User Interface for Rogues

21 posts in this topic

I was leery about breaching this topic on these forums because it's very individual and specific, but at the same time it's one of my favourite things about WoW. Customized user interfaces are something that I have spent a great deal of time on, and something I will continue to spend a great deal of time on. I'll create an interface, test it out, change things, tweak parts to fit certain fights, then every once in a while I'll completely overhaul it to find a better way. I don't think I'll ever settle on the "perfect" interface, not while new addons, abilities and environments keep being introduced to the game.


I have made numerous posts on this topic over on Krush's Kavern. They worked well over there because it is mainly my guild mates who read the topics, and it's easy for me to help them when they ask questions. I'm able to sit with them in text or voice chat, look through pictures or videos of their interface, and give case by case advice on things I would change, remove or improve. With Icy Veins having so many more readers, I couldn't possibly help everybody on a case by case basis. So, what I'm going to do is keep things general and leave a lot of the execution to you. I will lay out my rules and my principles, and it will be up to you to find the right addons and configurations to apply this information.


The first thing I do in any rogue interface I create is turn off the on-screen combat text. I'm willing to bet that at least 90% of you keep your default combat text active, and every time you enter combat the centre of your screen is a sea of useless numbers. These numbers are taking up the most valuable real estate on your screen and they serve absolutely zero purpose when it comes to improving your combat abilities. If you want to see how badass your numbers are, get Skada and/or use Warcraft Logs. Not only will they record every badass number you put up, they break down your damage in meaningful and productive ways. During combat, keep your numbers where they belong, in the background.


Now for my first rule to follow when forming your interface: only display your information once. Redundant information serves as nothing but a viewblocker. If you find you have the same information in two different places on your screen, pick the one you like better and get rid of the other one. I can think of one notable exception to this rule; player health. More than likely you will have your health displayed in your unit frames as well as your raid frames. This is fine because you probably use your unit frame to check your personal health, while the raid frames are a general tool to see who is alive. If you think there are any other situations that warrant having the same data in two different places on your screen, post them.


My second rule in forming an interface is to keep my health within my field of vision while in combat. The standard Blizzard interface stuffs your health way up in the top corner, which is not easily accessible in the middle of a fight. You will generally be looking right at your character during combat, and you want to be seeing your player health peripherally as you are looking at your character. This field of vision rule also applies to things like your energy level, buffs or abilities that become active and need to be taken advantage of immediately, and your boss mod timer bars. If your eyes have to dart all over your screen to gather necessary information for combat, you will tend to stand in bad stuff more often, have a lower reaction time, and work harder than you have to.


Third, always work with a power aura addon. These could come from addons like Power Auras Classic, Weak Auras or Tell Me When. These types of addons are incredibly important to your performance because they can be customized down to the tiniest detail and easily placed wherever you want them on your screen. I've created interfaces with only a few power auras to remind me of important urgent events, and I've created interfaces that are formed out of nothing but power auras. Take advantage of these incredible tools.


Fourth, don't settle for an interface that is "good enough". This is your window to the game, and it is entirely under your control. Any time you come across a situation and think you could have done better if you had known more about it, it's time to reforge your interface so it can provide you with that knowledge. In a PvE setting, nothing should be coming at you out of nowhere. If something keeps killing you and you received no warning, you are missing a piece of your interface. If you are forgetting to use your cooldowns properly or you are letting buffs/debuffs fall off when they shouldn't, you are missing a piece of your interface. Continuous improvement doesn't just apply to your gear level and play style, it refers to your interface as well.


Finally, when you watch kill videos or instructional videos from elite rogues, take notice of their interface. Don't try to copy it exactly, but look at what information they are choosing to display and where they are choosing to display it. You may see some configuration that you like, or some piece of information that could prove useful that isn't in your interface. Sometimes the elites have mostly default UI's and are just incredibly skilled players, but many elites have gone through the process of honing and refining their UI to accommodate their skill level as it has increased. I found that as I got better at playing a rogue, I wanted to have different and more detailed information at my disposal. At the beginning it was important to have basic buffs like SnD and Rupture be large and prominent on my screen, but as those things became easier I could shrink and move them away from the centre of my screen and still effectively use them. The middle of my screen then became home to more advanced things, such as Bandit's Guile stacks or the Find Weakness buff duration.


This is a very general post on a very broad topic. I invite you all to post your interface questions, experiences, addons, tips and tricks, no matter how general or specific, so we can discuss them. The more we share what we know, the better we can become as a group. Remember, there is no one best way when it comes to your interface, there is only the way that is best for you.

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This is a lot of useful info; one of the things that really stuck out to me is the bit regarding SCT's; I have honestly gotten used to tuning them out when I see them, which seems counterproductive for something being displayed on my ui.  It never really occurred to me to turn them off.  Lo and behold, I'm not so inundated with numbers after having stripped them.  


My rogue was my first real character that I started playing back in vanilla, and I find that due to that length of time I spent with it, I'm always reluctant to change, for example, key binds or ui placements that I've been using for six+ years.  They served me well enough that long, so I didn't always see the need to tinker with this us that "mostly works".


However, like you mentioned, improvement in this game really isn't just a case of getting better at knowing when to press stuff and decreasing my response time delay to boss abilities; it's also about figuring out how to manage your UI to actively aid you your pressing of buttons and increasing of response rates, rather then having it detract from that.  Complacency can even be an issue with UI's!


Thanks for the informative post bro!

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This is the UI I've been using for the past couple months:




I'm still messing around with it to get the aesthetics right and eliminate redundant information, but I like the general layout. The main addons I used to make it are Pitbull, ArcHUD, TellMeWhen, ComboPointsRedux, Bandit's Guile Helper. I will probably get rid of the MSBT text and just have it show when my attacks are failing, aka I'm out of range.


One idea I want to implement is a sort of red light/green light aura system for my buff procs so I can see good times to use my second potion later in the fight.

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I used to roll with a modified version of SliceCommander. I'm not sure if that's still around, but it is incredibly easy to set up for newer rogues and it tracks all the necessary information. It definitely has a few big downsides, but it might beat a poorly setup TMW or WA.


People underestimate the role a good UI plays. Great topic.

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I never used Slice Commander myself, but I know it is still around. Before I started making aura based UI's, Rogue Power Bars was my core addon. I still recommend it for new rogues.

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I'm all about simplicity. I use Slice Admiral by itslef. I disabled the scrolling battle text addon, and do not use weak auras. For anticipation, the Slice Admiral simply adds combo points (the overflow) as soon as you use your finisher. I prefer it over everything else I have tried. it has countdown tick sounds, pleasant noises that remind you of things and is fully customizable. Good stuff


However I must say that Krush's ui is sweet. What are you using there for your points?

Edited by gonlaz

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Combo Points Redux is what is creating the points graphics in the middle, link here:


I'm hoping to get time to work on polishing the interface this week so I can create a little video of it in full action. I've never incorporated sounds into an interface and I'm thinking of adding some.

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I'm pretty pleased with my rogue UI as well.  Very simple, but very effective Sub setup.



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I personally don't care for any UI with a fraction of the screen "cutoff" or "covered". I know yours is sort of see through, but it's still layered, and that drives me insane. Personally less is more, especially in heroic raiding where you need to be able to see as much as possible.

Other than that, not a bad setup at all.

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WoWScrnShot_050714_141935_zpse5d3a3ac.jpI like mine, mainly using Elvui and WeakAuras 2


My current Weak auras is here if anyone would like to use it



Edited by Pokecraft

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This that diminfo on the bottom of the first one? Love that addon.


Is this some kind of all encompassing addon you're using to create your UI, or a bunch of different ones?

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Hey, overall really good post ! I did mine with Bartender, Shadowed UI frames, Quartz and WeakAuras mostly. Used Vuhdo for raid frames too but not showing here, sorry. Showing everything by not locking Quartz and WeakAuras, its not always all there tongue.png But can easily see all my important buffs and debuffs.


My shortcuts are actually all placed like on my mouse, on the right its my mouse (Razer Naga 2014), exact same set up, on the left, same thing, but with Alt + the keys. The healthstones is on Q, as Im moving with WASD its really easy to press when needed. Shadow Dance and Shadow Blades on the wheel (left and right clicks of the wheel) while stealth is the wheel normal click.


Finally, Burst of Speed or Shadowstep is on E, really easy to access too. This way I can access everything quickly, and follow my buffs and debuffs very easily. And if I suddenly hesitate on my keys, just looking tells me exactly where it is (takes time to get used to have 27 skills on the mouse, but now I am, its definitely better, keyboard is only for moving and healthstone (and talking tongue.png)).



Edited by Shaa

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That's quite a tidy interface, and kudos to you for finding a way to put everything in mouse clickbinds. I have 8 on my mouse currently, and the rest are keys. I couldn't bind anything to Q and E myself, I'm always strafing to re-position myself around my target.


Where do your boss mod bars fit in? It looks like your prime screen real estate is already full. If you keep it off to the side, do you have a difficult time seeing the bars or have you just adapted to the placement?

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I'm used, in every MMO that I did, to use my right click to strafe (reposition camera and A/D), and always move with WASD, because I prefer to always keep my camera centered on what Im fighting, thats why I could free these two keys.


For the boss mods, I tried DBM, and then Bigwigs. I found the second a bit cleaner on the screen, so I kept it.


I placed the boss abilities that are going to happen in the next 11+ seconds on the top right, if I am not in any hurry to dodge sth, I can just look there to see whats coming. The ones that are happening in the next 11- seconds are much closer to the center of my screen, close to my character, and the bars are much more visible too. Here's a screenshot.


Im open to any question or even feedback about it. Im up to share it too but first I dont really know how to (so just tell me if interested), and second, unless you have a mouse with 12 buttons on the side, or just a pad with that kind of set up, it wont be really optimized for you.



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Very strong setup, can't find a thing I would change just from looking. My interface is going to be changing drastically in the next iteration because I'm switching my rogue from PvE focus to PvP. From an interface perspective, there's going to be very little that is usable for both, besides maybe the Bartender array.

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I only started WoW 4 weeks ago, and its only my 3rd week on rogue so I didnt even really try to pvp yet, Im currently trying to get as much experience as I can before WoD so I can find a good raiding guild. Been in many MMOs, but arrived really late on WoW hehe


Thats why I am really focusing on PvE for the moment, and have no idea how to pvp correctly as a rogue yet, priorities ~ 


Willing to help anyone with interface questions here though, about the addons I used, or the thoughts about it, or even if you see something that might be wrong about it, Im not that experienced yet, dedicated and motivated, for sure, but I lack practice :P


For the Bartender setup, there's no way its going to change for me, as its really the easiest thing I could have made to instanly remind me of my bindings. Im not sure its possible to place stuff as precisely close to whats your setup exactly if you are mostly using a keyboard. I know that for the left one, I first tried to set it this way :


1 2 3

Same with Alt

Same with Shift

Same with Ctrl


It worked, but then I thought about my current one and adopted it directly. I personnally hate, on a keyboard, having to press keybinds that are lets say... Further than the 5, as my priority will always be my positionning. Thats why using that mouse really helped me to get comfortable with my rogue very quickly, and I first started with the keyboard, and switching to that, after some time trying to get used to it, made me really better really quickly. Having keybindings you are comfortable with is definitely the best way to get used to your rotations and the rest of your skills !

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using this since 2010, never got bored of it.


Some functions of this ui on yt: 


Is there a pack for it? Got quite interested in it.

Edited by lipsinch

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On 25/05/2014 at 0:04 AM, Gfunkz said:


How did you manage to do the radar in your bottom screenshot.   I'm assuming it's using FS Core, but I'm not sure where you got the base radar image.

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