Addons that I use or comparisons of others that I don’t.

How to set up Bigwigs

I’ll attempt a basic guide to setting up BigWigs for people who download it and still haven’t seen the usefulness of “emphasize.”

My basic UI

Type /bigwigs to bring up the configuration

Click Toggle Anchors and look through the options on left side to position bars where needed.

Here I’ve set up my bars/radar/notifications and clicked several “create test bars”

This is when everything is “emphasized” for certain abilities. Very important cause we’ll turn on certain things for “emphasize” a bit later.

Now click “bosses” in the configuration.

Now we’re going to set up individual alerts to draw even more attention to certain aspects of fights like Cats fixating on Mythic Kargath or Arcane debuffs on Mythic Twins.

Clicking the red arrow next to the ability brings up options. “Only when on me” and “Emphasize” are really important. Who cares if a cat is fixating on someone else? “Only when on me” is good for this. “Emphasize” and “pulse” it when available to make it impossible to ignore/tunnel through.

Twin Ogron Arcane Volatility On YOU! “Emphasize” that sucker so you get out of raid faster!


Removing the sound when a spell is not ready.

Spell Not Ready Casting Cancel Silence

That is not an addon, but actually files that will play in substitution of the default “fizzle” sounds.  They don’t install in the \Interface\AddOns folder but in the World of Warcraft\ folder so pay attention to the instructions.  Eliminate those unnecessary distracting noises so you concentrate on hearing the ones you need.

They no longer go into the World of Warcraft\Data folder, but directly into the World of Warcraft\ folder since 6.0.2.

Skada vs Recount vs client

I have completely stopped using dps meters in game.  Let’s delve into why and how it impacts my game.

Skada we all know is “like” Recount.  Skada takes total damage and divides it by total time in combat.  Simple enough.  It has most the options that Recount has after that point.  It appears that Skada is always lower on the almighty CPU usage.

Recount is the standard for most WoW users I suspect.  It doesn’t count dead time nor downtime.  If you notice you generally are higher on Recount than Skada.  My favorite example is the ret paladin who will pull 150k in an LFR with righteous fury then die.  Recount shows 150k yet Skada will be much, much lower since his dps dropped to zero after his death.

On to a more nefarious thought:  Both of these addons have to do all their calculations in between game frames.  That means before the next frame (think fps here) is drawn the calculations have to be completed.  Repeat, repeat, repeat…  This can affect fps.  I upload all my combat logs to so I finally adventured to using their client and uploading the live logs.  (AutoCombatLogger is excellent to turn on/off your combatlog automatically while client waits to upload them.)  When combat ends, the full advanced combat logs are available and processed ready to look at.  The game fps is higher now, plus is much easier to click through or share the link in game to the logs.

I encourage anyone who wants to get better at the game to upload combat logs.  When people ask me for help on encounters or rotations the first thing I ask is for combat log links.  My favorite saying, “Whatever it is I’ll find it.  The logs don’t lie.”  Comparing combat logs over a month time is really revealing in comparison to in game dps meters which are generally reset after a certain time/number of encounters.  I also encourage if you have the bandwidth to go into the network settings and select “Advanced Combat Logging.”  This gives more information than is even available to the in-game dps meters.

For example:  Advanced Combat Logging and uploading to showed a warrior tank who was sitting at max rage for minutes at a time.  Apparently he was just hitting rage builders and no consumers.  I pointed it out and he changed how he does things.  His survivbility went up along with his threat.  I ran into that tank in a flex pug I happened into.  You can get a long ways in this game without perfecting your game play.  I’m not sure outside of casts/buffs it’d have been that easy to spot with the in-game meters.  Maybe looking at logs presented with graphs/charts would help some of your raid members even if your’re as good as you can be?

Bartender4 vs Dominos vs Default Blizzard Action Bars.

I generally prefer the default Blizzard Action Bars because when you get into a vehicle it shows the energy or whatnot that Blizzard wanted you to see.  Bartender4 and Dominos are very popular and I suspect most people probably use one of them so I’ll explain the underlying difference between the two and how it can impact raiding.

Here are the crib notes for the 3 varieties of action bars:

The Blizzard default action bars are extremely large and take up a lot of valuable real estate on your screen, but since they’re designed by Blizzard they won’t break during reloads in combat and never need updating.  They also show exactly what Blizzard wanted you to see.

Bartender4 creates its own frames and keybinds to them.  This creates issues if the addon breaks due to a major patch since all your keybinds set up for custom Bartender 4 frames.

Dominos re-uses as much as possible from the Blizzard code so when the addon breaks all your keybinds are still bound to the default action bars and saved server-side.  Between Bartender4 and Dominos this is the best-selling point in my book.  There are reports of Dominos being easier on the almighty cpu usage since all it’s doing is moving Blizzard’s action buttons versus making new frames.

Bottom line:  In case of disconnect and you have to come into a fight IN COMBAT then default Blizzard action bars are best, dominos is next best, and bartender makes you a worthless raider since you can’t create new protected frames in combat.  As far as functionality I found that dominos and bartender4 are almost identical enough not to worry about anything.


Tradeskillmaster is the best gold making addon for World of Warcraft.  It does so much more than your normal auctioning addon.  It has a lot of modules and I’ll provide links to all the ones I use.

Tradeskillmaster  <– Required for all modules







Guild_Sorter (Unofficial addOn, but one I use with TSM)






Some videos I watched from Phat Lewts when I first set up TSM2:

Learn TSM 2 Guide: Part 1 – Groups

Learn TSM 2 Guide: Part 2 – Auctioning

Learn TSM 2 Guide: Part 3 – Crafting

Learn TSM 2 Guide: Part 4 – Mailing

Learn TSM 2 Guide: Part 5 – Shopping

Learn TSM 2 Guide: Part 6 – Warehousing

Controversially there’s an out of game program that downloads the AH info from Blizzard’s servers.  I use it so I don’t have to scan the AH, but some anti-virus programs pick it up as a “potential” virus.  I still use it and the authors give the reason why it’s labeled as such on their website.

TSM Application

How to set up the TSM App by Phat Lewts:

Installing and Setting up the TSM App

WoW’s taint system, addons, and why classic was so much easier.

There used to be a time in WoW’s history where one button could change to do everything you ever needed.  It could dispel on demand and target the person automatically, it could change depending on your ability cooldowns.   What you never see spoken in those we killed X boss 40 man videos…”with some people only using one or two buttons.”  Blizzard stopped allowing that with their “taint” system.

Probably few know about taint, but they probably know the effects of it:

  • Talent and glyphs won’t change.
  • Quest items on the Objectives tracker won’t work.
  • Random “[ADDON_ACTION_BLOCKED] AddOn” errors.
  • Raid frame issues in combat with people coming/going (targeting wrong people/missing frames/strata issues).

“When WoW starts executing lua code, the execution starts off ‘secure’, and able to run protected functions. Execution remains secure until it encounters ‘taint’ – which is an indicator that a function or object came from an untrusted (AddOn or /script) source. The basic idea is that execution becomes ‘tainted’ as soon as it reads tainted data or executes tainted code, and any data written by a tainted execution is itself tainted. Protected functions refuse to operate when called from an execution path that is not secure.” –

What that boils down to is if you can /reload and if something does work again then you “tainted” something previously.  I check for taint with my taintlog using “/console taintLog 1”.  Then I look for messages like action blocked or uidropdown.  I’ll use clique as an example.  It works perfectly until you bring up it’s setup.  Once you’ve done that you tainted the uidropdown global and everything starts downhill from there.  This is the message my taintlog shows after opening the clique setup menu (“/clique”).

You probably don’t realize it, but that UIDROPDOWN variable is called on any frame you have drop down menus.  Think right click drop downs or button drop downs.  That is a lot of frames that gets taint all because you decided to “/clique” without “/reload”.

Even the addons I use cause taint indirectly, but I know when they do it and I /reload afterwards.  Anytime you access the interface menu (Default is ESC > Interface) and have any addons it will taint the uidropdown global variable.  I get in the habit of /reload after I click the interface button and change anything.  I suggest you get in that habit too.

The addons I use not only perform a function, but outside of the interface menu don’t create taint issues.  I “/reload” every time I access the interface meu.