Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Add-on awesomeness or mod madness? You decide!

I've been meaning to do it for, well forever it feels like, and the questions of a guildie who reads this blog *waves to Mckildy* have given me further motivation. Therefore I present to you the various mods I use within my UI. Some time ago now I posted about the development of my UI over time and mumbled something about follow up posts on the specific subject of add-ons. You can see a full screenie of my UI there or in my previous Vashj post if you are so inclined. I use a lot of mods (hence the title of this here post) so I suspect that this post will get too ridiculously long before I've covered them all hehe and I may need to do a couple of posts on the subject.

To recap what I'm looking for in a UI and mods:

  1. Low memory footprint
  2. At a glance information that doesn't require me to click on panels to see it
  3. Minimalism in layout (which is tough given my above penchant)
  4. Mods that are well-supported - ie. regularly updated
  5. Easy to update

So straight away I'm going to tell you - ACE - get it, use it, love it. Ace framework based mods are generally lightweight and using the Ace updater utility makes updating and installing a breeze. It's possible to run the updater while logged in and then /reload ui to get immediate effect. Handy when you're about to start raiding and there's a new Omen update *grin*. That said, I do use a bunch of other mods that aren't Ace based but which I find I can't live without. As it is many non-Ace based mods do have Fu-Bar plug-ins and FuBar is Ace based.

Fu-Bar can be classified as an 'action bar' mod and allows you to place thin panels at the top and bottom of your screen (or both at the top, or more than 2 etc etc). You can then download an absolute plethora of fu-bar mods and plug-ins for other mods which you can place in your panels. I'll list out all the ones I use later, first I want to cover some of my other mods.

  • X-Perl UnitFrames

    Replaces the default unit frames. For you character, party, raid, focus and etc. I like them because you can get quite granular with their appearance, they have support for an MT and OT pop window which is great for quick focus fire targeting in raids and there is a fu-bar plug in available. Some people swear by Pitbull and it looks good but so far X-Perl is working for me.

  • Bongos2

    Action bar mod that replace the default in game bars. You can arrange them however you want including number of columns in a bar, size and have access to more bars than the standard UI allows. You can control their visibility and they also have built in stance/form changing for druids and the like. Bongos3 is now available but since it requires re-building your bars since it's structure has changed so much I haven't gone there yet.

  • Quartz

    Beloved by hunters everywhere this mods displays a shot timer with a 'swing' bar for auto shot and also displays latency which is important for me as a player in Australia experiencing higher than typical latency. Especially since I'm a hunter and getting your shot rotation right is key to maximising your DPS.

  • Baggins

    Replaces the default bags including for your bank. Separates items into different categories, including allowing you to define your own. I particularly like the 'new' feature which shows you all items that are new to the bags since log-in, very useful for when I 'borrow' Emelin to do some disenchanting. I don't think feign death would save me if I accidentally DE'd a purple.

  • Elk Buff Bars

    Highly configurable display of your buffs, debuffs and also things like mana oils. You can configure to show just the icon or include the name, rank and of course, a timer. The bar size height, and font can be set to whatever you prefer.

  • Countdown Timers 2

    Display bars showing as many types of cooldown as you want. I find if handy to display this information - particularly for things like traps, Misdirect and TBW. I have recently started using Omni CC again which shows a timer on the actual bar button so I may reconfigure Countdown to only display for those buttons I don't have displayed on my bar (I have them on a bar set to invisible and hotkeyed). This is an Ace mod, it doesn't have a wiki page but you can grab it using the installer.

  • Omen2

    One of the 'if you don't use any other mods use this one' types. In a raiding situation it's crucial to know what your threat is compared to the tank. Omen2 has a bunch of different views but since I'm a DPSer I just use the single target view. It's also great for me when soloing, I prefer Snaggle to get beat on rather than me *grin*

Phew ok that's it for now. I have plenty more mods to talk about though! It's taken me a while to try and make this post format how I would like it to. WYSIWYG editing tools plus HTML interfaces = teh devil! I'm still not happy with it either. Time to learn about divs :P


Tox said...

*Goes off to test out newly discovered addons he might like*

Thank ye kindly, 'tis greatly appreciated.

Good Hunting,

Mckildy said...

Awesome stuff Jez! I've been playing around with my UI so much recently, but now I finally have a solid base to build it upon.

I know I pestered you alot about it, thanks a bunch for getting it up!

I shall be looking forward to future installments ;)