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Reader UI of the Week: Recover from corruption with Icewalker


Each week, WoW Insider and Mathew McCurley bring you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to, and follow Mathew on Twitter.

Reader UI is no stranger to UI crashes and corruption issues. Believe me, I've had my fair share of UI crashes that completely and utterly obliterated my entire setup. It is a sad state of affairs when your settings just decide to up and leave on you. Not fun, right?

Losing your user interface in a crash or through some corruption issue is annoying and demoralizing, to be sure. However, rebuilding usually takes less time than you think and sometimes adds new and unique aspects to your UI that weren't there before. In destruction comes organized rebirth, or something like that.

Icewalker sent in his UI with the sad tale of UI failure and starting over, which I felt for. Poor, innocent UIs getting corrupted, probably from Old God influence, just puts me in a bad mood. So today, we will take a look at Icewalker's new, basic UI and grieve together for all of those user interfaces lost in senseless crashes and the wanton ways of home computing.

Sing, Icewalker, the song of the corrupted.

Icewalker's UI -- crash and burn, starting from scratch, death knight UI


Hey, I just wanted to submit my new UI, aimed towards Death Knights. I created this a couple days ago, after having a lot of problems with corruption in my WoW install. I decided to scrap and reinstall everything, which means a new UI, yay! I'll have a couple detail shots to show you where things are that you can't see.

Installed Addons:

Addon Control Panel
Atlasloot Enhanced
Blood Shield Tracker
DDR - DocsDebugRunes
Deadly Boss Mods
Elkano's BuffBars
Masque: Darion
Prat 3.0
Shadowed Unit Frames
Skada Damage Meter
Tidy Plates (Using Neon theme)
Visual Combat Table

(Outline Picture) Here is just a little image showing pretty much all of the addons you can see. Looking at this now, I can think of some better uses for the second set of bartender4 areas, but that will come another time.

(Combat/Casting Picture) And here is just a little image of the UI in combat. I would have liked to get a picture in a raid or party, but no one was really cooperating at the time, but you can get the general gist of how it works.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the UI!

-- Icewalker
Level 85 Death Knight
Malfurion (US Alliance
Thanks for the submission and the email, Icewalker. I am dreadfully sorry that your user interface fell apart on you, but hopefully our community-wide grieving can stem the anguish just enough to help you soldier on. Starting over is never fun, and as I've discussed before, you basically have two options when a crash and erasure occurs -- turn on a UI replacement like ElvUI, or rejigger the whole thing from scratch.

Icewalker opted to redo the whole thing, potentially even simpler than the first.

The seven stages of interface grief

I'm not entirely sure there are seven stages of interface grief, probably more like two or three, but I thought the header would be fun. The first thing that comes to mind when your interface explodes is all that time and energy it took you to make your UI in the first place. Would you remember where everything went? Which addons did what? Why are there new UI pieces all over the place -- oh right, you had a bunch of stuff hidden. It is a cacophony of interface elements and broken dreams.

Fear not. Step back. Breathe. Your addon list is usually easily memorable enough, and muscle memory or an old screenshot of your UI will hopefully help you remember your buttons. If you saved your macros with the in-game macro editor, they should still be there, so there's not too much of a loss in terms of scripting or coding when macros are concerned.

After the initial shock of things gone awry, you begin the mental task of rebuilding. At this point, you want to do as little work as possible, so it turns out your UI could come out much simpler than the first time around, since you're looking for shortcuts everywhere in between. Icewalker's new UI has basic symmetry along with large, expandable areas for Bartender at the bottom. Sure, the bottom could be fine-tuned better with the action bars, but this is day 0 of UI crash, right? Keep spaces open for your rebuilding efforts so that you don't run into a space problem as you get back into the old groove.

Small unit frames

I don't know how many times I've written this down, but I love smaller unit frames. When I see a user interface with enormous unit frames all over it, I can't stop thinking about all that wasted space. Wasted! On unit frames! Do you really need your unit frames that large, barring some sort of vision issue? If you've got terrible eyesight (like me), you get a pass.

Everyone else, check out Icewalker's unit frames and see how they are not small enough not to be useful but not large enough that they take over the screen. Vuhdo replaces the group interface, so there are not giant unit frames for every party member down the side of the interface. Yes, it's a smaller target to click when you want to do something to a party member, I know. I am sorry. I guess that's why I recommend Grid so highly; heck, even Blizzard does.

Buffs as bars

The gauntlet has been thrown in the Buff Wars, and I've come down on bar style. I love bar-style buffs and debuffs because I like having the name of the buff/debuff in addition to its duration in a visible format. I've been using icon buffs and debuffs for awhile now when Elkanos was down for the count, but Elkanos is back and I have no more excuses.

The reason I like buffs and debuffs as bars is because they fit so neatly over unit frames. You can keep them as extensions of the unit frames themselves, especially the player's unit frame. An incredibly useful tool, layering your bar-style buffs and debuffs on their respective unit frames makes for some pretty stuff. Remember to filter out the stuff you don't need, though, or things could get crowded. Leave the raid buffs and such to the out-of-the-way area and the important stuff like Jagged Tear close to your heart.

Conc Shot (or, how I say conclusion)

Grieve and feel pain as the mighty constructs of man come tumbling down before our eyes and we rebuild society as it was meant to be -- simple, out of the way, and new. Icewalker obviously has work to do and things will never be exactly the same, but life will go on and new ideas that had not been present before shall present themselves. With death comes rebirth, and with UI death comes a sick new action bar setup and probably more tweaks than he cares to admit right now. They will come, and they will become normal.

Until it all breaks again.

Gallery: Reader UI of the Week gallery | 267 Photos

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.

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