Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Addon Spotlight: Feed-O-Matic

I wasn't going to write about this "so soon" after discussing Trackmenu, but after The Blog King presented appetizer and entree courses on hunter management, I thought this add-on would make the perfect dessert helping. The cheesecake, if you will. (Cherry cheesecake, of course.)

Our friend Gazmik Fizzwidget is a goblin of many talents, and unlike most goblins, his inventions do not tend to blow up. As I said, I spoke about Trackmenu not too long ago, but he has also created an excellent add-on to aid in the sometimes arduous task of keeping your pet fed. Keeping your pet fed is important because, after all, if it's happiness drops too low for an extended period of time, the pet will desert you. Hunters who have invested an extended amount of time and money into their pets will tell you that losing your pet is a bad thing. Re-training from scratch is not a pleasant experience, especially if you acquired a rare pet at a low level that you're particularly fond of.

So what exactly are you to do to keep your pet happy? With the default user interface, you are forced to continually monitor that tiny little tri-colour box beside your pet's unit frame (that I swear looks like a coffee cup) and click the feed icon, and then click the food. It's time consuming, repetitive, and tedious.

Our friend Gazmik has written another gem called Feed-O-Matic that makes feeding your pet so gleefully simple it's the next best thing to total automation! Installation is simple and typical of most add-ons. Probably the most difficult thing is choosing a key to bind to the pet feeding process in the Feed-O-Matic configuration window. Once you have defined your key, Feed-O-Matic will intelligently monitor the contents of your inventory and only feed your pet the food that your pet likes, each time you press the feeding key. It will choose foods in the order of your pet's preference. So if one food will give a higher happiness yield, it will use that up first before moving to the next type. It will also optionally ignore food items that are cooking or quest items. It can also be set to consume "shorter" stacks first to maximize your bag space, although this is less of an issue since the recent changes to the stacking mechanism. Lastly, (and this is perhaps my favourite feature) it can even be set to make your pet growl audibly when it's hungry so you don't have to watch the happiness monitor at all!

I don't know Gazmik personally, and I wouldn't normally review two add-ons from the same person in such rapid succession, but it just seemed like a perfect topical flow today. Remember: He's got what you need!

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