HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

The Evolution of My UI

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 1st Raiding UI

My 1st Raiding UI

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
  • Decursive
  • 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

My Healbot Experimentation Phase

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!

Discovering Recount

Discovering Recount

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:

  • Fubar
  • Atlas
  • Decursive
  • Recount
  • Omen
  • Deadly Boss Mods
  • Quest Helper
An Over Ambitious Disaster

An Over Ambitious Disaster

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
  • Fubar
  • Omen
  • Recount
  • Decursive
  • Elkano’s Buff Bars
  • Grid
Vuhdo I Love You!

Vuhdo I Love You!

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:

  • Dominos
  • Vuhdo
  • Recount
  • Omen
  • Decursive
  • Deadly Boss Mods
  • SexyMap
eePanels2

eePanels2

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 LeviathanOrbituary (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.

26 Responses to “The Evolution of My UI”

  1. CongiNo Gravatar says

    After finding out about Vuhdo from you guys I gave it a go and I’m loving it. It needed a bit more setup than I would have liked but otherwise works great. Much better than even Grid2. I’m looking for something decent to replace my minimap so I’ll give SexyMap a shot. I definitely want to get grid of all the stupid buttons that cluster around the map but every mod I’ve tried so far to clean them up seems buggy.

    For buttons I use bartender. Works well for me but I don’t think it’s necessarily better than dominos. I like my main button bars big and chunky. If they’re too small I find myself losing them. Especially those ones that I don’t use that frequently.

    Like you I use the standard frames. The alternatives are flashy but don’t really add anything I need.

    There are scores of little non-raid related addons I use as well. I don’t know how I’d survive without them.

    One question… what does decursive bring to the table that vuhdo doesn’t provide?

  2. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    Personally, I like to keep cleansing separate from the information on the raid frames/health bars. I think Lath is the same. Frees up your Vuhdo click casting for pure healing spells too.

    Just wanted to point out that getting dumped in the Menagerie during Chess was only funny up until you realised you had to ticket Blizzard asking for your badges and loot.

  3. LathereNo Gravatar says

    Yep – Vuhdo is definitely perfectly capable of handling the cleansing I’m just not comfortable enough to move over to a pure Vuhdo set up.

    I think if we (ever) get to finish all the raid content and have some time to just farm stuff, I’ll bite the bullet and give it a shot. As we’re always trying hard modes/new content I just think its too risky & I don’t want to be the person letting us down because it causes my reaction time to slow.

    With the buttons, I don’t mind the spells being small for healing because a) I have kept the same spells in the same place forever now :) and b) I have the majority of my spells set to click cast. With my Shadow Priest and Moonkin set up however, the buttons definitely need to be bigger, I just don’t know them well enough!

    I can’t wait to show you guys my finished UI – it looks so good!

  4. EggsnsausageNo Gravatar says

    Check out Skinner. You can use that to change the ‘View Port’ so the bottom area with your spells and such are not covering your the game area. Thereby you won’t have the problem on FL.

  5. TecoNo Gravatar says

    Im loving the near final UI you have going on there! I plan to be healing on my shaman soon and copying your final UI =P

  6. mahoskyeNo Gravatar says

    This has been a very fun post for me. I love looking at how UI’s evolve overtime. I discovered your site through WoW Insider’s post and I think I’m going to subscribe to your RSS. (Yes I know they are WoW.com now but I prefer the old name)

    I really like how VuhDo fits into your UI and I think I might take from that. I’ve been using Grid+Clique and I think after viewing this I’ll give VuhDo a shot, simply because of how it looks. I also totally forgot about eePanels.

    One addon I also use that you might like as well is CT mod’s Viewport http://ctmod.net/downloads/ it lets you adjust your rendered area so that you don’t loose any screen real-estate. When you install it you use /viewport and adjust the window accordingly (http://www.ctscreens.net/4008).

    Now off to digest the rest of your site. *nom nom nom*

  7. YengNo Gravatar says

    You could use Sunn – Viewport, which allows you to change the size of the rendered world view…which means you can change your ‘world view’ to only appear above your UI at the bottom, so your UI is not really covering anything up, since the view resized.

    http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/sunn-viewport-art.aspx

  8. ArkanilNo Gravatar says

    You should try a viewport mod, like CT_Viewport or Sunn Viewport Art (which is fancier, but allows you to turn off the extra graphics, I believe). Both of these allow you to actually change the size of the rendered area of your screen, rather than simply cover it up. This should prevent your hidden vehicle issues.

  9. PaulNo Gravatar says

    You should try viewport to create a game view area on your screen. It makes the main game screen fit in your viewport and you can then decorate the area outside the viewport with your other ui elements.

  10. KellwenNo Gravatar says

    I made the VuhDo switch a bit ago, and just like you (and everyone else) I have to say I simply adore it. Healbot has gotten heaps better, but for a resto druid especially, the timers and swiftmend icons and all that VuhDo brings just can’t be beat. And really, I want to play not spend hours tweaking grid :)

    Possible to see a bigger version of the final UI, so we can see all the details? I like your UIs very much!

  11. SulandionNo Gravatar says

    I’ve played with my UI for a long time – it looks most like your last entry. I never could get eebar to work for me. And I always had the problem that some things would slid underneath the panels at the bottom (Isle bombing quests??). I rebuilt my UI after Wrath launched and I found SunnArt. It does a similar thing as eepanels, but the “art” area at the bottom is NOT part of the character interaction area — that Viewport is shrunk. You can have additional areas on the sides and top if you want. It’s one of my must have’s now.

    I’ll be interested in seeing what you finally settled on. I’m going to have to give VuhDo a shot. I use PitBull currently, but am looking a doing a healer class…

    Sulandion of Durotan

  12. LeafygreenNo Gravatar says

    As far as your issue with the black areas, try a mod called CBH Viewport. It actually changes the aspect ratio of your display, giving you as much or as little space at the top and/or bottom of your screen, to put elements of your UI into, without actually covering anything up.

  13. RagaarNo Gravatar says

    Hello, I’ve been reading your site for awhile, and found it very handy. I’d like to thank you for getting me to look at VuhDo, as I’ve previously just glanced past it towards my previous grid/Clique set-up, but I find VuhDo much more managable while offering what I need on priest.

    Also, have you ever inquired into Sunn-Viewport, works like eePanels but doesn’t take up any of the screen, but changes the size of the rendered world area you see while adding adjustable panels to all sides to the screen in the non-render bits It also provides some decent textures for the panel area. Takes some getting used to though but can look really good with bigger screens.

  14. GorkosNo Gravatar says

    Reading this made me go back and look at my pictures from my old UI. how i used to use fram addons like x pearl or pit bull, trying out different healing addons like heal bot and grid. (i love grid lol) I used to be in to the big and flash also but after awhile it gets annoying so i went minimalistic as well. Its all ways cool to see how you have changed both in game and out.

  15. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    Thanks for all the comments guys – I know I’ll definately check out this Viewport addon being mentioned. Didn’t know mods existed for that!

    Lathere & I have both overhauled our UI this year and even though we use the same mods I always find the differences fascinating – Lathere’s UI is for healing, and mine is for DPS.

    And yes Lathere does intend to post full size screen captures of her final UI on the blog in the near future. Once she’s happy with it (if she reaches that point!).

  16. JustinNo Gravatar says

    you said you used eepanels2, but you should use cbh viewport from wow interface. it actually changes how the screen is rendered and doesn’t just cover it up. its lightweight and very nice.
    http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info11134-CBHViewport.html

  17. AdrianNo Gravatar says

    I don’t know if you have this in your final version, but a viewport (SunnArt, for example) mod would be able to give you a nice big black bar at the bottom while still allowing you to view your playing area more or less normally (different aspect ratio, but a wider view is probably a good thing anyway :D ).

  18. RossNo Gravatar says

    Figured i’d point out that you learned about the extra zoom out feature between ZA and Sartharion

  19. GarfunkelNo Gravatar says

    Great article, been looking forward to a re-build from the ground up this weekend :)
    I’ll be sure to check out VuhDo
    thanks!

  20. LeafmealoneNo Gravatar says

    Very nice blog guys! I can’t wait to see the final UI!!!!

  21. ObsidiannNo Gravatar says

    If you’re still having issues with the bottom section of your UI covering part of the visible world, try a mod to “resize” the game screen. I personally use CT_Viewport to do this. It allows you to resize the renderable “world”, allowing you to keep mods on the bottom or side without being layered on top of things you need to see.

  22. YeffertoneNo Gravatar says

    Totally unrelated to your UI but thought you might find it helpful. We have FL 4 towers on farm and like you I am a full time gunner for a demo. I use a simple “/tar liquid” macro bound to a key for picking up pyrite barrels. We usually litter the whole field with pyrite so we’re rarely out of range, if my macro won’t find one then I have to scan around but otherwise I can focus on dps’ing plants and breaking baddies out of ice.

    • LathereNo Gravatar says

      @ Yeffertone OMG that seems so simple yet I never once thought of it lol! I’ll definitely do that for this weeks raid :)

  23. TaeoNo Gravatar says

    This is great! I really like your explanations.

    I feel like in some ways we have shared a similar experience with UI modding. I started out pretty slow adding just a few addons here and there that solved problems I had with the UI. Then one day I saw someone’s UI with custom textures and decided I had to have it. Started throwing in evvverything including the kitchen sink.

    Then over time I realized how unnecessary most of it was and backed off until I had a good mix of eye candy, functionality, and screen real estate. Looks like you followed the same curve!

    I compiled a history of my own UI as well if you wanna take a look. It’s at http://www.smorto.com/taeoui

  24. sirio rossNo Gravatar says

    Great blog Yeah. I will now consider changing my UI with the screen captures. Thanks!!
    Sirio
    sirio ross’s last post: Cursus- Qigong voor 55-plussers – Telstar Online

  25. FredyNo Gravatar says

    You can make your mana bars verticle, autaclly. I am doing this from memory, so please bear with me:On the General menu page, on the right hand side, there should be a tab called Indicators. Inside that tab you’ll see a bunch of drop down menus and bar positionings. Find the one that is currently set to mana (I think it’s called bottom bar, or something) and turn it off. Then, find the one that is called right side and put that to mana or all powers or whatever you want to see. There you go! Your mana bars are not verticle. ^_^ Sean

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I’d done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I don’t get too complicated, so most of my pictures would look like her first one). Lathere has collected a series of screenshots of her UI, showing off how much its changed over the years, from her first raids in Karazhan up to the current raids in VoA and Ulduar. And it’s very cool to see how things have changed — early on, she really adhered to addons and what they did as a default, and as time passes, you can see that not only are the addons getting better at giving you the tools to lay out the UI the way you want it (not to mention that other tech has gotten better as well — she goes widescreen about halfway through), but she’s getting better at customizing things exactly the way they should be. The UI gets much more abstract and simplistic as time goes on, though you’d presume that it actually lets her do more in terms of her character. [...]

  2. buffd.net says

    The Evolution of My UI…

    Nice post on how a person’s UI has evolved as his experience with WoW increased….

  3. [...] under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, AddOns, Screenshots, Raiding, Leveling, Hardware I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I’d done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I [...]

  4. [...] I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I’d done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I don’t get too complicated, so most of my pictures would look like her first one). Lathere has collected a series of screenshots of her UI, showing off how much its changed over the years, from her first raids in Karazhan up to the current raids in VoA and Ulduar. And it’s very cool to see how things have changed — early on, she really adhered to addons and what they did as a default, and as time passes, you can see that not only are the addons getting better at giving you the tools to lay out the UI the way you want it (not to mention that other tech has gotten better as well — she goes widescreen about halfway through), but she’s getting better at customizing things exactly the way they should be. The UI gets much more abstract and simplistic as time goes on, though you’d presume that it actually lets her do more in terms of her character. [...]

  5. [...] I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I’d done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I don’t get too complicated, so most of my pictures would look like her first one). Lathere has collected a series of screenshots of her UI, showing off how much its changed over the years, from her first raids in Karazhan up to the current raids in VoA and Ulduar. And it’s very cool to see how things have changed — early on, she really adhered to addons and what they did as a default, and as time passes, you can see that not only are the addons getting better at giving you the tools to lay out the UI the way you want it (not to mention that other tech has gotten better as well — she goes widescreen about halfway through), but she’s getting better at customizing things exactly the way they should be. The UI gets much more abstract and simplistic as time goes on, though you’d presume that it actually lets her do more in terms of her character. [...]

  6. [...] I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I’d done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I don’t get too complicated, so most of my pictures would look like her first one). Lathere has collected a series of screenshots of her UI, showing off how much its changed over the years, from her first raids in Karazhan up to the current raids in VoA and Ulduar. And it’s very cool to see how things have changed — early on, she really adhered to addons and what they did as a default, and as time passes, you can see that not only are the addons getting better at giving you the tools to lay out the UI the way you want it (not to mention that other tech has gotten better as well — she goes widescreen about halfway through), but she’s getting better at customizing things exactly the way they should be. The UI gets much more abstract and simplistic as time goes on, though you’d presume that it actually lets her do more in terms of her character. [...]

  7. [...] I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I’d done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I don’t get too complicated, so most of my pictures would look like her first one). Lathere has collected a series of screenshots of her UI, showing off how much its changed over the years, from her first raids in Karazhan up to the current raids in VoA and Ulduar. And it’s very cool to see how things have changed — early on, she really adhered to addons and what they did as a default, and as time passes, you can see that not only are the addons getting better at giving you the tools to lay out the UI the way you want it (not to mention that other tech has gotten better as well — she goes widescreen about halfway through), but she’s getting better at customizing things exactly the way they should be. The UI gets much more abstract and simplistic as time goes on, though you’d presume that it actually lets her do more in terms of her character. [...]

  8. [...] I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I’d done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I don’t get too complicated, so most of my pictures would look like her first one). Lathere has collected a series of screenshots of her UI, showing off how much its changed over the years, from her first raids in Karazhan up to the current raids in VoA and Ulduar. And it’s very cool to see how things have changed — early on, she really adhered to addons and what they did as a default, and as time passes, you can see that not only are the addons getting better at giving you the tools to lay out the UI the way you want it (not to mention that other tech has gotten better as well — she goes widescreen about halfway through), but she’s getting better at customizing things exactly the way they should be. The UI gets much more abstract and simplistic as time goes on, though you’d presume that it actually lets her do more in terms of her character. [...]

  9. [...] I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I’d done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I don’t get too complicated, so most of my pictures would look like her first one). Lathere has collected a series of screenshots of her UI, showing off how much its changed over the years, from her first raids in Karazhan up to the current raids in VoA and Ulduar. And it’s very cool to see how things have changed — early on, she really adhered to addons and what they did as a default, and as time passes, you can see that not only are the addons getting better at giving you the tools to lay out the UI the way you want it (not to mention that other tech has gotten better as well — she goes widescreen about halfway through), but she’s getting better at customizing things exactly the way they should be. The UI gets much more abstract and simplistic as time goes on, though you’d presume that it actually lets her do more in terms of her character. [...]

  10. [...] under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, AddOns, Screenshots, Raiding, Leveling, Hardware I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I’d done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I [...]

  11. [...] I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I’d done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I don’t get too complicated, so most of my pictures would look like her first one). Lathere has collected a series of screenshots of her UI, showing off how much its changed over the years, from her first raids in Karazhan up to the current raids in VoA and Ulduar. And it’s very cool to see how things have changed — early on, she really adhered to addons and what they did as a default, and as time passes, you can see that not only are the addons getting better at giving you the tools to lay out the UI the way you want it (not to mention that other tech has gotten better as well — she goes widescreen about halfway through), but she’s getting better at customizing things exactly the way they should be. The UI gets much more abstract and simplistic as time goes on, though you’d presume that it actually lets her do more in terms of her character. In fact, aside from the actual graphics in the background and the icons, it’s almost hard to tell this is the same game. Of course, Blizzard has to keep a lot of things in the default UI the same, so they leave a lot of the really creative edits in the UI to the addon developers (and then, of course, steal the most interesting back). And they can get very creative indeed — when you put these screenshots over a period of years up against each other, it’s interesting to see how both the addon code and the player has changed the interface they use to play the game. [...]

  12. [...] I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I’d done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I don’t get too complicated, so most of my pictures would look like her first one). Lathere has collected a series of screenshots of her UI, showing off how much its changed over the years, from her first raids in Karazhan up to the current raids in VoA and Ulduar. And it’s very cool to see how things have changed — early on, she really adhered to addons and what they did as a default, and as time passes, you can see that not only are the addons getting better at giving you the tools to lay out the UI the way you want it (not to mention that other tech has gotten better as well — she goes widescreen about halfway through), but she’s getting better at customizing things exactly the way they should be. The UI gets much more abstract and simplistic as time goes on, though you’d presume that it actually lets her do more in terms of her character. [...]

  13. [...] under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, AddOns, Screenshots, Raiding, Leveling, Hardware I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I’d done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I [...]

  14. [...] I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I’d done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I don’t get too complicated, so most of my pictures would look like her first one). Lathere has collected a series of screenshots of her UI, showing off how much its changed over the years, from her first raids in Karazhan up to the current raids in VoA and Ulduar. And it’s very cool to see how things have changed — early on, she really adhered to addons and what they did as a default, and as time passes, you can see that not only are the addons getting better at giving you the tools to lay out the UI the way you want it (not to mention that other tech has gotten better as well — she goes widescreen about halfway through), but she’s getting better at customizing things exactly the way they should be. The UI gets much more abstract and simplistic as time goes on, though you’d presume that it actually lets her do more in terms of her character. [...]

  15. [...] under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, AddOns, Screenshots, Raiding, Leveling, Hardware I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I’d done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I [...]

  16. [...] keeping infomation organised, concise and uncluttered. Inspired by a guildie’s blog post the evolution of my ui I decided it would be nice to write my own blog to keep track of what I’ve done and update as [...]

  17. [...] thank you to Mike Schramm who gave us a massive hand only a couple of months after our launch by linking to one of our posts on http://www.wow.com. For a blog that was getting only 10 – 20 visits a day previously, coming into [...]

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