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Archive for the ‘Addon’ Category

First off, what is Vuhdo? Simply put it’s an addon that replaces the default World of Warcraft party and raid frames with something that is more configurable. While it’s designed for healers, other classes and roles can and do find use in Vuhdo.

Vuhdo is developed by addon developer Iza, who responds to questions at a forum on PlusHeal.Com. He always has updated ready before major content patches, saving us lots of time and frustration. Any time you find a bug, can’t figure out how to do something, or think of a feature, head over there. Spare the poor man some cycles and check if anyone else has asked the same thing first, though! I download Vuhdo using the Curse Client and that’s usually nice and up to date.

This guide is designed for someone who already knows why they want raid frames. It’s for the Grid user who is looking to get all their functionality in one addon or the HealBot user who is looking to get more functionality. I always think of Vuhdo as the third bear’s addon: not too hot or too cold, but just right.

Grid users: you won’t need Clique if you use Vuhdo!

General Options

Ok, first of all, when you install Vuhdo and turn it on there’s going to be boxes all over the screen. Don’t panic; this is what the defaults look like. Here’s what I want you to do:

1. Type /vd opt
2. When the Vuhdo options come up, click “Move” down at the bottom
3. Now there are big red Xs and green + signs on the boxes. Click all the Xs, say yes to the dialog box, and get an empty screen. We’ll come back to this later.
4. Hit the “General” Tab at the bottom. Now you’ll see something like this:

This is the General tab and the General screen. This is the first set of options you’ll see. Yeah, there’s a lot. The thing to remember with Vuhdo is: every option does something, but you don’t need to tweak them all. A small set will get you a lot of functionality and you can play around more later. For instance, on this screen, the really important option to click is under “Lock Panels”. The “Enable”‘ checkbox locks the panels where they are so you won’t accidentally move them later. /vd lock does the same thing.

If you click the second button down on the right, you get this screen.

Vuhdo navigation is always by tab and screen. Tabs are very general categories and run along the bottom. Screens are more precise refinements of a category and are down the right hand side. It’s very easy to tell which tab and screen you’re on.

Scanners sounds weird and Star Trekkie, but they’re actually very helpful background settings. The first area in this screen is ‘Range’. What this does is set your frames so that if someone is out of range, they get “grayed out” so you know not to heal them. You can either set a yard range at the top, or put in a spell. Most of your spells are probably the same range anyway so do whatever works for you.

The next options down let you select more options. I have “Direction” set. That means when I mouse over their frame, if they’re out of range, I get an arrow pointing at them. Nice! It took some getting used to but it’s insanely helpful now. There’s also a “distance” option, which will tell you how far away they are, and an “Always” button that will make the arrow and/or distance show up even if they’re in range. Your choice how to set it.

Leave the global scanners alone, I don’t think any good comes of tweaking them.

Jumping down to General tab and the Misc screen (Misc button on the right side), we get some useful options. Here you can set your reaction for mouse-up (this is what I use) or mouse-down. IE, does the spell go off when you click or when you release the button after clicking. Hide standard will, well, hide the standard Blizzard frames, since you’re using Vuhdo, you must not need the frames, right? (Rev note: I prefer to leave these on)

D/C shield: a nifty little tool that takes over two Macro slots and then tries to make it so if you disconnect and come back in, mid-fight, that Vuhdo still works. It’s nice, works well for me, and I would leave it enabled (unchecked is enabled)

Global Cooldown: a little visual for you showing how much GCD you have left. When enabled, whichever health frame you’re moused over shows a sort of gray “skin” sliding across that goes away when your GCCD is up again.

Announce resurrection: if you’re rezzing someone through Vuhdo, announces it in chat so that people know who you’re rezzing. Insert cute phrase here or just “Resurrecting.” In that field where you type ‘vuhdo’ it will insert the name of the targetted person.

And Clique support: if you use Clique, let me know how this works. I don’t use Clique myself but here’s where you enable it.

General> Indicators

These are some visual effects you can set to show around health bars. Very useful for indicating threat. Pick one you want to use and select an option. On the left hand side partway down there’s  a “special dot” that I have set to Swiftmendable. If my Swiftmend is up and there’s a Swiftmendable HOT on the target, this dot shows. Then all I have to do is use the spell. It’s a great visual indicator for me.

Panels

Moving on to Panels. This is where you configure how Vuhdo is going to look. On the Panels tab > General page,  you can select how you’re going to organize your raid frames.

On the Panels tab > Sizing page you can use these sliders to change bar height, width, spacing between bars, etc. It takes a little tweaking to get how you like, and here’s where to do it.

Some of the cosmetic options are less critical but will really enhance your experience. Here on the Panels tab – Bars page you can select a background texture for your health bars – I like not having flat health bars so I use this option.

The drop down for “Custom Health Bar Bouquet” sounds confusing but will actually handle what the background color of each unit frame is. I like mine to be class colors so I open the drop down and select the “Health/Generic Class Color” choice.

HOTS and Icons

Panels > HoT Icons – Essential for druids, very useful for everyone else, this is where you set up your status dot indicators. On the top left is where you pick the arrangement you want to use. The slots are numbered. Over in the middle you choose what indicator goes in which slot. The “Own” checkbox means it’s your own HoT / Indicator; the “Others” means other peoples HoTs or heals can show up there.

Rev: As you start adding various options here you will probably want to tweek your bar sizes. I usually close the options out and test things by hotting up my druid and checking if it is what I want. There are a lot of options here for size and placement so tweak all you want.

There are a lot of default options in those slot dropdowns. For druids, all your HOTs are there; for priests, you’ll find Prayer of Mending, Power Word Shield/Weakened Soul, paladins will find Beacon of Light, shamans set up Earthshield, etc. And more importantly – you can track other peoples’ shields and hots too; so if you always run with a priest and need to know that a target has Weakened Soul or PWS, set it up here.

Vuhdo has fancy combination indicators called “Bouquets”. I don’t really get much use from them yet but the one default one that is critical is the “PW:S & Weakened Soul” bouquet. You enable it and it shows when a target has PW:S on them; when the shield is used up, the color changes to indicate Weakened Soul.  I always have this enabled. A target with a shield on them needs less of my healing; one with Weakened Soul needs extra attention.


Now go to Colors -> HoTs; this is where you select what color your hots will be. Pick whatever makes sense to you. This should be populated with whatever you chose to display back at the Panels -> HoT Icons page. Choose the colors you like, whether it’s got a countdown or not (I always set my hots to show seconds counting down) and whether you want a waning when things are going to expire (druids shouldn’t do this, you’ll go nuts).

Here’s how my setup looks. There’s my own health bar, sitting there. I’ve got Rejuv up in the top corner, but it’s obscured by the Swiftmend dot; that’s ok for me because I can usually see how long it’s got left anyway. The Swiftmend dot is very key for me and I  like having it there. Down in the bottom left corner is my Regrowth indicator; in the center is my Lifebloom. It’s green, which for me means it has three stacks. Yellow is two stacks and red is one stack. The timer shows how long it’s got left.

Debuffs

Debuffs – seeing Debuffs is very key as a healer. We need to know if they’re on targets, so we can remove or mitigate them.  The Debuffs > Standard page can be mostly left at the defaults.

Then go back to Colors > States. This is where you set the colors that standard types of debuffs use. I use blue for poison, red for disease, purple for curse, purple-blue for magic. These just work for me. The ‘Anomalies’ are useful too; I really like setting “Charmed” as this dark red. As soon as someone turns that color in my frames I know to watch out.

The Clusters thing is for shaman to know how many targets are in range for their Chain Lightning; I have no idea how well it works.

Now back to Debuffs > Custom,  where you can set up specific debuffs you really want to know about. The Debuff list is pretty extensive, as you can see here. You can set it to play a sound to warn you when someone gets a specific debuff (sort of a mini DBM). Or just to show it specially. This can be really helpful if you are struggling with a particular encounter mechanic.

Spells

This is the really cool bit – the part where you realize you don’t need another addon in order to click cast! Go to Spells -> Mouse. The interface is really easy – just select what modifier key you want  (if any’ most of my binds are straight mouse binds) then type the spell name into the appropriate box. You can type in Macro names too! Just name your macro something other than a spell name or Vuhdo gets confused. I don’t have it set to use any macros in this image but I do use macros as mousebinds and it works fine. I always change my Left button click to “target”, since that let me do normal stuff.

Remember, these binds are only for Vuhdo, so if you usually click-cast on your target frame outside of a raid frame mod these won’t work. But if you’re like me, they work great!

Moving Frames Around

G to the “Move” tab. Vuhdo shrinks to the smaller panel you see on my screen and the frames switch into the moveable mode. At this point you can drag and drop them around your screen as you wish.

Adding a new panel

Here I clicked the “Add New Panel” button and that empty frame appeared in the middle of my screen. I can move it where I want.

Now Right Click inside it and you get the “add group” dropdown.  You can assign a group id, or a “special” group like pets.


If you select a size, then hit the “Hold to Test” button, you can see what your current settings would look like in combat with that size. That’ll help you see what you might want to tweak or redo before really using the interface.

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As a healer, your game ui can be your greatest assistant or your worse enemy. Yes, even worse than that dk who seems to think fire gives him an attack bonus. Probably it ups his spellpower. As I’ve mentioned before it’s important not to get tunnel vision when you’re healing, and your ui can help  – or hurt – with that.

Analogue's UI at 65

Here’s a screenshot from when I was 65. A lot has changed since then (my name used to be Metaphor. When we server changed I was forced to change to Analogue). You can see that a lot of  what I’ve got here is straight out of the box WoW. I’ve got the extra bars turn on and a couple addons in place.

I actually did not use raid frames until after I was 80 – here’s the story. I was having fun at 80 healing 5 mans, even went into Naxx 10s sometimes. Did this for months. Then 3.2 dropped – Argent Tournament patch – and a member of my then-guild was complaining that he couldn’t heal any more because the patch had broken his raid frames.

My first reaction was “Hah, see, I knew there was a reason I didn’t use those. He can’t heal any more without crutches”. My second reaction was – “Wait a minute, if they do that much, what am I missing?” So I took a whole day and played with raid frames. I’m the sort to research things thoroughly, so I learned that everyone seemed to use Grid or Healbot, both of which I’d heard of. I tried Grid first. My main reaction was “how many addons do I have to download here?” It was about a dozen, I think. I tweaked for two hours and couldn’t get something I liked, so I tried Healbot. I pretty much hated Healbot right off – if Grid had too many options, Healbot didn’t have enough – so then I tried the addon with a weird name some people on plusheal.com were swearing by, Vuhdo, and like Goldilock’s taste of the little bear’s porridge, I thought it was ‘just right’.

This was the result. Vuhdo wasn’t the only ui tweak; I’d made a lot of changes, specifically and most importantly to use Vuhdo to show my healing targets. I had a really bad tendency to shove things to the edge of the screen – I knew I wanted lots of room to see stuff around me but this layout makes almost no sense to me any more. I had to remember where all my things were, there was no real logical layout. I have no idea why I had buffs and debuffs halfway down the screen like that

Now here’s my current UI, first in combat and then out. I personally think it’s a lot better than the previous ones. I’ve got my action bars grouped at the bottom, except one tiny sliver along the side. (The side bar has buffs and a downranked version of Rejuv that I use on stupid people occasionally, idiot hunters and such who pull aggro, won’t drop it, and whine about not getting heals). The bar with my profession skills disappears in combat, leaving me a solid view of the SexyCooldown bar (the big blue bar at the bottom). I’ve got my Vuhdo frames anchored just right of my character and my own and target frame just below me. This helps me keep an eye on what’s happening to me and around me as well as just the bars.

I’ve set Recount and Omen to use the same spot on my screen. Recount shows out of combat, Omen shows in combat. It’s a nice trick to save space. Along the bottom I have ChocolateBar with various plugins that I don’t really need much – gold totals, clock, mail icon. Bartender manages my button bars – I have one bar in the middle and on either side, another bar that I’ve arranged in 3×4 format. Personal preference there, nothing fascinating.

If you look at the in combat shot you’ll see I have buffs and debuffs on my target’s unit frame but not my own. They’re redundant since I have Elkano’s Buff Bars in the corner (I like the nice verbose version of my buffs; I play enough characters that it gets annoying to remember what symbol means what for who.)

As a druid, if I’m in a raid I’m supposed to be raid healing and that means being able to tell at a glance who has what HOTs and for how much longer. I’ve tweaked Vuhdo to show me exactly that. Each HOT has its assigned place on a health bar, and displays how many seconds it has left. Here’s a bigger version of a Vuhdo square so you can see it. Vuhdo has options to show other people’s hots too and I have it set to show me if another druid has something on a target that I can Swiftmend – the red dot icon in the corner of the unit frame says “Regrowth or Rejuv active on this target and Swiftmend is off cooldown”. The Lifebloom stack is really cool – when I have one stack up, it shows a red number of seconds remaining, when I have two stacks it’s yellow and when I have three stacks, it’s green.

You may have noticed in my “in combat” shot that some of the Vuhdo bars showed little red >> << marks. That means someone has aggro from somewhere (sometimes it’s laggy but it’s pretty solid) and also a third small bar along the top of each player’s health bar showing a visual representation of how much aggro they’ve got. This, Omen, and TidyPlates are all tools I use to try to keep track of who is likely to take damage soon.If I can see that the mage has threat and is getting more all the time, I can maybe save him.

Finally here’s a screen shot of what Vuhdo looks like in this setup in a 25 man raid. This is the “test” mode – those aren’t real people in a raid, I’m sitting in Ironforge by my lonesome.

I recommend you see what raid frames work best for you; Grid and Healbot are both popular for reasons. Here are a few links for setting up Vuhdo from people who do it better than I would:

Setting up Vuhdo

Lath’s setup

And Rolling Hots

Vuhdo manual – And this forum has the creator of Vuhdo, Iza, as a very active participant! He’ll answer your questions if you can’t find them elsewhere. Look for the Vuhdo subforum off of the Mods & UI forum there.

My takeaway for you would be, don’t settle for “ok” in your interface. Find what works for you. Keep tweaking until it shines. Try new things, get rid of what doesn’t work. Some people put their raid frames below their character, or to the left, or along the top. Figure out what helps you keep yourself and everyone else alive the most. Some people hide most of their abilities, others need everything on screen at once. Look at other peoples’ ui screenshots – that PlusHeal forum I mentioned before has a long, long thread for just that – and copy the elements you like, ignore the ones you hate. There’s no one perfect setup for healing in WoW.

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The Addons We Need

(Warning: Written while sitting on the couch in extreme pain from throwing out my back. May not be very happy friendly lets-play-nice-children-esque)

GearScorePlus – when you mouse over a character you get a tooltip that shows how many incorrect gemming and enchanting choices they’ve made.  Will auto-initiate a kick vote for any DK with a spellpower enhancement. An extension, GearBusted, will warn me when a dpser zones into a dungeon with armor that’s below 50% repaired. I hate when the hunter dies (from pulling aggro) and then says “lol sword broke need to rep”.

OmenEnhanced: Puts up notices every time a player who is not the tank uses a taunt or threat-generating move (Ret pally using Hand of Reckoning because “it does damage”, hunter pet on growl even though “I already shut it off jerk”).

RecountTheFailRotation: Heck, I don’t know what abilities ought to make up a DK’s dps rundown, but my theory is that “Death and Decay (50%), Melee (45%) Heart Strike (4%)” isn’t right. How about a damage meter that shows me what they should have been doing?

DeadlyBossEasilyPredictedDamage: For healers only, mark the players who are about to be standing in the easily dodged fire/spikes/whatever so I can pre HOT/shield/whatever them.

RangeAlert: let me know when anyone is so far away from the fight that they’ll be aggroing the pat behind us while the rest of us are fighting (hunter and mages only)

AutoIgnoreIdiots: auto-add people to my ignore list before I get grouped with them. This includes any dps who is going to fuss about how they don’t want to be bothered going after extra bosses and anyone who has ever dinged 80, queued for H COS, and, while contributing less than 800 dps, asked more than once if we were going to make it in time for the drake. Or any dk who has thrown Army of the Dead on the Saurfang fight. (bad memories)

DontCursive: Clearly mark when people in your party have diseases, curses, poisons, or magic effects that you can remove. This is so you know to whine at the priest who is not removing curses, the druid who is not curing diseases, etc.

Any other suggestions?

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So there is this bug with trying in off spec, right? Everyone knows about it, I’m sure. Or maybe not…

When you have dual spec and train, two things happen to the other spec. One is that the buttons on your action bars for the other spec are not updated with the new rank of spell. The other is that if you have a spec specific spell over there it does not get trained at all. The trainer will not even offer it to you.

This makes perfect sense to long time players of the game. We can remember when the book showed all ranks and there was no way to hide the low ones. We can remember when the buttons did not auto update. After each training session we had to mouse over each button and check that it was not new. Or just check through our books for the stuff that we had trained.

Because of this offspec bug , someone went and made an addon that detects low rank spells. It is called RankWatch and it is really freaking handy. Any time anyone in your party casts something, RankWatch checks if that spell rank was the max rank for their current level. If it is not it pops up a notice. Depending on how you have it set the warning can just go to you, or it can be whispered to them. You can even set it to spam the notices in party chat so everyone sees it.

The message is pretty self explanatory. It tells you that you’ve used a spell rank lower than the max rank, what the max rank at your level is, and suggests you may have forgotten to train, or have an out of date spell on your bar.It is a great tool. It is most helpful for people still leveling or if you pug with newly 80 players a lot. What is most interesting about the addon is how people react.

A thoughtful and knowledgeable player usually just whispers ‘thanks’ and updates their bars. On the next pull the messages stop and the party continues clearing the dungeon. But not everyone is thoughtful or knows anything about this whole ‘ranks’ think. These people usually whisper back ‘huh?’ or ‘what?’ or something equally responsive. Then you have to explain what the addon is trying to say. This involves repeating exactly what the message Rankwatch sent says. But maybe using fewer words, or shorter ones, so that the person can figure out what was already said to them. The real shining stars of intellectual power have to have it explained two or three times. Sometimes they get it. Other times they INSIST what you are saying is impossible.

My favorite example was a few weeks ago. My wife and I were running something… I think it was HCoS. As is usual for our runs we did a quick mouse-over check of gear score. I know I know people like to rant “GS isn’t everything!!!”. It isn’t, but it does tell you some things. In a Pug it can tell you what you are in for. I guess you might call it profiling. Some of us don’t think that is a bad word. You see I can see that 5k GS hunter over there, with the ghost cat pet, does not take heroic runs seriously, or think he needs to do his best in there. He things having a cooler looking pet is more important than doing the best dps he can for the group. Then again if that hunter with the vanity pet has a GS just breaking 3k I know he is a new 80. This is where RankWatch comes in.

Sure enough, we start the first pull and RankWatch lights up with all sorts of announcements. This guy has not updated his bars. So much so that some of his stuff is more than one rank low. Alright, no biggy, we are used to this sort of thing.

“Huh?” says the hunter.
“Update your bars” I say.
“Wa?”
“You stuff is downranked. Update them from your spell book.” – Me.
“No it isn’t.” – Him
“It is, just drag the new ones to your bar” I say.

Silence. In the mean time I see his pet is growling.
“Take your pet off growl.” I say.
“He isn’t.” The hunter says. I watch the three lines pop up over a mob’s head as he says this.
“Yes he is. I can SEE it.” I say.
“I swear he isn’t. I checked.” The pet does it again.
“We can all SEE it.” I say.

Silence. Mysteriously, the ‘growl’ lines stop appearing. Heh. Meanwhile Rankwatch continues to chatter away about half his spell book. Finally I toggle it to start spamming the party chat.
“What is that?” asks one of the other dps.
“Oh that just means the hunter has not updated his bars.” I say.
“I SWEAR my stuff is up to date.” the hunter defends himself.
“Dude, the LOG does not lie.” I them proceed to give him a third detailed explanation of why the ranks get bugged, how Bliz has not fixed it, and how the addon is using the actual logs to report things.

Silence. By now we are half way through the CoS run. From here to the end of the run RankWatch, still reporting to party chat, slowly stops reporting on his stuff. He is finally updating his bars. At the end of the run he was all thankful for our help getting his bars fixed.
Heh. Rankwatch > liar.

There was another run where the guy did not argue with it but was a new flavor of fail.
I don’t recall if I was tanking or healing this run, or what it was, might have been Nexus. After the first couple Rankwatch whispered spams he says in party, “Can you make that stop spamming me?”
I reply, “It goes away if you update your bars.”
“It says you will make it stop if I don’t want to hear it. Make it stop,” he said.
“Just update your spells from your book. It stops automatically.”

This continued for a couple more exchanges before he decided to put me on ignore. Rank watch stopped chattering after that. I am not sure if he got what I was saying, and updated his stuff, or if it does not whisper someone who /ignores you.

Fortunately the majority of people who see RankWatch spam just say ‘thanks’ and update their bar. Many of them even ask for the name of the add-on so they can get it. Of course it also catches those total morons who started running heroics before bothering to train their 80 skills. But those are stories for another day.

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