Configuring an effective healing UI — Part 3 setup your raid frames!

Apr 3, 2011 by

Configuring an effective healing UI — Part 3 setup your raid frames!

Welcome to part 3 of our series on how to configure an effective World of Warcraft healing user interface.  Ok now that you have read the first in the series, and the second in series,  I am going to assume you have some hardware and bar addon with your keybindings set now.

So.

Let’s get cracking, shall we?

Raid frames.

These elusive creatures are a key component to a healing toolkit. I am a firm believe that an effective UI can’t operate without this particular type of addon (you have several options), and the more customized your raid frames to your specific healing class, the more effective you will be.

With Cataclysm, Blizzard has finally built in some basic raid frames. For the love of god, don’t use these as a healer! While they are not terrible, they don’t show you enough options or debuffs to be helpful. They are not customizable at all! And. They look like this:

click for full size

All I did to set them up is choose horizontal groups like shown above.

Pros: easy to setup, really low memory usage, built-in (not an addon)
Cons: no ability to customize look, can’t customize for your class, no debuff/buff control

Sure while on a dps toon in a battleground, these sucky in-game frames are going to work ok. But if you intend to heal in dungeons or raids, please pick from the multitude of options out there to make your experience as easy and straight forward as possible.

Never forget that an effective healing user interface should lead to less tunnel vision on your raid frames, and ultimately more raid awareness.

This will not be an exhaustive list of options, but I’ll give a run down of the main ones and why I chose the one I run with now. In the next part, I’ll show you how to configure it a bit more specificially, I’ll try to record a video walkthrough of my own setup.

The main raid frames players include:

Grid

Grid is nearly the grandfather of raid frames. It’s what I first used a few years ago when I learned how to heal on my shaman. Not much has changed, it’s a really great tool that requires a lot of setup. Of the three options I am showing today, it has the least automatically setup out of the box.

It looks like this out of the box:

However, those that use it, find it hard to ever move to something else. Me included. It took me about a year of switching off and on, to feel comfortable with another raid frame addon. But now I’d never go back to grid.

My latest grid configuration/customization looked like this:

click for full size

You can get Grid here, but make sure you add gridstatusraidedebuffs plus the new cata debuffs, and any class specific addons via the extra addons here.  Palies may want the bacon addon too. You can just use mouseover macros like we setup in part 2, or use them in combination with clique, an addon that lets you configure click casting.

Pros: Highly configurable
Cons: Too complicated, need additional addons to fully customize it, out of the box it’s not ideal to use

Healbot

One great thing about writing this article is looking into addons that I haven’t given a chance in years. Healbot (the addon, not this site) is one of those. Today, I fired it up without any configuration and poked around. It’s had so many improvements now, it looks great, and seems to have all the configuration in the world.

click for full size

After about 30 seconds of poking around, I had it setup to horizontal groups (10 total players). I stopped there but I can tell you that you have tons of options built in including mouseover and click casting.

click for full size

But it seems to have come into it own and I can see why it’s the #1 downloaded addon from curse now. However, it’s still not enough for me. It’s too “automatic”  I need tweaks!

You can get Healbot here.

Pros: Highly configurable, easy to setup, click casting enabled, works out of the box great for first time use or offspecs
Cons: Lacks some configuration options for advanced users.

Enter my personal favorite, Vuhdo :)

Vuhdo

Vudho is a mix of both of the above. It allows the for high configurability like grid and with nearly all of the “addons” built in. It’s not as simple to setup and use as Healbot, and vice versa not as complicated to setup as the ancient Grid. Vuhdo is a the newest of the raid frame options, and to me it shows.

But, out of the box, it actually just works just fine!  Now to get it tweaked like YOU like it is another thing.  It even has the click configuration built-in that we will discuss later.

I am thrilled that I made this switch.

This is how it looks out of the box without any configuration:

Click for full size

You can see from this example configuration, it’s highly configurable.

Click for full size

I just jumped into a battleground with my paladin, so you can see exactly how my very own Vuhdo configuration looks:

For healing on my paladin I have some customizations setup such as:

  • Top left dot for who I have bacon’d.
  • I also have the health bar set to be bright pink if bacon falls off.
  • Middle icon for Raid Icon (for dbm debuffs etc.)
  • Top right I show debuff icons
  • Bottom left, I show a dot if a healer cooldown is used on the target (Hand of Sacrifice, Pain Supression, etc.)
  • Bottom center, I show a dot if the tank uses a cooldown of his own (Frenzied Regeneration, Anti-magic shell, Last Stand, Divine Protection, etc.)

There are a ton of guides and videos out there about how to configure Vuhdo, so I will leave that to the pros out there.

You can get Vuhdo here.

Pros: Highly configurable, easy to setup, click casting enabled, works out of the box, great setup interface, tons of support.
Cons: Requires configuration, addition of tank / healing cooldowns, not all debuffs are with install.

Guides:


Videos:

If you have any to add to the above list, please let me know in comments or email it to me at gina @ healbot . net.

Stay tuned to Part 4 this week where I’ll show you exactly how I’ve configured my Vuhdo setup, and how to make it ideal for healing with debuffs, cooldowns, and so forth. Part 5 will show you some other must-have addons and walk you through cleaning up that UI now that you have goodies. Part 6 will highlight some of the awesome healer UIs from our very own blogging and healing community :)

Happy healing!

4 Comments

  1. ajemkex

    There is also a great Vuhdo support forum at PlusHeal.com
    http://plusheal.com/viewforum.php?f=32

    Really enjoying your posts. I actually have a razor mouse and have been meaning to start using mouseover macroes… kinda stuck in my old ways tho
    Wish me luck! lol

  2. Gina

    Hey thanks for the tip, some great stuff on PlusHeal for sure, that’s were I got the videos list :)

    Once you try it you’ll love it, especially with the naga it makes it so darn convenient. You can just make that 1 master action bar with 1 thru =, mouseover macros to all your spells/heals. It’s really crazy quick to play like that and I can do it blindfolded if I didnt need to watch health bars :P

  3. Lind

    I am a healbot user. I tried Vuhdo but get an error message upon starting about not enough macro slots. If it requires some macro slots to run, i don’t have any available, thay should be listed as a con.

  4. Gina

    It shouldn’t require any macro slots if you bypass it in the setup. I am out of game now but can look it up for you tomorrow. I have full macro slots also on my chars but I don’t get an error for this. I will check tomorrow :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Getting Started As A Healer : Type "H" For Heals - [...] forum at PlusHeal (hi zohar101!). Gina at Healbot.net (not related to the addon!) wrote up a great guide to …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>