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Death Knighting Your UI: Part 3

September 29, 2010

Old UI (Featuring Crando, Fire Mage supreme)

After multiple explosions and the metal mess of what one would think would be the corpses of a thousand robot soldiers our hero has finished his search…

It took me awhile to actually perfect my UI but in the end I believe it was worth every hour of my time. To begin with, my UI didn’t change that much, but I do believe that I made it a lot more efficient than my old one. Anywho, in this last installment I’m going to give 1) a review of my UI and 2) the basics of configuring Addons.

My New UI

Not in combat

My plan from the beginning was to put more focus towards the middle, less of the crap at the top of the screen and more information displayed where it can be found easily. The main thing I love about my new UI is that the chat box is right in the middle of the information box at the bottom. I can see everything a lost easier and it feels much more natural.

There is information littering the bottom portion of my screen and I enjoy that, actually. The middle of the screen is reserved for the actual game be it boss fights or whatever, I cleaned it up a bit more and it suits me better. In addition to that I have scrolling battle text to load up my screen with more useful strands of information while in combat. (It gets a little crowded with the text so I decided to pick a picture without it to showcase my UI first.)

Different UIs have different appeals to people. However the goal is the same no matter how you slice it. Clearly if you want to make a UI/change your current one you want your UI to be more efficient and/or better looking. Personally I wanted to make the new UI similar to my old set up, but it would provide a lot more information.

Some of it is random tidbits, however most of it is extremely useful for my ability to Tank such as my DKI Runes, Disease Timer, Pitbull Frames, Grid/Grid Mana Bars, Tidy Plates: Threat, Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text and Omen Threat Meter. There are many more Addons in my UI as well, but those are the main ones that come to mind for my Tanking.

To be honest I don’t want to show you exactly how to get one like mine (not to assume that other people actually like it), but that’s just an example of what a custom-made UI could be.

How long could this take me to get a UI of my very own?

While it isn’t overly difficult it can take a few hours to get the UI to a perfect point. Just as an estimate it took me about 3 hours of planning and work in order to get my UI to its current, finished state that it’s in now. For some it could take less, some it could take more. It just depends on how intricate you’d like your UI to be.

Regardless of the time it takes it’s worth it to create your UI if you do believe that the Blizzard UI doesn’t suit your tastes.

Configuring Addons

While I can’t tell you exactly how to configure each and every possible Addon out there I can give you a basic idea of what it takes.

First of all, there are two different ways to access the Addon options for any given Addon. Either you hit the Esc key—>Interface(Addon Tab) then find the Addon’s name and you will be able to view the options for any given Addon. The other way of doing so is to type /[insert Addon name here]  and a list of other commands will be displayed.

To be honest it’s fairly simple after you access the options for any single Addon. You can change the transparency, color, size, position, and much more for most Addons (all of those options aren’t always available, but you get the idea).

Of course there are various guides and videos on the internet that will show you how to configure Addons. It never hurts to read/watch these guides even if it isn’t exactly how you want because they will help you better understand exactly how the Addons work.

While on that note, the best way to find out what you want is to toy around with your UI. Keep tuning it up when you feel something is a little off. Maybe change it depending on the Role you are currently playing.

It’s not difficult, it can just be a little bit of a time sink to do, but as I’ve said before it’s definitely a worth-while learning experience.

Happy WoWing

-Elno

P.S. Plagued Candles is now officially back on track, expect posts much more frequently!

Death Knighting Your UI: Step 2

September 6, 2010

*sigh* I belive this turmoil was the creation of the stress from creating my UI.

We find our hero hammering into metal as he continues to create his upgrades. Is he a robot? Who knows, only the future can reveal it...

Alright, this step is significantly easier than the first in the 3 step program to fix the economy create your new UI. First of all, now that you know what you want to do, you have to find the Addons that will allow you to create your perfect image of a UI. Your best bet is to download Curse as I mentioned in the last post.

After you download and install Curse you’ll have to make an Account. Do all that and you can finally start downloading and managing your Addons. Now that all the boring stuff is out-of-the-way, let’s delve deep into the art, no wonder of downloading Addons.

Get More Addons

To get the Addons that you want you have to either use the Curse site itself, or just use the Client. If you just click the button that says “Get More Addons” then the entire list of Addons on Curse.com will pop up for your downloading pleasure. The best way to find Addons are either a) by Popularity b) by Rating or c) by Category.

Popularity assures you that people use the thing so it’s clearly half-decent, rating tells you that people LIKE the Addon so it’s probably not bad, and Category allows you to find Addons to fulfill the role you desire.

Now, whenever you click on an Addon that you’re tempted to Download be sure to view it prior to wasting your time with it. There is a short description and links to the website and a longer description for that specific Addon so you’ll be able to view it in a video/screenshot and learn a bit more about it. Always do that before you download a random Addon to ensure that it’s useful.

When you believe that the Addon is something of value to you go ahead and click the “Install” button next to the Addon. From there it will go into the My Games —> World of Warcrack folder with the rest of your Addons.

Managing Your Addons

Whenever a Patch comes for WoW most likely your Addons will become outdated or even better, broken. In this case you’ll have to keep a watch for new Addon updates whenever you boot up your PC or however often you decide to do it. Regardless of whether it’s broken or not it’s always best to update your Addons to ensure they work/get updates for the Addon.

It can be annoying as hell, but making sure you have the most up to date Addons is a worthwhile, minor inconvenience. You always want to be able to use your UI so keep it clean, keep it right, keep it sexiful (new word, take that Webster’s).

What Addons Do You Use, Grandmaster?

Why thank you for asking my dear Student!

But… I don’t care let me make my UI…

Munchy, escort this fine man to the bowels of hell.

Students… give me… indigestion..

I’ll give you salad for dinner if you eat him.

Well… in that.. case… meatbag… *crunch*

Like I said, some of my recommendation for Addons for any basic UI are the following:

Grid/Grid Mana Bars: Grid is a basic raid frames UI. It’s useful for every role as it can allow you to see who needs debuffs/healing/has aggro that shouldn’t. It’s also very customizable which is a huge bonus so it can fit any size space that it’s needed.

Pitbull Unit Frames 4.0: These frames replace the basic Blizzard Player/Target/Group/Raid/ToT/Pet frames with highly customizable frames. It can be a pain in the ass to configure, but it’s well worth the time sink. Personally I only use the Pet/Player/Target/Target of Target frames.

Tidy Plates/Tidy Plates:Threat Plates: These Addons are great especially for Tanks. It changes the nameplates into much more desirable frames. However it also shows what creatures you have Aggro on/don’t have Aggro on. It’s extremely useful for a visual and you can change the size of the plates.

Dominos: Some people use Bartender, others use Dominos, personally I like Dominos more but either way you want to get either. They both allow you to move your Action Bars around and change the size/transparency of them. Dominos gives you 10 Action Bars to toy around with along with many other bars. Very little hassle for a worthwhile outcome.

Conclusions

The next and last post will conclude the short series and hopefully y’all will end up with much nicer-looking UI’s. Trust me the first time around is always the hardest, from there you will basically play god and evolve the UI from there. Next post we will go over actually configuring/creating your UI now that you know how to download/plan your UI out.

Happy WoWing!

-Elno

Death Knighting Your UI: Step 1

August 17, 2010

Vroom! Vroom! Let's Go!

You find our hero with his trusty engineering tools and a pocket full of dreams grease. From the looks of things he’s attempting to increase his performance… somehow…

Yes, prior to this I have broken down my previous UIs and shown you which addons are my personal favorites and why. However this time I want to break down the process of making your very own UI from scratch. Mine will be geared towards Tanking so it could very well will differ a bit from a Healer’s UI or a DPS’s UI keep that in mind.

Before you start:

Prior to doing anything you’ll want to get some sort of Addon Manager. Personally I like to use good ol’ Curse but there are a few others out there. What an Addon Manager does is it makes a list of your current Addons for WoW and then will constantly check for updates for them. Many also are able to download Addons for you and extract them into your folder without you doing anything more than pressing a button. Just type in what you want and it’ll grab it for you.

This is necessary for two reasons. First of all it’s damn convenient not having to constantly search and make sure that you have the latest version will save you quite a lot of your spare time so you can play more WoW or pretend you’re a basketball player and shoot crumpled up paper into a trash bin.

Secondly the program ensures that you will be able to use your Addons all the time. Even with running outdated Addons on WoW they can still run, but they probably won’t run RIGHT. There’s probably something it’s missing that’s why it’s outdated. (Loot Addons especially, not having an up to date loot table for the win?)

Link to Curse Client

Now on to Step 1

Now students the first thing that I tend to do is plan out the UI that you will be making. What are the parts of your current UI that you dislike? What are the conveniences that you want to have but just don’t have them at this point? Is something in your current UI holding back your potential? Figure out the problem BEFORE you go and fix it.

Example: My problem with my current UI is that everything I have is jumbled around and at the very bottom or top of my screen. If it’s not hard to glance at my raid frames then it’s annoying for me to see buffs right in the middle of my damn screen. I need a complete revamp. However something I would like to see is my constant durability/gold/random useful information without me having to go searching for it.

So for me at least I now have to draw a potential plan as to what I’d like my UI to end up looking like. Be it a mental image or a physical piece of paper image, just have some sort of design before you randomly throw darts at a computer screen to pick and choose Addons and settings. (Seriously though if you’re throwing darts at a computer screen I want pics)

Personally I prefer to draw a  mental picture of the image. I’m not much for drawing actual pictures and I probably couldn’t read my own handwriting anyways. Regardless of how you get your visual just ensure that you have one. Have a plan and stick to your plan until it’s finished, you can always make revisions!

Anywho, I hope this first step of the guide is helpful. There isn’t going to be a set time or date as to when this project is finished it’s intended to advance as I advance in creating my new ui.

Happy WoWing

-Elno

I am become Death, beta tester of worlds.

August 6, 2010
by

Followers of my Twitter may have noticed that I got into the Cataclysm beta, mostly because I have a Mac and Blizzard is eager to test on Crapple hardware. So, lucky me, I now am testing my ass off! And its much funner than I’m making it sound. Preliminary observations:

Assassination has energy regen problems on anything you don’t put a Garrote/Rupture on. So, basically, during questing your energy regen might be slow unless you were Garroting and 1-point Rupturing like I was; Focused Attacks has been ousted in favor of Venomous Wounds, which gives a 60% chance to give 6 10 energy on every tick of Garrote and/or Rupture, and also gives a chance to do additional Poison damage on your bleed ticks. This means, effectively, that Rupture is your God, and Vanish is even better than it was; as well as still giving the always welcome Overkill buff, it also gives Rogues a chance to reapply Garrote, which means that you’ll be getting 17 energy a second for the duration of an Overkill, Rupture and Garrote when all three are up at once (Overkill [30% more energy regen, which is 3 energy more per second] + Venomous Wounds [12 energy with both Garrote and Rupture up every 3 seconds, which equates to 4 energy a second]). This is kind of amazing.

On the Combat side, Killing Spree is your new bff; you will love KS, and KS will love you. Restless Blades means that every Eviscerate chops off 10 seconds from your AR and KS cooldowns, which means that AR is now even better than it was (scary thought). AR now also gives the Blade Flurry attack speed buff, with Blade Flurry losing the attack speed buff and reducing energy regen by 20% in exchange for the auto Cleaves.

I have yet to test the effect of Haste on energy regen, so don’t bug me about that yet.

Combat text is bugged, so its hard to get an impression of what damage is like at the moment; my character tooltip says I should be meleeing on my Rogue for ~1200 with my MH, but I’m hitting for much less.

Fury plays much faster now, with Heroic Strike having become fun, Bloodthirst’s CD being reduced by a second and Fury Warriors gaining Raging Blow, which is Mutilate with two-handers on a six-second CD that requires you to be Enraged. Keybind your Bloodrage and Berserker Rage to something much more accessible now. Fury also, finally, got its own Enrage effect like the other trees have had, with Fury’s Enrage having a 9% chance to proc for 10% more damage for 4 seconds. In addition, Bloodsurge now procs off of every Bloodthirst or Raging Blow, but has a cooldown of 6 seconds.

The new Fury rotation: Bloodthirst -> Raging Blow -> Slam -> Bloodthirst -> free GCD -> repeat. Mix in some Heroic Strikes/Cleaves/Executes and a Colossus Smash or two and you’re set.

On the sad side of Warrior news: Bloodrage is now on the GCD.

Mastery is also the shit: though only implemented for a few classes, the Fury Mastery buffs any ability that Enrages you. This means, with 5 Mastery, my Death Wish buffs my damage by 36% (up from 20%), my Bloodrage gives 36 Rage instantly and 18 more over 10 seconds, and Berzerker Rage lasts almost double its standard duration. However, Fury’s Mastery does not buff the talent Enrage. 😦

And that’s about it. If anyone has any requests for the beta, feel free to comment and I’ll try to get back to them.

New Death Knight Abilities/Talents

July 23, 2010

Damn straight

Our elven hero is found searching through various records about the upcoming changes in his world…

A few things that I’ve stumbled upon while browsing through the interwebs have made me even more excited for Cataclysm. Yeap, there’s new news on the upcoming changes to the talent trees/beta skills and abilities for Cataclysm.

While other class news has been posted/talked about I don’t intend to even look at that silliness, we only give a damn about one thing and one thing only Death Knights. Yeah, hardcore, right?

The following was found on MMO-Champion

Frost

  • Festering Strike *New* – An instant attack that deals 150% weapon damage plus 840.54 and increases the duration of your Blood Plague, Frost Fever, and Chains of Ice effects on the target by up to 6 sec. / 5 yd range, Instant
  • Runic Empowerment *New* is now baseline – When you use your Death Coil, Frost Strike, or Rune Strike ability, you have a 45% chance to activate a random fully depleted rune. /
  • Chains of Ice now reduces movement speed by 60% for 8 sec. (Down from 95% + 10% movement each sec over 10 seconds)
  • Chill of the Grave now has a chance to generate 5/10 Runic Power. (Up from 2.5/5)
  • Nerves of Cold Steel is now a Tier 1 talent, down from Tier 2.
  • Improved Icy Touch now increases the damage of Icy Touch by 10/20/30%. (Up from 5/10/15%)
  • On a Pale Horse is back as a Tier 2 talent.

Unholy

  • Anti-Magic Shell no longer costs Runic Power.
  • Ebon Plaguebringer is now a 2 ranks talent (Down from 3) and now increases damage taken from Disease by 15/30%. (Old – 10/20/30%)
  • Dirge now has a chance to generate 5/10 Runic Power. (Up from 2.5/5)
  • Virulence now increases your chance to hit with spells by 2/4/6%. (Up from 1/2/3%)

Blood

  • Crimson Scourge is now a 2 rank talent. Increases damage dealt by Blood Boil by 20/40% (Down from 15/30/45%) and 50%/100% chance to proc. (Up from 33/67/100%)
  • Improved Blood Presence is now a Tier 4 talent, down from Tier 5.
  • Blood Parasite is now a 2 rank talent with a 5/10% chance to proc. (Up from 3/6/9%)
  • Toughness is now a Tier 3 talent. Down from Tier 4.
  • Sanguine Fortitude is now a Tier 4 talent, down from Tier 3. 2 ranks instead of 3.
  • Hand of Doom *New* – Reduces the cooldown of your Strangulate ability by 60 sec.

Cut, that’s a rap, now for the commentary!

If you want to look more closely you’ll see a few abilities got nerfed, some got buffed a little, but there were a lot of changes in the Tiers of the talents and the amount of points needed to “max out” a talent. A lot of this is in the Blood Tree and there’s a bit of this seen in the Frost tree. My guess is that it’s mainly so that the PvP builds can get some of the survivability talents that are in Blood or Frost since many of those seem to have been moved around a bit. Maybe not, but that’s my guess.

Hand of Doom

This is a new talent in the Blood Tree that reduces the cool down on Strangulate by 1 minute. What does this mean? Well for one thing it means that it will be a lot easier for us to manage casters. Because of this Strangulate can be used every minute to silence any enemy of your choice.

Pulling caster mobs will go a lot smoother. We can silence them from far away more frequently, almost every pull if my estimate is correct. This will allow us to make a lot more cleaner pulls. We’d most likely have both Death Grip AND Strangulate up for each and every pull. A group of 2 casters would be no problem, and there would be very little possibility of our Strangulate being on cool down.

Festering Strike

We get a new ability, it costs 1 frost rune and 1 blood rune to cast. It is a single target attack, but what it does is what makes it spectacular and extremely useful. First of all, the attack itself does 150% weapon damage and 372 additional damage. However, after all that it extends the duration of your diseases and Chains of Ice  by 6 seconds.

Runic Empowerment

This was supposed to be a tier 1 Frost talent, however seeing as any self-respecting Death Knight would be grabbing it, it’s now given to every Death Knight as a baseline “skill” (passive ability).

It does the same exact thing as before, whenever Rune Strike or Death Coil is used there’s a 45% chance to activate a rune that currently is out of use. This means that runes can be regenerated before their expected time of being refreshed. This can mean extra threat for Tank or a bit more DPS for the DPSers. Either way you slice it we’d have taken it so why not just make the damn thing baseline?

Hooray for Blizzard being awesome?

Damn straight.

Happy WoWing

Elno

P.S. I’ll be leaving you all for about a week, I’m off to the south for a week. Until then I hope you all have a good time learning about the new changes for Cataclysm!

Death Knight Tank Videos in the Beta

July 21, 2010

Note I don’t take credit for the videos or anything of the such I’m merely directing ya’ll to a great source of information about Cataclysm and Death Knight Tanking.

However for you aspiring Death Knight Tanks out there that are interested in Cataclysm (hopefully all of you) look no futher. Along with many, many helpful posts about Death Knights (Tanks especially) Gravity over at Pwnwear.com has been creating videos of his experiences in the Cataclysm Beta.

Take a look at his youtube channel for the Beta as well as his site and learn a thing or two about Death Knights and the Cataclysm Beta itself. All of which are of course narrated by the Death Knight himself, Gravity. Yes, you didn’t expect that did you? Good that’s why I meantioned it.

So, mosey on over there and check out where the class is at in the beta and a look at the instances and quest zones of Cataclysm!

Happy WoWing!

-Elno

P.S. Sorry about the lack of posting, there’s just been a lot going on in my life and not a lot of time to do it!

*Cough* Death Knight *Cough*

July 15, 2010

I was trippin' I swears

An almost forgotten  face of a hero is glaring at you, apparently he still hasn’t learned what “retirement” really is…

Awhile back I decided it would be best for me to stop writing Plagued Candles altogether. I believe it was after I started writing about Mages, sure I like playing them even if Crando was my main for a while, but there’s something about them I just don’t like to write about.

I missed writing about WoW when I started writing We Require More Rupees, it sucks not being able to write a really intelligent guide that you think people will use. Hell people may have not read the guides on Plagued Candles, but I’ve got evidence that they were looked over! EVIDENCE.

All in all, I missed being a Death Knight.

How should I go about fixing this problem?

For one part, I should break this retirement of writing Plagued Candles. I think I should be writing about Death Knight Tanking until I quit (if that ever happens). No more Mage stuff, I rarely get the chance to play Crando and I really don’t like writing about Mages.

I want to write about WoW there’s just so much to do that I haven’t done yet, so let’s get started!

Cataclysm

I’m not in the closed beta so I can’t really give an accurate description or anything, but how about some speculation/thoughts on the new styles of DK Tanking.

One Tree, One People– Before the talent trees or any of that was figured out Blizzard had said awhile ago that “balancing” 3 separate trees for Tanking as a Death Knight was not going to happen in Cataclysm. Instead the Blood tree will  be the official tanking tree for all Death Knight Tanks, in addition to that, that means that there will be no Blood DPS Death Knights. Every Tanking Talent that we NEED will be relocated into the Blood Tree.

Presence Switch, GO GO GO- Rather than using our Frost Pres. for Tanking we will be using Blood Presence. It just makes more sense, have the presence for Tanking be the same as the Talent Tree for Tanking. If you don’t like it well that’s nice, just stop talking and we can move on with our lives.

Dancing Rune Weapon, USEFUL!?– When I first glanced at our new 31-point talent tree for Blood I noticed Dancing Rune Weapon being our 31 point talent. Needless to say I roared into the sky and questioned the being of an actual god. Then I decided to read the description and found out it’s a not half bad Tanking OH SHI- button. In addition to doing 50% of your damage (more threat for you?) it also grants a 20% extra chance to Parry while it’s up.

Mmm avoidance + extra chances for a Rune Strike + damage from DRW, sign me the hell up!?

Oh yeah, new Talent System- This goes for everyone including the Master Race, the Death Knight Tank. Basically, if I understand it correctly at level 10 you will choose your spec. From there you gain that spec’s mastery abilities/perks be it a specific spell/abilities or passive stat bonuses or what have you. You also gain your first Talent Point which MUST go into the tree that you chose. From there you gain 1 talent point every 2 levels and until you have 31 talent points into your main tree you will put each point into the tree you chose.

After your minimum 31 points are in your main tree you are allowed to a) keep putting them in there or b) put them in another tree.

Like I said I’m not in the beta and I’m not the lord and savior of man kind so these are just opinions, feel free to debate and whatnot in the comments.

Thoughts to Ponder

I’m sure a few of my thoughts/concerns have been answered already, but I may as well throw them out into the blue unknown for ya’ll to scold me about.

Dual Wield Tanking– While not a common Raiding setup the Death Knight Tank did have to ability to be able to wield 2 weapons and Tank with them. Blizzard even made a rune especially for one-handed weapons to be made Tank-worthy. I noticed that we’d probably be able to reach the Nerves of Cold Steel talent with the current version of Death Knight Talents, but would it be worth it at that? My guess is it’s probably not going to happen, although I guess disappointing to some, I’m not all that annoyed.

It’d be interesting for them to be viable alongside the usual 2h Tank but I’m fairly certain that they really would be without that extra threat boost from Threat of Thassarian.

Haste for Tanks?- Haste is what makes our runes refresh faster in Cataclysm. It’s going to have other uses for other classes, but for Death Knights it seems as if in theory it will be good. Are we going to be getting it on our gear? I mean I know that there won’t be much of a difference in DPS/Tanking plate gear since Drating is gone. *shrug*

Those are just two thoughts I have right now that I’m just going to throw out there. I’ll search for answers for sure, though!

I guess that’s all I’ve got for now.

Just remember, this Death Knight is back.

Happy WoWing!
-Elno

P.S. Just a suggestion, but for those of you who haven’t converted to Blood Death Knight Tanking may want to give it a shot. I’m not sure how much it will change in Cataclysm, but it may not be a bad idea to try it out and learn the abilities that you will most-likely be using for a long, long time.