WoWPro Addon Module - Arrow

Silvann's picture

Hello all!

This is another blog entry to discuss an optional module for the WoWPro Addon, namely the Arrow/Coordinates.

Basically, we've always wanted to implement our own Arrow to be used in directing players to guide steps, without having to rely on other addons (like TomTom). The recent problems with the TomTom arrow not working on certain WoW maps (due to library problems) pushed me to work on this from now on. Besides, I've had some original ideas to implement in such an addon, that should be more useful to our guide/addon needs.

However, WoWPro addon should still be able to support TomTom (and likely TomTomLite, in the future) as long as those addons keep getting updated.

So, I'll go over my ideas, but the purpose of this thread is to recieve feedback from the community.

Update: If anyone wants to design an arrow or suggest an image I could use (with the appropriate copyright), I'll make sure Jiyambi gives you lots of karma points (the better the image, the more points). Eye It doesn't have to be the same kind of arrow TomTom uses, it just needs to be something that indicates direction.

Ideas (in no particular order)

  1. It should be able to accept coordinates to be mapped, in a very customized way, so the addon that calls the Arrow can provide different options, on how the coordinate mapping will be handled, etc.
  2. WoWPro Arrow should be able to handle easily multiple coordinate points.
  3. An arrow/pointer that can show easily the direction the player should follow (only working within the same continent).
  4. Built in with a list of different travel options between all the continents on WoW, with their positions well marked. So, if a waypoint leads you to another continent, the addon should be smart enough to point you to the boat/zep/portal/etc first, before sending you to the exact destination.
  5. We could extend the previous functionality by also providing different travel methods (like flypoint taxis) if, say, a waypoint is in a different zone within the same continent. For people with flying mounts, we could evaluate which would be faster, and so on. But this should take more time to develop.
  6. At first, I don't think it's necessary to provide visual points on the World and Minimap, given Blizzard's implementation lately. But if we decide to allow this, I'd want the module to accept an icon image to be used to mark the maps. For example, our 'complete' step icon, the crossing swords, could then be used to provide the visual marking on the maps.

So, how about you guys? Any ideas? What are the options/interfaces you like or dislike in other Mapping addons? How do you think the arrow (or something like it) should look like? Someone suggested a HUD, but I think that's too much like the minimap.


~ Silvann


Silvann's picture

Thanks for the images, but I

Thanks for the images, but I still havent had time to implement them. There were some more pressing bugs to take care of. >.< But it seems to be mostly working now. Alpha version should be ready in the next few days, I'll let you guys know how to download it.

Silvann's picture

So the basic functionality

So the basic functionality already works, like adding/clearing waypoints, calculating distances/angles, etc. It works well in all phased zones I have been, including the worgen starting zones (though I had to do some hacks from the libmap library).

But before I move on and change WoWPro core to allow using my arrow, I need some more feedback. The more pressing issue if the big arrow itself: I have been using TomTom's arrow texture to test my code, but we need our own.

So, if anyone wants to design an arrow or suggest an image I could use (with the appropriate copyright), I'll make sure Jiyambi gives you lots of karma points. ;) It doesn't have to be the same kind of arrow as TomTom's, but it need to be something that indicates the direction.

Also, I have been playing with several texture updates on distance and angle changes, I'll likely make them all available as options in the release version. I'm testing changing the transparency (alpha), colors and even changing the whole image itself. Also, changing the color of the distance number string (below the arrow), based on the distance. Feel free to suggest other things I could use.

Bitsem's picture

This is just a goofy idea. I

This is just a goofy idea. I have been enamored with dragons since I was in pigtails. Not sure about copyrights, it's from a free tattoo site.

dragon arrowHere's the site.

I'll see if I can find something more practical. lol

Things I never thought I'd say...

"Your brother is not a dog! Get that leash off of him!"

kayeich's picture

Well, Tomtom's arrow is

Well, Tomtom's arrow is pretty much free, there's a license file saying one's free to use it for any purpose if it's non-commercial. And it's pretty decent all things considered.

An alternative to the arrow could be a more HUD approach to things too, as those seem to be popular (though I prefer the arrow format myself, so I would like an option to switch between the two).

As an example, I photoshopped one of my screenshots, editing out the tomtom arrow, and putting in a display to give an example (I would still recommend using the tomtom minimap arrow, that one's nice).


I would say the ring changes color depending on distance (with the standard red/yellow/green), and the arrow loops around the ring in the direction you're supposed to turn.

And if you're providing options, you might as well offer these handy-dandy Totoro Pointers for Jiyambi!

Their tummies can work as the arrows, with color (and smiles) serving as distance/direction indicators! =p

Silvann's picture

Nice, thanks! :) About the

Nice, thanks! :)

About the TomTom arrow, I know it's basically free to use, but I was trying to avoid confusion between the 2 addons. But, actually, now that TomTom is migrating to TomTomLite, with a different (worse, imo, arrow), I may use TomTom's anyway. I'll also need to get in touch with TomTom's author about a piece of his code, so I'll ask him about the arrow too.

Can you provide those textures in greyscale? Also, it would help if you provide the tummies (the part that's colored) as a different texture/file, so I could overlay them to change the tummies colors dinamically ingame.


kayeich's picture

Zipped file

I zipped up the examples, as well as targa files for each of the components (since WoW uses tga and blp formats for images, and I don't know how to make/use blp images) in greyscale:

The HUD files are both scale 256x256, even though arrow is smaller since I figured the reference frame point might help. The Totoro files are scale 128x128, again for reference frame points.

If you don't really need those reference points, you can always crop the images.

Jiyambi's picture

Ahahahaha, those Totoros are

Ahahahaha, those Totoros are hilarious. Thanks kayeich, I needed a giggle :)

The HUD arrow is al excellent idea, I like it! Definitely agree it should be an option, I'm not sure I'd use it, but I think it would be nice to provide it for those who like it.

The TomTom arrow graphic is used by Questhelper, Carbonite, and was used by Cartographer as well. I think it would be okay if we used it, but I also wouldn't object to our own graphic.

Also kayeich, your UI is smexy. Now I'm going to have to mess with mine again, dang you~!

kayeich's picture

Heh, thanks. It's a modified

Heh, thanks. My UI is a modified version of LUI (suite found here) if you want to take a look at the base addon.

Silvann's picture

Ah, I didn't know it was used

Ah, I didn't know it was used for all those addons, then I'll use it in our arrow addon, at least as an option. thanks!

Jiyambi's picture

Give me half a year and I'll

Give me half a year and I'll have learned to make cool things like this! Right now, though, I'm worthless with computer type art thingies. Many karma points and happy thoughts from me to whoever can make one!

Jiyambi's picture

I think displaying marks on

I think displaying marks on the map is important - I prefer to play without the clutter of Blizz's quest blobs if I can avoid it. Using the step icons as markers is awesome, definitely love that idea! Obviously this can wait until after we get the basic functionality down, but yeah, definitely would like to see it at some point :)

I think keeping to a simple arrow is fine. One thing that I used to love about cartographers arrow when I used to use it - the color changed based on distance, not on direction. I'm not sure if this is something other people would like or not.

In terms of a database of flight paths, zeppelin towersm etc... I think that functionality would be nice, but honestly I feel it's the least important of the features you have mentioned. It's not often used in guides and there is usually a specific step for such things. The only time it would be nice is when someone is picking up a guide either at the beginning or starting mid-way through, when they aren't already in the right area.

Anyways, very much looking forward to this!

Silvann's picture

I see what you mean, Gilmir,

I see what you mean, Gilmir, and I could implement that! In fact, as Cracker mentioned, TomTom also has this functionality - if the waypoint is beyond the minimap area radius, thus not showing as a dot in the minimap. But I'll likely not use Blizzard's own arrow texture for that, because I think it might confuse people who still use our addon alongside Blizzard's objectives options.

Also, unless I missed something while reading Blizzard;s UI code, I can't 'remove' specific Blizzard icons/arrows on the minimap, I can only  turn off whole options (like the tracking objectives), which I don't think people will like.


Crackerhead22's picture

The big floating arrow can be

The big floating arrow can be removed.  It is a TomTom feature.

kayeich's picture

The golden minimap arrow is a

The golden minimap arrow is a blizzard feature. I believe it should do it automatically if you go into the Interface menu -> Objectives menu, then make sure the first two boxes are clicked ("Automatic Quest Tracking" and "Automatic Quest Progress Updates").

As for TomTom, keep in mind that the 'giant green arrow' CAN be resized. Type /tomtom (or go to the Interface->Addon->TomTom menu). From there, select the "Waypoint Arrow" menu, scroll down to "Arrow Display" and reduce the scale from 1 down to whatever size arrow makes it a comfortable size for you. Likewise, if you do this, keep in mind that the accompanying text does also shrink, so you'll want to increase the "Title" scale accordingly (I have my arrow shrunk to 0.75, so title scale is 1.35)

Jiyambi's picture

The TomTom arrow (the small

The TomTom arrow (the small minimap one) should look much like the Blizzard one, but a different color. In the current functionality of the addon, you can download TomTom, open up it's options, and turn off the big arrow. The small minimap arrow should still show up. I'm thinking this will be the basic functionality you are looking for, but correct me if I'm wrong.

From what Sylvan has mentioned, I don't think directly interacting with Blizz's arrow will work well for our addon, but the arrow he is programming should preserve the same functionality (ability to hide big arrow and just show minimap one). From what I've experienced, the Blizz arrow only shows up when you are tracking the quest, which puts a bunch of stuff on your screen that many users may not want (I know I don't want a big list of tracked quests there when the guide addon already tracks them for me!). But I could be wrong here.

Let me know if that answered your question or if you still have other suggestions :)

Crackerhead22's picture

This is where I am confused. 

This is where I am confused.  There should be a mini map arrow that TomTom showing where the waypoint is.

Crackerhead22's picture

There should be TomTom arrows

There should be TomTom arrows there, which zone/faction are you doing?  There are still some zones that do not have |M| tags built in, so without Lightheaded they won't show.  We are working on fixing that.