Am I doing it wrong?

Posted by Sweep (8818 posts) -

I have racked up a pretty respectable amount of WoW hours over the past few years

but something that has always bothered me is the screen setup, especially towards the level cap, where there are a ridiculous amount of abilities to keep track of and skills that require ever-specific instances in which to use them. I actually stopped playing originally because I felt healing at endgame was too dependant on addons like Grid or Healbot. Having spent the majority of the game healing using simple button presses in 5-man instances, the big endgame raids simply overwhelmed my playing style to the extent that it was virtually redundant. I tried playing with Healbot but I always found myself lagging slightly behind the other healers. This may have been because they had better gear, or were better at the game (I am not so arrogant as to dismiss this possibility) but it often felt as though they were given some obscure advantage by whatever interface setup they had that was granting them faster response and cast times. I did some research and tried out a few combinations. After using Healbot, Grid felt pretty inadequate. Xperl was pretty but largely unhelpful as it did little to differentiate between buffs and debuffs. In the end I just became frustrated. I was spending most of my time staring at grids of healthbars instead of the action in which I was supposedly partaking. I ragequit both WoW and my Discipline Priest. 
 

I started playing again not long after. 

Once an addict, always an addict. 

Since then I have begun using a slightly weird setup, but one which I feel allows me adequate freedom and clarity to perform well at both tanking and PVP with my new warrior (Just dinged 70 ^_^). It looks a little bit like this: 
 
(Fullscreen)  

Weird, right? 

 
I installed Bartender to move my action bars up into the middle of the screen, where they sit just slightly to the right of my character. This means I can see the cooldowns of my abilities and trinkets at all times. 90% of my actions are done by mouse clicks. Yep, you read that right. I'm a clicker.  
I have a few macros set up, sure - Usually just to conserve space - but nearly everything I do is done by mouse. I find this setup the most flexible because it let's me see the cooldowns of all my abilities at the same time, meaning I can click on whichever is going to become available first. No more button-mashing the number keys impatiently. It also means the edges of my screen are nice and clear, which I like. The blizzard toolbar artwork at the bottom has not aged well. 
 
I have a few other simple addons like Omen (aggro counter for tanking) and a Damage Counter, but that's about it. Oh, and sexymap of course. Because everybody should have a sexy map. 
 

I have told a few people about this weird setup I have and they all look at me like I'm some kind of crazy person.

but it seems to be working out fine for me so I see no reason to change. I have played through the majority of the game this way and I actually prefer it a lot to using a keyboard full of hotkeys. I very rarely have any problems in Instances (none that are related to my setup, anyway) and I am fucking destroying fools in Battlegrounds as a Prot Warrior. Proof:   
 

(Fullscreen)
 
I have become so comfortable with this interface that I actually found it weird trying to use key-presses last time I tried. I'm slightly worried that this will eventually come back to haunt me but until then i'm happy to keep on clickin'. 
  

So what i'm really interested in is what setup you guys are using. 

Do you have macros, addons, do you click or use keys? Do you have some weird 8-button mouse that lets you do everything, or do you pay some kid in china to play the game for you? Let me know, I'm intrigued! 
 

 FOR THE RECORD 

I am not looking for advice on how to play Priest or Healer. I can see you fuckers getting geared up already to call me a noob and tell me it's because I had the wrong addons or whatever - seriously, we have discussed this in a previous blog (which I can't be fucked to go find. It's in the pile, somewhere). That ship has sailed and I no longer give a fuck about playing a healing class. 

HOWEVER 

I would like to hear about what setup you use if you yourself are a healer :D 
 
Thanks For Reading 
Love Sweep
Moderator
#1 Posted by Sweep (8818 posts) -

I have racked up a pretty respectable amount of WoW hours over the past few years

but something that has always bothered me is the screen setup, especially towards the level cap, where there are a ridiculous amount of abilities to keep track of and skills that require ever-specific instances in which to use them. I actually stopped playing originally because I felt healing at endgame was too dependant on addons like Grid or Healbot. Having spent the majority of the game healing using simple button presses in 5-man instances, the big endgame raids simply overwhelmed my playing style to the extent that it was virtually redundant. I tried playing with Healbot but I always found myself lagging slightly behind the other healers. This may have been because they had better gear, or were better at the game (I am not so arrogant as to dismiss this possibility) but it often felt as though they were given some obscure advantage by whatever interface setup they had that was granting them faster response and cast times. I did some research and tried out a few combinations. After using Healbot, Grid felt pretty inadequate. Xperl was pretty but largely unhelpful as it did little to differentiate between buffs and debuffs. In the end I just became frustrated. I was spending most of my time staring at grids of healthbars instead of the action in which I was supposedly partaking. I ragequit both WoW and my Discipline Priest. 
 

I started playing again not long after. 

Once an addict, always an addict. 

Since then I have begun using a slightly weird setup, but one which I feel allows me adequate freedom and clarity to perform well at both tanking and PVP with my new warrior (Just dinged 70 ^_^). It looks a little bit like this: 
 
(Fullscreen)  

Weird, right? 

 
I installed Bartender to move my action bars up into the middle of the screen, where they sit just slightly to the right of my character. This means I can see the cooldowns of my abilities and trinkets at all times. 90% of my actions are done by mouse clicks. Yep, you read that right. I'm a clicker.  
I have a few macros set up, sure - Usually just to conserve space - but nearly everything I do is done by mouse. I find this setup the most flexible because it let's me see the cooldowns of all my abilities at the same time, meaning I can click on whichever is going to become available first. No more button-mashing the number keys impatiently. It also means the edges of my screen are nice and clear, which I like. The blizzard toolbar artwork at the bottom has not aged well. 
 
I have a few other simple addons like Omen (aggro counter for tanking) and a Damage Counter, but that's about it. Oh, and sexymap of course. Because everybody should have a sexy map. 
 

I have told a few people about this weird setup I have and they all look at me like I'm some kind of crazy person.

but it seems to be working out fine for me so I see no reason to change. I have played through the majority of the game this way and I actually prefer it a lot to using a keyboard full of hotkeys. I very rarely have any problems in Instances (none that are related to my setup, anyway) and I am fucking destroying fools in Battlegrounds as a Prot Warrior. Proof:   
 

(Fullscreen)
 
I have become so comfortable with this interface that I actually found it weird trying to use key-presses last time I tried. I'm slightly worried that this will eventually come back to haunt me but until then i'm happy to keep on clickin'. 
  

So what i'm really interested in is what setup you guys are using. 

Do you have macros, addons, do you click or use keys? Do you have some weird 8-button mouse that lets you do everything, or do you pay some kid in china to play the game for you? Let me know, I'm intrigued! 
 

 FOR THE RECORD 

I am not looking for advice on how to play Priest or Healer. I can see you fuckers getting geared up already to call me a noob and tell me it's because I had the wrong addons or whatever - seriously, we have discussed this in a previous blog (which I can't be fucked to go find. It's in the pile, somewhere). That ship has sailed and I no longer give a fuck about playing a healing class. 

HOWEVER 

I would like to hear about what setup you use if you yourself are a healer :D 
 
Thanks For Reading 
Love Sweep
Moderator
#2 Posted by Arbie (1449 posts) -

 I don't think you can do it wrong! You can only play how you feel comfortable. 
 
For a long time I was a clicker but when I started using bindings there was no turning back, it felt faster and more efficient to me. I was a healer btw, disc too! 
 
But that was a long time ago. Back around Season 1 of arena. I can't remember any mods by name I used in particular, I was always having them thrown at me by other healers. But a lot of the time I felt were messy and just bleargh ergh all over my screen! I didn't heal big raids often. =P Oh and yeah,  I did use macros.
 
 But I mostly found speaking to other healers gave me the most out of anything. I don't really play any more and haven't played in some time. I think last I recall I was lvling a druid, but damn this blog!  
 
Btw despite the amount of time I spent on that game I always always always only played for fun. I was terrible at it but I had a laugh. =P

#3 Posted by EvilTwin (3324 posts) -
@Erzs said:
"But that was a long time ago. Back around Season 1 of arena."
You're making me feel like a cranky old WoW man.
#4 Edited by TMThomsen (2070 posts) -
@Sweep: You need the mouse to move around freely at an acceptable pace and picking your target. Using the mouse to click on your skills is both slower and hinders your ability to use skills while moving. 
 
My advice: You better get used to using the keys for skills if you want to be competitive at endgame. I click on as few abilities as possible, since I need my mouse available at all times.    
#5 Posted by Swick (222 posts) -

Depends on what feels right, most heals I know use some form of clique/grid setup. Decursive probably needs to be in there as well.

#6 Edited by animateria (3252 posts) -

Before I read the topic... Just gonna say it out of obligation. 
 
You're doing it wrong. 
 
 (Now to read the darn thing) 
 
Edit:  Heh, I used to be a clicking Prot Pally Tank. It worked out fine but I'll be the first one to admit I never actually did a proper raid so...   
 
And I also tried that set up of yours at some point but was bothered by how much it covers my viewing angle. I just downloaded some cooldown bars and a nifty health/mana/aggro ring around my character.  
 
Also, back in the day (it's been at least 1 and a half years) Prot Warriors did PvP so well that us Prot Pallies felt a bit peeved. I mean we don't die easily, but we definitely didn't kill much either.

#7 Posted by Hamz (6846 posts) -

My name is Hamz and I'm a clicker as well.

#8 Posted by ajamafalous (11852 posts) -

I also clicked on my Shadow Priest. There were just too many fucking skills that I needed to keep track of as a caster and have at the ready to have 5 of them hotkeyed but still have to click others.
 
However, when I made my Mutilate Rogue, I devised a crazy scheme which saw me holding down the right mouse button at all times. Q, E, R, T, F, G, Z, X, C, V, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Mouse3, Mouse4, and Mouse5 were all bound, as well as different assortments of Shift+ or Ctrl+ modifiers to those (as well as a few other odd combos, like Shift+Space for PVP Trinket, etc.). It was awesome and I felt like I was doing everything five times the speed of everyone else. So I submit to you that you will end up better off if you can find a button layout that works for you and you're comfortable with (though mine did take a week or two of getting used to... and every time I would switch back to my Priest I would have to relearn how to play for a few minutes), and that if you do, your play will improve.

#9 Edited by melcene (3056 posts) -

For my priest (or any of my other 3 healers, but priest is the highest), I don't use any heal addons.  I guess I just don't really believe in them.  I DO use Decursive though.  I tried Healbot, and I tried Vuh-Do and they were both just weird for me.  So I went back to old school healing. 
 
Also, I can't stand Pally Power.  Tried that one, and don't like it much either.  Maybe I'll reinstall it once I go back to raiding, but right now I don't have much use for it. 
 
For my healers, I'm not a clicker really.  I'll click on portraits to change my target, but otherwise, I'm all hotkeys.  It also helps that I have the WoW mouse, that adds additional buttons, although on my priest, I only use it for PW:S and PoM.     
 
Oh, and I get tunnel vision on my healers too where all I see is health bars.
 
And since you asked about nifty mouses, the older version of the WoW mouse has a total of 15 programmable buttons, and also allows you to save profiles linked to specific toons.  I don't think the Cata version of the WoW mouse is that much different.  Also, I can set my mouse to glow in whatever color I please :)
 
My warlock, who was my main prior to Cata, did use an addon to simplify the button issue.  She was a big Necrosis fan.  Necrosis was great just so I didn't have to use my hotbars for pets, summons, healthstones, and other miscellaneous stuff like that.  I never used it for any combat abilities, except perhaps Banish.  Unfortunately, Necrosis hasn't had an update since pre-Cata, so I've had to disable it.

#10 Posted by Tonic7 (238 posts) -

A clicker?! Oh no! 
 
But really, when I was in my endgame raiding guild years ago, it seemed like everybody had their very personal (and extremely different!) UIs set up. It is all about comfortability, really. But on a serious note - yo, you gotta stop clicking! Ha. I used to play a hunter, and I remember using 1-9 for my most essential abilities, but that still left me clicking a lot.

#11 Edited by MasterOfPenguins_Zell (2093 posts) -

I WILL RESIST WoW!
 
EDIT: Of course right after I type this I'm on Blizzards site again, looking through the store. It doesn't help a friend is pushing me. =s

#12 Posted by laserbolts (5311 posts) -

haven't played the new expansion but it seems prot warriors are still savages in pvp interrupts like mad

#13 Posted by melcene (3056 posts) -
@Tonic7 said:
" I remember using 1-9 for my most essential abilities, but that still left me clicking a lot. "
I've always had this method.... heals of any sort, on any toon go on the alt keys.  That also included stuff like life-tap for my lock.  This does make things a little more difficult for my healers, because my fingers are scrunched up a bit more, but I'm really glad I have a Stealth Merc keyboard.
#14 Posted by jakob187 (21642 posts) -

Goddamn, Sweep.  That is a clean interface!  It's a shame that WoW's default interface clutters so much of the fucking screen, because that game can be fucking gorgeous when it wants to be. 
 
As for my own interface setup, I use the default with no mods for a couple of reasons: 

  1. It's the way they designed it, and that's usually the way I prefer to play my games unless it adds a graphical enhancement.
  2. I only play at work, and I don't feel like installing mods and shit on 40 different computers with a chance that they could fuck something up on one of the 40.
 
I started that Goblin Death Knight, and he's sitting at 73 or 74 right now.  Not only have I been unable to log into my account (pretty sure it got hacked again...with an authenticator attached...which means I think I'm completely through with the fucking game if that's the case), but I really just don't feel like playing it.  Northrend was boring the first time, it's boring the second time, and it will forever remain boring.  Outlands was the same way.  I just don't feel like digging through all that bullshit to get to the new content, and even when I get to the new content, I don't know how long I'd care about playing again. 
 
Hope you continue having fun.  As a former prot warrior, I can say that you can do some beasty shit with them.
#15 Posted by Bigandtasty (3202 posts) -

I just have the entire left two-thirds of my keyboard bound to stuff. It's cumbersome sometimes, but I feel a lot more comfortable with it than clicking.

#16 Posted by melcene (3056 posts) -

I completely agree about Outlands and Northrend. That's one of the reasons I have 4 healers... So i can insta-queue past that shit. I'll have to upload a pic of my UI later.

#17 Edited by DougQuaid (1271 posts) -

No it's not bad to be a clicker, but you want to stop doing it sooner rather than later.
 
Line up your attacks and abilities and bind them in the order you'll use them and also bind key abilities that you use often to extra mouse buttons.  You should be using your mouse to adjust your camera and not waste it on somewhat needless clicks.
 
Healing was something I never got used to.  I played DPS classes for years with some tanking thrown in here or there.  When I leveled up a disc priest I basically learned how to heal with healbot.  Constantly spamming heals and clicking on health bars like mad just wasn't my play-style.  After playing a healer, I finally realized why those 10+ button gaming mice exist...

#18 Posted by Tlieso (18 posts) -

I really like your set up. I've haven't been that thrilled with WoW basic toolbars but I'm too lazy to go through a ton of add-ons in hopes of finding one that I like. I'm a clicker too so I may give Bartender a try. There is no way I'm going to be able to remember which keys are linked to what action so clicking works for me. I have no interest in PVP or battlegrounds & I'm too low to worry about raids.  

#19 Posted by NickDynmo (174 posts) -

Hey Sweep, do play a rogue on Anetheron? There's a dude in my guild named Sweep. Good guy!

#20 Posted by Sweep (8818 posts) -
@NickDynmo said:
" Hey Sweep, do play a rogue on Anetheron? There's a dude in my guild named Sweep. Good guy! "
Haha, unfortunately not! I have a Priest on Talnivarr called Sweep which I guess is my main, but my other chars include a druid on Trollbane called Wrek and a Warrior on Frostwhisper called Szolo, which is the char I am using at the moment ^_^
Moderator
#21 Posted by Scooopex (43 posts) -

When I played wow ( I hope I quitted for the last time now:P) I liked my UI to be as clean as possible. I hid my actionbars, and had almost everything hotkeyed and macroed. 
I even uploaded my UI a long time ago, so you can see pictures here

#22 Posted by melcene (3056 posts) -

 

This was back when I used Necrosis on my lock.  That's the thing in the middle there.   Buttons are firestone, spellstone, hearthstone, soulstone, spells, mounts, pets, and more spells. Middle shows shards and is also a button, I had it set to Shatter.  Fully customizable.  I wish they'd update it :(
 
Bottom left is latency meter from DamageMeters and bottom right is DPS Meter.
#23 Posted by Shirogane (3563 posts) -

Yeah, getting too many skills is always...urgh! I run out of hotkeys that are in good spots for me to press, since i'm lazy and don't want to move my left hand, i can't go past the number 6. 
 
But then i play a combat rogue right now, so all i do is spam SS which i set to 1. Really, simple.
#24 Posted by Tyashki (211 posts) -
@Swick said:
" Depends on what feels right, most heals I know use some form of clique/grid setup. Decursive probably needs to be in there as well. "
Most good grid-like setups render decursive void. Any good raid frame will colour frames when diseased etc, and its easy to bind the cleanse just like any other heal. 
 
(For me, shift+left click is always my cleanse)
#25 Posted by Sweep (8818 posts) -
@melcene: that screen is exactly what I am trying to avoid, as it looks ridiculously convoluted, and un-necessarily so. I appreciate a lot of the clutter is chat boxes and bags but I desperately wanted something a lot cleaner and more concise, which is how I ended up with my current setup.
Moderator
#26 Posted by Oni (2094 posts) -
@Sweep: You can check out my UI (Spartan UI, ICE hud and mik's scrolling battle text) on my images. I like it, I am not a clicker except for defensive cooldowns are rarely used abilities. I use the mouse to move around most of the time and to insta-turn, and I also don't like to clutter up the center of my screen, except with ICE hud but that doesn't use much space and tells my my health, my target's health and my mana without having to look in the corner, which is nice as a (primarily) tank. 
 
I got my 67 DK also at the moment, and Outlands is so shit. I've mostly been dungeon spamming (instaqueue as tank, and DK tank is easy and fun as hell) to get past it all. I will challenge you to a duel some day!
#27 Edited by JackSukeru (5904 posts) -

For a long time I used the 1-9 keys, but had trouble with that method since it required me to lift my fingers from the wasd keys. So instead I tried to use only the 4 first number keys and then spread the rest of them out around the wasd ones. 
 
Eventually I used Q,E,F,Z,X,C,R,V and G, it got a little out of hand. Things got a little easier when I got a mouse with two extra buttons and I think that's about where I stopped. 
 
When I went back for cataclysm I returned to a regular mouse. It was fine since my Paladin's skills had been remade a bit since I last played and I didn't play him a lot anyway. Right now I'm on break from WoW though until I'm able to play with my friend again. 
 
Edit: I just realized that I have a picture from back then. While skilling up mining a furlborg attacked me and died atop the mine node, after the node disappeared I thought it would be funny if it looked like I held up the furlborg with my arms, thus: 

#28 Posted by Fallen189 (4941 posts) -

By playing World of Warcraft, there's nothing you're doing right.

#29 Posted by Supermarius (1196 posts) -
@Sweep: mine looked like this when i played

I used grid 100% of the time (even in 5 mans) along with an addon that allowed me to bind cleanse to right-click.  I had my main heals on keys 3 (flash of light),4 (holy light), and E (holy shock) so that i didn't have to move my hand at all from my WASD movement keys to heal.  Then i placed skills that i needed to use semi frequently right next to the raidframs so that i could click on them to cast instead of having to memorize more hotkeys.   By being very close to my raidframes i did not have to waste much time moving my mouse to cast the spell and i did not have to momentarily look away from my heal bars.  I could also easily see when each spell's cooldown was up.  To be honest, GRID or some other healing addon is really vital. It makes it easy to see when someone needs a cleanse before they can take undue damage and grid, at least, can show you who has aggro the moment they get it. I used this all the time to protect casters and non-tank melee as i could see the moment i had to move heals to someone who wasnt the tank.  Grid and Ace unitframes also look very sleek to me.

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