Unit frames, for the uninitiated, are those lovely bars down the left side of your screen that show the health, mana, energy or rage of your party members and pets. The default Blizzard unit frames are alright. But when I rolled my restoration shaman
a while back, I went looking for a replacement that would show pet health more prominently. Don't get me wrong, I don't heal pets by default. That's the job of the hunter or warlock. But if we're in a boss fight and the tank is dead and the pet has to off-tank, I'd rather that it's health was a little easier to read on my screen.
As is my usual custom, I ran to my usual add-on site
and tried the most popular packages. They were simply too much for me. The configuration was just too much
. I'm a simple kind of guy, and just looking at the configuration screens made me dizzy. I wanted something lightweight and functional.
Then I found Sage
. Sage doesn't show the pretty character portraits, but I really don't miss them that much. Sage displays the player, target, target of target, party, pet, and focus frames. Every one of them are completely scalable in size, individually and as a whole. Focus is a handy little tool that the game supports, but (as far as I know) the default UI still does not display. It allows you to monitor any player or mobs health persistently. So on those escort quests, the healer could focus the escort to monitor it's health all the time without having to constantly keep it targeted. Focus has a bazillion uses really, and Sage supports it fully.
Another thing I like about Sage is how visible Tuller has made the debuffs. It's really easy to see "who gets hit with what" and identify the "what" quickly. The debuff icons are large, and the health bar colour codes to the type of debuff, whether it's poison, disease, curse, etc.
Sage also supports range checking. I wish there was a way for it to check line-of-sight too, but this is still a great function. When you're healing a party and somebody steps out of your casting range, their information dims to indicate that you can't affect them through casting, so you can either move, or bitch at them on Vent. (I usually choose the latter.)
Although I would definitely call this a minimalist add-on from a graphic point of view, there are also a number of bar textures to choose from to suit your personal taste.
I couldn't live without Sage, at least on my shaman. I really hope it doesn't break when into unit frames in the upcoming patch!