This post was published long before the Mists of Pandara Expansion.
The tips and techniques explained here may be outdated.

Ode to a UI

The default UI of Warcraft is.. limiting. Playing with it makes me feel like my eyes are closed and my hands are tied down. I honestly don’t understand how people sucessfully play with only that. It hurts us.

I like addons. I dislike FPS of 10 because I have too many addons. I need to slim down. Wrath (or at least 3.0.2) is a good opportunity for a redesign. The problem is I really can’t find anythng to eliminate.

What can’t I live without? What do I have? why do I have it? Am I going to keep it or what am I looking for to replace it?

Guild Required

Threat Meter – I’m not sure what form this will take… but I know I want some form of a threat meter. I -like- Omen’s current form. I hope someone generates that.

BigWigs/DBM – This will be necessary as soon as we start any raid content. Currently I’m using BigWigs. I’m fairly certain this will be updated.

Pallypower – I wish I didn’t need it. But I do. Guild requires it since it make managing blessings much easier on the Raid/Raid Leader.

Things I can’t live without

Inventory Management – At this point I’m using TBag-Shefki. It does EVERYTHING I want except for arrange my guild banks/make them searchable. So far I can live without that. Luckily this has been updated and is available in a WotLK compatible version.

GRID – I’m not willing to budge on this. Grid rocks my world. Grid -will- be installed. I’m tempted to try mouse-over macros.. so I’m toying with the idea of leaving Clique out. We’ll see.

Dot Timer – Need it want it. Must have it. I really really hope dottimers gets updated. It fulfills my needs. No word yet.[edited to add: found a link to the new beta version!! Happy camper! http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=10532277191&postId=104155020488&sid=1#8 ]

Power Auras – It’s ported.. in fact the Wrath version has more options than the live version. It’s yummy.

Auctioneer – Not willing to budge on this either. I -do- wish it’d offer graphs.. so I can see the historic rise/fall of prices of certain items. Instead of saying “XXX seen 15 times.” I’d love to see a graph that shows the lifecycle of the item.. and it’s rise/fall in price. But even without graphs.. this is necessary for my AH life. Though I may only install it on my bank toons…

I ‘spose I could live without it.. but would I really want to?

HUD – I cannot go back to looking at the target/toon frames in the upper-left-hand corner. I’ve spent too long watching the middle of the screen. That said.. I want something simple and abbreviated. IceHud has a WotLK version.. but it hasn’t won me over. I miss MetaHUD already. MetaHUD suffered in that it wasn’t terribly configurable (I can’t change the shape of the bars).. but I’m very used to it. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping it gets updated. Lacking that I’d started eyeballing the code. I mean, I am a software engineer.

Depositbox – Hiding my money from me is good. I’ll be sad to lose this if it goes. It hasn’t seen an update in a while though. I’m hoping it just “works” in Wrath. Otherwise this’ll be another addon I tinker with.

Damage/heal meter – This is a nice mod to have to guage my performance during a fight (or in solo) or for times when I just can’t be troubled to upload a WWS. I wish I could leave it out, but there’s too many times that I need it. Currently I’m using Recount for this. It’s a bit of a memory hog.. esp considering I really don’t use the pretty graphs. I want to see: What’s my DPS compared to the rest of the group? What is my healing/overhealing compared to the rest of the group? How many times did I miss? What is my average damage for spell YYY? When I need more Info I usually have a WWS report. So Recount is overkill.. but I don’t currently have a better option.

Barmod – I need to be able to setup hidden bars and to minimize the clutter on my screen. If something isn’t used 80% of the time it shouldn’t show on my screen 100% of the time. I’ve just started out using Domino (WotLK rewrite of Bongos). So far it’s rocking my socks. It does everything Barternder3 did *and* works in Wrath.. and can hook things together so they move as a unit. I do wish it had cooldown numbers built into it. I’ve been told that OmniCC works. So I’ll be installing that.

Map mod – I want to be able to move the minimap..and I really do like having the ability to make it square. Long term, I like being able to show parts of my map.. and set way points. I’m fairly certain Cartographer will update.. but I haven’t checked/installed it yet. Squeenix makes my minimap square and movable.

Chat mod – I really want to not need this.. but Chatter has given me some nice-to-have options. Namely color coding chat with the chatters class colors.. and making a sound when my name is said in the chat window. All good. I also like the feature of WIM that puts incoming whispers into their own tab of the WIM window.. I do wish I could combine these though. Instead of having a separate WIM window I really wish my incoming whispers could show up as tabs in the “regular” chat window.

Fubar et all – I’ll probably install it.. there’s info here I use.. just not very much. Nice-to-have.. pretty sure it’ll get ported.

Scrolling combat text – I like Mik’s.. but I’d like to be able to roll it back and see what happened (that’d already scrolled off the screen. I’m tempted to try Eavesdrop again. It’s supposedly WotLK ready.

Linkerator – ability to type [Spellfire h… and have it not only fill in the rest of the name.. but also make it a clickable link so ppl can see the item.

OMG>. so far I’ve identified like 1 thing to eliminate.. sad monkey. Why is the default UI so horribad. *sob*

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8 comments to Ode to a UI

  • Pixelette

    I would love to speak to someone that has successfully used the default UI to play! I recently had to delete my WTF folder contents to isolate a mouse button issue in the UI, and logging in with all addons disabled… wow. I can’t remember even using that to start with. It’s crazy!

    I would be genuinely curious to hear someone explain how you could successfully quest, let alone do an instance or raid with just the basics. It drives me mad enough to have to hit shift+b just to see all my bags at once like that!

    Pixelettes last blog post..Galaxie Polaris at vllg. Nommy!

  • khassad

    Pallypower: in WotLK should be useless.

    There are only three blessing in WotLK: might, wisdom, kings (light and salv are no more). But… Might gives a buff that is given also by warriors raid-wise and does not stack. Kings and (improved) Wisdom are hardly available to the same paladin, because kings is in the protection tree and holy paladins (who will have improved wisdom) will be specced XX/0/XX. So in my opinion each paladin will be required to give the same and only blessing to everyone.

    Auctioneer: as far as I can see, it has heavy resource usage, so I enabled auctioneer only on the bank-alt dedicated to AH transactions.

  • Broch

    I think it is mostly a matter of what you are familiar with. Although what role you play makes a difference as well. I played up until about 60 with no add ons, before our tiny casual guild added omen as a requirement to help the healer and dps visualize their threat generation. I technically have Auctioneer but don’t really use it. I just mail everything to my wife’s character because she has an enchanter and she either disenchants or sells it.

    After I hit 70 with my main and started levelling my Mage alt I did add quartz and when I started watching my dps more closely for trying to prepare for kara I added a buff bars mod to help me maximize my slice and dice uptime, but I wouldn’t consider either of those be a necessity for me, per se.

    If I were a hardcore raider, or a healer for that matter, I could definitely see the benefit of some of the addons for squeezing out that last bit of dps or tracking the health of the whole group and dishing out the heals. As a casual player though, I don’t really need much. The default UI provides basically all of the functionality that I require.

  • I’m really hoping that the buff changes will allow me to kick PP to the curb. After a year of using it, I’ve grown to hate its limitations.

    If you’re having problems with too many addons to the point it’s affecting your fps, what if you just went with turning them on situationally? For example, Auctioneer and its million baby addons doesn’t need to be poking around in raids. Just activate it if you’re heading to the AH.

    I run with more addons than you do, but they’re comfortable and I don’t have anything I don’t use. If that’s your total list, I’d say you’re on the low side. hehe My rule is if I use it, then it can stay. If I turn it off and don’t feel the need to turn it back on for a week, then it goes.

    With Wrath, you might want to look into a quest addon like Lightheaded. It makes figuring out what you want to do next very easy. There’s a map addon it pares with (Atlas? I can’t recall) that will allow you to mark your quest locations with one click.

    Valyres last blog post..BlizzCon Via DirecTV

  • Nibuca

    The sad part is that those listed above aren’t all of my addons. They’re just the ones I could think of while writing the post. I do think I’ll be able to slim down a bit.. but there’s just alot of functionality that makes me happy that comes from addons.

  • I was really worried about mouse-over macros initially. Mainly because I didn’t understand how they worked and was worried about what could make it not work the way I intended. What I did was spend about 30 min by myself testing it to understand how each of them worked.

    I’ve never used Clique. Tried Grid, but didn’t like it. I use Xperl for my raid frames. The reason I try to avoid too many addons is exactly for reasons like the expansion. You’re banking on certain addons being updated and some might not be. It’ll be a real eye-opener for everyone once the addons aren’t working anymore and I think some of us will be surprised at how many people don’t really know how to play their toons.

    kyrileans last blog post..Blizzard Authenticator

  • GoW

    I use everything you listed. :)

    I like Mapster plus Tomtom plus Gatherer instead of Cartographer. I know it sounds like more, but it’s actually smaller overall. Cartographer is huge.

    Clique is so small and well coded that I can’t imagine giving up that level of control for the gain.

    Have you considered removing the hud and putting your primary player/target frames close to the center of your screen? I put mine just under where my toon is and I’m happy.

    GoWs last blog post..Game > Lore

  • Shwanger

    Dominos > Bartender. I has lower mem usage and works better IMO. Unlike BT, it will enable you to keybind skills on a bar, then totally disable/hide it and still allow those keybinds to work. Just awesome for a custom minimal UI.

    Auctioneer is for bank alts only. It has a massive memory footprint. If you are just using it so you can see what things vend for when out in the world, try ItemPrice-1.1

    Gatherer and cartographer are both memory hogs. Avoid using them. I believe that both of them both store masses of info, and worse, use subchannels to constantly update this info with other people in you guild using the same mods. I have this awesome device which I carry with me everywhere called ‘my brain’. It remembers where things are for me.

    Though you havent mentioned them, I know that Lootlink and Atlas Loot are stupidly memory hungry.