Combat-Text Addon Review: Parrot, long overdue

Author’s note: I have quit playing WoW before patch 3.0.5. Warcraft-related content is no longer being updated, and information in this post may not reflect the live game any more.

Back in August, WOW Addicts Anonymous wrote up a comparison between Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text (MSBT) and Grayhoof’s trusty old Scrolling Combat Text (SCT).

In the follow-up messages there was a pending question about whether SCT was able to recognize talent-based skills as custom events. Back then, after checking, the answer was yes. Nowadays, though, I don’t know… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

In the comments to the very same thread, WAA reader Mel pointed out Parrot as a third combat text scroller. So in the wake of this post, I first tried MSBT for a day or two. Didn’t like it, though, it just didn’t fit my taste. I had been using SCT and SCT-D since early 2006 or so, and there were just too many differences in style, configs, visuals that I simply didn’t feel at ease with it.

Parrot in actionMore or less around the same time there was an issue when the traditional SCT fonts got added to Ace’s SharedMedia. Since I use WUU to keep my addons collection up-to-date including beta builds, I went through several updates (two or three if I recall) where I had to redo part of the SCT config because first the fonts got moved into SharedMedia as “SCT fontname” and then just “fontname”. Just details, but it irked me enough to give the third addon, Parrot, a look.
And I loved it.

Needless to say, it has all the now classical features: incoming damage and heals, outgoing damage and heals, and a generic notification area. Seemingly every single buff and debuff in the game is preconfigured, as stock, into one of these three areas. They are filtered by class were relevant – a pallie will get a prompt for Hammer of Wrath when his target drops below 20% health, a shaman will get a notification when his shocks are no longer on cooldown.
Despite the wealth of already available stuff, though, there is, nonetheless, the possibility to create your own custom triggers through an in-game menu. Along with a series of standard options including the low health and mana threshold warnings which are pretty much part of a combat text scroller, you can also write your own trigger. Parrot Config Screen 1As I’m not into that much customization myself, I haven’t investigated whether it hooks into in-game events directly or parses the combat log for these, but my assumption is event-handling rather than log parsing.

If you’re as much a sucker for eye-candy as I am, you will be happy with the dozens of animation options for each of the text areas as well as the special animation options for the crits.

In terms of configs, up until patch 2.2, there used to be a FuBar plugin with a dropdown menu or the Niagara / Waterfall option. Parrot is another product of the ever-prolific Ckknight, though, and has since been moved under the umbrella of the Rock framework, which currently comes with a config-GUI only (which requires some more love IMO) – considering the complexity and the wealth of options, the GUI is, all things considered, probably a better choice than the old FuBar dropdown, but I’m not happy with RockConfig in its current state yet.Parrot Config Screen 2

Anyway, the screenshots should give you a glimpse of the wealth of options available. And while it’s easy to get overwhelmed, the menus itself are pretty self-explanatory.

Of course, in order to get a useable preview of the changes you’re making, you’ll have to start with resizing RockConfig’s default window and moving out of the way – probably several times in the process. Nonetheless, worth the pain.
Parrot Config Screen 3And finally, last but not least, if you’re also using Ace2-based WitchHunt as your spell alert, it fully meshes with Parrot, including the choice of which notification area you want. For additional convergence, WithHunt is Rock-Configurable, so only two clicks away from the Parrot settings you’re modifying.

To summarize, until I read about Parrot in a WAA comment, I hadn’t known about it. In the meantime, it has replaced the trusty old SCT in my huge list of add-ons. If you’re either unsatisfied with SCT currently (mind you, I used the thing for about 18 months, it’s the CTRA of Combat Text Scrollers) or looking into getting your first Combat Text Scrolling Addon, get Parrot, it has all you need and then some.

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4 Responses to Combat-Text Addon Review: Parrot, long overdue

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  3. Floroskop (1 comments) says:

    I think this try.

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