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Reader UI of the Week: Scrolling smackdown

Reader UI of the Week TITLE FTW
This week's UI comes from Omegah, who's showing off his Blood DK UI. He clarifies in his email that the UI he's sent in does have to work for several other characters, as he's obviously been busy and has four level 90s, all of which he raids on when his team requires is. We've looked at a couple of other UIs that cater for several classes, roles or characters before, but this is definitely among the most minimal. It should be noted, however, that he doesn't use this UI as it appears for healing, when I read Omegah's email, my first thought was "where are the raid frames for healing, those ones are too small/far away!" He adds them in -- sense made.

Another interesting observation about Omegah's UI was his deliberate division of chat channels. He deals with this well, moving the damage meter from what I'd refer to as its "traditional" spot at the lower right hand side up to the top left where the character frame used to be, freeing up his right-hand chat box for visible channels. Omegah says that the left pane is for basic channels, while the right is for global channels and others. I'm assuming that "basic channels" means things like say, guild, party, whispers, instance and the like, all the people you're (sort of) talking with out of choice. I do a similar thing, relegating trade and general to a separate tab behind the ones I want to see. I find it a useful aid to my sanity!


Omegah's email reads as follows, again, the editing stick has been wielded!
My name is Omegah...and I'm an addon-aholic. I have so many addons installed, it gets out of hand sometimes. But I keep a select group of addons loaded at all times, because those are the ones that make up the core of my UI. This the same basic setup of my UI that I use for all of my characters, though the screenshots are of my Death Knight.

AzCastBar - A light-weight cast bar addon.
Bagnon

Clique - I use with Grid for when I heal.
Dominos

kgPanels - I have keep my UI looking pretty.
Masque - keeps my buttons from looking ugly.
MSBT
- I don't think I need to go into how bad the default combat text is.
Move Anything - it helps a lot with getting things out of the way of my UI.
OmniCC - Pie timers just aren't enough.
PocketPlot
- Everything I've ever wanted from a mini-map.
Prat - For my chat.
Skada - My go-to damage meter.
Skinner
- I've modified this slightly to remove the default gradient effect, so that I just gives my interface a light black, transparent background.
STUF unit frames
- a while ago I used this addon for my unit frames because it was the only addon that me customize my unit frames in a particular way. But now I only use it because it's what I know. Though lack of profiles is kind of lame.
Tidy Plates
- with Threat Plates for tanking.
TipTac
- Positioning of the default tooltips annoys me.
WeakAuras
- To show me when I'm being bad at the game.

I play many characters and many roles - at the moment I have four level 90's that can go into Mogu'shan Vaults, but my Monk is the most geared by far - because my guild's raiding team isn't always available we have a variable roster system, where we bring in anyone who is available on our raiding nights. Since I'm available 95% of the time on raiding nights I fill what ever role is needed at the time. And so my UI needs to allow for this constant change of roles.

On top of the role swapping, I'm also a very minimalist person, so I try to have most of my UI towards to low part of my screen without making it too full, and only displaying important information

At the moment I'm quite happy with my UI. It works well for what I need, without any conflicting elements, while looking good. There are times when certain things bug me, but so I'm constantly tweaking little things here and there.
Omegah also sent in three screenshots: out of combat, solo combat, and party combat.

Notable Points

Considering Omegah says he's an addon addict, the general UI is surprisingly lightweight in appearance, particularly in solo combat. But then, I suppose addons are a little like make-up -- if you're good with them you can use loads without people really noticing you're using that many at all. My main observation is that, with some exceptions that we'll get to later, this is a very pretty UI, and very minimal, particularly when Omegah is solo. Omegah seems to be working with a relatively small resolution, and deals with this admirably, generally making good use of his screen space.


Good Things

I really like the kgPanels. Really like them. A lot. I would love to know whether Omegah set them up specifically for Mists of Pandaria, or whether they have had that texture for a while, because man they're pretty. They seem to blend in really well with the Mists world, especially with the slight transparency. He's also dont a great job of not only maintaining consistency with his action bar buttons, but also having them tie in visually with the look of the kgPanels, it all looks great together! If he wants to use it, I'd quietly suggest FacadeBuffs, which allows you to reskin the default buffs with your chosen Masque skin. Omegah also gets points for fairly consistent use of textures -- the backgrounds behind things like the player frames, skada bars and boss frames. There is a standard set of textures that can be used, and almost all of his UI's bars use the same, with the exception of the target cast bar. For me, using the same textures as much as possible further ties the UI together, so I like it!

The rune bar in the middle of the screen is also very well-positioned, and shows clearly what Omegah's DK has available and refilling in the way of runes. Almost all the DK UIs we've featured so far have had some manner of rune timer sat in that exact spot, and it's making me think that I should add the same to my DK's UI! I must admit to not being an experienced DK, but blimey the visible action bars are minimal! I'm wondering if there are some invisible ones concealed elsewhere in the screen, or whether I just have way too many abilities keybound on my DK. They look great, the central ones at least, but I do wonder how Omegah has managed to slim them down so much.


Not-so-good Things

I'm carrying on here with action bars, specifically the ones hanging out over the right-hand chat panel. Omegah, dear boy, your UI is great, but do you really need your professions, runeforging and hearthstone visible while in combat? Also, that micro-menu I see hiding out above them could be totally invisible! I think I've become a little obsessed with this, you know. Also, because this is such a pretty UI and I'm nitpicking, I'd love to see that Blizzard boss frame removed, as Omegah has gone to the trouble of setting up a new one that ties in beautifully. Lastly, in the excessively over-attentive UI scrutiny section, those minimap icons. They have to go! The minimap addon Omegah is using is great, I agree, but those pesky icons are messing things up.

But these are really very minor points. The only thing I think is getting in the way of this UI, and really my only major criticism, is Mik's Scrolling Battle Text. Not the addon itself, it's very useful, and people seem to like it, but I think it needs a little reconfiguration. The left-hand stream is the only one that isn't sitting above something else, looking untidy, and the central stream is pretty much unreadable, as well as making all the other text in the same area unreadable. And that font. Man, that font. I'm not a fan!

What do you think of Omegah's UI? And please do send yours in! It's olivia@wowinsider.com.

Interested in getting the most out of your user interface? Come back once a week for more examples of reader UIs. For more details on individual addons, check out Addon Spotlight, or visit Addons 101 for help getting started.

Filed under: Reader UI of the Week

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