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I usually like addon compilations that use simple, but pretty, custom art. Artwork such as the panel used in Spartan UI can really help a plain UI look a lot more niffty. Today I finally decided to do my own, and add a little decoration to my UI, though I still wanted to keep an uncluttered look so I limited it the corners of my panels.

The result is this:

Added a little decoration to the top corner to make a boring black rectangle a little less drab.

I did this with a free program called PIMP, which is quite similar to photoshop, and can be done with little to no artistic ability. All you need to do is find a few brushes for PIMP (DeviantArt has plenty of good ones) and use them to add splatters, smudges, smoke, feathers or even rune patterns as you like, and follow the instructions of Btex or your chosen panel addon to put the texture in game.

I choose to stick with black, because I like black and find other colours distracting in a UI. It’s pretty amazing what other people can do with a few colours though.

~New~ Pretty class-coloured frames!

This is my latest raid frame setup, still using Pitbull, but with a different look and feel. It features class coloured powerbars, names, and a recolour of the heathbar that makes missing health pop out a lot more. The frames are now a little bigger than before, with a smaller gap in between each frame, so the clickable area of each frame is enlarged without taking up any more screen space.

Buffs appear in the bottom left corner of each frame and overlaps a little of the powerbar, and buffs cast by me are slightly bigger than those cast by others. At the moment they are only tracking hots (including Earth Shield). Debuffs are in the bottom right corner, they track any undispellable debuff that’s cast by an enemy. Debuffs I can dispel highlights the border of the unit frame in the corresponding colour, and special debuffs (at the moment only penetrating cold has been set up) will also highlight the boarder, this makes it easy to spot important debuffs and makes dispelling a breeze. Aggro colours the background of the unitframe red, a good way to predict any incoming damage.

~Now Outdated~ Also classed coloured but frames were a little too small

Aside from funky colours and aura,  I have health text set up to show health deficits and hidden when no health is missing. Additionally incoming heals are shown by a green fill on the health , this means it’s very easy to tell who’s already being healed, and how much I need to heal for those who still need heals.

I always try to keep clutter to a minimum. Restricting the type of buffs and debuffs to show, makes the raid frames a lot tidier, while still showing what’s most important. I love being able to configure almost everything in Pitbull, especially auras, but I also find it the most difficult module to manage. I had a little help from Orleander’s Example Pitbull4 Configuration. Right now my frames track most of the buffs and debuffs I need to see, but in the future I would like to have all important boss debuffs set up, for example in Festergut, I’d like to be able to see who isn’t inoculated at a glance.

I’ve always been a big fan of smooth UIs and once I got the hang of addons I started to make my own. I wanted a UI that’s functional for any spec or class, while keeping infomation organised, concise and uncluttered. Inspired by a guildie’s blog post the evolution of my ui I decided it would be nice to write my own blog to keep track of what I’ve done and update as I go. In the future I will also make a post on the Evolution of my own UI in the past.

The sreenshot above shows my current UI taken about a week ago (it’s a little out of date already actually). To begin with I will cover the addons used in this UI with comparisons to some similar addons, I will go into more detail and provided better, labled, screenies as I go to explain the main features and advantages of my UI but for now this will have to do.

UI Addons:

_Corpse – Shows whether dead players are still online in the tooltip when mouseovered.

_Cursor – Adds decorative effects to the cursor, also useful for keeping track of where cursor is if you use an effect with a tail.

_Virtual Plates – alters the size of nameplates depending on distance.

Addon Control Panel – an easy interface to let you enable and disable addons in game without having to log out.

Aloft – A brilliant nameplates addon with many functions, only downside is it’s a bit of a memory hog. If you don’t like it’s memory footprint, I think Tidy Plates or Cael Nameplates are good alternatives.

Titan panel – to organize broker enabled addons, I actually prefer the look, feel, and options of Chocolate Bar but I like Titan’s loot module with click-to-roll fiction but  I couldn’t find a similar broker one.

Btex – A simple addon that adds a panel to your UI, you can also use it to apply a grid which is useful in aligning addons. The complexity of KG Panels annoys me so Btex suits me.

Button Façade – Skins your buttons, I’m a fan of the Darion skins, the Trinity skins, as well as one called Gears.

Chatter – Chat box addon. Lets me change channel names, font, add timestamps etc. I especially love being able to just click a link to copy a url, having the fuction so that you can copy anything from chat, and most of all being able to scroll through chat on mouse over. The addon Prat is very similar, and has slightly more options on how you want your timestamps formatted, only ditched it for Chatter because I was having a problem with Prat applying timestamps twice.

Chinchilla – A better looking minimap (not quite as sexy as Sexymap but takes less room) zoom can be changed by mousing over and scrolling, lets you move buttons such as mail calendar and tracking, as well as having fuctions to show coordinates and a range circle.

Clique – Lets you bind spells, macros, etc to mouse buttons, can also use modifiers (eg. Shift+Right Click) so for example I can set middle mouse button to cast Cleanse Spirit and all I have to do is mouse over a unit frame and click my middle button.

Deadly Boss Mod – Essential raid addon, alerts you to important boss abilities through timers, raid warnings and other useful stuff. Get it.

Gnosis – Frankly I thik it’s kinda ugly :P. But it’s a simple casting bar addon that does it’s job, shows latency, cast time, spell name, icon and ticks of channelled spells too.

Item Rack – Helps you keep gear sets organized, easy to enable and disable automatic switching on event (eg. changing spec or form). Used to use Outfitter, but on a druid alt, there were times when I changed form and lost all my mana because Outfitter switches gear for me and I couldn’t turn that off. Outfitter does have a good point though, when you mouseover an item in your inventory it tells you what set it’s under, additionally, multiple tooltips popup when you compare loot such that it is easy to compare loot with your OS piece making loot rolls on OS gear easy.

Macaroon + Macaroon Extras – This is an actionbar addon, but with many useful functions that many don’t have. It is a complete remake of the Trinity bars (it no longer exsists) that many people used to know and love. Most people find the configuration confusing, but it’s easy and quick to use once you’re used to it and most importantly it has many functions that other action bar addons like Dominos and Bartender simply do not have, including the old Trinity mod.

Macarron Extras  adds xp bar, bag bar, menu bar, cast bar and loot box, personally I don’t use the Macarron castbar but the rest are great.

MikScrollingCombatText – A fantastic combat text addon. Configurable scroll areas, font etc, I particularly love being able to set combat text to move in arcs. I like it more than Parrot but they’re really quite similar.

OGlow – Generally kinda useless, but pretty. Gives Uncommon, Rare, Epic, Legendary and BoA items a glow around its frame.

Omen – Threat meter, must have it (and please USE it).

Opie – A good looking and useful addon. Excellent for raid target marking, buffs, less commonly used spells and for managing shaman totems. Only problem I have with it is not being able to have separate bindings for rings on separate characters, such that if I use ‘c’ to show raid markers on one toon, I have to use the same binding on another.

Pitbull 4 – Modular Unit frames. Can be hell to set up, but probably the most configurable unit frame addon out there (at least for ones with a gui). So many options that I can’t even begin to describe what it can do, and can be set up to look stunning, while still convey useful info.

For a usable and pretty great out-of-the-box alternative, I recommend Xperl.

For a space saving and more simplified raid frame Grid (by simplified I meant minimalistic looks, set up is still fairly complex as it is modular and the default settings aren’t too flash).

Although many people like Vuhdo, I personally don’t like it. Its main difference from the others is that it comes with a option to set up click casting on the frames, while I think Clique+[Unit Frame addon of choice] gives you a lot more choices in how you’d like your setup.

Recount + Recount Death track – Dmg meter, with good dmg graphs and other options. Useful for checking if you’re pulling your weight in raid.

Satrina Buff Frames – Lets you organize your buffs and debuffs how you want. Scale the, add timers to the second and other neat things. Skinable by Button Façade too.

Sexy Cooldown – I hate looking at stacks of bars showing cooldowns, but sexy cooldown organizes your spells on one bar and displays them clearly. Way to keep track of cooldowns minus the clutter. Another alternative is CoolLine. Forte  Cooldowns is also popular but I think it comes with too much bundled clutter so i personally don’t like it.

Skinner – Skins pretty much all frames in game, configurable but looks nice on default skinner settings. Tends to make all the difference in cleaning up the overall appearance of a UI.

Tiptac – Tooltip addon, can add functions like showing buffs, talents, health, and target of your mouseover-target in the tooltip. Also allows you to scale, skin, and move tooltips. I haven’t tried other tooltip addons but htey should be similiar.

TNE_[Channel]Msg – A range of small addons that ad a flash of colour around the edge of the screen when someone posts in the according channel. Eg. TNE_GuildMsg adds a green flash around the screen when someone says something in guild chat, only minor flaw is it’ll also flash when you post in guild. Particularly useful for whispers, I always miss them :P

Class Specific Addons:

FloTotemBar – a great Totembar addon, lets you switch totems on the go. You can even do half sets (eg. Set your Call of Ancestors to cast just ‘Tremor’ and ‘Cleansing’). I have not found any other Totem addon that will do this.

Necrosis – I only use it on a lock, but it’s great, shard management, neat menu for curses, spells and demons, as well as alerts when nightfall procs, when mobs are banishable, unfearable, and such. All so includes a pretty decent dot timer. LunarSphere is the full package alternative that comes with modules for all the classes, but as I only use it on my lock, Necrosis is all I need or want.

Runevolution – Dk rune monitor. Simple but beautiful when set up right. And shows cooldowns in a clear visual way without bars. You can personalise the cooldown path of your runes and the addon also track certain buffs and disease duration left.

These addons can all be found on WowInterface or on Curse . Long post but I most likely won’t post often.

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