I’ve included a breakdown of my UI and addons here – if anyone else want to share their’s they’re welcome to do so, please just drop me a line. A couple of notes on mine – it’s focussed on a healing player (specifically a priest), so there are a few heal specific addons, but most of them can be useful to all classes.
My UI doesn’t have a great over-arching design to it: instead it has been growing organically as I’ve felt the need for extra functionality that the base UI doesn’t provide. I tend to add only one addon at a time and sometimes have 2 addons performing the same function as I gradually train myself to use the new one – anything more drastic than that and I tend to get confused, habitually looking at the wrong place on the screen for crucial information. Anyway on with the breakdown: a typical view of my screen looks as follows:
Grid is wonderful for a healer – I can’t play without it now. I’ve tried other unit frame replacements (e.g. Pitbull) and found I couldn’t get used to them at all, but Grid really worked for me. I installed it for Alterac Valley initially. The problem I had encountered there was that I couldn’t tell which of the 40 people on my screen needed a heal and of those, which were even in range to be healed. Grid packs all the information into a very small space and also is configurable to show the details you need.
For Alterac Valley I set it so the central text changes to OOR if people are out of range. So I can now see who is in range for healing. It shows a red dot in the top corner (e.g Rag in the screenshot) for people currently the target of an enemy (‘active tank’ if you like). This is great in situaions where the ‘active’ tank switches (e.g. battlegrounds, some raid boss fights). Now I know who is in range and is likely to need healing. Each box doubles as a health bar, so I can see how fast health is dropping (Rag has a only little bit of health lost in the screenshots – healers obviously on the case!)
Grid also shows dispellable debuffs as the centre icon. I’ve got mine configured to only show magic and disease effects as they are the only ones I can dispel, but equally a mage could use it to show curses for instance. Grid also shows any heal over time’s each player has (the green dot on Trai and several others in the screenshot), any incoming heals each player has, and with the addition of GridBars how much mana each player has used (the blue bar below Wise in the screenshot). For someone new to Grid it takes a bit of getting setup to your needs and getting familiar with it – I’d recommend playing with it in a battleground environment to get the hang of it before taking it into a raid, but this is now an essential addon for me.
The placement of the default action bars is all wrong for me, and there are several addons that allow them to be moved including bartender3, bongos, trinity, CT bar mod. I played with a few and found Bartender3 the easiest to setup and get going with. Bars can be set vertically, horizontally, or into rectangular grids. New entries for these bars apppear into the key bindings menu, so quick keypresses can be setup for all these abilities. You can even bind keys to an action bar that isn’t visible (I do this with macro’d variations on spells (e.g. if 0 is greater heal, cntrl-0 is a macro that triggers my +heal trinkets and then casts greater heal) and hide the action bar so they don’t take up space as I’ll never need to click them with the mouse.
FuBar (and assorted plugins)
Like a lot of the Lords, I’ve used TitanPanel for ages to provide informative status bars at the top and bottom of my screen. With the number of addons I’ve installed though, they were getting difficult to manage (20 icons clustered around the minimap anyone?) and a lot of the newer addons integrate into fubar (and then remove themselves from the minimap), so this seemed like a good reason to switch. I’m still tracking down ‘fu’ type addons to replicate all of the titan defaults, but I’m pleased with it so far. It is more a faff-on to get going initially – where TitanPanel has all the basic functions built in, you have to track down all the separate addons yourself. The full list of ‘fu’ addons I’m currently using is: FuBar_BagFu, FuBar_ClockFu, FuBar_DurabilityFu, FuBar_FactionsFu, FuBar_GuildFu, FuBar_ItemBonusesFu, FuBar_MoneyFu, FuBar_OutfitterFu, FuBar_QuestsFu. There’s a list of BRK’s Fu Addons – I’ve only just found this post, so haven’t checked it against the ones I’ve picked up yet.
Threatmeter. You really need everyone on the team to install it. Once everyone has installed it you can see relative threat of everyone in the group compared to the main tank. In melee if you exceed the Main Tank (MT) by 110% you’re likely to get aggro, if you’re at range, then you can go up to 130%. Even if you keep this invisible and never look at it, if you’re planning on grouping for instances or raids, please do your teammates a favour and install this. BRK has done a good introduction to Omen, mainly aimed at hunters but the principles apply to everyone.
In the screenshot you can see I’ve coloured the tanks bars green and my bar red. Simplistically, as long as the green bars are above the red bar all is well with the world.
Everyone likes damage-meters. There are plenty out there too (recount, swstats, damagemeters etc.). Violation seems pretty straightforward, looks good and gives me all the functionality I need (for more indepth stats I’ll use Wow Web Stats (WWS) to parse my combat log file and generate reports / charts outside of WoW after a run). Basic reports include damage done, damage taken, healing done, decursing performed etc. I think it will synchronise with other damage-meters too, but that’s a bit advanced for me at the moment.
I mentioned above using WWS to create reports from your combatlog to to analyse how your raid / instance went. Before you can do this you first need to turn combat logging on and extend the logging range. This can be done manually, but CLSaver can be used to automatically toggle combatlogging on when you enter nominated zones (e.g. Karazhan). LoggerHead can also be used to do this apparently, but I couldn’t get it to work.
Handy both for raiding and battlegrounds, this primarily makes available timers for various events in the boss fight / battleground. For example in Karazhan, Maiden of Virtue has an ability called repentence which stuns all ranged party members including healers for a significant amount of time. DBM provides a timer for this, along with warnings of when it is likely to happen. For the Shade of Aran fight there are timers and announcements for the blizzard, flame wreath and arcane explosion effects.
In a battleground such as Alterac Valley, towers need to be held for 4 minutes to be captured. DBM provides a timer for each tower, so you can decide whether to defend a tower you have captured, or if there is time and benefit in recapturing one of your own towers, or how long will be needed before the general can be attacked. Shift-clicking on the bars will output the time to go in battleground chat too.
Yes, the screenshot is me dead behind the timer. Remember kids, don’t move during flame wreath
Rather than having lots of separate bags, bagnon amalgamates your bags into one resizable grid. The same goes for your bank slots. I find this makes things much easier to manage and find things.
Pops up text to say when your long cooldown abilities are now able to be used again. I find this handy, but it doesn’t seem to be under active development now and has caused errors with other addons so I haven’t included a link.
Quartz is a casting bars replacement in its simplest form. The new cast bar includes an indicator of when the global cooldown (GCD) is over which helps when chain casting instant cast spells (e.g. renews). It also takes into account latency, so as soon as you’re into the red section of the bar you can start your next cast. Handy for maximising dps or hps. It also includes lots of other features such as timers for battleground entry, timers for the ability your target is casting (handy for knowing when fel flames is being cast on the Ogri’la banishing the demons daily I find), and timers for your focus. Quartz can be tricky to setup, but there is a WoW Insider intro guide and a WoW Insider Healer guide which may help to get started.
Don’t like the default WoW font? I don’t either. You can use a new font instead with this addon. I tend to use the Baar Sophia font that comes supplied with the addon.
The priest’s prayer of mending spell (aka the frisbee or abbreviated to PoM) is cast on a target, it then heals them when they take damage and bounces to another target, again healing / bouncing when they take damage. The spell can bounce up to 5 times. After the 1st bounce it can be difficult to know who has the frisbee, so mendwatch shows a bar for who it is currently with. Works great in 5 mans, but I’m still a bit confused with it in raids where there are 2 frisbees flying around, and even more so in battlegrounds, where it definately becomes ‘fire and forget’.
Priests are acutely concious of the ’5 second rule’. This refers to the 5 seconds after casting a spell where mana regeneration is lowered and principally based upon Mana per 5 second (MP5) gear. After 5 seconds without casting, spirit based mana regen kicks in which restores more mana. So in essence healers would rather spend less time healing and more time regenerating. RegenFu adds a bar that shouws when you are *inside* the 5 sec rule (using MP5 regen). You can then try and bunch your spells, e.g greater heal, renew, PoM on the tank and then settle down for hopefully a quiet few seconds of mana regen.
I’ve had this so long I can barely remember what it does. In summary, when you hover over an item – in the tooltip it adds extra information onto the item showing how the stats translate into other values e.g. increased crit chance etc. Only I can’t remember what it looked like before, so just trust me that it’s really quite informative
This could be part of the default UI now for all I know, or should be at the very least! When you hover over an item, as well as seeing the tooltip for the item, you also see the tooltip for the item you have equipped for the same slot – helpful for checking for gear updates. I’ll have to check if this has finally become part of the default UI and I can uninstall it. Another addon I find it difficult to play without. I can’t find a link to it, so it may be out of active development..
Back in the day(!), this was the first mod I would install following a patch. A lot of the functionality seems to be being subsumed into the default UI, or being done better by other more specialised addons, so I’m not sure how much I’d miss it if I turned it off (but still haven’t dared try yet!). Functionality I know that I still use includes buff-bar formatting and buff expiry countdowns, suggested level in the quest log for each quest and an option to move the chat entry bar to the top of the chat box. Functionality I no longer use includes bar movement (a simpler version of the functionality Bartender3 et al provide).
Nice simple one this – it changes the quest log, adding an extra pane for the quest text making the quests easier to browse and read. It can be used with an addon like LightHead which provides details about the quest from WoWHead or Thott. I don’t use LightHead, as I prefer to make quests difficult for myself BRK has a quick summary of DoubleWide and Lighthead to explain what I mean.
Has to be mentioned – scan the auction house to get the average prices that items are currently listed for. Do this over several days and you get a good view of average listing prices and you can then use this info when setting your own prices. Shows typical prices in the tooltip when you hover over an item too. It now comes in two flavours, classic and advanced. I haven’t had time to get used to the advanced version of auctioneer (and haven’t had much to sell recently!), so I’m not really familiar with this, but the classic version still helps a lot.
I’m in the process of changing from outfitter to another to be decided addon. The principle holds though. You need different outfits for different occasions: PVP is very different gear to raiding. Druids need different gear depending on form. Different raid fights have different needs – I need +hit gear for Moroes to avoid shackle breakage and higher stamina for Shade of Aran. Then there’s city gear for simply wandering about looking cool. These addons allow you to save different sets of gear and select them with a single click. You can even swap in weapons mid combat which can be helpful. Why this isn’t part of the default UI I have no idea.
There are probably more that I’ve missed, but I’ll come back and add them as I think of them…