10 December 2009

Addon crises and epic instances

I think the to-do list definitely helped because the addon crisis, when it arrived, wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared.

DoTimer was up to its usual patch-day hijinks, plastering every single timer in existence on the screen. But instead of ignoring the problems and praying for a speedy update as I normally do, I bit the bullet and went shopping for something new. And boy, am I glad I did.

Based on recommendations on shadowpriest.com and various blogs, I installed fortexorcist. The interface is a little scary, but I quickly discovered that the addon is very simple and intuitive to customise — at least, to my level of detail.

By default, it places two bars on your screen — one for timers, and another for cooldowns. So far so DoTimer. But to customise anything you see, you just have to right click on it to open the interface; it even knows which section to open at. The options, which are many, often have useful tooltips, which are a huge help, and give you a lot of power when it comes to setting up your display. What this means in practice is it's very easy to stand in front of a target dummy casting spells and setting it up on the fly.

But it's the cooldowns display that really impressed me about fortexorcist. Instead of a huge list of yet more timers, it gives you a single timeline. The icons of your spells move along the timeline until they drop off in a flourish, indicating that the spell is ready again. You can scale this bar, have it run horizontal or verticle, and have the timers run to the left or right. It's a brilliant piece of design.

I've got my cooldowns running perpendicular to my timers, so I can easily track both in the same space (they run up the side of my timers list). This is a huge improvement on my DoTimer setup where I had cooldowns in a different part of the screen to avoid visual conflict with the timers. As one of my biggest failings is not casting mind blast enough, it will be interesting to see if this setup has a positive impact on my dps. If you promise not to faint in shock, I'll try and remember to take some screenshots tonight for use as illustrations!

The only downside I've noticed so far is a slight lag between casting a dot and seeing it on the timer list; DoTimer is completely instant.

After I'd sorted out my addons, I signed up for the new 5-mans as scheduled and trotted off to look for the entrance. I didn't know about the teleport thing. How cool is that? All that time and gold I've wasted flying to Nexus! Sadly I ended up healing, so can't tell you what's happened to my dps, but in the process of running them I managed to collect several items that pushed my haste up to around 600 with only a minimal loss of spellpower and crit. Must get to a dummy tonight to test it out.

I was a bit too focused on Grid to fully explore the new instances, but I was generally very impressed with the designs, the way they were held together by a fantastic storyline, and the way they climax in a truly epic final encounter. I never fully appreciated how intense Sylvanas was before last night. You couldn't go out with her, could you? It'd be exhausting.

But the highlight of the night? The funky porno-style music during the Bronjahm fight. Seriously, so good I nearly died humming along to it.

And I am loving the new daily dungeon quest — 10 badges for spanking Patch on 10 man? Yes please! Even better, according to today's hotfix, you can now upgrade emblems of triumph for emblems of frost. I'm not sure this is the right thing for the game, but it's certainly the right thing for me. Bring it on!

My next job is to replace ag_unitframes, a prospect that fills me with dread every time I consider it. I've heard good things about shadow unit frames but I don't think it's on Curse (I couldn't live without the Curse client). If you are all selfishly keeping the world's best unit frame addon to yourself, now is the time to take pity on me and break silence.


Ho Ho said...

"Even better, according to today's hotfix, you can now upgrade emblems of triumph for emblems of frost"

If you read it about 10 times you'll understand that it just means they added the ability to get triumph emblems for giving away your frost ones. It's worded a bit weird and took me a while to understand aswell. Noo free T10 for anyone :)

Leigh said...

Aye you can downgrade:
Frost --> Triumph --> Conquest --> Valor --> Heroism

Upgrade would be pro but free T10 for all would be a little OP ;)

Jason said...

I got Shadowed Unit Frames from curse Tuesday night.

SolidState said...

> "you can now upgrade emblems of triumph for emblems of frost"

It's the other way around - downgrade frost to triumph. As usual, you can trade 1 higher-level emblem for 1 emblem of the next-lower tier. Would have been *a tiny bit* game-breaking the other way around :)

As for unit frames, I've used X-Perl Unit frames (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/xperl/download/315674.aspx) for a long time now and I like it, well at least better than the default unit frames.

To be precise, I've turned-off the X-Perl raid frames and instead in raids I use Grid. But for Soloing or 5-man parties, X-Perl serves me well.

I'm really looking forward to logging on my priest and checking out my new Uber s-priest DPS, even though I'm main-specced healer I'm really excited about the changes I read about :)

Grimmtooth said...

I've been using x-perl for quite some time and it's been generally reliable. Had a bit of a glitch with target frames on patch day but it was fixed by last night's login. It's got a little more meat than ag_unitframes (IIRC) but the customization interface is pretty straightforward.

Having said that, I'll be checking out Shadowed when I get the chance.

Merlot said...

Thanks for putting me straight on the badges guys. I did think it was a little surprising when I read it, but was too giddy with joy to stop and doubt. But in my defence, have you seen how they wrote it?

"• Emblem of triumph quartermasters now exchange one emblem of conquest for one emblem of triumph
• The npc Usuri Brightcoin in Dalaran now exchanges one emblem of triumph for one emblem of frost"

You see? Conquest for triumph, triumph for frost. I challenge any sane person to reach a different conclusion.

Kessli said...

Ag Unit frames has been updated on wowace though not yet on curse or wowinterface


Leigh said...

Good to know they have updated X-Perl. I logged in last night and couldn't target anything, had to install Pitbull (horrible Unit Frames to set up) as a temp solution. Will be grabbing the latest X-Perl tonight, just make sure to knock off the raid frames like Grim said :)

Posthumous said...

Yeah, my heart jumped when I first read that blue post, so I scrambled over to mmo-champion to confirm it. Commenters there pointed out that the phrasing was from the NPC's point of view, not the players. Poorly worded, to be sure.

AShadowPriest said...

Regarding unitframes, I have been using Pitbull for a long time now, and I absolutely love them. The default look is a low-profile, essentials-only display with buff and debuff displays that show both a set of default everyone-should-notice raid buffs, as well as automatically configuring itself to show the class buffs for the character you're currently playing. It's phenomenal and has an incredibly low memory footprint compared to xperl.


check out this screenshot of my UI, low res as it is. I've long since switched to my mage, but it gives you a good idea of what pitbull looks like with very little effort. I normally have the party frames on the upper left switched off and just use grid for party/raid unitframes for a cleaner UI look, but for some reason they were showing here. Also, this screenshot is about two months or so old.

Anyway, check it out, see if you like it.

AShadowPriest said...

@ Leigh

Not sure what you mean that Pitbull was horrible to set up, I don't think I did anything besides drag them into place.

I guess if you wanted to do some complex things with them that could take some work, but I've fiddled with the configuration a bit and it didn't seem too bad -- certainly no worse than xperl.