Posted by: ariedan | April 22, 2009

Ask Arie

Lately, I’ve been getting a multitude of e-mails and questions, and while I do answer some privately, I figured I’d start answering them as a blog entry.

Hollybryn asks:

I’ve just recently started reading your blog (since you’ve just recently created it) and am enjoying it very much. Your articles are insightful and brilliantly written and touch on some very important issues.

I don’t suppose you’d care to list the add-ons that you’re using. I took a look at some of the screenshots on your site and laughed my head off, but wait a minute… look how clean her screen is!! I gotta have it, any pointers would be appreciated

I’m going to say, that’s definitely a first. I’ve never claimed I was good with UIs, and most people want to burn me at the stake for using X-Perl Unit Frames and not having my unit frames towards the bottom of the screen. With that said, here’s my UI (click on the picture to see the full screen image):

Unit Frames: X-Perl
Mini-Map: Simple Mini Map
Action Bars: Dominos; skinned with Button Facade Caith (important!)
Chat: Chatter
Panels (the grey blocks): kgPanels
Buffs: Elk Buff Bars
Raid Frames: Perfect Raid
Class Cooldowns: Class Timer and Pulse

Other Mods:
Deadly Boss Mods
Tip Top (pretty tool tips!)
Shared Media
Rating Buster
Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text
Obituary (GREAT for raid leaders; tells me in chat who dies and what (or whom!) they died from)
MT Love (shows me who the mobs are targeting on mouse-over)

General Tips:
If you’re new to mods, take it easy. Start with one thing at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Stick with constant colors or shapes; it helps with the flow. If you have a lot of square panels (like I do), don’t go with a round mini-map.

KISS. Keep it simple, stupid (aaah, drum major camp finally came in handy!). The best designed interfaces are the ones that are relatively simple.

Try to keep things organized and put important things where you’re bound to see them. I know, I know.. says the person who still doesn’t have her Unit Frames in the bottom area of her screen. But really… I keep cooldowns and Deadly Boss Mods warnings in the center of my screen where I see them first. I have chat and Recount on the very outer edges since they’re important, but nothing I will generally stare at during combat. I’ve had my minimap in the middle since Malygos and besides, I’m an herbalist. But most people wouldn’t put their mini-map there.

If you’re not very creative, go to the official UI forums on the WoW site and look at other people’s UI for inspiration. You can get all sorts of ideas!

Kel asks in response to Have A Little Faith:

I agree that this would be the ideal. But what if one single officer is a jerk? No guild is perfect.

I have an theoretical example: A is constantly asking simple questions in guild chat. He’s the typical clueless guy with good intentions. B the officer is very annoyed and either gives the wrong answer or doesn’t answer at all. How is a guild member supposed to react to this?

Talk to A? That could turn out bad if an officer later did the same. A member (usually) wouldn’t want to act above the guild rank.

Ask another officer or the guild master? It can be hard to tell on an officer if these things happens in party chat etc. OR… talking to the officers/guild master could end with A being kicked. Not necessary if he just needed a quick lesson about guild chat etiquette and the use of wowhead.

I meant the question to concern the kind of situations where one officer behaves badly but no other officers or the guild leader knows. It’s kinda offtopic, so maybe another post? :p

This goes back to point #3 I made in 10 Ways To Make Your GM Love You. We want to know what we’re doing right/wrong. Without feedback, we don’t know if we’re leading the guild the way the guild wants to be lead. With that said, I’ve experienced bad leadership before and have been in that same exact situation. What if I tell the GM, and because he’s friends with the officer, he gets mad at me? Worse, what if I get kicked? At that point of thinking, you need to realize something: If you don’t feel comfortable telling your GM when someone isn’t acting appropriately, officer or not, then you really need to reassess your reasons for playing with the guild. If you do end up talking to the GM and he/she doesn’t handle it well/kicks you, then you really know it’s not the guild for you. But if you’re ever in a situation like that, you really need to say something. The problem will not automatically fix itself, and your frustration will only grow worse. Do it now before you explode and turn it into a horrible episode of drama.

On an aside, when you approach a GM about the behavior of an officer, watch how you discuss it. Don’t accuse, don’t point fingers, don’t insult or belittle. State your problem in a mature manner and let the GM take it from there.



  1. This is the most awesome custom UI I’ve ever seen for WoW. It just works visually and from a first glance I’m impressed by how you managed to get all important information into “edible” chunks.

    Very nice!

  2. I feel like I so rarely talk in guildchat but every single freaking screenshot you have, I’ve typed something! I’m flabbergasted. =)

  3. That’s because she’s stalking you.

  4. hmmm u got a very nice UI i just intalled evrything u got but i’m having problems with getting the borders from your bloks arroind minimpa and all other addons in my UI geztting rly confused but i don’t find the skin from your borders :/ 😦 if u can help me out thath would be great thanks in advance

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