Category Archives: Addons

Mount up! On the Subject of Random Mount Addons (pt 5)

Note

This is a multipart post.


spreadsheet

Of course there is a spreadsheet

So, after a couple weeks’ evaluation, where are we now?

The addons fall into three categories – Worthy Successors, Livable Substitutes, and Serviceable But Not Desirable.

Overall, I think GupPet is still the best of the bunch, despite its age, but I also think you can do well with BeStride.  LiteMount is very good as well but requires more technical knowledge to be used effectively.  If it were for me, I’d probably pick LiteMount over BeStride, but for most people I’d go the other way.

Each of the mid tier has special features that intrigue, but the top tier truly sets the mark that others must beat.

Tier 1: Any one of which I would enjoy using

  • GupPet
  • BeStride
  • LiteMount

Tier 2: Any one of which would be a decent substute for the Tier 1s, but which have shortcomings.

  • GoGoMount – might be a Tier 1 depending on your personal feelings
  • IntelliMount
  • KuiMount – would fare better if not for the broken config options
  • MountsJournal – key missing feature is class-based abilities.

Tier 3: May be better than a macro, but don’t count on it.

  • Choose Mount
  • Easy Rider
  • gmMounts
  • Mandrill Mount – would have fared better if it lived up to the author’s claims of working with non-shaman classes. Even so, its features are limited in comparison to others.
  • MountMe – key missing feature: profiles.

My biggest takeaway here was the sheer number of addons of this type that were out there.  And out of 12 addons, 7 were excellent.

My weapon of choice remains GupPet (with my mods), but I feel a sense of comfort knowing that I have several potential replacements should it cease to work completely.

 

Mount up! On the Subject of Random Mount Addons (pt 4)

Note

This is a multipart post.


Mandrill Mount

This addon is very Shaman oriented, but claims to be usable by other classes.

I was unable to get this addon to work on my priest by following the instructions, so I can’t really provide a good evaluation of it.

There is no support for action buttons or hot keys, nor is there a configuration interface of any kind, nor is there a mount favorites selection interface of any kind, nor is there any profiling of any kind that I could detect using the largest tricorder I could find.

If it worked, it looks like you can either create a macro that calls it with a specific set of mounts, or ‘random’, which didn’t work.

Overall grade is F, because if you don’t work, you don’t get a grade.  Don’t claim you work for other classes if all you work with are Shaman.

Mount Journal Enhanced

mount journal

Mount Journal Enhanced mods to the Mount Journal

This is heavily focused on enhancing the existing mount journal, so pretty much does what it says on the tin.  And while it does a lot of things right, it also does a lot of things awkwardly or not at all.

blizz options interface

Here’s what you can configure

The mount journal itself is used to designate your favorites, and the core game’s “random mount button” is used to trigger selection. Other than that, there is scarce little way to modify the behavior of the addon.

Fortunately, it does offer the ability to save preferences per-character, so it fulfills one of my basic requirements for such an addon. If the only native random mount feature were per-character, this is pretty much what we’d have, and I’d be pretty content with that.

Overall, a solid C.

MountMe

keybinds

MountMe uses the Dismount keybind

This addon is very rudimentary.  It uses what you have configured in the pet journal to determine what can be summoned. Rather than define its own keybind, it uses the native “dismount” keybind  to drive it.

There are no preferences, profiles, or other niceties.

This one’s not a lot more useful than the default “random mount” action button.

C- – does the job, but a macro would almost do as well.

MountsJournal

mount journal

MountsJournal mods to the Mount Journal

Journal integration is excellent. Each mount in the journal has three buttons available – ground, fly, and aquatic – which you can mix and match as needed. For example, the Hearthsteed is both a flying and ground mount for my Pali, and can be configured that way.  The inherent search and filtering features of the mount journal come into play to help you quickly narrow down what you can see, so if you’re just interested in night elf saber mounts or flying mounts, easily done.

Mount lists can be character specific, or not, giving your flexibility where you want it.

options

MountsJournal Options

There are several special abilities in the general configuration options.

  • Extensive configuration around water striders – can prioritize over land mounts, can prioritize in specific dungeons and expeditions
  • If you have Herbalism, can be configured to call the Sky Golem if it is available
  • If you have the magic broom, can be configured to call that during Hallow’s Eve

There are a few down sides.

  • No support for levitate / feather fall when mounting while falling
  • No support for ghost wolf
  • No support for Druid travel forms

This is one of the few addons that avoids the Blizzard native interface for keybinds, and that’s probably not a good thing.

Overall, this is a solid addon with a few peccadillos that can be overlooked. B- at worst.

Mount up! On the Subject of Random Mount Addons (pt 3)

Note

This is a multipart post.


GoGoMount

addon config

GoGoMount Configuration

This one avoids integrating with the mount journal in favor of its own favorite configuration integrated into its Blizz configuration interface. It’s a decent, serviceable random mount manager and can be extended with additional addons (I didn’t test them).  Its interface is a bit confusing at times but once you get used to it it works just fine.

global favorites

GoGoMount Global Favorites

You can specify a global mount favorites list that kicks in for any zone that you haven’t specified favorites for.  And that’s right, boys and girls, GoGoMount lets you specify a list of favorite mounts for every zone.  The only caveat is that you can only configure for the zone you’re in.  So take good notes for Future You.

exclusions

GoGoMount Zone Exclusions

The Exclusions list works in a similar fashion, giving you the means to specify a list of mounts to never use globally, as well as in the current zone.

While it doesn’t split flying / ground mounts up, it does let you specify to not use flying mounts in non-fly zones, so you’re not waddling around on a grounded dragon.

Some class-specific abilities are supported, but some implementations may be incomplete.

An extension – GoGoMount-Manager – offers improvements to managing your mount collection, and may address some of the issues observed above.

One feature it does claim to address is profile support, which is sadly missing in the core addon; thus, you can’t have a different set of favorites per alt without an additional addon.

keybinds

GoGoMount Keybinds

Keybinds are supported via the standard Blizz keybind interface, but note that it shows up under ‘other’ which is where addons goes that don’t have the right metadata to suit the Blizz keybind interface thingy.

Overall, this is a solid addon that is  soured by the lack of proper profile support.  A C- by itself, but if GoGoMount-Manager addresses that, then it’s a solid B+ or A-.

IntelliMount

configuration

IntelliMount Options

This addon takes the core game random mount implementation and slaps a veneer of usefulness on it. You get SOME control over how it works, but it’s far from the benchmark target. For  example, most addons will figure out if you have Draenor and Broken Isles flying. It does have some unique features, but they hardly make up for the basics.

This addon also does not support profiles, so all of your alts use the same mount list.

keybinds

IntelliMount Keybinds

Keybinds use the core Blizz interface, and you can designate bindings for a variety of special calls. “Normal” mount in this case is an auto-mount selector, which will attempt to find a good mount for the environment you’re in.

Overall, it’s functional and would do in a pinch – a strong C+. It would be at least a B- if it supported profiles.

KuiMount

mount journal

KuiMount Mount Journal mods

This addon modifies the Mount Journal to manage your mounts. Each entry in the list will have one or more checkboxes, such as “fly” and “ground”, so you get to make the call about whether a flying mount will be called in ‘flying’ zones.  While the addon doesn’t support profiles directly, you CAN define “sets”, and the set choice is per user. So you can define a set for each of your alts and it will ‘remember’ that for you.

but the config ui is kinda facked

The “Lists” configuration interface is broken with regards to profiles / sets

The list configuration window, however, has a few issues. For example, you can’t select a set to edit because the list of sets is *behind* the configuration window. That’s probably a simple fix.  Fortunately, it doesn’t affect the ability to choose your set from the mount journal.

keybinds

KuiMount Keybinds

Keybinding is via the Blizz interface, and offers a familiar set of options.

Overall, this is a decent addon, making great use of native controls, with some of the more advanced features blocked by a broken UI. Give it a solid B-.

LiteMount

options and profile

LiteMount interface + profiles

This one is one of the more interesting ones for those that don’t mind putting some effort into it. It has the basic features one would expect in such an addon, plus a lot of interesting and esoteric features found no where else.

Mount selection matrix

LiteMount Mount Selection

Mount selection is available via a matrix that lets you select from several premade categories, as well as any custom categories you wish to create. This is in addition to a basic on/off checkbox.  The configuration for this is efficient and supports filtering to help you narrow things down quickly.

Profiles are supported, though not all settings are 100% supported per character. Some are per character, some are global, and some are per-character-only. The author provides a very clear description of what is supported.

options - unavailable macro

Unavailable Macro is used if you’re unable to mount.

Non mount-related functions such as “Levitate” for priests while falling are handled via the “unavailable” macro. This is a macro that you define, and which is executed when you try to mount and mounting is not possible – such as when you are falling,, or moving.  This is very flexible, meaning that even as Blizz adds new classes, races, and abilities, you will be able to keep up with the state of the game.

The same sort of thing is provided for in-combat conditions.  If your character is in combat, then an appropriate macro can be created for the situation (which may not be movement-related).

keybinds

LiteMount Keybinds

Keybinds are done properly via the Blizz keybind interface. One thing of note here, the keybinds supported are simply designated “key binding” 1 through 4.

options - advanced

LiteMount Advanced Configuration

What those four keybinds do is defined in the Advanced options. The defaults are reasonable and can be used as is, but you’ll want to review them so you know how to designate the keybinds. And, of course, if you don’t like specifically how each of the keybind groups is configured, you can change it. Of course you can. 🙂

Finally, I simply must laud the author for two things.

  1. Clear and concise instructions to follow if it ever appears that he has abandoned the addon. Guys, this is really something all addon authors should do.
  2. Very clear instructions on how to use the addon.  Seriously, it’s the best documentation of any sort I’ve seen in quite some time. See for yourself.

Overall, this addon is well done and well made. A solid “A” for users of a certain level of sophistication.  A solid “C” for everybody else. This addon rewards effort applied, and lets those content to just get by … get by.

Mount up! On the Subject of Random Mount Addons (pt 2)

Note

This is a multipart post.


BeStride

BeStride is one of the better offerings, and it brings a lot of unique options.

mount selection

BeStride Mount Selection

Selection of favorite mounts is comprehensive and well ordered. The only thing missing here is a 3D model preview, which becomes far more of an issue than I had first thought it.  Seeing what the mount looks like, it turns out, is very important to me personally. Others without my special … quirks … may not have issues with this omission.

One thing of note: BeStride does figure out if you’re in a non-patrol Warfront and deals with it correctly.

class options

BeStride Class Options

This addon offers the best class-based options of all the addons I’ve reviewed.

  • Death Knights get Wraith Walk when moving.
  • Demon Hunters gain Fel Rush when moving and Gliding when falling.
  • Druids have several options for travel and flight form.
  • Mages gain slow fall when falling, blink when moving.
  • Monks gain Roll when moving, and Zen Flight when falling.
  • Paladins gain Divine Steed when moving.
  • Priests gain Levitate when falling.

The only thing missing is Rogues’ Sprint when moving.

mount options

BeStride Mount Options

This addon offers some of the most esoteric and unique options of all of ’em.

  • Auto enable new mounts when learning them
  • Remount immediately after dismount
  • Random usable mount if no mounts in your favorites are usable
  • Protect from flying dismount inadvertantly
  • Force flying mount availability in non-flying zones – in other words, the default is to not do this.
  • Force flying broom
  • Prioritize passenger mounts in group
  • Prioritize Nagrand mounts when applicable
  • Occulus mounts
  • Force Sky Golem if you’re a flower picker
  • Force a repair mount if below certain durability, which you can adjust in three different dimensions

Keybinds are carried out via the addon’s interface, as well as the Blizz keybind interface.

The addon does not support the native blizz addon interface. Or, rather, it offers an entry in the interface options dialog, but it only offers a “click this button to open my own interface” button. And it tosses out an exception. Fortunately, /bestride brings up the configuration interface for the addon with no issues.

Overall, this addon is excellent and will do quite nicely in place of GupPet as long as the companion features are not a big deal for you. It’s well ahead of others in terms of class support, and otherwise provides an excellent experience. The lack of a 3D mount preview takes away from that a bit, but other than that it’s excellent.

Choose Mount

button bar is stuck

That button bar is stuck and in the way.

So this one is just a BoBB (Big ol Button Bar) supporting several categories of mounts – racial, class, faction (ground and flying), professions, aquatic, and Qirajii – the last being fairly unique. A big problem with the button bar is that it was not relocatable. And overall, it was impossible to select which mounts were applciable to which button, making it impossible to personalize per alt.

While it claims it supports Masque for skinning, it did not appear in the Masque prefs and thus was unskinnable. (You had one job)

I was unable to find a way to bind mounts via slash commands or keybinds.

As best I can tell, it’s not very customizable and fairly generic. There is no way to customize per alt or bind to keys, rendering use very clumsy. If I were out of options, I’d use this in place of a macro. Which garnishes it a grade of D, no minus or plus.

Easy Rider

mount bar and tooltip

The button bar, and tooltip thereof.

This is another BoBB (Big ol’ button bar) addon that offers little beyond that. There is no way to control what mount is summoned per button other than setting a “preferred mount” per type. There is no way to change the keybinds. And there is no way to configure anything else beyond where the bar appears and its visibility.

Another version of “I’d use this over a macro but little else”.

gmMounts

configuration

They call it configuring. I call it a hack.

This one barely makes it in, and it almost didn’t. This addon has no UI elements other than slash commands. There is no way to configure which mounts you want other than hacking its code directly (which is what you are instructed to do by the author). And there’s no way to support profiles for each alt. You can work around it since the configuration supports ‘categories’ – as many as you want – and you could therefore, in theory, designate a category per alt or class.

This fact alone opens this addon up to massive instability.  Since WoW uses the LUA language for its addons, and LUA is such a fragile language, it is very easy to blow up your ui if you make even the most miniscule mistake. Say, left out a comma.

Overall, this one ranks slightly below “I’ll just use a macro”.

Mount up! On the Subject of Random Mount Addons (pt 1)

Note

This is a multipart post.


When Blizzard introduced the mount journal, they also added the ability to summon a mount randomly from your favorites. The downside is that it was very rudimentary, with no intelligence, and it was global to all of your alts, so you couldn’t personalize per-alt.

Ergo, near and dear to my heart is the addon GupPet. This addon provides robust per-character summoning options, far superior to the unenhanced experience.

Still, GupPet has started to get long in the tooth and support has been sporadic at best. With increasing anxiety, I started looking around for alternatives.

I am happy to report that there are many alternatives out there.  I thought you might appreciate the fruits of my labor. So, over several posts, I’ll report the results of this investigation for your edification. At the end, I’ll sum up and provide any recommendations I may have.

Criteria

To be considered in this review, the addon had to be self-contained and updated no later than July 2018 (which is when GupPet was last updated, and roughly when BfA went live on the PTR). It had to have support for random mount summoning – battlepet features are not the primary consideration.

Factors

Here are the factors that I am grading on. Scale of 0 to 5, with 0 indicating no support for the feature at all, and -1 indicating that the feature is there but broken.

  • Mount Features
    • Journal Integration – does the addon use or modify the native pet journal, or roll its own?
    • Random Mount – does the addon support summoning random mounts, and how well? This is basically the party piece of these addons. If they don’t serve this up well, the rest is irrelevant.
    • Favorites – can you specify lists for which mounts to consider, and how well?
    • Zone-based favorites – does the addon let you set up favorites for specific zones?
    • 3D Model Preview – do you get a 3D preview of a mount when considering it?
    • Auto-add new mounts – when you collect a new mount, is it automatically enabled?
    • Zone Types – If you’re in an area where aquatic mounts are supported, does the addon figure it out? How about flying or ground? How well does it pick up the odd zones such as warfronts or expeditions?

     

  • General Features
    • Uses Blizzard configuration interface – considered more desirable than rolling your own by some.
    • Minimap – does it support a minimap icon of some sort?
    • Data Broker – does it support the Data Broker standard for plugins such as FuBar or ChocolateBar?
    • UI Errors – does it cause UI errors?
    • Slash Command – can you invoke the addon with a slash command?
    • Action buttons – does the addon supply its own action buttons?
    • Keybinds – can you bind addon features to keystrokes?
    • Profiles – Does it support per character profiles?

I’ll start with GupPet as it is more or less the standard that the others are being measured against, and once you see all of them, you’ll understand why.

GUPPet

I’ve been using GUPPet since Cataclysm, at least. On occasion it has stopped working, but for the most part the author(s) have kept it up to date.  It’s clear at this point, however, that the support is minimal at best, and I haven’t seen interaction from the author(s) since July 2018.

mount filter

GupPet Mount Selection Interface

This addon eschews the Mount Journal for its own interface, which is for the most part pretty good. Hovering over a mount in the list brings up a 3D model that is okay but sometimes a little janky. During Legion, class mounts would cause UI errors if they were from the wrong class. This was corrected with the current version.

The addon does not use the Blizzard “Interface” configuration.  Well, it’s PRESENT, but it’s just a button that opens the real UI, so I don’t feel that that counts.

Selecting a mount in the mount list is a checkbox – there’s no way to designate that the mount is only for use in specific environments, but rather the addon tries to figure that out for you.

The addon offers the ability to specify specific favorites for specific zones, but it’s broken. Trying to configure favorites for a specific zone causes a UI error. Fortunately this doesn’t cause any fatal crashes, but it does render that feature useless.

Favorites are per-character; this is invisible to the user. Unfortunately that also means you can’t copy favorite lists from one alt to the other.

The addon offers its own action buttons (which are skinnable using the Masque addon), slash commands, and keybinds via the Blizzard keybind interface.  You cannot add the action buttons to your button bars, but you can add macro buttons that call the slash commands.

options window

GupPet Options

The addon offers a minimap icon which you can disable, but no Data Broker interface.

Class / race -specific support is provided in most cases – but some are missing, such as Sprint for Rogues and Roll for Monks.  Each supported ability can be disabled in the options window.

  • Priest – Levitate while falling or moving
  • Mage – Feather Fall while falling
  • Hunter – Aspect of the Cheetah when moving.
  • Shaman – Ghost Wolf if moving
  • Druid – Travel Form.  It’s complicated, but basically you get the form that is appropriate for where you are, or Cheetah if you’re indoors.  Druid travel form can replace other mounts in most circumstances.
  • Worgen – Running Wild

Random mount support is very good. The addon figures out what mount to summon based on where you are and your favorites for the environment. The list of favorites is subcategorized into three environments as a list of aquatic, land, and flying mounts (with a sub-category for vendor / special mounts). One button controls the whole process – just hit the auto-mount button, and the addon figures it out for you. In a no-fly zone? You get a designated ground mount. Underwater? Aquatic mount. If you have the ‘specials’ enabled for ground mounts, they can appear as well.

The problem of course is that flying mounts appear in the ground mount list, so you have to be careful not to enable them on the ‘ground’ tab or you’ll be waddling around on a grounded dragon. It’s sad looking.

The only caveat here is that the addon doesn’t ‘get’ warfronts (not talking about the patrol mode ones, which allow flying, but the 20-man scenarios, which don’t). I created a patch to fix this (see: https://bitbucket.org/grimmlabs/guppet/src/master/) but neither author has responded to my submissions so go get it if you use this addon 🙂

companion filter

GupPet Companion Selection

One feature that this addon offers over the others is that it also offers support for companion (aka battle pet) randomized summoning as well. You can exclude whole location categories (city, outside, arena, party, raid, and battleground), allow only in cities, and instigate a “pet of the day” mode in which one randomly selected pet is used for the entire day, regardless. The companion tab shows all battle pets you have “learned” and you can select all, none, or specific pets for summoning on a random-ish schedule, based on your configuration options. It’s pretty inclusive.

Conclusion

Overall, this is still my favorite random mount addon, despite some shortcomings. It’s the standard that other mount addons will be rated against.

 

HerbYield Updated

Screenshot 2016-09-05 11.29.27.pngAnyone that uses my poor excuse of an addon, HerbYield, to gather stats on pigment yields when milling, be of good cheer – I’ve updated it for Legion.

You can download it or view the source code at bitbucket.org.

I mean, really, don’t view the source code. It’s ugly. Unless you wanna make fun of me, but I will quickly point out that it’s LUA, so you already have a lot of ammunition to start with. Not my choice.

ANYHOO.  If you’re not familiar with this tool, what it does is watch as you mill herbs, and tally up how many of each kind of pigment each herb yields up. This will allow you to make more intelligent decisions when farming or buying herbs to process.

Having said that, some notes:

  • In Legion you can also get some tertiary yields, such as Yseralline Seeds and Nightmare Pods, which can lead to further yields. I thought about accounting for them as well, but decided against until I find a compelling reason to do so. Out of scope for what I need this tool to do.
  • While Nightmare Pods do yield up pigments, I’m again not sure if that’s in scope for the scale of operations I typically carry out. I have some thought son how to manage it if I decided to, however.

As always, this comes as is and if it blows up your WoW, I’m sorry but that’s as far as I’ll go other than maybe try to fix it.

If that’s a bit scary, then just watch this space for a report of findings after I gather a few thousand samples. See you in a month or two, in that case.

Update

Version 7.00.03.02 is up, which fixes a bug that would occur under high latency situations. Which is a stupid thing for this sort of addon.

PSA: Pawn is Busted. Here’s a Workaround

If you’ve been using the addon Pawn for item comparison, be aware that the 6.2 patch broke it subtly.

Quest Pane If you have something like BugSack installed, you may have noticed that a bug was detected whenever you moused over any loot icons in a quest window.

What you might not have known is that as soon as that happened, Pawn quit working. Completely. The compare window didn’t work, nor did tooltip compares work. Ergo, every time thereafter that you got new loot, there would be no indication that it was an upgrade, even if it was.

What I’m saying here is that you might need to avail yourself of the free “disenchanted item recovery service” if you’ve DE’d “worthless” equipment in the past week.

There is, fortunately, a workaround.  Simply reload your UI, whether via the interface or by typing /reloadin your chat window. And avoid any mousovers in the quest window.

The author is aware of the issue and is working on it. Meanwhile, keep an eye on the addon’s web page or use an addon manager like Curse.  (Well, okay, Curse. Because Minion is completely useless.)

Undermine Journal Issues

In the past few days you may have noticed that whatever tool you use to download the "realm-specific" version of The Undermine Journal addon (that contains auction data specific to you realm) has stopped working. If you had the means, you might have discovered that instead of an HTTP "200" response (meaning all is well) it returned a "402" response (meaning "payment required").  If you were using my little automated update tool, you would be one of those people.

Fortunately, there is an easy remedy.  All you have to do is go to the "realm specific" page and download it directly, ONCE, to prove you are still alive.  The author of TUJ and its addon flipped a switch somewhere so as to shake out any robots that are not actually connected to humans.

So, simple instructions.

  1. Go to The Undermine Journal
  2. Select your realm
  3. Click on SITE in the title bar
  4. Click on "WoW Addon".
  5. Log in using whatever account you would normally use there.
  6. Scroll down to "Addon Download"
  7. Select whatever realm(s) you are interested in.
  8. Copy the URL of the "Download Your Addon Here" link (in FireFox, it’s right-click and then "copy link location")
  9. Save the link you copied – you’ll need it later.  I usually use a Windows7 post-it.
  10. Left-click on that link and download the file – you can use it or not.

Now, if you’re using my little automation script, you need to go open it up in your favorite text editor, and change the line that has the URL that you used previously, and replace it with the one that you just recently copied.  After that, all should be well.

Hey, where’d your text go?

After patch 5.4.2 was applied, you may have noticed something like this:

Notice anything missing?

Notice anything missing?

No matter who it was, the nameplates no longer showed the names, making them just ‘plates’.  If you used something like TidyPlates you might not have this problem, but there were a lot of other people that did.  What was up?

The first clue emerged on the forums – if you had Tekkub’s Tekticles installed, which modified the fonts used in game, you might have this problem.

But if you weren’t using Tekticles, and still had that problem?  Look for an app called BetterFont – "!BetterFont" on your addon panel, and thus near the top.  If you have this installed, disable it. You’ll probably no longer have the problem.

If you have neither of these, search out other font-altering addons.  If unsure, disable them all, and then enable each one, one at a time, until the problem occurs again. That’ll be the addon causing the issue.

MMOUI Minion Is Broke and Abandoned. Here’s what to do about it.

Here’s the problem

Not one to mince words here. If you are using MMOUI Minion, WoW Interface’s “auto-updater” tool, you need to know that it’s either broken or going to break soon for you.

Here’s why.

MMOUI Minion is based off of the Java virtual platform (Often referred to as the JRE, or Java Runtime Environment).  This is a programming language that has gained so much mass that it has curled in the universe around it, giving itself its own “platform” status, similar to “PC” or “Mac” or “Amiga”. This is marketed as a virtue – “write once, deploy anywhere” – and for that reason it is very popular among non-system programmers – web programmers, smart phone programmers, etc.

Java is owned by Oracle, and is very aggressively promoted and supported. There are regular updates, and therein lies the problem. Recently, Java 7 was released and many people, when asked, said “Yes” to the question, “Would you like to update for free?” ((And hopefully “No” to the question, “Would you like a useless crufty piece of crep toolbar installed in your browser?” Well, they stated it more kindly, which is to say, they lied.))

Now, normally this sort of thing has two aspects.

  • There is the HOORAY aspect in which everyone benefits from new features, either immediately or somewhere down the road.  Not necessarily YOU, mind you, but maybe a programmer, corporation, or ad man somewhere is cheering the release of Java 7 right now.
  • There is also an OMG SADFACE aspect, in which some things cease to work.  This is not unexpected. Interfaces change, and programs may need to be recompiled or rewritten to accommodate that.  In that case, you go to the website of the offending program, look at the forums, and find out when they plan on updating the program so that it works again.

I think you see where this is going.

MMOUI Minion was written in such a way that it broke when Java 7 was installed.  Well, that’s the breaks, but surely there’s a fix ready to go. After all, any pro Java coder will probably be working on that well ahead of the Java 7 release, using beta releases of the platform, much as addon authors do with the PTR so that their addons are ready when the patch day comes.

I searched in vain, and finally found some comments on the WoW Interface fora that alluded to the Minion app being abandoned. There was no announcement. There was no posted workaround. The download page is still there. For the love of the Titans, there wasn’t even a bug report!  Well, maybe there was, but I can’t see it. All bug reporting has been redirected to an external website – behind an authentication wall, so you can’t even RESEARCH whether a fix is forthcoming.

This kind of behavior just gets on my nerves. I mean, at least post an announcement and a workaround, or an announcement that it’s abandoned at the very least.  Or take down the download page, at the very very least! To do otherwise is very disrespectful to the users.

Here’s a solution

So the problem is that when you installed Java 7, the MMOUI Minion file itself was not upgraded. It will still work fine if Java 6 is used.  So we need two things.  We need (1) Java 6, and we need (2) to make MMOUI Minion use it.  Neither is exactly straightforward, but neither is impossible, either.

Getting the software ((This is for Windows. Mac Heads, you’re on your own. But you’re our wisest computer users, so I have faith in you.))

  • Go http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jre6downloads-1902815.html.
  • Select the Accept License Agreement button (the “red” circle).
  • Select the Windows download of your choice (the “pink” circle). There are three variants – x86 offline and online ((I recommend the offline version because there’s no telling when the online version will get hidden behind an authentication wall.)), and Windows 64.  If you’re not sure if you need the Win64 version, select the x86 version.
  • Click on the appropriate link and download it.
  • Once you’ve downloaded it, run the installer.  You want to make sure that it goes into its own directory – for example, on my PC it’s C:Program FilesJavajre6, leaving Java 7 in C:Program FilesJavajre7. ((This is largely arbitrary and dependent on how you personally set up your system. I assuming that if you put your Java Runtime Environment somewhere other than the default, you already know enough to sort this out.))

Setting it up

Okay, you got Minion and you got Java 6.  Here’s where we put it all together.

  • Locate your MMOUI Minion icon.
  • Right click on it to bring up its properties dialog.
  • Select SHORTCUT.
  • Under “Target” you should see: “C:Program FilesMMOUI Minionminion.jar” ((Or something very similar. Once again, if you chose other than the default, I trust you know how to translate my instructions.))
  • Change this to: “C:Program FilesJavajre6binjava.exe” -jar “C:Program FilesMMOUI Minionminion.jar” This will force Java 6 to be used to run the program.
  • Select the APPLY button and close the dialog.

Double-click the icon to test out your work. If all is well, you’ll see a console window pop open, then the Minion program.  Unfortunately, you may have to re-configure it if you recently re-installed in a desperate attempt to make it work.  Sorry, can’t help you there.

If you’re annoyed by the console window, however, I CAN help.

  • Reopen the properties dialog for the icon (right-click).
  • Next to the RUN label, select MINIMIZED. (It was previously set at NORMAL WINDOW).
  • Hit APPLY again and close the dialog.

And that’s it!  I hope this has helped you.