HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

Improving the Interface using Addons 2 – Resources

Even though I had a clear picture of what I wanted my interface to look like, I had no idea how to achieve it. I spent several hours going in circles, reading blurbs at Curse.com (yes, there are written explanations for each Addon at Curse), and looking at other players’ interfaces in UI competitions.

Perhaps if I explain the research I went through I can save you some time on your journey to a better interface.

Some Websites

NoStockUI

NoStockUI features complete interface packages like this one from Taeo. You can download it too.

NoStockUI features complete interface packages like this one from Taeo. You can download it too.

While a lovely site with great UI examples, I couldn’t quite figure out what Addons were doing what in each screen capture.

NoStockUI will occasionally package up a whole interface for download (basically you unzip and replace your WTF & Addon folders with theirs). I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you actually like cooking in someone else’s kitchen.

ShadowPriest.com

ShadowPriest.com runs an Interface Competition (the winning entry could also be downloaded in full). All the entries seemed too extreme for me – too far from the default interface which I’ve used for years. And I guess most of these Shadow Priests never heal because they had the smallest, tiniest, square raid frames you’ve ever seen. As small as the mini-map!

ShadowPriest.com also has a great list of suggested/recommended Addons that I came back to over and over again.

Curse

The place to download all these goodies. Except maybe Auctioneer.

Some Guides

In addition to the sites above I read some great guides. Definitely worth a read if you’re interested in healing and raid frames.

Mouseover Macros by Sydera

The idea here is that you’ll use your (right) mouse hand to hover your cursor over your raid frames (using something like Grid) and use your left hand to click a key nearby to cast a healing spell on them. No cursor clicking required to select your target to cast.
http://www.worldofmatticus.com/2009/03/23/a-guide-to-mouseover-macros/

Grid vs Healbot by Keeva

Keeva is a Restoration Druid and long term Grid user. She sets out to compare both Addons and how they can be customised. The only problem is that she tries to turn Healbot into Grid. Now if she showed me how to display a health bar percentage underneath the player’s name using Grid (basic Healbot functionality) I’d be more impressed. A good article nonetheless.
http://treebarkjacket.blogspot.com/2009/02/project-compare-raid-frame-heavyweights.html

Keeva’s Mimimalist UI

Keevas UI dissected

Keeva's UI dissected and labeled

More interesting than the Grid/Healbot debate, Keeva dissects her minimalist interface here:
http://treebarkjacket.blogspot.com/2009/02/my-current-ui.html

Terminology

Some lessons that I learnt along the way:

Raid Frames

When you drag raid groups out onto your screen from the Social>Raid window – these are Raid Frames. Raid Frame Addons like Grid, Clique, Healbot (and Pitbull?) will replace these with something better and probably save you quite a lot screen space too.

I should also point out that Decursive, which creates a clickable box representing each member of the raid for the purpose of decursing/cleansing/dispelling, is also a Raid Frame Addon.

Action Bars

Any thing you can drop a spell onto is an Action Bar. Action Bar Addons will replace/configure your bars and let you move them pretty much anywhere it suits you and drop them down until they are almost invisible if you like. Action Bar Addons may also modify you XP bar and main menu (you know, the thing you click on to open a ticket or laugh at your latency). I tried out Dominos but Bartender is very popular too.

Ace and Non-Ace

Ace is a type of programming language or library that can be used to build World of Warcraft Addons. That’s about all I know! I don’t have a preference for one over the other.

Debuff

Debuffs can be bad when they are cast on you and should be cleansed (and this is what I think of when I see the word) but they can also be good when you are casting them on something else. For a Shadow Priest, your DoTs are debuffs on your target.  Shadow Word: Pain, Misery, Vampiric Embrace and even Mind Flay are all debuffs. Mind Blast is not a debuff – it hits and it’s done.

What’s next?

View/read all the articles in this series.

8 Responses to “Improving the Interface using Addons 2 – Resources”

  1. CongiNo Gravatar says

    Do yourself a favour and check out grid2. It’s still a work in progress but already it beats grid IMHO. Much better out of the box defaults and functionality. Go for the latest build off wowace though… http://www.wowace.com/projects/grid2/

  2. LathereNo Gravatar says

    Cool, I might have a looksie at grid2, thought the whole warning its highly experimental seems a tad scary :P

    I’m trying out a new one which is very recommended on Plus Heal for resto druids – VuhDo: http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/vuhdo.aspx

    Will let you know how it goes!

  3. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    I’ve been experimenting with Grid and will blog about it soon enough I’m sure.

    Definitely will check out Grid2 cause there sure is room for improvement.

  4. CongiNo Gravatar says

    I didn’t know about VuhDo. I’ll definitely be taking a look at that.

  5. CongiNo Gravatar says

    Had a bit of a play with VuhDo tonight. Looks very good. The main website has some great info on setting it up just right.

  6. KeevaNo Gravatar says

    I only just found this post (I hate “finding” blogs that I should have noticed ages ago, grr) – I wanted to say that I am *NOT* trying to turn Healbot into Grid; rather, the goal was to see if Healbot could do everything that I need my raid frames to show me – and in a way that I like to have it displayed.

    A few people have made the same comment and it’s absolutely not true, and I wanted to clarify that. That wasn’t the aim of the experiment!

    I couldn’t possibly go into every nook and cranny of the mods because it would simply take too long – so the best way for me to compare the two, as a resto druid, was to say “OK, here’s what I like to see on my frames. I’m going to assume most other druids want to see (basically) the same info. Can Healbot show me these things? Can it show me in a way that I am satisfied with?”

    It had nothing to do with me trying to make Healbot into Grid. I’m not trying to make Healbot into Grid. I’m trying to show Grid users that Healbot can do the things that they thought it couldn’t – because I see so many people saying Healbot is terrible, it can’t do XYZ like Grid can, etc… when most of it is false. So I wanted to how they stacked up.

    Unfortunately it’s fairly difficult to do a thorough review of two mods with huge features.. so I decided to pick out the things that I need to see on my frames (and I assumed other druids would want to see also). Not everyone will appreciate some of my display choices; I think most people prefer icons for their debuffs, for example – but again, if I went into every little option, it would have been far too long.

    So I chose what *I* wanted to see, and tested whether Healbot could do those things, in the ways that I liked. It is, after all, a completely subjective comparison – if Healbot shows you everything the way you prefer, then that’s the best mod for you. And vice versa for Grid. All I can do is offer up some info and squash a few silly (olllld) myths.

    I hope this makes sense.

    Also, I can’t stand how Healbot shows a percentage under the person’s name (I absolutely hate hate HATE it and it was one of my main gripes about Healbot); so I have never explored how to do that in Grid :P

  7. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    Welcome to Alliance Caelestraesz btw! I soooo cant spell that server name.

    I think it’s pretty safe to say that whichever raid frame/healing addon you get used to first kind of warps you a little bit. It’s impossible to completely wipe that out when you’re reviewing another mod.

    Maybe we should throw it all out the window and go back to the default UI? No? I didn’t think so either :P

  8. KeevaNo Gravatar says

    I can’t even believe I used to heal with the default.. it seems almost impossible now. And the little things – like using mouseovers – how did I ever heal without them?

    I’d like to give VuhDo a go but I really don’t think I’m going to have time in the near future. It sounds like the simplicity of Healbot mashed together with the level of customisation of Grid.. but I’ve also heard the menu screens need a bit of work. I might leave it until it’s a bit older (it’s only been around a few months) before I give it a try sometime.

    Certainly if Grid ever died, I think the transition to VuhDo would be quite smooth. Honestly though, I could use Healbot if they changed the HoT timers a little – that was really the only thing that I didn’t like.

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