There seem to be two main schools of thought regarding UI customization in WoW: the “Stock UI is the ONLY UI” school, and the “Addons Vomited On My Screen” school. I dropped out of both schools years ago, and have developed my own design philosophy: “Addons are great, as long as they provide useful information in an organized fashion”. I’ve been asked by several (2) people to write an article about my UI, so here goes nothing.
These are the visible addons that I use, with links to Curse provided for convenience. There are several more operating behind the scenes, but since they’re mostly related to auctioning, I won’t list them here.
- Bartender, for action bar customization
- Pitbull, for my unit frames
- Vuhdo, for raid frames
- Aura Frames, for buffs and debuffs
- Weak Auras 2, for displaying certain tanky-type things
- Titan Panel
- SunnArt, to modify the viewport so things aren’t hidden behind the big bottom panel
- OmniCC, for cooldown timers
- Skada, because I despise Recount
- Big Wigs/Deadly Boss Mods (I keep switching between them)
- Tidy Plates: Threat Plates, for easily checking mob aggro.
Most of these addons are a matter of personal preference, and there are a LOT of alternatives out there. For instance, I prefer Skada to Recount because Recount never seems to work properly for me. Other people argue that Recount is the only damage meter worth a damn; if they can get it to work, more power to them. I use Vuhdo for my raid frames because I couldn’t configure Grid if my life depended on it, and I don’t like Pitbull’s raid/party frames. Again, personal preference. I LOVE Big Wig’s minimal approach to raid alerts, but for some reason its pull timer seems a bit wonky. DBM is a bit less glitchy, but has a habit of CONSTANTLY YELLING AT YOU for trivial things.
- Yellow-green = Weak Auras. The one on the left is stacks/duration of Sunder on the target, the middle is duration/absorb of Shield Barrier, and the right is a Weakened Blows timer. I also have a text aura for Vengeance stacks that sits between the stance bar and the player unit frame, but since target dummies don’t hit back I couldn’t make it activate for the screenshot. The Shield Barrier aura changes to a translucent green shield icon when SBar is available, but not active.
- Blue = Pitbull unit frames. Self on the left, target on the right.
- Red = Skada. Left side is Damage, right side is Damage Taken.
- Orange = Vuhdo raid frames. This is a 10-man block; 25 and 40-man blocks expand to fill the space between the two Skada windows.
- Hot pink = Bartender. Click here to do, um, things. Yes, I do have a macro named “Kaboom”; it’s Bloodbath macroed to Dragon Roar.
- Yellow = Aura Frames. Debuffs sit on top of their respective unit frames, and player buffs are up near the mini-map.
- Green = SexyMap.
- Titan Panel is the strip along the top of the screen, which gives me at-a-glance information on cash, bag space, who’s online, new mail, and such.
As you can see, there’s nothing terribly complicated here. Developing my Weak Auras took a couple of weeks of tinkering (WA is incredibly powerful, but can be a bit obtuse for a beginner), but I’m relatively pleased with the results. I’m not going to post the strings here, but I will provide them upon request. The large strip along the bottom is composed of several kgpanels, and is actually outside the SunnArt viewport. I’m a shameful, shameful clicker, and I often found myself clicking on a Skada window in the heat of battle, screwing up the display. By placing panels over each Skada window, I can disable click-through and protect them from errant mouse actions.
That’s about it, really. If you watch any of my newer (2014) YouTube videos you can see the Weak Auras and OmniCC in action. As always, feel free to leave questions/criticisms/requests in the Comments.