The Conundrum of the Interface

I’ve been reading a lot of the Add-On Spotlight and Reader UI of the Week posts over on WoW Insider.  Reading these kinds of philosophical approaches to environment, makes me think about my own environmental philosophy. I do it with my work environment, my personal environment, and my social environment, so why wouldn’t I do it with my WoW environment?

So a while ago, I went on a bend and made some basic changes to my UI, which I tried carrying across the board to all of my alts.  For the most part, since I don’t raid, I was successful. But there are a few niggly little details that I still need to work out.

First and foremost, I like to run add-on light, because I don’t have the most powerful computer out there, and I don’t raid, so I can scratch off a whole stack of add-ons with just that. I do 5-man, though; so things like Omen still need to exist.  Second, I have 8 classes and three of the four play-styles represented in my characters. I have no rogue and no death knight, and I don’t tank. And third, I want the majority of my UI to be usable on all 10 characters.

I’m currently running a top and bottom motif, which I like. Up on the top, I keep my experience and reputation bars. Those bracket a few bars: My Guppet bar for random mounts and pets, an action bar to house things like my professions and other “in town” functions, and the Menu bar.  My buffs also go up there, in the middle, as opposed to on the right where they are by default.  There’s also an extra bar up top that sits underneath the reputation bar, which I toss extra random things on, like counters when I’m collecting some item or another.

On the bottom, I have a lot of stuff, but I try to keep it tidy none-the-less.  I have a stack of four bars which contain most of my actions. I know I could trim the fat there a lot by really considering what I have out on my bars for abilities, but that’s what I’ve got at the moment.

I keep my target, focus and character bars, as well as my minimap, on the bottom right. These are the things I need the most in combat.  (yes, I actually do use my minimap in combat periodically. I get turned around easily in movement intensive fights).  On the left is my chat window, with a simple chat mod.

To do all of that, I actually use surprisingly few addons: Bartender, MoveAnything, SexyMap, Pratt and Guppet.

My healers get one more addon – Vuhdo. I put my Vuhdo party frames right on top of my stack of bars in the middle.

All in all, it works okay. But there’s a catch, because there’s always a catch.  I keep having to fiddle with where a few things are, because I don’t have the spacing perfect for every character. Some things are character dependent, and others are not. Drives me crazy!  Another thing is that since I have  a druid and a warrior, I have a couple of bars that get exchanged for action bars based on their form/stance. I have not done a great job of making sure those bars aren’t the ones in my various odd places.

So over the next week, I’m going to try and find some time to rebuild my interface on Shoryl, and port it over to my other toons for a basis to build on for them.  I have a structure I generally like. It just needs a few tweaks so I can really enjoy a seemless interface.

Hopefully, a post in the next week or two will be what was, and what it became….

While you’re here, let me know what your favorite add-ons are, and why.

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Posted on June 21, 2011, in General and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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