Wow Ace Review

August 24, 2006

The making of an addon

Filed under: PartyWatch, WoW — Thirsterhall @ 3:41 am

After looking over the various options out there for a unit frame addon nothing really quite works exactly as I want. That’s not to say there arn’t some really good unit frame addons out there. But that’s the thing with this type of addon. Everyone wants something just a little bit different and thus the end result is unit frame addons end up having a ton of options. While options are good they also have a price is performance. The perfect unit frame addon would work exactly as you wanted it to work by default without the need for any options at all. But since no two people can agree on what that is you get lots of options so you can tweak it to what you want and pay the price in performance.

After looking over some of Industrial’s code and the advent of the library system in Ace2 etc. I came to the realization that writing my own unitframe addon that does everything exactly as I wanted without the need for any built in options might not be that hard at all.

So I started work on laying out and coding my own custom unit frame addon, PartyWatch.

Upon reviewing the unit frame I’ve liked best over my time with WoW CastParty comes to mind. For those that havn’t used it, it created a small set of health/mana bars stacked on top of each other for each member of your party with your own health/mana being on the top of the stack. What I liked about it so much is it put everything I needed in once small concise location. I would place it in the center of my screen just below my chars feet and above a centered set of action buttons.

My layout for PartyWatch is below.

PartyWatch Initial sketch
There will be initially 7 units will be supported, target, player, pet, party1, party2, party3 and party4 show in the same order as above. The top space is reserved for targettarget to be added at a later date so for now ignore the top set of bars.

On the right will be click-able buff icons that will show actual buff/debuff needs not the buffs the unit has. IE instead of showing what buff the unit has on them only show the buffs you can cast that they don’t have or the ailments that you can cure they have. For this I plan to hook into CorkFu.  On the bottom I plan on adding the group needs that come from CorkFu.

The set of icons on the left will be flags such as resting, pvp, combat, party leader, loot master etc. I also plan on tying into squishy and adding flags for currently being healed, has agro etc.

The set of icons above the target frame and below the future targettarget frame will be the current buffs/debuffs on your target. The target frame will be special in this case in that it will have both a needs icon area and more standard buff/debuff bar.

As far as options go there won’t be many.  As I stated this is all about making the perfect unitframe addon for me.  Currently I only plan on having a lock option to lock/unlock the parent frame to alow moving the whole thing around.


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