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.
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 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.
The place to download all these goodies. Except maybe Auctioneer.
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.
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.
Keeva’s Mimimalist UI
More interesting than the Grid/Healbot debate, Keeva dissects her minimalist interface here:
Some lessons that I learnt along the way:
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.
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.
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.