One of the greatest innovations that Blizzard provided the MMO community with the release of World of Warcraft was the ability to customize the game with addons. Since launch, an unbelievable number of useful and not-so-useful mods have sprung up for the game. Some make a huge difference in the PvE or PvP side of the game, while others have little actual value, and serve more as interesting diversions.
I’ve spent some time exploring these so-called “useless" addons to discover the most interesting and amusing of the bunch. Whether you’re trying to find a way to manage your many companion pets or simply searching for a fun way to waste a little in-game time, there’s something here you’re sure to enjoy.
Bejeweled is perhaps the most popular casual game of all time. Players match like-colored jewels, causing them to disappear and be replaced by more jewels ripe for matching. Bejeweled exists in many forms, available for the Xbox 360, cell phones, various handheld consoles, online at popcap.com, and now as an addon for World of Warcraft.
Bejeweled installs like any addon, and provides instant in-game fun whenever you need to kill a bit of time. Fire it up every time you’re waiting for a battleground to start, trying to assemble a party to run an instance, or whenever you find yourself on a lengthy flight over scenery you’ve seen too many times already.
When you have the Bejeweled addon installed, you actually begin to look forward to in-game downtime. The next addon on the list can have a similar effect on your opinion of waiting in-game.
Peggle is another incredibly-addictive addon from PopCap games. Like Bejeweled, you simply install it and can then fire it up in-game whenever the mood strikes you.
The gameplay is like an amalgam of the famous Price is Right game “Plinko" and the classic game Breakout. Players fire a ball toward a series of pegs, which then bounces around, making any pegs it comes into contact with disappear.
There are ten or so levels, each with multiple objectives. The primary goal is to eliminate all orange pegs from a level, once that’s done you can move on to the far more arduous task of eliminating all pegs.
The Warcraft version of Peggle is WoW-themed, with each of the levels corresponding to a major city or zone within the game. Beating levels awards you talent points which you can then use to gain bonuses to point gains and the like, similar to leveling up your WoW character.
Peggle has a few interesting options, such as opening automatically anytime you jump on a flight or find yourself dead. Interrupted games simply resume as soon as you restart the addon.
Comix: The Return
Comix is one of those addons you’re either going to instantly love or absolutely hate. It adds custom sounds and graphic elements to your WoW experience that drastically change the way you view combat. 60’s era Batman-style words like “Slam!" “Swoosh!" and “Kapow!" every time you score a critical hit in combat. Custom sounds accompany many of your in-game actions, including various sounds from Mortal Kombat and Unreal Tournament whenever you score a kill or die in combat and a comical “boing!" sound every time you hit the jump key.
At first I found these new additions a fresh new way of looking at combat, after several hours of gigantic phrases blocking my view of the combat action, the novelty began to wear off. Comix is a fun diversion, but I seriously doubt any serious player will want it running while they’re trying to raid or participate in PvP.
Despite its shortcomings, it’s definitely worth checking out. Love it or hate it, it’s one of the most unique and interesting WoW addons available.
Serious WoW pet collectors can amass upwards of 80+ pets on one character. Choosing just one of these pets to display can be a daunting task, one which many players simply avoid, either continually using just one favorite pet or failing to show any of them off at all.
PetLeash provides an automated solution to this dilemma. This addon will automatically summon a random pet from your collection whenever it is appropriate. With PetLeash, you will always have a pet following along behind you, and the random nature of the selection ensures that even those pets you never thought you’d get around to showing off have their moment in the sun.
PetLeash has a limited ability to determine when having a pet out might be inappropriate, such as when summoning one might break stealth or cause you to dismount, but it will occasionally trigger your global cooldown at inopportune times. I don’t recommend it for Rogues or Druids who use stealth often, but for anyone else it can be a fun diversion.
Each of these addons brings a new dimension to World of Warcraft that, while pretty much unnecessary, can add to your enjoyment of the game. Each is worth checking out, even if you find yourself hating them, removal is just a delete button away.
For more on the most useful WoW addons, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to World of Warcraft Addons.