State of the UI: March 2009

Review of my UI.

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I’m trying really hard 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.


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 and has a few features I haven’t seen anywhere else and found I really like. When I target a mob.. if my target already has the dot that’s on my button bar.. then that button has a pink outline (see pic to the right).

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

Dottimer – At the moment this mod is indispensible to Warlock raiding. I settled on DotTimer because it could track dots on several mobs and show the proper raid symbols on the names of the proper mobs.

Buffalo – Just below dottimer 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

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.

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.

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

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.


SimpleMiniMap – I moved 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.


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)


Just above my chat box is the omen/recount area. If I’m in combat, Omen shows. If I’m out of combat recount shows. In the screenshot, the boss has -just- died. So Omen went away.. but the screenshot occurred before Recount showed back up.

Omen – Threat Meter

Recount – Damage meter.

Fubar – Across the top of the screen. Depositbox (which is now updated to be fubar compatible), eeShards (for managing soulshards), DurabilityFu, GroupFu, AlarmClockFu, tcgTradeskills.

Power Auras – Just around the hud, the symbols on the screen are from Power Auras. The currently showing green squiggly lines tell me that I’m at 100% health but < 100% mana (so I should life tap).

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

MobNotes – Adds the ability to update mob tooltips with notes ( "Can't be sheeped", "Charges #2 on aggro", etc). Llanion of Moonfire! is working on a new mod which he named "nibnotes" 🙂 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. I'm really looking forward to trying that mod out.

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

GroupCalender – The calendar added by Blizz lacks some functionality we wanted. So we continue to use Group Calendar to plan guild raids.

QuestHelper and TomTom – Addons used for questing.

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

3 thoughts on “State of the UI: March 2009

  1. On raid night I turn off Auctioneer, Questhelper, Tomtom, Group Calendar, GatherMate, and Linkerator.

    With everything turned ON I’m at ~14 fps outside of Dalaran. With everything turned OFF I’m at ~22 fps. Really, there’s alot more contributing to my fps problems than addons.

    Planning to get a new bigger/better system within the next month or so.

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