State of the UI: February 2011

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It’s a whole new expansion.. and I finally have a UI I like. This is a deeply modified version of TukUI with a bunch of addons sprinkled on top. TukUI was pretty good out of the box.. and if I wasn’t a chronic UI fiddler I probably would have stuck with the basic setup.. but I just can’t stand to not fiddle.. and in some cases I’ve gotten used to seeing things in a certain way and I just can’t give them up.

Things that are built into TukUI that I’ve still retained:
– Fancy screen art (the blocks around things) and the cicklets (guild, armor, friends) on top of the art. I’m not really sure that I always need to see all of that.. but it balances nicely.. and I haven’t found a compelling reason to turn it off.
– Mini Map. I really like the mini map. It’s small and unobtrusive.. and when I mouse over it, it tells me the name of my location and my coordinates.
– Unit Frames. I like the unit frames. They’re minimalistic but they have all the information I’m looking for. I do wish I could add target of pet.. but that’s not a huge biggie.

Things in TukUI I’ve replaced:
– Nameplates: I prefer the display of TinyPlates.. and in fact I’ve come to appreciate ThreatPlates (when it’s not bugging).
– Button bar: Since I’ve gotten used to flipping the bars with modifiers (alt, ctrl) I wasn’t willing to give up Dominos.
– Buff/debuff: I don’t like the default location and have become accustomed to the Bison/Buffalo display. Sadly, Buffalo is no longer being updated so now I’m using Bison.
– Bags: I prefer TBags-Shefki.

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.


1: Dominos Bar mod – In center middle of the 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. to be totally truthful I actually have 3 blocks of buttons around the screen, but only one is shown by default. The other two only show up when I mouseover the locations. The main showing button bar is for all of my all-the-time-in-combat spells. To the right of that I have another button bar which is my “every-once-in-a-while-in-combat” bar(summon pets, summon infernal, CC, etc). Right under the mini-map is my bar for buffs (fel armor, dark intent, etc).

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 12 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 12 buttons. ALT is also bound.. but I have very little on ther as I rarely use it.

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: Bison – On the left-hand side of the screen, above my button bars is my set of buffs/debuffs. I found bison to be very clean and simple to configure.

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), GridStatusHots(shows a dot that changes color based on the remaining duration of a hot or beacon), 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: I’m using Skada for both a dps meter and a threat meter.

8: 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.

N/A: Tidy plates – Cleans up the name plates shown over mobs. I’m using the ThreatPlates implementation. (I accidentally had the plates turned off in this shot.. but believe me, I use it all the time.

Things you can’t see that I think are -critical-

AuctionLite – Adds a more convenient buy/sell tab to the auction house.
Deus Vox – Raid warning. They’ve been slow to update this addon.. and frankly I’m a little bit frustrated with it.. but I still prefer this addon over others.
Outfitter – Allows me to setup gear sets and switch between them on a button press.
Pawn – Allows me to setup several “gear scales” and then shows how -this- piece of gear ranks on my established scale.
Raeli’s Spell Announcer (/RSA) – To announce things. When fear is put up, when it’s broken, why it breaks, etc.
TBag-Shefki – Organizes my bags/banks. Also makes my inventory (and alt’s inventories) searchable

Things you can’t see that I think are -nice-to-have-

AchScreenshotter – Causes a screenshot to happen whenever the boss dies or I get an achievement or level.
Auctioneer – Used by my banker.
GatherMate/GatherMate_Date – Adds mining/herbing/treasure nodes to the map.
GupPet – Ability to setup buttons to randomly summon any of your non-combat pets/mounts/flying mounts.
Routes – Can generate routes which can show on the minimap for the most efficient route for mining/herbing an area. Great for farming.
TipTacTalents – Simple addon that adds a players talents and the name of their focus tree into the tooltip when you mouseover that player.
TelUI_AddonsSkins – Adds the “right” look to other addons so they match TukUI.
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 a few additional screenshots.

Out of combat, No Target

Out of combat, Targeting my succubus, focus set to my non-combat pet
In-combat, in a 5-man

11 thoughts on “State of the UI: February 2011

  1. Are the arms that shoot out from Dominos (looks like a replacement for Fubar) is that part of Dominos? With Fubar and Ace gone, I am looking for something new but with the same function I had with the previous.

    Overall, I like your setup. A little too minimal for me but looks really good.

  2. I think you’re looking at ButtonTimers. It’s a button bar with timers that show up perpendicular to the bar. It’s right above my target.

  3. Actually, I think Roose is talking about the ui elements that go out to the right and left of your Dominos bars — in which case they’re talking about something that I believe comes from TukUI. Not sure if you could easily replicate it without starting with TukUI.

  4. I am still using the Nostromo. My last one died (death from drowning in coffee :P) and I’m now using a Nostromo N52TE. Aside from now glowing I think they’re the same.


  5. I started using the Logitech keypads and I am still up in the air as to which I like better. Ergo wise I think I like the Belkin and the belkin has the scroll but I really like having more buttons. I do not have the skills to do all that Atl for one screen, ctrl for the other.

    The joystick is easier to use on the logitech too.

    I still mouse click a couple buttons too. Not many but just random stuff here and there.

    I may switch back to the Belkin and see how it feels but unsure if I would stay with it over the Logitech.

    I am not sure how people play with just a keyboard.

  6. Good to know! I have a Belkin, but I haven’t started using it day to day yet. I did some initial setup, but it felt like it was just making things more complicated. About 85% or so of all my actions were moved to the belkin and that was cool..but that leaves me jumping around from the belkin to the keyboard to the mouse. Blech. I’d like to get a setup where my hands stay on the mouse OR keyboard (one or the other) and the belkin most of the time, especially during fights.

  7. The only time my hands hit the keyboard is to open my bag, view quest log, open the map, view professions or to chat.

    During a fight everything that I cast all the time is on the Nostromo and things I cast occasionally are on the hidden button bars (mouse clicked).

    My current Nostromo setup:


    Red button: [insert] (ventrilo key up)
    Thumb button: [ctrl]
    Scroll wheel: [space] (jump)

    Fight startup:
    Run into the fight (both mouse buttons down and using mouse to steer)
    Curse of the Elements (forward scroll wheel on the Nostromo)
    Send pet ([5])
    Corruption ([4])
    Bane of Agony ([3])
    Unstable Affliction ([CTRL][3])(Ie, hold down ctrl with my thumb on the nostromo and hit [3])
    Haunt ([CTRL][4])
    Shadowflame ([8])
    Soulburned Soul Fire ([CTRL][9])
    Shadow bolt ([9])

    Technically I have ~30 buttons in easy reach of my left hand without ever moving off of the home row on the Nostromo. I probably only used ~20 of them.

    The trick is to bind them well.. and remember what’s bound where.

  8. Yep, way more coordinated than me. I have all my fight buttons down the center (3 rows of 5 keys)Then misc keys on the outside and the bottom three key

    [g1][g2][ g3][ g4][ g5][ g6][ g7]
    [ g15][g16][g17][g18][g19 ]
    [ g20 ][g21][ g22 ]

    G5- Haunt
    G4-Bane of Agony
    G3-Unstable Aff.
    G2-Seed of Corrution
    G11-Life Tap
    G12-Drain Soul
    G13-Shadow Bolt
    G15 I am going to make a Macro to Soulburn summon FelPup for last ….25%.Someday…
    G18-Rain of Fire
    G19-Soul Swap

    That is my main usage keys. I put Fel Flame under Unstable Aff as that refreshes the Unstable Aff

    G1- I will usually have a fear
    G7 I have My trinket [Use] Heart of Ignacious
    G8-Currently Bane of Doom
    G14-Demon Soul

    The G20-22 keys are mapped to potions

    What would be the Red button on the Nostromo is my tab and the thumb button is my Vent. Jump is on the joystick.

    To run I have a side button on my trackball and use the joystick to sweep left or right.

    I will move my CoE into a key as needed as I usually talk the Destro Lock into casting it or I will just mouse click. Boss fights I am usually only casting once so no big deal.

  9. Wow Nibs, that looks great! Makes me wish I had the patience to mess around with more add ons! Oh and for those of you interested I just looked up the Nostromo N52TE on amazon and its currently on sale for 39 bucks.

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