I am a big fan of customized UIs. I really think that a good UI is an important aspect of raiding. Whether it’s to keeping track of your health and mana, spell cooldowns, who needs a decurse, a good UI can really help to keep you informed of what’s going on in your raid and can help you to react faster. I know that many people are perfectly capable of playing without mods. Bully for them. But whenever I see someone post a screenshot that shows they are using the ugly default UI, I cringe a little.
When choosing addons and designing your UI, ask yourself what information you need to be made aware of and what abilities you need to be able to access as quickly as possible.
As a resto druid, here are some of the things I need to know:
- The health levels of the whole raid
- The mana levels of the raid (I’m generous with my innervates)
- Who has a curse or a poison that I can get rid of
- Who has a damaging debuff that needs to be healed through
- When my abilities are off cooldown (Swiftmend, Nature’s Swiftness, etc.)
- Who my HoTs are ticking on and for how long
- Who has aggro
- Who is out of range
- When a boss is casting or using a special ability
The abilities I need to have extremely fast access to:
- All my healing spells, obviously
- Things that can save my butt: Health Stones, Crazy Alchemist Potions, Barkskin, Shadowmeld
- Support abilities: Battle Rez, Innervate
Then ask yourself what is not important. If you want a nice clean UI, things like trade skills, mounts, spells you never use in raids, and the Handful of Snowflakes you’ve been carrying around for 3 months do not need to be on your action bars. Or, if you prefer, they can be on hidden action bars with the right addon.
Some addons do require a bit of setup time, but once you do it, you’ll have a nice-looking interface that is tailored to meet your specific needs. I definitely think it’s worth it.
So, without further ado, here’s an action shot of my raid UI!
Over the next week or so I’ll be putting up more detailed posts about the specific addons and how to set them up.
P.S. Sorry hunters, I won’t be sharing my hunter UI right now. It’s too busy at the moment and the trained eye could look at it and point out all my bad habits. I can’t have that.
User Interface posts:
Part 1 – General UI Info
Part 2 – Action Bars
Part 3 – Unit Frames
Part 4 – Key Bindings
Part 5 – Combat Text and Notifications