Posted tagged ‘addons’

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You have your gear (note that the gear post is somewhat outdated) and reforging in mind and you’ve picked out the Talents and Glyphs you want to start with.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


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.


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 For an elaborate breakdown of the major frame addons, check out Grimmtooth (the series may be a little outdated but the general gist is there).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.

Configuring Grid for Flashy Aggro Warnings

September 17, 2010

I’m working on another post (feels like all my blog posts start like that…apparently the best way to finish a post is to start with a different one) and I really needed an aggro warnings for Grid walkthrough to link to. Until now, I’ve been linking to Dristanel’s, but her guide is part of a larger post. Besides, she doesn’t do aggro warnings the way I like them. So from now on, my blog, my aggro warning configurations.

I think what I use is the actually default aggro tracker because I’m so original like that, but for those who don’t have aggro tracking turned on, here’s how.

I haven’t used other raid frames in forever, but I’d assume that they’d be fairly similar to configure.

Start by clicking your grid icon or typing /grid config (don’t do like me and type /gridconfig in a single word, then spend 10 minutes trying to figure out why nothing happens) to pop open the configuration window.

Select Frame, under it select Border. On the right side of the configuration screen, a list should pop up. Check Aggro alert.

Make a mental note of the other boxes you may have checked. (Many people have “your target” and “low HP warning” checked under Border.)

Now go back to the left menu. Scroll down to Status and select Aggro alert. On the right side, make sure that Enable is checked and set priority to 99. Then click on the colour box to choose the colour you want. I went with the default red (even though the screenshot makes it look white) but you can be as unconventional as you want.

Alternatively, you can check the threat box. This enables your frames to show you different levels of threat from High Threat (almost pulling aggro- quick! Hand of Salvation), Aggro (OMG he just pulled) to Tanking (getting smacked).

As one last step, remember how I told you to make a mental note of other statuses you might be tracking under the border. Find them under status the same way you found aggro alert. Select them and in the rightside menu, set their priority lower than 99.

From now on, Grid squares will light up according to aggro.

Why do I Need Battle Text? Let Me Tell You!

January 27, 2010

So last night, I was super ready to raid : flasks, Symbols of Kings, repairs. An exciting new raid week was in store for me and I couldn’t wait!

Then, right from the first pull, something was…off. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it yet, but I was definitely being rubbed the wrong way. A feeling of frustration was growing under my skin. Being the introspective sort, I began to analyze my feelings.

Was it the lag?

No, not lag. While my teammates were complaining about lag, I wasn’t particularly affected.

Was it the rogues talking shop on vent again?

No, they were putting me to sleep earlier with their chatter, but now they were focused on the raid. (You’d think rogues would be the stealthy quiet type, but nooooo, not in my guild!)

Dammit, what’s bothering me?

Hmmm…. Wait- I know! My scrolling battle text isn’t working!





I had to resist the overwhelming urge to tear all my hair out, right then and there, using both hands. Then I fought off the need to break down and sob.

Did you know some paladins can heal without scrolling battle text? Seriously! How is that even possible? Oh, I can go without healing addons if I have to. I can pass on shmexy titan panel that shows me my gold and durability and provides cool icons that help me access the configuration pages of my other addons. I can even play reasonably well without DBM. (Actually, DBM was broken too and it wasn’t bothering me too much.) But scrolling battle text? I NEED NEED NEED it.

Pretty, pretty battle text!

(Putting in a cut here…I hate cuts, but for some reason, whenever I use bullets, WordPress screws up my page layout if I don’t cover them up with a cut) (more…)