Category Archives: ui

I’m Trying Out New Unit Frames, Probably Because I Hate Myself

Okay, okay, I don’t really hate myself.  But I kind of hate that I had to spend like an hour putzing around with Shadowed Unit Frames to get it to how I like it.

shadowed ufI feel it pertinent to point out that I’ve been using X-Perl Unit Frames (and recently Z-Perl Unit Frames) for, like, ten years.  I’m a big fan and it has served my needs in basically every way.  Then I got a new monitor and for whatever esoteric reason, this new monitor occasionally causes the lovely 3D portrait of my beautiful blood elf to shapeshift into some sort of face-less eldritch horror.

This bothers me a lot, and I can’t find a fix for it (although if any of you know a fix PLEASE let me know), so I decided to try a new unit frame addon.  Enter Shadowed Unit Frames, which so far are succeeding in NOT turning Althalor into a horrifying monstrosity, much to his relief.

The question now is: can I adapt to a new addon after using a different one for a decade?  Can you teach an old hunter new tricks?

We’ll just have to find out.

UI de Pike

Inspired by Anea over at Holy Discipline, I am here to post about my UI. I haven’t really done a post like this since I was like level 55 because I figure this blog is largely a screenshot dump anyway so I’m sure you’ve all seen it by now. But hey, this gives me an excuse to talk about addons, right? And I get a lot of comments asking about mine sometimes, so why not!


Startin’ from the top:

Ah, X-Perl. Sometimes I go and try to replace it with something different and then I cry and run back to X-Perl. X-Perl is the unit frames mod that you see there, making you and everyone in your party all 3-D and purdy and in general just looking a lot better than the default thing. It also comes with approximately fifty million options to play around with. It’s kinda buggy and bulky at times but I still secretly love it, meaning this is one o’ those “I wish I could quit you!” addons that I’m sure a lot of us have.

Now let’s hop over and take a look at the lovely Drake-Mounted Crossbow in my bags which I recently traded in for the sexiest gun since Wolfslayer *drools*:

See how it’s giving me a “Stat Summary”, that’s RatingBuster and I couldn’t live without it. I mean really. Makes gear choices a lot easier to calculate out on the fly. Remember though that you have to tweak the options to take things like gems and enchants into account (I’ve certainly wound up with a few false “upgrades” because those options were unchecked) , and obviously this addon isn’t gonna be the answer to all your gear upgrade problems. You’re still going to have to mentally think about stuff like sidegrades and the like. Still, lovely addon.

(Also, looking at that screenshot now, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t take scopes into account. Just a heads-up.)

And below that, you see Auctioneer. Would you guys believe I actually went Auctioneer-less for a while? No really, there was a month or two right after WotLK launched where I decided I didn’t like the new Auctioneer and auctioned all my stuff manually. I am a Neopets restocking veteran, I figured, I didn’t need no silly pricing addon.

Then one day I reinstalled it, figured out how to work the new Auctioneer, realized that I really really like it now, and it’s been good times since. <3 And finally we go down to the bottom of my screenshot and we see StellarBars. I love StellarBars. No having to worry about moving your action bars around, no having to worry about logging in and seeing like twenty extra random action bars filling up your screen, no having to worry about re-doing your keybindings… no, this is the pure and simple Blizz action bars but prettier and with some nice stylization options. I combined mine with ButtonFacade for maximum prettiness. Sure, I can play without StellarBars, but it sucks. I had to play without it for a couple days after this latest patch cause it was broken for me; I actually went and told the SB guy about my problem and he had it fixed in a new version literally the next day. So much love <3 Moving on to combat! wow_pikesui3

The scrolling combat text? Is SCT and SCT-D. I like this a lot better than the built-in game version because it tells you which shot is doing what and I find that immeasurably useful. For example, I can see how my Steady Shot crit in that screenshot for 1865, but I can also /chuckle inwardly because I know that I’ve seen Arcane Shot crits that go well over 4000. Very handy, and the numbers don’t bounce all over the place like they do with the Blizz version. You can customize it a lot too, to display the numbers where you want to and change the colors around. The written [Cobra Strikes] proc you see there is also a part of SCT/SCT-D. I do know there are better scrolling combat text addons out there by this point that are more frequently updated, but I’m happy with the old standby for now.

Up by my map is Omen, I don’t leave home without it, and neither should you. /cough

And straight down from there is Recount, the obligate damage meter. I usually don’t have my damage meter open and visible even when running things; I display it briefly after bossfights to see how I did, or when I’m pounding away at the training dummies. It’s a good tool for testing and troubleshooting.

And now moving on to the addons that I have but weren’t visible in those screenshots…

Deadly Boss Mods: when I was raiding in Burning Crusade I somehow wound up with the unofficial title of “Deadly Boss Mods Person, Give Me Assist Please” and even though I think I’m not the only one in our group who has it these days, I still have it just in case it’s needed. Basically it tosses up warnings and the like during raids and it can be handy for a lot of people. Now we just need to get it to draw a frickin’ line on the ground on Heigan and I’ll be all set.

: Take a census of your server and upload it to WarcraftRealms. I’m a sucker for this kind of thing.

And finally, the Addon Graveyard, of addons I used at one point and no longer do. RIP

FuBar. I really like FuBar, I do. But 75% of the FuBar plugins that I used quit working with 3.0.2 and never updated themselves, and in my latest reinstall it was borking my minimap somehow, so I canned it entirely. Maybe someday in the future I’ll look into it again.

MyRoleplay: I like what RP addons do, not just cause you can see details about other peoples’ characters, but cause it’s an easy way to see who else roleplays. It got to a point, though, where 1.) it was hogging up all my chat channels, 2.) I don’t actively roleplay enough (I’m more of a mental roleplayer), and 3.) not enough people on my server even use the thing. So it got booted. Again, I’m more than willing to look into an RP addon someday in the future, if I ever feel the need or urge for one.

Gatherer: Displays on your map where you’ve found various herbs/mining nodes/etc. in the past. Semi-handy but in the end I’m enough of an herbalist junkie at this point that I know where everything is anyway. Oh, and while we’re on the subject, if you want Briarthorn, go live in Silverpine Forest. Trust me.

Lightheaded: It takes about three seconds to alt+tab and use the WoWHead search bar on my Firefox. In the end, it wasn’t worth it for me to take up extra memory to be able to do that in game. Your mileage may vary!

Well, that’ll do it. If you’ve got questions/comments/discussion, lemme hear ’em!

Tweaking my UI (and my spec, again)

So a couple of days ago, I got this random urge to mess with my UI again. So off I went in search of new addons…

My first stop was actually Bartender3. However, I didn’t like it very much… it just seemed sort of confusing and counter-intuitive to use. (I do acknowledge the likely possibility that I just gave up without trying for very long!) Anyways, I dumped Bartender for now and began using StellarBars instead. Now, StellarBars doesn’t offer a whole lot of customization… basically it’s for people who like the general “look” of the default UI but want it to be a bit cleaner and maybe have a couple extra options. But it works for me I think.

Next I installed FuBar and a couple of plugins for it. I imagine most people know what FuBar is already, but if you don’t, it basically adds a couple of thin “bars” to your UI which you can plug various “mini-addons” into. Also some stand-alone addons, such as Omen, plug into FuBar as well.

So now my UI looks like this:

I think I like it overall, but I would still like to do some further tweaking and maybe give Bartender another go sometime, if I ever feel like it. Oh, and I’ll definitely also be keeping my eyes open for other FuBar plugins too.

Also, I respec’d again. Back to Beast Mastery. I’d been sort of planning to return to it at some point, but I originally didn’t want to for another few levels, after I’d hit 60 and got an epic mount and all that. But the other day my brother dropped by for a bit… he’s a 70 troll warrior on another realm, and he informed me firstly that “There is nothing scarier in battlegrounds than a beast mastery hunter and its Night Elf pet” (heehee), and secondly that “Outlands will be really fun for you, especially if you’re beast mastery.” I’m not sure how he came to that conclusion because as far as I know he hasn’t leveled a hunter himself past 30 or so, but anyways, he managed to convince me and not long after that I was running to the Dwarven District of Stormwind, throwing down gold and respec’ing back to BM.

The Big Red Owl is back!

To be completely honest, like the recent comment I left over on BRK‘s blog, the different hunter specs are like my kids (well, I’ve yet to try Survival, but I love the sounds of it) and I can’t just pick one. I think maybe I’m doomed to respec all the time for the rest of my hunter career. Ah well.

My interface and addons

Firstly, I would like to say thank you to all of you reading this. Recently I have been garnering quite the little group of people who read and comment on my blog or who link to me. I really, really appreciate it. When I first started this blog, it was mostly so I would have a place to ramble to myself, so my non-WoW friends wouldn’t have to see so much of it at my personal journal. But a lot of neat people have started reading and leaving me comments, and I’ve discovered a lot of your great blogs as well, so I’m very happy with the way this has all turned out. =) And thank you again for reading and linking!

Anyway, I decided to make a post detailing the addons I use.

Here is a screenshot I took today, of Tux and I taking on a moonkin in Winterspring:

As you can see, I largely just use the default UI. I have a few addons to make a couple things a bit prettier, and a few to make my WoW-life easier, and a few that are there just for fun. But overall, the default WoW-look is functional to me (for the time being, anyway!) so that’s what I use.

Now, my addons:

The lovely 3-D animated frames addon (you can’t tell they’re animated in the screenshot, but they are) is X-Perl. X-Perl comes with a lot of other bonus things that I really like aside from the pretty frames, including but not limited to aggro/low-health warnings. This is a very deep and endlessly customizable addon and I love it to death.

The threat meter is Omen, which I have come to really prefer over KTH (which is what I used previously.) It looks nicer and is more customizable, and is still compatible with KTH if other people in your group use it.

The scrolling combat text addon is SCT and SCTD, the former showing what moves you and your pet are doing and the latter showing the damage being done. I also installed the “options” addons for both which let you customize it quite a bit.

Those are the addons of mine that you can really “see” in the screenshot. There are others I have, though, and they include:

FlagRSP2: A roleplaying addon that allows others with this or similar addons to view additional information that you include about your character (backstory, appearance details, your own roleplaying details, etc.)

SWStats: The good ol’ damage meter!

Census Plus: I love this addon because I’m a huge sucker for statistics and graphs and things. This will run a census on your faction and server, and you can check out exactly how many night elf hunters there are! (turns out, on my server anyway, there are more night elf druids than hunters. Maybe we aren’t so ubiquitous after all!) You can also sort the results by race, class, level, guild… all sorts of fun options. And then upload your information to a global site and compare! I love it.

Auctioneer: Cause really, does anybody not have it these days? =P Even though I wouldn’t call this a vital add-on for me… those many days of Neopets restocking taught me well enough how to price things on my own (I’m a geek, yes)… this is still a very helpful price-tracking addon that speeds things up and all and all I’m glad I have it installed.

Gatherer: This one is only “sort of installed” at the moment– basically a lot of things started acting weird for me, so I shut off Gatherer which was out-of-date and things started working again. Since then I’ve tried re-enabling it and it seems to work fine again, but at the same time, I don’t see this addon as being super vital for me. If it helps you out, that’s great… but I just sort of remember where the herbs I need are, they like to change where they are everytime I go looking for them anyway. It does have that nifty guild-send feature though. I may just re-enable this one for that.

And I do believe that’s everything! I’m always on the lookout for new helpful or fun addons, but I also don’t like to go overboard so come patch day I don’t have to go scrambling for hours for newer versions of them all. Heehee.