Breaking down my UI

It might even be a year now since I decided that the standard ui just wasn’t cutting it for me. It’s been a while anyway and when 5.0.4 came out, and I had to reinstall my addons, I decided to roll out my custom ui to all my characters. When I’d set it up I’d done so on my main, my paladin, and hadn’t prepared to roll it out any further. So when I did try and put it on my priest, it messed a few things up with some differing placements, as it was pulling from the same variable sheet.

Anyway, I thought I’d post what my ui looks like, and what addons I use for it. That way if anyone is interested then it might help someone.

This is a screencap of my ui on my warlock. It’s the same basic setup on all my characters. Some characters like my paladin, or my druid, have extra addons for class specific abilities/resources.

Breaking it down

  • Titan Panel – this is the information bar which can show pretty much whatever information you desire. There are a lot of plugins for it and some separate addons have the ability to show up on this pane. I have it showing on every character my location, gold across all characters, bagspace and mail. On this character which is still being levelled I have the xp tracker on. On my main I have Rarity showing for chasing those elusive items. In the past I’ve had a reputation tracker, but as I’ve currently got all but the two hard pvp reps at exalted, I’ve not put that on here for now.
  • Below the Titan Panel, as this is still a levelling character, I’ve placed blizz’s default xp tracker. While there is an xp tracker on the Titan Panel I like the visual display of the original.
  • SexyMap – this is my map replacement. I like to hide all the buttons that addons feel the need to put around the map, and I also needed to move it down a bit so Titan Panel didn’t overlap the top. Plus it’s shiny with the blue edging and there’s co-ordinates on there too.
  • Quests – I did have a quest addon, and it was updating for 5.0.4, however it was still bugged. So I’m using the default quest tracker and actually aside from some features, like mass track/untrack, of quests I don’t miss my addon.
  • Bartender – I like my bars in the middle of the screen and not spread out at the bottom. I have my main abilities keybound but not my cooldowns. I know I should probably keybind everything but I don’t. Having it front and centre, where the action is, cuts down on the badness of clicking them. Plus some abilities have cooldowns and I can see easier, at a glance, whether they are free to use or not.
  • OnmiCC – this is my cooldown tracker. It puts a number and a clock hand on all abilities with a cd. This is great for seeing at a glance what I can use. This addon also works in conjunction with my buff/debuff tracker.
  • TellMeWhen – I would be lost without this addon. There are others that do the same sort of thing but I find this so easy to use and setup. It tracks my buffs/debuffs. On the image above you can see it’s tracking Immolate and Backdraft. There’s one niggle on this character as I’d like it to track the stacks of Backdraft, but I’ve not managed to make it do that yet. I should fiddle with it again.
  • Pitbull – this is for the unit frames. You can see my character and the targeted enemy in the centre above the ability bars. As this character has a pet that is above the chat panel. I like them in the centre like this as it’s easier to watch my health, and the enemies health. It’s where I’m looking anyway – the centre – as opposed to having to move my eyes up to the top left, and away from the action. This character has a resource, in this case Burning Embers, and Pitbull displays them. On my paladin I’ve turned off display of Holy Power as I have another addon for that.
  • Prat – this doesn’t change the chat panel that much. What it does do is give me the ability to copy text, so when we’re sharing funny links in guild, I don’t have to copy out a long url.
  • Quartz – the cast bar you can see is from this addon. The default cast bar went across the unit frames, which I obviously couldn’t have. So this addon places it in a more convenient place. When crafting it shows the length of time for all of what you’re crafting, rather than a new bar for everything. It’s also shiny.
  • Tidy Plates – for the nameplates above enemies. I actually use the Threat Plates version of this on all my characters, though obviously it’s most useful for the tanking ones when watching a pack of mobs, making sure don’t lose threat on any. I like the representation of health so when a group has to die at the same time, can see at a glance which mob I need to focus on. For the enemy that I’m focused on I can also see what it’s casting, which is good for interrupts.
  • Grid – this is my replacement raid/party frame. I’ve used it for a long time, it was one of the first addons I used. It’s not behaving that well at the moment, I keep having to reload ui everytime someone new joins the group. However, I do still like it and I’m sure it’ll sort itself out. It’s smaller than the default and can be moved around.

Other basic addons

  • Addon Control Panel – this was invaluable when I was trying to work out what addon was giving me awful lag. I didn’t have to relog to activate/deactivate everytime, I just went into this and then reloaded the ui.
  • BugSack – another invaluable addon for catching all those errors. There’s something that’s causing an error with real id /w but this just catches it so I can ignore it and keep playing the game. I know that’s actually not what it’s intended for but as it’s not a major bug I think it’s ok.
  • EasyMail – this hasn’t been updated for 5.0.4 yet but it still works perfectly. Well the graphical placement of the mail is a little off but aside from that. I like this as it’s very simple but gets the job done. No more do I have to click on all attachments to get them. I press one button and everything empties out.
  • GoGoMount – I currently have 146 mounts, and if I didn’t use a random mount addon, I’d never see most of them. I know I could write a macro to do the same but this differentiates between ground and flight, giving the appropriate mount for each area/skill level. So in Stormwind with old world fight it’ll give a flying mount, without old world flight a ground mount etc.
  • Rarity – I mentioned this earlier as working in concert with Titan Panel. I’m a collector and I spend more time than I like to think about farming for rare pets/mounts/items. I like this addon as it tracks the number of attempts for something, and I can add custom items too it. I’m trying for a number of legendaries (who doesn’t like orange pixels?) as well as some stubborn transmog drops. So I track those alongside the mounts/pets that it has in it’s database by default.
  • Recount – I think this was one of the first, if not the first, addon that my friend installed for me. I’d been happily using no addons and he came over and said that some were required. This was one of them. I like to see my stats so I can see where I can improve. If I’m in a group with someone else, who’s in identical spec and they’re doing better, I often /w them to ask for tips. I got a great tip for Spine like that which really helped me.
  • SmartRes – this in theory is supposed to show who’s ressing who. So people don’t waste time and energy ressing the same people, when they can res different ones and therefore recover quicker from a wipe. It works a bit inconsistently but it’s still worth it to have I think.
  • DBM – if there’s a compulsory addon then this is it. In truth I don’t see how anyone can play in a group and not have this, or another boss mod addon, installed. I did have BigWigs for Firelands as it was more helpful on Ragnaros. However, I am a DBM convert purely because it was what I started with. My friend put it on my machine and I’ve kept it updated.

Class specific

This is a screencap from my paladin. As you can see there’s an extra addon here – HolyTrinity. This tracks my holy power and the cooldowns I’ve punched. I also put TellMeWhen into config mode to show what I’m tracking on my ret spec with that, to demonstrate how versatile that addon is.
This is a screencap from my druid. I used to use DroodFocus for tracking debuffs, energy and combo points. However, it’s not currently working properly with 5.0.4 which is a shame as it was practically perfect. Instead I’ve cobbled something similar together with Comergy and TellMeWhen.

The End
That’s my custom ui, it’s not very flashy but it gets the job done. Most of the changes were made so that I could have my bars, and unit frames, in the centre. That’s where I’m looking at the action so it makes sense to have that important information like health, and cooldowns, where I’m looking. I hope this helps someone or at least proves how easy it can be to make your own ui. I looked at addons like ElvUI or TukUI where it’s all built in and I just didn’t like them, they weren’t simple or shiny enough. Nothing against them of course but I wanted something that suited me, and this custom job was it.