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The tips and techniques explained here may be outdated.

State of the UI: March 2010

Full Size picture

When DPSing I tend to focus on the middle of the screen(buttontimers). When healing I focus on the bottom middle of the screen(grid). 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.

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.

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.

17:TimeToDie – Shows an estimate of how long until the boss dies.

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. His newest version also improved the handling of buffs/debuffs display.

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. Also using GridIndicatorsCornerPlus(adds 3 more potential dots to each corner), GridSideIndicators(adds dots to the center of each side of the grid), GridStatusAurasExt (allows you to fire grid dots based on a SpellId), GridStatusHots(shows a dot that changes color based on the remaining duration of a hot or beacon), and GridStatusRaidIcons(allows you to configure dots by who has a mark/is targeting a mark).

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.

14: Shadow Unit Frames – 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 Shadow Unit Frames to show only the focus/target of focus 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 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: Prat – to move and colorify the chat window. Additionally, Prat makes a noise when specific keywords (ie, my name) show up in the chat window. It can also show alt names when someone says something or logs on (to keep everyone’s alts straight) and it can save aliases.

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: Fortress – Fortress is a display addon for LDB. It shows Broker addons as blocks that you can move around the screen. I have the following broker addons installed: Ara_Broker_Tradeskills (smaller buttons to access tradeskills), Broker_CPU (shows cpu/memory usage), Broker_Currency (shows my gold), Broker_Group (tracks /rolls in groups), Broker_repair (tracks armor repairs), Broker_SoulShards (shows me how many shards I have), Spamalyzer (so I can see which addons are misbehaving).

15: Power Auras – In this picture I have a very simple little aura showing. Believe me.. I find this addon indispensable. Please read the full post to find out more about Power Auras.

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

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).

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

16: Deus Vox – Raid warning. Required by guild. Good for staying out of fires. I converted to DXE because it seems to be more configureable and have more interesting audio warnings.

13:Tidy plates – Cleans up the name plates shown over mobs. Since the recent update to plate distances I use name plates CONSTANTLY. I’m using the CleanPlates implementation. I’m tempted to try the Aggro version to make it easier to see when I’m about to pull aggro.

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

AuctioneerLite – Smaller footprint than Auctioneer Advanced. This takes up less resources
MarketWatcher – Small addon that will track items in the AH and map how their price fluctuates throughout the weeks.

OptionHouse – This mod allows me to load/unload addons with 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

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

Livestock – Ability to setup buttons to randomly summon any of your non-combat pets/mounts/flying mounts.

Leatrix Latency Fix – A Windows only Registry fix that is supposed to cut down on your latency. I don’t have bad latency.. but I figured I’d test this out anyhow.

EPGP/EPGPLootMaster – Required by guild. Addon to help manage the EPGP loot system.

TeksLoots – A cleaned up loot window (when we’re not in a raid) that tracks who needs/who greeds/who disenchants.

Here’s an additional screenshot out-of-combat, with no target, no group.

Similar Posts:

8 comments to State of the UI: March 2010

  • If you like addons look at Skada to replace Recount. Uses less memory, has the same features, seems to calculate damage more accurately and measures absorbs by default. It also doesn’t spam the rest of your raid with traffic unlike Recount.

    Gobble gobble.
    .-= BobTurkey´s last blog ..Fiddling T10 priest still =-.

  • Nibuca

    “If you like addons” =IF= yeah.. ok.. sure.. I’m only rocking ~60 of them and try to do a weekly review.. yeah.. I kinda got a thing for addons. Thanks for the heads up

    :D

    • Moketronics

      Haha, reading this I was going to say the same thing about Skada… The absorbs being included by default is nice.

      What I really like is it has very good threat display and can automatically swap between damage meter mode OOC and threat meter mode in combat as to what it displays. Nice to replace Recount, Guessed Absorbs and Omen with one mod.

      Oh, on the difference between Deus Vox and DBM… there’s also the notable feature of the automatic waypoint arrows for boss abilities (maliable goo) in Deus Vox and the range frame has more detailed range info.

  • Hey Nibuca,

    Love the interface, very simple and clean. What I noticed with yours is that you’ve set the background to Recount and Omen to transparent. I think I’ll have to copy that as it really cleans up these dark windows.

    I am surprised that your guild’s not running DeadlyBossMobs, I thought ‘everyone’ was. :) If you know, how’s Deus Vox compare?

    I’ve tried running smaller buttons, but I am still so clicky and well clumsy, that I was having a hard time clicking quickly. Went back to 80% for all the in-combat buttons, but set the out-of-combat buttons to 60-70% original size. That way I can open alchemy without opening the spell window.
    .-= elkagorasa´s last blog ..New Pally mount? =-.

  • New MC Post: State of the UI: March 2010 http://bit.ly/coMT18

  • Nibuca

    My guild requires you run with “a boss mod” but accepts any of the three. I did bigwigs for a while and just changed to DXE in the last 2 months or so. Honestly.. it makes bars with cooldowns and sounds the whistles and I don’t really notice any big difference between the three bossmods.

    For the most part I’m using keybinds to cast my spells. So I’m only very occasionally clicking. I like the smaller buttons.. I almost wish I could hide the buttons entirely.. but I use the cooldowns on the buttons too much to do that. So for now the button bars are as minimal as I can get them.

    For my tradeskills I have a itty-bitty tiny little button in the far upper right-hand corner of the screen that only shows up when I mouse over it :) (Ara_Broker_Tradeskills)

  • The nice thing about DXE is that one member can send updates while in a raid for new fights. So that way everyone can stay up to date if only one person checks the update.
    .-= What’s my main Again?´s last blog ..Quick Rant on ICC Buff =-.

  • Nevinear

    Leatrix Latency Fix does a TON (~200ms less, about a 50% improvement!) for those of us playing overseas, your mention of it reminded me to put it on my new computer! Thanks!