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  • Home » Addons

    Patch 4.0.1: A Great Time To Reinvent Your UI

    Posted on Oct 7, 2010 by: Jason Zimmerman
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    Patch 4.0.1: A Great Time To Reinvent Your UI

    It’s very possible that Patch 4.0.1 may be going live for World of Warcraft players as soon as October 12. With the patch right around the corner I started thinking about my UI and how major patches tend to completely break it. So this seems to be an optimal time to consider making a complete overhaul to my user interface.

    My UI has changed over the years but there are still some aspects of it that I’m not happy with, as well as some keybindings that I would like to change.

    I’ve gotten comfortable with the use and layout of my game UI but since so much is changing with Patch 4.0.1, including abilities and rotations, and I will have a bit of a learning curve to get my feet back under me and get comfortable again, I might as well blow up my UI and start over.

    Below are addons I am currently using or addons I plan to use strictly for the layout of my interface. Some of the addons I currently use are old and outdated and I would love recommendations for new addons to try.

    Action Bars:

    Bartender – Bartender is my must have addon. The ease of use and customization of my action bars makes it perfect for me.

    Tool Tip:

    TipTac – Up until now I’ve been using Tiny Tip, but Tiny Tip hasn’t been updated in a year and therefore might not work in patch 4.0. I’m strongly considering trying TipTac since people have been recommending it.


    Buffalo – Buffalo is my current addon of choice for a clean simple way to move buffs and debuffs around my screen and resize them to where I like them. But Buffalo also hasn’t been updated in a year. It still works great but I fear a day will come soon when it doesn’t. I’d love recommendations for a light weight simple way to move buffs and resize them.

    Mini Map:

    Squeenix – Squeenix is a favorite addon of mine for changing my minimap from circle to square and unlocking and moving it wherever I want it.

    Detached Mini Buttons – This addon is great for unlocking all the buttons around your mini map and allowing you to move them freely wherever you want. I’m a bit worried about this one also because it hasn’t been updated in a couple years. In case it breaks I may need recommendations on something similar.

    Unit Frames

    Xperl – I basically only use Xperl these days to move my character portrait and my target’s portrait. I disable just about everything else and still manage to get errors when I try to do things like set focus frames. I’d love an alternative.

    Vuhdo – I use Vuhdo like other players use Grid. I use it for raid frames and for an easy way click spells and abilities on players (not just heals). And I also use it as a great way to manage raid and party buffs. As a Paladin I much prefer the Vuhdo buff interface to Pally Power.

    Fubar – I didn’t know exactly where to classify Fubar but this is an addon I have been using for a very long time. I really enjoy having information like durability, gold, location, experience and plenty of other options in a nice thin bar at the top of my screen.



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    • Icesnake

      My best advice, after 4,000 years of Wow (or so it seems sometimes): Plan on playing with *zero* add-ons for a week or even longer after a major patch. In order to do that, play one night every week with all your add-ons turned off, starting now (I’d recommend against doing that on raid night, unless all your friends are crazy, too). This will be especially easy for Modem because he finally got his “Iwin button” working; we heard him clicking it during a recent podcast. 😉 (No, I’m not gonna let you forget that. I’m a curmudgeon, it’s not in my nature to forget anything except to whom I owe money or favors.)

      Once the add-on authors start updating them for Cata, add them back in, one at a time. Why one at a time? Because inevitably, at least one will be broken after it’s updated and released, and you want to know which one it is.

    • Icesnake

      Oh, and my Columbo moment: I am pretty darn sure that HideBobberTip will continue to work. Of course, I can’t find anywhere to download it. Hmmm, what’s the copyright….

    • Blashe

      I used to use Buffalo as well for my buffs/debuffs, but after it stopped working for me, I started using Satrina Buff Frames. Does everything I need it to do, and works with button facade as well to make my buffs match my bartender skin.

    • Jason Zimmerman

      Thanks Blashe, I’m going to check out Satrina Buff Frames

    • Arrowtipz

      Hope it comes out Oct 12. because Oct 13. is my birthday and I dont have school that day. So before I go see Jackass 3D ill play WoW in the morning 😀

    • Zelmaru

      I use Dominos for my action bars rather than Bartender. IMO bartender is better, but I’ve found Dominos is updated quicker after a patch.

      I use Shadowed Unit frames instead of X-perl, but apparently Shadowed Unit Frames is not going to be updated for Cata. I might suggest Pitbull.

      Tiptac is nice. Satrina buff frames for buffs is nice.

      When someone told me Fubar wasn’t being updated anymore, I switched to Chocolate bar which is pretty much the same deal.

    • Rioriel

      Can’t recommend SUF enough as an alternative to Xperl, couldn’t ever get Xperl’s frames to work for me as a Strict 10 raider. Looking forward to fiddling with them in 4.0.1 and moving my rogue main’s bars about (using bartender at the moment) as I’ll have new rotations and finishers to consider.

      Big fan of the “less is more” school of screen layout, still think mine look too busy but I’m getting there. Work in progress!

      Screenshots of my UI(s) are at:

    • Rioriel

      Specifically on minimap buttons as you mentioned it, I use Minimap Button Frame. It bundles the lot (config what you want left on minimap) into a box that you can either hide somewhere, or place a button for -that- on the minimap.

      On my druid’s UI (link in my other reply) it’s the button next to the calendar. I usually hide the calendar button with it.


    • Jason Zimmerman

      Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Really good tips

    • Zelmaru

      Re: minimap buttons. I disable them and then have them appear on my chocolate bar across the top (like fubar). I think you might need to download a “broker” plugin to get those tiny icons to appear in your fubar/chocobar.

    • Wilmeana

      Dominos for your action bars uses most of Bliz’s code making it easier and less likely to go nuts after a patch, for that reason along, I’d recommend it about bartender. For Buffs I use SmartBuff for all my toons. Only think missing is a way to coordinate/task buffs but I read rumors that its being worked on. I have hops but rumores are still rumors. I believe Carbinite take care of your map issues and has many other wonderful functions as well. Icesnake already give this one props too.

    • Dave

      I use TellMeWhen to monitor my most important buffs among other things. It’s lightweight and flexible and seems to be updated regularly. It does not replace the original buff display though.

    • Ecko

      For unit frames I would suggest using Shadowed Unit Frames (ShadowedUF) it’s lighter than xperl and will do what you require. I use it, and have converted a few people.

    • Jason Zimmerman

      I’m interested in trying sUF but now I’m hearing it won’t be updated in time for Cataclysm. Not sure I want to switch to it and then have to drop it until it’s ready.

    • Hamagn73

      Try Shadowed Unit Frames instead of Xperl.

    • Ignis

      @squeenix, Ive found chinchilla to be quite useful for minimap modding
      @Detached Mini Buttons, i HIGHLY recommend
      for xperl, i would recommend checking out icehud, that as your char and target
      i personally use grid BUT am considering going MODLESS party/raid frames O.O the new blizz raid frame setup (usable for party as well) is actually quite impressive compared to its previous incarnation. the ONLY drawback i see so far is the lack of ability to orient the frames horizontally instead of vertically