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.

**http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/153300/thumper-the-super-cool-ski-instructor

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/

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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

Actionbars

  • 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.
Minimap
  • 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.)

nPowerbar 
– Adjusted position to (0, -250)

oUF_Neav 
– 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)

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

nMainbar 
– 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!

 

 

 

Focus Macro Magic!

So while I was watching Learn2Raid‘s Dragon Soul PTR videos, I noticed that Kinaesthesia’s focus frame was switching to whomever he was healing. And I was intrigued.

Another way to get more usefulness out of the default UI? Lessen dependency on addons for raiding? WHY YES I WILL THANK YOU.

Tonight… tonight I figured out how he may be doing it. I added a couple lines to my mouseover macros (my heals, Earth Shield, Unleash Elements, etc.):

/clearfocus

/focus [target=mouseover]

(can also use /focus [@mouseover] if you’re running into the macro character limitation) I tried this and the macro didn’t work. <:\ I’m no macro expert.

I’ve found it to be a great way to keep an eye on the boss for shocking and regenerating mana AND keep an eye on who you’re healing since the default raid frames only show so many buffs/debuffs.

I made a short video showing this neat trick in action. Enjoy!

Awesome Addon: Nostalgic Edition

Okay so I don’t have a long list of gamer cred… I have been playing games since we got a NES in the 1980s. I haven’t been playing them very well, but I enjoy it.

This addon makes me feel like I’m 9 years old again watching my sister rack up her mushroom lives (yeah, she was so good she got past 100 lives in Super Mario Brothers so her life count just showed icons).

Download it here.

Day 19 – In My Bags/Bank

I’m back to my 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!  I know, I know.. SLACKER.  Today I’m gonna show you my pathetic bags and bank inventories.

I am not a gold-maker.  I suck at simply buying stuff on the Auction House.  I typically vendor all the grey crap and keep some of the white or better quality items.  Until I realize they’re also crap and vendor them.  You’ll see I’m broke as well — Just spent a week buying/gathering mats to level my Engineering, make about 4 epics and gem/enchant all of that stuff.  The gemming and enchanting is really awful (except for Jewelcrafters/Enchanters ;D)

Click to embiggen!

What’s in my bags?

My Backpack is my consumables, toys (like Jeeves and MOLL-E), fishing gear, and other stuff I need to keep on-hand 24/7.  I don’t know if anyone else is like this, but my hearthstone MUST stay in that upper left slot of the Backpack.  On all of my characters.

The next bag above my Backpack usually holds my Sexylayg outfit plus some additional “soon-to-be-needed” items like recipes, schematics/patterns, and profession things that don’t fit in my profession bag.

The third bag is my quest item/stuff to keep for a short amount of time bag.  Yeah, I manually sort things, but I actually know what I have better than if I were to use an inventory addon like ArkInventory. I keep miscellaneous stuff here.

The fourth bag is my profession bag.  On my shaman as seen above, it’s a giant Elementium Toolbox that I made while leveling and have YET to fill to the brim.  Which is both annoying and amusing at the same time.

My fifth and final bag usually holds crap to sell or auction.  Putting all of my sellables into one bag makes disposing of them really quick — I don’t use a grey item selling addon (See, I have this thing.  And apparently, it’s a thing.) 


And that bank. Holy crap Liz.

Yeah, yeah.. I know what you’re saying.  “What the hell is all of that stuff?!”  Welp… It’s tabards, holiday clothes, my T10ish gear, some more holiday stuff, trinkets and other knick-knacks I can’t part with.

See, I don’t horde things in my bags/bank.  This is why I’m broke, too.  I dunno… I’ve never felt I needed to hold onto anything.  I wish I could, though, because I’d like to be able to afford nice things in-game.  I just have no economic discipline.

But I kept the Steamy Romance Novel my best friend gave me!

UI Matters: Using Project 5×2 as Restoration

UI Matters: Using Project 5×2 as Restoration


A few weeks ago, I posted a suggested Project 5×2 table for Restoration and Balance druids.  It was a great critical thinking exercise, but I really just left it alone after writing it up.  Until a couple weeks ago during a raid, when I realized that my UI had been causing me problems.  I had been using ElvUI and it’s pretty slick. I enjoyed the simplicity of installation and tweaking; the resource-friendliness; and the communication of interrupts to the raid/party.  Seriously, that was pretty helpful.  But I also realized that ever since I installed ElvUI, I had been paying more attention to my user interface than the players I was healing.  And that is a big issue for everyone.  As many people have said before, a good healing interface should lead to less tunnel vision, not more.  I knew I had to do something.

Continue reading

Day 13: People (players/bloggers) I Admire

Throughout my experience in WoW, I have come across lots of great people (and lots of aggravating, ass-headed, rude people too).  Several of those people just stand out as being admirable.

Note:  This is not an exhaustive list and definitely not meant to exclude anyone.

Here’s a list of people I admire and why I admire them:

Project 5×2: A Restoration/Balance Druid Perspective [Updated]

A couple weeks ago, Mat McCurley of WoWInsider sent out a call through Twitter for help with developing Project 5×2 where people offer the bare-bones necessities of a class or spec so that disabled WoW players (I would say everyone) can experience a better quality of life in the game. The main concept is breaking down a class or spec into 5 buttons with 1 modifier and a middle-mouse button.  The point (in my view) is to strip out all of the “extra” abilities and focus on what is actually necessary for playing the game well. This may be a rotation, important CC abilities, heals, whatever.  It’s all about getting the most out of a class/spec while maintaining a physically manageable set of buttons to press/click.

My Twitter frand, Cynwise, recently posted his take on Project 5×2 for warlocks and I was so impressed with his logic (#1 DoT as button 1!).  I was also excited to see a class I’m not familiar with broken down to simiplified terms.  I’m very much a TL;DR kind of person who gets lost amongst the rabble of EJ or even some class guides.  I’m not disabled, but I am finding the entire Project 5×2 immensely helpful for picking up a new class or spec.  @slowpoker has also been compiling links and 5×2 setups from around the ‘net and this listing can be found on her blog.

So I really started thinking about how would a Restoration or Balance Druid work in a Project 5×2 setup. I realized quickly that I kind of already use a 5×2 setup for my Druid.  She’s main spec Restoration and off spec Balance.  I use mouseover macros + raid frames to do my treealing* and a Razer Naga mouse with action bar buttons 1 through 12 keybound to the 1-12 buttons on the Naga.  My hands are I’d say medium-sized, but I have trouble reaching buttons 9-12 on my mouse, so I tend to keep my important spells bound to 1-8.  I also use a shift modifier for another set of 1-12 buttons, and an alt modifier for yet another set.  After reading Cynwise’s post and comparing his logic to my Druid, I realized I could probably reduce the 1-8 to 5 (and move around some of my shift modifiers to make room for the remaining 3 abilities).

[Update]: Thanks to Quorniya for pointing out my derp! I totally forgot to include Healing Touch, Nourish and Innervate.  Considering the amount I actually do use these spells AND the new Restoration Druid Mastery we will be getting with Patch 4.2, Healing Touch and Nourish will be even more important to have keybound.

Derptastic, indeed Liz.

Anyhoo, here’s a suggested Project 5×2 setup for Restoration and Balance Druids:

There is quite a list of clickable abilities for both specs, but most of those spells are situational in nature (damage abilities as a healer, heals as a DPS, etc) or could be provided by another class (CCs, buffs, etc).

How would you play a Resto/Balance Druid with only 5 buttons + middle mouse?  Tell me in the comments, or leave a comment on @slowpoker’s page about Project 5×2!

Peace!

*Tree + Healing = Treealing :3