There are many things to farm in WoW. It’s not like some games where you plant things and wait (I’ve never played Farmville, is it like Harvest Moon?). The things are all out there waiting to be found. I remember when I first became a skinner. I was quite excited to be able to skin the animals I killed and get… scraps of leather. Soon(ish) I could skin whole dragons and get… 3 pieces of leather. It takes about 50 mammoths to make a small hat </exaggeration>. So farming, whether it be for herbs, skins, ores, cuddly toys, can get boring. I’ve found a few addons that work well together to ease the tedium. (Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t play the game if I actually found it boring!)
Gathermate remembers where you’ve picked herbs, mined ores, etc. for you and displays it on your map. Gathermate Data is a database that lots of people have contributed to which is a good indication of where herbs, ores etc. have ever appeared. If you have all the nodes shown, you can’t really see the world map any more, but thankfully there are many settings to change which types of nodes to display, and when, and also settings to change the size and opacity of the icons. Gatherer is an alternative, and their database comes from Wowhead directly. However, the database isn’t available on Curse.com, which I prefer to Wow Interface.
Once I have all the blobs on the map, I use Routes to make a route to travel to visit all the relevant nodes in a zone. If there are areas that are awkward, you can set up ‘taboo regions’ that the addon will ignore. The addon then does a good job of optimizing the route between all the nodes (or clusters of nodes if you’d rather).
There are various addons out there that will give you a big arrow to a waypoint. TomTom is my current choice, as it’s simple and integrates well with Routes and other addons I use. This one’s simple – it points to the next node on your route. [Except at the moment it’s broken. I think it’s Routes to blame, so fingers crossed for an update soon!]
Even if you’ve heard of the previous addons, I’m not sure this one is quite so popular – but it is a nice bit of icing on the farming cake (eww – bet it tastes of hay). Farmit gives you up to 12 bars, which look like action bars, that you can drag the things you’re farming to, and it tells you how many you have. This gives you an at-a-glance indicator of your farming progress without having to open your bags. Until Blizzard allows you to place non-usable items on action bars, this is quite handy. The cherry on top of the icing, is that you can set farming objectives. If you ctrl-click one of the buttons, you can type in a number. Once you reach that amount of the tracked item, you get a notification and the ‘quest complete’ sound.
It’s not perfect, but I’m happy that it’s now back in active development after being broken for a long time. The current release doesn’t have any graphical options (I recommend reading the user guide), and it’s a bit buggy – but I hope it will continue to improve.
Archy is specific to Archaeology, and adds a few cute features to the boring grind for shinies. You get a TomTom waypoint arrow to the nearest digsite, an overlay on the minimap that shows the digsite area, and a couple of configurable windows for digsite and artefact information. [Note – Archy is currently broken but there is a bugfix version available at wowinterface. Apparently the original author lives in Queensland, and therefore addons aren’t his top priority at the moment]. I would write more, but then it would look like I was copying the recent Wow Insider’s Addon Spotlight. They also mention Homing Digeon, which shows digsite icons on the flightmaster map, which is sometimes handy.
Because I love you all, I’ve made an addon pack at Curse containing all these lovely addons. It’s the first time I’ve done this, so I have no idea how long the review process takes before it is available. I also don’t know how many people use the Curse4 client, so please tell me if you find addon packs useful and I’ll continue to create them!