Thursday, September 07, 2006

Rogue UI Analysis

I've had a day or two to play with my UI and to try to tweak it a bit. Honestly, although it looks cool, I hate it. It's way too cluttered and over-informative for me. I actually reduced significantly the number of addons it was using, and it's still overwhelming.

But, it was a great test for me, to see what I really rely on when fighting.

I practiced dueling a few different foes, and I examined everything while fighting in ZG (where I'm normally very familiar with what goes on). Here are my results:

I had trouble forcing myself to look at the new health meters. Not only that, but having the enemy health meter adjacent to mine is absolutely insane and confusing. Also, having the health meters significantly separated from the mana/energy/rage meters made the latter meters 100% useless. When you're a rogue fighting a warrior, it helps to know how much rage the warrior has. If you're not careful, it could be used quickly to beat the crap out of you. (I will stunlock or blind, or whatever is needed to keep a warrior from being able to hit me when the rage bar is high). I found I was relying mostly on the default target icon to watch for combo points, health, etc. I know this is mostly because I'm used to it, and haven't trained myself out of it. However, I'm not sure it's not an entirely bad system. It really doesn't take up a lot of room, and certainly doesn't clutter my screen. Yes, my eyes get pulled away from the action, but not so significantly.

The one thing I found quite interesting was that my eyes kept flipping to blank spots that used to be occupied by icons. I use the icons to determine when I can do certain moves, like eviscerate, when I have enough energy. So, it works like this: I see that I've got sufficient combo points, by looking up intermittently at the target icon, and then I look down to see when the eviscerate icon isn't greyed out, and then, when it's available, I spam it. Noticing what I was trying to look for led me to narrow my expectations of what my UI should be like.

Here's what I looked for:

-lit riposte icon
-lit eviscerate icon
-lit gouge icon (only in pvp)
-stun bar (to show how long my sap, gouge, CS, KS, blind, etc. would be)
-stealth icon (to see when I could stealth/re-stealth in a pause in combat)
-enemy health
-enemy mana/energy/rage
-enemy's target (this is especially good in boss fights. if you see you're the target of your target, you'd better use some anti-aggro asap)
-combo points on enemy
-various cooldowns (blade flurry, etc., but not as often as what's mentioned above)
-once in a while, I'll look at my own health and energy, but I've done this so long, I can "feel" it instead
-certain limited opponent cast bars/timers: ice block, perception, but rarely, and only in pvp

I have an idea that I can combine all of those things into one place on my screen, and then leave the rest for visuals. I get a lot out of what I can see, and when I have stuff all over my screen, it doesn't help a bit.

I think I'm going to try for a minimalist approach next (very close to what I was using before (like, nothing)), but more organized and tailored to what I need. Instead of adding a bunch of stuff all at once, and then weeding out the unnecessaries, I'm going to trash everything, then start from the bottom, adding what I absolutely need. I think that'll help my frame rate a bit, as well.

I'll keep you posted on what my UI evolution.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Verash said...

Ah, the dread UI overload.

I generally don't use any true UI mods, but I am occasionally frustrated that not all my skills can fit on a standard actionbar. Course, there are ones that I just don't use, so that's a comfort. The only addons I pack are:

-CTmod, Core modules and Raidassist
-FlagRSP (Good for picking RPers out of the crowd)
-Auctioneer

Mages have it easy, however- other than making my cooldowns and range grayouts more visible, I don't really need any UI changes. I could use a timer for poly, however. Hmm...

Part of this is that only a few of my skills are contingent upon an enemy's status- There's counterspell, and on occasion frostbolt on frozen opponents (but that's my primary damage dealer anyway- and when the expansion comes, all I'm gonna need to do is whip up a macro that'll cast Ice Lance when my target is frozen, and Icebolt when not).

Thursday, September 07, 2006 12:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Crystalis said...

The UI you just trashed looks really, really bad. I honestly don't know how people can play with that garbage cluttering up their whole screen. I installed SCT once and it made me dizzy after about five minutes of PVP. Threw that crap out. =)

Me, I like my Titan Panels and that's about it. Other than that it's default all the way. All of my other addons are useful stuff that add functionality to the game instead of differently-colored buttons, like Soundtrack, Auctioneer, and MetaMap.

Thursday, September 07, 2006 1:28:00 PM  
Blogger Hexapuma said...

I was very pleased with Nurfed UI... its pretty minimal and gives you a great overview over your health vs your opponents. Actually currently I only use the Nurfed UI + CT_raid (not the whole CTmod.

There is one mod I've seen that puts all your cooldowns on a list on the right side of the interface. Pretty much like buffs can be displayed.

Friday, September 08, 2006 3:27:00 AM  
Blogger Raivyne said...

I use too many addons!! but most of them are utility and you don't "see"

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 12:02:00 PM  
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