Back to the Drawing Board...

Back when I started leading raids for RLH, I started looking into addons to help me be more efficient at it. I discovered a bunch of addons for sending out healing assignments. After playing with quite a few, I've decided that Drawing Board is the best option. While many of the addons allow you to set up healing assignments, Drawing Board lets you make any sort of custom assignment you want using its simple drag and drop system.

Here you can see the Drawing Board with some assignments set up.

When you are in a raid and open Drawing Board, you will get a blank board with tabs on the right side for each member of the raid. At the bottom left, there are tabs for the various raid marks. You just drag the different tabs from the sides of the board in and connect them together however you want. Aside from just having the names of raid members and the raid marks, there is an option for custom assignments down in the bottom right of the board. This option allows you to type things in to make little tabs like "heal" and "bubble everything" like you see in the screenshots.

The pop-up box to enter in text for your custom tabs.

When you create custom tabs, they will show up at the bottom between the raid marks and the custom assign button. Once you've made your custom tabs, you can drag them around connecting them to various people. If you need to switch who is healing who or replace someone, you just drag around the tabs. This is far easier than most of the assignment addons that make you delete the old name and type in the new one each time.

Another handy feature of Drawing Board is that is saves your boards. You can create numerous boards using the new board button in the top left. You can access the different boards via the tabs just under the new board button. This is great because if you run with the same people most of the time, you can have one board all ready with the assignments for the group you run with and you can have other boards for when you run with other people.

Once you have everything laid out on the board how you want, you can just click the broadcast board button up top and it will post all the assignments in raid chat.

You can see some of the assignments displayed in the chat window in the bottom left of the screenshot.

If you are co-leading with someone else and they have Drawing Board, you can even share your board with them and they can make changes. This would be handy for the times when you want a second opinion, you could just share the board instead of having to type it all out in a whisper.

I've only had the chance to play with Drawing Board on downtime during raids, so I'm sure there are other features I haven't found yet. So far, I think this addon is full of win for making a raid leader's job easier.

Collect Me (come on, it's the name of the addon!)

For anyone who collects companion pets and wants an easy way to show them off without any extra thought or effort, Collect Me is a handy addon. It gives you several ways to summon a companion. You can opt to have a button on your screen that you can click to summon a random pet. If you have an already full UI, you can choose to have Collect Me automatically summon a pet when you begin to move forward. With this option, you'll never be caught without one of your companions. Even better yet, you can set it to not summon certain pets at all or to summon some pets more often than others.

Here you can see the sliders to adjust the randomization for each companion pet.

The addon will also make a list of companions you don't have yet. You can mouse over any pet on the list and it will show you where the pet can be obtained. It can also generate a similar listing to help in collecting mounts. You can apply filters to these lists that will remove pets/mounts that are no longer attainable or attainable through certain means such as the card game codes. You can also remove individual pets from the list if you don't want them for one reason or another.

The Collect Me button in the bottom right of your normal companion tab. Here you can see the listing of needed pets.

That's it for this entry, a simple post for a simple but handy addon.

Factions of Northrend at a Glance

Blizzard made some great changes to factions in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. It's no longer required to grind faction in specific instances to get enough repuation to buy items from their respective quartermasters. Instead Blizzard implemented a system where you buy a tabbard for the faction and gain rep from running dungeons while wearing the tabbard. This works for all level 80 dungeons (Occulus, Caverns of Time, Utgarde Pinnacle, and Halls of Lightning) as well as all heroic dungeons. So where do we buy these elusive tabbards? They can be purchased for 1 gold from the respective faction quartermasters, however, you must obtain friendly status with the faction first. You can also gain faction from doing daily and non-daily quests as well as completing the daily dungeon quest available in Dalaran. The reward for completion of this quest is your choice of a faction specific commendation token which earns you reputation.

The following is some information for those of you just starting out in building reputation with the Northrend factions.

Argent Crusade
Primary base with quartermaster is located at the Argent Vangaurd in Icecrown.
There are two daily quests which can be used to build reputation with the faction: and
There are numerous non-daily quests through out Howling Fjord, Dragonblight, Zul'Drak, and Icecrown.
The Argent Crusade quartermaster sells a head enchant to those Revered with their faction. This head enchant gives +37 stamina and +20 defense.

Kirin Tor
Primary base with quartermaster is located in the Violet Citadel in Dalaran (look for the giant staircase in the corner of Dalaran, you can't miss it!)
Reputation can be earned by doing the daily fishing, cooking, jewelcrafting and the two daily dungeon quests (regular and heroic).
Non-daily quests can be found in Borean Tundra, Coldarra, Dragonblight and Dalaran.
The Kirin Tor quartermaster also offers a head enchant at revered. This enchant provides +30 spellpower and +20 crit rating.

Knights of the Ebon Blade
You can find their quartermaster at the Shadow Vault in Icecrown, but there is a catch! If you are not a Death Knight, you must complete the quest chain that begins with in order to phase the vault to where you will have merchants, flight paths and such accessible (that means you have to do the chain to get the quartermaster to buy the tabbard!)
The Ebon Blade have 3 daily quests available at the Shadow Vault and 2 more at Death's Rise.
Zul'Drak and Icecrown each offer several quest hubs with non-daily Ebon Blade quests.
Like the other factions, the Ebon Blade offers a head enchant which gives +50 attack power and +20 crit rating.

Wyrmrest Accord
At the very top of the Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight, you will find the quartermaster for the Wyrmrest Accord.
Two dailies can be found in Coldarra along with one in Dragonblight.
Various non-daily quests can be picked up at the Temple in Dragonblight.
Wyrmrest's head enchant offers +30 spellpower and +8mp5.

My name is Erzy and I'm an Altoholic...

Hi, my name is Erzy and I'm an altoholic. Not only do I have numerous alts that I play, but I also have two bank alts. Each bank alt even has her own guild vault to store items in (ok, so I share them with Sabi, but I'm the one moving stuff in and out on a regular basis, he just benefits from all my work).

Have you ever been playing on one alt when a guild mate asks you to link the crafting book of another? Have you ever spent 20 minutes hopping from alt to alt looking for that one more eternal fire you know you have but just can't find? Ever wonder if that BOE is an upgrade for an alt? I used to have to hop from one toon to another far too often just looking for basic information. Then I found Altoholic.

My consumable crafter, Leonette, checking the buff food stockpile in one of my guild vaults using Altoholic. (Click the screenshots to see them larger)

This addon collects useful information for each of your alts and makes it accessible from any toon at any time. All you have to do is download and install it. Log on to each alt and open crafting books, banks and guild vaults. It scans them all and collects the information automatically. From then on, you can just open the Altoholic window (either through a minimap launcher or through a LibDataBroker plug-in which is included in the addon...wohoo) and look at the skills, bags, banks, gear and more for each character. Everytime you go to your guild vault, tradeskill book and so on, Altoholic updates its information. The next time someone asks for your jewel crafting link when you're out doing dailies on your alchemist, you just open Altoholic, select the correct alt from the list and voila, you are able to link an up-to-date jewel crafting book without having to stop questing and log over.

Leonette linking Erzbet's jewel crafting to the /s chat channel.

It just keeps getting better from there. Altoholic can communicate with other guild members who are using it. The benefit of that is you no longer have to ask for links to people's tradeskill books if they are also using Altoholic. You just click the guild members tab, scroll down the list and find the book you want. It will also update the guild vault information based on other guild members' data keeping the information even more accurate and up-to-date.

Leonette is looking through Moonshine's enchanting book while Moonshine is offline thanks to Altoholic.

There is so much more that this addon tracks for you so read the "features" section on the Curse page linked above for a more detailed list. If you're sick and tired of all the toon hopping, get Altoholic and give it a try.

Erzy Rants...

I've been noticing a pattern lately. Everytime it comes up in conversation that I play WoW, I end up having to hear someone tell a story of person they know who became addicted to WoW.

If I told you that I'm a homebrewer, would your first response be to tell me the story of your uncle who is an alcoholic? I think not. So why is it that I need to hear about your friend Bob who wasted his life away playing a game?

Not everyone who plays WoW is addicted. I am not your friend Bob. I am a unique individual. Don't judge me based on stereotypes.

libDataBroker (since Erzy talks about it a lot)

First off, welcome to anyone from RLH who finds their way over here. Now, on to the blog:

I've been talking about a WoW addon called libDataBroker a lot lately. When my Fubar plug-ins started to become more and more scarce, I found out that the authors were switching to libDataBroker. After a bit of research, I quickly switched and haven't looked back since. This blog post is intended to give people a simple explanation of what libDataBroker is and how to use its compatible display addons and plug-ins.

I guess I should get things straight from the beginning. LibDataBroker is an addon library not an addon. In basic terms, an addon library allows different addons to communicate or exchange data with eachother. In technical terms, well, you'd have to ask someone who knows a lot more about coding than I do to get a good explanation on that one. There are many different addon libraries out there that all do different functions. One common example would be libHealComm which allows the different healing addons (VuhDo, Healbot, Grid) to pass information back and forth. Without libHealComm, healers in a raid would all need to use the same addon in order to see eachother's incoming heals and other handy features. Thank goodness for addon libraries giving us freedom of choice.

libDataBroker plug-ins being displayed with the Fortress addon are the three lines of black bars at the top center, two lines of black bars at the bottom right, and the single bar above the chat window. (Click screenshots to see them larger.)

Now that we know what LDB (libDataBroker) is, what does it do? Most everyone is familiar with Fubar and/or TitanPanel. Both are great addons that allow compatible plug-ins (things like xpFu, guildFu, etc) to display useful information through a display addon (either Fubar or TitanPanel). The downside to both is that you have to use specific plug-ins with specific display addons. TitanPanel plug-ins don't work with Fubar and Fubar plug-ins don't work with TitanPanel. Like libHealComm, LDB gives us the freedom to choose. We can choose which plug-ins and which display addons we want to use. Plug-ins are also generally more light weight because they only need to be compatible with LDB not with each possible display addon. Wohoo for using less memory while running more addons! Many addon authors have even converted their launchers (those annoying buttons that clutter your minimap) to work with LDB. Yes, that's right folks, it's time to unclutter your minimaps. You can even pick one display method to handle the data feeds and another to handle the launcher buttons. Hooray for more options. That's the whole point of LDB, to have more options and flexibility while making the addons themselves more stable and light weight.

My launchers being displayed in a drop-down menu from the LauncherMenu addon. Note the clean minimap in the top right.

Here are some links to download LDB display addons and plug-ins:

Start off at Tekkub's page. He's got a good listing of display addons there along with a good start at data feed plug-ins:

Next stop, WoWInterface:

And two from Curse:

Of course, a few from WoWAce:

If you want to go out searching for more addons, some keywords to search for would be: broker, statblock, and pico along with the obvious ldb and libDataBroker.

Once you've found some plug-ins you want to use, make sure you've downloaded and installed at least one display addon (Tekkub has a nice list of those on his page that I linked to above). For those of you using TitanPanel, if you've got an up-to-date version, they've added LDB, so you can continue to use TitanPanel with these nifty new LDB plug-ins. Once you've got your plug-ins and display addon(s) installed, you're ready to log in to WoW and start setting things up in game. Configuration will be similar to Fubar and TitanPanel. Some of the more complex plug-ins will have their own configuration menus along side the display addon's configuration menu while the simpler plug-ins will just be in the display addon's configuration menu.

My reference sources while writing this blog:
and a fair amount of playing with different LDB plug-ins and displays.