When you are a raider, one of the most important aspects of raiding is your UI. Natrii from Natriicraft did a great article about a month ago on how to clean up your UI. What I want to talk about is how my specific UI helps me while I’m raiding and hopefully, it will give some help to you too.
|My raiding UI. (Click for Larger View)
Let’s start with the basics. You notice I have Grid for raid frames, recount for damage meters, and Forte Exorcist for my cooldown timers. I know a lot of moonkins prefer Squawk and Awe for cooldown timers. I like the fact that I can see not only my cooldowns, but my fellow raid member’s as well. For example, if I see the bear tank has cast Faerie Fire or the shadow priest has cast Misery on the pull, I will know I don’t need to cast Faerie Fire unless it drops off. I can also look at how much time is left in Heroism. While it doesn’t help moonkins, it can help my mage if I’m about to cast an evocate at the end of heroism. I also like the bar that shows cooldowns that are under the nameplates in a graphic fashion. I can see when the Lunar Eclipse cooldown is over if I have not procced a Solar Eclipse for some reason and can switch back to Wraths to get another Lunar Eclipse. I can also see when my Eclipses proc in the first place if I miss the big ball over my head. The basics UI is what I do to try to make my raid UI something that I can use for either of my classes. I even use the basics for my DK tank or warlock that I’m leveling. (Technically, Forte Exorcist is a warlock cooldown timer.) You will also notice that I’m using Tukui for my UI shell. It is clean and I like the info it gives without having to go with something like Titan Panels or FuBar. In addition, it includes add on functionality like Bagnone, Mr. Plow, and Omen automatically. You also will notice that I’m running DBM and oRA3, which is standard for our guild raids, and Altoholic so that I can see what my alts may have. It also helps to see how much money my alts have if I need to transfer money anywhere.
Now, digging in a little deeper, there are some increased functionality of my UI, but you have to understand my keyboard. My keyboard is a Logitech G15 keyboard.
One of the things that I recommend all druids do is to keybind your forms. In my case, I keybind my forms to the far left keys. Having a single key to be able to hit to change forms is incredible. It helps in fights like Sindragosa when I change to travel form and run out from the AOE attack after the pull in. It also helps to change to bear or cat form if I pull aggro by accident. My favorite use of it is to fly to the top of the game world, get out of flight form, and then recast flight form right before I hit the ground.
The second great thing about this keyboard is the number pad to the side. I set up the 1, 2, 3, and 4 keys on the number pad to correspond to button 6, 7, 8, and 9 on the Tukui bars, which is the lower bar in the middle. Up above the first bar, you will notice the second bottom bar on top. The second row are buttons that I need to hit in an emergency or buttons that I can move into my 6, 7, 8, or 9 button positions. Typically on my moonkin my number 6 is Starfall, my number 7 is Typhoon, my number 8 is Hurricane, and my number is 9 is Treants. Since the number pad 1, 2, 3, and 4 correspond to those numbers, all I have to do is press the corresponding number on the number pad on the side and can hit my Starfall quickly. However, lets say it is a fight like Faction Champs in TotGC and I have been put on Cyclone duty. I can move one of my 6, 7, 8, or 9 actions to the top row and still within reach and place Cyclone on any of those keys which moves their functionality to the keypad. From there, I just make a couple macros for who I’m targeting with Cyclone and the job is done. For my mage, I use the 6, 7, 8, and 9 keys for AoE spells and my Mirror Image. I also have a macro on one of my keys that blows my load that I usually press with Mirror Image.
Speaking of macros, there is one major macro that I use for my moonkin raiding and I have discussed it before. I macro my DoTs together in a way that it will allow me to cast Insect Swarm first then Moonfire. If it is done correctly on the first part, Insect Swarm will be the next DoT to hit when I press the button again. Of course, I can get trigger happy and get the alternation off a little. I also had a macro that combined my Starfire with a Potion of Speed, but with 1120 haste, I’m just using Starfire now. If I’m tanking, I have a lot more macros since I macro every ability with Maul for threat generation and I have my Oh Crap button in case I need to throw up Barkskin, Frenzied Regenration, etc. I also have different macros for my DK and my warlock. And when I decide to level my hunter, I heard that is going to be Macroland.
One of the other things you don’t see is what is not running in my UI at this moment. I’m not running Auctioneer. I’m not running Questhelper. I’m not running GearScore. All of those are memory drains and affect 25 man performance. What I do have running is an addon called Addon Control Panel. This allows me to set up different addon configurations based on what I need them for. I have a raiding set of addons that minimize memory needed. I also have a set just for questing when Cataclysm comes out. I also have another set for auction house use. It is a great addon and I would recommend getting it.
Beyond that, the only other addons I have running are fight specific addons. For example, I am using Unbound which helps tell you who has Unbound Plague in the HM Professor Putricide fight and how much time left they have to hold it. It also tells you if someone has held it for longer than 10 seconds.
So I hope you like my UI. I know it is not perfect by any means and any recommendations would be great, but I enjoy it for what I use it for.