The Method

Although I’m generally pretty good about giving a nice picture and the list of addons I use, I thought I’d take a moment to discuss the method behind the madness. I always find, when breaking down a new UI, that I can probably get away with ~6 core addons, with the rest being a bunch of fluff that I enjoy for making my screen prettier or making a task in-game easier.

If you missed the last post, this is my current UI. The changes (for those who *did* see the last post) are my failure to update my DBM skin and a play session with Grid2 which I’m test driving (and enjoying.. but more on that later).

realdeal

The things that are *really* important to me are all clustered in the middle, and as I indicated earlier, can really be narrowed down to 6 addons.

grandcentral

Weak Auras (a replacement for Power Auras) provides my most important cooldowns and OMG PAY ATTENTION reminders. While the cooldown bar *is* redundant in many ways (why not just use Bartender?) I like that it provides a different visual flavor because I can increase/decrease the size of the useable/cooldown status of my favorite spells. I’d also run it regardless of my nifty bar, so why not maximize the things I like about it?

Raven (a replacement for Satrina Buff Frames) lets me filter out the stuff I *really* need to know during a boss fight. Under my frames I keep track of short-term buffs, while above I keep an eye on my debuffs. My longer duration buffs get tossed up top so that I can ensure I have all my raid buffs in between attempts, but in reality, once the fight is started, I don’t want to scan through a lot of miscellaneous crap to see how much longer is left in Tree Form or whether or not my trinket procced. I also found that having debuffs floating up top meant that I never noticed ‘em until I was dying of something horrible!

Grid2 is what I’m currently test-driving for raid frames, but any solid raid frame would fit the bill. I’ve played a couple of nights with the default raid frames, and while they pass muster in a pinch, they still don’t have the functionality of an addon.

DBM, like Grid, has not always been my raid timer, but I’ve always had *something.* Winging a fight without one is possible, but *whew* isn’t it fun to have those dingers blaring to tell you that something important is coming up.

oUF is another personal choice at the moment. It’s not as user friendly as a number of replacement frames out there, but it *is* pretty. Like a raid frame though, a replacement unit frame allows for a lot more customization and control over the standard frames.

Bartender is my last staple, and more of a die-hard prettiness issue than anything else. Plus it makes keybinding a breeze.

While I love the beauty of a crafted UI, I got involved in addons in order to position information on my screen in a way that made it easy for me to process. Next time you’re thinking of overhauling your UI (or just doing a minor tweak here or there) give yourself the essentials test.

What is essential for me to get the maximum amount of information in the smallest space with the least number of addons.

It can make crafting your next UI a real success!

Of Caverns, Caves, and Dungeons

My love/hate relationship with caverns goes all the way back to Mario. Yes the Mario, back before the Supers and race cars, and RPG versions. I remember the absolute glee when I discovered that I could squish my squat, pixellated avatar down a green tube, and I would shoot out in a “secret” area full of extra coins, power-ups, and turtle-birds. I always imagined Mario, sans inner tube, slaloming his way down the pipes like, well myself, at my favorite water park. After a lovely side-track from the “real” adventure, I would shove myself back up a pipe, much like Santa up the chimney, and voila it would be sunshine and flag poles again.

I stumbled across this early memory as I’ve been examining what I really think about caverns, caves, and dungeons. As much I thought I loved inside design, my travels in Moria, the ancient stronghold of the mighty dwarves, has me reconsidering if I’m really being honest with myself about my feelings on interior design!

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