Okay, so I started with the easy part – fixing my action bars. I had 4 action bars I was using, which were taking up a lot of space on my screen. I only used maybe half the buttons during any raid, and a lot of the things I needed access to (ie. potions, combat res, all my “oh crap” buttons) were far away from my main heal spells on the screen. Given that I don’t keybind everything, this was very problematic.
So, the first thing I did (on Lavata’s recomendation) was downloading Domino’s bar mod. After much grumbling, kicking and whining, we managed to get something that worked out pretty well. The second thing I did was to turn off the advanced tooltip features in the base Blizzard UI (oops) so that all the tooltip information wasn’t covering the bottom half of my raid frames if I dropped them lower on my screen.
The advantages of Dominos bar mod for my spell bars (instead of Blizzard bars):
- All my active bars change when I switch to my second spec
- Allowed me to shrink and break up my bars in a way where I have space for everything essential, everything else (chat boxes, etc) can get lowered on my screen, giving more space to see what’s going on around me.
- Easy key binding settings for spells.
- If I shift to my feral forms, my feral abilities are still accessible.
- It feels as much like the Blizzard UI as you want it to, in terms of how using my spells works. It just takes up less space if customized right (even if it’s a pain in the neck to get set up).
Raid frames Finding raid frames that did what I wanted them to do. I’ve tried setting up over the last 24 hours (in order):
- Grid: Was too cumbersome and hard to set up. Too far different from what I was used to using. Ran into the problem of not finding an option to show total health %, rather than deficits. Got frustrated and gave up.
- Healbot: Was recommended by one of the druid healers in my raid. I ran into problems with displaying the HOTs. Either they covered the entire bar to the point where I couldn’t see if people’s health was going down, or the raid frames took up too much space. In addition, all the click casting features were probably going to be wasted, since I tend to not use click-casting heals.
- Went back to X-perl: I re-installed all the Xperl addons, because I was missing features from it like the buff displays under my personal nameplate and such that I got used to having. I turned off mana/energy/rage displays, which shunk down the size of the raid frames. However, since I couldn’t find a setting that would show only buffs/HOTs I cast on people, I decided it would be too hard to stick with it. I turned off the raid frame portion of Xperl, but kept the other features (for now). So, my overall feel of my UI is similar to what it was before.
- Found sRaidFrames. Did a happy tree dance. Kept sRaidFrames.
What sRaidFrames does. While the overall feel and style isn’t that much different than what I’ve always used, it has a couple important features I was looking for.
- Shows only what I cast on people (I tried it out in a sucky Naxx pug that didn’t kill more than trash). Allows me to set anything I don’t want showing up on a “don’t show” list. So, food buffs show up on the frames, but I can set it to NOT show “Well Fed” and then it doesn’t take up space on my raid frame.
- Allows me to show total % health remaining (instead of deficits).
- Fairly compact, easy to set up, use, and doesn’t leave me with a drastically steep learning curve for how to use them.
HotCandy. The one thing sRaidFrames doesn’t do is show me how long my HOT will remain on the target. For MT healing, it’s really handy to be able to have a timer that keeps track of that sort of thing. HotCandy, however, lists all the HOTs I cast on anyone, so if I cast rejuv on 20 people, it would show a list of 20 names and timers all in a row. You can, however, disable any of the spells you don’t want showing up there (so I could turn off everything besides lifeblooms if I wanted to just keep track of lifeblooms on a tank or something).
My guess is that the Hot Candy timer will likely be the thing that gets chopped out of my UI, likely in favor of Lifebloomer or something similar that keeps track of things on individuals, rather than the entire raid.
I took some pictures during my Naxx “test” run today. This is what my set up for Sunday’s Ulduar raid is likely going to look like. Not really that different, but I may need to make changes gradually rather than huge changes all at once.