Through the Looking Glass – My UI
May 11, 2010 12 Comments
For some reason which I’ve never understood (and still completely don’t, even as I write this piece), people seem inexplicably curious about the sort of UI others use. It’s a question I’ve been asked at least weekly since I began managing the Unholy Dps thread on Elitist Jerks, and it’s one I rarely, if ever, have bothered to answer.
Don’t get me wrong; I do get that “curiosity” aspect of it, where wanting to know just for the sake of knowing is all it takes. I do get that “cool” aspect of it, where wanting to know for the sake of being able to say that, “Hey, he uses X add-on just like me!” is the main reason. I do get that “useful” aspect of it, where wanting to know for the sake of drawing ideas for your own setup is the primary concern. I get it… to an extent.
But the issue is that there are so many factors which go into a UI which makes it individualized to such a degree that others can’t always properly interpret it. Is that guy using those keybinds because he’s a tool, or because he has a G15 keyboard or a Naga mouse which means the binds aren’t necessarily what they appear? Is that dpser using those raid frames because he’s odd, or because he occasionally heals/tanks? Is that stranger using close to the default UI because he knows no better, or because his computer is a decade old and can’t handle anything more complex?
The list could go on and on, but I think you get the point – simply looking at a screenshot of a UI doesn’t tell you everything you know for that picture to be complete.
All of that said, my UI?
Due to the fact that I’m not currently raiding, I wasn’t able to get an up-to-date picture of my UI in actual combat, and as such not all parts of it are apparent in the above:
- Yes, I use DXE as my boss add-on of choice, and I did so long before joining Deus Vox. No other boss mod is as customizable, nor as easy to customize. Being in the same guild as the author certainly doesn’t hurt, though, I will admit!
- Yes, I do obviously have target-of-target enabled. The frame appears to the right of the target’s frame, in the same mirrored position that my pet’s frame appears relative to my own player frame.
- Yes, I have Skada, although it’s hidden unless I’m actively looking at something.
- Yes, you may notice that several of my abilities are actually macros. In most cases, this is simply due to me combining Rune Strike with the ability. Some exceptions include Gargoyle, where I have modifiers to use Potion of Speed and/or Hyperspeed Accelerators.
- Yes, I use Quartz for weapon swing timer and cast bar purposes. It appears above my pet action bar, and below my player and target unit frames.
A list of all of my add-ons is as follows:
- Unit Frames: Pitbull 4
- Raid Frames: Grid
- Action Bars: Bartender 4
- Nameplates: DocsUI_Nameplates
- Minimap: pMinimap
- Chat: Prat 3.0
- Boss: DXE
- Tooltip: RantTooltip
- Runes: Magic Runes
- Miscellaneous: Bagnon, Buffskin, ButtonFacade, Fontain, OmniCC, Quartz, SnowFallKeyPress, Skada, sStats, teksLoot, and then various minor add-ons which affect those already listed (such as different skins for ButtonFacade).
There’s not a ton to say about UI which can’t be drawn from that picture or from the other information above. I try to use as few as possible, largely because I hate the hassle of updating them post-patch or when they otherwise break, but if an add-on will increase my performance or make desirable information more visible, I’ll obviously use it. I do have a Razer Naga (which is an incredible mouse, I must say), which is why I didn’t opt to show my keybinds – some would seem strange at best, and plain unintelligent at worse! I will note that my UI is in a constant state of flux, as I regularly grow bored with this or that and tweak it daily, but some things – such as position of bars/frames – rarely, if ever, change.
Hopefully this satisfies the curiosity (or whatever it may be) of people, but if you have any specific questions about it, just drop a message in comments. I’ll likely have follow-up articles at later dates explaining why I use Pitbull instead of Xperl, MagicRunes instead of Runewatch, and other such common decisions between popular competitors.
Until then, have a pleasant evening.