14 August, 2010

Alexis vs. UI (part 1)

It just occurred to me that I haven't posted a list of my current addons yet. Since I started this little blog, I've swapped out a few but my UI has remained relatively-unchanged. These addons help my neuroses in one way or another, most of them doing so by removing/moving sometimes debilitating distractions.

So here it is in all of its verbosity:

Addon Loader
- delays/controls loading of some addons
aTotemBar - moves the default totem bar (loaded for my baby shaman only)
BadBoy - gold spam filter
BadBoy CCleaner - crap filter
BadBoy Levels - whisper filter
Broker AFKTimer - one-click away status and display
Broker FindGroup - displays LFD status and queue times
ButtonFacade - action button styler
ButtonFacade Caith - clean action button skin
ChocolateBar - LDB display
DeadlyBossMods - boss encounter notifications
DeadlyBossMods SpellTimers - displays spell cooldowns for party/raid members
eAlign - grid alignment overlay for customizing UI frames
ErrorHandler - error message control
GearScoreLite - only loaded on level 80 characters
GrizzlySharedMedia - currently using DarkBottom (alternating sometimes between that, Minimalist and Flat) bar textures and krsnik/Caith borders
HideAchievement - hides the achievement frame which covers and interferes with my party/raid frames
HudMap - encounter heads-up display and compass
InFlight - I can't count how many times I've flown to the wrong location without it
LitePanels - art panel framework, mine are slightly transparent black with class coloured borders
LootRollMover - moves the default loot roll frame which covers and interferes with my party/raid frames
Mapster - what the fuck were they thinking, covering the entire interface with the default map!
MicroDeclineDuel - automatically cancels duels
ncResurrect - automatically releases spirit in pvp zones and accepts resurrects in groups
Parrot - scrolling battle text
Pitbull4 - unit frames
PocketPlot - simple minimap styler
Prat 3.0 - extended chat customization
Questhelper - quest routing and tracking
Recount - combat log parser mainly used to gauge tank effectiveness
shPerformance - displays framerate, latency and addon memory usage with a one-click garbage collection feature
Skinner - because the default UI is a public eyesore
StellarBars - removes the distracting gryphon textures from the default main action bars and allows for some graphic customization
TidyPlates - nameplate customization
TidyPlates ThreatPlates - displays aggro status on all nameplates within range
TipTop - tooltip customization
WintergraspLDB - Wintergrasp Timer
zBrokerDurability - displays current durability of armour and vendor repair cost

The following are new to my UI as of yesterday and I have yet to try them out. Depending on how they function, I may or may not keep them.
TidyPlates AhMyEyes
TidyPlates GreyPVP

My default font has been changed to Florencesans (thanks to Seerah) via the method described at vranx.com. Previously, it was a combination of Century Gothic, Eurofurence and Geometr231 BT. If you haven't noticed, I prefer sans-serif fonts. :)

While I despise Recount and GearScore for the snobbery they have promoted and encouraged, I'll just explain a bit why I use them. I discovered very quickly that DPS was nothing more than meter whoring and number contests, but I found Recount to be a good indication of whether or not it was the tank or me (as a healer) who was the problem (it was usually me). Now I use it to gauge how bad my own tanking is with the "Damage Taken" module. I just added the threat and absorb modules yesterday since I wanted to see if my Sacred Shield was doing any good on the rare occasion that I actually remember that I have it.

GearScore is also good for analysing performance since it will quickly allow me to see if a difference in gear levels is why I (as a tank) am having a hard time keeping aggro off certain DPS who aren't watching their own threat. I never use either of them to sling shit at other players, only to gauge my own performance. I also rarely report the parsing, even if someone asks because I have found that to be very detrimental to the instance experience as people tend to only care about the numbers and not what is actually happening in the encounters.

As you can see, I don't use healing addons. I found HealBot to be too buggy and I actually healed better without it. Clique has too many different functions for me to keep track of and Grid and Vuhdo just did not work for me. I use only my strategically placed unit frames and mouseover macros which basically all look like this:

/cast [@mouseover,nodead,help][nodead,help][@targettarget,help][@player]Penance
You can substitute any helpful spell where Penance has been placed, place your mouse over a player, player nameplate or player unit frame and press the hotkeyed macro to execute the ability without changing targets. Simple and effective.

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