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A Newbie Raider’s Guide: Addons & Programs

Raid Leaders often take for granted that everyone understands raiding like they do. What they forget is that “once upon a time”, they were just as ignorant…

    Player 25 has joined the raid.
    [Raid] [Raid Leader]: thx for coming. please log into vent, our vent info is …..
    [Raid] [Player 25]: is vent an addon?

The first time I ever joined a raid that used vent a similar discussion happened. I knew what Ventrilo (vent) was, but I didn’t really know or understand how to use it. I hadn’t even downloaded it. Several people expressed their disgust and attempted to explain Gruul to me.

As a newbie raider it’s very important to find out what addons and programs are necessary and required for raiding. Each guild handles it differently, so find out what they want. Here’s a list of things to consider.

Communication Software


WoW's ingame communication software technology

Anyone who has ever used WoW’s in-game voice channels knows it’s not very good. It works, but it often has it’s problems. Anyone who has ever used a separate voice communication software program knows that WoW’s in-game voice software SUCKS!!!

Almost every raiding guild will utilize either Ventrilo or TeamSpeak as their communication software. Find out which one they use and download it. If you are used to pugging raids, get both and you’ll be ready for either. Remember, you don’t have to have a mic unless you’re leading a raid. The important thing is to be able to hear.


Omen3 is a threat meter addon. Make sure you have this installed. I haven’t looked around for a long time, but there used to be at least a couple of other meters. Most everyone I know uses the current version of Omen which is Omen3. Make sure you spend some time learning how to use this as it can be a little confusing trying to learn during a fight.

Deadly Boss Mods and/or BigWigs

Deadly Boss Mods and BigWigs are addons for boss fights. They provide timers and announcements for when bosses utilize special abilities or enter new phases. These are critical addons that assist you in making adjustments in advance of those special abilities. If you don’t raid with at least one of these, you shouldn’t raid.


OK, this is really an optional addon, but I always get real tired of people asking to see the damage meters. Recount is one such damage meter. It records damage, dps, heals, overheals, hots, deaths, and a multitude of other items. It’s a great in-game tool.

Do the raid two favors! Favor #1: never post the meter to the raid, party, or guild. You look like an e-peening idiot when you do that. Let the officers do it if they so choose. It’s not a show-off tool, it’s a tool to help you improve.

Favor #2: never look at it during combat. I know some people that do and start to panic when their dps isn’t the highest. It’s at that time they start making stupid mistakes to try to stay on top. Best time to look at it during raid is after the fight if you aren’t interested in the loot. You can then switch it to see just that boss fight and see how well you did.

WoW Web Stats

Although Recount’s a pretty good in-game tool and I highly recommend you have it, I think that WoW Web Stats is a much better tool for after raids. It’s a little sleeker and you can even post it to your forums for review. However, unless you are paying for an account the reports will disappear after a couple of weeks. But then again, why would you need to hold on to any particular report longer than that?

Here’s a couple of examples as to what it looks like:

Unit Frames

There’s a lot of unit frame addons out there. Currently I favor X-Perl. Yes, I am a healer so it only makes sense to have everyone’s unit frames available to me so I can heal. But what gets me is the number of non-healers that don’t.

In my opinion every single raider should be able to see every single other raider’s health bar. Whether you do this by dragging out the standard raid group frames or utilizing a unit frame addon is immaterial to me. Knowing who’s taking damage and dying is just as important to tanks and dps as it is for healers. Why?

Tanks often can’t see everything in certain fights. It could be the boss is so large it fills his entire screen. It could be that 5 adds are stacked on top of each other and s/he cannot distinguish between them. So how does s/he know that a mob has gotten away? Health bars of course!

How does the dps know that healers are in trouble and need assistance pulling a mob off them? Can’t know that very well without seeing their health bars.

Do your raid a favor! Whether you use an addon or not, make sure you pull out every group’s health bar so you know what’s going on.

Other Addons

There are a multitude of other add-ons that may or may not be required by your guild. Some of these addons are CTRaid, Ora2, PallyPower, and Decursive just to name a few (the last two being more class specific). Find out what your guild requires, download them, and then make sure you know how to use them! If you don’t know where to find addons, then http://www.curse.com/ is a good place to start.

10 Responses

  1. good afternoon everyone.
    First, nice article. In particular wws is very very usefull for a raidleader to analyse some easy faults of your members. For example not enough hit rating and so on.

    So, when you must talk to someone about a problem, you can say ” see here and here and here ” and because of this facts we suppose that you have a problem with ” xy” .

    So you can discuss the matter with a member rather than argue with him about it.

    You mentioned that you use xperl. I have a problem to ararnge the group and raid frames horizontal instead of vertical as default. When i choose the aligment left or right, nothing change. Any ideas ?

  2. I wasn’t able to look at this last night. I’ll make sure to look at it when I get back from work today.

  3. Looked around and I don’t see a way to turn the frames themselves horizontal. I’ve stacked five groups side by side so they create a sort of square which works pretty good for me.

  4. hmm, ok thanks for your efforts. Hmm, then i must try it myself againg. The “problem” ist, i use a imac 24 and i dont want to have the groups on the left side of the screen because its a to large distance to my characters. Sounds crazy i know 😉
    I want to arange my two groupse vertical to have them right and left of my center minimap . Hmm, we will see if i figure out was is wrong

  5. Are you referring to the party group or the raid group boxes? The party boxes can be moved individually. The group boxes can as well, but I don’t think those can be moved from vertically to horizontally. I’ll do a post about my UI this weekend to show you how I have it set up. Viel glueck!

  6. Hi Ky,

    apart from the addons you suggest where I absolutely agree, I would recommend another healing specific one. Healbot. I know many people don’t like it and complain about it being a game-cracker, but after playing two different healing classes, my girlfriend’s druid and my new holy pally (^^), I cannot stress enough the huge improvement that this addon will suppose to long casting healing classes (e.g. chammys & pallys, above all), being able to pop up a quick beacon and heal like crazy on everyone with some health missing!

    Wouldn’t you recommend it?

    Cheers m8!

  7. Dankeschön 😉
    Maybe i will pen an article with screenshots on my blog to illustrate a litte bit better what i want and whats the problem is .

    And i try healbot and dont get along with it. May be i must give it more time, but im not in the mood at the moment to do that 😉

  8. @ Hashishin – Healbot is a fantastic addon for most people, but I was trying to keep this more raider generic than role specific. That said, I personally do not use Healbot as I have become too used to using X-Perl and mouseover macros. I have a good majority of my spells hotkeyed. I’ve found healbot to be somewhat buggy and Grid not to my liking.

    @ talarion – Wie finde ich dein Blog?

  9. So, as you wanted , my small little blog
    But its nothing special, just my two cents,

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