UI Clinic: Segment1

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The UI Clinic is a series of segments created by Bouvi for The AIE Podcast which help you turn your back on the default UI and create a UI to be proud of.


The Base UI and You

Hello and welcome to the first UI Clinic segment, I am your host Blackheart Bouvi. Before we enter the clinic you may be asking yourself what is a UI Clinic? UI stand for User Interface which is the items onscreen that you interact with in World of Warcraft. Thing like the buttons, minimap, player info and buff/debuff icons make up your UI. The plan for the UI Clinic is to get you working with a great User Interface tailored to meet your needs and taste. Each segment we will review multiple addons that integrate with each other to turn your UI from blah to WOW. Some segments will be focused on classes like hunters and mages, raids, PvP and of course plenty of PvE addons. My goal it to help you make the most of the addons you find online.


Grab your patient chart and we will get started.

This segment we will be talking about the base User Interface. The focus will be on 4 addons that will help you change the way your entire UI looks.

Some people prefer a clean UI with very minimalistic look while others prefer the screen so full of information and art that your character is only visible in a tiny window the size of a postage stamp.

Does not matter if you are a minimalist, postage stamp or happy medium user, these addons will help.

Lets start by tackling the original buttons found on the standard UI. The buttons are big and cumbersome and take up quite a bit of room on your screen.

Yes this should do. I am giving you a prescription for Bartender 4. You can do so much with this one addon.

Bartender 4

Bartender 4 gives you 10 bars with up to 12 buttons on each, that is 120 buttons. Each bar can be sized independently of the others so you can have some big, some small or some just right. Each bar can be active or inactive. You do not need all 10 bars but they are there if you need them. You can also increase or decrease the size between the buttons. Spread them out to fit the entire screen or bring them in close together. The best thing is you can move them.

Let me give you an example. On my Hunter UI I have 2 bars with just 2 buttons in each. They are sized larger than the others for things like Feign Death, etc. My main bar is smaller and fits in between these two. Now why do I do this? Simple, I am a clicker and a keyboarder. My main spells or attacks go on the smaller bar and I use the keybinds to activate them. My other items like Feign Death I make bigger so that I can quick click them. It helps to have them very prominent on the screen so I cannot miss them.

Not only does it handle your buttons but you can control your XP Bar, Bag Buttons, Pet Bar, Stance Bar, Vehicle mount and more.

Bartender 4 is my pick but it might not be yours. You may find that another bar mod suits your needs and that is perfectly ok. Now you know what a bar mod can do for your UI.

RicoMiniMap

Ah, I see you are still using the default minimap. That thing sits up there taking up room and just makes your User Interface scream help.

Help is here with RicoMiniMap. Resize, Reshape and best of all move your Minimap. No longer must it be the huge sun-like thing in the sky, now you have the control. There are many options for controlling the Minimap. Make it square, make one corner square and the other rounded, display the location name or hide it and quite a bit more.

On my UI I have reduced the size, made it sqaure and moved it to the bottom right corner of my screen. I like all of my focus on the bottom of the screen. This keeps me from looking up and down, up and down and getting vertigo.

You put it where you like and give it a shape that makes you happy. I mean it is all about you, not like I am coming to your house to use your computer to play WoW.

Pitbull

There are only a couple of options out there for your minimap. I have found that Rico works well in 3.1 and have had no issues with it.

Now lets deal with the eyesore of those unit frames. If you are not aware unit frames house your player, target and other information along those lines.

There are quite a few unit frame mods out there but I prefer Pitbull. The only thing about pitbull is that there is a steep learning curve for it, but once you learn it there is just about nothing you cannot do.

You can move, resize, add info, remove info, hide when not in combat and other things that really enhance your unit frames.

I have moved mine down to the bottom to once again keep my eyes focused in the one area. I use Pitbull to control my frame, my target, my targets target, my pet frame, my pet's target, my focus frame and my focus target. The rest I have turned off. I use another mod for party and raids that I will talk about in a later segment.

It is very modular so only the parts you want to use are loaded. If you can overcome the learning curve Pitbull will exceed your expectations.

There are easier unit frame mods to use out there so do your research to see what you will be comfortable with.

Elkbuffbars

The last item on our list is those pesky buff/debuff icons that take up a ton of screen real estate. I mean seriously do you have every icon for every buff/debuff memorized? I don't.

I know it is here.. Here it is. Elkbuffbars is just what the Doctor ordered.

What it does is take your buffs and put them in casting type bars that give you a visual clue to when they will expire. It also displays the name and the time left. No more guessing what that icon represents.

It takes up less real estate while providing you with the information you need at a glance and just like the other mods here you have full control. You can size and move them anywhere you want. You can have buffs on one side and debuffs on the other. Completely up to you. No more icons that you cannot figure out what the heck it is.

Like all the other mods there are a few out there. Take the time to figure out which one you like the best. Do not get frustrated if one seems too hard, go look for another one.

Time's Up

Well your appointment for today is over, I hope you enjoyed the segment. Feel free to contact me in or out of game for help with your UI issues. In-game just give a shout to Bouvi (B - O - U - V - I) or send an e-mail to ui@bouvi.com. Have a great time setting up your new UI and see you next time at the UI Clinic.