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Posts with tag User-Interface

Patch 6.0.2 preview highlights upcoming UI changes

Those bags in that header image may look like a disorganized wreck now, but they're about to get cleared out a little sooner than expected. Blizzard released a preview of upcoming UI changes for patch 6.0.2 yesterday -- that's patch 6.0.2, the pre-patch for Warlords of Draenor, not the expansion itself. Along with all the pre-expansion content quests, the new character models, and the preview of Upper Blackrock Spire, we also get all those lovely space-saving improvements ahead of time. That's on top of a host of other really cool UI improvements, including a new and improved Group Finder that includes the Premade Groups function.

In addition, the new map and quest log will make an appearance, the new Void Storage tab will be unlocked, you'll be able to check out your handy new reagent tab in your bank, and you'll be able to sort your bags more easily than ever before. I have to admit, while I'm excited about being able to sort my mounts and pick a few favorites, I'm far more excited to see rows and rows and rows of empty bag slots. For more of what to expect in patch 6.0.2 and how this will change the way you play, check out Blizzard's full preview on the official site.


Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Reader UI of the Week: We've come a long way, baby

A little while back, I put out the call for UIs with a bit of history, a bit of evolution to them. I love seeing how my UI has evolved over the years, starting off with the basic Blizzard UI, until I realised that I could tinker with the overall scale, and then began adding unit frame addons, then action bar addons, castbar addons, and the whole thing got completely out of hand and escalated to the point where I started writing addon and UI columns for WoW Insider! And it's always interesting to see how others' UIs have developed, too.

Today, we're delving into the past and present of Alphabot's UI. He's sent over several pictures, of both his current UI and his UIs past. So here, in chronological order, are UI shots one, two, three, four and five, and his current UI out of combat, in combat, and with everything on -- in test mode, so to speak. Let's move into Alphabot's email.

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Filed under: Reader UI of the Week

Reader UI of the Week: Remarkably minimal custom-made healing UI

There are several kinds of UI. Lately on Reader UI of the Week, we've looked at several that do specific jobs, that are functional, even those that fulfil particular requirements for specialized players. This week's UI is, instead, one that is supremely focused on form. That is not to say, of course, that Kait neglects the functional elements of the design, indeed, he does an excellent job of integrating the elements he needs to perform his role, whilst still making a supremely pretty UI.

Unlike our usual submitters, Kait has sent us a video of his UI in action, which you can see on the header, and watch on his YouTube channel along with videos of his other UIs. Kait has also sent in three pictures, one solo healing, one raid healing, and one of the custom designed talent pane. Let's get into Kait's email.

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Filed under: Reader UI of the Week

UI Surgery: Downsizing your UI for a smaller screen or resolution

UI Surgery Downsizing your UI for a smaller screen
Sometimes players find themselves in the position where they have to downsize. It happens to us all now and then, for whatever reason, you're heading to someone else's house and need to play on their computer, your monitor explodes and you find yourself using that little one you had in the attic to make your raid happen, your desktop decides enough is enough and you're stuck with a laptop, your good laptop goes back to Asus to be repaired for the third time and you've got to use the little laptop with the lower resolution. And your UI's a mess.

We've actually had a few emails about exactly these sorts of issues, asking how to rework or resize a UI for a smaller screen, what's good and what's bad, and what works the best for form and function over both different sizes and on a small screen. Last week's Reader UI of the Week, from Thieren, made an excellent job of this. Thieren plays on a 1280x1024 monitor, and, thanks to her preferred in-game activities, requires both large chat panes and a lot of screen space, something that isn't often available on a smaller monitor, but makes great use of what she has to play with.

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Filed under: Reader UI of the Week

Reader UI of the Week: Small screen, big ideas

Reader UI of the Week TITLE GOES HERE YO
Everyone has specific goals to achieve with their UI, it's one of the things I particularly like about writing this column, is seeing what people are up against, and how they've worked with their UI to adapt to that. And this week's UI is no exception. While many of us are playing the game with big monitors, with big computers, or with big budgets, there are others who aren't. This week's Reader UI comes to you from a 1280x1024 monitor, and the submitter, Thieren, has had to work around their resolution to create a UI that allows them the maximum of screen space, and visibility, so that they can be at their most effective.

As a result, the header image is oddly cropped, but fear not, Thieren sent in several screenshots for us all to look at in environments where size doesn't matter. There's a solo shot, one in a ten-man raid, one in LFR, one solo, in combat and one in a party, out of combat. Let's jump straight into Thieren's email
I've largely run with this UI since early Wrath when I sat down to reign in the mess I'd created when I began tinkering with addons during Burning Crusade. There have been alterations, but they're more quality of life stuff and replacing out-of-date addons. The most recent, and the reason for the delay, was moving my SUF bars down from the typical Blizzard position.

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Filed under: Reader UI of the Week

Reader UI of the Week: Custom Creation

Reader UI of the Week TITLE HERE PLOX
I've been sitting on this UI for a while, and I'm really not sure why, as it offers a lot of great elements. Kiebs, the submitter, send in a very short email, simply because he had very, very few addons to share with us, the majority of the work behind his UI is, as we can see from the header image, covered in the design. Kiebs designs his UI elements himself. He covers this in his very, very brief email, which I'll pop in below.

Kiebs writes:
Here's an artsy one for you. I noticed you don't see many of them, but I like designing UI artwork in photoshop, and I use KGPanels to add them into the game. I then rearrange the bars with bartender and change cast bar etc. This is my PvP Monk so... very few addons, I like to keep it real simple.

KGpanels, CoolLine, Bartender, CoolDownCount, Chatter, TidyPlates. (unseen ones as well obviously for PvP, Gladius, Afflicted3 etc..)

Also threw in my Mage one that I'm working on at the moment for PvE. Like I said, nothing crazy raid worthy, just some fun!
Kiebs also sent in several screenshots, showing off his rather minimal UI.

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Filed under: Reader UI of the Week

Do the Harlem Shake with ElvUI for April Fools' Day

The above video shows what awaits for ElvUI users when they log in today. I must say, I've been using addons and UI mods for years now in WoW, but as one YouTube commenter says, "Trolled by an addon, that's a first for me." Personally, I got a good kick out of seeing this on my main and I'm looking forward to logging onto my alts, at least just to see my dwarf scream "DO THE HARLEM SHAKE" to Zangarmarsh.

However, for those ElvUI users among you who may have been less than diligent about keeping on top of updates - and who can blame you really, I swear ElvUI goes out of date every three days - it seems that instead of the Harlem Shake, you get a message saying all your gold has been donated to the Orgrimmar orphanage. I personally can't confirm this, because for once I did update my UI as soon as it said to. Let us know if you can confirm/deny the orphanage joke!

Big thanks to @Vixsin_LiG5 for bringing the video to our attention, as well as the other commenters who tipped us on ElvUI's goofy prank. Happy April Fools' Day!

Filed under: Humor

Reader UI of the Week: Revynn's Revelations

Reader UI of the Week Revynn's Revelations
On flipping through the submissions for Reader UI of the Week, it seems to be the different and unusual UIs that really catch my eye. And there's no doubt at all that this is one of them. A cursory glance at the header image will reveal that, and a deeper look at the rest of Revynn's email will confirm that this is no ordinary UI!

Revynn also sent three shots, in combat in a raid, idle in a raid, and idle in a city.

Revynn writes:
I just finished tweaking my newest layout (who am I kidding - it's never done) so I figured I'd send it in.

The overhaul started fairly early in MoP when I got a new video card but didn't really ever come to fruition until I upgraded my monitor a couple weeks ago. With a new monitor came new resolutions and everything I had set up was subsequently thrown out of whack.

In reality, the newest version doesn't vary too heavily from the last one that I used throughout a large portion of Cataclysm (and in fact is the end result of something I've been tweaking and iterating since ICC), but it does serve to address a few things that had been bugging me. Most important of those was clutter. On any given fight, I had too much crap going on, too many timers, too many bars and indicators as is often the case when using a boss mod like DBM. Also, the raid frames, while nicely tucked away for a DPS character, were annoyingly out of place while healing. Lastly, my UI had just gotten a little too big for its britches and could use some trimming.

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Reader UI of the Week: Shamanistic Simplicity

This week's submission comes from Marsailli of Waypoint, Medivh-US, who plays a red-headed dwarf restoration shaman. She has an elemental off-spec and is an addon junkie! In case readers weren't aware, your friendly columnist also plays a red-headed dwarf restoration shaman, with an elemental off-spec, and is a bit of an addon junkie. This is going to be interesting, for me particularly, as Marsailli's and my UI do almost the same jobs -- the only difference is that I do a lot of PvP, while, as Marsailli states in her email, her main game is PvE.

Marsailli sent us a few screenshots, out of combat, solo; out of combat with most elements visible; and in combat as elemental; as well as the resto in combat video you can see in the header.

Marsailli writes:
I play Marsailli -- resto/elemental dwarf shaman on Medivh in the guild Waypoint. My guild usually pokes fun at me because I've been known to /disableaddons during raid encounters and change my UI more frequently than my socks. There are a few things I know you'll probably discuss, so let me just disclaim this entire interface!
  • I've relied on two primary fonts: Arial Narrow and Friz Quadrata. They're both fonts included in the default interface and I've continued using them. Why? Because they're easy to read and I'm terribly near sighted. I've used Arial Narrow for all of the important info with a Thin Outline turned on to make it easier to read. You'll undoubtedly notice that Quartz does not use Arial Narrow – the reason is that Quartz doesn't offer outlines for fonts. I also like the mix of both fonts as the inclusion of Friz provides some consistency with the default UI pieces I've kept (character pane, chat tabs, and other panels).

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Filed under: Reader UI of the Week

Reader UI of the Week: The UI Doctor returns

Reader UI of the Week The Doctor returns
A couple of weeks back, the UI doctor stopped in to help a user by the name of Luthuvien. After that column, there's been quite a few requests for assistance, so the doctor is returning for today. Just like last time, please do let us know of any ideas you might have to help the submitters out -- last time the commenters were fantastically helpful with addon suggestions and the like, so let's do the same this time! As ever, UI modification is hugely subjective, it's all based on opinion, and mine is no more weighty than anyone else's.

Khaldrogo writes:
I play a human retribution paladin on the US realm, Azuremyst. His name is Khäldrogo. I'm trying to find the perfect UI, one that is most efficient for a dps for raiding, and has room to improve if I wanted to tank or heal. I like things being very lightweight, non-cpu heavy. But I also love looking at the game's art, so I don't want something that takes over the whole screen. I loved Carbonite's look for the quests on the UI, but I didn't like the Carbonite map. Any way to just have the look for the UI? I've tried xperl, but I didn't like it. I am currently using LUI, but it's very buggy at the moment. I've included the list of addons I use. I'm open to any suggestions.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Reader UI of the Week: What can you do with the standard UI?

Reader UI of the Week What can you do with the standard UI
I put out a call a while back for UI submissions featuring, as far as possible, elements of the standard UI. I was curious to see what WoW Insider's readers could make with these elements, and as little else as possible. The restrictions were few -- as far as possible, everything had to be a standard UI element, nothing else. Addons were, of course, permitted, but as far as possible they had to be invisible, or modifying the UI in such a way that they remained hidden.

I had a fair few submissions, and also had a go at it myself, and thought I should share the outcome of all these good people's hard work! Do let us know what you think, and if you have any suggestions or questions, of course leave a comment.

Dezzalee writes:
The above shot is my UI. I use the Blizzard standard default UI with a few addons that move stuff.

BasicMiniMap: I use it to move the minimap to the lower left hand corner because it is hard for me to see it in the upper right hand corner. I have a wide-screen monitor and OLD eyes and it is just too hard for me to see it anywhere else. I use it to look for herb and mining nodes and fishing nodes.

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Filed under: Reader UI of the Week

Reader UI of the Week: The UI doctor is in

Reader UI of the Week The Doctor is in
I spoke about this a while back with you all, the idea that someone had in the comments of doing a sort of UI surgery, where players would send in their UI for merciless revamping. I've compared this column to one of those home improvement shows before, you know, the ones where they come along and mess with all your stuff, and give you a house nothing like the one you had before, but one that you hopefully like better. And I think it's a good analogy, so I'm going to use it again. Your UI is kind of like your WoW house, at least until the inevitable happens with Sunsong Ranch. If anything it's more important than your house, because, unless you work from home like me, you don't conduct your entire life through the medium of your house.

Anyhow, that aside, there are a few submissions that I want to get started with. And I definitely want your feedback on these too, there are various issues here that will benefit from several opinions, and mine holds no more inherent weight than anyone else's! If you're suggesting addons, brownie points will be awarded for links. And brownie points, in US parlance, lead to brownies.

Lithuvien writes:
I read the line about the UI surgery and wanted to send a snapshot of my UI in hopes that I can make it better.

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Filed under: Reader UI of the Week

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!

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Filed under: Reader UI of the Week

Reader UI of the Week: Light and shadow

Reader UI of the Week Light and shadow
Last week we featured a very different UI from Bull, which he had largely created from scratch with his considerable programming knowledge, and cunning use of custom textures from the game. One thing that was notable about Bull's UI was how it functioned well across several different characters. Bull, it seemed, was playing the same role over several characters, being DPS, and this week we're looking at a UI that has to perform a somewhat harder task.

Nesavare is a priest on Jubei'Thos, and plays both as holy and shadow. While Nesavare's UI only needs to function (for the purposes of this column) for one character, the different demands of a healer and a DPS are difficult indeed to cater for with a uniform UI. And Nesavare makes a good stab at it, using ElvUI as a base, along with several additions, but as always, there's room for improvement! Nesavare sent over several screenshots, out of combat, raid healing, group DPS, and a test mode screenshot, showing off all his weakauras.

Let's dive straight in with Nesavare's email. As ever, I've had to whack it down a bit with the editing stick!

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Breakfast Topic: Does your UI change the way you see the game?

Image
Out of all the MMOs that I have played in my day, none have had the robust community of addon developers that World of Warcraft has, a talented group of individuals that allow the player to create a personalized and unique window into the game world. It has always been something that I've embraced, and one of my favorite activities within the game has been to spend a few hours completely reworking my user interface. I thoroughly enjoy rearranging furniture, too -- I think there's something wrong with me.

However, for almost a year and a half I have stuck with a suite of addons called RealUI; I'm a sucker for sleek, minimal displays, so I just melted when I saw this setup in action. However, I think letting my addon creativity stagnate has had a deleterious effect on my enjoyment with the game. It used to be one of the ways I invested myself in WoW, but now I just download a package, unzip it, and start playing. It's like going to IKEA and buying a preassembled coffee table -- sometimes I enjoy hammering wooden dowels into a poorly-drilled hole with my shoe.

Do you think whatever combinations of addons you use affects the way you enjoy your gaming experience in Azeroth? Also, is UI tweaking as much a minigame as playing the auction house is?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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