Posted tagged ‘raid frames’

How I’m healing in MoP – Holy Pally 4eva: The UI

December 31, 2012

You have your gear (note that the gear post is somewhat outdated) and reforging in mind and you’ve picked out the Talents and Glyphs you want to start with. You’re ready to start pressing buttons!

Almost.

Before getting to the pressing buttons part, I want to make sure your UI (User Interface) needs are met. To heal effectively you want a proper interface. One that tells you what you need to know yet cuts down on useless, overwhelming information.

A good healer knows exactly what’s happening to each person in the raid at all times as well as what their own character is doing, while following the fight.

The key to that, friends, is a proper UI.

What to Add to the Addon Shopping List?

Here’s a screen shot of my UI (click on it on few times to make it bigger). This is obviously just an example and you are free (in fact, I encourage you!) to use your imagination to build your own interface.

raidui

1- Raid Frames

You want to see what’s going on in your raid. The more popular frames for healing are VuhDo, Healbot, Grid and Grid2. Shown in the above picture is Grid2.

Grid and Grid2 require an extra addon if you want to use the mouse to interact with the frames (Clique is the only one I’m aware of). The original Grid may require extra addons to track certain buffs and debuffs as well. For an elaborate breakdown of the major frame addons, check out Grimmtooth (the series may be a little outdated but the general gist is there).

Having tried all of the popular healing frames, I found them equally good, so go with whichever you find prettiest or whichever your friends use (so it’s easier to get answers if you have questions).

As a Holy Paladin, you want to track:

- Your Beacon of Light as well as the Beacons of other Holy Pallies in the raid (indicated separately)
- Eternal Flame
- Sacred Shield (If you are using the spell, otherwise it is optional)
- Your Illuminated Healing (Optional – nice to have but may be overwhelming)
- Range (Fade out at 40 yards)
- Aggro (Optional but helpful)
- Rezzed but not yet taken the rez (Called Resurrection on Grid2. Most players don’t track this, but I find it super helpful.)
- Fight specific buffs and debuffs (Such as Pungency on Garalon)
- Magic, Poison and Disease debuffs (Curse debuffs can be shown separately if desired)

As a side note, in the screenshot you can see the tanks on the default WoW frames. I do this in LFR to keep track of who the tanks are. I would hide the default frames in a guild raid.

2- Bar Organizer

The popular addons are Bartender 4 (shown in screenshot) and Dominos.

A good bar organizer will keep your game from vomiting buttons all over your screen. If you look closely, you can see my keybound abilities on the bottom (I rebound my movement keys to ESDF and use the surrounding keys to tap abilities) and my cooldowns (mostly) on the top. My mounts, professions and others are faded out to the right of my main bars, my seals are to the left, and my system buttons (Raid Finder, Raid Journal, Character, etc) are to the top left (hidden behind the WoW frames on the screenshot).

(The screenshot was taken during a time of winter cleaning so the layout isn’t ideal – there are a couple of suboptimal buttons and even an empty space. I am still working on perfecting my bars, so please don’t copy the screenshot.)

Ideally, I would have my cooldowns larger and more in the middle of my screen, but there are so many cooldowns and so little room on the screen. I’ve just gotten in the habit of glancing at my CDs as part of my regular screen visual sweep.

3- Personal Frames (Heads Up)

While you can keep track of yourself using your raid frames, many of us find it easier to track ourselves separately. I use mine for mana and Holy Power (it shows health too, but out of habit I tend to look at my raid frames for my health).

Shown in the picture above is IceHUD, but there are a lot of options to choose from. Once again, the awesome Grimmtooth has reviewed and cataloged the main ones (again, may be a little outdated but still relevent, see Grimmtooth’s comment on this post for some updates).

I have the bars set to fade out of combat so they are hard to see, but in the left circle is my mana bar, my health bar and my pet bar (not shown). On the right side, if I had a target, you’d be able to see my target’s health and mana.

In the bottom circle is my Holy Power bar. I love the location – right on my character, above my healing frames. I always know how much Holy Power I have!

Even if you choose not to use frames for yourself, you will have to track Holy Power near the center of your screen somehow. The tiny bar at the top left of the screen is too out of the way. You’ll waste a lot of time if you extend your visual sweep all the way up there just to look at your Holy Power.

4- Scrolling Battle Text

Some players will say this is optional, but I can’t play without battle text. On the rare occasion that my addon crashes, the difference in my healing output is noticeable.

I use MikScrollingBattleText (you can’t see it in the shot since I wasn’t doing anything at the time) and I have used Parrot in the past as well.

There are a lot of cool things you can do with your battle text, such as sounds for when your cooldowns come up, or when you have 3 Holy Power. You can also use it (mostly) out of the box, to keep an eye on your numbers or to notice when Beacon isn’t transferring heals.

5- Pally Power

Pally Power is truly optional, but I find it helpful for rebuffing after a rez or swapping a Seal. And it’s so small and cute that it doesn’t cause me any problems.

6- Combat Log

Not an addon, but a valuable part of an interface.

I love my Combat Log so much that I moved it to the right side of my screenkeep, separating it from my chat box. You can customize your Combat Log, but Blizzard has done a really good job fixing it up so that the default “What happened to me?” is all you really need.

It’s fantastic for diagnosing deaths (nothing sets me off more than people who don’t know what killed them…the Combat Log SPELLS IT OUT TO YOU DUMBASSES /fume), verifying damage type (physical/shadow/nature/etc) and seeing if the raid healers are slacking.

A Note on the Addon-Free School of Thought

Occasionally you’ll come across healers who refuse to use addons, for a variety of reasons. What they might not tell you, though, is that, if they are successfully healing in a competitive raid environment, they’re using other aids, like macros and optimized keybindings. If you choose to use macros instead of addons (addons are essentially, after all, pretty and precoded macros), you can heal well, however I won’t be able help you.

If you’re hesitant about adding to your game, think of it this way: designing an interface that’s both pleasant on the eyes (you’ll be staring at it a lot, it needs to be sexy) and informative is a skill in itself.

Building a super efficient UI does not take away from your talent as a player. Rather it highlights your ability by reflecting your understanding of the game and of your personal playstyle. A bad player who doesn’t know where or what to look for won’t be able to build a proper UI.

So stop worrying and start addon shopping.

Frames Layout, Bossy Pally style

March 16, 2012

I have good news! My badass, sex fiend of a Sith Warrior finally proved herself to the Dark Council and earned her Darth title! (And because her timing is always impeccable, the second she returned to the ship, the companion she’d been hitting on the whole game decided at last to put out. She was getting a little worried there, after choking him then hooking up with another companion…but it all worked out. She had a great night. I’m happy for her. Really, I am.) What all that means is I can go back to living a normal life. Normal life which includes vacuuming popcorn off the carpet, washing away the orange stuff that oozes through my bathroom walls when I take showers and updating the blog.

It’s been a long time since I’ve sat to write and had to think “um, what should I write about?” The hesitation I have about writing pally posts these days is that I really don’t want to spend 6-8 hours writing something that will be totally outdated in a couple of months. Then I got an idea. Lately, I’ve been exchanging some emails with a fantastic leveling holy paladin (also resto shaman). We got onto the topic of raid frames and buff/debuff tracking and she raised a lot of excellent points. Plus, raid frames is a fairly timeless topic. And thus, you’re now reading (or quickly scrolling through) a post about my sexy (IMO) raid frames.

Raid Frames

Raid frames are a totally personal thing and I don’t push any addon in particular. I say go with what your friends are using. It’s easier to get help that way. Buff/debuff tracking is also a personal thing and I’m not here to force my frames layout down anyone’s throat. But if you’re looking for ideas, then this post is for you.

I use Grid (or more specifically, Grid 2), but I have played around with the other addons (Vuhdo and Healbot) and I recall being able to configure them similarly.

In a 25 raid, my frames look kinda like the shot I posted above. It dates back to ICC, in Wrath (and most of these characters don’t exist anymore/have changed names, so don’t even TRY to stalk my ex-guildies!), but my (timeless!) frames still have the same features:

- Vertical groups (arranged by party)
- Pets on the far right
- Horizontal health bars
- Colours according to class

Here’s snapshot of a single box, with a bunch of things on it:

Lets break it down!

How I’ve got tracking set up

You’ve got a lot more possibilities when it comes to where you want your shiny colours or icons to appear, but this image shows the spots I use.

And now I’ll entertain you all by listing what goes where, as well as what kind of indicator I use. (In order words, whether I use an icon, a colourful square or text.)

Top Left: My Beacon of Light (icon)
Top Center: Other Beacons of Light (or as I say it, Beacon of Lights – icon)
Top Right: My Holy Radiance (icon), any Hand (Sacrifice, Protection, Freedom – icon)
Center Left: Raid markers (icon)
Center Text: Offline status, Death, Names
Health Bars: Health (by class colour), Out of range (fades out at 40 yards)
Center (Extra Large!) Icons: Awaiting resurrection, Any important buffs or debuffs that I need to pay special attention to in a fight, Dispellable debuffs (magic, poison, disease)
Bottom Left: My Judgement of the Pure (icon)
Bottom Right: Forbearance (red square), Other Holy Radiances (yellow square), Low Mana (blue square), Undispellable debuffs (curse – purple square)
Border: Aggro

Notes and Points of Interest

1)My spells vs Others’ spells: The feature’s been around in Grid for as long as I can remember, but I only started using it recently. I love it! It really comes in handy when you have other holy paladins in the raid. I was having troubles with my Beacon falling off due to being buried under other Beacon indicators. But no more! I also use the split for Holy Radiance. And I only track my own Judgement of the Pure since I’m not a raid leader and really don’t care if other pallies have their Judgement of Pure up.

2)Priorities: I think this may be a newer feature, but it’s lovely if you limit the number of indicator locations on your frames. When I listed my indicators above, I went in order of priority. So if someone had Forbearance and Low Mana, I would see the Forbearance square, not the Low Mana one. The places in my settings where priority is a concern are Center Text, Center Icons and Bottom Right.

3)Buffs/Debuffs in the middle: I find that I don’t act quickly on special statuses if they’re not obvious. I experimented with a few locations and eventually settled with big, obnoxious icons in the middle. In a raid environment, you rarely have to deal with more than 1 or 2 debuffs or statuses per fight, so it works perfectly. However, this setup is probably not ideal in pvp or even 5 man dungeons.

And there you have it

That’s how I big brother the raid. I’m often looking for new ideas and layouts, myself, but at the same time, it’s also good to limit what you track to what’s really useful. Too much noise in your frames will draw your attention away from the important elements.

And, if you were wondering, yes, I genuinely screwed up that image because I don’t know my left from my right. Don’t laugh.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,932 other followers