Monday, 29 March 2010

RIP Cartographer

For those of us who use a custom interface for WoW, our work is never complete. My UI is always changing, and it's still not perfect.

Even though I try to keep my addons pretty much up to date, there's not much we can do when the developer of an addon stops work on it, and a subsequent patch breaks it.

Such a thing has happened with one of my favourite addons, Cartographer 3.  It was a Google-esqe map that was seamless and zoom-able.  I was sad to see that once patch 3.3.3 hit, it no longer worked, and the cartographer inside me cried quietly in the corner.

The problems with both the original Cartographer and version 3 will not be fixed - the addon's page at Curse says that it would need a complete re-write.

Matticus posted on No Stock UI about a few different addons that can replace most of the functionality of Cartographer. I have now installed two of them - Mapster and Cromulent.  I already had Atlas installed for instance maps. I recommend visiting NSUI to check the other addons suggested, including those mentioned by commenters.  A couple of commenters suggested that you can make orginal Cartographer work by disabling the "Look and Feel" module - but Cartographer 3 doesn't have that module and wouldn't work at all for me.

So, I'm trying out Mapster. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles that Cartographer did, but it has the basic functionality and shows coordinates.  One of the really cool things it does have is a minimise function, where it makes a smaller, non-clickable version of the map in the middle of your screen. If you adjust the alpha on this map so that you can see your toon through it, it makes a neat navigational aide that is a little Diablo-ish.  I'm not sure if I will use it much since it does obscure the view a bit, but I can see it being useful while travelling. It looks a little faint in the picture - it's not quite so bad when the background is moving.

You can set the alpha and scale for both the full-size and minimised maps, as well as configure icons for group members and options for fog of war.  Mapster also has an instance map component, so perhaps I can do away with Atlas. More testing required first though.

Mapster also shows quest objectives on the map in a similar way to the default world map - with numbered circles.  You can choose to hide these panels. The green area on the map is the fog of war (ie, unexplored areas).

The other addon I've added is Cromulent. All it does is add information to the map window about the zone you're mousing over, showing the recommended level range, instances that are in that zone, plus the level of fishing required to fish there. The text across the top of the map in the image at the top of the post is Cromulent in action.

Cartographer and Cartographer 3 were broken by 3.3.3. They're not going to be fixed.

Two useful replacement addons are Mapster and Cromulent. I've liked them so far! Read Matticus' post on No Stock UI for more suggestions for Cartographer replacement.

PS. So far we have had 29 blogs sign up to hide an egg for the Great Blog Noblegarden Egg Hunt! Wouldn't you like to join in? :)

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