Tidy Plates and Threat Plates. These are a replacement for the standard Blizzard unit frames for enemies, and in combination will visually indicate how much threat you’ve got on each mob. Go into the interface menu and set whether you are tanking or healing/DPSing; this will invert whether the threat plates are “menacing” or “no need to worry”, so that if you’re tanking mobs you have solid threat on their nameplates will appear small and green, whereas mobs that aren’t much interested in you will be big and red, with an intermediate state between. If you’re not tanking, mobs you have minimal threat on are small and green and mobs about to come eat your face are large and red.
Right now this addon is slightly broken for me; it still works basically as intended, but there’s some sort of font error that causes plates to be greyed out entirely for me instead of displaying their normal optics. I can still tell threat levels just fine, just not any of the other Tidy Plate information. I am a master of mysteriously breaking stuff, though, and I’ve not heard anyone else complain. The nameplates can also cause problems in cases of lots of little mobs, like the roomful of snakes in the first area of Gun’drak and the Onyxian whelps, but nothing insurmountable, just annoying. Invaluable overall for newbie tanks that haven’t yet internalized tabbing around and spreading the love, or are learning a new pull.
TankPoints. Being a plate tank is a rough life sometimes when it comes to gearing; read Maintankadin long enough and you start to wonder if you need to have picked up a math minor in school when it comes to even beginning to discern among your gear choices. Enter TankPoints, a nicely sophisticated gear rating system that gives you a single number that indicates overall survivability factor and a complex suite of information available in your character pane. I like to couple this with a tankadin string for Pawn in order to get a little more information.
A healing addon. I personally use Grid and Clique, but I used Healbot in the past with success and Ossifer Bear uses VuhDo. The usefulness of something like this varies a lot from tanking class to tanking class, but for paladins, who get a zillion helpful spells to apply to other players in the raid, it has a great deal of potential value. Right now I have Righteous Defense, Hand of Salvation, and Hand of Protection bound to various mousebuttons, and will probably add others the next time I upgrade my mouse to something with more buttons. Either way, make sure whatever raid frames you’re using indicate aggro- I find Grid’s little red dot to be easier for me to quickly see and react to than Healbot’s red border, for whatever reason.
Skada. This seems to be sometimes prone to bugginess, and doesn’t always shake out with Recount, but the screen real estate saved by having my threat meter convert to a DPS meter when out of combat, and my DPS meter convert to a threat meter when in, is more than worth it to me. Really though this addon is mostly valuable to tanks if you can make your DPS use it…
Do Not Want:
Any addon that automatically yells or tells that you have taunted something. There are only two people in the room to whom your taunting is relevant, and believe me, the other person is going to notice whether it succeeds or fails. This just creates unnecessary clutter and rest-of-party irritation.
Skull Me. It’s somewhat handy in heroics, but mostly it will aggravate the living hell out of any raid leader trying to mark a specific target for the DPS to burn down, which may or may NOT be YOUR target. Instead, bind the following macro to an easily reached button:
/run if GetRaidTargetIndex(“target”)~=8 then SetRaidTarget(“target”,8)end
This will skully your target at the press of a button, when marking on the fly, rather than automatically unless you remember to enable or disable your addon.