Critline is an add-on mostly for fun. It keeps track of all your best critical and normal hits for every of your damage and healing abilities, and congratulates you whenever you reach a new score. This makes it quite entertaining when leveling or gearing up new characters, giving you a greater sense of accomplishment as your persona progresses to new heights of greatness.
Furthermore, it allows you to view your scores for every ability - either in the summary list, or on spell tooltips. It is also highly customizable, and comes packed with many utility features - such as automatically taking screenshots on new scores, or broadcasting them to other players in the chat.
Overall, a great addition that any player should consider, specially with Mists of Pandaria closing in on the horizon.
We also had the opportunity to have a chat with the current add-on's developer, Lombra:
How did you end up working on Critline?
I remember there was an issue at some point, and the current developers were no longer active. At the time I felt comfortable enough with programming that I thought I'd just patch it up so we could go back to our happy lives. I published it unofficially, but was shortly thereafter added as an author of the official project. When it was apparent that none of the "real" authors would return to the project, I decided to take it on to try and maintain it until further notice.
How would you describe the experience of working on an add-on that dates back to 2005, and that has already been maintained by three different developers?
I'm proud to be able to carry on the torch of the legacy of Critline. Competition by all means, but I always found it slightly annoying that there were so many branches of Critline. With the current "my" version of Critline (started out as Critline 5, later simply Critline), they wanted to get back to the roots with a "main" version, merging some of the branches out there at the time, which appealed to me.
Every developer has their own coding preferences, and I rewrote most of the addon almost immediately. I try not to add too many irrelevant features, and turn it into something it's not, but update its GUI and inner workings for a better experience for the end user. Today I dare say not a single line of the original code remains, while still remaining true to its original purpose.
Did you come across any problems during development?
Nothing I couldn't handle (eventually). But of course, there were minor roadblocks all the time, such as "how do I best implement this feature/solve this problem?", or small things that I just couldn't be arsed doing or figuring out how to, that in turn delayed an entire release, sometimes by months!
What do you find Critline most useful for?
Personally I just like the occasional new high score popping up, saying "oh this is the most amount of damage you've dealt in (what probably is) a long time!" or "your gear is just so much better now!". :) After that I rarely actually look at all the records I've got.
Could you tell us about any other mods you currently are developer of?
There's my very first addon, SpellBlocked (shows what you reflect with spell reflection), which I'm happy to know remains useful to this day! PDF Stats (lets you customize the stat frame in your character window), which I'm just really happy with how well I made it integrate with the default UI. Fashion (for automatically hiding or showing certain helms/cloaks when you equip them) which I use extensively, being totally vain about my characters. And a bunch more!
Do you have any advice for others who would like to start modding?
Everyone has their own way of learning things. Personally I learnt most by looking at existing addons. Didn't really study any official Lua documentation. I had no Lua nor XML experience when I first started, but a little bit of general programming experience. Don't jump straight into any advanced addon; you'll just get confused. Start off with something really simple, such as an addon that responds to a UI event (something most addons need to take into consideration) with a simple action, and learn how the basics of Lua work.
Experiment with changing the code and see how it reflects in the game. And don't be afraid to experiment; the worst things that could happen is that the game crashes or your WoW settings resets. And don't expect to understand how something works the first time you have it explained for you. When you've done it for the 10th time you will probably start to get a grip of it. I know that's how it works for me, at least!
Thank you to Lombra for answering our questions and developing this add-on.