actually focus more on doing your job properly instead of having to look everywhere on your screen.
When you design your UI make sure you think about what you really need to see and what you do not need to see. Cluttering your screen with unecessary information will only draw your focus away from the important parts. But beware with minimalistic Uis. They often sacrifice a lot to keep it minimalistic. Try out different UIs and see how they work for you. Maybe you will notice something that you find useful for you. It took me quite some time to get the UI I have today and I really feel it is optimized for my play. By trying a lot of different UIs you will see what you like and what you don’t and from that you can try to make your own UI.
Due to popular demand, here is a link to my UI and my settings. I attached a readme file to help you make it work on your computer. This is an UI designed for my class specifically. It is not an UI designed for the public and you will probably have to change a lot to make it work for you so download it at your own risk.
Ariadne’s UI: http://www.gamefront.com/files/21460385/ariadneUI.rar
Thanks for reading,