Properly formatting your World of Warcraft UI (also known as User Interface) to make the most use of the other add-ons you have is an essential skill to learn. Even with all the add-ons in the world, if you can’t make sense of the information presented then you might as well start from nothing.
When someone in WoW refers to an "add-on," they are literally referring to a program that you are adding on to the base game. An add-on serves any number of purposes, enriching your gameplay in some fashion.
Basic add-ons to modify your graphical interface are Bartender and X-Perl. These two World of Warcraft add-ons are among the easiest to set up and get a feel for, and at the same time are fairly pleasant to look at. Bartender allows you to reposition, resize and otherwise alter your action bars. Powerful options like hiding or showing certain bars in combat, auto fade out, even mimicking a ten-key number pad. X-Perl meanwhile allows customizing of party, player and raid frames. Larger health bars, animated portraits, more easily manipulated raid frames and various target-of-target options.
- X-Perl UnitFrames - Addons - Curse
Perl, with Extra stuff. Much enchanced from Nymbia's Perl UnitFrames, and a complete replacement for Blizzard's default unit frames, including raid frames and raid tools, with little remaining of the original Nymbia code.
- Bartender4 - Addons - Curse
Bartender4 is a full ActionBar replacement mod. It provides you with all the features needed to fully customization most aspects of your action and related bars.
Using these two add-ons alone can streamline your interface and also make it much more visually appealing. Being able to control what bars are present on your screen and where they appear is easily the most clutter reducing change you can make. X-Perl meanwhile brings a host of options for where you want party health bars and portraits to show up, along with your own health. Using X-Perl to position these in places that don’t obscure the main portion of your screen while still being easily monitored goes a long way to making WoW more enjoyable, and easier.
When considering a UI layout, keep in mind a few important guidelines. You should always be able to see your character and the area immediately around it. Keeping that space clutter free is important so you can not only enjoy how all your gear looks, but also to stay aware of any attacks or ground effects targeting you. Health and Mana bars should be somewhere that you can easily glance at without losing track of your character. If you have them positioned way off in a corner you will at some point lose track of either the bars or your character. If you’re still at the skill level that you need to watch your action bars for cool downs and the like, keep them below your character, but as minimal as possible. An easy method to keep a new UI layout clean and organized is to imagine concentric circles around your character. The more important the information the closer around your character it should be.
Do you use these mods? What do you think of them?
Philipo from Nigeria on September 03, 2009:
Very informative and detailed hub. Thanks for sharing.