Just Another UI Post (JAUP)

After the disappointment of NeavUI, I decided to start again (for the … 30th-ish time) to create my own, functional user interface.

The picture above is what I’ve got going on, with a couple changes made between last night and today. It may not be the prettiest interface setup out there. And there is some duplication of things on screen. But it works. It actually works sooooooooo much better for me.

What it is, yo:

Setup Configuration (and other redundancies)

A lot of this might be pretty self-explanatory. If it’s not, send me an email or comment below with your questions.

To begin, I have set up Bartender toward the bottom center of my screen with 3 bars stacked. I have my totem bar set to fade until moused-over (and will change this to be [combat]show;fade – Show during combat but fade otherwise). I also have another 1-2 bars set up to remain faded until moused-over on the far right. Setting up the action bars this way consolidates my visual field (I use the cooldown timers on the buttons profusely).

I next have the FX cooldown timer across the top the action bars. While having the cooldown timer AND showing the cooldown swirl on the action buttons is a bit redundant, I really like that FX comes with a secondary splash (shown above as the big Healing Rain icon on the left side of the FX cooldown timer bar). This splash is in my face, which is a necessary thing during fights like Ultraxion (or Ultramarathon as Waypoint calls him).

I installed Prat for two main reasons. First, to make the chat text actually readable for me. I’m getting more and more nearsighted as I get older and that thin little Arial Narrow default font just ain’t cuttin it anymore. I’ve set it up with the Friz Quadrata font and a thin outline. That outline is sooooo awesome. And second, Prat includes a sound module that will play a sound when certain types of messages are sent to specific channels: raid, whisper, Real ID whisper, Party, guild. It’s pretty helpful for me since I alt+tab a lot I MEAN I am looking at other parts of my screen. <:}

Xperl is a bit.. ugly. There, I said it. The raid frames are unwieldy for healers (hello appropriate visualization of DEBUFFS and BUFFS), but I really, really, REALLY, like that I can make my buffs/debuffs HUGE on the target and focus frames. Given that I use a focus macro for most of my spells, it really helps to see quickly who’s got which buffs.

I actually only use Xperl for Player, Player Pet, Pet Target, Target, Focus, Target of Target and Focus Target unit frames. No Xperl Party or Raid frames. NOPE.jpg.

Dis is fugly. Bonus points if you can spot the buff.

I use Grid for Party and Raid frames plus HideBlizz to /forreal/ hide the default Party and Raid frames. I’ve tried several “hide Blizzard” addons and HideBlizz is the best (there is an actual in-game config menu where you can select to hide the Player/Target, Party and/or Raid frames! :O!)

I have Grid setup to show Earth Shield, Riptide, Water/Lightning Shield on me, Dungeon Role (as opposed to Raid Role — the difference is that Raid Role will display the two DPS types, melee and ranged, and Dungeon Role just displays who is a DPS. I just DGAF about that too much). I also have it set up with the Grid Raid Debuff module to show the various debuffs associated with each raid tier. Additionally, I have the center icon set to display magic or curses, both of which I can remove. Maybe I’m a terribad healer, but if I can’t remove it, I really don’t care about it because I’ll just have to heal through it anyway.

You’ll notice (if you’re familiar with Grid and customizing it at all), that I’ve left if pretty much “out-of-the-box” in respect to the raid frames themselves. I’ve switched the frame orientation from vertical to horizontal, but that’s about it. Less screen real estate that way (and yes, I know I have a big screen. I like to keep it sparse).

One of my favorite heavyweight, little-glory addons is MikScrollingBattleText (MSBT for short). It really makes a difference in my interaction with the UI. Before using it, all I would see is big green numbers all over the screen, obscuring my view. Now, with MSBT, those numbers have more meaning (by displaying spell icons, spell casters, etc) and are out of the way, yet visually accessible. Nice.

I’ve linked above to Deadly Boss Mods’ search results page on Curse so that you would see the Deadly Boss Mods – Spell Timers addon. And maybe download it. And love it like I do. This little nifty thing adds spell timers to the DBM timer list for important spells like battle rezzes, Innervates, Reincarnation, etc. Pretty handy to see who’s spell will be available and when.

The other addons I use are for convenience’s sake. Raeli’s, Omen, Skada*, Auctionator and AtlasLoot are information sources. Can’t do without them.

*Note about Skada: Apparently Recount’s memory-hogginess will cause you to pizza instead of french fry**on Ultramarathon. You’ve been warned.


Still Up in the Air

Although I really like the cooldown bar and notifications on my warlock for the ending of Soulstones, I’m having a tough time working with the actual spell timers included with ForteXorcist. I think part of the reason is that I’m just not used to looking at bars for my buffed targets. That could be learned. I think part of the reason I’m having trouble is because I don’t know where to freaking put the spell timers. For now (not shown above) they’re just kinda hanging out to the right of the raid frames.

Both Healer and DPS Approved

I’ve recently leveled my awesome warlock to 85 and started the grind for gear. After installing Xperl, I literally /gasped with joy at the GIANT debuffs with timers (on the target unit frame). It’s so much better to glance at the target, note my DoTs’ time remaining and go from there. And since I’m not using the Xperl Party or Raid frames, I don’t have to worry about making two profiles (one for healer, one for DPS) and switching between them.

Welp. I’ve said enough. As I mentioned above, if you have any questions, leave a comment! o/

Neav UI & the Raiding Healer: A Verdict

Well. Although I have been using Neav UI for a few days (week?) in 5-mans and LFR, I wanted to see how it would perform in a “real” raid setting where debuffs matter more and coordination is king. So we tromped into Dragon Soul last night and I was rocking Neav UI. Everything was good as gold until _that_guy. You know who I’m talking about. He’s T13’s Chimaeron (for Waypoint, at least). Warlord Zon’ozz.

Since I am specced into both Improved Cleanse Spirit and Cleansing Waters, I was asked to be the sole dispeller on this fight. I was also asked to call out who I was dispelling so they would be ready for the knockback. (Keep in mind, this was a strategy we were trying. This strategy, whether right or wrong, is not the point of this post.)

I was excited. I had a specific job to do during a raid. I had responsibility. I didn’t want to let my raid leader down.

For the first few seconds of the fight, everything was peachy. Then the debuffs were doled out. And all hell broke loose, in my head. The oUF raid frames clearly show the debuff — BUT IT COVERED THE NAMES. Granted, I should know who is where on my raid frames, but I have issues with self-doubt and I get paranoid about doing the wrong thing, so I had to mouseover to check. I even installed Decursive to help, but those unit frames don’t have names either. People, we have two priests, two druids (the death knights aren’t an issue as one is a tank & was the first raid frame).

And then there’s the issue I’ve been having with my mouseover macro for Cleanse Spirit:


/cast [@mouseover, help]Cleanse Spirit; [help]Cleanse Spirit; Cleanse Spirit

Seems pretty straight forward, right? Well, so did I until last night. I realized that my placing this macro on a shift+ modifier button (See screenshot below, bottom bar, button 7; notice the empty slot on the second bar >.>;) was causing it to misfire in relation to the GCD. At least that’s what I could tell. Ever since 4.3, I was having to manually select a target then use my macro. Which negated the whole “mouseover” thing and infuriated me to no end. So, in an ephiphanic moment, I moved my macro down to my main action bar (unmodified) and IT WAS WORKING AGAIN. Sons of biscuit eaters I am a moron.

Let me give you a pro tip: Use what works for you. While some things may be prettier than others, what really matters is your performance in the heat of the moment. Don’t be like me; don’t let your raid leader down over some STUPID issue like dispels. ;~;

So it is with a still-frustrated, perturbed, and slightly sad heart that I will be uninstalling Neav UI. I know I can just change the raid frames. Or I could tweak the raid frames. But I’m now over it as a UI. I’ve failed myself and my raid team in trying to use it — I’m not going there again.

Neav UI, Part 2

Okay this post is all the stuff I forgot to talk about in my previous post. Derp.

Other Cool Stuff About Neav UI


  • The screenshots on the WoWInterface page for Neav UI show only two action bars shown. I haven’t changed that on my own setup, but it’s available.
  • You can choose to hide/display the macro text and keybind text on the action bars.
  • There is a little game menu cleverly inlaid on the right gryphon: 
  •  There are two vertical action bars on the right side of the screen, as in the default UI, but they show up on mouseover. You have to have these bars enabled in the Interface > Action bars menu first, though.
  • If you mouseover the minimap, the City/District/Location will display on the map. Also, a small bar will pop up from the top of the minimap that shows how many guildies and friends are online as well as your fps. Mousing over the fps indicator will show you a list of addon memory usage. 
  • The number in the upper-right corner of the minimap is the date (day only), but clicking it will open the calendar.
  • When you join the LFD queue, a capital L will show up in the upper-left corner of the minimap. Mousing over it will show your queue progress and provides teleport in/out access.
  • A capital N shows up in the bottom-right of the minimap to indicate New Mail.
  • And lastly, a capital P appears in the bottom-left for Battlegrounds/Arenas (I don’t arena, so I’m assuming arena activities use the same indicator?)

Miscellaneous Goodies

  • Castbar is class-colored, shows latency/cast time and has the option to show the spell icon: 
  • Item durability and total durability are displayed on the Character sheet (see screenshot below). That’s handy.
  • The !Beautycase addon changes the borders of certain things like the minimap, castbar, buffs/debuffs, etc.. It also changes things like Recount. Which is cool. 
  • The secondary manabar shows a smaller number below an arrow indicator. This number is your in/out-of combat regen rate. :O 
Other Things to Note
  • There is no bag addon. This UI uses the default bags (which is fine with me!)
  • It seems that all of the panels have not been modded — they are default.
Maybe, just maybe, my next post will include ALL of my thoughts. The first time. ;~;

Neav UI: Like Default, but Better!

Given all of the issues surrounding the default raid frames and patch 4.3, I’ve been switching back and forth between different raid frame addons. And I’ve caught the UI tweaking bug again. ;~; I have given up all motivation to build an interface from scratch. I just don’t have the patience or tolerance for bugs like I used to, I guess. I have also tried the newest iterations of several popular compilations (ElvUI, Tukui, and RealUI), I wanted to find a new compilation to try.

Enter Neav UI.

Neav UI caught my attention immediately because it does the one thing I want interface modifications to do: Look like the default, but better. Man, this UI is pretty sweet. Not only does it improve the look of the UI, it brings a couple nice features, which I will talk about below.

I’ve used the action bar addon included in this interface before, nMainbar. What I like the most about it is that the XP/Rep bars are legible. I know Bartender has a similar preset, but Bartender shrinks the XP/Rep bars to unreadable font sizes. You can’t even distinguish the “bubbles” — No thank you!

I also like that the Player/Target/Focus unit frames retain the look of the default unit frames, but add in details like class color and shortened health/mana texts. The Focus frame also comes with a little “tag” of sorts — it’s the same group number identifier used on the default player unit frame when you’re in a raid. On the Focus frame, this tag is also the way you move the frame around (left click and drag).

The raid frames are handled by the oUF addon and have been configured for this UI. They also work straight out of the box — I didn’t need to set up my indicators for my buffs/HoTs. Those were already set up! Talk about awesome. And a minor, yet makes-Liz-exceedingly-happy, detail: The indicator colors are colors I would have chosen. Double awesome.

Above the action bars, you’ll notice a small, thin blue bar. That’s an additional mana bar, which is another beautiful detail in this UI. For some reason (and I have checked the LUA file), you can’t move the player/target unit frames like you can with the default. I typically bring them both down to the middle-bottom of my screen so I can keep an eye on my mana bar. I think the inability to move these unit frames may be the biggest drawback to this UI. But with the addition of that additional manabar, I really don’t care. I can watch my health on the raid frames and I can watch my mana on that second bar. I can’t tell you how amazing that bar is. Middle of a fight and I know *exactly* how much mana, right there, in my stupid face.

There is one thing to note about this UI: No in-game configuration. You will need to be able to at least read a LUA file and know the basics of the syntax in order to tweak this UI to your liking. I had to do some tweaks myself, but they were pretty minor since I am not a LUA expert. You can find my tweaks below:

Neav UI Tweaks (Note: I have listed the various AddOn folders where you will need to edit the enclosed config.lua file. Go to your WoW directory > Interface > AddOns > Folder listed below > config.lua.  Open the config.lua in Notepad, make your edits, and save the file.)

– Adjusted position to (0, -250)

– Adjusted scale on all main units to .95
– Changed horizontal health bars to true
– manabar horizontal orientation set to true
– Adjusted castbar position to (0, 175)

– Adjusted font size to 13
– Adjusted health font size to 12

– Set showKeybinds and showMacronames to true

**Moving Focus, Raid Frames & Stance bar (haven’t figured out how to move totem bar)**

  • Focus frame: click and hold where it says “Focus”
  • Raid frames: type /neavrt to unlock, then move where you want them, type /neavrt to lock
  • Stance/Shapeshift bar: Shift+alt+left click and drag
All-in-all, I am really enjoying this UI. I haven’t tried it in a real raid yet, but that’ll be soon. :) If you have any questions about my setup, feel free to email me, Tweet me, or drop me an in-game note!




Looking for Raid & Shaman Healing

E'rrybody loves a UI shot!

Last Sunday, I decided to do something wild and crazy. This is something I haven’t done in a really long time (because I found a great guild and I now raid)…. I pugged. Not only did I pug, but I pugged Seige of Wyrmrest Temple.

Rick was watching one of his anime series out in the living room and I needed to unwind from my parents’ visit. So I opened up the Raid Finder panel and hit “Find Group.”

Two minutes later, I’m clicking “Enter Raid” — Insta-queue is very nice! I’m not sure how long the average DPS wait is, but it can’t be that long right now (given that LFR is brand new). Or that 17 DPS are pulled from the queue to make a group. Maybe I’ll try this later on one of my other 85s.

We started with Morchok (as the currently LFR-accessible content is only the first four bosses of Dragon Soul) and one-shotted him. Some people died, but I attribute that to either arrogance/ignorance at the deadliness of the Black Blood of the Earth or just laziness. One of our tanks died twice, but he thought he was out of the way in time. Nope.

Just a tip: The Black Blood of the Earth appears to reach out to the SAME EXACT locations each time. So run back to the same SAFE place you were the first time that event occurred. Trust me. (Unless Blizzard decides to mess with everyone and make it dynamic).

All-in-all, Morchok (or Porkchop, as he is affectionately known to Waypoint) was pretty easy. I thoroughly enjoyed the stacking required on this fight so I was able to appropriately use Healing Rain and Chain Heal to get the most benefit from both.

We then charged on to kill Warlord Zon’ozz (Zo’loft), Yor’sahj the Unsleeping (Yo’gurt), and Hagara the Stormbinder (Haggis). We roflstomped Zon’ozz and Hagara. We would have one-shotted Yor’sahj if the DPS actually killed the slimes/mana voids like they were supposed to.

One difference to note between LFR-Dragon Soul and regular raid-Dragon Soul (normal and heroic versions) is that the green slimes do not do the AOE thing on LFR. So the kill order for slimes in LFR is Purple > Yellow > Red whereas regular-raid is Purple > Green > Red. The blue slimes are also pretty annoying, especially when DPS don’t kill them quickly after the other slimes. But I did surprise myself with how much healing/stabilizing I could do with just Healing Wave.

I think part of the reason that we had such a smooth time in the LFR Dragon Soul was partly due to most of the other 24 people having recent raiding experience. They may not know these new fights (I didn’t know two of them), but they are good at moving out of the fire and other basic raiding skills. Our success could also be attributed to the required iLvl to use LFR (372) so we outgeared the raid encounter. To have at least that iLvl, you have to had completed some Firelands bosses or run a bazillion Zulroics in order to get enough VP to buy T12 or T12-equivalent gear. So you should be familiar with not standing in the fire (*hurr hurr Firelands jokes here*). And of course, the fights are not nearly as complicated as say, Ragnaros (DOUCHENAROS).

Easily-understood mechanics + gear + basic understanding of staying out of the fire = LFR Success.

I will probably do LFR a lot more — it’s an easy way to get 250 Valor points in about the same time as it takes to complete a full zulroic. I could see, however, horrifying LFR runs where you can’t one-shot these bosses. I’m not sure I have the temperament to withstand more than 4 wipes on one of these bosses. Partly because I don’t think these bosses are so hard that it requires more than one wipe to “get it” and also partly because I don’t have enough time to take hours to complete a LFR run. I like to save up my energy for my guild’s raids because I know those people and actually *like* them.

But now! Now we’re on the road to glory and punching Deathwing in the face! 

Sidenote: Ever since 4.3 launched, the default raid frames have been buggy in terms of dealing with buffs/debuffs and totems. Prior to 4.3, totemic buffs show up on the raid frames out of combat. Once combat occurs, the totemic buffs disappear and other buffs such as Riptide and Earth Shield are shown. This is all borked now that the bug results in the totemic buffs being shown throughout combat. It’s hard to see how many Earth Shield stacks remain and the time remaining on Riptide. I have switched between Grid, Grid2, and now Blizzard Raid Frame Indicators to deal with this bug. I think Grid has been the best choice for me so far.