(MODERATOR NOTE)I'm just going to be very clear to start with: if you make a post in this thread copying the OP's format and listing the mods you use in place of what Latito listed, you will get an infraction.
This thread will live as long as it contains useful discussion of the kinds of things that are important in a rogue UI, or of how to design rogue UI's such that important elements are placed optimally, or other topics of similar nature. (Basically, the kind of posts that have mostly occurred so far.) If it becomes an endless jerk-off session with each idiot showing off his unique snowflake UI and posting a stream of consciousness explanation of every last thought behind it...you know where it will go.(END MODERATOR NOTE)
Please do NOT make posts for the following, but rather send a PM to the appropriate individual:
*Ask people to upload their UI/mod
*Ask people about some mod in a screenshot of theirs that they arenâ€™t talking about
*Updates to this main post that are mistakes or outdated (not new mods that we may want to discuss first)
Table of Contents
III. Add-ons: Core Paladin/Raiding Elements
- a. Boss Mod
- b. Raid Frame
- c. Buff Frame/Bar
- d. Blessing Management
- e. Scrolling Combat Text
- f. Unit Frames
- g. Action Bars
- h. Hotkey Compensation
- a. Threat Meter
- b. Rotation Helper
- c. Cool-down Count
- d. Cast Bar/Swing Timer
- e. Internal Trinket Cool-down Watcher
- f. Short Buff/Debuff Tracker
- a. Damage Meter
- b. OPie
- c. PowerAuras
- d. Utility Management
- e. Nameplate Replacement
- f. Macro Management
- g. Chat Management
VII. Macros: Your "I Win" Buttons
VIII. Putting It All Together
- a. General Rules
- b. My UI
With the above in mind, this is NOT a replication of the generic UI thread. The specific purpose of this thread is to identify elements to improve retribution performance with a PvE focus in mind. Add-ons that are considered necessary or very helpful, as well as potential replacements, will be discussed here. There have been many questions in the various retribution threads, so hopefully this thread will redirect the questions and alleviate the same questions being repeated incessantly. Please keep in mind that my UI is not necessarily the only "right" way to do things; it is a work in progress just like anyone elseâ€™s. No one here is necessarily wrong or right. This thread is also not about me showing off my UI, but identifying elements that all of us need. Expect this thread to evolve significantly over the coming weeks. I will update this first post with the latest information we have gathered further down the thread, but you are still responsible for reading the ENTIRE thread before entering discussions.
Before we delve into any kind of details, there are a few things to note. We are going to cover many different add-ons below, but it may not be ideal for YOU to use them. I personally have a very powerful machine, and can run any number of add-ons smoothly. Obviously, some of you will not be able to run many of these, and thatâ€™s up to you if the extra utility is worth the decreased frame rate. Some add-ons even have the capability of destabilizing an otherwise stable connection due to excessive network traffic. I will do my best to mention these types of mods, but since I donâ€™t have a fair an accurate way to assess these mods you will really have to experiment for yourself.
In addition, your guild may have preferences to some add-ons, especially when it comes to things like damage meters and boss mods. Iâ€™m going to list my personal preferences for each type of mod, as well as a few other options (if Iâ€™m aware of themâ€¦ feel free to PM me any you think deserve to be added). Acronyms and shorthand will be used where possible, but I will be sure to be as clear as possible when assigning these. I will not list mods such as action bars or unit frames; while they certainly add functionality, they are primarily a visual change and donâ€™t belong in a discussion of practical add-ons that forward raiding effectiveness.
Finally, while the paladin class shares some common "required" features, we will be focusing ONLY on retribution UIs. The protection and holy paladins are more than welcome to use what I have started as a baseline for their own threads (though I would appreciate credit for my work), though I strongly suggest they PM a moderator for permission and guidance before they go ahead and blindly create their own UI threads.
Note: For those who have inquired about my UI specifically from my more recent videos, I will try to have a copy uploaded onto WoWInterface within a week or so and will put a link in this thread. Please do not spam me with PMs.
I will not provide direct links to add-ons for a given site. Itâ€™s up to YOU to find the add-on in question on the above sites. Use these sites also to discover new elements that we may want to incorporate; the search features have greatly evolved and you can find some pretty neat mods just by digging around. Also, looking around in the UI thread on EJ here can be helpful as well.
To keep myself and others sane, hereâ€™s a list of acronyms that I may use. These wonâ€™t be for the mods themselves, as I have those next to each listed mod.
AW â€“ Avenging Wrath
CD â€“ Cooldown
DP â€“ Divine Plea
DPS â€“ Damage Per Second
RW â€“ Raid Warning
SoC â€“ Seal of Command
SoV â€“ Seal of Vengeance
III. Add-ons: Core Paladin/Raiding Elements
Here we will discuss mods that every paladin raider should have. If you donâ€™t have these types of mods, for whatever reason, you probably arenâ€™t performing at your peak as an effective paladin raider. Some of these even extend to other classes.
IIIa. Boss Mod
Preference: BigWigs (BW)
Alternatives: Deadly Boss Mods (DBM), Deus Vox Encounters (DVE)
Why: To put it simply, they keep track of things that would be extremely difficult to keep track of on your own. This is actually one of, if not the single biggest DPS improving tools you have at your disposal. Being able to time CDs and abilities in conjunction with certain boss abilities/events is priceless. These will allow you to think ahead with accuracy, and avoid those embarrassing deaths. Every single raider, regardless of class, should absolutely have one of these.
IIIb. Raid Frame
Alternatives: ORa2, Xperl, ShadowedUF, Healbot, Vuhdo
Why: I canâ€™t really think of any alternative that does quite everything that grid does. I truly believe that if you have a heal, defensive CD castable on others, or some kind of cleanse, you absolutely must have grid. It is extremely powerful, convenient, and surprisingly lightweight compared to other raid frame mods. The ability to track debuffs through manual addition is extremely convenient as well. When combined with a mouse-over macro, this is one potent tool.
IIIc. Buff Frame/Bar
Preference: Elk Buff Bars (EBB)
Alternatives: Satrina Buff Frames
Why: The importance of an easily and heavily customizable buff tracking mod cannot be underestimated, especially when it comes to short buffs and Debuffs both on you and your target. I am partial to EBB because of the ability to create custom groups and modify/filter them as you please.
IIId. Blessing Management
Alternatives: Grid, ZOMGBuffs
Why: Thereâ€™s a reason PP has been around as long as it has. It is far and away the best mod I have encountered when it comes to managing blessings. Simply give one paladin the assist, and he can coordinate all the blessings for every paladin in the raid, even 10 minute ones. Make sure PP is NOT buried at the edge of the screen; as a Paladin it is your job to re-bless people who have been resurrected.
IIIe. Scrolling Combat Text
Preference: Mikâ€™s Scrolling Battle Text (MSBT)
Alternatives: Scrolling Combat Text (SCT), Parrot, Cascade
Why: The main purpose of a combat text replacement mod is to prevent screen clutter. The default combat text puts damage numbers above the heads of mobs, instead of sequestering it off in a portion of your screen to maintain order and vision. Any mod that can organize this data will do the trick, but I prefer MSBT because it is highly customizable and performs quite well. Features such as spam filtering (to group DOT-type damage) and ability to make custom groups and events are a big plus here.
It's worth noting that Parrot apparently has some specific synergy with BigWigs, so if you really don't care which of the three you use, it might be your best option. Eavesdrop functions differently than the other mods; it's more of a combat log replacement with a visual focus but can certainly fill this roll if screen real estate is tight.
IIIf. Unit Frames
Alternatives: X-perl, ShadowedUnitFrames
Why: Unit frames allow targeting information such as mob HP, percentage HP, buffs, debuffs, and a whole myriad of other stats to be more easily viewed than possible in the default UI. More importantly, they allow you to save space by doing away with gaudy graphics and oversized text that the Blizzard unit frames use. Virtually anyone who makes any changes to their UI makes this one of their first changes.
IIIg. Action Bars
Why: Much like above, action bar mods are a great way to save space or make better use of existing space. In addition, they often prove extra functionality when it comes to stances/auras. They also tend to streamline hotkey use and allow you to do neat things with bars regarding shape, appearance, and visibility. Another key type of mod for virtually every player.
IIIg. Hotkey Compensation
Preference: Speedy Actions by Shadowed
Alternatives: SnowfallKeyPress (SKP)
Why: When you click on an ability via hotkeys, it apparently only activates on key release, not key press. This causes a very slight delay in every button you press. A mod like SKP will negate this affect, and make your game feel generally more responsive. After trying this out, I consider it absolutely required. It's lightweight, requires no configuration, and greatly improves your performance.
IV. Add-ons: Retribution-Specific Elements
Here we will discuss mods that are potentially retribution-specific, when compared to the paladin class. These are mods that assist in your ability to do damage or maximize your ret-specific utility. While you can raid without these add-ons, having them canâ€™t hurt and tends to increase your DPS quite significantly.
IVa. Threat Meter
Why: Omen is the most popular threat meter out there, as far as Iâ€™m aware. The ability to set warnings (both sound and flashes) at certain agro thresholds makes these crucial. Keep this somewhere that you can see it easily; watching your threat is extremely important, because if you pull agro and die you arenâ€™t helping anyone. I prefer Skada, however, because it covers both the threat AND damage meter in a uniform and lightweight package. Either works, though.
IVb. Rotation Helper
Alternatives: Serious Help In Timing (SHIT), Faceroller, EventHorizon
Why: CLCRet is essentially like SHIT 2.0, and is currently maintained by EJâ€™s very own burghy here . If someone had asked me if a mod like this was necessary a few months ago, I would have said "no, l2p". Since using SHIT and now CLCRet, I can say with enthusiasm that you are really hurting yourself if you arenâ€™t using this mod, or at least one like it. Why? Because while it may help tighten up your rotation a little during heavy burns, thatâ€™s not its real strength. The real strength is that you can pull your eyes up from staring at action bars at the edge of your screen, and keep your focus in the middle, where your character is. This allows you to greatly increase survivability and DPS through increased awareness in positioning. Plus, it centralizes your CDs like DP and AW.
Even better, this mod has "profiles" (in a different sense than most mods, though Iâ€™m sure burghy will have that working in no time). You can macro these profiles into seals (along with librams, explained later) to shift priorities depending on seals; for example, Judgment first for SoV, but CS first for SoC.
Thethiala wrote up a very nice guide for setting this mod up here.
IVc. Cool-down Count
Why: There isnâ€™t much to this. Any mod that puts a number on your action bar buttons for the CD remaining will do the trick, Iâ€™ve used OmniCC for a long time and itâ€™s always served me well, and never interacted poorly with other mods, including CLCRet/SHIT.
IVd. Cast Bar/Swing Timer
Why: Another type of mod that I really only have experience with one. Quartz is stable, uses a reasonably low amount of resources, and has a ton of extra features. The fact that it covers your cast bars AND swing timer makes it quite convenient. That being said the need for a swing timer has diminished in WOTLK, but itâ€™s still something thatâ€™s nice to have, especially for burst purposes of any kind.
IVe. Internal Trinket Cool-down Watcher
Preference: InternalCooldowns Combined with CLCRet
Alternatives: Forte, Procodile, Proculas
Why: I actually use a custom mod for this, the author of which requested that I do not mention it. There are many things you can do here, but anything that will show you the time remaining on your Greatness or Deathâ€™s Choice/Verdict ICD will be extremely helpful in timing your CDs, as you get the most out of your CDs when you line them up with these procs.
IVf. Short Buff/Debuff Tracker
Preference: Combination of EBB/PowerAuras
Why: You don't necessarily NEED a seperate mod for this, as most buff frames have enough customizeability to handle this. In addition, PowerAuras has some useful functionality along these lines if you can afford the screen real estate around your character. However, I know of quite a few people who like NeedToKnow, so feel free to give it a try.
V. Add-ons: Non-essentials
These mods may not help you mid-combat, but I find them extremely useful for organization and data gathering. If you can afford to use them, I would suggest it!
Va. Damage Meter
Alternatives: Recount, Recap
Why: The beauty of a damage meter is that it allows you to see your exact damage breakdown, and those of other raid members, by target. You can see where your damage lags, and where you excel. If you know what your breakdown should be for a given fight in terms of relative ability damage, you can see where you need to improve, and adjust accordingly. Note that this mod is a massive memory and bandwidth whore; it sends and receives a great deal of information mid-combat, and will continue to save data until you clear it. Use it if you can afford to, but donâ€™t push it; Iâ€™m sure at least one person in your raid is running a mod like this. Skada seems to be lighter in terms of memory/cpu usage, but Recount also seems to be more popular. Use whichever you like best, really.
OPie with ButtonFacade
Why: Notice how for every other mod Iâ€™ve used a generic description, because it isnâ€™t unique in its functionality (even if I havenâ€™t listed alternates, I know they exist). Well I couldnâ€™t for this mod; it is so unique that if any mod were to be similar, it would basically be a complete rip-off. OPie organizes spells, items, and even macroâ€™s into these neat rings of icons. By pushing a hotkey, you can view a ring. You can create rings within rings, and even assign special functionality to each ring. This mod is the single greatest way to save action bar space and keep your miscellaneous stuff organized. If there are abilities you think you could group up, use this. I posted a YouTube link instead of a screenshot, because a screenshot wouldnâ€™t quite do it justice.
Why: While Iâ€™m not sure if this mod is as unique as OPie, itâ€™s certainly no less handy. While some might consider it redundant with a properly set up buff frame such as EBB, I find it extremely helpful to watch my trinket procs while keeping focused on the middle of the screen. You can do a lot of neat things with it, including showing obnoxious graphics when you donâ€™t have an aura or seal activated.
Vd. Utility Management
Why: A lot of people swear by this mod, especially healers. It's very powerful when used in conjunction with grid, and is a great way to increase the speed of your cleanse/utilty. I'm not big on it, and just use mouseover macros instead, but I figured it was worth mentioning.
Ve. Nameplate Replacement
Preference: Tidy Plates: Threat Plates
Alternatives: Caelnameplates, Aloft
Why: While the default Blizzard UI offers nameplates, there are some things it doesn't offer which this provides. The first is the ability to see a percentage of mob HP, to better plan tab targetting for HoW. Also, it slims the nameplates (and allows them to have color, size, and shape changed) which should clear up your view some. There is also aggro alerts, with nameplates highlighted a certain color depending on your aggro levels (high aggro, current target, etc). Finally, it is also (apparently) capable of showing ALL cast bars of nearby targets, not just your current target like the blizzard nameplates.
Vf. Macro Management
Alternatives: Macro Bank, Super Duper Macro
Why: These are convenient if you find yourself running out of macro space, or need to use macros that exceed the character limit. There's not much else to them, but a nice thing to have if you like to turn everything into a macro.
Vg. Chat Management
Why: I personally love chatter. Aside from the integration with MSBT mentioned here, it's just a great way to customize your chat window and keep things organized. It also allows you to give nicknames to your channels, so when you record a video or take a screenshot, you don't have to worry about your secret channels (such as class channels) being discovered!
VI. Hotkeys: How to Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
I am not going to tell you how to assign your hotkeys. Ultimately it is up to you to determine what is most comfortable and works for you. A lot of it boils down to stuff as simple as hand size and reaction time. I can, however, give you some general pointers to follow to maximize use of your hotkeys.
Keep buttons you use the most the closest: Donâ€™t put crusader strike on your "=" key unless you plan to keep your hand there. Since I use W,A,S,D to move, I keep my most often pressed buttons near there (F=CS, 5 = DS, R = Judgment, etc). Getting a mouse with extra buttons and a clickable wheel is also quite handy when you need easy to access buttons. Leave buttons like mounting, eating, chat reply, and holy light to the more annoying to reach buttons, like "=". This will increase your reaction time in battle and decrease fat-fingers (at least, in the long run).
Try to use modifiers to perform similar actions: Grouping functions so that SHIFT, ALT, or CTRL perform a similar task to the main buttons is helpful and allows your brain to react more quickly. For example, for JoL I use R, JoW I use SH-R, JoJ I use CTRL-R. You can do similar things with HoP, Bubble, and LoH.
Save hotkeys for abilities that really need them: Trust me, you donâ€™t need your "1" button to summon Grunty, or your "3" button to mount. Donâ€™t be that guy. Save macros for things you need to press quickly in combat. If you absolutely must use a hotkey for a non-combat task, try to group similar things into an OPie ring to save bar space.
VII. Macros: Your "I Win" Buttons
Again, Iâ€™m not going to post an exhaustive list of every macro you need to use. I have A LOT. You should too. If you really need a helping hand, Arena Junkies has a helpful starting point here.
Attack Macros: Donâ€™t just drag abilities from your spell book onto your bar, especially not your retribution attack abilities. Macro each and every one of them into an attack macro, that follows this format:
#showtooltip Crusader Strike /startattack /cast Crusader Strike /script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()Hereâ€™s why: if your next ability is on CD and you need to switch targets, just pushing the ability wonâ€™t do anything until it activates. And if itâ€™s Exorcism or Consecrate, it wonâ€™t even start attacking even if they are off CD. Trying to right-click doesnâ€™t work well either if youâ€™re fighting multiple mobs in the same spot. Plus, the last command clears that annoying red text that says "You canâ€™t do this yet" every time you press a button thatâ€™s on CD (because if youâ€™re anything like me, you spam the hell out of your DPS abilities).
Mouse-over Macros: Having to deselect your current target to use a defensive ability is cumbersome and causes you to, at the very least, waste auto-attacks and seal procs. Something like this cleanse macro can work wonders for any defense ability:
#showtooltip Cleanse /cast [target=mouseover, exists] [help] [target=player] CleanseAssist macros: Every raid should have that one DPS person who knows what the hell they are doing and calling targets. One of the best ways to make sure youâ€™re hitting the right thing is making a simple macro to assist him:
/target Assistguy /assistLibram swap macros: Now these are quite handy in 3.2, and will likely serve you at least into 3.3. These handy macros perform 3 tasks, at their fullest extent: swap a seal, equip a libram, and shift your CLCRet priority. While burghy describes a more complete set of options here, Iâ€™ll give you a short and sweet example assuming you had a preset named "CSFirst":
#showtooltip Seal of Command /cast Seal of Command /equip Relentless Gladiatorâ€™s Libram of Fortitude /clcretlp CSFirstNoraj also wrote up slightly more robust macros for those with twitchy fingers to make sure the seal has been cast before you attempt the libram swap (to prevent you from wasting GCDs while swapping). Unfortunately, you can't fit the CLCRet functionality in it as well, but you can find his macros in the next post down.
3-in-1 Judgement macro: As I mentioned earlier with grouping hotkeys, you can save even more barspace with macro's which handle the modifiers themselves:
#showtooltip Judgement of Light /cast [nomodifier] Judgement of Light; /cast [modifier:shift] Judgement of Wisdom; /cast [modifier:ctrl] Judgement of Justice;VIII. Putting It All Together
With all these thoughts in mind, how do we put all this together to make anything more than a flashing mess of random information? Letâ€™s find out!
VIIIa. General Rules
Well, there are a few rules to follow, some of them are painfully obvious but need to be said, because many people do whatever they can to make their UI pretty, instead of functional:
Make the important information more centered and easier to see: Combat text, CDs, rotation info, hp/mana, buffs/debuffs on both you and your target, and raid warnings all need to get prime real estate on your screen. Make them as obnoxious and obvious as you can, but not to the point that they detract from each otherâ€™s effectiveness.
Do *NOT* clutter your screen: While this may seem to counteract my previous suggestion, it really doesnâ€™t. Obnoxious does NOT mean large necessarily, and you can accomplish many great things with animations and colors. It is absolutely essential that you can see around your character at all times, to make sure you donâ€™t dive into a void zone, dance in a whirlwind, or bathe in the fire. Move stuff you donâ€™t absolutely need during a fight to the edges; things like Fubar, loot, chat, and Recount.
Use what you need, and what *YOU* can handle: Iâ€™m not talking just about your computer here. If you put too much information on your screen, your brain will explode and youâ€™ll miss important things while being distracted by the game of solitaire you have open at the bottom right hand corner of your screen. Also note that regardless of how good your machine is, a hefty UI will lower performance no matter what; whether or not thatâ€™s an acceptable thing depends on your personal threshold for FPS tolerance.
VIIIb. My UI
Well all these rules are all nice, but Iâ€™m sure some of you want to see an example. Keep in mind that even my UI doesnâ€™t hold perfectly to these rules; itâ€™s what works best for me, and thatâ€™s all that should matter to you when considering a UI. That doesnâ€™t mean "Iâ€™ll just keep using what I have because I do OK for now"; always look to improve your UI, as there are always new mods being made which can do neat new things!
To show you my UI, Iâ€™m not going to post a screenshot. Why? Because a UI, at least a good one, is not a static image. It is a flowing set of data with subsets of information, streaming at you in an organized manner. So, hereâ€™s a video of my UI in action on Sindragosa 25H.
Now Iâ€™m not going to go at length describing every detail of my UI. I would ask that you take note of my field of vision, and the placement of mods that I mentioned were very important. While I have a good deal of mods, my screen isnâ€™t overly cluttered, and every mod is partitioned in its own area with minimal overlap.
If you have any questions about my UI, feel free to PM me. I will not respond to questions asking how I set up mod X or what a certain mod is, you can figure that out for yourself. I HAVE DECIDED TO *NOT* UPLOAD MY UI, PLEASE STOP ASKING! If you believe your question might bring up useful discussion regarding Retribution UIâ€™s than by all means post, but bear in mind if you post something stupid or something that has been repeated many times the moderators will likely slap you with an infraction.