MoP: State of the UI (Includes Restoration Druid Weak Auras)

As much as I love my Remix UI, I’ve been having a number of issues with Stuf this expansion, and decided to rebuild my UI around a new set of unit frames: oUF Karma. A slight twist on the stacking ideal found in Quse, I find that I really like the slight offset to provide more nooks and crannies to hide various auras that I’d like to track.

I’ve also updated my strings for my restoration druid Weak Auras, as well as a full listing of addons.

The UI

MOP_UI_DEC_SOLO

MOP_UI_Dec_Party

MoP_UI_December

Addon List

Restoration Druid Weak Auras

Harmony

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Lifebloom
Not target specific. Tracks personal Lifebloom duration and stacks cast on any party/raid member.

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Mana <80% and Innervate Available

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Restoration Bar — Available for Use
Wild Growth – Swiftmend – Barkskin – Tranquility – Tree of Life – Swiftmend – Rebirth

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Restoration Bar — Abilities on Cooldown
Wild Growth – Swiftmend – Barkskin – Tranquility – Tree of Life – Swiftmend – Rebirth

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How Mods Have Made WoW a Friendlier Place

Ever wanted to check and see if you had a recipe? What’d you do? Why, you opened up your professions panel and started a search, that’s what! However, that’s not always been the case. My first ever professions mod was the lovely Skillet. While it’s still up and running, providing an excellent way to provide a shopping list for the industrious crafter, many of the features which I loved the most–being able to craft in batches and searching my recipe list–are now a common part of the standard WoW interface.

Mod developers provide a valuable service, even to those of you who choose to turn up your nose at the “cheatery” that is the addon community. Mod developers provide innovative solutions to often nagging, persistent problems within the game. I seriously doubt we’ll see someone’s custom art show up in the latest expansion of WoW, but we have been showered with more responsive nameplates, improved raid frames, customizable combat text, an in-game dungeon journal, nifty map notes… the list goes on and on.

Mod developers pioneered many of these solutions fighting code and whiny players who think people who give up their private time to find a solution have nothing better to do than listen to people complain about their free product. Although my mod list has gone up and down as I’ve found some needs met and other needs to take precedent (the pretties folks!) I appreciate the time of anyone who takes a stab at finding a solution to something that they think could be done better. 

So even if you’re a mod minimalist, even if you don’t even use a mod, but especially if you help the mod development process by being a user and supporting your favorite addon developer, say thank you to a mod developer. They make our gameworld a better place–even if you don’t see it until WoW implements it in-game.

 

Not to mention providing me an excuse to go wandering down UI memory lane.

 

Cataclysm State of the UI

I attempted to engineer a UI revamping prior and immediately following Cataclysm, but it’s darn hard to tell what’s going to work and what isn’t until you’ve experienced all the things you like to do: soloing, dungeoning and PvP. My UI has slowly been adding and dropping features since the release of Cataclysm, and while I’m still looking at some possible new options (WeakAuras just looks awesome doesn’t it?) I’m also just thrilled that I have something that is functional and clean.

When RealUI released, I immediately downloaded it because, frankly, it looked freaking awesome. However, it had a lot of widgets and flashy stuff I didn’t particularly need, but I really loved the player/target frames. I was able to replace my poor Stuf look-a-like with an oUF module approved by the original author. I also found that playing a restoration druid requires excellent cooldown management. I went poking around the interwebs, and found Keeva’s pre-made auras. I did some very minimal adjustments, and also added auras for my moonkin side.

I’ve managed to get a console effect centered around my character without blocking my feet or immediate surroundings which is a big must-have for me. Since the oUF: Real doesn’t provide any of the newer bars, such as Eclipse, Rune, or Holy Power, I’ve had to find replacements for those (although my paladin is languishing and I haven’t gotten around to getting her one quite yet). I really love this Shadow’s text-based Eclipse bar since it’s much easier to glance down and see what I’m supposed to be casting, and it responds with the information you need for your NEXT cast.

Of course, there’s some niggling things that could probably still use some work. I’ve got Debuffs showing up in three different places: mine only on floating combat frames and directly over the player frames, while all buffs and debuffs can be found to the right of the target frame. Fortunately only MY debuffs show up on the player frame, which is just how I like ‘em.

Not much changes on the raiding scene out of combat. I’m still using Aptechka (the addon author decided he didn’t like Injector) and I’ve found them to be holding up rather solidly so far this expansion.

Once combat starts I’ve got crap that comes up everywhere — I was really disappointed in the current state of DXE’s boss reminders, so I’ve made the switch back to DBM, which somehow just seems… busier… even with modifications. Unfortunately, I haven’t found an easy way to drag and drop the newer “boss ability” timers such as Atramedes’ sound timer, and Cho’gall’s Worship bar, so I probably need to download Move Anything again to get those out from behind my raid frames! I’m also still struggling with Omen’s placement which I need desperately as a boomkin, and could care less about when healing (although it is kinda nice to know I’m the next nom nom nom target for Chimareon ^^).

For a full listing of addons used, you can check out my updated UI page.

 

My Current UI

I’ve been through a multitude of UI changes, including loss and gain of addons, change in priorities and of course characters. I seriously doubt this is my last tinkering (fat chance!) yet, for now, it serves admirably.

I have come down to a simple philosophy on what I want out of my UI, and I hope its reflected in my screenshots:
1) Useful information displayed in an easy to decipher and non-redundant way

  • I don’t need to have a flashing red border, AGGRO pop up somewhere on my screen, and a threat meter showing me prominently placed at the top of all my fellow raiders bars.

2) Keep information I don’t really need off my screen.

  • Hmmm, is that warlock dotting the boss or the adds? Shouldn’t he really spend more of his time on the boss? Maybe we should have a chat about his dereliction of duty at the next guild meeting where I pull out my handy skada report and show… he blew away everyone in the raid with his awesome dps. Who the hell cares what raid members are targeting — shouldn’t I be doing my job and not be distracted by the flickering nameplates of my party’s targeting choices?

3) A clean area of real estate around my character in order to avoid fiery death.

  • Well I have dabbled (particularly with healing classes) in UI’s that focused my raid frames next to my character in some way. I invariably find the rise and fall of health in conjuction with the healing and cleansing dot management way more distracting to my own enviromental field than I can account for. In addition, it breaks rule #4.

4) A UI should be able to serve the needs of any class I feel like playing at the moment.

  • Nothing is worse than logging into an alt you haven’t seen in awhile and having to rearrange your entire UI in order to actually get to the gameplay. Most classes have pretty consistent needs — see vital information without blocking the visual field. While I don’t mind adding a class specific addon from time to time, I refuse to have more than 2 addons dedicated to a particular class, or move my target/party/raid frames.

5) Pretty is nice ^.^

And without further ado:

Targeting and Casting:

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