Just a quick note to mention I updated the Mods I Use page with my most recent interface. I’ve long since swapped out Perl for Pitbull, and have added a few more mods to the mix. There’s a new screenshot up to accompany the updated list as well.
Archive for the ‘Addons’ Category
As has been mentioned before, I am an add-on addict. Someone once commented, after seeing my UI, that it doesn’t even look like the same game anymore. Honestly, I’m alright with that – I’ve made it my game, and it’s a game I very much enjoy.
So if you’re the sort to trick your UI out, head over to my new Add-ons page and take a look at what the game looks like from my screen!
Also, scroll down to the bottom for an informational blurb regarding the usage and distribution of add-ons. I don’t mind telling you, it was a feat to keep myself from going on a rant regarding a certain mod distributing program. >.<
Way way back, I realized my UI was ugly. Like, really ugly. Crowded, clunky, and just overall barely manageable. I needed something new. BRK recommended Bartender 3 and CyCircled, so I grabbed them both and fell immediately in love.
Of course, all good things must come to an end, as Bartender 3 and CyCircled crashed and burned at patch 3.0.2. But Bartender 4 rose up from the ashes and found its way into my addons folder.
At its core, Bartender 4 is just like its predecessor – it lets you fine-tune your action bars and display up to 10 on your screen at a time. You can dictate how many buttons show on each bar, how big the bar scales, and where exactly you want it to sit on the screen. New (at least to me) features include nearly the same amount of control over your menu bar and backpack buttons.
So I’ve got my backpack in the bottom right corner, plus I made sure that it shows the keyring for good measure. Right above it is a scaled-down version of the menu bar, set to fade to invisible when I’m not moused over it. Bottom center of my screen holds an empty Bar #1 – the original action bar that you’d see with the default UI. I keep it empty for two reasons: firstly, so I can put temporary buttons on it (like an item I’d need for a quest). Secondly, so that it sits there invisible until I hop into a vehicle – at which point it switches over to the vehicle action bar and everything transitions without a hitch.
I use another bar for abilities I want easily accessible outside of LunarSphere (in Tchann’s case, all her aspects), and another for food and other handy consumables. I keep a bar on the far right for a lot of addon and macro things, and a bar tucked underneath my chatbox for easy professions access. I have to say that overall, I’m really happy with my interface now.
The downsides to Bartender 4 have been somewhat minor. CyCircled, the mod that turned all of the default square buttons into lovely circles, was busted, so I had to switch over to ButtonFacade, which at the time had yet to be updated. For a few days I had to deal with it causing errors in the background before a new version cleared that all up.
The second downside still bugs me. Bartender 3 came with a button on the minimap. With the advent of 3.0.2, however, it appears that minimap buttons for addons were the exception rather than the norm. While the old Bartender button would let me easily unlock (i.e., make it possible to move) the bars with a simple shift+click, Bartender 4 comes with no such functionality, and forces me to go into the configuration window to move a bar even a pixel aside.
Still, I can’t imagine my UI without Bartender. My screen is clean, organized, and well-tended – everything my apartment is not. ^.^;
In the meantime, however, I’ve found myself desperate to have my gaming experience back. Despite my best efforts at being prepared for the 3.0.2 patch, my previously-gorgeous UI reloaded as a total mess. Days of searching and testing and configuring later, I’ve found what may now be my favorite mod.
I’ve mentioned my resto shaman before, and how much fun she is for me to play. With the drop of the patch, however, I found my favorite mod (which has been broken since 2.4) is completely kaput. The creator isn’t even responding to emails from people begging for permission to pick up the project. Farewell, Totemus, for I loved you thoroughly.
The fascinating thing that I loved about Totemus was that it was a scalable circle you could drag around the screen, surrounded by smaller circles. The smaller circles were buttons with different functionalities, several of which were customizable. It was most useful for managing totems – each totem type had its own button, which could be expanded into a line of all the totems for that type. When you cast one, the line would condense back to one button, and the button could be used to cast that totem again or open the menu again. Fast, easy, clean.
LunarSphere does the same thing, with one major difference: it’s not shaman specific! To aid that, the entire sphere and surrounding buttons are fully customizable.
So last night, I decided to try it out on the toon that truly mattered: Tchann herself. After hours of working on my Loremaster of Outlands title, I think I’ve finally found a setup that eliminates about half of my action bars from my screen. I have Auto Shot, Distracting Shot, and Hunter’s Mark all bound to a single button: right click to mark, middle click to distract, and left click to turn off auto shot so the mob jumps happily into my freeze trap. Fantastic.
Another button gives me Steady Shot on a left click, Arcane on the right, and the middle button opens up a menu of assorted stings and shots that aren’t used often enough to warrant their own buttons. The button at the bottom of the sphere will cast Mend Pet when left-clicked, but opens up a menu of all pet-related spells on a right click. Below the sphere is my pet bar, in full, no longer needing to be near my Hunter’s Mark button because of the new auto-attacking functionality. Meanwhile, the main sphere shows me a simple visual of my current health and mana, while also keeping me informed on exactly how many bullets I have left in my pouch (somehow that * just doesn’t cut it).
My warlock is just as happy with LunarSphere – all the curses on one button, all the soul shard created items on another, and so on. Amusingly enough, while I’d downloaded it for my shaman alone, I have yet to actually set it up for her! But I look forward to elminating the five action bars of totems and weapon buffs that currently clutter up her screen.
I’m far from completely exploring all the possibilities LS has to offer me, or even exploring its weaknesses. I can say that it’s definitely a mod made for cleaning up your screen with seemingly infinite customization options. Its one downside, however, is also its massive customization: when I first opened up the menu, I was completely lost. It wasn’t until I grew brave enough to start clicking things in exploration that I was able to grab hold of the system.
Still, despite its complication, the benefits are fantastic. If I had some kind of rating system, I’d post its rating here, but since I don’t, I’ll just keep using the mod happily. I think that’s probably good enough.