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VIPs: Visually Impaired Players

April 23, 2014

Dear Reader,

My buddy likes to denigrate a lot of modern technologies, both hardware and software.  He “jokingly” says that cell phones are the tool of the devil.  When pressed on this, he asks, “How many people have died in automobile accidents because someone was on a cell phone?’  He ignores the fact that lives are also saved by cell technology, but whatever; he knows he’s being a jerk and is satisfied with himself.

He likes to denigrate my blog and Twitter, too, saying that no one out there really wants to hear other people’s opinions.  He doesn’t, of course, because he’s so disagreeable sometimes that no matter what someone writes he’ll pick it apart, but that’s beside the point.  The point is that he is my buddy, disagreeable at times or not, because he’s still a decent guy and knows when he’s beat.

Which he was, yesterday – beat, that is, when I tweeted that I was looking for help getting together some addons for him so he could play WoW as a visually impaired player.

Almost immediately, @Tzufit jumped in by putting me in touch with another Twitter persona, @abilitypowered.

And shortly thereafter, @abilitypowered chimed in:

And that, of course, is the beauty of modern communication technology.  When presented with this information, my buddy was actually a little demure for a change and sheepishly agreed that Twitter had produced some fantastic results.

So I want to give a huge thanks to @soeTzufit of Tree Heals go Woosh and @abilitypowered of for their help!

That said, here’s what I turned up with, and if you’re looking for addons to help yourself or your friends, here’s what I recommend.

I ended up using Chinchilla Minimap for his minimap issue; rather than tweaking the map itself, it allows an “expander” hotkey that changes the tiny minimap circle to a huge circle in the middle of the screen.  That way, when he’s trying to find nodes or arrows towards quest objectives, he can just bang open the map and bang it back closed to be done, rather than having a permanently changed map taking up more space in the corner.  SexyMap, suggested by @abilitypowered, also had a ton of great customization features, but in the end my buddy preferred the expander to anything else.

For his quest text issue, he ended up going with Move Anything and just increasing the size of the entire quest text box.  He didn’t want to scale the whole UI, since he knows his buttons (even after all these years) and prefers a larger field of vision (even if it’s blurry), so we made that one change.  Unfortunately, we can’t seem to find the option to increase the NPC dialogue chat box – the initial box that appears when you speak to an NPC, so while he can read the quest text, he can’t read the chat bubble icon text.  If anyone knows what feature that is in Move Anything, please let me know.

For his issues with getting out of the fire, he liked GTFO, which does a good job letting him know when to move, if not exactly where to move.  I’m sure it won’t be a huge issue in most cases, but every little bit of help matters.  Unfortunately, it only seems to trigger when you’re actively taking damage, not when you’re standing in a future telegraphed attack (like a wind up cone swing from a mogu rare spawn), so he still takes big bursts.  Does anyone know anything that might help him be aware of those attacks?

So for now, he’s pretty well set, but there’s a few additional tweaks that would make him even more comfortable.  I think he can quest without me, though, which was the key, as I don’t necessarily have any desire to level another 90 that will likely just sit and rot on horde side.  And perhaps this experience put a tiny dent in his foolish resistance to modern communications, be they cell phones or social media.  Only time will tell.

Thanks again to Tzufit and Ability Powered!


Stubborn (not a VIP, but helping one)



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