How to use a WoW achievement addon to make your Achievements easier

by on August 26, 2011


For some players, obtaining an achievement is a reward in itself. Others chase achievements for the unique rewards and trophies they grant. Whatever your motivation, if you’re looking for a WoW achievement addon, try our simple guide first of all.

Overachiever – your personal Achievement assistant

If you’re a serious achievement hunter, Overachiever is an essential addon. It plus into the default Achievements UI and adds a whole bunch of extra useful goodness. Let’s take a look at some of the functionality it offers.

Downloading and installing Overachiever

Read our guide, How to download and install WoW addons, if you’re not sure how to install an addon.

Overachiever is available through the Curse client, or from one of the following download locations:
Download Overachiever from wowinterface.com | Download Overachiever from curse.com

Move that frame!

Installing and enabling Overachiever will automatically make the Achievements frame draggable. Now you can move it out of the way without having to close it!

Search achievements

Once Overachiever is installed, open the Achievements pane. You can still use the same button or shortcut key as before (Y, if you haven’t changed it from the defaults). One of the things you’ll notice is a new Search tab at the bottom of the window. You can use this tab to search through all the achievements in the game (whether or not your character has achieved them yet). That can be great for finding the details of that tricky achievement, or just to see what’s available.

The Search tab in OverachieverThe Search tab in Overachiever



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Get suggestions

Overachiever also provides suggestions for which achievement to chase next. It does so automatically, based on your current location and a variety of other factors. You don’t have to pay attention to the suggestions, of course, but if you’re an achievement hunter stuck for ideas it might help you.

The Suggestions tab in Overachiever

The Suggestions tab in Overachiever


Tooltip improvements

When you hover over an achievement title in a chat window, Overachiever will provide a detailed tooltip, showing information about that addon. It will tell you whether your current character has the achievement, and whether the achievement is part of a series. It’ll also tell you if the achievement is a requirement for any other achievements – The Brewfest Diet, for example, is a requirement for Brewmaster.

As well as all that, Overachiever also adds extra information to the tooltips of many other in-game items. It will tell you if you need to /love a critter for the achievement To All The Squirrels I’ve Loved Before, whether a book is one you need to read for Well read, or whether you need to fish in a fishing pool to tick it off your list for Northrend Angler. There are lots of other tooltip additions.

_NPCScan – find rare spawns

Most Warcraft monsters reappear a few minutes after you’ve killed them, ready to be killed all over again by the next heroic adventurer to come riding through their lair. There are a few special creatures, though, which do not automatically reappear. These rare spawns can only be found every few hours. As a result, they tend to drop much better loot than their mundane brethren.

Some of the rarest creatures drop loot which is incredibly desirable, such as rare mounts. These creatures are incredibly hard to find. It’s not unheard of for players to spend weeks or even months searching for these elusive creatures.

_NPCScan can help. Once installed, it will pop up an alert whenever you’re near a rare creature, as well as blaring out a fanfare to alert you.

Downloading and installing _NPCScan

_NPCScan

Read our guide, How to download and install WoW addons, if you’re not sure how to install an addon.

_NPCScan is available through the Curse client, or from one of the following download locations:
Download _NPCScan from wowinterface.com | Download _NPCScan from curse.com

Is it working?

You won’t see any immediate difference when you install _NPCScan. It will only take effect when you encounter a rare creature. When that happens, you’ll see an alert on your screen, featuring the name of the creature and a small 3D preview. Click the creature’s name to select it as your current target. Now go get it!

An example of an _NPCScan alert

An example of an _NPCScan alert.
Image originally taken from wowinterface.com


Clearing your cache

Unfortunately, once _NPCScan has discovered a rare creature, it won’t provide an alert if you encounter the same creature again. There’s an easy way to fix that, but it involves emptying your WoW Cache directory. There’s no danger in doing so – the Cache directory is just a sort of temporary ‘scratch pad’ to which WoW copies information for easy access, so if you empty it the game will simply start filling it up again.

You’ll need to remember to empty your Cache folder every so often to keep _NPCScan working well.

To empty your Cache:

  • Close World of Warcraft if it’s currently running.
  • Navigate to your World of Warcraft installation directory
  • * If you’re running Windows, it’s probably C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft or something similar.
  • * Mac users will find the folder at /Applications/World of Warcraft/.
  • Delete the Cache folder.
  • Restart World of Warcraft.

_NPCScan.Overlay

If you thought _NPCScan had an awkward and convoluted name, you ain’t seen nothing yet. _NPCScan.Overlay is a companion addon to _NPCScan. It will add an overlay to your world map and to your minimap, showing the spawn points and paths of any rare mobs in the area. That doesn’t mean that the rare creatures are actually there, but if you’re searching for a particular creature it can show where to circle.


_NPCScan.Overlay in action

_NPCScan.Overlay in action (with the world map from the Carbonite addon)


Install _NPCScan.Overlay through the Curse client, or download it from curse.com or wowinterface.com.

Do you have any recommendations for addons to make achievement-hunting easier? Let us know in the comments.

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