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Posts with tag pitbull

Addon Spotlight Alternatives: Unit frames

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Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley 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.

Unit frames have evolved significantly over the course of WoW's life, from static, portrait-driven frames to dynamic and animated hubs of information. I've always treated the unit frames as a centerpiece and counterweight, like a see-saw, using the unit frame's natural duality to its best effect. There are few addons or types of addon that can take on as many shapes and forms as the unit frames do. Not least, the unit frames provide some of the most vital information to the player possible -- your health.

For healers, from the very beginning, the group and raid interfaces were unable to cope with the sharp skill incline after reaching level 60 cap. There was nothing that I wanted more than a robust group layout of buffs, debuffs, and easy-to-read healths and percentages, with the ability to make it look the way I wanted to. The idea of something like Grid had not even come up yet. Original unit frame addons were blocky messes of textures and bright blue and green bars. Portraits were taken way, way too far. Kids in the candy store.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Customizing PlayerPowerBarAlt

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley 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.

With the Raid Finder coming in patch 4.3, many new players will be storming their way through the halls of Blackwing Descent, the Bastion of Twilight, and the fiery plains of Ragnaros' domain. Cataclysm raid encounters have bestowed upon players a new mechanic that will show up during some of the encounters, most notably Atramedes' sound bar, Cho'gall's corruption bar, feathers on Alysrazor, Rhyolith's turning bar, and the concentration bar on the heroic Majordomo Staghelm fight. This new interface element can function in many different ways based on the fight it is being used, but all fall under the same category: PlayerPowerBarAlt.

PlayerPowerBarAlt has been a thorn in many player's sides, especially since the default settings for this raid-centric UI element falls squarely in the wrong place -- usually underneath your action bars, unit frames, or whatever you've put right above the default action bar location. Players have been asking me since Cataclysm's launch how to move and manipulate that bar, so here's a dedicated column to just that topic.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Reader UI of the Week: Luis' UI


Each week, WoW.com brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send your screenshots, along with info on what mods you're using and some background information, to readerui@wow.com.

Welcome to another exciting installment of Reader UI of the Week, the greatest user submitted user interface column on WoW.com! This week, a gorgeous compartmentalized UI invaded my inbox, and I had to share. As frequent readers of this column are well aware, I am also a huge fan of using portraits in off-kilter, non-traditional ways. What do you know, Luis' UI does both of these things. Read on, friends!

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

Reader UI of the Week: Crazyate's UI

Each week WoW.com brings you a fresh look at reader submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send your screenshots, along with info on what mods you're using, to readerui@wow.com.

Emergency! Get ready people, let's move, move, move! We're going to need to get the whole pit crew together as soon as possible. This week, reader Crazyates the paladin sent me a plea for help -- tips and tricks to get his UI on course. He's playing on a laptop, so this week's installment of Reader UI of the Week could be very helpful to the small-screen crowd. We've got a lot of work to do! Release the kraken!

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

Reader UI of the Week: Jake's Larger UI


Each week WoW.com brings you a fresh look at reader submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send your screenshots, along with info on what mods you're using, to readerui@wow.com.

This week on Reader UI of the Week I've decided to focus on helping people in need of user interface tips for smaller screen resolutions or the need to have buttons larger, as you will see in just a short time. It's kind of like Dear Abby, except with more video games and less mouthy grandmas. The Community has been great in its response to sending in your user interfaces, so keep them coming! Without further ado, let's go a user interfacin'...

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

Blood Pact: Mistakes other people make

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "So this is hell. I'd never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture-chambers, the fire and brimstone, the "burning marl." Old wives' tales! There's no need for red-hot pokers. Hell is--other people" ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

While I try not to read Arcane Brilliance if I can help it, I did notice that the one on January 16th had a lot of comments and an intriguing title. While I didn't expect Mr. Pants to actually start flaming mages I did hold out some hope for all those comments. Anyway, the piece inspired me to write a similar article. Not so much because there are a lot of warlocks that need improvement but rather they need a place to point others, so they may learn how to play with a lock.

So here's a short list of things I see in groups and raids that could be improved and make the whole experience a lot smoother.

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Filed under: Warlock, Raiding, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Arcane Brilliance: Mistakes mages make

Welcome to another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that would like to say to warlocks: Look... even when we're alone, we outnumber you.

We belong to the best class in World of Warcraft. I know this because I have a checklist. Do you want to see it? Too bad, you're going to see it anyway:
You see? Mages meet every criteria on the checklist. The fact that I just made the checklist up is unimportant; the important thing to take away from this is that mages are, indisputably, the best class in this game.

But we aren't perfect.

We make mistakes. Five of them, to be precise.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

The Light and How to Swing It: The low level tank part 4

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown.

Here we are again with the final section on the low level paladin tanking guide. You can go back and read parts one, two, and three if you need to catch up. This final part deals with consumables, macros, and addons. As a dungeon runner, you don't have the high requirements usually associated with raids, but there are a couple things you'll want to keep an eye on. You'll want to keep reasonably buffed, have some useful macros to fall back on, and have some addons to help organize some of the more procedural steps. Let's take a look after the break.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Instances, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Arcane Brilliance: 6 essential Mage add-ons for PvE


Welcome to another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that celebrates everything Mageworthy and thinks Warlocks smell funny.

I have a buddy who doesn't use addons.

I know, I know. And before you ask: yes, he is a moron. It's a flaw I've learned to overlook during the years we've known each other. His rationale for not using addons seems to be a combination of mistrust for anything that isn't part of the game right out of the box and a misguided belief that addons somehow equate to a form of cheating.

Now, I'll never convince him he's wrong--even though he clearly is--but I chalk that up to the fact that he is a moron. We both know and accept the fact of his moronitude, acknowledge that after 20 years of friendship, he probably isn't going to become any less infuriating, and move on to other topics.

You see, addons are awesome. I frequently assert to anyone who cares to listen (earning me more than a few strange looks, believe you me) that believing addons are cheats simply because Blizzard didn't program them into the default UI is pretty much the same thing as considering indoor plumbing a cheat because God didn't program it into the Earth when he originally created it. Addons are the community's way of grafting functionality into the game that Blizzard should have included from the start, and that's simply how it is. And yes, I am indirectly rebuking deity for not providing mankind with toilets from the beginning. I mean, how does it make sense that we had to go thousands of years without the option of peeing indoors? That's just poor design. I fully expect to be struck down at any moment as an example to smart-asses everywhere.

Disclaimer: I am in no way asserting that not using addons makes you a moron. I'm certain there are a great many of you out there who prefer not to use addons, and I'm sure you're by and large wonderful, fully functioning human beings. All I'm saying is that my buddy isn't one of those people. Also addons are awesome. That's all I'm saying.

Ahem.

The last time we discussed Mage addons, we focused on the PvP side of things. This week: PvE.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Features, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Essential addons for Patch 3.0.2 [Updated x6]

Let's take a look at what addons are working for patch 3.0.2. First a simple rule taken from the UI forums post done by Kaydeethree: "Any 'Wrath beta' compatible mod will work in 3.0.2." With that said, there is a long and comprehensive listing of 3.0.2 compatible addons over on WoWWiki.

But the fun doesn't end there. The next step is obtaining all those new addons. I've compiled a large set of the essential addons and linked to at least one direct download source after the break. Each download source is either trusted beyond doubt – or tested and confirmed to be virus free.

Finally, you'll want to combine the addons into a nice looking UI. Check out our special edition of Reader UI of the Week for a look at five complete 3.0.2 compatible UIs.

We're posting this list now, and will continue to update it throughout the day. Begin your addon downloads as quickly as possible to avoid hangups later in the day when download servers become overloaded.

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Filed under: Patches, News items, Add-Ons

New UI woes

I have a confession: I've been mostly using the basic, vanilla UI for as long as I have been playing WoW. I do use mods, I'm not crazy, but the basic unit frames and action bars have served me pretty well.

It's not that I dislike custom UIs, or even that I do like the basic UI. The base interface has done its job, from level 1 in Northshire Abbey to level 70 standing on top of Illidan's corpse. It took that Illidan kill to make me realize that I did it the entire way using a supposedly inferior UI. I could do so much more! I could streamline everything, I could open up space on my screen, remove unnecessary information, enhance the necessary stuff...

Wow, this has turned out to be quite a task. My experience with these things is minimal, and I'm not always the most organized person in the world so I couldn't make myself a proper layout if I tried. Even worse is I need to redesign my UI on all of my characters because they all use different things. What's important to my Shadow Priest isn't important to my Protection Paladin, and what's important to her isn't important to my Rogue.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

Addon Spotlight: Prat (and PitBull_Prat)

The basic chat interface in WoW is pretty limited. It's easy to miss what's happening in the chat window while fighting, for example, and there are many other ways in which the chat windows are not very user-friendly. Prat helps solve a lot of these usability problems, and since it's modular, you can turn its features on or off easily. New functions are being added over time, too. Here are a few of the things it can do:
  • Enable mouse scrolling in the chat window.
  • Abbreviate the channel names (from [Guild] to [G], or just the green color, for example)
  • Add keybindings for various chat channels.
  • Add a slash command (or keybinding) to whisper to your current target.
  • Add timestamps to the frame (so that you know when someone sent a message).
  • Color player names according to their class, and add their level beside their names.
  • Toggle the chat buttons on or off, or move them about.
  • Turn on chat logging.
  • Move the chat input box (the Editbox) to a different location.
  • Copy text from the chat frame.
  • Shorten existing commands to your own personal alias comands. (eg: "/say "Get ready, I'm pulling now!" could be shortened to "/pull". This is like a macro, except that it is executed with your own shortened command instead of a button to click on, which is handy for things you say or do often, while out of combat.)
As for that problem many of us have, where, in the thick of battle, someone will say something like, "WAIT! DON'T PULL!" or "Help me! I'm being attacked!" and you miss it because you were looking at the fight, not at the chat window: a recently developed addon, blandly named "PitBull_Prat", helps solve this problem by working in conjunction with PitBull and Prat together, by adding the text of what you and others say to a colored speech bubble right next to that player's unit frame in your interface (as you can see in the screenshot above). Since you're more likely to be looking at your friends' health bars to keep aware of how the battle is going, hopefully this will help you to see what their saying in time to help them too. Click here to download Prat and PitBull_Prat from files.wowace.com, and remember, PitBull_Prat will only work if you have both PitBull and Prat installed.

Filed under: Tips, Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Shifting Perspectives: Some handy addons for your druid


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them, brought to you by Dan O'Halloran and David Bowers.

Two weeks ago we had a look at how macros could make your druid lifestyle a little easier, and today we're going to look at some addons which were specially made for druids. These addons help you solve a couple problems that many druids are likely to face, helping you get at important druid information that isn't easily available in the standard interface.

First is the problem of druid mana while in feral forms. It's tricky to keep track of this without any addons; you have to remember your mana in your mind while you look at your rage or energy bar and do other things. Sometimes you might shift out of a feral form to cast a heal only to find yourself without enough mana to do what you had planned. There are actually several addons which can help you with this, and we'll take a brief look at each of them so that you can choose which is best for you.

The second problem has to do with comparing the best druid gear without having to shift out of World-of-Warcraft form and into Browse-the-internet-for-15-minutes form. Several addons are out there which can give you the lowdown on gear quality right in your item tooltips.

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Filed under: Druid, Add-Ons, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Addon Spotlight: SharedMedia (and other addon updates)

In the last few weeks we've covered some very useful and beautiful addons that work with the Ace2 framework to provide customizable flexibility to otherwise static elements in the game, such as unit frames and nameplates. This week's addon integrates with PitBull and Aloft as well as many other Ace addons, to give you more choices for the graphical bars and fonts that appear. Simply install SharedMedia and the additional choices will become available to you when you select textures and fonts in the other Ace2 addons. Some of my own are pictured here, with PitBull and Aloft. SharedMedia is not essential obviously, and it doesn't win the game for you, but it immensely enhances the inherent beauty that I love about the World of Warcraft visual experience.

I couldn't find an actual download page for Shared Media, but it is available from files.wowace.com in two parts, which you can download directly here: SharedMedia, and SharedMediaLib.
Click on the link below to read about other addon updates related to inspecting and unit frames:

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: PitBull

I've been putting off writing about this addon, mainly because it's one of the greatest addons out there, so it's hard to do it justice -- what doesn't PitBull do?

Well it won't win the game for you by itself, and its name doesn't really describe anything about it, but other than that it does pretty much anything and everything you could expect from a unit-frames replacement and then some. You can, of course, personalize your unit frames to your heart's content, more than any other unit frames mod I've seen, and that in itself is worth the download. On top of that, though, you get a ton of other features, all of which can be enabled for functionality or disabled for performance, whichever you like. Here are a few of my favorites:

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

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