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Thread: What to aim for when customizing your UI

  1. #1
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    What to aim for when customizing your UI

    Intro

    I made this guide some time ago in our guild private forum, but now i decided to make it public, so it could be usefull for more people.

    I want to share my point of view about what should you aim when customizing the UI. The idea is not to make your UI look cool, but more useful.
    My goal is to help people improve raid performance by not missing important things. I will try to accomplish this all by giving good or bad examples, and also addons that could help you while in raids. This doesn't mean that shown UIs are perfect!

    The problems I want ot address are:
    1. Not seeing important things that happen around, like rockets, mines, fissures.
    2. Not seeing raid/boss mods messages, alerts or timers.
    3. Taking agro and continuing to damage, even after your target is hitting/chasing you.
    4. Killing mobs earlier that it should - like adds that have to die together or at some place/time.
    5. Not seeing important buffs/debuffs on you or someone else that you have to save.

    1. Seeing the Environment
    First lets see what we can do, so we see those damn rockets/fissures/mines/walls..
    - Clean the area around your character. Lets see example:


    - Get rid of all spam messages such as - Ability is not ready, You don't have enough rage/mana/power, and so on. Keep just important ones. This way you could actually get some info from them as that you are out of mele range for 30 seconds now! Also you could see more clearly the raid leader/boss mods alerts.

    - Clean all not needed combat texts, alerts and abilities from the middle of the screen. There is no use to know all heals/hots, strikes and crap messages you get, or those big pew pew numbers that distract you from seeing that the rocket is going to hit you, or fissure is under your legs.

    - Make sure to clear enough around your character, to be able to see a fissure, rocket incoming from the sky, clouds form left/right and so on.

    The point is to clear everything from the middle and put only the most important things where your eyes look at most - middle.

    TIP: On all fights except Yogg-Saron and Grobbulus you can lower particle effects. This is almost a must for meleers - DKs and palas aoe disappears, also the big bam bam sparks from ranged casters.
    Particle effects wont hide important things such as fissures/walls/rockets marks and everything that is telling you that you have to move away.
    WARINING: Make sure that Projected Texture is always on, or you will disable important things such as fissures/walls/rockets marks.

    Some bad examples here, no offense : )







    2. Health bars, target and cast bars
    - Your health bar - Seen a dps suiciding in OS3D on second drake? Or DPS pala using a balloon or healing himself in time? (except when Rahh was playing)
    You always should be able to see this information, so put it somewhere in the middle and make it big enough.

    - Your target - have this big enought, so you dont kill something that should die later on some event. Also you can watch the DBM Boss/Adds Bars in situations where those have to die together.
    - Your target cast bar - in 25 man raids where all classes have some kind of disturb we still get aoed in P1 of Yogg-Saron. Put it where you can see it and make it big enough, so you can react fast.

    - Target of a target (ToT) - i cant believe that some people steal agro without noticing it. First you have ORA that makes you screen flashing red (even now default UI has it), second if you see yourself in ToT for more than 2 seconds, you fail. Its unbelievable to steal agro again after the tank have taunted of you.

    - Target buffs - oneshoted from the golems in Ulduar? You fail to see he is buffed and tank is away from it. Seen off tank not picking the boss in time? Yes i do!

    Example:


    The top left of the screen, as is the default HP/energy bar, is not the best place to check are you going to die. Its not also the best place for your target, as you wont notice fast enough when your enemy is casting.
    Also, omen is not outdated! Make sure to have that, or some similar addon. We still have agro stealers in our raids..
    Last edited by Galdor; 08-27-2009 at 02:50 AM.

  2. #2
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    3. Focus target
    This dynamic target is very, very useful! Here i will give some tips for its use:
    - Need to watch on particular person, as the tank X? Put him on focus for fastest feedback.

    - Need to watch when someone gets debuff so you have to act fast? Put him on your focus target, but make sure to enable debuffs display on focus target. (Tanks, do that!)

    - Need a fast escape and you are a warrior? Put a healer or ranged dps on your focus target and use this macro:
    Code:
    #showtooltip Intervene 
    /focus [modifier:alt] 
    /stopmacro [modifier:alt] 
    /cast [nostance:2] Defensive Stance 
    /cast [target=focus] Intervene
    What it does is - if you use it with ALT button down - it will set your target as focus target. If used without a modifier it will switch you in defensive stance and then intervene to your focus target.

    Im sure there are more than that usages of the focus target. You can share your ideas too.


    4. Sounds
    Do you know that Deadly Boss Mods alerts use same sounds for all separate types of boss o!shit abilities:
    Run away little beach! - run away from the boss.
    Mimiron: Shock Blast, P3Wx2 Laser Barrage
    Stormcaller Brundir: Overload

    Ta-na and skull mark on you - move away from the raid:
    Freya- Ancient Conservator: Nature's Fury
    XT-002 Deconstructor: Gravity Bomb, Searing Light

    ..and so on, those i remember atm.

    Conclusion - always play with sound ON!

    5. Grid
    One of the best addons out there, that is a must for a raider. I still see people using party/raid frames that take 1/3 of their screen. Some say they are used to that and its NP for them. But still we have people dieing from not seeing things happening around them. I blame their UI more than their concentration.
    Here some tips, how you can make grid even more useful for you:
    Not sure if you have buffed the whole raid, not sure if you have to rebuff someone? I actually have to cast my buff every 2 minutes, and sometimes i have to cast it not only for me, but for offtanks, or ranged tanks(hello Wheezy) or whole raid (Hi Mimiron P2). How do i manage to accomplish that when my buff is not target-castable and somewhat short ranged?
    (this is a bit corrected in 3.2 - Glyph of Command, Commanding Shout range buf)

    Install Grid addon GridStatusMissingBuffs.
    It lets you set a notification for missing buff(s).
    Here example of my Grid:


    Dont make people ask for buffs, better see that in time!

    6. General tips :
    Clear the area around your character, so you see all bad things in time.
    Remove friendly player names while in raid.
    Remove all spam text from the middle of the screen, so you can see important ones as DBM messages, Raid leader messages, cooldowns of boss abilities, rockets and shit under you feet..
    Get TOT, omen and watch where you are on the threat.
    Get big enough enemy cast bar, and use your skills to prevent raid damage.
    Make all unused bars, like crafts/foods/options/bags fade when not mouseovered. It will give a bit more space and less distraction.
    Get grid and remove all raid/party frames.
    And general tip is - less crap you have on your screen - faster you will see and react on important events.

    7. Usefull addons (my opinion)

    Aloft - enhance mobs HP panels, very heavy, but very powerful for tanks when multy tanking adds. Example of my setup - when i have agro the panel gets purple, when i dont have agro its red, when im going to loose agro its yellow:


    Chatter - catches your name and send the chat message as an SCT even. I am not sure if there are other chat addons that do the same, but i find it very useful. Now i can see "Galdor move!" early enough.
    TIP: always use full player name for messages that require particular person reaction (Vuzvax Heroism!).

    Bison - light buff debuff addon. No more missing a debuf on you! (just make debufs big enough!)

    Dominos - lightest ability bars addon

    Forte_ - Do you have buffs/debuffs that you have to refresh frequently? Did quartz failed at that? Get this great addon:


    Grid - must have.

    MikScrollingBattleText - best SCT so far, easy to customize, very light.

    Omen - a must!

    OmniCC - customizable cooldown numbers on your abilities.

    oRA2 - Must have!

    pError - Ignore spam messages as Not enough mana!

    ShadowedUnitFrames - i find it to be the best unit frames addon!

    PowerAuras - very, very powerful customizable alerts on different kind of events:
    When i have to overpower/slam my target?
    Did i got the Guardian Spirit, or it's the priest who is not messaging on cast?
    Samples:
    The text is shown only when im in a raid and when the buff is not present, take it or cast it : )



    Quartz - make those target cast bars visible!

    RantTooltip - very light, but not so flexible.


    As an end to this wall of text - first make your UI comfortable for you and easy to use, and then go for coolness.

    Hope to be helpful (i tried to be a bit funny, no idea if this worked out
    Last edited by Galdor; 08-27-2009 at 02:53 AM.

  3. #3
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    Very interesting. What is the addon which deal with skill cool down pls? The pic "Skill cool down in cool way".

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    That is ForteXorcist:
    ForteXorcist : WoWInterface Downloads : Warlock

    That is both the cooldowns bar, spell/debufs timers shown on that screen. It also has some more features for a warlocks.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
    Very interesting. What is the addon which deal with skill cool down pls? The pic "Skill cool down in cool way".

    Thanks
    this, says so above the screenshot:
    Forte_ - Do you have buffs/debuffs that you have to refresh frequently? Did quartz failed at that? Get this great addon:

  6. #6
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    Thats what I though and went to the site but it said "ForteXorcist is a powerful AddOn for Raiders. Mainly targeted at Warlocks." so wasn't sure

  7. #7
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    Btw Galdor, can you post link to your UI or may be screen shots of your UI?

    Thanks

  8. #8
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    it has stuff like soulstone cooldown timers, who has how many soulshards, teleport queue, healthstone summon CD for warlocks. the rest works with every class.

  9. #9
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    Nice guide, well written and covers a good topic. Kudos!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
    Btw Galdor, can you post link to your UI or may be screen shots of your UI?

    Thanks
    Here one recent from VOA:
    Last edited by Galdor; 02-04-2010 at 03:54 AM.

  11. #11
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    Hot stuff, i am about to totally redo my UI because it's bloated, i can't see the stuff i need too and it just sucks.

  12. #12
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    Nice I have been looking for a good buff and debuff table and or timer. The default is just annoying to me where it is located and I hate having to look around to see if I have a buff down or got a debuff I dont want. I need to do a little reworking of my UI as well, I have most of the addons I want, just need to clean it up some.

  13. #13
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    Hi, Nice guide

    Can you tell me how you get your camera zoomed out that far? You don't seem to be using an addon like Viewport or Sunn to make it like that artificially.

  14. #14
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    Use this macro:
    Code:
    /script SetCVar("cameraDistanceMax", 25)
    /script SetCVar("cameraDistanceMaxFactor", 2)
    Or edit your config file.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galdor View Post
    Use this macro:
    Code:
    /script SetCVar("cameraDistanceMax", 25)
    /script SetCVar("cameraDistanceMaxFactor", 2)
    Or edit your config file.
    Worked like a charm, thank you very much.

  16. #16
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    Great post, Galdor. Thank you.

    Sorry if I missed it, but what is the name of the addon you use that shows your health and target bars horizontally across your screen?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by atcq View Post
    Great post, Galdor. Thank you.

    Sorry if I missed it, but what is the name of the addon you use that shows your health and target bars horizontally across your screen?
    Its Shadowed Unit Frames: Shadowed Unit Frames : WoWInterface Downloads : Unit Mods

  18. #18
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    Doh! It was there in the post the whole time.

    But thanks for the quick reply, Galdor.

  19. #19
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    Love this Post recommed sticky.

    Request can you post this on all the DPS forums in the land so that they learn they have something to do with STEALING aggro

    Also a question in your UI when you have to taunt off MT or OT (depending on your role) where are you seeing the other tanks debuff?

    I am thinking of Crusader or other bosses when you need to see how many stacks are on that person. Is this when you are using focus target or can you see that some where else?

    Second, where is your character info bar with quest log etc do you hide this during raids or open these some other way.

    LAst I have not figured out Titan Pannel what is the big deal with this add on where is it located in you screen shot?

    GREAT POST just trying to simplify my life thanks!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDEagle71 View Post
    Love this Post recommed sticky.

    Request can you post this on all the DPS forums in the land so that they learn they have something to do with STEALING aggro

    Also a question in your UI when you have to taunt off MT or OT (depending on your role) where are you seeing the other tanks debuff?

    I am thinking of Crusader or other bosses when you need to see how many stacks are on that person. Is this when you are using focus target or can you see that some where else?

    Second, where is your character info bar with quest log etc do you hide this during raids or open these some other way.

    LAst I have not figured out Titan Pannel what is the big deal with this add on where is it located in you screen shot?

    GREAT POST just trying to simplify my life thanks!
    Yes i use focus target. Its best place for that, and we never run with more than 2 tanks, so you dont need to look after more than 1
    As for the menu and other buttons, they are over my minimap, but they are shown only on mouse-over. Here is a screenshot, ouf of combat, neat and clean :P


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