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Posts with tag default-ui

Gold Capped: Improving the default auction house interface

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make money on the auction house. Email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

The default interface for the auction house could use some loving. It's an essential part of players' gaming experience, and whether they use it or not, its design has an effect on them. We've seen many examples of Blizzard designing parts of their UI to include features provided by addons that had become so prevalent that everyone had to run them. For example, threat didn't always show up on the default frames -- back in my day, we had to run Omen to avoid pulling aggro from the tank.

It's important to recognize that not every valuable interface tweak belongs in the basic WoW UI, though. If it's a feature that's only used by a small segment of players or is unnecessarily complex, it's probably best off in an addon. You won't see me advocating that the base AH UI keep historic pricing numbers, for example. It is, though, a travesty that you have to page through hundreds of pages of single auctions to get to the lower priced stacks.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Add-Ons, Gold Capped

Breakfast Topic: What mods could you not live without?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Some people love their mods, downloading every single new thing that comes across the pages of Curse or any of the other addon sites. Others are very minimalist, using only what they need to function for raiding or PvP. And yet still others try and completely avoid mods altogether. The last group is clearly the minority; the mod community is a huge part of WoW, and mods have become such a common part of the game that some people forget what the default UI looks like.

Throughout the game, Blizzard has seemingly had a love/hate relationship with the mod community. Some of the mods it felt were so functional and helpful that it absorbed some of their functionality into the default UI; the raid frames are now similar to Grid, your map lights up with objectives and arrows like Quest Helper. Others Blizzard felt were overpowered and changed the game in order to break them, such as the original, one-button Decursive from vanilla WoW, and recently, AVR.

When I was in the recent beta, Blizzard turned off the option for any mods for a while, and the game was a flood of QQ from people who basically claimed they couldn't play with the default UI and without their necessary mods. Personally always running mod-light, I adapted quickly to the mod-free play, and it even led me to dropping a few things from live, such as my damage meter and chat mod. I have found the game functions fairly well without mods, but I do still require my raid warnings, threat meter, and my guild's loot mod.

What mods can you not function without? Has Blizzard ever changed the game to make a mod you felt like you needed no longer work? How long did it take you to adapt to playing without the mod again? Or are you one of the few who refuses to use mods at all?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

3 makeover suggestions for WoW's default UI

The default World of Warcraft user interface has undergone some excellent changes over the last few months. After the Shattering and Cataclysm, loads of new UI features were implemented and improved upon. In the future, even more tweaks are being added, with the addition of enhanced dungeon maps and other goodies for lore buffs. I can honestly say that right out of the box, the WoW user interface is better today than ever.

However, there are still improvements that could be made, most of them in areas that just haven't been updated in a good long while. I've got a list of three pieces of the UI that I believe could use a makeover.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons

Lichborne: Death knight beta diaries, part 4: Two-handed frost and other beta minutae

Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly source for news, guides, tips and opinions on the death knight class.

In the latest beta patch, Blizzard was so kind as to bump the level cap up to 85, in addition to opening Uldum and Twilight Highlands, the last two major leveling zones in the expansion. Unfortunately, neither zone is itemized, but more on that later. In my testing this past week, I've delved in the long-dead, dormant spec of two-handed frost. The spec was officially killed off (at least in the sense of having competitive DPS) in the latter part of Wrath, when Blizzard decided to make frost the official spec of dual wielding. However, with the advent of Cataclysm, that is changing. With blood becoming a dedicated tanking tree, it left unholy as the only two-handed weapon tree. Recognizing that some players might dislike the pet-tending aspect of unholy, Blizzard decided to support two-handed weaponry in the frost tree once again.

That said, deciding to support it and succeeding at it are two different things, and in addition, there seems to be a lot of people who are still confused as to whether or not Blizzard plans to support it. You can put your mind at ease now though. Very recently, Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) confirmed that, yes, Blizzard is supporting the two-handed weapon playstyle for the frost tree.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Patch 3.3 PTR: Consolidate buffs and debuffs in the default UI

Elkano's buff bars

One of the big UI changes coming in patch 3.3 is an option to Consolidate Buffs. It appears that when the feature is enabled, specific short term buffs like Replenishment and longer duration buffs like Gift of the Wild or Arcane Brilliance will be tucked aside and hidden in a buff box. When you mouse over it, the box will expand and display the buffs within. In other words, we can get more real estate back!

On the other hand, certain important buffs that may be critical to the operation of your class will always be displayed. For example, Art of War procs on my retribution paladin will always show up so I know when to slam Exorcism. (Don't hate on me because I have ret paladin now!) Heroism (or Bloodlust) and other similar cooldowns will be shown as well as range limited buffs like totems and paladin auras.

From the debuff side of things, there's another option called Castable Debuffs. When it's enabled, all it will do is show debuffs that you apply. My elemental shaman will throw Flame Shocks and that's all that will appear. I won't see a shadow priest's Misery or a rogue's Rupture. It's an interesting way to cut down on screen clutter.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas.'s Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

A guide to shutting out the world (of Warcraft)

WoW is a very social game, and you might think that there is no getting around it. Fortunately for those who relish their alone time, there are several ways to minimize contact with other players and have some quiet time.

While some people will argue that you should stop playing social games like MMORPGs, there are plenty of solo activities, and if that is what you want to do, more power to you.

Today, I will be answering some reader mail from Heidi who desperately wants some peace and quiet.

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Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Guides

Debuff limit removed

Previously you could only have 40 debuffs up on a single mob. That might seem like a lot, but when you got in a raid with 25 other people all putting up their own set of debuffs and dots, etc... things tended to get a little full.

Daelo, the Lead Encounter Designer, announced today that the debuff limit has been removed*. This is a subtle yet important change for many raiding guilds.

He notes that the default UI won't normally be able to show all the debuffs, but that's just a bug in the UI. The debuffs are still there and working. We don't have any verifiable information yet as to if custom mods can display an infinite number of debuffs.

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Filed under: Patches, News items, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.0 PTR round-up

The public test realm has just gone live, and if you've got any characters on it (or if you'd like to go copy some), you can head on over to enjoy all of the patchtastic frivolity likely to descend sometime soon.

In case you're catching up to the rest of us, patch 3.0 is another large content patch specifically designed to transition the player base to the upcoming expansion Wrath of the Lich King. We won't be seeing Death Knights or Northrend (or at least, we're pretty sure we won't, unless they're planning on a big surprise). We will be seeing all of the 1-70 class changes, new features added to the default UI, barbershops, Inscription, a raid buff system overhaul, and more, in addition to four European servers closing due to Russian player migration. Read on for a quick guide to what you can expect:

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Patches, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Expansions, Mounts, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Patches, addons and drama in the forums

While surfing the forums this morning, I came across a little gem of a thread protesting against Blizzard for the following:
  1. Breaking "our" addons and mods.
  2. Incorporating features from popular addons into the default User Interface, and thus breaking addons and mods. There's also a sentiment that Blizzard is "stealing" these ideas rather than being innovators.
  3. Fixing "their" bugs which in turn breaks "our" addons and mods. The suggestion is that they don't care, or could take steps to prevent this.
As you can imagine, all sorts of responses cropped up, including the usual people who get into arguments with other posters, players in agreement, joking and sarcastic responses, and of course, an awesome string of blue responses.

Gallery: Patch drama

The post that started it allFirst blue responseThe InterfaceSolutionTerms of UseDictionary

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, Add-Ons, Humor, Forums

Bringing addons into the default UI

We've written about Totemus before here on WoW Insider-- even though it does a lot more than just time your totems as a Shaman, that's mainly what I used it for. Not only did it provide me with a visual representation of what my current totem situation was like, it also gave me a heads up whenever my totems were failing, reminding me to put them down again. But of course since that's mostly what I used it for, I may not have a need for it after patch 2.4-- along with the other UI changes, Blizzard is going to be putting a totem timer into the default UI.

It's not the first time they've "stolen" addon functionality, and it definitely won't be the last. And while a few reports are coming in from the PTR, it remains to be seen whether this change will actually replace more complicated addons (my guess is no, considering how simple Blizzard's timer looks).

But expect more of this in the patches to come-- everyone heard that Blizzard wants to implement a threatmeter into the default UI, and a "DamageMeters" type of tool would likely be appropriate for the default UI as well. Blizzard has always had the luxury of a great and hardworking addon community, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them start taking advantage of that luxury more often.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Add-Ons

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