If you have been following our spotlights, you might know that this is not the first time we talk about this addon. Hence, you might ask: why should it deserve our attention for a second time? Well, the reason is quite simple: since our spotlight, Farmhand has released a quite unique feature - the Crop Scanner and we shall be covering it this week.
Farmhand is an addon that provides you a set of buttons for all your farming needs while you are at Sunsong Ranch. These include tools, such as the Watering Can, and seeds for planting. The buttons change dynamically depending upon which materials you have in your inventory, and disappear soon as you leave the farm.
Recently, Farmhand added the new Crop Scanner button to the set. Clicking on it will mark all the plants in the vicinity depending on their needs. The addon uses raid markers to label them. As such, alluring crops will be marked with a moon, runty with a star, occupied soil with a skull,… You will only need to memorize what each symbol means.
This will allow you to much quicker understand the state of your farm and what tasks are upon you. No more need to target crops and read their names!
Farmhand is also packed with other small features. Some are from the time of the last spotlight, others are new. One of the latter is the Stock View tooltip.
These feature adds an extra information tooltip whenever buying seeds. This will show the corresponding vegetable to the seed you're buying and how many you have - both with you and in the bank.
We also had the opportunity to have a chat with the add-on's author, JCinDE:
Absolutely! I was delighted when I heard they were going to add more farm features. I was briefly worried they were going to stick a gigantic "gold sink" price tag on the farm. I'm glad they decided to just make it a perk for getting to exalted instead.
Initially it was rather difficult to visually identify certain crop conditions such as "runty" where the plant is half buried in the ground. That was the inspiration for the Crop Scanner. Eventually, Blizzard heard the players complaints about it and added some more obvious visual cues. The Crop Scanner is still a nice-to-have, though, just peace of mind.
It's actually pretty simple. Because Blizzard created the crops as targetable units in the game (like NPC merchants or enemies or other players), you can use the /tar command to target them just like any other unit. That means you could create macros that target the plants. The addon uses its own hidden macros to do it. Unfortunately that means it's heavily reliant on translators to make the addon work for other locales. Luckily, I've had a lot of great help in that area and we have nearly complete translations for all except Spanish.
It was probably a dozen hours spread over a few weeks, learning more about how to use macro commands and secure action templates. The users were great about providing feedback and being patient with me while I worked out all the kinks.
I wrote a mod called CtA_Hawk that watches for when a reward is being offered for tanks or healers in the dungeon finder.
I've also been kicking around the idea of an addon that's sort of a "traveler's phrase book". A list of common things you'd like to communicate in a dungeon, but often cannot because of a language barrier. The addon would let you click a phrase and appropriate translations for it based on the other party members' server names would be put into chat. I've got a prototype for this working already, I'm just not sure how much interest there'd be for it.
Big thanks to all of the translators, too numerous to name them all, who've helped make Farmhand work around the world. The user community has also made some great suggestions and has been great at helping me track down pesky bugs. A great user community is what makes a developer's effort of polishing and sharing work worth it.