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HUD and UI Revamp in Dragonflight (Official Preview)

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Blizzard has revamped the HUD and UI in Dragonflight. Here's the official preview of the revamp designed to be customizable and easily accessible.

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Get ready for a fresh-looking Heads-Up Display (HUD), and User Interface (UI) revamp designed to be adjustable, effective, attractive, and easily accessible.

With the Dragonflight update, we’re making sweeping changes to World of Warcraft’s HUD and UI from the ground up. Our aim is to provide a clutter-free layout and allow players to customize their HUD to better fit their individual needs.


A Whole New Look

Technology has advanced since we first developed the UI in 2004. We now have more tools at our fingertips to create and improve quality-of-life features. We wanted to modernize the appearance of the player’s layout and view while maintaining the original design’s charm and personality. And there is no better time to deliver these changes than with the release of Dragonflight. 

Right away, players will immediately notice the more apparent changes. For instance, the minimap and health bar are more prominent, and we’ve removed some clutter to provide greater viewable space. Also, while keeping to the iconic design, we’ve cleaned up the appearance of the Action Bar. We also added a fresh set of Gryphons and created Wyverns for our Horde-loving heroes. There’s also a new look for the loot and inventory display, and players can use Combined Backpack functionality to help them find and organize their inventory items more quickly.

Make It Your Own

Welcome to Edit mode. With Edit mode, you will now have the ability to tweak, personalize, and move (almost) anything anywhere to your heart’s desire. Not only are various elements of the HUD movable, but each individual component has a variety of options to help you get everything just right.

Once you set everything set how you like it, you’ll be able to name, save, edit, copy, and share it with the community. And, for those that change specs often, the feature is designed to remember which specialization you’re in. As you switch between specs, the feature will remember the HUD layout you have for that spec and change accordingly.

Will this new feature replace the ability to use third-party add-ons entirely? Not at all. We recognize that add-ons provide many opportunities for players to customize their experience, but not all players utilize them. However, with the help of our user research team, we are working to meet our community’s needs. We include elements that some add-ons provide to the base UI. Those who wish to can continue using the add-ons they like.

Improved Accessibility to Make Things Easier

Improving accessibility features for our players is at the forefront of much of the design of the new UI and providing ways for players to have a better experience is vital. Here are some of the changes that we’ve been working on to help improve accessibility for players:

  • New Option: Press and Hold Casting – When enabled, the player can press and hold a keyboard hotkey to continually cast a spell on an Action Bar without repeatedly pressing the button.
  • New Feature: Interact Key – Pressing the Interact Key will enable you to interact with NPCs and objects with a key press instead of a mouse click. Interactive NPCs and objects will gain an icon above their heads as you move close enough to interact.
  • New Targeting System: Action Combat – This feature works alongside the standard targeting features and automatically targets enemies as you approach them. This will allow you to start casting abilities immediately and dynamically switch between targets based on where you’re looking.

Looking Ahead

Refining the UI is an ongoing project; we want to continue to make changes and improvements. In addition to polishing the current set of available features, we intend to tackle many other UI elements and include more features further down the line, like:

  • Additional Edit Mode options
  • Group Manager
  • Raid Frames
  • Quest Tracker
  • And more updates to the art

We’ll have more information and details on these and other features as we move toward the launch of Dragonflight. We look forward to getting your feedback as you experience all these changes and more.


World of Warcraft®: Dragonflight™ will be available on or before December 31, 2022. Visit the Dragonflight site to pre-order. Check WorldofWarcraft.com/news for updates, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

See you in the Dragon Isles!

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7 minutes ago, Staff said:

Technology has advanced since we first developed the UI in 2004.

It advanced so much that they can finally copy features from add-ons that were around for over a decade. As if they couldn't have done it sooner...

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1 hour ago, Arcling said:

It advanced so much that they can finally copy features from add-ons that were around for over a decade. As if they couldn't have done it sooner...

Some of the best ideas didn't come from the developers, but from addon makers themselves....They never thank the devs of those addons when they bring them into the game, not as far as i know.

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18 hours ago, Lithari said:

Some of the best ideas didn't come from the developers, but from addon makers themselves....They never thank the devs of those addons when they bring them into the game, not as far as i know.

Not by name specifically no, but every time they've incorporated a major addon feature into the game they thank the community in general, because there's usually several (or more) flavors of the same addon feature. And sometimes, Blizzard only takes a portion of an addon feature to incorporate, especially if the portion they pass on is an arbitrary system developed without internal data, such as when Blizzard added ilvl average to the character sheet (most commonly added through GearScore), but opted not to implement the GearScore itself.

Yet further down the line we have an example with Raider.IO which calculated a mythic+ rating based on completion and timers (which is publicly available through the BlizzardAPI). Blizzard opted to take the concept, but create their own rating scores, and put them to additional use for achievements and unlocking Valor upgrades. The achievements and any perks associated with them unlocking at 500, 1000, 1500, and 2000 meant smaller values, but also more in line with being the result of averaging key completion on time for +5/+10/+15/+20 respectively.

So why did Blizzard implement Raider.IO's concept but not GearScore's? Because GearScore relied on a combination of your ilvl, heroic completion, and raid completion. More people run dungeons than raid, so implementing that would have been punishing to a large amount of the playerbase that might have as close to the same ilvl of raiders as possible, but because they don't devote their game time to raiding, they are left out of PUGs when compared against people who do raid. While there will still be people who use that arbitrary M+ rating to exclude people from PUGs in LFG, the fact that Blizzard controls that arbitrary number system and its on a portion of the game that has large playerbase involvement, they're able to reduce how much of an impact it has on a player's chance at finding groups. Additionally, with the granular level of difficulty vs reward increase with how M+ keys are set up, its far easier to overcome a low M+ rating, especially with high key completers farming low keys for Valor.

So that's just two addons with similar features that have had only some features, or just the concept, incorporated to the game. We could do this for literally hundreds of addons that organized publicly available data in a different way, whether its unit frames, ilvl, m+ rating, or even tooltip display. Who gets the credit? This is why they only generally thank the development community and not call out specific addons or authors.

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5 hours ago, SidonisAntares said:

Not by name specifically no, but every time they've incorporated a major addon feature into the game they thank the community in general, because there's usually several (or more) flavors of the same addon feature. And sometimes, Blizzard only takes a portion of an addon feature to incorporate, especially if the portion they pass on is an arbitrary system developed without internal data, such as when Blizzard added ilvl average to the character sheet (most commonly added through GearScore), but opted not to implement the GearScore itself.

Yet further down the line we have an example with Raider.IO which calculated a mythic+ rating based on completion and timers (which is publicly available through the BlizzardAPI). Blizzard opted to take the concept, but create their own rating scores, and put them to additional use for achievements and unlocking Valor upgrades. The achievements and any perks associated with them unlocking at 500, 1000, 1500, and 2000 meant smaller values, but also more in line with being the result of averaging key completion on time for +5/+10/+15/+20 respectively.

So why did Blizzard implement Raider.IO's concept but not GearScore's? Because GearScore relied on a combination of your ilvl, heroic completion, and raid completion. More people run dungeons than raid, so implementing that would have been punishing to a large amount of the playerbase that might have as close to the same ilvl of raiders as possible, but because they don't devote their game time to raiding, they are left out of PUGs when compared against people who do raid. While there will still be people who use that arbitrary M+ rating to exclude people from PUGs in LFG, the fact that Blizzard controls that arbitrary number system and its on a portion of the game that has large playerbase involvement, they're able to reduce how much of an impact it has on a player's chance at finding groups. Additionally, with the granular level of difficulty vs reward increase with how M+ keys are set up, its far easier to overcome a low M+ rating, especially with high key completers farming low keys for Valor.

So that's just two addons with similar features that have had only some features, or just the concept, incorporated to the game. We could do this for literally hundreds of addons that organized publicly available data in a different way, whether its unit frames, ilvl, m+ rating, or even tooltip display. Who gets the credit? This is why they only generally thank the development community and not call out specific addons or authors.

Okay, i stand corrected.

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