Jov sez: UI Post and Guild LoveOctober 6, 2009
First off — Snarkcraft is still looking for guest post submissions! We want a vacation we can spend on a sandy beach with an umbrella drink in hand. Got an idea? Want to pimp your home blog? Email us! Snarkcraft@gmail.com
Second — I’ve never really done this before, but I’m going to do a UI post. I’ve seen other people doing them in the past, and I always love those posts, since they give me great ideas (plus, looking at UIs is purdy) but I’ve always been kinda hesitant to do one on my own. I mean, Snarkcraft isn’t a UI blog, it’s a Priest/Raiding blog. So I took a screenshot while raiding on my priest, so nyeh!
Background and Philosophy
I have healer tunnel-vision. I stare at healthbars and get in the zone where I’m just heal heal heal heal healing, and I rarely notice anything else. This has led to me building UIs which try to combine a need for free visible space around my character, while still keeping my eyes in that general area. Hyjal, Archimonde specifically, taught me my old habit of raid frames on the bottom left, spells in the middle, chat frames on the bottom right, unit frames at the top? Totally wouldn’t work for me.
I’m gonna be honest here… My chat frames and action bars on the right and left of my screen? I generally don’t look at them when I’m raiding. Likewise with my minimap and buff/debuff bars. They’re there for me if I make a mental note to keep an eye on them, but my focus is entirely on the center 1/3 of my screen. Gone are the days of Vanilla WoW, when some fights just had me pounding my decursive key while chatting on vent/reading chat. Unless you send me a whisper (which causes a popup window to spawn directly above my top chat frame) or say my name (which causes a combat text message) I’m not going to notice if you ask me or try and tell me something. However, I know this about myself, and as GI Joe taught me back in grade school, knowing is half the battle. The primary question becomes “What do I really need?” which can easily be answered in 3 steps.
1. Raid Frames — I’m a Grid healer. Specifically, I’m a Grid + Mouseover healer. I don’t use Clique, I don’t use Decursive, I don’t use Healbot or Vuhdo. You could say I’m a creature of habit, and you’d probably have a good bit of truth. You could also say I’m stubborn and spent long enough setting Grid up in the first place that I’m never going to use anything else… you’d probably also be right. Suffice it to say, I use Grid because we’re old friends who go way back. I’m comfortable with it, it’s comfortable with me, and we understand each other. My must-have Grid modules are Mana Bars, Raid Debuffs, HoTs, Missing Buffs, and Side Indicators.
2. Unit Frames — I have a love/hate relationship with unit frames. I started out a few years ago with X-Perl, primarily because it allowed me to have the nifty 3d portraits. Unfortunately, that was all I liked about it, and soon after I tried AGUF before moving on to PitBull. I used Pitbull forever, mostly for the same reason I use Grid. Yes, it’s a pita to set up, but once it’s set up, your initial thought is “OKAY NEVER DOING ANYTHING ELSE EVER!” Unfortunately, it was a memory hog, and my computer, which was a good computer when WoW first released, couldn’t quite handle Ulduar, leaving me in a mad scramble to try and find low-memory alternatives, which led me to oUF. I picked oUF Lyn primarily because it was workable, especially with a couple guides I found for editing the .lua.
3. Other Stuff — Cooldowns, consumables, and boss alerts all count as stuff I want to keep an eye on, but at a distant 3rd priority. For my cooldown thingie, I use Coolline. I’ve seen the other things, but they all include stuff I don’t really need. I also have a couple DBM alerts (the urgent ones… I don’t need to know an ability is gonna fire in 2 minutes, I need to know it’s going to fire now) above my cooldown bar and one action bar for primarily consumable and emergency buttons directly beside my raid frames.
Final, unrelated note
I love my guild, but we have the worst luck with some things. From it’s founding, Axiom has had THE WORST luck when it comes to legendaries. (Don’t let that stop you — We’re also still recruiting ranged DPS!) Specifically, we never see them. Months of farming Illidan in TBC, nothing. Fairly regular MC runs during TBC and Wrath looking for Bindings of the Windseeker? Nada. We never see them drop. Well, last night, Axiom FINALLY broke the curse, and Crutches (y’all remember Crutch from So You Think You Can Blog?) got the first in-guild, not-transferred-in Legendary Axiom has ever seen. And it makes me squeal with glee when a friend gets something.