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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 mysticalos mysticalos Jul 08, 2009 at 07:13 UTC - 0 likes

    the cartographer module is written for cartographer 2, 3 doesn't yet support plugins (which is why most still use 2, or even both at same time since author of cartographer wrote them to run in compatibility mode when you use the 2 together)

    alternatively you could install handynotes which would work with cartographer 3 i believe.

  • Avatar of CharlesUFarley CharlesUFarley Jul 01, 2009 at 13:09 UTC - 0 likes

    Icons don't show up on Cartographer3.. is there a setting I'm missing or possibly activated which is overwriting this? I also use Gathermate and have no problems with its icons.


  • Avatar of mysticalos mysticalos Jul 01, 2009 at 01:29 UTC - 0 likes

    still trying to find a way to add lil timmy to this if possible. npc rare spawn in stormwind with the white kitten. is it possible to add a friendly npc?

  • Avatar of BigBroth BigBroth Apr 29, 2009 at 15:58 UTC - 0 likes

    It's just because Silverdragon_DATA is showing Out of Date under 3.1 Activate "Laod Out of Date AddOns" and the Import Button will show. Or change the "SilverDragon_Data.toc" to Interface: 30100.

  • Avatar of MrHardKilla MrHardKilla Apr 29, 2009 at 15:19 UTC - 0 likes

    I have looked everywhere for the Import Data settings and still cant find it. I looked in the Blizard Interface/Addons as sugested below but it is not there. when looking at the addons b4 I login to one of my toons it has the Silverdragon Data Base as an out of date addon? Is that an issue? I would like to use this addon it looks like it would be great to have. But if I cant use the Database then it dosnt help me. Anyone that can help I would apreciate a response.

    Thanks Killa

  • Avatar of CYPSYAN CYPSYAN Apr 27, 2009 at 23:05 UTC - 0 likes

    the import button is in the blizzard interface\addons settings.

  • Avatar of Kethrenan Kethrenan Apr 24, 2009 at 04:50 UTC - 0 likes

    Hi I have a number of questions, one where on earth do you find the Import Data button on the Silverdragon Addon and if it's not installed on the addon to begin with when you use it in game how on earth do you install the Import Data button onto SilverDragon as I can't find it anywhere under options for it and also how on earth does one update SilverDragon (Data) ? I am hoping that someone will answer these questions for me soon as I would really like to start to be able to use that program to find a Rare pet.

  • Avatar of CYPSYAN CYPSYAN Apr 20, 2009 at 15:10 UTC - 0 likes

    just a simple question; do silverdragron record coords for rare that arent supposed to be there according to SD database?

  • Avatar of Khil Khil Apr 06, 2009 at 12:24 UTC - 0 likes

    Hey Kemayo, thanks for the great work, I really missed Silverdragon after LK launched. I have question though, the way I actively scan for rares is to have a macro for each zone with /target known rares, and just spam when I fly over (as some rares have long pathing routes). Auto targeting through addon is forbidden since 2.0, but is it possible to make a button/macro for addon that will target any rare in continent or zone that you can spam as keybind?

    Regards T.

    Edit: Thanks so much for macro and the cache file scan (i can remove NPCscan now.. :) )

  • Avatar of Nevyr28 Nevyr28 Feb 25, 2009 at 00:17 UTC - 0 likes

    Can we get an option to show/hide the icons on the world and minimap?


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