Over the years I have played WoW my UI has changed. From using the standard interface, to dabbling with mods, I have slowly “evolved” to what I feel is a more sophisticated and user friendly interface for my game play. My biggest challenge has been mod customisation. I need things to be pretty user friendly after install otherwise it is all too much and I give up on the mod all together. I went through my screenshot folder today and have picked out pictures of my many UI attempts some of which are quite embarrassing but I’m going to share anyway!
My UI When I Was First Raiding Karazhan
Mods were still a new and exciting thing for me back in my early Karazhan days. As you can see we are still using the ingame sound, vent was something that seemed silly – why install another program when you could just use the ingame version! Back in this era, I was using:
- Titan Panel
- Omen – this was fairly new and exciting, most people were still using the very popular KLH Threat Meter
- Deadly Boss Mods
And yes, people are hovering in the air (hence why I originally took this screeny) there used to be a bug which sent people who died during the Chess encounter back into The Menagerie (Curator’s Room) and plonk them in the air. It certainly made us laugh!
My Healbot Experimentation Phase
This was a fairly short period of my raiding life when I tried to use Healbot. While I have heard it is now greatly improved, back in the day when I was tinkering around with it Healbot hated Tree Form. Most of my other mod choices have remained.
This screeny was taken during a naked gnome race to Booty Bay. I’ve always wanted a gnome with pink hair…. one day perhaps!
You Mean… Decursive Can Move?
When I look at this picture, the first thing I think is “Thank God I Finally Managed To Move the Decursive Buttons!” Aside from my new found discovery of how to move Decursive squares off my mini map, my mod list has also grown and changed. I’ve discovered Recount and have also installed Quest Helper which makes questing a breeze. Through this phase I used:
- Deadly Boss Mods
- Quest Helper
2009 – The Year Of The UI Overhaul
Ok that screenshot above is a terrible mess…. urghhh. I decided to experiment with Grid, Healbot I had learnt was not for me and I was sure that with the right raid frames I could improve my healing… really take it up to the next level. Unfortunately I had found that Grid was taking me a while to get used to, so I played not only with Grid, but also the standard Raid Frames taking up a chunk of my screen so I could still feel in control.
Other mods of note in this screenshot is my newfound discovery of Elkano’s Buff Bars, which I am still using today. I have also installed Spartan UI, which at the time I thought was beautiful. I look at it now and just think, meh…. not worth the reduced MS and frame rates. Mods in this screenshot include:
- Spartan UI – The big grey bar at the bottom
- Chincilla – A mod that allows you to move your Minimap
- Prat – Chat mod that colours the name of the person talking to their class colour & adds a time stamp
- Elkano’s Buff Bars
Taking Control of My UI
After my major overhaul attempts, I got exhausted with trying to make it all work. I went back to standard UI raid frames and layout for about a month before I was ready to dive back in. I wanted things to be simple this time. I still wanted a better raid frames system but I knew I was never trying either Healbot or Grid again. I was ready to start looking into XPerl when I saw a Plus Heal forum talking about a new mod called Vuhdo. I decided to take the plunge and give it a try and I simply love it.
During my UI attempt, I also tried Dominos based on Cass’s advice and by complete accident stumbled across a mod called Sexy Map… which is great because it hides all the mod buttons until you hover over the map. Mods used during this minimalist phase are:
- Deadly Boss Mods
Tweaking & Nit Picking
I knew I was near the end of my UI journey. I had finally found raid frames that I liked and I had a group of staple mods that I was now comfortable with. I wanted to keep everything towards the bottom of my screen with the raid frames taking front and centre position so I could easily heal and view the events surrounding my character at the same time.
I discovered eePanels2 which allows you to put colored panels on your screen to better break up your layout. In the screenshot above I have 1 Panel which is a stark black in which the majority of my “workshop” is based. Mods used in this screenshot are exactly the same as those listed above, I’ve just added eePanels2 & Elkano Buff Bars.
My final UI is similar but more simplistic again. I am still happy with the layout shown in this screeny but I found when doing Flame Leviathan – Orbituary (4 Towers) the black panel covered up too much of my screen and blocked part of my vehicle. As I generally am the gunner for a demolisher and need to constantly scout the ground for Pyrite, this wasn’t good enough.
Stay tuned for a separate post covering my final UI (once I get it all working again with the new patch!) and each mod used & how I got it to work together!
*Update* Evolution of my UI: Final has been posted.