Thursday, August 13, 2009

UI Adventures

I've never been quite satisfied with my User Interface (UI), and constantly tweak it. Cosmos was the first one I tried. I remember when I guildie told me about Bongos and Quartz - then I found nirvana at and later WowInterface. Not good places for UI junkies like me!
WoW UI - Basic Mode
I've always tweaked or tried to at least in the MMO's I play - EQII it was ProfitUI, but I'd bounce to Fetish and back. Definitely had to have the EQ2Map! Warhammer has a wonderful UI, that is very user friendly for placement on the screen, but not nearly as many addon's as WoW!
Leveling UI (most common one I use)
I guess I wouldn't mod so much if there weren't so many wonderful AddOns for World of Warcraft or if it wasn't so easy to add/change/delete them! Okay I would still try, but not tweak so much. If I was a bit more techie I'd love to perfect my own, but I know that isn't going to happen!

On my search, I've been looking for the most usable UI, while having the least amount of stuff on my screen. If it's a class I'm highly familiar with (hunters/shadow priests, death knight), I can really minimize things as they keys are bound and memorized, etc. Playing a druid or pally or warlock, there is a lot of 'where did I put that spell', so I tend to keep everything dead center.

The WoW Forum for UI/macros is worth digging through. Lots of useful info and the 'post your UI' threads always have some awesome ones. Some awfully pretty UI's too. So minimal, yet beautifully done. It's fantastic.

To get all those great addons, there are a variety of places to download addons/mods, but the two main sites are: - probably the most well known and with a current count of 3,645 different addons for WoW, you can modify WoW to your hearts content!

Curse listed addons are free to download manually or via Curse client program (it will update for you). There is also a premium service, for$29.40 a year (or paid monthly/quarterly/six months in varied amounts). Part of the fees go to the addon authors.

Curse also hosts addons for Age of Conan, Warhammer and Runes of Magic. I had heard Everquest II was going to be added, but I haven't seen it yet.

WowInterface - Many WoW interfaces are listed here not at Curse or updated at one over the other, so I check both after a major patch.

There are others such as:
WoWUi @IncGamers - I don't have any experience with this site, but looks intriguing.

WoWMatrix - This will download and update for you automatically. (I've heard people swear by it, but didn't have much success with it, plus some addons weren't available.)

No Stock UI blog is really probably far in the lead on UI use/set up if you haven't done this before. There are also great suggestions as to why to set it up in a specific way.

There are a number of other blogs that touch on UI set up or favorite AddOns, but NoStock covers everything in depth, up to leveling, or for a specific need - the Chef's Hat one is intriguing (closing in on that achievement!!).

No Stock has a great thread on a leveling UI, including the screen set up, key binding placement, etc.

For my personal use (which drives everyone else nuts), as I'm a left handed mouse and split keyboard user, for example, I have the whole right side of my keyboard unbound from the 'normal' key binds and remapped to the left side, including the number pad. Spells and macros are placed there in a somewhat logical ordera as I tend to stick the same 'type' of things in the same place.

Ex - Healing spells or mounts or attacks are all on or near the same key set up for all classes.

I'm still working on using all the buttons on my mouse - that would help free up more screen real estate, and double or triple use the keys!

As to my personal favorite addons -
  • Bartender Action Bar replacement. It allows for vertical/horizontal placement with up to 10 action bars. Easy to modify, keymap, etc. (I've tried others and come back to this one)
  • Sexy Map
  • FuBar (There are three pages listed on Curse of FuBar addons - favorites are PetinfoFu, PerformanceFu, MoneyFu, BagFu, )
  • LightHeaded - quest helper type program with comments from
  • Omen - good for the DPS to learn to control their threat
  • RatingBuster - a tool for comparing gear upgrades
  • Grid - a raid/group frames that is stripped down and lightweight. I use it instead of most raid frames to keep the screen less cluttered. I started using Squared (which is eve easier than Grid) in Warhammer for healing. Makes life so easy once its set up.
  • AckisRecipeList - a must if you're a recipe collecting nut!
  • Altoholic - fantastic if you have alt-itis, have multiple accounts or play on different servers.
  • Chatter (modifies chat with lots of flexiblity without being weighty)
  • Capping Battlegrounds Timer (for battlegrounds)
  • Recount - damage meter. One of most overused mods in the game (asking for recount in Dead Mines? wtf??)
  • Kharthus's Hunter Timers - great timer for hunters
  • Quartz - casting bar timer
  • Xperl - I do actually like Pitbull's customization, but haven't spent the time on it, so use xperl
  • Buff Enough
There are others I use for specific purposes such as the auction house or a specific class. There are really good ones for crafting, healing, etc.

I will say I admire those that play with the stock UI. It seems so limiting, but would save me lots of time if I could do that!


  1. WoW Ace is pretty good too. WoWMatrix doesn't work anymore, I don't think. Not after that whole Curse debacle. It's the one reason why I don't like Curse anymore. That was when they offered their Premium service and throttled back their downloader.

  2. Forgot about WoW Ace. Considering some of my favorites are based on Ace. Thanks for that.