Greetings, Reader UI of the Week fans, and welcome aboard the good ship Addons. Today, we travel back in time, way back, to March of 2010, when man still lived in a terrible age of despair and ignorance. We have come so far since that terrible time. A light, a blindingly bright light, shown through the heavens, illuminated one column. One column for you, dear readers, to submit your user interfaces to ...
Fizziks was one of my first reader UI column subjects and has graciously sent in a redux of his awesome-then and awesome-now user interface. I am happy to say that this is the 25th Reader UI of the Week that I have written, and am happy to have an old friend come back for this special number.
Take us away, Fizziks, for the second first time.
Thanks for the followup email, Fizziks. The original Fizzik's UI was pretty dandy already, but there were some subtle changes that I believe the Reader UI of the Week community would enjoy seeing. Also, it gives me an opportunity to pimp out SLData Text, a wonderful addon for displaying performance information, among other things.Greetings!
Fizziks <Special Circumstances> - Aman'Thul here, RealID - Fizziks von Fizzlebang (/jokes). My UI was featured on your Reader UI of the Week column a few months back around the launch of ICC.
I thought I would share with you the substantially updated rendition of my UI and information some regarding changes I have made along the way. I have provided two screen shots displaying my UI taken while working on Halion 25 Heroic in the new Ruby Sanctum raid. There is one screen shot for both the live realm and the shadow realm of this encounter.
So basically everything remains similar to my previous submission apart from these changes:
1) Zomg no more gnome!
Yes I have departed from my gnomely ways for now, lured by the attractiveness of the 10% human reputation buff. A great boon for the rep grinds I am currently completing.
2) Dump Pitbull for Stuf!
Pitbull is a great unit frame addon that is highly customizable, but.... it is a massive hog on your systems performance. I recently upgraded to Stuf and while it takes a little longer to configure, the rewards in terms of performance are tremendous.
*Note in one of my screenshots my framerate dips at 6 fps, luckily this is not a frequent occurrence and I usually sit at a comfortable 20fps.
3) SLData Text
This is a little gem i discovered a while ago, basically it displays a number of texts that display information that is usually hidden in most customized UI's.
This information includes: Framerate/Latency/Memory Usage/Time/Friends Online/Guildies Online. The sort of things you would usually find in an addon like Titan panel.
The benefit of SLDT over Titan panel is the ability to have that infomation not require a whole bar taking up screen real estate. You can see this addon in action in the bottom right of my UI.
I hope you enjoy the screen shots!
Clean portraits, cleaner unit frames
Fizziks switched out his old Pitbull unit frame addon for Stuf, an updated version of StellarUF. Stuf is a worthy competitor to unit frame addons such as Shadowed Unit Frames and Pitbull, especially because of the customization and sleekness that can be achieved through addon tinkering. The switch seems like an excellent choice, as his unit frames are now slimmed down and much simpler.
I don't see Fizziks' mana bar, which has led me to the conclusion that warlocks do not have mana but instead fuel their spells on pure hatred for anything resembling a tank or a mage. In fact, I would advise Fizziks to put in a bar that shows how much he hates mages at any given time, from zero (just a tad) to 100 (like, a lot) to give the appearance of worrying about a resource.
But, really, if you don't use a bar, don't show the bar. Why not instead use a Power Auras set up or some other notification addon to tell you what percent mana you have? I know Power Auras can do something in that realm, and you get to work with one less bar. So, that's my only question to Fizziks regarding his unit frames -- where's the mana bar?
The Stuf unit frames Fizziks has customized astound me. I love them. Single bars, target of targets and pets below the main bars, and the the big VS gives the UI a fun, gamey feel. Everyone who reads the column knows how I feel about portraits. Done in a fun, stylized way, they add some nice flavor; otherwise, they feel superfluous. Fizziks' new portraits are small enough to be fun and not memory/CPU hogs, as well as not being a space hog.
Solid as a rock
In Fizziks' old user interface, the bottom of the screen was a transparent "window" with addons existing in their natural state over the game space. Now, the bottom has been augmented with a dark back piece and transparent addons. I like this. Instead of using a mishmash of addon background colors, the solid color functions as the unifier. Remember, addons can be set up in such a way that they are transparent, allowing for this setup.
I like this bottom area so much that I've been designing a new user interface for my warrior with this setup in mind. Start with a base color that feels neutral, like the grey chosen here, and design around transparent addons. I'm impressed and enjoy this very much.
SLData is text you'll love
SLData is one of those addons I keep forgetting to tell people about because it happily integrates itself into the background. It's innocuous, which is probably one of the best compliments you can give to an addon that works the way SLData does.
Information such as frames per second, latency, addon memory and number of guild members or friends online are easily displayed in simple text formats. Simple text is sometimes overlooked as a communication medium -- SLData takes simple information and displays it with little fanfare. The best kind of addon for this solution, in my open, does things as simple as possible.
Excellent work on the improvements, Fizziks, and thanks for the ideas for my own user interface. Maybe after I am done with it, I can post a brand new Reader UI about myself. It has been a while since I have shown people my own user interface ...
Question for the comments, since you guys seem to like these; I've gotten a few emails saying that it's fun to direct the comments in addition to the usual help questions. I need a name for an orc warrior that has to begin with Gen- or end with -gen. Gen- or -gen. Winner gets some awesome Twitter shoutouts and possibly an awesome stick figure drawing. Maybe.
See you guys next week for another exciting installment of Reader UI of the Week.
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, or visit Addons 101 for help getting started.