The Cranky UI Part 2

The Cranky UI: Index

  • Part 1
  • Part 2 (you are here)
  • Part 3
  • Part 4
  • Part 5
  • Part 6
  • Part 7
  • Part 8
  • Part 9

Action Bars


Dual Spec Plugin (I haven’t used this, but it might be helpful)

Bartender enables you to  fully customize your action bars.  You can configure your bars however you want (columns, rows)

You can control paging for each bar.  You are not limited to one paging bar that changes based on form.  You can have any number of bars on your screen page based on form.  I currently have 2 paging bars with 24 hotkeys total for each form (rather than the default 12 on the one paging bar in the default UI.)

Paging on my druid:

You can show/hide bars at different times.  Bars can be hidden if you are in combat or in a vehicle.  Bars can also be faded out and be shown fully on mouseover.   Here are two bars that I have faded that appear only on mouseover (I’m mousing over each one in turn in the screenies.)

Keybindings are incredibly easy.  You simply enter keybinding mode, hover over the box that you want to keybind, and press the desired key.


OmniCC adds a numeric countdown to your abilities on your action bars.  It’s useful if you don’t want to use screen real estate on a cooldown monitor, but still want to know when your innervate or battle rez will be ready.

See, Tiger’s Fury and Berserk are on cooldown here:

The Cranky UI Part 1

The Cranky UI: Index

  • Part 1 (you are here)
  • Part 2
  • Part 3
  • Part 4
  • Part 5
  • Part 6
  • Part 7
  • Part 8
  • Part 9


Ag Unit Frames

There are other frames like this –  pitbull &  Xperl are both popular choices.  I find Xperl has too much “stuff” on it, and Pitbull’s setup I find a bit too “code-y” for my taste.  So I use Ag for my target, focus, self, and pet (and target of target, target of focus).

Close up of target and focus.

Enemy cast bar enabled:

The only downside is that Ag isn’t updated nearly as often as I’d like.  I may end up switching to  Pitbull.

If you don’t use grid, healbot, or vuhdo, these frame programs have customizable group frames and raid frames.

If you use grid, healbot, or vuhdo, make sure your unit frames mod has the option to suppress group frames at all times, not just while in a raid.  Otherwise you’ll have your healing frames setup AND extra unit frames – which is annoying.  (This is the main reason I switched from Xperl.)

Tidy Plates

I  test drove this a while ago and love it.  This replacement for the overhead bars of mobs (or friendly players) allows you to see an  improved casting bar plus threat status.  The threat monitor is incredibly useful as caster DPS if you can see which mob is coming right for YOU (and not the suicidal mage next to you).  The cast bar is far superior to the default and makes it very obvious which mob is casting something nasty.

Tidy plates in general:

Here’s the awesome casting bar that I was talking about:

But things can get a little crazy with a lot of mobs.

Grid (+  Clique)

Alternatives are  Healbot and  Vuhdo.  Both have built in click casting and there’s no need for clique.

Here’s my Grid Setup.  And below are some “Action shots”.



Raiding Setup

Druid Bar (cat/bear)

I like being able to see my mana bar when I’m in forms, so I downloaded this addon.  I’m sure other unitframe mods do this without an additional addon – but ag unit frames does not.

Cranky Reads

Bossy Pally has a great take on how to survive as melee DPS in PVE.

Theerivs at High Latency Life has a hilarious quiz to determine a player’s gender.  If you’re confused, go there now.

Daraxxus argues against the popular belief that social = bad player.

Wulfy at Barrens Chat laments that “gogogo” culture is taking away what little storyline immersion we have left in the game.

I'm a unique special flower dangit: Hairdos, Hair Color, and Cat Form.

Fluffy girly crap incoming!!

I hate when my toon looks like everyone else’s.  You know, the day after the “new” (*cough* stolen from other races *cough*) hairdos were released, and every human female ran out to get one of the three “high class call girl” blood elf hairdos.

Yes, you’re special.  Gnomes are humping your leg.  Woot.

Humans are fortunate to have many decent hairdos, without even resorting to the “new” ones.  For some races, your choices are “same as everyone else” or “fugly.”

Unless you’re RP-ing an unfortunate trip to the salon, the ugly hairdos are seldom used.  Let’s not even talk about troll female faces… there’s one that’s “pretty” and the rest are seldom seen.

On all my chars, I try to have a “unique” look (as far as possible with the limited options), even if it means eschewing the more attractive or newer hairdos.  But it’s hard to stick to principles when something is particularly cute.

When bears and cats became customizable by hair color, I was drooling over having a white cat.  Of course, so was everyone else.  And dammit, I don’t want to look like everyone else!

But I love the white cat in a girly foofy sort of way.  I love the visibility (so I know where I’m standing).  I love watching the white flash of feral charge-cat as I yell “DEATH FROM ABOVE” and cackle evilly.

I’ll probably just suck it up and go back to white kitty like the albino masses out there.  After all, uh, we’re in Northrend and there’s snow.  Yeah… good “practical” reason.  Polar cat ftw.

Rotting Frost Giant (weekly quest): Find a Buddy

La la la, up to the gunship we go… Oh ho ho, a question mark!  Reward: bag of frost goodies?  Yes please!  It can’t be that hard…

Securing the Ramparts: Slay Rotting Frost Giant

The frost giant has 3 big abilities:

1.  Knockback!

Tanks stand against wall.  Rest of raid may have to reposition periodically.

2.  Aoe Ice Breath (think Icehowl)

Suck it up.  Heal through it.

Use  frost resist aura/totem

Use frost resist gear

3.  Death Plague

This deserves a little more of an explanation.  When you get a nasty debuff, you’re supposed to run away from everyone, right?  Nope, not this time.  Because if you fail to infect someone, you die.

“Hey baby, I have the clap death plague, but if I don’t infect you, I’ll die.”  Hawt.

But you don’t want to infect EVERYONE.  So you get a disease buddy.

You two stand together, but 10 m from everyone else (turn on /range) in DBM).  Pair up a healer with a ranged person if possible, and melee with each other.

If a ranged person gets hit, no need to do anything.  If a melee person gets hit, both melee buddies move out of range of the tanks together.  If one of the tanks gets hit, all melee moves out until the disease spreads.

Once the disease moves from Buddy 1 to Buddy 2, Buddy 1 gets a debuff that prevents Buddy 1 from getting the disease again for 35 seconds. Buddy 2 who now has the disease would have to latch onto another buddy, and so on.  Preferably ranged, to control the spread better than in close quarters melee.  After a while, everyone gets the debuff and the disease can’t bounce around anymore, so kill him quickly.    Edit:  Buddy 2 can safely continue to stand next to Buddy 1, and “pass” the disease to Buddy 1.  Buddy 1 is immune and does not get the disease, but Buddy 2 does not die because the game considers Buddy 2 to have “passed” the disease back to Buddy 1. (Though the tooltip is ambiguous, this is the way it works in practice in 10 man.)

Also: Use Nature Resist totem or hunter thingy.  Helps with the disease damage.

Read Up, or Skip it.

I just hate winging it without reading strats of people who went before me.  I know, that’s the way the game is “supposed” to be played, but it’s awfully hard to read the tooltip for a new debuff and interpret that tooltip into strategy while doing your raid job.  Yes, it was 5 badges, and that was nice, but going in unprepared can take up a good chunk of raid time and is inefficient.

Edit: after posting now I see that Cannot Be Tamed wrote a guide on this already!  I’m late to the party.  Go read that guide too, it has tips on Grid!

Taking action screenies for the blog

I Fail… Again.  I think I got something on my shoe?

I’m working on some posts about my UI right now.   However, taking illustrative screenshots of mods for the blog has proven more difficult than expected.

“Oh look, my clearcasting just procced, where’s my print screen button… oh yes, there.  Click!”

And I’m so focused on finding the button and taking the screenie that I look up and I’m standing in pee.  Of course I can’t use THAT screenshot.

Except as an illustration: DO NOT DO THIS.

What is this “Rollplay” of which you speak?

Also, DBM has added a “rollplay” (sic) timer to Culling of Strat, letting you know how long you have to get a beer before Arthas expects you to start killing zombies.

But I don't WANNA be a boomkin: Melee dps and raid encounters

I’m pretty enamored with my druid, to the point that sometimes I think “I had a PRIEST as my main?  A Shaman as my main?  WTF DUDE!”

It’s true, I leveled a druid as a secondary toon in vanilla wow and then just stopped.  I busted out the druid a couple of months ago, got from 60 to 80, and the rest is history.

And here’s why I love the druid: I can do 2 things well.  I can heal just as well as I do on my priest.  I can DPS better than on any other toon, including the Shaman.  Yes, my priest can shadow pewpew, and my shaman can heal – but I suck at it.  For me, those two toons are one-trick ponies: a healer and a DPS respectively.

My cat can kick ass and take names.  I have mostly mastered the complex cat rotation, which has always seemed natural to me (why I fail at other DPS that is supposedly easier is a mystery) – but I almost never get called upon to dps.  The obvious reason: because I’m a healer, and a good one at that, and they can’t afford to lose my awesome hots.  But a second horrible reason is that for most encounters, ranged DPS is more valuable than melee DPS.

It’s true!  For Kel’Thezud, too many melee DPS would lead to a bunch of ice-blocked dead guys.  For Anub, melee DPS can’t shoot down the balls, and they can’t do much in the burrowing phase except avoid the bugs and look pretty.  The list goes on.

At least for Lady Deathwhisper, you need physical dps for some of the adds, so you have to balance the group and include a couple of melee DPS.  But not too many – since on Deathbringer Saurfang, you need sufficient ranged to kite the crap outta the squid beastie things that run about.

Needless to say, when a healer is asked to go DPS, it’s not me, even though my numbers are higher than most healers’ offspecs.  The shadow priest, elemental shaman, or boomkin gets the job.

But I don’t wanna be a boomkin!  So I’m going to be stubborn and fight for my right to LOLSWIPE.

Cranky the RAID LEADER?

In an effort to get guildies in all time zones involved in our raiding program, I put up a signup for a “late” TOC-10 on Saturday night.  To my surprise, it was popular (even with people who can usually attend prime-time raids).  Oh it’s ON.

I don’t lead raids.  Usually husband or another officer does the “main leading” and, as partner-in-crime, I handle the healing aspects.  This time husband was sick and there were no other officers there, so I had to bust out my leet raid leading skills.

I was a little more apprehensive than I would have been normally, because last week both Tamarind and Protflashes had “interesting” raid leading experiences.  I was convinced that one of my normally-sane raiders would turn into a backseat-raid-leader monster.

It actually went well.  I only had to be “meanieface” once and give a little lecture about NOT getting hit by icehowl.  I tried to put an “educational” spin on it by saying “look at where he’s facing, don’t worry about who he’s targeted.  Look where he’s facing and don’t be there.”

I also got to practice my “short but comprehensive” explanation skills, since we had people who had never seen some of the fights.  I got to talk about balls.  Snicker.

After a few false starts on the beasts, we one-shotted everything else including faction champeens (I hate them).

I very much enjoy the atmosphere of raids”behind the curve.”  People who are signing up for TOC right now are much more “relaxed” than people signing up for ICC, and there’s less pressure.

I put up another signup for next Saturday night.  I may like this raid leading thing.

Rules for One.

At a former job, the dress code was a vague statement – something like “Employees are expected to maintain appropriate and professional attire.”

However, after that blanket statement inviting the employee to use his or her own judgment, there was a long list of “do not wear” items, which suggested that the employer did not really trust the employee to exercise good judgment.

Among the listed items: “Leather pants.”  From reading that you know that some idiot showed up to work in leather pants, and the boss caught it – and was fuming “obviously these idiots don’t understand ‘appropriate and professional attire,'” and subsequently ordered human resources to add an explicit leather pants prohibition to the policy.

Rules and laws are often created to apply to specific situations that have come up.

Translate this to the game world.  When you start a guild, you think “people have common sense.  Why should I need to spell everything out?”  You start out with only a few basic rules.

It doesn’t take long for one person to do something inordinately stupid, and you’re having to codify a “rule” that previously you assumed was common sense for humans who breathe air.

What rules has your guild created in response to one person’s lack of common sense?

Putting Raid Icons into Grid

Inspired by Keeva’s and Virile’s grid setups using gridindicatorsideicons.  I won’t reinvent the wheel by repeating their instructions on “how to” – but I have a new fun tip.

Sometimes you put raid icons on your own raid members instead of the mobs (DBM does this too) and you want to know who is the “green triangle” in grid.  This is particularly a problem in pugs where the pug leader marks the main tanks with raid icons but fails to mark them as MT’s in the raid interface.  This makes me cranky.

So, I downloaded Gridindicatorraidicons to put raid icons in my grid frames.  Now, remember folks, Grid won’t just put a nice little icon in your frame unless you have a plugin that will show an actual icon rather than a colored square.  You will ALSO need to download Gridindicatorsideicons or gridindicatorcornericons depending where you want your raid icon to show up in your grid-box.

I have mine set up with gridindicatorsideicons on the “top side” of my raid frame.   In this photo the main tanks are marked, and I am using grid’s 25 + tanks setup.

The Main tanks are Triangle and Orange, respectively.  The orange is faded out because he’s out of range.