Tuesday, 15 July 2008

My You Eye

Originally, I was going to do this post using an awesome interactive SVG that you could zoom in on, and you could mouse-over any UI element to see a tooltip of what it was, why it was there, and a link to download it.

Except that, despite being a seven year old standard, IE still doesn't support it.  Instead they'd rather support their proprietary WPF format, which is almost the same thing.  I hate Microsoft so very much at times.

For the love of all that's good and fuzzy, please stop using IE.  You're making the web developers cry.

Anyway, enough politics.  Here's my UI in all its needlessly complicated glory; note that if you see a little   WowAce icon, it means that addon can be updated with the WowAce Updater (which, rather depressingly, requires Internet Explorer to install unless you want to be tricksy, but... no, not going off on a tangent!)  On to the UI!

Here's a relatively low-resolution shot of my UI, for reference.

Or you can view a 960 x 600 version (192 kB) or 1920 x 1200 version (967 kB).

  1. This is my Outfitter bar.  It lists various outfits that I can switch between by clicking on the appropriate icon.  Shown on the bar at the moment are two primary sets: "Birthday suit" and Normal.  The remaining icons are for "accessory sets" which simply change certain slots and don't define a complete set.  These are my fishing, grinding, max-dps, fire festival, parachute and raiding sets.

  2. This is the quest tracker provided by QuestsFu, which is part of   FuBar 3.0.  I hate this quest.  So very much.  It takes hours upon hours to complete, and you get a stupid rejuvenation potion for your trouble.  Why do I even bother with that thing?

  3. This is a neat addon called   Nudge.  Basically, if I'm out of range it's red, if I'm in range it's blue and if I'm in melee range it's green.  I've made it exceedingly wide so that I can always catch the colour in my peripheral vision.

  4. These are my item cooldowns, provided by   Cooldown Timers 2.  These bars aren't in this spot any more; they're over by #5; I just haven't taken a new screenshot since then.

  5. This is   Elkano's BuffBars.  What's cool about this is that, although you can't see it here, you can filter different buffs/debuffs into different groups.  Each group can then either be free-floating, or anchored to another group.  Above the list of buffs is a (presently) empty Paladin block that shows up all the various Paladin auras, blessings and seals.

    Let this be a lesson in always making sure you make changes in the right profile, or your hunter will end up with a Paladin-centric buff display.  Oh well.

  6. Again, this is Cooldown Timers 2, this time showing my ability cooldowns.  Of course, the main point of this is to show how long until your traps are ready (which you can't see here since I didn't drop one.)

  7. This message is generated by   TopScore Fu.  The addon keeps track of your highest damage (and/or healing) records with individual abilities and overall, with and without crits.  But it also does something way cooler: it can be configured to take a screenshot when you get a new record.

    Why is this so awesome?  Because you'll end up with a massive collection of screenshots documenting your character's progress in the game.  It's awesome to be able to go back years and reminisce.

  8. Here be   Quartz.  The main bar is the cast bar (with the red area denoting what my current latency to the server is,) the red "blip" above that is my GCD timer, and the white bar above that is my autoshot timer.

    And before anyone mentions it, yes the cast bar was pasted in from another screenshot, since you'd be surprised how hard it is to get all of this crap on-screen at once...

  9. This is Kharthus' Hunter Timers [1].  This shows the duration of things.  The real draw card for this is that it shows you how long you have left on your traps before they disappear, and how long until a trap's effect wears off.

  10. My primary unit frames are taken care of with   PitBull.  The middle two are fairly obvious: myself and my target.  To the left is my pet and my pet's target, above that is my focus and my focus' target and to the right is my target's target and target's target's target.  Above and to the right, which isn't visible in this shot, is the unit under my mouse cursor, and their target.

    What is this excessive of which you speak?

  11. My party and raid frames are done with   Grid.  I used to have larger frames until I realised that I didn't really need them.  In this particular case, I've got Grid along with Grid Mana Bars.  The little red dot in the upper-left corner of K's frame denotes that he has aggro.  Since he has a rage bar, this is a good thing.

  12. The experience bar (or in this case, reputation bar) is courtesy of Trinity XP (part of Trinity Bars 2.)

  13. The bottom area of the screen is carved out and given a little sprucing up thanks to Sunn Art.  Specifically, I'm using the Tribal texture (which is part of the base Sunn Art package, although there are a number of additional art packs.)  I love this texture because of the gilded golden border at the top which is just right for fitting my XP/reputation bar into it.

  14. As far as I'm aware, all of the various chat modifications I have are done by   Chatter.  Except for blacking out the names: that's done in an image editor.  :P

  15. Mah pet bar, thanks to Trinity Bars 2.

  16. Mah main action bar, again thanks to Trinity Bars 2.  This is more complex than it first appears.  If you look carefully at the letters on the buttons, you'll see they read:

    1, 2, 3, 4, R, F, V, C, X, Z, -, =

    Now, imagine you've got your fingers resting on the normal WASD movement keys.  Ignoring the last two, look at where those keys are: they're the keys that wrap around the movement keys.  This means I can hit any action on that bar (except for food and drink) without moving my left hand.

    But there's more: there's a second, separate set of actions bound to those keys plus the Ctrl modifier.  If you count the pet bar (which is bound to Ctrl+Shift+[1..Z]) I can hit any one of 30 actions without moving my hand at all.

    What's more, most of those actions are themselves macros that have different behaviours.  For example, 2 is a macro that fires Serpent Sting normally, or Scorpid Sting if I hold down Alt.  F doubles as both regular Arcane Shot and my pull-shot.  I think the only one that isn't a macro of some kind is Multishot, and that's only because I've never needed Tranquilizing Shot, nor do I have any macro slots left...

    And people wonder how I run circles around them while smacking them with instant shots and stings while micromanaging my pet...

  17. This here be   FuBar 3.0.  The modules (all of which are, as far as I know, available on the WowAce Updater) you can see, from left to right, are:

    • MoneyDetailFu — tracks where my money is coming from and where it's going.
    • MoneyFu — tracks how much money I have on each and all of my toons.
    • Omen — surely you know what this is, right?
    • Grid — just another way to access Grid's configuration.
    • Cooldown Timers 2 — one of the few ways to access CDT's configuration.
    • Visual Themes — ditto.
    • Skinner — as above.
    • ToFu — actually redundant with Quartz, shows how long left on a flight.  A.k.a. the "can I make a coffee in time" timer.
    • LocationFu — GPS for WoW.
    • DurabilityFu — now you have no excuse to turn up with damaged gear.  Well, except for the "I'm a dipstick" one.
    • AmmoFu — can haz boolets?
    • SpeedFu — surprisingly, this actually has a legitimate use: working out if your flying mount is level or not!
    • GarbageFu — firstly, it shows a list of all vendor trash in my bags when moused over, as well as their individual and total value.  But that's not the best part: if I Shift+Click on the icon, it will drop the contents of the least valuable inventory slot.  This way, you can minimise your losses when you run out of bag space.
    • SunnArt — see #13.
    • FishingBuddyFu — honestly don't use this much, since typing /fb is faster, and the rest of Fishing Buddy is mostly automatic.
    • DPS — don't really use this either since I have #26...
    • TopScoreFu — see #7.
    • QuestFu — see #2.
    • BagFu — tells me how many slots I have left before I have to drop my partial stack of Malfunctioning Basilisk Livers.  The horror!
    • RestFu — shows rested XP on my army of alts.
    • ExperienceFu — good for estimating how long until I level on an alt.  Also used for figuring out how long the elves around the mana-forge have been studiously not dropping those bloody plans.  Stingy bastards...
    • Elkano's BuffBars — configuration for #5.
    • ClearFont2 — basically does a bunch of font substitution jiggery-pokery to make text in-game nicer to read.
    • ClockFu — lets me know how long ago I was supposed to have gone to bed.  Bad Its!
  18. A miscellaneous bank of buttons controlled by Trinity Bars 2.  Mostly contains food, random quest items, macros, etc.  The lower nine buttons are bound the numeric pad.

  19. Mah minimap.  It was repositioned and resized using simpleMinimap.

  20. The mini menu bar, again from Trinity Bars 2.

  21. What a surprise: more Trinity Bars 2!  This set of three columns map to my Logitech G15's G keys.  The original, blue-backlit one, not the "I'm going to have to kill someone for this" crappy orange version.  Specifically, each column is a different mode's worth of G keys.  The actual binding itself and stylish red border showing the active mode are done using Its' G15 Binder.

    Modes 1 and 2 contains various things that doesn't actually get used all that often and mode 2 is the one I'm generally in.  Specifically, since G13-G18 can be reached with my pinky finger without having to move my left hand too much, it tends to contain the most oft-used things.  Most notable are my "God Mode" macro on G13, bandages on G16, my Zapthrottle Mote Extractor on G17 and my I Has Macro Lol macro on G18.

  22. It's another Trinity Bars 2 button!  This is my "panic" button; it's bound to numpad 0, which is nice and big, and very easy to hit with my right thumb.

  23. This is in two parts.  The upper row of buttons are my "quick" buttons.  Various things that I need quick access to, but don't want to hit by mistake.  From left to right, they are my mount macro, my pet control macro (combining Mend Pet, Call Pet and Revive Pet,) my gadget macro, my ├╝ber trap macro and my powerup macro.

    The bottom row is basically the "stance" bar from Trinity Bars 2 that depends on my class.  For my hunter it's aspects, for a paladin it's auras and for a druid it's forms.  It's not actually bound to anything for Its, but for non-pet classes, this bar takes over the Ctrl+Shift+[1..Z] bindings.

  24. Amazingly, these two buttons aren't from Trinity Bars 2!  In fact, it's TrinketMenu.  If I mouse over the buttons, I can switch out trinkets with the left and right mouse buttons.  The buttons are also bound to Shift+5 and Ctrl+5, which activates the trinket in that slot.

  25. Well, that didn't last long: it's back to Trinity!  The left one is a pop-up bar; mouse over the hammer, and a vertical bar of professions shows up.  Saves a hell of a lot of space, that's for sure.  Other uses include Paladin seals, or Shammy totems.  The bag button, unsurprisingly, opens my bags.

  26. Here's   Recount.  Look at those numbers.  Beautiful, aren't they?

  27.   Omen.  If you don't have this, and you ever group with other people, you should hang your head in shame.

And now for the other things you can't see.

  •   ArkInventory: this thing is a God-send.  Here's a screenie so you know what I'm yammering on about:

    Basically, it pools all your storage into a single bag.  You then create a bunch of groups.  To each group you assign one or more categories or rules.  AI (ArkInventory, not Artificial Intelligence) will then sort your items into those groups for you.

    Take that screenshot for example.  I can find anything in my bags very quickly because things are always grouped together logically.

    That said, AI is not for the faint of heart.  It's incredibly time consuming to configure, and has a bad habit of not only getting confused about where a particular item is supposed to go (sometimes requiring you to either hand-edit or nuke your configuration to fix it.)  It's also one of the AddOns that can reportedly cause the "block too big" memory errors that will bring WoW to a screaming (followed by flaming and violently exploding) halt.  Usually six seconds after you start a boss fight in an instance.

    I've found that using /reloadui after each boss mitigates that.

    So yes, it's finicky, and makes WoW somewhat unstable, but that just gives you an idea of how unbelievably useful it is.

  • Beast Training: basically an improved beast training window that looks less like a trainer's list of skills and more like a talent window.

  • Bookworm: records any book (or plaque) that you read, and where you read it.  You can then go back and read them later on.  Gotta read 'em all!

  •   Cartographer: replaces the standard WoW map.  Among other things, it allows you to scale it, move it, show unexplored areas, add notes, make it transparent, and more.  When combined with   Cartographer_Data,   Cartographer_Herbalism and   Cartographer_Mining, it'll give you map locations for pretty much every herb and mineral node in the game.  Just like Gatherer, except without the annoying "having to find everything" step.

    However, also combine this with   Routes, and you can build up optimised mining/herbing routes for farming runs.

  • Clique: I'm still adjusting to using this, but I use it on my healery-type characters.  It lets me, for example, Shift+Click on someone to cast a full heal, Ctrl+Click to cast a HoT, or Ctrl+Right Click to dispell.  Pretty damn nifty.  That said, I do think I prefer mouse-over healing more (ie: set up your healing spells to cast at your mouse over target) since it allows me to not only heal people via unit frames, but I can also just point at them in the game world to heal them.

  • DoubleWide: because the normal cramped quest log is not fun.

  • EquipCompare: when you mouse over something that's equippable, it shows the tooltip for what you currently have equipped next to it.

  • ExpressMail: shift-click on a mail to loot an attached item.  Damn I love this thing.  Tekkub rules.

  •   GemHelper: used on Por; lets you filter your gem list based on colour, stats, quality, etc.

  •   GemList: one of those interactive "whisper me to search for gems" dealies.  That said, it doesn't look like it's maintained any more, so you might want to try   CraftList2.

  •   I Has Macro Lol: basically, this addon rewrites a particular macro slot depending on where you are.  This is hugely useful for daily quests.  By dragging the IHML macro to an action button (M2G18 in my case,) I can push that to take readings in the Spirit Fields, drop bombs in Skettis, phase shift in BEM, or plant the banner on IoQD.

  • Its' Happy Snaps: this basically takes a screenshot every 10% of a level, or when you ding a new level.  I wrote it so that I'd have a more complete history of my alts levelling up.  It's not published anywhere, but let me know if you're interested and I'll toss it up somewhere.

  • LightHeaded: basically, it's Wowhead's quest database, but accessible in-game.  Useful when you're on one of those quests with really vague and obtuse instructions.  Or, you know, ones where the directions are just outright wrong.

  •   MobHealth: because knowledge is power.  Or something.

  • OPie: this is a new addition to my UI.  Basically, I have it set up like so: I push a key combination, and a ring of actions shows up around my cursor.  I flick my mouse towards the action I want, let go of the key binding, and OPie executes that action.  As an example, I used to use the numpad for switching aspects which was a bad idea because it requires me to remove my hand from the mouse to do it.  Now, I have them arranged in a ring bound to Ctrl+E, so I don't need to move my hands.  I'm still getting used to it, but it's very promising at this point.

  •   PallyPower: obviously not visible in the screenshot for obvious reasons, this lets you track and manage Pally blessings.  Por would have gone mad if not for this.

  • Pawn: see my post on Pawn for more info.

  • PetEmote: because pets is peoples too.  Note that you'll probably want to re-write most of the emotes, since they're apparently translated into English and as a result, most of them sound... wrong.

  •   RatingBuster: summarises the difference between the item you're looking at and what you've got equipped.

  •   Skinner: no, not the principal.  It's what gives windows in WoW that nifty black gradient look.

  • TourGuide: I have four 70s, two per faction.  I've done, basically, every soloable quest in the game.  Repeatedly.  Levelling up is honestly nothing more than a chore for me because I've done it all before.  TourGuide is fantastic because it boils levelling up down to a list of "go here, do this" instructions that you can follow while more or less unconscious.  'Tis brillig.

  •   VisualHeal: a little bar that shows incoming heals on you and whoever you're casting a heal on; also shows what their estimated health will be when the heal completes.

  •   VisualThemes: makes stuff in WoW go whoosh.  Is pretty.

Well, that's most of them.  Yes, I said "most" as in "there are more."  But that should cover all the ones that are actually useful to other people.

  1. I realise that it's actually called "Kharthus's Hunter Timers," but I refuse to type such blatantly awful grammar.  Oh damnit!


David said...

That was an amazing post. I will have to read through it a few times to absorb it all!

Itsnoteasy said...

One would hope so; my fingers hurt from all the typing. :(

Brandstone said...

Have you tried Autobar? It's convenient for using and keeping track of consumables, quest items that require you to use them, and a few other things too.

Gretadelle said...

Thank you so much for this post! You have several add-ons I've never even heard of, so I'm checking them out.

Question: Maybe it's just the camera angle, but it looks like your black box at the bottom of the screen isn't at the bottom of your viewing part but actually has shrunk your viewing part. Hrm, not sure that I'm explaining this right. Like when I've put graphics at the bottom before, they just "cover her feet" but your screen looks like the part with the picture has shrunk, so you aren't covering anything. Yes, no?