Welcome to another exciting edition of Reader UI of the Week! This week is a treat for warlocks, as one user interface that graced my inbox looked slick and clean and is all about being simple and sturdy in a raid environment. Fizzik's warlock raiding UI evoked three distinct emotions in me, which we will tackle individually -- wonderment, calmness and righteous anger. Let's get to discussin'!
I think it would be best to first hear from reader Fizziks first:
Thank you for the e-mail, Fizziks, and enjoy your UI I did! As you can see, a lot of the addons that Fizziks uses are addons I consider to be stock for the user interface enthusiast who wants to configure easily and to a heightened degree, namely SexyMap, Bartender, kgPanels and Pitbull. Let's run through my three previously stated emotions, and discuss why it would be prudent for many warlocks out there to take some hints from, what I consider, a great user interface.Fizziks of <Special Circumstances> (Aman'Thul - Oceanic Server) here, just though I would share my UI for your Reader UI of the Week post. (Mid-raid UI Screenshot attached).
The screenshot I have submitted is during the Blood Queen encounter on 25m. I play an affliction warlock and the UI I'm using has some modifications specific to the class and dot classes in general.
Unit frames - My unit frames are handled by Pitbull4. I use player (top left), target (right of player), focus (bottom left), target of focus (above focus) and raid (above action bar) unit frames. You may notice I only use 20 unit frames of the 25, I am still working out how to display my party in a different location to the regular raid frames.
Action Bar - I use Bartender4 for my bars which are then tweaked visually using ButtonFacade (I use the Caith skin).
Meters - I am using Omen (threat) and Recount (damage) for meters located on the right of my action bar.
Cast Bars - I use Quartz for my player and target cast bars. Quartz shows how latency affects your cast. I use this in a different manner by having no texts shown for latency and the latency offset at the start of my cast bar. This gives the cast bar a more natural appearance.
Buff/Debuffs - I use Buffalo to reposition and my buffs and debuffs and then alter their appearance with ButtonFacade.
Minimap - I use SexyMap to adjust my minimap to the style you see here.
Chat - I use Prat to adjust my chat window to the style you see here. It also lets me reposition the typing box location from under that chat pane.
Texts - I use SharedMedia to insert alternative fonts into the game (I download these from dafont.com), that you see in my unit frames and chat panes.
Backdrop - The backdrop you see behind my chat pane, action bar and meters is handled by KGpanels.
Boss Mod - I use Deadlybossmods to display the boss warnings and timers you see here.
Warlock Management - I use Necrosis to assist in managing Warlock functions and soul shards, you can see these buttons in the bottom right of my UI.
DOT Management - I use Dotimer to display the timers for my dots. You can see this mod to the left of my character in the screenshot.
I also use other mods for out of combat functions, however none of these are shown in the screen shots.
Hope you enjoy the UI!
Aman'Thul (Oceanic Server)
Fizziks' user interface looks great, and I was shocked and amazed at how little is really on the screen for a DoT class like the affliction warlock. The small, eye level DoT timers are a great addition to the mod, especially being put so close to the character. Having DoT timers situated at a central focal point has always helped me so that there was less I had to dart around the screen to catch going off. Dotimer is an excellent addon to use for this task, as Fizziks has recommended.
Screen real estate is key for Fizziks' user interface. Icecrown is a very positional dungeon, with fights requiring good situational awareness and precise positioning. Having as much screen space dedicated to the environment makes judging what is happening during any given boss encounter makes for a more streamlined raid experience and a happier raid altogether. I very much like that DPS classes can flatten out their raid windows since, opposed to healers, they need to have less interaction with the other raid members during boss encounters. Fizziks' raid information is available to them but situated in such a way that it does not interfere with the view of the action. Tougher for healers, but doable.
Fizziks' user interface puts me at ease. How, you might ask, can a user interface instill such calmness and serenity in you, Mat? This user interface is at full bore during a raid. Granted, DPS classes have arguably less to deal with in the sizeable addon category (raid healing addons are notoriously big) so it is easier to slim down things. Fizziks does it right, though, and it's nice to see a raid user interface that looks clean while the fight rolls on. Deadly Boss Mods is placed to the right and, I'm guessing, the impending boss warnings float in at a larger size towards the center of the screen. Personally, I put the Deadly Boss Mod timers in a far top area of the screen and let them fall down like Tetris pieces, but that's personal preference.
Also, one great decision was the font chosen. I am a stickler for fonts. I watched the Helvetica documentary! Fonts are so much more than ease of sight and understanding information. Fizziks' chosen font works very nicely with the user interface and provides for crisp, clear text. I cannot recommend a font addon like Fontain or, like Fizziks has done, use SharedMedia to insert your own fonts. Take the time to go through fonts and try a lot of them out -- you'll be very impressed with the results the right font can bring.
First, GNOMES. Second, it absolutely amazes me that everything fits on TWO BARS. Ugh, warlocks. But this proves something invaluable -- by condensing your experience into two bars, you can get rid of a lot of fluff on your screen. For Fizziks, Necrosis is the addon of choice. I deferred to a warlock friend and asked if this is a good move and he agreed. I'm not one to argue with a warlock. Necrosis is a great addon because a lot of the warlock's vital information is presented in a very compact fashion.
So there you have it. Fizziks' UI looks great, even in a raid setting, and keeps a good amount of screen open for what really matters in Icecrown Citadel -- not standing in fire/shadows/puddles/goo/line of sight of Sindragosa's frost bombs/void zones/Canada/death and decay. Excellent job!
Addons Used and Discussed
Pitbull4 - Download at [Curse]
Bartender4 - Download at [Curse] or [WoWInterface]
ButtonFacade - Download at [Curse] or [WoWInterface]
Omen - Download at [Curse] or [WoWInterface]
Recount - Download at [Curse]
Quartz - Download at [Curse] or [WoWInterface]
Buffalo - Download at [Curse]
Prat - Download at [Curse] or [WoWInterface]
SharedMedia - Download at [Curse]
kgPanels - Download at [Curse] or [WoWInterface]
DeadlyBossMods - Download at [Curse] or [WoWInterface]
Necrosis - Download at [WoWInterface]
Dotimer - Download at [Curse]
Fontain - Download at [Curse]
Interested in getting the most out of your user interface? Come back once a week for more examples of reader UIs. For more details on individual addons, check out Addon Spotlight, your source for everything addon-related.