Archives for March 2008

The Carnage Voice Environment

I got a laugh from reading a post coutesy of Kulrayk (or Aylii) about Ventrilo environments and how they might be different. Although she does post a great question that I should go out of my way to look up. I really have no idea what the average age of the Guild is. Kulrayk has been a guest on my Guilds vent at my request. I figured she might be interested in learning about how Carnage operates during raids, and here are some of her conclusions:

  • Carnage had longer periods of rated X talk than my guild. This leads me to believe that the average age of members on carnage are lower than of those in Echoes.
  • Accents. Most of my guildies are east coasters. carnage seems to have an abundance for west coasters, and surprisingly enough, many live here in Southern California!
  • There is more talk of PvP-QQ on Carnage, which once again leads me to believe that the members are younger.

But I can say most of us (with the exception of Netherscrub ^^) are past high school. I love it. I can’t wait until she hits 70. She’d fit in well, I figure =).

Are we Wasting Time?

Are we Wasting Time?

Image courtesy of rrss
First, I have a story to share for the sake of context.

One Raid

The other day, I assembled a a Guild Zul’Aman run. The goal is to keep a consistent ZA group that would run once a week in the hopes of eventually gelling together and running ZA with relative ease on a raiding off night without the displeasure of having to pug ZA groups. As usual, the group was built around a Prot Paladin and a Druid as well as the other miscellaneous classes that would be needed.

One Player

A DPS player from my Guild was interested in coming. Let’s call him Bruce. The only boss he needed was Zul’Jin and he really wanted the kill so he could get his weapon. I never really had a high opinion of this player in the first place but I didn’t care all that much about it. I just wanted to get the job done. He wanted to know whether or not this run would be a full clear. I told him that I could not guarantee a full Zul’Jin run. While my team scoffed at the idea, I exercised caution as there was still a few players who were new to the instance. I myself was rusty in Zul’Aman. Sure enough, we ran into a few bumps along the way. We started at approximately 8 PM and brute forced our way to Zul’Jin at 11 PM. The instance was slated to reset in 8 hours so we would not have the benefit of an extra day to come back.

We took 3 or so shots on him and managed to blow by phase 3 with relative ease. Unfortunately, we couldn’t follow up on our momentum and finish him off. We had a few EST players and it was getting late for them. As a result, we killed the raid and disbanded the raid.

Bruce wanted another attempt otherwise all of the efforts up to this point would have been for naught.

One Remark

A week later, the same core of us decide to go back in again. In Guild chat, Bruce stated that he’d like to go again but felt that the previous attempt was a waste of his time and hoped to be able to kill Zul’Jin again.

And that really struck a chord with me.

After all, Bruce only wants a weapon off of Zul’Jin. And if our little motley crew can’t kill him consistently enough, then that little remark implies that he would only be wasting his time by running with us. That is absolutely fine with me. I don’t really care much for the guy. If our Guild was a hockey team, he’d be a 4th line player and would see 6 minutes of ice time in a 60 minute game. As a result, I’ve no intention of taking Bruce into any kind of runs I do ever again because I’m afraid that it would simply be a waste of his time.

And I don’t like to waste people’s time.

Oh right. Warsong.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

5 Barriers of a Raid Healer – Part 3: Tunnel Vision

5 Barriers of a Raid Healer – Part 3: Tunnel Vision

Image courtesy of liquid008

Each Saturday for the next five weeks, I will be writing about one barrier of the raid healer. Healers are often overshadowed and looked over since we are expected to simply know what to do. With luck, this five part series will help you to become a better raid healer whether you are a varsity or a freshman.

So far, I have covered:

Barrier 3: Tunnel Vision

“Focus is a matter of deciding what things you’re not going to do.”
John Carmack

Even the best healers suffer from tunnel vision. Their eyes are deeply glued to the raid windows and often miss a Doomfire heading towards them (or a Spout). As healers, we are often frozen in place due to our responsibility as combat medics. Unlike our leafy limbed brethren, Shamans, Paladins, and Priests need to stay still in order to get their spells off. As a result, us healers spend precious seconds having to heal in a stationary position knowing we could go at any moment if we concentrate too much on the raid.


Every raider has a responsibility to stay alive. Just because we healers have methods to bring our health back up, doesn’t mean it’s the best way. Moving 3 steps right and 2 steps up can save precious mana and our own e-lives.

Just last night, I participated in a Zul’Aman run which went relatively smooth. We suffered 2 under 10% wipes on Zul’Jin. In fact, we went into Phase 5 with all 10 players alive. But alas, we wiped due to those flame geyser things. I died to them twice and I make no excuse for my own failings. I guess the blogging God saw it ironic that I would be writing about tunnel vision and decided to collaborate with the raid God to screw me over. On my part, there is absolutely no excuse. If I’m going to die, then I will die for reasons beyond my control. Total and utter shame on me. A lot of players will play the blame game because no one wants to take responsibility for it.

Not me. I screwed up, I know why, and I’m going to not make that mistake again.

Except I did *faceplant*. I wonder if there’s something in the DSM about that.


When (and I do mean when and not if) you get past the Karazhans and the Gruuls and start your trek into the SSC’s and the TK’s, the encounters get much more interesting. All the practices from “cave ins” and “shatters” should be a good start for build your situational awareness. Here’s a few extra tips and exercises that I do:

  • Maximize white space. White space is a term I use to refer to blank space or open areas. Unlike some tanks and DPS classes, we need to have our raid frames open at all times. This contributes to the clutter on our screen. One way to maximize white space is to reduce your UI scale. This can be done in your options -> video settings. If you’ve got the dough, opt for a bigger monitor. I raid on a 22″ monitor with the frames neatly tucked into the side. You can see various shots of my UI here.
  • Minimize down time. I don’t mean downtime in a in between trash pull setting. I mean downtime as in lapse of actions. Always be doing something whether it’s moving, trinketing, or something. Don’t simply stand there. Action is almost always better than inaction and it will help train you to become faster. I like to randomly move back and forth and side to side during raids where I’m allowed. Sometimes you have to in order to keep up with your tanks and it’s a good skill to pick up. When you’re moving, you need to concentrate on what’s immediately around you, therefore you need to switch from your frames to your windows. Eventually, you’ll develop a practice where you just “know” where you are in relation to the things and players around you. Your movements will no longer be random, they’ll be focus and fluid. Every keystroke, every step, every screen swivel will have a purpose. Playing RTS games help. Not only do you need to command your units in the field, you have to manage your economy and unit production simultaneously. I used to be decent at Command and Conquer (NOD) but then they nerfed tanks which completely wrecked my Crane -> Double Refinery (sell 1) -> Plant/Factory -> Factory/Refinery -> 8 tank rush -> WIN strat. While my units were moving towards the opposition base, I made sure every credit was being spent on upgrades, more factories, or more tanks (no such thing as too few tanks). Call it time management, if you will. Same thing in WoW. Boss fights are typically ten minutes. WoW isn’t just about resource (mana) management, it’s also about time management.
  • Work on your peripheral vision. When I was younger, I had a fascination with espionage practice and spying. One of the little exercises they had helped increase your ability to use your peripheral vision. The next time you’re walking home, try looking straight ahead and see if you can read house numbers without turning towards it. If you think you have it, check to see if you’re correct. I believe the reasoning was so that intelligence agents could observe their subjects without their subjects knowing they were being observed (He can’t be looking at me, so I must be safe). In WoW, having excellent peripheral vision can help increase your chance of survivability because out of the corner of your eye you can see that jet of water heading your way or some curled up flaming turkey from the sky.

Other Resources

Ego wrote an excellent piece a little over a month ago on a concept she referred to as tiered healing. It’s a great read and it offers a bit more of a detailed process in regards to prioritizing healing targets. As a Priest, I’m not as good as a Paladin for MT healing or a Shaman for raid healing. But I can switch between the 2 as needed at any time in case we get a man down.

20 Questions with Temerity-Jane

20 Questions with Temerity-Jane

Every week, Matt gets a chance to sit down with a WoW Blogger chosen this week by Haris Pilton. Find out a little more about your favourite bloggers as he tries to get to know them a little more!

This week, TJ of her self titled blog Temerity-Jane dot com somehow miraculously found enough time to answer a few questions.

So how did come into being anyway and what motivated you behind it?

I’ve been blogging on and off for about 10 years now – the first site was one of those site builder AOL jobbers back in 1998 or something, followed by pitas, livejournal, and eventually a self-hosted site. I kept up with the self-hosted site for a long time, until the demands of writing, responding to comments, answering emails, IMs, and even hate mail, just became way too much and I quit in a fit of rage. Ok, actually I just stopped writing it. Between my last self-hosted site and this one, I still found myself blogging – on my myspace page, or even just emails to friends, and when the whole graduating college-getting a job-becoming a real live adult thing had settled, I figured, "Well, I guess I might as well do this again." I never really stopped, through the whole 10 years. Even at points where I didn’t have a blog online, there are notebooks full of stuff that I wrote – and oddly, none of it is personal – I mean like, personal diary entries about my feelings. (Haha, feelings.) Even when I was writing stuff that only I would see, I would write like I was trying to amuse someone. Why waste me on just me! Seriously, though, I have mentioned once or twice on my own site that I have a disorder, and because of that, I find it a lot easier to communicate through text than I do in my day to day real live life, and blogging, for me, is mostly selfish. It’s kind of a validation that I can be interesting, smart and funny, when I don’t really feel like I come off that way at all on a day to day basis.


Think the Druids are going to be mad at you for killing so many trees?

I’ve been trying to lay low in Aetherial Circle, otherwise known as "Druidial Circle." A raid in our guild is not complete unless it’s 42% druid. Now I’m probably going to have nightmares of being beaten to death by the limbs of a heard of trees, like those mean ones in the Wizard of Oz, remember those?

Which came first in terms of WoW? BRK or TJ?

In terms of WoW? I believe I’ve been playing longer than BRK, but his blog has existed longer than has existed.

Speaking of WoW, what’s a clear officeholic like you playing that highly addicting game anyway?

A few years ago, in the fall of 2005, I got really sick. Not like, the flu – I mean really, long term, in bad shape overall kind of sick. Even when I started to recover, I was too tired to leave my house and dealing with bad pain in my legs that made it so that once I got up to my attic bedroom (where I lived with my cats, no joke), I wasn’t coming back down until I had to. So, for the most part, I was pretty much homebound for a few months there. I’m not a hugely social person in general, but anyone will go a little nuts confined to their home long term. I was playing a lot of StarCraft at the time, but the people I played with weren’t always available – mostly college students who had to do crap like "class" and "studying" and "drinking lots of beer" and couldn’t always be around to keep me entertained. Someone suggested World of Warcraft as an alternative to keep me busy until I was up and about again, and said "But look out, it’s addictive." I rolled my eyes like, "Yeah, right," – like anything was going to take me away from my StarCraft addiction. I did pick up the game, though, and installed it on a Saturday afternoon, and the next time I looked up, it was dark. Whoops. Guess they were right, huh?

What is the history of the demonic ponytail? Has it been holy at one point?

The demonic ponytail is actually a Fio creation. We were chatting on gtalk one day, and, having seen the Mr. T commercial and been unreasonably tickled by it, I demanded Fio make a guild rank, just for me – Night Elf Mohawk. Fio, being the reasonable and logical type, said, "But you’re neither a night elf, nor a mohawk." NOT THE POINT, I told him, and continued to insist. Must be NIGHT ELF MOHAWK! "Human afro?," he suggested? NO! MOHAWK! "Demonic ponytail?" "NO! It– oooh! Demonic ponytail! YESSSS!"

Ever thought about writing a book?

Kakalaki asked me the same question a couple of days ago, to which I replied "Ha!" No, not at all. What would I even write about? And could anyone really tolerate me for a few hundred pages? Highly unlikely.

You mentioned to me earlier that you were entering a temporary hiatus from WoW due to work issues. Any plans on when you will be returning to Azeroth and the Outlands?

Work is keeping me pretty busy. It’s not even that the hours have been so long this year, thanks to some great part time help (not including Saturdays and the occasional Sundays) but the pace is so stepped up and the stress is running so high that I’m just exhausted all the time when I get home. My main, a 70 lock that I had been raiding with, has pretty much been shelved for the time being. I just can’t muster up the energy I need to not only last a whole raid, but actually, you know, contribute. However, I haven’t been completely absent from WoW – I picked up work on my priest alt, he just hit 61. Leveling is all right – I can log in and play for a couple of hours, or for 15 minutes if I’m just too worn out. I’ve also been playing with the Pox Arcanum people, though my schedule has lead to me dipping out on them twice in a row now and I feel like a total buttface. But that’s also been a lot of fun and a pretty cool experiment, and I’ve enjoyed a couple of hours with them here and there as we plan it. As far as raiding goes, you can see from the blogs of Doom, BRK, Brigin and more that AC has been plowing through the bosses, and I’ve not been there. My main is also sorely lacking in badges for any kind of badgey gear, so I’m just falling behind and falling behind. Busy season is over in a month, and after that, I’ll have to see where the guild stands and where my toon stands to know what’s going to happen from that point on.

Have you thought about taking any pre-emptive measures to minimize meeting random guys in traffic intersections from happening? I hear the KGB has some great tips like randomizing your route to work.

Just moments ago, Doom was helping me with knife shopping. It’s not that I think that this particular guy is a threat of any kind – he’s probably just an overly friendly guy. The thing is, these overly friendly guys don’t realize how they come off to women sometimes – if I’m alone in my car, or in a parking lot, or any place that’s not bright with lots of people around, I’m generally going to be really on guard if approached by someone. I don’t know if all women are like that, but I’m willing to bet that I’m not totally alone in that. I know the Guy in Car story is funny, I wouldn’t have told it if it wasn’t, but the truth is, I certainly didn’t enjoy the whole experience and do plan on buying a sharp object of some kind – not to defend against this specific guy, as I said, but because this kind of stuff – that is, being approached by strangers when I’m alone – happens to me and a lot of women on a reasonably regular basis. Certainly a lot more than I’d like, anyway. I don’t plan to stab anyone, but the whole Guy in Car thing made me realize I’d like to invest in a little more personal security, if you get my drift.

tj-1Several weeks ago, you suffered an attack upon your very own principles. It appeared that your belief in Pirates over Ninjas was beginning to waiver. What has transpired since then? Are you still wrestling with your own inner demons about them?

You know, I’ve really tried to be alone with my thoughts on this matter, after broadcasting my internal dilemma for the whole internet to chime in on. I still feel I strongly identify with pirates. I don’t feel as close to ninjas. However, looking at the two, pirates are starting to look less and less badass to me, and more like drunk crusty old men, whereas ninjas are the ultimate in badass. Not being very badass myself, you can see how I would be a bit intimidated by the ninja crowd. The allure is strong, though. 

I made the mistake of once asking this to BBB several weeks ago. Seeing as you’re not in the military, I think I’m in the clear this time around. Might you have a favourite WoW or a story involving BRK that no one knows about?

A favorite WoW story or a story involving BRK that no one knows about… well, my WoW life is, for the most part, pretty uneventful. As far as stories involving BRK, the only ones I can think of involve me shrieking "AND YOU CAN’T PUT THIS ON YOUR BLOG!" at the end. So I’m certainly not going to get into those.

Speed Questions

Hilary or Obama?

Heh. No comment.

Favourite drink:

Diet anything. Except Diet Dr. Pepper. Tastes too much like regular Dr. Pepper. Which I do like. But I want my diet soda to taste like diet soda.

Favourite WoW encounter:

I have a love/hate relationship with Molten Core, since the best times I had in the game were there, but gaaaah Molten Core. I did like the Magmadar fight quite a bit though, and the Baron was just a good time. I like any encounter that makes me feel confident, like I can handle it. Right now, I would say the Black Morass event right now. It’s so orderly.

When stressed, you ___:

Cling to routine.

If you could have ONE of your in game class abilities in real life what would it be and why?

The ability to summon minions. They don’t have to shoot fire at anyone, or chop someone up with their big axe. Maybe just fetch me a diet soda every now and then as needed.

tj-3 Sports? Hobbies?

I don’t play any sports, but I like to watch baseball and hockey. As for hobbies, is reading a hobby? I do a lot of that. And I work. I don’t know if work is a hobby, but if I tell myself it is, I don’t feel so soul-crushed after a 12 hour day. I also like to play poker. I am a better poker player than I have any right to be since, technically – by the book, considering odds and chances and risks and such – I suck. I’m bad. I make bad moves, risky moves, overly conservative moves, based on nothing but the whim of the moment. And I win more than I lose. 

Top 3 TV Shows

House, seaQuest DSV and… I honestly don’t watch TV much right now. I catch some episodes of things online when I remember to, and just watched all the episodes of MacGyver, Due South, Bones and Scrubs over the last few months. As far as current TV shows, I’m sadly out of the loop. And I’m not one of those snobby pseudo-intellectual types that likes to talk about how they don’t watch TV by inserting it into conversation at every possible opportunity – I love TV. I would marry TV. I am obsessed with TV. To dangerous levels, even. But I’m also lazy, as is my roommate, and we never hooked the TV in my bedroom to the cable. 

As a veteran blogger, can you share some blogging tips and ideas?

I really wish a lot of bloggers, in the WoW type area especially, would be more aware of what is being written around them. The WoW blog thing has really exploded lately, and it’s a pretty saturated market. When patch notes are released, I can pretty much bet on the fact that my feed reader is going to fill up with people posting the patch notes. Over and over and over. Thing is, you’ve got to look at what other blogs out there are doing – the bigger, more established ones for each class or niche are most likely going to write about these patch notes as well – a site you probably even read. Why would you duplicate that? I wish more bloggers would realize that the reason they’re not getting as many hits as they want, the reason they’re not getting the feedback they’d like to see, is because someone is already doing exactly what you’re doing and they have been doing it longer, and possibly better. In a subject area like WoW-blogs, you’ve really got to do SOMEthing to set yourself apart. The day to day leveling and questing experiences in WoW aren’t that interesting since we all do them, but Ratshag manages to make it interesting. That kind of thing – intentionally or not, most times you’re just copying the same information that’s going around and around and around. If you can’t say anything new, at least say it differently.


Most ridiculous fantasy ever:

Isn’t this a family blog? Aside from the usual connotations when someone asks about a fantasy, I mostly think about normal people things. Winning the lottery, maybe. And even then, my fantasies don’t get wild – I’d pay off my student loans, send my brother to college to cut my parents a break. I’m even boring in my own wildest dreams.

You were once a student. Any tips for Matt on successful time management? Or pulling all nighters. One of the two. Or both.

1. Honest and realistic priorities – for example, it’s nice to say "school work comes first, always and forever, amen" but for a WoW player, it’s not necessarily honest or realistic.
2. Don’t pull all nighters. It always ends badly. Develop good sleep habits and everything comes easier.
3. Schedule your days down to the minute until you develop a more natural habit and routine and can loosen up a bit.

Shout outs to:

All my jackals, who I am hoping will count this as a post from me for the day.

TJ’s Blog: Although it’s not entirely WoW related, she has a sharp yet entertaining wit all the same. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Black Temple Fun – The Supremus Lottery Game

Is your Supremus raid getting stagnant and boring? Are you one shotting it like crazy since there’s no challenge? Why not liven it up a bit with a lottery system?

Credit goes to the goons at the Blue Moon guild for this idea.

The Premise: Picking whoever dies during Supremus’ Volcano Phase (phase 2)

Buy in: Whatever amount you want (5G’s a nice number)

The Rules: Set one arbitrary player that everyone in the Guild knows and trusts. This is all based on the honor system. He’s going to be in charge of the gold and the picks. Let’s call him the master.

Before first pull, everyone who wants in whispers the master who they think will be the first person to die on Supremus and gives the master the 5g.

For the picks to be valid, the boss has to die. Everyone should be trying their best to live and survive. No one should be "rigging" the match, so to speak. We had an instance today where a Paladin bubbled, and Supremus went onto our mage who promptly died (for some puzzling reason no one picked him). That’s considered fair game because the Pally had to do what was necessary to survive. The mage, unfortunately died (unfortunate because I didn’t have him as a pick).

Remember deaths only count during volcanoes.

After Supremus is dead, winner takes all. If there’s multiple winners, then the winnings are divided.

In the event no one dies or if the players picked did not die, the gold should be rolled over to next week to further increase the pot.

Kind Words

I just finished having lunch at Mcdonalds (and as a consequence, I’m eating nothing but salad next week). It’s a typical cloudy day over “beautiful British Columbia”. As I’m boarding the bus that goes to the Skytrain to school, I came face to face with the most haughtiest bus driver ever. He had a scowl on his face that, I swear, must have been chiseled there from birth.

He reminds me of Drew’s boss on the Drew Carey show (Nigel was his name, I think).

Anyways, my initial impression of him was correct. We’re heading down the hill towards the last stop before the train, and there’s a gentleman standing at the stop waiting to get picked up.

“For Christ’s sake, it’s only a 2 block walk!” I hear him mutter (over Andrea Bocelli on my iPod).

I was a little taken aback at first. The gentleman boards the bus, flashes his pass, and heads toward the rear. The doors close, and the drive just floors it hoping to beat the light.

It was a useless gesture as he was not able to make it before it turned amber and then red. He flung his arms up and cursed in disgust. Sounds like someone’s having a bad day.

As we pull up to the terminal, I head towards the front of the bus because I wanted to say something to the guy before I stepped off. He turns towards me with a look that would make a tiger cower and I look at him square in the eye.

“Thank you! Have a good day!”, I tell him.

He stares at me for a moment before his face breaks into a grin.

“You too, son. Have a great day!”

I step off the bus and head for the platform pondering at this remarkable shift in attitude.

My All Star Healing Team

During a raid, your QB has the mammoth task of figuring out which classes should go where. Often times, I find myself parted from a Shadow Priest or a Resto Shaman in order to increase the longevity of other DPS classes.

It’s like a big void within me suddenly appeared.

If I was the raid leader, and I didn’t give a crap about the DPS or the tanks or what not, I would structure *MY* healing group to look something like this.

Resto Shaman

What they bring to the table: Lots of totems. If you’re Alliance, you get space totems. Having a Resto Shaman in your group means Mana Tide, Mana Spring, Wrath of Air, and that funky Draenei Mana Regen racial thingy DRAeNEI MANA REGEN RACIAL IS ONLY FOR PRIESTS! FIRED!

What others miss out on: No windfury for the Rogues or Warriors. There’s only one Shaman out of 25 players, and they’re mine!

Shadow Priest

What they bring to the table: Not only do they consistently regenerate your groups heath but they regenerate your groups mana.

What others miss out on: Sorry Warlocks, looks like you’re not getting increased shadow damage this time. If I get the health and mana regen, it means YOU aren’t getting the mana regen (Completely forgot, MK thanks).

Holy Paladin

What they bring to the table: Auras for just about any situation you can think of. Most of the time, it will be concentration aura so we don’t lose cast time during annoying attacks.

What others miss out on: The tank doesn’t really NEED Fire Resist aura does he?

Resto Druid

What they bring to the table: The tree aura is nice to have around. It’s good to know that their innervate’s are close by ready to be blown in case us Priests need it.

What others miss out on: Oh right, the tank would probably benefit more from tree form then I would. Too bad. Hey, my ship!

If I were leading the raid, I would screw over other classes completely. To hell with group optimization. We all have our dreams. Blori would probably tell me to wake up because he would never part with a Shaman in the melee group. But alas, that’s why I’m just a measly grunt and not a lead.

And You Thought Your Guild Had Drama

There’s generally two kinds of drama that Guilds go through. There’s loot related drama (oh my god, I really wanted this item but she got it *cry*) and then there’s personal drama (oh my god, why doesn’t she talk to me anymore after I farmed her my epic mount *wrists*).

Death and Taxes, one of the top US Guilds in the world, shared their latest drama story and it’s a doozy (I certainly think so!). Note that the front page itself is safe for work but clicking on the post link itself on top is NSFW. Here’s a brief excerpt.

Time went on-about a year-and all of the sudden "Chobo" and Miyavi started having some relationship troubles. Miyavi decided it was time to sleep around some, in California, with one of the gentlemen she is friends with, and "Chobo" decided on Feb. 14th, 2008 that it would be time to end things. So, Miyavi was distraught…  …She decided, after some internal reflection, that the only viable thing to do was to find someone vulnerable in "Chobo’s" guild and to use them to get back at him.

Enter Korrupted, a guild member from DnT. He was having some shit at home in Arizona and decided that his about year+ of hitting on Miyavi would finally pay off. He started laying it on thick, and Miyavi saw an opportunity. She decided to fly Korrupted out and let him live with her. Around the beginning of March Korrupted arrives and promptly sleeps with Miyavi–less than a month after she cheated and then got dumped by her boyfriend.

Wa Wa Wee Wa! First class epic drama right there! I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never really been a part of any serious drama issues in any of my Guilds. They’ve either occurred before or after I’m in the guild.

EDIT: Looks like the story got taken down from the front page. I believe it’s still somewhere in their forums, however.

Extreme Makeover – Matt’s UI: Part 2 (Addons that I use)

Extreme Makeover – Matt’s UI: Part 2 (Addons that I use)

Here’s the before post of my UI when I was in the process of tearing it down entirely. This is the after post of my UI in various stages throughout one of Sunday’s raids.

Clicking on the image takes you full screen. While you’re there, proceed to laugh at the 2 melee that died.

I’m extremely happy and satisfied with the way it looks now. Before I had to drag my eyes all over the screen to get information I needed. I sat down last week and spent a good, solid 3 hours asking for some advice from the lads in the BA Chatroom. Some of the modifications will be the same. But there are some brand new elements. I designed my interface with the goal of having important information towards the center of the screen because that’s where my eyes will be concentrated a majority of the time. All files are linked to either Curse Gaming or WoW Ace.

The Meat and Potatoes

matt-ui5 Here’s a cropped action shot of the force in Black Temple taking out the trash.

Metahud: I was inspired by Top Gun for this one. Instead of using the normal boxy frames to display my health and targets, I opted to use something called a HuD (Heads up Display). It has a nice graphical representation of my target’s health, my health, my target’s power bar (mana, energy, rage), and my mana. My information’s on the inner circle and my target’s are on the outer circle. Not only that, but it shows me the hard numbers of a person’s health and their percentage. On the top right, you can see the cast time remaining on a spell (Greater Heal which I just finished casting). Notice that I have an Ashtongue Primalist targetted (bad guy).

Metahud displays me the approximate range to that target (9 – 28 yards). It also tells me who it has targetted (Lang, our MT). I moved Pitbull’s Target of Target bars to the bottom right for the sake of contrast and easy selection (until I figure out how to change those colors).

DoTimer: Knowing when your cooldowns are up is integral to any healer as it allows us to time our trinket use and other "long CD" spells. I moved my cooldown window to the center of the screen below my HuD. In this case, by being aware of when Prayer of Mending is up, I can get ready to activate that on Lang instead of dropping a Greater Heal. Knowing your Cooldowns allows you to mentally adjust your spell process on the fly without having to constantly guess to see if you can cast a spell or not.

ScrollingCombatText: At the top, you can see the amount of mana I’m getting back. I believe it’s mana spring totem. I moved SCT above the HuD and set the transparency to 50%. Not only mana, but it displays other important information like health gain or damage done to and so forth.

NaturEnemyCastBar: I still like NECB. It tracks the cooldowns of other people around me. Never again will you have to ask when banish is up. I repositioned it slightly from where it was in the shot above. It’s now located towards the middle of the screen and is flush against the power bars on the right.

Elkano’s Buff Bars: Far right side. I like it better then the default Blizzard one. It shows me both buffs and debuffs and the time remaining.

Pitbull Unit Frames: Yes, I know a lot of people pressured me suggested to use Grid. It’s a lightweight raid frame, I got it. But I’m already married to Pitbull! I have this set up on the left side along with my own frame and my target’s frame right below. It’s slightly larger then the raid frames above (Refer to the first shot). The reason why I wanted two of them is so that there’s less eye movement for me to do. If I’m focusing on raid healing, I still have my target up on the left side. If I’m focused on tank healing, I can keep my eyes glued to the center. Each portion of the screen is set up for a different purpose. Also interfaces with Prat =).

Deadly Boss Mods: Raid requirement. Either use that or Bigwigs. But either way, it’s a must for raiding. I placed mine at the top with full opacity above SCT.

Quartz: It’s a graphical bar that shows cast times and stuff which adjusts for latency.

Visualheal: Displays in a bar the approximate amount of health they will gain when factoring in your heal so you can visually see it (hence the name?).

Bottom of the Barrel

Poison elementals are serious business. We made our Druid tank shift out and cleanse. 

My chat windows and other secondary information is located at the bottom of the screen. From left to right, it’s combat text/general chat, Omen, Bars, Recount, chat windows 1, and Guild/raid/healer chat.

Prat: It came highly recommended as thee chat frame of choice. Shows timestamp, colors the player name according to class, level, group number of person, and more importantly no annoying overlapping scroll arrows!

Big Brother: Raid Leaders – This is a must for you guys. Found out who broke that sheep! Also displays nifty stuff like flasked players, buffs that may or may not be missing, etc, etc.

Omen: The standard in threat meters now. Don’t enter a raid without it. You can have it minimized as long as it’s transmitting. Although 9 times out of 10 it won’t matter for healers, it’s still nice to have around.

Bongos2: I use Bongos2 for my bars. I shrank it as small as I could since I’ve mapped every option to a key at this point. Anything I need to click on is at the top anyway.

Recount: See previous post on this excellent measurement and raid diagnostic tool. Has meters for everything and you can output the information into raid. Warning: Can inflate ego.

Stuff you don’t see

All that stuff above was meant primarily for raiding and healing. Here’s all the addons that make other aspects of WoW a little easier to manage.

ATSW: It stands for Advance Trade Skills Window. I use it to keep track of and sort my various enchanting and tailoring recipes easily. Might be abandoning it soon due to lack of support. Exploring for some alternatives.

Cartographer: This handles my mapping functions. Shows my coordinates, and tracks herbs/mining nodes and the like.

 TipTac: This is a particularly useful addon. It’s a simple tooltip information window. In this case, all I did was mouse over Maeve and it displays information like his title, Guild, buffs, health, spec, and who else has him targetted. It sure as hell beats the default tooltip in the game.

Swatter: Do you have annoying UI error messages that seem to show up? I use Swatter mostly to debug the information and then close it afterwards. Doesn’t seem to be in active development as I can’t find a link.

XLoot: It’s a looting interface. It’s a simple remake of the default loot window.

XRS: It stands for X Raid Status. This raid leading addon echoes what buffs are missing from the raid. Make sure you have an A. Like Kilmster says, rain of fire is serious business. Full buffs should be granted before attempting to go into one.

Stinky Queue: Lets me group queue into Alterac Valley. Will be obsolete once 2.4 comes.

oRA2: I had to install this addon to please the brass. This is the Patriot Act for raid leaders. I give up my privacy so that I can raid. With it, they can see the durability of my armor, reagents, potions, underwear size and so on.

Itemrack: Lets me switch outfits with a click of a mouse button. I can go from suave and sophisticated to smooth and sexy in under a second. No more having to search through bags and equipping every piece of gear manually.

Caster Weapon Swapper: Automates the switching of weapons. I use it to manage my Spellsurge, mana regen, and healing staves. It switches them based on my mana pool and what I’m doing. I wrote a post about it a while ago.

Aloft: Replaces the default Blizzard name plates.

Atlasloot Enhanced: It’s a database of items obtainable from vendors and drops from bosses.

Proximo: If you plan on doing any kind of Arena PvP, you will want this addon. Helps you identify and coordinate your efforts on taking down players in PvP.

Class Specific

Serenity: It’s a priest specific addon, I believe. It just announces who I’m ressing and Shackling in chat.

Totemus: Similar to Serenity, Totemus is for my Resto. Shaman and shows me the time remaining on my totems.

Pally Power: This is a must have for any Paladin. Handles Blessings without you losing your mind.