State of the UI: September 2009

Review of my UI post patch 3.2.1. This hasn’t changed much since my last State of the UI post in April. .photoImgDiv img { padding: 0px; }

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When tanking I’m mostly focused on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen(spells, debuffs, omen). 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.


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.

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), 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: 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. When I have a focus it shows up to the right of omen/recount and to the left of grid.


8: BasicMiniMap – I updated to use BasicMinimap because SimpleMinimap was giving me errors (and was borking Flame Leviathan entirely). 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.


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.


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: Fubar – Across the top of the screen from left to right: AddonSpamFu (so I can see which addons are misbehaving), PerformanceFu(for fps and latency numbers), Depositbox (used to hide my money from me), eeShards (for managing soulshards), DurabilityFu, GroupFu
On the right-hand side: AlarmClockFu, tcgTradeskills.

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.

Mendeleev – Shows additional information about items (where it drops, what it’s used for, etc)

16: 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

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 week.

TooManyAddons – This mod allows me to load/unload addons with a /reloadui. It also can setup a profile of addons that you can enable/disable on the fly.

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

13: QuestHelper and TomTom – Addons used for questing. (not showing on screen shot.. but I outlined the positioning).

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

NPCScan – sounds an alarm if a rare mob shows up in your character cache

Altoholic – allows you to view information about any of you toons while logged into a single one. who has which pets/mounts/gear etc.

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.

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

5 thoughts on “State of the UI: September 2009

  1. One thing as a ‘lock that has always annoyed me is the fact that we need to have an extra set of keybinds to help control our pets; I notice you said you have a main set of keybinds, then CTRL brings up another set, as does ALT.

    Is one of these sets dedicated to pet management (like succubus seduce target/focus, etc), or do you have pet management buttons sprinkled throughout, depending on how often you need them?

    Myself, I have CTRL+ for everything to do with pets, but I’m interested in seeing how other ‘locks deal with it.

    Love the blog 🙂

  2. If you look on the bottom-left-hand side just above the button bars you’ll see my pet bar.

    At the moment I have 1 pet management button bound. That is in the upper right corner of my button bar and fires when I hit ‘6’. That is this macro. Hit it once to send my pet to attack something. Hit it again to call my pet back to my side.

    Other than that.. my pet abilities are either on auto-cast.. or I {looks around guiltily} click them to cast. I haven’t used seduce since Wrath came out.. and honestly I suck at PVP and have never figured out what I’m supposed to be doing with the FelPuppy. So.. for me pets are a set-it- and forget-it type thing where I make them attack something.. and then if I remember to, call them back if they get in trouble.

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