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Welcome to our first ever annual World of Warcraft Addon Awards. We’re going reflect back into 2012 and look at the biggest and brightest stars from the industrial WoW addon community. What better way to bring 2012 to a close WoW style then take a look and examine the best and brightest in our ever growing, ever evolving addon folder.

This has been a great year for World of Warcraft and some credit for that success lands squarely on the shoulders of the addon community. Addons are one of the features that sets WoW apart and the community played a big role in making that happen. WoW would not be as it is today without the hard work and dedication of the addon authors.

Their work and dedication is what our addon awards are all about. We’re here to showcase the best of the best in the past year, from the best overall addon to the best gold farming addon, our awards spotlight the true winners. While there are a lot of addons contending for top spot, our choices reflect the best of the best.

We look for addons that are popular, well designed, and functional as criteria to win an award. We do not factor in the number of downloads, because the list would remain nearly static year to year. Instead, we choose addons that have a lot of buzz within the community, have made rapid improvements, and fit the category like a glove. If you’re looking for a list of the most downloaded addons, look no further.

So join us as we take a look at some of the best addons in World of Warcraft. While you’re at it, be sure to stop by our most anticipated MMOs of 2013 to start looking toward the future.

One last thing, before you go. Be sure to visit World of Addons for many other great addons out there and to enter our contest for a signed collector's edition of Mists of Pandaria.

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It's difficult to give a singular addon the Best Addon award because there are just so many contenders. It's difficult to say that one addon is better than the other, simply because there is so many to choose from that are phenomenal. We have to give the WoW community credit for pulling together so much talent and making this choice so difficult.

Since the choice is so difficult, we're going to pick the addon that we feel is the most influential in the previous year that also provides a valuable feature to WoW players. There are so many addons out there that are just good and almost to the point of being necessary for WoW players to install. That's why this choice will highlight an addon that is popular, but isn't necessarily the most downloaded or most visited.

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This year the award for Best Addon goes to WeakAuras. This choice comes down to a few main factors, while WeakAuras has been around for a long time, it hasn't gained much traction until this year when recent updates have really made WeakAuras the addon of choice for many WoW players. In addon thread after addon thread, I am constantly reading the recommendation for WeakAuras and rightfully so – it's an all-around solid addon and major improvement on PowerAuras.

That isn't to necessarily discredit PowerAuras. PowerAuras is one of the most downloaded addons of all time and rightfully so, but competition is good. It makes addons better and makes addon authors think about features differently. It's a friendly way to improve the experience for everyone and a great learning experience for addon authors themselves.

WeakAuras is also a very rock solid addon. Auras are little alerts whenever a skill or trinket procs, a debuff or buff is applied to you, or when something else happens (usually in the combat log). A good example is that you can set an aura to blink a giant image whenever your trinket procs so that you know it's time to use as much DPS as possible during its duration (when the image will fade out).

WeakAuras differs from PowerAuras by providing a more streamlined interface, providing an easier to use experience. That's not all, of course, it includes many features like bars (showing the progress of an aura), and most importantly its lightweight – something that's critical for high levels of play on older machines.

If you use auras a lot then be sure to give this addon a try and continue on to some of our best addons in different categories.

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It is hard to think of an addon that is any more pervasive in the game World of Warcraft than the addon that wins our Best Raiding Addon award.  This addon has been used for years by more players than probably any other addon out there, and is considered a requirement by pretty much every raiding guild out there.  I am of course speaking about Deadly Boss Mods, more commonly referred to as DBM.

Best Addon Award

Deadly Boss Mods

Deadly Boss Mods is an addon that helps to simplify raid encounters by announcing different encounter mechanics so that you are never caught out by something.  It shares this information in multiple different ways.  Just a few of the ways that DBM will help you and share information are:

  • Flash messages on the screen showing information.
  • Play sound clips or effects to announce key mechanics
  • It will have your character emote a message affected by a key mechanic in the fight.
  • Displays show proximity alerts if you get to close to another player in a fight that requires you to keep range between players.
  • Displays countdown timers to pre-warn you about timed mechanics.
  • Display health bars for all bosses at once when fighting multiple boss encounters.

Deadly Boss Mods is also heavily customizable and configurable.  You can change the layout, sizes, positions, and even textures of almost everything that DBM does. 

Probably the best thing about DBM, and what makes it so deserving of an award, is that despite all the information it provides and all the configuration options available, you never really think about it as an addon.  Nor do you “need” to use any of the configuration or customization features at all. That’s right, the authors have done such a good job with setting up DBM that most players will never have to look at the configuration options, never mind change them.  Almost everyone I know, runs this mod bare bones out of the box.  They install it, let it run, and never even think about it again. 

In fact while travelling recently with a new laptop, I had forgotten to install my addons before leaving and when I jumped into a raid without DBM installed it took my by surprise just how much was not part of WoW.  So many of the alerts, sounds, and information that I was used to seeing were not there.  I had gotten so used to DBM as a mod, and it all took place so seamlessly, that I had forgotten what was provided by DBM and what was provided by WoW.  If that is not a sign of a great addon I don’t know what is.

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Player vs. Player (PvP) combat is the endgame of choice for many World of Warcraft players. The thrill and excitement of going up against another player can be exhilarating and rightfully so. However, the enjoyment can sometimes be bogged down by interface issues, data tracking (trinkets/cooldowns), and having to keep track of just too much information. That's why our Best PvP Addon award goes to Gladius.

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Gladius has remained the PvP addon of choice for a long time now. It's so well recognized that Blizzard integrated the unit frames directly into the game. While the default UI doesn't have all of the features, it is a big statement whenever Blizzard sees the value of your work. Gladius goes a few steps and a giant leap forward, though, including cooldown/trinket tracking and oh so much more.

Once setup (and you'll definitely want to setup Gladius and customize it a bit) it's your one stop shop for arenas. Announcements tighten up those random pickup group arenas that you hop into right before the weekly reset and don't use voice communications. The PvP trinket tracker helps demystify when a player's trinket is going to be off cooldown and removes the need to count silently in your head.

One of the neat more recent features is the diminishing return tracker, which lets you know the diminishing returns on various crowd control effects while you're in the arena. This is absolutely critical for some teams that rely on abilities that heavily affected by diminishing returns. That kind of easily accessible data is what really sets Gladius apart.

If you run the arenas and don't use Gladius then odds are you're putting yourself almost at a disadvantage. That's the one negative thing I can add about the addon, it's so good that you pretty much are stuck in a situation where not using it actually hinders you. Of course, the addon just tracks data and makes it easier to keep up with it. It's not that players can't keep track of that kind of data themselves, it just removes the fatigue of tracking it and makes the game experience a lot more enjoyable.

So if you run a lot of arenas and you're looking for the best PvP addon of 2012 then don't look any further than Gladius, the one stop shop for PvP addons. It's our pick this year for the best PvP addon and you won't regret installing it.

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Gold is literally the fuel that makes the World of Warcraft universe go around. Much like in the real world, players spend time “working” every time they log into game to earn themselves a little extra gold. How we ultimately spend the  gold we earn can vary greatly, mounts pets,exotic Goblin dancers, or whatever your heart may desire. Despite our spending differences, our need to earn gold never changes.

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Earning gold is not always the easiest of processes, especially if you are looking to accumulate a vast sum of wealth. One of the best and simplest ways to enhance your gold earning potential in game is incorporate an addon into the process. As you can imagine, there are more than a few addons out there designed to do just that. Despite their good intentions there are only a few addons out there that can be said to truly help rather than hinder when it comes to making a profit in World of Warcraft.

These addons help to foster an environment where gold making can become easier than most players could have ever dreamed. It is these addons that deserve credit where credit is due and thus the Best Gold Making Addon of 2012 award category was created.

First released in October of 2006, Auctioneer is by far not a new addon. In fact many may wonder why a newer addon wasn't chosen instead. However, we firmly believe that it is often those addons that have been tried and held true through those trials that are often the best. Auctioneer has definitely withstood the test of time and has still managed to be one of the primer gold making addons several years after its initial release. Constantly being updated and improved upon, Auctioneer is one of those addons that never seems to go out of date.

Auctioneer wasn't chosen just because it is stalwart, it was also chosen because it is an addon that can really boast that it makes gold making easy. Using a system that scans the in-game Auction House, Auctioneer, creates a database that can be used in many different ways. From purchasing to posting, Auctioneer has developed a system that covers every aspect of working the Auction House and producing a profit from it. No matter if you are a casual or hardcore player, when it comes to making gold, Auctioneer has something perfect for your needs.

For all these reasons and many more, Auctioneer is our pick for the award for Best Gold Making Addon of 2012. Congratulations to the authors!

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When Pet Battles were announced as part of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria many players were stunned by the almost direct copy of the Pokemon game concept into World of Warcraft.  Some were even horrified by the addition of a children’s game into our beloved MMO, here I am obviously referring to my own reaction.  While the pet battle system is not my cup of tea, I have to admit that it is both very popular and very well thought out and implemented. There is a whole lot of depth and refinement that shows in the pet battle system and it is proving very popular with a lot of WoW players.

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The Pokemon comparison (or almost direct copy in my opinion) has stuck around though and many players simply refer to it as Pokemon in WoW.

Now you can relive your childhood Pokemon memories in an even more direct port of the game into WoW with the brilliant new addon called: WoWkemon.

The WoWkemon addon essentially converts your WoW interface into a Pokemon interface whenever you are involved with pet battles.   Just a few of the items that this addon includes are:

  • Multiple frames that matchup to the Pokemon health, speech, damage, and interface frames.
  • You can relocate the frames to match your display so they are in the correct locations.
  • The command structure and descriptions change to match Pokemon terminology.
  • There is a  complete in-game tutorial on how to use it and set it up.  Better yet, it is done in Pokemon style with the professor teaching you how to do everything.
  • Provides the ability to be a spectator of other pet battles.
  • Provides battle intro screens.

Despite my generally negative opinion to Pokemon, I can see it’s brilliance, my kids have spent more hours than I can count on the various versions of Pokemon, so brining that game into WoW appeals to them greatly.  I have seen Pokemon enough to instantly recognize the interface, fonts, and sounds.  For anyone that has played and loved Pokemon, this is a must have addon that will bring back memories of simpler gaming days.  It has become an instant hit at my house as both my sons are now playing “the new Pokemon”. 

While simplistic looking, having cheesy sound effects, and horrible looking fonts, it matched Pokemon exactly, and that is the whole point. I applaud the author for the time and effort they put into this to make it such a great copy of the original Pokemon interface.  This is one addon that is a must have in your collection simply for the nostalgia value it will have for anyone that played Pokemon, and as an example of what a really talented addon programmer can accomplish.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

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Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.