Fixedone way to improve your game is to increase the efficiency of data communication between you and the character, aka, the user interface
Fixedone way to improve your game is to increase the efficiency of data communication between you and the character, aka, the user interface
Rather than using this thread as a chance to bash on somebody who thinks addons don't have a purpose you could try educating them.
Does using an addon to filter out level 1 gold spammers and people whole say 'nigger' and 'fag' in trade chat make me play worse in the long run? Does having something to tell me whether or not I need to restock potions without running from the AH to the bank make me 'dependent'? Is it really so terrible to have something to let me check which of 10 toons has the BoA trinket and 2h Axe so that I don't have to log into each and search their bags/bank/equipment slots? Does being able to copy/paste from chat really count as cheating or as being inferior in some way?
There are plenty of good reasons to use addons even if you don't want to radically change the appearance of your UI but maybe that guy hasn't managed to discover any of them yet.
This is true. I guess after years of the same posts I became jaded and forgot my constructive nature. My apologies.
When it comes to User Interfaces, it's impossible to have "one size fits all". Each person is unique, and their brains interpret information in different ways. Blizzard had to design their UI to be functional in all aspects of play, on all resolutions, for every person who plays WoW. It's more of a baseline for what will work in every situation. AddOns allow users to redesign this baseline to something which better suits them, to provide them with information in a way that they can more easily read, to help their mind focus on the game and not the interface.
Some AddOns do provide information in a way that's so much more efficient than the default UI that some consider it to be bordering on 'automation', however that information is still available in the default UI, just presented in a way that's nigh-on-impossible for the human mind to read. Tried reading the combat log during a boss battle lately? Hehe.
Because you "asked".
AddOns aren't their to clutter your screen, if anything, they're their to lower the clutter on your screen. As seen by most addons, they tend to get rid of the useless art around for example, minimap, actionbars, unit frames etc. and replace them with simple borders or in some cases (SimpleMinimap) even worse clutter.
AddOns provide you with the ability to choose which information (more, or less, information then the default UI can provide) you want to see and where you want to see it. To some point this is a personal opinion, though I guess most (good) UI developers know what is important and what is not.
A User Interface is their to show information, because of the way we perceive things, the default UI just isn't optimal for it. Does this mean you can't play with the default UI? No. Does this mean playing with a personal UI is better? In some way, yes. Do note that the majority of UI's have little thinking behind them and don't necessarily improve gameplay.
A well known example would be "DON'T STAND IN THE FIRE NOOOOOBBBBB!". As we all know, the character you play is at the middle of your screen, most of the things happening or showing will thus be at the middle of your screen. Making a black frame over your character would thus be unwise, as it blocks crucial vision. Playing with no UI would be ideal, but you simply need information.
Designing pretty AND functional UI's is something not everyone masters. But those that do are guaranteed to play better, if they don't it's simply a design flaw.
My own UI
Random default-ish UI
is a massive difference. That's not an opinion.
Addons are a crutch, it's like swimming in the shallow end, the best way to learn and learn fast is to dive head first into the deep end and force yourself to get to grips with it. When I used to use combat addons I became reliant on them, I didn't really know what was happening unless an addon told me, now my innate game awareness is vastly improved.
Now I only use one addon, the cooldown timers which is someting that Blizz should really provide by default. It's nice to log in and know you won't have to mess about configuring addons, everything works perfectly every time even on new patches.
---------- Post added 2013-04-05 at 05:51 PM ----------
Last edited by Vital; 2013-04-05 at 04:52 PM.
If you look at UIs by people like LED, Carebear, etc you'll see they have less clutter than the screenshot you posted.. I mean these command centers with clutter all over the screen during combat situations, in pvp at least less = more in almost all situations, and in pve we used to reject people from our guild who had clusterfuck UIs, many of the uis posted here a treading thinly.
Maybe you have an issue with some particular interface but lack the ability to articulate your problems. Lashing out at all addons (then back peddling when I brought to your attention that there are add ons that have little to do with appearance) makes me suspect you haven't thought through your position very carefully.
Maybe you're on to something but so far it seems like maybe you need to do a little more research and ask a few questions before you can explain what exactly you believe and why you think that we should agree with you.
Do you tip people out of wheelchairs and kick crutches out from under cripples? What's wrong with having a crutch anyway?Addons are a crutch,
Which is why we throw doctors and engineers into surgery and space programs immediately. 8 years of University? Why bother! Who plays midget sports or races formula 3000? Just go straight to the majors and learn it when you get there.the best way to learn and learn fast is to dive head first into the deep
If you want to wear the stock UI like some sort of badge of honor: that's your business. You'll have to forgive the rest of us for not being particularly impressed when your argument boils down to "my aesthetic is best".
I like the way you justify the addons you like as "something that Blizz should have provided by support[sic]". Without further justification it seems like the authors of ElvUI (or any other popular UI replacement/addon) could make exactly the same argument. Nothing you've said so far has been particularly compelling, do you have any better argument or are we simply expected to take your definition of "what belongs in the default UI" as authoritative?
If so, I think many of us will disagree with, and dismiss, your argument and your sense of aesthetic.
I'm definitely getting a "get off my lawn"-vibe from Vital's "arguments".
This whole custom UI enterprise is 99% superficial and frivolous, I don't think people like getting called out on that, they take pride in their pretty pixel-font UIs but over-emphasise the functional benefit such UIs provide, the generic UI replacements like tuk/elvui are prime examples of that. Once I realised this, and also accepted that Blizzard's default UI is functionally and aesthetically sufficient my life got a lot easier, and because I forced myself to not rely on crutches I became a better player. To back this by force of example, instead of needing a big icon to appear on the screen when an enemy uses a spell or a cooldown, learn the sound that it makes and the unit frame icon, that is one addon you've replaced and in doing so improved your overall game knowledge and sub-conscious game awareness.
It's straightforward to justify the one addon I use, because it provides information that is impractical to access otherwise (i.e. hovering over tooltips mid-combat to see the remaining cooldown time). This doesn't have to be an addon anyway, a rudimentary version could be done in a macro or script. You mentioned the artwork clutter, a lot of top players do remove that using a script, have no problem with that. It might sound like elitism on my part, but it's actually honest advice I would give to any pvper, and it extends largely to pve as well, less is more and the more you can do on your own without addons the better.
This might come off as a shock, but the UI was made for PvE.Your UI is utterly useless for pvp. And although it looks pretty, I doubt it provides any functional or practical benefit over the person with the default UI, although I wouldn't advocate a totally vanilla UI and it does need a few scripting tweaks. The biggest functional difference between the two is simply the camera distance, the second screenshot would look immeasurably better if it was just zoomed out to the same level.
About the benefits:
1. My UI shows a lot more of the actual game then a default raid UI in a 10 men scenario would. This is useful for the fire scenario I gave you, and most importantly, doesn't strain my eyes as much.
2. My Unit Frame is right below my character. As explained, most of your eye movement is near the middle of your screen, near your character. Placing my UF's around the center is easier as I have to move my eyes a lot less to get the exact same information. You probably know that if you focus at a place (in this case, mostly near your character) you get a sort of spherical view, things further away from the sphere will be harder to notice (and your brains aren't to be trusted with such information either). Thigns closer to the sphere, are easier to read. Therefore placing UI elements which are critical are easier to identify and read in this sphere as they would be out of the sphere.
3. Data, the data my UF show are a lot less then what default UF's provide. Now since I haven't been playing for years, I don't know the options the default UF's provide these days. Anyway, my own UF only shows a dark grey health bar with very bright class colored bar beneath if for losing health. This contrast gets identified a lot faster then the default UF's with a transparent background for missing health. I lose health? My brains gather this information instantly and tell me to react. Because of the high contrast, this process is a lot easier and will thus be processed a lot faster. The health I lost is simply shown as -41k for example. -41.479 would be useless, as the difference between -41k and -42k is negligible, thus the more detailed info would only be harder for my brains to process. I don't show any mana value at all. Again, knowing the character I play, the role I play, the gear I have etc. I can easily determine whether I have enough mana to cast spell A, B, X or Y. The same color mechanic is used, where the amount of mana I still have pops out a million times faster then the mana I already used. Holy Power bar? Same principle once more.
The target UF is the exact same. Colors which stick out, letting me know how much energy/rage/mana a boss has, how much health it has lost and a simple number to know how much percentage HP it has, seeing most boss events trigger at specific percentages.
Target of Target: same principle once more, give me the information I want to know.
4. Actionbars (or the lack off). Having over 50 action buttons on your screen is useless. If (and you should) keybind your buttons you should know which key is what. The only information that is left then is the cooldown, which is shown in a easier way thanks to an AddOn. It only shows the cooldowns I need, when they're off cooldown and how long it takes for them to come off cooldown. Again this is placed just a bit over my own UF because this is where I focus the most. Spell comes off CD? The icon pops out as seen in the screenshot, which enables me to process the information even when looking at my raid frames, without having to look at 52 buttons so to speak.
5. Raid Frames. Relative small raidframes to take up as little space as needed (see point 1), showing only the information that is relevant for me. It shows (as a healing Paladin) who has aggro, who has some of my specific buffs, how much health they lost in an easy to identify way (see point 3) and what I can or should cleanse in what is probably the simplest way you can show it. Just looking at my raidframes gives me loads of information on what is going on around me, without loads of clutter.
6. Threat meter. Simple 3 bars that use the exact same color scheme. Though of course the 1 with most aggro is the one that pops out the most. 3? I only need 3. Besides Grid, this instantly shows me who has aggro, and who's coming too close to get aggro. Which simply enables me to click said person for Hand of Salvation (or whatever the spell was). THat is all the information I need to know. I don't need to know who is last or 5th on aggro.
7. DPS meters, fade out mostly during combat as I have no need for it in combat. Mostly to gather data after a battle. Positioned AWAY from all the important information, near the outer edge of our sphere where we won't actively see it in combat, thus our brains don't have to progress the data it is showing. I want to look at it quickly in combat? I still can. In this case it shows me our hunter is doing waaaaay less damage then our Shaman. If there is a moment I have to choose between saving the Hunter or saving the Shaman, I know I have to save the Shaman (ideally).
This typing is getting way to lame so I'll let you figure out the rest for yourself.
While these are all PvE scenarios (since the UI is made for PvE) the same concept can be used for PvP UI's. There will always be critical information and less important information. Addons give you the ability to distinguish both of those so you can focus more easily on the critical information. Do they make you a better player? Not necessarily. Can they improve your gameplay? Without a doubt.
And all the points I just gave don't have anything to do with this in which way exactly?I'm just dispelling the myth that having a custom UI gives you some immediate advantage, it doesn't.
You tell me my CUSTOM UI has no extra functional use over a default UI. I give you various design reasons as to why it does. You tell me it has nothing to do with what you're talking about. Tbh, I don't think you know what you're talking about, as every example I gave you is to make my UI more functional. How do I do this? Addons. To me, that kinda means Addons can be used in a way to improve my game. Both for enjoying the aesthetics of the game world itself as for how the information is shown and my way of processing it more accurate and faster.
Everything you said that is relevant (like the action bars thing) can be done with the default UI, scripts and macros. On my screen for example I only have visible important cooldowns that I need to know about at all times, damage abilities are off screen, why would I need an addon for something I can do even more efficiently with the default UI. Raid frames, the default blizz frames are excellent now and customisable, before that might have been valid but you don't need raid frame addons now. The default unit frames are fine too, all the stuff you mentioned you can do like health percentage, as you said you haven't played for years so to come in and tell me I don't know what I'm talking about is a bit of a piss take.
You've not shown why your fancy custom UI gives you any functional benefit or makes you a better player, whereas I've provided many arguments for why not relying on the crutch of addons or at least slowly weaning yourself off of them is a potential pathway to improving your skill level (especially in pvp).
Except they stand at around ~30% efficiency. You can either use as much screen real estate as the default UFs and increase visual data acuity by 3x, or use 1/3 the screen real estate and get the same level of visual data acuity.The default unit frames are fine too
However, this conversation has been done to death so many times already, that it's probably best if it gets moved out of this thread.
Last edited by Nibelheim; 2013-04-05 at 06:57 PM.
Last edited by Vital; 2013-04-05 at 07:18 PM.
LUA is a SCRIPTING LANGUAGE. You Write SCRIPTS in LUA which you save to a file which is the run by WoW EXACTLY like you would have done them in a macro minus the /script part(and not limted to 255 characters).
Addons are simply a convenient way of running/distributing scripts and any additional resources(Textures, Fonts, Sounds) .
Let me step in before this gets out of hand. Discussing the merits of custom UIs compared to the default UI is fine. Comparing the requirements of PvE and PvP applications is fine.
Insulting others is not fine. Declaring that others are trolling because you do not agree with them is also not fine.
Don't force me to infract anyone. Please.
UI & AddOns expert | Interface & Macros moderator - My work