The Tillers is one of the most innovative factions introduced by Mists of Pandaria. Not only it provides a detailed story which drives you through the reputation grind, as it introduces two completely new mechanics into the game: NPC individual standing and, most importantly, farming!
While this new mini-game is quite entertaining, keeping track of the tools in your bags can be quite daunting. There are tools you need to pick, seeds you need to buy and sell… soon it will become a mess. Often, I forget to delete the tools after leaving the farm, and that ends up taking precious inventory room. You might be helping Farmer Yoon, but who helps you? Well, Farmhand, of course!
Farmhand solves all the above issues by providing a set of buttons for all your farming needs while you are at Sunsong Ranch. These buttons update dynamically depending upon which tools and materials you have in your inventory, and disappear soon as you leave the farm. Optionally, the add-on can also delete the tools when you depart from Sunsong, making sure you never waste your bag slots.
Additionally, Farmhand supports Masque, allowing you to customize the entire look and feel of the add-on.
We also had the opportunity to have a chat with the add-on's author, JCinDE:
First things first: Braised Turtle or Wildfowl Roast?
Wildfowl Roast definitely. Turtles are my favorite animal. I could never do that to them. Besides, since everything tastes like chicken might as well just eat chicken and take the mystery out of it.
Poor chicken. How did you came up with the idea for Farmhand? Are you a dedicated tiller?
I don't know why I'm so hooked on that little farm, but I am. The idea for the addon came to me because: A) it's a pain to have to dig through my bags to find the tools and seeds and B) I always forget to delete them from my crowded bags when I'm done. A little dynamic UI that appears only while I'm working the fields just seemed natural.
Approximately how long did it take to finish the first working version?
I don't write a lot of addons but I am a coder at heart and my UI is heavily customized including custom code. This was my first time working with action buttons though so I had to do a little research. Once I had the basics, though, it really only took a few hours to make the add-on functional.
How was the experience of working with the World of Warcraft UI?
World of Warcraft's programmable UI is one of the major things that keeps me hooked on the game. Sure there are some annoyances and pitfalls, but I love it.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring add-on developers?
There are several good reference sites on the internet, but I lean on WoWWiki and wowprogramming the most. Also WoWAce of course, for lots of great libraries and other addons to dissect.
The best way to learn how something works is to take it apart. Extract the code for the built-in UI and poke through it and through the code for your other favorite addons. I don't personally buy programming books, but there are several out there dedicated to UI programming in WoW.
Thank you to JCinDE for answering our questions and developing this add-on.