Adventures in Azeroth

It’s a Druid’s World (of Warcraft)

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:

January 30, 2007 - Posted by | Interface Add-ons, Must have addons, World of Warcraft


  1. I’ve used Discord, Flexbar, and a ton of others. Recently, I made the switch to Bartender3 (as suggested by Kinless), and I honestly have no idea why I ever used anything else.

    It’s a great addon, and it’s extremely easy to set up. Particularly when used in tandom with FuBar. I love it. I wouldn’t dream of switching.

    Comment by Lassirra | January 31, 2007 | Reply

  2. The word issue has for most of its history as a member of the English vocabulary been taken to mean a matter of dispute between two or more parties. The word “problem” is far more useful in describing problems.

    Comment by Ken Lydell | March 18, 2007 | Reply

  3. […] got about a 30% or higher number of hits yesterday, with most of them finding my post on setting up Bartender 3.  I still stand by Bartender 3 and really haven’t done anything to it since setting it up a […]

    Pingback by LOL - Welcome Bartenders « Adventures in Azeroth | September 26, 2007 | Reply

  4. […] got about a 30% or higher number of hits yesterday, with most of them finding my post on setting up Bartender 3.  I still stand by Bartender 3 and really haven’t done anything to it since setting it up a […]

    Pingback by LOL - Welcome Bartenders | Adventures in Azeroth | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  5. […] – For reasons I’ve outlined in a separate post, I am now using Bartender 3 for my action bar setup.  Read my overview […]

    Pingback by Addon Overview - Bongos (Part 1) | Adventures in Azeroth | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  6. Having run around as with trinity and bongos, I eventually made the switch after my WTF folder got corruped and NEVER looked back. No reason to go back when you have BT3.

    Comment by excrutiation | March 28, 2008 | Reply

  7. The Mirror universe episode is on now. ,

    Comment by SouthWind43 | October 22, 2009 | Reply

  8. His shy smile and aw-shucks demeanor, not to mention all-inclusive after parties put him on this list. ,

    Comment by No_limits97 | October 23, 2009 | Reply

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