Introducing FugarUI

Ah yes, finally I started to write this post. I had this one in mind since the start of my blog but now I finally feel I’m ready for it. One of the things I enjoy myself the most with is creating a user friendly UI that makes my life a bit easier. I can spend a whole day reading on curse.com or wowinterface.com to check what other people are using, what addons could be useful, how are addons configured and is it possible to add your own taste to it. Well yes it is!

We all know that addons will never play the game for you. I agree, but they can make it a whole lot easier sometimes. To me, there are 2 distinct categories if you look at all addons available: Addons everyone should have and addons that change the appearance of UI or the amount of info you get to see.  I will browse through my addons folder and let you know what I use and why I use them.

Before I start on a new UI project I always have the same goal in mind: It needs to be functional, as minimalistic as possible but still with the right information on time and only when I’m required to see that info. My computer is fairly new so memory isn’t an issue but for my gameplay I always aim to keep everything as low as possible. Also, in this UI, I try to combine both PvE and PvP functionality.

Omen: Classic addon, I don’t think anyone playing WoW seriously can leave this one out. I think this is the first addon I installed when my mage was doing deadmines. For people who don’t know it yet, Omen gives you a visual overview of the aggro table. As long as the tank is on top of the table, you’re safe. If your screen starts flashing red, you know you are taking aggro and should do something about it. There are little things you can do to match it with your UI. I changed the color of the bars to some dark grey so it fits my UI and the text is in the class colors. Plain and simple, I don’t need any extra info on it.

Besides Omen, I don’t think you need any other addon if your pleased with the default blizzard UI. In fact, you have it all: Actionbars, Unitframes, buffs and debuffs, minimap,…nothing else is required to play the game. But for me, that’s not enough. I’m not pleased with the standard look. I feel you miss the potential of improving your game. So here are the addons that make my game a bit more fun and easier to play.

Bartender: Step one in my UI. I need 1 to 2 bars max to put all of my skills on. Everything else will be on hidden bars that only come up when I mouse over them. Also, a lot of my keybinds that I use for a long time are on those hidden bars. When I play on my shaman, I just need some extra space to put some rarely used totems. Mounts, drinks, trinkets, some spam macro’s are all hidden. Also, bartender allows me to put my totem bar wherever I want them.

Buttonfacade: In combination with bartender, I use buttonfacade. The addon speaks for itself. it puts a skin over the buttons. In my UI, I use the Dek2 skin. I also use buttonfacade to customize the look for my buffs. No functionality, just some graphic modification.

OmniCC: This tiny little thing adds a cooldown timer on top of the skillicon on your actionbar. So instead of the classic “shadowclock” you get an actual indication in seconds or minutes. Based on the remaining cooldown, you can give other colour codes to it.

Chinchilla: a minimap addon. The standard blizzard minimap can not be changed or moved anywhere and the size is messing up the rest of my UI. That’s why I use this one. I’ve use simpleminimap and sexymap before, but so far this is the only addon that suits my needs. Also, it let’s you move not only the map, but other frames that you don’t always see. For example the capture bar when you are trying to take a base in Eye of the Storm or the boss frames when you are doing the gunship battle in Icecrown. I just want to be able to move them to the outside of my screen where they don’t bother me.

So the above addons gave me an initial startpoint to position my UI. I will first move these into place, add some graphics to it and make sure I have enough space to put all of my remaining addons.

Align: simple addon that draws a grid over your screen so you are able to align everything. Just type /align and you will see the result. Retype /align and it’s gone.

Kgpanels: This is an addon I wanted to use long before I actually implemented into my UI because I didn’t really understand how it worked. After checking some youtube guides on how to make your own panels and configure them, I started to create some stuff in Photoshop. You sometimes see very large graphic skins at the bottom of screenshots that cover the whole width of the UI. I didn’t want that because I feel you decrease your view area. I just wanted to add some center graphic and add some background to my actionbars, omen, recount and chatpane. This is the result:

So in the center you see somekind of…(what is that actually?)…graphic. On top of the graphic, I’ve put the minimap and added a black border to it so it feels like it integrates with the graphic. On both left and right of the minimap I addes 2 of the same background panels that work as a placeholder for my actionbar. In the same style, I added a background for my totembar.

I’m not going to explain the whole process of how to configure kgpanels and make these kind of graphics in photoshop. The only thing I do want to tell is that it’s all based on .tga files, you just import them, play with the size and position and voila…you got panels. On the buttom left side of my screen I’ve did the same for omen, recount and chatter.

That brings us to the next 2 addons: Chatter and Recount.

Chatter: this is the chat addon I use. I used Prat before and I don’t really notice the difference between them. i just wanted to keep the chat as small as possible, minimal info, no timestamp or so… Also, when people post links in chat, you can easily copy them to your clipboard. My edit box is on top of the chat panel and most of the time, I’m only watching my whisper and guildchat window.

Recount: This is a damagemeter. Very useful if you want to track the performance of people. Or even more important, you want to track how people died. If you are still learning a class, you can actually learn a lot from this addon, just head for a dummy, do your rotation and check your damage breakdown after each session. It will show you miss, hit, crits, wich spells do the most damage, etc…As a raidleader, it’s the first spot I look for when we wipe. I can track if all dps did damaged the spikes on Marrowgar. In a 3 hour raid, this can take a lot of memory.

SLDT: Speaking about memory, I want to be able to track down my most memory consuming addons. When I see that one of the addons is having a large effect on my performance, I might go and disable it. But SLDT does a lot more than that. It shows your gold, mail, armorstatus, fps, latency, memory usage, what you are tracking, coordinates, clock, zone text, bagspace, guildinfo and friends online. Every part of it can disabled or moved to another place. Again, I’ve placed the same type of background panel behind to match the rest:

The clock, coordinates, tracking and mail text are integrated in my minimap graphic (see above). Are you still with me? Good, we’re halfway…

Grid: Another addon I couldn’t see myself playing without it. As a healer, it is my most crucial tool. Addons that do the same are healbot, Vuhdoo, simpleraid, etc… Grid represents the raid unit frames. I’ve configured grid to my own taste and added the raiddebuffs plugin and a manabar. The debuffs are very helpfull when you want to keep an eye on people while raidleading. Just by looking at it, you can tell if they are doing something wrong or when the tank can expect a lot of incomming damage. When I see my fellow healers low on mana, it’s time to drop my mana tide totem. As a shaman, I added a custom buff to keep track of my earthshield. When I play priest, I want to track weakened soul, renew, and PW: Shield.

Clique: In combination with Grid, I use clique to make sure my heals reach the right person at the right time. Clique allows you to keybind specific mouseclicks to helpfull spells like heals or cleansing spells. If you use the appropriate keybind while mouseovering the correct person, he will recieve a heal for example. To me that’s a lot more useful than first selecting a person and than throwing in the heal. These 2 addons have made me a better healer.

Pitbull: Pitbull is a replacement for the standard player and target frame. Like I said before, I hate the standard blizzard frames and they take way to much space. I want to be able to only see what I need to see and at the same time I want to integrate my frames into the rest of my UI to keep it nice and simple.

As you can see, the player frame is just a representation of my health and power. There is no text on it because I don’t want to know my hitpoints in actual numbers. If I hit 0, I will die, I can track that by looking at a bar, no need for text. But when you look at my target frame, I did added the HP and mana text. Also, in the version I have now, the power bar is also in the class colour. I found it a bit nicer that way and easier to track the class I’m facing. On the right of my target is targetoftarget with just a procential representation of their health. When I focus someone, it will appear on the left of my player frame with the same setup.

Quartz: I almost forgot this one but it’s pretty important. Quartz provide castbars for the player, target and focus. You could also add buff or debuffs you have put on your target but I disabled that option. I added a latency bar to the cast bar to time my next cast better. Also, at the right of my bar, I added the cast time. In arena, the focus castbar is right underneath my character in the center. If my focus starts a cast, I want to know it fast so I can interrupt.

Zmob Advance 6: Although Pitbull has an option aswell to show a 3D portrait, I’m not fond of using it. You don’t have the save liberty to move it arround and resize it just like you want it. Therefor I use Zmob. it takes a while to get used to all the different setup options but there are some nice tooltips that can help you with that. Although this addon is more for the looks and graphics, I still find it usefull to track my target and to get an indication of their race. Especially in large aoe packs, I want to make sure I have selected the right target.

Targetcharms: Right next to the target portrait, you see all raidicons. I use that one to mark people while I raidlead. It only shows up when I selected something. There is no need to show it when I’m just doing solostuff without targets. You can change the way it’s positioned in the config. Best raid icon addon I found so far.

Satrina’s Buff Frames: On the right top of my screen, I positioned my buffs. The debuffs are close to my player frame. SBF let’s you create different frames that you can move all over your screen. Each frame can be configered seperatly. My buffs are shown as icons without timers, my debuffs are shown as bars with timers. I also have frames configured to track the buffs from my arena opponents. Lot’s and lot’s of options to play with but out of the box, it’s allready a great addon to use. Also, I used the same buttonfacade skin for the icons as I did on my actionbar.

Did I told you we were allready halfway?

Tiptac: I can’t remember the previous tooltip addons I used before but this seemed to be the only one I actually enjoyed. Their are no limitations in how you can configure your tooltips. I got rid of the blizzard border, changed the background and only added the info I wanted to see when I mouseover npc’s or players. This tooltip addon let’s you position the tooltip anchor wherever you want on your screen.

Aloft: This addon is mostly used during my arena fights although I find it easy to use in raids aswell. When I’m doing arena, I want to have a constant indication of where my opponent is, his class, and his HP. When they cast, another bar shows up underneath their HP bar. So I can actually see if a person is casting while watching at the player itself and I don’t need to bring my eyes down to the targetframe.

In raids, when I get aggro form a target, their nametag starts to glow aswell. Raidicons are also displayed with Aloft. On a fight like Dreamwalker with a lot of incomming mobs from different sides, this is a musthave if you want to keep a good eye on your surroundings. To few people use nametags. The Blizzard ones might be to large for you, well give this one a try or check Tidy Plates.

So far, all of these addons are positioned on the outside of my screen. Now, we’ve come to the center part of my UI. I don’t have a screenshot where all of my center addons are displayed at the same time because that would be impossible. I just want you to know that the most important info should be close to your character, especially in arena and battlegrounds. It’s no use of having a stun indication on the top left corner of your screen because your eyes will be slow to notice it.

Icehud: I concider this an addon that is unmissable for all of my characters. Not everyone wiches to have a Hud arround their character but it really helps me in getting a quick view on my personal condition and on my target. If I would disable Icehud and only rely on my pitbull frames, I would die a lot faster. It’s hard to explain so perhaps you should give a shot. I uninstalled this addon 3 times before I actually knew how to use it and adjust it to my own taste. But now, I couldn’t miss it anymore.

My Icehud is kept very basic, just a vertical indication of my health, mana, target health, target power, castbar and active totems. At the top, their is a small range indicator. You can choose a couple of textures that come with the addon but I created my own. I wanted to keep it tidy and clean, so I decreased the width of the bars so they don’t take a lot of space.

If you dig deeper into Icehud, you’ll see there are a lot of more text options you can enable and even make custom cooldown bars. I think I have enough info allready so I don’t use this function.

Mik’s Scrolling Combat text: Arround my Icehud, I configured MSBT. It allows you to make different “scrolling zones” and add the wanted info to each zone. In my setup, left of my healthbar you’ll see all incomming stuff, either damage or healing. On the right side, close to my mana bar, you’ll see the outgoing healing and the stuff I purged. Underneath my character, their is a text indication of wich spells are off cooldown and ready to use again. For example, riptide is pretty important for me and in arena I wanted to refresh my grounding as soon as possible. On top of my Icehud, I represent all outgoing damage, combat entered or left and honor points.

Each different zone can be configured differently, you could change the font, change the way the text is animated and it what direction it goes. MSBT allows you to make triggers aswell that can be shown in each zone with sound warnings if desired.

PowerAuras: Ah yes, powerauras! You can’t have enough, can’t you? Well to be honest, I used to have a lot more before. I found some other addons that took away the need to configure an aura for it. Also, after a while you kinda get familiar with your UI and abilities. Before you know it, you have all kind of icons on your screen that aren’t really needed anymore. I have 4 aura’s for PvE and 2 extra for PvP. Water Shield, Earthliving weapon enchant, Riptide and my Oh-shit-big-heal-needed-button. For arena, I added a Hex and Wind Shear aura with their cooldown timers. I made them nice and small, no need for them to block the whole center part of my screen.

Spellalerter: This is a recent addon I’ve added to my UI, mainly for pvp usages. It shows what enemies are casting arround me, to me or to my arena partner. It shows up in text just above my character and with some colour you can indicate the type of spell. I’ve also added a sound warning to 2 major CC spells: Polymorph and Cyclone. God I hate those 2. Ah yes, and mana burn ofcourse, how can I forget that. As soon as the enemy start casting this, I hear a typical sound warning for each of those spells. If I keep hearing that mana burn sound, I know I’m doing something wrong.

Loosecontrol: In addition to spellalerter, you can get cc from instant spellcasts, like silences and stuns. This addon provides an icon that I placed on top of my head to see what has hit me and how long the cooldown will be. I combine this with powerauras aswell to have an extra visual confirmation. Sometimes you can get stunned and silenced at the same time but loosecontrol will only show you to most recent CC. You can not only see icons for yourself, also party members, target and focus.

Arena Unit Frames: This addon has everything you need in arena: sound warnings, text warnings that you can send to party or raid chat, trinket indication, enemy unit frames, click actions, etc. I only use this addon to configure some warnings about CC. For example: “Cyclone on partner” or “Priest trinket used” or “Warrior low” or “Druid drinking”. It’s not a visual thing you need to look for but it’s an actual voice that tells you what happened. If you need to react fast in some situations, these kind of warnings are a lifesaver.

Gladius: For actual arena frames, I use Gladius. There a lot nicer to configure than AUF. I especially like the CC views on the bars, or an indication for pain suppresion, shield wall or paladin bubble. This is my main source to target and focus enemies while in arena. By adding click actions to the frames, I can use mouseover hex or wind shear actions.

Natur enemy castbar: This is my most recent addon. It shows you a whole series of bars with cooldowns, spells being cast, buffs and debuffs for your target. Really great if you want to track when a druids innervate is about to get off cooldown. But the coolest function this addon has is the sound warnings when you get a killing blow. Everytime you get another killing blow, you get different warnings. I love it when hear “Killing Spree”.

Xloot: This is my loot addon. I also have installed Xloot Group and Xloot Monitor. It changes the standard loot windows and makes them a lot smaller. When I’m master looter, I can use the xloot menu to announce loot rolls, give them to a random person and announce who got the drop. I didn’t found a way yet to skin this one. It would be nice if I could change the appearance a bit. But so far, there is no other addon that can replace Xloot.

Ora: Ora is a raidmanagement addon. In our guild we use it mainly to perform ready checks, automatic invites, give a visual overview of the main tanks and target assists. Raidleaders can also check the durability status of their raid members and see if people brought enough reagents to buff.

Deadly Boss Mods: No explanation needed I think. I allready post a custom version of it in one of my previous UI posts. I’m still using it although I’ve resized the bars a bit and put them on the left side of my screen.

Loadit: this addon allows you to disable, enable or load addons while not logging out. Although some addons require you to log off first, most of them can be switched on in the loadit gui and you just need to /rl ui.

Nicedamage: A font I use to display my damage done. Besides that, I use “Skurri” as my main font.

Pfew, I think I covered them all. Do I have to many addons? I wouldn’t want to miss one. I’ll add 2 more screenshots where you can see most of the addons at work. The first one is in wintergrasp, the second one we just killed festergut. If you want to see my UI at work in motion, I suggest you check our Putricide video. So far, I don’t really have a lot of PvP footage to show you. Perhaps that’s some project that I’ll pick up later on.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you have any questions about these addons, I could always try to provide some assistance as far as my knowledge goes. Remember, an UI will not play the game for you and the addon choices you make are highly dependant on personal taste, but a good UI will definitely help you to understand the game faster and perform better.

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~ by mrdistefano on April 21, 2010.

One Response to “Introducing FugarUI”

  1. Well the addons a almost similar to the ones I use myself but I havent twaeked my ui as much as you have. I also dont use a HUD as I find it better to have a clear view of whats happening.

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