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The tips and techniques explained here may be outdated.

State of the UI: April 2009

Review of my UI post patch 3.1.

Full Size picture

This month I stopped using DoTimer and started using ButtonTimers. DoTimer is superior at showing dots running on multiple mobs.. but for single targeting I prefer ButtonTimers’ display. With my warlock I find that if I’m not single-targeting then I’m AOEing (where dot timers arent’ used at all). So for me this change makes sense. I also managed to get my Pally to 80. So now, in addition to DPSing my UI needs to easily accommodate tanking and healing.

In tanking, because I’m still unfamiliar with the cooldowns/skills so I spend a lot of time focused on the buttons in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. I found that my debuffs were too far away from my buttons for me to easily watch both at the same time. So buffs/debuffs moved to the other side of the screen (from where it was last month). Once I did that it only made sense to move Omen closer to the buttons. So, when tanking I’m mostly focused on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. When DPSing I tend to focus on the middle (buttontimers) of the screen. When healing I focus on the bottom middle of the screen. So far it’s working for me.

I’m still trying to adhere to the “less is more” philosophy of UI design. I want to see more of my screen and less of unneeded widgets and thingies. I think I’m “winning” with the display of the UI.. but under the hood there are still a bunch of Addons I see as “necessary”. So.. although I do have alot of addons.. I really show very little on the screen.

I access the “main menu” by hitting the ESC button, “bags” by hitting ‘B’, “Character” by hitting ‘C’, “Spellbook” by hitting ‘P’, etc. By using the keybinds (which are already in the default setup) I could completely eliminate the default bag/main menu bar.

After that it was all about identifying what I -always- need to see versus what I occasionally need to see. Anything I don’t need to see all the time is hidden away. Even with that in mind.. I still think I have too many buttons showing on the screen.

Buttons

ui_april09_buttons1: Dominos Bar mod – In the bottom left-hand side of my screen I have my main button bar. For the most part all button mods are created equal. I’ve settled on Dominos because it was easy to setup. Dominos -used- to have the buff mod built into it that put colored borders on your button if your target currently had that dot on it. With 3.1 that feature was spun out into a new addon called “Inline Auras”.

Inline Auras – Adds colored outlines to button bars for dots currently on the mob, buffs on yourself (see pic to right). In addition to the colored border, Inline Auras also puts a couple of cooldown counts on the button. I’m not used to them yet.. but I could see them being useful.

By default the main button bar shows the buttons I expect to need during combat. When I hit CTRL the bar flips to show a different set of 24 buttons. These buttons are mostly combat skills with a cast time.. or buttons I only use occationally. When I hold down ALT the bar flips to show yet another set of 24 buttons. ALT is things I want button bound.. but don’t need to see all the time (summoning a pet, food, drink, etc) (See a little movie I shot about my button setup here: YouTube movie about button bar

To the left of the main button bar is my “oh shit” buttons. This has things where I need to know at a glance if they’re off cooldown (soul shatter, health potion, cookie, soul stone)

In addition to the bars showing on the screen I also have a hidden bar above the minimap. That one has things like “Detect Invis”, my spellstone and my mount.

OmniCC – Addon used to show cooldowns as numbers on buttons.

Timers Buff/Debuffs

2: ButtonTimers – This is a clickable button bar with your spells you want to track on it. I have it configured to show the dottimer above the spell. I’ve also configured the first, empty spot, to show me the timer for Shadow’s Embrace.

3: Buffalo – On the left-hand side of the screen, above my button bars is my set of buffs/debuffs. I found buffalo to be very clean and simple to configure. I -have- found it’s a little bugged wrt some of the vehicle quests(Hodir grabby stabby quest esp). I’m looking for a solution to that. I like the simplicity of Buffalo.

UnitFrame, HUD and Castbar

4: MetaHud – Nuckin has picked up development of MetaHud. This is the mod smack dab in the middle of the screen. The parenthesis surrounding my toon. It shows my, my pet, my target, my target of target’s health and mana/rage/runic power.

5: Grid and Clique – Just below that is Grid. LOVE LOVE LOVE grid. Can’t imagine playing without it. Grid, GridSideIndicators, GridStatusRaidIcons. Grid shows the UnitFrames for the group I’m in. Clique allows me to use modifer+click units in GRID to cast heals on them (on my Paladin or druid). I also used Grid/Clique for my cleansing/decursing (instead of having an additional mod like Decursive). I’m contemplating adding GridAutoFrameSize to automatically resize Grid depending on the raid size. Even if I’m not playing a healer I’ve found grid to be the most compact unitFrame with the most information.

6: Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text – Shows the outgoing (on the right of MetaHud) and the incoming (on the left of MetaHud) damage and heals.

7: Quartz – Below MetaHud this shows me a castbar for my/my target’s spells. It also includes a red bit for latency. I know that I can start casting the next Shadow Bolt slightly before I hit the latency bit of the cast bar.

FocusFrame – Although the default UI now includes a frame for your focus, I found that the spells in the default UI didn’t show number on their cooldown. So I’m using FocusFrame which integrates with OmniCC to show numbers. When I have a focus it shows up to the right of omen/recount and to the left of grid.

Minimap

8: BasicMiniMap – I updated to use BasicMinimap because SimpleMinimap was giving me errors (and was borking Flame Leviathan entirely). I use a minimap mod to move the minimap to the bottom of the screen and made it square. Really, if the default UI let me move the minimap I wouldn’t have needed an addon for this.

Mapster – Simple map replacement.

GatherMate/GatherMate_Date – Adds mining/herbing/treasure nodes to the map.
Routes – Can generate routes which can show on the minimap for the most efficient route for mining/herbing an area. Great for farming.

Chatbox

9: Chatter – to move and colorify the chat window. Additionally, Chatter makes a noise when specific keywords (ie, my name) show up in the chat window. (I also heard that Chatter takes up less memory than Prat)

Information

10: Just to the right of my button bars is my omen/recount area. If I’m in combat, Omen shows. If I’m out of combat recount shows.

Omen – Threat Meter

Recount – Damage meter.

11: Fubar – Across the top of the screen from left to right: AddonSpamFu (so I can see which addons are misbehaving), PerformanceFu(for fps and latency numbers), Depositbox (used to hide my money from me), eeShards (for managing soulshards), DurabilityFu, GroupFu
On the right-hand side: AlarmClockFu, tcgTradeskills.

Power Auras – In this picture I don’t have any Auras showing. But believe me.. I find this addon indispensable.

12: CowTip – Styles the tooltip when I mouseover a mob or player. My tooltips show in the upper-left-hand corner of the screen.

NibNotes – Adds the ability to update mob/players tooltips with notes ( “Can’t be sheeped”, “Charges #2 on aggro”, “Ninja goober” etc). Llanion of Mad Cow Chronicles! is working on this mod because I mentioned that I wanted to be able to make cribnotes about mobs/bosses and be able to broadcast these notes to the raid. He’s making good progress on it.

LinkWrangler – Used to allow me to show multiple item tooltips (like 3-4 or more) on the screen at the same time (helps with gear comparisons).

RatingsBuster – Adds information to my tooltip about the value of different stats/ratings.

Pawn – Allows me to setup several “gear scales” and then shows how -this- piece of gear ranks on my established scale.

Mendeleev – Shows additional information about items (where it drops, what it’s used for, etc)

BigWigs – Raid warning. Required by guild. Good for staying out of fires.

CLSaver – Mod to toggle /combatlog on/off depending on your zone. I use this so I remember to save the combatlog

Things you can’t see

Auctioneer Advanced – need it.

OptionlessHouse – This is more of a meta-mod. This mod allows me to monitor the performance of my other mods to see which ones are memory sucking pigs. It also allows me to turn on/off certain mods for this this toon by toggling the mods and running a /reloadui.

Outfitter – Allows me to setup gear sets and switch between them on a button press.

TBag-Shefki – Organizes my bags/banks. Also makes my inventory (and alt’s inventories) searchable

13: QuestHelper and TomTom – Addons used for questing. (not showing on screen shot.. but I outlined the positioning).

Multishot – Causes a screenshot to happen whenever the boss dies or I get an achievement or level.

For my info:
Warlock’s Den: Show off your UI

Similar Posts:

9 comments to State of the UI: April 2009

  • New blog post: State of the UI: April 2009 http://tinyurl.com/c8ohn9

  • DoTTimers is good, but I’ve switched almost entirely to EventHorizon (http://wowinterface.com/downloads/info11935-EventHorizon.html) – which might help you on your paladin. It’s helped me on both my lock and my shaman in that it helps me see not just when my dots are going to fall off, but also the cooldowns on spells. Maybe it’ll help so that you don’t have to watch buttons on your pally?

  • @mkgresham I use Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text.. others like SCT. My UI: http://bit.ly/UatZY

  • Dean

    I’ve got a similar setup to you and am having issues with Focus. I have MetaHUD and Quartz and have Blizzard Player and Target frames turned off.
    Stupid question, but with Target frame turned off, how do I set my Focus or open the Target menu? I may be just tried but I can’t seem to work out how :(

    (I have Focus turned off in Quartz if that matters).

  • Nibuca

    Target something and then left-click the target’s name in metahud. That will work for the targeting menu. It doesn’t seem to work for focus.

    I use a mouse-over macro to set/clear my focus

    /focus [target=mouseover]
    /stopmacro [target=mousover, exists]
    /clearfocus [target=mouseover,noexists]

    Move your mouse over the thing you want to focus. Hit the key-bind for the button. If you want to clear your focus, just mouse-over an empty part of your screen.

  • Dean

    Sweet, that works a treat. All almost perfect now except for one thing I just noticed, how do I select myself to get the pop-down menu for party/raids? Any other way other than a /tar macro?

  • Nibuca

    -I- click my name in Grid. I believe you could also use F1.

  • Dean

    Turns out there is an easier way. I was messing around and while left clicking on your target’s name gives you their pop-down menu, right clicking on the name gives yours :)

    Although you still have to have something around to target, so the /tar name could still be handy.

  • @TheRealestout Well.. My UI addons are described here: http://bit.ly/UatZY LMK if you need anything more specific.