When a beautiful user interface hits the site and people ask where to get it, I have the sad news that not everyone makes their user interfaces available online. The process done correctly, mind you, is a relatively complicated one -- there is a lot that goes into it, especially for a first-timer. So while it is not a requirement to make your user interface available when submitting to Reader UI of the Week, it's always a pleasure when one does come down the pike.
Vhei's user inteface creations have always been fun to showcase because of his talent and attention to detail. Lots of user interfaces out there do what his does, as do all of ours for the most part, but the construction of the whole is where I am always impressed with his creations. I've just gotten an email from Vhei letting me know that his last UI, the Cataclysm 2.0 UI, has been released as a package that you can download and try out. He's even got a video on YouTube explaining the process. Let's find out more, shall we?
The Rusted HUD
Vhei's Cataclysm 2.0 UI is a bottom-bar focused, custom art user interface that relies heavily on addons, art assets, and correct spacing to do its job. As a complete interface replacement, you let this package do the work of many -- a comprehensive setup and change of the basic deal.
I like the rusted look of the HUD, almost as if you would have to brush it off before booting up the game each time. It's a very easy color to look at, text sits nicely against it, and since I couldn't really tell you what color it was other than "maybe rusty," I would have to say that neutral browns are nice.
For people out there who want this type of graphical bottom bar, Vhei's setup is large enough for every class, has room for healing frames if need be, and doesn't feel too out of place. While it's a taller HUD than I am used to (and I believe I said this before when talking about Vhei's Cata 2.0 UI before), this interface isn't necessarily about those types of height concerns. It doesn't need to factor them in because that's not the aesthetic.
A good fit
I love user interfaces where the custom art is designed around a pre-placement of buttons to give off the illusion of the exact opposite. Instead, these buttons are strategically placed over a canvas and then pressed into it, or that's the appearance. The barely raised minimap, the sunken health bars, and the wide chat box all give me warm feelings in my heart.
While this UI has been in the spotlight before, I don't think I like the 3D portraits any more. I used to be a big fan of "well done," stylized 3D portraits in WoW user interfaces, but I think that phase is over. Do I really need those these days? For fun factor, sure, but I'm not here to have fun; I'm here to spout my opinions about UIs at you. Don't you know this dynamic already?!
Vhei does 3D portraits as best he can. That's not his fault -- they're cool! However, next time, I might do something just a tad bit smaller next time.
The installation process
Thankfully, Vhei has provided a video tutorial for installing and running his UI, if you so choose to check it out. It's a bit daunting but manageable. First, remember to back up your Interface and WTF folders to another directory -- just copy and paste them someplace safe in case you need to copy and paste them back over to restart from where you were before.
Since Vhei's interface is a full replacement (and most other full compilation addon/UI packs are, as well), you'll be essentially deleting your old settings and replacing them with the addon pack's. This is why backing up is important. You have settings in there for many addons and game functions that you will want to have around, either for an emergency, a botched install, or to remember settings. Just back it up.
View Vhei's installation video below:
Remember, you are rewriting your folders to make use of this user interface. Please back up your stuff.
Thank you so much for packaging up your UI and shipping it out to the readers, Vhei. It's great to see UI creators respond to the community outcry for their stuff. Hopefully, if you give it a shot, you'll see what kind of hassle packing up and installing a user interface from the ground up can be. You will come out of the experience a more understanding, seasoned, and impressive young fellow.
MoP Pet Battle UI anticipation station
I'm going totally off the rails here, but I can't be the only one extremely excited to see the WoW Pet Battle interface, right? We've seen mockups and potential leaks and icons, but we haven't seen the thing in motion. Well, maybe some people have. But I haven't. Which brings me to my theory -- what does a Pet Battle System-focused UI look like?
You know how you build UIs for raiding, dungeons, questing, and everything in between? Well, what special pieces does a Pet Battle UI have on it? What will the Pet Battle UI's "healing frames" be -- that is, which piece of information or display, when dealing with Pet Battles, do you think will be that important place? Will it be team management? Ability management windows? Quick swaps on predetermined pet teams, like equipment sets? Which aspect of the Pet Battle interface do you think will become a prominent piece of everyone's UI or just for the dedicated Pet Battlers?
Until we actually get Pet Battles in the game, however, we've got some time. I don't think we have much more time to wait, however. Keep playing the guessing game, kids. Thanks again to Vhei for packing up his awesome UI, and thanks to you guys for all your emails and questions.
If you'd like to submit your UI to Reader UI of the Week, send an email, screenshots, video, whatever you want to Readerui@wowinsider.com. Send questions, comments, submissions -- anything you want!
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.