Hidden Bars: The Opie Solution

Last week, in our discussion of Dominos, a number of people brought up their love of Opie.  Being a huge Opie fan-girl myself, I thought we could take a quick peek at how Opie can clean up your user interface, and make those hidden bars stay really hidden.

The Problem With “Hidden” Bars

When you use a bar mod, like Dominos, there is a nifty feature that allows you to reduce the opacity of any given bar and keep it hidden from your view unless needed.  The only problem with such a bar is that, if you have unbound items (think pots or healthstones) when you want to access that bar, you must scroll-over the correct position of your screen in order to click that item.

In finding the perfect area to access said hidden bar during combat, the bar is usually positioned in a highly “active” area, such as next to your players or raid frames, and thus ends up popping up at unanticipated times as you scroll across the screen to do something entirely unrelated.

Opie solves this problem by providing you a flexible bar to store any item, spell or macro that your heart may desire in a bar that is accessed via key-bind.  In addition, Opie comes out of the box with several “bars” pre-loaded by class:

Now when you want a bar to be accessible you simply press the appropriate key-bind, and a radial menu will appear that can include items, spells, abilities or macros.  To activate the ability, simply hover over the icon, and release the key-bind.  Once activated, the menu fades from view until called up again.

The Basics

First, let’s take a look at what all those little check-boxes on the main menu actually do.  To access Opie, type /opie, or use the in-game interface menu.

  • Profile: Out of the box, the Profile will be set to default.  However, you can choose to make your own profile.
  • Defaults for all rings: Allows you to edit the settings for any pre-made ring (see list above)
  • Center rings at mouse: If unchecked, when you use a key-bind to open an Opie ring, the ring will always appear centered on your character.  By checking the box, the Opie ring will open at the current location of your mouse.
  • Quick action at ring center: You can customize each ring to have a “quick action.”  You set a spell, such as Ice Block, as the quick action for the ring, and anytime you open that ring and do not select a specific ability, Ice Block will be used.  If you do not designate a quick action “slice” then nothing will happen if you release your key-bind at the center of the menu (as if you had the box unchecked.)
  • Bind numeric keys to slices: With this option, when you open an Opie ring, each item in the ring will be numbered sequentially starting from the top item. You can now choose to activate the ability by pressing the appropriate number in addition to the default key-bind release method.  Activating this option also activates Show slice bindings.

  • Activate on left-click: Activate abilities by left-clicking on them.  Overrides the default key-bind release.
  • Make rings top-most: Only available if you use left-click activation.  Ensures Opie appears/functions on top of other UI elements.
  • Leave open after use: Only available if you use left-click activation.  Allows the menu to stay open after clicking an ability, spell, or macro.
  • Per-slice icons: Active by default.  When checked, displays icons around the central ring for each “slice.”  If unchecked, hides all icons associated with the Opie ring.  If tooltip is active, will still display ability name; however, the central Opie ring will only change color to indicate what you are hovering over.

  • Nested rings: Allows rings to work as custom slices in other rings (more on this later).
  • Center caption: Shows text of item name in center of the ring when hovering over ability.

  • Numeric cooldown: By default, items and abilities that are not currently have grayed out icons.  However, this option allows you to see a numerical cool-down of remaining time until an item or ability is useable again (especially useful for abilities with long cooldowns).

  • Show tooltips: Toggles whether your tooltip displays information about the item or ability.
  • Show slice bindings: Only available if you are using Bind numeric keys to slices.  Check to make the bind number visible, uncheck to hide.
  • Center icon: If you are not using per-slice options, the icon for your ability will appear in the center of the circle (scroll-over for ability is still outside of the center circle).

  • Hide stance bar: If you are not using a bar mod (i.e. dominos, bartender, etc.) this option will hide the default stance/aura bar.
  • Use Buttonfacade: Allows the use of buttonfacade skins.  Requires restart of WoW (/reload consoleui is not sufficient.)
  • Color BF slices: Allows Opie to add color to buttonfacade modified buttons.
  • Animate slice scale: This option allows Opie to create a “pop-out” effect to abilities as they are scrolled over.  If you find it disorienting or distracting, simply uncheck.
  • Animate scale separately: No idea.  Tried fiddling with several settings in tandem and noticed no appreciable difference in any use.
  • Scale animation speed: How quickly the buttons “react” to scroll-over (i.e. the “pop” effect.)
  • Pointer rotation speed: How quickly the center “arrow” changes color / points to scroll-over abilities
  • Zoom-in/out time: How quickly the rings open/close.

The next two menus are very simple to navigate as well.  Next, you have the key-binding menu:

You can bind any ring (pre-made or custom) from this menu.  Simply click on the red box to the name of the ring, and enter your keybinding.  To leave a ring without a keybinding, click on the red box and click unbind ring (which turns red when available).

From this menu you can also access a string that can be used in an in-game macro to access the ring.  Simply click on the small yellow arrow next to the ring of your choice, and a box will appear with a string that can be copied and pasted into a macro field.

The last menu is the most important for all you customization fans out there: Custom Rings.  Opie will allow you to add/detract from all pre-generated class-based rings, as well as create your own fresh ring.

Simply click Create new ring to begin.

Creating a Ring

When you create a new ring, the first thing you’ll have to do is name your ring.  For this example, I’m going to make a mount ring:

Once I hit accept, I will be given a new menu:

I can choose to make this ring available to all of my characters, I can limit it to my class, or a single character.  You can also set the ring binding here, or wait and set it from the Ring Bindings menu later.  Ring rotation is purely an aesthetic option, so if you don’t like how your ring opens, you might try playing with the rotation.  You can also DELETE any ring you’re no longer using.

Now, to add items to your ring, you simply need to open the appropriate menu, and drag and drop the item, ability or macro into the appropriate spot.

For our mount ring, I will be opening my character’s mount page.  I simply click and drag my mount from the mount page to the Opie menu.  When I have placed my mount in the correct spot, the menu will turn bright green as shown here:

Once my mount is “released” the green will fade.  I can then select my mount “splice” and access some additional options.

I can now choose to set my Deathcharger as my quick action button for the ring.  The arrows allow me to move this item higher or lower in the priority list (well, when I have more items on the bar at least!).  Set text/icon allow me to change the default icon or text that accompany my splice, which can be especially useful for dealing with macros.  I can also choose to delete this item from my ring.

You’ll also notice that the colored bar beneath my Deathcharger is gray.  You can change a splice’s color at any time by clicking this colored bar, which gives you a color wheel.  I went ahead and added a flying mount to my bar, and chose to make the accompanying color red.

This changes the color of my arrow when accessing my ring.  You’ll notice that my flyer now has a red arrow, and my horse a gray one.

And that’s it!  Just don’t forget, that a ring can contain anything that a button can.  Anything in your spellbook, character mounts and mini-pets, and macros can all be dragged and dropped to make a ring that fits your precise needs.  However, depending on the number of rings you make, you may find yourself running out of key-bindings!  For this last section, I’ll walk you through how to create an Opie menu of rings using nested rings.

Nested Rings: Rings Within Rings

Nested rings allow you to use a key-bind to access an Opie menu of icons that lead to Opie rings.  For this example, we’re going to make an Opie ring cleverly named Menu that will include 4 pre-configured Opie rings: Trinkets, Death Knight stances, Trade skills and mounts.

First, go the keybinding menu.  Click on the yellow arrow next to a menu item to bring up the macro text.

In the standard Blizzard Macro interface, create a new macro and copy this text in.  Do this for all four rings.

Next, open the Custom Rings Menu of Opie and create a new Custom Ring called Menu.  Keybind your Menu (I used shift-T).  Click and drag your newly made macros into the bar.

Change the color of your menu items if you’d like.  Also, don’t forget, that you can change the order of your items by clicking the left/right arrows.

Now, when you use Shift-T, you will see this radial menu which includes our 4 Opie rings.

Simply hover and release over the desired menu, such as Death Knight stances, and it will bring up the specified ring.  Click on your desired ability, and the menu will close.

You can also use Shift-T again to return to the previous menu.

Additional Resources

Opie is a pretty flexible tool, and a great way to minimize the number of bars on your screen.  It can also minimize your add-on use, particularly if you are using a mod that creates a macro for you to click.  Macros that select mounts, mini-pets, swap weapons, or create a bar of consumable can all be integrated into Opie.  Simply drag and drop the macro as we did in the nesting example.

Foxlit, the creator of Opie, is very active in the WoWInterface comment section of his add-on page.  This is a great place to find other uses people have found for the add-on, as well as suggesting improvements or requesting help with a specific need.

Additional pre-made rings can be downloaded from the WoWInterface Opie Optional Files page (the Equipment Manager in particular is great).

You can also find the latest notes at Opie’s official website.

Download from WoWInterface or Curse.

9 thoughts on “Hidden Bars: The Opie Solution

  1. Nice tutorial! I tried Opie a while ago but I found it very, very frustrating to use. Having to use a keybind and then select something and then release a keybind was so so counterintuitive to me… but from your explanations it looks like I can set it up differently.

    What I'm looking for is a kinda replacement to Spellcraft, a mage addon that looks like this: http://www.blogcdn.com/www.wow.com/media/2008/08/…. Only the circle at the bottom is usually displayed, and when you click it the list of portals shows up. I'd like to use Opie like that: have the ring always visible, and when I click on it the icons would pop up and stay visible until I click one of them. Do you think it's possible?

    • Thankyou for this! I use Opie on a few of my chars but I find it annoying to get set up if I want to change things. I'm bookmarking this for future reference 😉

      • I'm lazy and try to keep my key-binds and uses to similar things. I did forget to mention in the article, but you can use a single ring for multiple characters. Any mounts/spells/items that the character currently has will just not show up when you're on a different toon.

        For example, I have a buff ring. I've put all my long-duration buffs (Arcane Intellect, Paladin buffs, Fort.) on this one bar, and when I'm on a specific character, I only see the buffs they can cast 🙂

    • Although you COULD force this kind of behavior, if you'd like an on-screen options, I'd definitely go with LunarSphere. It will allow you to have a small circle on your screen with "punch buttons" that pull up a more detailed menu for anything you'd like including those portals ^^

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