Use those add-ons, cupcake
Despite the fact that WildStar has just officially launched today, there are more than 200 player-made add-ons readily available for your using pleasure. What's an add-on, you ask? Why, it's simply a mod that alters the game's default user interface--typically in order to make it more customizable or readable--without affecting the game's actual content.
Add-ons are wonderful tools for customizing the MMO experience, and playing around with the hundreds available can be a fun, satisfying task all its own. The hard part is figuring out which of the add-ons are the most useful, and which are just kind of garbage. I've been testing add-ons since WildStar's early beta sessions, and will continue to do so as the game matures. But for now, here are some of my absolute favorite add-ons that are available right at launch.
Before you start downloading and installing every mod in existence, remember: Though none of these add-ons affect WildStar's content, they do affect the way you interface with its world. Many of these are convenient UI enhancements, but some could negatively impact your experience with the game if immersion is your number-one priority. Install at your own risk.
Speaking of installation, here's how to apply add-ons to WildStar: First, download the add-on you'd like to use from Curse. Next, extract the add-on folder from the downloaded zipped file. Finally, drop the unzipped folder into the add-on folder in your Wildstar AppData directory. This is typically located in C: [or whatever letter you've assigned to your primary hard drive] > Users > [Your Username] > AppData > Roaming > NCSOFT > WildStar > Addons. If you cannot see your AppData folder, you must first enable all hidden folders through the Windows control panel. If no Addons folder exists in the WildStar directory, simply make one, and you should be all set. Now, onto the add-ons--and don't forget to expand the images of each slide for a closer look at what's on offer.
First up, an add-on that replaces WildStar's default nameplates. BijiPlates is by no means a mandatory one, though I do find its presentation to be cleaner and more readable. Plus, it comes with tons of customization options that allow you to adjust which units have plates, and what information their plates will display. This is probably my favorite mod at the moment.
Frankly, I'm astonished that there is no already-existing option to auto-sell junk loot--which is specifically marked as junk by default--to merchants. The ever-useful JunkIt add-on fixes this by adding a small button to the vendor interface. Click it, and all your junk loot goes bye-bye while cash fills your pockets. Here's to hoping this add-on is soon made obsolete by, you know, an actual dev-made alternative.
For the unaware, Amps in WildStar are sort of like skill points you can use to provide passive upgrades to your character's abilities. Thing is, some of the game's most powerful Amps can only be obtained through specific quests, vendors, or as world drops. Amp Finder is a nifty add-on that tells you how to obtain each of your class Amps, so you'll never have to Alt-Tabbing to use Google. Very helpful!
Unless you're looking to absolutely min/max your damage, healing, or tanking output, you can probably skip this add-on. Otherwise, AuraMastery is an invaluable tool for keeping track of buffs, debuffs, cooldowns, and item/ability procs, allowing you to ensure that you're getting the most out of your stats and rotations. It can take a little while to set up, but once you've got it customized to your liking, it'll be hard to play without.
This is probably the closest thing you'll find to WoW's Auctioneer add-on. CommodityStats keeps track of the pricing history of the various items available for purchase on WildStar's Commodity Exchange. That way, you can use the information to your advantage by knowing whether the current market price of an item is too low or high.
Galaxy Meter is nothing more than your typical DPS/healing chart add-on. It's not particularly revolutionary, but it does provide tons of updated stat tracking in real-time. Extremely useful for comparing your DPS or healing to that of others, so you get a good sense of how you stack up.
Another quality of life add-on, IconLoot replaces WildStar's default loot notification windows with far more useful ones. These make very clear the quality of any items you loot, and also provide an incredibly useful pop-up anytime you loot an item that starts a quest when used. Plus, you can even customize the size and placement of the windows, so they'll show up just where and how you want them to.
One interesting thing that separates WildStar from other MMOs is its emphasis on action-heavy, telegraphed combat. As such, interrupts are a huge part of surviving an encounter. Interruptor is a great add-on that helps make it more clear which enemy abilities can be interrupted, as well as how much interrupt armor they have. This will be most useful for hardcore PvPers and raiders.
Real talk: WildStar's default quest tracker is an indecipherable abomination. The categorized breakdowns that are meant to help you know which quests are part of the main story, the zone story, or are just straight up fetch quests--but in practice they make the quest log look like a cluttered mess. Enter BetterQuestLog, an add-on that takes a more minimalist--and thus easier-to-read--approach to quest tracking.
As anyone who has played hundreds of hours of multiple MMOs will likely agree, playing while totally zoomed in typically isn't a great idea. I often like to zoom out as far as possible to ensure I have vision of everything I might need to see during a PvP or raid boss encounter. The excellent CustomFoV add-on allows you to increase WildStar's max zooming range, making it simple to get a bit more vision during play.
As its name suggests, TrackMaster is a fantastic tool for, er, tracking things. Let's say you're stuck on a quest, and are not sure where to go to complete its objective. Enable TrackMaster, and it will (literally) draw a line to your goal. Or maybe you want it to track gathering nodes or rare monsters--it'll do that, too. Certainly a handy add-on, this one.
There are a lot of quests in WildStar. I usually accept every quest I come across, but I don't always end up finishing them all. While it's not that difficult to comb through my quest log and abandon the low-level ones I have no interest in backtracking to finish, QuestCleanup makes abandoning them significantly easier. With the push of a button, it auto-abandons all quests that are far below your current level. Aww yeah.
Are you an add-on junkie? Have you already tried some of these out in Wildstar? If so, what do you think, and what other add-ons would you suggest? Let us know in the comments below.
And if you're looking for more, check out the best Elder Scrolls Online add-ons and Skyrim mods that make it look like a next-gen game.