Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Play Better, Suck Less: Knowing what you need from Windower.

Play Better, Suck Less is a column dedicated to getting the most out of your FFXI experience in game and out. Whether Windower improvements, new game-play techniques, sweet strats or new tech, it will all be covered here! Today, we help to figure out what you need from Windower.

Ah the eternal conflict, console versus PC. I am not going to take that up today, because it could go on forever, but I would like to help to determine what you need out of Windower if you are using it and how to get the most out of it for your job.

Let me preface the "morality" of using Windower instead of the official windowed mode. I am not going to debate the morality of the issue, because if you don't want to use Windower then just don't use it. If you only need to flip between windows then SE's windowed mode is perfectly fine, and you can stick with that. The problem is that in the time from when SE introduced the game to now, the ability to use Windower has become very useful without breaking the spirit of the law when it comes to it's purposes. Many add-on's don't do anything more than you could do yourself by flipping through various menus. You could go farther of course, but most people that use Windower want to do that, those people usually pay for hacks and cheats, etc. I have no interest in that, and I hope you don't either.

Now that is out of the way, lets focus on what you may need while playing with Windower. Initially, you should check pretty often to see what the most current version of Windower is available and what it is including. If you don't want anything included in your Windower, you can always just use Windower Lite, which just simply enables you to alt-tab out of the FFXI window and has no additional add-ons. Windower in it's most current forms includes many different options, including TParty, Distance and other old faithful add-on's that you will recognize with ease if you have ever used Windower before. Recast is now bundled with Windower, but it is still the first thing that you should consider when thinking about Windower add-ons. Recast is a simple conter that tells you when your own spells or actions are going to be ready again. This is nice for some mage jobs, but it is especially nice for melee that use multiple JAs on relatively long timers. For mages, even more functionality can be achieved by using Yarnball. Yarnball is a great add-on that functions like Recast but for buffs that you cast on yourself or on other players. It also works for some JA's but it really needs to be updated for the last couple of updates. Still, it is a great add-on that really helps out for those non-obsessive types like me. :)

There are many other add-ons that are available but none of them are as useful as Recast and Yarnball when it comes to tracking buffs.

Next week, we will talk about another add-on for use in Salvage that may make your life a little easier.

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