Elemental, Interface, Shaman, WoW

UI soup

The opportunity to build a new UI from scratch is a rare thing when your next raid is never far away and performance is so important.  I tried a few times over the course of Wrath, but always ended up just restoring my backup in time for the next raid without making any real progress.

Until the middle of TBC I only used the default UI with a few basic mods – Scrolling Combat Text, Archaeologist to put health values on the unitframes, BigWigs for boss timers – but on my poor old Duron 1600 rig with a 1024x resolution and no UI scaling the result was… ‘legendary’.  In the sense that my name became pretty much synonymous in our guild with “legendarily horrific UIs” 😦  I spent a lot of time trying to remedy this when I got my new box, and I put together several sumptuous interfaces in a row… none of which were actually usable in combat.  I eventually settled for prettying a few things up, moving a couple of bits about, and going for basically the same UI layout I’d always had – a little messy, but ultimately very functional.  New mods were added as I needed/desired the functionality and were fit in wherever I could find space.  You can see the result in my old posts on Power Auras and Rotface – a sort of mystery addon soup, nutritious but quite definitely an acquired taste.

But with the pre-Cataclysm break, I’ve had the perfect opportunity to really tear my UI to shreds and build it from the ground up.  Disturbingly, I have really enjoyed this.  It evokes the same sort of feeling I got when writing ZAP! or, um, writing a blog post – a curious sort of meta-gaming which melds the usefulness and industry of actual work with the frivolity and abandon of a game.  I should mention I was aided in the process by Sylvaine, who blogged for a while over at Monstarkin (since retired), and who knew the answer to pretty much every question I asked him and apparently enjoys building UIs immensely… and has an even lower success rate than I do.  Armed with friends to pester with questions, no idea what overall “concept” I was going for and a plethora of bookmarked blog posts on addons, I did sally forth unto the treacherous marshes of slash commands and alpha blending.

Power Auras

I did a post on power auras way back, shortly after a minor rework of my healing UI, when it was just a nice stopgap mod to help me heal better in my existing setup.  Since then, power auras has totally revolutionised the way I approach a UI.  The combination of flexibility and simplicity is seven shades of brilliant, allowing you to put pretty much anything you want to know pretty much anywhere you want to see it.  And with audio cues in case seeing isn’t enough.  It only shows you exactly what you want, when you want, how you want, so it frees up a lot of screen real estate and can relegate most of your other UI elements to “backup” status if you really work at it.

My new UI is still a work in progress, but the main thing I wanted to do was rely on power auras for stuff like spell cooldowns, DoT timers, buff durations – everything which is really important to a DPS rotation.  I’d still have a backup set of timers and spell details tucked away at various edges of the screen (I find redundancy is important in a raiding UI), but simple, bold, colourful power auras would show me the most important stuff.

I learned from my healing setup that the best place for important information is right in the middle of the screen, but also that it’s important to have a clear view of your character and her surroundings.  So first I put together a UI frame which cleared everything to the side and hid it away until needed:

UI at rest, with only the chat frame and at-a-glance status text showing.

Everything except the minimap auto-hides at proper places and times.  I’m tempted to use kgPanels to get rid of some of the less customisable stuff like the TotemTimers frame, but honestly, UIs that look great while doing nothing in cities have never really been my strong point.  Plus you can just press Alt-Z if you really want.

With as much screen real estate freed up on my (non-widescreen) monitor as possible, I then souped it all up with some combat power auras.  Here they are when all switched on, resting just above my cast bar:

All auras turned on for testing - the idea is that, if all is going well, you won't see many at once in actual combat. But if you do, they at least look spiffy.

The combination of circles and colours feels very “elementally”, and manages to be both bold and unobtrusive at the same time.  You can see them in action in the video linked above (at about the 3 minute mark), but here’s an example screenshot of what they look like in combat:

The auras in action, with Lightning Shield at 7 stacks, Lava Burst just coming off cooldown and Elemental Mastery sitting waiting to be used.

The video explains (painstakingly) what it all means, but basically the circles are arranged in a sort of priority formation where circles appear when something needs to be done and disappear when all is well.  In the middle is fulmination, showing colour-coded LS charges and the shock cooldown – the green circle appears when shocks are able to be cast.  To the left is a red flame shock circle, disappearing when FS is up on a target and showing a duration timer instead.  To the right is the Lava Burst cooldown, with cooldown timer replacing the “castable now!” circle.  Off to the sides are less critical spells – elemental mastery on the left, complete with cooldown timer and duration remaining timers after it’s used, and Chain Lightning plus Thunderstorm on the right.  As you can see, they use the colours I’m used to using on the blog and in the old spreadsheet, so they’re pretty much second nature to me now.

There are also a couple of warning circles for when I’m out of range of important totems, and a couple more warning circles for when I’m missing crucial self buffs – a yellow ring for Flametongue, a white one for Lightning Shield, a red one for Totemic Wrath and a cyan one for Wrath of Air.

There’s also plenty of room to add new indicators and notifiers in the future, which is important because my experience is that no matter how thoughtfully you set up a UI in Dalaran (or Darnassus), you’ll find more stuff you want to tweak when you take it into real action.  Ultimately I could change the entire UI around them, but the power auras would remain in place.

The (mostly) finished article. Raid frames and DBM timers go in the middle bottom, and threat meter pops up at the top middle.

Power auras import strings follow at the end of the post if anyone’s interested in trying my setup.

Addons used

Another reason I titled this post “UI soup” is that it’s very easy, when setting up a new UI, to browse WoW Interface or Curse like a window shopper who can have everything he sees the moment he sees it for no cost – a somewhat kleptomaniac window shopper, I guess – and just keep putting new ingredients into the “soup” until it’s just a mushy, lumpy mess that sits in the pot while everyone dares each other to take the first slurp.  And like soup, you have to taste it before you can be sure it’s really to your liking.  And sometimes when you finish the bowl you think of ways you could improve the recipe–

I’m taking this analogy a bit far, aren’t I?

The advantage of all the failed UIs I’ve tried in the past is that I now have a really good sense of what works for me and what doesn’t, as well as what I can adapt to and what I struggle with.  With the new UI I’ve got plenty of time to get used to the new stuff I’m trying and tweak the stuff which isn’t working so well, as well as add in new bits that I’ve forgotten or neglected, while I wait for Cataclysm (perhaps occasionally indulging in the barely contained tedium of city defense) and then amble towards level 85 when it’s released.  I also know what needs to be unique for different classes/specs and what can be universal, enabling me to make 90% of my UI identical and ready the moment I login to a new character, but ensuring that the final 10% which has to be unique doesn’t get in the way and spoil it all.

So here’s a list of all the addons I’m using at the moment:

  • Bartender4: my favourite action bar mod, simple and pretty and fully scriptable.
  • ButtonFacade: changes the appearance of in-game icons such as bartender buttons.
  • ChocolateBar: a FuBar-esque bar mod for LibDataBroker, housing some information displays at the top and bottom of the screen.  Some of the bars are hidden until I mouse-over them.
  • Chatter: my preferred chat mod, now largely supplanted by the default UI (well done there, Blizzard!) but still useful for a number of both aesthetic and practical features.
  • DeadlyBossMods: not shown, but some form of boss mod is indispensable for raiding.
  • DoomCooldownPulse: flashes icons up on the screen as stuff comes off cooldown.
  • ForteXorcist: Zing’s post convinced me to give it a try, I’ve basically stuck it off at the side and will tweak it as needed.  Shows DoT timers and cooldowns and such.
  • OmniCC: cooldown numbers on buttons.
  • Pitbull4: unitframes, very powerful and configurable.  A little buggy though – it’s still beta.  I use it for party but not raid.
  • Quartz: cast bar mod.
  • SatrinaBuffFrames: Krikket’s post held my hand enough to give me the confidence to give this a try after a disastrous flirtation some months ago.  Seems pretty nice so far!
  • SCT and SCTD: scrolling combat text, the original and still my preferred variant.
  • SexyMap: subtract 10 points for the name, but it can afford to lose them – great little minimap mod with a particularly awesome HUD keybind feature.  A little petulant about using profiles properly and the fader can also be moody, but liking it so far.  The HUD enables you to fly around with nothing on the screen while tracking herbs and stuff right in the centre of your field of vision.
  • SharedMedia: a large collection of textures and fonts which other addons can use.  I mostly use “Cloud” and “Glamour 5” textures with the Arial Narrow font.
  • Skada: damage meter and threat.  I tried Omen for threat but it doesn’t seem to have an LDB output, so now I’m trying Skada with Pitbull’s unit threat display for backup.
  • TipTac: simple customisable tooltips, the best I’ve seen since CowTip went defunct.
  • TotemTimers: fantastic little shaman mod with built in combat helpers for all three specs, which I used until I got my power auras setup.  Could do with a tad more tweakability though – alpha blended icons in particular, please.

I’m also planning to add Outfitter back into the mix shortly, and I may go back to using oRA3 and sRaidFrames instead of the blizzard defaults… which are a typically agonising hybrid of nearly perfect and entirely unsuitable.  I’d also like to standardise all the fonts displayed on screen, but have yet to find a lightweight way to do that.  (Suggestions?)

Power Auras import strings

Here’s the full set of basic elemental power auras I’m using at the moment.  I’ll supplement them as I have the desire/need.  Note these are all set to only show in the primary spec, but that can be easily toggled.

Updated 26/12/10: Added Spiritwalker’s Grace and Unleash Elements.

Updated 04/05/11: Added Fire Nova.

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Set=Page 1@
Aura[1]=Version:4.17; anim1:4; icon:Ability_Shaman_WaterShield; buffname:Lightning Shield/Water Shield; texture:73; inVehicle:0; combat:true; size:0.2; y:-165; inverse:true; anim2:2; finish:0@
Aura[2]=Version:4.17; b:0.1255; g:0.749; stacksLower:3; icon:Spell_Nature_LightningShield; buffname:Lightning Shield; r:0; stacks:6; texture:73; alpha:0.96; inVehicle:0; stacksOperator:-; textaura:true; size:0.28; y:-165; finish:0; stacks.enabled:true; stacks.LegacySizing:true; stacks.x:14; stacks.Relative:CENTER; stacks.h:1.45; stacks.Texture:AccidentalPresidency@
Aura[3]=Version:4.17; b:0; anim1:4; g:0.4824; stacksLower:7; icon:Spell_Nature_LightningShield; buffname:Lightning Shield; r:0.749; stacks:8; texture:73; alpha:1; inVehicle:0; stacksOperator:-; textaura:true; size:0.28; y:-165; stacks.enabled:true; stacks.LegacySizing:true; stacks.x:14; stacks.Relative:CENTER; stacks.h:1.45; stacks.Texture:AccidentalPresidency@
Aura[4]=Version:4.17; b:0.0902; anim1:4; g:0; icon:Spell_Nature_LightningShield; buffname:Lightning Shield; stacks:9; texture:73; alpha:1; inVehicle:0; stacksOperator:=; textaura:true; size:0.28; y:-165; anim2:2; stacks.enabled:true; stacks.LegacySizing:true; stacks.x:14; stacks.Relative:CENTER; stacks.h:1.45; stacks.Texture:AccidentalPresidency@
Aura[5]=Version:4.17; b:0.0157; g:0; target:true; icon:Spell_Fire_FlameShock; buffname:Flame Shock; x:-101; bufftype:2; texture:73; mine:true; inVehicle:0; textaura:true; size:0.28; y:-166; finish:0; timer.h:1.25; timer.Texture:AccidentalPresidency; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:CENTER@
Aura[6]=Version:4.17; b:0; g:0.298; icon:Spell_Shaman_LavaBurst; buffname:Lava Burst; x:101; bufftype:15; texture:73; alpha:1; inVehicle:0; stacksOperator:<=; combat:true; size:0.28; y:-166; finish:0; timer.h:1.25; timer.Texture:AccidentalPresidency; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:CENTER@
Aura[7]=Version:4.17; g:0.7569; icon:Spell_Nature_WispHeal; buffname:Elemental Mastery; r:0; x:-135; bufftype:15; texture:73; alpha:1; inVehicle:0; sound:23; stacksOperator:<=; combat:true; size:0.28; y:-116; finish:0; timer.Texture:AccidentalPresidency; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:CENTER; timer.y:-23; timer.x:-7; timer.Seconds99:true@
Aura[8]=Version:4.17; g:0.7294; icon:Spell_Nature_WispHeal; buffname:Elemental Mastery; r:0; x:-135; texture:45; alpha:0.31; inVehicle:0; sound:19; size:0.28; y:-116; finish:0; timer.h:1.25; timer.Texture:AccidentalPresidency; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.Relative:CENTER@
Aura[9]=Version:4.17; anim1:4; g:0.9569; icon:Spell_Nature_SlowingTotem; buffname:Wrath of Air Totem/Mind Quickening; r:0; x:-50; texture:73; alpha:1; inVehicle:0; combat:true; size:0.2; y:-165; inverse:true; anim2:2; finish:0@
Aura[10]=Version:4.17; b:0; anim1:4; g:0; icon:Spell_Fire_TotemOfWrath; buffname:Totemic Wrath; begin:1; x:50; texture:73; alpha:1; inVehicle:0; combat:true; size:0.2; y:-165; inverse:true; anim2:2; finish:0@
Aura[11]=Version:4.17; b:0; anim1:4; g:0.5765; icon:inv_mace_118; buffname:Flametongue; bufftype:5; texture:72; alpha:1; inVehicle:0; combat:true; size:0.2; y:-165; inverse:true; anim2:2; finish:0@
Aura[12]=Version:4.17; g:0.5137; icon:Spell_Nature_ChainLightning; buffname:Chain Lightning; r:0; x:135; bufftype:15; texture:73; alpha:1; inVehicle:0; stacksOperator:<=; combat:true; size:0.28; y:-116; finish:0; timer.h:1.25; timer.Texture:AccidentalPresidency; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:CENTER@
Aura[13]=Version:4.17; b:0.0863; g:0.8667; icon:Spell_Nature_EarthShock; buffname:Earth Shock; r:0; bufftype:15; texture:73; alpha:1; multiids:!14; inVehicle:0; stacksOperator:<=; combat:true; size:0.28; y:-165; finish:0; timer.h:1.25; timer.Texture:AccidentalPresidency; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:TOP; timer.y:-23@
Aura[14]=Version:4.17; b:0.0157; g:0; target:true; icon:Spell_Fire_FlameShock; buffname:Flame Shock; x:-101; bufftype:2; texture:73; alpha:1; mine:true; inVehicle:0; combat:true; size:0.28; y:-166; inverse:true; finish:0@
Aura[15]=Version:4.17; g:0.1216; icon:Spell_Shaman_ThunderStorm; buffname:Thunderstorm; r:0; x:135; bufftype:15; texture:73; alpha:1; inVehicle:0; stacksOperator:<=; combat:true; size:0.2; y:-116; finish:0; timer.h:1.25; timer.Texture:AccidentalPresidency; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.Relative:CENTER@
Aura[16]=Version:4.17; b:0; anim1:4; g:0; icon:Spell_Fire_SearingTotem; buffname:Searing Totem/Magma Totem/Fire Elemental Totem; x:50; bufftype:19; texture:73; alpha:1; inVehicle:0; textaura:true; soundend:22; size:0.2; y:-165; anim2:2; finish:0; timer.Texture:AccidentalPresidency; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.Relative:CENTER@
Aura[17]=Version:4.17; b:0; g:0.4588; icon:Spell_Shaman_ImprovedStormstrike; buffname:Unleash Elements; x:101; bufftype:15; texture:73; alpha:1; inVehicle:0; combat:true; size:0.2; y:-166; finish:0@
Aura[18]=Version:4.17; b:0; g:0.4588; icon:spell_shaman_unleashweapon_flame; buffname:Unleash Flame; x:101; texture:72; alpha:0.6; inVehicle:0; combat:true; size:0.2; y:-166; finish:0; timer.a:0.85; timer.h:1.25; timer.Texture:AccidentalPresidency; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.Relative:CENTER@
Aura[19]=Version:4.17; b:0.5412; icon:spell_shaman_spiritwalkersgrace; buffname:Spiritwalker's Grace; r:0; x:-135; bufftype:15; texture:73; alpha:1; inVehicle:0; stacksOperator:<=; combat:true; size:0.2; y:-116; finish:0; timer.Texture:AccidentalPresidency; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:CENTER; timer.y:23; timer.x:-7@
Aura[20]=Version:4.17; b:0.7804; icon:spell_shaman_spiritwalkersgrace; buffname:Spiritwalker's Grace; r:0; x:-135; texture:45; alpha:0.31; inVehicle:0; sound:19; size:0.22; y:-116; finish:0; timer.h:1.1; timer.Texture:AccidentalPresidency; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.Relative:CENTER; timer.x:-31@
Aura[21]=Version:4.17; b:0.0157; g:0; target:true; icon:Spell_Fire_FlameShock; buffname:Flame Shock; bufftype:15; texture:73; alpha:1; multiids:14; inVehicle:0; combat:true; size:0.28; y:-166; finish:0; timer.h:1.25; timer.Texture:AccidentalPresidency; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:TOP; timer.y:-23@
Aura[22]=Version:4.17; b:0.0157; g:0; target:true; icon:Spell_Fire_FlameShock; buffname:Flame Shock; bufftype:15; texture:73; alpha:1; multiids:14; inVehicle:0; combat:true; size:0.28; y:-166; finish:0; timer.h:1.25; timer.Texture:AccidentalPresidency; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:TOP; timer.y:-23@
Aura[23]=Version:4.17; b:0; g:0.3333; target:true; icon:spell_shaman_firenova; buffname:Fire Nova; x:-101; bufftype:15; texture:73; alpha:1; mine:true; inVehicle:0; combat:true; size:0.2; y:-166; finish:0@

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20 thoughts on “UI soup

  1. Very nice work :] Definitely a big improvement on some of your old druid UIs which were cluttered to an almost comical extent.

    I’m glad you enjoyed tinkering with the UI! It’s pretty daunting to start designing a new one from the ground up, but having done so myself with the 4.0 patch I found it very satisfying. I love the graphic design aspect of it: trying to set up all of the different elements so they form a coherent visual whole is challenging but wonderful when it works out. I’m a minimalist, so for me it’s particularly difficult to make a functional UI with all the necessary elements present which is still pretty to look at. I love how you’ve managed to hide pretty much everything when idling in cities, I feel that sort of thing really helps you appreciate the scenery.

    PowerAuras is an amazing tool and I really like the idea of designing a UI around it. My personal plan was to integrate it into my UI as a core aspect of cooldown/buff-debuff monitoring as well, but I eventually decided against it because it was a huge effort to set everything up exactly the way I wanted it. I felt a HUD was closer to what I was looking for, so I got the excellent IceHUD, removed most of the stuff there and built a few timers with that.

    I think it’s amazing how many options we really have to customise our UI to our liking thanks to people who are basically just developing these mods without getting anything for it. I think we often tend to underestimate how much they affect our game experience and just how much they’re doing for the community in general. One of my addons didn’t function entirely at 4.0 when I tried to configure it, and it was just mind-boggling to see the sole author continually posting updates and comments on his progress, trying to get everything fixed asap, releasing new versions every two hours. So yeah, as a conclusion to this incoherent mess of a comment: thanks addon creators for all your wonderful work, you guys rock. Of course UI designers like yourself who share their work with the community help as well, as they save addon users a lot of potential headaches in the configuring process :).

    Posted by Razz | November 20, 2010, 8:05 pm
    • “Almost”?

      I wasn’t enjoying the UI stuff in the early stages when I was tired and had the whole “job” ahead of me and didn’t know which addons to use or how I was going to lay everything out, especially given the “wasted” results of my attempts back in TBC. I also have some very unpleasant memories of configuring stuff like DoTimer and Pitbull3. But logging in to fiddle with the UI gave me a chance to see some folk I’ve not seen in ages which was really good, and most addons nowadays are much easier to configure than they were (and I guess I’m better at it).

      We do have a lot to be grateful to addon designers for, but!! I’d guess most of them write mods for their own use as much as anything else – when I wrote ZAP!, as much as my motives were altruistic, it was also because I wanted a tool to use myself… and I derived a lot of enjoyment from sharing it with others. Of course, when it comes to providing integration, configuration and vast arrays of optionality then it definitely moves into the realms of public service.

      Posted by Charles | November 21, 2010, 8:09 pm
  2. We have a scarily similar list of addons at the moment. I’m also a huge fan of Power Auras for the ability to display just about anything you want, any way you want it.

    For a mini map addon, I prefer Chinchilla. I believe it is much lower weight than SexyMap, and also gives you the option to bind a key to a super-sized map for farming. You can also have it fade to 0 in combat, which is the main reason I use a map addon.

    As far as fonts, I generally just select the same font (ABF) within the options for each addon. I’m not aware of a way to globally set fonts although that would be interesting and probably much easier!

    Posted by Wugan | November 20, 2010, 11:16 pm
    • Yeah, I haven’t found an option for font-standardisation either. I do the same: just individually set each addon to use the same font. It doesn’t take too long if you know where to look.

      I also use Chinchilla as opposed to SexyMap. I used to use SexyMap but Chinchilla was easier to set up according to my needs. Interesting to hear it might be lower weight than SexyMap too.

      Posted by Razz | November 21, 2010, 12:51 am
    • I noticed Chinchilla in someone else’s addon list, actually – I’ll take a look at it. Thanks for the recommendation.

      My problem with fonts is that some of the addons I’ve got don’t seem to have font config options (like ChocolateBar, unless I’m missing something whoops, found the option where I expected it to be, dunno how I missed it before), which means I either have to edit the lua myself or rename the fonts WoW is using… unless there’s a way to change the “master” font somehow. I thought ClearFont might do that but it seems to have been abandoned. There was also a mod which reskinned all the default blizzard bits and bobs which I can’t remember the name of – I tried it once and didn’t like it, but I’d like to give it another go in the interest of being totally unnecessarily over-modded 😎

      Posted by Charles | November 21, 2010, 8:15 pm
      • I used to use an addon called SharedMedia which allowed me to use custom borders for all of my addons. I think it should also be able to insert a custom font into every addon, which would be a suitable work-around.

        Posted by Razz | November 22, 2010, 12:03 am
  3. Having tried all these mods and spending time getting a very in depth UI pre 4.0, I have gone back to basics post 4.0 when everything broke, it its working just as well for me.

    I use the normal OmniCC DBM Skada and FortXorcist as you do, but also Healbot (for how it treats Earth shield), Neettoknow, and Tellmewhen to round out my addon list. I also use slowfallkeypress and errormonster but they are back-ground things.

    Needtoknow tracks trinket/ring procs and internal CDs, and Tellmewhen tracks LS charges, Searing totem (by tracking the SP aura) and flame shock dot. FortXorcist tracks things like LvB CD, TS etc, however doubling up with tellmewhen on LvB tells me both the natural CD and if the CD is reset by the proc talent. I guess I use tellmewhen as you do power auras, have you tried tellmewhen? and if so how do they compare if im used to tellmewhen?

    The one addon I miss from my older UI is koko stomp alert, does anyone know something like this, or if this has been updated anywhere? Totem timers etc are not a big deal for me, but active alerts when totems are destroyed are super handy.

    Posted by Zuzum | November 21, 2010, 9:31 pm
    • I’m familiar with TellMeWhen but I’ve never used it as I’ve always achieved its functionality through other means. Ultimately the reason I went with power auras for the tracking this time around is because I wanted only exactly what I wanted, if that makes sense. I mean, I didn’t want to have to try and fit in someone else’s design element into the centre of my UI – I wanted it to be exactly as I designed it. I could come close to the same functionality with other mods (including TotemTimers’ built in EnhanceCDs module) but POWA is the only one that let me be that precise 🙂

      I’ve also preferred a minimalist approach to UI modification in the past, and I never ever use mods in beta or PTR phases, but that does mean that I know exactly which mods are necessary, which are merely useful, and which are just frivolous. With my crappy old PC the only justification I ever had to introduce a new addon was because I absolutely *needed* the functionality to improve my performance, and I still have that mentality even though I can now afford more “toys”.

      So with my new UI I’ve never added a new mod until I’m sure I can’t do what I want with the blizzard defaults, which have improved vastly – but I’m setting very high standards for how I want things set up, which means more mods. Then there are some quality-of-life addons like Auditor which I can raid without but I find way too helpful to abandon. I do choose the ones I use pretty carefully, though.

      Totemstomping: Well, TotemTimers has messages flash up when your totems are killed, and you can configure power auras to do the same thing for specific totems, but I don’t know of any mod that *only* prints totem destruction warnings.

      Posted by Charles | November 21, 2010, 9:50 pm
      • Thankyou sir, I might just get on a UI binge also in the time left until Cata now >_<

        Im also interested in what you might do for keybinds. At the moment I think unleash weapon will just go in one of the two CD macros I use, but im curious how you are planning to bind if for resto, and where you might have a spare bind for the move and cast spell we are getting?

        Posted by Zuzum | November 21, 2010, 11:44 pm
  4. Thanks for the insight C, this post has tweaked my UI bug I get every other month. I’m still running on the default UI at the moment but yours is giving me food for thought.

    Questions though:

    Where does your party/raid frames sit? On the left side of the screen?

    How do you get around without having your target, and it’s target, in the middle of your screen? I guess you do the same rotation regardless of the targets health levels?

    Posted by mydran | November 22, 2010, 9:39 am
  5. @Zumzum: For Elemental, Unleash will go neatly into my action bar slot 9, next to EM which will be MOD:ALT macroed to Spiritwalker’s Grace. I’m not sure how I’m going to fit it all for resto – I’ve thus far managed to have all my healing spells on one bar, but I guess that’ll change. Though most of my healing is done with Clique click bindings now, there are a few spare keys I could bind it to if that turns out to be the best option.

    @Razz: I’ve been using SharedMedia for some years myself, but unless I’m wrong it just adds libraries for other addons to use when configuring them rather than actually providing a skinning function itself? – Unless you overwrite the default filenames of course.

    @Mydran: Nice to see you here Mr. D. To answer your questions:

    Party/raid frames fill some of the gap between the chat frame and the minimap, along the bottom of the screen. At the moment I’m still using the blizzard default as a placeholder until I decide which mod to use. DBM timers go alongside that, though I may fiddle with it a bit. (When I’m healing, a small Grid raidframe pops up next to my toon in the middle of the screen.)

    I make extensive use of nameplates (modded using the extremely lightweight shNameplates with some edited lua values) in PvP and PvE to keep track of my target’s health and general disposition, but power auras also lets you flash up alerts based on mob health or mana if you want – though you’re right in saying that elemental shamans don’t have a variable rotation depending on HP. I’m so used to having my unitframes where they are and in the format they’re in (class colours etc) that I have no trouble quickly “flashing” who’s targeting whom and stuff. I also make extensive use of tooltips and a well-developed, uh… “mouse agility” to keep track of what all the units on the battlefield are doing 😀 (Whenever I’m in combat, one hand is on the mouse, ready to move my toon and constantly panning the camera at the centre of the screen, mousing over units and displaying their target/health/etc data just over to the right in a very colourful and easy to see format.)

    The timer bars on the right are from ForteXorcist – both the horizontal ones in the corner and the vertical one next to my TotemTimers display. I’ve barely touched it, it’s pretty much operating out of the box until I decide I need to change it or get rid of it. It’s very highly configurable but there are a LOT of options to wade through.

    Posted by Charles | November 22, 2010, 8:45 pm
  6. That’s a great use of Power Auras for a Shaman. May have to copy at some point! 🙂

    Posted by Wulfy | November 22, 2010, 9:15 pm
  7. My must-have mods (that you haven’t mentioned above) include:
    Inline Aura – Add cooldown, buff, stacks, and more directly into buttons. Designed to work with OmniCC. Hard to appreciate how useful it is without trying it.
    tullaRange – Colors buttons depending on range, or if you don’t have enough mana/rage etc. Even more info in each button!
    Tidy Plates/Threat Plates – If you tank a must-have, and likely to be equally must-have for DPS in Cata.
    Addon Control Panel – If you have a lot of mods or mods that you want to enable/disable for, say, raiding vs soloing… must-have.

    Posted by lobo | November 24, 2010, 6:58 am
    • Inline Aura does look surprisingly cool. I hate downloading addons just because they look cool but I’ll take a peek anyway ¬_¬

      tullaRange: Well, Bartender already dramatically enhances the colour of each button based on range/mana (as compared to the ridiculous blizzard range-dot-o’-tininess).

      Tidy Plates: At the moment I’m trying the extremely lightweight shNameplates, with a few Lua tweaks – it basically just reskins the blizzard plates. A lot of people swear by TidyPlates so I’ll check it out.

      ACP: When everything’s working properly I never have any need to disable or enable an addon in-game, but the functionality is very useful.

      Thanks for the recommendations!

      Posted by Charles | November 25, 2010, 3:49 am


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