Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Loving Ode to the Bestest Addon Ever: mRunes

Okay, I'll admit: I'm a horrible, horrible interface whore.

There, I said it. It probably has something to do with my Linux background, but it carries over in force into my WoW interface as well.

Many of my guildies live nearby and we often get together for raids or just to hang out. It just so happens that all of these guildies use what is essentially the vanilla interface of WoW.

How is this usable?!
*shudders* (Needless to say, none of them have a Death Knight as a main.)

The last time Kai came over, she took once glance at my screen during the raid and said "I don't think you and I play the same game!"

That made me giggle. (You're awesome Kai!)

A rune mod is almost essential in Cataclysm, and despite my hemming and hawing and general complaining about complexity, overall I enjoy the rune system's micro-game. But not with the default interface. The default interface simply isn't anywhere near as feature complete or as effective as the simplest of rune tracking addons out there.

With the coming debut of Mists of Pandaria, I rather expect that rune addons will be completely mandatory.

My first rune tracking addon ever was Doc's Debug Runes. It was simple and effective, but it always felt a bit out of place and inflexible. So, I started my exploration of rune tracking mods, wading through the dense and murky jungles of Curse's database. Eventually I came across MagicRunes, which fit much better with my ideals for a rune tracking system than any of the competition I had come across.

But MagicRunes still wasn't perfect. It had some weird bugs (especially if you wanted to use the icon-based interface or rearrange the default bar interface into something not a stack!), its configuration was clunky, and it was a bit bloated considering how little the addon was really doing.

Well, I continued looking, but since 4.1 I never found anything that could exceed it.


*Cue dramatic music*

Well, recently I've completely revamped my interface to some rather stunning results. In the end, the only glaring flaw with my beautiful interface was freaking MagicRunes. Before, it was clunky. Now, it was grating. I resumed my search in frantic earnest. 

My sadly imperfect interface- close but no cigar! 
I immediately eliminated several rune tracking addons from contention that looked to be abandoned or in a state of disrepair- I have no interest in figuring out an addon only to have something I rely on going the way of the Dodo in a few months.

Eventually, I came across a tiny little addon with a handful of downloads and a few 'favorites' on Curse. The thing that struck me as interesting was the disparate number of favorites to downloads- compared to others this addon is well loved. The addon's name is mRunes.

Well, I decided to give it a shot Tuesday (raid) night.

This is the best representation of my reaction I can give you

Let us cut to the chase. 

The default skin for mRunes

1) This addon is PRETTY! The animations are smooth and simple, and the bars have a simple texture that not only doesn't distract, it fits perfectly. You really need to install and use the addon a bit to fully appreciate its beauty!

2) This addon is ELEGANT! It feeds you tons of useful information without feeling as though that information is crammed down your throat. Really, it gives you what you need when you need it, and stays out of the way the rest of the time.

3) This addon has UTILITY! It has the capability to track (almost) everything necessary to play your DK to its full potential, and displays that information in a truly useful, easy to digest manner.

4) This addon is LIGHTWEIGHT! It clocks in at under 1/2 of the resource usage of MagicRunes, and is modular to boot: allowing you to enable or disable as many trackers as you feel you need.

5) This addon is CONFIGURABLE and FLEXIBLE! I really liked the packaging "out of the box", but I thought the runebars could benefit from some size changes and slight separation- whamo, five mouse clicks and a few integers entered in through the configuration utility ( /mr ) later, and it was done how I wanted it!
My end result of pure unadulterated happiness!
Mangeg of Curse- my hat helm is off to you. Your hard work creating and maintaining this amazing mod is truly appreciated!


Anonymous said...

Oh man. That is hilarious. My screen UI looks very very very similar to yours. There are some screenshots in my Shared Topic post.

But I'm still using DDR, and I looked at those pictures of mrunes and now I'm checking whether the servers are up.


(I feel like my DK is the main reason I ever touch my UI at all)

Kalc said...

WOW they are similar! That is either hilarious happenstance, or we're on to something.
I really like the efficiency of the layout: I can stare at any element of my UI while being able to track the rest of it with my peripheral vision and watch my character all at the same time.