This is a really big topic, likely one that we’ll be dealing with in several parts, rather than in one fell swoop. There are so, so many bag addons available in WoW right now, and so much of the assessment of them is simply down to personal preference. Addon Spotlight is going to attempt to cover just a few bag addons at a time, but please do be aware that we can’t ever hope to get through them all in the one column!
As a result, I’m asking you not to be surprised or angry that your preferred bag addon isn’t being covered, rather to let me know what it is and why you like it. I’m starting with my favorite today, and working through some others that I’ve either used in the past, or known of friends using. Let me know what you use, and next week, I’ll take a look!
I said I’d start with my favorite, and that is Adibags. I’ve used it for a while now, after giving it a go on a friend’s recommendation, and I love it. Why do I love it? Well it’s a very simple addon really, provides the user with a single bag, as opposed to several separate ones, which is such a straightforward and seemingly popular change that I don’t know why Blizzard doesn’t just make it standard.
What Adibags does differently within the single bag is categories. Adibags will automatically split your items into different categories. You can see to the right how it’s put my paladin’s bags into Tailoring, Trade Goods, Armor, Engi Gadgets and so on, which is done automatically, no need to manually associate things with categories. It also has an automatic categorization for new things, called New, that appears at the top left when you have just collected things. This is not the case for gray junk items, which are automatically filtered under Junk.
Of these visible categories, I can honestly say that I’m not 100% sure which were my own creations and which were automatically added. I’m fairly sure that Quest, Darkmoon, Armor, and Trade Goods were automated, and that the rest were things I put in. And that’s another brilliant thing about Adibags, it lets you create your own categories. The toon whose bag this is is an engineer, a herbalist, my fisherwoman and my cook, so the trade goods category was getting totally out of control. I split it up, manually, into herbs, tailoring and the like. And I kept accidentally almost deleting engineering gadgets while trying to free up bag space, so I made a category for those to set them apart from other things, and avoid accidental deletion.
These categories also work across characters, so if Silk Cloth is in Tailoring on your Tailor, it will also be in Tailoring on all your other characters. The only problem with this is that if you put a piece in junk on one character that isn’t junk on another, it will be categorized as junk across your account. This feature definitely has its ups and downs, but for me it’s useful more regularly than it’s troublesome!
Adibags also transfers these categories to your bank, so any category a piece is in in your bags will be duplicated if you transfer that piece across to your bank. Needless to say, it’s a good idea every now and then to have a good old tidy-up of your gear and categories.
Apart from the main feature that sets Adibags apart from the other bags, it also has everything you’d expect. It can be moved around the screen, it can be set not to move stuff around or to move it, it has a setting to tidy all your bag’s contents into stacks where possible, it has a setting to allow or prevent the movement of categories, maintain profiles across characters, alter appearance and font and the like, and more. But, for me, it’s the categories that really sell the addon.
Moving onto other addons, Bagnon is the most downloaded of the bag addons on one of the three big addon sites. It’s a pretty simple bag addon, that, like so many others, combines all your bags into one. It also colors your items based on various criteria, all of which are customizable, such as quest items, usable or unusable, and of course, common, rares and epics.
Bagnon also allows the player to view their other characters’ inventories, so seeing what’s where, regardless of what toon you’re playing. This is an extremely useful feature, that can also be found with smaller addons such as bagsync. Bagnon does a pretty good job of this feature, and also includes within it the possibility to view your character’s bank, and void storage, from anywhere in Azeroth — very useful to prevent you from making something that you’ve already got five of in your bank or in another character’s bank. Of course, you can’t take items out or put items into your bank unless you’re actually in there! This information is also shown on tooltips when you hover over an existing item, showing your total owned as well as how many each character has.
Altogether, while it lacks the categories that make Adibags special for me, if you just want a
functional all-in-one-bag addon, with account-level support, you won’t go wrong with Bagnon. It’s also very customizable in look, font and the like, which is no bad thing!
Another element of Bagnon to consider is the various addons, such as Scrap, which highlights all your junk items, and can be set to auto-sell them or suggest a sale, if you see fit. Thanks to Bagnon’s popularity, it has far more of these additions than most other bag addons than less popular or well-known bag addons.
Arkinventory is another very well-known and popular bag addon, and another that works by converting your five separate bags into one large bag. It offers both Bagnon’s account-wide search, and Adibags’ categories, and is therefore rather the best of both worlds! My only criticisms of Arkinventory are that it’s not quite as easy to set up as Adibags, in my opinion at least, and, what’s more it’s rather the memory hog, taking up 12MB on my system, which is pretty big as addons go.
When you first install Ark, you’ll be greeted with a rather large, daunting window, without immediately obvious instructions as to how to set it up. The key to Ark is its bars, as they’re referred to. The bag is split into bars, each of which can be assigned a separate or custon category from Ark’s list.
Once you’re done, you might notice that some items aren’t in the places they ought to be — sometimes Ark will move them automatically, but if not a refresh should sort this. If that’s the case, then perhaps the item isn’t assigned to the category you expect it to be, so I’ve found a Life Spirit here, these are Alchemy drops, so I want them under Skill/Alchemy. Right-click, change the category, done!
So why am I saying this is harder than Adibags? Because, with Adibags, you simply drag and drop, and it will auto-sort your things into the default system categories, and automatically do things like split armor into types, or sets. None of this right-clicking malarkey. However, setting up your own categories is a little tricky in both, so they’re fairly even on that front, although Ark requires a little more knowledge of .lua script to create its Rules. Adibags still works by dragging and dropping, via Manual Filtering in the configuration menu.
However, though it’s not quite as straightforward as Adibags, the advantage of Ark is that it implements changes across your account, and allows you to view them. Adibags will still put the changes in place to categories and such, as discussed earlier, but is specifically not a cross-character system. Adibags’ creator suggests BagSync, as do I!
Do tell me about your bag addons, why you love them, and whether I should check them out.
Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. If you’re new to mods, Addons 101 will walk you through the basics; see what other players are doing at Reader UI of the Week. If there’s a mod you think Addon Spotlight should take a look at, email email@example.com.