Dear Blizzard: A Modest Healing UI Request

Dear Blizzard: A Modest Healing UI Request

The default healing UI in WoW has come a long way since Vanilla. One of my favourite additions is the bar they have that shows the impact of your healing done. If you look up, you can see that little green strip that shows how much health is going to be restored with your heal.

Let’s look at Discipline shields for a moment. With Spirit Shell turning into the 1 minute ability turning your heals into absorbs, it becomes even more important to show how much your Flash Heal or Greater Heal is going to absorb for.

Here’s the problem.

no-absorb-indicator

You can clearly see that I have Power Word: Shield on myself. It’s going to wear off in a few seconds. Naturally, I have full health but have no way of knowing how strong my shield is without breaking open my combat log. Then I’d have to look at the absorb value and mentally calculate that as a percentage of my overall health which then causes my head to hurt.

Bro, I am healing. There is no time for me to do that. I just want to know how much firepower my shield can fend off.

Here’s the potential solution.

absorb-indicator

Same screenshot as above. The only difference is that I darkened the right side of my health bar slightly. I didn’t put a colour to it or anything. Originally, that image had a yellow stripe going down but then I realized Rogue health bars and class colours were yellow. A colour that’s bright and stands out would be ideal.

White? Nope, that’s for Priests.

Pink? Paladins.

What about an overlay or a shadow over top of the health frames instead? The right side of my Priest health frames is darker which would show how much my shields would take. The absorb bar would go from right to left. There’s addons right now where absorb amounts extend past the frame to the side. That’s a solution but I don’t consider that elegant.

The problem with that is in a raid setting, if you put out large absorb numbers, then the absorb bar would go past the frame and it might visually impede you from healing the person in the next group over in your UI.

Drop a big absorb on Jeanine in group 1 and watch as you can’t target Nathaniel in group 2 because that absorb bar is covering up part of their health frame.

I haven’t thought of what the UI would look like if my health wasn’t at full. That paladin that’s above me is at around 50% health. If I put a shield on them, should that green healing strip be used? Or a different color? Won’t be able to use a transparent or darkening solution because then it becomes black bar on a black background.

Lightening up the background might work though. A brighter background stripe could serve to highlight the absorb amount.

Whatever the case, I’m just hoping they consider looking at quality of life visuals for any kind of shields or mitigation.

Say Hi to No Stock UI!

Say Hi to No Stock UI!

nsui

During the summer of 2007, I started World of Matticus. In the summer of 2008, I opened the PlusHeal discussion community for healers to take part and actively contribute their ideas for other players to learn from.

It is now spring of 2009.

Enter No Stock UI.

This will be a magazine style blog with a few notable bloggers around the community:

You can find out more about us if you’re interested! You’re also certainly welcome to contribute! We’re all UI enthusiasts at heart.

What’s the big idea?

No doubt some of you are wondering what’s the point in a UI blog. But some of the most passionate and heated blog posts stem from bloggers who write about their UI and different addons. Often times these useful posts are scattered, buried and tossed aside never to be read again.

Here at No Stock UI, our goal is to deliver compelling and quality content centering around your gaming experience. Topics will range from:

  • Addons
  • Macros
  • User Interface
  • Design
  • Reviews
  • Comparisons

To start with, the blog will be updated every Tuesday and Thursday. Hopefully we can pick up the pace as time goes on. Eventually, I’d like to see it get to the point where readers can get a new post everyday. One step at a time, right?

Our posts

  • 4 Popular Heads Up Displays
  • Why Aesthetics are Important
  • 6 Nifty Addons You Might Not Know About
  • 30+ FuBar Plugins You Can’t Live Without
  • Where to Find Your New UI
  • Killer Combinations: AuctionLite + Skillet + LilSparksWorks
  • In Depth Analysis with Recount

Hope you’ll enjoy reading our posts as much as we loved writing them!

A Guide to Mouseover Macros

A Guide to Mouseover Macros

mouseover

One of my buddies from Conquest, the resto-shamantastic Catrii, asked me a question this week about setting up mouseover macros. I thought the explanation might benefit the community as a whole, especially as many of us are cleaning up our UIs in an attempt to be faster and more accurate once Ulduar hits. Here’s a short guide to my preferred UI-altering technique: the mouseover macro.

Mouseover what?

A mouseover macro is a series of commands that lets you press a single button (on either your keyboard or your mouse) to heal the target that your mouse pointer is currently hovering over. It replaces tab or click targeting as a quick way to pick up heal targets. With the standard, unmodified interface, healing is a 3-step process: 1) decide who to heal, 2) left click to target her, and 3) click the spell on your action bar or press the keystroke bound to it. This is a very slow process that requires you to move your hand not once but twice. Mouseover macros let you target a player and cast a spell in just one movement. As a note, I’m using druid spells as examples in this post, but mouseover macros will work for any healer. Just substitute in your spells of choice!

Examples

To make a basic mouseover macro, go in your character-specific macros window and click “New.” You’ll be prompted to choose a name and an icon for your macro. I usually assign a two-letter code for the spell. For example, I use LB for Lifebloom and RJ for Rejuvenation. But you can call it pizza, and believe me, it won’t matter. After a while, your fingers will learn the key binding and you won’t need to look. I prefer to choose highly individual (and funny) icons for mine, but you can also duplicate the original spell icon, as I will explain below.
macros-interface

Once you have your name and icon, go into the dialog box and type your commands one per line. Each command line starts with a / just like when you type commands manually. I don’t personally mess with cast sequences, and I actually think it’s best if healers make each macro cast only one spell.

Here are a couple of simple examples for what you might put into a mouseover macro. As you can see, the name “mouseover macro” comes from the first line, the one that lets you target by hovering over a player’s health/information bar in your unit frames or the Blizzard default UI.

/target mouseover
/cast Lifebloom

/target mouseover
/cast Rejuvenation

If you want the Blizzard standard spell icon to display instead of using a new one of your choice, write your macro as shown below and choose the red question mark as your icon. The #showtooltip command will update that question mark to the default icon for that spell.

#showtooltip
/target mouseover
/cast Lifebloom

As per reader Llanion’s suggestion, if you would like to cast a spell on mouseover without switching your target (keeping your target set to the MT or the boss), write your macro as below:

/cast [target=mouseover] Lifebloom

Fellow blogger Keeva contributed another version, which you’ll see below. And if you haven’t been to Keeva’s blog, go now! Well, as soon as you finish reading my post, that is.

#showtooltip
/cast [target=mouseover,help] Lifebloom; [help] Lifebloom; Lifebloom

As per Keeva’s explanation, this macro means:

“If I have a mouseover target, cast Lifebloom on them
If I don’t have a mouseover target but I have a normal target, cast Lifebloom on them
if I don’t have a mouseover target or normal target, cast Lifebloom on me.”

These examples represent the very simplest incarnations of the macro, no frills. You can add lines to your macro if you’d like to, say, use a trinket with your spell.

Here’s a macro you might use to link up your Swiftmend spell with the effect from the Living Ice Crystals. Doing this is called “slaving” a trinket to a spell.

/target mouseover
/cast Swiftmend
/use Living Ice Crystals
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Don’t forget to put in the line to clear the error message! Otherwise you’ll get annoyed by red text and alarm sounds if you hit the macro when the trinket isn’t off cooldown. There is some debate about whether to slave a trinket with an on-use effect to another spell, but personally I’m all for it. Your trinket has a greater impact overall if you use it any time it’s up.

Ok, I wrote my macro–now what?

Here’s the tricky part — keybinding the macros to a particular position on your action bars. I keybind my macros to a position on the standard action bars as I don’t use mods like Bongos or Bartender. Follow these steps to bind a keystroke to a particular location on an action bar using the Blizzard default UI.

1. Press the escape key
2. Click on Keybindings

key-bindings

3. Scroll through the long list until you see the name of whichever action bar you are planning to populate with your mouseover macros. I favor Right Action Bar, as you can see below.

4. In the Key 1 column, click one of the red boxes. Once you’ve selected it, just press the key you want to bind to that place. You’ll see the results displayed on your interface, illustrated below.

key1-column

5. Once you’ve selected your new key codes, hit Okay. If you don’t, kiss your changes goodbye! Go ahead and laugh, but I’ve made this mistake many times.

hit-okay

6. Next, hit /macro to bring up your macros interface. Click and drag the icon for the desired macro onto your action bar. Match it to the space now labeled with the keystroke you want to assign to the spell.

drag-icon

Special Cases

Action bar mods like Bongos or Bartender generally have different names for action bars and you have to configure the keybindings from within their configuration menu. Chances are if you’re savvy enough to set them up in the first place, you’ll know how to configure the keybindings.

A gaming mouse also takes an extra level of configuration, and you’ll need to consult your mouse manual to figure out how to bind the extra mouse buttons to keystrokes. The software always comes standard with the mouse. On my Razer Death Adder mouse, I assign the special buttons to F9, F10 and F11. They now function just like keys.

Charting your key bindings

The point of this exercise is to set yourself up for comfort and speed. Here’s what I do. In addition to the mouse buttons, I always bind some keys I can easily reach on my left hand: 1,2,3,4, F, G, R, C, V. Sometimes I overwrite a function I actually use, like the command to toggle the character panel, and I make sure to bind it somewhere else on my keyboard. If you really never turn with the keyboard, A and D are available real estate as well. I recommend that you never, ever, ever bind Q or E: you will need to strafe some time or other. If you want to use Q or E, make sure you have strafe available somewhere else. The same applies to the space bar–don’t be caught on the ledge without a way to jump! I have smallish hands and a short reach, so 1,2,3, and T are a little far out for comfort. Somehow I can reach 4 really well…it’s a mystery. I have offensive spells on 1-3 and push-to-talk on T. I keep my mount on V on all characters for those quick getaways. Below is a chart of where I put the mouseover macros for my major heals.

Click wheel: Lifebloom
Additional mouse button 1 (thumb): Rejuvenation
Additional mouse button 2 (thumb): Swiftmend
F: Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Touch
G: Wild Growth
R: Regrowth
C: Nourish
4: Innervate

My key bindings are based on personal preference, and yours should be too. I have an approximately equal number of casts on the left hand and the right hand, and that helps reduce repetitive stress injuries. I made sure that I could easily reach my “best” spells and that they fit comfortably in my hand.

You can use your macros to modify your behavior and correct bad habits. Rejuvenation is the very easiest spell for me to reach–do you think I would have put Healing Touch there? I also use the letters to remind me if possible. I tried Wild Growth on F, but I kept wanting to hit G for Growth, so I just went with it. Muscle memory ensures that you will grow accustomed to your keybindings–wherever they are–with practice. The only trouble I ever have involves the click wheel. My best click wheel advice is to either stay away from binding the scroll up/scroll down function or to bind them to the same thing. If you can differentiate those two movements well, more power to you! As for me, I only bind the button press function. Even so, it can be awkward to Lifebloom while mouse turning, but I’ve gotten used to it (and I don’t spam LB as much as I did back in BC. In Hyjal, I had the click wheel AND F bound to Lifebloom). If you want a clean-looking interface, you can set up all your macros on one action bar (for example, RightActionBar) and then un-display it once you know the keybindings and clicks by heart. Your macros will work whether or not an icon actually displays on your screen.

What unit frames do I use mouseover macros with?

Mouseover macros pair really well with most unit frames. I’ve used them with both Grid and X-Perl. Pitbull works just as well from what I hear, but I’ve never tried it.

Are there mods that can set up mouseover macros for me?

Healbot supports them to the point that they’re pretty much built-in, and Clique is essentially a mouseover mod. I prefer my homegrown solution because it’s extremely customizable, and now that macros sync between computers, keeping them in shape is a cinch.

But what if you like the mouseover idea and want less set up? Try Healbot or unit frames + Clique. The one drawback to Clique is that it encourages you to do double key combos, as in Shift+right click for Rejuvenation. Any time you have to press two keys to hit a heal, you lose precious time. I know this quite well–I used to use Shift+F for Rejuvenation, with the result that I almost never cast it. Lifebloom (F) was a lot faster. Since then, I’ve gotten a 5-button mouse and I have all my heals bound to a single key or click.

Common Macro Mischief

Here’s a list of the mistakes I’ve seen some players make. Try to avoid them as you learn to play with mouseover macros!

1. Binding the left and right click of the mouse to a spell. Don’t do it. You still need to be able to target, inspect, invite, etc. Some unit frames (I think Healbot) let you use left and right click to heal when you’re hovering on the frames and return those clicks to their normal functions when you’re not mousing over health bars, but I wouldn’t try it without the mod. That’s a macro that’s too complicated for my taste.
2. Letting your macros do too much for you. As I’ve said, I don’t like cast sequence macros for healing. Healing will always be at least partly reactive, and you need to be fully in control of spell choice at all moments.
3. Combining two abilities that invoke the GCD in a single macro. You’ll have to hit it twice. I believe this is the case with castsequence macros as well–you have to click for every cast in the sequence.
4. Misunderstanding trinket cooldowns. If you slave two trinkets to a spell, it’s very likely that only one of them will go off at a time. They might share a cooldown, or there might be a hidden cooldown of 45s or so preventing you from blowing both at once.
5. Changing targets without meaning to. Make sure you’re in control of where your pointer is at all times. Mouseover macros work not only on unit frames but on the avatars themselves. You can use mouseover macros for what Matticus calls “heads-up healing,” but beware that you could also switch targets unintentionally. This is why mouseovers are dangerous for dps–they were more so in the age of crowd control.

Disclaimer

I’m no expert on mods or UIs. I try to play with the standard interface when I can because I like as little clutter as possible, and macros are part of that. If you want to learn more about UI building, I’ll refer you to Keeva’s Healbot v. Grid series. I’ve learned so much from her. There’s also a topic going at PlusHeal forums with more macros for other classes, including some that are more complex than the ones I’ve talked about here. Some of that information is outdated, so be sure you read the parts of the discussion pertinent to WoTLK. I’m also interested in hearing what the community has to add to my thoughts on mouseovers. If you have an idea or clarification, please post it in the comments and I’ll try to keep this little guide updated and corrected.

Introducing the LilUI Compilation

Introducing the LilUI Compilation

One of the most frequently commented upon UIs belonged to Lilitharien. After much prodding, persuasion and begging over Twitter, she graciously agreed to do a write up and explanation of her UI as a guest post due to the overwhelming amount of interest.

Last Tuesday Matticus posted 33 screenshots of Healing UIs he’s collected via the PlusHeal forums. Since then he’s gotten lot of messages about the featured UIs, including (but not limited to, I’m sure) questions about my own, and I’ve even gotten messages on the PlusHeal forums about it. And there was some speculation in the comments, too, about whether or not I am using SpartanUI (For the record, I am not!). Thus, I jokingly suggested to Matt that I could write an article about my UI… and he said go for it. So, here I am!

For the link to this entire addon compilation, click here.

I’m Lilitharien, I play on the Thorium Brotherhood server in the guild and I’m a Discipline Priest.

Layout

This is my UI, taken during a Kel’Thuzad fight last Thursday (click to enlarge):

raid25_KT

And here’s a breakdown I whipped up in Photoshop (click to enlarge):

ui-explained

Frames

Unitframes For my basic unitframes (myself, target, target’s target, focus target, pet, and pet’s target) I use Pitbull4. It’s configured to show debuffs in the center-most side of the frame and buffs on the outter-most side. I show a maximum of 4 debuffs and 8 buffs on these frames to save clutter, and I have it filtered to prioritize buffs/debuffs that are caused by me or that I can dispel. Health bars for players are colored by class, otherwise they’re colored by hostility: Red for hostile, yellow for neutral, green for friendly.

For my raid or party frames, I use Grid. Grid is a little complicated to set up, but absolutely amazing once you’ve got it tailored to your needs. I have a few addons I use along with Grid, and I indicate those in parenthesis next to their function. You can certainly find more to suit your specific class/spec.

My set-up is as follows:

Entire frame changes size depending on size of party or raid (GridAutoFrameSize), and grows up from the bottom. Health frames are colored by class.

  • First text line shows first 4 letters of player’s name.
  • Second text line (GridIndicatorText3) shows health deficit and also Readycheck status.
  • Third text line shows Feign Death, Death, or AFK status (GridStatusAFK}.
  • Mana, energy, rage or runic power bars (GridManaBars) are aligned to the bottom of the frame.
  • Border around frame is colored white to show my target, red to show Aggro, green to show Disease debuff, or purple to show Magical debuff. Bottom left indicator is red and shows Aggro.
  • Bottom right indicator is golden yellow and shows Prayer of Mending.
  • Top left indicator is white and shows Power Word: Shield.
  • Top right indicator is green and shows Renew.
  • Middle icon shows Weakened Soul debuff and remaining time on it (GridCooldownText).
  • Left side indicator (GridSideIndicators) is colored 3 different shades of blue to show Grace stack (GridStatusGrace).

There’s a dark blue, medium blue, and light blue.

Buffs/Debuffs

For my buff/debuff display, I use ElkBuffBars. Buffs display above debuffs, and everything grows down from the top. Debuffs are colored red to make them easier to see.

Castbar

For my castbar I use Quartz. I’ve customized my bar to be hot pink (only because I like the color but, really, you can choose any color you like!) and to show total cast time, remaining cast time, latency/lag in red, name of spell and who I’m casting it on. It looks something like this:

[Name of Spell --> Target time-remaining/total-cast-time]

I have it set this way because I use Clique to click-cast raid targets, and this allows me to see where my heal is going (if it’s different from my current target) and when exactly I can click or use a hotkey to start casting my next spell. Being able to see the latency/lag in your cast time is very, very important as a healer!

Bars

Actionbars For my action bars I use a combination of Dominos and ButtonFacade. I’ve paired all my healing spells on one side of my screen (the left, between my chat box and minimap) and all my offensive/misc spells on the other side. I have all my buffs in a bar that’s hidden, and my mana potion, healthstone, and out-of-combat food has it’s own vertical bar on the right-most side of my screen. Every single one of my spells (along with my mana potions and healthstones!) are hotkeyed to something on the keyboard. In addition, some spells are assigned to mouse clicks via Clique, which I have configured to only work on my Grid frame. My minibar is situated underneath my minimap. I also have OmniCC installed to show the remaining cooldown time on my spells and DrDamage to show the average amount of healing or damage on each spell so I can make split-second choices at a glance without having to do the math myself. The current ButtonFacade skin I’m using is Apathy, but I’ve used Serenity in the past.

Minimap

My minimap is placed in the bottom-center of my screen and is configured via Chinchilla. I have it set to not show anything but the north indicator, calendar, and search bubble at all times. When I have mail, the mail button appears above my calendar button. When I PVP, the battleground button appears on the left-bottom side of the map. Current coordinates appear on the bottom of the map, above the minibar. To keep my minimap free from the clutter of all those little buttons from addons, I use MBB, or “Minimap Button Bag.” This appears as the little purplish button on the top-right of my minimap. When I click on it, it expands all my minimap buttons above it in a row.

Chatbox

My chatbox is situated on the bottom left of my screen, and the only addon I use for it is Prat 3. This colors all players names by class (you’re probably noticing that I love having things colored by class), adds a time stamp to everything and allows me to shorten my channel names. I also hide the chatbox buttons and enabled mouse scrolling. There’s a ton more you can do with it, but this is all I need. For whispers I use WIM, or “WoW Instant Messenger.” This pops up all my whispers in separate IM-like windows, which helps me keep track of all my conversations. While I’m in combat, however, whispers won’t pop up. They’ll just appear in the chatbox as they normally would.

Rings

Some people put things like their tradeskills, mounts, and buff food on their action bars. I used to do this, too, but I find this take up sooooo much excess space. Instead I use an addon called OPie. OPie allows me to create “rings” of buttons that I can call up with keybindings (or mouse clicks!). I have my buff food in one ring, my mounts and hearthstone in another, and tradeskills in yet another. OPie also includes a ring for quest items, so I don’t have to go digging in my bags everytime I need to use one while doing dailies. (There’s also a ring for assigning raid targets, but as a healer I don’t use this one so much.) The ButtonFacade skin I use for this addon is DSMFade.

Tooltips

I use TipTac to reskin my tooltips and move the tooltip anchor. I have it set to show names and healthbars colored by class. (More coloring by class! I know! I like consistency.) For extra information, I rely on Informant and EnhTooltip (part of Auctioneer Advanced). They add item numbers, how much the item costs or sells for, how many in a stack, how many vendors sell it, etc. I also use Bagnon_Tooltips (part of Bagnon) which tells me which of my alts have the item, how much they have, and where it’s stored. Combat: Threat Meter A staple for any raider, my threat meter of choice is Omen. I have it placed on the bottom-right of my screen between my offensive/misc spells and my potion/healthstone/food bar. It shows the the name of the target it’s calculating threat for; the top 5 people, their threat number and percentage; and myself, so I can see exactly where I stand.

Scrolling Combat Text

I used to raid without one, but I hated going to back into my combat log to check things. I’d rather have the information on-hand, when it happens. Thus, I use MikScrollingBattleText. I have this split into 3 different parts. The center “box” displays buffs, debuffs, procs, and things like mana returns during combat; They appear in the center and scroll upward before disappearing. The left-side displays things that are happen to me, whether it’d be damage, healing, or otherwise, and who it is being done to me by. The right-side displays what I am doing; It shows heals, overheal, and damage alongside with the name of the target it’s being done to. Both the left and right sides scroll down and outward on a curve before disappearing. I really like this combat text mod, too, over the default one because it uses icons to indicate which spells are doing what. So, for instance, when I get mana returns from Rapture, I see the icon for my Rapture talent.

Boss/Fight Information

For boss timers and information, I use Deadly Boss Mods. For player statistics, I use Recount. I don’t believe further explanation is needed for either. Dispelling I use Decursive to inform me of any magical or disease debuffs that I can dispel. However, I don’t use the addon’s miniframes. Instead, I assigned my abolish disease and dispel magic spells to shift+right click and shift+left click, respecitively, using Clique. Thus, Decursive tells me who needs what removed, and I use my mouse keybinds on Grid to cast.

Loot/Gear

I use a few addons to help me with loot: EquipCompare, RatingBuster, and AtlasLoot. EquipCompare shows my currently equipped item next to whatever I’m hovering over, and RatingBuster does all the math for me; It calculates and displays health, mana, mana regen, spellpower, crit, haste, and hit gains or losses compared to what I have currently equipped. AtlasLoot allows me to check out which loot drops from which boss in-game. I also have InspectEquip, which adds the boss/instance an item comes from to the tool tip as well as displaying a list of where someone’s items have come from when I inspect them.

Making It Pretty

Textures/Art

I use a rather old addon called DiscordArt to position my graphical textures. The textures, as some people have noted, make it look like I’m using SpartanUI. In fact, I am not using SpartanUI at all! I found that UI buggy at best and crashing my game at worst. But, I still really liked the art used for the bottom of the screen. So, I downloaded SpartanUI and extracted the art from it. Then, I placed the art in-game using DiscordArt. It was really rather simple.

Information Panel

I use TitanPanel to display at-a-glance information at the top of my screen. This includes my location/coordinates, money, bag space, current loot type, fps/latency/memory usage, whispers, durability, current signed-in guild members (TitanGuild), mail (TitanMail), volume, and time.

Lining Things Up

I use an addon called Align that creates a grid on my screen so I can line all my UI elements up. Obsessive compulsive? Maybe. I’m a graphic designer instead of a healer outside of Azeroth, so I can assure that everything is purposefully and aesthetically placed.

Typography

I use ClearFont2 to change the overall fonts in my UI, and I also make sure the text selections in my addons use the same font. I have everything set to use Calibri 0.9.

Miscellaneous Addons

  • AkisRecipeList: Adds a frame to my tradeskill window that tells me what patterns I have left to learn and where I can locate them.
  • AdvancedTradeSkillWindow: Expands my tradeskill window and adds a queue and materials shopping list.
  • Bagnon: Simplifies my bag and bank into one frame. Also allows me to view the items in my bank when I’m no where near one. As I mentioned before, it also tells me which of my alts has an item, how many they have, and where it’s stored.
  • Carbonite Quest: Quest tracking, information, and map. I mostly have the map not showing and the quest tracker minimized unless I’m doing quests or dailies.
  • Cartographer: World map mod; Allows me to see areas I haven’t explored, among other things.
  • CloseUp: Allows me to zoom in on things in the Dressing Room, Inspect, and Character/Pet windows.
  • FarmIt: Let’s me see how much of an item I have total in my bags at a glance, so I don’t have to go digging or do any math. I have this hidden or disabled unless I’m farming something, obviously.
  • FriendsFacts: Adds race, sex, level, class, and guild name of my friends to my friends list.
  • FriendShare: Global friends list that syncs between characters.
  • Gatherer: Keeps track of locations of nodes, herbs, and chests.
  • GatherSage2: Adds skill-level and other information to gathering item tooltips.
  • InFlight: Flight timers.
  • MagicRunes: Since Pitbull doesn’t include Runes on their unitframes, this is what I use for my Death Knight. They display right above my minimap.
  • QuestGuru: Expands my Quest Log window. Also includes a tracker, but I don’t use it since I have Carbonite Quest.
  • RecipeKnown: Colors a recipe green if I have learned it already, even on an alt. Prevents me from buying duplicates and wasting money/tokens.
  • Reputation: Automatically switches which reputation I’m watching based on the last reputation gained.
  • SendSelf: Adds my alts to the send-to autocomplete feature at the mailbox without having them on my friends list.

Other Screenshots

Solo questing (Click to enlarge):

solo_casting

Solo questing with OPie Quest Ring (Click to enlarge):

solo_opie

Download

Now that I’ve explained to you the exhaustive list of addons I use, you may or may not like my set-up. If you do, and it seems enough people do considering the feedback I’ve gotten, I’ve decided to package everything for your convenience. I call it Lil UI

Download LilUI now!

33 Raid Healing UIs

33 Raid Healing UIs

As healers, we are all unified by our singular dedication to our craft: Restoring life. But this is where our similarities end. Some of us like to click. Others rely on keys. Players prefer being overloaded with information. Minimalists prefer more “white space”.

From Plusheal, I’ve gathered a collection of diverse raiding UIs that healers had to offer. For those of you looking to simplify or expand your healing UI somewhat, maybe this will help spark some inspiration.

Grid healers

Evissadia – Holy Priest

evissadia

Gerunna – Resto Shaman

Gerunna

Kallisti – Holy Paladin

kallisti

Crutches – Holy Paladin

crutches

Evilhalo – Holy Priest

Evilhalo

Tulani – Holy Priest

tulani

Ayslin – Holy Priest

Ayslin

Healson – Holy Priest

healson 

Lightpelt – Resto Druid

lightpelt

Kuraj – Discipline Priest

kuraj

Myna – Resto Druid

myna

Lilitharien – Discipline Priest

Lilitharien

Minischoles – Resto Druid

Minischoles

Reviamjolly – Discipline Priest

Reviamjolly

Tequiladin – Resto Druid

tequilakin

Englar – Holy Priest

Englar

Other UI healers

Sacrales – Holy Paladin

sacrales

Avonar – Holy Priest

Avonar

Dallarus – Resto Druid

dallarus

Nattydread – Holy Priest

nattydread

Rainomi – Holy Paladin

rainomi

Revaan – Holy Paladin

revaan

Rostam – Holy Priest

rostam 

Shadowjoker – Holy Priest

shadowjoker

Sinea – Priest

Sinea

 

Arilyn – Holy Priest (How many raid frames do you NEED?!)

Arilyn

Asadachi – Holy Paladin

asadachi

Beneficience – Holy Priest

Beneficence

Brique – Holy Paladin

Brique

Cathe – Holy Paladin

Cathe 

Daedhir – Discipline Priest

Daedhir

AddOn: Dispel Announcer for Raiding and PvP

AddOn: Dispel Announcer for Raiding and PvP

dispel-4

I finally found me a mod that I think will benefit all Priests regardless of their purpose or style of healing. Actually, it doesn’t have anything to do with healing at all. What it does is it announces Dispels in a chat channel of your preference. It’s fairly flexible in the the settings (see below screenshots). I do believe it works with Mass Dispel as it announced me taking off a Paladin’s bubble and it works on offensive and defensive dispels. The Ace 2 framework is required for you to modify any settings.

More importantly,This addon has been fully tested on a Hunter dispelling enemy buffs with Arcane Shot and with a Druid dispelling poisons but it should also work perfectly when dispelling with any other skill.

Get Dispel Announcer from Curse.

It also announces when debuffs on yourself fall off such as Shouts and such.

Works in:

  • Say chat
  • Party chat
  • Raid warning
  • UI error frame
  • Default frame

Locations:

  • Outside
  • 5-man
  • Raid
  • Battleground
  • Arena

Anyway,  have a gander at the shots below and you’ll get a rough idea.

dispel-2

dispel-1

dispel-3

dispel-5

Wyn’s UI – Part Four (The Macro Problem)

Wyn’s UI – Part Four (The Macro Problem)

Part four of a series. Part One , Part Two , Part Three.

Hot Keys

One of the add-ons that has the biggest impact on my UI and gameplay is Bartender. As I’ve mentioned before, I navigate and target with my mouse. If I need to move and target or cast at the same time, I use auto run – it’s on my 4th mouse button. Nearly all of my spells and abilities are Hot Keyed to my Keyboard. Here’s how that looks:

This is what my keybinds look like when I’m out running around solo. Most of the icons should look pretty familiar, and you can see that my offensive spells are on the top line. That blank spot is for my Disc buffs when I respec for the weekend. I do not hotkey my consumables, to avoid hitting them when I type. The bottom row is non-sensical, but it’s also not bound… it’s where I throw things when I need them once, then I don’t move them out ’til I need to put something else there. When we get into macros, you’ll see that the single-buff of Fort is redundant… my first row of buttons scrolls away when I have someone Mind Controlled, and I sometimes like to play nice with the allies and toss them a buff. Again, the numbers on the bottom of the icons are from Dr. Damage. One thing about Bartender is that you can use your standard keybinds from the stock bars, but if you want the numerals to show up on the icons you have to use the slots specifically labeled in the menu for Bartender. It’s in the same window, just scroll down.

Dr. Damage also gives you super-nifty Tool Tips on mouseover. Like this:

 Dr Damage ToolTip - Smite  Dr Damage ToolTip - Heal

I think I may have mentioned that I’m an information junkie… this just feeds the problem.

 

offensive with alt

This is still my offensive set-up, but I’m holding down the Alt button. See how the icons change? That’s a product of using macros with the “?” icon. I’ll get to that in a second. Notice, too, that the healing coefficients change on ProH and Nova’s icons.

When I’m raiding, a quick Shift+Scroll Up gives me this:

Greater Heals normal

Holding Alt will make the same changes that happened to the offensive set-up.

My Super-Secret Macros

I may be crazy for deciding to discuss macros. They can be very simple or complicated, and I use a mixture of both. This is not intended to be a macro tutorial. These are simply a few I’ve cooked up, cobbled together, or flat-out stolen. I wanted to show you what those extra buttons on my bars do, and this seemed to be the best way. PLEASE feel free to ask questions about the ones I list, but understand that I probably won’t be able to help you troubleshoot one that you’ve written. If you DO want a how-to, the best one I’ve ever read is over at Priestly Endeavors. A few notes before we begin:

  • I’m Horde. If it’s a macro that sends a whisper, and you’re an Ally, your buddies won’t speak Orcish, so change that to Common.
  • Nearly all of these use the #showtooltip command. That makes the tooltip show up on mouseover, even though it’s a macro.
  • When I’m setting these up, I almost always pick the “?” icon that shows up first. That way, if it’s a button that does more than one thing, the icon on my bars will change when I press the modifier.
  • LINES are very important to a macro. If you keep typing without hitting [enter] it will read all as one line. New commands MUST be started on a new line, so make sure they match up to the line-breaks here if you copy/paste.

 

Since none of my offensive spells involve macros, I’m going to assume you’re looking at the raiding picture with all the G-heals. I’ll go from left to right.

Gheal macroStopcasting saves lives. Even after 2.3, being able to stop a heal on one target, change targets, and instantly start casting your new heal is an excellent skill if someone is spiking. Also, you can keep hitting this when targeting the MT, and just let it land when they actually need a heal. That way, you can drop out of the 5-Second-rule, without abandoning your job. (yes, you could jump or step forward, but jumping wastes time, and so does hitting multiple buttons.)

#showtooltip Greater Heal(Rank 7)
/stopcasting
/cast Greater Heal(Rank 7)

 

 FW Macro Now that all priests have Fear Ward, it’s nice to be able to let your tank know you’ve got their back. This one casts FW on your target, and whispers them.

#showtooltip
/cast fear ward
/script SendChatMessage(“Fear Ward on YOU”, “WHISPER”, “Orcish”, UnitName(“target”));

 

Prayer Macro AltThese three all do pretty much the same thing, and I just wrote it as another space-saver. Hit the macro, and it’ll cast Prayer of (whatever) on your target and their party. Hold Shift, hit the  macro, and it’ll cast a single-buff on your target. Hold Alt, hit the macro, and it’ll cast a single buff on you. Neat, huh? (You can tell it’s not a raid night because of how few candles I have on me….)

For Shadow Protection:
#showtooltip
/cast [modifier:shift] Shadow Protection(Rank 4); [modifier:alt, target=player] Shadow Protection(Rank 4); Prayer of Shadow Protection(Rank 2)

For Fortitude:
#showtooltip
/cast [modifier:shift] Power Word: Fortitude(Rank 7); [modifier:alt, target=player] Power Word: Fortitude(Rank 7); Prayer of Fortitude(Rank 3)

Divine Spirit:
#showtooltip
/cast [modifier:shift] Divine Spirit(Rank 5); [modifier:alt, target=player] Divine Spirit(Rank 5); Prayer of Spirit(Rank 2)

Flash Heal Macro Normal Because my UI set up has either my offensive spells or my Greater Heals visible, but not both, I wanted the option to toss a G.Heal on myself when I’m solo without too much effort. So I made this. Generally, it’s the same as my stopcasting macro for Greater Heal, only for Flash. The difference comes in that if I hold Alt, it’ll interrupt whatever and start a max-ranked G.Heal on me, without changing my target. Handy, right?

#showtooltip
/stopcasting
/cast [modifier:alt, target=player] Greater heal(rank 7); Flash Heal(Rank 9)

 

I would feed my Shadow Fiend cookies if I could. I love the little guy. But sometimes, he gets lazy. This macro will keep him attacking non-cc’d mobs if his current target dies, and toss a scroll on him (if I have one) to boost his mana-return. Just spam it for a second.

#showtooltip
/cast Shadowfiend
/petaggressive
/petattack
/use [target=pet] Scroll of Strength
/use [target=pet] Scroll of Agility

 

Most of us have been in a situation with lots of people rezzing at the same time. Just save time, and have your macro type in your healing channel who your target is. Mine also whispers the person that’s getting a rez.

#showtooltip
/cast Resurrection(Rank 6)
/6 Saving %t the run back, but not the repair bill
/script SendChatMessage(“Rezzing you”, “WHISPER”, “Orcish”,UnitName(“target”))

Focus Macro This is really simple. It just sets my focus to whatever I’ve got targeted. No muss, no fuss.

/focus

There are some really nifty things you can do with focus macros, like this one I stole from Priestly Endeavors

/focus [noexists,target=target][exists,dead,target=target][modifier:alt,target=target]
/stopmacro [modifier:alt]
/cast [target=focus] Shackle Undead

The first line says: [make my current target the focus if I don't have one] or [make my target my focus if my current focus is dead] but [if I'm holding Alt, make my target my focus no matter what].
The second line says:[if I'm holding Alt to re-set my focus, ignore the rest of the macro]
The third line says: [whatever I'm targeting, cast shackle undead on my focus]

Down-ranking macros are fun! Here’s one for Prayer of Healing. Hold Alt to cast rank 3.

#showtooltip
/cast [modifier:alt] Prayer of Healing(Rank 3); Prayer of Healing(Rank 6)

P4 Random Not a macro, but sometimes in a quest or a fight there’s a random item you need to use regularly. I drag mine over to “J” and just hit it whenever I need it. This is from when I had the daily quest in Nagrand.

Nova NormalNova Alt I always heard it was good to keep Rank 1 Nova on your bars for PvP purposes, but where to put it? On the same button, naturally. Hold Alt to use Rank 1, hold nothing for max-rank.

#showtooltip
/cast [modifier:alt] Holy Nova(Rank 1); Holy Nova(Rank 7)

Lifetap We all know Warlocks Life Tap at the WORST time… this was my solution to train my ‘Locks to know when it was okay. For this one, I didn’t use the “?” icon, since that would just look like a normal Renew. Dr. Damage still catches the heal, though. (True story: one of my Warlocks actually macro’d his LifeTap to whisper me that he was going to do it in response to this macro. I was so proud!)

/script SendChatMessage(“Lifetap if you need to”, “WHISPER”, “Orcish”, UnitName(“target”));
/cast Renew

OhShit Sometimes, you have to keep yourself alive ’til your fellow heal-bots can help you out. EVERYONE must have an “Oh, Shit” button. This one can keep me up through over 20k damage. The [combat] modifiers keep reagents from being used up accidentally.

/target player
/cast [combat] Power Word: Shield
/use Master Healthstone
/cast Prayer of Mending
/use Fel blossom
/use [combat] Super Rejuvenation Potion
/use [combat] Nightmare Seed
/use Battlemaster’s Perseverance
/use Vial of the Sunwell
/cast Renew

Trink 1 Trink These are both really simple, but helpful. No matter what trinkets you have equipped, each of these macros will use one of them. Use the “?” icon, and you can see which trinkets you have equipped at the moment.

#showtooltip
/use 13

#showtooltip
/use 14

P4 Berserking If my heals have to come faster, they may as well come bigger. This trips Berserking, my OP-as-hell Racial, and my +healing trinket at the same time. (Does not trip GCD)
You can macro all kinds of things together – multiple trinkets, other abilities. Go nuts!

#showtooltip
/cast Berserking(Racial)
/use Tome of Diabolic Remedy

 

I wrote this last one just to save space on my bars. It gets out my Puppy and my Nether Drake. If I hold Alt, it gets out my Puppy and my Raptor.

#showtooltip
/use Worg Carrier
/cast [modifier:alt] Swift Blue Raptor
/use Reins of the Azure Netherwing Drake

Add
/equip Riding Crop
as the last line, if you want, but remember to replace your trinkets when you get where you’re going!

To Be Continued. . .

Wyn’s UI – Part Three (Boss in Action)

Part three of a series. Please read Part One & Part Two.

Okay, finally a real action shot like I’ve been promising. Welcome to Mother Shahraz. There’s a LOT going on in this fight, but you do get to stand still for most of it (unless you get Fatal Attraction, but that’s another post altogether.) I picked this shot because it catches a few things – good mana-regen cycle, a solid fight with only one real phase, and me making a pretty big mistake.

Typical Bossfight:

Click to enlarge....as soon as Matt uploads the larger version!

 

BF Focus

1. I set the boss as my focus on this one, so I can more easily watch for what aura she has and which tank she’s targeting. Different fights call for different focii; just set it to whomever you need to babysit. If you’ll look at the bottom row of myBartender you can see an icon that’s an eye with something pointing at it.
I’ve macro’d that button to set my focus just to make it a little faster and easier. I’ll post about the macros I use at the end of this series.


2.HoT Candy keeps track of everyone I’ve Renewed. Right now, it’s just the MT, but that’s because my mana’s about shot. (No worries, my pot CD finished as I took the SS.) Resto-Druids especially take note: HoT Candy is your friend.

RegenFu Bar
3. This is part of RegenFu. I’m just about out of the Five Second Rule, and will hit some serious mana-regen goodness. Fully buffed, my non-casting regen is over 900, but in full shadow resist, it takes a big hit. So I’ll burn Inner Focus before my next big heal, to maximize the mana I get back without stopping casting. I also wait until I’m out of the FSR to burn my Earring of Soulful Meditation. (If you don’t have it, find a way to get it. The Bangle of Endless Blessingsfrom Botanica is a substitute, but only about half as good.) I rarely make it the full 15 seconds without casting something, but at least I get the full benefit at the beginning.

4. Here’s where this shot catches me not paying close attention. Look here on my ElkBuffBar – Clearcasting is just expiring, but you can see at the top of my screen that I didn’t have enough mana to cast the Circle of Healing I was trying to cast. On Grid, you can see that group 3 was taking pretty even damage – I was spam CoH-ing them to patch them up. I should’ve thrown a G.heal on Joe in the middle, there. I’d’ve been finished with the cast by the time I had enough mana to CoH again, and been able to burn Inner Focus more appropriately, or let one of my Shammies top off the rest of the Warlocks while I regenned a little more.

5. On Bartender, you can see which of my cooldowns are available. Mana management is absolutely critical for these kinds of fights. My Pot CD finished as the SS was taking, Fiend is down, Inner Focus is available, and my Earring is down.
Pot CD
Fiend CDEarring CD

As healers, our mana-rotation is as critical as a DPSers spell rotation. Learning to be efficient is one of the best things you can do to become a better healer. For me it looks something like this:

  • Start: 12.5k manaI can haz cookie?
  • First Pot – 9k mana
  • Pop Earring – 9k mana again
  • Inner Focus – When expensive heal is needed
  • Shadowfiend – 6k mana
  • Second Pot – 7k mana
  • Earring again – ASAP

    And so on.

Mana is a lot like gasoline in your car – it’s just as easy to keep the top 1/4 of the tank full as it is the bottom 1/4. And the earlier you pop those cooldowns, the sooner they’ll be available for you to use again. Once you’ve used them all, just rotate through as soon as they’re available. I tend to Inner Focus for Prayer of Healing, but will use it for G.heal or Binding heal, if necessary. A tip for Mother – don’t wait to Fiend. Your mana will drop faster than you’ll believe, and when that CD comes up again, you’ll be very thankful. Also, watch for the auras that increase or reduce shadow damage. You don’t have to wait for the increase-aura to Fiend, although it will help you, but you will want to avoid the one that will nerf your little guy.

BF Quartz Bar
6. Okay, I’m going to highlight that mistake a bit more here. Since I didn’t use my Clearcast to throw a heal on poor Joe, I pasted this copy of my casting bar in from another screenshot so you could at least see where it goes and how it works. You can see from my toon’s posture that I’m not actually casting anything. Quartz tells me what I’m casting, what rank, shows a timer, and who I had targeted when the cast began. I change targets almost constantly, so that’s a very handy feature.

BF Grid All7. This is one of the best shots to show how Grid works; most of the raid is at full health, and it’s obvious who needs heals. If you look at the top-right square, you can see Acalon – our MT for this fight. The Red dot in the upper left of his box means he has aggro. There will be any number of those little dots when there are multiple mobs targeting people. That dot, rather than damage taken, is my cue to take action in most cases. A working knowledge of the mobs involved helps me know if I should start casting a heal, or just shield/renew the people with aggro. The groups are a little jacked right now – my raid leader moves Shammies into the melee group in a rotation for Bloodlust (Heroism) purposes. You can also clearly see who is dead, and who is out of my range.

BF DBM8.Deadly Boss Mods lets you move where your raid warnings pop up. Back to the concept of reducing eye movement to maximize reaction time, having them right where you can see them helps you know who’s about to need a heal – especially if it’s a fight like Void Reaver or Illidari Council where the boss targets random raid members to take damage.

9. Here’s Recount again. Pray is a shadow priest. He’s beating the Paladins on heals, because they both died early-on. It’s important to note that just like any other statistics, the data is only as valuable as its interpretation. This particular shot tells you very little without knowing the set-up. Por was assigned to heal up those people who get Fatal Attraction. Not very glamorous, and it limits his ability to cross-heal. Wize and I are both on raid-heals, so we’re pretty much neck-and-neck. Eizara is generally assigned to the Tanks, but her mana-efficiency is so excellent that she helps a lot with hotting the raid. She is an absolute BEAST of a resto-druid.

10. Scrolling Combat Text isn’t that important, as far as I’m concerned, for my incoming heals or mana regen – I’m watching bars, so I can see that. The important thing is that it tells you when you gain a buff or debuff. Clearcasting, Diabolic Remedy, Deep Meditation, Band of the Eternal Restorer, Berserking… all that stuff pops up over my head, and keeps me from having to watch my buff list. There are mods that do this, and will personalize it any number of ways, but the stock UI also has this feature now. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch it showing in this ss, and it looked funny ‘shopped in. The “10″ is where it would go.

Bossfight Breakdown

These shots were taken during a trash-pull right after Mother. I’m very self-critical, and have found a lot of value in analyzing my own performance after a given boss fight. I wanted to walk you through my personal stats after a fight.

Wynthea's Effective Heal Detail
This is a pretty typical boss-fight mix for me. I’m usually assigned to raid healing, and expected to help out on the tanks when they’re taking extra damage, or their healers are in some way incapacitated. Notice how MANY times particular heals were used: 17 Greater Heals compared with 14 Flash heals. 57 Renews. Clearly, I love me some Circle of Healing. It is my bread-and-butter for raid healing, but be careful not to fall into the trap of spamming it for everything. I have seen priests with upwards of 90% CoH – I cannot stress how inefficient that is. CoH is a great tool, but it is not in any way a substitute for good decision making.

A few examples:

  • My CoH costs approximately 400 mana to heal 5 people for about 1k each. I can patch up a group with roughly 3k damage each for 1200 mana. Not bad, but if that group happens to be my actual group, my ProH heals for about 2.5k per target at a cost of around 900 mana. Time-wise, the 3 second cast is the same as the time it would have taken for me to cast the three CoH’s. It’s actually a faster option, because my GCD won’t be up by the time the ProH is done, so I can move directly on to my next target. ProH also gets cheaper because of how well it lends to burning Inner Focus.
  • CoH is perfect for a situation where a group is taking moderate damage across the board – assuming you throw out about 3 CoH’s on the same group, you just healed 5 people for about 3k each – much better than the time it would have taken to Flash Heal the same people (7.5 seconds) for that amount… but if a single-target is down by even 5k, you’re much better off throwing a rank-5 Greater Heal than spamming 5 CoH’s.

Note: If you are taking damage yourself, and so is the Tank, don’t be afraid to Binding Heal. Once they nerfed the mana cost (it used to be about 1k, and now it’s around 700), it became very viable to heal the two most important targets you have – yourself, and the guy keeping the bad guy from flattening you. It costs about the same as two Flash Heals, and saves you the casting time, and the decision.

This shot is the report for WHO I healed during the same bossfight.

Healed Who

1. Remember, my assignment was to raid-heal, and supplement on the tanks when their assigned healers needed help. (Usually from getting the Fatal Attraction debuff.) Acalon was our MT, and he got the bulk of my raw heals, usually in the form of ProM, Renew, and Greater Heal, with a few Flash Heals thrown in if I got nervous. I forget where I read it, but a good rule to follow is to Flash Heal if your target needs a heal NOW, Greater Heal if you think you have time, and just Renew them if you KNOW you have time. That said, I keep Renew on the MT at all times, and ProM him as much as possible. My #2 target is Omegax – a warlock with a fondness for Life Tap. His heals are mostly Renews. Oneiros and Bull were our OT’s, their mixes look a lot like Acalon’s.

2. This second area of the screen shows a break down of what heals I used on a particular target. Haidi is one of our healadins, and the first example of my typical raid-healing mix. You can see that he didn’t require any special attention. Working through the rest of the raid heals, this is pretty much typical for everyone, maybe with a Flash Heal thrown in.


To Be Continued. . .

Wyn’s UI – Part Two (Trash)

Part two of a series. Please read Part One

Note: It seemed more relevant to organize these shots by topic rather than in chronological order. So, we’re jumping from Akama to Illidari Council trash.

Typical Trash Heal Mix:

Click to enlarge

1. This is pretty typical mix healing on trash. With so much going on, I tend to focus on instant casts. I also use PW:S liberally, but that’s one of few things Recount doesn’t show. I didn’t take an SS of my over-healing, but on trash it’s substantial. My mana-regen is enough that I don’t have to drink between pulls (you can see my mana bar is full). You’ll notice also that I don’t simply spam CoH. It’s overkill, and it’s boring.

2. I have an Illidari Blood Lord set as my focus. This is because he’s a Paladin mob, who will bubble himself and start to heal. The bubble has to be mass-dispelled, so rather than wait for them to call me to dispel it, I just watch him, and cast it as soon as he has the debuff. (around 25-30%.)

3. Recount’s main window. One of the reasons I keep Recount open during combat is to get a good sense of what my fellow healbots are doing. Most of us have been together for a while now, and we have a pretty good idea of our standard baseline. Typically, I’m about 1.5% ahead of Wize, who is around 3% ahead of Eiz, who is about 2% ahead of Por… you get the idea. This is an atypical pull, because Wize is #3. As you can see from Grid, it’s because he got smooshed. (You can’t do your best when you’re dead! remember that!) Also, Por is near the bottom because he was AFK. It’s handy to be able to get a nearly-real-time idea of who’s paying attention to the pull, and who needs to take a break, without having to constantly over-communicate.

The other large reason I keep it open is because my guild is constantly auditioning new healers, and it’s good to be able to give the Raid Leader an accurate opinion of how the new guy is fitting in with the old guard. I also have a pretty good idea of my heal-mates’ gear, and if an under-geared newbie is out-performing a same-class veteran, it will become obvious very fast. With recount, I can see what heals they are casting, who their targets tend to be (tanks, raid, or a combo? do they follow assignments?), and how much over-healing they have. As I’ve said before, over-healing isn’t a huge issue unless people are dying or pulling aggro (then dying), but with a new person, a large amount of over-healing and a low amount of effective heals could indicate a lag problem or a lack of attentiveness. As an additional coaching tactic, I’ll frequently set the trial member as my focus – Quartz allows you to customize those casting bars as well, and I can tell what rank of what heal they’re using, on what target, and at what health level they began their cast. Recount simply makes it easier for me to stalk people, and keeping it open makes the data easier to access. As a side tip, Recount gives you a lot of options for linking the stats. I’ve found that guest healers appreciate getting a quick link to let them know that they’re doing okay. Running with a BT guild on farm can be intimidating, and everyone performs better when they’re relaxed.

I don’t pay a huge amount of attention to recount actually DURING bossfights, I have more to worry about. But I don’t like the idea of opening and closing it all the time any more than I like the idea of not having the trend-style information easily available. And, sometimes, having it up for things like Dispels on RoS phase 1 or Gorefiend helps give real-time feedback to people who need it.

4. With Grid, it’s after the pull, so not much of interest is going on here, but you can see in Wize’s frame what it looks like when someone is highlighted because of low health. Grid also shows exactly what their deficit is, and I have mine set to approximate the amount of incoming heals they’re about to receive. Wize has none incoming, because he just stood up. Again, the faded squares are people who are out of range. You can see the train of people making their way into the Chamber of Command on my mini-map.

5. Yes, we raid with a Battle-Chicken.


To Be Continued. . .

Wyn’s UI – Part One

In the beginning… there was stock. And it was okay, but very limited. Thankfully, Blizzard designed the game to be almost infinitely customizable by players. I started out just wanting to show you the view from my chair, but then I realized that I’ve never found “standing around a major city” screenshots useful. Instead, I’ll be posting some “action shots” of my UI, the mods I use, how, and why. You’ll get a better idea of how I heal, and how I’ve gotten my UI to help me do that. There’s a lot of explanation involved, so I’ll do this in a couple of parts.

Personally, I don’t like a lot of crap that I don’t use sucking up power or my attention. I also like mods that pack a LOT of information into tiny packages. That said, I use a lot of add-ons, and I’m constantly auditioning more and deleting the old ones. Your eyes would bleed if I marked each one and told you what it was, so if you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Intro to my UI:

I had this idea in the middle of Black Temple, so I waited to get a nice, basic shot. Things will get a little more complicated when it’s in action. Personally, I want the middle of my screen as clear as possible. Priests have a bad reputation for dying, and I’ve found that keeping my field of vision very clear helps me move out of the way and stay alive. The mods I look at the most are right below my ‘toon, with those less relevant during combat further from that point.

Basic UI Shot. Englarged version coming!

1. The bar across the top is FuBar. Lightweight, with lots of modular plug-ins, FuBar makes it really easy to access and customize your mods. Keeps buttons off my mini-map, too. My personal favorite is RegenFu. This little gem tells me my int/mp5/spirit ratio on the fly, and how much time I’m spending in the 5SR; (85% on last fight). It also has a timer bar (which is faint, over my raid frame) that shows when I’m in the 5SR. Over time, I know if spirit or mp5 food or elixirs are more appropriate for a given fight, and I can better control my mana-consumption rate.

2. AG_UnitFrames. Before I used grid, I used AG for my basic Raid Frames. I still use it for 5-mans and a couple of other things because it’s lightweight, and very customizable. I’ve tried Pitbull, but found that it couldn’t do anything AG couldn’t do, and I already had AG the way I wanted it.
(2a) My frame and my target are at the top of the screen, and just above my chat box
(2b) you can see my focus frame and their target (in this case, I’m focused on myself for
some reason, so it’s just a miniature of what’s going on upstairs. Sorry about that.)

3. Grid took some getting used to, but it’s now my favorite mod. It shows a LOT of information in a very elegant and minimalistic manner. My groups are arranged horizontally, and the player names are cut off at a max of 4 letters. They are also colored according to class. That “W…” is me, and my group includes Wizendone (resto-shammy), Nl (s.priest), Haidi, and Alden (both healadins). Those that are greyed out are simply out of range.

A word on targeting: Obviously, you can see my target up at the top of the screen. One of the best rules of being an efficient healer is to maximize your reaction time. Minimizing the distance your eyes need to travel to get the information you need helps. Part of my solution has been to set Grid to have a white border around my target’s square. (Since I have myself targeted, and priests are denoted in white, it’s not showing properly.) Also, I use Quartz for my casting bar, and have it set to show the name of my target in the cast bar. Like this:

This makes it easy to avoid healing the wrong target, since my quartz goes right above grid.

4. Your spells have to go somewhere, and I use Bartender3 to keep mine organized. There are a LOT of mods that do this; find one that you like. You’ll notice that nearly all of them are hotkeyed – I navigate and target with my mouse, and cast with my keyboard. (That blank spot is for my Spirit buffs when I spec disc on the weekends.) You’ll probably notice a lot of icons you don’t recognize – I use macros very heavily. You’ll also notice how many ranks of Greater Heal and Flash heal I use. 4 of each. The fifth (5 and T, respectively) are stopcasting macros with the max-rank of the heal. (T is a little special, but I’ll get to that in the upcoming post on macros.) You may also notice that the only offensive spell I have hotkeyed is Pain. This is because I’m a healer, not a DPSer. Don’t worry, my offensive spells are easy to access (hold shift and scroll the mousewheel up once), it’s just that in the average raid, I don’t need them taking up space. I tend to click pots and such, so I don’t hit them accidentally while typing. The average amount per heal (or offensive spell) on each icon is from Dr. Damage. It helps me down-rank without having to read tool tips and do math in my head.

5. Recount. Use it. Love it. I have some great shots of how to use it for self-coaching later on. I have it running, set to “current fight” AT ALL TIMES. (Which is why it cleared once the boss was dead. Sorry about that, too.) See my previous post for why.

6. Simple Mini Map. I like it because it interfaces well with cartographer, it’s light, and it is very customizable.

7. Prat. A chat mod that lets remove you those damn arrows, and scroll with your mousewheel. Has a bunch of other nifty features I find useful. You’ll notice I don’t keep a combat log open. Recount substitutes for that.

8. ElkBuffBars. Matt made me get this one, and I’m glad he did. Montiors buffs, debufs, and everything else you need to know in a (say it with me!) Lightweight, customizable format.

Essential mods that you can’t see:

Deadly Boss Mods. Don’t leave home without it.

Omen Threat Meter. KTM was great. Omen is better. If you haven’t upgraded, do it now. Omen interfaces with KTM, too, so just because your Tank lives in the stone age isn’t an excuse for you to do the same.

Instant Health. This is a combat log parser that updates the health of your party or raid, with any raid frames, without waiting for the information to be sent to the server and back. It saves insane amounts of time (up to 3 seconds!!), and buys you time to react. As people keep stacking more and more Spell Haste, this kind of thing is going to become more popular.
(Edit: As I’ve been using this, I’ve noticed it messes with Recount and other combat-log parsers. Please be aware that it may interfere with any other mod you have reading this information; it is a known issue with the beta.)

More on Quartz. This has been around for a while, but I wanted to point out that it does more than allow you to change the look of your casting bar. The tail end of a given cast comes up in red (or any color you pick), and alerts you to your latency. What’s more, it allows you to begin a new cast before your computer has finished communicating with the server. This means you’re less at the mercy of Blizzard and your ISP to get those heals off in time. Pre-2.3, Quartz and a stop-casting macro were indispensible for quick heals. I still use stop-casting, although now more for mana regen purposes than global cooldown.

PoM Tracker – I found this after I took these screenies. I used to use Mending Minder, which stopped working at 2.4. This tells you who has your ProM, how many bounces it has left, and how much it’s healing. Nice.


To Be Continued. . .