Reader UI of the Week: Adoru

It lives! Yes, indeed. As promised in my recent appearance in About the Bloggers, the leads of WoW Insider and I have finally worked out scheduling and the like to bring back two of the posts you've been asking for -- Reader UI of the Week and Reader WoWspace of the Week! From now on, you'll see Reader UI appearing on Sunday, and Reader WoWspace coming to you on Tuesday, just in time to help shake those downtime blues. But enough with the promotion, let's get on with the show!

This week's Reader UI of the Week comes to us courtesy of Adoru, level 60 Night Elf Rogue of "It Hurts when I PvP" on Sen'Jin. (Bonus points for the lolworthy guild name!) Adoru not only sent in a fantastic breakdown of all the mods involved in this week's Reader UI and the reasons for building it, (hint, hint) but additionally sent us a bunch of screenshots to choose from! So without further ado, here's your long-awaited (and hopefully welcomed-back) Reader UI of the Week.

While my WoW UI modifications don't give me an UberL33t look, they do provide a clean, consistent and usable interface. It's a work in process that never ends -- but I think it is coming along nicely. I started with a set of goals and they have been met for the most part:

  1. Don't cover up the beauty that is World of Warcraft. That means that I put attractive bars on the top and bottom for my ever-present UI elements and all of the others appear dynamically, not covering things up when they are not needed. It also serves to give it a nice wide-screen movie look.

  2. A clean, non-cluttered interface. This meant I wanted all the information I needed at hand but only when I needed it. It also meant that each UI element had its own spot that wouldn't cover up the game or other UI elements.

  3. A usable and informative interface. I wanted the information easily accessible. I don't want to have to open my bags when I just want to know how much gold I have or my friends list just to know if someone is online.

  4. A consistent interface. I wanted for all the UI elements to match and look like part of a consistent whole. That means that all the windows and bars look the same. I wanted my UI to look like it might be a stock UI that came with the game.

  5. An interface that is easy on the system as much as it is easy on the eyes. I didn't want the memory requirements to be extreme. I only have a gig of memory to play with. That means I used ACE addons where I could find a worthwhile one for the function.

  6. It had to work with all character classes. I am an altaholic.

Below is a list of the addons and any note or information to match to the screenshots.

  • ag_UnitFrames - I chose ag_UnitFrames due to information and look and the fact that it's ACE'd. Pitbull is also good and has a few more features but a bit memory intensive and the bar style wouldn't fit with the look I wanted. You'll see the player, pet, target and target of targets are in a quad at the bottom middle of the screen. Party members are in the top left corner.

  • Align - (not pictured) - A nice little addon that throws up a grid on your screen so you can align your UI elements.

  • ArkInventory - A nice bag addon that consolidates all your bag space and automagically sorts items for you based on rules you can modify. It will also let you examine your bank, guild bank and bags for Alts at any time.

  • aUF_Banzai - Sets a unit frame to red if it has aggro. Nice in a group setting.

  • AuldLangSyne - A guild/friend list addon. This will sync your friend lists, add notes to friends and guild, keep track of information about offline friends/guild members as well as a last seen function. Plays nicely with Fubar to give you a count of how many friend/guild members are currently online.

  • Bartender3 - An action bar replacement. An ACE mod for memory reasons. Note that the row of buttons on the bottom button bar changes with shift-#'s. I have full time stuff on bar 1, tradeskills are bar 2, and bar 3 holds items/macros that I have hotkeyed like my mount and my hearthstone. (Important for a pally)

  • beql - (not pictured) - A nice quest log replacement with a double wide view and good tracker options. The quest tracker goes in the upper-right corner.

  • Buffalo2 - (not pictured) - Allows me get rid of Blizzard's default buff window and still place weapon buffs down by the minimap.

  • Capping - A battlegrounds addon that tracks information and timers. It lives in the upper right corner with the quest tracker. (since I'm never tracking quests in BG's)

  • ClearFont2 - Keeps the text readable :)

  • Clique - (not pictured) - Click casting FTW. I tried a number of ACE click-casting addons but none of them were as user friendly to set up nor did they support having conditional spells based on if it was a friendly or non-friendly unit.

  • cyCircled - To get the snazzy look on the bartender3 buttons.

  • ezIcons - (not pictured) - The best raid icon addon evar! To assign a raid icon just double click on the mob and a radial menu appears. Flick your mouse toward one of the icons and it's assigned. Quick, easy and not in the way.

  • FlightMap - I like to know how long my flights are going to take so that I know when I need to be back from the bathroom. Works with Quartz. There is also Fubar_ToFu but I had issues with making it play nicely and I like the preloaded flight database. FlightMap took about the same amount of memory anyway.

  • FuBar - ACE'd info-bar.

  • FuBar_AmmoFu - How much ammo or soulstones you have. Keeps me from showing up to an instance and running out of ammo.

  • FuBar_AssistFu - (not pictured) - While it will show in Fubar who you are currently assisting I leave that turned off (I know since I set it) and just use it's ability to set my assist manually.

  • FuBar_BagFu - I keep mine set to tell me how many free slots I have so I don't have to do the math in my head.

  • FuBar_BattlegroundFu - Displays queue times, ranking information and more in battlegrounds. Goes well with Capping even though some of the information is redundant.

  • FuBar_ClockFu - So I know how late I'm up and how tired I will be in the morning.

  • FuBar_DurabilityFu - Shows what needs to be fixed and how much it will cost.

  • FuBar_ExitFu - The X in the upper right.

  • FuBar_HonorFu - Keeps track of my honor and battleground scores in a nice tooltip on Fubar.

  • FuBar_LocationFu - Tells me where I am and (in the tooltip) where I should go to level.

  • FuBar_MailFu - Replacement for the mail indicator on the minimap.

  • FuBar_MicroMenuFu - Replacement for the system menu so I can still be lazy and click to get to windows when eating chili cheese Fritos.

  • FuBar_MoneyFu - See how poor I am and shows a history of earnings on all my alts.

  • FuBar_PerformanceFu - Keeps track of frame rate, memory and latency. It will show what addons are gobbling up memory.

  • FuBar_RecapFu - Displays my DPS on Fubar and gives me one-click access to Recap.

  • FuBar_TopScoreFu - Keeps track of the top normal and crit values for all attacks. So I EPeen a little. Forgive me.

  • FuBar_TrackerFu - Set your tracking skills from Fubar. Includes the new minimap tracking from Blizzard.
    (Ed. note -- That's a lot of Fu!)

  • GFW_FeedOMatic - (not pictured) - Let's me know when to feed my pet and allows me to hotkey it. Makes one of the worst and most mundane chores in the game bearable. There are some ACE ones but I have never found on that works so well and so easily.

  • GotWood - (not pictured) - A totem timer. Appears in the lower right just below loot.

  • HatTrick - (not pictured) - Adds check-mark boxes on your character window to toggle cape and helm visibility. This is where Blizzard should have put it in the first place.

  • ItemPriceTooltip - (not pictured) - Adds vendor prices to tooltips for items. Very nice for knowing which of those 3 quest rewards you can't use to pick for maximum profit.

  • JasonQuest - (not pictured) - An ACE addon that allows you to view the quest log of other party members running JasonQuest. It also will display a quest tracker for them (right middle). This makes questing with my girlfriend much easier.

  • JasonQuestFu - (not pictured) - I keep it hidden on Fubar, this is just to get rid of the minimap icon.

  • JasonQuestLH - (not pictured) - Adds LightHeaded support to JasonQuest.

  • JIM_CooldownPulse - Displays a large icon of a spell in the middle of the screen that has just finished cooldown and makes a heartbeat sound. Very nice in combat for knowing when your cooldown is done and the spell is available.

  • LightHeaded - (not pictured) - A quest addon that shows the comments from for quests. Prevents all that alt-tabbing and keeps me from having my browser sack memory.

  • LockSmith - (not pictured) - Adds lockpick level requirements to tooltips.

  • MobHealth - Gives the health as a mob so you have to play less guesswork.

  • Modality - Allows for stance bars and such in bartender3. This is how I have my combat target buttons (above the bottom part of the screen) appear only when I have a target.

  • MozzFullWorldMap - (not pictured) Shows unexplored areas on the map. I could have used Cartographer but I don't really use any of its other features, so why use up that much memory.

  • OmniCC - Shows countdown time on buttons so you know when the cooldown will be finished.

  • Outfitter - (not pictured) Let's you swap gear based on conditions such as zone, mounting, etc. I tried baggins in ACE but found it didn't quite have the feature set I needed and took more effort to set up sets than I wanted to go through.

  • PerfectRaid - Raid health bars. It's not a full featured set, but since I don't raid and I just do BG's this works well giving me a single line along the left of the screen.

  • Postal - (not pictured) - Allows me to open all my AH mails at once and auto-fills my recipients nicely.

  • Prat - Chat modification with more features than you could possibly want.

  • Quartz - The best cast bar replacement available. This also keeps track of debuffs and such on your target.

  • Recap - A group combat analyzer. While Recount seems to be all the rage and actually fits my interface better I chose Recap because it uses less memory, has more options I need and seems to track damage more accurately.

  • sct - Scrolling Combat Text for during fights. It shows the damage I do on the right, information in the middle.

  • sctd - A SCT modification that shows damage that happens to me. (on the left)

  • simpleMinimap - Allows skinning and moving of the minimap as well as adds coords.

  • Skillet - (not pictured) - An ACE replacement for your crafting window that allows queueing and other features modeled after advanced tradeskill window.

  • Skinner - Gives the nice semi-transparent black matte look to the UI.

  • SunnArt - Puts the back bars up top and bottom with the ability to put artwork in the area. It also does a viewport so the computer is not actually rendering the area behind them. That means a higher framerate for me. It adds a bit of polish to that wide-screen movie look.

  • TinyTip - A tooltip replacement. Allows me to move it up top and throws in some additional information like who they are targeting.

  • TomTom - (not pictured) - Adds way-points to your main map and minimap. It works with Lightheaded so that if you click coordinates in it it sets a way-point for you. A must have if you have Lightheaded. (and no cartographer)

  • VisualHeal - (not pictured) - A bar that shows the targets current health, the anticipated health once the heal fires off and any other heals that are incoming on the target as well as anticipated overheal. VERY nice for a healer. I have it appear just below my Quartz castbar.

  • Loot - A loot window replacement and loot history display. I have it appear in the mid to lower right of the screen. This way you don't have to clutter your chat log with lootz.

This interface fits my play style very well (multiple classes, soloing, small groups, BG's) and is near complete. I am thinking of adding Omen as some friends are starting to run it. I would also add some if I started raiding as well as probably move to Grid for the raid unit frames. I had Auctioneer installed but it was consuming 15 megs of memory on its own and I don't play the AH a lot. As it stands all these addons together only take up 30 megs. But I may do some playing around with some AH addons and am always open to suggestions.

Whew! That was a lot of UI goodness and screenshots to get through, but really informative as to why Adoru decided to build this UI in this way. I think if I were also as prone to altitus and playing them all, I'd probably have a lot of these too. For as many mods as Adoru has, however, they certainly look pretty good.

If you'd like to have your custom setup shown on a future edition of Reader UI of the Week, then grab some screenshots of different aspects, write up a listing (no, it doesn't have to be this long, but you have to admit, this was a great writeup!) and mail it to me at readerui AT gmail DOT com.