/Trade Chat – Curse.com

/Trade Chat is a column that reviews and discusses WoW blogs and fan sites.

As part of the Launch of the My UI page, I wanted to share one of my go to websites for getting new and updated addons, the WoW addon section of Curse.com.  One of biggest addon sites, I like its support of addon authors, clean organisation and ease of navigation.  There are several good ways to explore new addons.  Addon listings are broken down into classes and other categories like Auction House, Unit Frames and PVP.

My favorite way of looking for addons is using the New and Updated Addon sidebar.  If you are new to addons, checking out the Most downloaded addons and Highest rated addons is a good start.  You can also try one of the UI compilations instead of starting from scratch. If you do, make sure to choose a compliation that supports your screen resolution and aspect ration (wide or standard).

A nice feature is the mouseover window for each addon which gives a quick summary of what each addon does as well as a screenshot if provided.  Curse also has a addon updater client which aims to make it easier to manage addons by automating the update process, but I personally update my own addons for more control.  Another nice feature is the availability of older versions of each addon should you need to rollback to an older version.

This is one of the two addon sites I trust when looking for addons.

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/Trade Chat – Big Bear Butt Blogger

/Trade Chat is a column that reviews and discusses WoW blogs and fan sites.

The Big Bear Butt is a blog one I have been following on and off for over the last year.  And most recently looked up to again when respeccing Gaia as a Bear Tank.  Always funny and good for a insightful take on feral druids, i can heartily recommend this site.  There was talk about him quitting the blog but with several recent posts it seems like WoW has still got its claws in John.  I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite posts from the blog.

Chasing Bear Aggro was a great article on strategies for maintaining threat as a bear tank in the face of DPS massively outgearing both the content in Heroics and newer bear tanks.  The post offered some good advice and also offered consolation that its not entirely my fault when that Mage popping both Arcane Power and Mirror Images manages to pull off me.

Patch 3.3 Starter Bear Gear lists (Armor) was also more than just a nice list of items.  I liked how it was a true starter list excluding item drops from raids and also includes a nice mini-guide to gearing strategy based on the content you expected to take on.

Advice on being less squishy is a bit outdated, considering that with the baseline 232 gear, Heroic ToC is no longer a really toughie for anything but very green groups.  I think the more modern equivalent is Heroic HoR.  But the advice on mitigation vs avoidance and how to improve your “tankability” is good advice all round.

As i was finishing up this little article I also noticed John has his take on the proposed raiding changes.  His thoughts mirror most of my own and I echo his sentiment that Blizzard needs to make sure there is enough raiding content at the start of the expansion, especially with a shared lockout for 10 and 25-mans.  I remember how at the start of WOLK it took way too long for Ulduar.  In alot of ways they should have released TOC before Ulduar.

If you have a feral druid, be sure to keep this site saved on your bookmarks.

/Trade Chat – Learn2PlayWoW.com

/Trade Chat is a column that reviews and discusses WoW blogs and fan sites.

When raiding, its good to come prepared.  That means having your gear enchanted and repaired. installing the latest version of Deadly Boss Mods and having any raid consumables you need. But most of all, knowing what to expect.  No video or stategy guide can truely prepare you for an encounter but, it helps to have a general idea.  While many players swear by Tankspot and its videos, I am a big fan of Learn2PlayWoW.com.  Its site layout is basic but there are links to WoW news and links to all their video guides on the left sidebar.  The videos are what really make the site shine.  There is a summary for each boss encounter as well as a transcript of the video.

The video itself covers all the spell effects and often a few different strategies for the bosses.  debuffs and spell effects to watch for are clearly explained and correspond to the action in the video.  The latter point is what makes these videos superior to the Tankspot ones.  Narration is often humorous as well and I admit that the accent takes some getting used to.  The production values may not be the most polished but use of freeze frames, zooms and overlaid graphics to explain mechanics show this was not just a frappsed fight with a voice over commentary.  The videos keep decent pace with new content and include non-boss guides like, how-to guides for addons.

A solid resource for the avid raider that should be on your bookmarks.

/Trade Chat – MMO-Champion.com

/Trade Chat is a column that reviews and discusses WoW blogs and fan sites.

Welcome to the first article for the /Trade Chat column.  If you ever wonder how much people love WoW, you just have to do a search for WoW blogs and fansites and boggle at the number of search results.  In fact I would be interested in how you found this site.  Although looking at the site views, almost no one has found this site.  ><;

The first site I turn to daily for WoW news, has to be www.mmo-champion.com.   it has a clean if not flashy layout and has tons of good information.  News posts on the front page are distilled from all the blue posts and often include insider leaks, data mined infomation and other juicy news.  There is a also a active forum community and sticky guides for most classes and specs.  The guides are often up to date and less mathy then other sites like Elitist Jerks.

One of my favorite features is the excellent blue news tracker and the talent calculator.  I also like the way the side bar information is organized by patch so you can see what was added as well as the loot lists for the dungeons and raid instances added in each patch.  It was also the site that leaked acurately, all the information on Cataclysm, days before the official announcement and other fan sites.

Add the site to your bookmarks and make it a daily source for WoW news.