My UI

May 12, 2009 at 1:05 pm 17 comments

I’ve never done a UI post before — but then, I’ve also never had a UI I was proud enough to show off!  I spent several hours on this one, after being thoroughly inspired (and more than a little intimidated) by a kgPanels tutorial I stumbled across on MMO Champion. 

My UI

Enhancement

I had two goals for this UI: 

  1.  To create as much open viewing space as possible, in part because I’ve been practicing Matticus’s Heads Up! method of healing — and seeing significant improvement in my output as a result — and in part to make those rare instances that I actually *twitch* melee in raids as painless as possible.
  2. To centralize all of the most important information on my screen (my raid frames, cast bar, totem timers and cooldown timers foremost among them)  in one easy-to-find location. 

Although my 10-man raid UI looks a little cluttered in this screen shot, it’s served both purposes remarkably well.  My reaction time is noticably better, and I’m finding myself better able to heal proactively by anticipating incoming damage now that I can actually, you know, see it.

One thing that may seem incongruous is Grid’s position on the far left of the screen, well away from the rest of the action.  It’s attached to the chat box because we have several raiders who don’t speak on Vent, so I’ve trained myself to keep a close eye on /raid and our various role channels.  In a 25-man raid, my Grid raid frames are the same width as my chat box.  My 10-man Grid is obviously smaller, so I tend to drag it around to keep it in a central(ish) location. 

Visible Add-ons

Buffalo: Customizable buffs, debuffs and weapon imbues; currently skinned with ButtonFacade and spread across the top right-hand of my screen.  I experimented with Elkano’s Buff Bars as well, but found that EBB took far too much real estate for something I tended to ignore in combat.  I use Grid to watch raid debuffs and Totem Timers to monitor those buffs that I can personally control, like my shields and weapon imbues, so Buffalo exists more for easy reference (“Did I get re-Kings’d after that last death?”, “Is the paladin running with Crusader aura again?”, “Do I need to drop Strength of Earth, or does the Death Knight have it covered?”) than anything else.

(Yes, re-Kings’d is a word.)

Button Facade: Interfaces with Buffalo, Dominos and Totem Timers to makes my buttons pretty.  I’m currently skinning Domino’s with Caith and Buffalo and Totem Timers with Serenity Squared.

Chatter: A chat mod that — in the words of its developers — “supports a whole bunch of stuff.”  One fun little feature turns the word invite into a link that you can click on to auto-invite the player who typed it to your party or raid. 

Dominos:  My action bars.  Unlike Macaroon (which I still love), Dominos interfaces smoothly with the game’s vehicle UI.  I switched from Macaroon to Dominos the third or fourth time I forgot to turn Blizzard’s default action bars back on before Malygos P3.  >.>

Grid (and Clique, of course!):  Highly customizable raid frames, used in conjuction with Clique for click-cast healing.  I also use Grid to monitor raid debuffs, incoming heals, aggro, mana bars (sometimes a fellow healer will need Mana Tide before I do) and anything that I can cleanse.

MikScrollingBattleText:  A relatively lightweight replacement for ScrollingCombatText.

Omen:  The ubiquitous threat meter, used primarily to tell me which overeager DPS to Riptide because he’s just about to pull aggro—

Oh, nevermind.  He died already.

OmniCC:  Adds cooldown counters to my action bar buttons.  I use it to keep an eye on Nature’s Swiftness, Tidal Force and Riptide; you can see it counting down the latter in this screenshot.

Quartz:  A modular cast bar that accounts for latency, and therefore tells me exactly when to start casting my next heal — even if it doesn’t appear that my current one has finished.  Quartz > Haste, true story!

Pitbull Unit Frames:   I use Pitbull for my player, pet, focus, target and targetoftarget frames.  I currently have buffs filtered to show only those that are specific to my class, so I can tell at a glance if my target is in range of my totem buffs or has a Riptide — or two, in Keaton’s case *points* — ticking down on him.  I almost always set my Earth Shield assignment as a focus, since I have ES macro’d to cast on my focus first, if one exists, and on my target otherwise.

Recount:  Damage meter, healing meter … overhealing meter.  >.>  We’ve been working on General Vexaz, so I usually have it set to overhealing these days. 

SLDataText:  SLDT is responsible for the text you see at the bottom of my screen: guild, friends, latency,  gold, durability, etc.  It replaces FuBar for me.

SexyMap:  Curse describes SexyMap as a “mimimap awesomification  mod,” and I don’t disagree — although my favorite feature is the ability to disable or hide all of my other mods’ various minimap buttons from one interface.

Totem Timers:  The one mod I can’t live without!   It organizes my totems into drop-down (or drop-up) menus, with the most recently cast totem of each element displayed by default and automatically recast when clicked.  It also displays totem timers, cooldown timers, shield charges and weapon imbues, and supports customized click-casting for all of the above.  If that weren’t enough, Totem Timers  creates a dynamic macro that casts the same totems that are currently “saved” (based on your most recent out of combat casts) in order, with one click! 

On those rare occasions that I go enhancement, Totem Timers also displays my cooldown timers and number of Maelstrom Weapon stacks on my current target — but it doesn’t give me advice about what ability to use next, so I don’t feel like I’m cheating the way I did with Shock & Awe. 😉

I am totally, head over heals in love with this mod.  Thank you, Tara, for recommending it!

Invisible Add-Ons

Since I’m a bit of an add-on whore, the list doesn’t stop there! 

Here are some (but not all) of the “invisible” add-ons I use on a daily basis:

Raid

DeadyBossMods
EPGP
EPGPLootMaster
Failbot
Obituary

SurgeonGeneral

Reference Tools

AtlasLoot
CowTip
DrDamage
EquipCompare
RatingsBuster

Utility

AuctionLite
Cartographer
Gatherer
ItemRack
Livestock
Skillet
QuestHelper

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Entry filed under: WoW. Tags: .

You know you’re obsessed with Ulduar when … Kologarn ain’t got nothin’ on this…

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. tart  |  May 12, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Oh sweet jeebus, I’m love.

    That is an AWESOME looking UI. I’m going to have to steal some of your ideas because I’ve been looking for a cleaner UI than my current one.

    Reply
  • 3. Knife  |  May 12, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    /bow

    That is a very clean UI that puts mine to shame. I have a crap ton of mods…you’ve demonstrated to me that I know how to use about 50% of them, and of those only about 10% properly. I didn’t know PitBull could show just class debuffs for instance.

    Given that you use Dominos, I have two questions I’ve never really found answers to:
    1. How and Why is Dominos better/worse than Bartender4?
    2. I use Bartender4. Why, when I tried (once) Dominos, did it totally f-up ALL of my skills? Wouldn’t you think action bar mods would just…you know…make your action bars pretty but essentially leave them the same? Yeah…Dominos didn’t do that…

    Are you using a mod that looks like (or does essentially the same thing as) Aperture? The majority of your stuff is wrapped in a neat little package at the bottom of your screen. I REALLY dig it and I’d love to find out how.

    Awesome post- my thanks if you reply.

    Reply
    • 4. Elleiras  |  May 12, 2009 at 3:47 pm

      I know what you mean, because I’m still learning about the features of many of the mods that I use, too. 🙂

      To answer your questions…

      1. I don’t actually know. As far as I can tell, Dominos and Bartender4 have the same basic functionality. They both interface with Button Facade, too. I eventually settled on Dominos because its configuration and keybinding modes were so intuitive. But I’m not aware of it doing anything special that Bartender4 doesn’t — so if Bartender4 works for you, awesome. 🙂

      Now that I think about it, comparing the various action bar mods could be a fun experiment for a future post.

      2. If Dominos’ bars map to Blizzard’s default bars in any consistent way, I haven’t figured it out yet. When I set up Dominos for a new character, I remove all of my abilities from my action bars and reorganize them. It’s never bothered me overmuch, but I’m so anal about my bars that I’d do that no matter what bar mod I used, lol.

      3. I don’t use Aperture. I had to look it up to find out what it does, and I’m still a little confused (since work’s filters won’t let me view actual gaming sites, I’m limited to reading the blurbs under Google Search!). It sounds like it alters the size of the playable screen, like CT_Viewport?

      All of my add-ons sit over the playable screen, rather than under it. I forgot to mention kgPanels and Align in my post, but those are the add-ons I used to create the backgrounds and borders for Chatter, Omen, Recount, etc. The panels are actually slightly transparent, so I can sort of see what’s happening behind them, but — not really. ^.^

      Thanks for the questions! And the compliments. 🙂

      Reply
  • 5. Valkure  |  May 12, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    What happens to the weapon buffs if/when you’re enhancement? I love the layout of your UI and may just copy it completely. 😀

    Reply
    • 6. Elleiras  |  May 12, 2009 at 3:50 pm

      Totem Timers ftw. 😀

      See the little button that has the Earthliving Weapon icon on it? That’s actually part of Totem Timers. Since I’m resto at the moment, it’s counting the amount of time left on my Earthliving Weapon imbue. If I’m enhancement and rocking Windfury/Flametongue, it actually splits the icon — WF on the left, since it’s on my MH, and FT on the right — and displays two timers, one for each imbue.

      It’s pretty awesome. I currently have it set so right clicking on the icon refreshes Earthliving, while a left click and shift left click refresh Windfury and Flametongue, respectively.

      Reply
  • 7. Tigerfeet  |  May 12, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Totem Timers can track Maelstrom stacks? WHAT IS THIS MAJICK!

    Your secrets, you must teach me them!

    Reply
    • 8. Elleiras  |  May 13, 2009 at 8:38 am

      It’s a brand-new feature in the new version (9.1g). And it is awesome. /tar Totem Timers /worship

      If you go into the config UI (/tt), you can turn it on under EnhanceCD’s. I’ll flip to my enhancement spec and take a screen shot.

      Reply
      • 9. Elleiras  |  May 13, 2009 at 9:01 am

        Added the enhancement screen shot so you can see Totem Timers in action! … and as much as I’d like to claim that no cows were harmed in its making, I did kind of, sort of fall off of Thunder Bluff. >.>

        Reply
        • 10. Tigerfeet  |  May 15, 2009 at 8:13 am

          Oooh! How neat! Thanks so much 🙂 I can get rid of SAA now :3

          Reply
  • 11. leah  |  May 13, 2009 at 1:59 am

    love the UI 🙂 in some ways my UI is very similar to yours except that I have everything on my action bars (including profession links and quest items – cannot bring myself to get rid of them 😛 ), so my buttons are smaller but I have a lot more of them 😛

    I also like grid mana bars, partly because it lets me see if I should be putting down mana tide earlier or later :).

    you have convinced me to try quartz 😛

    I’ve been using shaman friend myself (nothing like giant text across your screen to remind you to refresh your water shield and/or weapon imbue 😛 ) but totem timers sounds like an addon more then worth trying. I used to use Yata for my totem management before wrath and then it just stopped working and I never bothered to check if it was updated :/ sounds like totem timers combines the functionality of shaman friend and yata in one tidy package 🙂

    P.S. I have a new addon I’m completely in love with – http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/smart-res.aspx
    makes it so much easier to get your raid up after a messy pull (or an outright wipe) and get moving again 🙂 and you can set it up to announce to the raid when you are ressing someone so that those who don’t have it – know who is already being taken care of 🙂 its such a small thing but it makes a difference 🙂

    Reply
    • 12. Elleiras  |  May 13, 2009 at 8:33 am

      I used to use YATA, too, but switched to Totem Timers on the advice of a commenter after YATA stopped working — and am so very glad I did! It combines Shaman Friend, Shock & Awe and YATA into one amazingly flexible add-on. (Can you tell that I love it?)

      That’s a great point about Grid Mana Bars. I’m going to add it. 🙂 And check out SmartRes, too — although my raid’s rezzers are pretty good about macroing /say to their rezz button. We have some really silly/creative/distrubing ones, too!

      /em is feeling up %t’s dead body.
      /say %t, your subscription to life has expired, would you like to renew?
      /say Don’t worry, %t. I got you. Again.

      hehe. 🙂

      Reply
  • 13. Fear.Win  |  May 13, 2009 at 3:18 am

    OMG.. your UI.. it’s.. it’s amazing.

    I want to have its children.. er wait.. i want it to have MY children? Hell, I dunno.. can I have it? Pls?

    Reply
    • 14. Elleiras  |  May 13, 2009 at 8:46 am

      My UI has spent far too much time watching daytime TV and is now convinced it can only find true love with someone who is eHarmony compatible.

      Sorry. 😦

      Reply
  • 15. Fear.Win  |  May 13, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Burned by an internet dating website. Ouch. And here I thought we were friends.

    Reply
  • 16. Fear.Win  |  May 14, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Maybe I have the IQ of a baked potato and read over it more than once, but what “fubar/titan panel”-ish mod are you using in the screens? Is it part of a different addon?

    You’ve motivated me to work on my UI and get rid of the clutter. I love how everything is at the bottom and clears up the rest of your screen. LOVE!

    Reply
  • 17. Elleiras  |  May 14, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    It’s SLDataText. 🙂

    Reply

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