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SilverDragon tracks rares. It will try everything possible to notice them and tell you about them.

I, as its author, have precisely one quirk: I like a minimal starting experience. That means that by default SilverDragon doesn't know about any rare mobs, and will just learn about them when you encounter new ones. If you want more advance warning, just go to the "Mobs" section of SilverDragon's options and either enter a few mobs you want to look for, or click "import data" to pull in a complete list of every known rare mob and its locations.

How does it search?


In patch 5.4 Blizzard has added something it calls "vignettes". These are the little skulls and treasure chests that appear on the minimap, mostly on the Timeless Isle. However, at the same time they also made at least the Pandaria rares show up through the same system. So, we can use this to alert you to a rare that's within minimap range, without any worries about having to clear your cache.

The drawback: it's not incredibly reliable. It seems to just randomly stop returning data on some servers at some times. Also, it won't tell you about older rares.

The cache

WoW maintains a cache of mobs that you've been near. By asking the client to display the tooltip for a mob whose ID we know, we can find out whether that mob is in the cache. By noticing when a mob shifts from not being in the cache to being in it, we can find out when we've gotten close to a mob.

Because it can trigger before you've actually seen the rare, this is the most important scanning method used. However, it has a few important limitations:

  • It can only trigger the first time you get near a mob. After that it's useless until you clear your cache. (See below.)
  • Hunter pets which used to be rare mobs also trigger the cache. So 5 minutes in a capital city will fill up your cache with pets. Thus if you want to find pets, you'll need to clear your cache after heading out into the world.


If you mouse over or target a rare mob, SilverDragon will notice it.

This is the also how SilverDragon learns about new rares in the wild. After you first mouse over or target one, it'll remember it, and start watching for it in the cache in the future.


If you have enemy nameplates turned on, SilverDragon will keep an eye on them to look for the names of known rares. This is the least exact method, because nameplates don't expose the underlying mob's id, so we have to rely on a plain name comparison.

Addons that modify nameplates may interfere with this.


SilverDragon can also create a macro to target any rares that are known in the current zone. You can stick this on your actionbars as a button to spam while chasing after a rare. This is sort of a last resort.

How will I know when a rare is seen?


When a rare appears, SilverDragon will pop up a frame that you can click on to target it.

Warning: If you're in combat, secure action restrictions mean that it won't show up until combat finishes.


You can choose from assorted sounds to play when a rare is seen. The sound can loop for a while, to make sure you don't miss it.

There's special settings for rares that drop mounts and world boss rares which you might want to call up a group for. If you're sitting mostly-AFK on a Time-Lost Proto Drake spawn, you probably want the sound that plays to be utterly ridiculous and go on for a good long while, to make sure you don't miss that sucker.


A notice can be sent to a number of places:

  • your scrolling combat text
  • your chat frame
  • a channel in your chat frame (announcing it to your party, for instance)
  • a popup window
  • etc

Other useful things?

Custom mobs

In SilverDragon's options you'll find a "Mobs" section. In the "Always" section, you can add any mob you want to be scanned for. All you need to know is the mob id.

So, let's say you wanted to keep an eye out for Lil Timmy in Stormwind, to buy the kitten he sells. You would...

  1. Go to his wowhead page.
  2. Grab his id from the URL. It's 8666.
  3. Enter 8666 into the "add" field, and click "okay".
  4. Play with your new kitten.

Ignoring mobs

If there's some mob you don't want to hear about for whatever reason, just go to the "Ignore" section of the options. Again, enter the mob's id into the "add" box, then click okay. Bam! You will never again be told that Vern is up.

(Actually, Vern is ignored by default. But you get the idea.)


SilverDragon will talk to itself. It can communicate with other copies of itself run by people in your party / guild, and tell you when they see a rare mob. (If there's a group of you camping all the Time-Lost Proto Drake spawns, say...)

You can turn this off completely, if you want to be private about it.


Some rares are part of an achievement. When you mouse over a rare mob, SilverDragon will add to the tooltip whether you've already killed it, so you know whether you need to rush for it.


SilverDragon includes a Broker plugin. It'll attach itself to your minimap, or a Broker container you have installed, and show you a list of the mobs it knows about in the current zone.

Clearing the cache

You can clear the mob cache by quitting WoW and deleting creaturecache.wdb from the Cache\WDB\enUS (or your actual locale) sub-directory in your WoW directory.

If you're running Windows Vista or 7, your Cache is actually NOT in the WoW install directory. Instead it will be at C:\Users\(username)\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Cache

Other addons you may find useful

  • ServerRestartSound: plays a sound when the server's about to restart. If you're AFK-camping for a rare spawn, you probably want to know about this.
  • HandyNotes: integrates with SilverDragon to show icons on zone maps where a rare has been seen.
  • _NPCScan.Overlay: shows rare mob paths for some rares, and can be told to pop up if SilverDragon sees something.
  • ChocolateBar: a broker display. SilverDragon's minimap icon will show up on it (or any other addon like it) instead of cluttering up your minimap, if you have it installed.

Why should I use this instead of _NPCScan?

_NPCScan is all about scanning the cache. If a mob winds up already in your cache, it'll do nothing at all to help you. SilverDragon tries to fall back on more things, to give you the best chance of finding rares.

If you want to run across rares while leveling, SilverDragon helps with that. _NPCScan is solely a max-level tool.

If you're hunting a rare in a group, SilverDragon can automatically tell other people in your group when you see the rare, so you can all converge quickly.

Ultimately it's a matter of personal preference. :-P

What's new with version 3?

Most of the addon has been rewritten so that its internals are entirely based on mob ids and zone ids, neither of which were available to the client back when 2.0 was written back in early 2009. This was also a great opportunity to stop having to lug so much localization code around.

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  • Avatar of desburnt desburnt Aug 16, 2010 at 18:44 UTC - 0 likes

    Is there any reason this new version isn't available on curse? And does this version resolve the memory leak issues?

  • Avatar of ZeroEdgeir ZeroEdgeir Jul 13, 2010 at 19:53 UTC - 0 likes

    For anyone having issues clearing your Cache on WIndows Vista/7, try this out!

    For those using Windows Vista or 7: C:\Users\(username)\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Cache\WDB\enUS\ (enUS can be changed for whatever language/region you play in) Then, just delete the "creaturecache.wdb" file and you are cleared to find rares again.

    Doesn't work the same as on XP and earlier.

  • Avatar of Shadoweric Shadoweric Jan 25, 2010 at 23:12 UTC - 0 likes

    FYI, v2.3.4 is a bad ZIP file when downloading from wowace. It's fine via

    Last edited Jan 25, 2010 by Shadoweric
  • Avatar of panchitojones panchitojones Dec 25, 2009 at 07:34 UTC - 0 likes

    HI I love your addon, its the most useful one I've ever come across. I think have the downs though and don't fully understand the data import portion. If I use the data import and find a rare mob the addon tells me. Now if I come back to the same area and the mob has respawned will it no longer automatically tell me its there? thanks for the addon dude.

  • Avatar of Aoife Aoife Dec 17, 2009 at 19:40 UTC - 0 likes
    Hi Kemayo, I'm posting this for a friend who just did a fresh install of WoW, Silverdragon, and Carbonite on a laptop. He went to import data and there is no button to do so, either thru the Options/Interface/Addon screens or by typing /silverdragon. In either case, all the options are there except 'Import Data.' Thanks for your work - we both greatly appreciate this addon! :)
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Aoife Divine Alliance of Mok'Nathal
  • Avatar of Kemayo Kemayo Dec 16, 2009 at 19:16 UTC - 0 likes

    "Visual range" is an inexact term, in this case. What SilverDragon does is notice when the mob gets loaded into WoW's creature cache. The rules that govern when this happen are lightly fiddly, which is why you get the occasional "X has been seen!" when it's nowhere nearby. However, in general it happens when you get close enough that you'll be able to see it soon. (Think "model draw distance * 1.5".)

  • Avatar of HendrikHAZ HendrikHAZ Oct 30, 2009 at 18:12 UTC - 0 likes

    And if you could also please explain what is meant by visual range. Are we talking 100 yards, 500, 1000 or the whole area? Thx for the explanation

  • Avatar of HendrikHAZ HendrikHAZ Oct 30, 2009 at 18:09 UTC - 0 likes

    Ok,so silverdragon popped up Icehorn for me while i am on a taxi. After landing i am now trying to find him. How do i get the system to display coords or an icon on the map? Even when I click to target there is no hint on either the carbonite nor the ingame map. Please explain how to FIND the mob when it show up. Thx for the help Torath

  • Avatar of Litvan Litvan Sep 08, 2009 at 15:13 UTC - 0 likes

    what happened to the map-notes on cartographer?

  • Avatar of mysticalos mysticalos Jul 11, 2009 at 22:42 UTC - 0 likes

    so what was point of latest commits besides totally breaking silverdragon working inside instances?

    before the changes it at least worked in stratholm, now, it does not. rolled back to 2.3.1 before it was tampored with.


Date created
Mar 25, 2008
Last update
Oct 14, 2014
Development stage
  • enUS
All Rights Reserved
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