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Chatter Like the Mad Hatter – A WoW U.I. Mod Review

Updated Tue, Apr 20, 2010 by Mem

Chat mods are defiantly not a must have. They will not make the player play better,  or more efficiently, nor will they  help you complete quests, or down that uber hard boss you have been working on for weeks. Chat and Communication based mods are usually nothing more than cosmetic changes that really won’t improve your overall game play in the bigger scheme of things.

Despite all that I wouldn’t play without my chat mod. I dislike most of the standard Blizzard frames and the chat portion is no less disappointing to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game and in my opinion it will probably be years before someone manages to create something close the amazing enigma that is World of Warcraft, but I can’t help but feel that Blizzard leaves a lot to be desired in their standard frames. With this in mind it is no surprise that from almost the very beginning of my World of Warcraft career I have had some sort of chat mod. Most recently my mod of choice has been Prat (see Messiah‘s review on Prat), and I love it, I really do. So I was a tad bit hesitant, but even more intrigued to have the chance to review another chat mod that I had never even head of before.

Mod Name: Chatter
Category: Chat and Communication
Authors: Antiarc and Grum
Version Reviewed: v1.1.2
Homepage: WoWAce

Chatter much like its chat mod counterpart Prat, is a chat enhancement addon that grants the user tons of features that enable them to modify their chat frame to their hearts content. The real appeal of Chatter is that it is supposed to be much more lightweight then Prat, without sacrificing too many features. Since I have used both Chatter and Prat I was excited to see if I could actually see a difference in game play while using it since Prat is a rather hefty mod and now that it was uninstalled I should notice some sort of difference, right? Unfortunately with relatively the same features enabled I saw no real difference in my game play experience. However, I am going to withhold judgment on the matter, because my personal computer is a pretty decent system if I may say so. Players with less than stellar systems may indeed be able to benefit from the lighter package Chatter offers.

Chatter is basically useable upon install, with just a few tweaks needed to make it fully functional, which should appeal to those players who have little to no experience with mods in general. I personally have some control issues when it comes to my U.I so I of course opened up the options menu (/chatter) and began browsing. This was probably the part I had been most looking forward to as I had no idea what to expect. I have always found Prat’s options menu to be lacking, and misleading in some aspects. I also had concerns that being a lighter weight mod Chatter may be missing some of the modifications that I so adored in Prat. 

My fears in these matters were completely unfounded, as the Chatter options menu is very user-friendly

Chatter's impressive options menu.
and is filled with options that allow great customization. Don’t be worried about the amount of things to customize though, everything in the options menu is very straight forward and easy to figure out and configure. I was pleased to find that almost all the options I previously had with Prat (and some that I had never seen before with Prat) were still available, and I was able to make my Chatter look and behave just like my Prat had done before it. I even like some of the fonts available more than the ones that come standard with Prat.

Here is some of the features available with Chatter taken straight from the developers website (to see the entire list visit the website listed above):

  • Hiding buttons
  • Linking items, enchants, spells, and quests in custom channels
  • Custom aliases for channel names
  • Coloring of player names by class or deterministic HSV formula, and player levels next to names
  • Custom font and font size for your chat frames
  • Custom background, border, and positioning for the edit box
  • Option to let the edit box border color match the color of the channel you are typing in
  • Channel colors remembered by name, rather than by number
  • Scrolling your chat frames with the mouse wheel.
  • Sticky channels, configurable
It wasn’t all sunshine and roses for me though while trying out Chatter. I do have a few gripes with the mod and you can decide for yourselves if they are a big deal or not. My first annoyance was upon install, when I first logged into my game (and every time after that) Chatter instantly popped me two errors. I am not sure if the errors had to do with the program itself or if it was just conflicting with one of my other add ons, but still anything that pops me errors annoys me to no end. It should be noted that once I had closed the errors after the initial log on that the mod did not produce any further errors, so it defiantly could have been worse.


Chatter chat in action.
My second (and larger) gripe was the fact that the chat box itself was largely unmovable. Sure you can pull the chat box up and down by either the top or bottom (making it in essence larger or smaller), but I just could not find an option that would allow me to move it around the screen. Perhaps I’m just missing something, but I went through the options menu many times and saw no box to uncheck or slider to slide that would allow me to do this. Needless to say if indeed you cannot chose where to place the chat box that may severely limit the mods usability for some users. Being able to move the chat box exactly where you want it on the screen is a very simple feature, but one that every chat mod should have.

In a nutshell this is a great mod, with the positives far outweighing any negatives. It’s very user friendly, is lightweight, and allows excellent user customization. Does this mod stand up to Prat? I think it does, the mods are very similar and honestly I saw very few differences. I would suggest to all users in search of a chat mod to try out both mods before making their finial selection to see which one works best for them, or as suggested previously,  for a quick review on the addon check out Messiah‘s review on Prat. I personally will be sticking with Prat, it’s my tried and true chat mod and I’m slow to change, but if asked I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Chatter as Prat’s unquestionable equal. Join us on our forums and share which chat mod you prefer Prat or Chatter, we would love to hear from you!



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