Addon replacement – Bartender 3 for Bongos
A while back, I published an overview of Bongos and called it part 1. I intended to cover this addon in two parts simply because there was so much to say about it and I wanted to cover it’s configuration in great detail to help you out. I had been using it for a while and it was a tremendous gameplay aid for us Druids as we switched forms.
Well, shortly after I published part 1 of the overview, Bongos underwent several version changes in the space of a couple weeks. In one instance, completely reverting back to code from a few version prior because of issues with a newly released version (the new version was, I thought, a great step forward in making setup more straightforward). In monitoring the message boards, I found lots of users having issues with keybindings and stance change problems.
Given the frequent code changes taking place, and the ongoing user issues, I made the decision to switch my action bar mod. I wish Bongos the best and I may come back to it one day. I continue to see it mentioned in other blogs and other than the few (albeit critical) issues it had, it was a great tool.
However, my approach to addons is very simple:
- They need to be easy to setup
- They need to add to my gameplay
- They need to work, consistently
I like to play World of Warcraft; I don’t particularly like to fool around with addons and mods. Some people really like that – I’m not one of them. I understand there are version updates for patches and the odd functional update. But if a mod gets to the point where I need to keep updating it just to keep it working, then I start looking for a replacement.
And so it was with Bongos.
I hit the major addon websites and started searching for a replacement. I looked for mods that were highly rated, had active author participation on the boards, had an easy setup, and didn’t seem to have a lot of ongoing issues reported by players. I immediately eliminated Discord as to labor-intensive to setup, and shortly thereafter dropped Flexbar from consideration for the same reason. That left me with Trinity and Bartender 3.
I was initially concerned with Bartender 3 (BT3) as I had read about a number of issues with it around key bindings, which was what I was trying to get away from with Bongos. However, I then noticed that most of the issues were with previous versions of Bartender and 3 was a complete rewrite for the Burning Crusade release.
I checked out Trinity on a couple of the site and hit some forum boards. While I like the look of Trinity and it seems to offer some flexibility I might take advantage of, I became concerned when again I read posts complaining of key binding issues and stance (form)-switching issues. Also, it quickly became apparent that Trinity setup, while not as complicated as Discord or Flexbar, was still complicated enough that it required downloading several guides to take you successfully through setup.
So, eventually I settled on Bartender 3. It took me about 20 minutes to get it completely setup and that included time to plan the layout of my action bars by druid form (an activity I highly recommend). I’ve been using BT3 now for about 3 weeks and it has been rock solid with no issues at all. BT3 keybindings are done through the standard Blizzard keybindings menu, so maybe that helps it’s stability.
Bt3 is a very basic mod, so if you’re looking for a lot of flexibility you will probably be disappointed. But if you want an action bar mod that is simple to setup, is stable and has sufficient configuration to support action bar switching for all your forms (including Prowl), then BT3 may be your answer.
I will get an overview of Bartender 3, including setup and configuration, up on the site over the next week.
My research sites:
- Ui.worldofwar.net interface enhancements category
- Curse Gaming action bar addon category
- WoWinterface.com bar mod addon category
- World of Warcraft UI and Macros forum