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Competitive play with no Addons

By P 'Pookz' ookz
May 22, 2009 03:23

This segment will focus on informing players who strive to attend future LAN events on how to prepare playing with no addons.

Addons have been very beneficial since the game was released because of the lacking UI supplied by Blizzard. Addons change the function and appearance of one's User Interface to benefit them with more tools and options. Popular Arena addons such as Afflicted and Gladius can be game changing when it comes down to small details in an arena match. Afflicted has accurate timers of enemy cooldowns such as a Mage's Counterspell timer. Gladius provides customizable enemy frames that allow one to see a PvP Trinket cooldown and set target/focus off the same frame. These addons, while ideal, are not used by top players either in hopes to attend a LAN tournament or in preparation for an upcoming one. LAN tournament rules require that players use the default interface, so for players using default interface there are some things that can be done to mimic some of these desired addons.


Blizzard added an in game stopwatch mechanic quite some time ago and it is very useful in Arena. When pressed the stopwatch counts from 0 and up, however, with a macro one can set the stopwatch to start at a certain number and count down, mimicking the function of a mod such as Afflicted. For example, I use the stopwatch function to monitor an enemy Mage's Counterspell or a Warlock's Spell Lock since they are both on the same cooldown of 24 seconds. When I get Counterspelled or someone on my team calls out that he gets counterspelled I simply hit the bound macro. In the macro I have it countdown from 23 to factor in a possible one second delay of pressing the keybind. The macro for the stopwatch to countdown from 23 is
/script Stopwatch_Play()
/sw :23

The stop watch can be dragged anywhere on the screen and has a convenient “ding” sound at the end of the timer, reminding that the Counterspell or Spell Lock is back on cooldown.

/target Arena1

The targeting functions /target arena1, /target arena2 and so on were normally only useful if one had Gladius because the order of players from top to bottom that showed on the Gladius frame were the corresponding arena1, arena2 and arena3 macro functions. But since Blizzard has recently added a default Enemy Arena Player Frame one can see who represents arena1, arena2, and arena3 in each specific match without using Gladius. After relating the arena1 – arena3 to players in arena by looking at the Blizzard Arena Unit Frame one can make specific macros to take advantage of this. For example, the gates of the Arena match open and you are fighting Rogue, Mage, Priest. The Priest pops up first on the very top of your Blizzard Arena Frame, so instantly you know he is “arena1.” This being the case, if one previously made the macro “/cast [target=arena1] Polymorph” they could easily keep rolling Polymorphs on to the enemy Priest without having to target him or put him on focus for a focus Polymorph. Players that didn't normally use the F1 F2 F3 keys, found binding “/cast [target=arena1] Polymorph” to F1, “/cast [target=arena2] Polymorph” to F2, and “/cast [target=arena3 Polymorph” to F3 quite useful. One can replace Polymorph with any spell they wish or even simply bind /target arena1 to target enemy players with ease.

Class Colored Nameplates

Class colored nameplates are key to updating oneself with the positioning of the enemy team. To use class colored nameplates to the fullest one must acquire an available “Show Enemy Nameplate” bind. With this bind in place one can easily toggle the class colored nameplates on and off to get the latest enemy team's positioning. The convenient bind is needed for the nameplate toggling because if one leaves nameplates on 100% of the time in an Arena game, their screen may be spammed with nameplates of totems, pets, etc.

Enemy Player Tab

Changing the Tab Target function, through key bindings, to only target enemy players can be very helpful in Arena. The tab target enemy players does not target Mirror Images, Totems, Pets or other entities that get in the way of your desired target. If needed one can make a separate bind to target all enemies in case they need to target pets or totems.

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