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Addon Spotlight: Updated UI packages for 4.0.1

Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same. This week, overhaul it all with some updated UI compilations.

As the addon community settles in to patch 4.0.1, and all of Azeroth and beyond settles into getting rolled over by elementals, we still must press on here at Addon Spotlight. Many people email me each week and post in the comments about upgrading their user interfaces in one fell swoop, opposed to configuring addon by addon. UI packs are great for people who want the defined appearance of a unified user interface, but don't necessarily have the time or patience to achieve that result.

After 4.0.1, a lot of UI packs fell apart, mostly because some pieces of the included user interface fell apart. This week, Addon Spotlight picks a few of the complete UI overhauls that favor minimalism in their design. UI compilations are a good way to get your feet wet with ideas or concepts of UI design that might have not occurred to you otherwise. If a complete overhaul is what you're looking for, look no further. Well, look after the jump.

LUIv3

Now updated for 4.0.1, LUI is a custom, full interface replacement from WoWInterface user loui that has a clean setup with a futuristic tinge. Solid colors and sharp fonts are LUI staples, with defined borders and a familiar setup.

Player and unit frames are centered, allowing buffs and cooldowns to be readily available to the player. The Grid layout to the right seems optimal for tanks and DPS, but still useful for healers who do not depend on a centered healing interface.

Pros of LUIv3 Tanks and DPS will probably benefit most from LUI. Centered buffs/debuffs and unit frames, an out-of-the-way Grid/party interface, and a simple action bar setup will provide plenty of room for tank and DPS abilities. The custom artwork does not cover up anything important and adds to the flavor of LUI.

LUI's installation process is also very easy, and the number of addons actually installed and configured is on the lower side. The whole package is CPU- and memory-light. Plus, it looks great on widescreen monitors and contains its own options panel for tons of extra customizable tweaks.

Cons of LUIv3 If you are not a fan of Grid-to-the-side interfaces for healing, you probably would rather go with a different setup. The large player and unit frames in the center do take up a great deal of space, and I've never really been a fan of the future-fonts in many user interfaces.

LUI is a great user interface replacement if it is specifically what you are looking for -- DPS-centric, light on the action bars, with solid, crisp and clear linear delineation.

Download LUIv3 at [WoWInterface].

Bati's UI

Bati's UI is recommended to me every couple of weeks, and after taking a look, there are some excellent pieces of the UI that I truly like. I've already taken at look at Bati's Grid layouts, which are phenomenally done and based on class needs as well as simplicity. Bati's UI is similar -- slim and pretty, with enough information for any player.

Pros of Bati's UI Bati's UI is sleek and slick, with backdrops eschewed for gradients that, surprisingly, work very well. If you're a fan of single long action bars, Bati is your friend. This packaged UI keeps the center of the screen free from clutter and only displays some debuffs right on top of the character.

The included LDB bar at the bottom of the UI, as well as its lightly opaque nature, give the user interface its design focus -- light on graphics, heavy on definition. I like the UI tower on at the bottom of the screen, and the portraits are not large enough to be a nuisance.

Combined with Bati's Grid layouts, Bati's UI can be an excellent healer user interface for any class.

Cons of Bati's UI
My biggest issue with Bati's is the difficult nature of adding action bars. I am the kind of person who likes two sets of action bars, one on top of the other, and heavily uses the number keys combined with the alt key. Bati's UI, like most prepackaged user interfaces, keep the action bars fairly limited. You could, of course, add your own sets of action bars around the screen and perhaps make them mouseover-activated, which would be my suggestion. Also, Bati's focus frame is sort of off doing its own thing, which could easily be repositioned by the user.

Installing Bati's UI takes a little bit more than LUI, so read the instructions carefully. Also, Bati's UI is made for one resolution, 1680x1050, so if you want to use this UI with anything else, you will be doing some configuring. Fair warning.

All in all, I like Bati's UI and the Grid layouts that come separately. Definitely working the right angles in my book, especially for someone who wants to try out a first minimalist compilation.

Download Bati's UI at [WoWInterface].
Check out Bati's Grid layouts on Addon Spotlight.

RealUI

RealUI is something very ... different. DPS-focused, RealUI is a true heads-up display, almost looking like the inside of a fighter jet than anything from the World of Warcraft. It's super-simple and sexy but definitely takes some getting used to. Just check out the website and the screen shots.

Pros of RealUI RealUI is an information minimalist's dream. DPS cooldowns, timers, health bars, targeting mechanics and information are all center screen, right in view of the player. Most of the user interface is also hidden when out of combat, with action bars, timers and a whole host of UI elements popping up when needed.

Everything is skinned to match the RealUI scheme, including bags, player frame, professions and more. The package itself is easy to configure, with all of the UI's options living inside the game itself. All classes are featured, most resolutions are supported (since everything is center-focused) and it just looks pretty damn cool.

Cons of RealUI I won't lie -- there's a learning curve. Actually, "learning curve" is a bit of an understatement; I would set aside some time to practice. Toughing it out, however, rewards you with this slick UI.

RealUI is a step in a great minimalist direction if that's what you're looking for. I wouldn't make it your first shot at a new UI modification, but it is definitely something new to try.

Download RealUI at [WoWInterface].

Hopefully, some of these premade user interfaces can help you get on track for Cataclysm and maybe help clean up your UI before Deathwing does it for you.

Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. If you're new to mods, Addons 101 will walk you through the basics; see what other players are doing at Reader UI of the Week. If there's a mod you think Addon Spotlight should take a look at, email mat@wow.com.

Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

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