New UI: The same but different…

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):

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

new_ui_2

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14 Comments

  1. Posted May 24, 2009 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Good job on starting to revamp your UI. The changes you have made (and will make), although it may seem weird, different and difficult to use at first, it will (most likely) in the long run make your UI more easy to use, and more streamlined.

    I also recently redesigned my UI, and although it was hard to use at the start, overall it turned out much nicer to use (and nicer looking too!).

    Here’s my current one:
    http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/1173/screenshot052409145857.jpg

    But hey, as long as you’re able to heal/tank/kill stuff with your UI, it’s working, right? It may not be working at it’s full potential, but it’s still working!

    ~Boize

  2. Ripdog
    Posted May 24, 2009 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Heya, I have a few recommendations. All these are personal taste, but I’m sure some will work for you if you try them.

    1. Use ElkBuffBars – much easier to see at a glance the durations on buffs, and awesomely configurable filters.
    2. Remove rep bar, stick it in a FuBar as a text only display.
    3. Those raid frames are very wasteful, space wise. A good grid config will sort em out.
    4. Those fonts are horrible. Use fontain to change them to calibri or something.
    5. Stick forms on a hotkey and remove the buttons. I use shift-[1-6].
    6. Minimap + minimap icons are ugly and space ineffecient. Fubar for the buttons and at least take off the border from the minimap via a mod similar to sexymap.
    7. AzCastBar. Worlds greatest castbar. Try it.
    8. Dash is an awesome mod that allows you to put some frames on a “dashboard” style screen so they arent seen usually, but you move your mouse to a certain point, or press a button and they appear. Fantastic for putting rarely used but still needed interface elements on.
    9. Prat, for filtering, remove chat log buttons, change channel labels, timestamps. Lots of stuff, great fun.
    10. No scrolling combat text? Bad idea IMO, if you change your mind definately use MikScrollingBattleText, best out there.

    I don’t have a recent shot of my UI, if you want a picture I’ll get off my lazy ass and take one.

  3. Kauth
    Posted May 24, 2009 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    Glad to hear that you found something that works for you. I’d still agree with ripdog: grid is worth putting some effort in it and will yield superior results.

    However, I understand why you chose sRaidFrames instead. Changing your UI is – for a healer – a step, that will change the way you play pretty significantly, more than for any other class role. It’s probably a good thing that you kept the overall style of your UI which means less confusion for you. ;-)

    Lifebloomer is a set of additional frames, right? That doesn’t sound very attractive… there are two possibilities:
    1.) You place them next to your raid frames on the right sight of the screen which makes it totally cluttered.
    2.) You place them on the left side and have to look away from the unit frames in order to see the lifeblooms you are rolling.
    You should really get some means of displaying this on the raid frames, makes life so much easier. Grid Status Hots does that for me, it shows color coded symbols that tell me which hot last how long on each target. Maybe you can find something similar for sRaidFrames?

    One more thing that ripdog mentions and that you should really consider: Replace the standard scrolling combat text with an UI mod. I highly recommend MikScrollingBattleText: (http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info5153-MikScrollingBattleText.html)
    Why? Because it merges multiple hots and AE-heals that occur in a certain time frame. Instead of spamming the middle of your screen with 20 Hot-Messages, it will tell you something like “15.000 (Rejuv, x Hits)”. You can also configure it to display cooldown reminders which is useful if you use swiftmend actively.

  4. Posted May 24, 2009 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I think I may end up just turning off HOT candy (my current HOT timer) when i’m assigned to raid healing, and just turn it on for tank healing.

    When I’m raid healing, there are icons that show up (which I can see) that just don’t have timers on them. So, I think it may be something I can just enable for fights where I need it. OR, I can set up HOT candy to just track my lifeblooms instead of capturing all the rejuv-spam.

  5. Posted May 24, 2009 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Wow, that’s a pretty big improvement hun! Depending on your vision, you may consider reducing the size of the chat frame so you have a little more active real estate on the screen.

  6. scaresome
    Posted May 24, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    You can see a lot more of the action now! Yay!

  7. Posted May 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    sRaidFrames is a good choice. glancing through the comments, somebody didn’t read your post and suggested you try grid :X

    your UI looks very similar to mine now… except i stack my raid frames on the left where the party usually is, since i’m used to looking in that area to heal, and dont use xperl

    Poras
    Officer/Resto Druid
    -Pango Honoratus-

  8. Homu
    Posted May 24, 2009 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Just one (perhaps easy to acomplish) suggestion here:

    I am not sure if Dominos supports it, but perhaps you can set the backpack and game menu bars to be invisible unless you mouseover that part of the screen.

    Well, that and, since noone suggested it before [/irony]:
    Get someone to help you set up grid and hottimers, raiddebuffs etc etc etc ;)

  9. Bencyenges
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    Hi, courteous posts there :-) hold responsible’s exchange for the interesting advice

  10. Fallenone
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Tbh ur UI looks very chaotic. :(
    First ur raid frames, those groups are total waste of space imo. Grid takes less than 50% of space u use atm. It can be configurated easy, it can be filtered to show only ur hots, which is only thing u need imo.
    Ok, it cant show duration of hots but dunno why should be bother with that. :)
    U can config for ex to show blue color on border for curse and green for poison for easy decurse, etc…
    Dunno why u want to see who has which buff? Remember too many info will make u confused :)
    Also would suggest Bartender4 for action bars, easyest to configure and there is nothing u cant do with it. I see on ur bars some double icons, loos that. Try making 2 small bars on bottom on screen with speels which u really use in raid, and then make 1 bar where u put ur buffs, hs, food, etc which will fade when not mouse on it and stick it to right side vertically.
    And for cast bar try Quartz, looks best from mine pov.

  11. muriel / blackhand
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    I’m a big fan of autobar but talk about a pain in the butt to get set up right, geesh. It’s a bar mod you can set up that, like, would have a popup menu with all of your food, a popup menu with all of your pots, one with quest items etc.

  12. Posted May 26, 2009 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Grid is a big change, and while I definitely support the addon’s use, I understand it isn’t for everyone :) If you get too frustrated learning to use it/set it up, I can understand… it took me a long while to get used to it, myself, but was forced to it due to the TBC lifebloom-rolling timers, which were not so nicely implemented in other raid frame mods. However, I am a bit shocked that sRaidFrames doesn’t provide a way to show hot-timers on your unit frames.

    As for MSBT, I tried it last week, and really didn’t like it, except for that feature of combining clustered heals into one text tick. I went back to the base Blizzard battle text this weekend. I used SCT/SCTD in TBC and loved it, but fell out of using it in WotLK in favor of Blizzard’s showing the heals ticking over the heads of the people I healed, rather than in a static location on my screen. I prefer SCT for tanking, however, since it provides a way to split incoming damage by dodges/misses and hits, an option I didn’t see readily available in MSBT and doesn’t exist for Blizzard’s standard UI.

    I do highly recommend getting Sexymap, though. Awwwwesome minimap mod, very pretty and sleek.

  13. Posted May 26, 2009 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    first of all, I like your choice of addons. Second, I used hotcandy too and found it too informative.

    The addon classtimer should serve your needs perfectly (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/classtimer.aspx). It shows, if properly configured, which is very easy, only your hots on your current target. So you can easily switch between tank and raid healing.

    Hope, to have been of service,

    Yours,

    Melo

  14. Aekold
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Hello!

    I just switched to restodruid after healing as shammy/paladin/priest.
    I’ve used Grid a lot before, and i still like it but I felt it was getting harder to get a good overlook as a restodruid, with all the HoT’s and such. I switched to VuhDo and I’ve never looked back. I can’t begin to describe it, but take a look at http://www.plusheal.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1677

One Trackback

  • [...] Sraid frames for the raid bars (set to display when I have HOTs on my targets), Xperl gives me other features like main tank windows,  and 3 macros. One macro targets myself & casts innervate (so I wouldn’t cast it on our paladin tank). The other macro is for Nature’s Swiftness & Healing Touch. I also have one where I paired my “use” trinket with Wild Growth, so that I’d actually use the trinket to boost my healing. My UI post from a while back can be found here. [...]