Posted by: Makakai | January 11, 2010

The New UI

Patch 3.3 brought us several new UI features, the least of which is the Looking For Dungeon tool that I talked about last week. However, several of the other features that haven’t gotten as much web coverage include the Quest Tool, Unit Nameplates, Buffs and Debuffs, and Macro/Code Changes.

The Quest Tool is useful for an uninitiated beginning player that is not aware of the availability of Addons, but has some bugs when interacting with other Addons. My first reaction to this new Quest Tool was that I would finally be able to get away from using a fairly simple but wonderful plugin for Cartographer. Cartographer_QuestInfo. However, when I went to do some starter zone quests for a horde reputation I found that the new ingame Quest Tool did not provide the same level of questing support as my old plugins. Furthermore, the map overlapped the frame and quest description resulting in an un-usable map. I solved this by turning off the “Look and Feel” module for Cartographer, so that the ingame frames are used, but all of the other useful components from Cartographer are available.

Unit Nameplates can now be seen at an increased range of 40 yards, which could be interesting from a healing standpoint, as most of your standard heals have a 30-40 yard range. Furthermore, they are now subject to line-of-sight limitations, but for those healers who spend time in PvP they can still be seen around Arena pillars. Unfortunately, unit nameplates for critters are never displayed now, so good luck doing quests like Gluttonous Lurkers in Zul’Drak, it was so much easier to find and click-on the nameplates rather than the critter itself. Another new option available in the Display settings is the ability to toggle whether or not unit nameplates overlap.

A new section for Buffs and Debuffs has been added to Interface Options in your control panel. This new section has two new options: Castable Debuffs and Consolidate Buffs. Enabling the castable debuffs, will cause only the debuffs you have cast on an enemy target to appear in your target debuffs. The Consolidate Buffs option addes a consolidation box which filters short and long term buffs to show only short term buffs, buffs about to expire, limited range buffs, and important procs. These changes shouldn’t have impacted your Buff Watch Addons, but could result in some interesting changes to them in the future so keep a watch out for updates by the Addon authors.

There is now a change for all macro users, the symbol “@” was added to replace “target=” and reduce the number of characters taken up by that conditional. Furthermore, there are some new commands available including: “vehicleui” and “unithasvehicleui”.

Finally, another addon code addition is the “QuerQuestsCompleted” event for all those Loremaster folks to finally determine which quests have been completed. As I’ve recently decided to attempt the Loremaster achievement before [the] Cataclysm hits, I went on a search for an Addon to assist with this project and was fairly pleased with the Addon EveryQuest. It just provides a list of quests that are completed, in progress, or not completed in a simple window with a drop-down option for each zone. I still had to use Thottbot to find out how to acquire and complete the outstanding quests in the list, but at least I had a starting point.

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