May 29, 2008

A Promotion!

Last week, I had talked about the new outfit I put together for our guild meeting. I knew something was up when King Elros requested my presence, but I had no idea the magnitude of events.

First, we all arrived and were briefed on why we met in such a public place. Apparently, our dodgeball game in Stormwind where we played shirts vs. skins raised a few eyebrows and there were rumors floating around about out guild. We hoped that a "normal" guild meeting in a public place would quash those rumors.

After that was taken care of, Diastolic was called forward and given a well-deserved promotion to Crusader. I was next and could deduce what was going on, but really didn't expect it. I was promoted to Knight of DarkLight Resolution, an officer position, and I graciously accepted the promotion.

A couple pictures of the fine event can be seen here and here.

May 28, 2008

The New UI in a Raid

Last night, as we quickly took out Gruul and fought our way through SSC, I had the chance to play with my new UI. On a whole, it performed very well. I love my new "Fire Bomb" button (Trinket+Combustion+Icy Veins) and I didn't have too many problems finding the buttons I was looking for. Buffing is still taking some time getting used to as I'm using Grid for my raid status rather than individual raid bars via Pitbull. Here's the Grid I had going last night (taken before a few tweaks I made later in the raid):

The way I've basically set it up is in the lower left hand corner of each grid box is either a blue or reddish/pink square. Blue indicates that they have Arcane Brilliance. Red indicates Arcane Intellect. So as long as all those boxes are full, I'm doing my job as the only mage. Each party is in its own row, so the top row is Group/Party 1 and so on with the pets on the bottom line. So far, I'm using it just for buffs and to get a quick look to see if we have a bunch of dead people in the raid so I need to make a few quick tweaks - I'd like the box to be a bright red if someone is dead so a quick glance makes the dead stand out more. Also, Grid does a lot, and if I can scale it back a little, it might use less memory and be a bit more efficient.

Other than that, the only minor problem I ran into was I had forgotten to whip up my quick /stopcasting /cast counterspell macro, but I quickly made that and was ready for the next Gronn Priest to try and heal. The only major problem I ran into was with Cryolosis. It has some issues with sheeping. Every time a sheep was broken, even though I had turned off notification of sheep breakings, I received a lua error. So I spent a lot of time in SSC clicking lua errors away. At the end of the raid, I downloaded a new addon as suggested in chat, but was unable to test it before people started getting lazy and wiping us on the Lurker Below (more on that later).

Here's a screenshot from last night as we were clearing to Gruul. Compared to my previous "action" shots, this one is just so much cleaner and has all the information I need. I do need to tweak the Pitbull spacing a bit later tonight or this weekend, but in all, everything worked quite well. And people seemed to enjoy the random messages Cryolosis outputs when I teleport, portal, or conjure a mage table.

May 27, 2008

A New UI

Not quite sure why I spent almost 6 hours yesterday designing this new UI, and not sure how it will hold up in a raid, but I'm pleased thus far and it should save a lot of screen real estate that was taken up previously by artwork and graphics. My first UI full post can be found here to see what I'm changing over from and then I've got a little here on how cluttered my UI has become. So, without further ado, here is my tentative "new" UI:

Right now it is a work in progress, but pretty far along. The bottom bar holds all the pertinent information I need (left to right): Chat (via Prat), Pots/Healthstones (via Bartender3), MiniMap (via SimpleMiniMap), Spells/Macros/Etc. (via Bartender3 & CyCircled) Quartz (not shown - above spell buttons), Omen (not shown since I'm not in a party), EavesDrop (CombatLog), and Recount(Damage Meters and more).

Above the black bar across the bottom of my screen I have three quick macro buttons - the top one quickly activates burst DPS via Icon of the Silver Crescent, Combustion, and Icy Veins. The next one down uses my Mana Emeralds via left click and conjures a new one via right click (will update this macro to destroy an emerald with less than three charges and summon a new one via a right click in the future). And then I've got my handy-dandy disenchant button.

To the right of the three macros is Cryolosis2. I haven't ever used it in the past, but it has been helpful in removing buttons from my bars. Rather than having all my teleport and portal spells on a bar, I can just click one of the buttons on Cryolosis which opens up more buttons which I can left click to teleport or right click to create a portal. There's also a buff button which gives me quick access to my AI/AB, mage armor/molten armor, mana shields, etc. So those are now removed from my bar. I also have it set up to have an invisibility and evocation button, but upon using those skills, I can't see how long they have until I can use them again (I have four buttons on my bottom bar right now which allow me to see the cooldowns remaining for those two spells along with the two in my macro - so I might just use those buttons and remove the two from Cryolosis).

Thought you can't really see it right now, I've switched over to Pitbull for my unit frames. Previously I was using agUF, but it is now "outdated" according to WowAce, I wanted to give Pitbull a shot. So far it's working well, I just need my party frame to be a bit cleaner (again, we'll see what happens tonight during the raid). As for my raid frame, well, I don't think I'm using Pitbull. I installed Grid which gives a quick overview of the whole raid so you can quickly glance to see the health and status of the raid and if it allows me to quickly buff up the groups, that's all I need my raid frame to do - again, it will be a learning experience tonight (if you look closely, you might notice I have spent NO time configuring Grid yet).

Across the top I have my standard FuBar installation - still need to make a few tweaks to it and then I have a new addon I have not used before - XLoot and XLootMonitor. XLoot allows you to easily link items to chat, see everything that dropped in one easy window, and just monitor the loot. XLootMonitor (which you see up there next to my buff bars) keeps track of who loots what - a pretty nifty little addon. And then there's ElkBuffBars in the top right. I shrunk them down from my previous installation and I'm quite happy with them thus far. Oh yeah, that little green dot next to XLootMonitor and ElkBuffBars is PallyPower so I can easily spy on which pally I need to bug for Salvation.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the layout and it should hold up while raiding. I turned the casting bars of Pitbull off and I am using Quartz instead, so I'll have to see how that holds up and I've got a new window which allows me to see the target of my focus (never really used that before). Also, Cryolosis presumably can alert me when I have a few seconds left on a sheep and can also "tattle" on people who break my sheeps in the raid channel. Tonight is Gruul/SSC, so I'll have to see how the whole thing holds up while tanking Krosh, DPS'ing Gruul, and sheeping trash in SSC.

Things to do: Get Grid working, install tcg_tradeskills for FuBar, test everything in a raid environment...