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World of Warcraft Spotlight - SmartLoot

World of Warcraft Spotlight
SmartLoot

Welcome to another World of Warcraft Spotlight! Today we will cover SmartLoot, a loot addon developed by MiniMule.

When auto-loot is turned on, you will save lots of time since you will not have to manually pick up items anymore. However, the downside is that you will be picking up quite a bunch of useless and worthless junk along the way. This addon is meant as an alternative to the original automatic looting feature, which is why you will have to turn it off while using this addon.

You can pick from a large selection of filters that are divided into various categories, such as consumables and trade goods. This way, you can easily configure what to pick up and what to leave behind. In addition to automatic looting, the addon also comes with automatic vendor stocking. This lets you quickly stock up on reagents upon visiting a vendor.

Installation

Simply clicking the "Install via Curse Client" button found on the addon page is all you have to do to install this addon.

World of Warcraft Interview
MiniMule

We also had the opportunity to hold an interview with the developer behind SmartLoot, be sure to continue reading to learn more about the process behind the addon.

How did you get into World of Warcraft?
I first got into World of Warcraft several years ago when on a visit to my dad's house and for a while I played with his setup, but over time I developed my own way of playing and my own priorities for addons etc.

What made you decide to become an addon developer?
I first tried my hand at programming when my dad started getting involved with the development of LUI and as most great ideas start off: find a problem and fix it! I found that the inventory was such a messy thing to manage in WoW simply because it was so limited: there is a point where you simply cannot expand any further and you want the valuable loot, but don't want to sort through it all. Thus in the last days of WOTLK, SmartLoot was born as my private solution to my own problem.

How did the community respond to the addon’s release?
At first the response was mixed: SmartLoot was received with the understanding of good intentions, but lacked many of the advanced features it has now such as Profession Friendly "rubbish item removal" and even a proper user interface, but now I believe that it is making a positive impact, proving a strong replacement (apparently) for Karni's Crap Filter (which is no longer maintained).

Roughly how much time did it take to finish the first functioning version of SmartLoot?
The first *working* version of SmartLoot took roughly 4 hours (straight) to produce, interleaved with many MANY "/reload"s and having to find something to kill.

Did you come across any challenges during development and, if any, how did you handle them?
The two biggest challenges I have encountered while producing SmartLoot have stemmed from the introduction of Profession Friendly mode in recent versions. The game client doesn't exactly make it easy to find and remove items dynamically, but I believe the new time based system implemented in the very latest version solves the issues entirely. Many problems can be fixed by displaying a few lines in the chat box and having ten or more internet tabs open displaying different API information pages.

What was your favourite development tool for this project?
SmartLoot was coded entirely using Notepad++ which is possibly the best text editor of all time. Syntax highlighting and indentation guides (especially during early versions where code was indented to the max) were vital and supplied by this extremely useful piece of software.

Have you learned anything new from this project?
SmartLoot and it's construction have taught me that regardless of the wall you're facing - either because there is no build in method to do something, or it surpasses your skill level - there is always a path around it, you just have to look hard enough and play around with it until the LUA error on screen doesn't appear!

What stage of SmartLoot’s development process did you enjoy most?
My favorite part of creating SmartLoot always has been, is, and always will be shaping it not only into the addon that I envision it being, but also what other people think it should be too. Suggestions are always welcome and will most probably be implemented at some point.

In addition to your World of Warcraft addons, have you ever released any custom content for other games?
SmartLoot is still in VERY active development. There is a lot of work to be done still in regards to optimization and additions that I have already planned (such as the new freestanding information interface that will hopefully be ready for the next release and a proper profiles setup sometime in the future), but right now most of my focus is shifting to two other projects: a MineCraft project involving a lot of ComputerCraft programming (which I wouldn't be able to do without my knowledge of LUA gained from SmartLoot) and also another "Smart" WoW addon called SmartTrade (currently in planning stage and registered as experimental on CurseForge), but I assure you that any queries will be dealt with promptly regardless of what I'm currently working on.

Besides your own projects, what are some of your favourite addons from other authors and why?
I use a fairly large number of WoW addons so I'll just talk about a few:
* OPie and Spade - The latest addition to my collection. I love being able to summon rings of actions on demand! Spade makes life at the farm so much easier and was why I initially installed OPie, but now I use other OPie rings too and I love them!

* LUI - Of course my UI is LUI! It serves all the vital information I need to play right up to the place I need and want it!

* Postal - You know those people who list a stack of items... individually? Cue the "Open All" button as well as lots of other handy shortcuts to make the mail easier to read

Do you have any advice for other aspiring addon developers?
My biggest piece of advice for aspiring developers is: don't give up. Whether it breaks once or a thousand times - if you have an idea, stick with it, ask for help, trial and error until it works. No idea is insignificant.

Reaching the end of the interview, we would like to thank MiniMule for taking the time to answer our questions!

Final Words

SmartLoot is an excellent alternative to the game's own autoloot option. Instead of picking up everything, you will be able to loot only what you really need.

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