I’ve said it before – I’m an addon junky. In every game that I play, if addons are possible, I can easily spend as much time – if not more – tweaking addons than I do actually playing. My first foray into addons was with Morrowind many years ago. I still remember something someone on the modding forums said back then – wait, you mean there’s a game beyond the construction set? I remember laughing as I read that, because it was so true. I did spend more time in the construction set than I spent actually playing. I’d love to spend as much time creating addons for The Secret World as I did for Morrowind, but unfortunately I’m inept when it comes to code. My mods have all been new clothing, heads, hairstyles, and quests. I’d love to design clothing for The Secret World, but most MMOs don’t allow user created art assets, and TSW is no different, so I am forced to focus on addons for the UI. Today’s Spotlight is all about the team experience.
Click the button below to read about Categorical’s Enhanced TeamGUI.
As a healer type, I spend a massive amount of time staring at my game’s UI, particularly the group bars. I want them positioned just where I want them, because in those very tough circumstances a team wipe can depend on a few seconds. If my team’s health bars are in a clunky place, I just can’t heal them as well as if they’re not right where it’s comfortable for me to have them. The Secret World has an uncomfortable placement – the group window is stuck to the left of the screen, as is the friendly targeting box. This is a major problem for me for two main reasons; not only do I have to spread my attention across nearly my entire screen, looking between the monster info at the bottom, the action in the center so I don’t stand in the fire, and my team’s health all the way on the right, but I like to have my chat box at the lower left of my screen and the default location of the group GUI interferes with that. And it’s immovable. Which is why I was so excited to see Categorical’s Enhanced TeamGUI.
This marvelous addon has a few very welcome features. First and foremost, it allows you to move the team window and your defensive target window. That in and of itself is worth the download. Simply click to unlock them, move them around wherever you want, and click again to lock them to your favored location. Honestly I still wonder why games continue to be released with UI elements that are locked, it just seems like such a basic feature that should be included as a default in any modern UI. But luckily for us, addon crafters will step in to fill any voids left by the official UI teams. Now my targeting window is right where I want it, and so are the health bars of my teammates! You may all go back to blaming me for any team wipes, I no longer have the annoying team window location to blame.
But wait, there’s more! Catagorical has also provided another boon for healers – mouseover casting. All I have to do is move my mouse pointer over a teammate’s name, and they’ll automatically become my new target. If I’m in a full group and my group ehal is on cooldown, it now takes me 5 button presses to heal everyone with a single target heal instead of 9 or 10. Any steps I can skip in the healing process, even one as simple as clicking, means that I can respond to unexpected troubles more quickly, which means a greater chance of surviving any sudden problems, which means I am one happy healer. This one addon has solved several of my largest complaints with TSW‘s UI, and it has become the second addon that I simply won’t play without.
It has several other features as well that are minor quality of life additions – your defensive target is highlighted, it hides distracting buffs that are useless to combat such as sprint and nightmare lockout timers and it is smaller than the default team UI. The best part is that Catagorical is continuing development, so we can expect the addition of even more features like fully customizing the layout of the team health bars. Soon we’ll not only be able to move the group health bars around, but be able to specifically position individual health bars.
Thanks, Catagorical! I hope you continue playing TSW and bringing us addons for a long time.